Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolution !

One of these days on vacation I was feeling bored - result , was surfing through to download those car chases that we so often see on AxN or StarWorld in the name of "World's craziest cop videos". It took a while for me to figure out what all this "downloading from a mirror" and stuff meant. Meanwhile the site had asked me to wait for 2 minutes before the download could begin ( I figured that I had figured out what to do, finally! )

Oh God, don't those two minutes seem the worst you can have ? The longest , and most boring two minutes in which you cannot move your eyes off the screen and cannot even think of anything even if you wanted to ?

Not exactly. I decided otherwise. This time I was going to beat my "don't-think-of-anything-just idle-around" tendency. Drifting my eyes to the surroundings , I suddenly realised there could easily be a five hundred odd things to think about. Well, taking that as a legitimate number, it works out to 2/500 = .004 seconds per thought. Impractical. That meant I had to end thinking about something even before I could think of it.. That's crazy to say the least. Even if I had started thinking of say, Katrina Kaif , I would need a day or two instead of a second or two to get back to sanity ... Not joking but that's true of any desi guy I'd say - atleast over the last year. Why would she be the most Googled celebrity if it weren't otherwise.

The Vista sent a beep and my download had begun - successfully ending another unsuccessful resolution of mine. Only this time it was'nt for the New Year , and lasted as much as Monty Panesar on the field.

P.S. The picture that's carried in this blog entry, I feel- is the picture of the year. It is solely intended to poke fun at the Australians , and hardly took around 0.01 seconds to emerge out of nowhere as my favourite. Not bad , I'd say - 2 minutes is a lot of time if you're making fun of someone. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Captured, on film!

For good or for bad, more or less everyone of us has a cellphone in hand today. Most of the middle class(like me) , and upper middle class can afford one with a camera in it., in some cases even with a high resolution that one may not even come across in a conventional camera by itself!

So much for a mandatory introductory paragraph to every writeup. I am bugged of it, but as all wannabe-decent writeups need to consist of, I need to keep that in there to atleast give you an inkling of what may be coming by , in case I sound little "out-of-the-box". Frankly I'm just writing something till I get an idea to develop on, so never mind.

Of late, there have been a lot of things I have come across, worth photographing (I know some intelligent brains would think I'm referring to the female fraternity, OK people- they're included too! Agreed, for once :) ) There have been instances which have made it worth being captured on Memory(Its not Film, even figuratively, anymore :( So much for technology! But let's keep it as film, though.)

Recently, one of my friends passed on a picture taken in our childhood, with all the fade and conventional oldness of the paper-print set in perfectly. It brought back memories of all the fun we had playing cricket in spaces hardly a hundred square foot in size... losing tennis balls by the dozen, the trip to the local circus.. fighting over melting ice-pepsi's ( as they called it locally- those thin sticks of color-flavored sweet ice ) roaming the streets in 40 Degrees C heat , and probably a thousand thoughts more which could fill up all the print quota I have for my semester.

The thing was, the photo had captured all of us- by each other, posing for the Kodak moment. The beauty behind the thing was that, probably all the little incidents I had thought of when I saw the photo first up- had never been recorded anywhere- but in my mind.

The best moments of our life, I realise, may have never been captured on film.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Massacre - Waking up to reality.

The past few days saw me driven into what I can easily call "a writing euphoria". Walking back home a hundred metres from class , gave me a thousand different thoughts to write a blog on. The traffic signs, pedestrians crossing, the stray dog, emptied parking lots, church hallways, petrol bunks, the cloudy sky, even the wind that gently bristled my "not-so-long" but definitely unkempt hair. It is another story as to why I could not convert everything into writing - maybe on the reoccurence of that euphoria I would stop whatever I was doing and get to the nearest computer to write my heart out.

For now , I have been hooked to the news channels - since a few hours. As everyone would guess , this is just another write up on the Mumbai blasts , unless you take some effort to make out that it would be a little bit different ( from whatever you have read until now ) , and fortunately continue to read on.

Most people could classify me as a news-freak., bent upon getting apprised of all the happenings in the world, and especially the country of my residence. The Mumbai blasts also saw me do the same, only that the way I viewed it was a bit off the block from the way I had viewed the previous so-many attacks in various parts of India.

To say exactly, I was bored of these "terrorist attacks - people dead and injured - two days of continuous news programming - relief from government in form of money - ministers visiting injured and getting primetime footage - a week of incessant debates on terrorism - politicians blaming each other - a week later move on to newer stories - and then forget about it" routine. I know every one of us would have seen all these unfold on every previous occurrence of a terrorist attack. Maybe it was time I told myself that I was anti-national? I asked myself that question. The answer was a firm NO. I love my country, like no other, and I'm selfish when it comes to protecting it. Then I asked myself " Or maybe it was time I(we) responded maturely to this?" . Thinking over this for less than a second, I landed up with a Bingo for an answer.

Leave aside the media , which I believe blows out of proportion the troubles of the rich and discounts the value of the lives of the poor ( which even the government does ) , let us think on our feet first. Here are a bunch of hardly 20+ guys who come into a city which is more or less the economical crux of a country which is threatening to break into the top 5 countries list of the world. They came, they shot, and they conquered us , even if it be for only a few days. They killed our loved ones, removed our prized possessions from us, mowed down the people who protect us, and spread panic all around. Fear for life non-existent, we could only see in disbelief and awe as they rummaged through our valued friends and landmarks. What do they have that we do not? What makes them so much more attacking and gutsy than the police whom we bank upon to protect us?

Will Power. Unity. Choosing your time to strike. Building up your network to inflict the maximum damage. Lack of fear. Lack of love. Commiseration with the fact that death is inevitable at all costs. Patriotism to the organization served. Clearness of achieving a goal. On the whole,Maturity in response.

Look at all the above statements. Even a little bit of a terrorist in you could hit back against them. This is our country, let us not let it go. A maturity in mind is required for us to go ahead. Let us hit them back hard, in the best way possible- by not brooking the insanities that these organizations unleash on us. This blog is not a knee jerk reaction to what may have been the worst terrorist attack ( in type ) India has ever seen. But it is an opinion built upon years of looking at fateful incidents such as the one on Nov. the 26th. Looks it is time, finally. India is waking up to reality.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspirational Lyrics ( Translated) of one of the best songs I have heard.

This country of yours is your motherland
And is calling out to you
This is a bond which can never break

How can you forget the scent of your earth
You can go anywhere but you'll always come back
In new paths, in every sigh
To your lost heart
Someone will say
This land of yours is your motherland

Life is telling you
You have achieved everything now what's left
Looks like happiness has been showered on you
But you're far from your home
Now come back oh crazy one
Where at least someone will call you their own
And will call out to you
That very same country
This land that is yours..

This moment has hidden in it
A whole century of life
Don't ask why, in the road
Has come a fork with two ways
You are the one who should choose the path
You should choose which direction to take
This very country

This country of yours is your motherland.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Of Manholes and Movies...

Sometimes one tends to get abstract thoughts - questioning the very existence of some things which we may as well have taken for granted. It could be anything - like for example "why are manholes round in shape? " - most of my well-informed friends would know the answer to this, but for the benefit of who do not know , manholes are round in shape because they cannot fall inside the sewer below even if wrongly placed in position on top of the hole. If it were a square or rectangle, chances are that it may fall through.

This is just one example of things taken for granted - a very pedestrian one. As is the habit of the writer of this blog, who always lives in some dreamland where he wishes that everything he writes be classified " powerful, sophisticated, yet touching"- this time I came up with a cranky thought when my statistics course was getting too mindblowing to be accommodated into one night-out.

Are we ever able to imagine a movie without the concept of "love" ? Just ask yourself - and name a few movies (be it any language) - say ten of them from the past year which you know have no love stories in them at all as the crux of the film. Chances are that you may not be able to name that many- if you did then you should either be a critic or a genius! (Does not imply all critics are fools , although I wont object to it - ;) ) I do not know from where filmmakers came up with the idea of projecting "love stories" on screen - but agreed well and good that it has worked for what I would call eternity. Of late even animation movies are having lovetracks in them to reach out to the adolescents , and garner more recognition and acceptance among a larger age group. Hollywood though has started improvising on new issues of late - documentaries are also being widely accepted by the populace.

What about Bollywood and the other Indian regional film industries ?

