Letters, Rains, Books, Conversations – A Friendship

100 Happy Days – Day 88

Happiness is friendship in rain, with book, through letters and conversation.

It was 6.50 am. The queue began from the first floor, stretched through the staircase to the ground floor and out. I was on the staircase closer to the first floor. I heard Carnatic music emanating from the room filled with 50-60 youngsters; CA students. A guy with curly hair and sacred ash on his forehead emerged from the crowd, took out his phone and answered the call, cutting off the Carnatic music.

I walked into the classroom after my registration. A friend gestured me to come forward, for he had saved a seat for me. As I took my place beside him, I looked around to get acquainted with my neighbours and there he was, right in front of me. I glimpsed a drawing in his notebook. A rough sketch of Lord Shiva. There was a Shloka written next to it. I asked him about it and as he explained it, I made a mental note to read more on it. But soon, I forgot. I must ask him again. Or maybe, he’ll tell me if he reads this. 😉

*****

In a while, Gopikrishnan, the guy with the Bhasma on his forehead and immense love for Carnatic, and I became friends and then, there was no looking back.

We have these deep conversations at times, but we could easily talk silly too. They happen very rarely; maybe twice or thrice a year. But, it doesn’t matter. It is easy to pick up from where we had left. But mostly, we don’t have to pick up from where we had left. We could simply start a conversation with absolutely no back history.

During one such conversation, we realised that both of us loved writing letters. From then on, we started exchanging handwritten letters. (Heck! That was when I realised that most of the post boxes never functioned.) Whenever I saw the blue inland letter waiting for me in the hall, I knew where it came from. Sometimes, I’d tear it open right away. Sometimes, I’d keep it safely and opened it when I could read it peacefully.

Each of your friends add value to your life in different ways. Gkris, as he calls himself, prods my inner consciousness through our conversations and letters. The things he says, give new perspectives to my thoughts. His words have the power to make me see new things, take me to a new world where things needn’t really work as per a set of rule books.  There is a spiritual connection underlying our friendship and this is what makes it special.

While we spoke about so many things, bonded over books, music, movies, poems, quotes, ideologies and TV shows, we couldn’t meet. When I was free, he never came to my place. When he came, I wasn’t here. And so, after  three long years, it was time to meet.

*****

I picked him up from a common point and we stood there and spoke, oblivious to the place and the time. After a lot of discussions, we decided to go to a mall though we preferred a peaceful place amidst nature. On our way, the rain beat down from nowhere. Though we took shelter initially, the next time we were on the road, the rain couldn’t stop us. Both of us being rain lovers, decided to embrace the drizzle and continued. After a while, I heard him laugh ever so softly.

“What is it?”, I asked.

“You don’t want to know.”

“Now I do. Tell me!”

“Your hair brushes against my face every now and then. Um… and the smell. It smells so good.”

“I know”, I said.

“What is it with Women’s hair really? What smells so good? It isn’t Shampoo.”

“I don’t know. But I agree, it does smell good.” 😀

(The conversation ended there. It was later on that I got to know about Pheromones and remembered this conversation we had.)

Mall is a sad replacement for these rains, I thought. But not after we entered the mall and veered into the crossword book-store. Time flew as we bonded over books. Well read as he was, he showed me the books he liked, he suggested me some, he narrated some of the stories, his eyes twinkled as he described his book-shelf; a mini library.

During the conversation, he picked two books that I hadn’t read and asked me to pick one for myself. I was over-whelmed for that was the first time someone was gifting me a book. I asked him to choose since I had no clue about the two. He gave a gist of both the books and asked me to choose. Since both seemed interesting, I picked one randomly.

Later, as I was sipping a cup of tea, he spoke of his wanderlust, his experiences, and experiments during his journeys. He suggested places I’d like and he described beautiful sights. His plate was empty and yet, I was sipping my tea. He took the book he gave me and scribbled something in it. As he handed me the book, he said, ‘I have underlined some sentences in this book. Don’t read it beforehand.’ and I kept my word.

I returned home that day with the satisfaction you get only after you meet a close friend. When some people say goodbye and leave, we feel low. But when I dropped him off, I didn’t feel sad. Our bond wasn’t made through meetings. It was through words, letters and conversations. As long as the letters were exchanged, the conversations continued and music prevailed, this bond would exist.

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While there are those friendships; the ones with lots of backstories of trips, heartbreaks, jokes, pranks and much more, there are some friendships that are subtle yet deep in their roots. One isn’t better or worse than the other. As I mentioned earlier, every friend adds value to you. One need not meet them or talk to them often, face tough or funny situations with them or go on trips. Probably, there are just a few silent moments together, just a few stray words exchanged. The bond speaks for itself.

This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day

Sunday Symphony

Signing in from Ooty on an early July, Sunday afternoon. The weather is romantically chill, the hills nearby are misty, the greens are greener and the flowers seem more colorful. We have the melodies wafting through the cottage occasionally, when my uncle strums at his guitar and hums long forgotten songs from Hollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood alike. It is from him that I picked up this old Hindi melody with heart rending lyrics. I have a earworm now!

I sent it to some of the melody lovers who love my taste and yet I feel incomplete. So, here it is on my blog. For the hopeless romantics, melody lovers, for those who are never tired of the old Hindi songs, for those who have heard it and the ones who haven’t, I am currently listening to;

Hope you like the Sunday Symphony. While we are at it, here is a quote along the same lines. Have a Happy Sunday!

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A Day to Extol the Legend – A R Rahman

Well, a day late!

