The Versions of Kapi..

I am a die-hard A R Rahman Fan. But, I do also like Ilayaraja’s (IR) songs, and his symphonies. One such symphony I liked was a piece called ‘Mood Kapi’ (Based on the carnatic Raagam Kapi), which is available in the recoding of his concert in Italy (Album Name – Ilaiyaraja’s Music Journey). Once it was released it was a rage online and people lapped up the composition as one of his great works. This was in 2004. Later that year or in 2005, IR had a similar concert in Chennai, telecasted in Jaya TV and the same composition received a great response.

And that’s when IR spoke to the audience about the birth of that song. He told that it was composed and part of the soundtrack originally in 1982 for a Tamil movie called ‘Autoraja’. That movie had the duo Shankar-Ganesh as the composers, but the producer wanted IR to render one single track and hence he had composed ‘Sangathil Paadaatha Kavithai..’ in Kapi raagam, sung by IR himself and S Janaki. Unfortunately, the movie and the music sank without a trace.

Later that year, Balu Mahendra was working on a Malayalam movie with Amol Palekar – ‘Olangal’, and he being impressed with that Tamil song requested IR to recreate it for him. That song was ‘Thumbi Vaa..’, sung by S Janaki as a solo number. This number was hit in those times and few of my friends too remember it. But again this did not receive the wide recognition like IRs other hit numbers.

It was Balu Mahendra again in the same year who wanted IR to give him the composition for the Telugu movie ‘Nireekshana’ that he was directing. The song was ‘Akasam Enatido..’ sung again by S Janaki as a solo. And, again the song did not receive the recognition that the symphony version boasts of. This movie was in 1988 dubbed into Tamil as ‘Kanne Kalai Mane’ and the song was “Neer Veezhchi..” sung by S Janaki.

The only person who religiously loved that song was perhaps Balu Mahendra, for he again asked the Maestro to re-create the song for his Hindi movie ‘Aur Ek Prem Kahani’ (the remake of his Kannada original, ‘Kokila’)in 1996. But here is where IR disappoints by re-creating a composition as a fun song, rather than its soulful melodious earlier versions. The song was “Sunday Tho..’ sung by Preethi Uttam Singh, which sank without a trace.

After this it was in 2004 that in the concert at Italy, IR delivered the symphony version of this composition titled as “Mood Kapi” and people were mesmerized by it. This was later staged in Chennai. And then it was a famous number, with people searching for the song everywhere.

If I were to rate these songs then I would rate the Symphony version as the Best and the Hindi version would be the last on my list. The Telugu and Malayalam version were fine tuned and well rendered and the Tamil one being the first version lacks the detailing and tuning found in the other versions.

It is indeed hard to believe that for a great composition like this, it takes almost 25 years to reach the audience. Listen to the song(s) and enjoy.

Below are the links to listen to the songs:

Song Title – Movie/Album – Language – Year of Release
1]Sangathil Padatha – Autoraja – Tamil – 1982
2]Thumbi Vaa – Olangal – Malayalam – 1982
3]Akasam Enatido – Nireekshana – Telugu – 1982
4]Neer Veezhchi – Kanne Kalai Mane – Tamil – 1988 [No Link..Sorry :-)]
5]Sunday Tho – Aur Ek Prem Kahani – Hindi – 1996

and finally……

* Mood Kapi Song

* Mood Kapi Video

Hats off to IR for such a wonderful composition !


~ by Jayanthan Ravi on February 21, 2009.

6 Responses to “The Versions of Kapi..”

  1. dear mr. jayanthan,
    thanks a lot for posting such a wonderful blog on mood kaapi. being an ardent fan of ilaiyaraja sir i wondered how such a wonderful song went unnoticed. your blog was mentioned to me by mr. kothandraman , who is also an ardent fan of ilaiyaraja sir. please keep posting such fine articles and enlighten novices like me. thanks again sir

  2. One of my all-time favourites by Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja .
    Nice posting .Cheers Jai.

  3. IR also used this bit as a BGM during a fight sequence in movie “Dharmatin Thalaivan”
    see video starting at 2:45

  4. True. Its a beautiful raagam. Kaadhal Rojaave from one of my favorite movies Roja is also based on the same Raagam. Kudos to ARR who has preserved the soulful mood of the Raagam by keeping it slow paced.

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