Yeh haseen wadiyan

As much of a startling change to the landscape of Hindi film music as A.R. Rahman was in the mid-1990s, his transition from Tamil films to mainstream Hindi cinema was also a gradual one from the audience’s perspective. He only showed up on the average film-fan’s radar with the release of the Hindi dub of Roja and its music in 1994. The film had been released in the original Tamil two years earlier and was Rahman’s first outing as music director, but the Hindi songs that came out of the later release sealed his place in minds of a much larger audience. It also explains the popularity of the songs of Thiruda Thiruda at the time; the people wanted to hear more, even if it was in a different language. However, it all really started with Roja, and Yeh haseen wadiyan remains one of the memorable tracks from the film that’s still played often after nearly two decades.
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Konjam nilavu

As teenagers in the 90s, we had started to assert our tastes in music beyond our parents’ choice of old Hindi film melodies. While we liked those too, we were ever open to new influences, and so it was during a ride in our Aunt and Uncle’s car, that our cousins put in the audio tape for Thiruda Thiruda. That was the first time I heard Konjam nilavu, or Chandralekha as it came to be referred to popularly, especially in its later Hindi version. Considering no one in the family spoke or understood the language, the playing of the original Tamil soundtrack was even more strange and memorable.
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