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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Koffee with Anu" featuring our SPB

Vijay TV's "Koffee with Anu” – 12/05/2007

Dear SPB Fans,

Last week's “Koffee with Anu” had our SPB & GangaiAmaran as the main guests with SPB.Charan (SPB’s son) and Venkat Prabhu (Gangai Amaran’s elder son) joining them later in the program.

Many of you would have seen this program on TV but there might be quite a few who would not have been fortunate enough to see it on TV. So, for the benefit of these fans and also for the benefit of all the other state fans, I am presenting this write-up in English accompanied by an audio recording (Tamil) of this program. (thanks to Covai Ravee for providing the audio file of this program)

The program was very hilarious with both SPB & GangaiAmaran opening out without any inhibitions and indulging themselves in lot of leg pulling and pranks just like children. It was indeed a delight to watch them lashing out at each other jokingly and in turn making us laugh a lot. The anchor “Anu” did a great job conducting the show joining the freaking out. Now, go ahead and read this article on this program. Our SPB was really very natural in his talking and narrations and he was really very excited and honest about everything. He was his usual self, joking a lot. His expressions at many places were cute and enjoyable. The intimacy he had with GangaiAmaran showed in the way he addressed him as "Vaadaa" "Poadaa".
The program also brought the care that our SPB had for his son and alos GangaiAmaran's son encouraging them in all their endeavours. This also made clear the background to his friendship with IlayaRaja and BharathiRaja and their intimacies.

To start off, I will follow the same format of the program meaning Q&A format as it would give a feeling of having seen the program.

The hostess for this program was Anuhaasan the daughter of Charuhaasan (Kamalhaasan’s brother).

She first gave a brief about the person to be invited as guest. Her words were “laughter, mischief, sadness, sorrow, love, romance – give him any emotion and he brings it into his voice effortlessly. Such a distinguished person is our first guest. He has sung more than 36,000 songs and found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. I am talking about none other than the most versatile, supremely talented and most beloved SP Balasubramaniam”. With these few words, she welcomed our SPB. There were brief exchanges of greetings and then the program started off.

Anu: Sir, I feel very happy to see you.

SPB: Thanks

Anu: I will ask you a question now. The usual boring question. How is that you maintain your voice

SPB: I pledge that I have never maintained my voice. I am indeed afraid to say that lest all others will follow it. I have no restrictions. Without ice water, I cannot live. I cannot be without cool drinks and I eat lot of sweets. Normally, they do not take curd since it tastes sour but I cannot be without curd. Only thing I don’t do is that I am a vegetarian. I have been smoking, nobody knows, for about 30 years, only recently I stopped smoking. Everybody has the blessing of their parents and Guru. I think I have received more than my share.

Anu: Is that so. Did you have the aspiration to sing right from your childhood?

SPB: No. It is a peculiar story. I wanted to become an Engineer. Wearing that Khaki dress, going around in a jeep with a driver, earning Rs.500 which was a big amount those days and being in a government job – this had been my wish. It has no relation now. I had written the screen play but HE (meaning God) refused to direct it (Anu laughs out heartily). HE himself had written the screen play for me. It is an accident that I have become a singer. I had taken part in a competition for fun when Janakiamma asked me. What would have happened was that if I had won that competition three times in a row, I would have got to retain the shield. But somehow there was some politics and they gave second prize and announced the other boy as the first prize winner. Janakiamma had come to that place on that day to give away the prizes. We two had to sing the songs in front of her and after hearing it, she felt angry saying that “even though the first prize winner was good, the second prize winner (our SPB) was better than him and he should have actually been given the first prize”. Already I was awestruck seeing her and hearing her recommendations chilled me. She then called me and asked where I was. I told her that I was in Madras (now Chennai) only and doing my AMIE. Why don’t you try in cinema, she asked me. I was 17 or 18 at that time. No, No. that is not possible I said. She asked me why. I told her that I did not know music, I have not learnt from anyone and that I did not even know the “sa pa sa..”. Even I do not know it, am I not singing, she said. I thought she was just joking and I told her so. After all, she had sung very classical based songs like “singaravelane…”. She said that she had sung all that mathematically only and did not have any swaragnanam. Oh, then I felt she was serious about me and she asked me to try. At that time, I did not know any Tamil and I was a typical Golti, having come from Andhra.

