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

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

Sunday, July 10, 2005

DC Area Bloggers Meet - Finally !


The day of reckoning : DC Area Bloggers Meet. Mukund, Ganesh, Eshwar
, Shiva, Raman, Senthil and Robbie attended the meet. It was a good start. As Mukund pointed out ;p, the quantity did not matter, quality did

It was so much fun. Almost everyone shed their inhibitions, (helo, inhibitions i.e. ice melting) and was training guns on others' blogging techniques. The leg pulling was pretty obvious. Everyone aimed at the 'increase-your-size of comments', 'how to get more visitors' techniques of others.

It has been a long time, almost since my college days, that i had such laugh-riot for the entire duration of the meet.

We did miss, Srikanth, but i think we can setup one more meet, East Coast or MidAtlantic Area Bloggers meet, may be couple of months from now, where we will hope to have bigger presence and larger meet.

Cheers everyone to the good time we had ! :-)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Self, Realization...

Disclaimer : This is not written to demean, blaspheme, accuse any individual(s), sect(s), religion(s), philisophy(ies) that are out there. It is just a random collection of thoughts that sprung up. It is long, does not have a structure. It is simply there to promote thinking in you. It may be too 'heavy' stuff for you to take or it may be 'right in the alley' for you. You can call it aimless, you can call it philosophical, you can call it junk.

He was always known for his thoughtful outlook towards life. There would not be a single moment that would pass-by in his life, without him thinking about something. It could be,'how could i have arranged the forms correctly, so that the teller at the bank need not have gotten the doubt as to whether i filled all of them correctly' when he had gone in for a loan application and the teller as part her normal process doubly checked to make sure all forms have been brought in. or 'should i have walked to the front door while the bus was still preparing to come to a stop' when he got off via the back-door, so that he could have been in office 30 seconds earlier.

He'd always wonder about taking lesser tissues than grabbing a whole bunch that his fingers can manage, at fast-food places so that, there would lesser need to refill them, hence lesser expenditure, thereby helping to keep the increase in costs of consumer prices lower. The less said better , about the ketchups, sauces, salt, pepper, water and many more items.

No one had ventured to ask him, whether him eating one packet less of ketchup would really keep the prices lower. He was prepared to meet that eventuality as well. "How would one say a definitive 'yes' or 'no' to the question, hence the benefit of doubt should go towards saving it". He would think of electricity, water and many other resources like that.

He will conduct an elaborate mock-interview about every situation he imagined he'd have to confront. He would think about various uncomfortable questions that people would ask him, if he had to say 'no' to them, when they will ask him for a favor.

He will go back to the grocery store and point out that some item had been charged less and would pay it promptly. And at the same time, think thousand times before nervously stepping in front of the counter to tell them, that they have charged him higher than what he should have been charged.

It was not him. It was his upbringing. He was always trained to think about 'others' first. He used to construct complex theories about 'God'. He would think about whether 'God' really had thousands of forms of appearance. He would think about whether 'miracles' can happen. He would try to construct a conspiracy theory to every such act. At the same time, he would believe that a super-natural power did exist. Any thing that happened after such thinking sessions would be ascribed to 'God' not being happy at him trying to think bad about 'him'.

He'd always tell others that the more scientific one gets, the more agnostic one gets. He read a lot about philosophy. Conflicting theories about purpose of life, about self-realization, all dished out by other people who are all mortals, like him.

He would ask the question that has been asked million times before, 'If everything is God's creation, why does evil exist?' or 'If world is a stage where all of us play out our parts, why does the world need to exist'. He would immediately recoil in horror, thinking about how that question meant, 'questioning the motive for the existence of life and hence existence of God'

He believed in prayers. He'd seriously ask for peace everywhere. He believed that if only everything happened peacefully, how wonderful life would be. He would ask for fulfillment of his loved ones 'wants'. If only his parents' prayers were fullfilled, it would mean he would be happy, since his parents would only wish for his well-being, he would argue.

He read somewhere that, removing 'wants' from life is the first step towards detaching self from the materalistic world. He will argue within himself, 'is not removing a want, a want in itself ?'. He will think 'is not praying for something, wanting something ?' and then he'd be back to reality. He was out of milk, he can never get a full night of sleep without a warm cup of it.

He would once again think, 'if all of us do what we feel is good for themselves, as judged by one's moral values, then why is there something called evil. Since there is nothing absolute in the world other than 'almighty' why would anything be always good or always evil. What is evil today might be good tomorrow he would reason. 'Hence, why should', he'd ask, 'people judge. Only HE can judge'.

He would always ask himself, if there is nothing absolute in this world, except for 'the absolute' there is NO way of knowing what is the 'right answer' to the questions that anyone in the world might have. That would mean all his thinking so far, can produce answers, but never to be ascertained as 'right answer'.

