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

Saturday, June 25, 2005

[Song Watch] Zubeidaa

Zubeidaa by Shyam Benegal, is one of the most under-recognised movie for the effort put-in, for it is a eminently likeable movie. The cast was wonderfully herded by the director and the story was the critical element in the movie. Songs and BGM were simply out-of-the-world.

Presently, we shall get to the review of the songs.

Dheemi Dheemi - Kavita Krishnamurthy (Subramaniam)

A nice and pleasant chords section open the song along with bells and a flowing flute. Gun Gun is the life of the tune, how lilting the section is. Simple rhythm pattern sets in to back the vocals. Somehow, Kavitha's voice suits perfectly with Karishma. A long but enjoyable pallavi, almost 2 minutes.

The interlude, ARR returns to his favorite flute, sweet as a sugarcane ;)

Stanza is a nice continuation of the pallavi with on&off violin orchestra. Sometimes the violin backing is an extension of the tune, sometimes tangential, nonetheless so melodious. The cute use of bells, violin and chords brings one back to the pallavi, not actually Dheemi, but Gun Gun :-)

The second interlude showcases Naveen's mastery over the flute. It looks as if the flute asks questions of you. (3.32 - 3.55) Melodiously so ! what nicety. Man, are we all lucky to have him know, how to handle a flute ;) ARR unleashes a power chord to complete the second interlude.

Second stanza follows the first stanza, and the piece at 4.47 - 4.51 is so beautiful. It feels the tune was composed more with a lullaby backdrop in mind than a romance song.

The song tapers off to the flute playing gun gun with nice chords backing it up.

Wonderful song !. Loses a bit of direction in the middle.

Rating 4.7 out of 5

Mehndi Hai - Alka Yagnik

Heavy bass guitar sets the tone for the song, with Alka yagnik opening Mehndi. A simple and easy pallavi nicely toeing the raga kalyani. The tune follows the traditional mehndi songs, with nice dholaks/tablas and beautiful harps flowing.

Brief but nice Shehnai interlude paves way to the stanza. The section at 2.01-2.05 is a straight from the book lakshana of Kalyani raga. The shehnai continues exploring the various glorious higher octave notes of the raga behind the main song. Underplayed chords complete the stanza.

The second interlude is the best part of the whole song. Listen to 2.55-3.12. The piano is so beautiful and melodious. It somehow fits perfectly with the rhythm pattern that causes one to sway to its nicety. Second stanza is constructed similar to the first stanza, only that we have to put with A.Y's nasal shrillness for a second time.

Alka yagnik, is sometimes so hard/shrill on one's ears :-(

The song ends abruptly, with not enough treatment, that IMHO had so much scope for nice alaap/extension.

Rating 4.3 out of 5

Mein Albeli - Kavita Krishnamurthy & Sukhvinder Singh

The song has a very heavy arabic inspiration. The rhythm/instruments all serve to impress upon the same. Sukhvinder enjoys his role and provides with some 'cool' moments in the song. The song itself has a very run-of-the-mill structure, but it can serve as a perfect case-study to how ARR has added 'layers' of music to it. His embellishments are typically many instruments each one clinging on to their respective theme in the background. On the one hand, there is the accordion accentuating the 'playful'ness and then the regular chords that serve to set the 'mood' of the lines. The bass guitar once again plays the very critical role of keeping the rhythm going. As noted often in my reviews, yet again, you see how the second stanza has been underplayed in terms of use of instruments and the low-key chords etc. This song resembles very much in theme to other ARR compositions like Rang De (Takshak), September Madham (Alai payuthe), Spirit of Rangeela (Rangeela) etc.

Rating 4.1 out of 5

Pyara Sa Gaon - Lata Mangeshkar

A sweet alaap on maand like notes greets us with this wonderful lullaby by ARR. And would it be complete without Naveen on flute ? :-) (00.30 - 00.53) I always keep talking about how chords serve to emphasise/heighten the mood of the melody. The intro music on this song is the perfect example. Between 00.38-00.42 and 00.47-00.51 are the same melody being played, only that the second time around, the chords progressively heighten the 'intense' melody of the song. After a long one minute long intro, ARR lets the song begin. The pallavi flirts with raga maand (actually quite a serious relationship one must add ;)) and a what soothing lullaby it is !. Did ARR's kids enjoy such wonderful put-to-bed songs :-) or are we the only beneficiaries ;) ? The rhythm is simple through the pallavi and almost when the stanza starts, the rhythm gets a bit more enterprising.

Naveen is back with his flute for the interlude and belts out a beauty. Listen to section at 2.26-2.45. Stanza is wonderfully composed and very well sung. I'd like to leave it short and get to the second interlude at 3.41-3.51. Man, i don't have words to describe how i feel when i enjoy that section. Sarangi rules the roost !

(One more place to note the mood change of the song is the flute/chord combo at 5.00-5.05)

The flute finishes off the song....

One word to describe the song is WOW ! How much peaceful, soulful, melodious can a lullaby get. Can a flute be more wonderful than this ?

