Tag Archives: legends

To Dear A.R.Rahman

5 Aug

Dear Rahman,

First things first, I am one of yours & Ilaiyaraja sir’s biggest fans’! My childhood was spent in listening to your awesome music when I used to rush to buy your new film cassettes (Tamil & Hindi) in an obscure city in North India. I have literally grown with yours & Raja Sir’s music, which has shaped my musical tastes strongly and forever.

I was elated and over-the-moon watching you get the Oscar award, when a zillion fans in India waited with bated breath to know whether their demi-God would bring back the coveted trophy and you made us proud Indians and put India in the global music map. I am aware that you have come up in life and music after so many sacrifices, trials and tribulations and you deserve every bit of this global popularity and more. Your life story is awe-inspiring, musical, melancholic and yet magical. I cannot forget how you gratefully thanked your Mother, while accepting the Oscars.

But, at the same time, I have mixed thoughts now as I am delighted that you have become a global phenomenon but I also feel (strictly personal opinion) that your music is missing its magic off late. This is with reference to songs in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya & the recent Endhiran. In Puli, I did see the flashes of brilliance in songs like Amma Thale/Power Star/Namakame. This is because:

  1. The music is overpowering the human voice e.g. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya songs
  2. The tunes don’t seem to stand on their own legs but the orchestration seems to prop-up the tune e.g. Most Endhiran songs
  3. To put it simply, I am not able to simply “hum” your tunes as they are increasingly sounding over-experimental and complex to me
  4. Your music is not appealing to me in the first/second instance but maybe after multiple listenings only

I am afraid that I will lose my Rahman to the West. But, amidst all these thoughts I am also aware that every composer/artist goes through these peaks & troughs where even the greats are not spared. So I hope and pray that this is only a passing phase for you and you will be the same Rahman whose songs were like medicine to me.

I also feel, maybe it is me who is feeling this but I have heard it from many of my friends’ too and I believe we as fans have that possessive right to express our frank opinion about our Idols’ because only those who love will chide/criticise.

As a fan, my expectations are very simple, I don’t expect a Roja in every album but I just want your music to touch my heart and lose myself to it!

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Mohd. Rafi-Legend Beyond Compare

24 Jan
In the 1950’s Hindi music was fortunate to be served by a voice which was sheer magic-the voice of Mohd. Rafi saab. There were many factors which made Rafi saab a legend.

Firstly, he had a voice which was so melodious, which was purely God’s gift to him. Secondly, he was also fortunate to be born in a family which was into music. He was trained by his father or uncle (I am not sure of it) in Hindustani classical music. Owing to this he had a very versatile voice. Whether it was a classical song, a fast song, a romantic song or a sad song, Rafi saab would do absolute justice to it. When he sang, you could feel the emotion so clearly, such was his involvement in the song.

Rafi saab once held the record for the most number of songs sung in Indian Cinema by a male singer (about 25,000!!! ). The greatest quality of Rafi saab which is spoken about even today by his contemporaries like Lataji, Ashaji was his remarkable humility. It seems he has sung many songs even free for producers, who did not have the money to pay him. Such was the magnanimity of the man. The music dirs who utilised his voice brilliantly were Naushad, Roshan, Madan Mohan, O.P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan. To pick out the best songs of Rafi saab is an impossible exercise because there were too many.

Today’s legendary singers like S.P.Balasubramanian, Yesudas, Sonu Nigam look up to Rafi saab as their eternal inspiration. They have openly declared their respect and love for his voice and songs. Rafi saab passed away in July 1980 but his voice is heard even today if you switch on the radio-it was the golden voice and his time was one of the golden times of Hindi Music. May Rafi saab live in our hearts forever.