‘Ilamai itho itho’, from the hit film ‘Sakalakala Vallavan’, was originally sung by renowned playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam.

"Isaignani" Ilaiyaraaja
Flix New Year Friday, December 31, 2021 - 17:39

The ‘Isaignani’, or simply ‘Raaja’ as the legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja is known, surprised and delighted his fans on Friday, December 31, with an impromptu rendition of one of his most beloved songs. He posted the video on Twitter to mark New Year’s Eve. In the video, Raaja, who is seated in the backseat of a car, wishes everybody a cheerful “Happy New Year!” At the same time the familiar opening notes of “Ilamai itho itho” from the hit film Sakalakala Vallavan, that starred Kamal Hassan, starts up. He then breaks into a rendition of the first few lines from the iconic song that was originally sung by the late playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam and had Kamal Hassan dancing in the video.

If this rendition was not surprise enough for his fans, Raaja cheekily ended the video with the dialogue “Ithu eppadi irruku,” that every Rajini fan will instantly recognise. Given that Kamal and Rajini were once considered the biggest stars to be in competition with each other, the dialogue here is a delightful reminder that the Isaignani has scored many musical hits for both their films.

The song “Ilamai itho itho”, released in 1982, and features as part of a New Year celebration in the film. It continues to be a much-loved number to play at year-end parties. This was also the period of Tamil cinema music in which Raaja reigned supreme, with many of his hit numbers being sung by SPB. Rajaa’s infusion of funk notes, electro-pop with folk and Carnatic music changed the face of cine music.

Sakalakala Vallavan was directed by SP Muthraman and is considered to be an adaptation of Shakespeare’s comic play Taming of the Shrew. The film was a blockbuster hit and remained the highest-grossing film, until 1989 when Apoorva Sagodharargal upstaged it.