There’s no vibe here. When you’re in a lockdown, a lot of nostalgia kicks in. This list also has a lot to do with my growing up. The past, the present, my own travels as a person – all of that is built into the playlist.
Light My Fire, The Doors
A dear friend of mine introduced me to The Doors. This was early school. I rarely listened to much Western music before that. This was the first song that struck me.
Rasave Unna Nambi:
This song is from one of the most incredible movies with the most incredible track (remember E Kuruvi Chittu Kuruvi). I remember that film… I remember a very non-Shivaji Shivaji. Where everybody thought he acted brilliantly Shivaji probably thought he did the least amount of acting. It is such an unusual story. Look at the times. The whole idea of an extra marital affair between a young woman and an old man set in a little village. It was the golden period for a lot of Tamil cinema.
Tears in Heaven
I remember watching this when it came unplugged, it was back when MTV was hot. That’s the first time I understood what unplugged was.
You listen to BJ sing it, it is just… his whole series of Vitthala songs and the whole Devarnamas are just stunning. He almost expanded them in a way you cannot imagine.
My brother used to keep humming that song. The movie is iconic. I remember that scene very well… they (Kamal and S.Ve. Shekher) are having lunch, they have no money but act as if they are having lunch and Sridevi is outside and they are making noise “Sambar romba nalla irukku da” (the sambar is very tasty) and the song is fabulous, a competition between the two.
Parulanna Mata, T Brinda
I am a big fan of T Brinda. There are a hundred tracks I could have picked. The music from that family is very special Carnatic music
Kabhi Kabhi and Kahin Door Jab Din
Both of them are before my time. I have to dedicate these Hindi songs to my cousins. Few of my cousins during college were pretty much in our home. So a lot of the Hindi songs I got introduced to was because of them. Both songs… so beautiful.
Edelweiss, The Sound of Music:
It is the only song my daughter and I can actually sing together. And my dad too loves this song.
Jamuna Kinare – Kumar Gandharva:
I could pick any of his songs; I am a devotee of his. You must listen to the whole Sarnath Concert. It is mind blowing. And Jamuna Kinare… many people have sung it but nobody has sung it like Kumarji. I have heard it, I don’t know how many times, can’t even count.
Venkatashaila Vihara, T Vishwanathan:
This song was not online. I first heard it at some public event. There is that movement that he does both in the anupalavi and the last part, it is sheer magic. I have never gotten over this version since that day. I never had it, so I got my student to put the video up on my YouTube page so you could hear it. He uploaded it just last week. It is not a great recording, there are some pitch shifts, but who cares.