Warning: The musician I’m going to talk about is known for composing infectious tunes that will keep one’s music fever unanimously high for life. So, beware, you!
I grew up listening to His Highness’ songs so much that my childhood memories are virtually organized based on his compositions I have been exposed to since birth. For instance, I cannot deftly recollect the year I completed my fourth standard, but I can bet my bucks and swear that it was exactly when Mudhalvan songs were released. Chinna chinna aasai and Kulicha kuthalam were my first ever bathroom songs. The starting music of Veerapandi Kotaiyile was the code tune (just like the code word) my brother and I often used to signal one another for a tête-à-tête at grandma’s house.
It isn’t just me, almost every people of my generation enjoys Rahman’s music way too much that some even claim to display their deep affection for the musician by unnecessarily emphasizing their common traits.
“You know, I’m from Madurai. A big town. A.R.Rahman is also from my place.”
“Tamilnadu, Sir. Yes. Do you know A.R.Rahman? He hails from Tamilnadu.”
“He is a Hindu by birth”, celebrates his Hindu fan.
“Masha Allah! God bless A.R.R and his music!”, rejoices his Muslim fan.
The man is so down-to-earth and insanely talented to tune your nerves to his music that you cannot help but surrender your heart to him.
This morning, while I was grazing YouTube, I came across one of my favourite A.R.Rahman classics which apart from choking me in the sea of nostalgia, helped me conceive this article in mind. If you are a 90’s kid hailing from South India, Chikku Bukku Chikku Bukku Rayile song needs no introduction. Others, please spare 5:31 minutes of your lifetime to listen to it. The song is almost as old as the body and soul I own. I’m all grown up, all changed. So is the song. Or atleast, the way I see this song has changed.
1995, when I was a baby:
It was my brother who introduced me to this song. I found the graphics arrow and animated pout so appealing to my little eyes that I’d pull myself too closer to grandma’s Dyanora TV screen everytime they showed up. I noticed nothing but the eye-candy visuals of the song at this stage.
1996, when I was a child:
Multiple attempts to emulate Prabhu Deva’s dance moves had happened inside the bathroom, only to witness myself skidding like a fool on the Doy soap frothed floor. Thanks Mom, for brave-heartedly bearing with the crappiest version of my life. I noticed nothing but the elastic dance at this stage.
2006, when I was a confused teenager (tautology!):
I took pride in calling myself a Rahman fan whenever possible. My love for Chikku bukku song remained the same. But the perspective changed. The culprit must be the hormones, for I suddenly found Gautami’s garments irritatingly insufficient. Her supposed-to-remain-hidden body parts that flashed on the screen sent chills of shame to my own skin despite the school uniform I had been wearing. While in parallel, an intense infatuation for Prabhu Deva sprouted out of nowhere, which inspite of surprising me with a couple of fantasy-filled day dreams, often instilled the emotions of shyness and shame in my heart. The feeling was more or less like the aftermath Adam and Eve had faced after eating the prohibited apple. Hormones, down down.I noticed nothing but the looks of the people at this age.
2012, when I was almost an adult:
With the advent of high speed internet and branded headphones, the song frequently made its way into my playlist that even the finer, subtle and often unnoticed taps and beats were realised (especially the old fashioned, westernised Nescafe Sunrise ad song that gets played before the main beats begin), the lyrics memorized and to justify my love for the music and the musician I sincerely tweeted and posted statuses religiously to adulate the song. I noticed nothing but the tune at this age.
Now (while watching the same old song in YouTube):
Ooh, look at her, she’s so artificially padded on top. Oh, why do I see that? Her blouse reminds me of her cancer journey. I’m glad that she’s fighting it so well. Prabhu Deva reminds me of his inanimate son for some reasons I’m unsure of. A stream of sympathy looks flows upon the female dancers whose existence I barely noticed until I became an adult. What are they doing now? I hope they are as successful as they dreamt to be before becoming the shadow of the leading stars. My new perspective is robbing the peace I deserve from this song. I don’t see the song as it is meant to be seen, but notice only the realities behind it.
With this, I take a mandatory pause from the adulting (excuse the expletive) $#!+ and club today’s quote here:
Being an adult is probably the dumbest thing you could ever do!
Will I ever become a kid again?