Wednesday, December 22, 2010

VJam- My gig at the Russian Cultural Center

Folks I’m performing with my band at the Russian Cultural Center on Thursday December 23rd at 7.30 PM. So please be there for

VJam- Vijaynarain Live


We’ll be doing everything from popular film songs and western numbers adapted to funk and rock grooves to random jamming and letting loose on stage. Maybe even an own composition or two. So be there and kickstart your Christmas weekend by screaming your lungs out!

The Lineup:

Vocals: R Vijaynarain, Harini S

Keys: Prashanth Techno

Bass: John Praveen

Drums: Ved Shankar

Reasons why coming to my gig is better than doing anything else that day:

It’s after office hours

Anything else isn’t as important as supporting this poor blogger by cheering for him

You will be given special treatment if you’re a hot chick or bring a few to the gig

Least important of all these reasons : ENTRY IS FREE. ABSOLUTELY. YEAH YOU READ IT RIGHT! See you there !!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

If you don't find this post awesome...

I am suffering from a writer's block. Hence I haven't really been able to come up with any of my awesomatic self praising attention whoring posts of late. The very fact that I've realized this and set out

to write THIS post should give you an idea of how awesome I am. Heck, robots go crazy after me and call their creator "Yeah You-suck Asimov".



The trouble with being a writer is that there is always an itch to write, no matter how much or how less you have written. The trouble is not the itch itself, because itches are never really trouble if you've noticed. I mean compare an itch with a headache or a running nose, or if you're female, with a bad hair day, and you'll know what I mean. All you need to do about an itch is scratch. Like the adage (add age to any piece of crap someone said and it becomes an adage) goes, Scratch the itch, screw the .



Coming right back to where I left (you'll notice I'm really good at directions, so add that to your list of "Reasons why Vijay is awesomatic, hereafter referred to as Awesometer"), the trouble is not the itch itself, but the fact that this particular writing itch is hard to scratch. Remember the first time you learnt to write A,B,C,D on a slate in kindergarden? All you did was scratch the "balpam" on the slate and you got whacked by the teacher because your A wasn't straight. If she'd taught you G and Y too, she would've realized not everything is straight and maybe spared you the cane and "A"ble

(A+syllabyle= "A"ble, invented here for the sole purpose of showing the world I know about the Jeffery Archer novel though I have't read it. Awesometer++). I bet DJ's had it much easier in school than we IT blokes did. All they needed to do was learn CD and they could scratch all they want!



So, in my case, the only way to scratch my itch to write, is by actually writing. I'm sure YOU, reading this post right now think it sucks (though you might not want to tell me because you think, rather, KNOW I'm awesome). I'll save you the trouble. Of course this post sucks! It sucks the readers' attention completely and stirs in them a deep sense of introspection, encouraging them to question the very tenets of the whatever-isms they grew up believing in and tempts them to break free from the shackles of mundane existence. If this post hasn't done that to you yet, go to the post office and try your luck there. If however, you do not have time to go to the post office, let me let you in on a dark secret. It is very important to know the value of time. After sunset, the value of time is exactly 18 (hence the DARKkness of the secret I just revealed). This was computed by the same machine that came up with 42. I'm sure if I don't mention it right now, there'll be some smartass asking a "bright" question on the lines of "What is the value of time after sunrise?" Go figure it out yourself! I only promised to let you in on a dark secret, not a bright one!



Ok so this post is long enough to publish, and the awesometer arrow just broke out of it and shot into the sky. Google tells me it's orbiting the earth just behind the hubble space telescope. As much as you want me to continue, I am going to have to conclude this post. So let me conclude by actually completing the title, which if you've noticed is incomplete. If you don't find this post awesome, don't read it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Love- Make that change

They should know that actions speak

Much louder than words

And learn a thing or two

From the bees and the birds



So stop the cussing and the fussing

It ain't each other's lives you're messing

If it's a mess that you want

Do what you say, it's not like you can't



A little love and a little hope

And you will with each other cope

Agreed the grass appears better there

But whatever the pitch, perfect your stroke



A life of happiness and peace you'll lead

Brothers and sisters you'll live to feed

And breed, goodwill, freedom and joy

So set your sails! Love ahoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jhoota Hi Sahi- First thoughts (Quite literally)

I am writing this as I'm listening to JHS for the first time. These opinions might not exactly be the same in a week or so :)

Hello Hello

Love the bassline and the filtered strings. Lazy feel, instant appeal. Majorish transition though kind of expected still works! Nice singing by Karthik.

Verdict: Like this song at first listen. I think will go on to love it



Do Nishaniyan

Starts off almost exactly like the Oru Naal Unnai Naan phrase in mannippaya. Why do I feel there isn't clarity of vocals?? Is that second bgm a continuum?? String runs, swells, crescendos... Song seems to have all ARR elements intact.

Verdict: This song will take time to grow I guess. Sounds good at first listen.



Pam Para

Shreya :D Like the way the song starts. Sounds like vintage Rahman. Wait I'm just 40 seconds into the song. What's with Shreya sounding all college girlish! Ok I am NOT biased towards this song because there's Shreya in it. As it progresses, it does seem to get a little monotonous. I'll give it some time.

Verdict: This might go on to be a big hit. Commercial stuff.



I'll Be Waiting

Oh man Jazz!! This one's gonna be a hot favourite of mine! Vijay Yesudas singing in English??!! Very very good! Man this song's killer! The Tu Bole of JHS. Another ode to good ol' Louis Armstrong? Expected a sax bgm, got one. The strings backing is super brilliant. I am not even paying attention to the tune because I know it'll be fabulous and will grow on me the more I listen to it. The overall feel of it is AMAZING.

Verdict: To borrow from Woody Allen, I luurrrve it!



Do Nishaniyaan (Heartbreak Reprise)

The first one sounded like heartbreak too. Can't seem to find much difference in the feel in both versions. Like the flute bgm. Why so much autotune in the aalap :(

Verdict: Same as the first version



Call me Dil

Saw Rahman sir performing this at Saregamapa and was blown away. Why didn't he sing the final version?? The "Call me Dil" chorus is awesome. Song has a very positive vibe to it and I'm loving it.

