Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

Prologue: A while ago, Visitor asked me if I could post my take on VTV. Given that Visitor is extremely hard to refuse ;-), this is the fulfillment of my solemn promise –  a review of the Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya album, the latter, crafted ever so carefully by the wizard of Indian music – A R Rahman.  @Visitor, this one’s for you! 🙂

I want to buy a guitar.
Drive down to the shores of a beach, somewhere far, far away.
Strum the guitar, till the sun sets.
Watch the moonlight making silver patterns on the dark sea.
All the while, singing “Aaromaleee…”

These were probably the first clear thoughts that I got, after listening to this song. Someone told me “Aaromale” was close to Led Zeppelin-from-Kerala. Well, I’m not an expert on Led (and core fans would probably consider this comparison a sacrilege?!)… however, “Aaromale” is different, and really good at being so.

The song is a rocksy-bluesy alternative to Malayalees who’ve wanted to find a new-age soul in music. And that soul hits you, around 2 minutes 5 seconds into the song, when Alphonse’s husky crooning of Aaromale leads you into a venerable chorus of “Swasthi, swasthi, sumuhoortham, sumangali bhava manavaatti“. Within seconds, the chant transports you into the hallowed portals of a church, and the song becomes a tormented, rebellious soul’s prayer of love.

I won’t say the song is a classic. It is a daring, different attempt, and as a musician, ARR pulls a rabbit out of his hat. I’m not certain how many non-Malayalees will embrace it completely – the lyrics are integral to the song, and not understanding it may dilute the impression on the listener.

There is another (strange) aspect to Aaromale. Typically ARR’s songs take much listening to, for a true discovery of the song’s potential. I liked Aaromale in the 2nd and 3rd hearing, which is too soon by the usual standard. It changed to intense obsession in even a shorter while, as I had it on loop for 2-3 days.

And then I moved on to the other songs. I even went to the extent of wondering if Aaromale was just a phase.

But then, when I came back to it, the visuals did too and the crooning was back in my head. I realized that I may not always have an Aaromale frame of mind, but when I do want to listen to it, it would be to experience that feeling of pathos mixed with heady exhilaration.

The second surprise of the album is Mannipaaya. It’s the quintessential ARR romantic song ;). You never get to know what the song is when you hear it for the first time. Infact, it just appears deceivingly lowkey, esp. because it is difficult to hum the first few times. You wonder what’s so great about a romantic number that Shreya Ghoshal is singing. But wait, ARR sings it too, right?

So you listen to it a couple of times (after all, he’d have some reason for singing just that one song, right?!). And then… the brilliance of the maestro finally dawns on you, and you’re left with a side-sloped grin, grudgingly admitting to yourself that you underestimated, and he tricked you into it again.

For many people, Mannipaaya is the pick of the album. For me, it rates next to “Munbe Vaa” from SOK, and “Tu Bin Bataye” from RDB – even though the emotion of love explored in the song, is vastly different from these two.

Music-wise, ARR breaks the traditional charanam-pallavi mode, and creates a rhapsody of instruments and vocals, and your keen ear is left wondering what started when and how it all fits together, so deceptively! Sheer brilliance.

I found the lyrics of the song, a little too blasé – they were intended to convey the poetry of romance, but do it overtly, if you know what I mean. Somehow the phrases lack that heart-tugging quality in the Munbe Vaa and Tu Bin Bataye (or even Yakkai Thiri) – and that is the only aspect of the whole song that I felt cheated about.

Talking about the two songs above, reminds me, that my favorite Naresh Iyer features in the album. Kannukkul Kannai is a short racy number (3 min 53 sec), and just for featuring Naresh, a big yay to ARR. This is one guy I’ve really wanted to hear much more of, but somehow, nothing much has graced my ears post his Munbe Vaa, Innisai, and Roobaroos. It would have been nice to hear another version of Mannipaaya with Naresh and Shreya, but what the hell – since ARR does it himself, I forgive him ;).

What about the KK track? It gives me the kind of urgency that some of the tracks in Boys did. Pulsating (techno) beats, and a quality of “there’s something to be done very soon”. It is again, a different attempt – but probably the lesser known ones out of the album. And is that a violin or a cello belting out staccato sounds? *Eyes widen as the significance of this sinks in*.


Yeah, I’m switching tracks to another song with a rather obvious Church influence. This song could easily have been done in the “Ale Ale” setting from Boys: dreamy sequence, flowers, girl dressed in a pretty-fairy like dress. Add a nice group of fairies to do the background dance to the tune of the chorus. And then put in Siddharth. *Swoons and goes off into a reverie*….

