The name itself evokes so much happiness in a music lover’s mind. I was a toddler of 1 year when songs from Roja used to be played at home and as my mother aptly describes it, I was instantly in love. As a toddler, it was beyond my perception, yet it brought so much joy to me. Such is the power of music, and more so when it comes from the ‘Mozart of Madras’.
Soon, I grew up listening to his music. Whether it was a feeling of joy, sorrow, numbness or an assortment of them, I used to instantly connect to his songs, language being no barrier.
Despite being a native of Tamil Nadu, and Tamil being my mother tongue, I used to largely relate to his music, the lyrics and the language that it was written in being secondary. It was the sheer power of his melody that made me feel the emotions of the song. I have cried listening to Lukka Chupi or Ae Ajnabi, even though I could not understand the lyrics to its greatest depths, yet the emotions were conveyed so powerfully in the the music that it could make listeners feel it.
Which is why I feel upset when there was so much outrage over his recent concert. The fact that some of them walked out of the show was truly uncalled for! Is the fact that some of the songs were in Tamil the only issue? The fact that Rahman sir has made countless gems in various languages, and a legend of his stature is being subjected to this definitely pains the music lover.
Music has the power to transcend barriers and differences at all levels. And that is precisely what Rahman sir’s music has been doing so far. People are comfortable listening to Despacito and to artists like Enrique and Shakira despite not understanding the lyrics is a clear explanation to the above. Having said that is it so painful to listen to a few beautiful Tamil compositions in a concert? Do we need to remind ourselves that Tamil and Hindi are languages spoken within the same country? It is about time that we put behind all these prejudices aside and enjoy music the way it is. In any form. In any language. The sheer joy that listening to a beautiful piece of music provides a listener is unparalleled.
Let us respect the artist. And music in it’s true sense. Let’s not scrutinise and get lost in such trivial details!
About the author:
Sharanya Srinivas is an independent singer, song writer, musician and music composer. She is also the daughter of singer Srinivas.