After the December debacle in Tamil Nadu, the rains come back, not with a vengeance but by giving us a welcome respite from the scorching sun. So, while at it, let’s sit back, sip a coffee and tune into some soulful music. Here’s our pick to savour rain as the blessing it is..
By Mani Prabhu
1. Chinna Chinna Mazhaithuligal (En Swaasa Kaatre)
In arguably one of the best ever tributes to the beauty of cloudbursts, Vairamuthu and A.R. Rahman determinedly drag us into the pouring streets and insist on giving us a first-hand feel of looking up to the clouds, while questioning the very purpose of the much-in-demand utility item – the umbrella!
If not at this age, when would you give in to the joys of getting drenched without a care in the world? When the rain is at your doorstep, bringing with it poetic bliss, what’s the point in shutting your doors? Vairamuthu is in no mood to leave you on the warm confines of your couch.
A delightful departure from our usual template of the hero stalking the wet heroine through rain clogged streets, its Isha Koppikar following Aravind Swamy in this beauty as he savours the rains, moment by moment. As Aravind walks past cheerful school kids and lovey-dovey couples, he contemplates collecting little raindrops and sewing them together with a thread of lightning.
When you refuse to lose yourself in the rains, you lose half of the life you’ve come to live, he concludes.
Andha maegam surandha paalil aen nanaiya marukkiraai
Nee vaazhavandha vaazhvil oru pagudhi izhakkiraai!
You sure want to stay indoors?
2. Chinna Chinna Thooral Enna (Senthamizh Paatu)
What if legends like Ilaiyaraaja, MSV, SPB and Vaali come together for bringing alive the mesmerizing feel of the showers in all its glory?
Chinna Chinna Thooral Enna happens.
The magic starts with Prabhu’s lovely response at a raindrop splashing on him and he keeps it going effortlessly till the end with his brilliant expressions. You have to watch him improvise the lyrics at a crucial moment in the song, to understand what I am talking about! The cheery exchanges between him and Kasthuri and the haunting pauses only serve to notch up the mood higher.
Vaali aces it in the second charanam by taking a much relevant, amusing dig at the unpredictability of the rains
Mazhaikku yaavarum thavikkum naatkalil
Neeyo inge varuvadhillai
Vediththa boomiyum vaanam paarkaiyil
Neeyo kannil therivathillai
Unadhu sedhiyai pozhiyum thedhiyai
Munnaal inge yaar arivaar!
A monsoon masterpiece in every sense!
3. Thakita Thadimi (Salangai Oli)
This track renders a completely different twist to the rain feel.
Raja takes us into the deep psychological recesses of a once promising dancer, who had now taken solace in alcohol. The very sight of the talented prodigy, now unable to find his step, leaves us reeling in a depressing feeling towards the unpredictability of life.
As the frustration reaches insane levels, and the rains start lashing out, it brings with it a deluge of vented emotions. Vairamuthu’s lyrics, intertwined with the classical music and dance images, serve wonderfully in getting the atmosphere of self-hate and depression bang-on. With the clouds completely taking over, Raja uses instruments such as the mridangam, veena and flute to keep the mood of the song consistent.
This piece of brilliance, though not your usual rain song, is so intricately layered that it is almost impossible to comprehend how such a complex composition even emerged as an idea!
4. Thottu Thottu Pogum Thendral (Kaadhal Kondein)
Yuvan and Selva use the thunder showers as a clever metaphor for the troubled mind of a youngster, caught between the elation of a new-found affection and the agony of child abuse in this beauty of a song.
Na.Muthukumar sets up the mood effortlessly with his musings on the light showers of love turning into a cyclone. Talking of a cold breeze, which comforts and distresses in equal measure, he even alludes to the first ever blush of the boy, who had never experienced love in his lifetime. We almost end up inside Vinoth’s head.
Vittu Vittu Thoorum Thooral
Oru Vetkam Ennai Ingu Theendiyathey
Aval Paakkum Paarvai thaan Kulirkirathey!
The atmospheric and angst-ridden voice of Harish Raghavendar matches the storm raging inside the young man perfectly. Would this ‘high’ remain forever? Or would it go off, when the rain stops? Do I loathe or love this ‘high’? What have I become?
Neither the questions nor the rains seem in a mood to cease!
With this song, Yuvan explores yet another emotion so often associated with cloudbursts – unforeseen affection blossoming into mad love.
5. Unnai Kandene (Paarijatham)
How does it feel to view the rains from the eyes of a girl, who is on the brink of falling in love? Does it remind her of her man? She says she got lost the day she saw him. Was it raining too, then Dharan comes out with this haunting monsoon melody that takes you to a parallel romantic world, every single time. Shruthi’s voice captures the sensuality and hesitancy, so typical of such ‘rain’ moments brilliantly.
