I am of the opinion that an actor, however much talented he might be, must be an egomaniac if he makes a movie just to beat an existing record for the maximum number of on-screen roles. But then, most actors are egomaniacs. In fact, most people are egotists, so there isn’t anything wrong in a popular actor being an egomaniac.
A friend of mine called me on Friday asking me if I had listened to “Kallai mattum kandaal” song from Dasavathaaram. I had listened to only one song from that movie, and it was downright abysmal, so I had not taken a chance with the other songs. However, he insisted that I listen to this song, and that there was a particular set of lines that he found impressive.
When I listened to the song, I immediately figured which lines would have impressed my friend. The lines are:
Rajalakshmi naayagan Srinivasan dhaan
Srinivasan saei indha Vishnu dhaasan dhaan
Naattil undu aayiram raaja raajar dhaan
Raajanukku raajan indha Rangarajan dhaan
This translates to “Rajalakshmi’s husband is Srinivasan. Srinivasan’s son is this follower of Vishnu. There may be thousands of kings around. But I, Rangarajan, am king of kings.”
I knew that Kamal Hassan’s parents are Rajalakshmi and Srinivasan. However, I wanted to check for the names of the lyricist Vaali’s parents, specifically if his mother’s name was Rajalakshmi too. It is Ponnammaal, but Vaali’s father is also Srinivasan. Vaali, of course, is the lyricist’s psuedonym. His given name is Rangarajan. (Ref: Wikipedia pages for Kamal & Vaali)
The lines quoted here therefore can be taken in different ways. The most straightforward (and probably intended) meaning is such that the first two lines refer to Kamal Hassan the person, and the next two refer to Vaali.
Passionate supporters of Kamal Hassan, who have already racked their brains to come up with a thousand theories to explain the movie, will say that in the movie, Rangaraja Nambi’s parents are Rajalakshmi and Srinivasan. So there is nothing egotistic about the lyrics, and that all four lines are about Rangaraja Nambi.
Be that as it may, I am reminded of an interview the lyricist Vairamuthu once gave on TV. It was a show about Rajnikanth, and many film personalities were praising the superstar, as being modest, humble etc.
Vairamuthu said, in his usual peter Tamil, “Rajnikanth is a very modest person. When I was penning the lyrics for the song Kikku eruthey for the movie Padayappa, I wrote a line that read
jeevan irukkum mattum, vaazhkai namakku mattum, idhu dhaan Rajni chiththar paattu
(Live your life fully, and waste not a second; this is Saint Rajni’s advice)
“When Rajnikanth looked at this, he said that he did not want his name to appear in the song, as it would sound ostentatious. So I was forced to change it to gnana chiththar paattu (the advice of a wise saint). It is a anachronism in today’s world where while people with very modest achievements, if any at all, crave for their name to appear everywhere, a person like Rajni, who has achieved so much, does not want his name to appear in a song, in a line which, after all mirrors his philosophy.”
I know the two examples are not like-for-like comparisons, but you decide.
P.S.: Personally, I feel the line would have sounded awful if it was Rajni chiththar paattu. So I thank Rajnikanth for getting it changed.
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