From ‘Appadi Podu’ to ‘Uyirin Uyire’: Revisiting Singer KK’s Iconic Tamil Songs

In what has come as a huge shock to the Indian film industry, especially the music fraternity, Krishnakumar Kunnath, the Indian playback singer popularly known as KK, died on Tuesday night, after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest post a concert performance in Kolkata.

The 53-year-old singer was in the city for a two-day concert and reportedly fell ill during the last event at Nazrul Mancha. He was taken to the CMRI hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival, at around 10 pm.

An artist who performed until his last breath, KK has lent his voice to songs across varied languages from Hindi to Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Malayalam, to name a few. In particular, KK gained immense popularity in the Tamil film industry, owing to his frequent collaborations with composers like Harris Jayaraj, AR Rahman, Deva, and Yuvan Shankar Raja. The singer’s songs from the late 90s and early 2000s have been smashing hits, and are still fondly reminisced by fans.

In remembrance of a well-loved voice, Silverscreen India brings to you a curated list of some popular Tamil songs sung by KK.

Kalyaanam Thaan (Saamy)

This 2003 action film starring Vikram and Trisha was a blockbuster at multiple levels, be it at the box office or the film’s music. While the cop drama uplifted actors like Trisha and was lauded for actor Vivekh‘s comedy, Saamy’s music album also ruled the time. One song, Kalyaanam Thaan voiced by KK alongside Yugendran, and Srilekha Parthasarathy, became a huge hit, contributing to the overall success of the film. Composed by Harris, this folk number has lyrics penned by Snehan.


Uyirin Uyire (Kaakha Kaakha)

In the same year as Saamy was released, KK and Harris reunited again for a cop drama, but this time directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, starring Suriya and Jyothika. In contrast to what the musician’s duo did with Saamy, Harris made KK sing a fast-paced melody with Uyirin Uyire. KK sang the song alongside Suchitra, with the lyrics written by Thamirai. Shot in a beach at Andaman Islands, Uyirin Uyire can be still called as one of the greatest hits of the duo, Harris and KK.


Appadi Podu (Ghilli)

Continuing his successful streak of singing for star-studded films, KK sang Appadi Podu in 2004 for the Vijay and Trisha-starrer, Ghilli. Another chartbuster hit, needless to mention the film’s huge success, the song was composed by Vidyasagar. KK sung along with Anuradha Sriram, with lyrics penned by Pa Vijay. Another peppy, folk number, Appadi Podu combined with its fast beats and quick dance steps, still evoke a sense of nostalgia for Vijay’s films from the 2000s, to the 90s generation.


Andangkaka (Anniyan)

The early 2000s indeed proved to be one of the best phases for KK in Tamil, as he delivered yet another popular song, Andangkaka from Anniyan (2005). Directed by Shankar, with music composed by Harris, the song features colourful sets and costumes, in coordination with Sadha and Vikram’s energetic choreography. A fast-paced, folk number, KK sang this song alongside Jassie Gift, Shreya Ghoshal, and Saindhavi.


Strawberry Kannae (Minsara Kanavu)

One of the first few songs sung by KK, when he had just entered the Tamil industry, Strawberry Kannae was voiced by the late singer, alongside Febi Mani. Composed by Rahman, this 1997 romantic comedy-drama starring Prabhu Deva, Arvind Swami, and Kajol had one of the best musical albums in the 90s. Strawberry Kannae featured the characters of Prabhu Deva and Kajol having a jovial exchange of arguments.


Ninaithu (7G Rainbow Colony)

Released in 2004, 7G Rainbow Colony had two versions of Ninaithu, one by KK and the other by Shreya Ghoshal. The melody’s lyrics were penned by Na Muthukumar, and the song evoked the feeling of grief that leaves one pining. Ninaithu is one of the times when KK paired up with Yuvan Shankar Raja. Aside from its commercial success and critical acclaim for its story by Selvaraghavan, 7G Rainbow Colony also topped the music charts, with Ninaithu being one of the reasons for the film’s success.


Kadhal Valarthe (Manmadhan)

In late 2004, Silambarasan’s romantic thriller Manmadhan was released, which again had its music composed by Yuvan. A melody that features a young man ruminating over his love life, its lyrics were penned by Muthukumar, with KK’s vocals.


Feel My Love (Kutty)

As much as KK has sung folksy, fast-paced numbers, he voiced several melodies, as well. In this 2010 Dhanush and Shriya Saran-starrer, KK has sung Feel My Love, which follows a young man trying to pursue his lady love. Devi Sri Prasad composed the music for the film.


Ollikuchi Udambu (Red)

Under Deva‘s music direction, KK sang Ollikuchi Udambu for the film Red that was released in 2002. The late singer voiced it alongside Anuradha Sriram. The action drama starred Ajith Kumar and Priya Gill.

Grammys 2022: Indian Composer Ricky Kej Wins Second Grammy; Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste, Olivia Rodrigo Bag Top Prizes

Ricky Kej, the Bengaluru-based Indian music composer, won his second Grammy award in the Best New Age Album category for Divine Tides at the 64th edition of the Grammys. The event held on Sunday also saw Bruno Mars-led Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste, and Olivia Rodrigo win the top honours.

Kej had received his first Grammy award in 2015, for his album Winds of Samsara.

In an Instagram post, after his win, Kej wrote, “So grateful to have won the Grammy Award for our album Divine Tides. Absolutely love this living-legend standing next to me – Stewart Copeland. Love all of you too! This is my 2nd Grammy Award and Stewart’s 6th.”

Mars bagged the two top prizes, namely Record of the Year and Song of the Year for Leave The Door Open.

Batiste, who was the most nominated artist this year, took home the Album of the Year Grammy for We Are, as well as four other awards.

While accepting his golden gramophone, Batiste said, “I believe this to my core — there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most.”

“This is for real artists, real musicians. Let’s just keep going,” Batiste added. The singer beat Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, HER, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Taylor Swit, Kanye West or Ye, and Rodrigo, to win the award.

Rodrigo, who made her Grammy debut, bagged three awards: Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance for Drivers License, and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sour.

Accepting her first Grammy of the evening, for Best New Artist, Rodrigo said, “This is my biggest dream come true.”

Arooj Aftab became the first Pakistani woman to win a Grammy, for the Best Global Music Performance for her song Mohabbat. Aftab was also nominated alongside Rodrigo, in the Best New Artist category.

The event, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Los Angeles, was hosted by Trevor Noah. It is to be noted that the Grammys was supposed to be held in January, but was rescheduled owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The 64th Grammys was attended by a host of members from the music community and past winners, including Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O’ Connell. However, some popular artists, such as Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, The Weekend, and Rapper Drake, skipped the event.

The band Foo Fighters bagged three Grammys, for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song, but did not attend the event due to the recent death of band-member and drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Tribute was paid to Hawkins in the Grammys’ In Memoriam segment, alongside Sidney Poitier and Peter Bogdanovich, among others.

While the Recording Academy’s video tribute did not feature Indian music legends like Lata Mangeshkar and Bappi Lahiri, they were mentioned on the Grammy website. Other Indian musicians who found a mention in the list were Abhijit Bandyopadhyay, percussionist Badal Roy, Alleppey Ranganath, Amarendra Mohanty, Bhaskar Menon, lyricists Bichu Thirumala and Dev Tharikewala, vocalist Damodar Hota, poet Ibrahim Ashk, singer Jagjit Kaur, and Lalith Anand, among several others.

Actor Rachel Zegler and Leslie Odom Junior were among those who performed at the event. Other performers of the evening included Bieber, Lil Nas X, Eilish and brother O’Connell, Batiste, and BTS.

It is notable that the K-pop boy band BTS did not win a single Grammy despite giving one of the biggest hits of 2021, with Butter. The seven-member band had earlier become the first-ever Asian group to win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, last year. They were nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the Grammys, for the second consecutive year, but lost the title to Doja Cat.

From ‘Rang Barse’ to ‘Balam Pichkari’: Holi Songs You Must Have In Your Playlist

Holi, popularly known as the ‘festival of colours’ that is being celebrated on Friday, has been a key part of several Hindi films over the years. Whether it is Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone breaking into song and dance in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or Amitabh Bachchan romancing Rekha in the presence of Jaya Bachchan in Silsila, Holi has been shown in different colours and moods in cinema.

These films have managed to not only use the festival as a significant plot twist but also give iconic songs to the audiences to vibe with, during special occasions. While some filmmakers have replugged old Holi songs in newer films as remix versions, many have also come up with new, groovy tracks that still manage to bring out a nostalgia for older days.

On that note, Silverscreen India has compiled a list of iconic songs for Holi to add to your playlist.

Rang Barse Silsila

A playlist for Holi songs can never start without this iconic Bachchan song. This song also features powerhouses like Rekha, Jaya Bachchan, and Shashi Kapoor, aside from the veteren actor. Sung by Big B himself, this song has been used in several films during Holi scenes over the years and continues to be one of the most popularly used tracks during festival parties.


Balam Pichkari – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Balam Pichkari is all about young folks in college celebrating Holi, throwing around colours, and living life in the moment. In the film, this song is the first time that the audience witness Padukone’s character Naina, opens up in the spirit of Holi, shaking off her nerdy and reserved self and grooves with Bunny (Kapoor) and their friends. While the song follows a plot-turning scene for the script, it also went on to become the anthem for youth, with respect to the festival of colours.