Rating 4.99 out of 5

Hai Na - Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik

A brief piece of Santoor opens the song with a hearty rhythm and simple chords with bass guitars. The highlight of the pallavi is when AY hits 'hai na'. Udit opens his account in the album with the casual candy-floss ease. But, that exactly is what is attractive about the song. Santoor continues its way into the first interlude. ARR lets his imagination run wild. Moving from a simple emotion to complex and bring it back to the same light mood, his deft changes on the tune flirts with the mood swings quite easily. The stanza is bit different in terms of the way pallavi was construcuted. The standard hindi movie orchestration of violins running amuck not knowing what role they play is being used to 'accentuate' the 'period'ness of the song. But, try as much as he can, ARR can't bring the feel of, how the typical music director wastes his violin orchestra :-) (i'd leave this vanjapugazchi aNi to you to use per convenience vanjapugazchi aNi means something that can be considered as a compliment or insult, as perceived accordingly).

The second interlude is nice, building upon the theme of the song, with a very minor shift, to quickly remind us of the different emotion possible. Listen to section starting at 3.14-3.30 (especially 3.28, how suddenly there is the shift that adds a sad tinge). The second stanza is completely mastered by Udit, perfectly rendered.

It finishes off with a humming of the theme of the song.

This song is quite easy on the melody and flow and it merely impresses rather than leaving a deep mark. (Personally, however, i like this song very much, purely for its casualness )

Rating 4.3 out of 5

So Gaye - Lata Mangeshkar

This song forms the continuous theme of the music (bgm). Evoking melancholic emotions, using serious orchestration of instruments, this is a slow song. Horn, forms the base of the song, mild humming joins in later. The stanza is the best part of the whole song. With the chorus humming and chords it underscores the emotion. The second interlude is wonderful. It wanders & strays outside the main theme of the song. Starting at 3.05 - 3.54, especially at 3.15 is quite beautiful. It reminds you vaguely of the similar arrangement in 'Nadhiye Nadhiye' (Rhythm). Single layer of piano joins in for the second stanza to complement the tune. The emotions of the song is like complex mosaic. It takes lots of time for one to digest all of them. It is tough to bring them out in words, i'd rather leave it to you to listen. With the variations on the musical theme of song being so obvious, I would have dismissed this immediately as a song from ARR's stable. Well, we all know to expect the unexpected from him :-).

Rating 4.4 out of 5

Chhodo More - Richa Sharma

The review of this song is gonna be brief, but i'd rather detail Gowri Manohari ragam which this song is based on.

The song has beautiful tabla rhythm, with heavy sarangi sections, nice harps & some out of the world chord progressions. Richa Sharma has sung it quite well. The song itself is short but follows the raga to a 'T' with rare/exceptional anniya swaras to be found. Sections to enjoy the creativity in this song are

1.25 - 1.35 Dekho...
2.14-2.22 Sarangi....glorious Gowri Manohari
2.25 - 2.50 chords
2.50-2.55 Ghar... is given a nice treatment

Gowri Manohari is made of s r2 g2 m1 p d2 n3 S. The raga is identified by the following progression g m p n, n n S d p. It is agmark identification of the raga. From time immemorial, this raga has been given red-carpet treatment in the movie industry, but not sure i've heard much in carnatic world that oozes melody as much. Be it, Paatum Naane or Malare Kurinji in earlier days or IR's Kanna Varuvaya (Manadhil Urudhi Vendum) or this song by ARR, the raga itself has stood out so beautifully. If you are upto it, sing/play Kanna Varuvaya and Choddo and the line 'thalai mudhal kaal varai'(Stanza from the song 'Aasai Aasai' - Dhool). They all are the perfect treatment of this raga. But no one would dare to call them copies of each other.

How wonderful is the world of 'creation' of light music based on melodious patterns in carnatic music !

Rating 4.9 out of 5

Overall, the album (as the movie) did not get the deserved credit for its non-mainstream, still amazingly cute and melodious numbers. The movie did not play out any song fully, but man, this album is a MUST HAVE for any melody lover.

Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5

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, June 24, 2005

You are a winner !!!

Before you jump to the conclusion that this is some kinda evangelistic post, let me make it clear that i have no such noble intentions.

Yahoo! has the 'Oddly Enough' news section that brings together all kinds of (guess what) odd news items. Well, the following one is surely not odd.

A radio contest announced that the 10th caller would get "100 grand" (grand means thousand dollars). Sure enough, there was the tenth caller who was proclaimed the winner and when she was about to collect the prize, she was given Nestle's 100 Grand chocolate bar. A legal fight has ensued to determine the rest.

This reminds of the hilarious event narrated by my college mate M. In a local saidapet cricket tournament in 1997, it was announced that batsman with most number of 'sixes' would win 10 dollars as prize. And there were many contenders, some serious, about winning the prize. On the d-day the winner was given 10 'murugan padam pOtta dollars' LOL :-) (dollars are the small, variously shaped, metal plates that can be attached to one's necklace or chain :-) )

One more news, that i found funny enough is that, one school in Minneapolis, has decided to offer 'online physical education classes'

I think in that spirit, the blog world can come up with virtual blogs. Where there will not any new postings on the blogs and the reader has to 'imagine' the post instead. But it should be mandated that they still comment on those imaginary posts ;-p LOL.

