Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Walk Down Rahman Lane by M Suganth

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


My first memory of A R Rahman and his music is, of course, Roja, but at that time, I was a bit young (and naive) to appreciate what a game changer the album was. I did love Kadhal Rojave (because SPB) and Tamizha Tamizha (patriotism FTW!), though. And even when Gentleman released, and Rahman became Kollywood's most-wanted man, I distinctly remember boasting to my friend in school (I think I was in Class 5 then) that many Rahmans may come and go, but Ilaiyaraaja would still be on top. Little did I know that in the very next year, Rahman would deliver the album that would make me a convert — a lifelong fanboy, at that! No humble pie that I've been served has been ever sweeter!

So, to cut the suspense short, the album I'm talking about is Duet . My aunt's house had cable TV, so I would catch the songs on Sun TV and liked them a lot. Mettu Podu instantly wormed its way into me. But the moment when I truly fell head-first in love was when I borrowed home the audio cassette from my uncle, and started listening to it frequently. Pretty soon, everything about the album became so familiar and loveable, from the song order to the singers and even the musicians and Panchathan Record Inn, thanks to the credits in the cassette (with a cute pic of ThalaivARR with his keyboard). Needless to say, I never returned the cassette!

(image from Suganth)

If you are a true ARR fan, you know that your favourite in an album will keep changing for quite some time until you discover that one song which you realise you cannot live without. And for me, Naan Paadum Sandham became that song. Right from the prelude, which gushes like a river, to the terrific duet between a godly SPB and Kadri's divine sax, this was (it still is) pure bliss. And the fact that it did not have a proper music video (though it does play over a montage in the film) made it personal for me as I could imagine whatever visuals I wanted to go with it. In the early days, I'd often wish that it should have been a longer song, but over the years, I've warmed up to the fact that good things come in small packages. It is now the third song that I play when I buy a new music system/earphone (of course, the first two are also ThalaivARR songs), but as they say, the first one is always special, right?

About M Suganth

A journalist based out of Madras, Suganth writes the most balanced movie reviews, according to me. I have most often found myself nodding in agreement, reading his reviews. This writeup on his favourite ARR album memory is no exception. I had similar MemoiARRies playing Duet on rererepeat during holidays.

A father of two and a husband of one (adhe!), Suganth's culinary experiments can be found under #PondatiOorukkuPoita on his Instagramam .  
Say hello to Suganth here.

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