I am looking for singers (male & female), preferably with Tamil knowledge, lyricists, drummers, keyboard players, flutists, guitarists for my album. If you are interested, please leave a comment or contact me via my profile page

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

[Discussion] Line/Queues

New series of discussions - There are no rules - no laws - more of how context drives everything

First one is Lines/Queues.

We all stand in Lines/Queues for one thing or the other. We see some senior citizen/disabled person also standing way behind in the queue.

1) Are you allowed to 'swap' positions with elderly/disabled - or you simply have to give up
2) If you are actually behind someone who is (doing the)swapping their position with someone else - will you object ?
3) If someone has just one thing to do - a checkout with single item as opposed to a cart full - will you let them go forward ?
4) What if the guy ahead of you, instead of 'swap'ing - allows the senior person to come ahead (now you are two positions behind in the queue) - is there a case for valid objection ?
5) What if the 'allow one more' happens to be not an elderly person ? - would you protest.
6) What if the 'swap' happens to be not an elderly person ? - would you protest.
7) If you are seated on a bus/train and want to vacate the seat for someone elderly (or otherwise) - can the person who is actually next to the seat object ?

i.e. What is the meaning of a 'position' in a queue ? - what rights does a person in the queue, have over the position they occupy ?

Thoughts ? any more questions ? bring them on - lets get everyone to think aloud :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

[Sports Watch] India's New Ways...

Grin Grin Grin.

Indian Cricket team seem to have found new ways and it sure is giving the die-hard cricket fan, many a thing to gloat over.

Too many things have happened in too short a time-frame to apportion the credit. However, it all has to start with two people. Chappell and Ganguly. Without getting into who was behind the entire 'wash-dirty linen-in-public' episode, the issue is now behind everyone.

  • Ganguly excluded from the Indian team was the first surprise. No one can simply discount a batsman with 10000 one day international runs in span of 9 years as one 'who can't bat'. At the same time, no one can say he is now the same Ganguly that scored all those runs :-)
  • Dravid as captain. So long been the bridesmaid, now the bride. He is thinker, hard-worker, keen student of the game. Often considered a softie, he has now proved, he is a tough-nut to crack
  • Even though, i have not seen the matches myself, the word that is out there is how Indian team has been fielding - young blood seems to have brought in the change. Timber rattling noises seems to be the order of day. No one worth their salt can say, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble and Nehra, can be half-as-agile as anyone in the current team ;)
  • Aggression is the keyword
  • Batting is becoming more and more a team effort
  • Lesser and lesser dot balls every match - Can't be, but, glad
  • Bowling still wears an unsettled look to it.
Having said all of these, there are still many things that a fan needs to be cautious about.
  • Batting even though seemingly found contributions from every quarter, can one expect to see such consistency on fast-bouncy wickets ?. Expecting that to start with is a tough ask, but in the longer run yes. A newbie Aussie team, can't take on the likes of Kumble and Bhajji on a spin-minefield either :-)
  • Bowling sure needs much more consistency - Bhajji is in the middle of extremely wonderful spell with tight and economic bowling. Pathan, Agarkar, Kartik, RP Singh have all taken 4 wickets each or more in all of these matches. But, quick review of commentary can immediately tell you, still many balls are sprayed on the middle and leg - consistency is the key word. More than two bowlers need to take wickets and be economical
  • No improvement on the yorker length balls during slog overs - except for one match, our bowling was never tested in the slog over arena.
  • Will the team fare with same aggression if they are part of a slump or when they are 0-2 down in a series ? Can they handle such pressure ?
Despite all of this, i can't hide my glee about being in such a situation 5-1 against the ICC's 2nd ranked team in the world. None of the wins seemed a fluke. All of the wins wore 'aggression' on the sleeve. When was the last time India chased 190 and still under 35 overs and against a top-rated team ?.

Hope such positive and forward-thinking selection policies based on 'performance' and focus and strategies based on 'process' will take of 'results' as Dravid-Chappell combo has been claiming all along.

That brings us to the question, when was the last time one hired a CEO for a quarter fiscal year ? When was a principal hired for a semester ?

Why does an Indian cricket captain has to bid his time one-day at a time ? - When will a cricket captain be appointed for longer than couple of series' ? The know-all BCCI seems to know the answer !!

I started off saying 'new ways...', and not 'new 'winning' ways...' - primarily coz it is too early to be proclaiming the coming-of-age of new-look Indian team :)

Still, Grin Grin Grin

Monday, October 31, 2005

Diwali Greetings

Wishing you all, your family, near and dear ones a very Happy Diwali/Deepavali and also a fun-filled and prosperous season ahead.

p.s : As most of you are already aware, am on hibernation mode ;) will try to bring my blogging habits back to 'normalcy' - soon :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Power Play !

I am a Programmer, and I developed an application

I coded it with the ability to think
I authorized it to make copies of itself

I made them talk, walk
I gave them senses to enjoy the rest of my creations
I also removed them after a shelf life

It made innumerable copies in no time
They started bonding with other applications
They started destroying other applications
They created operating systems

They have done so much good
They have done so much bad
They have altered their hard-disk
They want to get rid of their shelf life

Some claim their operating system is the best
Some claim they are the source
Some claim to control the operating system
Some claim there is no operating system
Some claim they have seen the operating system
They talk endlessly about themselves

For, they can do all they want, till I pull the plug (a.k.a) re-boot

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Monday, October 03, 2005

[Song Watch] Alaipayuthe

Alaipayuthe - by Maniratnam starring Madhavan and Shalini was about post-marriage blues :-) It was a moderate success in tamil and the hindi remake (Saathiya) was a resounding success. Initially, this movie was conceived with just the title song (carnatic) Alaipayuthe in the movie. But then, as always, Mani gave in to the temptation of using ARR. Wise decision :-D one would say. Lets get to the review without further ado :)

Click here to listen to the album

Yaaro yarodi - Mahalakshmi Iyer, Vaishali, Richa Sharma

This is an amazingly mellow song for the likes of a marriage song. The combo of three singers produce a kinda catchiness to the song, and at the same time, take the pronounciation out for a walk :-(

Thumping of drums and chanting of 'dum dumakka dum'. Richa starts off with yaaro yarodi. A harmonium kinda (french horn?) instrument begins to follow the singer. Interesting use of 'shakers' throughout the song (e.g. 00.48-00.49 - the sound is similar to washing your clothes by hand, and kumuku'fying it - almost a series of quick presses of the cloth with water hitting the washing slate - i loved it :-) ). The highlight of the pallavi is the section between 1.17-1.20 and the subsequent improvised repeat at 1.27-1.30 Simply Adorable !

The return to pallavi is marked by lisp'ish singing - sometimes i get irritated when i listen to it (is it just me? :-( ) . The first interlude is brief a nadhaswaram piece that takes you right into the stanza. The flute segment is quite cute, the style is very reminiscent of BG pieces from MMKR.

Stanza starts with thangathukku verkudhu and the alaap (2.35 -2 .44) that follows the first line is simply awesome. So is the alaap piece solli kudunga (2.54-3.00). The stanza eases into the second stanza. The second interlude is beautiful with chirping flute piece and wonderful chords backing poongodikku kannalam.

The second stanza is pretty much the same, watch out for the alaap pieces similar to the first stanza. Very melodious indeed !. The closing sections are interestingly layered with yaaro starting at 5.12 and another yaaro starting at 5.16 - forming a self-imposed harmony (Gurus out there, any technical term for this usage or pattern ?)

Overall easy and melodious song, marred by pronounciation. The chords through the song are very apt and underlines the mood very well and a bit underplayed.

Rating 4.3 out of 5

Sakiye a.k.a Pachai Nirame - Hariharan, Clinton

ARR and Clinton, harmonize Sakiye Snehithiye which sets in motion the beautiful melody line for the song. Naveen, ARR's aasthana flautist plays the line with superb backing by guitars and violins (?) and chords - what a dream ambience ! Can't wait to get to the start of the song...

Hari starts off with pachai nirame - he sings it so softly, that it feels as if he is singing to a kid :-) - very brief pallavi - and the flute/guitar combo steps in immediately and a female harmony adds to the melody and you are into the stanza. Kilayil kaanum continues the melody of the theme with simply rhythm but then the instrument that ARR uses frequently to signify rain, speeds up the song even further. The song takes a turn at 1.52 for the good- but the violin piece that sets it up is even better (1.49-1.52). These two-line style repeats itself and ends up at Sakiye - Just note the use of bass guitar between 2.38-2.52 - it is a song in itself - amaaaazing !

There is no second interlude but for the above mentioned Sakiye lines and second stanza is very similar to the first one, with Hari improvising very well. Third interlude, if it could be called that, is simple and cute. Iravin nirame marks the third stanza, which is very similar to the previous ones except that it ends up with different lines for the section marking pallavi.

This song has awesome lyrics by none other than Vairamuthu - about likening the different colors of nature to the attributes of herione (now that is a new idea for Blogolala - any takers ?).

Powers Chords and bass guitar can be found through the section of the songs - sometimes underplayed - but amazing, melody oozing, candy floss song. Only ARR !