Jai Jai Shivshankar War

Combining the energies of Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff in a sequence is reason enough to make this song a hit track. With some crazy dance moves and groovy beats, this new Holi song is worth a spot on the playlist.


Do Me A Favour Let’s Play Holi – Waqt- The Race Against Time

Dialing it back in time to the 2000s era, no Holi playlist is complete without this track that is sung by Anu Malik. To top it, Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra make the song even more magnetic, with the choreography and their chemistry.


Badrinath ki Dulhania  Badrinath ki Dulhania

One of the most loved on-screen couples of the newer generations, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt come together for this electro-Bollywood song and it is perfect to set the mood for celebrations. If there is any newer Hindi song that deserves a spot on the festive playlist, it has to be this catchy number.


Holi Khele Raghuveera – Baghban

If the list starts with Bachchan, it is only fair that it ends with him too. Another gem crooned by the star himself, the song also features Hema Malini and is a delight for the eyes and the ears!

Music Director Vidyasagar: The B Sides

I remember the first time I heard Suresh Peters’ voice – it was at a Stanley Medical College ‘culturals’ event. Chikku Bukku Rayile was being played loudly using 90s tech, and many paused to check with the student volunteers – “Boss, enna paatu idhu? (Boss, what song is this?)”

“Some new music director nenaikkren (I think) – some Rahman something”.


Therleaana super voice (Don’t know, but super voice)”

There was some impromptu dancing later in the day, inspired by the beer smuggled in Milton water bottles (there’s a 90s reference for you), and the catchy rhythm of Usilampatti penn kutti.

You don’t have to travel back to the 90s to imagine the kind of effect an album like Gentleman had on the college crowd for the first time. But this is not about Suresh Peters nor AR Rahman.

A few years later, Suresh Peters would have another superhit song called Bodhai Yeri Pochu from the movie Jai Hind picturised on choreographer Raju Sundaram making kissy faces at Ranjitha, while dancing in earnest for the villain and his crew.

The songs of Jai Hind were a monster hit. However, unless you cared about turning over a cassette cover, not many may have easily recalled the name Vidyasagar.

This somehow stuck. One would read the name of this music director on a cassette sleeve, but never followed it with the words “Underrated, no?”- a tag that other directors were quick to get. It took a while for this adjective to appearance in the same sentence as Vidyasagar.

Everyone that followed Tamil Film Music was busy fighting pointless internet battles on behalf of Ilaiyaraja or AR Rahman. While there was acknowledgment that Vidyasagar had talent, no one spent time in his camp. This went on. And on.

Unfortunately, by the early 2010s, he had almost stopped making music for Tamil Cinema. When he left to focus more on Malayalam cinema, no one even noticed. Luckily for him, this other community embraced him with much deserved warmth. It continues to rank Vidyasagar as one of its most highly regarded music makers.

This is not to say that fans of Tamil film music do not appreciate Vidyasagar. However, we never should have let him get to ‘underrated’.

Thankfully in 2022, we have YouTube and 28,000 other streaming services, so his best Tamil work is still a click away for rediscovery and consumption.

On his birthday (one short of 60), here’s a list of personal favorites, the B-sides if you will, that you should consider adding to your playlist.

1.Dheem Thakka Dheem (Puthayal)

2. Raapothu (Netaji)

3. Sottu Sottai  (Varnajalam)

4. Kilu Kilupaana (Sullaan)

5. Thulli Varum (Priyam)

6. Poongaatru Veesum (Mr.Madras)

7. Kaalai Arumbi (Kana Kanden)

8. Summa Kidandha (Thambi)


9. Yahaan Ladki Hain (Thaayin Manikodi)


10. Adi Aathi (Pasumpon)


Yuvan Shankar Raja Announces Plan to Direct His Own Female-Oriented Script

Yuvan Shankar Raja revealed that he has written a female-oriented script and plans to direct the film himself, during an event held in Chennai on Monday to celebrate his 25-year career as a music composer.

The composer further added that the project will likely go on floors later this year or in 2023. However, he chose to keep other details about the film under wraps.

Yuvan, son of ace composer Ilaiyaraaja, made his debut as music director with the 1997 Tamil film Aravindhan, when he was still in his teens. He has since produced several hit albums for films such as Paruthiveeran, 7G Rainbow Colony, and many others. Recently, he composed the songs for the Ajith-starrer Valimai, now running in theatres.

Speaking at the event on Monday, Yuvan thanked all the artists, instrumentalists, filmmakers, and technicians he has worked with over the years. The composer also reminisced about late lyricist Na Muthukumar, who was one of his frequent collaborators. Yuvan observed that a void has been left behind by Muthukumar, which cannot be filled by anyone. “We gave a lot of super hits and he was a fantastic writer. He would listen to a tune during composing and come up the lyrics quickly. Such songs have go on to become hits. I have good vibes with other lyricists such as Pa Vijay, Snehan, and Vivek too,” he added.

The musician also shared how he felt when he was sent a picture of actor Vijay’s son wearing a T-shirt saying ‘Yuvanism’. “I did not know how to react to it. Later, when I met Vijay, he said that he was the one who had asked his associate to send me the photo. He said that his son is a very big fan of mine and had wanted me to know. I did not share that photo because I consider it very personal.”

While he shared his plan to take up film direction, Yuvan clarified that he has no interest in acting, apart from appearances in music videos. He also said that his YSR Films banner is on the lookout for scripts to back.

The composer mentioned that he plans to create a lot of music and revealed that an independent song with actor-singer Silambarasan TR is in the pipeline. He also said that he will be venturing into NFTs with his unused musical pieces.

On how YouTube and social media view count has become the de facto measure of a song’s success, Yuvan said, “Earlier, we knew a song was successful when it got played in tea shops. Now, things have moved online and it’s all about the numbers. At the end of the day, if the music is liked, that’s enough.”

Yuvan has several upcoming albums for films such as Naane Varuven and Viruman, among others.

Case against Silambarasan for ‘Beep Song’ Thrown Out by Madras HC

The Madras High Court has quashed the case that was filed in 2015 against Tamil actor Silambarasan TR over the controversial Beep Song and its alleged misogynistic lyrics.

The case dates back seven years, when a song by the actor and music composer Anirudh Ravichander, which later came to be known as Beep Song, found its way to social media. The song, whose lyrics contained several slang and cuss words, became a viral hit and many groups took offence to the content of the song.

In his defence, Silambarasan had said that the song was a private composition and was never meant to be released online. He further added that he was not answerable to anybody as the song was composed when he and the composer were jamming together during their leisure time. The actor had later also clarified that Anirudh had no connection with the song and requested the media to not involve the composer in the issue.

However, a case was booked against the actor and the composer in 2015, after members of the All India Democratic Women’s Association from Coimbatore filed a complaint against them for tarnishing the image of women through Beep Song.

Following this, Silambarasan had first sought an exemption from appearing in person for the trial. Later, the actor approached the Madras HC to have the proceedings quashed. He had argued that his right to privacy had been compromised by an unknown third party with an underlying motive, who had created the track by embedding lyrics without his knowledge or consent.

When the case was heard on Wednesday, the High Court dismissed the case against Silambarasan, citing that the Coimbatore court’s inquiry report had no evidence in the complaint against the actor.

It is to be noted that Beep Song is not the only track from the actor-lyricist containing problematic lines about women. Other songs of Silambarasan, such as Loosu Penne from the film Vallavan, Evandi Unna Pethan from Vaanam, and Trend Song from the film Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, have also been called out for their provocative lyrics and have sparked controversies in the past.

Remembering Bappi Lahiri: Songs by the ‘Disco King’ That Still Resonate in Our Hearts

Legendary composer and singer Bappi Lahiri, who passed away on Tuesday, changed the face of Indian film music by introducing the disco genre to the audience. His popularisation of the genre even earned him the title ‘Disco King’.

Lahiri was born in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri. In a career spanning over five decades, he sang over 300 songs and composed more than 1900 songs in several languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, and Gujarati. While disco was his forte, Lahiri composed and sang some soulful romantic numbers too.

He won multiple Filmfare awards for Best Music Director and a Lifetime Achievement Award for songs in Hindi films such as Armaan, Namak Halaal, Sharaabi, Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Tohfa, and Aaj Ka Arjun.

To remember the golden legacy he left behind, Silverscreen India has compiled this list of a few of Lahiri’s evergreen songs that still resonate in our hearts.

Yaad Aa Raha Hai Tera PyarDisco Dancer (1982)

Easily counted in the list of best songs from Bappi Lahiri, this track from Disco Dancer may talk about love but is filled with electronic beats and synthesised sounds. In fact, the song even went on to become a disco anthem. Sung by Lahiri himself, this track was one of the album’s biggest hits, with other songs like I am a Disco Dancer and Jimmy Jimmy also becoming huge sensations.


Tamma Tamma LogeThanedaar (1990)

Another disco hit, Tamma Tamma Loge might have been remixed and redone in newer Hindi films but the original is still considered to be one of Lahiri’s most noteworthy songs. Once again sung by the composer himself, the song was supposedly inspired by one of Mory Kante’s tracks. While the film did not make a big mark at the box office, the song continues to be a Bollywood disco favourite.


Intehan Ho GayiSharabi (1964)

This may not have been sung by Lahiri or be a disco number, but it surely merits a place among his iconic and evergreen compositions. Lahiri proved with such songs that he was not only all about beats but could also spin out romantic and softer tunes. The song was sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle and has lyrics by Anjaan.


