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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Naetru Aval Irundhal (Maryan - A.R.Rahman)



In Naetru Aval Irundhal (from Maryan, Composer – A.R.Rahman, Lyrics – Vaalee), every single note of music gently pop – doesn’t burst or explode, just pop - out of millions of drops of a vast and deep Ocean of silence to create a magical musical universe flooded with just one thing - emotion. The experience of listening to those hundreds of moments within the song’s span, of something so ethereal popping out of absolute nothing is what some call God.

I have been dealing with a unique problem this past week, ever since Maryan released. In the last one week, I couldn’t create a space and time for myself to listen to Naetru Aval in absolute silence. Where ever I go, noise follows. I listen to music everyday on my iPod when I commute of Office in BMTC (non-A/C) bus. I spend good one hour in the morning and one and half hours in the evening listening to music sitting in the bus. But, when you are in the Bus, there is all possible noise around, bus engine sound, vehicles relentlessly honking at the signal, screeching tyres, the horrendous FM playing inside the bus and what not.

When I am about to dive deep into the universe of the song as the soft and silky voice of Chinmayi with a husk spouts Hey Mariyan Vaa, bus driver applies sudden brake and the tyres’ screech fill the deliberate stretches of silence created between each syllable, and pulls me out to the real world.

I reach office – a totally air-conditioned space devoid of the noise of the world outside, but especially this week, there was hardly a minute to breathe anything other than work. One day I escaped to rest room, with my iPod, but then there is the noise inside my mind, the worst of all, that keeps screaming all things official - the Batch job that is running, the status report I have to prepare, the flashes of lines of code where the probable change is needed to fix the bug. But, that is where I managed to listen to some of what the song is made of.

The orchestration of the song is ethereal, delicate, intimate and so innate to the main melody. Though the same set of lines repeat four times, each reprise gets an orchestration and a vocal rendition distinctly different from the other and song flows so seamlessly from one section to another. It is when Angangae (...Nooru puraakkalum), Anga, there, the golden melody of the song hits its emotional peak and it is pivoted there and throughout the song everything ascend and descend towards and away from that point. After fifteen minutes of listening to the song on loop, when the song goes Vaanae Nee Andha Naetrugalai Kondu Vaa, the short sweet reply of the angelic chorus to Vijay Prakash’s request is joined by the Jazz piece – “Tu ru ru thu thu” background score piece from Jhoota Hi Sahi – my mobile ringtone – my boss calling and asking me to send immediately the Weekly Status Report for the previous week.

Then I reach home, and there is only so much speaker volume I am allowed in our not so quiet neighbourhood. With that level of volume on BOSE speakers, I can’t experience the song the way I want to. The ear pod too is of no help when it is summer in Bangalore the ceiling fan is running at high speed with its whirring sound, which becomes the basic buzzing sound layer of the song. I totally hate that. I wonder how I managed to listen to Moongil Thottam or Nenjukkulle without any of these problems. Ah, well, I was not in India when Kadal Songs released.

Of course, I can choose to ignore the external noise and concentrate and listen to the song. I do. I concentrate. I hear the celestial chorus, those sparkling bell strokes that invokes a slight Yen Mel Vizhundha Nostalgia, the Harp glissando from where bounces off the first reprise of the main stanza, the lazy Continuum piece, those accordion bits - the obvious leisure-ingredient of the song, the Saarangi that A.R.Rahman adds to emphasize the Then Kural Vijay Prakash is singing about, the strings that whirl and stir, soar and fall, simmer and sail throughout the song. Ah! That goose bump inducing flight the Strings take along with Nooru Puraakkalum in the last reprise of the main stanza. I hear that too. But, it is not enough. I want to hear the absolute Silence that is pregnant with all these varied sounds. I want to hear those nanoseconds of Silence just before the flash happens from when and where many little worlds of the universe of Naetru Aval Irundhal are born.

I can’t wait to watch Maryan on big screen. The entire Cinema hall would be filled with just Naetru Aval Irundhal and its Silence. There is of course Visual noise, but when I watch the movie for the first time, I am going to close my eyes during this song. I don’t want my mind to process any new data apart from those fed by music and Silence of the song. But, that is only after the movie’s release. I can’t wait so long till the movie’s release to experience the song. Can I?

I decided to go home – the real Home, and that is where I thought I could get the space and time I so desperately wanted to experience the song. Boarded a Bus to Salem (Multi-axle A/C bus), and already Sundarapandiyan movie was playing in the bus on loud speakers and Sasi Kumar’s voice was the worst accompaniment Naetru Aval Irundhal could ever have. I heard the song once, heaved a disappointed sigh and stopped listening to the song out of sheer respect. Reached Salem, and immediately rushed to nearest shop to buy Maryan Audio CD. I don’t believe that iTunes version that I had been listening to for past one week was the best quality available. Finally, on 18-May-2013, at midnight I finally heard Naetru Aval Irundhal in an ambiance closest to the one I wanted around while listening to the song. And the song was on loop for two hours.

Yet, someday, I wish I could mute this universe once, just once, for five minutes so that I could wholly experience those sharp nodes of Silence from where emerges every little decibel of Naetru Aval Irundhal.

28 comments:

Sudhakar Ganesan said...

I wish I could mute this universe once, just once, for five minutes

- Height of feeling :) nothing can describe awesome feeling of listening to ARR songs.

R.Balamurugan said...

