Posted in Miscellaneous, Sports - General

Floods and Diplomacy

Confession: – Yes. I have been slow in reacting and even now I am not entirely convinced that my reaction is 100% natural.

Context:Pakistan floods and the magnitude of its destruction. The humanitarian impact..

Reason: Still analyzing it. Possible inability to comprehend the general dangers of Flood as a natural disaster compared to Earth Quakes and Tsunamis..(which can cause instantaneous destruction both in terms of human lives and properties) and of course a natural aversion to the Pakistani government and an absolute hatred for what the Pakistani governments over the years have done in terms of pushing the country to be the incubator of religious fanaticism & terrorism and of late a victim of the same too, to some extent.

As I read  more and more about this disaster and how slowly the floods have managed to inundate 1/3rd of the country, what should have really stayed in my mind from day 1 are the images of a 10 year old and a 70 year old, wading through waist deep waters to get their only meal for the day, albeit soiled, being delivered by an army helicopter…Instead it has taken me more than 10 days to react. 10 days for the humanitarian side of this disaster to pinch me. So what if I don’t agree with the political manifestation of the evil ideologies that the Pakistani leaders have worked so hard in 63 years to propagate?

Because, what really should move the world community at the end of the day is the suffering of millions and millions of common men who have been displaced & what they go through every day to get some assurance for their sustenance. Yet, the world community has been very slow in reacting. Possibly for the same reasons as listed as above by me. I do not know.

Better late than never. Let me drop my first quarter. Now.

Meanwhile, Bopanna and Qureshi have built an unusual partnership – What started off as a normal Tennis Doubles partnership could now turn into a diplomatic one soon. I believe in what they try to do. But we need from Bopannas from India and many many more Qureshis from Pakistan to bring some sanity to the relationship between India and Pakistan. A relationship that can go beyond politics and religion. Guess, I can dream.

Posted in AR Rahman

Amma Thalle

Even while my confusing playlist which constantly finds it difficult to play 1 out of the 13 songs out of the 2 albums released with AR Rahman’s name in them in the last 3 weeks, I decided to pause for a moment and blog about this song called Amma Thalle from Komaram Puli. Knowing SJ Suryah’s penchant for tickling the sensual bones and nerves of his audience, I can only imagine how this will be picturized. Because of the general nature of our movie going audience who tend to pan songs as failures or hail songs as hits, based mostly on visuals and words (point being the actual music/melody/complexity rarely come into consideration), I will not be surprised if this song becomes a failure or hit (amongst certain kinds of fans) in no time after the movie releases.

For now, I have the luxury of writing about this song without any such prejudice or bias as the movie is not released yet.

Not so hardcore AR fans would have found a striking similarity between how Swetha starts off “sootiga” and how Harini starts off “Theekuruvi” (from KKS). But even for them, the similarity ends right there as they soon realize the similarity is only on the way a whole multiple word sequence is strung together that is difficult to comprehend at the first listen..and how the singer sings it so fast. Even for a Telugu learner like me, I can easily compare Theekuruvi with Amma Thalle and come to the conclusion that Amma Thalle is several notches below Theekuruvi in terms of ‘literal value’, thus giving enough opportunities to Suryah to let his front bench audience pleasing mode come into action.

This is one song that was pleasing at the first listen to me but on the next few hearings, I thought Rahman was sort of struck to his Telugu music days of 80s when music director Koti was at his peak…but as I continued to listen to this song more and more (at least once a day since July 12), I now come to the conclusion this is a song filled with instances of creative genius and yet put together in a commercially pleasing manner just like the director would have wanted. yes, the hangover of 80s if present may have been purely coincidental but how much has it been color to sound 21st century-ish for Pawan Kalyan fans. Notwithstanding the commercial aspects of the song such as a groovy rhythm and all that, the song has several master strokes only Rahman could have come up with so effortlessly.

