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Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Mesmerising Kovil Mani Osai by Great Ilaiyaraaja 1978

Kizhakke Pogum Rail Tamil Song Kovil Mani Osai Ilaiyaraaja 1978

Kizhakke Pogum Rail (transl. Eastbound Train) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film, directed by Bharathiraja, starring newcomers Sudhakar and Raadhika. The film had a musical score and songs by Ilaiyaraaja and was released on 10 August 1978. Image source: Amazon

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Kizhakke Pogum Rail was the second film directed by Bharathiraja and the debut film of Sudhakar and Raadhika as actors. Interestingly It was reported that Raadhika contemplated leaving the film throughout the shoot, but was “offered chocolates” to complete the film. It was not surprising considering she was just 16 years old then.

Another trivia is that the producer originally offered K. Bhagyaraj to direct but he declined as he wanted to “complete at least a couple of more films as an assistant director”. Bhagyaraj remained as an assistant director to Bharathiraja who he highly respects and been working with since Bharathiraja’s first movie.

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The original movie video from the movie is rather simple – a classic Bharathiraja style of romance song picturisation comprising 2 young lovers.

Attention needs to be given to the orchestration for this song – it starts as a conversation between 2 lovers with a parrot coming in to add the words. Then the sound of kolusu (anklets) comes in to start the song followed by a band of violinists who will come in just before the chorus.

The sound of anklets remains in the background representing the young girl mentioned in the lyrics. It is not hard to see why Malaysian Vasudevan won the award for Best Male Playback. The voice is rather smooth with no unnecessary high or low pitch.

The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja with all the songs in the movie were a hit especially Kovil Mani Osai song which was sung by Malaysian Vasudevan and S. Janaki. The other is Malargale which was also sung by Malaysian Vasudevan and S. Janaki which has the classic nadaswaram and thavil starting this great composition.

The lyrics for the song were written by the great poet, Kannadasan and the quality of the words shows how he can be simple but with a meaningful message behind it. Malaysia Vasudevan won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for this movie (he will win again 20 years later in 1998).

Another great composition from the 1970s was when Maestro Ilaiyaraaja started his influence on South Indian movie industry and take over the brilliant MSV for another 20 years before we had AR Rahman.

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