A 150-episode docuseries on the legend’s journey ranging from Central Studios in Coimbatore to turning into the voice of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan
A 150-episode docuseries on the legend’s journey ranging from Central Studios in Coimbatore to change into the voice of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan
“It was an unforgettable moment,” remembers T Vijayaraj, who has directed a 150-episode docuseries Imayauthudan Oru Isai Payanam on the late singer TM Soundararajan or TMS, as he’s popularly identified. Vijayaraj is speaking about an episode during which the late singer Lata Mangeshkar shared with TMS about how she is a giant Sivaji Ganesan fan.
“She spoke of studying bhav from TMS’s singing and talked about his rendition of the immortal ‘Or Aayiram Parvayile’ from the film Vallavanukku Vallavan, initially sung by Mohammed Rafi in Hindi as ‘Sau Baar Janam Lenge’.”
Vijayaraj has devoted almost two decades of his life documenting the legendary singer’s journey beginning from his first song ‘Radhey Nee Ennai Vittu Pogathadi’ for Krishna Vijayam in 1946 at Central Studios in Coimbatore to become the voice of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan. “From my school days, I have admired his singing. I remember the applause and cheers for TMS’ songs. I remember the applause and cheers for TMS’ songs. My mother K Meenakshi treated me to a movie whenever I performed well in studies. Along with her, number of my friends such as V Jeevananthan of Chitrakala Academy, Santhana Krishnan and Suresh Kumar from the industry stood by me through this journey.”The sequence will premiere on a tv channel quickly.
T Vijayraj | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
“Though we deliberate to launch the sequence on his demise anniversary (May 25), there’s a delay. We bear in mind well-known individuals solely after their demise…I needed to do one thing throughout my lifetime as a tribute,” says Vijayaraj, who completed his acting course at Adyar Film Institute and worked in Tamil Nadu Films Division for the theater news reel section.
He shot the first episode in Madurai at TMS’ house in Thaerkku Krishnan Koil Street. Another episode was shot at Pakshiraja Studios where he recorded ‘eththani kaalam thaan aemaatruvaar’ for the MGR blockbuster Malai Kallan, “Thirugnanam, who owns Vignesh Mahal (which was once Pakshiraja Studios), a TMS fan got the logo of the studio repainted for shooting.”
TMS had sung for over six generations, and over 10,000 songs in Tamil films including evergreen numbers like ‘Naan Aanai Ittal’, and ‘Engey Nimmadhi’, besides many devotional songs.
Working stills from the docuseries | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
In the sequence, TMS had recalled his journey and has talked about voice modulation strategies. “His voice was a treasure,” says Vijayaraj, who has additionally sourced just a few uncommon audio tapes and movie clippings of TMS from Columbia Films in Malaysia.
The episodes function interviews of TMS with maestro Ilaiyaraaja (TMS sang ‘Annakili Unnai Thaeduthu’ for his first movie Annakili), AR Rahman, P Susheela, S Janaki, SP Balasubhramanyam, KJ Yesudas and actors Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth.