Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Delhi Days - In Search of WCM Studies!

A few months after I reasonably settled at Delhi, I started my search for the WCM related information.

I don’t know the reason, but somehow in my mind there was an association of thoughts that WCM means one need to learn piano.

Initially I started looking for some musical instrument shops and some book shops. But generally, the book shops search drew a blank and the instrument shops I visited were mainly selling the North Indian instruments like Sitar, tabla etc and a few shops were having some kind of guitars also.

When I enquired for some classical guitars and piano kind of instruments, I was directed to one shop at Connaught Place called “Marquees”. At the immediate next opportunity of week end or so, I visited this shop.

Initially, for quite sometime, I did not have the courage to enter the shop and was looking through the window panes from outside only. I was amazed to see the pianos displayed there!

Finally with so much temptation, I entered the shop and just had a look around. Frankly speaking I didn’t have any close knowledge about pianos except seeing Shivaji playing it in Tamil Films with his nerves dancing in his forehead!

Least I knew about them were the types, origins or prices of pianos! So I casually enquired the price of those pianos!

The shop fellow gave me a sarcastic look which downgraded me even before he uttered anything!

Having asked the question, he countered me with his question that in what range or which make I was looking for!

So clean bowled! Fortunately I didn't answered that question or guessed something!

I just surrendered and managed the show by saying that one of my friends wanted me to collect the details etc! When he explained the make, imported country and the price range etc, I was totally finished!

The prices were running into lakhs of rupees!

I realized that I was after some mirage and my Rs 2000 salary life was not going to take me anywhere near WCM learning!

Still I asked about some place which teaches piano and WCM etc as a part of my data collection (of course for my friend you know!)

There, first time, I got the name of “Delhi School of Music”.

Monday, July 24, 2006

1985-Delhi Memories !

Upto the previous postings, the topics and the contents were as I planned earlier, to share with all of you through this blog.

But the present one and onwards, regarding my Delhi life and IR feelings, frankly speaking, I was in dilemma, “what to say big about that all these?”

Indeed, I saw a lot of articles and sharing of feelings by my fellow IR fans who are away from their homeland, all expressed one solid thing i.e. about the carrying of IR memories and songs with them wherever they went which makes them alive in their mind all time, wherever they are and whatever situation they are !

How true these feelings are!

In fact, during one of the Thiruvasagam related interviews IR also expressed his emotional moments when one of his fans, who was away in farther land, told about his own feelings that how IR is considered as above even family members in such situation!

My feelings were / are no different than that!

When I read all these I also become nostalgic! Present postings are results of such nostalgic recollections only. I hope readers will understand my feelings and certainly don’t consider these postings (on IR moments) as an autobiography.

My aim is to make people who read this, can compare their situation also with that of mine!

They may also be attempting all these, which I attempted, and find a solace, happiness, some determination to pursue IR dreams which I cannot complete!


When I left for Delhi in February 1985, I had nothing to carry, except the thoughts and feelings of my family and of course IR!

When you travel for a distant land of unfamiliar demographic background, what remain in you is only emptiness! Everything you decide to face “as-and-when-it-arise” basis! Particularly, in those period when PC and email were not dreamt of you are left alone and removed from your past world!

So what to say, except reminding myself the song “Idhayam Pogudhe…..!”

But after landing at Delhi, by God’s grace, certain fortunate unexpected things happened to me, when it was least expected!

My first boss was from TamilNadu, which gave me some comfort at Office situation.

Again, when I was standing on a street looking for a room to stay in Karol Bagh, I met my ex-school mate (after he left my school more than a decade ago!) In fact he identified me, and he introduced with another friend who is also from my school and my village!

What else one need! I took immediate decision to stay in Karol Bagh itself, in a dormitary type of arrangement next to my friend’s place!

Within few weeks, when I was returning to my room after office, while crossing my friends house, the first Tamil song I heard at Delhi came from inside his house!

The shrill sound of a new voice at full throat “Andha Nilava thaan naan kayila pudichen..!” I just died in that moment!

I just stood in the road stunningly and started listening with rapt attention and tears flowing in my eyes! While the violin pieces confirmed that’s indeed from IR, I got further confirmation with IR’s voice itself that followed! The new voice I came to know as Chitra later, even though I didn’t like that initially, as I was so used to Janaki and others!

My friend who saw me standing outside his house, got surprised and took me inside. The song was coming from another room where his other friends were staying. And soon I got introduced to his other friends also, all of them were working in Telecom department like him. A normal tape recorder with the new arrivals of cassettes on that particular day, gave me the oxygen I needed most!

