Tindi or Hamil??? What would you call this language that’s been developed over the past few years? Well, I’m writing about it not because it offends me, but because I think it’s so interesting that we tolerate so much for the sake of music (at least the reason I do)!
I was listening to this song Mayil iraghe composed by AR Rahman for the movie Ah Aah, sung by Madhushree & Naresh Iyer. The song is quite lovely, Naresh Iyer has a very distinct and great voice, sings beautifully and so does Madhushree. Having said all this, somehow when Madhshree butchers the words, every time she does, I flinch. It’s kind of a reflex! Its not like she doesn’t get just certain words, I don’t think she gets the whole Tamil thing. It takes away all the beauty of song for me just because it doesn’t sound right.
Another great example would be Sadhana Sargam singing Snegithane from Alaipayuthey. There is no one word in that song I can point to, it’s just the whole Tamil thing that she doesn’t get. The song is so beautiful, so is every other aspect of the movie and video of the song. But somehow, yet again I flinch. Not just this one, every song sung by her. She is an amazing singer no doubt and I love when she sings in Hindi, but is she that absolutely indispensable, enough to sing a language she completely doesn’t get? Don’t we have enough talent in each state to sing their language that they can actually understand and emote?
Somehow with Sadhana Sargam, Madhushree, Vasundhara Das, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu (Worst of the lot!), Sukwindher Singh (can there be a worse than worse?) and more who’re coming in don’t get it. Shreya goshal and Sonu Nigam are the new additions who are not as bad (yet) but time will tell! All of these people are great singers with beautiful voices, but just stick with what you can pronounce is what I say.
I listen to songs in quite a few languages Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. I understand all these languages except Kannada. There is lot of cross-pollination singing amongst many of these languages. The popular Telugu singers SPB, Janaki, Susheela, Mano and Swarnalatha and the malayalee ones Chitra, Unni menon, Unni Krishnan, KJ Yesudas, Madhu Balakrishnan, SreeKumar and many other singers from all over the place have been singing Tamil songs for decades. Why is it when all these artists sing, there isn’t this problem of language?
Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle are a seperate kind. Asha Bhosle sang Shenbagame, a genius compostion by Illaiyaraja and Konja Neram also a good song in Chandramukhi by Vidyasagar. Why aren’t there any flinching moments in Shenbagame and many bad pronunciations in Konja Neram?? The legendary Lata Mangeshkar sang Valai Osai in the movie Sathya composed by Illaiyaraja. The words are a tongue twister! She sings it as authentic as it gets! A recent example would be the song Isayil Thodangudhamma sung by Ajay Chakraborthy, for the movie Hey Ram composed by the definition of genius, Illaiyaraja. If you haven’t heard the song, you’re missing out on just pure music. His voice is as unique as it can get and there are no words to describe the way he sings or what the song emotes. Its just pure divinity.
This to me proves that the music directors these days don’t strive for enough perfection from the singers. It has become very ‘old school’ and just plain old to ask for perfection. The new trend for Music directors is to be ‘cool and hip’ by letting their singers
improvise do things their way( unsupervised or unnoticed). Or it could be just that these days the producers call all the shots and control the quality of music and want this kind of lackluster performance. Either way, we are getting the bad end of the bargain.
These days I crave for the ideal song which has a beautiful tune and meaningful lyrics sung by singers who know, understand and emote what they are singing. This was not too rare even a decade ago. I think the last time I was satisfied by a great song was surely more than 5 years ago. I’m still waiting for the next ‘perfect’ song to come by……
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