….Okay, back to acting my age.

Hosanna is a good song and achieves an unexpected marriage of two entirely different experiences – the sanctity of the church and the purity of love.  The last (and only) time I felt this was possible was when I heard “Jaana suno, hum tumpe marte he” from Khamoshi.

But, but wait. Have you been misled into thinking that you’ve already heard about my favorite from the VTV album?
If so, you’re SO WRONG!
*Waits for the initial shock to subside* …
… (*chuckles* :D)

Yes. Swallow this: Despite Aaromale, despite Mannipaaya, despite Hosanna, I’ve still gone and fallen in love with an unexpected song from the lot of VTV. Well, perhaps the drama I’m trying to create is unnecessary, but atleast I for one, was surprised by my choice.

The pick of the album for me is “Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya” by Karthik.

Starting off with a strum, and almost a wispy, recital of words “Oone, uyire, unakkaaka thudithen, vinmeeney“, Karthik breathes an ethereal quality into this piece that’s almost impossible to place. The song is just out-of-this-world.

Close your eyes and listen to ARR developing the layers that bubble in the background with Karthik’s voice till they melt with his, and you know why. The notes go up and down in waves, and just when you’re thinking it’s reached a place from where it cannot return, out comes an unpredictable twist, and you’re left with your eyebrows an inch higher than usual.

Karthik, the singer, is one of ARR’s BEST finds – and another favorite of mine. Incredibly diverse and rich vocals, he’s shown himself as capable of a wide spectrum, from the “Enakku Oru Girlfriend” to “Oru Maalai” to “Ale Ale” to “Unpaarvayil/Niluvadhamu”. And now this. Top Class!

The VTV album has two other tracks – Anbil and Omana Penne. Both are pretty popular, and interesting in their own way, but for me, they come below the 5 above, and so I don’t attempt anything beyond a mention.

My rating for the album overall? Given that I feel extremely satiated (and have Visitor to thank for!! *beeg smiles* :D), I would give this a 4.25. (Warning: Rating is calculated after extensive research, regression and quantitative arithmetic jugglery, so don’t dare question me !!… ;))

What a delightful experience!!

Love, The Retro Way

Once in a while, you come across these songs that you remember forever.

It’s like these songs are stuck in time, and each time you listen to them, you’re transported back to those years – when you were a different person, when your heart was naive, when you had emotions so strong that they altered the chemistry of your body.

Such songs have the capability to trigger long-forgotten sensations within you. The recollection becomes a physical experience… veering into synesthetic awareness – you can see, feel and almost *taste* those moments in time.

This blog is dedicated to three such songs – retro hindi at that… Ageless songs, phenomenal music, awesome lyrics..and that haunting characteristic that’s so indescribable. Enjoy 🙂

Aisa Sama Na Hota

One of the most incredible voices in Indian history, Lata Mangeshkar, graces this song, and how. As if her honeyed, luscious tones were not enough to send you into a blissful stupor, she has this way of inducing a pang into certain parts of the song – listen to “rahe wo hi waadein wo hi badla kuch nahi, phir bhi tere milne se he duniya kyon hasi”, to understand what I mean.

Youtube allows me to share the video, so here it is. And if I you’re ogling at Sanjay Dutt’s angelic face, well, I don’t blame you ;-).

Tere Dar Par Sanam

Another woman singing this again, yet a favorite of mine, and incidently, A.R. Rahman’s too 😉 – judging by the number of times he’s made her croon his loveliest of numbers : Sadhana Sargam. This song is one of her best but I won’t attribute the success of the song only to her.

Just listen to the violin piece at the start of the song. And feel your heart bleed.

Can you believe Anu Malik is the composer? True to his nature, the piano prelude is lifted from ‘Summer of 42’. But you’ve still got to hand it to him – for melding the piano with the violin seamlessly, for sustaining the expectations from the prelude, and creating a song that’s poignant and laced with a kind of passion that can only be called … *Searing*.

The video is no great shakes – esp. since I hate both the lead actors. But if you believe love can transcend into the territory of dementia, you can sort of accept these two being picked to depict that. Nevertheless, preferably, close your eyes, and soak in only the song.

Tu, tu hai wohi, dil ne jise

Can love be playful? Can it be as much the desire to possess another soul as the need to discover the freedom of the spirit?

Is it a promise? A promise made, to be each other’s soul mate – and to bound to each other, in eternity?

Is it the merging of two waves of consciousness into the sea of the universe?