My playlist brims with the songs created by the legend who was born yesterday and so, how can I not come up with a post? I initially thought of singing one of his songs and tried recording a few. It has been more than a month since I sang and so, it turned out to be pathetic. Finally, I managed to record just a portion of one of his masterpieces. Since I thought that is too less, after a lot of deliberation, I decided to compile a list of my favorite A R Rahman songs too.

So, here goes the part where you bear with my singing. Thank God for ‘On’ and ‘Off’ buttons. 😀 I apologize for the off tones and the wrong pronunciations, if any.

If you like the song and haven’t heard the original, you must. 🙂

ARR is known for his very own unique tunes that take the weirdest and mysterious routes when we expect them the least. The best example being the lines in Ae Ajnabi.

Vo Jo Doodh Dhuli Masoom Kali
Vo Hai Kahan Kahan Hai

When I heard them for the first time, I just sat there perplexed thinking, ‘What was that?’ The lines before these were moving smooth and simple and then suddenly, there came a gush of unexpected notes so unique. At first, I wondered how Udit Narayan sang that portion. It was pure magic. And then many years later, I wondered how someone could create music that unique, with so many twists and turns. Later, I found many such unexpected twists in Rahman sir’s songs. I could only bow down to the maestro. 🙂

Shhh… He is weaving magic 🙂

Image courtesy: Official page – arrahman.com

Here are some of my favorite songs by him:

1. Puthu Vellai Mazhai (Ye haseen vadhiya) and Kadhal Rojave (Roja jaane man) are my favorites from the movie. The maestro was known to the world through this movie and the songs in it took the world by their spell. These two songs still give me goosebumps when they are played unexpectedly in the public.

2. Uyire (Tu hi Re) – This soul stirring song from Bombay has been sung and played a million time and yet it remains evergreen. I wonder what made him compose this melancholic piece filled with so much desperation.

3. Roja Roja – Many aren’t aware of this beautiful song from Kadhalar Dinam (Hindi: Dil hi Dil Mein). Ae Nazneen Suno Na (Enna Vilai Azhage) is another breath taking number from the movie. The second stanza takes it to another level. Here is the song ‘Ae Nazneen Suno Na’.

4. Piya Milenge – Raanjhana has many more songs that caught people’s attention. This is my favorite because of the sufi-ness, Sukhwinder Singh & Rahman Sir.

5. Anbe Sugama – This song from Parthale Un Paravasam has a lot word play. I had written about this in this post earlier.

6. Yeh Jo des hai Tera – You can’t help but be proud about our country when you listen to this song. Whenever this plays in school/college, right after ARR’s Vande Mataram, that is when the Republic/Independence day celebration becomes complete.

7. Vennilave (Chanda Re) – He has given lots of wonderful songs in Minsarakanavu, this being my favorite. Maana Madurai and Poo Pookum Osai (Awaara Bhawre) isn’t far behind.

8. Ae Ajnabi – I have already mentioned the reason why I fell for this song. When Roja and Bombay were released, I was a child and didn’t know that there was someone called a Music composer. Somehow, when I fell in love with Ae Ajnabi, that was when I began to realize that this and the rest in my playlist were ARR’s creations. Ae Ajnabi is my Neem Tree 😛

I Had to Make Another List

I began to prepare this list and then, I realised that the number of songs were increasing beyond control. It is difficult for a Rahman fan to list just a few. Hence I jot down some more songs that I have to mention. They were my favorites when they released. The fever has abated but still, I like them. 🙂

  • Khoon Chala
  • Lukka Chuppi 
  • Entrendrum Punnagai (O Humdum)
  • Snehidane (Chupke Se). All of us were crazy about this one.
  • Rock Star – I like all the songs in the movie. But Phir Se Udd Chala, Kun Faya Kun & Sadda Haq top the list.
  • Behne De –  An enchanting music, this one’s got! I don’t know why, whenever I listen to this, I imagine myself climbing a mountain. There is a lot of energy in my imaginations. 😀
  • Jodha Akbar – In Lamhon Ke Daaman Me, Jashn E Bahara and Khwaja Mere Khwaja. The last sufi one stole everyone’s hearts. There is something about this sufi music and then there is something about AR Rahman’s music. When the two merge, bliss it is!
  • The legend of Bhagat Singh – His patriotic songs convey the right emotions. They hit the heart where it must, point blank. Des Mere and Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna convey extreme levels of patriotism but the two songs are entirely different.

Songs From the Movie ‘Boys’ 

This require a special mention. This movie that lured teenagers, was released in my tenth standard. We had several music channels that played every song from this movie day in and day out consecutively. People who never watched Tamil until then were flocking outside the theatre to watch it, many of my classmates being among them.

These songs began the fever. In my eleventh standard, I knew all the songs in the movie fully and when teachers were late to class, my classmates used to ask me to sing them. I have sung them a hundred times! Maro Maro, Girlfriend, Dating, Please Sir, Ale Ale, Secret of Success, Boom Boom 😀 I knew them all!

The Must Mention Fast Numbers

Muqqala, Urvasi, Humma Humma, Chayya Chayya etc are still feet tapping numbers. You can’t just ignore them. I grew up listening to the first three and they were all everywhere. Musthafa is still the best friendship song ever! I have many more songs to add in the fast number, but if I list them all, I’ll never stop will I?

Hence, I am putting an end to this post extolling The God of Music. The greater fans will know that I haven’t done any justice to the list. I never can. Wishing a lovely year of music to the legend that is AR Rahman, I sign off. 🙂

PS – I have confirmed all the details given in this post with wikipedia. If there has been any misstatements, kindly let me know. 🙂 Because, being a fan doesn’t mean I am always right, right?