Yesterday being a holiday, I was doing channel surfing hoping to find some good movie to watch.

  • A Simbu movie on Sun TV – Who can watch him on screen for 2.5+ hours! 😐
  • Some boring movie on K TV (featuring Sibiraj?)
  • Mozhi on Kalaignar – this movie can be watched only once & I have already watched it once. Of course the movie was good, can be watched with the whole family, etc. But I couldn’t find anything great in this that would make have made me want to watch it again and again. I don’t like the kaaTrin mozhi song either.
  • Ilayaraja concert on Raj TV in which whenever I saw, Ilayaraja was only singing – There are times when I wonder if he knows how bad his voice sounds! He is a genius music composer who has given so many wonderful songs and I wish he had stopped with that and not started singing his songs.
  • IPL cricket match on Set Max – Cricket fails to interest me even one bit.
  • Ambikapathi on Mega TV – Yeah Mega TV was the channel that finally came to my rescue.

The old black & white Tamil movie, Ambikapathi, starring Sivaji Ganesan, Bhanumati, Thangavelu, Nagaiah, N.S.Krishnan, T.A.Madhuram, etc. I had only listened to some songs from this and had not watched the movie earlier. So I had no clue about the love story of Ambikapathi-Amaravathi or the tragic way in which their lives end. Seeing the two of them go ‘Anbe’, ‘Amara’ at the sight of each other was so funny. This is one of the best parts of old films like this. Even when a serious story is going on, seeing the herione cry out ‘Anbe!’ loudly in an over-dramatic way appears funny to me!

This movie had so many beautiful songs, all based on nice Carnatic raagams! Though there were some stereotypical background score for some of the sad scenes, the BGM was nevertheless, nice. The BGM in Desh for a scene was superb! I always enjoy watching old movies like this one in which there is a song once every 10 minutes or even less!

Seeing some locations where Sivaji sits and sings poetry, I couldn’t help thinking the movie would have looked beautiful had it been in colour. The peacocks, the river bank, the trees, creepers, flowers would all have looked nice in colour.

N.S.Krishnan and T.A.Madhuram’s comedy, though came only for a short while, was as usual superb even though those and some parts of Thangavelu’s comedies were not necessary at all for the story. Seeing N.S.Krishnan’s comedies always leaves me wishing that the comedy in the present day films were at least half as good as those.

On the whole, I found it to be a nice time pass movie.

26 thoughts on “Ambikapathi

  1. Vijay

    Hi Aparna,

    I am sorry to ask you this – did you ever note the name of Ilaiyaraaja’s concert on Raj TV? It was called the ‘One Man Show’ and no other male singer was intended to be a part of it! It is better you see fully before opining! As for your comment that Ilaiyaraaja’s voice is bad, I safely assume it is as hasty and as baseless as you mentioned that only Ilaiyaraaja was singing in Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘One Man Show’!

    With regards,

  2. Vijay Ganesh

    Hey.. forgot to tell… i ended up watching Dasavatharam audio release – repeat telecast – Yuck…. My reactions are documented in my blog separately

  3. Ponnarasi.K

    Hi Aparna,
    how r u? 🙂 Been long since I heard from u… and am not able 2 keep track of the blogs as i do earlier as well! 🙂 Hope u r doing good…
    Miss watching TV like this and getting bored as welll 🙁

  4. Jaay

    Vijay on 02 May 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi Aparna,

    I am sorry to ask you this – did you ever note the name of Ilaiyaraaja’s concert on Raj TV? It was called the ‘One Man Show’ and no other male singer was intended to be a part of it! It is better you see fully before opining! As for your comment that Ilaiyaraaja’s voice is bad, I safely assume it is as hasty and as baseless as you mentioned that only Ilaiyaraaja was singing in Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘One Man Show’!

    With regards,

    Mr. Vijay

    Reale vrey good reply, aparana u got it?


  5. Mani

    Hey Aparna :

    I just happened to Visit your blog and I had Bookmarked it in my Favs, Long time back. Now , i read most of your Articles and liked them all , you have written very well. I liked all your Concert reviews of TMK and Sanjay , myself being a great addict of their Music.

    I was pretty Impressed that you and your sister , were moved by sanjay’s rendition of chidambaram song and you guys decided to visit those temples. Wow !!!, it is a beautiful experience !!! . I had actually listened to the Song “Vazhi Maraitthirukudhu”, however , since i didnot know the relevance of this song , i could not appreciate it much , But , after reading your blog , i went and listened to it again and it was a great feeling. I listened to Ranjani and Gayathri Rendition of this song ( on youtube).

    I just laughed out loud , when you kicked out the guy, who called you Aps 😉 . Poor Chap 😉

    Do you sing as well ?

    Keep your articles coming . you are Doing a Good Job .


  6. Aparna

    Oh that’s bad.
    I like the song Janani janani. I like Ilaiyaraja’s music but not his singing.

    Welcome to my blog!

    Yeah it’s very much my mistake that I didn’t notice the name of the programme. But as I have written, I don’t like Ilaiyaraja’s singing. So I didn’t pause to see the programme name instead just changed the channel on seeing that he was singing.

    >> It is better you see fully before opining!
    I have commented only on his singing and not on the programme as such. Besides I didn’t comment on his singing based on that programme.

    >> I safely assume it is as hasty and as baseless as you mentioned that only Ilaiyaraaja was singing in Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘One Man Show’!
    No it is not. I have heard enough of Ilaiyaraja’s songs to know how bad his singing is and also what great music he gives. There are times when his voice even sounds off-shruti.

  7. Aparna

    Vijay Ganesh,
    Of course yes! I am not interested in that movie. So I didn’t watch it. Will read your post sometime..

    You didn’t find it great either?

