Hella Atsui: Telugu songs in Nara Park

On one of our days in Kyoto, Aparna and I decided to go to the famous Nara Park which is known as the ‘deer park’. For those of you who are Naruto fans (I obviously am), you can make the connection between Shikamaru Nara, the deer symbol, and the name of the city/park. 😉

This particular day was so hot to which Aparna declared that it was “hella atsui man”. “Atsui” means hot in Japanese and “hella” is her Californian slang, so that became our phrase of the day.

The rest of the day can be described as a day of singing. As we were walking around the park, we started singing this Japanese song Aoi tori which is one of the Bleach ending songs. On spotting a deer, we randomly started circling it and singing “Aoi nara” and then replacing every other word with “nara”. Not entirely sure why we did this since “nara” doesn’t even mean deer. Needless to say, we had many spectators who were undoubtedly wondering why two random Indian girls were circling a deer and singing a Japanese song that made no sense due to our modifications.

Parallel to this singing incident, throughout the whole day, I was singing this Telugu song Priyathama (here is the original song from 1991) that I had recently gotten slightly addicted to (which by the way, is such a cute song!). As I was unconsciously singing this throughout the day (note: when I say I was singing throughout the day, I don’t mean humming, I mean legitimately singing with lyrics and gamaka), suddenly Aparna started singing it too. And this is where our greatest singing adventure was born. I got the idea that this would be such a fun song to sing in rounds. For instance, I would sing the first line and Aparna would start singing the first line once I’ve started the second line. We promptly found a bench and turned on our pocket wifi. Aparna studied the lyrics and learned how to say Telugu words (she speaks Malayalam) and then we practiced a good 10 times. When it was finally ready, we recorded it on my phone a couple times until we found a version we were happy with. I don’t even question the amount of deer and people looking at us and wondering this time, what two Indian girls were randomly singing in some strange language in the middle of a deer park.

Check out the track below. Of course, it has mistakes in the lyrics and some apa-srutis (mistakes in tune) since we were singing in rounds and it can get confusing. But hey, we did the best we could for doing this in the middle of a deer park in Japan!

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