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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Anniyan - the moojic


Gotta say this first up.. I wrote this in a mail to my friends :), so apadi ipadi irundha no mind! And yeah, I can't quite tolerate Harris Jeyraj. (I'll explain why in another blog! :D)

-------------------

The only HJ album I've looked fwd to!

1st impression. Lacks the Rahman touch. Before u go "DUH!! That's obvious!", naan solla vandhadhu was this.. Rahman took care to make sure that all the songs he gave Shankar sounded different, were in a different dimension from what he gave the others. Mood, tune.. none of it seemed like his older compositions. Anniyan apadi illai.

That's the main grouse I have in Anniyan. Otherwise, the tunes are not bad at all..

Andankaaka:
Peppy!
+ the fast folksy Shankar number.

- Why the hell do they twist their mouths like that?! Absolutely hate it when HJ resorts to getting his singers to sing with their nose and open their mouths unnaturally wide to try get that folk effect. Wish he'd stop doing that. (He did that in Kovil and Arul too)

Iyengaaru veetu azhage:
first 1:22 mins, no comments! :)
+ nice transition after that :)
+ cool singing and modulation by Hariharan
+ Harini andha brahmin vaarthaigal scene-a telling!

- Sounds like "Manam Virumbudhey" from Naerukku Naer! Becomes very evident when they sing "thathi thagathigu"!!

Kannum Kannum Nokia:
In one word - Pathetic! What the hell was HJ thinking?
+ positives-ku romba thedinaen.. hmmm, the English words are pronounced naturally. :) That's the only positive i cud make of it!!

- Rehash of his "So so sonaali" from Chellamey. very very evident from 2:06 to 2:25
- Rahman comes up with songs like Hello Doctor too.. but not for a Shankar film! :(


Kaadhal Yaanai:
I like the mood of the song. Sounds pretty funky.
+ he's used the kinda ularings that he used before "Thoodhu Varuma".. me likey! :)
+ The Rap-HipHop thingy in the middle's pretty cool too.

- Sounds like Seriya Thavara (12B) at times.. (3:49 - 4:03 for example)
- The singers try to be too nonchalant while singing, n that gets on my nerves! :)
(You might say that's needed if u want the song to sound cool n classy.. Enakkoru Girlfriend was natural, yet classy!)


Kumaari:
My favourite song of the album.. (For now!!) :)
+ Brilliant use of instruments. The instruments, especially the piano flourishes and the guitar strummings are very very Rahmanesque. HJ's done a nice job. :)
+ Nice Jazzy feel when Harini makes her entry..

- Sounds like En Uyir Thozhiye (Kanngalaal Kaidhu Sei) at times.. for instance, the tiny veenai effect at 2:14 (hehe.. nitpicking at its best!), the singing at so many places!
- The "Nasal open-and-close-mouth in an exaggerated manner" effect repeated. :)

Stranger in Black:
has this Gothic feel to it..
+ The theme for the evil Vikram i guess.. brings the mood out pretty well..

- engayo keta maathiri irukku. Or mebbe it's jus my prejudice against HJ!! :)


Disclaimer:
Reviewed while listening to it for the 3rd time. Opinion may change on more listening! :D


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bore adikudhu


Q. Why is it that the sons of great fashion designers never seem to inherit their parent's genius?


A. Blame it on the faded genes. :)


PS:
Wonder who invented Artificial Intelligence.. My text book doesn't even have a definition for it! (err.. ok, Praveen's text book! Suttutaen!!) The author's taken definitions from 8 different books and put them as a table! And I thought I was the lazybum around here..

Sample this..
"The study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better."

vaayila green green-a words coming!

But that said, check out this brilliant piece of AI. Almost makes u think it's reading ur mind!
20 Questions

And tell me how u fared :)

[link via Saranyan]


Friday, April 22, 2005

Great news!


It's almost like a movie... you're looking down the barrel, and all of a sudden, all seemingly obstinate knots smoothen out by themselves to give you that happy ending! :)

Got 3 great news.. One for myself, one for a huge bunch of Bloggers, and one for one of my favourite bloggers!

