Monday, September 29, 2008

Nostalgic Re-Visit of Nostalgic Blog..!

Vicky has tagged me in his blog with the following questions or points to ponder..!

Since I had already recorded many such moments in this blog itself, it was easy for me to set the pointer and escape..

Thanks Vicky for making me record this post after a long gap..!

1) The moment that introduced you to Raaja...

Introduced to Song : Machaana Paarthengala song of Annakkili played left and right in loudspeakers in my village and in the Orchestras of local festival; as explained in earlier postings of my blog :

Introduced to his Performance : First time I saw the live performance of IR in the musical show in Ooty flower show and that’s my first introduction to IR as a person;

Introduced to his Thoughts : Later his letter(s) which introduced his other side of his musical thought processes and feelings!

2) Name one occassion where Raaja's music directly/ indirectly influenced your life....

During my first visit to his house, where I saw him studying WCM books introduced the reality to me that music is not such simple thing as we are used to.. ie listen, enjoy and forget…!

My search on IR has really started from that moment and still now I could not fathom him !

3) Name a favorite song in each of the other 4 languages that immediately comes to your mind....

Telugu – Prema Yaathruluku - from Detective Naradha - excellent counter melody to the Old Gantashala song

Kannada – Kelisade Prema Vedha – from Gulabi - Just listen and cry…! What else one can do..!

Malayaalam – Thumbe Vaa – from Olangal – Nothing could beat this…!

Hindi – Aey Zindagi – from Sadma - Mother of all Songs…!

4) One song of Ilaiyaraaja that you consider rare and think a song that many people should have known but don't.....!

Undoubtedly…. “Vaanam Inge… Megam Enge” From Nenjil Aadum Poo Ondru…!

5) Raaja's number that you are hearing right now/ most recently heard..

"Priyathamaa Naa Hridhayama …" from Prema…!

Sing along with this song… (even I don’t know the meaning of this song..).. All the pains in the heart will come out and melt you away..!

Now the next thing to do for me is , I have to tag some people…and they are :

Dr Vijay Venkatraman, Vel Ramanan, Siva, KumarPalani, RajaSaranam
(CRV already tagged by Kamalnath, I think)

In fact all the other readers are also welcome to record their views on above points "AS THEY FEEL RAAJA...!"

Those who don’t have their own blog can record here in the Comment section.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Engum Niraindha.....!

Though my association with PC started in late 80s, it was only a decade after that, in the late-90s I got introduced to the internet for the first time.

I learnt about the concepts of internet some time even before that, but it didn’t impress me or I thought that atleast in India nothing going to happen in this front.

Indeed I had remained a frog in the well not only w.r.t. internet but also w.r.t. my knowledge and expectations about a wonderful world of Hard Core IR fans which I never dreamt of existing!

Obviously, when encountered with internet first time (I shall thank Nisha, my colleague for introducing and teaching internet to me), my very first search word in internet was nothing but “Ilaiyaraaja”.

And I was clean bowled with the number of sites it offered! It was an amazing incredible magic!

Being an office PC, I was not able to search and read all those links. But I noticed certain sites like RaajaNGAHM etc. but could not read at that time.

Unfortunately, before the second chance to deal with internet, within few weeks, I had to leave that company.

Later joined another firm and reached some remote project site in Madhya Pradesh (and then to West Bengal).

Till mid-2003, I did not get any interconnect connections, and as such my flash introduction with internet remained that way only.

In the intervening period, with my struggle in the office life, I lost myself and my IR-thoughts simply vanished from me.

That was, practically, awfully, the most trying, dry-period of my life.

In 2003, destiny again favoured me and I got a PC of my own in my office and that also with internet with V-SAT connectivity.

When I resumed my search on the internet sites of IR related topics it was a beginning of a wonderful journey.

A few days of browsing of RaajaNGAHM, took me unbelievably to a new dream world.

The high quality technical articles, extensive database, lively discussion threads etc. of IR were quite amazing and realized that the people involved therein were real IR-fanatics and intellects of high calibres.

So I am not left alone in the world, rather I was only a drop in the ocean of IR-fans!

My happiness had no bound….! As if you have found ocean of people after a life time struggle of loneliness in an isolated island.

But, one thing disappointed me that it had gone into a non-active mode and one can no longer interact with anybody there.

Again I was at loss ! Where had gone those wonderful people?

