One core emotion called love.  Five different facets. The singer who nails them all, in style.
A birthday tribute to the super-talented Shreya Goshal…

Mani Prabhu

1. Ninaithu ninathu

Film: 7G Rainbow Colony         Principle emotion: Agony

The haunting piano sets up the mood effortlessly to begin with. You could feel yourselves being consumed by the melancholy. They say that you can never fully express the pain of losing a loved one. But Yuvan here tries his best with a composition that speaks directly to the soul. And then, in a magical moment, Shreya starts off with Ninaithu Ninathu Paarthaal… It’s tough to describe the feeling that she incites. Our heart feels violated. The excruciating agony of lost love literally dribbles from her voice, pulling you into the moment and leaving you muddled. You instinctively reach for the solace of memories – painful or otherwise.  Na Muthukumar is in no mood to show any mercy.  The brooding only intensifies. When Shreya , after taking us through a oxymoronic journey of joy and pain, wraps up with Oru Tharunam Ènnadaa Kaathala… Unnul Vaazhgiraen, we realize the power of the most painful blessing of all – memories.

2. Onna vida


Film: Virumaandi         Principal emotion: Admiration

Unlike the previous song, there is no prelude here to warn us of the brilliance that is to follow. We hear the hustle of the roads for a moment and the blaring horns of a speeding lorry. And out of nowhere, Shreya unleashes her sorcery as she goes Onna Vida. How does it feel to be with the love of your life after a long struggle? Conflicting emotions of excitement, hesitation, elation and fear reflect in her voice, despite all the euphony. But it’s the admiration for her lover that reigns supreme. Raja keeps it simple and visceral at the same time – an art he had come to master over time. And when Haasan joins the party, Shreya steps up the game even higher with a delightful Madurai accent. After a while, it’s almost like a battle of emotions between the two, with Shreya measuring up to the master in a slang almost foreign to her. In the second charanam, when she starts off with Un Kooda Naan Koodi Irunthida…Ènakku Jenmam Onnu Pothumaa, it’s not like singing anymore. A passionate conversation between hearts is what it ends up to be.

3. Munbe va en anbe vaa

Film: Chillunu Oru Kaadhal      Principal emotion: Exhilaration

Some pleasant strings in the beginning give a heavenly feel. And soon Shreya brings alive a girl’s elation on realizing her love, perfectly in this beauty, which has AR Rahman unshackling from his stable yet another musical equivalent of a heartwarming love letter. Yes, It’s truly ethereal and sweetly unsettling. You could easily close your eyes and get lost in the wonder-land that the two manage to create. And Along with Naresh Iyer who chips in with a brilliant third angle, they make a combination that is nothing short of ‘stunning’. And keeping in tune with the celestial setting, Rahman interlaces a pristine background chorus, one which goes on to become an integral part of the orchestration, to nail the atmosphere in style.

4. Ayyayo


Film: Paruthiveeran           Principal emotion: Fulfillment

This track is proof of the variation Shreya Goshal can bring to her tone while portraying the same mood, but in a different milieu. The atmosphere here is essentially the same, the excitement of new found love, but this one unfolds in a rural setting. Shreya brings her own signature charm into the folk- classical fusion by oozing rustic energy all through the melodious composition. Again, it’s tough to describe the tricky twist she imparts here, which was not evident in Munbe Vaa. Yuvan’s voice and use of native instruments helps to a large extent, but there is no denying the pastoral intensity in all her honeyed verses. When she goes like Nee Konnaa Kuda Kuththamilla… Nee Sonnaa Saagum Inthaa Pulla, we believe her. We don’t gawk at the audacity of it. And that, perhaps, is Shreya’s success.

5. Mannippayaa


Film: Vinnaithaandi Varuvayaa     Prinicpal emotion: Forgiveness

When you have a situation where a woman in capricious-love, seeks some sort of atonement from her hurting lover, who else do you bet your instincts on, other than the talented Shreya Goshal. Arguably, one of the very best to have come from the singer, this one is a master-piece of its own in conveying the muddled mind of a girl who badly wants something but somehow can’t bring herself to accept it. At first hearing, it’s Rahman’s haunting melody that hits us hard. But slowly and slyly, as we let it run in our heads, the pain of indecision in Shreya’s voice starts eating our mind. But, she doesn’t leave it at that. She brilliantly entwines it with bursts of regret and absolution, springing out at unexpected moments.  One moment when she goes Oru naal sirithen, maru naal veruthen, unai naan kollaamal kondru puthaithene… Mannippaya, we identify with her pain. And suddenly when she changes tone with Aen En Vaazhvil Vanthaai, Kanna Nee? we are left truly befuddled. And towards the end, when she switches another gear to Anaivarum Urangidum Iravenum Neram Ènakkathu Thalaiyanai Nanaithidum Èeram with agony splashing all over, we can’t help but give it to the girl who had aced one of the toughest songs ever. Like a boss.