Fans of Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja say that there's nothing better than winding down with a cup of tea while listening to the Maestro's composition anytime, particularly on a rainy day.
A tea stall in Kodambakkam, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, is the ultimate embodiment of the love for the composer's work.
Owned by 55-year-old Hari Narayanan, the walls of "My Father Shop" (Enga Appa Kadai) are adorned with rare black-and-white photographs of Ilaiyaraaja, as well as singers who have worked with him, and only songs composed by the maestro are played from the moment the shutter goes to the point it comes down.
According to New Indian Express, Hari, a die-hard fan of Ilaiyaraaja, has been paying tribute to Ilaiyaraaja through his tea stall for the last few decades.
A Malayali by birth, Hari fell in love with Ilaiyaraaja's work since he heard the latter's debut compsition 'Machana Pathingala' from the film Annakili in 1976, and has not turned back since. In fact, he even attributes his ability of picking up the Tamil language to Ilaiyaraaja's music.
To up the ante, Hari even owns a vast collection of Ilaiyaraaja's composition, and knows every of his song - along with the names of the lyricist, director, and film!
The stall usually buzzes with a crowd during early mornings, lunch breaks and evenings, particularly comprising of middle-aged office workers.
For Hari, a cup of tea and butter biscuit, accompanied by the maestro's evergreen mysic, is the best form of stress-buster any common man can get.
"Some of us have overcome our darkest phases in life because of his music. I truly believe his music is for the masses.
"His songs can heal a broken heart, put a crying baby to sleep, render hope to those fighting their battles or just offer peace to a troubled mind," said Hari of his idol - a fact that undoubtedly, many can relate to.
Hari gives his stall a makeover once every few years, where he replaces old photographs with new ones, and even gives away music of the maestro to fellow fans who frequent the stall.
His aim is to make the joint a place for fans of Ilaiyaraaja to gather and share their love for his music.
Wow, such admiration indeed. Local Ilaiyaraaja fans, perhaps you should make this stall a pit stop during your next trip to Tamil Nadu!
Source: New Indian Express
Photos source: New Indian Express, Twitter
Tue Jun 14 2022
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