Happy birthday legends: 5 songs from the Mani Ratnam-Ilaiyaraaja combo

Two legendary personalities - Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja have June 2 as their birthdays. Music director Ilaiyaraaja is celebrating his 78th birthday while Mani Ratnam turned 65. 

The duo, over the years, collaborated for several classics. Ilaiyaraaja's compositions gave a unique touch to Ratnam's poetic canvas onscreen.

Today, take a look at five musical hits for which the two greats have come together:

Film: Mouna Ragam

Song: Nilave Vaa

The movie made Mani Ratnam a household name with  the simple story between a husband and a wife.

In Nilave Vaa, Ilayaraja uses a simple tune varying it using different instruments. Like the lyrics go, 'Nilaavae vaa sellaadhae vaa' meaning 'Moon, Come to me. Don’t go away from me', Ratnam brings Moon along with the lead protagonists in a single frame portraying the relationship tensions and longingness for love.

Film: Thalapathi

Song: Sundari Kannal

Ilayaraja delivered one of his best soundtracks with Thalapathi. Each song stood out as a classic of its own. And with Sundari Kannal, the duo created a story in a song. The visuals where a king goes on a war and his lady love waits for him. The song offers the listener and the viewer a timeless experience altogether.

Film: Idayathai Thirudathe

Song: O Priya Priya 

Similar to Sundari Kannal, O Priya Priya too had a story in the song. Shot completely in the desert, the song features how two lovers are drifted apart but is ultimately joined by their selfless love.

Film: Agni Natchathiram

Song: Ninnukori Varanam

The songs of the movie was a trendsetter and captured the story’s essence as the script needed. In Ninnukori Varanam, Ilaiyaraaja begins with a modern tune and later retains the Carnatic core. The love track revolves around an independant girl who falls in love with an uptight police officer.

Film: Anjali

Song: Anjali Anjali

The film Anjali was about a mentally disabled child and at the same time it was about a girl who taught her dear and near ones about acceptance and forgiveness. This song was to celebrate her presence and like how Ilaiyaraaja used chorus, Ratnam too made use of the kids around the main character.

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