Verdict: This will be on my playlist for a while. Would've loved an unplugged version



Mayya Yashoda (Both versions)

Ok I'm used to this and Cry Cry as I've heard it multiple times already. Love the singing and flute. Vintage ARR sitar bgm backed by lovely strings. And just noticed, the synth bass line is sexy. Tempo changes work fabulously in creating a very upbeat mood. Respect to Javed's last sangathi! Thames mix is groovy. More or less the same stuff with an extra thump and groovy programming. The flute fits seamlessly into this remix ;) Love the ending

Verdict: Like the original version better than the remix, but then again, the original's so good, even the remix is a notch above a lot of other original compositions I've been hearing of late ;)



Cry Cry

Not yet saturated with this song, having heard it atleast forty times till now. Love the arrangements. Bass slides every now and then, the EP grooves, some awesome chord work when Shreya sings. And that last harmony in Cry Cry! Song's a hit already. This is probably my second favourite song in the album from what I've heard so far.

Verdict: Works big time!



Overall

Firstly, all those who dissed the CWG theme, well STFU. JHS is here and here to stay!

Love this album, although I might not have been able to get the hang of most of the songs at one go. I have a feeling it'll be a sure shot hit, and heck even if it's not, it's got some really really good music and that's all that matters. I have been looking forward to this one, and I am certainly not disappointed. Another week and the songs will sink into my system in all their glory. I'll write again then. Perhaps not, I'll just enjoy the music. You do too! And please. Buy the CD!

Friday, September 03, 2010

The CWG Theme... My Take on all the BS

The commonwealth games theme song is out. With all the controversy shrouding the games, it is but natural that Mr.A.R.Rahman would not be spared either. Hasn't it always been characteristic of our sensationalist media to pull attention to shy, non controversial, rather subdued yet iconic people like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahman into controversy given the slightest opportunity? And that despite being world beaters at their respective professions, they have time and again managed to come out unscathed, only to silence critics to kingdom come!



What seems to irk people is the price quoted for the song. While the veracity of this amount still remains to be established, I personally feel there is nothing wrong if the song indeed came at such a price. After all you are hosting an international event, and more importantly you are signing up an international music icon to represent your country. You are signing up the brand that is A.R.Rahman. And brands come at a price. Any Tom Dick and Harrish could have been roped in to compose the theme song. The song would've still worked. But when you're hosting an international event in your country, it becomes imperative to show up in your best dress. With everything else about the cwg going haywire and corruption rearing its now familiar head with an extra smirk on its face, A.R.Rahman is the only positive buzzword. But no, we don't want to let him be either!



Coming to the song itself, I personally like it. Yes there are songs by the maestro in recent times that I have liked better, but this song is still very good. For a sports theme, I think this is more than sufficient. If at all I would pick out one sore aspect, it would be the lyrics. But what exactly were the critics expecting? Another Vande Mataram? Had that happened they would've said the song sounds repetitive. If ARR had done this song free of cost I'm sure the same people bickering now would've had different opinions. Maybe they would've even liked the song!



Success makes people jealous. Other people's success I mean. I read a rather surprising article in a newspaper asking people about the song. The "people" being questioned were supposedly singers and composers no one had heard of (and hopefully wouldn't want to hear or hear of), and everything from the tone of the article to the opinions expressed was utterly negative. Almost as if someone at the newspaper decided to launch a personal tirade against the composer.



To these people and others who think Rahman didn't deserve what he got for this song, I have some questions. Would you rather have composed this theme? Who are you? Did you slog your butt off and win the country two Oscars, Grammys and some hundred other awards and still remain composed and firmly grounded? Having said that, I'm sure A.R.Rahman's goals weren't winning awards. They came to him, and not the other way round. When the Oscars came there were people who said he didn't deserve them. Funny it wasn't them that were part of the jury but much more qualified musicians instead.



I am not saying you shouldn't dislike the song. Everyone has a right to like or dislike the song and express it. But dislike it because it doesn't appeal to you musically, not because your mind is conditioned to dislike everything about the Commonwealth, thanks to corruption and media hype, or because Rahman allegedly got paid an amount you wouldn't be able to charge in your profession because you aren’t half as good in what you do as he is in music.



For those who like it, enjoy the music. My sincere appeal to true fans of the legend to not feed this controversy with angry retorts and to avoid arguments that you know you can't win with logic. Because our icon is not someone whose reputation we should be damaging by cheap fanboy-ism. Nothing irks bad mouthers like silence and patience. I have seen genius at work, and trust me, his genius combined with inhuman mental equilibrium is something we can only dream of achieving! A.R.Rahman is beyond all this, and he will be back with some great music. And that is all we should be looking forward to!



Ever a true Rahman fan.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

[Serial] Will Chandru Kalakkify? (aka Amu-kky Vaasippala?)- Part 2

2

Roughed by the days’ happenings, with a grimace, Chandru got down to work. He was drained completely yet he had to do what his boss had asked him to do. His mind was like that of a zombie waiting to ghoul on his boss. He opened his communicator and searched for the associate’s name whom he was supposed to approach regarding the networking problem.

Amuthavalli? How on earth can peoples have this name and all ? Our peoples have a very decent and modern tradition of having names like ‘Sreesanth’ , ‘Bindhu’, ‘Kichu’, ‘Reshma’ . Wish I got a chance to talk to someone whose name was a sweet poetry like the Chakkapazham Halwa J

By now you must have guessed what had happened? Yes, Chandru pinged Amy thinking he had pinged Amuthavalli. Realising the mistake shortly, he was in a sticky situation whether to continue the conversation with Amy or to apologize and ping the right person thereby doing his work. After a moment of deliberation, he decided to flirt with Amy for after all if she were hot (of course there’s no way he’d find out right now), she would be his ‘Chanda’ and if not he had nothing to lose in his world of daydreaming. There with all his might, and a silent prayer to Guruvayoorappan, he pinged… THUD !

***

Humans have this uncanny ability to express their thoughts in words. What humans lack sometimes is the ability to think. This often results in a lot of words being exchanged, especially when there are many people in conversation, and little actually being said. Which was precisely what was happening in the conference call Amy was in… Of course, she had company in Alex, at the other end of the line. About the only redeeming aspect of these calls was the hilarity that used to ensue when Alex, with his American accent spoke and everyone derived new meaning from his words, ultimately resulting in Alex sending out a mail to the team after the call, detailing everything that he said and hence defeating the purpose of the call itself.

