Writing about 2 songs is difficult. I have never had any favourite song as far back as I can remember. They’ve been changing as I grew up. Every phase of my life, I have sworn by certain favourite songs only to have those replaced by something upcoming in the next couple of years.
I dont even remember school days in terms of music, except that I used to trudge along with my Mom as she took me to Carnatic music classes (and oh! Bharatnatyam classes where I would get beat by the great Kamal Hassan’s sister Nalini Raghu who happened to be my teacher, I was the worst student) every week. I trained in Carnatic music for 6 years under various teachers. Junior College was a time of transitions, moving from the chillar party gang up into the famed teens and like every other teen, being besotted by English boy and girl bands. I remember crooning along with my chums to the tunes of probably every song that was released by Backstreet Boys, Mysterious Girl, Words by Boyzone, That dont impress me much by Shania Twain and not to mention others like Aqua, Vengaboys etc. Annual functions at Junior college would play these songs and we would sway to these songs as if we have been born singing and dancing to these.
Life progressed to college then where I drifted towards Bollywood songs. I didnt realize it then but now when I think back, I believe it was because I was interested in singing in college functions, competitions and Bollywood was what appealed to the masses. Of course, I still mostly gravitated towards those with a classical base. A couple that are dear to me from my college era are Kaadal Rojave (Roja Jaaneman) which I sang during my college fest auditions and Mungda which I sang during the fest. I still remember, a close friend S and I would sit sharing lyrics or humming songs in the back benches of our lectures.
The music fever in me did not die even when I started working. I remember trying to get back to formal training but I would take it up for a year and drop it again after that due to work pressures or the hectic lifestyle. Even in the organization where I worked, I found comrades who were way more into it than I was and it was good learning for me. Now as I type all this I realize, that music to me has been singing way more than listening. Its been a serious part of my growing up life. Singing medleys during the company’s annual function, then performing the “Suraj Hua Maddham” at a later honorary function for the participants, I enjoyed it as much then as I think about those days fondly now.
I have gravitated completely towards desi music, not just Hindi, but Tamil, Telegu, Bengali too. I do enjoy English songs on the radio once in a while and hum along while we’re on a drive, but they not have a special place in my heart. So, coming back to favourites, I really do not have 2. Some songs I like are Naina and O Sathi Re from Omkara, Munbe Vaa from Sillundru Oru Kaadal, some songs from the movie Paheli, A.R Rahman has always been my favourite, albeit, his earlier movies like Rangeela, Bombay, Dil Se, Roja, Kaaka Kaaka, Kandukondein Kandukondein, Kannathil Muthamittal have been nicer than his latest compilations. I also like songs like Seekho Na by Shubha Mudgal, Jhuki Jhuki si Nazar and some songs sung by Raahat Fateh Ali Khan, Hariharan to name a few.
My 2 top songs for this week are going to be just that, the top songs for this week. Like a chartbuster list, they have not always been at the top nor will they stay forever.
1. Shree Ganeshaya Dheemahi sung by Shankar Mahadevan from the movie Virruddh
I discovered this song around a month back, during Ganesh Chaturti, scrounging around for songs to play while we did our puja at home for the festival and instantly fell in love with it, so much so that I pinged and left messages on Facebook for people I knew interested in music (especially those who loved songs with a classical base). I have been trying to memorize the lyrics whenever I do get time or remember to do it and I must confess I am only halfway there. But so far, at this point, this song rules. Shankar Mahadevan is so good and I doubt anyone else could have made such an impact with this song as he did.
2. Yeh Jo Des Hain Tera sung by A.R. Rahman from the movie Swades
This has been playing over and over in the back of my mind for a while now. Everytime I think of listening to some music, I start my playlist with this one. When I get addicted to a song I can just play it on repeat for days at a time and my roommates are witness to this. Maybe its because I haven’t been to India much, well that isn’t true, I have visited often but I haven’t stayed much over the past few years and the yearning is what makes me like this song or maybe its just A.R. Rahman’s magic all over again, whatever the reason, this will continue to be in my top 10 whatever the other 9 be.
Others racing up the charts at this point are Ami Je Tomar, the Bengali song which was then dubbed into Mere Dholna and Naa Jeyo Na, the Bengali song which was remade into O Sajna – discovered listening to Anwesha in the Star Voice of India series, a young kid, who’s already gone into playback. I salute the talent, dedication and effort these kids put into their passion.
Next week’s the last post of the Ten Day You Challenge and going to be by far the most difficult. For everything else up until now I had a fair inkling of what I would be posting, for the 1 picture, I have no idea !
I would love to hear your views!