1. Lemme be selfish, and get this outta the way first. My practicals are over. The OOPs Lab went like a dream, where for the first time in my life I was so well prepared for a lab exam, the fact that it was a semester exam didn't sink in till after I came out of the lab. I was confident enough to handle any qn they threw at me, sailed through the code, got a perfect output, helped quite a few out with THEIR codes, and the thing that took me most by surprise - I answered EVERY question in Viva! Until he asked me the last qn - What is an algorithm?
I thought he was trying to catch me offguard, but told him what it was anyways. And then he went on to say, "Adhaan step by step procedure-nu solrae-la? Aparam yaen Algorithm-la nee Step 1, Step 2-nu podaama Star Star-a bullet poturukkae?"... And struck out the Algo! :( Did I say "went like a dream"? Make that a nightmare!
But my lab in-charge gave me a considerate nod, that meant all was well in the end. Phew! :)

My Electronic Circuits lab was even funnier (to me!)... This was one lab where I've NEVER done an experiment before, thanks to this (my batch, remember?). I had no clue about what I'd do, and I was slotted in the afternoon batch. The morning batch students came back looking pretty dejected and said nothing worked and the Viva was sheer torture! I even saw a few teary-eyed faces. All until I picked up a comparitively easy experiment, connected all the components, and switched it on to get the most beautiful output on the CRO I've seen in my life! Ivalo build-up ku, chappuna mudinjuduchu! 10 mins flat, my experiment was over! I was grilled with at least some 30 qns, to which I kept blabbering answers, to which she kept nodding her head and saying saying "correct"... hehehe, Dame Luck was being extremely kind on me! :)

2. Oops.. konjam emosans aaitaen! Didn't expect the 1st news to be this long! :) But here's great news for all of you using the shoutbox from Shoutmix. Snecx, the owner/creator of the shoutbox had done such a brilliant work with it that, not surprisingly, the number of shoutmix users ballooned up by the day. He ran into trouble when he had to change servers to accommodate the growing demand. And the guys running the new server complained this was eating up their resources. Things reached a point where he had no other choice but to give up on it. But enter "Exabyte Network", and things are looking up now. They've agreed to sponsor Shoutmix, albeit with a few changes like li'l text ads... But it's alright Snecx, we don't mind. I'm bloody excited that my Scribbler is staying for good! Thanks dude.

3. And the happiest news of the lot. If you've been following SK's blog, you'd have got to read some awesome posts. With her inimitable style of writing, heartfelt and extremely simple and down-to-earth, she earned herself a fan in me! :)
And even as she reminisced about her past, she got me hooked to her story with her simple, flowing narration. Check these out..

* Friends - 1
* Friends, the beginning
* (So called) first date
* A toast to friendship
* First Escapade - An Account
* My V-day
* The D-Day after V-Day

And today, she's getting married! To K, the hero of her (real-life) story! :)

Here's wishing you a Happy Married Life, SK! You rock!



Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A constant harangue and a drastic decision


Not a single weekend goes by without it. So much so that I've started to enjoy it!

* * * * * * * * * *

I'm a pretty strange creature. Or that's what my parents believe. Their justifications don't seem misplaced either. They still can't believe how a guy, living in a city where a temperature of 35 degrees is considered pleasant, where you break out into beads, nay, buckets of sweat when you step out of your house (and this in October!), where April-May gives Hell a run for its money, can be so averse to taking a bath!

It's all normal on weekdays when I have jus' about enough time to get ready to go to college, and I have a bath without a fuss. But come weekend, the morning stretches out so wonderfully in front of me, I'm more than happy to sit on the couch for hours on end, with a smug look of contentment on my face, doing absolutely nothing!

And the usual tirade starts.

"Harish.. poi kuli da", my Mom'd say as she bustles around the house giving a new meaning to the word "multitask".

"Iru ma... enna avasaram? Adhaan paper padichundu irukaen-la? Medhuva aparam kulichukaraen."

"Manasula collector nenappu! Ok. But don't tell me I didn't warn you. If Appa sees you, you're in for it!". And with these words of caution, she'd get back to trying to do 5 different things at once.