There wasn’t much work today and as she got back to her seat, Amy chose to ignore Umesh’s chat window. Marriage… Something that would change her life forever… Curtail her freedom; if that’s what she could call her current state…Maybe even make her quit her job. She didn’t want to get hitched this soon. She wanted to enjoy life, though she didn’t exactly know its exact definition. She wanted to have some fun.

Fun came in the form of popup chat window. The name read Naryanan, Chandramouleeswaran. He had asked about some network issue she had no clue of and then realized he was looking for Amuthavalli and not Amruthavalli. However, the conversation didn’t end there…

***

The chat:

Amy (A):

I think you're mistaken. I'm not amuthavalli. I'm amRuthavalli

Chandru (C):

Hey am sorry da. I did that by mistake without knowledge

Amy’s Mind Voice: ”Da” it seems. Talk of making mistakes with knowledge!

A:

No issues

Chandru’s Mind Voice: What to start with now?

C:

Hey what kind of work you do?

A: I pluck lice out of hairy males in office. What's his problem?

I write code. I guess we all do, don't we?

C:

lolzzz ya but my work is so boring ya.. i listened to music and read e books in the meantime

A: Oh my IQ just shot up triple digits knowing that. Is today "world talks to Amy in bad english" day or

what!! Ok so Mowglee wants to have fun! Time to give back. Localese ahoy!

Ya ma. Wat to do. I also listen all kinds of musics da.

C: Pat on my back. Its working successfully more than my code !

What kind of music you listen ? I love A R Rahman , Shakira and most of all my favvourite is BSB.. they are just awesome and they rock the world . I can also sing their songs fully

A:I bet you have a secret fetish for Nick Carter!

Oh even I listened ya, but now and all only Tamil fast musics. I like that Bailamo Simaro Lano song very much

C: Huh ?? What song is this ? May be she is telling some other English song . Lets pretend to know it

somehow and manage it by talking about books.

I also like that song so much. Anyways do you read books da?

A:

Yes I do. You too a?

C:

Hey books are my favourite pastimes da. I read Chetan bhagat' 'two states' 15 times you know ? I loved that book so much da. It just talks about love and lovers nicely

A: I bet your first book was five point someone!

Oh I haven't read that

C: Wow ! Success ! I can talk about the book and show how good am I in literature !

The book tells properly about the state of lovers in our country da. You know all the problems lovers face in our country na ? Thats so nicely written in that book anyways you also read the book and tell ur experience to me da

What are the other books you read ?

A: Ayn Rand, Amitav Ghosh, Wodehouse

I read Harry Potter. I will read two states ya. It seems very interesting da

Hey I call you Mowgli means ok va?

I like that name da

C:

Hey thanks so much da. I like the name so much how do you think of that name ?

A:

Oh simply. I like that jungle book on tv ma. You want keep me name?

C:

Hey of course da Wait thinking of a name.. But your name is very old ma. You not feeling sad about that?

A:The guts you son of a… !

No I dont. I am happy with my name yaaar. You dont want means dont keep name. Bye

C:

Hey no no da. Dont get angry like this. I'll definitely keep you one name. Is JLo ok ?

Cozz i like her voice so much ma. My room full of her posters onyl

A:Does JLo know this!

Call me Amy da. Better. No, not angry

My turn bimbo!

So mowgli, what other stuffs do you like?

C: She don’t even know Backstreet boys but wants western name ha ha

Amy eh ? It sounds very cool ma I like the name so much. Its as sweet like you

A:

How do you know I am sweet da? You are clairvoyant?

Oops he doesnt know what it means

I mean are you future teller by reading mind?

C: Cha i missed a chance to impress her! Thought of googling the meaning of the word ! lets manage it

Hey i know that word da. Anyways i love freaking out with friends and then partying , dancing and all

A: Agree with the “freaking people out” part! Where do you party? Ahobila Mutt?

Oh hey me too ya. You know we very similar I think.

Hey Mr.Desperate, catch this!

So you have a girlfriend a? Party with girlfriend a ;-)

C: Wow she asking because she’s interested maybe! I don want to give her wrong message!

JLo you sound very comfortable da. I like talking to you . I dont have girlfriend ma. I dont have enough money with me da so they dont come to me at all .. lolzzzzzz

A: I am SO impressed and just waiting to go out on a date with you mister. Here doggy, go fetch!

Ha ha but not all girls like money minded ya. You know, I should tell you something.

But its ok

Leave it

C:

Hey please dont put suspense da. Tell me please ma

A: Bait taken and swallowed whole!

no no its ok

nothing

you may get angry by it

C: Wow what is she gonna say? So exciting!

please da. dont put puzzles and go away. My mind will be spining later

you tell da

A: Didn’t you know Shakuntala Devi’s my aunt?

I don know you that much so difficult to say it da

C:

please

A: Only if you roll over and play dead

don force !

C:

okay da. its upto you da

A: Giving up so soon??

don mistake me da

C:

but i already feel very close to you da. if u dont tell me ,its ok da

but remember i'll be always there for you nu

A: Yeah Chandler Bing I know you will!

I think of telling but hesitate because only today I know u.

thanks dear

C:

you have to tell everything to your dear ones only then you'll feel light ma

please tell me na

A: Actually what I want to say is…

(To be continued)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Will Chandru Kalakkify? (aka Amu-kky Vaasippala?) - 1

Ok so here I go again, attempting a serialized story. Only this time, I have a partner in crime, Deepika Padmanabhan, who will hopefully make sure the story actually reaches a conclusion. And for a change we’re developing opposite characters, so while I write about the female protagonist, Deepika takes up the hero’s character, just for added insanity.

Prologue: I know this is like the part most people hate because no one ever gets to the point, so we’ll cut to the chase. The prologue ends here.

1

Plastic flowers decorated the office entrance, as did plastic smiles on the faces that looked at her as she entered her cubicle. She smiled back not at anyone in particular, but not missing the look on Umesh’s face. Umesh had been hitting on her the past few days. She didn’t have a problem with that, for Amruthavalli Thathachari had been hit on by quite a few guys. What she did have a problem with was when the moment she unlocked her system, Umesh pinged her on the office communicator.