He badly wanted to meet with some old wisdom filled soul that can enlighten him. But he knew deep inside him, if he got the same answer he got right now, he'd still not stop thinking about life or if he got a different answer, how did he even know he got the right answer.

At the end of the day, he will tell himself, that he is no-fu(a)rther in his understanding about life and it makes fullest sense, that his ancestors did not promote thinking along such lines, since he knew, at best it could only be thinking. There is NO WAY of knowing *the truth*. One might as well continue living in the material world, catering to carnal pleasures he'd console himself and proclaim that whenever he is idle, his mind becomes 'devil's workshop', get his warm cup of milk and sleep

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

DC Area Blogger Meet - Update

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

As a follow-up to the original announcement, please find the *updated* information about the meet.

It is set to be SSV Temple, Saturday, 9th of July, 2005 at 4.30 PM. Please find the directions to SSV Temple here

This is just a 'break-the-ice' kind of meet that would hopefully lead to more regular meets in the future. There is no specific agenda other than just getting to associate faces to the blogs :-).

Design Courtesy : Senthil

Kindly comment on this blog to indicate the possibility of your attendance :-) Meet you all there, soon !

p.s : would request all to honor the 'privacy' concerns of bloggers who do NOT want to be photographed.

Friday, July 01, 2005

TFMovie Tag

Ram has tagged me adding that i may not take it offensive that am tagged ;p

Though i watch many movies, i am not sure, i can even list 10 movies that i like the best. Let me give it a try.

1) Michael Madana Kamarajan
This IMHO, is *the best ever* movie that has been made in the history of any film making (ofcourse, of the ones i've seen). Inspite of watching it 100+ times...(literally, no exaggeration), i would never miss a chance to watch it. If only, i could get my hands on the original un-cut version it would be simply great !. The kedaram piece of 'tyoooon tyun tyuyunyun' for kamarajan is the unforgettable bgm !

2) Avvai Shanmughi
After MMKR, Kamal & Crazy Mohan combo tried to do many movies to recreate the magic. But the only movie that came close to MMKR was Avvai Shanmughi. Kamal is the man or sorry the woman to watch out :)

3) Poova Thalaya
Nice movie ! Gemini, Jaishankar

4) Indian
For the instilling the idea that *even one's own children* are not exempt from punitive treatment for corruption

5) Bale Pandiya
Hilarious Sivaji at his best

6) Thillu Mullu
Ample showcase of Rajini's comedy facet which i like best, next only to his villain'ous performances !

7) Pudhiya Paravai
Have watched this move tens of times. Can't place my finger on any specific reason why

8) Mahanadigan
Laugh riot by Sathyaraj making fun of *everyone* including himself ! :-)

9) Sathi Leelavathi
Yet again, Kamal and Crazy combo.

10) Dum Dum Dum
Nice simple movie, with very precise acting by Madhavan & Jyotika and Karthik Raja's best music score ever.

The tag buck stops here. It is left open to anyone who is interested ! :-)

TFMusic Tag

Arun and Senthil had tagged me. Here we go......

Albums I own
Thiruda Thiruda, Sangamam, KanduKondein KanduKondein, Alaipayudhe
All of them are lovable to the core !....ofcourse internet radio always helps :-)

First album/cassette I bought
Chinna Thambhi (Prabhu, *Khushbhoo*)
Povama & Thuliyile were unforgettable at that time !

Present favourites
TajMahal. I was shocked when i first heard this album, but it has never failed to grow inside me, everytime i hear this. Especially Kulirudhu, Nee Enge, Eechi etc

(I interpreted this as what are the songs that are presently my favorites rather than what present-songs are my favorites ;)

Apart from that my nightly put-to-bed songs are from ARR collection, yesterday was Doli Sajakhe Rakhna (not TFM :-( )

I usually hum…
This is a phenomenon, that i have noticed in many music lovers. The first song you hear since the day started, sticks to your lips like a broken record through the day.
I have been doing some work on reethigowlai and charukesi and hence Thalaiyai Kuniyum/Azhagana Ratchasiye and Aaahista(swades)/yedho yedho (E 20 U 18) are on my lips today...

While on that topic, there are some days, you get up, and there is already a song on your lips ! - wow where did that come from ? :-?

Favourite music directors
ARR is "my man" as Srikanth puts it.
I love many IR, Vidyasagar songs as well. Oldies on&off :-)

Favourite singers
S.P.B, Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Chitra, Sujatha, Sadhana Sargam.

Favourite lines...
mmm...not much of a lyric person....so i'd like to pass it :-)

There is so much about TFM that i like, that am positive have forgotten to mention many. Music is really such a wonderful language to communicate with souls ! :-). No am not talking about aavi amudha ;p

Ok, the tag stops here ! :-) and anyone interested can take it forward