Listen: A. R. Rahman's "Naane Varugiraen" (Tamil)

​When I retraced through the musical corridors of Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja a few days ago, I realised not only were Kulirudhu Kulirudhu and Khamoshiyan Gungunane Lagi stunningly beautiful, the songs sounded so alike, I had a sneaky suspicion they were based on the same raga. As it turns out I was right. They are both based on sindhu bhairavi (the divine Carnatic kriti Venkatachala Nilayam, sung by Unnikrishnan, comes to one's mind!), a discovery that made me register the simple fact that I have been listening to tons of other songs incorporating the same raga without even realising it. Case in example, Rahman's Margazhi Thingal Allava and Yengae Enathu Kavithai, and Ilaiyaraaja's Valaiosai, Shenbagame Shenbagame, Oru Naalum, Enna Saththam Indha Neram, Keladi Kanmani, Naan Oru Sindhu and Muthumani Malai.

While on the subject of raga based music rediscovery, I would be remiss not to mention O Kadhal Kanmani's trance-inducing highlight Naane Varugiraen. That the song is splendiferous notwithstanding, doesn't Shashaa Tirupati stun with her amazingly fluid rendition? I can't get enough of her voice, especially after listening to her singing 24's Punnagaye, both of which have been on a loop in the last few days, simultaneously making me fall in love with the beauty of darbari kanada raga that has been explored several times to hypnotic effect by Ilaiyaraaja, Vidyasagar and A. R. Rahman in Kalyana Then Nila, Aagaya Vennilavae, Orae Manam, Malare Mounama and Kaatre En Vasal.