Right from the colourful kolams at the entrance to the portico adorned with bouquets, everything about poet and lyricist Vairamuthu’s house in Kalakshetra Colony bore the look of felicity on Sunday morning. And at the heart of it all, the latest entrant to the Padma Bhushan club was alive and loving it. With the phones ringing constantly as everyone from Superstar to Suriya called in their congratulations, Vairamuthu opened up to City Express:
Is their a sense of complacency as to what comes next?
There is a degree of satisfaction, but awards always give you the impetus to achieve more. Of course, the true satisfaction comes only through sharing it with family and friends.
Do you believe lyric writing has been given equal recognition?
It differs in each context. While actors are more recognised, lyricists too are indispensable in Indian cinema. However, Kamal Hassan, who happens to be my close friend, may be my peer in terms of age but he is over two decades senior to me in terms of experience. So it is truly an honour.
How did it feel?
The moment the call came, there was a sense of happiness among all family members. Since a few in my family are also in this field, they understood its value.
There have been eminent lyricists who have represented different times of Tamil cinema. Three names that stand apart are Kannadasan, Vaali and Vairamuthu. What is in store for the coming generation?
The young generation of lyricists are definitely an exciting bunch. While I wish them the best in their careers, my only request is that they should not restrict themselves to just entertainment-based lyrics but should also explore artistic and literary sides of the art. They have the onus to keep the literature alive in the lyrics.
What come next? Do you plan to concentrate on your literary pursuits?
Yes. I am very thankful to the younger generation of lyricists as they have taken up much of my work and have left me with a lot of free time. Now I get to enjoy the finer things in life. There are 1,000 songs written in Tamil cinema every year, and one man can’t write them all. Now, there is less work pressure. I can enjoy the sunrise and the sunset and be at liesure, which is very important for literature as it gives you inspiration. I have plans to concentrate on my upcoming works on the Eelam. I am doing a lot of research and hope it will materialise soon.