Bambai Se Aaya Mera Dost Aap Ki Khatir (1977)

A nostalgic tune from the 80s, Babai Se Aaya Mera Dost is from a film that was hardly popular but interestingly, everyone from that era knew the lyrics of the song by heart. Such was the popularity of Lahiri and this particular song. Sung by Lahiri himself, this song is also often quoted in dialogues in films or even day-to-day life till today.


Ooh La LaThe Dirty Picture (2011)

If there is one film that made Vidya Balan famous, it has to be this one. But the film worked not only because of her strong acting but also because of the songs that took viewers back to the age of Silk Smitha, who inspired her character. Ooh La La is undoubtedly one of the most hummed and played songs from this film and the fact that Lahiri lent his voice to this track made it even better!


Lahiri undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the Indian film industry and gave a ‘golden’ touch to music till his last days. Rest in peace, legend.

BTS Member Jungkook’s Solo ‘Stay Alive’ Breaks Records

Jungkook, a member of the K-pop boy band BTS, has his latest solo track Stay Alive, topping the charts in over 80 different regions across countries on Friday, making him the first-ever Korean solo artist to achieve the feat.

Stay Alive is a track from BTS’ original webtoon 7 Fates: Chakho, and is produced by co-member Suga. The webtoon was released on January 15 and so far, five episodes have been out online.

7 Fates: Chakho is a futuristic urban fantasy inspired by Joseon Dynasty’s tiger-hunting officers, known as chakhogapsa. It revolves around the story of seven boys connected by fate, who form a tiger hunting team called Chakho. Together, they face various obstacles and grow up together.

Stay Alive managed to rise up the iTunes top song charts in 51 regions of the world, in just a span of three hours after its release. Moreover, it soon became the first song by any Korean solo artist in history, to reach the No 1 spot in 80 different regions, within the shortest duration. Shortly after, Stay Alive topped the iTunes Top Songs charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Earlier in December 2021, another BTS member V released a solo track Christmas Tree, which managed to top the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart. It was released as part of the original soundtrack from the Korean drama Our Beloved Summer.

Further, the seven-member band, comprising Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, and Jin apart from V and Jungkook became the first Asian group to win the Artist of the Year award at the American Music Awards (AMAs), in 2021.

BTS also went on to win the Favourite Pop Group award as well as the Favourite Pop Song award, for their single Butter, which they performed at the event. So far, the group has totally won nine awards, at the AMAs.

The K-pop group gained global recognition after their debut in 2013 and catapulted the genre of K-pop to a global fanbase.

Owing to its contributions to the Korean entertainment sector, the South Korean parliament passed a revision to the military service law, which currently allows K-pop artists, including BTS, to postpone partaking in military services until the age of 30, in December 2020.

Indore’s Gramophone Record Museum Dedicated to Lata Mangeshkar: Established with Her Blessings, Says Curator

With the nation mourning the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, Silverscreen India spoke to one of her ardent fans, Suman Chaurasia, who has been running a gramophone record museum in Indore dedicated to the late singer. “It is with her blessing that I established the museum to preserve her song collections and keep her legacy alive,” he says. 

The 70-year-old started this gramophone record museum, Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar Gramophone Records Sangrahalaya, named after the singer, in 2007.

Speaking to us from Indore, Chaurasia says, “I started collecting records of Lata Didi’s songs from 1970. My collection includes songs sung by her between 1950 and 2006. The museum now preserves records of over 7500 songs sung by Lata Didi, spanning 32 languages.”

“Indore is her birthplace. I am from Indore as well. I have grown up listening to Lata Didi’s songs. My admiration and respect for her are immeasurable. That’s why I began to collect her records. When she learnt about my collection, she permitted me to start this museum and wished me the best,” he adds.

The museum is situated near the Indian Institute of Management campus in Indore. It is a treasure trove that contains more than 45,000 gramophone records of music from across genres, and this includes Mangeshkar’s renditions ranging from those for the 1955 film Uran Khatola to that in Rang De Basanti (2006). Besides this, the museum also has a collection of Mangeshkar’s photographs and houses books on her as well.

“I have been preserving all her records, safely wrapped in paper and plastic covers. My son and other family members help me in managing this museum. Over the years, music and gramophone lovers, and Lata Didi’s fans from various places, have visited my museum to go through the vast and rare collection. The resources I have gathered here will also be useful to those who want to research music,” says Chaurasia. 

The 92-year-old award-winning singer, fondly called the ‘Nightingale of India’, died on Sunday morning at a private hospital in Mumbai due to multiple organ failure.

Noting that Mangeshkar’s demise is a huge loss to the country, Chaurasia says that he was fortunate enough to meet the legendary singer more than eight times. “For me, Lata Didi was like a goddess. She had a divine aura and you could feel that when you were near her. I will forever cherish my memories of interacting and spending time with her. This museum will be a tribute to her and I hope people, including youngsters, will get to know more about her work through these collections,” he adds.

Asked what his own favourite song of Mangeshkar’s is, he plays Tune Jahan Bana Kar (from the 1949 film Maa Ka Pyar) on his gramophone before signing off.

Remembering Lata Mangeshkar: A List of Memorable Songs, Including Lata-Asha Duets, ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’, ‘Luka Chuppi’ & More

Lata Mangeshkar, the award-winning playback singer popularly known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, died on Sunday morning in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital due to multiple organ failure at the age of 92.

The celebrated singer began her musical journey in the 1940s as a 13-year-old, entering the film industry as her family’s sole breadwinner. In a career spanning over seven decades, she recorded several songs for over a thousand Hindi films, and sang in other languages too, including Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.

Known as the ‘Melody Queen of India‘, Mangeshkar received the Padma Bhushan in 1969, followed by the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1989 for her contributions to Indian cinema, and the Padma Vibhushan in 1999. She was also bestowed with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour of India, in 2001.

Remembering Mangeshkar, Silverscreen India has curated some of her most memorable songs. We bring you the melodies that she sang with her sister Asha Bhosle, songs dedicated to mothers, and patriotic songs about India which are played every year on January 26 and August 15.

Lata-Asha Duets 

Despite several rumours of fierce sibling rivalry between the two sisters, they sang around 50-55 songs together during the 1960s. Here are five Asha-Lata duets hand-picked by us.

Kya Hua, Yeh Mujhe Kya Hua from Jis Desh Mein Gangta Behti Hai (1960)


Mann Kyun Behka Ri Behka Aadhi Raat Ko from Utsav (1985)


Paake Akeli Mohe Chhed Raaha from Jail Yatra (1981)


Jab Jab Tumhe Bhulaya Tum Aur Yaad Aaye from Jahan Ara (1964)


Hamare Gaon Koi Aayega from Professor (1962)


Patriotic Songs

Mangeshkar’s first patriotic song was Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon, which she sang in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963. The song was dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the 1962 Sino-Indian war. According to News18, when Mangeshkar sang Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo at the National Stadium on January 27, 1963, in the presence of the former PM, his eyes had welled up.

She went on to sing several patriotic songs throughout her career. Her last recorded song was Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki in 2019, which was a tribute to the Indian army and the nation.

Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon (1963)


Mere Rang De Basanti Chola from Shaheed (1965)


Jo Samar Mein Ho Gaye Amar (1971)


Aisa Desh Hain Mera from Veer Zara (2004)


Maa Tuhjhe Salaam (1997)


Songs Dedicated to Mothers

Mangeshkar sang in various genres for several kinds of films throughout her career. Some of her most special numbers, however, are the soulful songs dedicated to mothers that are immortalised in her voice. Here are five such memorable songs.

Tu Kitni Achhi Hain from Raja Aur Runk (1968)


Luka Chuppi from Rang De Basanti (2006)


Chanda Hain Tu Mera Suraj Hain Tu from Aradhana (1969)


Bada Natkhat Hain from Amar Prem (1972)


Maine Maa Ko Dekha Hain from Mastana (1970)

Personalities Across the World Pay Homage to Lata Mangeshkar

Personalities from all walks of life paid their tributes to late singer Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away on Sunday morning at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital at the age of 92.

A legendary singer, who has voiced over 20,000 songs in about 36 languages, Mangeshkar, fondly known as ‘Nightingale of India’, died due to multiple organ failure at 8:12 am on Sunday, after 28 days of hospitalisation.

Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. She began her career in the 1940s as a 13-year-old, entering the film industry as her family’s sole breadwinner. In a career spanning over seven decades, the singer has recorded several songs for over a thousand Hindi films, and sung in other languages too such as Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. Her first recording was for the 1942 Marathi film Kiti Hasal and her debut in playback singing was for the 1947 Hindi film Aap Ki Seva Mein.

Her demise came as a huge loss for everyone who knew and celebrated her, and celebrated composers like Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman were among those who shared heartfelt messages, remembering the late singer.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu paid his respects to the singer by making an obituary reference at the upper house of the Parliament, before the day’s proceedings began on Monday. The session was also adjourned for an hour, after a minute of silence as a mark of respect.

A soldier from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police force played a saxophone rendition of Mangeshkar’s Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon. This patriotic song commemorates Indian soldiers who died during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.

Singer Shreya Ghoshal wrote on Twitter, “Feeling numb. Devastated. Yesterday was Saraswati Puja and today Ma took her blessed one with her. Somehow it feels that even the birds, trees and wind are silent today. Swar Kokila Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar ji your divine voice will echo till eternity.”

