Their songs have been playing on the radio every single day for the last few decades. Their patriotic songs are always played on Karnataka Rajyothsava Day for the last 40 years. Their romantic songs have brought many a couple together. They have composed songs for any and every situation and emotion that we know. They have contributed significantly to the careers of many super stars. They themselves are legends and they have introduced many other legends to the music industry. They have, inspired generations of people. They are the most respected and the longest serving music duo in India. A brother duo who were more popular by just one name. Known as 'Melody Kings', they are none other than Rajan Nagendra. If you don't know Rajan Nagendra, then this book will make you a fan of their music. If you already know them, you will become an even crazier fan of their music. This 'feel good' book is a must-read because it gives you insights into various inspiring stories of these great people.
It is my strong belief that everyone has some story to tell. If you don't believe it, I recommend you to interview your dad, mom, spouse, siblings, other family members and friends. You would be surprised at what you will learn from these interviews. Anything that is learnt is worth sharing. If you are interviewing a well-known personality, a legend, then there is definitely a lot of things to learn and even more things to share with others. "Tell me a fact and I will learn. Tell me the truth and I will believe it. Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." As author Paula Fox said "Great stories give us images that flash upon our mind the same way the lightning flashes upon the earth." The power of a good story lies in its ability to reach out and touch lives, beyond tangible and intangible borders. The power of a good story in that sense is limitless. This was my motivation to learn the life of the musical genius, Rajan, and share his stories and life lessons with everyone.
Stories are the most powerful medium to learn anything. History is evidence that Vishnusharma, a sage and a great teacher, narrated the stories of Panchatantra to the sons of King Amarashakthi to mould them into scholars and kings. There is a lot to learn from the characters, the plot, the strategies, the struggles and emotions from the stories. Each of the lessons is life changing and life building.
Rajan Nagendra are legends who have earned the title of "Melody Kings" through forty years of contribution to the music of Kannada and Telugu Cinema. This is the longest association of a music duo in the history of Indian Cinema, more than Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji or even Shankar Jaikishen. Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and staying together is success. If this is not dedication, determination and team work, then I don't know what is.
They have composed more than a thousand songs for films. There is a Rajan Nagendra song for every situation, every emotion and every mood. From the simple song like "Ninna Roopu Yedeya Kalaki" to the complex one like "Gili Gili Gilakk", from the classical based "Indu Enage Govinda" to cabaret number like "Suttha Muttalu Sanje Katthalu", from the sad songs like "Nee Nadeva Haadiyalli" to the fun song of Kishore Kumar "Aadu Aata Aadu", from the melodious song "Yendendu Ninnanu Marethu" to the devotional song "Poojisalende Hoogalathande", from modern beats like "Cheluve Nanna Cheluve" to folk beats like "Nota Daage Nageya Meeti", from philosophical song like "Yenendu Naa Helali" to patriotic songs like "Jenina Holeyo", from children songs like "Bisile Irali Maleye Barali" to tongue twisters like "Tari Kere Yeri Mele", from songs with English lyrics like "Haaduthide Love Birdsugalu" to having Chinese lyrics like " Chochai quanchini lely", from school prayer song like "Thaye Sharade" to marital arts song "Aada Beku Karate Aada Beku", comedy songs like "yaaru Nee Yaaru" to teasing songs like "Ayyayyo Halli Mukha".
Raghu, my neighbor, wanted to write a book on my father. Being Sri Rajan's son, it took me back down memory lane in this book where we have shared some of the details. While researching about my father I came to know that my grandfather late Sri Rajappa was a good harmonium player, flutist and surprisingly came to know that he was a great Harikatha Vidwan. I came to know this from Sri Bhagvan of Dorai Bhagvan fame, film director and producer. He also revealed that he knew my family members in Mysore much before they entered the field of films. In general, my father is very quiet and doesn't show much emotion.
As a music composer he totally gets involved and for him each and every song he composes is like giving birth to a new born baby. When people ask him which is his favourite song he says that it's for the public to say their opinion. He is happy when someone says that he or she likes a particular song. Bringing joy to someone through his music is his motto. Goddess Saraswathi has blessed him to be what he is today. I am immensely grateful to god that I am his son. My heartfelt thanks to all my family members who helped my father especially my mother who was an embodiment of peace. The saying that behind every successful man there is woman holds really true to my mother. We as a family thank her immensely for her support. We are all proud of his accomplishments and he is a true legend.
My heartfelt thanks to Raghu for writing this book and through this book, sharing some unknown details of Sri Rajan Nagendra. The main intention of this book is to inspire our younger generation to be motivated by reading this book and rise to greater heights.
In a small village of Shivrampet in Mysore, during the early 1940s, a young boy was sticking his ears to the rear wall of a theatre listening to music being played in the movie inside. This was his regular ritual irrespective of whether a Hindi, Telugu, Kannada or English movie was playing in the theatre. This was his favorite past time where he could spend hours listening to the story, sounds and songs of movies. He did not have the money to buy the ticket to get into the theatre but he could easily visualize the entire movie just by listening to the music from outside. When he heard the majestic sounds of the drums and trumpets, he could visualize grand palaces and huge armies. He related soft tunes to happy situations and intense music to angry or complex situations. The various types of instruments used for various situations in the movie always intrigued him. Just by listening to the sounds and dialogues in a language which he didn't even understand he would try to recreate the music at home using his harmonium. In case, he could not recreate it, he would be back at the theater the next day with his ears to the walls. This routine went on till he could recreate the music with all its nuances at home. Who says walls don't have ears? In this case, the walls were providing a lot of education to this young lad. This was the harbinger of a long association with music for young Rajan.
Rajan was born in 1935 in a village called Shivrampet in the royal city of Mysore. Rajan was named after his father, Rajappa who himself was a pioneer in music orchestration. Rajappa loved to play the Harmonium and the Flute for any street plays as well as Harikatha, the popular story telling medium of that time. Rajappa had the unique talent of composing music for various situations in silent movies. The music made the plays come alive in front of the audience. He was one of the most sought after artists of his time for the English plays that used to happen in and around Mysore. In that sense, Rajan was born into a musical family, grew up amidst musicians and his entire life revolved around music. Rajan was fascinated by the audience reaction and appreciation for his father's music. Music was not just sounds from the instruments but it had emotions and it could connect with the audience. He found himself drawn towards music since it had a magical effect on him. Music gave him a sense of joy that he could not explain.
Rajan was a keen observer and learner whenever his father had music practice sessions at home. His father's encouragement made him to learn the harmonium. Rajan spent long hours on the harmonium and became a self-taught expert.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
North Indian Music (285)
Original Texts (60)
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