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...

Imperial Tamil Soc sparkles at 'Mega Maalai XI'

Imperial College London’s Tamil Society staged their annual 'Mega Maalai' entertainment show on January 23 with a blaze of colour, dance and song at the Piccadilly Theatre in the capital’s West End.

Ball on the Thames

London’s Tamil student community held an evening of elegance and fun on Feb 10: a ball. The Valentines Soirée Boat Party was held on the 'Dixie Queen', a stunning replica of a 19th century Mississippi paddleboat and now the largest entertainment boat on the river Thames. Queen Mary's University (QMW) and University College London's (UCL) Tamil Societies jointly hosted the sell-out event. Demand prompted a last minute change to a larger venue, students said. The Dixie Queen can host 500 guests. Embarking at St. Katherine's Pier, Tower Hill, the four hour cruise proved a memorable night for...

Classic films: Thalapathi (1991)

‘Thalapathi’, written and directed by Mani Ratnam, stars Rajinikanth, Mammootti, Aravindh Swami, Srividhya and Shobana. It is based on the friendship between Rajinikanth and Mammootti and depicts the circumastances surrounding gang life. Watch some scenes from the film here:

Thulli Thulli (Sippikkul Muththu)

'Thulli Thulli' is a great number from the Kollywood box office smash hit starring Kamal Hassan and Radhika. Sung by the illustrious S.P. Balasubramaniam and S. Janaki, it is a loving lullaby intended for the heroine of the film. Notably, this song was composed by Ilaiyaraaja purely in Madhyamavathi raagam, a raaga which he has very commonly used for his hypnotic lullabies in other films.

Classic film: Mouna Ragam (1986)

The film 'Mouna Ragam' by hit filmmaker Mani Ratnam was a massive blockbuster in the 80's. Often described as Mani Ratnam's breakthrough film, it depicts Revathi as a carefree spirit who unwillingly marries Mohan in order to satisfy her parents. Mohan is forced to face up to Revathi's past and the pitfalls that come with it. Watch a classic scene from the movie:

Classic films: Pagal Nilavu (1985)

Mani Ratnam's Pagal Nilavu (1985) is about a carefree youngster (Murali) and his loyalty to a mafia group and his love for a police officer's sister (Revathi). Watch short excerpts from the film.