Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Blues

He was typing on his mobile, what was apparently, an sms. He wasn't typing fast, atleast not when compared to the speeds at which a lot of people he had been with typed. They used to type like life depended on it! And he used to wonder, maybe it really did. Maybe the person recieving the message, was all that mattered to the sender. And sometimes the smile that appeared on their faces, when a new message came, only reinforced his belief.

His message wasn't going to hold anybody's life at stake. Not today. Not this cold saturday afternoon. Maybe never. The match on tv was as lacklustre as the commentary that was fell in his ears every now and then. Sending a text message was definitely something better to concentrate on. It was the “in” thing after all…being occupied with your mobile while the person sitting next to you is trying to make a conversation with you. His case was better. The only person around, was in the kitchen. And she didn’t have to use text messaging to remind him food was ready.

His life couldn’t have been more exciting. A newfound corporate job with a paycheck that could’ve sustained a typical lower-middle class family a decade ago, a bunch of amicable colleagues, who smiled at him whenever he smiled at them, and a mobile phone that could even send text messages! And today was a holiday! Today was the day he had all the time in the world to spend, the way he wanted. Which was exactly his problem. He had tried calling home a couple of people he considered friends, who took liberty of the same, to tell him he was too boring to meet up with. He was sick of staring into the computer screen, and certainly not in the mood for music.

He wondered if he was asking too much of God. Why had God not made him like others? Why did he look different from the rest? Why did he not “belong” to groups? Why was he unable to penetrate beyond basic pleasantries when talking to people? Why was he not engaged in long, hushed conversations? Why did he not have a shoulder to lean on? Why was he unable to spend one Saturday afternoon in peace? Was this “insecurity”, as one of his “friends” put it? He continued typing. In a few seconds he would’ve sent his message. He would’ve become like the others. For he would’ve done something normal. The few seconds passed… And a few more… Finally his mobile buzzed! The message he had sent to himself arrived…

Everything we get in life is a compromise for something we want, and everything life doesn't give us,is what we want most

Monday, October 22, 2007

Big Lie Small World

We have blogs at Cognizant. Decided to start one. Called it Blogarhythm. Made my first post today. Here goes!

"Hello World" goes the default heading of the first post. Gets me wondering…will my hello make a difference to the world? What makes you think the world's gonna sit up and take notice when I say hello? For one, I'm pretty sure the number of people reading this post would shrink into oblivion when compared with the number of people who don't even know it exists! Heck an average American would hesitate if you asked him where the Eiffel Tower is, before giving you "U.K" for a reply* ! Here we are talking about one ordinary post in one very ordinary blog, saying "Hello!" to the world!

Ok, by now you've probably assumed I'm either nuts or totally zonked in the head. Let me clarify. I'm both. Its the world that drives us all nuts. As for the zonked part, I couldn't come up with an option for the "either" clause in the previous sentence, so used it :P !! And why does the world drive us nuts?? The Aristotles and Socrateses couldn't answer that, so don't look for the answer here…For those who argue that the aforementioned gentlemen DID answer the question, I'm not a student of philosophy. Whats the point of having complicated, incomprehensible answers to simple questions, if a common man cannot understand them?!! And for those who argue that the world DOES NOT drive us nuts, here's my answer: if the world didn't drive us nuts, we wouldn't have had a Shakespeare writing a Hamlet, or the millions of students across the globe (literally) whose lives were made miserable by it…if the world didn't drive us nuts, we wouldn't have had a Devdas drinking his way to perdition, or the hundreds of cinema goers content with watching his sob story unfold, brought to life (err done to death??) by a very mediocre actor trying hard to convince he's actually sobbing…the list goes on.

So why this post?? And why so many questions?? What am I trying to say?? I happen to be at my cynical best/worst right now, and have nothing better to do than inaugrate my blog with this post:P. I agree this is just another attempt to be different, but isn't that what we all strive for?? The relentless pursuit to be different, to do things no one has done? To show others that we have done something they probably haven't? Only, little do we realize that they too have done things you haven't! They are different too! I guess the irony "Remember you are unique…just like everyone else" sums it up.

This post has probably driven you nuts by now. Ofcourse it will, and I have every right to feel proud if it indeed has. Because now I am part of this world too! And the world drives people nuts! If this post hasn't driven you nuts, then yo're probably nuts already!

Coming soon: Why bolts are better than nuts

*Americans are dumber than you would've expected. Proof coming up in the next post


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Winning Note!

I'm just back from a press conference at GRT Grand days hotel in Chennai. We went there thinking the winners of the finals would be announced. Our band Srishti has lost the semifinals. We thought we had been called to cheer the other bands. A buffet later, we were ushered into the conference hall. Krish anchored the proceedings as usual.