Rating 4.8 out of 5

Alaiypayuthe - Kalyani Menon, Harini, Neyveli Ramalakshmi

This classical carnatic song based on raga kAnaDa is reproduced as-is with just the rhythm and bells and nice tampura. Would like to add this song and ragam, has been always on the top of my favorite list of ragas, since my childhood days and just that now more ragas have been added ;)

Couple of pronounciation errors yet again, kinda diluted by three people singing it :-(

Rating : unrated :-)

September Madham - Asha Bhosle, Shankar Mahadevan

Typical fast, dance number with awesome bass and heavy arabic influence in the main melody line. Catchy rhythm, acoustic guitar, youthful rendering by Asha and Shankar mark the highlight of the song.

The picturization of this song was a let down, imho

Rating 4.1 out of 5

Snehidhane - Sadhana Sargam, Srinivas

Srinivas starts off with 'Netru' in a false voice and is backed by a chorus and slap/bass which sets up the dreamy start to the song.

Sadhana comes in with her easy and lovely style singing Snehidhane and one notices the use of superb chords right away to wonderfully convey the romance element in the song. The pallavi seems to take many turns, all providing with wonderful bursts of melody. Idhe azhutham (1.10) and vazhvin (1.20) and vazhvin (1.26) all are unexpected changes in the direction of the melody - no one is complaining though :-). Note the total vaccum of musical instruments between 1.26 - 1.30 where the melody carries the burden.

Sarangi marks the first interlude with tabla and payal adorning the piece. It is pretty much along the lines of the main melody of the song.

The first stanza, is yet another, turn of melody. Wonderful is the only word that can be used to describe the feeling. Beautiful chords and amazing work on the bass sustain the first stanza, which traverses the realm of dream-sequence :-) . The tune returns to its main melody theme, yet again at 2.41 - which brings you beautifully back to the pallavi - what lovely chords !

Second interlude is the chorus singing of Netru - yet again the bass work is simply amazing. The second stanza is more or less the same as the first one, but the there are very small of sections of cutsy improvisations ( at 4.35 - a whistle like) that bring cool'ness

Very adddddorable and lovely song - seemingly formed the inspiration for the song Vaseegara (Minnale - not a copy, a beautiful song in its own stead)

High points are the chords and bass work ! - awesome, very good voice of Sadhana, pronounciation could have been better.

For the raga enthusiasts, there seems to be some mix of natabhairavi and mohanam (briefly in the stanzas) in this song :)

Rating 4.8 out of 5

Kadhal Sadugudu - S.P Charan, Naveen

Simplicity is the name of this song. Take a piano and a bass guitar and shakers for rhythm, and produce a song of this calibre - Mark of a genius !!!

Charan (SPB's son - you can almost hear SPB at places ;) ) and Naveen (the inimicable flautist) get started with Kadhal Sadugudu. The pallavi is just awesome, especially at places like Alaiye (00.35-00.45) - notice the bass guitar riff at 0.51 - COOL and nakila nakila (00.55-1.05)

Song is basically developed on the theme from pallavi. The first interlude is nothing but brief piano section to setup the first stanza, the chords help the transition.

Neerattum Nerathil opens the stanza, is just the beginning of what leads to a wonderful crescendo of the song. You can observe how, the melody and pace of the song is slowly built up by the intensity of the tune and chords and the use of the piano. Starting En Kannil (2.01) the chords, bass and piano converge to start giving you the preview of goose bumps that you'll encounter when u get to En Vazhvum En Savum Un Kannin Asaivile (2.11-2.16) - Breathtaking ! - Here is where, the song missed SPB :-)

Second interlude is non-existent, and ARR gets the stanza started in a hurry. But for some minor variations on the piano plays, it follows the first to a T, but does not fail to give you another round of goose bumps ;) (3.33- 3.38)

The return to pallavi witnesses some more instrumentation and some good work on the bass yet again at 4.09-4.11

Very short song (4.30) by ARR standards - yea a grouse, with such a wonderful melody line, the song could have been longer :-)

Bass and piano hijack the song from the start to end - Wonderful and simple melody !

Natabhairavi (s r1 g2 m1 p d1 n2) seems to be the overriding ragam in this song :)

Rating 4.6 out of 5

Evano Oruvan - Swarnalatha

Howling winds welcome you in this melancholic song - with superb instrumentation and heavy arabic influence. Swarnalatha is a perfect fit with this son. Her forte is her ability to emote and intonate very well

Strings section starting sets the sad mood for the song (00.45-1.00) - reminds you some of the opening-credit-scores in older day (50's) movies. Kiravani (s r1 g2 m1 p d1 n3 S) it is !!!

Pallavi is cute, with certain pieces seemingly more sad than others. Thavam pol (1.18) and avan oodhum (1.39) being the clinchers. Very minimal instrumentation.

Interlude, sees Naveen in action - this time with the flute (1.53-2.08) - the tune seems to plead you to enjoin the sadness - such emotion ! and the opening strings section repeated completes the interlude.

The stanza is basically an extension of the pallavi with nice santoor/harp like backing and strings section and flute chirps in to support the lines. Continues to be simple and sad :-D. The second interlude is the highlight of the song. It begins with the repeat of the opening string section. A brief pause, adorned only by the rhythm ( 3.38-3.45) and suddenly a faced-paced string arrangement races your senses 3.49-4.05. This is typical ARR arrangement, but once again, the tempo and the ragam reminds you of some older day scores (not a copy, just similar).

Second stanza is no different than the first - but the lyrics - man Vairamuthu rocks - Andha Kuzhalai pol azhuvadharku - athanai kangal enakkilaye (4.59-5.07) - meaning, can't cry as much as a flute, since i lack that many eyes - in reference to the bamboo holes :-)

And the flute draws the curtain on the song. Very soulful melody.

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Endrendrum Punnagai - Clinton, Pravin, Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan

One of the two add-ons to the orignial album - is a short, but a fast-paced, dance number. Typical rock number - with good work on the guitar, simple rhythm, nice chorus, and lotsa synth work - mark this number. Maddy starring this bit was a raging hit :-)

Rating 4.3 out of 5

Mangalyam Thanthuna Clinton, Srinivas

Second add-on - is more of a free-form of Endrendrum Punnagai with chanting of Mangalyam thanthunaane na - the famous words with which many TFMovies end ;)

Rating 4.2 out of 5

The album emphasised more on the melody aspect, without compromising on the mass-appeal factor - and came out successful. As with MR & ARR combo, the songs were all raging hits - and this is definitely a must-have in your collection.

Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5

Other Music Reviews

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

[Book Watch] Fountainhead

******SPOILER ALERT*******

Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, as a novel has had mixed luck with me. First time i picked it up, few pages was all it took, to decide i wont read it :-)

But my buddies persisted and i decided to give it a try and man, was i a lost soul for the better part of two weeks. While i read the book, it was one of the most addictive books i've ever read - but it pushed me further into depression. The small print and the size of the book made a fast-reader like me, crawl like a road-roller racing against time, prolonging the depression.

The story is about 'the ideal man', Howard Roark - an architect, with modernistic ideas - a man, who does not know how to emote, who does not feel anger, happiness, but just lives on. He wants all his work to be purely his. Not a pencil stroke of dilution from his original construction plans. He does not care about the money, nor the reputation involved - it is either his way or highway.

Peter Keating, is the embodiment of successful men by corporate standards. He manipulates everyone in his way to get to the top. He gives up some many things he loves - his love-interest, his passion for painting and, his morals - to reach the top. Only to be controlled by Ellsworth Toohey.

Ellsworth Toohey, a critic, reviewer, is manipulator par-excellence. He manages to control a vast majority of the population with his socio-religious-communist view, preaching self-sacrifice, altruism and use that card to get his needs satisfied. He cultivates collectivism - cult by volume. He attempts to steer the world in the direction he wants via the masses a.k.a his followers.

Dominique Francon, is a beautiful woman (apparently - 'heriones better be beautiful', is a theme that has been adopted since time immemorial :P) - who is potrayed as the female equivalent of Roark. She displays very little emotion. She and Roark speak without speaking. She rarely permits herself to indulge in the emotion that a normal woman is expected to.

Gail Wynand, a media mogul - controls everything via the ever-powerful media. He holds a vast empire of magazines, real estate and commands enough control within the powers-that-be to let life-of-the-country run, the way he wants. He is the ruthless, merciless, amoral, rich business magnate.

Story in a nut-shell - Roark stays at Keating's place, from where both go to the same architecture school. Roark is expelled, for refusing to do things the conventional-way. He insists on modernism in his work - while the school would have none of it.

Apparently, not just the school - but the world. His work fails miserably, building after building, contract after contract. Keating, the topper, takes the help of Roark, every single time, and is supremely successful in his career. He is backed by the likes of Toohey and Dominique - both writing for Wynand publications. Along the way, Keating meets Dominique, who also happens to be the daughter of the owner of the company he works for - decides that marrying her would mean control of the entire company.

Dominique meets Roark, and they fall in 'love' - if it can be called that !. Toohey decides to prevent Roark's success at any cost - since he believes in collectivism. Dominique agrees to the strategy because, Roark's work is too good to be let appreciated by the masses (!!). Dominique marries Keating to get him the success, that is supposed to bring Roark down (so that masses dont get to appreciate Roark's work !). Subsequently, Toohey decides, he will throw spanner in the life of Keating by, introducing Dominique to Wynand.

