Here is the conclusion of the exclusive interview with "Kaviyarasu" Vairamuthu, conducted by our Chennai correspondent, Mr. D. Tamizhselvan.

You compose many movie lyrics.  You also write a bunch of poems in magazines.  Which of these gives you the utmost satisfaction?

Vairamuthu participating in "Nerukku Ner"  Cassette Release functionPoetry satisfies you always.  A movie lyric does that now and then.  A poem is a creation inspired by the feeling that is poetry.   The one that affects me, the one that prompts me to write, the one emotion that I have experienced; that alone is poetry.  A movie song is different.  Emotions that are experienced by a character, which are not real, gets into me and writes with that which is real within me and comes out as a lyric.  Most of the times, it may not be my real feelings.  I write the lyric for a drunkard to sing.  In the song, he is under compulsion to justify drinking.  That is the nature of that character.   That view may not be acceptable to me.  It is the demand of the character in the movie.  The case of Sita's abduction by Ravanan could not be acceptable to Kamban.  If he hadn't brought out the acceptable fact that Ravanan abducted Sita, he would have distorted the epic.  Likewise, I present emotions not acceptable in a song.  Hence poetry always satisfies me and movie lyric whenever it reflects emotions, is acceptable to me.

Why are you not writing in small magazines like "Kanaiyazhi," while you are contributing to magazines like "Anandha Vikatan," "Kumkumam" and "Kumudham?"

If small magazines ask me and the matter they demand from me is acceptable to me, I will write in them also.

Does the trend of today's movie songs satisfy you?
No, not entirely.  Every lyricist likes to compose songs for a good story.  If the story is good, it is possible for the lyricist to unload his feelings in full.  Today's Tamil Movie has become a product of technical know-how.  It is very difficult for a lyricist to keep his identity and address, safe in a situation where technical know-how edges out the story for recognition.

There is a widespread criticism that today's movie songs are very noisy and in that noise the words of the lyric are mutilated.  What do you think about that?

In some songs, that criticism is valid.  We strive to slowly rectify this.  You need to understand one thing.  The world is becoming noisy.  The vehicles of today, war cries in the world, the noise of machinery, the noise of life surround the man.  So he expresses noise in a noisy way.   Western music has worldwide influence.  It has also affected Tamil music.   With that, the Western musical instruments, Western beat, method and noise have also come.  Yet, the songs that linger are not noisy ones.  They are sweet with good ideas and rich imagination.  They beautifully depict emotions.  They have stood the time.  They will continue to stand.  Youngsters' attitude is slowly changing.  They were prepared to dance for a noisy beat.  At one time, music was meant for ears only.  Now, it is for the whole body.  It jerks and makes the body dance.  For this, the youth seeks music.  In such a situation, noise is unavoidable.  As time goes on, when musical appreciation changes, the melody will re-emerge.

Can you point out a recent song which a music director, director, singer or artists specially appreciated?

Vairamuthu with Sivaji Ganesan, Bharathiraja and SivakumarThese things are a daily occurence.  The appreciation and analysis would take place daily.  There is nothing new in it.   Take the song, Thanjavuru mann eduththu.  It was appreciated by all.   Then, Vennilave, Vennilave of Minsaara Kanavu. (The Electric Dream).  Sonia, Sonia of Ratchakan (Protector), provided a forum for debate in the song itself.  More than these, I expect very much from the songs in the forthcoming Jeans.   I hope it will open a new door.  We will wait and see.  It all depends on the public reception.

Apart from your wife in your family, do your children have any interest in poetry?

All in our family have interest in poetry and literature.  We are all creators.  However, I have given complete freedom to my children to choose their career.

Do your sons write poems?

Both sons do.

Have any of their poems been published?

Yes.  The younger boy 'Kabilan' writes poems in Tamil, while older boy 'Gorky,' writes in English.

Why have you named him 'Gorky?'  Isn't that the name of a Russian writer?

Has not Karunanidhi named his son, 'Stalin?' (Laughs!)

I only asked to know whether that writer, Gorky, had any influence on you?

Maybe.  Couldn't it be?  Will be, right?

Are you interested in anything other than poetry?

I like most to gaze at the sky.  The only thing I could do without being satiated in my life is gazing at the sky.

In Madras, where do you gaze at the sky?
From the terrace (at my home).

The last question.  People in many countries would read this interview.  So many people have read Tamil Thirai Valai.   Tamils live in many countries.  What do you say to them?  All of them are desirous of reading in Tamil and to know more about Tamilnadu.  What do you want to say to them?

First, I greet all of them.  I wish them long life, health, wealth, and a flourishing mind.  I appeal to them with love and humility: "Wherever you are, whatever the language that feeds you, don't forget that the one that nourishes your life and emotions is your mother tongue"  You mentioned so many people when you talked about Tamil Thirai Valai.  I appeal to them to teach their children Tamil; keeping with the tradition.  Tamil will not end with just these people, but will continue..

Do you think it is possible? For example a tamilian in South Africa...

Achievement is to do something not possible.  If it is possible, why do I say this?  To do the impossible is the achievement.   What is taking place overseas?  Tamil learn the language of the country they live in.  That is enough for a living.  But it is not so for our culture.   Tamils overseas are Tamils from Srilanka and also from Tamilnadu.  Husband and wife speak Tamil in the home.  Children don't.  If children are not taught Tamil, it will not be there in the next generation.  How long the immigrants will be welcome in foreign countries, I don't know.  Think, all of a sudden, if a law is proclaimed barring new immigration.  Tamil will disappear in the succeeding generation.  Hence, Tamil should be taught in every generation.  I appeal to Tamils to share their experience in a common place at least once a month.  I ask them to teach (their children) to speak and write in Tamil and train them in Tamil phonetics.