“Hey Ammu what da why late today”

She wasn’t proud of her name, but wasn’t ashamed of it either. But she couldn’t stand people calling her Ammu or Valli. Alex, her client, called her Amy and she loved it and wished others called her that too. Now, Amy as we will call her going forward (failing which this story wouldn’t see the light of the day or the darkness of the night, she threatens), wasn’t your typical “wear tee shirt on Friday because she has to” female. She was hep, preferred Stanley Kubrick and Mahendran to Steven Spielberg and Gautam Menon, a voracious reader and beautiful. A little headstrong maybe in the opinion of Iyengar aunties she met at weddings she had no reason to attend but was forced to, but she couldn’t care less about what they thought.

She had no time to give an imaginative reply to Umesh, for she was already late for the call and after quickly checking mail, was off to the conference room. Amy knew she would hardly be able to concentrate on what they were going to discuss, for her mind was preoccupied with something else. Her parents had opened the topic of her marriage this morning. Ammukutty was 23 and it was time they started sharing her “jathagam” and find a suitable “boy” in a well to do family, working in a company, in “foreign” and so on. She wasn’t in love with anybody, not yet, but she wasn’t prepared for marriage. Definitely not to some jerk who did “Sandhyavandhanam” in the US twice a day with wash basin water, went to office with “srichuranam” on his forehead and yelled at his offshore team in bad English over phone.

Meanwhile the onsite call had started.

“Hi Team, can you able to hear me a?”

* * *



The hero of the story is our very own Chandru whose official name is Pallakad Chandramouleeswaran Narayanan. He did not want to be stereotyped as the “tybical palakkad iyer” and hence wanted to do something absolutely zany just to prove a point to the world and to himself. He woke up from a dream of taking marijuana at Columbia and being frisked by the police when his mom yelled at him saying ‘Chandruu nee panradhu seri illa akum… “

For a semiconscious second he actually thought his mom had found out that he’d fagged but it dawned on him that she was yelling at him because she had found out posters of Penelope Cruz and Angelina Jolie in bikinis in his room. He was bewildered to find out that his mom had kept bindhi on their foreheads and turned them into proper Desi girls . Frustrated at this, and the fact that he kept bumping only into girls wearing a ‘colourful white saree’ with hair drenched in oil more than the oil wells in Iraq, he was finding himself in a no-man’s land.

What frustrated him even more was missing his office bus and having to take the local transport. In some time he was reduced to a small lump in the middle of an ocean of his sweat. His polite request to push the window back gave him about 10% of ventilation. He decided to get off the bus. There was no point in doing this for another 2 hours. And then just when he was about to do the “you-open-the-window-or-I-puke-in-your-face routine”, it happened. He got a seat near the window thankfully and managed to reach office before his manager did so that he would have his privacy to check all the hot updates on MSN.

“Chandru could you please ping Amuthavalli T and find out what the ticket status is? She’s from the networks team”

And thus came the opportunity, disguised as a typographical error on Chandru’s part. An error that would forever change his life!

(to be continued…)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raavan-My take (Not that it matters or I care that it doesn't)

I hated 7 G for a lot of reasons including the movie being perverted, depressing and carrying the wrong message. Of course there’s no comparison between Raavan and that piece of crap. Why I mentioned it here is because Raavan seems to carry across a wrong message, in that despite his vices, Raavan wins the girl’s heart, just because he had a vengeance story to tell and he didn’t violate her. You don’t want to see that happening much in real life, say your girlfriend/wife getting herself abducted by a crook and standing up for him

The premise had plenty of scope to weave a super story of good turning bad and vice versa. However I felt the movie fails because it’s characters aren’t convincingly developed. Vikram need not have dubbed for himself. Sounds very South Indian. Overall didn’t like the dialogues. Some of the references to Ramayana were corny. Especially Govinda attempting a chow yun fat in Crouching Tiger just to establish he’s Hanuman.

Great visuals, good music. That last song is kickass and the five of us were the only ones left in the theatre waiting for it to end, while wishing it wouldn’t. The Yudh theme came, and that too twice yaaay!!!

Now those who loved/liked it, don’t stand up in arms against me. While I agree there’s a lot of time and effort that went into the movie, a lot of time and effort goes into every movie that’s made, even the ultra pathetic ones. It’s the viewers right to like or not like a movie and express his opinion about it.

So did I like the movie? I don’t really think so. But I was able to sit through it without much discomfort. At times it did feel like an RGV flick though

Thursday, June 10, 2010

[55-Fiction]- For a few words more

55-Fiction is basically where you write a story in under 55 words. It's a rage in my office blogspace. Decided to give it a shot.

The ideas are hard to come by but the challenge seems interesting. So here are a few I wrote:

Karma

Slab: Twelve and hundred years of woe, to cursed land, sea shall go

*

“It’s over”, she welled up. “Mother consulted the astrologer. Our stars don’t match”

*

News: Asteroid threat exaggerated to create panic- President

*

Galaxypedia: Despite their “endangered” status, humans fall under Category-W, owing to their largely insignificant contribution even during their life on earth.

***







Impulse



His hand fiddled around in his pocket, while his eyes refused to look anywhere else but at the candy stick in the jar. But what about the eraser then? What would he tell mummy?
He took out the sole one rupee coin.

.

.

.

.

.

.
“Tails!”

***







Chance

“Goddamn car!”, Alex kicked the door. He couldn’t afford to go late the second day of his new assignment.

*

“Not here, let’s go elsewhere. She might have friends here!”

*

“No, I cancelled my flight. And everything else! Guess who’s studio I got a call from?”

*

9.02 AM- “Inshallah! Here comes my salvation”, cried the jihadi

******

Monday, June 07, 2010

Of shades and facades

The wise or so they thought said "Forgive and forget". The smarter ones said "Forgive but don't forget". Fact is, it is very difficult to forgive or forget. Because you don't want to end up making the same mistake twice and look like a fool. Above all, the one person you don't want to look like a fool to, at the end of the day, is the most important person in your life: you! It can really wreck your morale.