Well, perhaps it is all of these and more. Listing this song here, is an attempt to pay tribute as much to the words as to the music – so let me write down a few of the former here:

“Mein aawaaz hoon tho, tu he geet mera” (If I’m the voice, then you’re my song)

“Tujhe mein jahaan ki nazar se chura loon, kahin dil ke kone mein tujhko chupa loon” (I’ll steal you away from the eyes of the world, and hide you in a corner of my heart)

“Mil jaye iss tarah, do lahrein jiss tarah, phir hona juda, haan yeh waada raha” (..let’s unite so, like two waves, never to be separated from each other – and that’s a promise forever)

The Sax, the whistling, the claps, the flute (how unusual, and incredibly creative!) and the two brilliant voices – a sprightly Asha Bhosle, and a delightfully virile Kishore Kumar (Oh boy, I could spout pages of poetry now, just at the mention of Kishore. *Dreamy Sigh*)  – I could listen to this song for 100 more years, and not get tired of it. Here it is:

At First Sight

The noon sun bore down with full force, the tarred ground glistening like steel in its wake. Warm beads of sweat slithered down her back, and she grimaced. What made it worse was sitting inside the cloistering environment of the school bus, especially one that had been parked in full view of the sun for hours perhaps. She almost felt giddy, thinking of the one hour impending journey.

The bus was parked at the side of the school ground. Sitting near the driver’s seat, she watched as the kids from kindergarten piled inside. There was much jostling and animated conversation amongst them. A couple of them came and sat next to her, looking at her with a mixture of suspicion and awe. She attempted a half-smile. Their expressions did not change much except that the suspicion probably increased.

She turned to look outside, at the ground. Her eyes fell on the huge white structure in the middle of the ground, the imposing structure’s brightness blinding her. Looking at it brought memories, of days past, and for a few moments she was lost in them, tiny frowns appearing on her perspiring forehead.

It was as if a cloud had cleared suddenly, because out of nowhere, her vision was caught by a movement. And a boy appeared as her eyes focused on the emerging form. He was tall, and … if her mind had been able to articulate just one word that would describe him that instant, it would have been: majestic.

His hair spotted tints of orange from the sunlight filtering through it, and little wisps of them moved as the wind went past them, flicking the edges gently. His walk had a lilt; athletic and supple, it was like his body was made for movement, even as all he was doing was walking across the ground. He wore the school uniform: white shirt and blue pants. Even from where she was sitting, she could make out that he was tall, for his age. He wasn’t wearing the customary tie; later she would reflect on it and think that it indicated perhaps, a streak of rebellion? His collar was open, and though his shirt was tucked, for her, he didn’t look like a school boy.  No, not yet a man, but not a child either.

As she watched him, a child of 7 or 8 ran into his tracks. He stopped for a brief moment, to avoid a potential clash. The child was inches away from him. His hand went to the younger one’s head, and with a brush of affection, the edges of his lips curved upwards and broke out into a grin. Within a second, his frame moved out of the child’s way, and he resumed his walk even as he turned for a brief instant to watch the child who was on his way.

She watched as if in a trance, unable to pull her eyes away as the tabloid unfolded in front of her. And even as she watched, the frame of another bus moved into her line of vision, and he was out of sight.

Her eyes continued staring at the spot she’d seen him last. A few seconds later, she pulled her eyes away and her consciousness returned to her environment – the heat, the babble of the kids nearby and the background cacophony of the school ground. The heat was so thick that it was almost like the air had stopped moving, and one could cut chunks out of the humidity, but she didn’t notice it anymore. Her thoughts went back to the boy.

It was weird, she reflected. That was probably the first time someone had captured her thought process so completely. Like the earth had stopped, the breath had been flushed out of her lungs and every pore on her body stood still, focused entirely on that one person.

Years later she would read about happenings like that, but for those moments, her chaste mind fumbled, unable to comprehend. She wondered how it was possible that despite the sweltering heat, one person could appear so unaffected by it. Hadn’t she seen the air move around him? Wind in his hair, and dust swirling around his feet? She smiled to herself …  ridiculous!

The sound of the bus starting jerked her out of her reverie. She felt a slow warm sensation around her cheeks. Sighing, she shook her head. Trying to get herself out of the thoughts that had occupied her mind for the last…5 minutes? Had it been only that much?

As the driver of the bus put the machine into first gear, she wondered to herself. Would she get to see him again?

The Gift of Time

Seeing the Soul...

The afternoon rays filtered through the lace curtains, falling softly across my mum’s face. I was propped up on the couch in front of her, my legs carelessly thrown over the armrest.