Dragging self back to the work week ahead....grrrrhhhhh....

Blogger opens up attaching images !

Finally, Google has relented !!!!

More details on Blogger opening up on attaching images can be found here

What's more, they let you choose the layout of the where the images can be, upload the full-sized picture and scale it down appropriately :-)

Nice !!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

DC Area Blogger Meet

*FLASH : UPDATE => The time and venue has been fixed . It is set to be SSV Temple, Saturday, 9th of July, 2005 at 4.30 PM. More information can be found at this post*

Dear Fellow Bloggers,
We plan to organize DC Area Blogger Meet, to bring together many bloggers from around this area.

It is not restricted to bloggers from just this locality, all interested bloggers are still most welcome, no amway/pyramid schemers please ;p

Tentatively, I would like to propose the date as Saturday, 9-JUL-05 Noon as the date & time of the meet. Based on the availability and comfort level of everyone involved we can work out the logistics. Venue is yet to be decided, but SSVT & Madras palace(dutch-lunch-buffett) makes a good combo, i would guess ?

We have a big gang in this area... Raman,Eswar,Siva,Ganesh,Srikanth,Robbie,Thennavan,Senthil and many more.

Let us use the comments area to agree broadly upon the time, date & venue. In the interest of everyone, I think we should have a list of people expected. I will setup an email id that can be mailed to for that purpose and also to confirm the head count.

Request you all to advertise the meet, it would really be nice to associate faces to words !

So long....

*FLASH : UPDATE => The time and venue has been fixed . It is set to be SSV Temple, Saturday, 9th of July, 2005 at 4.30 PM. More information can be found at this post*

Sunday, June 19, 2005

[Movie Watch] Anniyan

Anniyan, the much hyped, rumored costliest ever, south-indian movie made. Ram C of the blogworld had written an excellent review. He had it nicely balanced out, detailing many of the aspects.

I'd like to add my two cents on top of his review.

With the exception of Kadhalan & Jeans, all of Shankar's movies, have some common trait. They all have a flair for grandeur. There is a strong undercurrent social message for the citizens. There is the hero, a lone warrior, who works towards a mass-movement, never has an easy ending while caught. The hero does not escape the easy route of people shouting the court/government out at the climax. They have more sincerity towards the social message than most other 'claims' made by directors. They have top-class music and good commercial elements housed in it for it to be a commercially viable success.

This movie is no different. There is no denying that, you can repeat the mantra of citizen-responsibility-accountability thousand times and it is still worth repeating. Well, not sure this is applicable in the movie world. It slightly makes one shift in the chair for its repetitive theme. His ideas are still worth applauding.

From a movie perspective, i found the comedy of Vivek, who does not get his 'own track' but nicely integrates and gels with the main movie, to be the best aspect of the entire movie. The acting by Vikram in some cases had an 'affected' style. It was like, you could see he was 'acting' while acting is like making you think they are living it out !. You'd never think Kamal was acting as the Indian thatha. But here, Vikram's Ambi role could clearly be seen as 'affected'. Sada, was at her best, very artifical too. As Ram pointed out, her dancing skills need some serious honing. The music (bgm) just passed the grade. There is nothing that you take out of the movie as hummable pieces. Even though the stunt/choreography was nice, the protracted matrix style frame-freeze technique is pushing the limits of audience's patience. If super-star Rajini's tyre-dodging itself can evoke smiles/laughter at the end of the sequence, there is no double guessing what would be the outcome here. But the stunts themselves were pretty novel. Camera work was good. I felt it to be a bit too-close up. May be my second row from the front had left me with that impression.

The dance sequences, situations, choreography, dresses etc need to be *seriously* revisited by Shankar. One could clearly see the 'Anbe Anbe' (Jeans) effect on 'Iyengaru' and 'Gopala' (Kadhalan) on 'Rendakka'.

As already pointed out by so many people, am not sure as to where all the 27 odd crores of rupees was spent !. I am positive that it could have been completed at less than half the cost, if the matrix-sequence had been cut short.

Sujatha, has, as always, done a wonderful job with dialogues. His command over the language is excellent.

Overall, i left the theater with a mixed feeling. I still have mixed feelings !.

The masses inching out of theater gleefully shouting into the camera could be heard saying...

'oru vaati parkalam'
'vikram acting super'
'vivek kalakitaaru'
'idhu oru nalla social awareness padam'

Algorithm to lyric writing... ?

Ramesh Mahadevan, is a very gifted and talented writer. He writes on various topics with adequately exaggerated narration, humorous & witty puches and free-flowing style. While googling to find out whether he has a blog, i ran across this article, actually couple of them, about Vairamuthu's lyric writing.

A snippet from his article...

