It was a star studded lyrical evening at the Bishop Heber College grounds on Sunday evening when a spectrum of cine artistes came together to felicitate lyricist Vaali, a son of the soil.

The event was organised under the auspices of Kalaiperavai, with N.Siva, Rajya Sabha M.P. at the helm, to honour the lyricist who has composed over 15,000 songs in a career spanning 53 years.

Mr.Vaali was garlanded and showered with encomiums in the event marked with glitz, sentiment, warmth and eloquence. Speakers at the occasion lauded the lyricist's continuing appeal and ability to make an impact on different generations.

In his acceptance address, Mr.Vaali said gratitude was the most important quality. “There are many people who have acted as ladders to my success. It is easy for me to compose a poem, but I find it difficult to find the words to thank all these people.”

Mr. Vaali who took the audience on a trip down memory lane recounted episodes in Srirangam. “While driving towards Tiruchi, I was flooded with memories,” he said recounting the plays he performed at Thevar Hall and the friendships he established here.

Insisting that a good poet must essentially have good taste, he attributed his success to the Dravidian philosophy.

Mr. Siva, in his presidential address said the felicitation had a dual purpose- to honour the poet on his native soil and to thank him for his loyalty to the DMK. Mr.Siva said Tiruchiites must be proud of Mr. Vaali's achievements and added that the veteran had been a source of inspiration for many young artistes to gain recognition.

Actor-directors Parthiban, Cheran, Samudrakani and Sasikumar felicitated the lyricist but it was comedian Vadivelu who stole the show. Vadivelu had the audience in a frenzy when he crooned a few songs composed by Mr. Vaali.

Actress Sachu; J. K.Ritheesh, M.P; K.Gnanasambhandhan and lyricist Palani Bharathi also spoke. Lakshman Sruthi treated the audience to melodies composed by the poet.