Wynand asks for Dominique's hand in marriage and succeeds. He falls madly in love with her. He discovers Roark, and immediately adores him as his hero. Slowly but surely, Roark starts getting more attention, albeit, not publicly endorsed by Wynand. Toohey does not like the developments. He arranges for Keating to be de-throned and installs some of his yes-men at the helm. Toohey also builds up worker's union against Wynand publications.

Keating now almost a pauper, needs a project desperately to redeem his lost status. He approaches Roark for help - and Roark agrees to help on one-condition - 'Keating would have to make sure, his design is accepted and implemented as is'. Keating accepts the condition and takes Roark's help. Toohey arranges for dilution of the design via more architects and the modified building is up and running before Roark comes to know of it.

Roark, not happy with the development (flaw in his character potrayal ?) - blasts the building and surrenders himself to the cops. Wynand, for the first time, comes out in support of Roark - all his people revolt against him. Public stop reading his magazine, he loses support, money - everything in trying to support Roark. Dominique publicises sleeping with Roark, Wynand unwillingly divorces her, his publications character assasinate Dominique - and he builds back his empire.

Roark delivers a climactic lecture, as is the wont of heroes, and gets acquitted the moment he stops his lecture. Toohey is fired, Roark marries Dominique, and everyone lives happily ever after.

phew - the nut-shell is not very small apparently ;) - the one reason, i chose to explain the story is, if it takes so long to write, it needs much more time to read :-D

I liked the development of characters and situation -not the narrative so much. The story ends highly unlike what has been preached through the book. The philosophy is cool - 'The need of the individual comes before the need of society' :-)

Verdict - needs patience, needs stamina, needs perseverance - to complete this book -Not recommended for light reading.

See more Book Reviews

Monday, September 26, 2005

[C says..] Tennis Racket

I am a Tennis Racket. I am asleep when it is cold outside. At other times, i chase tennis balls around and slap them hard.

See C's Origin

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cost Cutting

The term 'Cost Cutting' was made famous post-dot-com-bust era. Everyone has heard it been used, sometimes, closer to heart, sometimes farther away from it. What would be life, if we can't make fun of it and have a few hearty laughs at the expense of 'Cost Cutting'.

A multi-million dollar company - ( yeah which company will be run for less than a million, the CEO's salary would eat most of it :P ) - suddenly, faces the heat from the board/investors. These are the first few steps they will take

* They will convene a board-meeting at the costliest hotel ever known to mankind and decide 'Cost cutting' is the only way out.

* To set the cost-cutting process in motion, the first item that will save them millions of dollars is...... pen. Yes, the number of pens that will be available will be cut-down. You will have 5-10 pens for about 100 people in an office. Ofcourse, there is a good reason for this move - are you not using 'e'-verything ? why do you need a pen ?

* If you don't need pen, why do you need papers ?. There will be this circular that will be printed on the costliest color-printer based stationery, which will break the news that, printers will not be equipped with papers anymore. However, you are free to bring your own papers to print out what you need.

It will be announced that, the initial cost-cutting measures will give the company much needed savings, that the senior management, will now declare a raise for themsevles.

* Few months, later, the board convenes yet again in the costliest hotel ever, and takes a 'hard' look at the numbers and decide the cost-savings is not good enough and decide to hire a consulting firm to help them identify measures of cost-cutting and agree to pay them $500k. The consultants would come in and identify, many more items in the stationery drawer that need not be around, like, stapler, clips, glue, files, folders etc.

* Toilet tissue usage will be rationed as well. Higher your grade, more tissues you will get. Usage over-and-above your quota, would be directly deducted from your salary.

* Restrooms breaks will be clocked.

* Trash cans will not be provided. You have take care of throwing out your own trash.

* Fresh air savings scheme will be introduced to reduce the A.C/Electricity costs

* Musical chairs will be introduced for desks. To cut down on cost of playing music, the division boss will take care of croon'ing and he will never stop ;)

* Mouse pads will be auctioned off.

* Only ONE machine will have internet connectivity for the entire company. That desk, will obviously not have a chair.

* Telephones will be replaced with throw-away plastic cups tied together via shoe laces. Yes, you silly - you will have to supply the shoe-laces. Ofcourse, you can't talk to anyone but your colleague next door.

* You have the option of, deferring your weekly salary, interest free until Y3K. And you have to personally appear to collect the same. To compensate for the non-availability of weekly pay, you will be offered a loan with low-interest rate of 10%.

Few more things will happen, including hiking the severance pay of the CEO, because his services are needed during the crisis and they want to retain him.

Ultimately, the company will go bankrupt and the high cost of human resources will be blamed for the disaster.

The business model of the company, 'eTrash' - check the status of your trash can at home, anytime online - was sound enough ! and it was too bad, the employees let the company down.

P.S: While you are busy commenting, let me go check whether someone has already patented this idea :P

Disclaimer : Any coincidences to companies living or dead is purely accidental and unintentional. If it did, I admire your company's cost-cutting strategies - are you hiring ?. If it did not, i can run the cost-cutting-office for you, on one-condition, that whatever you plan on saving, you should alteast give me 200% of that :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Support CRY

If you are, in, or around, these locations - Pittsburg, Chicago, Southern California, RDU or Boston, please support by joining the CRY Walk.

You can also support the walk through Walk Pledges.

Follow this link to CB's blog for more information

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sania, Federer, Agassi, Ganguly ...

What was the first thing that hit your cells when you read the title ? If it was Ganguly being the odd man out in the list of names- you rock dude(tte) ! - you *are* the die-hard Indian cricket fan :P

First, Sania Mirza, the lass creating ripple of jaw-drops, made it to the fourth round of the US Open Tennis Championship. There are two ways of looking at it. One, no indian tennish player, male or female, has been as successfully consistent in making it to the Grand Slams rounds. 3rd at the Aus. , 1st at the French, 2nd at the Wimbledon and 4th at the US Open. This in itself is a 'first' for Indian tennis and add to it the gender factor - no wonder she is a celebrity !. She is nowing knocking on the doors of the Top-30 list which is a real great achievement. Second, way to look at it, yes, so what ? - It may be a rare thing for Indian tennis. Don't players from world over, small countries or otherwise succeed in all walks of life, sports included ?. Why is it that it we, as Indians, should be so proud of someone making it to the initial rounds successfully ?

IMHO, the middleground, as always, is somewhere in between. [:p ;) ] She should be duly credited for breaking the shackles, and duly encouraged to perform and reach higher goals. (p.s For the record, I had initially made-these couple of posts about Sania (Sania1, Sania2)

Second, Agassi. Just hats-off to this old-work-horse-warrior. Just amazing, to look at how he has managed to remain so focussed, fit, determined and dish out such quality tennis at such an age. His game was simply awesome. The commentators have now taken a stand, that he is the best-ever returner the game has known. I guess, i have to agree looking at the way some of the returns were made in today's US Open finals ! - I had hoped that he would win US Open this time around and end his career on a high-flying note, but that was not to be. May we see more of this man and his wonderful tennis !
(p.s For the record, I had initially made-this posts about Agassi)

Third, Federer. So far, i had not seen Federer play tennis, in-line with his reputation of the best ever. That was primarily coz of one Aussie named L.Hewitt - who happens to forget his tennis, when Federer seems to be anywhere on the planet. But today was different. Man, this guy can hit a winner from anywhere on the court, and best while it is his forehand. His back-hand was still very questionable, but even then his shots were real good. His serve was good, high first serve percentage. The power he packs into his shots are awesome. While Sampras did all of this pretty much the same way, the one thing that separates both is the 'aggression' that Federer seems to be made of.

Sampras, never used to bother about attacking the opponents' serve, but for the closing moments of a set, he would gently knock it in, get his serve done with in matter of seconds and get to the closing moments, move to the next gear, unleash his running forehand, couple of backhand passing shots and be done with the game.

But Federer, plays every point like that - as if there is no tomorrow ! If he can maintain such intensity through his career, and remain injury free, and play like this for another 4 years, Sampras reign could come to an end, easily at that. Only time will tell. ! (This is a radically different stand than the one i took sometime in may. Robbie, i partly agree with you :P )

(p.s For the record, I had initially made-this posts about Federer)

Zero'eth, oops, Fourth, Ganguly (why does mind tend to correlate ducks & ganguly always :-?) - hee hee, am not sure what to write Ganguly. But let me add a word about all the hulla-bulla that had been raised in the recently concluded series against SriLanka. It was about whether Indians were batsmen short or bowler short or fielders short. I think it is all of them.

Think of it,
when Indians win, do all the batsmen score ? no Only two people do.
when Indians win, do all bowlers take wickets ? no Only two people do.
when Indians take good catches, do all the fielders do well ? no Only two people do.
(and all of such feats - neatly separated by a gap of two years - too much 'planning' huhh ? )

My recommendation : Indian team should follow NFL style strategy. Have a batting-team (where all of them are batsmen), bowling-team(where all of them are bowlers) and fielding-team(where all of them are good fielders) and a coach (to decide, when to use which team :P)

Let us enjoy the week ahead and please write in to the BCCI suggesting for the NFL style teaming strategy :-)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bees are here...

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi
Srikanth's album H1BEES is finally here

I would request you all to kindly encourage such artists, who create music purely coz of the love they have for it.

His motto is 'It isn't hard to compose original music'. Coming from one of the people we know in the blog community, i want to take this oppurtunity to wish him all grand success in this endeavor and urge to you take a minute to support his attempt.

