Skip to main content

A musical journey down memory lane

I was first introduced to Tamil film songs by the better half. Till then only O.P Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishen, Naushad, Salil Choudhary and the likes kept me enthralled with their melodious music. I only knew "Illayaraja" as a famous name and A.R. Rahman was synonymous only with Roja. I was crazy (still am) about old Hindi film songs. My mother would lament that if I had shown half the interest I had for film music in Carnatic classical music, I could have made a good name for myself there! Anyway, that would be a topic for another post.

On our first ever date, after we said yes to one another, my husband, then not even my fiance, gave me a MP3 player. It was his player but he gave it to me upon knowing my liking for music. The player being his had some of his favourite songs. And, nope, none of them were Hindi songs. He doesn't even know any of the Hindi composers I've mentioned above but let's not get into that. That was the beginning of my tryst with Tamil film songs. And, I was (am) impressed by his taste in music. Later, after getting married, I was further introduced to some lovely gems, mostly from the 70s and 80s era, by Illayaraja. And then some more by A.R.Rahman, of the era when he used to truly compose mesmerizing music.Yes, ARR fans can pound me but I maintain that the music in which he used to infuse his soul into every song composed is rarely a norm these days.

Every song has memories associated with it. My early married life has a lot of memories associated with the songs I first listened to. Memories of the days when I was new bride eager to be in the best books of my better half, trying to understand what he liked and experiencing whatever made him happy. Memories of the first house we did up; painstakingly, buying every item with careful thought and consideration, taking our time to fill the house with luxuries, basking in the everyday happiness of hunting and procuring little knick knacks and essentials. Memories of leisurely mornings with hot coffee and warm breakfast; of putting together a meal before the husband came home for lunch; of many a burnt or poorly cooked meal but never a ill-word spoken of it; of the many happy evenings of exploring the city hand in hand; of the dreams we built as a couple.

Of the many songs that take me back to those days, this comes foremost to my mind; a gem by ARR:


  1. I'm like you too. Grew up on Hindi music and oldies and know next to nothing of Tamil film music. Unlike u, I don't have a music aficianado at home :) So nice reading about your memories associated with some of the songs.

    1. Thanks Aparna!
      Tamil songs are good too..just that, I cannot truly appreciate the lyrics..pure tamil/poetic tamil goes above my head. So, while I can get a Hindi song with the lyrics in a few sittings, I mostly go la-la-la with the tamil one..;-) :-D

  2. I guess it is a reverse in my house. I am a Tamil-music paithiyam, while my husband appreciates Hindi music. It is only after our wedding did he get initiated into Tamil music of the '80s. And nope.. I haven't explored the Hindi territory yet. Your post incites me to do just that! :) :)

    And that song in the end is one of ARR's best until today. Just that film was a dud. Sigh.

    1. yes, SnS, you should start listening to Hindi songs, esp. the oldies. They are equally wonderful.

  3. Awwwww! how sweet is this you MP 3 player and all that!!

    Errr..what song is that...I cant open the video!

    My knowledge of Tamizh songs is pretty sad honestly! but I do agree to this line ' ARR fans can pound me but I maintain that the music in which he used to infuse his soul into every song composed is rarely a norm these days. '

    1. It's a tamil song RM! It has a lovely tune and great lyrics. Maybe you can try the link at home?

  4. AR Rehman's music has definitely changed over time. However, I truly believe he is the only composer who can create divine music. Heard the song as well.. n loved it! Music transcends language...

    1. Glad you liked the song, Radhika!
      Truly, music knows no language..:-)

  5. Aww.. the bit about you being an eager bride sounds so cute ! The hubs and I are Illayaraja fans and I have loads of memories associated with specific songs during the days we were seeing each other.I guess i am not too much of an ARR fan , but some of his albums are awesome.. Thiruda Thiruda is one of my favs. My dad is a huge RD Burman, Shanker Jaikishen and SD Burman fan , so I also fell in love with their music too..

    1. :-)
      ARR became too typical after a few years, though he has given superb albums too! Oh, I love SD and RD too!..My father is a Shankar Jaikishen fan..:-)

  6. Lovely post Uma.. how nicely you have written down those newly married memories :)

    One more Old Hindi Buff here :).. though because I did most of my schooling in Chennai I did have exposure to the Ilaiaraja and ARR's best too (agree with you there - nothing comes close to the stuff he did in the nineties!).

    1. Hey Aparna, thank you!!! :-)
      more reason for us to meet..we have similar exposure to both classical and film music..:-)

  7. Uma.. I felt you narrating my life. I have 3 words.. DITTO DITTO DITTO! ALL words apply to my life!

    1. really? wow!!!..:-)
      so, have you heard that song in the end?? I simply LOVE it and it did seem like an apt song for us (when we got married:))

  8. My friends were crazy about tamil films & wd drag me to these movies...that how I know abt tamil movies & songs & actors. Today I'm not at all in the touch with the latest but the old stuff like "chinna chinna asai", "vasigaraa", the tamil saathiya[forget the name] songs and so many others.

    And that sentence abt songs having memories associated with it....oh so true. Remember the song "sandese aata hai" from Border. When ever I hear it I remember my mom...when i was in college she had gone away on a 1 month holiday & left me in charge of the kitchen. I used to play tht song everyday when I cooked;-P. Certain old songs remind me of my old toota-foota tape-recorder.....lots more stuff really.

    Loved the post Uma...made me very nostalgic:-))!!!!

    1. The Border song reminds me of the dingy theater at which we friends saw the movie...:-)
      Saathiya is "Alaipayuthe" in Tamil.

      Some songs are so much more special to you just because of the memories associated with them, no?
      Thank you, Nancy!!:-)))


Post a Comment

Would love to hear from you :-)
Also, please click the subscribe by Email link below the comment form to get follow-up comments to your inbox..

Popular posts from this blog

Cross over- Micro-prose in 50 words

Tread on gently.

It's tough to say goodbye. Even when you know it's desirable. Explain, if you must, but keep it short. Do not mock the tears that might flow out. Don't utter words that you'd regret.

A schism has been formed, but there's no need to burn the bridge.


Caffeinated attraction

Words jostled inside Anusha's head as she snaked her way between the tables to her favourite spot in the cozy cafe. She slid her laptop out, rested the bag beside her on the silver grey cushioned sofa and called for her favourite cappuccino. They made it just the way she preferred: the right amount of milk and coffee, the closest alternative to the filter kaapi her mom made.

Gazing out of the glass window, she sipped her beverage, letting the bitter-sweet taste linger, weighing her thoughts before her fingers could fly on the keyboard to give shape to them. The white fluffs of clouds against the clear blue skies floated gently with the summer breeze and they seemed, to the writer in her, like mischevious sheep that had strayed off the flock.

Oh, well, it's my mind that's straying now. Need to get my act right for my next submission. Anusha willed herself back to the present.

The cafe was Anusha's muse, the mecca she haunted during the weekends for the past three months…

Rotting humanity

Doc, there's an emergency!

The breaking news flashes the brutal carnage. Images and voices float in my mind as I drive in manic speed to the hospital.

Of sirens blazing. Of toys and limbs lying scattered on a carpet of red and brown.

Oxygen! I scream. Pump, harder.

Doc, there's no pulse.

Shoulders slump.

I witness grief fuse into flames that rise up collectively at the mass funeral. The ashes fall lightly on me.

Will the stench of hate ever recede?

*** Written for a prompt at