She was talking animatedly about her favorite subject – my dad :), and his recent exploits. I watched her face, as myriad expressions flitted across within seconds and felt a strange kind of contentment. The face that had been once guilty of an arresting purity, had aged over the years and now reflected a woman with a deeper strength of purpose.

It had been about half hour after lunch, and this was one of our usual conversation periods. We would joke, and reflect – on ourselves, on our family, society, human emotions and life in general. In the kitchen, on the living room couch, in the balcony, or on the phone – the location didn’t matter; many years had passed and these languid moments of companionship hadn’t changed.

I thought to myself… Surely, there was something deeper in this than just frank, effortless, soul-soothing communication? Was I under-estimating the value of these moments?

My stream of thought moved on. With a familiar pang in my heart, I thought of how easily we forgot what life was about. It’s always, “I have yet another thing to do”, or “there’s a very important meeting that I cannot afford to miss”, or “I simply don’t have the time!”. All the while, our most basic needs are sacrificed at the altar of mindless-routine.

And as I thought more about it, it dawned on me. That this is probably what this New Year needed to be about the most:

The thought that there is much more to human life than existence, thousands of commitments, and all our precious monetary/material possessions. The thought that the world feeds off the energy and spirit of living individuals… not mindless zombies :).

The world that we all should be living in is the one that blooms with companionship, and each day brings that one miracle that owes its creation to love. A world where someone somewhere could still become a champion for under-rated (perhaps altogether-alien) values like honesty, integrity, fearlessness, and compassion.

Those moments of being-ness that I experienced as I heard my mother talk brought forth a thought that I wish I remembered more often: That as people, we all have a unique gift that only we can provide: Our Time.

I realized that the most precious gift we could give those who really mattered to us (parents, spouse, children, friends…), was a few minutes of our lives – a few fragments of our otherwise complicated existence:

  • A few minutes to listen to aspects of their lives. Their thoughts, aspirations, hopes and sorrows.
  • A few minutes to observe and imbibe aspects of their personalities. Their uniqueness. Their crazy yet endearing ways.
  • A few minutes to tell them more about ourselves. Give them a feel of what we as individuals are experiencing.
  • A few minutes to show them that it was really important to us that they were around. And that despite all the things we could be doing otherwise, we wanted to spend those moments with them, because nothing else mattered as much.
  • A few minutes that we could choose to spend today… minutes that we could look back upon many years later, and feel grateful for. Especially when those we chose to give this gift to, are no longer with us.

The Gift of Time. The Gift of Love. The Gift of Life.

So ask yourself (as I asked of me): This new year, are you ready to give this gift to someone in your life?

Happy New Year everybody!!!  (and please make your choices wisely :))

Bygone Innocence

(c) Rajesh Vee

It was 5.30 P.M and the sun was beginning to set. I could feel the anticipation rising…my anxious eyes searching to connect with the other pair, that belonged in a face that evoked so much love in my heart.

She was washing her feet and hands passively; if she sensed my urgency there was definitely no indication of it. After much diligence in making sure her anklets were rid of any specks of dirt, she motioned for me to do the same. I hurriedly went into the bathroom, splashing water over my feet and quickly rubbing my hands in the steady stream of the tap.

I rushed back to the living room to find her she was deftly oiling a wick. In a few moments, a lamp was lit, and the Gods were smiling through the yellow flame. She folded her hands and stood in silence, deep in prayer; I didn’t want to be a spoilsport so I stood in obedience, next to her, with my eyes closed. I heard the anklets walk past and looked at her, taking the lamp in her hands, reciting “deepam” and going out of the house to the thulasi thara, liting the lamp there too. Folding my hands, and taking a few resigned breaths, I stood leaning at the door frame.

She turned to look at me, with a twinkle in her eyes, and said, “so shall we go?” Furiously nodding, I walked towards her. She said “Ask mummy first. If she doesn’t agree, that’ll be a problem”. 

“I asked her already! She was okay about it”.

“Ask her again. I don’t want to get into trouble!”

*Grunt*…. “Mummmmyyyyyyy” …

I hopped behind her on the narrow pathways leading to the house behind ours. I could hear her in front of me asking “Chechi, shall we pick the leaves?” – and then consent being given after a few friendly exchanges . We were soon at the thick bushes, plucking tiny dark green leaves one by one, putting them into a cover. Soon, we had what we thought was a substantial amount.