    Oh. He had sung all the songs superbly in this movie! Yeah sindhanai sei is from this movie only.

    Hey am good. How are you? 🙂 As I could see from your infrequent blog posts, you seem to have become very busy with work. Hope you soon get the time to watch TV for long hours & get bored! 🙂

    Yes I don’t. I am surprised that there are so many who actually like his singing! I have listened to Tiruvasagam. He does sing the songs in it well. But that is an exception.


    Welcome to my blog! Hope you read my reply to his comment.

    I am happy to know that there are people other than me who don’t like that song.

    Welcome to my blog! Thank you. 🙂 Great to know that you listened to vazhi maraitthirukudhe. Yes I do sing.

    Keep reading my blog. Thanks!

  8. Sathej

    //There are times when his voice even sounds off-shruti.//
    🙂 Thats widely seen even among several Carnatic singers 🙂

  9. R.Saravanan

    Dear Aparna,


    Yeah you are right about Simbu but an actor is an actor…

    I got linked through Ram’s blog.I have read the concert reviews that you have posted of Sanjay Sir and TMK, personally a huge fan of both of them and good to know that many around us are inspired by the same talent as you are.

    Infact was a frequent reader of Ram’s review when he was doing it strange he stopped for some reason..But now I get hooked on to Sathej and your blog mostly to find out what is going on in the Mecca of Carnatic Music.Reading the review makes me feel or atleast visualise what would have been the performance like.

    Yes at some place you mentioned the combo of Varadu Sir viz Sanjay and TMK, yes it is facinating the way he plays and with Arun Prakash it is just out of this world.

    It is always good that people who are in a particular field write about it because it will make it special.

    Reading through the blog suggests that you have other passions as well undestandable but do write about the concerts frequently as and when you attend.

    Keep up the good work.


  10. venkat

    I accidentally visited your blog and was very much surprised to find that your fav raaga list matched mine too. I was listening to Dwijavanti(R.T.P)rendered by T.N..S ,which goes on for 1.45 mins. It is simply mind blowing. Though this raaga has a limited scope for alapana,T.N.S had brought out the subtlities in the raaga very well.

  11. Aparna


    Welcome to my blog! Great to know that you are a fan of Sanjay & TMK too 🙂

    Thanks a lot for reading my posts. I do try to write about as many concerts I attend as possible. It has been a long time since I went to any concert since there are no concerts of Sanjay & TMK happening here nowadays. 🙁 I am eagerly waiting for them to come back from US and then I will start writing about the concerts again.

    Do keep reading my blog. Thanks!

    Welcome to my blog! Oh that’s great. Yeah TNS’ Dwijavanti RTP is indeed one amazing piece!

  12. R.Saravanan

    Dear Aparna,

    Thanks, Yes I will.

    By the way your description of the temples that you visited and its features with photos was really great infact I went back so touched by those that I told my parents that next time we visit South we should try to cover as much as possible, even though we have seen some great temples of the south.Really appreciate your views and passion to share those.

    Yeah you are right most of our prefered stars are not in India, But before TMK left he gave a great concert here in Delhi on a Devi kritis with him on Violin was RKS (another favourite of mine) and JV sir.He sang a good Lalitha and Bairavi as main.A great concert with good team spirit.I just thought of sharing these even though were out of context with regards to this post “Ambikapathi”.

    Please do keep writing those.


  13. ramya harish

    Hi aparna, first time here… interesting posts,…
    I have 2 things which i greatly disagree…

    Bad singing -Ilayaraja —- am his die hard fan.. My god, he is a perfect singer, may be you can say u dont like his voice , it is not as sweet as hariharan or unnikrishnan or as powerful as spb… but not his singing.. he has a very strong sruthi sense.. and no Music directors has explored raagas as he did.. u may see one spcl post of IR in my blog..
    some of his grt songs as a singer:
    Ariyaahda manasu(paruthiveeran)
    thenpaandi cheemayile(nayagan) i have a lots more in mind… but whn u said u dont llike thr s no point pointing out the songs…

    Sathej, am telling you once again, he has a very strong sruthi sense.. i bet u on this..

    And aparna, why dont u like kaatrin mozhi, its so soothening n nice.. probably u heard it only once /twice…u cud nt enjoy.. ofcoz opinions differ.. try listening to sujathas version…

    Sreekrishnanv.. kaatrin mozhi is not an inspiration of nee dhan desiya geetham. You must have felt it becoz both r sung by Balram…

    i hv not read /heard any carnatic related posts in ur blog yet.. i wil do it. am a carnatic singer/fanatic too…

    ABout Ambikapathi.. yepp.. lovely music.. u can fing so many songs in old movies.. all based on raagas.. another movie lik this which i enjoyed recently is agathiyar.. sirgazhi rocks in the movie… every song is amazing.. chance ey illa,..

    visit my blogs too..

  14. Aparna


    Welcome to my blog! 🙂 Thank you.

    I don’t like his singing but that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to his songs. Because I am also a fan of IR, the music director.

    As for kaatrin mozhi, as you say opinions differ. And yeah I have heard it many times, not just twice or thrice.

    Will visit your blogs soon.

    Keep reading my blog. Thanks!

  15. R Sathyamurthy

    I love Illaya Raja’s voice; my brothers swear by his voice as divine. May be because you have a better understanding of Carnatic you are not able to just take his voice as is and dwell into finer details of his singing. 🙂

    General public like voice more because they are able to immediately sing what he sings, is my thinking.

    Personally, I was able to sing most of his songs well but once I tried Karaoke of “Arithaaratha poosikoLLa AAsai” from the movie Avatharam and found it very difficult to replicate his singing. There was much more finer voice modulations (kamakam?) in that song which I could not do.

    R Sathyamurthy


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