Maestro Ilayaraaja's website Googly
In cricket, Googly is a delivery bowled by a leg-spinner with his usual action of fingers and wrist, eventually leading a lesser mortal batsman in front to believe that its yet another leg-spin while the ball swings away to glory from Off to leg, leaving the batsman with no idea what’s happening. Sunil Gavaskar often comments that our Anil Kumble has mastered googly like no one. IlayiaRaaja has produced many googlies too….. Songs that look like composed in a particular style, while they are not… Songs that look like composed in a one Raaga, which is actually done in another…. Songs which makes you almost conclude that its song by Malaysia while you realize that Raaja made SPB sing like that for a specific reason (Say to suit a hero more!!) etc etc….

The song “Aagaya vennilavae” from Arangetra velai is one such Googly from Raaja’s armory. A Beautiful rendition by KJ & Uma Ramanan; One of favorite combination of Raaja for such semi -classical songs. Splendid usage of “dharbari kanada”… Like how it comes in Pepsi ads... “It doesn’t get better than this !!!” .... However, this number would join my long list of songs where the picturisation of the song can be held responsible for ruthlessly murdering such great songs… Surprisingly it was Fazil who did such a poor visual for this song… Deliberately making VK Ramasamy , Prabhu and Revathi to stimulate their imaginary horse (Karpanai kudhiraya thatti vuduradhu!! ) to hallucinate themselves in their favorite trends of time… Its an example for the statement “Yaanaikkum adi sarukkum !!!” :-P

When I heard this song, for long time now I thought this song was set to Adhi talam… The reason for that is this song carried all the qualification that googly has it of a leg spin.. They use a term called “Meter” or “nadai” or more simply “Santham” in light music… The rhythm pattern of a song… In this song, If you see the Rhythm, its composed in a ‘nadai’ like that of a perfect adhi talam song… Like “Thaka dhimi Thaka dhimi Thaka dhimi Thaka dhimi”…….. If I would get more precise to the point, you can simply take the tabla rhythm track of this song and use it for a song like “Masthana Masthana” in Raasaiya(which is a perfect Adhi song)…. I don’t know if you play better cricket.. But certainly I was bowled out for long time now until one fine day, I found that this song “Aagaya venilavae” is actually composed in Rupakam and not in Adhi !!!!!!! 

A universal pattern in Rhythm settings is that, Whenever the pallavi or charanam ends and the pallavi starts again, there will be a brief twist in the rhythm during the last bar.. Its called ‘Theermanam’ in classical or ‘Fill-ins’ in Western… It was this theermanam that helped me to find that this song was in Roopakam.. In this song, I heard the Tablaist performing a theermanam for 3 counts while I was expecting 4 there… It was at that moment that I realized that the song was set to Roopakam… I couldn’t believe myself that how I took it for granted for all these days that this song was set to Adhi….. Adding more to my misery, Raaja plays with the rhythm in this song by perfectly changing the style to Aadhi in both the interludes.. A perfect googly by an accomplished leg-spinner!!

Its again the same concept that we discussed before…. 3 bars of Adhi can be treated as 4 bars of Roopakam…. But the speciality in this song is, unlike his other numbers where he did the camouflage for a few bars, Raaja has really excelled in this song by setting a Adhi rhythm patter for a song in roopakam thro’out…

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