Saturday, November 20, 2010
There can only be one king, the others either retire or aren't good enough, yet
It’s a cold Saturday night in November, a little past one. Some weekends, I don’t really like to sleep. Not quite early. So in a pretty romantic spirit, I wandered around my living room and slowly into rugged thoughts and eventually, when I was badly in need of some source of sound, I ended up rummaging thru’ the collection of music I fondly made this year. Not many. Just about three to four, thru’ the entire (well, almost the entire) year. The most beautiful of it was the cover of ‘Vinnaithaandi varuvaaya’ – such a pretty poster, it brings a smile of love to even the most unromantic. I played the newest in the list – the unplugged version of ‘Aaromale’ in the mesmerizingly classic voice of Shreya, released in the collector’s edition of the album, last weekend.
I had listened to it, maybe three times since it came out. But tonight, alone in the living room, with just a faded incandescent bulb in stunning silence, I could literally feel the song simply fill – and I really mean it when I say ‘fill’ - every ounce of air in the room. It runs about four minutes and a half, with a subtle violin and a few underplayed strokes of guitar in the backdrop. The first time, it felt different. The second, it felt completely different. It’s amazing how Rahman’s music transforms into totally new sounds of art during nocturnal hours. I played it a third time. And a fourth and maybe about ten more times.
When it finishes and leaves you at the hem of the silence again, it kind of rings - maybe resonates from the inside and the only thing you feel up to is going back to it and experience the strange, unearthly feeling all over again. It's, in a way, bizzare. Such a simple piece of tune, taking your entire, musically challenged mind all the way to a cosmic, perhaps, godly place.
Many a time, especially during such hushed nights, when I listen to Rahman’s tunes, I feel a strange - I don’t know if it’s right to say, but – sort of a connection. In what way, I have no clue. But I just feel it. It’s like reading your favorite author and you kind of know the words that would follow in the next line.
Perhaps, one could never explain what magic Rahman's music unfailingly carries. As a raw soul that practically grew up listening to Rahman, I think this is what it means, in a personal sense, to me -
Without music, we would have but been a mere ensemble of flesh and other anatomical parts.
Without Rahman, we would have but been mere victims of rusting commercialism of music, Indian and western.