Amitabh loves a 16 yr old (Nishabd) - Rajnikanth still runs around trees with women less than half his age ( I'm a Rajni fan but have to be little unbiased out here ) - Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna still fight goons and have more than one woman singing and dancing around them.

Love is the best feeling even when in excess , but that doesn't mean any kind of an overdose of it is acceptable.

High time filmmakers wake up to creating meaningful cinema.

P.S.- I started this blog entry thinking of writing about manholes alone for the day. Alas- perfection avoids those setting out to achieve it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One of those songs which makes me speechless.

Following are the lyrics of one song which literally made me go speechless. Sorry for the tamil and the occasional CAPS lock, people. But this song was just too beautiful to omit from being posted on my blog. Amazing tune, wonderful lyrics - (estranged lovers will love it!).

nenjE nenjE marandhu vidu..
ninaivinai kadandhu vidu..
nenjE nenjE urangi vidu
nijangaLai thurandhu vidu
kaNgaLai vitruththan Oviyamaa…
venneeril meengaL thoongumaa
kaNNeeril kaadhal vaazhumaa (nenjE nenjE)

peNNE peNNE unn vaLaiyal
yenakkoru vilangallavO
kaatrukku sirai yennavO
thanmaanaththin thalaiyai vitru
kaadhalin vaaL vaangavO
kaNmoodi naan vaazhavO..
unnai yeNNi muL viriththu
padukkavum pazhagik koNdEn
yennil yaarum kallerindhaal
sirikkavum pazhagik koNdEn
uLLaththai maraiththEn uyir vali poruththEn yen
suyaththai yedhuvO suttadhadi vandhEn….

nenjE nenjE nerungi vidu
nigazhndhadhai marandhu vidu
nenjE nenjE negizhndhu vidu
nijangaLil kalandhu vidu
kaththi vaiththa kaatrE vandhu vidu
kaigaL reNdai yEndhinEn..
kaadhal pichchai kEtkirEn…
nenjE nenjE nenjE nenjE..nenjE nenjE..

anbE anbE nee prinidhaal
kaNgaLil mazhai varumE.
kaatrenai kai vidumE
vidhai azhiththu sedi varumE
sippigaL udaiththa pinnE muththukkaL kai varumE
kaadhal raajaa.. ondrai koduththaal
innondril uyir varumE
unnai konjam vittu koduththaal
kaadhalil sugam varumE
asthamanan yellaam nirandharam alla
mErkil vidhaithaal kizhakkinil muLaikkum..

Movie : Ratchagan
Music: A.R.Rahman
Singers : Yesudas , Sadhana Sargam

If you haven't listened to it, please do. Its a gem.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Its (Y)our Life :)

This piece of writing out here took me what I would say, a lifetime in experience to explain out. Probably the best way to put it would be that I took a lifetime to realise it ( what a dumber! )

There are millions of people you come across all your life- at work, study, on the roads, or be it anywhere you are. Chances are that you may not remember 99.99% even if you see them again. The remaining 0.01% ( or even less than that if people are shy-natured ) keeps changing as you pass through different stages of life.

You go to kindergarten, make friends there - and before you know to link the name with the person you're out of it. With it goes your memory of the people there ( there might be exceptions here , take me for instance - I still remember two people from my kindergarten!! But that I would reject as a highly insignificant number) Next up comes schooling where you get to grow as you learn, and make friends with all sorts of people. The uniqueness of schooling lies in the fact that you get to gel as a unit- you identify who's who as your age has crossed that level at which you could not remember things. Day in day out, you spend eight hours in class and other events in the school. For people changing schools often, they would have experienced how different each school and the students in it are. They would know how the people in the life changed as they changed schools and got to know new individuals. School grows into college where a completely new set of comrades take over as your "buddies" and "best friends" - invariably this is where one would find his/her best friends and wellwishers who would swear by him/her. ( I'm trying to imply that i'm not gender-biased ;) ) At this age I would say you are best equipped to choose the friends you want to, and actually decide whom you want to keep in life. Boyfriends/Girlfriends normally happen at this stage, and invariably with that clause comes breakups as an add-on. Wondering why I'm beating so much around the bush? Well all these factors point to the truth that the people in your life keep changing as life takes you places. Noone is permanent, the exeunt in the play can happen anytime. I just pointed out a few key exit points in the transitions from kindergarten to school and to college. What do you do when you realise noone is permanently embossed in the pattern of your life , and ultimately it is just going to be YOU and YOU alone who would be left?

At this stage, the pessimist would say - Since noone is permanent in your life, why make friends at all ?

The optimist would say - Since you know that noone is going to be around for you all your life, take your chances- have fun, optimize on every opportunity to be around for them- and most importantly, LIVE YOUR LIFE. Live this moment, and this second as though it is the last time they would be there with you.

Whether you choose to be the pessimist or optimist, lies in your hands.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yuvvraaj Music Review -A.R.Rahman Strikes!

The music release of the oncoming Subhash Ghai movie - Yuvvraaj , happened recently. I had reason to be excited- A.R.R scored the movie's songs.

To start off this brief review, a general look at the album first up and you realise that the film is an out and out musical. Talk about conveying things through music, Gulzar has done justice to Rahman's tunes by penning apt lyrics which create a sense of anticipation to the listener about the situation at hand in the movie when the song is on. Another observation - a lot of orchestration has been used- and almost all the songs have been seamlessly blended with one another on the BGM front (maybe for the flashback effect? who knows - Subhash Ghai and his fantasies !!)

Shano Shano -

A typical party track- gets you into the groove and dancing - I actually went to the extent of trying out karaoke for this song! Addictive and an instant hit for sure.

Shano Shano Remix-

A slower version of the same song remixed with some hiphop style lyrics-not as impressive as the original I would say. Sometimes certain songs are best left to their original version, or better, remixed by A.R.R. himself and not others. Hope he is listening:)

Main Hoon Yuvvraaj -

Unsure why they included this in the album, but this brief dialogue style song-wannabe with Salman Khan on the vocals is ok - passable. Subhash Ghai-ish again.

Zindagi Zindagi-

Sung mellifluously by Srinivas, here is where the album starts getting a bit hi-fi. Carnatic based composition which more than impressed me - will turn out to be one of the best hits of the year.

(has some common notes with Narumugaiye from Iruvar, Manam Virumbudhey Unnai from a movie's name I forgot, and more noticeably a common note with Luka Chuppi from Rang De Basanti)

Tu Meri Dost Hai-

This song is where the Yuvvraaj theme music kicks in - ARR has included it in almost all the songs, and infused life beautifully into it. A different duet, the music and vocals deliver bigtime- transports you to dreamland. Defines friendship beautifully with its lyrics, and surprise as A.R.R comes in towards the end to render a few lines by himself! Sureshot bigtime hit. (Found some common notes with "Aao Na.."of kyun ho gaya na)

Dil Ka Rishta-

One of my favourites of this album too - plenty of orchestra, vocals, and a totally refreshing tune. Never before heard this type of a rendition. Seven and a half minutes of absolute enjoyment, a peppy song ( supposedly emotional ) and one which has apt English lyrics to go with good verses in Hindi. A.R.R. does an Alaap in the end- don't miss out on it!

Mastam Mastam -

Another peppy track , with cues from Corrs' BGM ( and of course that means it has resemblances to Nenjodu Kalandhidu from Kaadhal Konden) but the similarity kind of ends there. One song which shoots up your energy levels, with nice little instrumentals accompanying it. Cute number.

Tu Muskura -

Bigtime hit. No words to describe how wonderfully this song has been sung. I think A.R.R. must have composed the tune and set the lyrics to it., but anyways it fits in so wonderfully that there is no way noone could not like it. Hear it to feel it - all I can say :) No comments :)

Manmohini Morey -

If Sonu Nigam was an everpresent phenomenon in this album who must have impressed you in all the numbers, here's one person who takes everything away - Vijay Prakash. A hindustani based composition, which requires a lot of training for performance on such a high scale- Vijay has pulled it off with ease. Remember him as the person who sung "Poovasam.." from Anbe Sivam - this is by far the best song in this album but by a slender margin( as far as I gauge this one impressed me the most). Don't miss the alaap interludes.

Overall, Yuvvraaj gets an 9.0/10 from me and a thumbs up to A.R.R. for having the guts to venturing on such territory and actually managing to pull it off.

