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First lyricist-turned-hero

K. Lakshmi

— FILE PHOTO

Pa. Vijay

CHENNAI: Taking time off the discussion for his film ‘Thai Kaaviyam’ Mr. Vijay reminisced the path he has traversed and the road ahead.

“Books inspired me a great deal and nurtured my passion for Tamil poetry,” said Mr. Vijay. Actor-director Bhagyaraj’s acquaintance drew him into the film industry as a lyricist.

Unfortunately, his first song in ‘Gnanapazham’ did not feature in the film. ‘Karupputhan enaku...’ was an important milestone in his career as it turned the spotlight on him.

He has penned the lyrics for about 1,200 songs, besides authoring 26 books.

“I have been getting offers to act since 2000 and most of them were hero-oriented stories. Somehow producers thought I was photogenic,” chuckles Mr. Vijay, who was earlier sceptical about stepping into a field that was completely new to him.

“I didn’t want to ruin my hard-earned image as a lyricist.” He continued writing till he met Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at his book launch function.

“When I sought his advice on the remake of ‘Parasakthi’, he cautioned me saying it was too big a task.” It was then that the idea of translating Mr. Karunanidhi’s acclaimed novel ‘Thai Kaaviyam’ on celluloid was born. Inspired by Russian writer Maxim Gorky’s novel ‘Mother’, the storyline focusses on the mother’s role.

“I took the offer after positive responses in my friends’ circle. It’s a kind of role that will suit my boy-next-door appearance,” he said.

Though lyricists such as Kannadasan and Vaali have acted in films, Mr. Vijay would be the first lyricist-turned-hero,

He deems it a lifetime opportunity to play a protagonist in a film scripted by Mr. Karunanidhi.

The film is slated for release on Tamil New Year’s Day .

Speaking on his lyricist role, he said that though he was comfortable writing different types of songs that proved his versatility he was more inclined towards melodies as they stood the test of time.

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