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Monday, June 29, 2009

Mothers Choice 1: Aandholanam - With Rashmi Nair

Song : Aandholanam
Composer : Bombay Ravi
Lyrics : Yousuf Ali Kachery
Singers : K.J.Yesudas, K.S. Chithra
Movie : Sargam

Performed by :
Murali Venkatraman, Rashmi Nair
Mixed by : George Kuruvilla

It was year 2001 I believe. I got a chance to sing in Tyagaraja Utsavam of Charlotte. I sang Samajavara gamana which I managed to learn from a stalwart's recording. The Charlotte community was extremely warm and embraced me in spite of me not having had a formal . They instilled in me a sense of confidence that I could sing bit of classical (and also compose a bit). One among those who became one of my best friends for life was Ramanan Moorthy.

Ramanan and I had similar music interests (not same) and it was easy to strike a conversation with him. He had a modest 2 bedroom flat (which luxury hotels could envy for its cleanliness and organization) and a small Yamaha keyboard with a music system and PC connected to it. We slowly learned basic voice recording using goldwave in the PC and were very happy to try out different things in the jam sessions which would last till 3:30 AM. Of course some nutrition supplements and 'health' drinks would help our singing cause.

Together we sang songs o f countless varieties through out the night. He introduced me to the world of Urdu. Earlier to him, I had heard ghazals but never paused to understand them. And I used to dismiss urdu as sounding bombastic and too high flown. In fact jokingly I remember a friend remarking that Urdu sounds like somebody burped as they talked (In fact he used a more 'southern' adjective). Even then I had only reluctantly agreed to understand urdu. (The real transformation of being able to appreciate urdu and develop a love towards it came a bit later, which I shall elaborate in a later post).

Bottom line is: mallu, hindi, urdu, tamil and bangla songs - formed our discussion. Ajay chakraborty, Lata Mangeshkar, Yesudas, SPB, Jagjit, ghulam Ali, Hariharan and other greats paid a vicarious visit to our mehfil in the form of their songs. But in person, he was visited by his endearing Mom for quite a good length of time and I had the pleasure of listening to her sitar and also vocals. In one of the Jam sessions that ensued, his mom and I sang andholanam dholanam - the song which seems to have been composed to ensure that melody would drip like honey would from an overflowing comb - and it was a memorable experience.

My mom is visiting me here in Melbourne and at her insistence I am singing a series of malayalam songs off which personally this is my biggest favorite (my yahoo id is andholanam). when I decided to sing this, one voice that came to my mind was Rashmi Nair's. Check her rendition out yourself. To me it sounded like a perfect combination of bhavam, swaram, layam, gamakam and sangathi (especially in the aalaap that find its place in the second charanam).