It was almost midnight when I heard the song. Unavoidable circumstances denied me an earlier delight of watching the show in its first telecast. I had been angry that I couldn’t watch it, after planning for so long, making sure we are subscribed to MTv, reminding everyone in the family that I rule the TV from 8pm.
However, it was for the better. As rain drops toned down to fall softly outside, after a sudden downpour, with just the silence of sleep enhanced by the absence of electronic noises for company, I first heard ‘Nenjukulle’.
There are certain memories that cling to my first-hears/best-hears of some Rahman numbers. Like Taal will always be rain, smell of wet earth, chikki, hills of Lonavla, hide and seek with light through some twenty odd tunnels, my green Walkman and a series of AA batteries.
Munbe Va is clock strikes midnight, Naresh Iyer crooning “Naan naanai”, housing development drawing sprawled on A2 sheets on my wooden drafting board, the radio, a T-scale suspended mid draft and a Steadtler 0.1 mm lying forgotten.
Nenjukulle will always be rain, silence, a young happy girl singing and ARR playing the accordion- lost in some inspiring microcosm of the universe he alone has access to.
I loved everything about the song- the lovely lyrics, the evocative music and Shakthi’s simple soulful rendition. Here was as song, finally, after Saanwariya from Swades, where the emotions of a woman in love with a man are so artfully described.
And as always, the ARR-Mani-Vairamuthu combination makes me a synesthetic wreck! I can feel the cool breeze in this song and a mixed smell of wet earth, sea, mallipoo and a non-repulsive smell of sweat. Earthy tones- predominantly brown, in contrast with the cool blue of the water- saturated.
I see furtive glances, long shots of the ocean.- a very 'Deivam thanda poove' kind of visuals for this song. Also maybe a little of Raavan's detail in the foreground(like a golusu-clad feet shuffling away)-shift focus-actor in the background kind of imagery!
And I can also sense that maybe the violin strains will be part of the bgm for a major part of the film. Or well, here’s hoping!
It has been a really long time since a song evoked such a strong deep reaction in me. The sincerity, simplicity and straightforwardness of Rahman’s composition hits you like a sure shot arrow in this song. And you are reaffirmed and want to believe in many of the finer, more honest emotions that the world at large is losing out on.
I have always been biased towards Rahman’s music and seek refuge in many of his songs whenever I feel my faith shattered or shaken. Over the years, I have probably worn out the songs on so many hears and pretty much know how they all pan out- voice, instrument, nuances wise- although many a time, a sudden little curl of tune surprises me from between a piece. I was pretty desperate for a new song to come cradle me. I needed that comfort, so I can abandon myself in a song, in these confusing times.
Thank god, Nenjukulle arrived!