Rajni appreciated my dialogues
met Rajni sir only twice during the making
of Endhiran. The first time was during a dubbing
session when I was helping him out with the
technical words. He appreciated my dialogues
especially in the climax sequence and had
good things to say about my work. Shankar’s
team is such a motivating team and it is a
matter of pride for me to have worked with
it in my first film.
sir was the one who introduced me to K V Anand
and Harris Jeyaraj. It was more than a year
since I wrote the lyrics for the song ‘ennamo
yedho’. It was a very simple situation.
A photo journalist falls in love with a girl
who sweeps him off his feet. Love mystifies
and baffles him. This bemused state had to
be recorded in a song and Harris had set a
tune for this.
Shankar sir introduced me to K
V Anand and Harris Jeyaraj
As soon as I heard this, I immediately texted him
saying that it was such an addictive tune. I worked
on it for two days and brought out the lyrics of ‘ennamo
yedho’ which had much scope to bring in photographic
One such example is ‘vanna pirazhchi’.
There is also a catch phrase ‘yeno kuviyamila
kuviyamila oru kaatchi pezhai’ and people ask
me the meaning of the word ‘kuviyamila’.
Kuviyam denotes focus and kuviyamila means out of
focus. A photographer’s confusion can best be
described in his own work jargon as ‘kuviyamila’
or ‘out of focus’. Kaatchi Pezhai describes
a display unit such as a TV monitor or a PC monitor.
The photographer sees his entire world in the display
unit in which nothing seems to be in focus and he
questions the reason for this in the song.
I am very fond of the last line in the song –
‘nizhalai thirudum mazhalai naano’. A
photographer’s job is to capture the shadow
and he is in the state of a child who steals the shadow
and says that nothing belongs to him but for the shadow.
This is a song in which pathos and love are woven
together in an intricate manner. I would like to thank
K V Anand and Harris Jeyaraj for having given me the
opportunity to write this song.
Payanam’s promo song
I am a big fan of Radha Mohan’s works and the
songs in his films. He wanted me to write a song which
is to feature in the trailer of Payanam though the
film as such does not have any songs. When I completed
the work, he was impressed with it and said that he
had not expected it to come so well and appreciated
every line. He approved it without any correction
and the song went for recording the same day. We have
recorded a journey of human race and how it is perceived
in the song.
Neerchirai kizhiya karuvadan payanam
Vaarthaigal theliya mazhalaiyin payanam
Korthidum poyil kuzhandaiyin payanam
The journey of a fetus completes when the amniotic
sac breaks open; the babble of a child comes to
an end when the words take shape; when a child starts
sequencing lies, its childhood comes to a close.
Likewise, I have written about the journeys of
various stages of human life and about the elements
Each line was an offshoot of a philosophical thought
and I enjoyed doing it. Praveen Mani had scored
the apt music for the lines.
My dad is my role model
parent’s influence on you
cannot deny their influence on me especially
on the genetical side. Driven by my mom’s
genes, I am travelling on the academic track
and thanks to my dad’s genes I am trekking
on the creative surface writing lyrics. Besides
these, I have learnt a lot from my parents.
My dad is my role model and I have seen him
work listening to the tunes of songs. There
is definitely a lot of influence of them on
it a boon or bane to be Vairamuthu’s
It is a pressure to be compared with my dad
at the start of my career. But it is a boon
when I take the pressure as a challenge.
It is a pressure to be compared
with my dad
My professions complement
do you manage two diametrically opposite professions?
don’t look at it that way. My thoughts
centre around the creativity involved. At
the university, I am working on Tamil computing
and allied subjects. I am training my students
to bring out computational creativity. Writing
lyrics support this venture of mine at the
university. I am very fond of teaching. I
have been bestowed with the ‘Best Tutor’
award when I was doing my PhD in University
of Queensland. I am trying to bring out innovative
methods in teaching. I think both my professions
complement each other.
About Mellinam Foundation
My wife Nandini and I have started Mellinam Foundation
and we are doing small projects right now. We have
brought out songs for children of current generation
called ‘I Paatti’ which has 35 songs from
different domains like science, history, geography,
family etc. Songs are all educative and entertaining.
We have done the songs in rap, hip hop, carnatic style
which can be enjoyed by parents also.
are your other projects?
have done nenjil nenjil idho idho in Engeyum
Kaadhal, 2 songs in Ko, 5 songs in Jeyendra’s
180. I have also written the dialogues for
Shankar’s Nanban which is the remake
of 3 idiots. I hope I will be doing the lyrics
for the film as well.
I have written Nanban’s
Have you brought out compilation of your works?
No, I have not done it as yet.
My mind always goes to the
has your technical knowledge helped in the
have been following cine lyrics for quite
some time. Different people look for different
components when they listen to songs. But
my mind always goes to the lyrics; I look
for the words used, the sound arrangement,
the situation, the synchronization of music
with the lyrics and so on.
In this context, I am doing a research on Lyric
on refinement of lyrics using
the tools of technology. There are many sub topics
under this. For instance, when we analyzed the lyrics,
we found out the top 100 most frequently used words
like kaadhal, nila, nee, naan etc. Having found this,
we are looking at avoiding these words and using fresh
words in their place.
Another aspect is Rhyme Analysis
where we are looking at pattern of verse like ‘edugai
monai’ and the frequently used rhyming words.
For instance, when the word ‘saami’ is
used in the first line, the probability of the word
‘bhoomi’ in the second line is very high.
Hence we are looking to find out if such clichés
can be avoided and if avoided, whether it would heighten
the freshness of the song.
Pattern of the song
is one more segment.
For example, the song ‘nee kaatru, naan maram,
enna sonnalum thalai aattuven’ travels on the
same format of ‘nee’ and ‘naan’
as objects and the next line being the reason for
the objects. We look at verses which compare a woman
with moon and the man with cloud, which are quite
common. We study the repetition of such concepts.
We are exploring these aspects under Lyric
The next topic under Lyric Engineering is the Lyric
. Under this, we are attempting
to bring about the right kind of words with apt meaning
for a specific situation, when a tune is given. In
addition to it, we are also working on Lyricists
and checking to see if we can model
every lyricist i.e. if certain lyrics are given to
the computer, is there a possibility to figure out
the lyricist based on the style?. If a song written
by Kannadasan is given, can it be changed to Vaali
style? We are researching on these subjects.
do you plan to take Tamil to the current generation?
songs are the best form of literature which
has a wider reach. When a good word is introduced
through film songs, it reaches more people.
There is a constant influx of new words into
Tamil every day as scholars are continuously
creating words but only thing is that we are
not using those words. We are using English
as it is easy. I am keen to introduce many
Tamil words. I am happy that when the word
‘kuviyamila’ was introduced, it
evoked a sense of
Film songs are the best form of
among people who went all out to learn its meaning
which gave them that ‘Aha’ moment upon
learning anew word. I want to revive those Tamil words
which are very beautiful but are in the process of
getting extinct. I want to project Tamil as the modern
language for the next generation. Tamil is not tough
and it is cool. It can be put to use the way we would
like it and it is sweet on the ears. And hence I believe
it can definitely be taken to the next generation.
On naming your
son as Haiku
We were contemplating on a lot of names when our son
was born and that’s when decided on Haiku. We
like the philosophy of Haiku poetries which convey
profound meaning in just three lines. We expect our
son also to lead such a meaningful life with few words
but with a purpose in action. In Japanese Haiku means
word in action.