The ‘Father of Gaana’ in Tamil cinema, Thenisai Thendral Deva celebrates his 69th birthday today. Known for his trademark Tamil songs, he not only excelled in the ‘gaana’ genre, but has also composed some fantastic, memorable songs in other musical genres too. Here are five iconic songs we’re listening to on his birthday.
Kavalai Padathey Sagothara, Kadhal Kottai (1996)
This was all the rage when Kaadhal Kottai came out, even as all the other songs in the film were a big hit as well. Perhaps because Deva sung it himself? Oh and how fresh does the song sounds even today? Featuring actors Thalaivasal Vijay and Ajith Kumar, it is about how true love prevails over deceitful ones, all told in Deva’s friendly yet reassuring voice. Directed by Agathiyan, the film stars Ajith Kumar, Devayani, Karan, and others.
Mudhan Mudhalil Parthen, Aahaa (1997)
A mellisonant number that talks about how mesmerised he is after looking at his girl for the first time. Featuring Rajiv Krishna and Sulekha, the song is set in the backdrop of Valentine’s Day. A beautiful, underrated Deva number. Directed by Suresh Krishna, this charming film also stars Raghuvaran, Bhanu Priya, Delhi Ganesh among others.
‘Annamalai’ BGM, 1992
Although not a song, this background score has ‘its own fan base’ to this day, to the extent that it served as the background score for Superstar Rajinikanth‘s title card before every film until Sivaji. His most recent flick, Petta also adopted the soundtrack and title card. Annamalai was helmed by Suresh Krishna and starred Rajinikanth, Khushbu, Sarath Babu, Manorama, and others.
Naan Autokaran, Baasha (1995)
From an era before the Olas and Ubers of the world, took over our streets… Auto-drivers in TN found an anthem in this song. Featuring Rajinikanth as ‘Manickam’, this song speaks about the highs and lows, the duties and responsibilities of an auto-driver. They do come through, even now, when you need them the most, don’t they? Directed by Suresh Krishna, the film stars Rajinikanth, Nagma, Raghuvaran, Janakaraj, and others.
Velai Velai, Avvai Shanmughi (1996)
How many chores a wo(man) has… Let us count the ways, as SPB lists them in his inimitable style. Featuring Kamal Haasan as Avvai Shanmughi and Meena, the song is as humourous as it is sobering. Tell us one more time, how ‘housewives’ don’t ‘work’ after watching this. We dare you to. Directed by KS Ravikumar, the film stars Kamal Haasan, Meena, Nagesh, Nasser, Heera Rajagopal, Manivannan and others.
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