Posted in AR Rahman

Gurus of Fate

There may come a time in everyone’s life when every event seems planned and everything happens in an order & method, that would seem trim and uncluttered. Unfortunately – rather quite often more than not, this time is not what everyone can count on. In fact, the contrary occurs more often.

Have been wanting to write about “The Book of Fate” – because it is my latest read. I don’t think I have anything efficacious to say about the story or the plot ,but is it acutely coincidental that there are a lot of Dan Brown wannabes out there? Or is it just my limited exposure to American fiction? Either way, since the story revolves around Presidential secrets centered around Masonic symbols, I certainly had déjà vu. The plot was sharp but the narration was inconsistent. Brad is an ok writer who is stirred and afflicted with Hollywood mystery thrillers – in my prejudicial eyes, at least.

I find the Masonic conglomerate very exotic and very esoteric. Partly because I have a remote connection to it. No, I am not talking about the meaning of the symbol you get when you connect the four main doors of the “Nellaiappar Kovil” in Tirunelveli (the town where I grew up), transfixed with criss-crossed image of dotted lines that connect the eight secret doors, that are scattered around the Kovil. I am actually talking about the Grand Masonic Lodge of India and how my grand father and father have, in some unconnected way, managed to become members of it. Their meetings were secretive – alright. But I really had no idea of their purpose. All I knew was that it is a secret “lodge” where they vote with white and black balls to accept you as one of them. Not that they wanted more members to join them because fewer they are, tighter would be their secrets. And I for one, for all the innocence of my adolescent growing up years, never knew about their connection to this whole world of Masonic secrets that are being passed from Galileo to Da Vinci all the way to Jefferson. Needless to say, there is the occasional thought, albeit utterly unpleasant that keeps flashing – what if there is a mysterious connection between the “blood line” and me. Ha! That was a joke – that if not, would make a great thread for a Da Vinci Code like story set in South Indian temples.

In lot of ways, “Guru” is like “Iruvar” – musically speaking. I can definitely picturize AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam sitting together & coming up with ideas for each song , its period, its tone, its mood and most importantly whose/what songs should it be inspired of. While every song evokes a periodic feel, “Barso Re” is the only one that does not. And I bet there is a reason why it does not. Rahman, the singer is truly mesmerizing – Here there is, “Dham Dhara”, one more feather to his singing crown. Talk about, practice making someone perfect. Chinmayee sounds so versatile ( that you wonder if it was really sung by a 20 some old girl from Chennai. Kudos to Rahman for his bravery in choosing the singers. Bappi Lahiri for “Yammo Yamoo” may be questionable when you listen to it for the first time, but I think that was a great choice. Specially when he shakes his voice and sings “Bo..o.ol..l.lllll..o…G..u..r..u” transporting you to the 1980s in 2 seconds. “Madras Choral Orchestra” deserves all the praise you can shower them with for yet another amazing choral rendition of “Jaage Hain”. When Rahman joins Chitra initially in his bass-baritone and switches to his favorite scale, there is nothing that comes to your mind other than pure feeling for something or someone rushing through your hearts. That’s singing from one’s heart! That’s singing from one’s heart as if everything rests on that one song – on those few lines that you are singing with all your emotions poured into it, leaving everything else to your fate.

Like I did the past week – Listening to “Guru”, while reading “The Book of Fate” 🙂


Besides fantasizing about being a Peter Gibbons at least for a couple of days at my work, I think I have a long way to go to realize some of the other fantasies. But like any ambitious man out there, I will get there! Note: All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and have got nothing to do with my company Cogent IBS, Inc., its employees or any of its affiliates.

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