Yuvvraaj - I'm hooked to it !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Warrior Departs :(

I dont know how to put the Ganguly retirement across in exact words but I have just written what I feel in this blog entry... It is like you have lived your entire life seeing these players play and now when its time to depart , even one leaves and u feel its a part of your soul ripped away. im telling this cos ever since i started watching cricket in 1992, kapil dev retired first, then came the era of azhar jadeja robin javagal venkatesh manoj manjrekar and the like., and then when the heat was on and i got into cricket and started playing it on the roads came the likes of tendulkar-, then dravid and ganguly burst onto the stage with dominating fashion- indian cricket seemed in good hands., .. there came the era of change-- cricket went from being a test sport to a one day sport majorly- we played more one days than tests.. precisely i must say it was the 1997-1998-1999 period when this change came into effect. the likes of agarkar and mohanty came onto the scene... but none seemed effective enough to support the batting weight of the team. by this time sachin and ganguly had formed a formidable opening pair - which later on went on to become the best in one day history by a large margin. match after match, day in day out, these guys slogged in the middle to get the runs and pile up the hundreds. our middle order stood tall in the presence of rahul dravid, azharuddin, nayan mongia, navjot singh sidhu, with the bowling still having problems apart from javagal srinath and anil kumble. prasad was beginning to become repetitive. and then laxman came to the fore in a rare find for indian cricket. he filled the void of a patient strokemaker who was willing to bat with the top order as well as the bottom order. under this influence, we marched ahead with a few losses and fewer wins. we lost azhar and jadeja and a few others to the match fixing scandal that rocked indian cricket- when all thought it was curtains for indian cricket, dada scripted a captaincy spectacle in the australia series of 2001. (notable is the way tendulkar smashed the aussies to smithereens in the 1998 home series also!)

He started what i will call the renaissance of indian cricket - where we went from being just a team to a force, a power in the cricketing world none can avoid. Thanks to the media and more than that, the performances of the four people who were now the crux of the indian batting lineup - laxman, sachin, dravid, and ganguly- they came to be known as the Fab 4. As they reached their peak together , other teams buckled under the constant pressure of their batting prowess. Ganguly grew from being a player to a captain nonpareil- tendulkar a master from being a stroke of genius- dravid from the master of dot balls to an all season player- laxman from a young irresponsible chap to a big innings player. Time and again, australia was the target they aimed at. Now, as they reach the end of what i will call the best ever era of indian batting, one warrior needs to depart. A god in his own terms as everyone else in the fab 4 is, he was what one can describe as the best enigma. noone could understand him, but he made sure he could understand everyone and make them gel as a unit. Only after he called quits did I realise the magnitude of the decision. one person i had grown up seeing him play, would no more be on tv smashing those bowlers for towering sixes and those gentle pushes on the offside. The fab 4 would no more be the fab 4.- they would soon be three., and two and eventually fade away. Time is the cruellest thing I would say- despite feeling really sad and down for the past few hours about this announcement, i should say ganguly did the best he can to indian cricket, as everyone else in the fab 4 did. he is a genius who lost his way somehow in the between and became a leader instead of the way tendulkar went. in my terms , losing his way meant his path to unending fame and glory as the best captain india had ever had. He would be remembered by one and all as a player who never said quits. As his swansong begins, let us all cheer him every moment in this series. He deserves more than just a tear from our eye.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Des Ki Mitti- by A.R.R.

Well, this blog has been musically over-inclined and I guess given the madness of music in me, it will be that way for the rest of the future also.. And straightaway coming to the topic this time, I was listening to that old beaten track of A.R.Rahman that most miss out on - infact the entire album I should say is one of his very best.- Bose-The Forgotten Hero. Quite aptly to the title of the movie, the music was forgotten without any trace. Probably because it was a documentary? Lets chuck that out- for you guys and girls who're reading this blog out there- I strongly advise you to listen to this track - "Des Ki Mitti" from the album. I reckon it's instrumental version is what I listen to normally., and this piece leaves me stunned everytime I listen to it. Sometimes there are little tears forming in the eye- out of love for the nation. I mean, this guy knows his patriotism. There is a difference between those Lord Of The Rings'ish type of music which causes you goosebumps and such kind of music.. There is simply something extra in Des Ki Mitti which tugs at those gentle strings on which you tend to get a little bit emotional. The tune starts off as you can expect with any good instrumental, and then suddenly takes a turn towards the heavens - in reverence of the great Mother India. Listen to it and you'll know what I have been writing this blog about.

P.S.- For people from my Raga Discussing Group- I find a lot of Des Ki Mitti in ARR's Saawariya Sanwariya from Swades- especially in the beginning of "Sanwariya.." and also some of "Des Ki Mitti.." in "Vaazhga Vazhgave .." from Kadhal Virus - the Tamil movie - also of ARR's. Is it the familiar feeling of patriotism in the first two songs that is driving me crazy over them, or has it got something to do with raga bases being similar for all the three? Also - Des Ki Mitti seems to have tinges of the Instrumental bit which comes in between the 2nd and 3rd minute of "En Kaadhalae." from Duet- also an ARR masterpiece.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wrenching the soul out..

Not so recently (but definitely relevant), I attended a special screening of Rang De Basanti - on Independence day. As the movie rolled on , there were invisible fangs poking into my skin- that feeling of your guts at rock bottom ( the feeling when you go up in a lift? ) and a lot lot more. Every moment of the movie brought back memories of people who had been there when I watched the movie first-up at Ega theatre in Chennai- but now, aren't there to see what and where I am. Little tears rolled down my cheeks and I could not hold back from being little emotionally overcharged( thankfully some death scene was going on in the movie too - I escaped notice by others) Subconsciously, my mind was pressing onto me the fact that I may have committed some sin in my previous janma- or life as they say it in Hindu Vedas. The yearning human mind searches for a multitude of reasons about what may have been the "kartha" or doer of this deed- in the end it ends up with too many things negatively pointed towards yourself. Inevitable I say- for the person that I'm- I keep telling myself something went wrong with me.

Perhaps I did commit some sin? Who knows- but I very well know that what is gone is gone and irretrievable., death of a person (be it in the body and soul) is all but the same- the latter I would say is more excruciating infact. I know many will concur with me on this. Its just the irony of life.

You know the value of someone only when they're gone and will never, ever, be with you again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

That Place - That Beauty... Called Home.!

There are different ways in which people may perceive the tag "home" in this world.. Some hate going back there, some love it- some never want to leave it and some others do not even have one. So what makes home so special?

The very fact that its a place where you, and only you rule the roost.. Noone to disturb your routine and none at all to feel uncomfortable with.

The thought that it is YOUR home- the responsibility of having to maintain it as yours and feel comfortable in it.

That fact that whatever you do, it is all within the limit... those little walks to the grocery shop, beautiful times on the terrace chatting your way to glory on 10 paise calls with friends.. those get togethers where nothing seemed to matter except making fun.. Those moments when you think train journeys to college should never end...
those quirky moments when you looked back at a girl to see her look back.. and laughed to yourself..
those gully cricket matches you played in dead ends..
those eatouts when you literally didn't have more than 20 rupees in the pocket..
those moments when you cried because you ate too much of tasty homecooked food...
those times when you lied to friends to go out with your girl/guy..

all these will keep lingering on in my mind forever..

And I know everyone will know this- but yet again, this is the single largest reason for us to hate or love home.( In mycase, love of course).. Relationships. They are the single most reason we have such a close bond with our home.. we tend to associate home with cordial people who love you, who care for you, and who will go out of their way to make sure you have the best life possible.

For all those who have done that for me, are doing it and will hopefully continue to do so in the future , thanking them will forever be an understatement. Need I say more about why I miss that heaven on earth called home so much.

Its Cos I Love You All!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


As most of the people who know me would already know- I am totally crazy about music as such- and singing in particular. Ever noticed some people keep singing their way through anything and everything ranging from bathrooming to cycling ? I'm one of those insane junta. Well, lets not scold the better half of the world by saying they're insane- now this is something very common that I have noticed. Right from a manager to a teaboy, it manifests itself in different ways. Freedom of expression they say., I say its the power of music.

