Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Walk Down Rahman Lane by Dr.Gagan K

 If you are here for the first time, please read this post.

I am a Kannadiga and it was hard for us in the 90s and early 2000s to even get hold of Tamil songs. The only way ARR songs reached us was when those Tamil movies were dubbed to Hindi. Sometime in the year 2000, my brother had come to know through his friend, that “the new Mani Ratnam – A R Rahman movie” had good songs. Our parents had planned a week long pilgrimage and we did not have any new cassettes to play in the car during the travel.  When dad gave us an opportunity to buy 1 or 2 cassettes, my brother and me rushed to a small cassette shop in Bangalore and asked the shop owner to give us “the latest Mani Ratnam – A R Rahman movie cassette”. Luckily, he instantly identified our query like today’s Google and gave us the Alaipayuthey cassette.

All through the travel, we played Alaipayuthey songs from A side to B side. My sanskaari parents immensely loved the Snehithane track which probably appeared on both sides. We wilfully kept “fast forwarding” the fast paced September Madham since we feared our parents may not like it. My brother warned me that “fast forwarding” will damage the tape. Also, if we changed the side, we would miss one good song on the other side. So, we allowed September Madham to play and that’s when my parents started a grand lecture on the topic - “Music, Melody, Decency and Old Hindi Songs”.  My dad started, “there are so many good old Hindi songs. But you people choose to play such indecent songs here. The melodious songs of Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Latha Mangeshkar…” Mom continued, “and Asha Bhonsle…”

At this point, I found a good opportunity and said, “mom, this song is sung by Asha Bhonsle only”. Both dad and mom were instantly angry on me and asked me to stop the music and my speaking. For about an hour, there was dead silence and no songs played. I then played a cassette compilation of old, sad Hindi songs. After a while, dad got bored and asked me to stop playing it. I immediately went back to playing Snehithane and parents did not complain. We however kept skipping September Madham to keep them happy. For the next two months, we played mostly Alaipayuthey songs in our car. Every time I listen to the songs of Alaipayuthey, I get reminded of the greenery, hills, mist and water falls on the roads of Western Ghats. Twenty years later, Alaipayuthey songs sound like they were recorded recently. But due to non-listening of September Madham, this is the only song in this album I am not fond of.


About Dr Gagan K

Dr. Gagan K is a lawyer by qualification and a law lecturer by profession. His initial connection to Tamil music was through A R Rahman. And now he listens to Ilaiyaraaja, Harris Jayaraj, Anirudh, Yuvan and others.

Say hello to Dr Gagan K here, and do visit his blog.

0 Responses: