Guest Blog – Abirami A

Here’s a blog note from Abirami who currently lives in London. She had written a mail to me about her experience of running the London Marathon. I liked it and I hope you would do the same. email her at Sakeths[at]aol[dot]com.

I’m a 31-year old mum, a former Chennai-vasi. I’ve visited your site a few times and found it quite interesting. The reason I’m writing to you is that I ran and completed the London Marathon yesterday. Being so far away and having few relatives and fewer friends, I’m really short of people I can share my excitement with. Hence this mail. Anyway, here’s a little piece I wrote upon waking up this morning and I’m thrilled to share my experience with you.
-Abhirami A


Guest Blog 2 – Anand Chandrasekharan

Satrangi…Only You… now Fanah!

The fact that AR Rahman has sold a cumulative 20 million plus records is common knowledge. The fact that (together with Sachin and Bachchan) Rahman now carries the India brand on his shoulders is something we all have come to be proud of. But the fact the occasional song from his stable is nothing but divinely inspired is not well recognized.

Dilip Kumar became AR Rahman after much family tragedy. And that pain and the metaphysical effects that severe loss and tragedy brings is reflected in his music – and in a way that the audience is able to relate to.

Depending on whether or not one counts Thee Thee from Thiruda Thiruda,
Satrangi (in Dil Se) was one of the first songs that carried a clear Sufi bent, combined with enchantingly metaphysical lyrics (seven layers of being et al). Then came Only You in Vande Mataram, which was dedicated to the Sufi saint who became Rahman’s support during their tough times.

And now, Fanah! Notwithstanding a techno beginning in the first 30 seconds, this song could only have been inspired from sources not easily traceable in our daily lives (birds, sunshine, a face)… the last 30 seconds almost seem taken directly from a pain, from a suffering.

Another common thread in these songs is the separation from lyrics, the separation from rhythm in the last parts and the outpouring of music almost in an unadulterated form.

There is little doubt that ARR swims in worlds out of our own to come up with these occasional pieces. Come May 21, India will swim in an ocean of Fanah!

Guest Blog 1 – Anand Chandrasekharan

Anand Chandrasekharan, my friend who like me, is a geek, graduated from Stanford, and works at a wireless company he started in Silicon Valley, and is involved with Deeshaa a rural India focussed initiative. He is now in India. Listening to Aayitha Ezhuthu music, he was impressed and wanted to write a note on Vairamuthu’s genius in Aayitha Ezhuthu. Here it is. You can contact him at write2ak[at]stanford[dot]edu. Thanks Anand and I wish you to write many more such brilliant observations here.

Vairamuthu’s magAKK!
Multi-lingual movies, with their other challenges also bring with them the undeniable challenge of songwriting. With Rahman and other music directors making waves in multiple languages, one can’t help but compare the quality of lyrics in the hindi and the tamil versions of the same film.

Why this rant? Because of Mani Ratnam’s Yuva/Aayitha Ezhithu music release. Among other lyrical masterpieces by Vairamuthu, one line that stands out is “Kann Thondri Kann Kaana Kanneero” (Is this a tear that is out, yet unseen?) in the song Hey, Goodbye Nanba!

The movie itself is about identity. The letter AKK, which in Tamil can only be used in conjunction with another letter to convey any meaning; the three lead characters, who all come with different ideals and then learn from the other perspectives to define their own identity. Vairamuthu captures the essense of this dilemma concisely (in only 3 words) and yet leaves the listener with so many questions – Is the tear there? Is it gone? Is the sorrow still left after the tear is gone? Much as one hopes Aayitha Ezhuthu will leave the audience wondering about the identity of today’s youth.

One can’t help but sigh at the genius of Vairamuthu (not that that needed any mention), and at the same time compare it with the bland “Begana Begana” in the Hindi Version of the same song.

Kangalaal Kaithu Sei

Bharathiraja’s Kangalaal Kaithu Sei was a big disappontment. Given Bharathiraja’s earlier thrillers like Sigappu Rojakkal, Tik Tik Tik and Captain Magal, this movie wasn’t even close to any of them. First of all, this cannot be even called a thriller. Cause there was nothing in the movie to be thrilled about.

B.Raja still loves to remain in 80s where he was the master of the game. I was majorly disappointed because of the splendid trailer that they etched out for this movie. The promos were classy and called for the best movie making capabilities. But unfortunately the movie was loosely connected with the story. Also we have no clue as to how the hero manages to steal the diamond.

The major let down was the characterizations. In this millenium, a enthusiastic young business man who actively screws up a reporter who asks a stupid question, behaves like a jamindaar in his house. The way in which the hero communicates with his hand to his servants is irritating and looks like S V Rangarao types.

A R Rahman has worked really hard to bring out some really good numbers. Aha Thamizhamma and Azhagiya Cindrella song stays in hearts. I loved the audio of Anarkali song which has some amazing tabla music. But the picturisation was bad with the heroine dressed in Anarkali costumes runs in the sea shore all along the song. Sujatha‘s dialogues just shine in few places.Also the editing which is synonymous to Alaigal Oyivathillai times is very disturbing the pace of the movie.

Priyamani, the heroine looks nice and I hope she would do well in her next movie with Balu Mahendra and Dhanush called Athu Oru Kanaakkaalam. In KKS, She was left with no scope to act. Being compared with the cindrella doll, she behaves just like a doll. Mudhal Mariyadhai is one Bharathiraja’s best film ever. I only hope he can still films like that, which can stand over time.

Are u thinking that I am still puzzled how the hero was able to steal the diamond. Never mind I didn’t understand the rest of the movie also.

Re-visiting Shankar’s Boys

After all that media screw-up, Shankar’s Boys went into the boxes with the same speed. The same Sun Tv which gave a very bad rating for this movie broadcasted Boys yesterday (without major cuts) as a part of Tamil New Year’s Day celebration (?!!). Atleast by doing it Sun TV joins the group of Boys supporters.

Now that the rest of hypocritical public who refused to meet the Boys in theatres had a chance to see the movie on their televisions. And, probably now they would understand that Boys was just a reflection of the existing teenage world and not some out-of-the-world issue. I hope they would have cursed the media enough, for being biased with Boys and sabotaging the film’s box office.

The audio was cut whenever the boys uttered the OTMP word. I am unable to understand why this was done. I can only laugh loudly at the judgemental skills of censoring.

In such a case, why should hollywood films in India be censored only for erotic scenes. They can also censor the audio like they did for Boys. And if only they do it, films like Phone Booth will be audioless and we, clueless. Let’s pray god that this doesn’t happen, at all.