Algorithm number 1 is very simple. Just take any object. Think for a second and discover one of its attributes. It doesn't matter if there is anything creative or poetic about the attribute and the object. You simply say 'Object-kku attribute azhagu'. For example,

Rasathukku uppazhagu, vishathukku warning azhagu
pazhathukku juice azhagu, kizhathukku thadi azhagu
(Salt beautifies rasam; 'warning' beautifies poison; juice beautifies a fruit and a walking stick beautifies an old person)

You can carry this one step further and compose the next stanza,

Wire-kku current azhagu Vaigaikku karai azhagu
Vayatrukku thoppul azhagu, vairathukku muthazhagu
(current is cute for the wire bank is cute for Vaigai river bellybutton is cute for the belly and diamond is cute for pearl)

For the actual articles please follow the links Algorithm 1 and Algorithm 2

His Website

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Continuing unfinished business....

Munimma a.k.a Bunkum Verbosa had written this Part-I of a story and thrown an open-ended offer for anyone to continue/complete the story.

This is my attempt at the same.

Sowmya's nostalgic moments were cut short by the cry of the phone. She knew it was her husband. He usually calls her up for sweet-little-nothings for a few minutes amidst his hectic IT job. She excused herself and walked over to the phone. She could clearly feel how odd it was. Normally, she'd run over to pick up the phone, but this time around, there was this tiny little hesitation. She hurried the conversation and she could clearly feel how obvious it was.

"Sorry Rajesh, that was my hubby"

Rajesh said "I did not mean to interrupt.." getting up, as if preparing to depart, nonetheless hesistant.

It was only understandable that the unspoken emotions masked the spoken words between them during their teenage. It had just been a year after Sowmya had come over to their colony, when fate had its own way. Their relationship never had the oppurtunity to develop, with Rajesh having to bow to the parental-pressure of taking up engineering and having to stay out-of-town. He'd invent many excuses to come back home, possibly once in a month.

"Coffee is getting cold, shall i warm it up again ?". That was sowmya, affectionately. Not sure what adjective one would use to describe the affection.

It was understandably difficult for both of them to talk about how they ended up where they are.

He was the one who had serious feelings, if it could be called that, but was never bold enough to make the ultimate decision to convey his feelings. All the junkyard of movies he had watched, had programmed him to worry about how he may end up losing even being with her, if he popped the ultimate question (azhudha kaadhali annanu sonna...)

On her part, she obviously felt the flirts and passes Rajesh made at her was openly indicative of his mind. But knowing fully well, the prankster Rajesh was, it would be tough for her to even know whether he was pulling a joke on her.

All the while, they knew each other better or so did they think.

And then it happened, one of Rajesh's pranks terribly mis-fired.

(who's gonna continue the story..? they have the liberty to either add one more part to the story to throw it open and make it soap or complete it, making it a short story)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Archives, Features & Requests

I am hoping that Google listens to users request for categorization of blog posts. I would like to add to that request by asking the categorization to bring posts from archives as well.

Till the time google offers that feature, I decided to take on the responsibility myself. Most of my blogs are marked with distinct qualifiers like [song watch] [book watch] [sports watch] etc to help inform the user the context of the blog.

To allow for the look up from archives, i've compiled (manually though) the list of past music/book reviews into a page that will be 'permanently linked' from the sidebar (right under my profile).

Please use them to pull up reviews from archives. To enable easier usage, the page is marked with 'Last updated date'.

I am also planning on coming up with a 'review request tracking' page that will help keep track of the numerous requests, that you all keep inspiring me to write :-)

Hope this helps. Ideas most welcome :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Book tag

The recent phenomenon in the blogosphere has been 'book tag'. By this, one writes about the books they have had, they read, books they like the best and 'tag' five other people. The five who have been 'tagged' inturn do the same, there by 'networking' people.

I have been tagged by 'Robbie' of Scientific Masala

Books I own: Have never counted, but not that many i'd guess. I rarely re-visit a book after I read...

Last book I Read: History of Tamils & Summa Theologica

Three books that mean a lot to me: Trick Question. Not to say these are written in stone. (I've changed five books to three, but ye all must still use five book format)

Sherlock Holmes Series : Holmes is "THE BEST" detective character ever produced and i will never give up a chance to read them again

Larry Ellison, Intimate potrayl of Oracle : This was the first corporate/biography mode of books that get me into reading like crazy. Hence will always eat the extra space in my heart. (Find details in my review archives)

Dilbert : Best of Dilbert series - Scott Adams has a knack for capturing and adequately understating the workplace humor

I tag :
Well, i think i will play it safe by tagging Raman ,Siva,Eswar,Arun,Manoj

Gentlemen, please do the honors !!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

[Song Watch] Ayutha Ezhuthu

Ayutha Ezhuthu by Mani Ratnam was an action thriller with a 'message' and the novel (to tamil industry) of narrating three people's lives and how they intersect.

Music was by the maestro ARR. On many hearings, it did little to tickle the melody 'lover' in one. However, as with many ARR's albums, it finally grew on me. Lets get to the review without much further ado.

Sanda Kozhi - Madhushree

The song opens with bells (like cow bells) and a nice and easy ghatam piece. Madhushree opened her account with Tamil songs, not on a very good note, one must add. The pallavi is very very cute, the melody only dampened by her pronounciation. A nice udukkai joins in to setup a catchy rhythm and the plucking of the stringed instrument (guitar or mandolin) brings a deeply relaxing mood to the song.