Singer KS Chitra said that India “lost its voice” in her condolence message. “A voice that defined Indian music for generation(s). Lataji has enriched our lives for decades with her soulful voice. Her legacy is unparalleled. Even though Lataji is not with us physically, her voice will remain in our hearts.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that with Mangeshkar’s death, the “subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known. Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world.”

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, shared, “I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of Lata Didi’s life. She always showered me with her love and blessings. With her passing away, a part of me feels lost too. She’ll always continue to live in our hearts through her music.”

Calling her one of the “greatest legends,” Telugu actor Chiranjeevi said that the “vacuum due to this colossal loss can never be filled.” He added, “She lived an extraordinary life. Her music lives on and will continue to cast a spell until music is there!”

One of Mangeshkar’s memorable songs in Tamil was Valaiyosai from the Kamal Haasan-starrer Sathyaa (1988). The actor-politician, while sharing an old photograph with Mangeshkar and others, wrote that her music transcended languages and conquered many hearts. “I am proud that she has sung timeless songs in Tamil and Hindi films that I have acted in. Tributes to the queen of music from Indore,” he added.

Micro sculpture artist Sachin Sanghe posted a video of a chalk carving of Mangeshkar’s face, while sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a piece of art in Puri beach, Odisha.

Several states have declared periods of mourning and public holidays, with the national flag flying at half-mast, as a token of respect to the late singer. Mangeshkar was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park at 6.30 pm on Sunday.

Her last rites were attended by several members of the film industry, including actors Shah Rukh KhanAamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray were also present at the funeral to pay tribute to the veteran singer.

She is survived by her siblings Asha Bhosle, Meena Khadikar, Hridyanath Mangeshkar, and Usha Mangeshkar.

This Void is Going to Remain Forever: AR Rahman’s Heartfelt Tribute to Lata Mangeshkar

Music composer AR Rahman condoled the death of singer Lata Mangeshkar with a video homage to the ‘Nightingale of India’. He said that she was not just a “singer or icon” but “part of the soul and consciousness of India.”

Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary 92-year-old singer, died on Sunday in Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital, suffering from multiple organ failure.

Rahman, in a nearly five-minute video, reminisced the moments spent with Mangeshkar and said, “It is a very, very, sad day for everyone. She was part of the soul, part of consciousness of India, Indian-ness, Hindustani music, Urdu poetry, Hindi poetry, Bengali and so many other languages she sang in. This void is going to remain forever, for all of us.”

The composer went on to say how his connection with the late singer dated back to the times of his father, composer RK Shekhar. “My experience with her goes back to my dad, who passed away when I was very young. He had a picture of her near his bed so he’d wake up to her face and get inspired to go to his recordings,” he added.

While Mangeshkar has sung over 20,000 songs in about 36 languages, one song that has stood the test of time, and has appealed to all generations, is Jiya Jale from the Hindi film Dil Se (1998). Composed by Rahman, Jiya Jale is a romantic duet voiced by Mangeshkar and MG Sreekumar. Rahman and Mangeshkar have also collaborated on the songs Luka Chuppi (Rang De Basanti), O Paalanhaare (Lagaan), and multiple songs from the film Zubeidaa, among others.

The Oscar-winning composer mentioned that he was “lucky” to get to record her singing, and said that he learned the most important things about performing on stage by being a part of her show. Recollecting an incident that changed his life, Rahman said, “I have never taken my singing seriously because I always imagined myself as a composer and a musician. And for the few songs I have composed for her, after the rehearsals at 4 pm, she would go to this room, sit with her assistant, and start singing them very slowly, every lyric clearly.” Witnessing that one incident changed his life, he added.

He went on to say that after that experience, he would “go and put on the tampura and practice, get the warm-ups done” before every show.

Rahman also mentioned that one of the lessons that the younger generation could learn from Mangeshkar, was to lean into something deeply and put faith in it and give it their all without expecting any returns.

Rahman went on to refer to the veteran singer as “one of the last pillars of last century’s legacy of Indian music,” saying that her passing leaves behind a big void that will be hard to fulfil.

“I know that there are hundreds and thousands of singers who get inspired by her songs and are singing and probably taking it much further in their own way,” Rahman said.

“Still, I think the impact, the foundation which her generation has laid, she, along with Rafi saab, Kishore Da, Manna Dey, Shakeel saab, Naushad saab, SD Burman, Salil Chaudhary, is something I really will value for the rest of my life. All we can do is celebrate and learn from this legend who has left us. God bless her soul,” he concluded.

Lata Mangeshkar’s Funeral in Photos: Shah Rukh Khan, PM Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Among Others Pay Last Respects

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar died on Sunday in Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital, after multiple organ failure. The 92-year-old singer was being treated for Covid-19 and pneumonia.

The Melody Queen of India was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park at 6:30 PM on Sunday evening. Following her demise, the government announced that a two-day national mourning will be observed to condole her death and the national flag will fly at half-mast during that period. Several states declared mourning and announced holidays to pay respect to the late singer.

Her last rites were attended by several in the film industry, including actors Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray were also present at the funeral to pay tributes to the veteran singer.

Actor Shah Rukh Khan visited Shivaji Park to revere the singer.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray paid their respects to the veteran singer.

Actor Ranbir Kapoor was also present to pay tributes to the singer.

Lata Mangeshkar’s sister, singer Asha Bhosle attended the last rites ceremony at Shivaji Park.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan visited the singer’s residence to pay his respects.

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar attended Lata Mangeshkar’s funeral at Shivaji Park.

Actor Anupam Kher visited Lata Mangeshkar’s residence to pay tribute.

Filmmaker and actor Ashutosh Gowariker and veteran poet Javed Akhtar paid their respects to the singer at her house.

Actor Shraddha Kapoor visited Lata Mangeshkar’s residence to pay tribute and was also present during the singer’s last rites at Shivaji Park. She had also visited the hospital on Saturday evening.

Actor Vidya Balan also visited Shivaji Park and paid her last respects to Lata Mangeshkar.

Lata Mangeshkar was cremated with full state honours and was given a 21-gun salute.

Heartbroken, but Blessed to Have Known & Worked with Her: Ilaiyaraaja Mourns Lata Mangeshkar’s Demise

Veteran music composer Ilaiyaraaja shared a heartfelt condolence message on the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar on Sunday.

Mangeshkar, aged 92, died on Sunday morning after suffering multiple organ failure at a hospital in Mumbai. The late singer contracted Covid-19 and was treated at Breach Candy hospital for over 28 days. Her passing has left the world in shock, with several states across India declaring mourning periods.

Tributes are still pouring in for Mangeshkar, fondly known as Nightingale of India, who sang in over 15 languages.

Mourning the singer’s demise, Ilaiyaraaja wrote on Twitter, “Heartbroken, but blessed to have known her and for having worked with her. Loved this incredible voice and soul. Lataji holds a place in our hearts that is irreplaceable… That’s how profoundly she has impacted our lives with her voice.”

“May she rest in peace and light up the heavens with her soulful voice,” he added, sharing a few old photos of the two of them from their recording days.

In a video message, the veteran music composer further said, “In the history of the Indian film music, for the last six-seven decades, Lataji mesmerised the world over with her divine voice. I am deeply saddened with her passing away and her demise has created a big void in me. I don’t know how I will come out of it.”

Calling Mangeshkar’s passing a “big loss” not only to the music fraternity, but to the entire world, the veteran musician extended his condolences to Mangeshkar’s sister and singer Asha Bhosle as well her other family members.

Despite her limited discography in Tamil, Mangeshkar collaborated with Ilaiyaraaja multiple times. Their most memorable work is the Tamil song Valaiyosai Kala Kala Kalavena that still remains fresh and widely appreciated 34 years after its release. The evergreen romantic duet was voiced by Mangeshkar and the late SP Balasubrahmanyam. It was composed by Ilaiyaraaja for the Kamal Haasan-starrer Sathyaa (1988).

Apart from Valaiyosai, Mangeshkar also lent her voice for another song, Ingeyum, in the same album, although the song was not included in the film. In 1987, she sung Aararo Aararo for Ilaiyaraaja. The song, with lyrics by the composer’s brother Gangai Amaran, appeared in the film Anand. Mangeshkar once again collaborated with Ilaiyaraaja for the duet Engiruntho Azhaikkum with singer Mano for the film En Jeevan Paduthu (1988).

Two Lyricists On Bringing Everyday Life Back To Malayalam Film Songs

Malayalam film music has always reserved the sweetest words for female adolescence. Seventeen is tender, the age to love and be loved. Filmmaker Girish AD‘s Super Sharanya (2021), an audacious aberration, challenged this cliché, poured acid over the romantic dream and replaced the glitter associated with the teenage girl with a more realistic sense of bitterness. The first song from the film, Asubha Mangalakaari, describes its clumsy 17-year-old protagonist in simple, humorous and vivid images:

മണ്ട പോയ തെങ്ങൊരുത്തി

A headless coconut tree

കാലാവധി കഴിഞ്ഞുറഞ്ഞിരിക്കണ വേദന സംഹാരി

A bottle of expired painkiller

“Sharanya is pretty and intelligent, but she can’t get anything right or catch a break. I created the expression Asubha Mangalakari, an oxymoron, to establish her character,” says Suhail Koya, the film’s lyricist. The audio album of Super Sharanya has four songs, each edging over the others in etching out the beautiful imperfections of adolescence.

