We strongly recommend that you play this in the background as you read this.

– Mani Prabhu

It’s all deceptively restrained to start with.

But yet, unbelievably beautiful!

It’s actually tough not to lose yourself in the tranquility of the strings being pulled.

For now, you could call it ‘bliss’…

And when the flute adds to the soothing mood set up by the guitar, it slowly but steadily teases you well into the comfort centers of your auditory cortex.

Little do you realize now that you are being tactfully set up for a ruse!

As you slowly give in to the calming charm, Hariharan starts working his magic.

தமிழா தமிழா நாளை நம் நாளே
தமிழா தமிழா நாடும் நம் நாடே!

The serenity that the voice emanates is instantly infectious.

It may also have reflected a hint of hope. But for now, it’s disguised as dope.

You close your eyes in solace.

என் வீடு தாய் தமிழ் நாடு என்றே சொல்லடா…
என் நாமம் இந்தியன் என்றே என்றும் நில்லடா!

And now, when the essence of Vairamuthu’s lyrics hits you, a faint quiver starts down your spine.

The atmosphere is still very much lulling, but the intent in Hariharan’s rendition opens up a new facet to all the seeming quietude.

You are rapidly dragged into in an unclear zone, where you start questioning the relevance of your own emotions.

Didn’t it all start as a lullaby – that was meant to make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

What now? Why this gnawing feel in the chest? What to make of the tightening knot in the gut, when the tune is so brilliantly euphonic?

And before you know it, you start getting an aura. A peculiar one – may be, something to do with a sense of impending epiphany or an adrenaline burst.

But, nothing happens. At least, for now!

Hariharan just returns to his mesmerizing routine again, giving no clue whatsoever of the musical ‘eruption’ that is about to ensue.

தமிழா தமிழா நாளை நம் நாளே
தமிழா தமிழா நாடும் நம் நாடே!

And just as the man completes the verse, the arrangement explodes. Into a different orbit – something way different from what we had been led to believe!

The tempo rises as though there is no tomorrow. Electronic synth and trumpets join in unison to build up the fury.

And, now you start feeling the blood in your vessels. You don’t have a choice. You have been literally thrown into this sudden exuberance, which slowly starts consuming you.

It’s all about raw emotions now.

As if this isn’t enough to ignite your nerves, an insanely rousing chorus joins in… further edging up the goose-flesh!

And there is where it turns absolutely relentless.

இனம் மாறலாம் குணம் ஒன்று தான்
இடம் மாறலாம் நிலம் ஒன்று தான்
மொழி மாறலாம் பொருள் ஒன்று தான்
கலி மாறலாம் கொடி ஒன்று தான்
திசை மாறலாம் நிலம் ஒன்று தான்
இசை மாறலாம் மொழி ஒன்று தான்
நம் இந்தியா அதும் ஒன்று தானே வா!

And by the time, all the pent up aggression peaks into an almost surreal crescendo, you could feel something shooting up your senses.

It’s tough to translate that ‘high’ into words.

You had just experienced a ‘musical’ orgasm.

Believe me, it indeed feels ‘violated’.

And then, there is a four second pause.

Probably… to ease off all the blazing adrenaline. Seriously? 4 seconds?

And understandably, before you could even recover, Hariharan resumes again, out of nowhere, taking you on another ride of seeming serenity.

தமிழா தமிழா கண்கள் கலங்காதே
விடியும் விடியும் உள்ளம் மயங்காதே!
தமிழா தமிழா கண்கள் கலங்காதே
விடியும் விடியும் உள்ளம் மயங்காதே!

It’s like the calm after the storm. Literally. Just that this time, the ‘calm’ assumes a totally different perspective.

You start looking at all the soothing stillness now in a completely different light.

Like how your outlook of life changes after a trance situation.

Just that his time, it happens to be a musical trance!

But, is it logically possible for the little understood human brain to switch cognition between such radically different musical planes, in such a short span of time?

Barely giving you time for any form of scientific reasoning, Hariharan continues…

உனக்குள்ளே இந்திய ரத்தம் உண்டா இல்லையா?
ஒன்றான பாரதம் உன்னை காக்கும் இல்லையா?

And by now, you have surrendered to the spurt of overflowing thoughts.

To start with, you feel like giving Rahman a big warm hug.

Then, you feel proud. You feel hopeful. You feel compassionate. You feel hell lots of other things.

Inside, it’s like a volcano of emotions.

But, all you could get on the outside is a little moisture in your eyes.

And quite some questions to ponder on.

That’s true art for you.

Honest. Unrelenting. And freaking brilliant!