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Sujatha’s “Paarvai” – A blind’s eye view !!

By Latha

“Sir, Naan oru piravi kurudan, paarvai endraal ennavenre theriyadhu, neengal oru ezhuthaalar dhaane? Oru kelvikku badhil solkireergala. Varnam endraal enna? Enakku varniyungal, varnam enbadhu enna? ”

Paarvai, a short story by Sujatha, written sometime in 1972, gives us a ‘glimpse’ of the blind’s world and their ‘view points’. A train journey, one (two?!) blind man. One groping in the dark and the other in brightness. Both trying to explain the seamless thoughts of their mind to the other. Sujatha, as usual, stands a class apart in his narration of this story, a sweet tinge of bitterness in the blind man’s character and a non-grudging envy of a normal man towards the blind man. The little nuances and razor sharp functioning of the other sensory organs, except the eyes of the blind man is expressed with a touch of nonchalance, yet strikingly visible to the mind’s eye.

When the blind man says “Ungalai ‘sandhithadhil’ mikka maghizchi”, the writer observes “sandhithadhil… Kann therindha ulagathin vaarthai”. The story leaves the reader with a feeling of incompleteness, a helplessness that a six-sense person feels when he is unable to explain something to a person who lacks one sense. Maybe Ashok Banker’s Mahabharatha has answers. Ashok’s odyssey of Mahabharatha starts with “As the blind king watched… “. Ironical, isn’t it?

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Rahman Rising and The Ballads of Mangal Pandey

the_rising

It starts like DDLJ’s Thujey dekha to hai jaana sanam and becomes a best qawwali I’ve heard in recent times. Ofcourse, I’m not a hunter of qawwalis but this was truly a magic. On many more hearings, I am not sure if this is can be classified as a qawwali or a dance-katha song, mujra. Some might say, every time Rahman excels in the Sufi music but I think it isn’t intentional. I knew Kavitha Subramaniam could sing well but not so well. With those distant claps accompanying, the tabla setting the perfect tone alongwith the semi-frequent strings, Rahman’s Main Vari Vari could be in the race for the best song of the year. I know there are number of them but this one just grabs a place for itself. As Main Vari Vari lines is repeated a number of times, the ending is just so blissful. Listen, Listen and Listen.

For once there is something modern about this period film. Rasiya has a very modern tune to it. Rasiya rendered by Richa Sharma and Bonnie Chakraborthy. I think it is Richa Sharma’s voice that has a good depth and gives a fantastic feel. At once, I thought it was the Choli Ke Peeche types but as it proceeds I understand it’s just Richa’s voice that was mis-leading me. It starts with just too many instruments and becomes a nice melody.

Rahman seems to be on a singing trip. His recent vocal renditions are exciting like never before. Al Maddath Maula has similar feel and Sufi singing in the background like Alahhoo of Bose. Though Rahman layering vocals one upon another and starting on high pitch has started a bore a little, the song has sensational moments.

I started to like the dhumchik dhumchik Takey Takey rendered by Sukhwinder Singh but not any more. After listening to it and Holi Re, I’m starting to like the Holi number. Though somewhere in the middle, the tune of Holi Re reminds of Dhandiya Attam from Kadhalar Dhinam and ends predictably, Holi Re can be enjoyed just for the spirit of the song. Mangal Mangal song has three version with enough variations to each other. I like the Aatma version sung by Kailash Kher is my choice. Similar to the Vaanam Thottu Pona of Devar Mahan this song resembles the death of a hero and has ironically a ‘soulful’ number.

Rising songs may not be commercially viable but proves yet again the versataility of Rahman to provide rich variations in songs. The Rising will be one of the best bets for this year but the unsettled anger is still there somewhere.