We were told Rahman Sir wouldn't be coming as it was Ramzan Day and that the verdict was recorded at his studio and would be played to us. The three finalists in contention were : Oxygen, Zinx and V3.

Then they played a video about how it all began and where it had reached now, interspersed with Rahman Sir talking about the show and the talent that was exhibited. Then there was a dance performance for the Ooh La la la song. Then there was the vote of thanks, thanking everyone involved. This was followed by another dance performance by the same group, to Athiradee.I could judge the restlessess of the finalists, waiting for the results! As for our band, we were just waiting to pounce on the winning band, and ask them to treat us.

Then it was time to announce the results! Krish announced that Rahman Sir would announce the result played on video. Rahman Sir spoke. A brief of what he said : Sir felt all the bands exceeded his expectations. Also he said that there were some aspects that were expected from bands, which were not exhibited by some, and some other aspects which he least expected, but was exhibited by the bands.

Then came the surprise/shock of the day. Rahman ji said that he didn't like judging because it was very difficult. He also said he couldn't decide on ONE winner alone. So he had chosen 6 winners!!!

*Silence*

And on expected lines, the three finalists were announced as the first three winners (in no particular order).
Then he announced Agam, Madras Tunes and Srishti (Yes thats us!!!) as the other 3 winners!

This was the moment of my life! The biggest surprise ever. Even thrilling was watching Rahman Sir, the only inspiration behind any music we've made. watching the video of our band perform in the quarterfinals and comment on our performance. Sir said he liked our boldness of expression, and our attitude onstage, and that there was Jeevan in our music!

What happened next is just a vague remembrance now... Hugs, photo sessions, the trophy and speaking to the media, thanking Rahman sir, 2 gulab jamoons, a sandwich and an ice cream..a few phone calls...Back home.

And here I am typing this writeup to the group!!!

Do watch the final episode tomorrow ie SUNDAY , the 14th of October, on Sun TV at 8.30 PM!
LONG LIVE ARR!!
LONG LIVE HIS MUSIC!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The full signature! ( Or how I almost sang in front of ARR )

Yesterday the shooting for the finals of Ooh La La took place at
Chettind Vidyashram auditorium. Our band, Srishti had lost the semis.
We were called along with some of the other bands to perform one song
together. We chose Vande Mataram. Two days of hard practice and the
song was ready. Basically it was a transition from the National song
to its unforgettable album version and then to Aazadi ( my idea :D ).

The shooting of the finals episode was to start at 7 pm. Three
finalists 3 songs each. Going by previous experience, I was quite sure
it would start much later, and was prepared for a late night showdown.
We were to do our song after the three bands were finished. I started
from home at around 10.30.

The atmosphere was electric. The first band had finished shooting 2
songs. The third was to start. There he was! Sitting on a sofa on a
separate dias. And we were seated hardly 10 feet away from him!! There
we sat watching the band perform. I was watching ARR's reactions
throughout the performance.

Once the third song was done, there was the usual gap when the next
band sets up on stage. This was my chance. I asked Selvakumar Sir (who
provided us a practice pad and is a close associate of Rahman Sir), if
my sister and I could take a snap with him. He agreed and up we went
on stage. To my surprise, I was introduced to Rahman Sir as the singer
of Srishti and he seemed to remember the band !! Click!

Next band onstage. Their second song got over. Another chance. Went
onstage with our band's female vocalist, and Selvakumar Sir
reintroduced both of us!! This time the conversation with boss was
longer. I asked him if he had heard our band. He said "yes"!!! I asked
him for an autograph on a piece of paper I'd managed to find. And I
requested him to sign his name fully, saying the last two times he had
given me an autograph, it was just his initials :P!! Sir smiled and
obliged with :

Lots of love,

Rahman

A R R


Click!!!

It was around 2 am and Sir was getting late for a flight. Shooting
went at a faster pace. The three bands were done performing, and
Rahman Ji was called onstage to announce results. There were quite a
few funny moments, with the shot of him walking up the stage having
many retakes. A visibly amused ARR hopped on one leg between takes :P!!

ARR spoke a few words about the competition and its positive effects.
There was tremendous tension in the air. Then came the anticlimax of
the day. ARR said he wasnt going to announce the results as he wasnt
ready with them yet, and that he would have to go back home, think and
decide!! Then he presented a Yamaha Keyboard to one of the bands, as a
special mention, praising them for their performance at a young age.
Then he said "bye guys"

Only later did we realise it meant he was leaving the sets, and going
back home. Disappointment. ARR would not be there to see our
performance :( H.Sridhar ji who was at the mixing console, was very
particular about pitching and warned us he would decrease levels if
the voices went out of scale :P! We went onstage, rehearsed,
performed. !! It was 4.30 am. My voice was gone by now, and my
throat was sore. Time to leave. Few photographs with the friends we
made in the other bands. Many goodbyes. Back home by 6.30.

