Monday, August 24, 2020

A Walk Down Rahman Lane by Vijaynarain

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

The Rahman “Normal” 

Lekar Hum Deewana Dil.
The name sounds like a movie I would avoid even if someone gave me a free ticket to watch. Except, my trustworthy friends from the hardcore A.R.Rahman fans Whatsapp group ensured I was up to speed on the album release date. It must have been a month or so since I had set foot in Australia, allowing the country to slowly grow on me, in the same way many a Rahman song does. Even as I was warming up to Sydney’s delights, a sense of loneliness coupled with homesickness tended to creep in now and then, especially since those were the days of early sunsets that characterised the antipodean winter. 

My ringtone then, and for the next three years was Maloom’s opening guitar phrase. The ringtone was definitely not a conversation starter, you see, hardcore Rahman fans were hard to find for someone who barely had any friends in the country and the guitar lick itself wasn’t iconic in the same sense say, the bass-line of Urvasi Urvasi is. While like most other ARR albums, there were a host of new singers with amazingly fresh voices, the arrangements were surprisingly mainstream and the tunes, instantly catchy rather than woven into a byzantine web of notes and chords that reveal their intricate beauty over repeated listens. Yet, there was something about the album that made it feel like a cup of hot chocolate on a freezing Sunday evening.

I have in the past, written tedious essays about other Rahman albums that have moved me to tears (Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein), shaken the core of my being (Water!), made me sit up all night flabbergasted that it was even humanly possible to create something like what I’d just heard (so many examples, but perhaps Adiye, Noor Un Ala, Thee Thee for now). However, never did I think I’d be writing about a normal Rahman album. Then again, the Rahman “normal” is a new normal isn’t it? I know I know, if only you had a dollar for every time you heard that term in the past few months…

Apparently this “Rahman normal” feels like a warm, welcoming hug from a friend you haven’t met in ages. Or perhaps it’s just that you haven’t realised that friend has always been with you even if you’re a continent apart, ready to put an arm around your shoulder and tell you everything is going to be just fine. I suppose that also explains why I’ve been revisiting the

music of LHDD often lately. My Australian experience would be incomplete, perhaps non-existent, without this album.

About Vijaynarain A musician, a daily wage IT consultant and a fighter for the cause of preserving structural integrity
of biscuits dunked in tea... Say hello to 'Super Singer' Vijaynarain. A familiar name in almost all of Santhosh Narayanan's recent albums, the singer Vijaynarain made his debut as Composer Vijaynarain, in Dagaalty, recently. Do check out the soundtrack. Vijaynarain's got some interesting projects coming up as a singer and as a composer and we cannot wait to listen to all of them! Thanks Vijaynarain for writing this today. Makkaley, don't miss listening to this wonderful playlist featuring all of Vijaynarain's hits.

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