Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just one more!

Most of the blog entries in this page seem to be alluding to the past, or keeping it as a reference to current and future happenings. I am not sure if that is the way I think, write or wish the blog to be. ( However one-dimensional my thinking may seem, it's my blog, so there's no other go but for you to read it. Follow that up with a "smiling" smiley! ) It sure does make a lot of sense to me, to learn from mistakes and keep on improving. Yet again, this little scribbling would also allude to a minute reference from the past, to put my idea across.

I am sure every one of us would have had to listen to our headmasters and teachers lecturing on discipline, way back in school. It would be easy to guess how many of those lectures during the daily morning prayer/general school assemblies we would have paid attention to, and how many of those we would remember till date. Sometimes I feel sad when I realise how much efforts they take to direct us onto the right path, and how passive we are in our response. It could be the age where we couldn't concentrate on lectures, it also could be that we feigned hearing to them. But over the past few days I got to know the extent to which it could help a person , if he had paid attention to as small as one statement in a teacher's peptalk.

"Whatever you do, keep telling that you can push yourself more- and go the extra mile. Be it an exam where you don't know all the answers. Be it in sport where you are leading the pack. Be it at the track where you run for 20 minutes- run the extra minute. Be it in doing good for people- you can always do more. Be it when faced with repeated failures- do not give up, you never know if your next try could lead you to success! Be it in life, where you need to keep bettering yourself. Be it when you face death- by choosing to push yourself to live that extra second."

I remember the headmistress speaking these words at one of those peptalks that my school organised before our 12th Standard examinations. Frankly speaking, I was never a fan of hers- but chose to keep these words in mind, and live by them. There's been many a time when I've thought I should stop writing- for want of time and concentration, but every time that happens I've promised myself to write just one more.

By the looks of it, this shall keep happening all my lifetime.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Habitual...

It's been one year now, almost, since I came to the United States. I know that many of the people who are reading this blog would also fall in the same category of "studying-away-from-home". True that we all miss our homeland, sometimes to the extent of thinking why we came here to pursue our dreams. But then, after a while, we all tend to get used to it.

I remember the days I used to go to high school, which was about three kilometres away, every morning- on my cycle. There used to be a set route which I used to take, and I knew every little pothole on the road to avoid, leave alone the signals to dodge so that I could get to school on time. I felt as though all the scenes in the vicinity were programmed into me, so I could easily find out which shop had been shifted recently, and which was closed on what day of the week. Beautiful days, those. I remember having races against myself so that I could keep bettering the time I took to reach school from home.

The fact is that I had gotten used to the people, the places, the sights and sounds of the environment around me. To the extent that I could tell the schedule of the city buses which ran in the mornings and evenings, when I used to commute. That's one beauty of city life that I miss, being in a suburban Texan town.

One year into my life here, it somehow feels good to tell that I have got used to this place. There lies a pleasure in seeing things and people, daily - that you know you will not continue to see all your life., a pleasure that we sometimes miss to spot in our busy lives. This one year, I have surely missed India, but one year later when I am out of this town, I am sure I will miss the beautiful memories that it gave me, too.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Keep the faith.

Lost for words to open this blog entry with, I could not find any other way but to foist in a brainless philosophical reference- " Revelations can occur to one anytime, from anywhere and anyone. "

Assuming that all the readers of this piece of writing would be atleast into their teens, and through with atleast one and a half phases of their lives by now- I go ahead with writing this.

In this journey called life, there are quite a few stages, like Shakespeare alludes to, in "All the world's a stage". It is interesting also, to note the metamorphosis of the environment around a person as he grows from being a toddler, to a boy, to a young man, and all the way till the end of his lifetime.

At every such stage of our life, occur various events that lead us to confide in a few people. Sometimes these people may remain the same for years altogether, some other times they may leave midway to return back- the worst case being they do not return back forever. Social circles tend to change, with the wrinkles on your face.

I am sure we would all agree to the fact that there do exist certain people- whom we used to give a lot of importance to, but now we would not. The vice versa would also be true. You may have been close friends with someone a year back, but not now. You may not have known your soulmate a month back, but would be willing to do anything for him/her now. Weird is the way of life.

