Of Words, Music and Romance.

Romance is a funny thing. I believe not everyone feels the same way about romance. For me, romance is in a book or a poem. Grand gestures are lost on me.

In the past, I have been a part of what would be considered romantic gestures. Receiving flowers and chocolates; walking in the rain holding hands; midnight trips to moonlit lakes… maybe it was just the company that was non-romantic or perhaps, it is just me. Though it does look rather nice when I have written it down now.

For me, romance is primarily in books – literature, poetry. If you can get it in words, I believe you are doing it right. And music – where words are not required; you feel it in your heart, it seeps into the very fibre of your being. There is something about music that is frustratingly romantic.

But, I am writing today about the absolute nuisance that is the combination of A R Rahman, Mani Rathnam and Vairamuthu! Here I am sitting and listening to music on the radio, and a few songs later there is this song from the new movie Kaatru Veliyidai. The movie is produced, written and directed by Mani Rathnam, with music by A R Rahman. Four of its songs are written by Vairamuthu.  And this combination always, always wrecks havoc with me.

A R Rahman’s music is an experience; his songs tend to creep into your mind. You won’t think much of it when you hear it, but you will still be humming it the next day. I once woke up with a song of his playing in my mind, and I didn’t even like it! The first time I heard an A R Rahman song was in the early ‘90’s. I was a little girl who had a cassette player and an audio cassette labelled ‘Roja’.

Of course, who didn’t like Chinna Chinna Asai; but then there was Pudhu Vellai Mazhai. Epic-ness in 5 minutes. I did not know it then, perhaps I was too young. But there was a haunting emptiness inside that this song created. And then, in a minute, the song manages to fill that emptiness with a wonderful warmth that coursed through your veins. When I was older I could make a lot more sense of the lyrics, but the music still works the same way.

Many songs written by Vairamuthu with A R Rahman‘s music for Mani Rathnam movies later, I still feel the same way about Pudhu Vellai Mazhai. But there are other songs as well. These three men are incredible put together. They take romance to a whole new level.

They make you feel the tingling newness of a crush, the thrill of falling in love, the flawlessness of being in love, the lust, the heartbreak. You really can experience the whole spectrum of emotions in just five minutes or however long their songs last.

This new movie Kaatru Veliyidai, I am not sure if I will watch. But, three songs have already been listened to a few hundred times. Saarattu Vandiyile is perhaps as close to Rukkumani Rukkumani that we can get, but IMHO Rukkumani Rukkumani is still the better of the two. (Also the Vairamuthu lyrics!) Vaan is another favourite. The longing, hopes and dreams in this song call to you. Not really a Kannalanae, but Vaan stands apart. The favourite is Nallai Allai. A melody that’s got everything working for it. The lyrics, the music… even the singer (D Sathyaprakash) has played a part in making it as awesome as it is. Though I think even if there wasn’t a song, the words alone would pack punch.

If you take songs from the team of Vairamuthu + A R Rahman + Mani Rathnam, you will definitely find a song that is apt for any situation that you are in; or want to be in. I could list some of my favourites from their stable, but I wouldn’t be able to list them all. So these are a few…

Needless to say, we are diehard fans, and selfishly wish them all the best. It is the only way we can get even more of this magic.

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