lighting up

So sometime back I was browsing around youtube and along the hops I kept digging through the archives of the 80s, the movies, scenes and the actors we grew up on. The ones I had crushes, small and big, the ones whom we’d want to emulate [in dreams only for fear of the dad slicing us and roasting us if we dared try in real life], and the songs. The songs that triggered some beautiful memories, the tunes rising through my voice sub-consciously, the words tumbling quick with surprise at memory, recognition and recollection.

I suppose one can spend a whole load of time in the past with these triggers on Youtube.

Agni Natchathiram [Dubbed in telugu as Gharshana] was one heck of a movie. In all aspects. A trailblazer for various aspects of details, the story, the camera, crisp dialogs, the fresh faces of suave Prabhu and with hot blooded Karthik. The dusky Nirosha to cute and spunky Amala. The chemistry between the pairs was electric.

I was wrapping up school then, and being 15 is as impressionable as it can get. The movies [Thank the Lord for Mani Ratnam] became more us. There were still dreamy songs, and illogical stories, but hey, thats what movies are for anyways, but they seemed to connect with what the youth were facing. A beginning, and to describe the effect of the movie, and the only words that keeps repeating in my head – Fresh and Young.

This scene brought a fun memory back. :–)


It’s hard to decide which song’s a favorite between the three. The other two were just okay for me.

Ninnukori Varnam’s such a fun modern number, Amala wooing Prabhu, gave many girls wild ideas, bold and outright brash. The creative ones stemmed off branching into more dangerous wild roads, ones on thinking back could raise a few eyebrows even now, while the bound ones stuck to simpler creative venues. Like giving rooms makeovers. Mine had some funky spreads up I picked up CP Art center, with flowers in bowls and straw mats covered with little trinkets, earrings, and bangles of various colors strung across the windows. Until of course mother decided we lived in a home and not some modern art gallery and they all came crashing down.

Karthik and Nirosha‘s cozying at the beach, raising temperatures. After Mouna Ragam, Karthik was the ultimate bad boy every girl in her not so right mind wanted a piece of. After the initial euphoria, we all decided Mohan, of course would make a better husband, as he seemed a whole lot easier, less stressful and stable for the kind of thoughts we held in our juvenile heads. Nirosha set many a heart fluttering. There she was in a swimsuit, a slim nice bod, glasses and a haircut that was promptly copied by the ones who could. oh, and not to mention that suddenly, being brown with an attitude was attractive, demanding and downright sexy. There was a charm about her in this movie that was hard to overlook and she stood her ground, despite Amala’s beautiful eyes, hair and just being Amala.

Later on she was whitewashed and made to look like a two-bit traditional girl [read: her un-natural self], that eventually led her down a winding path to failure. Goes to prove, don’t mess with nature.

Thoongatha Vizhighal Rendu despite the wind blown long tressed Amala looking fresh as a daisy, turned the heat up with Prabhu. Of course there was something about the guy’s dimples that I was all crazy about back then which may have contributed partly to why I feel the way about the song. Still, one of the most romantic, nicely done scenes.

The words and the music, a lovely harmony. Enjoy.


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24 replies on “lighting up”
  1. says: Vijay

    “I suppose one can spend a whole load of time in the past with these triggers on Youtube.”

    No supposition. Only certainty.

  2. says: CW

    I found out exactly what the age difference b/w us is 😀

    You forgot to mention how some impressionable young girls (like girls in 3rd std) brought a hula hoop and danced to Ninnukori.

    P.S: Not me.

  3. Me loves this movie 🙂

    Though yeah I watched it much later than when it released..when it came out on TV 🙂

    And when I did my main doubt was why Karthik and Prabhu hated each other so much because they were brothers after all!

  4. says: daisy

    Rads:- It is so sad how Nirosha was misused and underutilized after this movie illa?! look at her now , acting in mindless idiotic serials!

    this movie was a cult.. although I was too young when this came out..I watched it again when I was older and fell for it instantly..

  5. says: Neha

    I love that film! It’s music is to die for. And Nirosha by the beach on a sort-of-hot afternoon – that whole song was uber-romantic.

    Damn. I really want to see this film now..

  6. says: Praveen

    I love this flick and the super cinematography by PC Sreeram, excellent use of diffusers and soft light. If u notice, sun plays an important part in the film…the low angle shots depicting the conflict with sun in the background and silhouettes of Karthik and Prabhu. Karthiks intro is with his silhouette.

    Ilayarajas AWESOME BGMs (esp when the 2 meet)The MTVish Raja Rajan intha Raja shot in Egmore railway station and hey the teenager Prabhu Deva next to Karthik in the song in a light pink t shirt. I downloaded a whole lot of background music from this flick which plays as my ringtone. Apparently this was the first movie that Ilayaraja skipped SPB in his compositions.

    Rads did I send u “Thoongatha Vizhigal Rendu, “Ninnukori”, “Vaa vaa Anbae” abd even “Oru Poongavam”?????? 🙂

    And who can forget VK Ramaswamy and Janakrajs comedy track, silly yet funny.

    On a lighter note even now gals prefer a boyfriend like Karthik and a husband like Mohan 🙂

  7. says: Aditya

    Aaha….ipdi half hour waste panna vechutel!!

