Thursday, 1 January 2015

Hope and Faith

How many of you are familiar with the name Lazarus?

As per the Bible, Lazarus of Bethany was a great devotee/follower of Jesus. He falls ill and though Jesus comes to know about this, he stays put at his place for some days. Upon reaching Bethany, he is told by Lazarus’ sisters that Lazarus died four days back. Jesus goes to the Tomb, says a prayer and asks Lazarus to come out. Lazarus rises from the grave alive!

The Bible quotes Jesus as saying "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die".

This resurrection conveys a lot.

1. Anything can be undone with true faith and belief.

2. Resurrection and Rebirth are facts.

3. ‘Dead’ does not denote just people. It is just symbolic and denotes things/deeds.

Lest I be understood as a philosopher or even a religious preacher ( I hate the word ‘religion’ anyway), let me tell you that the idea behind saying all these is to put across certain facts as experienced by me. In fact, there is nothing that life does not teach us. It is in our hands to understand why things happen (either favouring us or against us) and move on. Once we let go of things, we are born new.. and this is what is resurrection!

In my post on the New Year Day in 2012, I asked if there is any significance in celebrating New Year Day. After all, it is just another day! I further wrote that  Every New Year brings us hope. And it is this hope which keeps us all going.’

In my opinion, ‘False Hope’ is a misnomer. Hope can never be false. Miracles happen with hope and faith and I have been experiencing it. Let us all spread positivity by being positive and acting positive.

The rare gem of the day, ‘En Anbe’ from ‘Neram Nalla Neram’(1984) is positive too. This song somehow gives me a lot of confidence to face things and also have hope though it is not like the usual old song of the ‘50s and ‘60s which preaches us to do certain things and avoid certain things. Though I have not watched the movie nor have I seen the picturisation, I feel it is sung by a lady to motivate her beloved.

To start with, the tune in Madhyamavati is sweet and majestic. Next, we have wordings like ‘muyandraal eduvum mudiyum’(Try and you will succeed surely!), ‘aaha, pudu aarambham’(Oh, it is a good beginning), ‘naaLum maatRam kaaNum’(change happens every day), ‘puliyenave ezhundu vidu’(Rise like a tiger). Finally, the postlude has the vocals reaching a crescendo making us go in a trance.

The prelude has the beautiful humming of Janaki with the Keys and the Strings moving innocuously.

The Pallavi in pure Madhyamavati has his trademark ‘podi sangatis’. The lines in the CharaNams are fluent too and alien notes in the second part CharaNams go with the flow of the song and does not sound jarring at all.

How a keyboard can be used and should be used is demonstrated yet again in the first interlude. The special sounds in the beginning, in the middle and towards the end are different and melodious. The Strings appear thrice and each time there is a variation. His penchant for variation continues in the percussion too with the Chatushram sounding ‘ta ka – mi’ in the first part (keys), sounding just the first syllable and that too subtly in the second part (higher octave strings) and not sounding at all in the last part (‘call and response’ between the keys and the strings).

The second interlude is a rhapsody. First, there is chorus in Madhyamavati with the Strings backing it at the same time playing a different melody. There is short ‘call and response’ between the Guitar and the Veena before the Flute takes over giving some folksy shades. Not the one to give up, the Veena continues with the percussion replying ‘ta – dhi mi’ even as the Flute charts its own course in Madhyamavati. It is the turn of higher octave strings and the mid octave strings to drench us in melody. And how? The former goes for a count of four while the latter plays for a count of three with the last count left as silent!

What follows is extra ordinary and I would say this is what makes him the greatest composer Indian Film Music has ever seen. Guitar appears from nowhere and in a matter of 6 cycles of Chatushram, covers the entire range of the ragam. The Strings back it for the first 4 cycles and then remain silent. Finally these play for the first half of 2 cycles with the percussion replying in the next half as ‘- ka dhi mi’.

Who said miracles happen only in mythologies?