Achu Rajamani Celebrates MS Dhoni with the Rhythmic Ode ‘Vaa Thala’

Amid the intense drama of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, an electrifying Tamil track titled ‘Vaa Thala’ reverberates through the stadium, catching the ears of thousands of eager fans. Blaring from the speakers during the Star Sports broadcasts in breaks between overs, this song is charged with the vibrant kuthu beats that are synonymous with festive celebrations in Tamil Nadu. Yet, ‘Vaa Thala’ is not just another anthem for the IPL; it stands as a heartfelt musical homage to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the cricketing stalwart affectionately known as Thala, as he approaches what may be his swansong in the 2024 IPL season.

The creative force behind this pulsating tune is none other than Achu Rajamani, a composer whose name resonates with Tamil cinema audiences for delivering captivating melodies such as ‘En Uyire’ from the film ‘Maalai Pozhudin Mayakathile’ and the poignant ‘Siru Nadai’ from ‘Urumeen’. Breaking away from his characteristic melodic compositions, Achu remarks on his latest fast-paced venture, “The last mass song I attempted was in 2014, and since then, I have deliberately not taken up any commercial films. So, ‘Vaa Thala’ was like an explosion for me. I need to be inspired by the person for whom I’m making music, and who better than MS Dhoni? Amidst overwhelming pressure, his composure never falters, yet there’s an undeniable fire within him. ‘Vaa Thala’ is a tribute to that indomitable spirit.”

The journey for Achu in the music industry has its roots in a rich legacy, being the progeny of the late Rajamani, a revered figure in Malayalam music. Achu’s entry into the scene during the early 2000s saw him initially showcasing his talent as a keyboard player, diligently contributing to numerous musical projects until 2009. His debut as a film composer came with the Malayalam film ‘Kurukshetra’, followed by ventures in ‘Ennai Theriyuma’ and the Telugu remake of ‘Polladhavan’. Recounting a period of uncertainty, Achu confides, “After those projects, I hit a creative block. Unsure of where to turn, I knew I needed a hiatus.” It was during this interlude that he channeled his passion into car racing, even securing several championships. However, the world of music continued to beckon as he reflects, “Music was omnipresent. Even as I traveled for races, I couldn’t escape composing musical demos. I was in search of a renaissance.”

That resurgence in his musical career materialized in 2012 when film director Narayanan Nagendra Rao approached him with a compelling script for ‘Maalai Pozhudin Mayakathile’. Achu recalls, “The script had a dimensionality that demanded innovative soundscapes. We shaped the soundtrack in harmony with the narrative’s progression.” The film’s prominent track ‘En Uyire’, featuring artists like Karthik, Chitra, and Bombay Jayashri, alongside the exuberant ‘Oh Baby Girl’, testified to the success of Achu’s reimagination.

Post ‘Maalai Pozhudin Mayakathile’, Achu continued his symphonic endeavors across multiple cinematic projects spanning various languages. His inventive nature is apparent in the recent ‘Pondattee’ music video, where he took a bold step not just as a composer but also as a featured artist. This marked a stark deviation for Achu, known for his reserved persona. He notes, “My music hit the charts but I remained largely unrecognized. Though a private individual at heart, my mother, friends, and well-wishers convinced me to step into the spotlight.” Embracing this new direction, the reimagined ‘Pondattee’ track corresponds to a shift in Achu’s creative trajectory.

With his fiftieth project on the horizon, details remain closely guarded. In conjunction with that milestone, anticipations are high for contributions to the fantasy-thriller ‘Gajaana’ and the action-packed ‘Mazhai Pudikkadha Manidhan’. As ‘Vaa Thala’ resonates among the cheers of cricket fans, it signals Achu Rajamani’s return to the mass song genre with a vibrant and fervent tribute to one of cricket’s living legends, MS Dhoni.

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