    Acutally its not a waste, of course. Even I’ve been time travelling to the past these days. My roommates and I often watch that particular scene of Amala smoking. Brilliant.

    Ninnukori varnam, is like all time favorite and one of Ilairaja’s best. I love the starting lyrics

    Amala is super cute. I was 3 when this movie came. *sigh*

  8. says: Praveen

    WARNING: Dont ever try to see Niroshas last film which came some 4 years ago….a remake of Theres something about Mary…no way she didnt play Mary…but god she looked horrible in that.

  9. says: terri

    What a weird coincidence! I was thinking of downloading Andhi mazhai the other day, and you posted it. I’ve been thinking of Agni N. songs lately, et voilà!
    Ahem, rads, I’ll be thinking of Nila Kaagirathu and Yamunai Aatrile next. (Therein lies the extent of my Tamil songs repertoire.)

  10. says: munimma

    This was such a fun movie. Not just the movie itself, but watching it with my cousins was a riot. Everytime the two guys came across each other, my bro would spout the rin ad (remember?). We had a lot of such inside jokes throughout the movie. Of course the flickering lights in the climax was irritating!

    I waited a long while before watching it, and I remember the movie ran for a long time. Udayam theater. 🙂

    PS: You know you are getting old when you start reminiscing about the good old days ;-P

  11. “This scene brought a fun memory back” – so did you cough too? The trick, the first time around, is to not inhale. :p

    Beautiful video, I’ve never actually seen the movie, even though Amala was quite the crush back then. 🙂

  12. says: wickedtaurus

    i love that “ninnukori varnam”…the beverly hills cop theme does add tempo to that smoky scene aha 🙂 movie is quite THE memory trip to me parents…ahem ahem..their princess was born the same year! 😉

  13. Ahh, what a nice journey down the lane…….

    I ahve to admit that I haven’t really watched many Tamil movies, for the simple reason that I don’t understand the language. But, Agni Nakshatram and Mouna Ragam, I have and loved both the movies. I probably watched Agni Nakshatram several years after it was released, but I was still a teenager when I watched it and I didn’t really need to understand Tamil to enjoy that movie.

    I certainly think “Ninnu Kori Varnam” is a favorite to a wife range of audince. I loved it for, oh well, you know why…don’t you? And, my mother, who is a professional singer (yeah made all her money through music and still does) LOVED that song too. So, must be magical!!!

    Thanks, for the nice post.

  14. says: rads

    wow! Looks like I sent many on a trip down memory lane 🙂

    DS: Some movies reach farther than the language they are made in. In well-made ones, there are the nuances that we may miss, but the piece as a whole has the capacity to move us.
    I hope you meant “wide range” and not ‘wife range” :–D
    IR is/was a cool guy :–)

    WT: Geez girl, rubbing it in referring to the ‘rents and all!

    BPSK: So not going there. The movie is awesome. You should netflix and big screen it.

    Muni: lol@ rin ad. Enough folks are saying it, you too eh Brutus? :–p

    terri: What can I say, we are like Geetha and Seetha. But of course, we know who’s who, right!? ;–)

    Laksh: hehe, had fun thinking back I hope. :–)

    Adithya: 3? THREE? Man, I better watch what i write here. Too many kiddos :–p

    Praveen: These days don’t watch Tamil movies, so no, won’t watch Nirosha’s either. The girl was used best only in Agni N, rest completely messed her up. Looks like the movie’s a fav with you too? :–)

    Neha: oh yes, they looked so ‘real’ together!
    Mouna Ragam is available on Youtube in 10 minute spans. Sadly no kind souls’ done the same with Agni N.

    Daisy: hehe, see, am blessed. I don’t have Sun TV, nor Gemini TV!

    CW: lol. I play with numbers so much that I occasionally add a couple and take away too ;–P

    GDS: lol, we have such doubts na? :–)

    To all you underage little brats busily calculating my age – I shall let it be known that am 30 and not move a day more. Yeah! :–p

  15. says: CM-Chap

    Huh… AgniNatchatram my all time favorite… All the songs you mentioned I always have n my Lappy. I listened to them even few days back.

    The spunky Amala is waving infront of me even now…. (**Now I’m in ofis**)

    The movie & songs r defntly THE BEST

  16. says: munimma

    I can say it and get away it. For after all, we are travelling the same old boat, eh?

    30, eh? I say, 29 and a few(!) months 😉

    PS: Mouna ragam is my all time maniR fave.

  17. says: Praveen GK

    It’s not very often that I come across posts on Agni Nat***; the song Ninnukori Varanam is one of the best songs choreographed in Tamil cinema 🙂

  18. says: rads

    Praveen: Yea, totally. Trendsetter and all that… 🙂

    wt: LOL, alright, I’ll turn the other way if you promise to do the same 🙂

    Muni: hehe. Rem that scene – “mr. chandramouli, engazhoda konjam coffee sapdinga saar” – that little coffee place is now some jazzy mall. was upset the last time I drove past the place. Rt across Landmark.

    Aditya: Being young is a state of mind. 🙂

    CM: Hope you didn’t get into trouble :-p

  19. says: Apple

    This’s one of my fav Maniratnam’s movie…Fell in love with Ilayaraaja’s tunes..and now when ever hubby dear goes out of station I scream “Maa ayana oorellipoyadoocchhhh!” Simply love the comedy track…

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