Kamal Haasan has sung a song for composing maestro Ilayaraja -- and that too at just half-an-hour's notice after the singer assigned the job of singing the intricate composition couldn't rise to the occasion.
"Get me Kamal on the phone," Ilayaraja commanded his assistant. Within an hour Kamal reached the recording studio in Chennai and in half-an-hour the 'ditty' deed was done.
The song is for the Pankaj Kapoor-starrer Happi, which is a tribute to Charlie Chaplin -- and Kamal is a diehard Chaplin fan. The Tamil genius has paid heartfelt tributes to Chaplin in films like Pushpak and Sagar.
Said director Bhavna Talwar: "It all happened in a flash. We were in Chennai to record this amazing composition titled Zindagi Dish written by Jaideep Sahni. Raja sir (Ilayaraja) was not getting what he wanted. The singer, who was assigned to do the job, wasn't getting it right. Raja sir asked his assistant to contact Kamalji. Within no time Kamalji was in the studio. It took him half an hour to record the song."
When contacted, Kamal brushed off the feat as part of just another day's work.
"My respect for certain people goes beyond the work place. Shivaji Ganesan, K. Balachander and Ilayaraja are to me, idols. And if they call, I run. As simple as that," said Kamal Haasan.
The multi-faceted artist lets out an interesting self-observation.
"Somehow I find it much easier to connect with male artists. If you see the Kathak performance in Vishwaroopam, you'd see how closely I've observed and imbibed Pandit Birju Maharaj's style. This wouldn't have been possible with a female dancer. Likwise in music, though I deeply admire M.S. Subbulakshmi, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, it's (Mangalampalli) Balamuralikrishna that I idolise," he said.