However, within few days, I once again chanced upon the Yahoo-club of IR groups during some IR search! Oh what a nice feeling it evoked in me..!

Thanks to the founder Dr Vijay Venkatraman and his dedicated, sincere and no-nonsense approach, it remains one of the clean, principled group uniting thousands of IR fans.

From this group, I got introduced to many hard-core, high calibre IR-fans like Vijay, Vel, Vicky, CRVenky, Kalyan, Vishy, Vinu, Shiva, Shajahan, Kondu, Prashanth, Kumarpalani, Saikumar and many, many more.........

This community further introduced me to other groups and forums like Ilaiyaragam, Maestromagic, TFMpage, Dhool, then later on to Orkut etc etc.......

Suddenly, the world appeared to have widened a lot to me!

My IR-learning, knowledge and belief etc further strengthened with such exposures!

And I also wanted to do some-thing in return to them !

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Generation Gap - Revisited !

The IR-thoughts and emotions were occurring in all period of my life, in bits and parts, some were consolidated, some were forgotten, some were re-written with different perceptions due to the knowledge you have acquired by then.

As explained earlier, this post-1993 period is one such calm, consolidation period for me .

Whatever I have expressed in various blogs of mine and in various discussions forum now-a-days, would have roots in the refined analysis and storage happened in my mind at sub-conscious level, during those period.

I just look back the post-1976 period.

When IR entered and other MDs slowly were fading away, the entire old generation could not accept this new phenomenom and they liked to push-aside IR and his success.

Whereas, a new generation, like me, was totally swayed by a strong, haunting, musical mystery called IR, (even without knowing the intrinsic real value of the treasure), and going mad.

Thus the fighting lines were clearly drawn-up between generations. Just like now between IR and non-IR fans.

But then, the difference (when compared to the present generation) was, at that time, in the absence of internet and communication contacts, those generation differences were limited to close circles of family and friends with whom you lived.

With my growth from a high-school going boy, to a college youth to a working man, I gained my “strength” in getting my IR-share for listening songs in the “shared radio-time” and then in the shared “tape-recorder time” amongst my family and friends.

Looking back, some time my conscious pricks me, that I selfishly overwhelmed so many of family members, in snatching valuable radio-time and put them down in “IR Vs others” arguments etc.

It may be true that many of them voluntarily changed to IR sides with passage of time, but still it was a fact that, to me, IR had remained more than even the family members.

May be post-1993 period may be a curse on people like me who could not escape the “punishments” for those “mis-deeds”.

Now I face the same tune with my own next generation and I am on the receiving end! I only laugh at myself and enjoy.

Now, I am matured and mellowed ! I should not do what I did to my elders!

It is not that I didn’t like songs of others etc.

My wish list of songs would run into thousands and thousands in all languages and transcend all kinds of genres and MDs.

But after possessed by IR, my limitation of time and money could not allow me even to think of other songs, when all the time I was lagging even for my own IR requirement. Even now, the situation remains same.

IR was bestowing upon us, such un-imaginably huge quantum of high quality music, so that I could not/ need not even think of others!

It was somewhere in late 90’s I recorded my first cassette of other MD and that was of ARRahman and Maragatha Mani.

Now, this generation has grown up with songs of next generation MDs .

Even my children listen and appreciate only songs of other MDs..!

Certainly something there, which I conveniently overlook?

I realise that I cannot even argue or try to reason with them at this stage.!

I used to smile, when my younger daughter asks me, “why IR songs are so slow?”

I told these are called harmonized melodies…! I even tried to showcase some fast rhythmic songs of IR also. Do you know what they say…?

Yeah, may be good if converted into a re-mix..!” I could not contain my laugh..!

I only have to wait for the time and I am having a lot of hope...!

This I realised when I plunged into the internet world and got connected with various forums and blogs and felt the magic IR has left even in the present next generation!

Monday, January 28, 2008

PoongKaatru Thirumbumaa !

You can appreciate the fact, in those period, communications and sharing were not like it is now!

Now, the life saver in such situations is the internet, which connects the people geographically separated apart, and one can find abundant forums to discuss whatever you think are interesting and can easily associate with the like-minded people.

Over and above the absence of internet culture, the problems were within me also.

I was no doubt an introvert without many friends and further restrictions were to find the IR fanatics like me in distant places like Delhi.