Back home, she placed the cover containing the leaves next to the grinder. It must have been 6.30 because the power went off. I let out a wail; waiting for more time was unthinkable. She grinned, went inside a room and came out holding a lamp. The lamp was placed beside the grinder, and as I watched her shadow on the wall as it loomed large, she stood, splashing water on the surface of the stone and proceeding to mash the leaves into fine green paste. I sat on the ledge, swinging my legs, engrossed in our (seemingly philosophical) chatter.

The paste was transferred to a shallow steel vessel, that was placed on the dining room table. A few minutes later, the room was engulfed in light and I rushed to pull a chair and seat myself next to the table. She emerged with a triangular cone in her hands, made out of coarse cloth. I spooned the paste into it… we tied the ends of the cone so that it wouldn’t be squished out from the wrong end.

We took turns, peering with deep concentration at our hands as we tried to etch out complicated designs. Or atleast I did. She was always satisfied with the simplest thing she could make – a big blob in the center, and then the tips of her fingers covered  with the paste. And if there was still more, dots all around the circle in the center. After about fifteen minutes of concentration, I had an exuberant smile on my face. The glob in the center of the hand was shaped like those mango designs that you found in saris those days. And the dots were not random but emerging out in a pattern onto my wrist.

She was excited for a moment and then wistful. “Oh! that is lovely! I wish I had done something sensible instead of this!”

I proudly held up my palm for exhibition, my smile indicating an achievement much more significant that merely a decipherable pattern of mehendi on my hands. I said to her, “Doesn’t matter. Will make it for you tomorrow. I love your pattern of dots too!”. She must have been satisfied with my reply, because she proceeded to stow away the cone.

Dinner was funny. Our left hands were stuck out carefully, many inches away from us, and we attempted to gobble our food quickly, taking care not to move our left hands too much. Soon, It was time to sleep. She said “we’d better sleep with it, otherwise the color won’t be that red tomorrow”. I looked at her in doubt.

After a fraction of a second, mulling on that statement of profound importance, I went over to my mother. “Mummy, can I sleep without washing the mylanji off my hands?” (mylanji being the malayalam word for mehendi). The nod came after a frown, and then a resigned sigh.

The next day morning, I woke as a deep and quaint smell wafted into my nostrils. My sleepy eyes opened to see a red blur in front of me… I heard an eager whisper “Go, get up and wash your hand! I want to see how red the color is!”

In a blink, I was up. I looked at her hand eagerly – the deep brown-red getting a stamp of approval in my mind as soon as I saw it clearly. I ran to the bathroom and held my hand under a tap, picking at the fragments of dried mehendi rapidly to uncover the rich color underneath.

The smile of satisfaction was unbeatable 🙂

P.S. Many years later, one night, 9.00 P.M. it was. I was crouched on the bed, poring over something in detail, the concentration in my mind visible on my forehead. It was her hand outstretched in front of me, and the mehendi cone was in my hand this time. I had stuck to my promise, as I had done so many times before… my design was being etched out on her hand. The next day was to be the day she got married.

Lyrical Love – Part III

Poetry, Music and Love...

I cannot help but come back to the lyrical love posts. Each time a beautiful song about love plays on my ipod, I am tempted to write down its lyrics and capture my emotions in its lovely words… written out on my blog.

This time however, I have songs in four languages to the kitty… Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and English 🙂 :

1) Saathiya, Tune Kya Kiya (Love – Hindi)

This is an older song from the Bollywood 80’s (when Salman Khan was still thin and had lots of hair on his head ;-)). Some of us mallus were amazed at the (wierd?) combination of a popular Malayalee actress Revathi with Salman in a movie called “Love” (See the song in YouTube). But anyways, I bring up this movie now not to dron about its unusual pairing but for this timeless song…

The music (by Anand Milind) captures that era and leaves you feeling like you’re walking in the Bombay of the 80’s… on an evening as the sun is setting; your heart is filled with the joy of being alive, and love. The song is sung by two South Indian singers – the maestro SP Balasubramaniam and the woman with the voice of gold – KS Chitra. SPB is flawless as usual and Chitra’s accent for once doesn’t distract you from her beautiful voice. The lilts in their voices as they sing the “la-la-la” sweeps you off your feet, a rush of emotions capture you as you echo those words with the song that makes you want to run (Bollywood style) straight into the arms of a lover, who’s telling you “jaana kahaan? aa dil mein aa”…….*Sigh*.
Not surprising, since it is penned by the genius Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Saathiya, tune kya kiya
Beliya, tune kya kiya…

Maine kiya, tera intezaar…

Itna karo na mujhe pyaar… (2)

Saathiya, tune kya kaha
Beliya, tune kya kaha…

Yoon na kabhi, karna intezaar…

Maine kiya he tumse pyaar… (2)

