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16 Mar 2012

King of Music

Posted by Oblivion in General | 1:44am

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!   

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