Public participation makes Musical show a Boxing Day hit

Yugendran Vasudevan makes ‘Mannil Indha Kadal’ a people’s affair

Venkat Raman 

Yugendran Vasudevan proved that he was a chip-off-the-old-block, with musical prowess and stage skills at a music concert held on the Boxing Day in Auckland.

Titled, ‘Mannil Intha Kaathal’ (‘Love on this Earth’), the event, held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at the Freeman’s Bay Community Hall, attracted more than 200 men, women and children.

Tribute to singers and composers

It was an evening essentially to pay tribute to the late Malaysia Vasudevan Nair, one of the most popular playback singers of the South Indian film industry and listen to some of the immortal songs composed by Ilayaraja, A R Rahman, M S Viswanathan and Viswanathan Ramamurthy.

Yugendran Vasudevan, the son of the legendary singer brought nostalgic memories with his mellifluous voice, rendering many songs that made his father famous, later adding variety, by singing requests from the audience, seated by their side. It was this interaction with the public that made ‘Mannil Intha Kaathal’ unique and enjoyable.

The success of the evening also belongs to Hayma Malini, his wife, who chose the songs and helped with the organisation of the programme.

‘Rambutan Media Works,’ a company owned by Yugendran conceptualised ‘Mannil Intha Kathal,’ which has recorded impressive success in Singapore and Malaysia.

About Yugendran Vasudevan

A proficient Mridungam artiste, Yugendran has also acted with top South Indian artistes including Vijay in ‘Youth,’ ‘Bagavathy,’ ‘Thirupatchi’ and with Ajith in ‘Poovellaam Un Vaasam’ as the main villain.

His hit songs include the title track of ‘Parthein Rasithein,’ ‘Ithukku Enna Artham’ (‘Junction’), ‘Muthan Muthaalai’ (‘Laysa Laysa’), ‘Oh Maria’ (‘Kadhalar Dhinam’), ‘Thozha Thozha’ (‘Pandavar Bhoomi’), and ‘Adida’ (‘Goa’).

He is also a Judge at ‘V Star,’ Singapore National Singing Competition.

Four Distinct Segments

The Programme began with a rhythmic fusion dance number by Ratna Venkat.

The evening had four distinct segments – songs of Ilayaraja, A R Rahman, other music directors and songs requested by the audience, the last of which featured Yugendran seated next to the person requesting the song; although he rendered only one or two verses without accompanying music, they received wide applause.

Ilayaraja Segment

Beginning with ‘Poove, Ilaya Poove,’ sung by his father (for ‘Ilaya Thilagam’ Prabhu picturised with Silk Smitha in the 1982 Tamil film, ‘Kozhi Koovuthu’), Yugendran set the mood for the evening.

He kept up the tempo with ‘Poongatru Thirumbuma’ (sung by his father and S Janaki and picturised on Shivaji Ganesan and Radha for ‘Muthal Mariyathai’ in 1985).

‘Ennama Kannu,’ a song from ‘Mr Bharath’ that Yugendran sang with local artiste Shankar Narayanan was reminiscent of the original sung by Malaysia Vasudevan and S P Balasubrahmanyam, picturised on Rajanikanth and Satyaraj.

A R Rahman and others

Songs composed by A R Rahman included ‘Innum Konjam Neram’ (from ‘Maryan’ a 2013 film featuring Dhanush and Parvathi), Thalli Pogathey (from ‘Accham Enbadhu Madamaiyada’) and ‘Munbe Vaa’ (‘Sillunu Oru Kadhal’).

Among the other singers were Srisudha Nampally and Aswathy Sasidharan.

Murali Kumar was the Master of Ceremonies of the Programme which included a mimicry item by Gokulraj Kothandaraman.

Speaking on the occasion, National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi lauded Auckland Tamil Association for its initiative to celebrate Christmas, unusual for an Indian cultural association.

“Such events reinstate our country’s multicultural profile and our willingness to celebrate festivals of all religions and faiths,” he said.

Ravi Muthumanickam felicitated

Local Singer Ravi Muthumanickam, who has organised and participated in several musical programmes for the past ten years was felicitated at the event and honoured with the title, ‘Isai Thendral’ (‘Musical Breeze’).

He rendered ‘Kodai Kala Katre,’ a Malaysia Vasudevan number featured in ‘Paneer Pushpangal’ a 1981 Tamil film.

Short Film Contest

Another highlight of the Programme was the announcement of the Winner and Runners-Up of the ‘Short Film Contest,’ the registration process for which was held a week earlier.

Called, ‘120 Hours,’ the Contest was organised by Yugendran and Venkat Prabhu, son of famous lyricist and music director Gangai Amaran and a nephew of music genius, Ilayaraja, a legend, credited with more than 6500 songs composed for 1000 films and various other occasions.

The Contest was organised by Rambutan Media Works, Black Ticket Company (owned by Venkat Prabhu) and Auckland Tamil Association.

Venkat Prabhu and Yugendran were the judges, stationed respectively in Chennai and Auckland, communicating through email, mobile and Facebook.

Contest Rules

Participating teams were given five days to shoot three-to-five minutes of a short film, dub, edit and submit the final work with English subtitles within 120 Hours from the time the email is sent to them.

As a Christmas theme, the teams were obliged to incorporate colour props in their short films, namely, Green, Red or White.

The genres of their production were a surprise element, which was emailed to the participants on December 20, 2017. It included horror, thriller, comedy, romance and a public service message.

The Winner

‘Rocket Prabhu,’ a hilarious spoof of a famous Tamil film director’s daily routine (from 9 am to 8 pm) won the Best Film Award.

Praveen Sivaraman, who produced the film under his banner ‘Mad Duck Production,’ said that ‘Rocket Prabhu’ was his second attempt in filmmaking.

Mad Duck Productions has thus far won four awards in short film competitions.

The Runners-Up

The First Runner-Up was ‘Ulle Veliye’ (Inside, Outside), a horror film by ‘950 pm Studio and The V Studios.’ The film won accolades from Yugendran – “A technically sound production.”

The Second Runner-Up was ’33 Uthira Kayangal,’ a thriller produced by Beta Factory Productions. The movie was judged as ‘A film with a good message.’

Teenagers’ film praised

Two other films merited a special mention.

‘Thamizhanda’ (‘Tamilian, I say’) produced by Auckland Tamil Association and ‘The Nightmare before Christmas,’ produced by ‘Three Brown Boys’ were mentioned as good productions with those involved deserving praise.

Venkat Prabhu said that ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ was ‘A great attempt.’

Unfortunately, as the boys were less than 18 years of age, their film could not be considered as an entry in the contest.

Indefatigable Vasudevan

Children of playback singers rarely achieve the talent and fame of their parents, especially in the Tamil film industry, which has curiously promoted, throughout its history, more from the neighbouring States of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, than from within its own borders.

Tamil Nadu is also known for enabling foreign talent to flourish, which is how and why singers like the Late Malaysia Vasudevan achieved fame and fortune through his melodious voice that suited almost every actor on whom scenes were picturised.

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Photo Caption:

  1. Yugendran and Shankar Narayanan
  2. Auckland Tamil Association President Vai Ravindran welcoming guests
  3. Ratna Venkat presenting the invocatory dance number

 (Pictures by Ronny Kumaran, Indian Newslink)

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