Enjoy the music, and have fun while it lasts.

Related Reads : Behind-the-Scenes, Srikanth's Blog

Disclaimer : All Copyrights & Trademarks belong to respective owners and apply.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

[Song Glance] Ponniyin Selvan

Back in action with one more quick glance at an album. This time it is the movie called 'Ponniyin Selvan'. The music is by Vidyasagar. Lets get to the review quickly ;)

Ponniyin Selvan by Vidyasagar (Click to listen @ Raaga.com)

Do Re Me - Kunal, Arjun, Benny

Don't know why this song needs 3 singers :-) . VS brings out his trademark chords arrangement, with unconventional mix of the beats with some techno-sounds (yes sounds ;) ) - The rap section is quite passable. The invention of 'Skip' feature makes sense after all

Vennila - Cicily, Harish Raghavendra

Simple, folksy number - this song is sure to appeal to masses just for that fact. Stanza starts off in very promising fashion, only to lose direction somewhere in between, nonetheless, song willl definitely stay around on your lips, longer than the last drop of coke ;)

Kadhal Poonga - Udit Narayan, Sujatha

The opening strings piece reminds of some 90s VS number ('vennilave vellai poove' - Arjun, Meena ?) . And yet again, Udit is totally out-of-place with some of the sections in the stanza - not just the pronounciation, which is proclaimedly horrible - but even the singing aspect of it. Just does not fit the bill. Sujatha would have sung this number sleeping :-)
If you are thinking this song should be called 'Kadhal Pisasu' (Run), you are not alone :-) You may end up liking this number, if you liked 'Kadhal Pisasu'

Thachikko - Anuradha Sriram, Mathangi

The song is definitely likeable. Highly catchy and hummable - Anuradha & Mathangi contrast and complement each other very well. Rhythm is very typical of VS. Beautiful touches of kaapi ragam found here and there. Nice song !

Siruthooral - Srinivas, Sadhana Sargam

Nice, melodious piece - simple song - nothing spectacular, neither pedestrian. Both the singers have done a decent job. With few sessions, you will come to like this

Kola Kolayya - KK, Sujatha

Folksy dance number - nothing to write home about more than these three words. With the craze for such numbers, dont wonder if this catches on :-)

This album is testimony to what is called the dis-interested music director phenomenon - either they should not sign-up or if they do, they should give their best. One expects better from seasoned MDs like Vidyasagar.

Enjoy other reviews from the archives

p.s : Enjoy your (long) weekend, drive responsibly. I will be back in action by wednesday. Have fun

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blogolala Blogolala

Munimma, had inspired this thought, about, how over time, the description of women/girls in movies are getting more current. I had initially started this piece about how in this blog-fad-world, the description would be today - (via a comment on Munim's site and with her permission, elaborating on it :-))

hey blogolala hey blogolala

un azhagu- blog'ai pol adhisaya piravi
un parvai - blog title pol puriyadhadhu
un pinne - comments'ai pol kodi makkal
un ulle - post'ai pol naan mattume

hey blogolala hey blogolala

un kural - oru audio blog
un mugam - oru photo blog
un kaigal - konjam neelamana post
un kanna-kuzhi - konjam azhamana post

hey blogolala hey blogolala

unnai mattum dhaan naan parpen
nee mattum dhan en blogroll
unnai yaar parthalum naan parpen
naan dhan un blogpatrol

hey blogolala hey blogolala


Your beauty - is a rare genius, as is the creation of blogs.
Like the title of blog, that i never understand, are your eyes - (that speaks thousand words)
Like the comments of post, there are millions behind you
Like the body of the post, am the only one in you

Your voice, is an audio blog
Your face, is a video blog
Your slender hands, are as long as a post
Your dimple, is as deep as a (thoughtful) post

I will just look at you,
you are my only blogroll
If anyone does look at you,
am your blogpatrol

Please consider this as personal invitation with betel-leaf, betel-nut, bananas, and, kumkum to add/build on top of the descriptions, you could also do the hero's description if you prefer ;)

Let the blogaraja comment festival begin ! :P

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

[Song Glance] Ghajini

There are so many albums out there, releasing quite frequently, that am unable to perform detailed review/critical appreciation for want of time :-(

Starting this post, I plan to write quick glances into the albums, to essentially capture first impressions and listenability :-)

Ghajini by Harris Jeyaraj (Click on the links to listen to the songs)

Oru Maalai - Karthik

If you have listened to *any* HJ song - you would know this song was coming ;) - Nothing spectacular, the tune is quite similar to many of his prior works (the line Adhanaal Illai urakkam from oh-mama (Minnale) ). The interlude, especially the first, is quite catchy. HJ has attempted to differentiate this song with some of his other works by some novelty in the way instrumentation is setup and the running loop (like Telephone mani'pol - not implying copy :-) )
Karthik has tried his best with this song to impart some life :-D

X-Machi - Naahul, Mathangi

Some good work on the chords, catch rhythm loop, seductive/husky voices cover-up for mal-nourished tune bank :-). Once again, but for the above, this song would force you to hit the skip button every-single time. Mathangi, has done quite a decent job

Suttum Vizhi - Sriram Parthasarathy, Bombay Jayashree

First impression - structure of the song seems to be heavily inspired by 'Kismat Se Tum' ('Pukar' by ARR) - especially the lines '(unnale) kaN vizhithu soppanam kanden'. The tune itself has shades of some 60's song - can't tell which. Second interlude is the best part of the song - with some superb work on the sax. I felt, that HJ was sleeping while doing this number - with the style he has chosen - he had tremendous scope to produce a belter, but he tries to do yet another, vaseegara and fails in the attempt. Couple of listens, and you would atleast not skip it ;)

Rahatulla - Anupama

So far, this song is refreshingly fresh from the other songs in the album. Anupama, has done her job well. Good bass work in the second interlude. Quite a catchy dance number, the closing sections of the song are very well done.

Rangola - Shankar Mahadevan, Sujatha

'Boom Boom Mattukaran theruvil' (Adhe Kangal) song stares at you - when you listen to the first line of the pallavi. The song as noted elsewhere reminds you of 'Andangakka/Rendakka' (Anniyan) in passing phases - especially the second interlude. This song presents you with the impression that this more of Vidyasagar style song than HJ. Both Shankar & Sujatha have done a decent job.

The album itself can carry the song-sequences for any run-of-the-mill movie with fancy dance numbers - but from a musical connoisseur's perspective, this would struggle to cut the grade

Other Reviews out there Kaps

Enjoy more music reviews via the archives

Monday, August 22, 2005

Father of Electronic music

Robert. A. Moog, popularly known as the Father of Electronic music, named after his invention of 'Synthesizer', passed away

Honestly, have not heard of this name before, till i stumbled upon this article. I think, a moment of silence thanking him for the way we now listen to music is not asking too much.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Got Spam ?

No, am not referring to the spate of friendly comments by blogdoctor in most of our blogs, but 'the real' spam.

Not sure, since when this feature is available (no release information from Google), but they have enabled 'Word Verification' feature - wherein the commentors would have manually 'enter' the words that they see, created via bitmap. For more details see this article

Ofcourse, you must be well aware by now, that, the goal of blogging is to get many comments, so you can choose to not enable this feature, there by encouraging more visitors.

Start Rant:
It is interesting as to how some of the automated-spammers have not gotten intelligent that they started commenting using 'profiles' - by-passing the 'anonymous' commentor option. It now really is a question for the courts to decide, as to whether, visiting someone's site and saying please visit my site is really a spam ????

Tech Rant : - Guess they use the google's last 100 updated blogs to pick up the blog ID and do a text match for 'this blog does not allow anonymous comments' and decide to use either the anonymous option or 'logged on' option - smart huh ! :-D
:Stop Rant

p.s : If this is not your cup-of-tea, join-in for the masala milk post below :P

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bitter Milk and Birla Mandir

They wondered why...

She liked his looks, brilliance, jokes and charm.
He liked her personality, wit, smile and thoughts.
They loved each other's presence
They fell in love madly and married promptly

They wondered how they were made for each other

She needed coffee first thing in the morning, she was a south-indian
He will die without tea first thing, he was a north-indian.
He had his way, even plain milk tasted sweet that day !

She wondered why even plain milk tasted bitter that day !

He felt like visiting Birla mandir
She wanted to go to Siva-Vishnu Temple
She had her way, prayed that he gets to like coffee
He prayed, that he gets to go to Birla Mandir

They wondered when their prayers will be answered !

"Solution of one's problem lies with the other" ...
Answers, they apparently, never heard.

Most Silly Disclaimer I have ever written : All the incidents and characters are purely fictional. Any resemblances to individuals are purely accidental and non-intended. If you have not heard the answer till now, you will never ! :P

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blog with Word !

Breaking News : You can now blog from within MS Word by installing a simple plugin. You can 'publish', 'save as draft' or 'open' posts from via MS Word.

Go for it ! - these guys never cease to amaze me with their creative thinking. From now on, you know who to blame, if you lost your 'post' :P

Follow this link to read the FAQ for it.

p.s : Do you love music, don't miss out on the oppurtunity to enjoy some good music. Have to do no further than just scrolling down below this post :)

Disclaimer: All the products and their websites are registered trademarks and copyrights of the respective organizations

Saturday, August 13, 2005

[Song Watch] Agni Nakshathram

Happy Independence Day - Jai Hind

Agni Nakashathram by Mani Ratnam - starring Prabhu, Karthik, Amala, Nirosha had music by the one and only IR. The album was raging hit by any standards. It had nice mix of all genres producing a feel-good effect when you complete one-round of listening :-).

