It’s a big week for us here. Rahmania is celebrating its 4th anniversary on 14th November 2014! To mark this occasion, we reached out to a bunch of fans asking them to write about one Rahman song that is special to them. The response has been overwhelming! This is Part 1 of a 4 Part Series. We hope you enjoy it!
The unending fascination for 90s A.R.Rahman is one thing. The belief that he is no more the force he was then is completely another. 2008 was a monster year for Rahman. The quality may depend on the individual but by sheer quantity, Rahman was everywhere, the Oscar buzz notwithstanding. And then came the behemoth called Delhi 6. While the album is full of tracks vying for a position in Rahman’s top 20 tracks (if that is even possible now – 6 years have passed since 2008, 22 years since Roja), the one that stands out is Dil Gira Dafatan. The video – once we are ready to pardon the bad visual effects – works beautifully within the film’s context – the story of an NRI, coming to grips with his new Indian surroundings and struggling to coexist in a shared space. It may just work as well for Rahman of old, he of the new sound of 90s that drew us all in and the Rahman of new, he belonging to the ones who grew old with him but suddenly found him inaccessible. Or so they thought. Delhi 6 (and this song) is the logic endpoint (or starting point?) of that journey. The captivating Rahman of the 90s coexisting in harmony with the new experimental Rahman. At one point in the video, Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) runs but remains stationary. We thought that was Rahman. But Rahman went miles ahead. It’s us who had to adjust for this quantum leap much like Roshan trying to come to grips with all the changes. (Tu magar hai bekhabar, hai bekhabar)
Bombay Theme is probably the finest composition by AR Rahman. I consider myself a hardcore music fan. Yet, there are hardly any songs that can bring tears to my eyes. Bombay Theme was the first track that got me emotionally drained and tears could not stop coming out of eyes. Despite listening to this song over 1000 times, every hearing still brings goosebumps. Undoubtedly, this composition is one of Rahman’s favorite as well, because the flute performance of Bombay Theme gets featured in almost all of his concerts. The song has been featured in countless international compilation albums: that says almost everything about the quality of this composition.
Pachai Nirame (Alaipayuthey) was, at 11 years old, the first song that I had ever genuinely liked, and the effect it had on me took me quite by surprise. It became my gateway drug into Rahman and Tamil film music in general when I bought the film’s audio cassette (with Kandukondein Kandukondein on the B side as a bonus!). Trying to figure out why I liked this song so much, discovering its various layers and hidden complexities and the interplay between the music and the lyrics taught me my first few lessons in appreciating music. PC Sreeram’s visualization of the song is a treat in itself, and all through my teens, Pachai Nirame was what I imagined falling in love would feel like.
Unlike many others, after watching Swades I actually wanted to go out of India only so that I can come back after listening to Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera. I used to have this small globe with me, which I used to rotate while playing Yej Jo Des Hai and stand there like SRK and wait for India to appear.
A tune that can make me smile when I’m happy, weep when I’m sad. There’s something very comforting about the song, and at the same time something extremely disturbing about it. The first ever time I heard this song, tears flowed down my cheek mercilessly. It’s not everyday that you can listen to a song as this, because once the play button is pressed, it’s impossible to lay a finger on any other button, other than the replay one.
To sum it up in one line: Magic met Music, and a Maestro sat right in the middle and coalesced the two of them into a single track of bliss.