So, whatever the IR-feelings, be it of happy or sad or depressive mood, all these had to be within my heart and mind.

Also, like many IR-fans of previous generation, even the limited releases of contemporary IR films of 90s were not making the impressions in me when compared to the 70s and 80s.

The reasons may be many.

So one natural solution was to look-back and enjoy!

This has been regularly happening in any history including classical music history like Classicism, Impressionism and again Neo-Classicism etc.

So I also indulged in “revivalism” (No doubt, the beauties of 90s are also revived in me a decade later, during 2000s! So never push aside any IR song at any time..!)

It was in this revival period, I started the “re-searching research” kind of listening to old IR songs (which were abundant in my collections).

Though the time availability was very much limited than before, (due to the routine, busy office and family schedules), but the passion was very high..!

You find so many new things- new dimensions, new perceptions etc of IR songs during such revival search.

Imagine, the following situations! (It might have happened to many of you also!)

Locate the “treasure” box in the loft or beneath the cot you sleep !

Get it and open it after dusting….!

You see many indexed cassettes with your glowing eyes ! All containing IR songs!

You take one cassette at random..!

Your mind races to the period of its recording.. ! the happenings around you in that period..!

All the songs in that particular same order starts playing loudly in your mind !

Suddenly get struck-up in a particular song or its BGM or certain phrases…!

Scratch your head and Curse yourself for the sin of forgetting an IR song..!
(it will send a chill in your spine...! Have I got Old.???)

And sudden flash occurs and the forgotten music phrase returns and starts where you left!

Look for another cassette…! Select best possible four or five cassettes ! For listening in your player in the next few days or weeks to come! In installments!

What a feeling it evokes…!

Also, while listening to those old cassettes one natural fear that struck me was that I was slowly loosing the quality of those old recordings..!

So, I found my own way of preserving those songs in new cassettes with meaningful compilations like ragam-wise, singer-wise, mood-wise, specialty-wise etc etc.

You won’t believe me, many years later when I visited Tamil Nadu and saw the IR sections in many music shops like Music world etc, the CDs, Cassettes available there were basically the same kind of compilations as I was doing and many of the song lists were unbelievably matching with my lists.

So it is not just great men think-alike, all IR fans and even many Companies who were thriving on IR were also undergoing the same feelings like me…!

By hindsight I could realize now that I was not the only person who struggled with memories, but I was one among many millions of IR fans…!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vana Vaasam.....!

Long Time No See……! Reasons are many..!

During my childhood, I have read the Ramayanam (Rajaji’s Chakravarthy Thirumagan, Tamil Version) umpteen number of times.

More you read, the more you get involved.

However, after a few times of initial readings, the moment the Chapters on Ram’s Vanavasam starts, my mind goes heavy and I simply close the book and discontinue reading further.

After few days, you cannot avoid the temptation and I resume the reading but straightaway jump to Chapters on Hanuman’s Lanka visit etc. Then this became the regular feature.

All of you are perplexed…. why I talk this aspect now here….??!

The analogy is similar here with IR’s case also.

Year 1993 and further, it’s a painful period for any IR fanatics.

Painful nostalgic period for me to describe and my mind wish to go blanks..!

Hence the embarrassing silence of this blog also!

Year 1993 and onwards also a kind of watershed in my personal life also. With marriage and new start of family life, compounded with work pressure and shifting of jobs every alternate year etc., the happenings of next one decade, neither I would like to recall nor I can forget.

Same is the case with my IR nostalgia also.

While the dream Symphony never came out, there was a declining trend in the number of IR films in TFM each year. That was an un-bearable vaccum.
With hindsight, I can safely guess that there could be a deliberate plan and attempt by none other than IR himself, to reach towards this situation, and could have started as early as in 1990 itself.

Because, till 90’s, IR was having such a tough schedule and normally booked for more than an year or two.

Hence, to get into a sudden slowdown situations, anything would have happened atleast an year or before than that.

It may be his passion for the creation of “meaningful” non-film albums, he would have started to put breaks on new films.

And in all probability, as a corollary, he would have prepared himself and the others for various measures including that of to transfer the mantle to his “heir” apparent, obviously Karthik in due course…!

It is quite natural, if you create a sudden vaccum, it will be filled by the surrounding pressure awaiting for such moments!

