Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Raaja Experience

A good friend of mine, Vignesh, who is much more a 'ilaiyaraaja buff' than a mere mortal, has started a 'blog-tag' game and tagged me in it. The idea is to spontaneously write about 5 things concerning ilaiyaraaja's music and me...and then tag people who could be interested in posting the same on his blog.

I am borrowing same aspects/questions from Vignesh's post.

1. The moment that introduced you to Raaja:

I know this would be quite surprising because ilaiyaraaja's music existed, and in tall stature, even before he made this song. The first time i ever heard the name 'Ilaiyaraaja', was when I listened to this song from 'Gharshana' (Agni Nakshatram in Tamil) - 'Ninnu Kori Varnam'. The music was absolutely different from all the music i heard before. My never-ending journey with ilaiyaraaja started with this song. Incidentally, that was the first time i heard another name, who became my favourite - Chitra.

2. Name one occassion where Raaja's music directly/ indirectly influenced your life:

Well, this is a tricky question, especially to someone who listens to atleast 2-3 ilaiyaraaja songs every day. but I think I can get this one. There was one album, which acted as a divisive force on my experience of raaja's music. Before listening to this album, ilaiyaraaja was one of my favourite composers who gave some wonderful music for few Telugu films. After listening to this album, i realized that this man is actually much more a genius than i knew. His capabilities stretch much beyond making good songs for commercial telugu films. I felt that he does not just compose music, but explores it. That album is 'How to Name it'.

3. Lets take Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi into account. Assuming that one of this is either your mother tongue or native language, name a favorite song in each of the other 4 languages that immediately comes to your mind:

My mother tongue is Telugu, so excluding that, i pick from the other four:

Tamil: Hundreds of songs, but for now, lets say 'Vazha Osai' (from Satya). Absolutely brilliant. is it melody? or groovy? gives me goose bumps.

Malayalam: again many; the pick right now would be 'Poonkaattinodu kilikalodum' (film 'Poomukhappadiyil ninneyum kaathu'), it is a classic.

Kannada: 'Jyotheyalli' (film Geetha).

Hindi: Dilwaale Raat Hain (film 'Mahadev')... i think this song was much ahead of its times.

4. One song of Ilaiyaraaja that you consider rare and think a song that many people should have known but don't:

There are many like that, but to think of it..actually i would again quote 'Dilwale Raat' from Mahadev. Sounds disbelieving, but i spent one entire day asking for this album, in the entire music casette shops market of Kothi, hyderabad. i couldn't get it. It is still a rare find infact.

5. Lets keep the last one simple.. Raaja's number that you are hearing right now/ most recently heard..?:

"Vaan Megham" from Punnaghai Mannan, i still find it puzzling, to understand the elements weaved into it. How could he do it?

My (new) tags: Ravi, Divya, Ananth, Prashanth, Raghu, Chinmayi (hoping that they would post their Raaja moments too :) )


Bhanu said...

Indeed, Ninnu Kori song had captivated so many folks when it was released. I remember one of our family freind ( a very famous Cardiologist in Hyd) wanted me to record this song multiple times on a Tape and give it to him. By then I was already in had all this with me.

By the way, I think you meant 'decisive' in the second answer.

Aakarsh said...

No, it was divisive only. The album divided my whole raaja experience into 'Before' and 'After'. It was a divisive force, but not in the sense that it unpleasantly broke up something. It only served as a major turn.

Random Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Random Walker said...

1. The moment that introduced me to Raja: I have a cousin who introduced me to Raaja. I must have been only a 10 year old and he was quite older than I was. He was obsessed with Raaja and is a very good singer. I used to listen to Lalita priya kamalam (Rudraveena) almost all the time then and he told me that it was Raaja... and as they say there was no looking back.

2. Name one occassion where Raaja's music directly/indirectly influenced your life: The event that really turned my sights to Raaja full-time was listening to How to name it at Aakarsh's place. A second thing that really pushed my interest further was the song, sundaramo sumadhuramo (amavasya chandrudu). These songs started me on my journey of understanding the carnatic raagas. Without raaja, it would have taken me more time to get more deeply interested in Carnatic music.

3. Songs from other languages:
Tamil: Hundreds! To name one, it is umbagarkaratse from Tiruvasagam.
Hindi: Has to be Mahadev's Dilwale :)

4. One song of Ilaiyaraaja that you consider rare and think a song that many people should have known but don't:

I am of the opinion that a song is rare if it uses a rare melodic or rhythmic scheme or a rare raga (difficulty of obtaining a song falls below this in my text book). Raja is the king of such rare experimentation. I'd say Mandolin Srinivas's presentation of kritis by IR has some of these rare gems along with popular raagas. And, I consider that rare...

5. which Raaja song am I listening to right now:

Nee Pournami (Simhendra madhyamam raga, yesudas, bliss...)