Writing period 1960s—present Vaali
Vaali is a Tamil language poet who writes lyrics for songs for films. Most recently he has written a song Kallai Mattum Kandal in Dasavatharam for the music of Himesh Reshmaiyaa. He has also acted in a couple of films most notably, Hey Ram and Parthale Paravasam. He was recently nominated for Padma Shri for his literary work.
Kavignar Vaali, whose real name is Rangarajan, was born in an Iyengar family at Srirangam in 1931. His father name is Srinivasa Iyengar & his mother is Ponnammal.
He was an artist and he worked in AIR (All India Radio). He has the record of having written most number of lyrics in Tamil. He has written lyrics for hundreds songs. He is a prolific writer too, he has written books like Avathara Purushan, Pandavar Bhoomi, Ramanuja Kaviyam, Krishna Vijayam, Kalaignar Kaviyam, Krishna Bhakthan, Naanum indha Nootrandum, etc.
Vaali – Like all others who hail from the banks for river Cauvery Vaali aka Rangarajan had in him the art. Yes painting was his art because of which he got the name vaali from his friends.(Mali the veteran artist of Anadha vikatan was very popular during that time) This veteran lyricist’s pen has a great history. Yes for more than 40 years this young man is going strong in Tamil Film Music.
He has written lyrics for all music directors starting from G.Ramanathan to the newest breed of music G.V.Prakash. He had penned so many songs for various artist starting from MGR to Boys hero Siddarth.Caught among Stalwarts like Kannadasan, Pattu kottai, Udumalai narayanakavi, Ku.Ma.Balasubramaniam, Maruthakasi Vaali was capable to create his own way of writing lyrics.His main asset till date is simplicity. Usage of simple words in his lyrics will be so simple even a lay man could understand. Recent Song from Dasavatharam is a showcase for this. His relationship with M.G.R was more than a friend. At the same time he has a good relationship with Kalaingar for his literary works. He has been awarded Bharatidasan award, Kalaiselvam award and recently with the prestigious Padmasree award.He was praised by Kannadasan himself.
MSV quoted in an interview that Kannadasan used to say Don’t use Vaali as he might overtake anyone. Though kannadasan said that in a casual manner the fact he converyed was true. Yes Vaali is un-stoppable till now.MS Viswanathan considers Kannadasan,Vaali and Pattukottai are like three eyes.
Any situation you put to him, he’ll come with a song immediately.Like Anandbakshi of North, Vaali can pen lyrics for any kind of situation. Till now he had penned more than 10,000 songs and still going strong with Kuselan, Sakkarakatti etc.. He is not only master in the film lyrics but he’s much more superior when it comes to literary works.
Be it Avadhara purushan, Krishna Vijayam,Raamanuja kaaviyam and many more Kavignar Vaali is the only lyrics writer in Tamil who can write any sort of song for Tamil movies. He has proven that he can not only write lyrics in pure tamil , but all sorts of folk, hip-hop, rhythm and blues. He can even mix any language in tamil songs.
The legend goes that Vaali at one time in his life was contemplating suicide due to immense poverty when he heard the lines of the song 'Mayakkama Kalakkamma' from the movie SumaiThangi penned by his more illustrious compatriot Kannadasan. The lines Unakkum kile ullavar kodi ninaithu paarthu nimmadhi naadu....changed his mindset and renewed his vigour to live a new life. Thus was born the great poet we know today.He has quoted that there were 24 hours with him but no food to eat and next came a time when he had enough on the plate but no time to eat.
Once Ulaga Nayagan, Veteran Actor Kamal Haasan asked Vaali to pen the lyrics for a love song for the film 'Aboorva Sagodharargal'. Kamal requested him to pen specially for a love failure song. Vaali penned the lyrics and gave him. But Kamal didn't get satisfied as the situation in that film was so intense and so he asked the lyrics which has much deeper emotion for love failure. And so Vaali penned the lyrics for the second time, third time.... and finally for the sixth time he wrote the lyrics and angrily thrown away the writing pad and said 'Ithukku mela ennala ezhutha mudiyathu'(It's my final lyrics for your song. I will not write more than this) and went. And that song is the one and only - "Unnai nenachaen paatu paaduchaen Thangamae gnanathangamae...." which fetched National Award for Singer SP Balasubramaniam