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<b><i>Yakkai Thiri Kaadhal Sudar...Fanaah...</i> What is Fanaah??</b> Yakkai Thiri Kaadhal Sudar...Fanaah... What is Fanaah??

Topic started by qw (@ on Sat May 8 00:01:55 EDT 2004.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Funda on Fanah
Guest Blog 4 - Anand Chandrasekharan (Lazy

Just like a book on Oprah's list suddenly sees sales go through the roof, words used in a Rahman song suddenly come find themselves in vogue. Fanah may have come into popular conversation that way, but it actually has both spiritual and philosophical meaning in Islam.

One of the early Islamic writers (Ghazzali) used Fanah in the Ihya to refer to self-actualization, in a Buddhistic Nirvana Sense. In the state of Fanah, the individual loses the person in the temporal world. This kind of writing met with opposition from some interpreters, who claimed that such a moral world had never existed except in the Quran.

The general theme of the song, that love leads to a higher plane (a la Piravi pizhai, kadhal thirutham) resonates with Ghazzali's writings, which says that an understanding and following of the Tawhidi in daily life, leads to the state of Fanah.

There you have it! When Vairamuthu says Yakkai thiri, Kadhal Sudar (My body the wick, your love the flame!), we know nothing can follow but Fanah!... It probably also explains why, this is one of those rare occasions when it's hard to come up with a single word in Tamil which conveys the same meaning (and hence the Urdu word is re-used in the Tamil version).

Yaakai Thiri also known as Fanah, being the star number of the album, A R Rahman pays attention to the techno type beats and his husky vocals. The song starts with a note that is very familiar for us. I am unable to guess the number but it one of the Venga Boys - Back street Boys type music that is fast and monotonous like computer generated music. Then the music rolls into a magical world of Fanah. Vairamuthu uses the most unusual words like Yaakai, Dwaitham and Adwaitham in such a slick song and makes us to listen to lyrics despite the music being on a high note. Yaakai Thiri is a sure shot hit.
Song Lyrics here

Vairamuthu's magAKK!
Multi-lingual movies, with their other challenges also bring with them the undeniable challenge of songwriting. With Rahman and other music directors making waves in multiple languages, one can't help but compare the quality of lyrics in the Hindi and the Tamil versions of the same film.

Why this rant? Because of Mani Ratnam's Yuva/Aayitha Ezhuthu music release. Among other lyrical masterpieces by Vairamuthu, one line that stands out is "Kann Thondri Kann Kaana Kanneero" (Is this a tear that is out, yet unseen?) in the song Hey, Goodbye Nanba!

The movie itself is about identity. The letter AKK, which in Tamil can only be used in conjunction with another letter to convey any meaning; the three lead characters, who all come with different ideals and then learn from the other perspectives to define their own identity. Vairamuthu captures the essence of this dilemma concisely (in only 3 words) and yet leaves the listener with so many questions - Is the tear there? Is it gone? Is the sorrow still left after the tear is gone? Much as one hopes Aayitha Ezhuthu will leave the audience wondering about the identity of today's youth.

One can't help but sigh at the genius of Vairamuthu (not that that needed any mention), and at the same time compare it with the bland "Begana Begana" in the Hindi Version of the same song.
Lyricist Vairamuthu tries to do something different in each of his songs. This is especially true when he teams up with the likes of Mani Ratnam. Aayitha Ezhuthu has something new too.

You should be able to guess the kind of hard work that Mani-Vairamuthu-A R Rahman put into their work when you are told that each of their soundtracks is expected to bring in a business of Rs 3 Crores. This also creates an expectation from the audience. The audio of the film has been released recently and it has done justice to all the expectations that surrounded it. Vairamuthu wrote rhyming lyrics with each sentence ending with Aasai in the film Roja. This time, he has given a list of things that are love and emotions that are love. In the song ‘Yaakai thiri’, he has described love with just words. In these words, he has described what love is. He also has written a song that is going to be as good as our National Anthem. This Sahitya Academy Award winner is one of the few people Tamil cine industry is proud of.


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