Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gnayiru Oli Mazhayil

Gnayiru Oli mazhayil Sung by Kamalhasan from Andharangam

The scent of jasmine flowers from the flower vendor on the street outside the temple mingles almost sacrilegiously with the dust raised by the town bus that’s sagging from the weight of all its passengers. The tea stall next to a row of shops selling everything from stationery items to spectacles and grocery is busy with its morning customers. The glass counter has biscuits and sweets, coconut buns and cakes that look aged, with a row of jars occupying the top that have other biscuits and savory items. The boiler is busy as are the tea master and his assistants. A dog is hesitantly wagging its tail at everyone coming out of the shop hoping for some generosity. He is ignored by the indifferent men who stop at the small shop next door selling newspapers, magazines, cigarettes by sticks, a rope with a burning end to light the cigarettes, some jars with groundnut cakes and assorted candies. You can tell it’s going to be a harsh day by the way the sun beats down on everyone including the dog who has now found a benefactor. Half a bun the customer couldn’t either eat or finish is now thrown to the dog who wags the tail a bit more vigorously in appreciation of the almost expected kindness. And from the old radio set on the counter which has aged from all the dust and grime, float the first notes of this song, which you’ll learn much later are from a guitar. It sounds different as guitar as an instrument was not a popular. You like the way the song starts, too young to identify the different instruments and how they come together to produce a smooth, haunting melody. The singer is new too, you’ve not heard his voice in any other song that you have heard on your Philips Major set. Soon, you’re lost in the melody of the song, and somehow, even though the words are too mature, they find a place in your mind. And you don’t hear the song until after a long time. But it has never left you.

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