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.