Santhi is a 1965 Indian Tamil movie directed by the famous A. Bhim Singh and starred by Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan. It is known for a particular song and the story behind it because the story was told by Maestro M. S. Viswanathan (MSV) himself. Image source: Youtube
Read These First:-
- Genius of MSV Part 1: Why Old Songs Will Melt Cold Hearts
- Genius of MSV Part 2: Alex in Wonderland’s Keep It Simple
- Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Romantic Kaniya Kaniya Mazhalai by MS Viswanathan 1960
First, let’s watch the original song:-
Considering the year of the movie is 1965, one has to understand the poor quality of the film. However, the gist of the expression from the great Sivaji Ganesan is clear.
This is an interesting video of a group of musicians playing the song in a modern instrumental rendition and led by MSV himself at the piano.
The background story of this song as reported on the internet as told by MSV is that T. M. Soundararajan (TMS) who is the singer for this song was unable to sing in the low pitch required for this song but MSV begged him to sing nonetheless in the said format.
TMS in a later show informed that MSV did a great job because it was not easy for a piece of slow Western music to follow the Cartanic melody. Considering that the main hurdle has passed, it was time to shoot the song scene for the movie and then the director and the music director realised they had a bigger problem.
The main actor, Sivaji listened to the song a couple of times but he is unable to agree on the various concepts for the picturisation of the song. He then left and days went by and the director, Bhim Singh got worried when Sivaji did not respond to him.
Bhim Singh went rather concerned and asked if Sivaji did not like the song and if this is the case, he will ask MSV to compose another song.
Realising that there has been some misunderstanding, Sivaji then admitted that MSV had come up with a great composition, TMS sang it beautifully and the lyrics penned by Kannadasan is simply great. However, the problem is how he is going to act on par with their level of perfection.
This is why he has been thinking for days about how to set high standards of acting for this particular song. The final picturisation in the movie came directly from Sivaji himself trying to match the MSV’s composition of the song in the movie.
It is now a classic and that is why Sivaji Ganesan is still one of the greatest Tamil actors to date (closely followed by Kamal Haasan).