There has always been a showcase of Kamal Haasan’s talents in whichever movies that he is involved whether it is an aspect of storytelling, acting, dancing, singing or direction and to play the romantic, tragic hero in his movies, Kamal Haasan always has that look that simply melts the heart of anyone who watched him in tense moments. Image source: Kokilavin Kolangal Blog.
The 1982 Tamil movie, Simla Special was not really one of Kamal Haasan’s blockbuster movies of the 1980s but there are some great scenes in the movie especially towards the end when he finds out that his good friend (played by the funny & talented S.V. Shekar) had kept the news of his mom falling sick from him and he is in a drama troupe, shows his frustration in a song titled “Unakenna Mele Nindrai”.
Read these first:-
- Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: When Great Poets Gets Cheated Song by MSV 1978
- Genius of MSV Part 2: Alex in Wonderland’s Keep It Simple
- Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Calling the Young Lovely Lord Kannan by Ilaiyaraaja 1977
- Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Mesmerising Thaalattudhe Vaanam by Ilaiyaraaja 1981
- Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Ennadi Meenakshi by Great Ilaiyaraaja 1978
Original Music Video
The late maestro MSV composed the songs and background score for this movie and one in particular, Unakenna Mele Nindrai is a classic song and is still a big hit even now. The song was sung by the late SP Balasubramaniam and the lyrics were penned down by the late poet, Vaali.
The song focuses on the betrayal by a good friend but Kamal Haasan starts off with fast, happy-looking dance moves before launching to mixed types of dance moves which also include him dancing like a doll which implies that he has been used by his friend for personal gains.
It is not a surprise that Kamal Haasan also choreographed the dance for this song and it shows creative he is in mixing various types of dance moves.
On the composition itself, maestro MSV starts with a good dose of guitar strumming at a fast pace before having the drums take the center stage. Then things slow down to let the sweet voice of SP Balasubramaniam take the composition forward before the pace goes back fast for the chorus.
Then we have this lovely snippet of the song in a special program with Kamal Haasan and SP Bala where Kamal Haasan telling that when one listens in the morning, it is like drinking milk but when listening in the evening, it is like drinking liquor.
Poet Vaali writes this tragic betrayal situation well in the lyrics of the song:-
Who is standing above you, my Lord Krishna?
I have been singing to you for a very long time, my Lord Krishna
We were born in mother’s lap, we grew up in the laps of Tamil, we blossomed as actors and we have joined together in this play
There is no stage that I cannot dance or put a fake act. There is no limit of me shedding tears. There is no end to my laughter as well.
I am like a child with good legs but I am being played like a doll on strings. Is the end of that string in your hands? Tell me, oh my Lord Krishna.
There is someone who I call as a good friend but I found out now that he has a cheating heart. It is like mistaking a thorn to be as soft as a flower. I am standing not knowing or understanding it.
It is like I cannot distinguish the liquor from the milk just because both have the same colour. Am I the liquor or the milk now, please tell me Lord Krishna.
Once again, I wonder who is standing above you, my Lord Krishna, for I have been singing to you for a very long time, my Lord Krishna
The lyric by the great poet is so descriptive and yet widely understandable given the situation that Kamal Haasan is in when the song is sung in the movie.
There is a modern version of the song by Adithya which shows how versatile compositions by MSV and Ilaiyaraaja are to the modern instrument arrangements.
More effort like this should be made so that we can get a crystal clear recording of these timeless, classic songs that were recorded before the digital age and some dating all the way back to the 1950s. It will be a tragedy if these beautiful compositions are lost to the newer generations.
Maestro MSV continued to be active composing songs through the 1907sthe , 1980s and even 1990s especially for Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth & Sivakumar when maestro Ilaiyaraaja was the king of the South India music industry before A.R. Rahman.