A R Rahman is my God of music.
I used to listen to melodies often but never bothered to look who the music director was. Many years after my playlist grew, I happened to notice that most of the songs I had were A R Rahman‘s. Slowly, as I fell in love with the creation, I fell for the creator too. 🙂 But, in the list below, you wouldn’t find many ARR songs. Because, most of us know his hits very well.
Following are the songs close to my soul, my precious gems. There are Malayalam, Tamil & mostly Hindi songs here. Also, for your convenience, I have attached bits of each song sung by me. You can read the reasons for my song-love, listen to the bits & decide whether you like them. 🙂
1. Teri Bandagi (Hindi):
This song has been rendered beautifully by Sunidhi Chauhan. If you have spent an entire night thinking aimlessly about a loved one, if you were torn between the joy of being loved & the desperation of knowing that your love is miles apart, you’d love the lyrics. And the music is mind-blowing. Just put off the lights, plug in the earphones, close your eyes and melt into this. 🙂
2. Mujhe Aaj Tune Jo Choo Liya (Hindi):
Album: “Tum Aaye”
This is another one of those soul stirring songs I mentioned. Like the icing on the top, like the rainbow in the sky, Hariharan’s voice just materializes here & there and as always, he has weaved his magic in here. The lyrics, it begins with;
Mein Kahoonga toh kaun manega
Aaj kya dekha, kya kiya meine
Phool ko aaj gaathe dekha hai
Chaand ko aaj choo liya meine.
(Meaning – Who would believe me if I say,
about what I saw today & about what I did.
Today, I saw the flower sing…
I touched the moon today…)
I must admit that there is a peculiar beauty about Hindi lyrics. And the Urdu words in some songs, simply enhance the feel. Do listen to this song for the enchanting voices of Hariharan & Alka Yagnik.
3. Piya Milenge (Hindi):
Here comes A R Rahman. I consider this to be one of the classics he composed in a very long time. Firstly, he knows to choose the right singers. ARR’s ‘Chayya Chayya‘, ‘Ishq Bina’, ‘Des mere‘ etc are well known, powerful songs sung by Sukhwinder singh. And so, it was only natural for Sukhwinder to pull of Piya milenge with so much ease. The song is intricate with a Sufi, devotional touch and the inspirational music & lyrics. One cannot miss the vibe that the tune creates.
The enchanting part, is its lyrics. It says,‘The one you’re searching for outside, is seated silently within you. When there is a sea inside you, why do you search outside? Draw back the curtains of your mind, open the veil and you’ll find your beloved.’
If you think, it talks about love, someone else thinks it talks about God. The word ‘Piya’ is used to refer to one’s Love and also to Lord Krishna. Whether it says about the Lord or Love, is left to our interpretation. And that is what allures me about this song. A unique piece of work indeed!
4. Pookkal Pookkum (Tamil):
From the start, from the moment I heard this song, I was restless until I downloaded it. I have listened to this a hundred times and never got tired. Later, when I saw this movie, specially the scene just before the song, I fell for the music all the more. I have no idea what half the song means. But the tune & the feel is excellent. Here is the video of the scene & the song.
5. Manmarziyaan (Hindi):
Again, the music is what lured me. I have no idea what the lyrics mean. The voice of the singers, the music and the entire effect it creates is all I wanted to instantly fall in Love with this piece of music.
6. Kaash Aisa Koi Manzar Hota (Hindi):
Singer,Hariharan! What more should I say? Love the music, love the voice. There is no way one cannot fall into the abyss of this music. As I mentioned earlier, Urdu language has left its mark here. And Hariharan has weaved his magic here. You wouldn’t hear an extra bit of instrument. It is peace. It is all silent, except for occasional tinkers and how do I put it? My wonderland would sound like this.