Be it the Directors or Producers or the Music Director waiting on the wings….!

What happened thereafter is history…!

IR might not have been the looser in the real sense and might not got affected with the TFM situations that followed, but the un-released Symphony anyway might have hurt his dream.

His perceptions thereafter, would have caused a cautious slow down in his own approach towards TFM in the years that followed.

Whatever happened, the IR fans world over, were the hard-hit by this sudden vaccum.

Naturally, in the absence of “New” one has to reach for “Old” to get solace.

That was what happened to all.... also to me….!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

EngellAm ThEduvadhO !

It was June 1993 at Delhi. “The Hindu” contained an article on IR.

I could realise that it was on the occasion of his 50th Birthday.

It was giving me the wonderful piece of information that IR has composed and got recorded “The Grand Symphony” at London by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and that news sent me for a roll!

I simply could not believe it, even though I used to dream for such news for a long time.

Then onwards any news on this topic I started watching keenly; and all the articles and news bits like John Scott visit to Chennai, the massive facilitations arranged to IR etc only enhanced my expectations and longing to hear that music as soon as possible.

But somehow, on the immediately following period, there were no news about the possible releases of cassettes/ records which worried me a lot.

It was that time, around October’93, all of a sudden, I got an opportunity to visit Sweden for a training programme from my company.

While any foreign tour would have set off some dreams and expectations in anybody, I was looking that in another angle.

That is “I am having a fair chance of getting the Symphony before others, if it is released during my stay there!”.

Dreams…! Wild Dreams !

It was a period of well over two months of November-December winter I spent in Stockholm. While as usual, any training or official work always take a backseat when compared to having a glimpse of the country of stay, atleast I remained focused on certain “whenever opportunity is there, search for music albums, particularly that of IR!”

Believe me, with so much enthusiasm I started searching whenever I entered any shopping mall there at Stockholm. I was truly amazed by the collections of Classical Music albums in any musical shops. (Now-a-days, we are also having Music World, Planet M etc. but in those decades, we didn’t have such exclusive music collections in one place).

All albums were alphabetically arranged by Composer’s name and no guess I could have rushed every time!

But the alphabet “I” always drew a blank.

Then I even searched for Asian or Indian music collections which again never existed.

It was a painful lesson to me that our Indian music, leave alone South Indian music, has not got its due share of attention, whatever you know or think about its richness and variety etc.

But atleast such searching gave me the chance to know and purchase a lot of WCM albums which remained a dream earlier. Particularly due to the forthcoming Christmas period, it was discount sales declared everywhere and classical music sections were one of the attractive sections.

Another peculiar thing I observed was that prices of cassettes were equal or costlier than CDs. Though I didn’t know much about the CDs in those period, I decided in favour of CD collections and went on purchasing and built-up my Bach and Mozart collections.

For the first timer like me in a foreign country, it always remained the fight between your dream ambition versus limited foreign exchange currency of those time.

We used to get our weekly allowances from our sponsor company. I controlled my personal spending as much as possible (being a “vegetarian” in all respect, there’s nothing you can spend money in such European countries) and whatever saving earned I put sizeable amount on CDs.

But, soon I had to put a halt for those purchases, when I heard my friends were planning for a Paris trip on their way back home with the saved money. Then it occurred to me that, why not I try for London, where I may continue to try getting the IR’s Symphony CD etc.

Then onwards, it was still rigorous savings I attempted. Parallel to that, herculean efforts went on with the embassies to get the Visa to London (even an African would get a visa easily in Europe, but not an Indian or Asian).

Finally, the Visa was confirmed, a month ahead of my planned visit. Then began the counting of days as well as counting my savings for London trip.

So when the training was over and when I arrived at London, it was last week of December.

Then came the shocking realization!

It was a virtual holidays for entire week in London and for that matter for the whole Europe.

The source whom I was depending for stay and other logistics (and also planned to take the help for searching the Studio where IR recorded etc.) had to go on leave, the rare leave he gets in an year.

Even though he made some arrangement for my stay etc it consumed more than 60% of my savings! So, I realized that I could do nothing now.

Anyhow, I spent the remaining money in some more CD purchases and in Oxford street Again whatever limited searches for IR Symphony in shops were not as fruitful as expected.

Finally signed off to London with a sigh and landed back homeland.

But then in 1994, I still sustained my hopes that, one day I would get that!