Itni mohabbat, seh na sakoonga
Sach maano zinda, reh na sakoonga…

Tujhko sambhaaloon, yeh mera zimma
Main hoon tho kya hum, jaane tamanna…

Ab jeena marna mera, jaanam tere haath he…

Maine kaha na sanam, ab tu mere saath he…

Tho phir sambhaal, ke main chala

Jaana kahaan, aa dil mein aa (la-la-la…)


Dil ke chaman ka, hasna tho dekho
Jaage nazar ka, sapna tho dekho

Aise hue hum, ek jaan ek dil
Tu he ke main hoon, kehna he mushkil

Jhonka basanti he tu,
Than he gulaabi mera…

Do rang milne ke baad,
hothe nahi he juda

Tho phir sambhaal, ke main chala

Jaana kahaan, aa dil mein aa (la-la-la…)


2) Munbe Vaa (S(J)illinu oru kaadhal – Tamil)

It would be sacrilege if I don’t mention Munbe Vaa in a blog devoted to love and beautiful songs. (And yes, I know I have written about this before in my album review but I can still speak volumes about this song ;)) This has kept me company for many of my travel journeys, times when I would listen ardently to the lyrics, and wonder if there would be the perfect love in my life. And then, when I would listen to them again, and sing along… living my idea of the perfect love. Munbe Vaa is one of AR’s best melodies. The prelude piece brings visions of droplets of water falling, dancing rather, as they fall softly onto the earth – only to blend with other droplets and flow into an ocean as the main song emerges.

Munbe vaa en anbe vaa
OoNe vaa uyire vaa

Munbe vaa en anbe vaa
Poo poovai poopom vaa

Naan, naana kEtEn ennai naane
Naan…. neeya, nenjam sonnathey

Munbe vaa…

Rango rangoli
KOlangal nee pOttaal
KOlam pOttava kaigal vazhi…
Vallayal sattham

Jal jal….

Rango rangoli
KOlangal nee pOttaal
KOlam pOttava kaigal vaazhi
Sundara malligai sandhana malligai
Sinthiya punnagai vannam enna…

Poovaithai poovaithai
Nee poovaikkor poovaithai
MaNa poovaithu poovaitha
Poovaikkul thee vaithai, oh…

Theyney nee mazhayil aada
Naan maan naan nanainthen vaada
En naalathil un rattham naadikuL unn sattham

ThOzhi oru sila naazhi
Thaniyena aanaal tharayinil neendhum mmm.

Munbe vaa en anbe vaa
OoNe vaa uyire vaa…

Naan, naana kEtEn ennai naane
Naan… neeya, nenjam sonnathey…

Munbe vaa…

Nilavidam vaadagai vaangi
Vizhi veettinil kudi vaikkalaama
Naan vazhum veettukul
Veraarum vanthaley

Thenmalai thEykakku nee thaan
Unthan thoLgaLil idam tharalamaa
Naan saayum thOlmel verorum saaynthaley

Neerum sengula cherum
Kalanthathu poley kalanthavar yaar…

Munbe vaa…

The song is written by Vaali, and sung by Naresh and Shreya. See the video here. And I have seen lots of people requesting it, and have been prey to it myself – the translation of this song. Couple of versions are available on the net, but the best one I liked is this.

3) Moovanthiyaay Pagalil (Pakshe – Malayalam)
This is not a song most people refer to often. But it is a phenomenal one, if ever there can be one. Music by Johnson, written by K Jayakumar, sung by the “gaana gandharvan” Dr. KJ Yesudas. The song embodies a more mature love and its inherent sadness, pain, angst. The music and words burn into your heart, its warm embers glowing through your eyes causing you to hold yourself close, lest those feelings burst out of your heart and lose you in their midst.

Moovanthiyaay pakalil raavin viral sparshanam
TheerangaLil baashpa deepangaLil
POrithal naaLamaay nombaram…


RavEReyaay piriyaanaruthathoru nOvin rapadikaL (2)
Choodathora poompeelikaLaal koodonnu koottiyallo,
Janmangalee veenayil meettum eenam
Moolunnu raakkattukal


YaamangaLil kozhiyan madiyaayoru tharam thEngunnuvo (2)
InnOrmayil kilivaathilukal thaane thurannuvallo,
DoorangaLil enthino kannu chimmi
Veendum nishagandhikaL


4) Is This Love (Whitesnake – English)
This is my most special song and it will remain so forever. I heard it for the first time (sent to me by my very special person ;)) at a time when I was just waltzing into love and to this day each time I hear it, it brings in those wave of emotions. The thrill, the magic and the feeling of floating in air :). It beats everything else in this world. (Btw, you can see the video here)