Anu: you have learnt after that, is it not?

SPB: Nothing at all. Till now, I have not learnt it.

Anu: But you are talking very well, Sir.

SPB: So, when I went to all Telugu Music Directors, everyone told me that I was singing well but that my voice has not matured from that of a boy. My thought was that it was not my cup of tea and moreover Father had sent me here to study with all his difficulties. Such being my state at that time, there was a national level contest at Andhra Club, Chennai. I knew about this contest but I had no intention of participating as I thought I would not stand a chance and hence did not go that side at all. But my roommate without informing me had registered my name for that contest by paying Rs.10. The judges for the competition were Ghantasala Master, Music Directors Pendyala Nageswara Rao, Dakshinamurthy. When I went to sing, I found that I was the first one to sing as there were no participants with names starting with “A”. I was called first. Seeing the three great personalities, I was afraid, but closed my eyes and went ahead. We were not supposed to sing a cine song. So, a day earlier I had composed a Telugu song with music by myself and sang it. The competition was for three days as there were 77 competitors. Prizes were to be announced only after three days. Having completed my song, I came down and sat among the audience waiting to see how the other competitors sang, quite sure that I would not get any prize. Suddenly a short and fair complexioned man came to me and asked me if I will sing in cinema. I did not even stand up as I thought he was pulling my legs, making fun of me. I told him I will not sing. He asked me why I will not sing. I said I am not interested, I know I cannot sing. Just singing in this contest cannot mean I can sing in cinema. He then asked me if I will sing if he gives a chance. I realized that this man was serious, so I got up and told him that I did not know who he was. He told me that his name was Kothandapani, a Music Director and that he had done music for 3 or 4 films. Having not seen him earlier, I did not know who he was. I told him “Sir, I had met all but no one gave me a chance”. He then took me to a producer who also said that as I was a grown-up boy I can sing neither for heroes nor for children and concluded that may be after 2 years I could be tried. Mr.Kothandapani told me not to get disheartened and asked me to see him later and that he would definitely give me a chance. Again I said that it is not my cup of tea having seen him embarrassed in front of me and I went back to college to pursue studies. I did not give him my address. He had tried hard to locate me and after two years, he caught hold of me in the college and got me back and gave me my first chance for a Telugu movie.

Anu: All is written on the forehead, is it not, as you said earlier. Now you are singing confidently, is it not?
SPB: I pledge it is not so. Before I went to the mic to record my first song, an amazing incident happened. We had two days rehearsal for my song and the call sheet was for 2pm at Vijaya Studios. I was told that a production car would be pick me up and was asked to come over. Among the three pair of dresses I had, I liked the pair of white trouser and shirt. I had it dry washed and was waiting for the car along with my friend Murali, he is still working as an assistant recordist at my recording studio. (The Kothandapani Studios in Chennai belongs to our SPB). The time just scrolled on 2 to 3 to 4pm, the car did not turn up. I thought they had not liked my singing in the rehearsal and hence had not sent the car. I started undressing but my friend said we will go to the Studio. I said no. If they wanted me to sing, the car would have come. But he said that we will go. Both of us had cycles, so we went to Vijaya Gardens. What to tell, there was a Gurkha standing there, later he became my friend which is another story. He asked me “kya chaayiye”. My friend told that I had come to sing. It is normal for many to turn up at Studios looking for a chance. The Gurkha asked us to leave and do our studies. I was in tears. What my friend did then was to inform the Gurkha that he would leave our two cycles along with me at the entrance and that he would go in and get the production man outside. The Gurkha thought about it and finally let him in. At that time there was no mode of communication for me like phone, cell phone etc. The production man came and took me inside. The Music Director (Kothandapani) was angry and told me that they had been waiting so long for me to come. I told that the car had not come. He told me that the car had actually met with an accident and the driver who was in the police station did not know how to convey this and that’s why. When I finally went before the mike, the Producer (comedian Padmanabhan) came over to me and said that I had been singing well. However he said that if at all, my voice did not come out well on the mic, they would then use Ghantasala Master to dub the song. Being already exhausted, hearing these words further brought me down and I recorded the song in that state itself. After the completion of my bit they had to record the other bits, it was a live orchestra with about 30 to 40 musicians I sang in the same hall as the other musicians, there was no separate cubicle. After the recording, there was no information from inside and I thought I was out of it. Meanwhile, Susheelamma came and said that it was OK and maybe for a change they were discussing to have one more take. Suddenly everyone came and informed that the take was OK and congratulated me. That was how it happened and I had a payment of Rs.150 which was a big amount and it started off like that

Anu: Well, we thought about collecting some background information on you. Instead, we felt it would be better to invite your close friend to this show who will tell all your secrets.