Sluggish apathy sets in once again, as I sit like a lazy lump on the couch, with a silly smile on my face, shooting off messages to three different people at once. Hey, but I'm not that sloth-y (for want of a word) all the time. I do have these sudden bursts of energy, when I'm inspired to get my butt off the couch, shift to a different place, and resume whatever I've been doing all that while! And at times when the burst of energy actually gets some momentum going, I walk all the way upstairs, to sit with the comp. Yup. I actually climb the stairs. Step by step. All 18 of them. (And no, I don't live in Sabari malai)

That's when, invariably, my Dad makes his entry.

"Harish?"

(Feigning innocence, though I very well know what that tone means) "Enna pa?"

"Naan enna keppaen-nu unakke theriyum."

"Enna pa?" (Damn! So much for trying hard not to grin!!)

"Kulichiya?"

"He he he" (And those three words redefine "asattu vazhiyal")

"Vekkama illai? Oru brahmin boy, kulikaama, azhukoda... cha! Avalo chinna pasanga ellam, poonal potu, kaarthaala kulichu, sandhi panni, avalo active-a irukumbothu, unakenna? Unna sandhi pannu-nu kooda sollala. Aana unake oru sense of hygiene vendaam?"

"Ayyooo.. kulikaraen pa.. 5 mins-ku aparam!"

"Ok. I'll come back in 5 mins. You should have switched off the computer by then."

* 5 mins later*

"Nee innum inga enna pannrae?"

"Adhaan 5 mins-ku aparam kulikaraen sonene!"

*Repeat that vekkama illai dialogue with a few additions like..*
"Nee chinna payyan-a irukumbothu you used to love playing in the water. Appo irundha sense of hygiene, ippo enga pocho!"

"Appo enakku vera velai illai pa. Ippo irukku!"

(Realising he's fighting a losing cause here..) "Unnaala indha veyyil-la epadi thaan azhukoda irukka mudiyudho!"

"Ipadi thaan! :) "

BOOM!! I should have known not to push my luck too far! After a major dose, and a few threats of a disconnected internet connection, I trudge off downstairs, muttering to myself, forced to have my bath in the morning.

* * * * * * * * * *

This happens every weekend. And I actually enjoy this weekly err.. ritual! :D There are days when my dad's busy and I happily push my bath-time off further and further back till it's mid-afternoon, and I have nothing better to do than hit the shower. Now THAT gives me a sense of contentment. Don't know why. :)

But I have my study holidays now, and everyday seems like a weekend. It's almost a bloody battle between our patience and wit! And I seemed to be winning, till my folks came up with an extremely unfair warfare strategy. I hate to admit it, but they won the war. :(
I can't stretch out the lazy mornings anymore. I end up having a bath before (gasp!) 10 in the morning! :((

All thanks to 4 li'l words they've put up as a rule now.

No bath. No food.

Sigh. Parents can be so cruel...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thamizh Puthaandu Nall Vaazhthukal!


Ellorukkum en iniya Thamizh Puthaandu Nall Vaazhthukal
Vishu vaazhthukals too!

I love this time of the year. For the super eats. For all the shows on TV. For the Rajni and Kamal padams releasing simultaneously. But most importantly, for the greatest tradition of them all. Falling at elders' feet!

Elders-a madhikka therinja payyan naan. Romba mariyaadhai kudupaen. Avanga manasu kashta paduthara maathiri endha kaariyamum panna pidikaadhu.

Well, paati kaal-liyum amma appa kaal-liyum vizhundhu avalo dhuddu collect panninadhukkum pona paragraph-kum sambandhame illai. Honest!

Amma kitta "Chennai-la evalo relatives irukaanga ma?"-nu ketathukku my sis gave me a "Dhoda!" looku. Avangala ellam paarthu avanga blessings vaanganam-nu aasai irukaadha enakku??

Illai vendaam. Ungala answer panna vitta naan damage aaiduvaen! Naane sollraen. Of course , enakku periyavanga blessings ellam vaanganam-nu aasai irukkum! Periyavanga-na relatives mattuma? Ellarum! Blogging community and friends too..

Aana mukka vaasi paeru Chennai-la illama poitaanga

Paravala. Adhukkum idea vechurukaen. Move your mouse over the pictures for details.




Paravala. I know how much of trouble ur computer might have given u. Adha medhikka idhaan orae chance! Kaala vechaacha?

Ok. Ippo naan kaala thottu unga blessings vaangeeten.