The way which this singing manifests itself can be in these forms... - inadvertent singing in loops

- wantedly singing(in case bathroom doesn't have lock!!) - enjoyable singing

There may be many more manifestations that you may find- it depends on the person who sees this., I belong to the last kind of people. Singing is to be enjoyed. However bad your throat may sound, however sore it maybe, however sick you maybe, the right song when sung in the right spirit could get you that additional pat on the back that you need- to buck yourselves up.

So next time, don't keep singing "Newyork Nag....."...

Try going a step ahead(literally!!)

Newyork Nagaram Urangum Neram Thanimai Adarndhadhu.....

(I'm surely missing someone when singing this!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Music - and the heart.

The most beautiful aspect of music - which makes it all the more important to the sustenance of feelings in a human, is the creation of emotions- like from nowhere., bringing an untold attachment between the music(be it anything) and the soul. Many of us may have experienced such moments - many others would not have. But as someone who has gone through it- I must say it should happen to everyone.

One such instance came up, say three years ago(I guess) when A.R.Rahman's masterpiece-to-be album- Rang De Basanti released. All the songs went on to become smash hits- and here was this little track, Khun Chala, no more than a BG score for the movie. I hesitated to hear it given the short length that it was(normally the longer the song is , in cases of ARR, you want to hear it out).

All I knew was that I pressed the play button on the window. The next moment I can recollect is washing my teary face in the bathroom four minutes later. Here was one track that had moved me on the very first hearing. It was an anthem to me-an inspirational warcry- a masterpiece... IT WAS ANYTHING BUT A SONG.

Such instances in life are few and far in between. Especially if you tend to delve deep into music, you know some tunes move you- some others don't-and most of it doesn't even enter you.

Deservingly so, Khun Chala did to me what being hit by a car or smashing my eye into a pole couldn't.

It made me cry.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Here's a review I saw over the internet, which echoes my views about Sakkarakatti's audio album. ARR ROCKS!! So here goes:

With everything from the movie riding on the shoulders of a single person, AR Rahman, and considering Rahman’s track record with films where he is the lone savior, one’s blood is really pumped to listen to the music where he doesn’t have to deal with too big expectations associated with stars, directors, etc. And ‘Sakkarakatti’ brilliantly adds up to the list of low key films where Rahman works up his magic wonderfully well

1. I Miss You Da - This song starts brilliantly with the haunting ‘Emine….” chant. The female singer sings in a very erotic and sensuous tone that fits perfectly with the situation of the song. As usual, Rahman works up magic with the multi layered background instruments. Experimentation is at its very best in this song. The female singer puts in a lot of effort to give the perfect feeling to the song. A situational song, but it should be lapped up pretty soon by the listeners and should be a favorite with the radio stations

Rating: 9.5/10

2. Chinnamma (Jhalak UN Nenjil) – This song has been used from Rahman’s own film ‘Meenaxi’. It’s one of the favorites with Rahman fans which they can’t forget. The song starts off with brilliant flute which is now Rahman’s most favorite instrument. The original had Sukhwinder Singh and this Tamil version has Rahman’s latest sensational find, Benny Dayal (the Madhuraikki Pogadhadee and Nee Marlyn Manroe boy!). The lyrics fit in very well to the song (a bit unusual for re-used songs where the lyrics actually don’t gel that well). The background percussions and instruments complement the song wonderfully well. It’s a song that should be a bigger hit with the rural masses too. Has the potential to be a TV favorite if the song is picturised well. Some of the beats remind us of ‘Konjum Mainakale’ from Kandukonden Kandukonden but that’s only for a very very minor part.

Rating: 9.8/10

3. Elay Ulagam – A song with the nostalgic traces of the classic ‘Roobaroo’ from Rang De Basanti. Rahman is a king of such tracks, and its refreshingly one more additional track from him in that genre. The violin and the guitars in the background attract us even more than the singers themselves. Naresh Iyer is a star in his own right, but as usual, he gives his best to the song instead of trying to impose himself like other big singers. A foot tapping song that again should be lapped up by the youngsters in Tamil Nadu who will definitely love this song (some after a few listens, while many on first time itself)

Rating: 9.5/10

4. Naan Eppodhu – A refreshing melody from the female point of perspective. A song that is firmly rooted to Rahman’s forte of brilliant melody compositions. The percussion beats reminds us clearly of Rahman’s style. The mix of Veenai and the water sounds (mimicking that of a river) sound very refreshing and different. The singer is just brilliant in this song and the effort is just top notch. Not an instant hit with non-Rahman fans but will surely capture your heart if you keep listening to it (for Rahman fans, this should be an instant liking).

Rating: 9.4/10

5. Taxi Taxi – What a start to the song??? TERRIFIC!!! Blaaze is in full form with this song. I can’t believe it if people do not start dancing on their seats when they listen to this song. The typical youth chartbuster that should be heard all over Chennai in a few days of time. Rahman is back with the Boys feel, and Chennai is going to just love it! The song has the perfect flow to it for a peppy number and different variations have been tried here by ARR which works out wonderfully well. When it comes to the singers, ARR doesn’t compromise on quality and it can be evident in the type of singers that sing for him. At a few places, the song reminds us of “Paapu can’t dance saala” from the latest Hindi blockbuster film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa, but it’s just restricted to a few seconds of the background tune that’s used in the song. Some of the lyrics used for this song can be classified as the typical ‘Rahman lyric’ like ‘Shaba, Balle Balle’.

Rating: 9.9/10

6. Marudhaani – A typical Rahman start to the song. Reminds a bit of ‘Sahana Saaral’ from the blockbuster Shivaji. Madhushree puts in a lot more effort with her Tamil pronunciation and it clearly shows in the song. Madhushree does a great job with her singing as she is always brilliant. Rahman gives her brilliant support with the background instruments. A minor bit of disappointment is that, he doesn’t sing with her for the whole song but he does satisfy us a bit by singing a few small parts in the song which will make his hardcore fans (LIKE ME!) go berserk! But I still Miss Rahman the singer and it’s a disappointment that we don’t have a full fledged song from him in this album. But another very soothing and melodious number that should be primarily a hit with the city audiences.

Rating: 9.4/10

OVERALL VERDICT: An album that has all the typical elements of Rahman associated with it – peppy numbers, the usual Rahmaniac melody numbers, a folk type number, etc but an album that still retains its freshness because of the usual experimentation done by Rahman to make them sound different. The album should be a huge hit with the youngsters, and it can become a RAGE if the songs are picturised well by the director. Shantanu can’t hope for a better start to his acting career!

Rahman has not been concentrating too much on Tamil these days but in every album that has done in Tamil in the last few years, he has emphatically announced that ‘I AM BEST THAT YOU GUYS STILL HAVE OUT THERE’.

Overall Rating: 10/10 (BUY THE CD NOW!)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

On-Sense !!

Sometimes you have loads of thoughts in your mind - to write about , and you never know what to choose to explain to the outside world. Some other times, there is not much going on in your brain to even write about, thoughts struggle to trickle in and flow from the intellect out onto the paper,or should I say, a computer screen in the case of a blog.

I don't know what to call this- writing fatigue, or boredom, or say plain listlessness. But then given that I have already blabbered a few lines out here, I should defiitely not be on any of the horizons of the phenomenon called "writing fatigue".

Enough of boring you people with scientific terms that I oh-so-intelligently managed to conjure up. Coming to the point of writing this post - I thought maybe I should for once try giving some nonsense as a blog also. I mean who doesn't write nonsense these days? Atleast be happy my nonsense makes grammatical sense!

I can hear you people murmuring "this guy has gone bonkers" already. Well, too much of comic-reading can sometimes lead persons to this frame of mind - where everything seems funny and impractically jovial. Things which would otherwise have escaped your humorous scrutiny can seem ridiculously funny , like this piece of writing here. I find it funny - and am laughing to myself, albeit surely knowing you guys find it a worthless piece of crap and a bore :-)


Sunday, June 22, 2008

If... A poem could change you?

Recently I happened to read this poem by Rudyard Kipling which I thought I should share with all of you. I must heartily thank Shruthi for showing me such a beautiful piece of literature, to understand, take in, and enjoy -most importantly. After all, whats poetry without living every word of it?

So here goes..

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Awesome is the only word I could say after reading this. Rudyard is a poetic genius.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Of Regrets and Confessions..