SPB: Yaah that’s right. He will be the one to tell all my secrets

Anu: To tell about lot of secrets of Sir, his best friend will be coming now. So, our next guest, who is sailing on the ever floating ship of SPB that is friendship, your (meaning SPB) best friend, the very talented GangaiAmaran. I am very happy to welcome GangaiAmaran to this show.

GangaiAmaran arrives and is greeted by Anu.

SPB: Come on, Man

GangaiAmaran: Who is this? I remember having seen this brother somewhere.

SPB: Come on, Man. Sit (Anu laughs)

GA: I have been waiting for such a chance. Really what to do with this Man. What all to unearth about him and let out. At last you have come.

Anu: We have also been waiting for that only

SPB: I thought this Man had come dressed like this because I am here (GA was in pant & shirt – tucked in).

Anu (to GA): You were different when we met the last time, Sir

GA: When?

Anu: Was it not you the last time over here

GA: That was not me

Anu (to SPB): This is the first time he is coming

Anu (to GA): Before starting off, are you comfortably seated?

GA: Very Happy

Anu (to SPB): He changes his appearances often, does he not?

SPB: In fact, in one instance someone greeted him thinking that he was IlayaRaja. He was serious like him at that time

GA: Some people used to ask me, without much of hair and a beard. Why that, take for instance, at IlayaRaja’s home itself. All used to tell me that I resembled Rajappa (meaning IR) and I used to tell them, no, I laugh. (Anu laughs out heartily). There is of course some resemblance between us. Yes, BALA.

SPB: What Man, it has been a long time since I had seen you

GA: Now only, we have got the time to speak

SPB (to Anu): True, True. We talk only over phone. It has been a long time since we met.

Anu (to SPB): I understand you two used to roam around in an old & useless scooter those days

GA: Yes. It would not start even when pushed.

SPB: Each time, we used to open it up, remove the spark plug, clean it between us and then start it.

GA: Yes. At that time, he (SPB) used to be leaner than me

SPB: Very lean.

Anu (to GA): Yes, undernourished, he told me.

GA (to SPB): How do you maintain your voice, your body?

SPB: Yes, really, I am maintaining it so that it does not go beyond this. There is so much difficulty even in that. I cannot reduce it. Not adding further is in itself OK.

GA: Your beauty is in your size. If Balu becomes lean and I become like him, will it not look good?

Anu (to GA): To youngsters, he is a very popular figure, not only because of what he is, it is his attitude also.

Anu (to SPB): And “Chennai 600028” (film), how much you have encouraged and supported.

SPB: How can I not do it? It is my son’s film. In fact, it is our sons’ film (SPB Charan is the Producer and VenkatPrabhu-GangaiAmaran’s son is the Director). Last time when you had done a program with his (GA) son and him ….

Anu: No, he had told he will not come.

SPB: Well, someone like him attended it. You had even asked them (Charan & VenkatPrabhu) whether our friendship was better or SPB Charan-VenkatPrabhu friendship was better and they said that this was better because Charan produced a picture for his friend’s sake. Even I took a film for this fella (GA). For his love affair, I was the messenger. I had given love letters to his wife. (GA acknowledges)

Anu (to GA): So, he used to give the letters

GA: Yes. He used to give love letters on my behalf.

SPB: because I had some respect. Wherever I go I was welcomed. No one used to go near this fella because he is a ruffian (he tells this in a squeaky voice). So, I used to go respectfully and tell her that he had sent the letter and used to give it to her

GA: At that time, I was not doing much. I used to write a bit. In fact, as Balu had said he had composed his own Telugu song for a competition. I wanted to translate that song in Tamil as we were doing lot of Tamil films during those times. That Tamil song first came on stage in a program at SIET College, Chennai. Balu was really bull dozed by the crowd then.

SPB: I was very handsome then!!!

GA: Not only he. IlayaRaja & BharathiRaja were also there. Only these people who were like that are now in front of you all.