Slowly the facts emerged that it was never released and would never be available at all !

By hindsight, now I still believe that, IR has already given us more than that !

Monday, September 18, 2006

How To Name HIM - As I felt Raaja's HTNI

During the period of my WCM learnings at Delhi only, IR's album "How to name it ?" also got released.

When I visited Salem for my holidays and asked for the new releases of IR I was given two cassettes one is "Punnagai Mannan" and another is "How To Name It".

But when I reached home and listened to it for the first time, I was totally stunned. You can't explain the feelings that was generated at that moment!

To be frank, initially, I could not fully recognise, the very purpose, objective and the content of this album. I am so happpy because, like in WCM, I also got an album full of orchestration and just orchestration.

I beleived that some revolutionary things has started in our part of music world also! But with years of listening and gathering of further knowledge during my WCM studies, I could realise the overall vision and purpose of IR.

And he has rightly asked us the question "How to Name it?"

I have shared some of feelings on two of the pieces in my other blog CSR-WCMLESSONS-2.BLOGSPOT.COM (Lesson-48 :IR the Wiser)

I am reproducing the same here in this blog also, to draw the attention of the IR fans.


Please Listen from IR Album "How To Name It?" two numbers of pieces titled,“I Met Bach….” &“…. And We Had Talk…”.

Here IR has given a new look to the Bach’s Prelude in A-Major as well as Bourre in E-Minor.

(This prelude of Bach is available in the Ilaiyaragam file section also ! Please Click here and download the midi file part3emj.mid and the tab file Bourree In Em-00.tef In case you want tab software, download the exe file tabled32.exe ) .

In the prelude, what Bach has done 300 years ago is writing a composition for Violin piece in A-Major scale and is continuously modulating into various major and minor scales in a sequence….!
During such transition from one scale to another, if you look at Carnatic angle…., you can perceive a different rainbow of Carnatic Raagams !

So the brilliant IR has identified those transition zones and in order to highlight them he added one more Carnatic line to the existing Bach’s composition and Plays the both Western Bach (300 years ago) with Carnatic IR in synchronized fashion…!

IR's imagination is "Had Bach met Thiagaraja and both understood each others music and joined hand to create a New World of Music ...?!!"That's the theme of HTNI !

If you hear the Bach’s composition and then IR’s HTNI’s piece you will be so mesmerized….who is playing for whom…?

Is Bach is doing the background music for IR or IR is doing the background for Bach…?

Its with so much Perfect Balance between WCM and Carnatic…!And this is what to be called as fusion…!Which made this possible for IR…?

Imagine if he remained himself constrained to any one field, the net result is he would have remained a good disciplined fellow for that particualr field but we all would have been starved of certain GEMs !

His imagination and enthusiasm of bringing the best out of two by adding the advantages & flexibilities of both the field only made this possible!

He has been doing that right from Annakili…..!With "Potruvar Potralum...Thootruvar Thootralum...Pogattum Kannanukke...!" type of resolutary mind !

Imagine, one person is offering you the plate consist of gold ornaments….! Another person is offering the plate consists of full of diamonds…!Imagine both says you take only theirs and not others !

And I feel the wiser approach is to get both the gold and diamond and make a Diamond studded Gold ornament!The value and look and elegance….. everything is multiplied, rather than when they are seen as an individual !

But imagine if both the persons who offered the individual gold or diamond, now started criticizing that he spoilt the gold with diamond and vice versa….! Then its only loss of the person who losses both.

So to conclude the WCM Vs Carnatic perceptions, let me summarise like this….!·

-Carnatic gives the flexibility of Patterns but pose the constraints of their usage and shifting from one to another….!
- WCM has the constraint of Patterns but has flexibilities of usage or shifting from one to another…!

And the wiser sense tell that ……AVAIL ALL THE FLEXIBILITIES OF BOTH……rather than worrying about their constraints !


To recognize those things, one will need a century !

And to learn and follow that ……centuries and centuries are needed…!

Like the genius mathematician Ramanujam, he has written thousands of such Musical Theorems in short steps in each of his musical compositions…!

To solve and realize and prove and adopt them is for the next generation job….!

To perceive that we have to educate ourselves…. So that even if it is not possible for us to do, we can guide our next generation towards that !

And can see them attaining that with enjoyment and self-satisfaction !