Yet another Rahman birthday.
The blogs are buzzing with wishes.
Prabhu's post has a list of his favourite songs of Rahman.
I have my own list of favourites too and I find that some keep changing over time. For instance, Khalbali was a recent favourite. Minnale has been an all-time favourite. And so on. But there are some songs that weave themselves into your memory through the people you care about. So when Chaiyya Chaiyya plays, I think of J, G and myself, packed together in an overflowing suburban train from Tambaram, J singing exactly like Sapna Awasti and singing in perfect beat to the chug of the train.
Whenever I hear Kannamoochi Yenada, I am reminded of the three friends I was with, in a car flying over the 315 in Columbus, OH, on a late Friday night, my silly self whining that I could never reach my fiance on the phone for he was always travelling, S suddenly bursting out in laughter when this song played because the lyrics were such an echo of my whine, everyone else joining in and singing it so loud that I had to laugh too.
Pachai Nirame is the clear water, the ducks and the green of Sharon Woods. Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera brings to mind the friend who spent one of his birthdays playing this song on repeat. Poo Pookum Osai is tied to a college dorm, with me walking on the corridor singing endlessly bhoomi oru veenai, adhai kaatrin kaigal meetudhe. Chinna Chinna Aasai will always be that special 1992 Oliyum Oliyum, Kaadhal Rojave will be Arvindswamy's red sweater, Khamosh Raat will probably be the song most repeated over the years, and one is still pulling off the oil paper protecting the memories.
That is why when Rahman celebrates his birthday, it seems such a fitting occasion to celebrate one's own memories. For the best gifts will always be from him to us. I look forward to making new memories over new tracks. Happy Birthday Rahman!
Rahman's Tamil numbers
Rahman's Hindi numbers