SPB: You are a Brutus

GA: I am just sharing what has happened. What is that we are achieving by hiding all these. On that day, I gained an identity. Only on that day, I wrote the Tamil version “raagamum adhan naadhamum…”. My “would-be" wife was also at the program on that day. Balu sang that song. After completing it, there was no need for him to announce but he made known to the crowd that the song was written by the guitarist “Amar” (meaning me). Only after that, my image wiht my love grew 15 folds. Such a great Balu, the great singer whom the youngsters loved and listened to, he need not have mentioned my name. From that time onwards our friendship has continued non-stop. It is by God’s grace.
(click on this link to listen to the song "raagamum adhan naadhamum" http://myspb.blogspot.com/2007/05/blog-post_15.html)

Anu: Such a wonderful friendship. You have acted but I learnt that even GangaiAmaran and BharathiRaja had acted a lot in College. (laughs)

SPB: In fact, all these persons were introduced to me by BharathiRaja only. He was my first friend. Even before he (BharathiRaja) came to the cine field, he used to conduct plays. Somehow we got introduced to each other. I was just growing up at that time. I used to play flute for his plays, do background score & also sing at that time.

Anu: Do you also play the flute?

SPB: Yes, during those times. Not now. I have left it. For one of his drama scenes, he wanted a jibba. At that time I had only one in cream colour, at that time it was Rajesh Khanna style fashion. He had asked me to lend it and I gave it to him. I was watching the play and in one of the scenes, as I was watching, he tore that jibba. I asked him why he did it. I had only a few dresses. But he promised to buy many such jibbas once he became a director. He became a director of course but till date he had not bought me the dress. Actually, we two were supposed to make his first film, he, the director and I, the producer.

GA: the name of the movie was supposed to be “Mayil

Anu: Mayil?

SPB: Later, it became Padhinaaru Vayadhinile. He (BharathiRaja) also used to be with me. I bought a new car then and I could not afford a driver, I used to drive myself. He was not yet busy at that time and so he used to accompany me for my programs. While driving, he used to tell me lot of his stories. I used to tell that his stories were much ahead of the times. First he told me the story of “Sigappu Rojakkal”. At that time, Kamalhaasan was not that popular. I told him that this could be made only with Sivaji Sir. Do you think we could make films with him? He used to tell me that he was getting lot of ideas like these. He kept on telling such stories. He was extraordinarily intelligent. Even in the recording studios, whenever he got time, he used to take me to the lawns and tell me a story. We thought that to make a film, Bangalore was the right place as there was lot of subsidies being offered then. We even thought of setting up an office at Bangalore. I had a brother-in-law there and I even sent the script to him. But later due to financial reasons we had to wind it up. Suddenly when he got an opportunity, he asked me for the script and I tried to trace down my brother-in-law who meanwhile had changed his home thrice. The script could not be got back. Again, he wrote the script. Also, it was only after his third or fourth film that I got the chance to sing in his films. Such close friends we were. It was he who introduced me the “Pavalar” Brothers. There was one Srinivasan who used to be the in-charge for the music director G.K.Venkatesh. He should be 76 now and I used to call him in the first person only. He used to assist me in my rehearsals. One time I was rehearsing for a program at my small home with my orchestra when BharathiRaja brought these three brothers to me - Raja, Bhaskar & Amar. After completing the rehearsals, I came over to Rajayya (ILayaRaja). He told me that he will play the harmonium and I asked him to play something. He played the Laras melody from the film Dr.Siva, double handed and I was simply astounded. Was it possible to play like this? At that time I already had a harmonist who was the one who had given me my first chance to sing in Madras in an orchestra. He was working in the Corporation. I did not want to lose Rajayya (IlayaRaja) such a musician. I asked him if he knew music & notation writing. He told me that he knew nothing and could play only from listening. I told him in that case we both are one. I helplessly told him that I had already a harmonist with me and what to do; he then told me that he could also play the guitar. At that time I did not have a guitar player, I had only a mandolin player. I asked him to join me. For my programs only these two (Rajayya & GA) used to come together. The original harmonist retired later due to difficulties in concentrating on his job. So, GA became the guitarist, Rajayya became the harmonist and combo was played by Bhaskar. Then we formally set up the orchestra.

GA: At that time we used to play the songs “Pournami Nilavil” & ‘Aayiram Nilave vaa”. We used to change the chords in the orchestration, ILayaraja used to change it and we used to play differently than the original. (both GA & SPB play a sample bit using their mouths).