After a long hiatus, I am back to doing what I do -albeit slightly better, than watching sports or music channels - Writing. There were a variety of reasons that caused this long gap in between the blogs, the primary cause being a lack of motivation arising from the roots of a constantly troubled and confused mind.
There have been situations aplenty in my life where I have been confused, lost, and probably motiveless- but the soup that I find myself in, had the dubious distinction of having created wholly by me alone. It is another story that I am repenting for what I did, and even for what went out of control- probably for a lot lot more too, as and when I am writing this blog. Now that becomes double trouble, repenting for what you did- and the entangle that you lie in after seeing the mess that you have created.

Most persons that I have met and spoken to, suggested me to clear the mess out myself by probably forgetting that it ever existed, or by even concentrating on things that I would be good at, or even ridiculous ideas such as seeing comedy shows aired on the telly. But I soon realised being forgetful or diverting your concentration on other things is not quite enough. Some things are just too much to forget,or even brush aside, aren't they?

The only thing, which I thought would be perfect, is to confess to God, as most of the Christian community does(I say there is nothing better than confessing your sins- this is one of the most impressive ideals of a religion other than Hinduism, that I adore). Do the best you can, and God- they say, takes care of the rest. It is never too late for anything.

"Look back at your past, and you almost always wonder that you could have done things differently" -

This very expressive excerpt, is from a stage drama enacted out by Mr.Y.G.Mahendra. Albeit being from a "comical-relief" sort of a play, it had a touch of truth to it. I had just about then realised its relevance to my life. Second chances do not exist in this age the world finds itself in- so almost all the while,latching onto the first becomes a prerequisite. Unfortunately, you or I cannot change the past- it is only fitting that we let our confessions of the past salvage some peace for us in the present - and enter the future with hope,belief, and the enthusiasm of attaining back what we lost.

May God bless one and all, and may he be kind to those who are in need of kindness.
A special Thank You! to all those who kept poking at me to write something at least. I would'nt disappoint you junta now on :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rahmania @ TOI concert!! ( Thanks to Maanasaa!)

Well, here's an excerpt from my friend's blog on the TOI concert that ARR performed in Chennai on April the 20th. Wondering why I was'nt blogging all these days? Certain "feminish" factors(LOL!!) coupled with Rahmaniacal infection !! Enough of fooling around, here's the stuff people !

WHATTA MAN !!!!!!!What a day !!!!! Reached by around 4ish ! Yes.. that was pretty late .. but then.. bus journeys are so unpredictable !!!! This place, St. George's School Grounds was a fan-yard ! Every nook and corner overflowed with enthusiastic fans with expectations writ large on their faces ! My respect for Rahman Sir, incremented (any more if it could) by a million times !!!It was even exciting as Sir's assistant rang me up to find out if I could help on-stage with the scrolling of lyrics !!!! OH YES, I could !!!!! And with the brand new t-shirt on (Thanks Aravind :) ), it was easier to enter the arena ... and there.. was the never before feeling ! The all-tired group from Sharjah were rehearsing on-stage !!! and THE MAN ..was seated right in the centre, rectifying any mistakes !!! It was still 4.15 !! Messages and calls from friends said the crowd was roaring at the gates and had moved onto the road !! The stage was all set, there were lightings everywhere, and one view from the stage told us, that here , was the most popular man, to see whom, the crowd could hold no longer ! People were pouring in like a meteors-on-their-way ! Nothing could give more pleasure !I and a couple of friends did a little jig .. we had got a chance to snap-on with those celebs .. Sadhanaji, Shankarrrr, the Royal-Flautist Naveen et al ! Hariji was way too busy though !! I wish he had just spared a few minutes for fans .. the Radio Mirchi people took all the time for themselves !
And we are back, up on stage to check out the crowd :). And one glance sideways was enough to give me goosebumps .. LO ! Karthi .. seen walking right in front of me, is not spared ! Forever and ever ! Amen ! A call, a little explanation. and we meet him at his caravan ! (Yes, there are vvery few lucky people who he can identify with :P) Now all hyper and jumpy, the lyrics-scrolling didn't seem possible ! Though anyone would have exchanged diamonds to be there, the job involved little work, and no view of the concert ! So , we preferred seats with the crowd. But, it quite seemed impossible, as to walk to the crowd would be to risk a stampede ! A little contact here and there, and we were there, at the VIP section, seated in front of those dozing VIPs ! A seat, more diamonds would be swapped for :P.
It was a little dark, friends could not be located, calls and messages wouldn't reach , what with a 50,000(Maanasaa is'nt right here!!) crowd trying to do it all together !Finally, the purpose was beginning to be fulfilled ! Vijay Adhiraj (who has laughed at us for our WOW-ing :P) anchored the show, nothing much actually ! Because, nothing need be said about the songs of the Man awaited all long !
The show began with a rocking slow number Jaage hain from Guru , Rahman sir and Sadhanaji crooning to it ... what a beginning ! The crowd went ga-ga already !RAHMAN SIR - has never failed to churn out the best numbers .. they are tailored for relishing , at concerts or away ! He sang Dil se re .. the beginning percussions had the audience longing to listen to it !
The best of His was Khwaja, from Jodha Akbar (a song, apparently close to his heart, as he'd mentioned in an interview). They had set up a diwan, with Sir centre staged, and Md. Aslam and Javed Ali at either sides ! A prayer, nothing less ! The harmonium was played effortlessly, which only added feel to the already existing ! ROCKING !
The songs sung were
* Ellapugazhum from Azhagiya Tamizh Magan, the recent Tamil craze ..!
* Varaaga nadhi karayoram from Sangamam. What a song ... what singing ! Kudos to Shankar !
* Barso re from Guru. As I and a lot others feel, Neeti's neverr let any song down ! Awesome singing, though she did fumble at the naa-re part towards the end, lack of breath.. but chuck it ! She sings as gorgeously as she is !
* Vaaji from Shivaji had Hariji and Madhushree enjoying as they sang ! Mediocre I'd rate it !
* Jashn-e-Bahaara from Jodha Akbar. Javed Ali.. again.. one of Sir's best finds ! Effortless singing ... uninterrupted flow of the feel .. and amazing performance !!! I'm in love with him !
* GIRLFRIEND from Boys ..... YE ! KARTHI ! Enakkagave paadara maadiri oru feeling ! Lovely audience interaction .. unexpected sangadhis and a sudden burst into the high pitched 'Enakkoru girlfriend venumada' had me demented !!!!!!! I wish I just fainted , so he came and attended to it ! How i wish !
* Endrendrum punnagai from Alaipayuthey ... I dont need to mention it .. It's a rage !!!!!!!!! What with Shankar singing along ! Fun !!!
* Tere Bina ... a version better than the one at Marg's ! Looked very sequenced, but .. atleast it was flawless ! Lovely swarams .. don't know why .. but somehow, the swarams stole the show ! Chinmayi was good, she went nasal towards the end though !!
* Mayya Mayya from Guru ... Neeti Mohan ... dances, sings, poses, smiles all A+ ! What has she sung for Sir ??? Perfect singing !
* Sandhana Thendralai from Kandukonden Kandukonden ! Ha ... Shankar written all over it !
* Newyork Nagaram from Jillunu Oru Kaadhal .. rarely have I heard Sir speak so much ! He said stuff about the day being hot and sweaty and so lets go in for a 'jillunu' song ! WOW !!!! The song was a little messy .. he went out of shruthi .. but namma Sir na.. chalta hai ! :)
* Roobaroo from Rang De Basanti . Naresh looked out of form ! The song was edited such that 'jo gumshuda' never appeared !
* Athiradee from Shivaji ... overrated song(idiot Manas I love this song!) ! It was a lot of fun ! There was Md. Aslam centre stage, and Sir had vanished from his place near the Keys ! Ben, Naresh and Karthi occupied the top row and the guitar's already begun playing ! It was assumed that Md. Aslam might sing it ! But LO ! Sir emerged from underneath the Keyboard stand with Black glasses !!!!!! Sooooo situationally funny :P. Incidentally, he had forgotten a couple of lines from the song, but namma Sir dhaane :P... and yeah .. Karthi had me drooling to his 'Sananana Mananana' :D
* Chaiiyya Chaiiya from Dil Se. Reihana began the song, she got to sing after loong on stage for Sir ! Unexpectedly , it was Javed Ali for the Male vocals, and what a splendid job !!! Every note was perfect and the high pitches were even wonderful !
* Munbe Vaa from the Jillunu movie .. Chinmayi was shreya's substitute ... did a very nasal job ! She sang well though .. but the himesh-effect undid the feel ! Naresh was OK !
* Maduraikku Pogadhedi from Azhagiya Tamizh Magan. Ben was his usual Hyper self ! Dancing away all time .. and the surprise guest was Dharshana .. who sang it originally as well ! She did a nice job .. though got a little scared towards the end ! Her landing notes are perfect !
* Idhayam Idam Mariyadho from Jodha Akbar. This was a bilingual song.. there were Karthi, Javed Ali, and Madhushree on stage .. singing away ! Karthi began it so sofffftly, that, Sonu would have resigned his job ! And Madhushree was extremely captivating ! Javed ka tho javaab nahin !
* Kannodu Kaanbathella from Jeans. This , is what they call, a Surprise ! A complete katcheri feel ! Nithyashree, along with Valayapatti and a Mridangist were seated down, the carnatic way ! A full fledged RTP effect. And a couple of SGMPNSs, began Kannodu. She looked extremely confident in the standing position with the hand mic ! Lovely !
* There was a little break where the percussionists had their time ! It was not interesting :(
* Bombay Theme ... a lilting melody everyone would die for .. and Mr Naveen , had us all mesmerised with his feet long intruments !!!!! No wonder he's the Royal Flautist ! Cheers !
* Blaaze wandered for sometime on the stage, with 'style' for the bgm .. as he introduced the instrumentalists !
* Pray For Me Brother .. a surprise !!!!! Sir sang and played with ease and Blaaze had everyone enjoying his Rap part ! It was completely sequenced .. The whole track !
* The diwan. now held the unbeatable singer-pair .. Hariji and Sadhanaji ! A little aalaap and a a few Keys later, it was a confirmed Udaya Udaya ... what a song !!!!! And from there ... Hariji announced a teencee competition for the audience where we had to repeat his swarams !!!!!! Ah ! If we could do it, we'd have been on stage boss ! A million swarams later .. the tempo picked up and Behaag appeared out of thin air ! Ae Hairathen Aashiqui , jagaaaaaaaa math !
* Azeem-o-shaan- Veerapaandi kottayile- Rukkumani. How does Sir know how to merge his own songs to get the best feel ever !!!!!!! Towards the end, there were little kids on stage, (whom I envied) drumming and smiling from up there ! (naangalum varuvom) !
* Humma Humma. Ha ! Shankar and Sir were on stage with a little teaser of 'Ammmaaaaaaaaaaa' .. as it metamorphasized into HUMMA HUMMA as Blaaze had us all tapping our feet !!!!! And security guards appeared out of nowhere ! This was the cue that the concert was about to end ! Anyway .. Humma saw the bursts of several paper clouds and oohs and aaha from fans !
* VANDE MATARAM .. Salaam to Rahman sir for having given us this wonderful concert ! Towards the end of the song, all singers appeared on stage .. as is customary ! I thank Times of India and Rahman Sir for this ultimate opportunity , to sit close to the stage and have the time of my life ! I profusely thank Mr Radhan for having made this possible ... and one BIG hug to all the crazy fan-friends who made it there ...

