Raja, Rajadhi Rajan inda Raja!

Chinathai, aval petra Rajave, Mullil thondriya chinna rosaave!

While there are so many songs composed by Maestro Illayaraja who celebrates his 76th Birthday today, my most loved one eulogising the legend is this song from Thalapathy sung by KS Chitra. 

My abundant love for film music to which I've been addicted for over 4 decades is only because of Illayaraja's songs which I have grown listening to, all my life. So much so, that during my growing up years I had to have some music in the background for me to even study! Nothing much has changed even today - there's always background music even when I am working on something very important, while travelling driving and even when going to sleep. Over the years, I have collected hundreds of cassettes and later CDs and had downloaded thousands of songs during the last 20 years. In the past few years though, I have stopped downloading and have been listening to Music on the Go through apps such as Raaga, Gaana, Saavn and so on. My safest bet when I don't know what to hear is 90s Hits or Illayaraja Hits. Just cannot go wrong with this playlist as it sort of takes me back in memory. 

As it is said popularly, there's a Raja song for every mood whether one is extremely sad or gleefully happy. Also, I have been a keen lover of lyrics as well, so when I combine the lyrics with the music and connect it with the moment I am listening to, I am taken away to a different world, altogether. 

While the Maestro has composed for over 1,000 films across so many languages and has so many achievements to his credit, I really cannot enumerate the songs I like of all his compositions. However, after much calibration, I have chosen my Top 15 Songs playlist here with YouTube links. 

Sl. No.Song NameFilm NameSingerActor
15Enakku piditha paadalJulie GanapathyShreya GhoshalJayaram
14Pottuvaitha Oru vattanilaIdhayamYesudasMurali
13Malaiyen VedanaiSethiUnni KrishnanVikram
12Ennulle EnnulleValliSwarnalathaPriya Raman
11Ennai thalaatta varuvaaloKadhalukku MariyadhaiHariharanVijay
10Ellorum sollumpaatuMarupadiyumSPBArvind Swamy
9MagaraajanoduSathi LeelavathiUnni KrishnanRamesh Aravind
7Oliyile TherivadhuAzhagiKarthikParthiban
6Kalyana ThenilaMounam SammadhamYesudasMamooty
5Vaavaa Anbe AnbeAgni NatchathiramYesudasPrabhu
4Kadhal KavithaigalGopura VasalileSPBKarthik
3Thendralvandhu AvathaaramIllayarajaNasser
2Nee Oru kaadhalNayakanManoKamal Hassan
1Sundari KannalThalapathiSPBRajinikanth

As I said, this is not an exhaustive list. But my most favourite number ever composed by Isaignani Ilaiyaraja is this - Amma Endrazhaikkada... from Mannan feat. Superstar Rajinikanth sung by SPB.

Not a day passes by that I listen to at least one or more of Raja songs! Happy Birthday Maestro! your music will love for another 100 years and beyond. Thank you for delighting us with every composition! May the Goddess Kollur Mookambikai bless you in abundance. 


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