Should have known better
Than to let you go alone
(It’s) Times like these
Can’t make it on my own
Wasted days, and sleepless nights
An’ I can’t wait to see you again…

Find I spend my time
Waiting on your call
How can I tell you, babe
Back’s against the wall…

Need you by my side
To tell me it’s alright
Cos’ I don’t think I can take anymore…

Is this love, that I’m feeling
Is this the love, that I’ve been searching for
Is this love, or am I dreaming
This must be love
Cos’ it’s really got a hold on me…
Hold on me…

Can’t stop the feeling
Been this way before
But, with you I’ve found the key
To open any door

Can feel my love for you
Growin’ stronger day by day
An’ I can’t wait too see you again…

So I can hold you in my arms

Is this love that I’m feeling
Is this the love that I’ve been searching for
Is this love or am I dreaming
This must be love
Cos’ it’s really got a hold on me…

Hold on me…

Is this love…

Hmmm. Yes, it is! 😉

Lyrical Love – Part II

Psyche revived by the kiss of love... 

It’s nostalgia season now, since I’m briefly separated from the land I love. As I listen to songs at work, the sweet strains, bells and percussion of the music takes me into a land of my dreams… a world, a piece of which, I’d like to share with you all, right here, right now. As ever, my obsession is still Love.

So here’s another iteration of Lyrical Love. Enjoy! 🙂

1) Theeram ThedumoLam (Vandanam – Malayalam)

This is one of my ever-favorite songs in Malayalam. One that brings me visions of the green fields, the silvery green water in the ponds and the warmth of the traditional, Hindu ancestral homes in Kerala. Theeram thedumoLam is from the malayalam movie Vandanam, which is set in Bangalore. Strangely, my visions are quite different from those shown in the actual movie visuals – and yeah, I have a reason for the contradiction :).

The first time I heard the song, when I was in the 6th or so, was in Kerala during my summer vacations. The thrill of being in the beautiful natural environment, with my family around, coupled with adolescence and romance slowly creeping into my being, was like magic. I and my cousin sister (a year older than me) – more best friends than relatives – were in a world of our own… secrets, mystery, music and the first set of cupid’s arrows being pierced through our childlike hearts. Listening and humming the songs around, playing secret games with each other and discussing movies, our first crushes and our awakening to the beauty – of the world and people, around us.

Today when I hear this song, I still feel my heart tugging with the same emotions…Innocence is bliss, Love is divine.

Here is the lyrics of the song… sung by M. G. Sreekumar and Sujatha, written by Shibu Chakravarthy and set to tune by Ouseppachchan. Spare some time to listen to the song whenever possible.

Dheem thana nana nana nagruthanithom,
Dhirana dhirana nana nagruthanithom.

Theeram thedumoLam premageethangal thannu
EeNam cherthu njaan innonnu kaadhil paranju

Ee raavil nee enne thottu thottunarthi
MinnumkuligaLil LaaLikkum
Njan oru chithra vipanjikayaay…


Pon thaazham poonkaavukaLil,
Thannaalaadum poongaatte,
Innaa thirayude thirumuttam
Thoothu thalikkaan nee varumo

Mungi kuLi kazhinjeththiya pennin
Mudiyil choodaan poo tharumo…


Venn thaaram poo mizhi chimmi,
Mandam mandam maayumbol
Innee purayil poomanjam,
Ninne urakkaan njaan virikkum

Swapnam kandoru poovirimaaRin,
Pushpathalaththiyil, njan urangum


[Female & Male]

2) Un Samayal Arayil (Dhill – Tamil)

This is a crazy song indeed :). When I heard it the first time, I wondered what the lyricist was thinking of… But over time, and with the proper translation of the lyrics, it occurred to me how much the simplest of lyrics can hit you in the softest spots :). See the lyrics below- I’ve given the translation alongwith each line, since it makes much more sense that way… The song is tuned beautifully by Vidyasagar, worded by Kabilan and sung by Unnikrishnan and Sujatha.

Un samayal arayil, naan uppa sakkaraiya? (In your kitchen, am I the salt or the sugar?)

Nee padikkum arayil, naan kangalaa pusthakamaa? (In your study, am I the eyes or the book?)

Nee viraLkal enraal, naan nagama modirama? (If you are fingers, am I the nails or the ring?)

Aaa, nee idalkal enraal, naan mutthama punnakayaa? (If you are lips, am I a kiss or a smile?)