Per request by many, have tried to cut down on very detailed description of the songs, baby-step at a time. Tell me, if it has worked :P

Ninnukori Varnam - Chitra

Trademark IR violins open this classic fusion number Ninnukori. Acoustic Guitar /Slap bass can be heard being beautiful played. Even though am not an expert in chords, have heard/read from many who are, that IR matches the best of best when it comes to chords. It is proved amply in this song. Azhagiya Raghuvarane (0.58- 1.00) marks the beautiful climax of the pallavi.

Awesome work on the drums, which was one of the hallmarks of this album mark the interlude which has an interesting synth sounds backed by lovely bass riffs.

The stanza, has remarkably underplayed chords, continues with the excellent backing by the guitars and the flawless chitra singing away beautifully. If there is one line that sags in the entire song it is the poojai kaaga yengudhu (2.02-2.12) but that is more than compensated for in the line that follows immediately. Unnondu Naan is constructed amazingly - yet again the guitar doing its bit. Lovely! is the only word that comes to mind.

Second interlude, a very classic IR piece, with yet again, wonderful touches on violin, synth and drums. Second stanza follows the first to a 'T'. Interesting point to note the word of 'mohanam' which is the ragam of the song for those interested. It typically is a practise for all carnatic composers to include the reference to the ragam, in which the song is based on. Will we know whether it was intentional ?

Beautiful fusion number, amazing work on the bass & guitar and flawless rendition

Rating 4.6 out of 5

Oru Poongavanam - S. Janaki

Birds chirp away, flapping their wings setting the scene for the song. Janaki starts off the song with Oru Poongavam. There is the beautiful loop of piano with simple chords. Water splashing (signifying Nirosha swimming) and solo flute sets a melancholic mood to the song which is accentuated by the piano/violin combo with cute beats.

The rhythm pattern changes and sets the tone for the stanza which continues along the main theme of the song. The best part of the stanza is when Janaki hits ulaavarum (2.18-2.28). The violin backing up those lines are simply so cute !. Just a brief one-liner is all there is before you get into the second-interlude. IMHO, second interlude is *the* highlight of the song. synth pieces with amazing violing backing is simpy out of the world.

A simple song, with a touch of melancholy, nicely done.

Rating 4.2 out of 5

Roja Poo Aadi - S. Janaki & Chorus

Cool and hip rhythm piece welcomes you along with chorus harmony/voice chaas (instead of 'oohs') and awesome guitar/slap bass combo yet again. Roja Poo was so dance-inspiring when heard 17 years back. It still is such beautiful fast number. The chords in the pallavi are very nicely layered to bring awesome effect. Janaki emotes well, not ideal for the situation, but still executing the task of sounding youthful in masterly manner. By the time the pallavi is over, You will already be humming ta.taan.ta.taan after the line Roja Poo Aadi vandhadhu

Interlude, again, has violins, guitars and drums forging a superb alliance. Stanza adds to the foot-tapping effect by building on top of the theme. A wonderful twist awaits you at Thodu Thodu 2.15- 2.24.

Second interlude has beautiful piano roll and continues superb work on the violins from where it left off from the first interlude with 'voice chaas' . Stanza is same as the first, the twist, when it comes, is still superb at Idho Idho 3.28 - 3.37.

Bass is much more muted than other songs. IR unleashes some more power chords to top-off the song on a superb note.

Such a dance number, better than many numbers belted out today.

Rating 4.3 out of 5

Thoongatha Vizhigal - K.J. Yesudas & S. Janaki

Who would'nt fall in love with this wonderful number !. It had all the ingredients of a perfect melody - tune with carnatic base (ragam Amruthavarshini - more on that later in this blog), superb orchestration, flawless rendition and voila - a chartbuster !

The opening rhythm pattern is the typical 80'ish one. But that is the only thing that is predictable about the song. Chorus singing with techno sounds in the background and a brief flute cameo sets the tone for the pallavi - literally so. The pallavi is so lavishly composed in Amruthavarshini. It has some very interesting example of how to handle of meter-thaala kattu for the lyrics. In the fourth line, you have 'Anbe Nee illadhu' and the previous line that was similar was 'Paneerai theLithAlum'. You can never do the same meter for Anbe and Paneerai and thats where you can see how IR's genius comes out in 0.44 -0.47 - Wow !

Interlude is brief, simple and harps on the theme of the song. KJY starts the stanza with Mamara Ilai Mele . This alters the style of the song, bringing in some beautiful chord backing the voice of KJY. Some of the pieces are agmark Amruthavarshini - especially 2.07 through end of the stanza. Janaki handles those sections with marked ease. Amazingly well done stanza.

Second interlude is notably different from the main theme of the song, with yet again the stanza bringing in the dialog version of SJ & KJY singing. Second stanza is no different than the first.
Yet again bass riffs & chords have to be given their due credit ! - beautiful work.

Even though KJY handles the song comfortably, I felt Janaki came out on top in this song !.

Amruthavarshini ragam is made of S G3 M2 P N3 S. The ragam is supposed to bring 'rain' when sung. Whether or not that is true, our heart is moist with lovely melody when listening :-). My roomie pointed out another song by K.V. Mahadevan Anathineya Ra (Swathi Kiranam - courtesy Raaga.com)

Awesome song !

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Vaa Vaa Anbe - K.J. Yesudas, Chitra

This songs sounds evokes a pathos kinda mood even primarily because of the use of shades of Sivaranji ragam through the major portion of the song.

Violins, flute and piano join in to welcome us for the opening of the song, before KJY can start. The pallavi is simple with nice violin & guitar backup. Violin Chords are wonderful - you just have to wonder, how such chords have been plucked out of thin air for a ragam like Sivaranjani - only IR

Guitar cotinues to shoulder the bulk-load of the interlude, which is very IR'ish by all means :-) . The stanza is very simple and straight forward, Chitra gets to join-in with Kalai Malai. The chords deserve mention starting at 1.56 - 2.16. Awesome !!. Chitra also emotes to a sad-context. Was this song recorded for some other situation and MR used it out-of-context ? But lyrics all point to a love-duet !

Second interlude, is the best part of the song, wonderful orchestration (Violin & flute). Well, who better than IR to arrange something like that !. Second stanza follows the first in all aspects and brings the song to an end.

Notable piano rolls at the back-end. Quite passable a song. IMHO this song is the weakest link of an otherwise stellar album.

Rating 4.0 out of 5

Raja Rajathi - IR & Chorus

The opening line of this song had been on the lips of everyone during its release. It also had its due share of fun-pokers as to how 'recitative' the song was instead of being a 'song'.

IR showcases his skills as a vocalist & his mastery over rhythm/drums in this song. The drum piece in the first interlude is still famous, he has actually made a 'song' out of that piece !

Pallavi has some nice harmony backing up IR going Raja Rajathi and beautiful bass riffs. Interlude as mentioned above is out-of-the-world, you just listen to it with dropped jaws period. :-)

Stanza continues on the theme of recitative singing. People looking for typical IR 'tune' would not find it in this song. The second interlude is IR with experimentative hat on. The change in rhythm, did not augur well for the song, it kinda lost the tempo, which is odd for a song, that banks on the awesome rhythm. The second stanza is all the same but for the change in rhythm pattern. The song finishes off in the same fast tempo as it opens. It was/is still a dance number amongst most youngsters !. A very catchy, foot-tapping piece indeed

Rating 4.4 out of 5

The collection, has a perfect breath-taking mix of variety of songs, fusion, western, filmi etc. Very wonderfully done. Can't repeat it enough as to how the bass guitar/chord sections are so superb, that all aspiring musicians can ignore listening to such albums only at their own peril.

Some of the other observations include, the duration of the songs - most of them are under 4.30 minutes and also how the first stanza and the seldom differ in their arrangement :-)

This album, IMHO, is one of IR's bests albums.

Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5 - Must Have in any music lover's collection !

Enjoy more reviews from the archives

Disclaimer : Thanks Raaga.com - All copyrights & trademarks of Raaga.com is owned by the Raaga.com web-site

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Google's Blogger Survey


Urge you to take the Google's Blogger Survey and voice your opinion. In most cases, we dont take surveys coz we never 'see' the feedback in action. This time around, just to atleast keep the service free, i guess we should all take the survey and comment on it to say 'keep it free' :-)

Hope Google takes the survey seriously :-)

p.s : Do you believe in anything ? Read this article and its comments. At the end of it, you are guaranteed to be on the either end of 'spectrum of belief' or money back* (Terms and Conditions Apply) :P

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Recently, there was this kavidhai pOTi announced by Narayan Sir. The topic brought in some thoughts that i have assimilated into a small 8-vari-kavidhai.

For reading pleasure, please read every line twice - that strategy can turn even a.b.c.d (alphabet) into pudhukavidhai !

peTravar endral thaai
valarthavar endral thandhai

moothavar endral annan
iLaiyavar endral thangai

maNandhavar endral manaivi
eendravar endral makkal

irandhavar endral iraivan
iravian endral maTTum nAthigam ?