Am I happy?? Yes. 2 photographs and an autograph...And an assurance
that ARR will watch our performance on TV.
But a slight sense of disappointment lingers. Would've been such an
experience singing with the MAN right in front of us!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pics at AM Studios!!






1. Me on an electronic organ!
2. Me again :P!!
3. With our band drummer Prasanna

Met the Mozart of Asia...speechless!

Today is a great day for me. After 7th October 2005, today is when I got my proper chance to meet A.R.Rahman the legend, the God of Indian music! We were called to AM studios at 5 PM. The studio is beautiful!! We were told to wait in a room to which we had to go downstairs and take another flight of stairs. As we proceeded downstairs, I saw a white Innova taxi pull up at the gate. And lo! ARR steps out of the vehicle, clad in a white kurta! He casts a glance towards the four of us who were there, and goes up through another entrance.

The excruciating wait of half an hour downstairs was well...excruciating, especially when you know ARR is up there inside! And finally, our chance came. "Srishti!" came the call, and we were ushered into the lobby where we had earlier been seated. I'll describe the lobby later :P!
There he was! The man! The legend! We had taken cameras along, only to learn we couldn't take pics :( But there was the press, and they were taking pics of each band with Boss.

Rahman Sir looked at me and said "hi". I blurted out a " Hello Sir" when what I actually wanted to say was something like "Do you realize what a great moment this is for me Mr. Rahman, and it lies entirely in your hands to make it last for more than a minute"!
Then Rahman Sir asked us how the experience was.
"Great"
And then he asked is to sit in a couch. I sat between our guitarist and our other vocalist. And Rahman Sir right behind me, resting his hand on the sofa! Click!

We were promised the photos would be sent to us as soon as possible.

Now to the lobby. Gr8 ambiance, with loads of oriental wall hangings, and other stuff. Particularly noticeable were some electric wall hangings, that glowed like lightning bolts, all of which converged around your hand when you touched them! Plus there was an electronic organ at one corner. Then the showcase. This was interesting. Loads of awards, including those from CNN-IBN, Filmfare etc were there. And below was a small bookshelf. Some of the books I saw there: One about microphone techniques, few books on Islam, a couple from a series called Great Composers, on Mozart and Bach, a book about Superbowl, an edition of Society Magazine with ARR on the cover...

I am right now out of words, exhausted, exhilarated, excited and drained!! All this happened just 3 hours ago! Will post pics and more when I regain consciousness! :P

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Update: Ooh la la la

The semifinals of Ooh la la la are going to take place on the 1st and 2nd of September. The finals will be on the 4th of September. Yes you heard right! The 9 bands that are in are supposed to prepare for the semis as well as the finals!!
Here's what we are supposed to do for the semifinals:

An instrumental version of any song by Boss!!(Vocals without lyrics allowed)

An acoustic composition (read NO electronic instruments) based on a theme which will be given shortly by Gautam Menon

For finals,

A song based on a theme given by Rahman Sir

A song written by Vaali Sir


Boy this whole month's gonna be hectic! We are going to have grooming sessions for each instrumentalist, by eminent personalities this weekend. These include Keith Peters for bass, Vasundara Das for vocal techniques, Illayaraja Sir's guitarist for the guitars and so on!

And apparently they have a surprise waiting for us on Sunday evening. My guess is as good as yours!! Hoping this dream comes true!!

Plus, we'll be having practise sessions throughout this month. Ooh can't wait to get started!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ooh la la la baby!!


Ok, I'm in a state of unadulterated excitement and happiness, and its distracting me from typing. The past three days have been a strain on the nerve and a pain in the ass. Talkin of ass, he did a great job and so did the rest of us. Yeah Ass (with the capital A) is our guitarist's nickname. We are into the semi finals, yes, SEMI FINAS of Ooh La La La !! We are one of 6 bands that have made it from all over the state. My conscience tells me I'm bragging. My conscience be damned!

We were supposed to shoot day before. The elimination process in this show goes like this: 18 bands in the quarter finals are grouped into 3 bands a group, and each episode covers these 3 bands. 2 bands are eliminated, and thus, 6 bands make it to the semis. We were told our competitiors were Yuj and E-Flat. Having heard both bands, our confidence level kinda dipped. And the shoot getting postponed only made the situation worse!

Today, we went to AVM studios by 12 noon. Sivamani Sir, Vasundara Das and Paul Jacob sir are the judges. Having not attended a grooming session by Paul Sir, we were worried he might think we were being complascent. E Flat performed first, and they put up a great show! Then came our turn!!!!!

