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Subbu on 'Mannavan Vandhaanadi' Song

Tamil film industry has always a place many talented behind-the-screen hands. One of such gems is AP Nagarajan, who produced and directed many classic hits under the banner “Vijayalakshmi Pictures”. Aa.Pi.En, though short, had big keerthi’s. I think his golden period was 60’s, a chain of success like Navarathri (1964), Thiruvilayadal (1965), Saraswathy Sabadham (1966), Thiruvarut Chelvar (1967), ever-rich Thillanaa MohanaambaL (1968). Though the films like Kandhan KaruNai (1967), Thirumaal Perumai (1968) did not hit the commercial box, it never lacked the richness in pick-up of short stories, talented cast, excellent trick shots, beautiful dances, and of course “grand music”.

Bunch and bunch of hit songs came out from all the above films. Maximum credit goes to the endrum iNai piryadha “KV Mahadevan and his associate Pugazhendhi”. Never to miss to add: KVM’s music always had the excellent support of the very meaningful and simple and interesting lyrics of KaNNadaasan. Pen and Paper and Music Direction are ready, but who will make it real? Of course ‘THE MALE voice’ of TMS and the ever-grand influence of P.Susheela, shouldered the ‘maximum’ responsibility.

Let me bullet the songs from “Thiruvarut Chelvar” (cast: Sivaji, Gemini, Muthuraman, Nagesh, Savithri, Padmini, KR Vijaya, Manorama, G. Sakunthala etc)

  • Irukkum Idathai Vittu illadha idam thedi – by Seerghazhiyaar (Govindarajan)
  • Aathu veLLam kaathirukku azhukku thuNi neranjirukku – by AL Raghavan and LR Eshwari
  • Piththa Pirai Soodi (starting)….. continues with ‘siththam ellam enakku siva mayame Iraivaa’ - by TMS (top-class devotion in TMS’s voice)
  • Maasil veenai-yum Maalai Madhiyamum - by TMS
  • Kaadhalaagi Kasindhu KaNNer Malgi - by Master Maharajan (S/o. Tiruchi Loganathan)
  • ThaaL thirvai aalaya maNi kadave – by TMS and Master Maharajan (who gives only aalabanaa)
  • Aadhi sivan thaaL paNindhu aruL peruvOme – by TMS and P.Susheela
  • Nadhar Mudi Melirukkum Nalla Paambe – by TMS
  • The ever-green and so delicious number “Mannavan Vandhanadi” by PS.

In fact, as all of you may be aware, the film starts with the “thogayara” of this song. Different musical instruments incl Jaladharangam were used in this lead piece. This goes for 1+ min and then after that “TTTTTaaaaaaan”, there is ‘Naattiya PeroLi’ Padmini in Nataraja pose next the BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG idol of Lord Nataraja. Then you have the dance starts with the lead “mannavan vandhaanadiiiiii thOzhi…”…. Out great Sivaji enters into the hall with that Raaja Gambera Nadai…. Simply class. If you get the DVD, just enjoy his every single style through out the song…

All parts and piece of this song are ever lingering. I can say it is a “Saagaa varam petra paadal”. One of the greatest product” from TFM is “Mannavan vandhaanadi”. APN+KD+KVM+PS+Sivaji+Padmini…. What a team!!!!!!!

Some more interesting stuff to add:

1. This song was the best favorite PS’ number of (Late) Dr. Mohan Rao, husband of P.Susheela. She mentioned this when she took part in Gangai Amaran’s music programme held in 1995 at Naradha Gana Sabha, Chennai.

2. KVM+Pugazhendhi mentioned during interview for Madras DD (in early 90’s), interviewed by Vani Jayaram, that the work right from lyrics till final recording took a span of 10 full working days.

3. In 1987, a special light music programme organized by Mumbai Tamils in ShaNmugananda hall on the HOLI day. It was lead by KVM and his band with only 3 singers TMS, Seerghazhiyaar and P.Susheela. Pugazhendhi was the main conductor. PS sang this song in the second half of the programme and it was amazing to hear the ‘ditto’ of the original after 20 years of recording. There was a huge demand of ONCE-MORE and PS did honor to repeat it from “thooviya poovinil menigaL aadida”. Kudos to Pugazhendhi who never slipped in his jathi’s.

4. When Nadigar thilakam Sivaji passed away, many paid tearful homage. PS was also one among them. I think Mannan interviewed he (Sun TV). PS said Sivaji always showed great interest during recording of the songs and encouraged the artists (So as MGR). It seems, she was bit anxious in the beginning before recording of “Mannvan vandhaanadi”. The entire crew motivated her, Sivaji’s being the maximum, she could successfully complete the song. Also she recalled Sivaji’s involvement during recording of Thillana MohanaambaL.

A lot more can be shared about this song and the movie… I never get tired of watching this movie to confirm some more info:

1. IT IS under the banner “Shri Vijayalakshmi Pictures”.

2. Dance composer: PS Gopalakrishnan, Asthaana Dance Master for APN’s films

3. Camera Man (oLippadhivu director): K.S. Prasadh, who continued with APN till Thirumaal perumai, I guess. No name for shown for “Thandira katchigaL” :- ( But "Kalai" (art) was shown with "Ganga".

4. Gemini Ganesh’s name was shown with title “Nadiga Mannan” NOT “Kaadhal Mannan” :- )

5. The starting thogaiyara of “Mannavan Vandhandi” was completed in a single shot. It was with six different pieces of “vazhga vazhga”.. Amazing !!! Differnt music instrument was used for the interludes in Thogayara.

6. “Aathu veLLam” song was accompanied by SC Krishnan along with ALR and LRE. TMS also joins at the end, for Sivaji.

7. One more song bit that I missed was “Sadhuram marai dhaan thudhi kondu vaNangum” by Master Maharajan. This was to close the temple doors by just singing in praise of “ThaaL”.

8. At the end, Siva-Sakthi dance takes place to give Dharshan to Thirunavukkarasar. The dancing pair was RS Raju and Kumari Vidhya Murthy (as shown in title cards). Vidya is none other than Srividya, daughter of MLV+Krishnamurthy !!!

9. A starange jodi in the movie... Muthuraman and Savithri as Appodhi adigaL and Arul Mozhi. I do not think they paired in any other movies.

Vazhga endrum “Mannavan vandhaanadi” team… we are al blessed to have that song in our memory & heart and blood forever.

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