SPB: Even now I tell my musicians to note down the improvisations done by IlayaRaja and play it. Using only the harmonium, IR used to play Aradhana songs like “Mere Sappon…” (SPB mimics the tune), whenever I was late for a program. Even now he uses that small harmonium box. I did not need anyone else if Raja was there.

GA: It would have been better if either BharathiRaja or IlayaRaja were here along with Balu for this program because their friendship is much more. Our relationship is not so close like theirs.

SPB: He (GA) was a small fellow at that time.

GA: They would not allow me near them during those times. They (SPB, IlayaRaja & BharathiRaja) were a separate party.(here GA plays around with the Tamil word “thani” meaning separate which if pronounced differently as “thanni” means liquor)

Anu (to SPB): Sir, does he (GA) not know Tamil properly

SPB (to GA): Are you from Bombay?

GA: What Bombay?

SPB: No, you said that you did not get the words right, that’s why.

Anu: So, due to struggles, your friendship has become stronger.

SPB: yes, we used to do it somehow – whether bus, lorry, cart, boat, cycle or whatever it is., we used to take and somehow do a musical program.

GA: We used to go on his scooter to each and every sabha requesting for an opportunity for a payment of just Rs.300 or 400.

SPB: We used to do a sabha program for Rs. 250. After paying for everything, we used to get hardly Rs.10. That was a very big thing and we used to feel happy.

GA : Another big thing is that, in Pollachi, there was a program. IlayaRaja had initially refused to come for the program as he had a music exam to appear for at Trichy Musical College. Balu insisted that he come and offered to drive IlayaRaja himself in a car after the exams to Pollachi. At that time. IlayaRaja was only a musician and not a music director and we used to play for many films. IlayaRaja had prepared a lot – both theory and practicals. After the exams, Balu took IlayaRaja from Trichy in a car. While nearing Vellore……

SPB : During the night, I was driving the car. The driver was also there. Since we had to make it fast and he was afraid, I had taken over from him. On reaching Vellore, actually there was no need to go through Vellore, my driver took over. Now you tell (to GA)

GA : After Vellore, the car suddenly braked and it was thrown away for whatever reason. If one had seen the car, it would be doubtful if anyone survived.

SPB : The car had hit a post and fell into a nearby river and settled with top side down. We were 7 of us in the car including the driver – myself, Raja, Amar, Joseph, Madhu (Tabla), Kalyanasundaram.

GA : If you saw the car you would wonder if anyone would be alive.

SPB : On that night, we had a program. Only Madhu had a small injury and we went ahead with that program. Raja announced that he would give us a party that night at Quality Hotel, Kodambakkam. The party was over. Raja told that all this had happened for something good. Before that time, Raja had two or three chances for music direction and we used to put in our efforts to take it through but somehow it did not happen and it stopped halfway through a recording. Raja was vexed that he would never ever get a chance for music direction. But after this incident, Raja felt that this accident had happened for good since we had come out of it safely. And true to his words, everybody who had traveled in that car has grown to good positions in life.

Anu : beautiful. All the six in the vehicle?

SPB : Yes, everybody. In their respective fields had come up. But nowadays we could not be ourselves like before. We are not able to meet each other. Even when we meet, we are grown up, we have children but we want to play like children.

GA : But that intimacy has not changed. Once in Prasad Studios, IlayaRaja used to walk from a room to the recording theatre and producers who stood there on the sides used to wish him and Raja would wish them silently and would go on his way. Both of us were there at the studio then and Balu was feeling why he (Raja) is behaving like this. Just wait and see, what I do now, Balu said. He (Balu) went upto IlayaRaja and tickled him on the waist and IlayaRaja started running around the studio not able to bear the tickling of Balu. One had never seen these two running around before and all people present there had a good time clapping, laughing and shouting out. Bala asked Raja why he was hiding all the happiness within himself. Even today, other than Balu and BharathiRaja there is no one else who addresses Ilayaraja as “Vaadaa”, “Poadaa” (in the first person). There was much of intimacy between them. They have shared all their happiness & secrets in life.

SPB : All of us have come up the hard way. We have seen life. We are still seeing life.

GA : You heard about my love story. What about Balu’s love story ? Don’t you want to hear it.