Lyricist Manu Manjith’s work in Basil Joseph’s 2021 superhero film Minnal Murali boasts similar qualities. Manu uses unusual words and expressions to laud the superhero descending on a hamlet in Thee Minnal Thilangi.  In Kugraamame, he establishes Jaison as a misfit in the village. “I don’t think there is another song in Malayalam cinema that uses the words Puccham (disdain) or Keedam (worm),” says Manu. “Thee Minnal is cartoonish and slangy. I wanted the lyrics to remind the millennials of the vernacular comics from their childhood.”

The recent works of Suhail and Manu signal a departure from the prevalent style of songwriting in Malayalam cinema. Their songs are simple, quirky and original, drawing from everyday Malayali life.

In Malayalam film music’s golden era in the 60s, the likes of P Bhaskaran (popularly known as Bhaskaran Master) dug into colloquial Malayalam and found brilliant images that had a universal appeal. In the 90s, following a leap in the field of audio technology, film music underwent tremendous changes.

“The film industry started demanding lyrics that enhanced the sound. Soft and pleasant words like Puzha, Mazha, Mizhi were preferred over experimental expressions,” says Suhail.

Around the same time, the industry completely shifted to the format of writing lyrics after the tunes were set, a practice that continues to date. Suhail and Manu wait for the music composers to turn in the tunes to write the lyrics. “There have been occasions when I could write the lyrics first. For one, Thiruvavani Raavu, an Onam song, was written first. The way I look at it, songwriting is a part of a much larger process. All that matters to me is if the song fits into the movie’s world.

Manu, a homeopathic doctor by profession and a published poet, made his debut as a lyricist through the song Mandaarame (Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, 2014), a playful ode to guileless teenage romance. He has several popular songs to his credit, like the jingle-like numbers in Aadu Oru Bheekara Jeeviyanu (2015) and Thiruvaavani Raavu (Jacobinte Swarga Rajyam, 2016).

Manu believes rather than using complex metaphors, going local is the key to the longevity of the song lyrics. He cites a song from the film Neeli Saali (1960), written by Bhaskaran Master:

“ഞാന്‍ വളര്‍ത്തിയ ഖല്‍ബിലെ മോഹം

പോത്തുപോലെ വളര്‍ന്നല്ലോ”

“The desire that I nurtured in my heart has grown into a bull.

Could that vexing pain of love be described in simpler, more expressive words!?”, he asks.

Manu used the expression Uyyaram Payyaram, a twist on a colloquial expression in Vadakara in Kannur, in a song in Kakshi Ammini Pilla (2019). “Uyyaram is like the region’s equivalent of Ayyo”. One of his most popular songs, Kudukku (Love Action Drama, 2019) uses an old-world expression Manduka/മണ്ടുക, hilarious but rarely used in daily conversations.

As the style of storytelling in Malayalam cinema changed, songwriting changed too. “Unlike in the olden days when they wrote songs that had an individuality independent of the movie, now directors do not believe that songs need to have an existence outside of the films,” he says.

Together, the songs in Minnal Murali narrate the film’s story. “ It is always better when a lyricist is entrusted with an entire album than hired to write one or two songs. It gives the writer a grip over the character/relationship development,” says Manu.

Suhail is of the same view. “Everything in the film industry is market-driven. Having complete control over the audio album will certainly help the lyricist come up with better work. But sometimes, a different lyricist is roped in just for a song because he/she is popular for writing a certain genre.”

Urdu was the first language Suhail was hooked on. During his higher studies in Coventry in the UK, he was introduced to the world of Urdu poetry and Sufi music. After returning to India, he moved to Delhi to learn the language. “I started reading poems of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Gulzar…”

Later, his friend Ajith Pillai asked him to write a few Urdu lines for a background track in his film Mosayile Kuthirameenukal (2014).

His breakout work was Jathikka Thottam from Thanneer Mathan Dinangal (2019), Girish AD’s debut directorial, a song that brings to one’s mind the tanginess of the nutmeg fruit and the sweet nervousness about falling in love in the teens. The line “എന്റെയുള്ളില് പന്ത് പോലൊരു ഉരുണ്ട് കേറ്റം” perfectly captures the butterflies in the belly.

“I want my songs to connect with the masses,” says Suhail. “Recently, in a viral clip on social media, I saw an entire crowd of youngsters at a high-end wedding in Kerala singing Alliyaambal Kadavathu. It is incredible, isn’t it?”

Suhail closely follows the Malayali pop culture, memes and social media vocabulary. “Metaphors don’t come to me easily,” he says. “There are lyricists like Anvar Ali whose works are semi-poems. I cannot write like that. I don’t try to sound deep but use everyday colloquial lexicon. That’s where my strength is”

Songwriting is, in parts, a technical job, he says. “You have to keep in mind the taste of the audience, the trends, and what the director wants. There is a lot of pressure.”

Suhail brainstorms with Justin Varghese, the composer of Thanneer Mathan Dinangal and Super Sharanya, to come up with ideas. “We are like brothers. We have similar tastes in music and movies. He likes to experiment with sound. It gives me the freedom to try out new kinds of expressions and lines. Pacha Paayal was such a work – a little lofi-like, infused with unusual, visceral imagery..” Love, in the song, is compared to a patch of wet, green moss on the wall.

Suhail is part of a collective of lyricists where they discuss myriad issues. “Unlike singers and composers, we don’t have a space on platforms like Spotify. We don’t have a database. Sometimes, companies like Youtube skips the name of the lyricist in the song video…”

Lyricists could get forgotten quickly, says Manu. “See, people have little attention span these days. Songs are listened to and discarded. But sometimes when I see a user on social media performing a couple of lines that I wrote or quoting it somewhere, I feel successful.”

Pikchar with Rita: ‘Moh Moh ke Dhaage’ and the Inevitable Love

If we had to describe a predicament of loving in an essentially futile and transient situation, a helpful word to capture this helplessness is moh (मोह). Sometimes, it appears next to maya, as in mohmaya. Attachment in general, or attachment to the illusory world, is what we understand by these words. I grew up hearing resolutions of my mother to overcome her moh for this one or that one, almost as it were the last binding thread to a world she had ceased to care for. The implicit assumption in the usages of these words was that we need to shed moh, transcend it, for it is the root of unhappiness. Attachment to the worldly also impedes an intimacy with God. And therefore, the Kabir bhajan, mat kar moh tu hari bhajan ko maan le.

The premium such spiritual histories of the word place upon the idea of love as a suspicious phenomenon has come back to me. Once again, a song has done that. I refer to the beautiful song, Moh Moh ke Dhaage from the film Dum Laga ke Haisha. Sung by Monali Thakur and Papon in female and male versions, respectively, and penned by Varun Grover, this song is one of the finest in contemporary Bollywood music.

It is these words in particular that draw my attention:

“Yeh moh moh ke dhaage; Teri ungliyon se ja uljhe
Koi toh toh na laage; Kis tarah girah ye suljhe


Prem (Ayushman Khurrana) and Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar) have found themselves in a classic arranged marriage of small town India. In this case, the overweight wife is wedded to a reluctant man who has not made much with his life. There are no conditions to help them find a common ground and start a life of love and conjugality. The families hovering over them make matters worse, so do the mocking neighbours and friends.

However, without wanting to, they notice little endearing things about each other, such as the collection of songs Prem makes for Sandhya, almost resentfully. Equally grudgingly, he picks up chappals when she drops them while sitting on his scooter. Her little English phrases, her desire to wear a nightie, which is irritating to him but becomes a tugging memory later. Such is the nature of moh, that attachment to an object or person lives independently of one’s own volition or another’s reciprocity.

The song refers to the ways the threads of attachment have got entangled with your fingers. The beginning and end of the threads are elusive, merged invisibly with other knots, how is one to disentangle it.

This is not about falling in love, but of finding yourself attached. It is about a tug you feel for one instantly, although you thought the person had ceased to matter. Attachment is what wraps itself around its target, just like we do every single day – knowing fully well that we must not, that it matters little compared to what life or death is about. Moh then is that allurement or false promise inseparable from the act of living. It is attachment, but not quite.

Does English have a name for attachments we cling to, without wanting to, love we offer to the ones who do not deserve, accommodations we make despite knowledge that there is only giving and no possibility of return? Does it have a name for love that was not meant to be?

‘Slow Slow’ Music Video Dancer Alleges Badshah Has Not Paid Her Team, Says Rapper Later Apologised & Assured Prompt Resolution

A dancer and content creator, in a since archived social media post, alleged on Friday that she and her team had not received payment for their work on rapper Badshah’s music video for the song, Slow Slow.

“So recently, I worked with Badshah for his song Slow Slow. The shoot took place on October 3 and 4 (three months back) and none of the dancers have received their payment. And the worst part is no one is responding to our calls and messages,” she wrote.

Talking to Silverscreen India, the dancer, who requested anonymity, further stated, “We shot the video in October in Hyderabad. We were told after the shoot that it would take three weeks for the payment to be processed. After waiting for that duration, we started asking why the payment was delayed and we were continuously asked to wait for further days. When we did not receive the payment even in December, I kind of dropped it because it felt like we were begging for our own money.”

She alleges that the choreographers, designers and dancers who worked on the video have all not received their payment.