Enginen Naan Thenginen
Yaenada Pothum Imsaigal
Vaanamum Indha Bhoomiyum Unthan Thotramey
Un Per Sonaale Ulley Thithukkume
The girl is so love-struck that she sees her lover even in the clouded sky and sparkles of rain falling on the ground.
If that doesn’t make you feel romantic, what will!
6. Megam Kottatum (Enakkul Oruvan)
Is a raging storm an excuse for an artist to back off? What does it take to stop an entertainer? Incessant rains? Power shut-down? Water-clogged stage? What would make the cut?
“Nothing”, says Vairamuthu in this perky track by Ilaiyaraja
He doesn’t stop there. He invites the rains to be his audience and goes all literal while describing the thunderous response, He even goes to the extent of offering an umbrella to the skies for the musical shower.
SPB gets the mood bang on with his vivacious voice.
Soon, it all gets delightfully ‘meta’. We get to hear “Whatever comes may – storm or avalanche, the show would go on” in Kamal’s voice.
Mazhai Vanthathaalae Isai Ninru Pogumaa
Puyal Vanthathaalae Hmm Alai Enna Oyumaa
Rasiganin Aarvathai Paarkkiraen
Ungal Paathathil Ènthalai Šaaikkiraen!
7. Oho Megam Vandadho (Mounaragam) and Vaan Megham (Punnagai Mannan)
Two beautiful songs featuring Raja, Revathi, Rain and Romance.
The first one ‘Oho Megam Vanthatho‘ is a lively melody tracking a girl’s rainy escapades as she avoids a prospective groom.
Vaali starts off by celebrating the monsoon, but proceeds to nail the girl’s anger and emotions in the subsequent charanams.
The second track ‘Vaan Megham’ equates the rain to the excitement of a successful proposal
Vairamuthu here nails the girl’s elation at her reciprocated love using all possible rain similes
Mazhaithuli Therithathu Enakkullae Kulithathu
Ninaithathu Palithathu Kudaikkambi Thulirthathu
Vaanam Muthukkal Sinthi..
Vaazhvu Vendrathu… Kaathal Vendrathu!
8. Megam Karukudhu (Kushi)
Who can forget the iconic scene, when Jyothika on completing a run up that would any day beat that of Brett Lee’s, takes a dive into the village stream and emerges out in slow motion with her trademark grin, while the clouds decide to tear apart that exact moment?
There is something about Jyo that makes even her most awkward moves seem delightfully bubbly. She owns the screen space, particularly in this track, with such a powerful presence, that even the trickiest of steps by more talented fellow dancers go unnoticed.
Deva comes out with a live wire this time to match Jo’s exuberance, and Vairamuthu takes it from there to unleash his well-documented brilliance in monsoon festivities.
At this very moment, we can only wish Jo was serious in what she was committing to…
Naan Sollum Velaiyil Mazhai Nindru Pogattum!
9. Nadhiye Nadhiye (Rhythm)
Come rains, and you can neither forget nor ignore Vairamuthu’s emphatic ‘water’ celebration of the five core elements. Set in picturesque monsoon locations, this beauty by Rahman celebrates womanhood in all its flavours, alluding it in every possible instance to the beauty and majesty of water in all forms.
Vairamuthu goes all guns blazing in the first charanam itself, when he draws out stunning parallels between the two. As amazing waterfalls and lakes grace the visuals, he pushes things further with the second charanam. As much as we contrastingly revel and complain about the showers at the moment, it wouldn’t be long before we start yearning for it in any possible form. He gets us all smiling by pulling love into this equation.
Kaadhali arumai pirivil manaiviyin arumai maraivil
Neerin arumai arivaay koadaiyilae!
Before signing off, Vairamuthu even attempts an ambitious philosophical undertone, citing the genesis and cessation of all life in waters.
Thanneer Kudathil Pirakirom
Thanneer Karaiyil Mudikirom!
That was deep!
10. Andhi mazhai megam (Nayagan)
A monsoon melody on the day of Holi in the suburban slums of Dharavi amidst pouring rain and loving family, crafted by three of the best creative minds of the industry – Haasan, Rathnam, Raja and what do you expect!
Pulamaipithan gets the festive mood and the rain feel bang spot-on in the Pallavi itself with the minimalistic lyrics. He then proceeds to reflect on the limitless joy such a meteoric rise of an able leader brings to the settlement, in the final charanam… And even in that, he references the joy of the rains
Oorellaam kaliyaattanghal yennenna ini kaattunghal
Veedudhoram manghalam indru vandhadhu
Kaanum bhodhu nenjinil inbham vandhadhu!
A true celluloid gem!