Jun 03 2016

Hindi film songs that were inspired by Ilaiyaraja’s compositions

by   Mayur Lookhar

Some of the Southern maestro’s tunes were reprised, in some cases ripped off, for some popular Hindi numbers.

1 Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein – Sadma (1983)

Sadma was a remake of Balu Mahendra’s own Tamil flick Moondram Pirai (1982). Mahendra retained his entire team for Sadma. The Kanne Kalaimaane track came out as Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein, courtesy Gulzar. While the lyrics of the songs changed, naturally, it was hard to distinguish between Kanne Kalaimaane and Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein, both helmed by Ilaiyaraja.

2 Neele Neele Ambar Par – Kalaakaar (1983)

One of Sridevi’s early Hindi releases, Kalaakaar is better remembered today for this melodious song by Kishore Kumar. A year earlier, Ilaiyaraja had composed Ilaya Nila Pozhikirathey for the film Payanangal Mudivathillai. Kalaakaar’s music is credited to Bappi Lahiri while Indivar and even Manoj Kumar are credited as lyricists. With Ilaiyaraja’s name missing, it is unclear if the maestro had offered this tune to the makers of Kalaakaar.

3 Dhak Dhak Karne Lagaa – Beta (1992)

This track made Madhuri Dixit the Dhak Dhak girl of an entire generation. However, this heartbeat is not original. Anand-Milind’s stock rose in the Hindi film industry but they owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ilaiyaraja for the tune which was lifted from the Abbanee Tiyyani track from the 1990 Telugu film Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari, starring Chiranjeevi and Dixit's rival Sridevi.

4 Tap Tap Tapori – Baaghi (1990)

Salman Khan was a wiry youth making his name in action films. Baaghi saw Khan in a rowdy avatar and this Tap Tap Tapori track served as the perfect introduction. It was long believed to be an original composition from Anand-Milind but the staggering resemblance, in music and picturisation, to the Raja Rajadi Raja track from Tamil flick Agni Natchathiram (1988) will have you thinking otherwise.

5 Chandni Raat Hai – Baaghi (1990)

It wasn’t just 'Tap tap tapori'; Anand-Milind were "inspired" by yet another Ilaiyaraja composition. The music of 'Chandni raat hai tu mere saath hai' borrowed heavily from the Keladi Kanmani track from the Tamil flick Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal. While SP Balasubrahmanyam sang the original, Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Kavita Krishnamurthy lent their voices for the Hindi version.

6 O Priya Priya – Dil (1990)

Ilaiyaraja was clearly a favourite of Anand-Milind. The O Priya Priya track from Indra Kumar’s Dil bore a striking resemblance to a song with the same title in the Telugu flick Geethanjali (1989) directed by Mani Ratnam, starring Nagarjuna and Girija Shettar. SP Balasubrahmanyam sang the orginal while Suresh Wadkar lent his golden voice to the Hindi version.

7 Payalay Chunmun – Virasat (1997)

Priyadarshan was an unknown commodity for fans of Hindi cinema until he marked his foray into Hindi films with the very successful 1997 flick Virasat. The plot was inspired by Kamal Haasan’s Tamil hit Thevar Magan (1992). Anu Malik composed the film’s music, which was a hit too. The Payalay Chunmun track, sung by Kumar Sanu, was extremely popular. However, the music had its origins in the Inji Idupazhaga track from Thevar Magan.

8 Yunhi Kat Jayega Safar – Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

It would be unfair to say this was a rip-off, but Nadeem-Shravan did use Ilaiyaraja’s tune from the Tamil flick Kalaignan, which had released earlier that year. Judge for yourself the similarities between the title track of Aamir Khan’s Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke and Kalaignan’s Enthan Nenjil Neengaatha Thendran Neethana.

9 Cheeni Kum (2007)

This was a rare Hindi film which wasn’t adapted from a South Indian original. What made it more special was that Ilaiyaraja himself agreed to compose its music. For the title track, the veteran reprised a number Mandram Vantha Thendralukku, which he had composed for the Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Mouna Raagam in 1986.