A nice piece of writing na? Thank you Maanasaa! (and next time make it better)

Hi5 to every Rahmaniac out there!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The annual cultural extravaganza of the Madras Institute of Technology – MITAFEST 2008 got off to an auspicious start on the evening of the 20th of march 2008 – at the Rajam Hall of MIT , in the presence of the Vice Chancellor of Anna University- Dr.Viswanathan and other notable dignitaries(Don't you think that Vichu guy sucks? ). With the Pro-show of Krish slated for the later part of the evening , the inauguration itself saw a good turnout. Previously SSMusic and their VJ’s were seen scouting MIT for voice talents in the SSmusic Voice Hunt, alongwith having some lighthearted fun by organizing informals. Accounting to the occurrence of heavy rain , the Intra-college choreo event was shifted out to the following day. Nevertheless the organizers ensured the pro-show took place. It was rescheduled and venue changed to the Hangar-1, where most of the events would take place. Krish and the accompanying orchestra ensured the audience’s minds danced to their tunes. “June pona”, “Manjal veyil” and “Oru mugamo” were the sure-shot crowd favorites , and they ensured entire hangar energized up to face the unabashed frenzy of Mitafest.
The second day of Mitafest saw a flurry of events , ranging from the Scitech and General quiz to the Intra college choreo and Light music. However , the sleepy hollow of Hangar-2 was the happening place throughout the day, with hoards of people appearing for the Literary events and Art events. Tamil events like arattai arangam and kavidhai-potti’s were also held during the day. The evening started off with intra college choreo sending the audience into a trance. It was ably followed up with the light music finals which saw intense competition between other college teams. B.S.A.Crescent Engineering College won the first prize in light music followed by SSN.
The final day was to be the crowning glory of Mitafest- with most of the events entering the final stage. On one side the hangar-2 saw gaming reaching hitherto unknown levels of excitement with counter strike videos being played and hardcore gamers pitching it out against each other. On the other side there were rangoli and other informal events taking place , besides the quizzes which ended up going down to the wire. But the real sleeping giant this year should be the shipwreck and JAM finals that took place in Rajam hall on the last day evening – parallelly alongwith the variety show. Shipwreck entered its final stages with the likes of jayalalitha and karunanidhi pitting their brains and wits against sharad pawar and ganguly. It was hilarious to say the least. Even better was the JAM that followed – Murali from SSN conducted the session and he ensured the participants had their share of laughter and the audience too. Mitafest 2008 concluded with an attractive choreo nite which was won aptly by A.M.Jain college, and others like Solomon twisters from CEG and Madha engineering college also participated in it.

On the whole Mitafest 2008 was an enjoyable ride of FUN,FROLIC AND FIESTA !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Countdown to MITAFEST 2008 !

Just one more day to go for Mitafest to kick off - and this time it is sure to bring about the transformation of the geek to the freak. Ok, enough of putting up junk sentences trying to convey one meaning -
And now for the updates -
**********1. KRISH Pro-Show tickets are available with Vijayakumar- Ph.no : 9962222620. Book your passes as its FIRST COME FIRST SERVED . Other college junta are allowed , so CHECK IN GUYS N GALS !
2. The campus is being decorated gradually. So if you aren’t having time to notice those flashbulbs hanging from the trees, you’ll do well to get your eye checked.
3. The Open Air Theatre(OAT) galleria have been done, and this time the design looks different and a lot more spacious than previous years. ( which translates into more fun for us )
4. Stalls have been put up - and we hear quite a few good grub stalls are coming about this time ( Mexican food anyone ? )
5. Hangar -1 continues to house the sport-studs of MIT , but then by tomorrow it will undergo a sea change- housing systems for the gaming challenges. ( rumours are flying that XBox consoles maybe on the way - keep your eyes peeled!)
And remember to call your friends dudes and dudettes -
********** - Singers from A.R.R’s and Ilayaraja’s troupe coming along too:)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We ain't here for any Monkey Business, or are we??

This is quite a moment I must say - one of the rarest occasions when I am left with too many things to write , too many people to speak about , and too many technicalities to explain. But still , this is our moment and let's savour every second of it. The ever elusive Commonwealth Bank/Victoria Bitter series has been won by India.
(Yes, this is not the Under-19 team which has won it - that is another long story altogether. Its the seniors team this time around ;) )
We remember seeing the familiar look on M.S.Dhoni's face at the conclusion of the T20 Worldcup last year in Southafrica - when we saw what he did today after India had won it all fair and square against Australia. Maybe a lucky look ? Who knows - either ways he is playing for our city in the IPL and its good if he has a bit of luck too!
And so, ladies and gentlemen, the much-talked about Australian summer has finally ended , and to India's credit - on an upbeat note. Let us travel back and analyse what we have learnt out of this gruelling three-month long slugfest.

1. Big-talking is fun. *
*if you aren't playing the next match.
*if you are playing the next match.
*if you have long hair plaited in a little bundle up there.
*if you are balding.(Haydos and Punter beware ;) )
*if you are not someone called "The Master Blaster"
*if you don't have any other job in the team to do.

2. Itching/scratching/touching yourself in the wrong places on the ground is forbidden. *
* Conditions apply to excessively under-dressed-populated Australian cricket grounds.

