Satrangi…Only You… now Fanah!
The fact that AR Rahman has sold a cumulative 20 million plus records is common knowledge. The fact that (together with Sachin and Bachchan) Rahman now carries the India brand on his shoulders is something we all have come to be proud of. But the fact the occasional song from his stable is nothing but divinely inspired is not well recognized.
Dilip Kumar became AR Rahman after much family tragedy. And that pain and the metaphysical effects that severe loss and tragedy brings is reflected in his music – and in a way that the audience is able to relate to.
Depending on whether or not one counts Thee Thee from Thiruda Thiruda,
Satrangi (in Dil Se) was one of the first songs that carried a clear Sufi bent, combined with enchantingly metaphysical lyrics (seven layers of being et al). Then came Only You in Vande Mataram, which was dedicated to the Sufi saint who became Rahman’s support during their tough times.
And now, Fanah! Notwithstanding a techno beginning in the first 30 seconds, this song could only have been inspired from sources not easily traceable in our daily lives (birds, sunshine, a face)… the last 30 seconds almost seem taken directly from a pain, from a suffering.
Another common thread in these songs is the separation from lyrics, the separation from rhythm in the last parts and the outpouring of music almost in an unadulterated form.
There is little doubt that ARR swims in worlds out of our own to come up with these occasional pieces. Come May 21, India will swim in an ocean of Fanah!