The passing of Tamil lyricist Vaali is saddening. When he wrote lyrics for the film Idhayathil Nee, music director M.S. Viswanathan is reported to have asked him: “Where were you all these days?” In the song “Maduraiyil Parandha Meenkodiyai,” he used the names of cities to describe a woman’s beauty and in “Karaimael Pirakka Vaithan,” he brought out the angst of fishermen.
He was adept at writing songs for all situations. He was a playwright too. His play Siripputhan varugudhaiyya telecast on Doordarshan in the late 1970s about a man who vows not to utter a lie throughout his life was memorable.
In the death of Vaali, the Tamil film world has lost a lyricist par excellence. His devotional songs are also evergreen. Notable among them are “Karppanai Enralum” and “Ullam Urugudhaiya” — both sung by TMS — which were super hits.