What this teaches us, is that the key to being a balanced individual, would be to keep up the faith with the same person(s) you confide in, all through your life. Trust them, keep in touch, and express to them that you care, no matter what. Unfortunately the writer of this blog had not realised about his lack of expression until he was brought crashing onto this fact by a dear friend of his.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

This Day, That Age..

With the sun beating down like there's no tomorrow, and the weight and heat of a black-colored backpack threatening to vaporize me to nothing- I finally managed to beat the irritation to get a DVD box-set of a reasonably old Bollywood movie from the university library. I should admit, the predominantly American support staff of the library mediastore were finding it very tough to understand a huge phrase with big "oh-so-obvious" Indian words. A deadly combination, that. I had to suppress a laugh when I ventured out to find the English translation of the name for them. It said "Brave hearted will take the bride". I just could not stop bursting into a laughter characteristic of "Hey Dude, we call it DDLJ, got it? Now go get the DVD up for me!"

I remember the late 90's when DDLJ came about. It was the age of the perfect Bollywood song-dance-melodrama blockbuster. Three hours of singing, running around trees, symbolic love scenes, sister-brother sentiment, villain bashing and a happy ending. Add a local theatre and the entire family for company, and you had the perfect moneymaking machine for the film distributor. Bets were placed on who would watch DDLJ or HAHK the most number of times. ( local cable TV viewing of the movie would count as a negative ). Funny times, those. Even film extras oozed with makeup and glycerin tears.

The last time I had watched this movie, was back in 1997/98. After an eleven year break, here I was- watching it again, in a different age, in a different milieu- where we used to go to theatres to watch movies with family, I had a laptop and nothing but my room for company. The movie by itself, surprisingly, failed to impress me. I could not believe I had watched a movie and liked it for the first seven times, and hated it the next time. Surely something should have gone wrong somewhere- I cross checked to verify if I was indeed seeing the movie or its blooper DVD.

The DVD of the movie it was, alright. But maybe, all these years of my life coupled with movie watching had tinkered with the way I look at things. Where I used to see joy and color, I now saw garishness and a surfeit of non-detail. Where I once saw love, I now saw just two people acting what someone else told them to. Where I saw jokes, I now saw boredom. Some things in life never seem to change. Age doesn't seem to be one, unfortunately.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Last Time..

Most of the regular writers suffer from a range of dilemmas, before they set to write on a topic, or on perhaps no topic at all. A strange one I was suffering from since the past one month- was a lack of resources, and proper personal time to transfer my thoughts onto a blog entry. I should also take up some blame for being lazy to write, and thus depriving you of some much needed boredom.

In the meanwhile, life has chugged on - offering new insights, and experiences. But there's been one thought which has plagued me over a long time. The recession, as we all know has affected all and sundry. It also means a lot of opportunities for budding graduates from universities have been nipped in the bud. Sounds scary for the current crop of students- we live in a hope that good lies in store for one and all.

In a flip-side to the recession story, I probably have met many people for the last time in my life- or theirs. (Whichever ends earlier) A lot of the people I met after coming to the US, have had to go back to India due to the lack of opportunities. Extremely unfortunate for them, and I am aware of the practical thought that I might be on the receiving end before I say snap. This post is dedicated to all of them, who came here, worked hard, gave it their best shot- but could not make it due to a reason beyond their control. A natural flow of thought would establish the fact that we may or may not get to see them again in our lives, even if we go back to India, someday. Weird thought, but most of us would know it is true.

This post is also dedicated to one of my kin, a wonderful person who loved me a lot and showed me what rural India was all about- who passed away earlier this month. Unfortunate that the last I saw of him was when I left the shores of India a year back. Wherever you are now, this is for you- from someone who is indebted always.

The irony of life - they say. How more different can the same circumstance of "seeing a person for the last time", be?

