Perfect Imperfection

A still from ‘Aye Sinamika’


I’m in love.

With this amazing song called Aye, Sinamika!

The song opens with the guy looking at the girl go away on her tour, from up in their apartment. He has a smile on his face, the smile that you smile when you realise someone’s got you hopelessly falling for them… And he walks into their room, and he seems to see her everywhere. No it’s not as corny as I describe it. You’ll see for yourself.

Now I’m going to follow my train of thought and tell you that Karthik’s voice lends the right mixture of yearning, affection, and a certain confidence that comes with the knowledge that you have the heart of the person who has yours… And yet, he almost immediately croons “nee yennai neengadhe!” (crude translation – “don’t go away from me!”), registering the uncertainty of live-in relationships, which forms the crux of this movie. That line is a constant refrain in the song, and makes up for most of the lyrics, and he sounds so endearingly, happily, vulnerable every single time. Complete surrender, hangups and emotional baggage be damned.
He’s so convincing, that it would make you go hug this person right away if he were your partner… If that makes sense…

Anyway, moving on from the voice, the guitar strumming all along, combines with Karthik’s dreamy voice, painting a picture of lazy, golden evenings. The sort of evenings you’d spend in your balcony, basking in the last rays of the sun, with that special someone. Probably sipping a cup of tea, while admiring the brilliant pink bougainvillea blooms that complement the white railing. Don’t go listen yet! Let’s get onto the lyrics…

Oh, my! The lyrics… I’m not a fan of Vairamuthu, but he got me admiring his skills with this song. He establishes that the girl here is feisty with the quirky “Seerum tsunamika“, and then goes on to tell you how the sort-of-passive, ready-to-surrender (“nee ponaal, kavidhai anaadhika“), admirably patient guy can easily read the (seemingly complicated) girl:

“Imaigalin thaazhvil,
Udaigalin thalarvil,
Ennodu paesa mattum
kuyilaagum un kuralil..
Varanda udhattin varippallangalil
Kaadhal thaanadi en meedhu unaku…”

“Varanda udhatin varipallangalil”, especially, has you admiring how three words can convey the intense passion they share for each other.

Now if you have to fully understand why the song is so beautiful to me, you’ll need to watch the movie.
I’d say don’t watch the song if you haven’t caught up on OKK yet, because there are these li’l moments you’ll not spot if you’re not familiar with Adi (Dulquer Salman) and Tara (Nithya Menen). I know because I didn’t.

I, like most fans, was ecstatic when the video promo of this song came out. And I was mildly put off by the weird things they were doing… And how Tara seemed to laugh/giggle at almost everything. Or how she was generally a bit too… umm… boisterous?

Like here…

Or here…

Okay… That was kinda adorable…

But then you’ll find the song interspersed with amazing choreography, like here:

And moments of tenderness so realistic, like here…

And you’ll be left wondering if you really like the visuals…

However, watch the movie and you’ll understand the subtle ways in which Mani Ratnam tells his audience they’re going beyond short-term commitment.

Like this one, where he buries his head in the nape of her neck affectionately, and she looks at him, her eyes and the slight smile conveying she knows he’s falling for her:

Notice how she starts wiping her face just in time when he looks up? In the movie, both are commitment phobic, Tara more so. She is afraid of his love, she’s afraid she’ll lose him. She’s not ready to let him in just yet, but is enjoying the process of developing feelings for him nonetheless.

That scene was less than three seconds, by the way. Ah, Mani Ratnam. I’m so glad for your movies.

Adi is mature, patient, has a great sense of humour. Tara is irritable, erratic, moody, and intense. What a departure from the usual mellow Tamil heroine and testosterone-pumped hero!

For all her commitment phobia, she gets attached to him as quick as a child does. He, on the other hand, takes his time. She has zero inhibitions, and has no qualms showing how happy he makes her, while he is more subtle. This one song, ladies and gentlemen, brings out all of this about them.

Aye, Sinamika is a masterpiece in itself, where music, lyrics, and visuals combine to bring out the essence of the movie.

Convinced enough? One last piece of advice: listen to the audio version first, then go watch the movie. Makes you appreciate the music more.

Anything I’ve missed out about this song? 🙂

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