You believe,

mother is who gave birth to you
father is who brought you up

brother is who is elder to you
sister is who is younger to you

your wife is, who you married
your child is, your offspring

loved ones that pass away, are (with) God
The moment it comes to God, you believe in atheism ?

p.s : Don't miss out on the chance to be a part of History. Learn the latest technique to blog effectively within 3 minutes 37 seconds. Well, that is what it takes to read my Blogging 101 post ! ;). Scroll down a bit or if you are lazy, click on this... Blogging 101

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blogging 101

* updated Photo Blogs & Audio Blogs based on popular request ;) - please start the comment festival again :P *

Sometimes, it helps to make fun of your ilk. Request all bloggers to take it easy and laugh it off - no offense meant :-)

If you have really landed on this post hoping to find the right starting point. You got it !!. Please send me a blank check ASAP.

Let's get started !...

Sign up for a blogging account.

Do not think of why you need to blog. Just do it.

Think of abnormal phrases as titles for your blog. It can be anything like 'velilale mazhai' to 'thoughtless thoughts' to anything that cannot be pronounced. Note, nothing prevents you from using day-to-day items like 'Bata' Bytes or 'Rivet'ting rants etc. The more non-indian the title is the more catchy it is. (Tip: Try Greek, Latin, Spanish or even Madras Bashai)

Goal of blogging is to have as many visitors as you can get and as many comments as you get. Do not build up any other false 'hopes'

What to write ? Make up your mind about what you want to write. There are many options.
Daily Journals - which can include anything from your daily activity.
e.g. I opened a new bar of soap at 8.40 am today morning
Here in front of me is a sparrow.
(Oh, btb, it flew off before i could complete the journal )
Note : If you plan on keeping Daily Journals and if you are no celebrity, just make sure, your profile is set to be 'female'. Most readers dont read journals of men (Sorry men-folk that is the truth and Sorry women-folk, trust me, that is the truth)

Raving or Ranting - You can write about anything you want.

e.g. I saw a bee today. God awful. I am gonna $%$%!#$%^*& any bee i see.
Why do crows have to be black ?
I love masala dosai because...
I hate Lalu Prasad because...

Note: Since you are gonna be bashing someone in your post, you better be so speculative that you will generate lotsa readership like some of the 'leading' online 'magazines' (No candies for guessing what magazine is being referred)

Movies/Songs/Entertainment Gossips - Thunukku Mootai.

No examples - If you don't know what gossip/thunukku mootai is till now, you dont need to know it in future either :P

Philosophy/Sports/Science/Arts - Write all about topics in that 'genre'
e.g. Why do we exit
Why Tendulkar rocks or Why Ganguly Sucks
Why Google is hot
Why IR/ARR is good and all others are bad.

Reviews - Write what you felt about book/movie/music/places
e.g. Anniyan Sadha Sodha
Harry Potter raises hairs
Da vinci code is a winner
The best part about writing reviews is - you don't have to know squat about anything - just throw in some terminology - there will be atleast few people who will agree/disagree with you - that is all you need :P

*updated based on popular request :) *
Audio Blogs
For all of those who feel, they are the next SPB, KJY or Hariharan, and the only reason, they are not SPB/KJY is because have not been given a mic, this is your golden oppurtunity. Signup for audio blogging and starting crooning your way to glory.

You can also talk about anything, you can do mimicry, you can sing, you can cry - but make sure you don't make others cry :P

Aslo, you can be like de'waugh sir or banu malick siri.e. you can audio blog existing songs and call it your own audio blog.

Warning: You can be sued by the above sirs for copright i.e. right to copy infringement ;)

*updated based on popular request :) *
Photo Blogs
We all know picture speaks thousand words. If you can take pictures that can express thousand words well and good. Just make sure, you have good enough pictures to convey your happiness about the latest IR album, anguish about how bad a recent movies was. No 'leading magazine' style sleaze festival please ;)

Ofcourse, the fall back is always post pictures of a rose, a building, a bird and many more things. One good thing about using such pictures is, the only 'negative comment' you can get is how the lighting/photograph was not good - never the building or the bird i.e the content is always good :P

All of the above - Safest way to start, since you can write what you feel without being 'branded' :-)

Driving up visitors - Sign up with blogpatrol.com and set the start counter to 'bata shoe price' like 299 or 2999 etc - Never start with '0' - that is a big turn off.

Don't answer any question you are being asked directly. Ask them to go to your blogs instead.

e.g. Q: 'Do you know where the nearest pizza hut is ?'
A: Yes. Please visit my blog.
Q: 'Do you write about pizzas ?'
A: No. My blog has link to google and you can click on it and find a pizza hut near by

Note: It also helps to be a bit shameless. You can go to random sites and leave a comment prompting visit from the victim

Driving up comments - This is a big course in itself. There are some pioneers in the blogosphere who can talk hours together endlessly about this.

Tip1 : It helps to have opinionated friends. Go beat them up, cry, beg them to visit your website

Tip2 : Never restrict your comments to 'Only logged on bloggers'. Leave it open to anonymous.

Tip3 : If no one comments, comment as anonymous. Senthil has written in detail about many more ideas on this topic.

Tip4 : Reply to every comment. If possible, do multiple posts of the same comment, pretending it is accidental

Tip5 : Visit any blog site you can think of and leave a comment. "This was wonderful" is all you need. Copy paste it. Blogger etiquette demands a reply "This was wonderful" on your blog. Guaranteed or money back* (Terms and Conditions apply)

Blogroll biggies- The more your site is linked up via biggies's sites, the more visitors, comments you get.

Have a big heart - there may be cases, when you wont have visitors or comments. Just write something bad about some super heroes, you are guaranteed to have visitors.

If you are not upto the challenge and don't feel like blogging. Don't worry. Do visit this site often, and don't forget to leave a comment :P

Friday, July 29, 2005

Bombay Rains & Nature

Bombay Rains
Moment of nature's fury is all it takes to wipe out all of "it" from the face of earth
Man's fury tries to do that every second, till his death :-(

Rains that knew no bounds
37 inches in hours
Hundreds of people dead in a single day
That was Bombay

Lands that know no rain
3 inches a year
Thousands of people die every year
That is Tamil Nadu (not just TN)
Does Nature know no communism ? Why this disparity/discrimination ?

P.S : Don't miss the Musical Blast Post below

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Music Blast - Behind the Scenes

We all listen to music - either man-made or nature-made. How many of us have been part of 'behind-the-scenes' of a man-made album ?

I got lucky this week, when i had a chance to sit-in on the recording of Sriks' new album H1BEES

Man, was it not so much fun ? to watch up-close all the gadget-wizardy, singers in their cabins, humming out their portions. Wow it was really spell-binding.

They were working on the re-lyric'ing and re-mixing yester-year super-hit song. It was so hep and lyrics had a nice modern-day adaptation to it. The music was quite peppy and current !

Looks like Sriks is inspired by his thalaivar ARR, there was so much improvization that was part of the game. You can see creativity flowing when a sudden-idea is born and they re-do some of the parts to fit-in with the new thoughts.

All in all - can't wait to hear the album when it is out - rumour mill has it that, it will be first week of september.

Can't wait to write a review :-)

Friday, July 22, 2005

[Music Watch] Thiruda Thiruda

Thiruda Thiruda by Mani Ratnam, with P.C.Sriram and music by A.R.Rahman. It was one of those movies that had no logic and was purely entertainment movie. It was rumored to be entirely re-shot after MR did not like the outcome of the first rush. It was a big time flop at the box-office but had some of the best music and amazing camera work.

Rasaathi - Shahul Hameed & Co

A totally new voice was creating waves with the release of Thiruda Thiruda & Gentleman. Shahul Hameed it was !. Very different and pleasant at the same time, he was an instant hit with the audience.

It opens with Raasathi, and you can immediately bet your life, that you have never heard of such 'sounding' song before in your life !. Pallavi is simple and awesome. especially, the lines 'nee pona en'. Vocal harmony is all you get for any musical backing or interludes.

'mmmmhmmm's by the male harmony produces the equivalent of bass effect. 'aaah's by the female voice is nicely layered. First up, a single voice hums that, and then a chorus joins in. Looking at such wonderful layers of vocal harmony, Man, you are floored already and yet to even get to the stanza.

Shahul continues his rendition of the main theme, while the harmony picks up a faster tempo, and you could hear the first traces of bass (the only instrument in the entire song) being used. The male harmony, adds to the nicety in the humming (Manajal Araikkum Munne, 00.59 )

Every single line gets a vocal harmony which nicely complements the line. Listen to porava ponava dhaan at 1.13 - 1.17. The stanza is finished with a nice hum by the lead with harmony continuing.

The second interlude is made up of just female vocalists humming the theme of the song, with male vocal harmony providing with a such a peacefully satisfying tune.

The second stanza follows the first stanza to a 'T' and the song finishes off in the same vein, just that all the vocal harmony tracks are 'layered' to produce amazingly soothing effect.

The song proved early on, how much ARR loves to experiment. The song for the most part is bereft of any musical instrument, but for best ever known musical instrument, vocal chords ;)

It conveys the emotion of sadness caused by separation, excellently well.

Rating 4.6 out of 5

Kannum Kannum - Mano & Company

Yet again, the song starts with vocal harmony. The first time i heard it, don't know what hit you !. It was such a 'never-before-heard' in Indian Film Music type opening. You can replay from 0.00 till 00.23 and it will never disappoint you.