As this post ends, I remember myself looking down at the distant winding canyons dotting the earth , from the confines of an otherwise uninspiring airplane. I do not remember caring about comfort, as I never know if I may see them again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


However good or bad one's past might be, it is common wisdom that one should not live in his doings of yesterday or dwell in the dreams of tomorrow, and rather concentrate on whatever is to be done at the moment. It is another story as to how many actually follow this saying. I believe a man is today because of what he did in the past (however immediate or far that might be) , and his present impacts his future standing.

Travelling alone often presents us with an unusually (continuous) block of time to spend with ourself. Some might choose to read a book or listen to music, some others defeat the concept of "personal time" by talking or texting over the phone, few introspect and dissect their actions. When I was just starting to wonder what of the above should I be doing, a brainwave came by. Why not rummage through my wallet, for a change? I had hardly bothered to check its contents over many years for now, except for the odd currency and ID.

The first thing I could get hold of was a bunch of photos of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I remember my dad giving me a couple of those on the day my tenth standard exams started. I was to recieve another couple of them from him when I wrote my twelfth standard Board examinations. How we struggled to keep our tension and anxiety in check the morning of every one of those exams!

A faded out Identity card revealed a younger me- it appeared to be the Southern Railways ID card I had got in my first year of engineering, to travel to college. 155 Indian rupees for three months of unlimited tension-free airy travel with a lot of college mates for company - not even the best seat in Kodak Theatre would get better than this.

A wad of tickets came through- of varying types. Tickets to the IPL season one which took place in 2008. Splendid memories of a hoard of friends and a lot of sporting fun. Tickets to the Chennai Tennis Open, to which I had been to every year. Tickets to a test match at the Chepauk cricket stadium, where Virendra Sehwag famously scored a triple century. I remember cheering with every one of the 50,000 people in the stadium for it. A bus ticket for a ride from home to my grandparents' place, which I visited every fortnight. Tickets to a movie I remember seeing first day first show- The Pirates of the Caribbean- at the best theatre in Chennai.

A courier receipt turned up- of the consignment of paperwork I had to send across to universities, for my higher studies. An autographed piece of paper from one of my friends, wishing me best of luck for a second year engineering exam.

The next thing I know, stewards were shooing me off the Burbank (LA) Airport Runway. Travel can be lonely at times, but whoever said it bores, probably never meant it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Past the prime..

One of these days, we had to go out to the mall for some general purchases, and groceries. Going shopping with the fairer gender has an obvious downside for the males accompanying them- but surprisingly enough, I was to find out later that there was an upside to it, too.

When was the last time you had time to look at the price gap between an in-house brand of cornflakes, and an established one? When have you ever noticed the difference between the nature of various brands of kitchen tissue paper ? (the toilet paper is another story, altogether!) Would you care to look up those arbitrary coupons left on the shelves and get the exact brand of Granola bars, and the exact quantity, to save a relatively paltry twenty five cents? Never. That is, unless you are left to grocery shop an hour instead of the customary once-per-week-ten -minute routine.

Aimlessly staring at an aisle filled with a surfeit of dogfood, I walked the entire twenty metre stretch without realising the fact that neither do I own a dog, nor am I one-technically. (Some people may tell I am one, but then I hate to think how my consort would be called as, if I was indeed a dog) Half-lost in a world of nothingness, I wandered along just to remember that I had to pick up a carton of milk. So, the milk aisle I went- I had eternity left for the bus back home, and just one item to purchase, before the others returned. (for LOST fans- by "others" here, I just mean my friends.)

Maybe it was the music playing on the headphones, plain curiosity, or the level of boredom in me- I actually bothered to check the "Sell By" date on the carton. Philosophy, they say, can strike the aimless mind anytime. I second it- down went a spiral of milk , Bollywood Flashback style..

A friend we loved, the camaraderie we had with some people, all those weekends we just lazed around on the lawns waiting to be fed with good food, the talks we had with someone who's not with us right now , the puppy love which blossomed in school, the nights spent talking absolutely nothing over the phone, and umpteen more occurrences in life - would they be remembered by us if they had not ended? Would they be treated with as much nostalgia and love if they had become a routine like a daily bath ? ( only for people who do that ;) ) I reckon the answer would be a unanimous no.