Nee azhagu enraal, naan kaviya oviyana? (If you are beauty, am I a poet or a sculptor?)

Un samayal arayil…


Naan vekkam enraal, nee sivappa kannankala? (If I am shyness, are you the reddishness or the cheeks?)

Naan theendal enraal, nee viralaa sparisangala? (If I am the touch, are you the fingers or the sensation of it?)

Nee kuzhanthai enraal, naan thottilla thalaatta? (If you are a child, am I the cradle or the lullaby?)

Nee thookkam enraal, naan madiya thalaiyana? (If you are sleep, am I the lap or a pillow?)

Naan idhayam enraal, nee uyira thudi-thudippaa (If I am a heart, are you the life, or the heartbeat?)

Un samayal arayil…

Nee vithaikal enraal, naan vEra viLainilamaa? (If you are seeds, am I the root or the fertile land?)

Nee virunthu enraal, naan pasiya rusiya? (If you are a feast, am I hunger or taste?)

Nee kaïdi enraal, naan siraiya dhandanaiya? (If you are a prisoner,am I the jail or the punishment?)

Nee mozhigal enraal, naan tamizha osaigalaa? (If you are language, am I Tamil or the sound?)

Nee puthuvai enraal, naan bharathiya bharathithasana? (If you are Puthuvai (Puducheri), am I Bharathi or Bharathidasan?)


Nee thanimai enraal, naan thunaiya dooratthila? (If you are solitude, am I your company, or far away from you?)

Nee thunaithaan enraal, naan pesava yosikkava? (If you are my company, should I speak or think?)

Nee thirumbi ninraal, naan nikkava poyvidavaa? (If you have your back turned to me, should I stay or go away?)

Aa…Nee pokiraay enraal, naan azhaikkava azhuthidavaa? (If you go away, should I call out to you, or cry?)

Nee kadhal enraal naan sariya thavara? (In your (if you are) love, am I right are wrong?)

Un valathu kayyil paththu viral (On your right hand, there are ten fingers)
En idathu kayyil paththu viral (On my left hand, there are ten fingers)

Dooraththu megham, thooralkal sintha,
Theertha mazhayil, thee kulippoo…

(The far-away clouds, start a drizzle
We will be immolate ourselves in the rain…)

3) Kya Mujhe Pyaar He (Woh Lamhe – Hindi)

One of the recent songs that have caught my fancy. Kya Mujhe Pyaar He from the movie Woh Lamhe, has two versions – a slow one and the remix: The slow version is the one to listen to, although the remix is pretty racy and can get your feet tapping, and your body breaking out into a jig. Pritam’s music, lyrics by Neelesh Misra and sung by Kay Kay. The slow song begins with guitar strings, a slow chorus and within a second, you’re caught, blinded, trapped. Kay Kay’s voice sounds like steel, cutting across your sensations with his unwavering rendition of “Kya mujhe pyaar he, aisa khumaar he”. I cannot desist from mentioning the the song is another of Pritam’s blatant lifts (of the track Tak Bisakah by the Indonesian rock band Peterpan), but its hard to ignore its wonderful music and worse :), its lyrics… Just the song to express the first sensations of love for a person. With this song, love is no longer a soft feather wafting across your face. It is like being under a waterfall, falling in sheets, pricking like needles, bringing with it, a cold thrill inside your body and soaring your senses to newer heights.

Read further for the lyrics. I will try to put up a translation when I have time, later.

Kyoon aaj kal, neend kam, khwaab zyaada hai
Lagtha khuda ka koi nEk iraada hai
Kal tha faqir aaj dil shehzaada hai
Lagtha khuda ka koi nEk iraada hai

Kya mujhe pyar hai… ya..
Aisa khumaar hai…                           (2)

Paththar ke in raston pe, phoolon ki ik chaadar hai
Jabse mile ho humko, badla har ik manzar hai

Dekho jahaan main neele neele aasmaan thale
Rang naye naye hain jaise ghulte hue
Soye se khwaab mere jaage tere waasthe
Tere khayaalon se hain bheege mere raasthe

Kya mujhe pyar hai… ya..
Aisa khumaar hai…                           (2)

Tum kyun chale aate ho, har roz in khwaabon main
Chupke se aa bhi jao ek din meri baahon main

Tere hi sapne andheron main ujaalon main
Koi nasha hai teri aankhon ke pyaalon main
Tu mere khwaabon main, jawaabon main, sawaalon main
Har din chura tumhe main laatha hoon khayaalon main

Kya mujhe pyar hai… ya..
Aisa khumaar hai…                           (2)