Among the many talents of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja is his capacity to hold his audiences in a bind when he speaks on stage, irrespective of the topic he speaks about. Besides his great prowess in creating soul-stirring music, the Maestro does deliver impressive speeches from time to time. The book-release function and his birthday celebrations held in Chennai’s Music Academy the other day was one such occastion to cherish forever.
A couple of books penned by the Maestro were released. Kamal Haasan, a self-proclaimed fan of the Maestro, did the major talking at the event. “I have come here to speak without any preparations; in fact, I don’t need to prepare to speak about the deeds of Ilaiyaraaja. I have come not as an actor but as a great fan of the Maestro, whi is a rare genius when it comes to composing music who has been hailed by people from all walks of life the world over.
“He’s so simple and I love to act as his PRO, singing his praise event after event. When I was invited to take part in his birthday celebrations, I replied that we shouldn’t remind him about his age and let him continue to score mesmerizing music for many more years to come. He’s a great writer, a gifted lyricist and an amazing musician. We have argued about many things in the past and though I have irritated him with my half-baked comments, he has continued to give unforgettable songs.
“I’m so jealous of his commitment, talent, self-confidence and dedication, traits which have made him what he is today. I have plenty of memorable experiences with him as he has scored music for more than 100 films of mine. He has made me a singer who has been accepted by many; this is just one of his unending list of achievements. I earnestly hope our friendship lasts forever,” concluded Kamal.
Ilaiyaraaja said that he felt so ‘heady’ with all the praises showered on him. “I can even tolerate if somebody abused me; but getting praised is something which is very difficult to endure. I have always avoided the limelight. My job is to score music; I feel the Almighty has just created me and dedicated me to do the job of composing music which I’d keep on doing till my last breath!” said the Maestro.