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Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Mouna Ragam’s Hopeful Sad Mandram Vandha Song 1986

Mouna Ragam Mani Ratnam Revathi Karthik

One of three of Mani Ratnam’s classic, epic movies of the 1980s, and 1990s is the 1986 Mouna Ragam which means the Silent Symphony and stars Mohan, Revathi, Karthik & the very funny V. K. Ramasamy. It is a love story that has 2 parts –one is a current that tells of a forced marriage and another is a flashback tragic love story. Image source: Amazon.

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One of the highlights of the movie, Mouna Ragam is the music from the maestro Ilaiyaraaja – both the background score which is iconic, and the songs which have a very strong cult following even though it has been more than 30 years since Mouna Ragam came out.

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Here’s the famous Lydian Nadhaswaram and his rendition of the Mouna Ragam’s epic background music and trust me, you can listen to this kind of music all day long.

Original Movie Scene

Even though Mouna Ragam has a few famous songs namely Nilave Vaa sung by the late SP Balasubramaniam, this song, Mandram Vandha which translates to “The Breeze Has Come” is another famous rendition from the late SP Balasubramaniam.

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The scene is that Revathi has just asked Mohan for a divorce and they have visited a divorce lawyer for the petition for divorce. However, this requires them to stay together for at least one year before the court agrees to their divorce. Interestingly when they reached home, they are greeted by Mohan’s office colleagues who decided to throw a surprise party to celebrate them as newly married, not knowing what had happened between Mohan and Revathi.

High-Quality Rendition

Maestro Ilaiyaraaja starts off the song with SP Bala’s beautiful vocal, almost a cry from the heart before the song starts properly. Then towards the chorus, the pace picks up and now the tempo is faster with an almost rock alike composition.

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The trumpet takes the centre stage with a nice beat of the drum before it stops (an Ilaiyaraaja’s signature style) before it starts again but this time with SP Bala’s vocals joining in. There is a tone of hope in the rhythm that they will be together again.

Beautiful Lyrics

The lyrics were brilliantly penned by the late Poet Vaali and it has a very deep meaning which blends rightfully into the particular scene of Mouna Ragam.

  • The cool breeze came until the entrance of the house but why it does not have the heart to come inside, my dear?
  • As soon as I touch you, my beautiful full moon, why do I end up getting burned instead, my dear?
  • Please tell me why the beautiful morning sky is refusing to listen to the morning sunrise raga (Bhupalam raga).
  • Just like the water droplet on a lotus leaf, why must the husband and wife live their married life without any connection?
  • Then what was the purpose of the garlands and drums during the marriage ceremony when all we want to do is to live as friends?
  • What is the meaning of life if you want to live without any relationships and devoid of love and attachment, my flower?
  • Remember life is not like staged drama where one can just leave once the drama has ended.
  • Remember our relationship is not like that of a river that continues its journey as different streams.
  • Even when the bright beautiful moon always moves together with the skies, why can’t you be with me?

Poet Vaali certainly strung all the lines of the lyrics in a distance hope that things would be normal in the end but then the song is not openly sung by the husband to the wife. But it reminds the couple of the sanctity of married life which requires sacrifice, time, and some effort to make it happen.

Final Say

Mouna Ragam is a must-see movie for all married couples, irrespective it is a newly married couple or a couple who has been married for a very long time. Mouna Ragam is a classic movie that had all the right components – a brilliant director with a great storyline & screenplay, amazing cinematography by PC Sreeram, a great cast who were at their peak of careers in the 1980s, and the most wanted music director.

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