3. Streakers are a lucky sign for India. Everytime one appears we win. So then why were they two in the second final at Brisbane ? Sources tell there aren't enough nudist beaches in Brisbane's vicinity.

4. Want a free ticket back home + become a national hero + make the whole world talk about you ? Give a wrong decision + treat all appeals with equal racism.

5. Want to stay back on the tour ? Be under 22 years of age.*
*preferably belonging to Mumbai ,Delhi and having spiky/long hair.

6. How to go into a form slump ? Be paired with Deepika Padukone ( plus trade in your mom and dad to speak about the both of you on Headlines Today)

7. How to retrieve yourself from a form slump ? Look at the lady officers when the oh-so-masculine streakers emerge.***

***P.S - Any idea if Cricket Australia are recruiting female streakers to spread the game?

8. How do you make your wicket look very costly ? Let loose "obnoxious" comments on local radio. *
* ensure it gets across to the Indian Mafia(or Media??)

9. How do you screw up yourself ? Not let a veteran retire in peace and victory - keep him out of the team.


10. How do you win against the Mighty Australians?

Let an in-form Sachin invent "Khatam Karo Ghar Chalo".

I think the last four words explain it all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jod"Haah!" Ak"baar" !

Now, when I started writing this little review about this movie , the initial response was lukewarm to say the least . Infact one of my good friends - nicknamed American Express , for obvious overseas-admit related issues and other "Vetti-scene" matters went on to rubbish the very idea of a blog. But then positives and negatives happen, especially the female fraternity which has been eternally loving this hottie's(!!!LOL!!) blogs have again ensured this gets into the place where it needs to. So yes , enough of personal tirades and rubbish - let's get on with what this blog needs to be about.

Jodhaa Akbar is a very short(! ) i.e. 3 hour 30 minute takeoff on a part of the Mughal Emperor- Jalaluddin Akbar's life.( exceptionally short by Ashutosh's standards). It starts off with the Battle of Panipat where the little Akbar is exposed to the trials and tribulations faced by the prisoners of war and his armymen. Although it takes a while to learn the art of being an emperor , he grows into the part slowly, until a few incidents prompt him onto taking the mantle of the supreme-commander of the empire, and take decisions of his own. Faced with a potentially dangerous opposition in the Rajputs, Akbar brokers truce with the Rajput coalition , in exchange for the princess Jodhabai's hand in marriage. How this compelling union of two uncompromising individuals grows into a strong bond of love and understanding is what this film portrays over the length that I have already specified. Put in are a few elements of distrust and back-stabbing to make the plot interesting, and they do a good job at that.

Sometimes you would expect the movie to turn turtle with the negative reviews it has been getting from your peers , but then this was something I would not have missed anyday. It was the first time I was watching an Ashutosh Gowariker film in the theatre and I was happy with the experience this movie offered me, to be true. Despite few shortcomings like the length of the movie and occasional blooper-style shots ( especially in Khwaja Mere Khwaja - what was Hrithik doing there dancing like a Zombie? No marks for that song despite it being one of the best in the album - because it was totally zombified! ) At most places the dialogues were in chaste Urdu and Hindi , I understood around 80% of it - remaining 20% was totally new to me and I had to guess the meaning of the words from the way the scene panned out later. Although this may not be a negative , when reaching out to the big audiences the dialogues could have been penned viewer-friendly at a few places.

The music by A.R.Rahman needs no mention - its a huge hit all over. Ashutosh has done justice to every song except the exceedingly powerful Khwaja Mere Khwaja . Inn Lamhon and Azeem O Shaan were beautiful to say the least , and the rest of the songs played out in the background. Hrithik looks every bit the emperor that Akbar would have been like , and Aishwarya finally does some acting ( lessons learnt from Dhoom-2??) which is nice to watch. Akbar's mother and his foster-mother(sorry if the terminology is wrong I mean the lady in white) have played their roles well - so are the others in the movie including the eunuch. One can notice Ashutosh regulars scattered around the movie , especially Kulbushan Kharbanda and the "Jai Bajrang Bali" guy from Lagaan. A little more effective screenplay would have made the film powerful , although the stunt and action sequences have been filmed beautifully. Gowariker could have done away with the final Troy-like fight - that was one scene where I felt he had copied , the other being the battle scenes(image multiplying Mr.Ashu?) Locales are a treat to watch and this film has all the flavours of a classic period movie thrown into it.

There are a lot more to describe about this movie , which maybe noticed by me, or by you on repeated viewing. For now , it remains a classic movie which I would recommend as a must-watch for everyone who needs a time-off from the Heyy-baby or Dhamaal kind of junkbox comedies.

Ashutosh has done it again. On the whole , nice movie to watch with a patient person.(A Harsh Ad is good enough for me ) To put it in a phrase ,

"Yahaan Bhi Wahaan Bhi Hai Tere Dhol

Dhira Nom Dhira Nom Jalaluddeen Akbar!"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Indian Popularity Listing (I.P.L)

Just when we had started thinking that club football was becoming popular in India , looks someone from the BCCI junta heard it. Bang came upon the IPL, formerly known to be the Indian Premier League, soon-to-be-known or blown into the Indian Popularity Listing. Peculiar expansion for the IPL you say ? I would say it is the perfect way of explaining this phenomenon.

To start off for the people who do not know what IPL is, it is a cricket league organised by the BCCI based on 8-city teams , and the Twenty20 format of the game. Similar to the English Premier League football, overseas players can be contracted(although only a maximum of 4 such players can play in each game) and also transferred , although there has not been any official procedure listed out for this provision. All we know is that there will be an annual transfer window to facilitate player movement from city to city.

Now that the basics have been dealt with , lets analyze(rather sensationalize) this hype-r thingy that the whole country is speaking about. The city teams have been bought by rich people , as we can so-goddamn-easily predict. Nothing new ? There is. As if all the other money-making media weren't enough , we have more of SRK out here too(more popularly known in non-Indian circles as the Smoke-Relishing-Khan). And the oh-so-wrinkly-beautiful Preity Zinta who gives him company here too ( as if the great disaster was not enough - I mean that "Kabhi Alvida.. blah blah blah"- whatever I don't get whats it with these Karan Johar four-word titles... too long to even remember !)

The rest of the owners of the teams are the same run-of-the-mill Ambani's, Mallya's and other corporations. Since the media has had enough of these people with their IPO's and New Year bashes there's been additional glare on SRK and Zinta's teams. Apparently nobody noticed the Delhi pace attack or the Bangalore keeper , but strangely there comes the news that Zinta's team is packed with goodlookers. (Guess the news channel which gave this bit)

With the IPL being a moneyspinner by the billion without a ball being bowled, the question remains if we are going to see a clash of popularity listings or real hardcore cricket.

Disclaimer :

*This article was solely written with the purpose of whiling away time and poking fun at the Greatest 24*7 Entertainment Channel that HeadlinesToday is proving to become. Any positive criticism can be fed back to me. Any negative points , please ring up the sick looking female who comes in H.T at 9 p.m every night and tells us beautiful "cock-and-bull" stories about Kareena's rashes and Soha's lips.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Run of the V-ill ...

Its that time of the year again , ladies and gentlemen..

->When greeting cards get sold out ( including the one's for wives and husbands - despite wedding being described as hell even by the highly-cognitive junta)

->When guys go scouting a whole city to get one rose which is unblemished, untorn, and fresh - only to end up with a saggy bunch of dried bouganvillae picked painfully from the worm-infested neighbour's garden !

->When rumour mills go overboard on the entertainment channels about ongoing romances (be it the first or the second or even the umpteenth - as some hollywood stars go)

-> When everything that is being written or talked is about love, having boyfriends or girlfriends - and unfortunately there is nothing for the single humanoid to read(unfortunately even this post is about the same)

-> When slippers and blades get sold in advance - that too in bulk .. I guess you should work out the reason why this happens. (either ways - be it roses or slippers, the shopkeeper profits)

-> When some jobless guy proposes a dresscode depending on his minimal wardrobe, and that ends up being an SMS forwarded to the entire fraternity.

-> When you have silly people like me trying to create some laughs by showing what happens actually in the name of V-Day.

Ok - reckon that's enough? Let me get back to being mushy-mushy about this whole V-day thingy. Even though I am a non believer in this "Day" business, I believe in the fact that its always not too late to say "I love you".

