Monday, 8 March 2010

Trident-The Power of Women!

1980 was a very significant year.

Yes, it was the beginning of a new decade and trends were changing (or trends were being set).

In London, Prince Charles married Diana.

In India, the first coalition govt. crumbled and the Congress took over yet again.

Indian Cricket team defeated the Pakistan team in a test series.

In Tamizh Nadu, the first batch of Higher Secondary(plus two) successfully passed out.

Most importantly, the 100th movie of the Master (Moodupani) was released.

The year also saw the advent of a new lyricist in Tamizh Film industry.
This gentleman,whose name is Vairamuththu hails from a village called Vadugappatti in Madurai district.

He was already a known figure in (a section of) the Tamizh literary world for his ‘Puthukkavithai’ form. .

Puthukkavaithai(literally translated as ‘new poem’) is easy to understand and at the same time is very powerful. In fact , Mahakavi Subramania Bharatiyar is the father of this form-though some people have chosen tol call themselves as the ‘father of this puthukkavithai’.

Vairamuththu’s collection of poems like ‘Intha PookkaL ViRpanaikku alla’was already popular in 1980.In one of the collections, he had beautifully described about evening.

That was the time when Bharathiraja was looking for a ‘suitable replacement’ for Kannadasan.Until then Kannadasan had written at least one song in each of his five movies.Why they fell out is not relevant here.

ILaiyaraaja gave a tune in Kedaram and Vairamuththu responded with ‘Ithu Oru Ponmaalai pozhuthu’(most of the words were from his own poem written sometime back).

It was a ‘pon kaalai pozhuthu’ for Vairamuththu then since ILaiyaraaja developed a special liking for his lyrics.

This combination was almost like a MSV-Kannadasan combination and ruled Tamizh cinema for nearly 7 years until there was a misunderstanding.

For many, it still remains a mystery as to why the two parted ways.
Though I know the background and the reason, I am not getting into that now.

The song became an instant hit as soon as the music was released in July 1980.The Film ‘NizhalgaL’ was released in Nov 1980.

Raaja sir being Raaja sir, introduced Vairamuththu to many producers and Directors..
Songs were recorded and strangely enough some movies were released much before NizhalgaL.

One was ‘KaaLi’ and the other one was ‘Soolam’.

So though his first recorded film song was ‘Ponmaalai Pozhuthu’, ’Soolam’(Soolam) and ‘BadrakaaLi’(KaaLi) were the first to hit he silverscreens(in Jul ’80).

Yes, truth is stranger than fiction!

Vairamuththu, a ‘proclaimed atheist’ wrote a song eulogising KaaLi and another song on ‘Trisoolam’, the weapon of Durga Devi .

Today’s rare gem is the latter and is also our 'Women's day' special!

The first thing that strikes us when we listen to the song is the use of electronic instruments.

This was the first Revathi Ragam by Raaja sir in films!

My most favourite is the second interlude where the Master has weaved magic just with the percussion instruments and the chorus voice.Simply exhilarating!

The third interlude is another beauty where the swaras dance and the traditional and modern instruments compete with each other.

The first interlude has the vibrant flute and the mellifluous Shehnai.

The opening of the song(prelude) itself makes us visualise the Trisoolam with a wonderful laya pattern.

The powerful lyrics give more energy to the Trident.

The Stree Sakthi-the Devi concept is described wonderfully.
The explanation about the Trident is very thought provoking-valour,modesty and knowledge symbolising the woman.

In fact the song is peppered with feminist views, a rarity in film songs.

Let us all realise the Stree Sakthi, and celebrate 'Women's day'..not just by deifying or glorifying.......
......but by respecting women!

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