Anu : Come on, tell us. We are here only for that.

GA (to Anu): Why are you not asking such useful details?

Anu (to GA) : That is why we have called you so that you will let all these out and you are performing your role correctly.

SPB : I myself will tell it. As if it is a big secret. I was living in their house. She was my relation. We fell in love with each other. But, both of us had the same “Gothram”. It was not acceptable being Brahmin families. What to do. We both eloped. We took help from friends and went to a place named Simmachalam near Vizag famous for the Narasimhaswami deity. Our friends married us off. At that time GangaiAmaran was not there. For two to three years, we were set aside by our families. We were very young. My wife was 16 and I was 21 or 22 and we were alone by ourselves. What to do.

Anu : And you were still struggling then?

SPB : No, it was not a problem. Economically, I had settled down. But within one and half to two years my daughter was born. Even when our child used to cry we did not know whether it was due to stomach pain, what to do and where to go. We used to take her in the car to the beach, going around in order to stop her crying. Like that we struggled a lot. Everything went off well after that.

Anu : What is unusual is that, the friendship of your generation has unfailingly blossomed in this generation also between both your sons (SP Charan & Venkat Prabhu).

SPB : we are very happy. It need not have happened at all. In fact, they have a stronger bondage. They love each other. Really I have to tell. One day Charan came to me and told that he wanted to make a film with Venkat Prabhu as the hero. I asked him if Prabhu could act. Charan told me, yes, he has acted but you have not seen it. I said if he has talent then Ok. That type of character, only if he does it, it will be good, Charan told me. Go ahead, I told him. After that they produced the film “Unnai Charanadainthen”. I saw the film and I was really very happy with the performance. Both the boys were extremely good. I did music for that film. It was a very good movie. Very very good movie. We did not earn money from that but received lot of awards for it. But they were depressed a bit. What to do. Charan then thought that the only way was to make a big commercial movie. They got the rights of a Telugu movie “Varsham” and remade it into Tamil as “Mazhai”. It came out well, they produced it well, but it was over budgeted and we lost heavily in that picture. After that, I told Charan that no more films henceforth. He had already done MBA and I advised him to do some business or look after my recording studio or go back to the US and take up a job there. But he wanted his production company to grow into a big business house. One fine day both Charan and Venkat Prabhu came straight into our bedroom. I and my wife were seated there. Charan told that Venkat had a script with him which he will narrate. On hearing the script I was laughing. I told them it sounded silly for making into a film. Charan told me it would work out. I asked who would direct it. Charan told me that Venkat himself would direct it. I asked Venkat whether he had worked under any director. He replied “no uncle”. What will you do, I asked him. He replied that he will do it. I said OK, go ahead. They went ahead and made it as a small film. Now it has become a big one and is being talked about. They have also gained enthusiasm and confidence from it. (the film in discussion is “Chennai 600028 produced by SPB.Charan and directed by Venkat Prabhu)

Anu : Two great friends have been playing here. And now, to come, will be the next generation friends.

With that, both SPB Charan & Venkat Prabhu come over to the show and join SPB & GangaiAmaran. Anu welcomes them.

Both Charan & Venkat Prabhu touch the feet of SPB & GangaiAmaran and obtain their blessings and also wish them and get seated. Our SPB chips in lightheartedly by protecting his chappals lest Charan take it away from him.

Anu : Did you see the two friends?

GA : Where do you come from?

Charan : From behind the stage.

Anu (to the young friends) : you also have to talk. You two share a good friendship, maybe stronger than theirs. What do you think (to the old pair)

SPB : Come on, talk yah. Let us see what you tell.

Anu : Don’t murmur. Talk out loudly (to the young pair)

Charan : We are normal friends. We do not have anything great to share like these two old friends.

Venkat Prabhu (to the old pair) : Both of you had helped each other in your love and pushing the scooter and so on.

SPB : You remember only that. We have created the right platform for you and you have nothing to do.

Charan & Venkat : We too have struggled.

Anu : What is this? Looks like college ragging.

SPB : What struggle have you faced ?

Charan & Venkat : we also have struggled in our own way.

SPB : The only struggle you two have undergone is produce two films both of which were failures. That was your only difficulty and in turn made it difficult for us also.

Everyone laughs heartily.

Charan : That is why our friendship is big. Because of us you have faced difficulties but because of you we have not faced difficulties.

