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Rahman does a Kolaveri

Chennai, Nov. 15: After Why this Kolaveri Di went viral on the social media last year, another Tamil song appears poised to repeat the feat.

A.R. Rahman’s mellifluous Nenjukulle (In my heart) has set off on a world conquest with over 213,710 views on YouTube since it debuted on MTV India’s Unplugged on November 3. Facebook shows 45,000 likes so far.

The “soul song” from Tamil film Kadal (Sea), produced and directed by Mani Ratnam and due to be released in December, is in some ways a contrast to Kolaveri Di, the “soup song” set to tune by debutant music director Anirudh Ravichander.

Nenjukulle’s lines derive from a love poem by Vairamuthu, a five-time national award winner for lyrics, whereas actor Dhanush had belted out Kolaveri Di with his own impromptu Tamil lyrics interlaced with bits of English.

Dhanush’s wife Aishwarya, who produced Kolaveri Di for her movie 3, said the two songs cannot be compared.

“While Kolaveri Di makes fun of jilted love, Nenjukulle celebrates love and its impact on a young girl’s heart. It’s a wonderful melody,” she observed.

Nenjukulle’s lyrics roughly translate to:

“In my heart/I’ve tied you/In my heart/I’ve tied you/I don’t know in which direction my day rose/You gave me a sweet glance/And this heart of mine became a mirror glazed by water.”

Rahman has expressed his delight and surprise at the response the song has evoked by tweeting: “OMG, OMG didn’t expect such kind of remarks for our MTV Unplugged event.”

“I hope they receive the rest of the music of the film similarly,” the Oscar-winner said, adding that the song’s version in the Kadal album is slightly different from the one rendered by singer Shaktishree Gopalan at the MTV event.

“I am really blessed to sing such a lovely song where the music and lyrics by Vairamuthu have walked hand in hand, said Shaktishree, 24.’

“Also, the soft instrumentation, with Rahman opening with his accordion, lends a magical touch to the entire score.”

Shaktishree has so far sung eight film songs, including the title number in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yash Chopra’s last film.

What added an international flavour to the MTV event was the serene violin-playing by Anne Marie Calhoun, a favourite with Hollywood music director Hans Zimmer.

Vairamuthu said he had been surprised when Mani Ratnam called him to Rahman’s studio to compose a song.

“When I asked him how he expected me to compose a song at such short notice, Ratnam told me they had already used one of my poems from an anthology of love poems for the song and just wanted me to iron out any mistakes in diction,” Vairamuthu said.

“But I had very little to do as everyone — the director, musician and the singer — had grasped the essence of my poem, Mounathil Pudanitha Kavidhai (A Poem Buried in Silence). The poem is about a young girl who has suppressed her love and Rahman’s composition has added great musical beauty to my words.”

Asked how he felt about Nenjukulle making waves, Mani Ratnam had a one-word answer: “Beaming.”

Nenjukulle’s success has caught the attention of the world media, with The New York Times noting the parallel with the “international sensation” created by the Tamil-cum-English Kolaveri Di.

“Whether an all-Tamil song can create the same magic remains to be seen,” the US newspaper said.