Then onwards, that place found me most of the time of my weekends and holidays! Though they were not the typical IR fans, but their collection contained reasonable IR cassettes!

Though, I could realize that I am like a parasite sticking to them, for “certain” matters I was ( and had to be) beyond all those “reasons & feelings”!

In fact they were so kind and I could develop reasonable friendships with them also (strategically)! But I never disclosed my IR fanaticism to them!

Slowly, this arrangement helped me in certain other things also! I was introduced to Theatres at Delhi (like Kamal, Liberty etc) which screened once in a while Tamil films !

I still remember the emotionally choked moments when I first hear the title music of “Kaaki Chattai”, the very first film I saw in Delhi’s Kamal theatre ( a Kamal film in Kamal theatre!).

Later on the list grew more with Mouna Ragam, Sindhu Bairavi etc etc. Years later, I even became the member of the Delhi Tamil Film society.

Similarly, for the video shows arranged on holidays by these friends (sometime covering marathon two days also) I was also invited and I could continue to see IR films, as and when those were released ! As already explained earlier, I used to record the re-recordings of these films.

In short, what I could realize that, "I am not going to be deprived of my IR links, thoughts and memories etc, even at this far away land! "

But I was not going to be content with just the IR films and videos and cassettes!

I have to do something more, that’s about my dream of learning WCM ! To understand more about IR!

Without clear cut method or approach, I still continued to try to collect some information on such feasibility of learning WCM at Delhi!

That day also came soon!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nyaana Thangame - Epilogue

For Twenty two years this treasure remained within me.

Now I have given them further lease of life by this sharing. Hope people understand and abide by the sincereity, trust and purpose of this sharing by me!

Its just like, embedding the time capsules as much as possible in various locations of the world for future generation to get and learn and decide!

To learn and perceive about this wonderful composer, human computer, a perfectionist, self-demanding, and above all the simple human soul!

Even in those times, It was heard that IR recorded all the songs of "Mundhanai Mudichu" in one day!

He used to go on round-robin fashion in various floors of recording theatres and within two days completing the re-recordings of more than 4 to 5 films awaiting the festival releases two to three days ahead !

In spite of that, for an un-heard film of unknown artists, he was making such rigorous efforts and put his heart out for this "Nyaana Thangame" song !

As I explained earlier, I didnt know the film name as "Raja Gopuram". After that day, I used to have constant watch on all his musical releases to find this song! Months later I got the casette and heard this song.

Frankly speaking, I was not satisfied with the ouput quality of this song in the cassette. I could find a lot more "details" missing and not reaching my ears!

I know this was there ! I know that was there. Where they have gone ??

Thus, the reality struck within me and the learnings I had from these are:

Whatever we normally hear and perceive is not the ultimate !

Something still best of best has already happened and might have been missing to reach us!

If I am so stunned and happy with any IR song whose recording details I never knew, certainly some more absolutely beautiful things are still hidden inside !

Same way. every song that has not reached you or not so impressive to you in comparison with other songs, doesn't mean that it lacks technicality, sincerity or substance!

According to me there is no such thing as Good Song or Bad Song of IR !

There are only songs which you heard often (voluntarily or cumpulsorily) or song which you could not hear often (again voluntarily or other reasons). That's all !

Other associated trivias with Nyaana Thangame which I can add:

I remember to have given a request letter to IR (during the usual morning visit to his house) for an harmonium. (May look like a childish request now, but I never had any inhibition in asking that then! )

Also, I gave a sheet containing the pencil outline sketch of his portrait ( drawn by me based on one of the Kalki cover page) and requested for an autograph.

While smilingly, he signed the autograph on the sketch, the other request, as anticipated, remained with him with no reply.

May be, his permission to record the proceedings of the song, a consolation grant to me on that day!

But that indeed resulted in a great treasure which I can never forget in my life!


After this recordings, I could not visit him again (till 1987) as fate has decided other things for me.

Within few months from this fateful visit, fortunately (or unfortunately?! ) , I had a successful test and interview in one of the Central Public Sector undertakings (NHPC) and I had to move to Delhi by February 1985.

Saying Good Bye to TamilNadu was a painful decision but situation demanded that!

My long stint at Delhi, had memorable experiences which emerged due to my IR attachment!

Like the first IR song heard at Delhi, my first IR film seen at Delhi theatre, recording IR songs in cassettes during the "once-in-a-year" visits to TN, above all my initiation to WCM (theory) learnings all happened here !

Hope to record them in this blog soon !