Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Walk Down Rahman Lane by Shrey Jadav

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

The year was 2006 and I was 9 years old going into 10. That age is a very strange one, you don't want to be called a child and you "can't wait for high-school, and college and have your own money." I also felt like that was the time when one get's a slow introduction to emotions that are individual and personal to you; it could be people, events, hobbies, art, music or films. And that was the time when I first felt something very unprecedented, it was poignant and over-whelming, but it was beautiful.

Rang De Basanti was released that year and it was the hot talk in the country and the next thing I remember was my dad, my mum, my sister and I in the theatre. My in my mother's lap because I was small enough still to be a "half-ticket”.  Rang De Basanti is of course a roller-coaster of emotions but then towards the end when Lukka Chuppi played, that song hit different. The music, the melody, the miss-en-scene was so perfect, remember what started as small sobs at intervals turned into heavy weeping and I held my mum’s hand real tight.

At first, she thought I was scared with the idea of death and protest (as shown in the movie) and asked me to shut my eyes. But I knew it wasn’t that. I knew that I was feeling “heavy”, something I wasn’t able to describe at that time. Even with my eyes closed, I heard the music unfurl in the magic of  Mr. Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar and I felt a strange sad, a happy kinda sad - which I knew was monetary and would pass a few hours after the movie ended but I was happy to be in that moment; I felt like I was growing up and I was learning of the joys that one can gain from art and emotions and music. And A R Rahman was one of the firsts to make me realise that. The fact that I can remember this singular incident in detail is an epitome of how these small, personal experiences really shape you. Yes, I wasn’t aware of who he was at that time, nor did I know who was signing, I just knew that the music was stirring something inside of me and I was keen to have more experiences as such.

The years followed with me singing Lukka Chuppi, Maa Tujhe Salaam, Dil Se Re among many of the Maestro's hits for Mother’s Day, Independence Day etc at school events not knowing the singular link amongst the magic in all these that was A R Rahman.

I love scrolling through YouTube and a lot of my recommendations consist of choir music. Quite recently, I came across some videos of the Berklee Indian Ensemble’s tribute to A R Rahman where they performed some of his absolute classics, Jiya Jale, Kun Faaya Kun and my most favourite the Swades title track. And that was nothing less than a transcending experience, watching Indians and foreigns alike sing, play and grove to these powerful melodies; a supreme reminder of how music is beyond any boundaries and A R Rahman has not only accomplished that within our country, but taken us to the world.

In conclusion, Mr. Rahman GAVE to me, one of my very first coming-of-age experiences that I will cherish for life. And continues to deliver to us those moments of ecstatic surprise every now and then, and that is gold for me.

About Shrey

Before anything let me introduce you to this ARR song, sung by singer Shrey.

A Digital Content and Social Media professional, Shrey did his Bachelors in Mass Media and started his career as a copywriter. I have had the fortune of working with fun Gen Z folks and Shrey is one of them. When not chatting with bff Katy Perry (no kidding, just check this), he spends his Lockdown time on his fabulous insta-live sessions, singing.

Sing along with Shrey here.

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