No, I do not know Tamil, I can’t even speak it, but I can identify with a few songs. Most of them happen to be from Illaiyaraja –A R Rahman. The ones that were converted to Hindi; where the lyrics went for a toss but the tunes, the melody lingered on for long. When I saw Roja and got hooked onto the album, I was hell bent on getting the original Tamil version. Those days Tamil cassettes were not easily available in Mumbai, or rather, the places I bought the cassettes from, did not own it. There was no planet M or Rhythm house! Luckily my family took a long trip down south, and when we landed in Chennai( then Madras) I was lucky to get the Audio cassette of Roja in Tamil. It is still treasured and I prefer listening to the Tamil version than the Hindi. Roja’s lyrics in Hindi were much better compared to what got churned out later! God forgive them!
As I was rearranging my CD collection yesterday, I came across one of my favourite albums ‘Kandukondain Kandukondain’ after Roja. (Alaiypayuthe is also close, but these two will always be on the top of my list) And I remembered being asked, ‘Yenna Solla Pogirai? Yes, what will your answer be?’, by my friends (couple of them South Indians) after we had seen Kandukondain Kandukondain in the theatre.
The original Tamil version, with English sub-titles. The movie was aesthetic and simplicity personified. Tabu and Aishwarya looked ravishing (The only time Ash was not cold!!!). Though I did not follow the southern film industry; I was well aware of Mamooty’s acting skills and loved the way Ajith portrayed his character. I’m not going to delve into the movie but speak about the songs. Yes, they were the reason that I was so eager to see the movie.
As I did not understand the lyrics, I was first hooked onto the songs by two aspects:
1. The melody, the classical base. Most of them were based on Carnatic music.
2. The picturisation.
I had caught Smayaii and Konjum Minnakale on MTV. Beautiful and heavenly, the latter one. I absolutely fell in love with Kanamoochi, I knew it was a repartee about Lord Krishna. The Carnatic base to it was fantastic. I hoped for two things desperately when I saw those songs:
1. The songs are not dubbed, thereby they are not deprived of their beauty.
2. The movie hits the Mumbai theatres, in the original version, not dubbed.
Both my wishes were granted and our group hit the theatre. My south Indian friends explained to me the meaning of the songs and one of them even searched the net and sent me the English translation. You will love them trust me. Hear them and relate it; you will fall in love with them over and over again.
No girl can say no if the guy sings ‘Yenna Solla Pogirai’
Here are few lines:
Illai illai solla oru ganam pothum
Illai yendra sollai thanguvathendral
Innum innum yennukor janamam vendum
Yenna solla pogirai…?
It only takes you a moment to say No.
To bear the hurt
I will have to be born again and again
Oh! What will your answer be…?
Ondru solladi penne – illai
Nindru kolladi kanne
Do say something, my love –
Or, perhaps, it is best you stay quiet.
The whole song is love personified.
One can dream through Konjum Mynakkaley
Ivai ilamal vazhakaya?
Aru kanvugal palikkatha?
What is there to life
Without a little desire
Without some dreams?
And perhaps six at least will come true?
The ultimate favourite and the highlight of this album is Kannamuchhi Yennada.Chitra is mind-blowing in that song, and Aishwarya looks divine.
Kannamuchi yennada yen kanna – nan
Kannadi porul poleda
Why this hide and seek, Krishna?
I am as fragile as glass.
Oh, go hear the song and get the lyrics:-)
Smy Ai Ai Ai: The lyrics are not as superior as the rest but the tune is so upbeat and catchy, you just can’t stop swinging to it, Yenge Entathu Kavithai, though sad, has amazing depth in its meaning, Suttum Vizhi is a soft number and Kandukondain Kandukondain is another light-hearted song.
The melody is the USP of this album, and I assure you that you will never tire of listening to it.And when you hear songs like these, you just wish and are pretty glad that they haven’t been tampered with, by senseless dubbing. The original, well, will be original no matter how many versions you bring out. The uniqueness and beauty will always be retained in the original version. Thank god that sense prevailed on the Producers & Director of Kandukondain Kandukondain!