I did my engineering in one of those engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu (Currently it has crossed 300), by the name Anjalai Ammal. We used to travel by train daily. Its a 25 KM distance and we used to go in a passenger train. If you need a better understanding of that train and stations, you should either watch Oru Thalai Raagam or Sethu.
Train obviously gives you a lot of room for adventure, happiness, fun and frolic. In the first year,it was the place for ragging and as i am a decent singer i had to sing a lot of songs to please my seniors. One day i had even sung one song each for all the 5 compartments in between 4 stations (excluding ladies compartment). I used to sing all sad, melancholic love songs in order to impress my seniors and every time they used to think about their love, they left me alone.
I think it was a in third year, we had almost lost steam, interest in studying and we used to sleep in the trains (both onwards and backwards). Sometimes we used to sing songs, while coming back just to enjoy our evening. Most of the times, the trains used to be empty and very less of occasional commuters.
That day, we had a couple in our compartment. They both had a rural look, like from a village and the lady was so afraid of us that she was holding the shirt of her husband. The age difference was also pretty high and it was evident. He had a big moustache and they were speaking Telegu to each other.
We kept on singing on some songs. I used to sing mostly maestro songs as i love his compositions. Suddenly the guy asked in broken tamil “yenaku oru pattu padalama”. What he meant was whether i will be able to sing a song for him. I asked “yenna pattu” (‘What song?’). He said “ Yenaku per thellinthi. Tune theriyum” ( “I dunno the name of the song but i know the tune”). I said “Solunga Parpom” ( ‘tell me, i will try’). “Na Nana Na, Na nana Na, Nanana Na”, he started singing the tune.
It was a song by Maestro Ilaiyaraja from the movie ‘Vaithehi Kathirunthal’. It had Vijayakanth (in a very different role) and Revathi in the lead. The song was rendered by Jayachandran. It was his first song and it fetched him a National Award. The song goes like this “rasathi unnai kanatha nenju”. Its sung by a lover after losing his lady love to his mistake. I think the lyrics is by Vaali ( I am not sure)
When i was singing, the guy started enjoying it as if he was singing. He was shaking his head to the tune, eyes closed and taking the music in to him. He would not have understood most of the words but he could enjoy the tune to the fullest extent. After i finished the song, he said he was very happy to hear the song and i could see a sense of completeness in his face, a sense of satisfaction. It was one of the happiest moment in his life and his wife was smiling at her husband’s happiness. I dunno where they came from nor their names but that piece of music made us came together at that wonderful moment. A sense of achievement came in to my heart. How precious is to make a man smile…
That moment i realised why people say there is no language for music.
I have not got a single prize in my life time for my singing abilities ( as i was just ok and not so great), but his thanks is one of the biggest awards i could ever get in my life.
Enjoy the song and Ilaiyaraja’s beauty…