Actor Aswin Shekar is excited about the upcoming release of his Tamil film Ninaivil Nindraval, said to be based on mercy killing. “The film was recently screened for industry big-wigs and it garnered praise. My father S.Ve Shekar and I miss legendary lyricist Vaalee who wrote four songs for the film. He did not take money for that. It was a great experience working with the doyen. I still have the papers he wrote the lyrics in; they are treasures. I’m also thankful to the film’s director Agasthiya Bharathi who passed away recently. If I have done a good job in the film, it’s because of his efforts,” the actor says.

Unforgettable experience

Though cinematographer Ramji is busy with ‘Jeyam’ Raja’s untitled film with ‘Jeyam’ Ravi, he says the experiences from his previous outing Irandam Ulagam are still fresh in memory. “I cannot forget the experience. We shot in a village 50 km from Georgia (Russia), which had 18th Century architecture but no electricity and just a handful of people with cattle and a few domestic animals. We crossed three hills to reach the village. Further, our crew of 45 members had to make do with one rest room. And for the shooting, we roped in 30 more people from the next village, which was 50 km away. The shooting itself was a thrilling one,” says Ramji, the son of Carnatic vocalist T.M. Thygarajan. Ramji worked for ace cinematographer P.C. Sriram, and started his career with the Tamil film Vallal. He has films such as Dum Dum Dum, Mounam Pesiyadhe, Paruthiveeran, Aayirathil Oruvan and Mayakkam Enna to his credit.

Words travel…

So what inspires lyricist Na. Muthukumar to pen songs? Travelling, apparently. “I write the songs when I’m travelling. The film’s director, music director and I start in a car at around 10 or 11 in the morning. If I am travelling in the Vaniyambadi route, I finish up to four songs. If it’s the Thiruthani route, I complete a couple. This has become my habit. In fact, in about half an hour, I finished two numbers that went on to become hits lat year — ‘Vanganna Vanakkanganna’ from Thalaivaa and ‘Anandha Yaazhai Meetugirai’ from Thanga Meenkal. One of the best gifts I received was from director Bala, who gave me a wrist watch, impressed with the lyrics of a song I had penned.”