Mano starts the song with Kannum and immediately one notices the novelty. Every line alternates between a 'tick' kinda rhythm and hard-rock rhythm. The guitar work along with bass is awesome. The pallavi lines get repeated twice, before the first interlude sets in. The interlude is simple and cute. The stanza still uses the bongo ticks and hard-rock pattern. Bass guitar is the best part of the entire stanza.

The variety of voices/sound combination is evident by the use of 'vocal oohs' and the vocal effect at 2.22 - 2.27. The second interlude continues the vocal effect seen in 2.22 - 2.27 and uses the female vocal harmony to amazing effect. The guitar accentuates the hard-rock effect of the song.

Some of lines in the lyrics are funny, while some of them are downright superb like edhiri peyarai solli adhithal vetri endre artham. The song is relatively short by ARR standards at 4.06 but the tempo of the song is so fast that you dont even realize it has been just that short.

The song drags you into shout your heart out or shake your body out mode and you can really feel all our stress thrown out at the end of the song. Ecstatic best at the higher octaves and soulful swaras at the lower end.

For the carnatic music lover in your - learn agmark Sivaranjani from this song :-)

Trend-setter, pathbreaking rock song - and appropriately rocks !

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Konjum Nilavu - Anupama & Chorus

What can one say about this song ? About the husky vocals, the awesome programming, jaw-dropping rhythm or the tune itself !. This truly was a master-piece song from ARR's stable.

The song starts with opera like singing. The rhythm is such a free-flowing programming, built on top of traditional beats. Lotsa 'sounds' can be heard, that add the 'techno' feel to it. Bass, is noteworthy here. I think just the sheer work that goes into programming such stuff deserves high applause. The high point of the song is 'chandralekha' with nice chorus humming and superb chords. Interesting to note that some of the bass patterns were slightly touched up and used in 'oorvasi' and 'andha arabic'.

The stanza continues the bass loop, with ARR's forte, rhythm, being tweaked with techno effects like glass breaks etc. It already transports you into a dreamy fantasy mode, and wait till you hear the stanza. To the observant ear, you can notice the wonderfully done synth track that runs through the length of the stanza. The beautiful aspect of the stanza is how the melody theme, even though is very carnatic'ish gets superbly made-over to a western style. Listen to 'vandhu naan' at 2.32- 2.35, one could easily do an alaap in natabhairavi or related raagas as an extension to the song, but still one can swear that it is purely a western style song ! :-) Funny it is to realize that all music is contained in time-sequences of the seven swaras :-) !!!!!

The Suresh peters lead chorus at 2.47 through 2.55 adds a twist to the seriousness to the song and brings an awesome cresecendo to the song by Anupuma. The high point about the crescendo is the 'veena' piece between 3.05 and 3.08. No words to describe how we get puppetted at the wizardry of the music. Anupama scales the upper octaves as easily as she brings the seductive huskiness to the song. The second interlude is basically a re-work on the theme of the song and some from the first stanza. After a very brief pause, the song goes into the meditative mode yet again between 4.14 - 4.32 with the loop being played out by synth this time around. Yet again, the veena shows up for the brief cameo and brings the song back to its final phases, where Anupama once again lends so much 'emotion' to the song. The song finishes off with yet another amazing piece of higher octave singing and great work with the veena between 5.33 and 5.40

The end kinda wakes you up from the high-tech trance the song caused you to enter into :-) Only ARR !

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Putham Pudhu - Mano & Chitra

Sounds of thunder & rain greet you in this sweet melodious song wonderfully picturised in lush green background. PC Sriram and MR combo at its best ! Notes played by 'Bell' signifying rain drops (ARR does that often). Flute chirps away as if birds are dancing to the tune of nature, when beautiful run through of piano happens. I can still remember, how my friends (AP & AS) and I were excited to place our head right in-between in the two speakers of his boombox and see how the piano-roll would travel between one speaker and the other !. Chorus singing, violins and flute form the rest part of intro for 1.05 minutes into the song, before the actual pallavi starts.

(Remember all the audio casette store walahs ?, how they used to crib, "indha payyan, *in apparent reference to ARR* vandhapram, paatu ellam 5-6 nimishan ayidichu pa...munnadi ellam, 4 nimisham vandhale perisu" with a big sigh ! )

Mano opens the song with putham pudhu and Chitra follows him. There is the simple piano chords with lotsa treble, minimal violin instrumentation for the pallavi, and chorus is back at it again. The interlude is so wonderful, yet again, it transports you into such wonderful locations like only Ram.C manages to find :)

Mano continues with the charanam - Sondha Agayam vendum. Treble support continues but the bass steps in do amazing things to the song. Listen to the bass at 2.10-2.12. (Arun@Musicpaithiyam is to be blamed for all overflowing references to bass :P). The orchestration is simply superb and some of the lines (lyrics) are quite nice punnagai enghal thaai mozhi endra varam kodu is an eternally appealing line to lyricists of all times.

The second interlude is a show that is hijacked by the violins that continue with the dream world theme. Short but quite nice. This one song has quite a lot of chords that are underplayed, highly unlike ARR. As said earlier, the piano, violin, flute and heavy bass (awesome pieces between 2.13-2.15 and 3.36-3.38)

The lyrics, do definetely need some deserved credit. For the optimist, asking for peace, no cross-border disputes, no poverty, deserts turning into oases etc and are very good and fit well with the context of the song. Hopefully it just does not limit itself to the 'dream world' and works its way into reality as well.

Very melodious, sweet, simple and wonderful song.

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Thee Thee - Carolene

Jathis (Jathi Raja ?) and slap/bass guitar presenting 'straight from the book' opening of a perfect western-classical fusion song welcomes you to Thee Thee. As always with ARR, the complements of heavy percussion alternating with melody is brought out amply in this song as well. Carolene does the honors with this song, quite easily sung with beautiful chords. ARR redefined how chords get used in music arena after his arrival. This song is a classic example of the same.

Since we talked about fusion, this song is based on raga Bahudhari (S G3 M1 P D2 N2)-yes there bas been some liberal usage of 'ri' . Interlude treats you to another fusion of swaras sung out, with jathis and good work on drums leading you into yet another trance. Kannukul Thee Irundhum sets the stanza into motion with lovely chords with simple jathi backing to the fag end of the stanza.

Starting at 2.55, Tte second interlude IMHO is the best part in the entire song. The guitar plays amazing swaras from bahudhari. And you can keepo the inimicable Naveen on the flute away can you ?. Till you reach 3.30, the song maintains the racy tempo with fusion ambience produced via the rendition of Bahudhariraga. Listen to 3.27 - 3.28, how wonderfully Naveen executes that piece !!!!!!

Second stanza offers nothing new from the first stanza and the song gets ready to sign-off, with simple improvisations on the jathis and ARR unleashes another session of jathis and slap guitar and piano to end the song !.

Wonderful ! Watch out the bass riffs throughout the song ! nice one !. Fusion at its best. Even though western, carnatic style are in the race, in the end, the listener is the winner :-)

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Veerapandi Kotayile - Mano, Unni Menon, Chitra

Chitra (?) opens the song with a hum with immediately, a very innovative rhythm pattern sets in. If i remember correctly, it was played with rings (worn on fingers) tapped against (something like) cocunut shell. The thumping of rotosets the pace for the song.

Mano starts off with 'veerapandi kotayile' and now honest confession... ever since i heard that song, 'veerapandi kotayile' has always been 'punctuated' with 'zzzaaan zzzaan zzzannn zzzzan zzzzan' by the strings section. It is so addictive !!!

For the discerning listener in you, ARR has done voice layering. Mano sings a bass layer as well with his higher octave voice. Get a good ear-phone and a stero system, pump-up the volume and there you can hear him. Very nicely done :-)

Unni Menon backs up as the second male voice for the song. He does an equally nice job. His market picked up after ARR brought him back into the circuit. But poor him, with advent of Srinivas (who has similar voice/style) his market has come down drastically :-(

By the time pallavi is complete, you are 2 minutes into the song, but that does not take away the surprise element - finishing line of the pallavi. Listen to 1.59- 2.03. The 'ohh ohh' vocal are just out of the world - it goes through un-expected hoops with awesome string backing.

The pallavi itself has a 'recitative' feel to it - more like a narration than a song - which kinda gels well with the fast tempo. ARR, IMHO, has mastered the art of 'recitative' songs. Many of his songs have very simple and easy structure, that makes it easier to get into one's mind. At the other end of the spectrum, he has some of the most complexely structured compositions as well. (More on it, in a different post)

The interlude is very interestingly done. The tempo continues with minimal violin and flute combo, evoking the emotion of 'lonely night in a forest fraught with danger' :-). Checkout the section 2.57-3.03 beautifully done trumpet piece along with the orchestration of array of instruments . All of that paves way to the simple rhythm and chitra's voice.

Suddenly the song seems to take a turn for the 'softie' in you with 'rettai suriyan'. The pieces at 3.32 -3.36 distinctly brings a western classic touch to the song. ARR has used similar arrangements in Melissai (a very good song from 'Mr.Romeo') and couple of other songs (that i forget now). The instrument combo of flute, violin and strings bring that effect i presume :-)

The situation is supposed to bring out the herione love-torn between two heroes competing for her hand and the lines 'manavalan inge naanamma'and 'magarajan inge naanamma'provide for nice twist to the otherwise soft charanam and Chitra gets back to softie touch with 'idhu maalai mayakkam' and suddenly from nowhere, the song jumps back to 'ohh ohh' and back to pallavi !

