Tholvi Nilayena (Oomai Vizhigal)

Lyrics: Aabavaanam Composer: Manoj-Kiyan Singer: P.B. Srinivas Released in August 1986, 'Tholvi Nilayena', famously sung by P.B. Srinivas after a long gap in his career, is known as an inspirational and motivational song for those on the brink of defeat. The song came at a very crucial point in the history of Eelam; India had started to get involved after the Thimpu talks. Although the film 'Oomai Vizhigal' was not about the struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or any other Tamil militant group, many believe that this song was written with the Tamil Eelam freedom fighters and the...

Shreya Goshal in concert: language no bar to a good time

It is a distinctive of India with its many languages that talented entertainers here can easily captivate an audience which does not always speak their language. 27 year old singing sensation Shreya Goshal, for example, is an Indian playback singer who has sung in over seven languages in her career so far. At recent concert in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, enthusiastic fans, music critics and even local politicians were entranced by this beautiful and charming young woman’s performance – despite just two of her songs being in Tamil. Her set was almost entirely in English and Hindi. Not that Shreya isn...

KCL sports league celebrates first year

As the end of Britain's university academic year draws closer, the last week of March saw the finale of the newly-formed ‘Legacy Sports League’ hosted by King’s College London (KCL) Tamil Society. After an intense season in which football and netball teams from universities across London battled it out to be champions, their efforts were celebrated at an elegant awards ceremony. The event was held at Tuli, a popular Asian fusion restaurant located on the capitol's famous Tooley Street and extending into the arches of London Bridge. More than 80 people, many dressed to the nines, attended the...

Classic films: Aboorva Raagangal (1975)

K. Balachander directed this controversial film starring Kamal Hassan and Srividhya. It was controversial upon its release due to the themes of the film such as the relationship between a younger man and an older divorced woman, which is not part of the social norms in Tamil culture. Despite its controversy, the film became a huge success in Tamil cinema and even went on to win a National Film award in 1976. The film was then remade in Hindi for North-Indian audiences. Superstar Rajinikanth got his first small, but important acting role in this landmark movie. Watch the song ‘Athisaya Ragam’...

Chinnanchiru Vayathil (Meendum Kokila 1981)

‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ from the film ‘Meendum Kokila’ is a wonderful duet sung by Shailaja, S.P. Balasubramaniam’s sister, and K.J. Yesudas. The picturization of the song shows the hero’s family (Kamal Hassan) at Sridevi’s house in order to fix their marriage. In the olden days, potential brides would sing or dance for their potential husband and their families in order to attract them. ‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ portrays the awkwardness of the proposal due to Sridevi’s shyness but certain incidents, such as the young baby urinating on Kamal Hassan’s lap during the song, lighten the situation...

TYO careers fair praised on both sides of the table

As part of the its defining goal of ‘empowering the Tamil youth’, the TYO (Tamil Youth Organisation) organised a higher education and careers convention in West London on Saturday afternoon. The 4-hour event which hosted recruitment and careers stalls from employers and leading universities, as well as running workshops in interview skills, revision technique and CV writing, attracted over 200 eager school students and their parents from across London and the South-East. From those currently sitting their GCSEs, seeking advice over choosing the right A-levels, to those in sixth form, deciding...

Classic films: Man Vaasanai (1983)

‘Man Vaasanai’ directed by Bharathiraaja captures the innocence of village life and contentment in a small world. Pandiyan abandons his village to join the armed force. Upon his return he realises that nothing will ever be the same again. Watch a song from the film here:

Maasi Maasam (Dharma Dhurai 1991)

A hugely popular song in the early 1990's, Ilaiyaraaja tuned Maasi Maasam to the raaga suddha dhanyasi, a Janya raaga from Thodi. The film the song was written for, Dharma Durai, was guaranteed success due to Rajinikanth's lead role as the hero, yet Ilaiyaraaja's songs took it to another level. The lyrics of the song are typically poetic and euphemistic and have certain romantically playful elements to it. The song was rendered by the late Swarnalatha (singer of 'Porale Ponnu Thaaye' from Karuthamma, 'Evano Oruvan' from Alaipayuthe and 'Maalayil Yaaro' from Chathriyan) and K.J. Yesudas, whose...

‘Ilam Kaatru’ blows audience away

‘Ilam Kaatru’ (‘Youth Wind’), the Tamil Youth Organisation’s (TYO) annual talent show returned after a two year gap on March 12 to wow the audience with an evening of dance, music and other entertainment. Group and solo performances by youngsters and youth ranging from primary school students to university undergraduates celebrated the Tamil nation and its diverse and evolving cultural heritage. The event at the packed Greenford Town Hall began with the traditional lighting of the lamp, by representatives of the Tamil Chamber of Commerce. The audience and performers then rose in unison to...

Remembering Murugathas Anna

With a single, supreme act of sacrifice for his people in February 2009, Murugathasan Varnakulasingham became a revered household name for the Tamils. Outraged by international apathy as tens of thousands of Tamils were being massacred by Sri Lanka’s military, the quietly spoken 26-year-old computing graduate walked up to the United Nations building in Geneva and immolated himself, in a desperate effort to awake the world's conscience. On the second anniversary of the death of Murugathasan Anna, as he is fondly referred to by Tamil activists, memorial events were held in Diaspora locations...

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