The dancer’s social media statement had further said, “And this is not the first time he has done this, he did the same with the Bawwla girls and the Jugnu girls too. I kindly request everyone to share this as much as you can so that people can see the truth behind these ‘Trending Songs’.”

Speaking to us, she explained that seeing someone share a similar experience was what pushed her to come out with her own experience. “Yesterday, another dancer posted about this and when I saw it, I realised we should talk about this too. I even doubted if there was some foul play from the coordinator because no one around me could believe that I was not paid after working for someone as famous as Badshah.”

While the rapper and his team are yet to officially comment on the issue, the dancer said they got a personal message from him apologising for the same. “Badshah personally messaged me after my post blew up and said that he had no idea about this. He also said that he will make sure the payments of everyone are processed by Tuesday. I have told him that while I believe him, I will not remove the post until the money actually gets transferred.”

Meanwhile, Riya Murao, another dancer-content creator whose post had brought attention towards a similar non-payment issue after working with Badshah, shared on her Instagram stories on Saturday that the matter was resolved and the payments were completed.

Last week, Murao, who featured in Badshah’s music video for Bawra, had alleged that her entire team was yet to be paid even after two months. Once her post garnered attention on social media, the rapper’s team appears to have completed the pending payments.

Badshah’s manager is yet to respond to Silverscreen India’s queries regarding this.

Song From Chiranjeevi’s ‘Acharya’ Lands in Trouble For Showing Medical Practitioners in Poor Light

A few days after the makers of Chiranjeevi’s upcoming Telugu film Acharya, released a song Saana Kastam from the film, on social media, a section of rural medical practitioners (RMPs) from Telangana, have taken offence to a specific lyric from the song, claiming that the song has projected them in a derogatory light.

Written and directed by filmmaker Koratala Siva, Acharya is produced by Chiranjeevi’s home banner Konidela Production Company and Matinee Entertainments. On Monday, the makers of the film released the third song titled Saana Kastam, starring the lead actor alongside Regina Cassandra.

While the tune received over one crore views on YouTube as on Friday, according to a report by IANS, medical practitioners have been irked by one of the lines from the middle of the four-minute song. The line goes, “Ededo Nimurochani Kurrollu RMPlu Avuthunnaru”, in Telugu. When translated, it means, “Teenage boys have started medical practice as RMP doctors, just to grab the chance to touch me”.

The report further added that a few doctors have decided to go with a legal course of action, with respect to the issue at hand. They have also asked the police to take stringent action against the makers, both the lyricist and the director. In addition, RMPs have also asked the makers to remove the controversial lyric, from the song. However, as of Friday, the makers have not responded to the issue.

Saana Kastam is composed by Mani Sharma, with lyrics written by Bhaskarabhatla. The song is sung by Revanth and Geetha Madhuri.

Besides Chiranjeevi, the film also features his son and actor Ram Charan, Kajal Aggarwal, and Pooja Hegde in prominent roles. While the film was initially scheduled to be released on May 13, 2021, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the date was postponed. Acharya is set to be released in theatres on February 4.


Margazhiyil Makkal Isai: 8-Day Music Festival Ends on a High Note

It is an hour ahead of the start of Day 8 of Neelam Cultural Centre’s music fest Margazhiyil Makkal Isai. The artists are busy doing one last soundcheck before their performance, unaware of the eager crowd thronging the doors of the main auditorium of the Music Academy, waiting to be let in.

Formulated by filmmaker Pa Ranjith through his Neelam Cultural Centre, Margazhiyil Makkal Isai is a music festival that aims to bring the music of the people to spaces that are predominantly occupied by upper-class and upper-caste groups. This year, the festival spanned eight days and three cities, ending with the show at the Music Academy in Chennai on Friday. The event’s chief guests included VCK MP Thol Thirumavalavan, DMK MP Kanimozhi, director Vetrimaaran, and MLA A Krishnaswamy.

Speaking about the festival, director Pa Ranjith said, “For the past eight days, many people have been coming every day and the event has been a success because of the audience. I thank them.”

The closing show of the second edition of Margazhiyil Makkal Isai was kickstarted by Pampambadi Jamba Melam, a group that performed periya melam (a folk art consisting of drum beats and dance). Beating their drums, the artists took to the stage sporting thick anklets that accentuated their moves. In intervals, the audience also joined them by whistling and crooning to their beats.

The second performance of the night was by the famed music band, The Casteless Collective. Speaking to Silverscreen India, Srinivas, an audience member, mentioned that he was excited to see the performance of rapper Arivu, a member of The Casteless Collective and curator of the festival. “We met Arivu once three years ago and we have been following his work since,” he said.

The band performed a variety of songs, including favourites such as Vada Chennai and Beef, for an enthusiastic audience that was seen waving their mobile flashlights and grooving to the music.

The evening also saw many indigenous artists being conferred with music awards. Announcing the launch of Makkalisai Mamani Awards, the Neelam Cultural Centre gave eleven folk artists an award and a cash prize of Rs 50,000 for their contribution to music. The artists who were honoured included folk singer Susilammal, periya melam artist Paapambatti Munuswamy, and singer Manimegalai K, who also collected the award on behalf of Dalit Subbaiah.

While conferring the artists with the Makkalisai Mamani awards, MP Kanimozhi noted the importance of a festival of this nature being held at the Music Academy. “Normally, during Margazhi season, the audience will be quiet while someone is performing on this stage. But today, the stage is shaking because of the (audience’s) reaction,” she said.

The other chief guests also spoke about the significance of such an event. MP Thol Thirumavalavan said, “Artists who have been sidelined or ignored all this while have been invited to perform on a stage in Mylapore that has traditionally been used by people who claim to be superior to the rest. I am proud and happy that Ranjith, a revolutionary director, has brought these artists together and given them a stage where people who claim to born from Brahma’s head usually perform.”

Margazhiyil Makkal Isai will be back for a third edition next Margazhi season.


(Silverscreen India is a media partner for Margazhiyil Makkal Isai)

Pikchar with Rita: The Semantics of Ishq, Love, Mohabbat & Their Many Siblings

In a contemporary film, to say ‘mohabbat’ or ‘ishq’ directly to the beloved is perhaps excessive. It is the homogenising ‘love’ that appears sufficient to convey an affective relationship, not necessarily a state of insane consumption in the face of social resistance implied in words such as ishq and mohabbat. A self destructive hurricane like ishq may appear in a song, like “ishq jaise hai ik aandhi, ishq jaise toofan…” in the film Main Hoon Na. But when it comes to professing love, it is just ‘love’.

Words like ishq, pyaar, mohabbat are used interchangeably in songs, and there are a host of both great and terrible songs using these words. In the English language, all three words mean love, which is also used a lot in songs. However, for a moment if we were to think of the three Hindustani words, we might see that they come with specific genealogies, on most days.

To my mind, words such as ishq and mohabbat have an all-consuming, torrential state attached to them. We would be failing in our duty to understand if we approached this state with a rational and reasonable mind. And that is the most radical part of cinema, in that it legitimises irrationality and madness and beckons us to take risks. Of course, many risks remain contained and tamed, but at least there’s an invitation to be unreasonable.

On the rare occasion, songs also engage in a fine distinction between the semantic scope of these words. For instance, “Mohabbat hee na jo samjhe, woh zaalim pyaar kya jaane…” from the film Parchhai (1952). One would think pyaar has a higher intensity than mohabbat; so, for one who doesn’t (even) understand mohabbat, how would she understand pyaar?

On the other hand, let’s remember a delightful dialogue in the film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). On the hour of her marriage, Maya (Rani Mukherjee) confesses to a complete stranger, Dev (Shah Rukh Khan) that she doesn’t have the mohabbat kind of love for her husband-to-be Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan). The semantic difference between pyaar and mohabbat is put like this by Dev, “Mohabbat ke zamaane guzar gaye janaab; ab chhote mote pyaar se hee kaam chala le (The era of big/unconditional love has passed by; now, you’ll have to make do with small bouts of love).”

It would seem then mohabbat has a more exalted legacy; whereas pyaar is the smaller change. At least in the way Dev conveys this. So, from Parchhai to Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, the connotations of both pyaar and mohabbat have changed. Pyaar is the more manageable unit of mohabbat, which is now, according to Dev, to be found in good books and bad films. The split between the poetic and rhetorical flourish of mohabbat on one hand, and chhota mota pyaar is not simply one of less or more love, or even less or more Urdu. Mohabbat belonged to a linguistic universe where it did not seem excessive; it was an involuntary attraction. Perhaps pyaar was the more steady and staid commitment in that world of meanings.

On the other hand, think of songs that profess pyaar; the most famous one being, “Pyaar kiya to darna kya.” Exceptional perhaps. Think of the inferior ones like “Pyaar kiya nahin jata, ho jata hai.” Or even worse, “Chahiye thoda pyaar.” They all seem to rely on telling and showing, whereas songs around mohabbat rely on hiding; half-saying and gesturing. Think of the lines, “Mohabbat jo karte hain woh, mohabbat jatate naheen” (The ones who indulge in big love, don’t make loud declarations of it) in SH Bihari’s lyrics for Isharon Isharon mein. They privilege silence over speech, gestures over words.

To sum up, we are then left with the shadows of unsaid things, apparitions of lovers consumed by ishq or mohabbat, while we moved towards pyaar and ended with ‘love’, a word we could use for a favourite bank, website, or person.

