South Indian Lyricist Vaali Died at 82

Tamil Film lyricist Vaali Died at the Age of 82

Vaali was born to Srinivasa Iyengar and Ponnammal in Srirangam on 29th October, 1931 and came to Chennai in the 1950s seeking an opportunity in Kollywood. He became a sought after lyricist in 1960s and 1970s thanks to the patronage he got from MGR.

Vaali, whose real name is TS Rangarajan, has been known for his fighting spirit. According to Chennai-based political commentator and columnist Sudhangan, a friend of the lyricist, Vaali came to the city from Srirangam in the 1950s, trying to catch a break in Kollywood.

Acclaimed Tamil lyricist Vaali was cremated on Friday at the Besant Nagar crematorium in Chennai. He died on 18th July, 2013 Thursday following respiratory problems. He was 82. He is survived by his son Balaji.

On Friday 19th July, 2013 several members from the Tamil film fraternity paid their last respects to Vaali at his residence.

After years of struggle, he wrote his first song in 1958 in the film “Azhagarmalai Kallan”, but it was the song “Odivadhu Pol Idai Irukkum” from the film “Idaythil Nee” that gave him much needed recognition.

Since then, he went on to pen the lyrics for over 10,000 songs in a career spanning over five decades. While he started his career writing songs for thespians such as Sivaji Ganesan, M.G. Ramachandran and Gemini Ganeshan, Vaali had also penned for younger actors such as Suriya and Dhanush.

In Dhanush-starrer “Mariyaan”, which released Friday, Vaali wrote two songs — “Sonapareeya” and “Naetru aval”. Some of his evergreen hits include “Thottal Poo Malurum”, “Naan Aanai Ittal”, “Moondrezhuthil Yen Moochirukkum” and “Puthiya Vaanam, Puthiya Boomi”.

Before turning a lyricist, Vaali worked in All India Radio ( AIR ) for a brief period. He had also directed plays during his stint with theatre. He selectively played few roles in Tamil films such as “Sathya”, “Hey Ram” and “Parthale Paravasam”. A prolific writer, Vaali had written an autobiography titled “Naanum Indha Nootrandum”.

Vaali’s Career

i. Vaali was born as T S Rangarajan in the temple town of Srirangam.

ii. Vaali penned lyrics for stars across generations, from the veteran M G Ramachandran ( MGR ), Kamal Haasan to present day heroes like Dhanush.

iii. He worked with star composers of Tamil cinema like M S Viswanthan and AR Rahman.

iv. He started his career in the mid-60s and had penned nearly 10000 songs in his 50 years long career.

v. He had also acted in a few movies which includes veteran K Balachander – directed Poikal Kuthirai and Kamal Haasan’s Hey Ram.

vi. He has written two songs in Bharat Bala directed film Mariyan, starring Dhanush, which is scheduled for release on 19th July 2013.

vii. He was honoured with the Padma Shri, India’a fourth highest civilian honour in year 2007.

viii. He has also written a number of books including Naanum Indha Nootrandum, his autobiography.

ix. He was also a theatre enthusiast, and had directed many plays in Tiruchi and Srirangam and worked for All India Radio as a part – time employee, before making a foray into the film world.

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