Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mein tenu samjhawaan ki : Rahat's magic

I've lived in many places in India so far - childhood and beyond. There are songs that, when you hear, remind you of a certain place or period.

I was in Punjab until recently, moved to Nagpur. I loved Punjab. It has almost everything that you would want out of it. A few weeks before I moved, I heard the song "Main tenu samjhaawan ki..." sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (and a cameo by Farah Anwar). It is a Punjabi song, from a Indo-Pakistani movie, Virsa. I heard it only by chance, because a remake of this was coming up in a Bollywood movie.

It is a sad song, where Rahat lends his voice to spell out the pain of broken love. And, he does a stunning job with this task. Rahat has impeccable control over the tones, and a beautiful, echoing voice that sends ripples of the sweet tones to your ears. The story of this stranger's sadness is presented sung in such a lovely manner, you want to sympathize with him, comfort him, bring the girl back... My eyes lose focus when I'm listening to this. It is touching. I made sure this is the first song I listen to on my way to work or back. This is one sad song you would enjoy. Rahat is the magician.

My favourite part of the song? Farrah Anwar's cameo. That part of the song is like two big synchronous waves of eternal beauty flowing across a serene sea of beautiful music, flushing your face with freshness carried from distance. She has a stunning voice, you will notice.

We all miss what we loved so much but got separated. There is no closure. I miss Punjab. For n number of reasons. And this song fits in so well for someone who misses something(s) out there.

Here is a video link to the song :

Lyrics/translation :

Friday, November 14, 2014


Woken up by others, the warm sun if a holiday, sounds of birds if vacation, reminder of school if weekday.
Outgrew the clothes we wore in just weeks.
Invented games out of anything available - sticks, leaves, stones.
Every person was a story teller.
Every story told a moral.
There were rules to keep you straight. Memories were born out of the broken rules.
Schools were fun when we were young. Homework spoiled it.
Rarely did homework at home. It was done at school, if at all, before leaving for home or after reaching school the next day.
Tests were routine. But exams were fun, because they came with the lure of a vacation.
Vulnerable to myths and blackmails. Ate carrots because I liked Bugs Bunny, spinach because I wouldn't be allowed to watch Popeye if I don't, and lady's finger because I had to do well in math.
99 was my favourite math score. My classmates were envious, my parents thought I let them down. "99 is not centum."
Biology and chemistry can eat you inside out. Gave up art along with biology. End of high school meant end of tiff with Chemistry. Or so I thought.
Cricket was the only sport. Sachin this. Sachin that. Ganguly this. Kumble that. Always imitated them bowlers, never held a ball in my hand.
We wanted the world, nothing was enough. We shared it all, nothing was good had alone.
We could sing all the songs. We still hold the ones from our childhood as our favourites.
Candies and ice-creams were wonderful, but all our favourite dishes are branded "Amma's".
We aspired to be doctors, engineers, pilots, sportsperson. The collection of trinklets showed that.
We were open dreamers. We found happiness wherever we went. We were looked upon as the candle of happiness. We got all the goodies spoonfed. We had the time of our lives.

And then, we grew up. We let childhood slip right in front of our own eyes, and we are never going to get back. Why did we want to grow, why did we let it go?

I don't remember the name of the poem I read, it was when I was in school, the poem was in my English text book. It said - we are grown ups, and while we cannot afford to be childish, we can be child-like.

Wish you a happy children's day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Narumugaye. Losing myself to find peace.

I love melodies, or rather - I prefer melodies. Though not even semi-fluent in Carnatic, I find it soothingly beautiful. There is something magical about being able to produce something beautiful out of laid rules. Music teaches discipline. The line that separates a rendition from cacophony is singing to the notes, or playing to the tunes - adhering to which a well written set of notes results in a wonderful string of tones. Every song has its voice. Voices lend feeling to the song.

There are many songs in which I lose myself, lose track of time, and lots of time, eventually. But, there is loads of peace, and happiness in it. Sometimes, a puddle of energy. Some songs have excellent lyrics, some are so awesome on the music front alone you don't care what the lyrics sound like. Some songs introduce you to voices that you never heard before, and you would want to hear nobody else. These are the songs you play over and over, but never get tired of.

One such song is Narumugaiye, from the Tamil movie Iruvar.

It is a Carnatic styled romantic song eased into the movie (in the movie). I am no good when it comes to Tamil literature, I can barely string words together while reading; and have a tough time interpreting the purest form of the language. But, even for someone half as literate it sounded so soulful. I read the lyrics to slow the song down, and it makes more sense. I decipher the lyrics and see the simplistic beauty in it.

The song basically describes two lovebirds wondering how they fell in love, and probably list out all the reasons why too. It is the rendition meted out there by the singers that plays the trick. And the back ground music, of course. You can easily be listening to this track and imagine yourself by the shores of a lake in the forest, meeting your loved one there. Not a lot can be left to imagination when the singers carve out the duo out there for you.

The shrills, the control, the pitch, the tone, the raga, the lyrics, they all combine to give a soothing effect. It is no grand song, it is not going to set a stage on fire. It is what you need to go to when you want to do some soul searching. A romantic weather, mild rainshowers, early morning wintry sunshine, late evening breeze etc go well with this in the background. In any case, Narumugaye makes you forget all that is around you.

The song was written by Vairamuthu and sung by Unnikrishnan and Bombay Jayashree, and soundtracks courtesy A.R. Rahman. That's a great combination in there already!

Listen to the song here.
Here is a webpage that has the lyrics and translation for the song, and the video (also beautiful).
The movie includes many more wonderful songs that takes us a few years back. Aayirathil Naan Oruvan, Hello Mister Edhirkatchi are two to name.

Do let me know of similar songs, in any language.