Ilaiyaraaja asked to vacate studio; artistes intervene

Music maestro Ilaiyaraaja. DH photo

For four decades, music legend Ilaiyaraaja had been working out of his ‘comfort zone’ in his office located inside the sprawling Prasad Studios here scoring music for over a thousand films.

A plan by the current management of the Prasad Studios headed by Sai Prasad, grandson of late L V Prasad, to renovate the campus has drawn ire from Ilayaraja as he has been asked to vacate and handover his studio.

As the music maestro camped in Goa performing at the India International Film Festival, his long-time colleagues in the tinsel town led by Ilaiyaraaja’s childhood friend and veteran director Bharathiraaja held a protest outside the Prasad Studios on Thursday evening.

Numerous attempts by Ilaiyaraaja's side to prevent the demolition of the studio has fallen in the deaf ears of the management of Prasad Studios which had even rejected the music composer’s offer to pay rent for the premises or take it on lease.

The popular musician, who scored music for more than 5,000 songs in over 1,000 movies in almost every Indian language, mostly in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, was offered the place inside the famous studios by its founder L V Prasad in the late 1970s.

After initial resistance from the management, the filmmakers managed to meet members of the administration of Prasad Studios. “We have requested the management to allow Ilaiyaraaja function from his studio till he finds an alternative place,” Bharathiraaja told reporters after the meeting.  

However, there was no word from the Prasad Studios management on the issue. The protest comes a month after the music legend filed a complaint against Prasad Studios accusing the management of disrupting the composer's work in the premises.

Prasad Studios has been very dear to Ilaiyaraaja as he used to spend most of his time in his studios composing music. His colleagues say Ilaiyaraaja should be allowed to use his studios through his lifetime as evicting him from the ‘temple of music’ would not be the right decision.

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