Maybe....Maybe, things are valued only if they have a Sell By date. Be it a carton of milk, or life.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Being a Poor Indian Graduate(PIG as everyone calls it) in the United States, one is forced to look into a lot of "probably money guzzling" activities. Grocery shopping, as every person in my situation would agree, is one of them too. A lot of thought goes into choosing that perfect cereal , in the cheapest package and the best brand- probably even more time than what twenty-something women take to decide on their accessories.

We were still in the process of figuring out how to find the time and the strength to bring in groceries for four people, for a couple of weeks- without having to do with a car or any other assistance. Life was draining, and tough. Shopping meant a load of sweat coupled with shoulder pain. A month's worth of strength was sapped out when those gallon-loads of milk and backpacks of supplies were carried over a mile back home from the nearest bus stop.

An extended holiday weekend ahead meant no buses, and that meant we had to plan our shopping in advance, and get back more than what we usually used to get. My mind,heart and soul gave up on seeing the stacks of milk cans and bread pressed into balance in a sizeably large trolley. Just when I thought it would be a better idea to ask for a non existent door delivery, an Asian gentleman came up to me -

"Would you guys mind if I offer you a lift back home?"

Godsend. Bless the lord. Jai Shree Krishna. Allah hu Akbar. I would give him whatever he wants in exchange for this trip!

Fuzzy notions of my home swimmed in front of me- I was coming back, finally. There I would be, whizzing past other "grocery-shopping students", in a car, with the breeze taking every drop of this insinuating sweat off me.

"Thank you" I said.

"I just have space for one person, who would like to accompany me?"

I felt like Hermione. Pat went my hand. "I will come along, Sir."

A couple of minutes later , in the comfortable confines of his car, with a little girl (evidently, his daughter) on the backseat- when I was just wondering what to talk, or what not to, he took the lead.

"So.. are you a student?"

"Yes Sir."

"Even I was a student here. Now I work with the University itself. Even I have been through whatever you are going through now. A transition, indeed. "

Surprising. I nodded my head in agreement.

"That's my daughter in the backseat. Please talk to her in English. She does not understand Hindi, or Malayalam, which is my mother tongue."

"Oh. Okay Sir. ( tried to talk with the girl, but she was not in the mood to I guess ). So, have you been to India recently ?"

"Not really, I don't go back there nowadays as my entire family is here. I miss Indian movies though. Do the south Indians still go crazy over Rajnikanth and Kamal?"

Needless to say what my answer would have been. An obvious yes.

"I did not want my daughter to study in the city, as she may get spoilt.. that's why put her into a suburban school. Otherwise, life here is good. You will learn to enjoy it and live it up, soon enough young man."

We had reached back home by then. Stepping out, he noticed my place to be the same one he stayed in, when he was a student in this university a decade back. The world's a small place they say- I second it.

"Sir, you didn't tell me your name- could I have a contact of you or something?"

A rude reply. "Why do you need my contact details? I am there in the university directory, name's Brajesh- go check it out. I am leaving right now- bye."

The car whizzed back double the speed that it came in. There went my first encounter with a true ABCD (American Brains in a Confused Desi, as I put it). He had also talked to me about his personal life, apart from the things revealed out here- but chosen not to even give a contact address. Wonder why, I still have not figured it out.

In the seven months elapsed since then, I have learnt to even say no to beautiful girls offering me a lift back home from the Mart. How life and time change things.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life, Through a McPane.

One of these days I left home for college - only to realise that I had nothing to eat for lunch. Never mind, I said to myself- let me see if some free pizza party comes up as I get done with my classes... Alas, nothing in a mile's radius seemed anything close to one. The entire world seemed to have decided that I should not be fed that afternoon. Being a vegetarian in the United States is somewhat of a challenge- what with the sparsity of choices, and different meanings to the word "vegetarian" itself- viz. vegetables eggs and fish-eaters, or vegetables and egg-eaters, or the traditional vegetable eater alone. That reflects on the definition of foodstuffs in U.S restaurants too- something I had to contend with, and win against- atleast that afternoon.

