At the first-of-its kind Masterclass helmed by maestro Ilaiyaraaja in Goa, the audience got a chance to interact with the man himself.
In the audience was national award winning filmmaker Aditya Dhar, who made Uri: The Surgical Strike. Dhar spoke to Balki (who was moderating the event) and Raja at the event. “A year back I was in the post production of my film. And the sound design and sound recording was happening at Rajkamal in Mumbai. My sound designer was Bishwadeep Chatterjee and my music director was Shashwat. I said that when I was a six-year-old kid I watched a film called Shiva, which was made by Ram Gopal Varma, and you (Ilaiyaraaja) had done the music for it. I said that it impacted me so strongly, the background score, that I want to create that kind of sound for my film. That was my exact reference. I made them listen to the entire background score of Shiva. My film released on January 11, 2019. My background music and my sound designer both won national award. I just wanted to thank you.”
Ilaiyaraaja graciously congratulated the filmmaker and Balki joked that Aditya should transfer some money. Ilaiyaraaja chipped in laughing, “Royalty.”
Dhar requested for Aye Zindagi (Sadma) which he said was one of the biggest influences in his life. “If you could just play a few notes of that it would make my day,” he asked. The maestro obliged. Balki asked Dhar to sing along, but he was shy to sing alone. Balki then asked the audience and they responded with a resounding “Yes.” Balki said, “Ok, full besur. Come on.” The entire hall sang in unison.
“Almost 40 years old,” Raja said as the timeless tune concluded.