So here I am, finding myself slowly turning misanthrope. It scares me. I mean, there's no point hating anyone. But what scares me more is the disappointment and depression attachment brings. The better you know somebody, greater the chance you give them to know you. And hence take advantage. It doesn't end there. You start taking things for granted, make assumptions because you think you know them well enough, and when suddenly your assumptions go wrong, you are left in doubt. By this time you are so accustomed to expecting the expected that it hits you like a bolt from the blue.

What's the solution? Maintaining a safe distance from everyone? Being friendly without being too friendly? Perhaps. But wouldn't that amount to faking? Having just finished The Catcher in the Rye, I can't help but identify with Holden Caulfield, the story's protagonist. Why is it that most of the time, we pretend to be people we are not? We pretend to be nice without wanting to, we pretend to care and even go ahead and offer help, while internally feeling obliged to, ultimately putting up facade of gentleness and normalcy for social acceptance's sake?

Are we being unconsciously conscious about our behaviour and hence constantly wearing different faces? Just to be included ? Or is it human nature that we turn different shades in different situations, allowing our true selves to manifest only every now and then under adversity? What would be the consequences if we told people what we actually thought all the time? Imagine the controversy it might stir up, the hearts it might break, the turmoil(and maybe even happiness) it might cause! One's dignity and respect seems to rest on how nice or how politically correct they seem to be, and not on how nice they actually want to be. I'm reaching a point where I am not able to discern genuine emotions from fake ones.
So, what do YOU want to do? Pretend to be someone else? Or pretend to be yourself?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

MSN- Mostly Stupid News

MSN is one of those websites you don't want to start your workday browsing through. I mean there's no way you can miss noticing the fact that the most important news that catches your attention on their website, especially the Indian version of it, is as important as the colour of the White House's toilet seat to you, yes you reading this very article.

Now note my point here. I said "catches your eye". I didn't say the headline that's at the top. So what caught my eye this morning?

First this ad:
*Shows you a pair of well waxed and whatever'd female legs, and zooms out gradually, revealing in full splendour(especially the legs, sans fabric) a woman reclining on a couch, which you later learn is a car seat, reading a book*
The ad reads:
"The Mahindra Xylo. Keeps even the longest legs happy. " :-O
And right next to it a button reads "Click to expand"Talk about suggestive ads! And new car features!


The next thing that grabs my attention? The crime section. Invariably there's something utterly gruesome that's happened in Delhi (most of the times, it's always Delhi). Highlighted in bold and almost like an invitation to the reader to dive deep into it and revel in the glory of how demented the human mind can get.No I don't click it.
Because something else has caught my eye :


"Celina Jaitley - I am a virgin"Filed under the "videos" section. Now this has been there on the page for the past three days. And since videos don't open in office I haven't seen it yet. But what exactly was the intention? Is this a public service announcement? If yes, I think I'll save my coins. I have better causes to help.


Next:"Healthy food may not be good for everyone's health"Filed under "Lifestyle"What was the writer thinking when he wrote this? I'm taking a guess the article goes on to state that what's healthy for one person might not be so for another, depending on each individual's body mechanism. That's some news I certainly didn't know and now that I do, my IQ's up forty points! Like it went up when Saba Karim, during one of his commentaries observed rather insightfully
"If the batsmen can hit the ball hard enough into the gaps, they can get the boundaries".


Speaking of other things, Headlines today has been screaming "Towers of death" the past few days. Something about Cell Phone network towers radiating harmful waves and posing instant doomsday to all major cities. No other channel seems to be bothered. My doubt is, is the intention behind this news report to really cause some awareness? Looks more like a publicity gimmick to gain trp. I'm not saying there might not be a real threat, but come on, give us facts to back your claim! And if it were indeed a major threat, is it not your responsibility to make sure every other media knows about it and spreads awareness?

I don't intend to sound like one of those cynical "when I was in the US" forty somethings that goes about dissing every possible aspect of life. But let's face it. 90 percent of what the media's dishing out is horse manure. All I'm saying is, feed it to the plants!


PS: I'm sure by now you've opened MSN and seen those legs you voyeur! Admit it. I saw them too, which is why this post! :PPPS: I'm back to PSes and PPses ;)PPPS: I know noone uses it, but I just realized their mail's called "Hot"mail too ;)PPPPS: OK way too many post scripts I agree, but just to clarify, MSN.co.in is the default homepage on IE at office, and basically I have better things to do that change my homepage in case you're wondering.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feature in the Semmozhi Maanadu song by A.R.Rahman!!!

Feels great to be part of the Semmozhi Maanadu song by A.R.Rahman sir. This is a dream come true for me. I've sung chorus in this song, and also feature in the video (Watch at 5.16)

Had super fun shooting for this song at the beach :) My favourite musician and your favourite director!

I am also kicked about the fact that my name's made it to the credits list for this song in Rahman sir's website. Here's the link to that :)
http://www.arrahman.com/v2/discography/singles-semmozhi.html

Music- A.R.Rahman
Direction: Gautam Menon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sleepers Creepers!

I am in this state of semi consciousness, and it's not due to alcohol or a bump in the head. Ub fact In fact aI'm actually typing with my eyes closed. Just that previous line and this one, dont wanna get caught sleeping in office. Ok now I'm wide half awake. Coming to the point, haven't had enough sleep.

Work catalyzes sleep, hence this post. But as usual absolutely no trigger to write. Speaking of triggers, triggers are found on guns. Guns kill people. War kills people. War is bad. All is fair in love and war someone said. So if all is fair, what about the guy who got his face burnt trying to pull the pin off the grenade and the grenade burst on his face because it was a cheap quality China make? How the hell can he be fair? And if all is fair in war and war kills people, fair things kill people? Perhaps! Mankind has in the past killed for the fairer gender. Remember Helen of Troy? Yeah really? Do you? Good for you because I don't, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't remember me either, so that makes us even 8!*#$ !

Paragraph three starts with the word paragraph. Graphs are fun. Those graph sheets they used to give us in our exams! Exams! What fun when they got over! Not the graphs, the exams. The last exam was always the one we prepared least for, out of sheer excitement at what followed. Sleep is creeping in like a creep creeping in on whatever he creeps in on. I have to stay awake. This post couldn't get more boring could it? Yeah it could. I could copy paste paragraphs from Ullyses and The Namesake (the latter I have read, the former, I shall use as a weapon of mass destruction if someone messes with my blog). Ok folks, I've suddenly lost interest to continue this post any further. Goodnight. Or in the words of my tweetheart :D:DD:D shippa shuppi time ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

And so here goes...My solo song :)

Folks, posting after quite some time. Been a hectic last two weeks. Few good things happening :)

I've sung a solo in the movie Patta Patti 50 50. The music is by Mr.ArulDev. He was Vidyasagar's keyboardist and programmer and now he's done his first movie.

