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Kelayo..

VC was  a warrior , in fact  a fighter pilot , the ultimate alpha adrenaline junkie , so how could Leela even think of leaving him. How could she even – He’ll show her . He will show all of them . And then he meets her at the party , the one he attends , the one she attends but not with each other. He wants her back , but without losing face and thus the song starts Kelayo…

 

There is the warrior and there is the lover boy and what better way to emphasize this than to use singers with two different vocal qualities. Diwakar , with his restrained singing and dominative Shankar Mahadevanesque vocal quality represents the warrior who tries saving face by acting all tough and then Haricharan with that voice that would melt the insides jumps in to beg , plead and serenade our senses – what a brief sirjee.

 

Then comes the tango tadka with the 2/4 , 4/4 rhythm ,brilliant violins , guitars , piano , violas and bass. Where is the accordion you wonder . Is it there hiding away until you notice it on the 500th listen or has it been replaced or done away with you wonder. There this refrain reminds you of Sundari , and oh this chord progression reminds you of Arima – This is the Tamil equivalent of Hawa Hawa , more sedate and equally brilliant. The words are a mumble at this point as you try to identify every single instrument and nuance in the song and tap your thighs in 2/4 , 4/4 and there , there is the accordion or so you think..

 

You don’t notice the words until the fifth day or so . All of a sudden , during the traffic filled commute back home , you notice the lyrics and sit up . How apt , how romantic and then Wham you go – Oh Vairamuthu is broadly painting VC’s character and the film’s story. The En Kuraigal Edhu Kandai makes you go – How arrogant you fool – and that unnai pirindhaal uyir vaazhaa line makes you go hmmm. So will they end up living together or dying together – why do you mind – Wherever they go they will end up together.

 

Thus ends Kelayo – one of Kaatru Veliyidai’s top songs for me at least until now. After a long time , a song that paints characters , storylines and narratives for you – straight out of that magic factory jointly owned by ARR , Mani and Vairamuthu . The lyrical quality of the whole album has been brilliant , the singing has been exemplary and the sound production is the best among the recent ARR albums and Kelayo brings all that together with a brilliant tune and imagination. Seldom has a song made me imagine the story so there job well done holy trio of the Tamil movies.

 

P.S. ARR should have christened Haricharan’s female voice with some fancy Spanish sounding name , so that our single music crazy youths got a new kanavu kanni.

 

P.P.S . Please raise your hand if this reminds you of Jordan and Heer at a happier place. Happy Listening.

P.P.P.S The transition between the two male voices is seamless and brilliant as if to prove that the lover and the warrior reside inside the same man . Take a shottu ARR . Bale Bale !

The King has departed…

I was at a birthday party this evening. As we were toasting the birthday boy , my phone beeped and there was a tweet from a friend that MS Viswanathan , the legend was no more. I became numb for a second and then life moved on. I was asked if I knew the man personally and I replied with an emphatic yes ( and then added – through his music)

He was introduced to me through my mother.Amma employed her repertoire of MSV songs to put me to sleep ,  feed me and to get me do anything that she wanted me to , when I was but a mewling babe . The Vivid Bharti and All India Radio fan that she was , I guess she wanted to share her joy of music with me. Soon enough I had an MSV song for every routine in my short life. Malarndhu Malaradha indicated my nap time. Chittu Kuruvi muttham koduthu indicated the much dreaded bath time ( and I had quite an aversion to this lovely song because of that). kadhalikka neramillai , Anbe Vaa , Server Sundaram, Pudhiya Paravai and so many of his lovely albums went on to mark milestones in my life.

And then all of a sudden I stopped listening to him . I don’t know why that happened but his songs became unpalatable compared to a Raja or Rahman. I kept discovering new music and kept moving away from MSV and TKR until one fine day in 2008 , MSV came back to my life with the soft wind on a balmy sunday night. Tired and Cranky , I was on the way home from the cognizant office and FM 93.5 decided to play paarvai yuvarani from sivantha mann and I was hooked again.

MSV became my companion on those tired journeys home , the late night graveyard shifts and saturday implementation support. His songs on a balmy stuffy night was a stress reliever and as I kept moving from goal to goal from moment to moment  his songs remained a constant companion. I had his entire discography in my iPod and depending on my mood I used to hit shuffle on a particular playlist.

He was there with me in New York and as I boarded the train towards Connecticut , leaving behind my fiancé of few hours , my iPod brought up anbulla maanvizhiye. I remember laughing at the co-incidence , wiping away the tears from my eyes while my co-passengers wondered if I had gone crazy .

These are just a few MSV moments from my life – There have been many many more and there will be many many more. The king of melodies has indeed departed but his music will stay on and enrich souls …