This Illayaraja album on Ramana Maharishi was one of my favorites. Simply because of the maestro’s devastating divine voice and it’s metaphysical lyrics that goes beyond ones grasp. One song called Bhikshai Paathiram Yendhi Vandhen is the highlight, atleast for me. We had this tape in our house and it was a part of my routine to listen to it before I would leave to my college. Over years, the tape worn out and was completely unfit to be played on a audio system of any sort. I had bought this when I had been to Thiruvanaamalai.
With CDs occupying the shelves these days, our old Philips Powerhouse was to be thrown out. To keep it alive, yesterday, I had to take the tape recorder for a service. I remembered this song of Illayaraja, by a chance. Today I had been to the store looking for this same CD/tape. When I asked if I could get Rajavin Ramanamaalai, the sales woman asked me to come tomorrow. All the time, I was thinking that this cassette would be out of existence as I haven’t heard/read people talking about it, ever. But to my surprise, she said a complete new stock of those CDs have just come and they are still taking inventory. She also asked me to come tomorrow itself, the tomorrow was stressed. When she told this album of Raja was one big hit and everytime they get a new stock, they run short of it in couple of days, I couldn’t believe.
While I had no surprises with the album’s musical quality, I was quite surprised that it was still a major hit. Some people’s music last long. Illayaraja stands first among equals.