Now I don't want to sound like one of those big shot folks who have templatized answers for interview questions, considering this isn't even an interview, but working with Mr.Arul was a great experience. I had a lot of freedom to improvise and stuff, and the song was good fun to sing.

It's a fully english song called Never Gonna Change, and you don't see many of them in our Tamil movies! Heck if I remember right the last time I heard one was Sooooiiiinnngg in the raaaaiiinnn ;-)
Ok without further ado, here's the song:

05 Track 5.wma


or here

http://www.raaga.com/channels/tamil/album/T0002467.html


The initial response among friends has been pretty good, and it's heartening to see people actually listening to it. Do let me know what you think of the song :) And do spread the word around if you like it.

At the cost of sounding like a politician, without the phoneyness, heartfelt thanks to Arul sir for this song, and to all you folks for all the comments (that've come so far and hopefully will come hereafter) and encouragement and criticism and for being on various social networking sites and so on and so forth!

More interesting updates to follow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Face with no Value (because she hadn't uploaded her dp yet) and the Book with no Pages (coz the internet connection was down)

These days Facebook is abuzz with activity. Everyone, including yours truly wants to go one up on the other with their wacky, humorous, attention grabbing status updates. Of great importance in this virtual diss-pit is the flunkey brigade that goes about "like"ing every celebrity status update and "yes of course"ing and "Totally agree"ing with every celeb, pseudo celeb, socialite, anti-socialite, that-chick-with-the-hot-profile-pic (which turns out to be that of some less known bollywood bimbette like Anjana Suck-on-ye or Geeta Basra) or just about anyone who seems to grab enough attention.
Facebook is a nice way of saying "hello" to a celebrity you've always been a fan of and wished could tell how much you admire them. It's also a nice way of catching up with that friend you never spoke to in school but whose profile you came across through a mutual friend and eight years seem to have done to her dp what those Fair n Lovely ads claim their product can do in 20 days. Of course minus the girl's dumbass father in those ads, who weeps at the beauty pageant awards, unable to express his joy at his girl's ascension to bimbo-hood.
And above all, Facebook's a nice way of making the world notice you're there! An attention whore's paradise!
Status updates are cool. I mean, imagine how cool it is to be telling the world you finally went to the loo after six days of constipation! And when you know the flunkey brigade's on the prowl, you can always use one of the following template and assure yourself of at least ten "like"s and five comments!
Listening to . What a !! to the . {Choose either or all of the following comma separated emoticons: :))), :((, :D, :*( } !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you aren't really the kind that appreciates music (screw you btw), then you could use this template
Just by . it!
If you aren't into books and movies either (read kill yourself with a toothpick), and want to but don't know what to update your status with, there's always "Facebook chat sucks!"
You don't realize it sucks because there's no one online to chat with you, do you??
And then there's the constant whiner who always has a problem with the world. The kind of smartass who doesn't wear a helmet because he has a dandruff problem but knows exactly what the prime minister should be doing instead of what he's doing right now, how Kamal Hassan should've acted in Anbe Sivam, how females should dress to "uphold" our tradition and culture, what kind of "good" movies one should be watching instead of culture-spoiling "western" stuff (makes a reference to some Kubrick or Tarantino flick that he hasn't seen but "knows" spoils our culture) and so on.
Our friend also has a habit of repeatedly stating the obvious, such as "I am what I am". Any attempts at logical conversation or argument will be thwarted with another status update mocking your lack of "good" taste/maturity followed by snide remarks from the flunkey brigade taking cowardly indirect jibes at your incompetence in living up to their expectations and tastes.
And now comes the question you've probably wanted to ask all this while: You are on fB too, then why the sarcasm and btw South Park beat you by miles?
The answer to that my friend -and if you aren't on my friend's list send me a request, my ego won't let me do vice versa- is that it's just like real life, where we put up with some people just because they're alive :) Live and let live, and if you miss out, catch the highlights on youtube!
This post will make it to my Facebook notes, and I will tag people too! To make them read it, comment and "like" it(or join the "Facebook should have a dislike button" community)! Because at the end of the day, we all update our Facebook statuses, so why shouldn't I? Ok, sometimes I even do it at the beginning of the day, especially when all I have is Elvis and Louis Armstrong for company during the bus journey to office. Heck I even update my status at noon, and in the middle of the night! Coz we're all addicted baby!
Enjoy your stay at fB :) Happy status-updating, catching up with friends, dissing, like-ing, sucking up, profile stalking or whatever it is that you're on fB for :)
PS: I know South Park beat me by miles and South Park \m/!
PPS: Yeah I know the title sucks; go ahead, put that as your status update
PPPS: If you didn't get the "Live and let live" vs "Highlights on youtube" joke, join the "I don't get Vijaynarain's stupid jokes" community on fB

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Movie Review- Payya (there's no re-viewing this one :P)

Payya raises a lot of questions. But no I'm not going to post all of them here, frankly because, though I remember having a lot of questions when I saw the movie, I just can't waste time to recollect all of them just for this blog's sake.

First: Why did they title the movie Payya? The closest I can come to guessing is someone who calls the shots wondered aloud "well, there's nothing in this movie that's worth giving it a title, what do we call it?" to which some guy who had probably invested a lot of money in the movie swore in tamil. And somehow the universe conspired and everybody suddenly agreed upon a censored version of the second guy's retort :P On second thoughts, I seem to be investing more time than the producers did in guessing the reason behind the title!

Question number two: Why does the hero not eliminate the main villain/vamp (the female who keeps calling the henchmen on their mobiles and gives them instructions in Telugu) ? Not that anyone's complaining after the 3 hour ordeal! Oops did I just spoil the movie for you?? Trust me, I saved your life.

Question number three/observation number one: Given the utter disregard to chronology, why does Milind Soman wear the same shirt throughout his life (in the movie)?/ Milind Soman needs a bath.