There is little or no interlude, highly unlike ARR. Power chords of the highest order greet you when the stanza starts at vaangi thandha vethala. The crescendo is comfortably handled by the singer bringing back to the anupallavi, devoid of any musical instrument, but for the rhythm. The occasional bells here and there are so simple but provide such a pleasing context to the song.

The second interlude was a precursor to the now-familiar mature singer in ARR. The alaap is so wonderfuly free flowing, with guitar nicely backing up his vocals. Latter half of the interlude switches the song for a brief period into 'grimness' from its casual feel....the interlude fades into the second stanza.

This time around, as his wont, ARR reduces the power chords to just chords ;). To the keen observer in you, would notice this 'style' of ARR where the chords of his second stanza is always under-played or minimal when compared to his first stanza. Sometimes it is very disappointing. In this case it is apt.

The song closes off with the same sombre note it started.

It is a wonderfully done song, very folksy, quite casual but, does not sound that 'peppy'. Somber i think is the best word to describe.

Rating 4.6 out of 5

Jana Gana Mana - A.R. Rahman, Karthik

A typical rock number opening greets with acoustic guitars leading the way. ARR hits the higher notes in his 'strained' style. ohh yuva yuva is full of emotion. Strings section dominate the song. The rhythm has stick/clap on top of the regular beats to bring a grandise touch to the song.

The whistle interlude sounds like title music of a wild west movie. It is quite cool, brings vague memories of lines (stanza) from the song 'tauba tauba' (Vande Mataram). Alaap from the opening lines continue in the background of the interlude.

The stanza goes from monotonous 'ayudham edu' to ecstatic 'irulai porAdu'. The mood swing is wonderful, but at the end of it, it brings the song back to the monotony mood.

Second Stanza has more guitar backing and improvised rhythm, but the instruments sound too 'crowded'. To make it up, the pallavi has only strings to back it up :-)

The bass guitar finally steps in to bring such a cool feel to the song. One wonders, why the stanzas had to be that different in musical structure from the pallavi ? Another ARR experiment ?

Rating 4.2 out of 5

Hey Goodbye Nanba - Sunitha Sarathy, Shankar Mahadevan, Lucky Ali, Karthik

The song is a techno-pop dance number. The song feels as if it is made of three different sub-songs. The first sub-song is the 'hey goodbye nanba' - it has the dreamy/romantic flavor to it. The second sub-song is the 'nee yaaro naan yaaro' - this has a typical pop feel to it. The third sub-song is the 'kalla vizhigalil' (starting at 1.33) is a simple,melodious, fast paced section.

Even though all of them are 'connected' via the overall song..the connection seems very 'artifical'. The subsongs individually nice themselves but together it makes the 'kalla vizhigalil' section stand out and other two pieces fade out.

Out and out experimental piece. I would not be sure of the successful outcome of this expirement.

Rating 3.9 out of 5

Nenjam Ellam - Adnan Sami, Sujatha

Haunting loop of music welcomes us that runs throughout the song. Drunken sounding, Adnan Sami, who now seems to be a permanent fixture, joins Sujatha in this song. All the instruments used, can never be thought of as a filmi song. The overall song has a variety of instruments thrown into it, they gel well, but never sound 'natural'. It adds such a 'gadget' touch to the song. The melancholic tune structure, with beautiful singing by Sujatha redeems the melody aspect. Once again, very valid attempt at fusion, only this time the elements being fused are not carnatic & western, it seems to be western & western !

Rating 4.1 out of 5

Yaakai Thiri - Sunitha Sarathy, AR. Rahman, Shalini Singh

So many reviews have called it a disco number. I dont feel like disagreeing with them. But would have to add that, this is a better song as most reviews have made it out to be. The rhythm is as good as any fast number. The tune has arabic touch it, which is, but expected, from ARR - be it Humma Humma or Chayya Chayya. ARR's alaap is wonderful with the song getting into a mode of repetitive recitation swaying the dancer in you.

Rating 4.2 out of 5

Dol Dol - Blazee, Shaheen

Another disco/rap number, the loop is haunting, setting you up for another grim but melodious piece. Trumpet (?) piece is very nice (sounds like Sivaranjani ?). Quite passable song. It more showcases the skills of the programmer than a composer.

Rating 3.8 out of 5

Mani Ratnam - ARR combo has been producing musically rich and wonderful movies. This was another movie they setout to do with no music in mind. But having ARR sit in front of you and get no songs out of him is like having cute little baby in front of you and controlling your urge to curve your lips for a smile. Irresistible !

MR tried once in Alaipayuthe and failed to resist the temptation. He tried it second time in this movie and failed once again and finally had ARR compose the songs.

The entire album had a bold, non-mainstream, (still)fast pace to it. As with dance numbers, it has a touch of melancholy to all the songs which leaves a 'deep' mark in you. You may not necessarily smile after this album, but still feel relaxed.

Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5

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

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

[Sports Watch] Tennis Roundup

Sania Mirza, after creating much expectations, has struggled to live up to the pressure & hype created by the media. She lost in the opening round in French Open Championships. She has been plagued by injuries. We'll keep a close watch on her progress in the coming days. It is too early to judge her abilities as yet.