Think a little bit , even you would feel the same I bet. Be it even the helper who helps your mom around in the kitchen, clears the utensils, finishes all the menial work in your house- its never taboo to say you love him/her. To your parents, who helped you walk your first steps - gave you a life to live, because of whom you may have the resources to read this blog, and because of whom you may become a bigger person than you expected - its time to say "I love you". To your friends, who have been by you in all the struggles in life that you have gone through, lent a shoulder for you to weep, been one with you in your heyday -from whom you may have to even part, its time to say "I love you." For all whom you have fought your wits out with its never late to patch up and say "I love you." For the little baby next door who makes you smile every time your glance falls on him, its all the more easy to say that. For the people who have guided you throughout your life till now , and may lead you to a bright future, its time to say "I love you." For nature , which has been kind enough to hold your transgressions and make you live despite harming it , its the time to say "I love you."

For God-

who's made all these which you have grown to love so much,

made you realise the value of everything and sundry,

made you cry both in happiness and in sorrow,

to whom this day has to be dedicated to....

it's time to say,

"I Love You."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

INTECHO 2008 -The True Echo !

The dawn of this Second Saturday of February , saw a rather unusual thing taking place - influx of hoards and hoards of students to a rather calm place called Madras Institute of Technology. Surely weird for a second saturday I must say. Apart from the fact that MIT was having a working day , every other college in the vicinity had the day off. Apparently even they realized Intecho should not be missed- we had a huge influx of students from all parts of the state , let alone the country.

The inaugural function got off to a slow but steady start at eight thirty or so, with the chief guest and a few of the faculty of instrumentation in MIT giving their special keynote address on the occasion. From then on it was mission brainstorming for all of the participants and audience at the Rajam Hall in the MIT, going all the way to the later part of the evening. With the paper presentation turning quite a few heads in the packed- audience , the sports quiz optimized on their enthusiasm- to spring quite a few surprises with the tough preliminaries which even the "best-quizzing" junta in the campus could not crack. Although there were some technical issues like unclear views of the screen it turned out to be a major success. The technical quiz followed which was a near-perfect stunner . Almost all of the audience got involved, be it the videos or even the multiple choice questions. We just about had time to fit in Shipwreck into the packed schedule , and that too got great cheers from the audience , especially the Vijaykanth wannabe and the Laloo wannabe. Apparently even the judges were flabbergasted at the speakers' insanity ! General quiz preceded the shipwreck - which brought in quite a few new aspects to the near-obsolete general quiz format. It was on the whole refreshing and a good crowd puller. The best things are reserved for the last , as we usually say. Pot pourri got it all right , from the anchor to the videos and the mix n match songs played , to the fillers in between , and even the audience chipped in with a few people breaking into impromptu jigs and sounds.

An event would not be complete without specifying the offstage events also.. They are the essence of keeping the audience occupied and literally glued to their seats every moment. Right from C debugging to the Hanging quiz , to the day ending technical crossword and even the preliminaries for the events such as shipwreck and circuiting, every event captured the attention of the audience.

Sponsors and the volunteers for the stalls attracted quite a lot of people, with their variegated products on display and even a sketching machine which photographed and printed people's portraits, quite realistically. I should also mention Findnearyou.com for their commitment towards making this event a big success , and providing us support all through the way, with their blogging and other contests.

Intecho 2008 - A Success which every MIT'ian will cherish for eons to come !

Monday, February 4, 2008

"Train"ing ...

On the way to college yesterday , it struck me that I had not written anything about an integral part of me , the electric train. So what was next? Get my thinking cap on to create a flowery appealing blog that gets the maximum hits ? Nope. Try remembering which train I go in ? Partly yes. Give a brief and personal account of the train journey? Perfectly yes.

It is a general rule of the world that however good or bad the surroundings are, we tend to get used to it after a while. That is exactly what happened to me in the case of the electric train. 30 minutes seems a long time to stand your way to college ? Yeah. But does the train ensure you don't feel the time pass? Yeah!

In my first year of engineering , where I was still getting used to the mode of transport and the long walks into the college campus, the train journeys came as just another tiring bore. Especially with the gauge conversion work on, every other train plying would be full of people - and there would not be any place to stand other than the foot-board.

Time, as they say, changes everything. It changed the tracks from metre gauge to broad gauge - with it came about a change in my view of the electric train journey. My first year in engineering had me familiarize quite a few people who also used the train to reach college.Thankfully when the congestion decreased because of the new tracks , I found a lot more of them - most of them my classmates whom I had not tried to speak to in college.

I would describe the train as a "moving-scenery" - or even a "moving-scenery provider". The train moving itself is a beautiful sight to watch - what is even more beautiful is watching mist on a hill or a grassland, or even vehicles moving in a subway while the train chugs along. It is difficult to observe unless you are a frequent user of the train. (some days into the travel you realise that you consider seeing the surroundings itself as a fulltime job on the train)

Into my fourth year of engineering, sometimes I feel nostalgic about my previous years travelling in the train. Five years down the line I may still be doing that- but who knows if the employee in me would have the time to look around..

Saturday, February 2, 2008

B(r)and Aid?

Sitting through advertisements is a big pain - especially when they do not carry anything interesting but the Brand-name and the product/logo. Considering that I watch a lot of cricket, Formula one and tennis - I have got used to the passive-ad phenomenon. Any takers as to what this phenomenon would be like ? Let me explain.

Ever felt the need to keep your eyes open but mind closed immediately after an over ends in Cricket ? Ever realised that you do not remember what ad came up just a second ago? Surely nine out of ten people must be suffering from this syndrome.

In the initial times I had no clue what this weird thingy was all about. Reading about it in the papers made me realise what exactly was this ad-passivity working up to. We have all been witness to a retail revolution ever since India opened up its economy to world players after 1990. As more and more global players fill in the market, there tends to be more advertising and "jostling-for-screen-space" among themselves. Result - a crowded ring where the consumer is the bull surrounded by thousands of tamers. Imagining a situation similar to a "Jallikattu"? It exactly is that.

Although competition tends to enliven the market , such kind of ad-passivity may lead to the creation of a consumer who does not differentiate between products , or simply saying - has a lesser cognitive faculty(was that complicated enough to be simple?).
I offer no solution to this syndrome out here - albeit I can promise that I wouldn't be in neverland the next time a BMW or a Renault speeds down my Sony TV screen !!

Friday, February 1, 2008

First Gear... (stuck!)

The picture I had posted on the inaugural writeup of this blog was taken by me on the Pondicherry-Chennai East Coast Road. And the circumstances that led me onto taking it were pretty interesting to say the least ! A picture-perfect postcard type weather for company , and a packed car travelling on dark gravel for miles at a stretch, seems like the best thing in the world to do? Exactly yes.

It was one of those weekend getaways which the average Indian yearns for- sometime with family, some sightseeing, some "never-before-seen" goodlookers of the opposite gender to see, and not the least of all - good food. Yet something chose to go wrong. Was it my mood? or the "oh-so-necessary-if-not-i'll-die" cellphone? or simply my baby cousin's diaper?

The answer was pretty simple though unexpected - the car's mudguard. Less than halfway from Pondicherry to Chennai there was a near-animal-hit to the car( thankfully the dog managed to escape) . Apparently the mudguard thought this was the apt moment to falter. Ten minutes later the car could not travel beyond the first gear without giving rise to a nerve-racking scrape with dry gravel.

And so the inevitable roadside halt came around hardly five minutes later. (Some intelligent brains in my family suggested coming back to Chennai in first gear itself - 130 km in first gear ???? ) We then set on to repairing the guard with some of our own techniques - including a plan to completely eliminate the mudguard itself. Nothing worked out as well as a rope to tie the hanging mudguard in place - going all through the bonnet and coming out near the front-grill to be tied up in an unprofessional knot.

As this idea was being executed I sat onto a nearby milestone and started thinking of what I may do to kill time until the others tie up the guard. There seemed nothing, absolutely nothing in sight to think about or capture on the camera except the road in all its glory. And so came about that picture - which had me keeping the camera on the sand and crouching to see the view (must have looked funny ) so that I get the output right.

By the time I was done with that snap, the knots were done, even better was the fact that I would not have to travel back 130Km in bullock-cart speed !

A relative quipped - "Sonny, It's time for second gear!!"