Ok enough questions let's look at what the movie has to offer: Boy stops job hunt after he begins girl hunt, takes friend's car and coincidence makes her take a lift in his car. Girl has a bunch of daddy's henchmen chasing her, guy has a bunch of Milind Soman's henchmen chasing him, #1 girl and guy move, henchmen chase, get beaten, songs follow, chase continues, henchmen get beaten, repeat from #1 till you're completely braindead.

So you ask me, can't you at least watch the movie for Tamannah's sake? I'd rather settle for watching her in the power soap ads (even though my chances of suffering an aneurysm hearing that jingle would multiply).

Payya is one of the best road movies to have ever been made. Makes you want to hit the road the moment you watch it!
Better editing would've been the key to this movie's success. I mean, seriously, the film could do away with two hours and still lose absolutely no entertainment value! Heck it had none to begin with!
Go watch Payya only if your most favourite movies list begins with sakkarakatti, and ends with Prem Agan :P

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mylapore Masala and Bus-Kisu-Kisu

I have a problem with driving in Chennai. But let me not begin with that, considering I'm posting after really long and might as well start off not complaining. So, I’ll start with a rather amusing thing happened this morning on the way to office.

I missed my Siruseri office bus, something as unusual as the sun rising in the east or girls torturing guys' eyesight with Friday casuals. So here I was, waiting for subsequent TCO (Thoraipakkam branch) buses, so that I could catch an inter-office shuttle from TCO. As the first of the many TCO buses came, a confident me took out and wore my id card, and waved for the bus to stop. Now, I have no clue if Abhey Kuruvilla ever faced Waqar Younis, but if I were Navjot Singh Sidhu, I would've probably exclaimed, the bus passed by me like a Waqar Younis outswinger missing Abhay Kuruvilla's leading edge! Since I am not Navjot Singh Sidhu, I'll just stick to saying, the bus passed by me without stopping.

The next bus came in a span of four minutes. Don't ask me how I know that it took exactly four minutes. Four minutes is a fine time to remember to note, absolutely befitting the time it should take for a TCO bus to come after the previous one's passed by. I waved. There's something disconcerting and irritating about being noticed by the corner of the driver's eye, and noticing that the driver's looking at you from the corner of his eye. Split-second-"corner of eye"-to-"anxiously waiting for bus-eye"-contact, you may call it. Immediately the driver turned his gaze to straight ahead, as if straight down lay the answers to all the questions about the purpose of his incarnation on earth. Bus two passed, without stopping, noticing yet pretending not to notice a soul waving for it to stop.

By the time the third bus came, which was again in four minutes (call it coincidence or pure creative liberty that I chose four minutes again) I was almost in the middle of the road. If it came to that, the driver would have to at least run over my shoe to get past me (assuming I'd chicken out and make a dash for the footpath if the bus didn't stop). Thankfully the bus stopped. I got in.

The third TCO bus driver posed a rather difficult question:
"Enga poganum?" *where do you want to go*


I have a really bad sense of humour, which you've probably figured out by now. But little know that it gets worse when I'm in a bad mood. You might wonder who the hell would even care to HAVE a sense of humour in a really bad mood, but yeah that's how pathetic mine is. It just won't go, good mood or bad mood. It'll just stay there and get worse.

So, while one half of me screamed to give an imaginative reply to the driver's question, the other half which also happened to control my tongue functions replied "TCO".
"Athu theriyum, ethukku intha bus la yerineenga" *that I know, but why'd you get into THIS bus?*
"Siruseri bus miss pannitten" *I missed the Siruseri bus*.
I requested his highness to allow me to travel by this bus, to which he asked
"Aren't you the guy who sings on TV?"
"Yes"
"Antha orey kaaranuthunaala thaan ungala bus la yethinen. Naa romba strictu. Nalla paadineenga" *that's the only reason why I let you in the bus. I'm very strict. Good singing*

Talk about the fringe benefits of television!! That too almost a year after the aforementioned television appearance!

Little did I realize this guy actually meant what he said! I could make out from the way others in the road, and a rather unfortunate bus driver who happened to be on the wrong side of the road, and in the process blocking our way were treated.


Now back to the complaining part. This morning, I drove to Mylapore. The kind of setting one of those sappy romantic novels that I don't read would begin with: an orange sun, like the warmth of the tender heart, playing hide and seek through the golden leaves of trees lining either side of the road, their branches holding each other in a lovely embrace, forming a tunnel of glittering green... Till I took the left turn and came to the signal.

It was sunrise, and traffic was sparse. Doesn't mean one shouldn't follow signals. I have a habit of stopping my bike before the STOP line, because I believe that's what the purpose of the STOP line is. However, I seem to be rather lonely in this opinion. I also believe the timer in signals counts down successfully to 5-4-3-2-1 before the signal turns green, and doesn't countdown to 2-1-0-(-1)-(-2) when it turns red. However, most people seem to be blind to the last 5 seconds of the countdown to green, but turn surprisingly insightful in seeing shades of green even after the signal's turned red!

I decided to have a little fun. At the expense of the lorry driver right behind me. I stopped right before the STOP line, forcing this bloke to stop behind me. And even as other vehicles zapped off before the timer counted down, our guy was furiously honking, perhaps expecting me to follow suit. Till a couple of seconds after the signal turned green, I stay put, much to the chagrin of our truck driver.
In the imaginary words of a certain imaginary celebrity blogger with a tendency to self dramatize: I might have spoiled his morning, but I might have saved his life!! :D

Once again, after long, a misleading title just for readership sake ;-) So long suckers!

More posts coming soon (I hope!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Of Ability, Music and Following the heart

Been a hectic week. Last Saturday attended the Ability Awards, organized by the Ability Foundation, Chennai. An evening of light, music and dance, that culminated in a felicitation of a select few achievers. Achievers would be an understatement, considering these people had done things you and I couldn’t, and had done them despite being differently abled.

My association with the Ability Foundation goes back to 2005, when they conducted this competition called “60 seconds to fame”, as part of Ability Fest ‘05. This was a one minute short film contest, the topic being “An Inclusive Society”, the jury comprising Maniratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Nandita Das, Revathy and other people from the film fraternity. My film “Credits” was among the top 50 films, screened at the Ability Fest, at Anand Theatre. It was great to be part of another of the foundation’s initiatives, the Ability Awards ‘10.