SPB : But your recent film (Chennai 600028) is doing well and we are happy.

Anu (to Charan) : Please tell us about your director (meaning Venkat Prabhu) of the film “Chennai 600028

Charan : There is nothing to tell. He has created all the damages.

Venkat : In fact, in this “Koffee with Anu” program, after Anu, I have made the most appearances (having featured in the show along with the Chennai 600028 film crew)

GA : yes, the results of the film is quite good.

SPB : why are you now coming from a theatre

Charan : In one of the theatres, tickets are being sold in black at Rs.450 for our film.

Venkat : Rs.450 per ticket

GA & SPB : Oh ! Oh !

GA : One ticket ?

Charan : Yes.

GA : Can you give me 200 tickets ?

Charan : please see me in my office tomorrow

GA : to sell in black

SPB : Can I get 200 tickets ?

Charan & Venkat : to sell in black ?
GA : to do side business

SPB : One catch is that, if he (GA) disguises himself for selling tickets no one will recognize him, but, whatever disguise I put on, people will find me out.

Anu : When all the four of you are here, I thought of talking about the film "Chennai 600028" with you. It is running very well. The other temptation for me is that I want to make you all sing.

GA : If that is our fate, we will have to do it.

SPB : Amar, are you going to sing !!!???

GA (to SPB) : please learn now how to sing, brother.

SPB : Do you want me to learn how to sing or sing how to learn

GA : I want to taste (meaning test) him now.

SPB : he is telling how to taste. People from North speak like that only. In fact they say “I went to a hospital . I wanted my urine to be tasted (meaning tested).”

Everone laughs out heartily

SPB : Yes many from North pronounce words like that. Do they not make fun of our Tamil? Whatever language we speak, we do it correctly. I have sung and acted in Hindi.

Both SPB & GA hit out at each other making fun about Tamil pronounciations.

GA : OK, Balu. Now I will sing out a tune. It is there both in Tamil & Telugu. Do you want me to just hum the tune or sing the song? OK. I will sing the Tamil Version.

GA starts singing a few lines of a song (making a poor presentation of the song)

SPB : This is in Vijaya Productions. The film was Chandrahaaram. I do not know what it is in Tamil. What is it in Tamil ?

GA : In Tamil also, it is Chandrahaaram

SPB : RamaRao was hero. Ghantasala Master did music.

SPB sings out a few lines of the Ghantasala song in Telugu

SPB (to GA) : This is how, he has sung it.

GA sings it again to make fun of SPB

GA (to SPB) : we know you are a big singer. Should you should not feel proud that we are singing atleast.

SPB : Yes, yes, I feel very proud !!!!

GA : We have sung many old songs. What to sing ?

Anu (to SPB & Charan) : Both of you should sing a song

SPB : If the tune is known, it is a duet, we can sing. Anu will fell very happy.

SPB & Charan together sing the song “Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna..” from Indira. (Anu was the heroine in this film). They also sing a few lines of the Hindi version.

Anu : Beautiful.

Then, Charan & Venkat sing a song “Yaaro ….”. SPB & GA also join them eventhough they are not familiar with the song. SPB compliments them for the song.

Then, SPB narrates an incident involving GA, wherein GA had tried explaining to SPB about a song (neelavaana odayil from the film vaazhve maayam) in one of their recordings. GA had played the tune in the right pitch in the harmonium but while singing along he sang at a different pitch. Our SPB made fun of this incident and provokes GA to imitate the scene engaging the other three. SPB jokingly said it was quite difficult to play and sing at different pitches. Everyone laughs out heartily.

SPB : Anu, he (GA) is an unfortunate fellow. Do you know what? For how many films have you composed music (to GA)

GA : Around 165 films

SPB : He has composed lovely songs, many of which I have only sung. When his songs become popular, it gets usually attributed to IlayaRaja and people used to say it must have been done by IlayaRaja. Very unfair. Very unfair.

GA : Anyhow, I have earned him (IlayaRaja) good name, is it not ?

Everyone laughs out.

SPB : Actually his (GA) orchestration and style is entirely different and he has done wonderful music.

GA : yes, it has happened. Believe it, believe it.

Anu : We know, Sir.

SPB hums the song “Vandhanam..” from “Vaazhve Maayam

SPB : What great songs he has made.

