Monday, July 21, 2008

Acham Enbadhu Madamaiyada..!

The 1960's in Tamilnadu must have been a time of revolutionary ideas, fiery leaders and pumped-up "I-can-do-it" attitude. It was the time when the DK was rising to power rapidly (There was no DMK-ADMK split yet) with its Tamizh-pride and anti-Hindi stances. I am not sure if the DK had already formulated its "Thani Tamizhnadu" (separate Tamilnadu) philosophy but to reach out to the masses and inspire them, the DK found a hero in Maruthur Gopala Ramachandra Menon (MGR).

MGR teamed up with Kavichakravarthy Kannadasan (lyricist), Mellisai Mannar MS Viswanathan and singer non-pareil, T.M. Soundararajan to deliver some of the most memorable songs of yesteryears. The simple lyrics were calculated to send a message to the masses while inspiring them with Tamil pride and courage. And of course, the foot-tapping melodies made sure that the songs would become a favourite in rural outposts! I am ambiguous about the MGR-DK agenda but one can't but appreciate the creativity that spawned such wonderful songs!

As I was driving to work, I was listening to "Acham Enbadhu Madamaiyada" from the film "Mannadhi Mannan". Even today, as I listen to it, I feel uplifted and enthusiastic. The lyrics go something like this:

அச்சம் என்பது மடமையடா!
அஞ்சாமை திராவிடர் உடமையடா!
ஆறிலும் சாவு, நூறிலும் சாவு,
தாயகம் காப்பது கடமையடா!

கனகவிசயரின் முடிதலை நெறித்து
கல்லினை வைத்தான் சேர மன்னன்!
இமய வரம்பினில் மீன் கொடியேற்றி
இசைபட வாழ்ந்தான் பாண்டியனே!

கருவினில் வளரும் மழலையின் உடலில்
தைரியம் வளர்ப்பாள் தமிழன்னை!
களங்கம் எழுந்தால் பெற்றவள் மானம்,
காத்திட எழுவான் அவள் பிள்ளை!

வாழ்ந்தவர் கோடி, மறைந்தவர் கோடி!
மக்களின் மனதில் நிற்பவர் யார்?
மாபெரும் வீரர், மானம் காத்தவர்
சரித்திரம் தனிலே நிற்கின்றார்!

Listen to the song here!

These days, every Tom, Dick and Harry actor gets a "cool" nick-name whether its applicable/desirable or not. But in those days, I really think MGR deserved his title "Puratchi Thalaivar"! The genius of these artists has always been largely under-appreciated. They didn't have the luxury of media exposure and the Internet that people have these days. But their art lives on and will continue for decades....


prabukarthik said...

welcome back :)

IMHO 1960s la thani thamizh nadu movement was dropped.

The credit should go to the genius of Kannadasan and TMS and MSV.

The one MGR song I liked was the one Mani ratnam used so beautiflly in iruvar.

My dad was big time nadigar thilakam fan. Nalla velai enga appa irukumbodhu sivaji marayalai... otherwise there would've been big time chaos at home.

Rendu naal munnadi kooda thevar magan performance parthen in youtube.. for once kamal is overshadowed.

prabukarthik said...

MGR a genius nu solradellam typical MGR thanam - hypisthan imho :)

he was good in PR. and he leveraged the lack of education and awareness among the masses so well... it sure worked then.

Indha dravidian movement pathi no comments.. konjam padikanum...

Badhri said...

As much as I hate the reverse discrimination DK managed to bring-forth, I should say that their multipronged marketing strategy (iyal, isai, nadagam) of the Dravidian "ideals" is unparalleled. The best (or worst depending on where you look at it from) is the psychological rather than rational nature of delivering the message. Nothing is a better example than metaphorical nature the song that you have posted.

That said, I feel MGR has a limited acting talent, but compensated it with his enthusiasm on screen. Analogous to Robin Singh, if you follow cricket.

subhashssm said...

the dk utislised the fan power of mgr
it was shown very clearly by mani rathnam in iruvar
one must watch it to get the correct outlook
if u ask me mgr overatcs a lot
i am sorry to say this if u r a mgr fan
but it is like that
sivaji was far better and now we have rajini and kamal