Parvathy Omanakuttan
Interviewer: Sindhu Vijayakumar | Camera : Vivek | Text - Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Video Editor : Kader
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Kavi Perarasu Vairamuthu’s Moondram Ulaga Por is getting released and catch the legendary poet in an exclusive conversation with behindwoods

Moondram Ulaga Por

Moondram Ulaga Por is a novel that featured in Anandha Vikadan for 40 weeks. This creation is not like my old ones wherein I had discussed a lot of local issues. Kallikaattu Ithihaasam’s core was land and its allied subjects, while Karuvaachi Kaaviyam was a subject about a woman and the issues related to her. Moondram Ulaga Por is being released as a novel focussing about the earth and atmosphere. This is about the life of an Indian farmer and his turbulences amidst today’s global warming and globalisation; it is about the ways in which he encounters his problems. These facets are recorded in this novel. The events that happen in the novel may have a local milieu but is being spoken towards the global happenings.

I am yet to sever my umbilical

What is the inspiration behind Moondram Ulaga Por?

Inspiration is from my life, my land, my people and their sorrow. Forty years have passed by but I am yet to sever my umbilical cord from my village. My relationship with my land, my people, the mountains, the birds, the flora and fauna would always continue. The scenes I witnessed in my land, the sigh of agriculture that is at the verge of its apocalypse in the current times, the grief of farmers, their problems in the changing world and my experiences on seeing, hearing and my feeling on the aforementioned issues are the inspirations behind Moondram Ulaga Por.

Is the book getting translated into English?

Translation of this book into English is complete. It is being fine-tuned now. There is a likelihood of this work getting released as Third World War in English very soon. In such a premise, this work will be out in the international arena and the discussion about this will be all over the world.

Why did you choose July 13 to release the book?

As it is being said that July 13th is my birthday, I am releasing it on this day. I am utilizing this opportunity to meet my friends and relatives.

You are a poet, lyricist and prose writer. Which of this is close to your heart?

This is a beautiful but a complicated question. It is like asking which role you like-a husband or a son or a father. All these are intertwined. Lyricist resides in poet and poet lives in lyricist and the novelist lives in both the lyricist and poet. Even then, I love the role of a poet very much.

I love the role of a poet

I have begun my journey with
the next generation

Your journey in the film industry as a lyricist

It has been 32 years since I entered film industry. It has been said that a generation is for 33 years. I have crossed one generation and am travelling now with the next generation. The experience, the passion and the desire that I felt while writing my first song still continue to run in me even now. Every song is like delivery of a baby. The life that I have seen in these 32 years has changed. Human assessment has changed, world has changed. To be in sync with the changing scenario, I am also changing without changing my basic principle. That’s the reason I have begun my journey with the next generation.

How do you choose a film? Is there an influence of music director or director in your choice?

I am not the one who would decide about a song in a film. A director decides this and a music director gives him the tune. Till the time I listen to the tune, I don’t know the story, the lines or the situation. Word genesis happens only afterwards. I meet a director like a white unwritten sheet of paper. After meeting him, story and the director decide what I have to write. I am a loyal servant to the script.

I am a loyal servant to the script

Vairamuthu is a tool

You have the rare distinction of winning the maximum national awards for the best lyricist. Your take

I love it and I like it. But I have to mention something. I take pride in the fact that national awards have been bestowed on the language Tamil six times. Vairamuthu is a tool and that’s why Tamil has received the award. I have the physical strength to get more awards. Let’s see. There are good poets who are doing good work in all the languages but quality work is dwindling in all the languages and there is an increase of songs with entertainment value which has caused a mild tremor in all the languages. Transcending all these, I desire for good poets who are passionate about their mother tongue who would take their language to a higher level.

It is raining awards for your Sarasara song in Vaagai Sooda Vaa. Did you expect the same?

No, I did not expect this. But it is true that this song certainly triggered an exhilarating feeling in me.  I sang the song in the audio launch function. There was an excitement in the audience then. I did not expect this song to reach this level. There are occasions when an expected song does not triumph and the vice versa. I don’t work anticipating success or failure as this is borne out of taste. I only want to write quality songs.

I only want to write quality songs

Did you play a role in the picturization of Sara Sara in Vaagai Sooda Vaa?

No. But I want to convey my wishes to director Sargunam and cameraman Om Prakash. They have captured the song beautifully and brought out the feel of the 60s. .

Have you reduced your movie assignments?

I am choosy in my work now. I am working in Kochadaiyan, Viswaroopam, Kadal, Irandam Ulagam, Neer Paravai. When I choose my films, I am able to deliver better quality.

Your son Madan Karky is a busy lyricist now. What’s your role in shaping him up?

None at all! This depends on one’s own taste.

Read the literary works of the
yore, add up new experiences
and have a global vision.

Your tips to young lyricists

My wishes to the young generation! I request you to learn a lot. I desire you to learn the technicalities of Tamil along with the technology. Read the literary works of the yore, add up new experiences and have a global vision. When all these factors combine, I believe that there would be better poets than me in Tamil and other Indian languages.

You have worked with Ilayaraja and Rahman. Do you see such talent in the coming generation?

There is a continuous influx but it is too early to say. We can identify them after some years. We can decide based on who stays on and who continues to garner victories.  I see flashes of brilliance here and there.

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