The cheapest resort for a filling lunch would surely have to be a McDonald's, and it was right across the road. Couldn't get any better, and I had decided. I would go to a 95% non vegetarian eatery and fight my way through to something edible and vegetarian. Settling down with my "vegetarian" milkshake and side salad, I chose to sit at a place where I could have a view of the crossroad leading into the university. What a perfect lunch- salad and milkshake with noone but the signal signs for company.

Settling into the uncomfortable confines of a tacky and stony chair, there were just two things to do- eat, and gaze. The former was taken care of itself by a magnetically empty tummy. Washing down the milkshake cooled my parched tongue. What a blissful feeling. One moment I close my eyes, and open it back again to see a different world- all the noises have stopped., the waitress goes about her work mumbling something to herself. People cross the junction, cars speed by, muffled rays of sunlight knock on the panes, inching to come in. A girl and a guy hold hands and cross the road- understandably they're in love. A Chevrolet pickup swerves to the right only to encounter a girl in pink crossing the street with her cellphone to the ears. Wonder who she is talking to unmindful of a huge car right behind her. A group of my good friends walk across the signal, laughing and joking about with another guy- who, is not really known to be good. Should I go out and tell them he is upto no good? Maybe no., some things in life, make more sense when not revealed- like say, our future. I sit on, as an old man with a dog crosses by. Wonder if he has been abandoned by his family in this senility, or is on just another walk with his dog.

A hundred more things I note, before the 2$ milkshake empties out to a whimper from the straw when I try sipping on it. Should be the best lunch I had in a while, experiencing a different dimension of life- a-la an audience in a play. Would not the world be so interesting if I looked at it like this all through? Away from all the happenings yet into it, happily having the best seat in the theatre as the others involve themselves in worldly pursuits of love, hate and a thousand other things which would amuse me to no end....

Probably for the first time in life, I had experienced what being God feels like.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Oscar beckons the Madras Mozart.

Stepping into the Oscars weekend of 2009, the whole of India waits in anticipation for its most loved musical son to ascend the hallowed stage of the Kodak Theatre - A.R.Rahman. We need to celebrate the recognition of one of the best music composers who may have graced our land. Here are some of his songs- which were very popular, and some others- which were not so popular, but considered by me as absolutely un-re-creatable classics. Some made me very happy, some brought out the sadness in me, but every song has its rightful place in my heart. For someone in who's music I have lived an entire life, these words don't suffice. I wanted to post lots more, but limited it to just ten. Slumdog Millionaire is not one of his best albums, but Oscar or no Oscar, he is just too good! So here goes, have a good time listening :) Tamil tracks are included here and there, but I have largely kept it confined to Bollywood.

1. Al-Maddath - Mangal Pandey.

2. Chale Chalo - Lagaan.

3. Des Ki Mitti- Bose The Forgotten Hero.

4. Shauk Hai- Guru.

5. Khalbali- Rang De Basanti

6. Pudhu Vellai Mazhai- Roja(Tamil)

7. Ooh La La La - Minsara Kanavu (Tamil)

8. Tanha Tanha- Rangeela.

9. Bombay Theme- Bombay.

10. Ae Ajnabee- Dil Se.

I know some of you may not be satisfied with my selection , but let me tell you these are just what I thought of first. There are too many good songs to post here - may take me forever!

Friday, February 13, 2009


The coarse sand rubs against the soles of my Bata shoes. Distant chants of the Indian Music classes make my ears tingle. I turn around, and a hoard of little children, hands on the shoulders of the one in front- run about from one place to another. A floor above, the bell itches to chime- announcing a break. Stacks of food arrive on a cart to fill up the canteen's coffers. It is going to be a very busy half an hour for them. The clouds have come out in plenty today, announcing a surfeit of respite from the already muted December heat. A gentle moist breeze blows across the little ground- sandwiched in between a concrete jungle. The banners advertising the music season sway in unison- enhancing the effect of an otherwise harmless windy day. Muffled noises of the heavy mid-day traffic outside the school offer a perennial background score to an already noisy scene. Rows of classes piled like matchsticks upon one another, bursting with activity and the exuberance of youth- offer a beautiful sight. Closing my eyes, I can imagine every little action from the sounds accompanying them. Maybe is this what it feels like to be blind? If it were, I would still be happy because the scene I recreate from the things I hear, is probably more beautiful than the actual happenings itself. Wonderful, I say. God gifts everyone with something. Even the "oft-sympathized with" blind have something to feel happy about. Magical, the art of creation.

