16 Mar 2012
It was his first visit to India and I was taking him on a drive. As we crossed the town, radio signal went low. He admitted his liking for Indian film music, so I played the disc instead of switching off the audio. When I drive alone, I always play Ilaiyaraja, so the disc played his numbers from 80s and 90s. As he listened to one after another, he followed the music keenly. I grew up listening to Ilaiyaraja, so I was enjoying it again.
After Enno Ratrulostayi from Dharma Kshetram, Oka Brindavanam from Gharshana (Mani Ratnam's), O Priya Priya from Gitanjali, it started playing Ekanta Vela from Anveshana. Anyone who has watched this Vamsy's chilling thriller in Devi 70mm will never forget it. A matchless composition, it blends the sensuous tone with that of subterfuge. He couldn't follow the lyrics, for he doesn't know that language. But he quite liked the tune and of course the interludes. When it ended, he asked me to play it again. He seemed to have cracked something about the song and wanted to be sure. Listening to it a second time helped his judgment. Soon after the number ended the second time, he asked me, "I get the feeling that this song was shot in a forest. Am I right?" The question stunned me.
"Wow, of course!" I said. It was never possible for me to listen to the song and not immediately associate how and where it was shot. But that someone could crack it while listening to it for the first time made me again remember how much a genius Ilaiyaraja is. What makes it even more surprising is that unlike other numbers in the flick, this song doesn't have any obvious sounds native to a forest.
After a couple of days when he was ready to leave, I gave him the disc of Nothing But Wind and the background scores of Gitanjali. "By Ilaiyaraja. Hope you like it", I said.
"I think I surely will", he replied, looking at the play list.
Here's to Ilaiyaraja, the king!
5 Mar 2012
Barely an hour after I had reached an acquaintance's and had a cup of tea, I heard a knock on the door. He rushed and opened. They greeted him warmly, and one could see they knew him quite well. When Aunt entered the room and greeted them, her manner and tone suggested she too was familiar with them. The group, I realised soon, was out for a political campaign. And this chap, in his mid-twenties, has impressive people skills and a strong local network. They wanted him to join.
"Leave me alone today. I have a guest and I promised to take him around our town", he offered an excuse.
The group insisted he must join. He had to agree. Aunt smiled and said, "He is always on the roads!" I smiled.
As he prepared to leave, he told me he will return in a couple of hours and then take me out. It meant I could just laze around for some time, so I definitely had no problem. Curiously I asked about the motives of the group. He briefed me that they are, among other things, committed to support Team Anna's campaign againt corruption.
"Great", I said. "Do you believe in Anna's campaign?"
Tucking in his shirt, he replied with a smile, "I don't have any stand on that. But then who cares? I campaign for them, and they pay me 100 bucks per day".
"Yeah, bro!" he combed his hair. "Watch some TV. I will soon be back. Ciao!"