Ilayaraja 75: Rajinikanth is the only Superstar, says maestro

All roads led to Nandanam YMCA Grounds on Sunday where maestro Ilayaraja rendered a live concert to a packed audience that included actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. The show, organised by Tamil Film Producers Council, was a nostalgic journey for Ilayaraja fans as he belted out his hit numbers from the late 1970s and 1980s. There were cheers, whistles and applause as Ilayaraja took to his harmonium and preformed non-stop for over four hours.

No sooner the show began than Ilayaraja called Rajinikanth on to the dais. At his humorous best, Rajinikanth was sharing his experiences with Ilayaraja.

On a lighter note, he said Raja Swamigal (he calls him so for his spiritual inclinations) had always given the best for Kamal Haasan. Intervening, Raja, said, “The likes of Ramarajan and Mohan had the maximum hit numbers composed by me.”

“Among my songs, I  love Podhuvaaga Enn Manasu Thangam  from Murattu Kaalai and Raman Aandaalum Ravanan  Aandaalum in Mullum Malarum,” said Rajini.

When the maestro said, “Enkooda Saraswathi irukkaanga. Lakshmi avalo illa (I have Goddess of Education with me and not much of Goddess of Wealth), Rajinikanth, apparently referring to royalty claims for his song, immediately replied, “Ippo Edho Panreengale… Adhula Vara Lakshmi Ellam Ungalukku Dhane…” (laughs).

When Rajini called Ilayaraja the Superstar of Music, Ilayaraja intervened to say, “There is and there will be only one Superstar in cinema and that is Rajinikanth.”

M BHARAT KUMAR