Wednesday, 12 August 2009

My Dream...

Call it luck.. Call it fate.. Call it even destiny.
The entry of the genius into Film music happened during my formative years.

It has been proved scientifically that the formative (or adolescent) years shape up one’s personality. What we are likely to be/ how are likely be in future is determined to a great extent during these years. I am not sure if I would have got into appreciating music, literature and aesthetic things in general if not for my exposure to his music during those years.

And if I were asked to thank somebody/something for my exposure to his music, without any hesitation I would thank Radio Ceylon(Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation, Tamizh service).

Listening to radio nowadays is confined to a plethora of FM Channels. But those days, one had to listen only to the State controlled AIR which had its own whimsical ways. Long back, I had mentioned about the banning of songs like ‘Vaangonna..’ and ‘Oram Po’.It was not just this aspect.They were also very choosy in airing songs.For example, they would play only two songs from a particular movie repeatedly making one feel there were no other songs from the album. Songs like ‘Gyaan Gyaan Paadanum’(PoonthaLir) were anathema since it had Malayalam lyrics(sounding crazy?).Of course, the only thing we all enjoyed was the commercial show between 9.30 and 10.30pm every night where the promos of movies would be played along with the songs.

In this scenario, SLBC was a Godsend to lakhs of people in Tamizh Nadu.The Programmes would start at 7 am in the morning and go on till 6pm in the evening.T he versatility of the programmes that ranged from very old songs to brand new songs was amazing!

In fact, they would even bring us recorded versions of a Live Studio Recordings.I remember listening to the recordings of ‘Kaaththodu poo urasa’(Anbukku Naan Adimai) and many wonderful songs.

The versatility was not just in the programmes. It was also in the way it was presented and this is where the announcers(sorry..I don’t want to call them RJs) played a major role. The majestic Mayilvaganan(Senior), the flamboyant K.S.Raja, the honey-soaked Rajeswari Shanmukham, and my idol B.H.Abdul Hameed..the list goes on.

All these Super 10s, and singing competitions that we get to see now on TV were conducted by SLBC more than 30 years back without in anyway compromising on the decency and decorum.

I am now sad not just because we no longer get to listen to this channel but also because of the present condition in Sri Lanka. I had a very unique bond with thousands of people who would regularly write/participate in the programmes there.
I am not sure how many of them are alive.I am not sure how many of them are homeless. I am not sure how many of them have lost their parents, their brothers, their sisters.

My heart bleeds for these brothers and sisters who were instrumental in developing my taste.

Today’s Rare Gem is dedicated to all these people.

It is a song which used to be aired at least 15 times in a week (at times even thrice on a single day!).

It is ‘Aasai Nenjin KanavugaL VaLarpiRai’from ‘Mugaththil Mugam Paarkalaam’(1980).

On first listening, the song appears to be very mundane and simple. But once it gets into our system, it is very difficult to separate.

The strings of Santoor supported by a rather sharp percussion; melodious flute playing Mohanam;the violins making an appearance in western style; the resonant Veena joining gracefully.
This is the 30 second prelude magic for you.

Malaysia Vasudevan starts the Pallavi in his own unconventional style.

The majestic Violin orchestra in full flow in the beginning of the first interlude. The Flute takes over in a folksy style as we travel from Vienna to Vaadipatti. The Veena joins again pulling the strings of our hearts. Carefully listen to the counterpoints here.. and of course the very subtle bass work. The mix of alien swaras in the Veena only adds to the beauty.

It is now Suseela’s turn as she starts ‘Pongi Varum alai..’ with the violins and the flute following her closely. Vasu now replies ‘Malar kaNaigaL..’ and we become drunk with the beauty.

The stringed instrument -that is ubiquitous in Raaja’s ‘70s compositions- partners with Bass Guitar and it is the Violin Orchestra yet again that flow like a clear stream with the Veena welcoming them with a smile. The Flute now jumps with joy and literally dances.
This second interlude is one of my favourite interludes and I would be playing this mentally whenever I feel like it.

The graceful Veena dominates the third interlude. The repartee by the Violins is the mark of the Master.The effervescent Santoor greets us all..

Though all lines are unforgettable, the second CharaNam has some special wordings that are very relevant:’KanavugaLe Ninaivil Varum..NinaivugaLe Nidamum Sugam’(Dreams come as thoughts and these thoughts are always enjoyable).

The thoughts linger in me.. the nostalgia.. the formative years.. the Radio channel…and the people of Sri Lanka..

And my dream is to see my brothers and sisters live peacefully again.

‘Enathu Nenjin KanavugaL VaLarpiRai’

It is like the waxing moon..Let us hope to see the Full moon soon!


melodiouslife said...

This is a SPLENDID blog for Ilaiyaraja fans like me. Keep up the great work!

Raj said...

Thanks a lot.Pl. continue to follow this Blog..A lot of his rare gems are in the pipeline..