Monday, June 04, 2007

Dil Se Re….

Before the post i just wanted to put this in
My Dad was real sick the last couple of days and had been admitted to the ICU, my mom sick with worry was not well either. The only people handling all of this were my Sister and Brother in law. In between two highly stressful jobs, kids, bills and hospitals, they managing to keep sane and ensure that each of my parents were cared to in the best manner. Sitting 11K miles away all I could do was pray and thank God for the Angels that he has on Earth. Now Dad is all better and back home.

So P&V thank you for all the help. I know you don’t ask for anything in return, but I hope that God gives anything and everything that you ever wish

And Also Happy Bday Momma

My decade long wish came true on Saturday. I actually got to sit/stand/dance and watch A R Rahman live in concert at the Oakland Coliseum. Rahman opened the world of Tamil music to me. I am not disrespecting the other music directors here, but his music related to me on a much more personal level then any other director’s. I stopped listening only to the words but started to listen to the instruments behind them. Each time I heard his song's I discovered something new about it.Every Rahman song has a portion of my memory intertwined in it picking up from the group dance in school with En Veetu Thottathil and party with Rangeela, and of course who can forget standing at nearly every farewell singing Mustafa with candle in our hands .. The raw pain in Ay Ajnabi to the intricate classical strings of Alaipayuthae and kandukondain kandukondain Rahman brought every emotion to our life. A couple of his gems in movies like Uzhavan, Pudiya Mannargal, zubeida ,1947 Earth didn’t get the recognition they rightly deserved, they still dazzle .
His music, has captivated both the young and the old, but the way he captures the energy of the young is unique.Right from every guy humming ‘Endrendrum’ on his bike to a girl's reparting with ‘hey goodbye nanba’, these tunes stick to you. His genius in able to quickly shift between genres, languages and emotions is amazing. In Swades, ‘des mera’ wants you to so something more for India and Lagan makes you remember what it took for your freedom fighters to get that freedom back for you. The role of the lyricists and directors are pivotal here.We may have an amazing song but when it comes to screen it may totally shock you , and you wonder why Rahman even bothers to work with these directors.Coming to the point of the Rahman Maniratnam combo – they are like chocolate icecream, great apart but amazing together.
For me, personally his songs represent anthems in my life. I love Dil Se ,the words and the music, almost represent the pounding of a persons heart

So after all that you can imagine my absolute excitement to get to the stadium. However K and I made two small errors in judgments which cost us the opening act and 3 songs.Mine was that Rahman would actually care what I would wear for his concert and K’s was considering that 2000 Indians were attending, everybody was still going to obey road rules. What should have been a 3 minute exit took an hour .I could have almost lovingly strangled my fellow “Desi’s”. They combined Indian Behavior with American rules. Coming in late and driving all the way to the front of the line, putting on their indicator and actually expecting us poor fools who were in line for the last 30 mins to let them cut in. The others were driving on the lane shoulders and forming a two lane in a one lane drive!!!.For K it was poor hell to drive and for me is was the same to sit and wait, while I knew a mile away Rahman was performing.

Getting up the stairs to the indoor stadium in less than half a minute was a miracle but for Rahman, I guess anything was possible. I walked in to find Sukwinder on Stage,but my eyes stuck to the small figure behind the huge keyboards whom seemed to be the centre of all the energy.I barely had time to sit when a number from Sivaji had the crowd on its feet. The poor security people had never seen the sane Indian nerds act this way:D..They tried controlling them and finally gave up. It was hilarious to see a older gentlemen do break dance for the songs and while ladies dancing with their children made you smile.The laser effects and the dancers on stage were gorgeous.Though I do think a guy in a huge Peocok feathers for Barso Re was a bit funny, the Mayya Mayya dance sequence was pulled off well.

Hariharans voice soothed, Rapper Raman was indecipherably good , Naresh Iyer livened up the crowd, Sukwinder had all ages on their feet, Madhusree had us swaying while Chitra and Vijay were their usual melodious self .The Jugalbandi between Shivamani , the Rajasthani singer, the white guy who sang amazing Hindustani taal and girls with the clappers was great. But Shivamani on the drums alone drove people crazy. I couldn’t believe anybody’s hands could move that fast and so precisely. Roobaroo and Sa Re Ga Me were numbers that could get any person to a jig, and the best part was for the song Rang de Basanti entire crowd was on its feet and in front of me an elderly lady got up and did the Bhangra in her seat!!!. A couple of grouse’s I had with the concert are I wished there were more tamil numbers say from his earlier films. I would have loved to sit there and hear Rasathi from Thiruda Thiruda(sigh sigh!!!) . Also families bringing babies to the concert. At certain points the music system was really loud, and we had dads who were frantically pushing cotton into ears quieting wailing babies.I am sure the laser lights didn’t help the poor mite either :) .Also I learnt a cost efficient way of getting better tickets.One person buys a costlier ticket and then when people don’t come in an hours time, he calls his family down to the better seats!!! I have no problem with him cheating Mehta entertainment (who are the organizers) but they kept coming down in trickle during Ay Hairathe . K and I totally missed that song as we kept getting up to let them through.

However when Rahman was on Stage it was magic and all was forgotten . Dil Se had the whole crowd chanting “Dil Se RE” and when ‘Pray for me brother’ was sung, the entire auditorium was darkened, only to be litup by the cell phone lights of the audience. It seemed as if we were in the stars rather than back down on earth. Humma Humma was the absolute best and loudest that we could get.
The finale was Maa Tujhe Salam. The entire crowd on its feet and singing with emotion, that’s a memory I will carry with me for life.I had stood innumerable times for renditions of Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram, but the voices that carried on that day had pride, longing for what was back home and a promise to be back there.And if couldn’t do that immediately, atleast for now we were together honoring India through his song.Emotions ran high and I’m sure mother India was having a series of hiccups as so many ppl were thinking of her all at once : )

Now as I am sitting on the bus on my way into office, looking at the quick zipping of the VTA buses, and the tall glass buildings, I switch on ‘Chinna Chinna Asai’ on my ipod and it feels like home

Wow long post… and now for a smile(atleast for the Rahman fans..the video is shaky but it’s the best you can do with a cannon SD which was dropped several times :D )

Keep Smilin ppl