7. Maula mere Maula mere (Hindi):
No introductions here. If you listen to Hindi songs, you’d definitely know this. This song is the Tom & Jerry of all the cartoons, Harry Potter of all the books. I have rarely come across people who don’t know this song. Wondering why it is here? I don’t want a single person to miss this.To begin with, the lyrics brim with passion. The repeated chanting of ‘Maula mere’ gets me imagining a guy, so awestruck seeing his Love, that all he could say is ‘Oh God’ repeatedly. It depicts that deep, gripping kind of Love that you could only imagine, read in books or see in movies. These are my favorite lines.Rakh lu chupaki mein kahi tujhko Saaya bhi tera na mein duu (I’ll keep you hidden somewhere I wouldn’t give you away, not even your shadow. ) Love the emotion behind these lines.
8. Madno (Hindi):
Most of my friends in Kerala hadn’t listened to this song. I still wonder why. I was the local distributor of this song here. 😛 I shouted, flogged and fought with anyone who didn’t listen to this. My reasons are the same. Lovely music, lyrics and feel.In between, the male voice is replaced by Chinmayi Sripada‘s enchanting, husky, base voice. If your eyes are closed, you’d just open & say ‘wow’ right there.Mein hu shab tu subah dono judke judaa Mein hu lab tu dhua dono judke juda Madno… Mashuko… Dilbara… Madno re… I’m night & you’re morning, both join & then separate I’m lips & you’re prayer, both join & then separate The last words all mean beloved and I think Madno is Urdu, Mashuko is Kashmiri and Dilbara is Hindi. See that? How could one not fall for such details?
9. Mazhaye Thoomazhaye (Malayalam): Movie: Pattam Pole
So far I haven’t written a single Malayalam song in the list and many would ask ‘Why this?’. It has got a rainy touch to it. And no other song in Malayalam gave me this feel. The lyrics are pretty good. Again, romance is the theme. But as I said, when I listen to this, I could imagine the green interior parts of Kerala, the rain, its smell, and the love you find when it rains. It’s the music, the singer’s voice and the reference to rains that pulled me towards it.
10. Azhage Sugama (Tamil):
Movie: Parthale un paravasam
Must say, it is a sad song. But the wordplay is fantastic. After a break up, one is asking the other if he/she is fine. Whether their anger and sorrows are doing well, whether the loneliness seems fine, whether the house, the gardens, the bed & the single pillow atop is fine.Trust me! It sounds really beautiful in Tamil. 😥
Azhutha Neeril Karaigal Poividum Theriyaathaa?
Kuraigal Ullathu Manitha Uravugal Puriyaathaa?
Ithu Kaneer Nadathum Paechu Vaarthai,
Udaintha Manangal Ottathaaa?
(Meaning: Don’t you know that in the tears (I) shed, the shores would vanish? Don’t you know that it is human nature not to be perfect? This conversation is between tears. Will the broken hearts ever join back?)
The entire song has a lovely amount of wordplay. But I wouldn’t attempt to explain & spoil more of it here. You can find the lyrics HERE. And no doubt, A R Rahman swished his wand for the music. It is lovely.
11. Abhi Mujhme Kahin:
Sonu Nigam! Sonu Nigam! He has just pulled out his heart & that is what sang this song. When I listen to the lyrics, I imagine a phoenix sing it. The theme revolves around how someone was reborn from the ashes. It talks about the relief when a person burning in the scorching sun suddenly finds the tree’s shade. The feeling of an angry kid scolded & being cajoled. You can read the lyrics and meaning HERE. This one is more about life. Words that leaves us thinking. The words come alive with the apt kind of tune given. And when Sonu Nigam sings it, _/\_ speechless!
Image courtesy: http://storage9.gear3rd.com/
These are my all time favorites. There are many more lovely songs in my playlist. If I were to go on, the number would reach around 30 or 40. These aren’t my top eleven or anything. But, these were the ones that had to be mentioned. And so, I did. Please do listen to them and let me know if they make it to your playlist. I’d be too happy about it. 😀
PS – I’m really sorry for screwing up the translations.