Agassi's ignominious exit from the French open let loose the talk of him retiring from active tennis. Agassi is a master at comebacks. Is this too late for a comeback ?. It is sad that a person of his class, as evident by Sampras's remarks that Agassi can give a run for his money anyday, has to face such petty talks about his retirment time.

Interestingly enough, Agassi kept saying at every given oppurtunity at the rivalry with Sampras as 'Sampras is one person, who could still beat me, even while I play my best tennis'.

Talking of Sampras, the person touted as the next Sampras, Roger Federer, apparently inherited Sampras's nemesis as well. The French Open. Sampras's only missing trophy was the french and Federer has not been able to get to it either. Will Federer live upto Sampras reputation ?.

Even though Federer has better allround game than Sampras, he does not have a flair for serve & volley like Sampras did, neither does his forehand appear as deadly as the running forehand of Sampras. Pistol Pete is The Peak. I'd hate to see Sampras lose the throne :-(

Rafael Nadal, the new sensation, would be watched out for his performance on grass. There were many such 'couple of season' sensations on clay. Like Beresatagui, who used to hit the ball with only one side of his racket for both the forehand and backhand. (He was the surprise finalist at french open in 1994.)

Our own Leander Paes & Martina Navratilova - two 'old workhorses' who never seem to tire, inched their way upto the finals in mixed doubles. Both of them are known for their reflexes and sharp angles and perfect placement of the exchanges at the net.

Back home, when any sports fever was around the corner, that would spill onto the streets well. Football worldcup meant everyone on the roads with a football, not so much for hockey ;)...and goes without saying cricket would *always* be on our roads :-)

Keeping that in mind, we went to some local courts to play tennis, and crowded court greeted us, there was no chanting from the crowd except the sound of tennis balls getting hit around. All the courts were full. What a bummer :-(

As they say, mazhai penja adhuleye oru quick kuliyal eduthukko, i decided to use the time that i'd have played tennis to blog about tennis ;) atleast konjam satisfaction :-)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who is Maithili ?

Before you all jump to conclusion, this is not about T.Rajendar's movie. This is supposedly internal conversations from one of India's premier IT solutions company.

Read it bottom up.....it is very very very nice *witty* comedy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:39 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: German's ,Jews, Aryans
We sit before the monitor staring into the pixels,
making faces the whole day like monkeys. And you claim
that you are not in this monkey business? Beats me!!

-----Original Message-----
From: AnandV
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:13 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: All Infoscians are dravidians

Subject: All Infoscians are dravidians
My theory is first step to identify software engrs.I'm
more interested in showing that software engrs are not
monkeys (bcas they are not aryans) which my house
owner believes!!!

-----Original Message-----
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:09 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: All Infoscians are dravidians

Subject: teachers and dravidian
Your theory only proves that Software engineers are
not aryans.Therefore they can be any thing other than
aryans and not only dravidians.
-----Original Message-----
From: AnandV
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:04 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: All Infoscians are dravidians

Subject: All Infoscians are dravidians
B'cas only teachers (arya's) are aryans. So all
software engr's are dravidians.All Infoscians are
software engrs........Hence the proof...

-----Original Message-----
From: raghavendrak
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:00 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Aryans- H aryana
Let me get it clear.Are u suggesting that all people
in haryana are monkeys?????
-----Original Message-----
From: ashokkm
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 199910:59 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Aryans- H aryana
No, Only the native of Haryana are are aryans b'coz U
just remove the 'H' in Haryana so it becomes
aryana.Agreed or not????
-----Original Message-----
From: raghavendrak
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 10:54 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: German's ,Jews, Aryans are Indians
Then even monkeys are aryans!!!!!!(I think they too
have 10 fingers). That's what ramayan says. So all
vanars were also aryans!!!
-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 10:50 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: German's ,Jews, Aryans are Indians
How logical!! Now I could easily prove that even
Africans are Aryans. They have 10 fingers- so they are
aryans. They have 10 toes on their feet - so they are
aryans. Thanks for proving that all are aryans.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kedardesai
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 10:40 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Proof:German's ,Jews, Aryans are Indians
Indians invented the decimal system. Ravan(Jew) had
ten heads, Ram's father(aryan + German)had ten
chariots (Dash-rath) etc.Thus , the base is 10. There
fore they are all Indians
-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 9:58 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
Germans don't play cricket. So cricketers can't be
germans. QED

-----Original Message-----
From: Dinni Lingaraj
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 9:56 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/ Germans
It just occured that a better subject would have been
"CRICKET" but this one stopped ...."Are our cricketers
Aryans/Germans ?" So we got to solve this one !
-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 9:55 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Major fallacy/Aryans & Germans
Let the 'intellectuals' decide... you will know who
you are soon enough.

