Ra Parthiepan brings a touch of the different and the controversial to everything he does. So we knew the audio launch of his upcoming Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam would never be a normal, tepid affair. And it was with distinct satisfaction that we observed the proceedings at the event ( we really like it when we’re right about something). A giant writing board loomed large over the stage at Sathyam Cinemas, rickety wooden director’s chairs were placed for the day’s guests, and debutant actor Santhosh even grooved to a couple of songs onstage.
Instead of the standard ‘wish this movie all success” speeches, the guests of the audio launch comprising stalwart actors and directors were part of an impromptu discussion. Topics ranged from the trailer of KTVI (“brilliant” “uniquely Ra Parthiepans”), life as an assistant director to everything under the sun. Aadukalam director Vetrimaaran was delighted with the informal setup. ” I’ve always felt quite uncomfortable at the more formal audio release functions. I’m glad I got this opportunity to speak my mind and more importantly, to listen to the thoughts of my peers.”
Director Karu Palaniappan took it upon himself to host the discussion, taking over from Singer Chinmayi Sripada, the original emcee. When the conversation veered slightly off topic and moved on to controversial waters (think Bharathiraja’s screaming fits), Palaniappan stepped in and effortlessly changed the subject. He also narrated several interesting anecdotes about his early life as an assistant to R Parthiepan. “I had an extremely interesting time working under sir. He never referred to us as assistants and instead called us ‘Naalaiya Iyakkunar’. He took special interest in all our lives and was the happiest when we finally tasted success.”
Director Cheran poked fun at Parthiepan’s double standards. “Paarunga! When he directs a movie, he comes to the set before anyone else and makes sure that he gets the work done. But when he acts in a movie, he takes his own time coming to the shoot”
Music Composer Sharrath shared his ‘ordeal’ working for the difficult to please Ra Parthiepan. ” I have worked twenty five days on one song. If they released all the songs Parthiepan sir rejected, from Kurunthagadu vizha it will become a peruthagadu vizha!”
In due course, the audio was released. And even in this, there was innovation. A crane carried a camera with a jaunty hat to the stage. And the audio CD was presented by the directors onstage to the camera. Every song in the album has been composed by a different music director.
Balloons popped and glitter rained upon the crowd when the audio released. Babies also cried.
Thambi Ramaiah recycled the same cap he wore to the Athithi audio launch. Apparently, it’s his lucky cap.