Margazhiyil Makkal Isai: Rains Welcome Performances from People of Various Tribes across TN & Beyond

The sharp beats of the opening performance of Day 7 of Marghazhiyil Makkal Isai thundered through the auditorium. The beats of Jupla Eruthu Kattu Parai overpowered the steady pattering of rain outside. As the group of 10 men danced in sync to their own beats, the audience erupted in cheers.

The performers’ confident strides and sounds belied the fact that they are the last of their community to practice and perform the art form.

Hailing from Ramanathapuram, Ramar has been practising the Jupla Eruthu Kattu Parai for years. The art form – a combination of melam (percussion), wind instruments, and dance – is commonly performed during jallikattu, or eruthu kattu as it is known in Ramanathapuram. “I have been practising this art since I was 18 years old. Today, I am around 50,” he said with a smile. This comes as a surprise after watching his highly energetic performance.

Ramar revealed that he was happy for the chance to showcase his art on the stage. “The younger generations are not eager to learn and preserve the legacy of our art. We need such stages for them to get inspired to carry it forward. We do not want this culture to perish with us,” he said.

Day 7 of the second edition of Marghazhiyil Makkal Isai, held at Raja Annamalai Mandram in Chennai, showcased a myriad of performances from various tribes in and around Tamil Nadu, including the Irular, Thodar, Oorali and Koraga, among others.

Each tribe brought forth unique performances, ranging from musical performances with instruments, singing, dancing and even using their own hands for percussion. Some performances were specific to the living conditions of the tribe. Members of the Oorali tribe from Sathyamangalam, for instance, make music using instruments that are usually used to scare away wild animals.

Before the event started, Silverscreen India spoke to the artists as they were preparing for their performances.

All the way from Karnataka

Performers from the Koraga tribe had come from Karnataka to perform the Koraga Gaja Melam at Margazhiyil Makkal Isai. Combining dance and drum beats, the members of Koraga have been practising their art form for generations.

Their troupe consists of 30 members, a mixture of first and second generation performers, including both men and women. “We are very excited. We have performed at government functions and at community events but this is the first time we are performing on a stage in Tamil Nadu,” said Ramesh, before their performance.

Thodars and ceaseless dancing

With a population of just 2000, the members of the Thodar tribe hail from Nilgiri district. Consisting of 21 members, 11 men and 10 women, their performance is a mixture of singing and dancing to the beats of hand claps. “There is no practising when it comes to our dance. We have been dancing since we were children. Our children will watch us and learn,” said Aestree Guptan.

No festivities of the Thodar community take place without dancing, he explained. “When others go to a wedding, they may just eat and return. In our society, we will definitely come and dance. Regardless of whether one is old or young, nobody leaves without dancing. Rathathula pinni pedal edukra madri irukum (It is in our bloods to put on a good show),” he said laughing.

Mulai Kalai Kuzhu’s protest for education

This is not the first time the members of the Irular tribe are performing at Margazhiyil Makkal Isai. They were also part of last year’s fest. This time, their performance was a combination of singing, speech, dancing and playing musical instruments. It highlighted the culture of the Irular community, their ancestry, and the necessity of education. “We have been performing for over six years now. We were not able to reach the people when we tried to verbally convey important messages like the need for education. However, they accept it faster when it comes through our traditional art form,” said Kanniyappan.

Kanniyappan is a part of the Mulai Kalai Kuzhu, which has been actively trying to create awareness regarding the importance of education and to preserve their culture.

Murugan, who is also a part of the troupe, believes that their culture should not be snuffed out. Murugan and his siblings are blind from birth. “I’ve always thought – how long can I be like this? Can I not get a stage and perform? If I can come to a stage like this, I believe my siblings can do so too. I would like for them to shine as well,” he said.

Vasantha is one of the female performers of the Irular tribe. Having completed her Bachelor of Education degree, she has been a part of the Mulai Kalai Kuzhu for four years now. Vasantha performs to highlight the importance of education to the younger generation of her community and to protest for their rights. “Our children should understand that it is for them that their sisters, mothers and aunts are protesting through this art,” she said.

A stage for many

With a single stage uniting various tribes from different pockets of Tamil Nadu, a sense of harmony permeated the auditorium as the artists were getting ready to perform. “We are very happy to see everyone here. We may not be able to visit the others in their areas, so it is exciting to be performing together,” said Vasantha.

“We feel proud that an event of such magnitude is happening in Tamil Nadu. I feel that we can achieve anything by getting such a stage. This unity is gratifying,” said Kanniyappan.

Marghazhiyil Makkal Isai is a music fest that has been formulated by filmmaker Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Cultural Centre, with the aim to bring the music of the people to spaces predominantly occupied by upper-class and upper-caste groups. The second edition of the festival kicked off in Madurai and then went to Coimbatore before coming to Chennai.

With unique performances lighting up the stage, the audience had come from great distances, despite the rains, to watch the event. Akash, an 18-year-old college student, had come all the way from Trichy to see the performance. “I will make sure to take part in any event conducted by Pa Ranjith. He is like my brother,” he said.

As the evening went by, the music transitioned from rhythmic beats to folk songs and even film songs played on nadhaswarams. Even as the rain intensified outside, the enthusiasm from the audience hardly dampened. It was almost as if the rains were greeting the different tribes, all of whom share a close bond with nature. The weather could hardly spoil the mood – an emotion which the gudu gudupu performers also shared as they said, “Inime elarukum nalla kaalam pirakkum (From now, good times will be born for everyone).”

Margazhiyil Makkal Isai: Young Rappers from Mumbai’s Aarey Colony Look Forward to Storming the Stage in Chennai

It has been less than a day since rappers and beatboxers Akilesh and Tavasi Kannan arrived in Chennai from Mumbai. In the last 18 hours, they have had several firsts.

These two 11 year-old artists, who recently went viral on social media for rapping about what it is like to live in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony, have jammed with their Tamil rap idol Arivu, signed autographs, and had their biggest brush with fame yet. “We sang Enjoy Enjaami for Arivu and watched a full length Ganaa show. Pattaya kelapitanga (They aced it),” says Akilesh.


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The two artists, along with others in their crew, are all set to get on stage and perform during the ‘Hiphop, Rap and Indie Night’ at the Margazhiyil Makkal Isai event on Wednesday, December 29. “We will be singing about two or three songs. The themes of these songs will be society, nature, and love,” Tavasi adds. 

Incidentally, several hundred people from Aarey Colony have been part of the ‘Save Aarey’ movement, an initiative by the residents to protect over 800 acres of land as a reserve forest area.

Until November, Akilesh and Tavasi were just school children; they learnt to rap during the lockdown. The prospect of beatboxing was fun and they had seen several people in their neighbourhood learn this art. “The two boys were just practising the verses that their teacher, Elijah Emmanuel, had taught them at an eatery. Someone who was eating there saw this, filmed them and posted the video on social media. These kids suddenly began getting a lot of attention. This is exactly what we were waiting for,” says Dhasarath Annadurai. 

Dhasarath’s cultural centre in Aarey Colony has been training 30 children, including Akilesh and Tavasi, to rap, write their own lyrics, beatbox and dance for the last 10 years. 

His dance crew Rich Dance Group regularly competes in major dance battles across Mumbai. 

They also host large cultural events in Aarey Colony to boost the morale of the Tamil-speaking people in the area. “Aarey is second only to the slum settlement Dharavi in terms of the Tamil population in Mumbai, but not many know this. Our people can all read, write and speak Tamil well. However, there is rarely enough celebration of the language in Mumbai. My aim is to create an environment for Tamil speakers to take pride in ourselves,” says Dhasarath. 

He believes that art is a great means of dissent and self expression. In 2014, Dhasarath began a small-scale Pongal celebration with a talent-exposition component. “The children in our area had tons of talent but no guidance or stage. We hence began training small groups in the art forms they were most interested in. They would come to a spot in the neighbourhood every day after school to learn and practice. Over time, the children began dancing, singing, rapping, beatboxing, and even performing stunts. All are multi-talented. All speak Tamil and all of them care,” he says. 

A music festival like Margazhiyil Makkal Isai is the perfect platform for his crew to showcase their talent, Dhasarath notes. While several people, including those from the Indian film industry like Vishal Dadlani, have praised Tavasi and Akilesh for their talent in the video, Dhasarath says he did not anticipate any immediate major opportunities. He was thus pleasantly surprised when their well-wisher and Ambedkarite leader from Dharavi, Vennila Kartikaran, said that the organisers from Neelam Cultural Centre were looking for the two children to perform at the fest. “The pandemic had put a plug on all major events, making us believe opportunities were elusive. This music festival is a big boost to our confidence,” he says. 

Akilesh and Tavasi say they are really excited to get back on stage as it is where they truly feel at home. They will be performing with two other members of their crew – Aashish and Santosh – rapping the song that made them famous, while also introducing some new material to their set.

“I want to be an actor and my favourite place is the stage,” says Tavasi. “I think it will be a fun performance. Come and watch us!”

From ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ to ‘Infinity’: International Songs That Gained Popularity in India in 2021 Through Instagram Reels

With the pandemic restricting their movement, people across the globe took to online consumption of media in a big way these past two years.

Following the ban of TikTok, which served as a popular medium of expression for Indians in recent times, Instagram introduced its ‘reels’ feature in July 2020. The in-app tool lets users record 15-second videos set to music and audio, and upload them to their ‘stories’, similar to TikTok.

