The 1st song which pops in my mind is ‘Que sera sera’. I first heard it when I was about 10 years old at my aunt’s place. Way back in 1975 in a small city of Madurai with a conservative outlook, I was not exposed to any other culture other than my own. With varied cultures thriving in India, until I was 15 I was not familiar with even Hindi ( the national language). So coming across songs of different languages were uncommon.
At my Uncle’s place, all my cousins were older than me and they had ventured out to distant lands for their higher education (albeit within India) and so they did have their hands on cassette players and cassettes that held the flavours of the mysterious far away lands.
It had always been a thrilling experience to explore the posters in their rooms(having a separate room for oneself was a luxury for me) and to listen to music that streamed through their funky looking cassette player cum radio. There my 1st taste of english songs began with ‘que sera sera’. This then continued to ABBA and BONEY M songs.
The melodious rendition of ‘Que sera sera’ and the soothing musical score touched a chord in my heart. The lyrics added to the majestic feel. Owing to the fact that it spoke of simple facts of life, the unequivocal truth ringing through every stanza and the chorus made it more memorable.
It connected with my hopeful heart, the dreaming soul and believing youth who trusted the mother and looked up to her for all needs. I definitely was one.
Whatever the questions asked,
‘Will I be handsome?
‘Will I be rich?’
I tell them tenderly’
‘Whatever will be, will be;
‘The future’s not ours to see.
‘Que sera, sera’
and whatever the answer , I continued to hope and the faith that ‘whatever will be will be’ will be to my liking, kept me going; and still keeps me going. This will live with me until my last.
The next two songs are from my mother tongue- tamil. The first one is close to my heart simply because it was written for a woman and sung by a female. It captures the spirit of being a woman and her emotions and feelings that are not easily understood by all. The song is ‘
Kannile enna undu kanngal thaan ariyum;
Kaalile eeram undu kangala ariyum’
En manam ennavendru ennai anri
( tamil words spelt in english).
It tells that only eyes can read eyes and asks punctiliously if eyes could know the presence of wetness (water) in rocks. It then says only I can know what’s in my heart.
The song continues in the same vein declaring the type of woman she is. A woman who can be a fire and could be doused by water. If she is water she holds the capacity to allow the fire to pervade and heat up. She claims that she is fire but can be contained and doused and questions further to know if there is anyone around who can understand her fiery nature and contain her.
This song has touched me immensely as I have come across situations where I have felt the need to question the same about myself and my life.
The 2nd one is for all human beings questioning their life purposes and the path they take. It goes like this:
Kann pona pokile kaal pogalama?
Kaal pona pokile manam pogalama?
Manam pona pokile manithan pogalama?
Manithan pona pathayai maranthu pagalama?
This song too questions if a man’s legs can traverse all space / place his eyes can go; if his heart can go wherever his legs go; if he can go wherever his heart goes and finally if he can offord to forget the path he has traversed.
Though the song was sung by a male who was cheated in life, the song questions the ethics of human nature and reiterates that every human being should strive to live a life which will be spoken of after his passing away and thus making it an universal theme.
Simple lyrics and powerful rendition make them so dear to me. All the three songs are such that they have made a mark in me and whenever I hear them I am moved inexplicably as unique chords of my life and heart vibrate in synchrony with them.
I do know that all songs, poems strike a chord with every man as every word that is penned is born out of strong human emotions. Nevertheless these three are my all time favourites.