Happy birthday Ilayaraja: Revisiting five best Hindi songs composed by the maestro

On music composer Ilayaraja’s 77th birthday, here’s a look at some of his best works in Hindi cinema.
Tamil music director Ilayaraja turned 77 on June 2.
Tamil music director Ilayaraja turned 77 on June 2.
Updated on Jun 02, 2020 11:48 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKarthik Kumar

Widely popular composer Ilayaraja has come a long way since his debut Tamil album Annakkili in 1976. With a staggering record of over 1000 albums and numerous honours to his credit, he has left a strong imprint across languages with his music. Having predominantly worked in Tamil industry, the veteran composer has also worked in few films in other languages. In the Hindi industry, he has worked in just around half a dozen movies; however, his work was still unparalleled.

The maestro forayed into Hindi cinema with Kamal Haasan’s Sadma, a remake of Balu Mahendra’s Tamil film Moondram Pirai. It could be argued that it was Ilayaraja’s long-time association with Balu Mahendra that paved way for his entry into Bollywood. Four years after the release of Sadma, Ilayaraja returned to Bollywood with Kamagni and it was soon followed by Raj Sippy’s Mahaadev. In 1996, Ilayaraja reunited with Balu Mahendra for Aur Ek Prem Kahaani. Even though Ilayaraja worked on the Hindi remake of Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva and Kamal Haasan’s Hey Ram and Mumbai Express, which were released in Hindi; it was in 2007 he made a strong comeback with R Balki’s Cheeni Kum and went on to work with him in Paa, Shamitabh and Ki & Ka.

On the occasion of his 77th birthday, we list out five best Hindi songs of the maestro.

Sadma – Aye Zindagi


Cheeni Kum – Cheeni Kum


Sadma - Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein


Paa - Gumm Summ Gumm


Shamitabh – Piddly Si Baatein


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Only recently Ilayaraja gave music for the Tamil film Psycho. His son Yuvan Shankar Raja too is a successful music director and works primarily in the Tamil film industry. Given how successful Ilayaraja and R Balki combination was in Cheeni Kum, will we get to hear more compositions in Balki’s next? We will have to wait and watch.

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Monday, November 29, 2021