Mumbai: Film personalities like Lata Mangeshkar, Prasoon Joshi and R. Balki have congratulated music composer Ilayaraja for being named for the Padma Bhushan in the Republic Day honours list.
Here is what the celebrities had to say:
* Lata Mangeshkar: I have had the privilege and pleasure of singing some Tamil songs for him in the films Anand and Sathya. Then I got to sing a Hindi song for Ilayarajai in a film that Raj Kumar Santoshi directed.
His compositions are pure genius. Mastering the nuances of the Tamil language was not as difficult as being able to sing the way he wanted me to.He challenged my vocals like Salil Chowdhary and my brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar's compositions.
I also sang a Hindi song 'Kaun dagar kaun nagar' for Ilaayaraja in a Raj Kumar Santoshi film(Lajja). His compositions are deceptively catchy. But the singer knows how complex and layered his songs are. Such a simple man and with such unfathomable depths of talent. Ilaiyarajaji deserves the biggest honours and recognition."
* Prasoon Joshi: It is a very special feeling to have him win the Padma award. I have had the honour of having my very first film song composed by Ilayarajaji and sung by Lataji for 'Lajja'. What better shubharambh could I have wished for?
* R Balki: I've had the privilege of working with Raja Sir in all my films from 'Cheeni Kam' to 'Shamitabh'. Even the Bharat Ratna is not enough for him. He is the man who has defined music for one-half of this country.
They fall in love in love to his music in their heads...When they are sad they emote to his music in their hearts.. ... When they want to feel better at any time they just hum his music... When they are happy their feet dance to his music...When they want the weather to get cooler they just play his music and shiver in delight... When they visualize death they hear his strings... When they dream of heaven they play his orchestra with their vocal chords. Music cannot be better defined by a simple visit to the south of India than any of my words. To feel Ilayaraaja in the air. South India is a living breathing museum of his music."
* Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: I am very happy to know maestro Ilaiyaraja receiving the Padma Award.He is the most deserving musician. In fact, he should have been honoured with many other Awards.He is a true genius and innovator... I have the greatest regards and love for dear Shri Ilaiyaraja... Hope he gets much greater awards in his musical life.God bless him and his Family.I am a humble admirer of the maestro Ilayaraja.