My eyes open- the lights of my cubicle come back into full effect. The song playing in my headphones seems to have ended- anyways, I do not even remember which song I was hearing to. But the moment, I realise, has transported me back ten years into my life. Everything was so beautiful then, I ask? Yes it was. Right now, it is more of a worry, nevertheless I still find an innate beauty to it. Now, I understand- even a lonely cubicle has something to offer- insight.

This Valentine's day, love the life you lived, are living and will live. You deserve to.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Those one and half minutes...!

The past two weeks have been pretty hectic for me, but I was kind of happy at the response that my review of Dilli 6 had got. Such good music deserves to be appreciated. So, coming to the point- what have I got to rant this time, then? I firmly believe that unless there is something worth writing about, I will not pick up the laptop to punch in whatever you are reading right now. And so it is, this time too. Over the two weeks of "hecticity" (which will probably worsen as winter fades out into spring) I went to a lot of buildings and did an awful lot of walking. When it comes to buildings, most of the American ones are embellished with generously outfitted lifts. Most of them are fast, extremely fast. Some may even claustrophobe you to a nausea- they are that scary. The first time I was in a lift in the US of A, I freaked out completely. My breath went for a walk, jaw dropped, teeth felt like falling out and the stomach felt as if it had been screwed up into my tonsil. The lift covered hardly four to five stories of the building, but it was insanely fast. I don't understand the need for such hugely accelerating lifts! What could people do with saving a milli-second or two? Foist in a date at Starbucks? (if the outlet is existent- I heard the economy busted even them).

Anyways, coming to the issue in question., this is a common experience everyone faces. What do you do when travelling with someone you don't know, in a lift ? I have encountered this problem of late... despite it being just a matter of a minute or two in total, I find it really difficult to remain to myself., keep off looking at what their cellphone looks like or who the person on the other end of the phone might be ( I am certainly not referring to any girl here ;) ) Seconds pass by like days, and the mind repeatedly asks me to look up at the person and give a gentle smile- only to be refused that by my neck muscles. I try to shut my mind and eye to the world, but the claustrophobic metal presses my forehead and pulls my eyelids apart. I proxy-open my cellphone to check non-existent missed calls and messages, only to realise the insides of the lift do not even receive cellphone signals. This is something I have no answer to- the "lift minute", I would say- is equivalent to a 100% busy day, or even more- in "mental confusion" terms. Despite having had so many tough moments in life, I have never come across something as awkward as going on a lift with someone whom you don't even know- for hardly a minute of fleeting company. Irony, they say- is the flavour of life. Bow to you, whoever said that !

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Delhi 6 Music Review (Dilli 6)

What a pity - this single available poster I searched out on the net for Dilli 6, does not have the maestro's name on it as a part of the main credits. Anyways, in short, A.R.Rahman has hit all other composers for a clean six with the Dilli 6 album. Here's a short review of all the songs, in the order that I listened to.

Masakalli - Mohit Chauhan

Originality, and freshness, in instrumentation and tune, and vocals. Mohit Chauhan is the newest talent on the block to be unveiled by Rahman. (Apparently he sung in Jab We Met too, but this song will get him recognition, I bet.) Watch out for him as this song climbs up the charts and stays up there for a good while from now. Instantly likeable, and on repeated listening you tend to notice the background instruments and vocals - this man Mohit has got the metallic tinge to his voice, the likes we saw in Kailash Kher and Javed Ali- he is somewhere in between the two. I absolutely went fida over this song.