The second interlude is really string in its bass'est mode (if there is a term like that ;) ). I can't seem to describe all the bends of the song in this section, but anyway within a brief period of 20 seconds, you get back on track with a normal theme and our now familiar ohh ohh and finally the chorus finishes off the song.

Pure and bold experimentation that gave us a brilliant song to like instantly. Sheer genius !

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Noticeably, all the songs had so many layers of musical tracks. That has been the hallmark of ARR. Many enthusiasts feel that, the number of layers explain why, sometimes, it takes so many hearings, for ARR's songs to grow on you :-). Every time you listen, you un-cover a piece. (To me, the only thing that comes closest to that experience is watching MMKR. Every single time, one finds a dialog that has been seemingly missed out, but is still rib-ticklingly funny.)

The Album for many years was rated as the best every by ARR - I would still like to think, it was one among his bests with his combined variety of melody, fast paced, fusion and experimental music. There has not been many such bold attempts at defying trend and setting new trends. For that very reason this album, IMHO gets a rating that is higher than the highest of any individual song :-)

Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5 ; if you don't have the album, go get it ! :-)

How did you enjoy this review ? Use the comment link below to express yourself :-)

Find more reviews in the music review archives

Acknowledgements : Arun@MusicPaithiyam

Friday, July 15, 2005

Found a Bug ?

With lotsa serious soul-searching (not soul-mate - duhh ;) going in the blogosphere, I wanted to write something lighter :-) Here is the outcome. (Acknowledgements: I was inspired by conversation with some of my colleagues)

Every Software has bugs. How do you market your software's user-friendliness, quality and at the same time make money out of the marketing blitz ?. Follow this technique.

Announce the following program for a long time, yes, not limited time.

Found a bug ? Win an iPod*
To participate in the program, you should find a bug in our software and submit entriy-form via our bug-reporting system, that we are yet to build. Only qualifying entries are considered for the unlucky draw. The chances of winning an iPod is one in zero.

*Terms and Conditions Apply:

1. You should not use a lens to read this terms and conditions. (Note, our font has been tested and approved to be not-readable with normal human-sight)

2. An expert panel from our developer group should agree that the reported bug is actually a bug. All decisions made by the developer group is binding and final

3. You may not report more than one bug. You will be disqualified if you have reported bugs in the past.

4. Very detailed step-by-step instructions should be filled out via our non-existent bug reporting system. The steps when followed by any person, should reproduce the bug. Also, the steps should be clear so that even a person, who does not understand the language should be able to read it

5. No other person, should have submitted this bug before. (Note, even entries that have been disqualified because of various reasons, would be considered as reported)

6. Bug should be reported within one-hour of the first sighting with screen shot at the time of the bug. Entries beyond one-hour will be disqualified

7. All bugs should first be attempted to be resolved via our state-of-the-art customer service center with the screen shot of the bug. You will be given a case-number that has to be attached to the entry-form.

8. You should wait atleast one-hour after you get the case-number to fill up the entry-form

9. You should give your email address which will ONLY be used for sending spam mails and you can not opt out of it.

10. ALL THE ABOVE CRITERIA MUST BE MET FOR THE ENTRY TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE DRAW. ANY DISQUALIFICATION MEANS YOU MUST GIVE US AN iPod. As a customer-friendly measure, we plan on sending out self-addressed envelopes that wont be delivered without a stamp, that you MUST use to send in your iPod.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Caste, Religion Etc...

This post is in response to the discussion thread initiated by Senthil. This response is a bit long, bit more philosophical. Would urge people to read it through the end and think it over and come to whatever is their own conclusion.

Related Reads : Self, Realization, Zero, Summa Theologica

Here is what i think about it. Since i've been tagged the diplomatic guy, i will try to be sensitive to the question and emotions involved.

Bottomline : Should we need caste system. If yes, why, If no, do we need another system or how to abolish/eradicate the existing system.

Let us think about it.

1) What is religion
Religion is belief in God.

2) What is atheism
Atheism is belief in non-existence of God

3) What is Science
A Methodical way of explaining any phenomena.

4) Can Science define an absolute 'right' or 'wrong'
No. What is 'right' today - may be 'wrong' tomorrow. There is nothing that has continued to stay and has not not-changed. The only non-changed activity over the test of time is 'death'.

What was a rectangle,box is now sphere (Earth).
What had no water (ask all our lyricists) has now ice (Moon).

Like that, all things are susceptible to change. Can we even say that there exists something that is never susceptible to change. I am not sure. May be, we might even be able 'defeat' 'death'.

5) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is religion right
For those who adopt a religion it is right

6) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is atheism right
For those who adopt a atheism it is right

7) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is Science right
The method may always be right, but that does not imply the explanation may always be right.

8) Has Science enabled you to write this and communicate this

9) Who created science

10) Who created humans
Evolution /God ( depends on you being atheist or a believer)

11) What is the single-most-parent-origin of evolution
we don't know

12) Do Humans change

13) Does Science i.e. method of explanation change

14) What does this all mean
we are trying to work on assumptions, that are subject to change, and hence all the conclusions are themselves subject to change. Every human works towards satisfying his own good. If you feel that, your primary objective in life is to help others, you help, because you feel good if you help others or rather, you don't feel good if you dont help others :-)

Nothing is to say, that, how we now say Earth is not box and it is actually sphere, all our assumptions may be voided in future by some other school of thought.

Keeping all of the above in mind......

15) Why was caste system put in place by our ancestors
We can only go by the historical literature, which says, caste was based on the profession and people were grouped

16) Why did our ancestors feel the need for a caste based grouping system
At that time, based on what they knew as science and what they felt as rational, they put in a system, that they felt addressed a need.

17) Is caste applicable now
Wait till you get to question Q.22

18) What do you get by belonging to any caste
You get a sense of belonging. You get to have an identity outside of your name & your deeds. You get to follow a certain set of practises . You feel like you are part of community

19) Why do you need an identity outside of your name & deeds
Humans are social animals. They need to be with some other living beings.

20) Why do you need to belong to a community
Building on the answer in Q.19, humans have 'egos'. And people feel that when they are a part of community, people with similar beliefs, practises and customs are together and that gives them even more security since it vindicates what they do :-)

Their egos always would like to make them feel superior that someone else. They feel superior to animals. If there were no animals, they'd feel superior over the trees. If not trees, then soil and so on. Why ? Because we think we have the ability to 'reason'. Just because we can 'reason' are we superior ?. We are different yes, but are we superior ?.

Now, even amongst our species, we feel 'oneself' is superior than 'otherself'. These are basic/primal insticts. Think of the world where everyone/everything knows they are all equals. But they also know that each one of them gets to live different life-styles and gets to live for different life spans. They would never know why there is this discrimination. That brings to the next question

21) Why is there discrimation in the Universe. Why can't everything in the universe (all of us) be trees or all of us be animals or all of us be humans. Why is there a need for a dog, a cat, a mango, an apple, a male, a female. Why can't all of it be the same ?

If there was no difference amongst everything in the universe, can the universe exist ?
If there was no different amongst everything, everything exists and everything does not exist.

22) Do we need caste now
Question should be, do we need discrimation. We are, by nature, born discrimated. Positively or negatively. We are born into this universe along with many other living beings. There will be discrimination.

23) Do we need to discriminate
As long as we realize, being different does not mean positively different or negatively different, discrimination is a way of life same as why universe is bundle of discrimination.

24) Why should a discrimination be positive or negative
One question i dont think i have reasonable answer.

We all live, knowing fully well, we all die, but not knowing what to do while we live. We have all devised what is 'acceptable' behavior during our lives.

Think of purpose of living as follows. It is like i write a number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. And you start saying, ok let me guess what the number is and you start writing out some numbers. Now i make sure you can never get to the envelope by destroying it and i refuse to talk about it (Mission impossible huh?)

Whatever number you write down, there is no way of saying that, it is the right number, since you will never get to know the number i wrote. For all we know, you indeed got the same number i wrote in the envelope, but
how do you know, unless i told you or you got hold of the envelope ? :-).

*1) What if i never asked you to guess the number ? You thought you just had to find the number without me doing anything
*2) What if i never wrote a number on the envelope, but just let you imagine i actually did ?
*3) What if i never existed and the envelope never existed ?
*4) What if more than one person attempts to guess the number and in the process believe their methodology to get find the number is better than others ? or their number is right and other's is wrong ?

Think Think Think, for all you can think, can only yeild what you think as answers. One other person can agree with you. Thousands can agree with you. Millions can agree with you. Entire universe can agree with you.

*5) Have you achieved anything by finding out why i wrote the number on the envelope ?. The very same envelope you are not sure that it even exists ?

Do you see a pattern between questions *1 through *5 as familiar ? Does it describe what we do in life ?

Please tell me if you did find answers to these questions *1 through *5 :-)

P.S : Ofcourse, there will always be people who do not buy these arguments or answers to the questions. They can choose to believe they are 'right' and am 'wrong'. I fully understand and appreciate their 'belief's while i still believe in what i wrote is 'reasonable' if not 'right' :p

Related Reads : Self, Realization, Zero, Summa Theologica