Err.. kaal-la vizhundhu blessings vaangina, blessings oda kaasum kudukanam-nu oru rule irukku-la?
Adhuvum made possible thanks to a brilliant idea from Uma. Anga rendu G.A theriyudha right-la? Aamam. Adhe thaan. Adhula oru click. Thank you!

May you have a happy and prosperous year ahead of you! Happy New Year again, thamizh (and malayalam) makkale!!

Update:
For the benefit of those who haven't understood a word I said. :)

Well, it's jus that I really really respect elders :D and I'd like to get their blessings. That's why I've put up those 2 markers. Step on it, and I'll touch it and get ur blessings! And New Year blessings are like Buy One Get One Free offers. Along with the blessings come err.. well.. hehe.. money! *scratches head. grins like an idiot*
And the best way I could get ur "blessings" is by well.. G.A! :P

Happy New Year!



Sunday, April 10, 2005

Move Over Mr. PC Sriram..


* U P D A T E D ! *

I'm well on my way to take ur place! :P


The Bloggers' Meet was pretty interesting. Here's why!



If they remove the "y", rest assured, they'd have a regular patron in me! :)




Idea photography! :P




Better idea photography! :D Pathetic execution.. don't blame me.. blame the road!




Cute dog, huh? :) (the one on the left!!)




No you aren't drunk! :) Zoom effect-la clarity poiduthu.. but meet the tree that textile ppl worship..
The Banian Tree (sic!) :)




And oh. this was the stupid nail that tore a li'l hole in my shirt!


For more sensible snaps(!!), drop into Praveen's blog :) You can expect a super write-up from the MoM expert! Also check out Nirenjan's (funny!) and Sandhya's (contagiously enthu!) versions of the meet..

Updated (April 11) :

Here's Shiva's take on the Bloggers' Meet. Ellara pathayum mention pannraaru soleetu enna pathi onnum sollala! :)
Anyways, Copy-Pasted from his mail.. here goes..

ANATOMY OF A SATURDAY EVENING !!! (Shiva the great)

Hi people !! St. Thomas Mount trip or group dating or blog meeting eppadi ???
First i would like to sincerely thank sophia ( soap illa sopy nejama thaan ).
The amazing thing about u guys is that every one was koool !!! Here is my postmortem report about each & every person... Hold ur breath!
Lets start from Mr.Ravi.... Ravi is the one who picked me up frm my place. He is
very formal and infact said sorry for having come 3.5 minutes late! Hey yellarum ore rejent party aah keeranga? except me every one was formal !
I have to mention about 2 kids ( Sandy & her friend Arvind) aiyooo, before sandy left she said " can we leave, mom is waiting" for the 21st time and left saying she would meet everyone next year! ( then naanga mattum vetty officer aah?) then i tried to irritate her, but she was very cool & never got angry. Then this silent boy Praveen.. I got suspicious since he was silent frm the beginning.
There was a white t shirt gal in the church.. am 100% sure , u guys 100% seen her! ( he heee)
This Praveen was watching which i was watching. 2 guys frm HCL (Nirenjan and Sudhir): they looked like NASA scientists.. they have that arivu jeevi look! One guy (Shekhar) was silent throughout! Chandru was watching aeroplanes!!
and 2 absentees ! Prominent one being malaysia ponnu ! for the sake of rhyme , madam,can we call you as malay mayil ? And another poor guy anbu who never made it to the hilltop.
Thanks harish for posting my message ! ok guys n gals ... expect regular splashing writings frm me... free fair fearless !



Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dead End


I woke up with a start.

My abstinence from blogging (hmmm, if I've started using words like abstinence, I must be really addicted) has started giving me serious problems. It's almost like withdrawal symptoms. Quite like the ones I feel, when I start the day without my coffee and paper.

And after a very long time, I've had a nightmare. Not the ones with boogeymen and dark caves. The ones that make you think it's for real and you wake up sweating.

I'd dreamt that someone had hacked into my blogger id and made a totally crappy post. And horror of horrors! There were comments for it too!

Hrmph! If this qualifies as a nightmare, something is wrong with me. Admonishing myself for being silly, I curled right back in to sleep. Now where did those abstract, nonsensical, totally whacky dreams go?