Maula Arziyaan - Javed Ali, Kailash Kher

Astounding. Brilliant. Devout. Goosebumpy. Powerful. Five words to describe this song. The twosome I referred to before, come together to give this splendid number, ( I reckon its a Sufi style devotional song on the lines of Khwaja from Jodha Akbar ). This song is going to be played ages down the line for the definition of a devotional composition. Eight and a half minutes of bliss, and beautifully rendered verses. May generate tears of happiness, in my case it did.

Rehna Tu - A R Rahman, Benny Dayal, Tanvi

Sung by Rahman himself, the first impression this song gives you is that its one of those "forgettable numbers" you hear while dining at a restaurant. Truth that it is just not that. Goes up and down, stops when you think it would'nt, and the last two minutes define the difference between Rahman and other composers. I just cannot think of anyone who would thrust in an instrumental like that in such a song other than Rahman! Modern music to start off with, Arabic in between, and Classical to end it! Loved it on repeated listening, and the last two minutes I went ballistic with Rahman on the Continuum. Please tell me the raga in which the last classical piece is set in, I love it!

Delhi 6 - Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Vivinenne Pocha, Tanvi, Claire

A good title song for a movie, works wonders for its publicity , like we saw with Sivaji and many other Rajni movies. This one delivers, bigtime. Set keeping in the partying-multiplexing generation in mind, the familiar grooving and mixing associated with DJ-ing make this number a good peppy one to listen to. Nice rhyme scheme for the lyrics :)

Hey Kaala Bandar - Karthik, Naresh, Srinivas, Bony Chakravarthy

Reminds me of "Kama Kama" from the Tamil movie "Enakku 20 Unakku 18", and more recently "Behka" from Ghajini in the way the lyrics are tinkered with to set in the tune. Nevertheless, this one is also a party track, but Rahman would not leave it at that would he ? Starts off with a "Desert Rose"ish vocal, and later he brings in some competition between the singers Karthik, Naresh, Srini and Bony and it ends up being quite a lot to reckon with on first hearing. Glaring similarity to "Dil ka rishta" from Yuvvraaj (in the humming) notwithstanding, repeated listening makes things clearer - this one is the "in" thing for ringtones. Overall, good work.

Genda Phool - Rekha Bharadwaj, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Majumdar

Newbies at it again. Rahman uses a completely new set of singers for this composition, which is kind of the Ila Arun type lusty numbers. Effortless on the singing, and not a huge effort for the ears to take- this one meanders on, decent number. Not the best one, but is passable.

Noor- Amitabh Bachchan

This one's poetry, rendered by Amitabh Bachchan. I do not know why its been included in the album, but the verses are nice :)

Bhor Bhayi - Shreya Ghoshal,Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Gujri Todi

One of the best numbers in the album, this one's branded Hindustani from second one. Brilliant singing by Shreya Goshal with good backing by the Ustad. If you are a classical music person, this one will entice you to no end. It is just an immense pleasure listening to Bhor Bhayi! Rahman should be lauded for venturing into this one.

Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein) - Rekha Bharadwaj, Kishori Gowariker, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Majumdar

As the title reads, its a Mangal Aarti song- makes for good listening, and is otherwise not a mainstream composition. Characterized with good vocal-instrument synchronisation.

Dil Gira Dafatan - Ash King, Backing: Chinmayee

Reminds me of some old Hindi song, but I liked this somehow. Its different, slow, got a beautiful guitar accompaniment throughout , thrumming into the ears- grows into a joyful symphony full of little nuances. Ash has sung it very well, Chinmayee impresses in the little that is given to her( I just wish she had a song for herself :( ) I just hope this does not go into the background score in the movie. It somehow feels like the type of song when parting with home and sundry. The surprise of the album, is this. I didn't expect it!

On the whole, Arabic, Classical, Hindustani, Modern music. Peppy numbers, sad ones, mangal aarties, classical, party tracks, symphonies - got to be A.R.Rahman's best work in a while. Notches above Yuvvraaj in its range and reach- splendid on the ears. This man has proven he is worth his weight in Golden Globes.

Delhi 6 - 9.5/10.

(make my previous rating of 9/10 for Yuvvraaj, 7 on 10. Rahman has pushed the scale up further with Delhi 6. )