There's something about the audio and the stage that gets your adrenaline pumping, for as soon as we set foot on stage, there was this feeling of let-anything-happen-don-give-a-damn! A couple of rehearsals and we were on! Take 1!
And then the remix...We did a funk-jazz-rockish adaptation of Mankuyile Poonkuyile :D!! Again a coupla rehearsals and Take 1!
Boy was it fun onstage! The energy was so contagious, I almost fell on my guitarist who had somehow managed to get right behind me!!

Then the third band performed. Yuj couldn't make it, so it was a band called Tarangam. Meanwhile the other bands had to sit in another room and watch the proceedings on a plasma TV, and give feedback. The sad part was, while we were giving bytes, the TV was muted, and that was exactly when Sivamani sir made a call to Ilayaraja Sir, and kept a mike to the phone mouthpiece for the audience to hear!! We thought it was ARR he was speaking to. What a wonderful opportunity missed! Hearing the maestro comment on our performance!!

Time for results...nervous...bated breath...one representative from each band goes onsage...red light shines on the eliminated band's rep...first its Tarangam...now its just US and E Flat...equally competitive teams...Paul Jacob Sir lists our pluses and minuses...and the countdown begins...one...two...cut!...retake...anchor talks...one...cut!!...more talk...one...two...three.....

We've won. Our reactions are being captured on cam. We watch, as our bassist stands under green light, with a plain look on his face. Those french chicks I didn't mention earlier are happy we won!! They'd been praying sincerely that we win!! So much for global appeal :P! The judges are called onstage! Sivamani sir starts some percussion, and Vasundara joins him on the vocals...we jam along, our claps setting the tempo...We're happy...exhilarated...beyond words!!!

A few more pics with the celebs, a few more handshakes, and am back home typing this, wondering whatever the hell happened to my english and creative writing skills!

PS: ARR was one foot away from me a coupla days ago when I was watching another band perform. Was around 1 am! He left in a minute, so no pics, no autograph :( But gr8 feeling all the same!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Current situation

I'm grateful to God for a lot of things. And a lot of other things, I'm praying I'll be grateful for, in the near future. As it is here's an update of things that have happened in life recently:

1. Giving my GRE in 2 days. Preparation is okay
2.Formed a band called Srishti, made some good music and friends
3. Entered "Ooh La la" and got through to the second round, the briefing of which is being given by none other than A.R.Rahman, even as I sit and type this, to Aswath, our band guitarist! (Only one person allowed, and GRE looming large, I cant believe I'm not there boo hoo!)
4. Waiting for date of joining from CTS. Hope it takes time. Hardly enjoyed the holidays :(
5. Lots of treats pending, all deferred until after GRE
6.Life is hectic!

More posts to follow about the inception of Srishti and subsequent developments. No more posts about GRE :P!!

Why this post?? In the words of an old mallu friend : Simbly!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The moment!

In typical Anna University style, the results have come out just when you didn't give a damn about them. And I've just learnt that I'm an engineer now! My mom ad sister are right by my side wondering wat the hell i'm doin,. And my friend, 2 yrs junior to me, is trying his best to distract me. This is the moment, and i'm ecstatic. Here comes ravikiran's call. I'm seeing his results. don mind the typos, the human mind behaves oddly and limbs freeze wen in tension. What am i typing *&%$&^! Anyway Ravikiran is BE too and i'm happy for all the souls who have completed it with me!

Bottomline:





















Vijaynarain is B.E, Computer Science and Engineering!

(u see bottomline should be at te bottom hence the space :D)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rang-e-Khoda



Just saw this movie. I'm not going to review it. But I couldn't resist writing about this amazing piece of cinema, only now that I've begun, I'm searching for words. When you know a movie's about a disabled person, you kinda expect some emotional string-pulling. This movie doesn't pull strings, it plays tug of war!

Majid Majidi's Rang-e-Khoda (wrongly translated to Color of paradise instead of Color of God) is the best film I've seen till date. I would equate its brilliance to that of The Shawshank Redemption and October Sky. Like his Bacheha ye Aasman (Children of heaven), Majidi uses the child protagonist to take you through the story.

Mohammed is a blind boy whose father takes him to their village for vacations. His father, who has had a difficult time bringing him up after his wife's death, wants to apprentice him to a blind carpenter. The father has plans for remarriage, and his blind son is an embarrassment. What unfolds is a story of kindness, desperation, helplessness against the forces of nature, and ultimately surrender to the supreme power. All this is portrayed with a screenplay that is sheer poetry. This movie has made me realise that Iran is more than just desert and mountains what with heavenly locales, wonderful cinematography and the best acting I’ve seen in a long time. Watch this movie.