* The brass like sounds that pop up along with the intro * The transition from the heavily exotic female intro to a hardcore Pawan Kalyan friendly male intro at 00:40 * Classical medley along with the same brass kind of sounds starting at 01:05 * Wherever the bass lines appear * Again the male voice blending at 01:50 * 02:40 onwards — No words to explain the abruptness and unexpected turn the song takes..and of course it ends with a crazy rendering of”Jabili Bomma”

Just because I dedicated a post on this song doesn’t mean I consider this song a classic or the best Rahman has done in recent times or anything. It only reflects that I had time to vent out what I thought about this song…now.

Here is the song for those who haven’t listened to it yet.″
Posted in AR Rahman

Music of the Tamil Machinist (Endhiran)

Let me start off with a disclaimer that this by no means is a review of a music album – for I find the term ‘review’ often misleading & distasteful. This is simply a collection of my thoughts.

The very idea of a Shankar-Rahman combination, in spite of it being almost 16-17 years old is still fascinating to the Tamil movie & music industry. There is something in their working dynamics – There is something in the way Shankar concieves his song sequences & the way in which he communicates them to Rahman. There has to be. There is also probably some unique cues he is able to provide Rahman with every time they work on an idea because there is almost a pattern by which Shankar imagines his song sequences irrespective of the story narrative or platform, yet the pattern is not easily decipherable. Which is why, with odds so much in favor of an album that involves these two being a commercial hit, the fact that they still manage to conjure up the listeners (and viewers) with something new & novel is worth a thesis for pure and hardcore lovers of Tamil film music.

To me, this being a Rajnikanth film is not a factor as far what I expect from the music, because so much of what the album “Endhiran” is going to cater to me is dependent on the Shankar-Rahman combination. Of course the addition of ‘the Super Star’ would only mean that the pattern could become a little more decipherable.

Thus began my journey of the machinist’s music..Here is my travelogue in a condensed form.

1) Puthiya Manidha – Predictable SPB groove but with a totally unpredictable intro. I think the Intro, SPB’s diction, Vairamuthu’s punchy lines & an addictive groove meant for Rajni fans are enough to carry this song to the commercially successful side.

2) Kadhal Anukkal – This sort of belongs to the Hosanna genre..but with a more 90s melody feel. Vijay Prakash, the new favorite from Rahman’s camp is absolutely brilliant and Shankar couldn’t go wrong with this one in terms of picturizing – out of the world ‘feel good romantic number’ with ample opportunities for Vairamuthu to show off his scientific knowledge (although I felt there were some cheesy words which were offset by some of his more brilliant phrases throughout the song)..

3) Irumbilae – Actually this was one of the 2 songs I was looking forward to listen to because of Madhan Karky. Took me a while to get used to this song..although many Rahman fans have called this song average for his standards, I am hooked to it after some 20 odd listenings. Karky does what he is expected to do – deliver a mix of science and maths in simple Tamil. My favorite was “Googlekal” (கூகுல்கள்) 🙂

4) Boom Boom – Karky has some work here while Yogi B takes care of the rest. Finally the only kind of Indian rap that Rahman hasn’t tried in his music so far finds a place.

5) Chitti Dance – Pravin Mani deserves special mention for his funky programming…while this was a number for which I think AR would have had a million ideas..and would have found it extremely difficult to present the right one to Shankar. Playful.

6) Arima Arima – Maya Machindra, Vaa ji Vaaji, Mudhalvanae & to an extent Ottagatha Kattikko are  Shankar songs that belong to a family. Arima Arima belongs in that family as this was a pattern I could break into. The music is grand and pumping. Sure to please many Rajni fans. And Shankar would have made sure his sets are as grand as the orchestration.

7) Kilimanjaro – To me this stood out in the album in terms of being odd. Oddly brilliant…I should say. Javed Ali and Chinmayi have done what they have never done before – singing a playful romantic song meant for frontbenchers and backbenchers equally. And Rahman – what can I say? How many improvisations can he come up with? Where does he get these subtle ideas that make all the difference in the end? Hats off. I envision this song to be the Peruvian one..

Overall – the combination works wonders yet again – Pattern notwithstanding, the album is full of surprise elements, catchy hooks and absolutely brilliant sound engineering layered with Rahman’s genius. The Machinist (Endhiran) delivers music with pin point accuracy much like a Robot.