-----Original Message-----
From: Yeshwant Dattatreya
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 19999:39 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
-----Original Message-----
From: ashokkm
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 19999:37 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Major fallacy/Aryans & Germans
According to maxmuller, Aryans came from Middle East.
According to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Antarctica was the
home place of Aryans. And Swami Dayanand Saraswati
says Aryans were originally from India b'coz the place
"saptsandhav" that is described many times in their
book is nothing but Doab region between Ganga &
Jamuna. And One theory according Bhagwandas is that
Aryans were originally from India then they went to
middle east and after some time they returned back to
India. So there are different theories about the
origin of Aryans but recent belief is that only India
was their native-land.

-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 19999:37 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
So, at present we are at a point where MK's son is a
Russian, implying MK is a Russian. MK is a ardent
follower of Ravan who is a German Jew. Looks like the
german govt running Karnataka(see our previous
discussions for a proof of it) is conniving with the
Russian govt at Tamilnadu (who support German) to
fight the Italian Govts reps at 10 Janpath road. Some
heavy international politics we have going on here.
Wat's d'ya say man!!

-----Original Message-----
From: amajumder
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 9:21 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
Importance: High
Might be Russians too.. that explains why MK's son is
called STALIN.

-----Original Message-----
From: raghavendrak
Posted At: Friday, September 03, 1999 9:13 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
Say this to the DMK and they're gonna kick u!!
according to them Ravan was a dravidian and was
attacked by ram as ram was an aryan. So if Ram was a
german, and assuming he was a 'hitlerite 'aryan, then
Ravan must have been a jew!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Aniljoshi
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 1999 6:57 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: MAJOR FALLACY- Aryans/Germans
No, on the contrary it proves that Ravan was a German
since it was he who owned the Pushpak Viman. The
passengers could belong to any country.

-----Original Message-----
From: vishnoor
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 1999 5:44 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: major fallacy...
After defeating ravana .... Sri Rama flew back in
Ravana's pushpak vimana & This is what the Mordern
Lufthansa is . It is the modern version of the older
pushpaka vimana. The pushpak vimana was "driven" by
hansa or swans.... The insignia of Lufthansa is also a
swan... This further proves Sri Rama was a German Hail
Rama ....

-----Original Message-----
From: khandelwalh
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 199912:54 PM
Poted To: General
Cnversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: major fallacy...
the argument is wrong. the conclusion is fallacious
-----Original Message-----
From: vishnoor
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 1999 4:44 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Mithla
Rama was an aryan ; Germans claim to be aryans so Rama
was a German Hail Rama....

-----Original Message-----

From: ashokkm
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 199911:53 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Mithla
And what about Home minister Advani & Noble Prize
winner Economics Dr. Amartya Sen???
-----Original Message-----
From: Sudha Vedula
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 19994:02 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Mithla & Maithili
God Shiva is also a foreigner becauseMt.Kailash is in
China. Buddha was also a foreigner because Lumbini(?)
is in Nepal. So was Guru Nanak, because Talwandi is in
Pakistan. So was Porus. So was Gandhari.....:)
-----Original Message-----
From: Vikas Sharma
Posted At: Thursday, September 02, 1999 10:14 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Mithla & Maithili
Recently one Congress leader, in defense of Sonia,
quoted that Sita was also a foreigner because
Janakpuri is in Nepal.
-----Original Message-----
From: Pranav Chandra
Posted At: Wednesday, September 01,1999 1:10 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: Mithla & Maithili
Maithili is a language which derives it's name from
the region in Bihar where it is spoken, the old
kingdom of Mithla. There is a reference to the area
even in Ramayana- Janak( Father of Sita) was king of
Mithla and has been referred to as MithlaNaresh at
many places in RamCharitraManas - therefore Sita was
also called Maithili.

-----Original Message-----
From: Subhashis Roy
Posted At: 1999"N9OE?1"=FA 13:03
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: what is Maithili ?
Importance: High
Maithili brahmins are known for their gastronome
qualities !!!

-----Original Message-----
From: yogesh
Posted At: Wednesday, September 01,1999 12:12 PM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: re: what is maithili
Maithili is a language spoken in central bihar. It has
its own literature.It has its root in the old kingdom
of that area.It is similar to Hindi.

-----Original Message-----
From: himanshudas
Posted At: Wednesday, September 01, 1999 9:06 AM
Posted To: General
Conversation: What is Maithili?

Subject: What is Maithili?
Who or what is Maithili, in context of Indian literature?


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Shark Tank

I am yet to pick up new set of books after the recent 'History of Tamils' & 'Summa Theologica'. Before mid-2003, i used to limit myself to the umpteenth read of Sherlock Holmes and not the best, but still cut above the rest, Hercule Poirot - though always whining about how it does not stand up to Holmes. Since late 2003, thanks to AN, have diversified my reading portfolio and started to include many subjects. Since those days, it has only been the past two weeks that i have not had any serious book to read. This period of no-books has literally pushed me into a vaccum. Never knew i was that addicted to books. Have to pick up books positively this weekend.

As a filler, i resorted to Computerworld's & Infoworld's of the world. Pretty casual reads, but they don't even standup for one-way of the commute :-(

Notwithstanding the tech-talk in those mags, the lighter moments were the best. Last week i had posted about how 'eggs are tasty' from Infoworld.

This week it is from Computerworld.