Srinivas sir had been approached to perform for this event. He graciously decided to compose a new song for the cause, and when good intentions and music combine, nothing short of magic is created. We recorded the song in two days, and had super fun doing it! Singers included Ajesh, Ravi, Prasanna, Santosh, Ragini, Ranjani, Renu, Divya, Sharanya and myself. Others who contributed to the song were Navneeth, Aalap Raju and Keba. We also performed this song at the award ceremony.

Was at the MRF racing event to sing along with Pop Shalini. Apparently actor Ajith had been the main attraction, so when we performed a couple of Surya songs, the crowd got unruly and spilled onto the racing track in a bid to get the dj to play ‘thala’ songs. They wouldn’t submit unless ‘thala’ himself came. And come he did. He pleaded to his fans to stay put in their seats, and if not give him a good name, at least spare him disgrace. The fans obliged. Now that’s star power I say! We had to cut the concert short by then as it was time for the next racing session to begin.

Al jarreau started my week, and jazz is elevating to say the least. And humbling, as Srini sir says. Often I get the feeling we begin to concentrate more on the technical aspects of music as we learn more, and this leads to approaching a song very mechanically while composing or listening. In doing so, we miss out on the aesthetics of the song, and the very underlying purpose of music: happiness. Music is and should be from the heart, and not the mind. Typically, the kind of horripilation an untrained ear would experience listening to a Rahman song, would not be so pronounced in someone who bents on dissecting the song for chords, basslines and leads! Of course, from a musician point of view, such technical aspects are necessary for learning, but ultimately, I feel it is imperative to keep in mind, that the heart is the ruler!
Jazz does precisely this to me. It is profound, yet there is so much expression and emotion and happiness in it, that all you feel like doing is sit back, relax, forget the world and enjoy the music! Even if the guy next to you in the bus is a little too big for his seat and cramps you up!

Looking forward to an exciting week ahead musically :-) More news as events happen!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Of Love, Bones and V-Day Vendetta

Long back, when Orkut was the latest craze, and creating communities like Gethu than aambalaikku sothu* was cool, I started one. Called V for Vengaayam. V-Day carnival posts (the latest buzz in office blogs) suddenly reminded me of that. Yeah I know totally irrelevant, but that’s the closest you could get me to writing on the topic! :P

So now you’re wondering if I’m the un-romantic, humourless bloke who cringes at the thought of celebrating love. Of course I’m not. I’m happily in love with a lot of people and things (like my Sennheiser headphones, Catch 22, Shreya Ghoshal …) And no, I’m not the kind who thinks our "Kalachaaram" is going down the drains with "western" influences like dating, mating etc. It’s just that I can’t seem to come up with mush or even write bearable fiction (read lowe stories) just because V-day’s around the corner.

I love observing people. That good looking girls constitute a majority of my observations is sheer coincidence. I mean, just imagine: there’s hardly any time to "observe" considering there’s very less scope during office hours, owing to a number of reasons, of which work probably figures in the last five, and scarcity of eye candy features in a very prominent position. Outside office, well, like the great Russian philosopher, Figaro Karektzovsky has stated, when you look for what you want to see, you see what you’re looking for.

So what’s this post about and what the hell does it have to do with V-Day? Well, this is about a few observations I’ve made. About good looking women? Maybe, but more about people in love, and what it does to their and others’ well being!
Here we go!

Music should touch the soul. And hence, when you sing, you should sing from the heart. But then, Oaayiye sung in less than half tempo, with oodles of expression and "peelings" was a little too much for us to take during one of our trips. This friend just wouldn’t stop. We didn’t complain, and call me the most unromantic person on earth, but isn’t singing Jalakku Jalakku Jariga Selai with extra peelings crossing the limit?? (For my non-tamil speaking readers, this would be equivalent of crooning What is your ishtyle number in "My heart will go on" mode for your sweetheart). The things love does to people!

And then there’s the Kabab Mein Haddi (Soathula Kallu) syndrome. A friend of mine recently found himself transmogrifying into the Haddi. Of course he loved his new role and found great pleasure in irritating his friend. The best part of having a friend who seems to be smitten, is the confusion that arises out of not knowing for sure if he’s in love. So our Haddi, who travels to work every day with his friend, let’s call him Buddy for convenience’s sake, finds himself politely offering his seat to Buddy’s Cuddy (the girl, named thus, coz it sounds similar to "cuddly" and cuddly is a…well cute n cuddly word). Now Haddi and Cuddy are good friends too, but Cuddy politely (and embarrassedly) refuses and takes a seat few rows ahead.

Little does poor Haddi know how badly pissed Buddy is, with Cuddy for refusing the offer. His attempts to strike conversation with Buddy are met with glances that chill him…to the bone! Haddi gradually realizes his new "Bone Identity". After the initial few moments of realization, it occurs to him, this could be great fun after all. As Buddy and Cuddy furiously type away on their mobiles alternately, Haddi realizes sending a few forwards to these two would be a lovely idea.
Haddi now lies in a hospital, suffering from abnormal calcification and multiple fractures suffered from accidentally being pushed off a moving bus.


Now we come to the desperados. There’s a lot of these types... The ones that are suckers to Orkut and Facebook fraandships. Oh how we laughed when a month old online relationship ended in an absolute fiasco when the two finally decided to meet at a restaurant and what followed was more or less like the "thangachi manimegalai" comedy :-p Our poor guy was in for a shocker when the girl ( who by now you would’ve guessed was quite contrary to what he had imagined her to be) turned up with her BIG brother and proposed right in front of Bhayya. I hear these days he’s switched to Facebook.

Yeah I know it’s easy to make fun of others. But hey who cares. You guys can make fun of me and Shreya and watch us blush! *naadirdaana dhirenaana naa plays in the background Goa style* ;-)

Those of you who are single and saved, here’s wishing you loads of girlfriends and boyfriends this V-day! And those in love, here’s wishing you a great life and speedy recovery J


*I couldn’t translate this one literally, as the word Gethu is pretty difficult to translate. The expression more or less means : Composure is a man’s treasure (I find myself going yuck at the poetry!)