While the current user base for reels is unknown, the figure is likely to be close to that of Instagram itself, which has over 201 million users, according to the website Statista. India provides the largest audience for Instagram. And despite recent criticisms around Instagram’s contribution to issues such as anorexia, bulimia, and suicidal tendencies among teenagers, the platform continues to grow in the country.

Music is a key component of Instagram reels, which are used for everything from makeup videos to attire and giveaway reveals, travel snaps, and several other trends. In addition to entertainment, reels are also being modified to suit the needs of content creators to monetize their products. Meta announced in July, that it will invest over $1 billion on content creators by the end of 2022, part of which will be the Reels Summer Bonus. It will enable creators to earn based on the performance of their reels.

Silverscreen India brings to you this compilation of songs from around the world that gained popularity in India, solely through Instagram reels:

Love Nwantiti by CKay

Love Nwantiti is a song by Nigerian singer and song-writer Ckay. Interestingly, the song is 26-year-old CKay’s first single. While it was released in 2019 and became a major record in 2020, the song gained recognition only in 2021 because of its use on TikTok and then, on reels. On Instagram, the song is featured in over 3.6 million reels, with most performers grooving to choreography that became popular along with the song.


Trampoline (Jauz Remix)

This song, originally sung by the indie pop trio Shaed, was released in 2018. It was used in a commercial for Apple’s MacBook Air that same year. A remix with English singer-songwriter Zayn Malik was released in 2019. While the original video has over 66 million views on YouTube, the remix has garnered more than 10 million views. Instagram has witnessed a major use of this remix, with over 1.4 million reels made so far.


Manike Mage Hithe (cover by Yohani and Satheeshan)

This Sri Lankan song was originally sung in Sinhalese by Satheeshan and Dulan ARX. A cover was later released in 2021, featuring the vocals of Satheeshan and Yohani de Silva. The song went viral across the world and is currently inching towards 200 million views on YouTube. Yohani was catapulted to overnight stardom, especially in India, where she even performed on Salman Khan‘s Bigg Boss. She will also be debuting in the Indian music industry soon.

Celebrities like Parineeti Chopra and Priyanka Chopra have used the song in their Instagram stories. Around 9 lakh reels have incorporated this track. It has also been dubbed in multiple languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.


The Nights (Avicii)

This song by the late Swedish DJ was released in 2014, and a remix came out in 2015. It has been played in over 7 lakh reels on Instagram. The official video on YouTube has over 800 million views. It is directed, produced by and features Rory Kramer, a self-proclaimed “professional life liver,” who filmed an action-packed recollection of his own life on roller coasters, surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, balloon flying, etc. Interestingly, the motive of the song has been carried on to reels as well, with people using the track while recording their first experiences of events and scenarios accompanied by an adrenaline rush.


Take You Dancing (Jason Derulo)

American singer Jason Derulo released this single in July 2020 and it has over a 100 million views on YouTube. Around 6.5 lakh Instagram reels have been made with this track. Around the time the song hit the market, the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak and Derulo said, “In these times, we all need a song that’s going to uplift us.”

Derulo also featured in the remix of the song Jalebi Baby, originally sung by Indian-Canadian singer Tesher, that is featured on tons of reels on makeup and choreography.


Levitating (Dua Lipa)

This song belongs to English popstar Dua Lipa’s second studio album, Future Nostalgia, that released in 2020. It ranked #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was named the number one song of 2021. One of the remixes, featuring DaBaby, was made into a music video in partnership with TikTok. On Instagram, it has been used in over 6.3 lakh reels.


Do It To It (by Acraze featuring Cherish)

This song, originally sung by the girl band Cherish, released in 2006 as a part of their album Unappreciated. Apart from multiple remixes, DJ and producer Acraze reworked the track and released it in August 2021, which went on to be played in over 6.3 lakh Instagram reels.


Infinity (Jaymes Young)

This song first released in 2017 and has been viewed on YouTube over 57 million times. The track also garnered over 6.7  lakh Instagram reels. While the song was earlier restricted to inspirational and makeup reels, it has now generated a trend in which users create a halo-effect with the use of ring lights.


Apart from the aforementioned songs, others like Katy Perry’s Harleys in Hawaii, Drake’s In The Bible, and the Turkish track Tsunami by Escape, are also gaining traction on Instagram reels.

Lyrics of Sunny Leone’s ‘Madhuban’ To Be Changed after BJP Minister Threatens Legal Action

Saregama, one of India’s oldest music labels, announced on Sunday that the name and lyrics of the song Madhuban, featuring actor Sunny Leone, will be changed. The move comes after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra alleged that the music video has hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and threatened legal action for the same.

“In light of the recent feedback and respecting the sentiments of our fellow countrymen, we will be changing the lyrics and the name of the song Madhuban. The new song will replace the old one across all platforms over the next 3 days,” read the statement issued by Saregama.

Saregama released the music video titled Madhuban on its YouTube channel on Wednesday. Sung by Shaarib & Toshi, Kanika Kapoor, and Arindam Chakraborty, the song’s lyrics describe the Hindu deity Krishna and his consort Radha dancing. The video has choreography by Ganesh Acharya.

After its release, Mishra claimed that the song hurt Hindu sentiments and gave the label three days to take down the music video, warning that legal action would be taken against Leone and composer Saqib Toshi if they failed to comply.

“Some people continuously hurt Hindu sentiments. There are temples for Radha in India, we pray for her. Saqib Toshi can make songs concerning his religion, but such songs offend us. I will take legal advice and action will be taken against them (Toshi and Leone) if the video is not taken down in three days,” he said.

Apart from Mishra, a few Mathura-based priests also demanded a ban on the video, accusing Leone of hurting their sentiments by performing an “obscene” dance for an iconic song. Demanding a public apology from Leone and adding that she should not be allowed to live in India otherwise, Sant Naval Giri Maharaj of Vrindaban said, “We will go to court if the government does not act against the actress and ban her video album.”

Expressing his disapproval of Leone’s video, and saying that she has presented the song in a “derogatory manner,” Akhil Bhartiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha’s national president, Mahesh Pathak also blamed the actor for maligning the “prestige of Brijbhumi.”

Following the statement from Saregama, Mishra addressed the media to announce that the matter was now resolved. He also noted that he had taken strict action in the past against Dabur for their Karwachauth ad, designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee for the Mangalsutra ad, and Tanishq for the jewellery ad featuring the baby shower of a Hindu woman with her Muslim in-laws. He further added that henceforth, he will directly file a complaint and get an FIR registered against those who hurt Hindu sentiments with their content.

Margazhiyil Makkal Isai: Singer Manimegalai K has Incorporated Music into Every Aspect of Her Life

For folk singer Manimegalai K, every aspect of her life is tied to music. She has been singing folk songs for 25 years but her introduction to music came much earlier.

A native of Puducherry district, Manimegalai began to sing at the age of 9 in school. By the time she was 15, she began to volunteer with the literary movement Arivoli Iyakkam, where she would use music to educate illiterate people and help them learn their signatures.

Manimegalai, who moved to Acharampattu village in Villupuram district after marriage, continued to be involved with the movement. “I worked with Arivoli Iyakkam as a coordinator. I’d sing songs there too. We would teach them lessons through songs,” she says.

While the 46-year-old singer is the first in her family to lean towards folk music, her husband is also an artist who predominantly acts in theatre productions.

Manimegalai is set to perform with Dalit Subbaiah on Monday at the second edition of Margazhiyil Makkal Isai and she fondly refers to him as aiyaa (sir). She credits him with her transition to folk singing. “I was part of a Women’s Day festival and he was the guest speaker there. He really liked my singing voice,” she says.

Under the tutelage of Dalit Subbaiah, Manimegalai has seen a change in her way of life too. Having been a part of his troupe Viduthalai Kural for over 20 years now, she has incorporated his messages into her life. “He told me that we should sing songs about the issues that we see in society. We sing for the public and lead a life without any worldly pleasures. We don’t wear jewellery as he always tells us that the people whom we sing for do not have such things.”

Her journey has taken her all over Tamil Nadu. “We perform at gatherings that have 500 to 1000 people. There is not a place in Tamil Nadu where I have not set foot,” she asserts.

While she does both solo and group performances, Manimegalai says, “To be a part of his (Dalit Subbaiah) troupe is a great honour for me. I feel happiest when I’m with performing and traveling with them.”

With the troupe, Manimegalai has sung songs on a plethora of themes including women’s rights and Ambedkar’s life. For instance, one of the songs that she performs is called Yen Mama Kudikara? and it talks about the abuse that women face from their alcoholic spouses.

Her journey with music extends beyond singing. She has also worked on the tempo and pitch for other artists’ songs. “I performed and recorded these songs at the Auroville Radio Station. I’ve done the same for songs by writer Thangappa. He’d write the lyrics and I would compose the tune and sing them for him.”

Manimegalai is confident about her upcoming performance in Chennai at the Margazhiyil Makkal Isai music festival. “We have been singing for 25 years. We don’t need too much practice because these are songs that we have sung before,” she says. She also attributes this confidence to Dalit Subbaiah. “If Dalit Subbaiah is performing somewhere, it is like reading a book. With the songs and the meaning behind them, his performances feel like studying history. We’re very excited for his performances and the message in his songs.”

(This profile is part of an ongoing series of articles on various indigenous artists across Tamil Nadu who will be performing at Margazhiyil Makkal Isai starting December 18. Silverscreen India is a media partner for the event.)