Funny Scene 1 : During a demo of 'email client', the company asked the user to pick his most important mail, deleted the mail - to show how it can be salvaged. And guess what happened next ? He never managed to restore the 'most important mail' of the user.

Never do 'live demos' again

Funny Scene 2 : CIO emails all employees via the company email explaining how company email will not be available anymore on the web for security reasons. He gets a mail back by an employee from her company mail id saying she never knew that the company had email and she was interested in getting one. The CIO promptly forwarded the mail to the network & admin department to get her one :-)

Reminds me of the ad by IBM "I sent an email about the email server being down"

Funny Scene 3: While at the salon, X told the stylist, 'just now clearing up the mess that my boss had created when he killed the server'. It took a long time for the shocked stylist to understand X did not work at a restaurant rather in IT :-)

All of this and more can be read at Computerworld.com

Disclaimer : All companies, products & sites are registered trademarks and are copyrighted appropriately. This includes the 'shark tales'. Please do not attempt to send an email when the email server is down.

Friday, June 03, 2005

[Book Watch] History of Tamils..follow up

'History of Tamils, From the Earliest Times to 600 A.D' by P.T.Srinivasa Iyengar.

I had blogged the initial opinion about the book here

The book tries to reconstruct the 'history' by whatever discernible evidences of culture/life-style is made available via the ancient literature/poetry. It is scary to realise that what we all call as 'history' is what was passed via hearsay for generations of ages till writing/scripture became part of our culture. What is to say the disciples did not 'change the meaning or add new text' the original information :-(

For the better part of the book, poetry fills the pages up. Gosh, reading that poetry stuff makes your head go round in circles, like a battery powered train, never coming to a stop, but forced to sulk when the battery runs out ;)

It is also funny to observe how the author takes potshots at other contemporaries and their conclusions despite the fact that his modus-operandi is no different than others. However, one has to appreciate the 'logical' conclusions the author attempts to arrive at.

This books leaves you bit tired because of the way it is organized. There is no coherence/flow of topics as noted in the initial thoughts

Some politcal parties of TN would be happy to agree with the content of the book, which says that 'Aryas' were not native to Tamil Soil. However Aryas slowly but surely worked their way down via 'culture infiltration' rather than 'physical' i.e. Arya culture was inculcated into the lifestyle and making people 'think' in Aryan lifestyle, especially the use of 'fire' as the mouth of 'God' which explains why all 'yagnas' and 'funerals' are conducted with 'fire' as the ultimate vehicle of transportation to God (i.e. the mouth of God)

There is nothing that is very controversial in the book that enlivens the subject matter except for attempting to persistenly define the culture of people in various ages.

It is a valid, nonetheless amusing, point that the author makes while saying 'all the references in poetry of the lifestyle of citizens must be tempered or taken in moderation, since bards were beggarly, in the sense they did not have any other means of earning their food & drink, but by singing the praises of the chief-tain'

Very sobering and not-so-disagreeable argument.

The author uses this to rubbish many claims as to how 'ascendants' of various dynasties like Chola, Chera & Pandya, were called as Gods themselves, were nothing but the hyper-imagination and exaggeration of the bards for want of recognition of livelyhood :-)

Another interesting remark is that of 'names'. Agastya was a common name then, and there could have been many rishis who took that name but were not the 'real' Agastya and he uses time-factoring from various literature to say all references to 'Agastya' were not essentially the same person. Like this, the author attempts to 'assign' ages to people which makes it very reasonable.

Not till the end, did the major speculation or conspiracy theory come. It was about 'thiruKuRaL'. Thirukural is considered as 'THE' treatise on 'life'. The author devotes an entire section titled 'The indebtedness of Kural to Sanskrit culture' claims (based on V.R.R Diskhitar's (then) upcoming book) that Thirukural is heavily influenced by the works of Sanskrit writers on the four objects of human life, the Purusarthas of the Aryan scared books.

'But whether he borrows his material from Sanksrit or follows Tamil tradition, he displays an originality of treatment and a sequence of ideas entire his own, which contributes much to the merit of the poem'

'It is reasonable to assume that Tiruvalluvar follows mainly in his Arappal the most popular Dharma Sastra of Manu, and in his Porutpal the well known Artha Sastra of Kautalya. Though these works seem to be the main sources of information, it can be conclusively proved that the poet was familiar with the Panchatrantra and Hitopadesa, the slokas included in the Satakas of Bhartrhari, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Kamandaki nitisara, and other allied literature'

There are very many examples cited (including references to Sanskrit literature had already expressed what kural attempts to ) to support this theory.

On the whole, at the end of this mega-book, 600 odd pages(thankfully the poems save the day by eating up more than 30% of the pages ;) ) one leaves the book with a mixed feeling.

One gets to understand how life, culture, civilization evolved, how identities were developed & associated with religion etc.

Would rate this book quite high. It is a 'should-read' for people interested in 'history/civilization/tamil literature'. Not recommended for 'mystery/conspiracy theory seekers'

A very refreshing break from the monotony of books I had. Have to profusely thank XX (he knows who he is-Thank you !!) for lending me this book, the age of which, by itself is ancient history (1928-29).

Happy Reading !