Boss...what a bloody co-incidence...I was as pissed off as you about the noise while listening to "Neatru Aval" for the first few times...And, believe it or not, I went to the rest room just to listen to this ONE song on my beats earphone...switched my mobile phone off (not really needed, as the network goes off there..but still din't want to risk it. After 4 to 5 times of soaking the entire song in, or rather being soaked into it..returned back to the real world...could not think of any thing else. Reached home pretty late and wanted to listen to it straightaway on "THE" BOSE headset, but somehow had to wait till I was about to hit bed. It wasn't dead silent, but was silent enough.The moment I played the song, there was a power cut(for almost an hour) and for the first time ever, I was thankful for a power cut.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Sudhakar Ganesan - "Height of Feeling" - Indeed.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

R.Balamurugan - Super. Excited to hear the someone did the same thing to experience Naetru Aval Irundhal. And, yeah, nice one on the Power Cut. 50% of noise in the City is gone when there is Power cut.

R.Balamurugan said...

While I was searching the aforementioned "seclusion", I was wondering if there'd be anyone as crazy as this. You were the only one I could think of. I'm glad you did not disappoint. :-)

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

R.Balamurugan - Hahaha :-)

ARR said...

this song takes us in to new world...........

Sunil Malhotra said...

Lovely write-up Suresh Ji.

When Chinmayi sings the, "Hey, Maryan" line in that husky voice she switches off the world for me but its a shame that there was no escapism for you because of the unfortunate breaking noise.

Usually I'm not fussed about being in total isolation when listening to songs. The only song where I need pin drop silence remains "Munbe Vaa".

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Sunil Malhotra - Thank you. Even I, don't really bother much about the noise, but for this song. I think after few days of listening to the song in Silence, I should become normal about listening to this song in the midst of all the noise.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this write-up. I'm delighted that you felt the way you did about this song. I'm delighted but not surprised. The feeling this song imparts within me, I cannot describe in words - at least not as eloquently as you have. I'm glad to see that Rahmania is alive and well! Thank you.

Rajesh said...

I felt the same. but u nicely put up everything in writing.

have fun listening...

Kaarthik said...

Have been listening to Maryaan songs for the past 1 week. This is my most fav in the album and then I liked innum konja nEram. Didn't like the other songs.

I found nEtRu avaL irundhAL as another moongil thOttam that took back me to the 90's, the golden years of ARR (IMO), esp the way Vijaya Prakash starts 'AgAyathil nooRu nilAkkaLum...'. It's an ear worm now. Wish the song is much more longer.

-Kaarthik Arul

Anonymous said...

Suresh, very nice write up. Looking forward to your review of teh entire album

N Suresh Kumar said...

Strange but true. Contrary to what you'd said. I heard the song today in my village at my onion field with ear phones plugged in. A slow speed wind was blowing through the ear with the Naetru Aval song being played. I could listen both the song and sound of the wind. Great feeling. Inspired by your blog post, listened to it many times but not being carried away before experiencing in a whole new atmosphere. Surely a moment to be rejoiced for years to come.

RDB said...

Great feeling, when we can get a review for whole Maryan album?

umesh said...

Good one,as usual.But am commenting here to know whether you can share the Jhootha Hai Sahi ringtone here ? or has it been posted in the website already :) ?

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Unknown - Oh! yeah. Rahmania is alive and kicking and it always will be that way. Thank you

Rajesh - Thank you

Kaarthik Arul - What? You don't like Yenna Panna Raasa?

Anonymous - Review for the album, if I get time coming weekend.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

N Suresh kumar - Hey Mariyaan Vaa + Breeze sound! - Sounds amazing. I would like to experience. Let me go to Yercaud next week with my iPod

RDB - Review for the album, if I get time coming weekend.

Umesh - Let me check. I don't know if I have posted already in this blog.

Sumirti said...

Awesome review :-) D song is transcending and invokes a larger-than-life imagination and inspires to reach out to the beauty of soul underlying d song. Everytime I heard it, i threw my head up and held a smile; half peaceful and half as a salutation for allowing me to reach and feel the eternity, jus once, once for a moment. This song s soul-filling :-)

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Sumriti - True. True. True. Very Single World you said. :-) And Thank You.

rameez said...

Beautifully written, man. You made me look out, or rather say, hear out, for nuances that were yet new for me in the song.

Please keep dissecting individual songs like this. :)

Mr.Freeze said...

Wow!, brilliant write-up, feels good to see many others suffering the same pain as I do (not trying to be sadistic). Staying outside India gives me a slight edge with respect to traffic noise but those few minutes without any disurbances are hard to come by! I hope you do reach that someday, maybe when there is a power-cut during the wee hours of night :)

If you do have Bose earphones and absolute silence, the starting few seconds of "Tu Bin Bataye" are as ethereal as anything gets!

gowrishankar said...

Awating reviews for the other songs in this film....

Movie Reviews said...

Wow....amazingly written dude. Thanks!

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Sripathy Ramesh said...

Well written. I agree with you. When the song starts, I invariable increase the volume to listen to it better. Rahman regularly does such songs which has varied dynamics - the soft portions, the high portions, etc.

Similarly Yenga Pona Raasa also had to be heard in silence.

My technical observations on Maryan and Rahman of late:
http://rameshonmusic.blogspot.in/2013/05/maryan-my-thoughts-and-observations.html

Coming soon movies said...

thank to share this blog i got very nice information about this!

Anonymous said...

First time visitor. Agree in totality at the marvelous layered structure of this song, so much so each time I listen to it i feel it is a new song!! Magical and imho one of ARR's best compositions to date. Vijayaprakash and Chinamyi probably were so enamored with the tune, their singing reflects it big time.
Sheer Awesomeness. My Bose car audio system must be thanking me each time I play this. ;-)

Appreciate you creating a separate blogpost for this song.