I guess I had a dreamless sleep after that. Woke up feeling groggy. I stepped outta bed, only to sink right through the floor. I landed with a thud in what seemed like a scene take straight outta Ramayana. Replete with the totally cheesy sets I associate with it. The intricately designed carvings on papier-mache pillars decorated with plastic flowers. Silly looking four-legged pieces of furniture they call thrones. Steep steps leading up to the main throne, completely oblivious to the trouble an old king might have in climbing them. A couple of nubile bimbettes holding something that looked suspiciously like broomsticks.

I went upto them and asked them what it was. They didn't seem too perturbed by the fact that a handsome, attractive young man radiating sheer brilliance had materialised outta thin air (And in case you're wondering.. I was talking about me! :P) If anything, they looked like they'd been expecting me. Now that took me aback. My sincere statement that I wasn't interested was met with a rather scary glare. One of them said, "Maharaja is expecting you". I let them know I certainly was not interested!

As if on cue, the king made his entry. Damn! Did he look familiar! His height, his white french beard (yes, so an ancient Hindu king had a french beard. You have a problem with that?), his deep baritone voice... I was trying my best to place him. "Welcome Harish. I hope you know who I am", he enquired. Aaaah! It all clicked into place! "Amithabh Bachchan!", I replied, my eyes lighting up. He looked quite disappointed and drawled, "Afsos. Galath Jawab."

Raja Dasharatha, as he introduced himself, had summoned for my help. (Heyyy, whadya know. It WAS Ramayana, after all!) He had heard a lot about me and thought I was the best person to handle the situation.

Dasharatha: Listen. I need an heir to my throne. And I need your help.
Harish: Woaahh! Sorry dude! That's your problem! At the max, I can get you the contact number of a good doc.
D: Shut up and listen! I've made all the arrangements to get the job done myself.
H: Good on you! :)
D: *with a piercing stare that made me shut up for good* I was advised to perform the Aswamedha Yagna by sage Vasishta....

(To cut a rather lengthy dialogue short, here's the crux of the matter)
Though it was Vasishta's idea to perform the Aswamedha Yagna, the sage was in a rather playful mood. So he didn't give him all the err.. ingredients for yagna. He withheld a couple of ingredients and asked Dasharatha to find it himself. Dasharatha had guessed one of them (the horse, duh!) and had no clue about the other one. One of his ministers had also added to the confusion saying he had to perform a Putra Kamesti yagna, and not an Aswamedha Yagna. This had the king in tears. Vasishta understood the king's urgency for a son and decided to go easy on him. He told him that two yagnas weren't necessary and that he'd be blessed with son(s) if he found out that last ingredient. This was where he needed my help. He'd heard a lot about my quizzing exploits. I tried telling him it was my quiz partner who did all the answering while I just sat alongside fiddling with my cellphone. But he remained deaf-eared to my pleas. He wanted me to guess the last ingredient for him.
(ulp! the "crux of the matter" turned out longer than the dialogue!!)

6 PM was my deadline. At 5:30, it looked as if every citizen of the Kosala kingdom had assembled at the palace. Vasishta just stood there, with a bemused expression on his face. That was when Dhasharatha gave me the shocking news. It seemed the power to take me back to my world solely rested with Vasishta and he'd exercise it only if he got the answer.

This got me all panicky. I started blabbering stuff I've read in Harry Potter. "Bloomslang skin! Bicorn Horn. I wanna go home!" This went on for quite a while.

I decided to be more practical. This was a situation that demanded a cool head.
"A matchstick?"
"Oil?"
"Ghee?"
"Kerosene??"
A hint of desperation had crept into my voice now.

Vasishta just shook his head. He looked like he was enjoying this as I detected a glint of glee in his eye.

"You have one minute to go, boy. If you do not answer by six, I'm sorry, but you'd be stuck here forever."


What the... how unfair is that! They pull a guy out of his sleep for no fault of his, and subject him to this kinda torture.

"Holy Shit! Lemme go!"

* pooof *

I was back in my bed as Vasishta promised. Hehehe.. it was the varatti! :)

Epilogue:
Stuff in italics happened for real! And please, don't blame me if it makes no sense! :)
Jus' wanted to get it outta my system!