GA : The original film was "Premabhishekham” in telugu. I did all the songs for the Tamil version. I copied only the Pallavi of only one song from the original (GA & SPB sing out the song “mazhaikkaala megham ondru….). All the other songs are completely different from the original and were composed entirely by me using my brain and whatever talent I had.

SPB : He had it then.

Everyone laughs out heartily

Anu : He (GA) is a very down to earth person

SPB : Yes, down to earth person. Always searching on the ground. That same quality his second son has also imbibed. Just see the film “Chennai 600028”. He never catches the ball even once. Always slipping out and always searching for it.

Anu (to Venkat) : What about your Producer (meaning Charan – who had produced the Chennai 600028 film).

Venkat : Great. Good. Knowledeable knows all four.

SPB : All four means what ?

Venkat : Everything - North, East, West, South. He (Charan) gets angry, Uncle, nowadays. He gets tensed up and I get caught in it.

Charan : Just ask me why. Never has he come for the shooting on time. Should I not shout or not ?

GA : The shooting is all over. Why talk about it now.

SPB : One minute, I was to go abroad one day. On that morning there was pooja in this same AVM Studio. A set had been put up. I had to break the coconut and then leave for the airport. Everyone had come on time at 6:15 except the director (meaning Venkat). Big brother came 45 minutes late. The excuse was that he had got caught in the traffic. There was no traffic at all at the time.

Everyone laughs.

Anu : All these can be forgiven in friendship

GA : even if he is late, if he comes out with the latest, it is OK.

SPB : If we leave it like that, then it would become a sentiment to come late everytime since the film has become a big success. Discipline is important. Even if you had a late night for whatever reason, one should come on time the next day.

Charan : I should tell one thing now. It is 25 days since the film was released. He (Venkat) is an excellent and wonderful talent. I am very proud to have found him.

SPB : as a director

Charan : I have had him as a friend for a while now. Having found the director in him, I dedicate him to the Tamil Film World.

Anu : he himself decides it

GA : why not Telugu films also

Charan : Ask him. He has been with me for quite some time and he can’t even speak a single Telugu world.

GA urges his son to speak out something in Telugu. SPB joins in and starts making fun of GA saying that he also has not learnt Telugu having been associated with him for a long time. There are lot humorous exchanges on this topic with GangaiAmaran trying to speak in Telugu and SPB criticissing GA for pointing out mistakes in his Tamil diction and so on. GA then jokingly volunteers to sing a Telugu song but it does not come out from this throat. SPB chips in saying whether he is singing it within himself silently. Finally SPB himself sings a few lines of a Telugu song “Raasaanu Premalekhalulo..” a GK.Venkatesh composition sung by SPB & Janaki which they had sung on stages many times. He ends it with a beautiful humming prompted by GA who tells that he had taught SPB the humming !!!!???. GA at this juncture mentions that he had also composed for a few Telugu films.

Anu : In this program, for the first time, we have taken a decision. This laugh riot which they have done – how can it be restricted to a single episode. So, it has to be continued in the second episode also. So, do not forget to tune in for the next episode.

With this final note from Anu, this episode came to an end.

I conclude my write-up also and will come back to you next week again.

Hope you all enjoyed this presentation

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கோவை ரவீ said...

Dasarathi sir,

Yes, i was enjoyed in every word in your writeup. You are done a great job. Hats off you and your efforts. All the Best.

"வற்றாயிருப்பு" சுந்தர் said...


That's a phenomenal effort. Thanks a lot for the great post. Special thanks to Ravee for bringing us the audio file.

Great work!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dasaradhi,

Thnx alot for this post. thnx for ur efforts. all the best.


magisivappa said...

Ninaithale inikkum nigazhchi, kettu kettu suvaikka vaikkira ....padikka padikka izhukka vaikkira sevaikku NANRI NANRI SIRAM THANZHNDHA NANRI

sri said...

Hey nice effort by you. But there is the entire program posted on youtube. The show is really enjoyable. It is an inspirartion to all catgories of people. The best part is that even the difficulties they faced were presented in a humorous manner

sri said...

Hey nice effort by you. But there is the entire program posted on you tube. The show is really enjoyable. It is an inspirartion to all catgories of people. The best part is that even the difficulties they faced were presented in a humorous manner

Usha Sudharsan said...

Thanks a lot for this post.. Great work..