Thursday, October 27, 2005
Feel like God
What did I plan?1. Wake up at an ungodly hour of 4:30.2. Study for the dumb model exam I'd voluntarily decided to take up. Despite clear instructions that it wasn't compulsary.3. Go to college.What happened?I wake up at 6 angry with myself and with my cellphone alarm for not ringing.Where, then, does the "Feel like God" part come in?Remember the scene in Bruce Almighty when Jim Carrey all of a sudden realises he's in the middle of the ocean talking to Morgan "God" Freeman? I felt the same way when I noticed stuff floating around in my house and I was walking on water. No kiddin, it did feel like God! :)So what else did I see?The first thing I noticed was that the rain, which had started at around 3 PM last afternoon, still showed no signs of letting up.I opened the backdoor leading to the garage. A bucket floated past me. My mom's still wondering what made me convulse with hysterical laughter!It's about time we made vocal a long time grouse. My house was built, raised 3 feet above the ground. Every year, the corporation thinks it's doing us a great favour by re-laying the road. Point to note : They re-lay it on top of the existing road. The result: We're now on ground level!Everytime a vehicle passes by, the flooded roads gleefully spill over inside the house, and the ankle deep water at home raises higher.I saw the difference owning a digicam makes. DAMN! One snap would have narrated this entire post. Perhaps more!
Updated at 10 AM :
The fun's wearing off with the water level rising steadily. I hunted for a long scale and measured how deep the living room was in water.
11 cm [at 9 AM] 18 cm when I checked 5 mins back. Also noticed a dead lizard floating in the water. Disappeared before I figured out how to get rid of it. Ugh! I need to watch my step! :(
All the switchboards at a low height have been mummified with cellotape.
My sis has turned into a one-woman bhajanai ghosti. She keeps breaking into songs all of a sudden and they all eerily have a central theme - water! She says it's just a coincidence. Oh well!
There's a street dog opposite my house whose whines are tugging at my heartstrings. It's stranded on the compound wall and is standing helpless in the rain. Can't jump either way coz the place is completely flooded with knee deep water - inside and outside the compound. Will the Blue Cross help cases like this?
Hmmmm, now I know how the Mumbaiites must have felt!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
What actually happened
Remember the Tunnel scene in "Men In Black"? Here's what actually happened.
~~*~~The midtown tunnel was usually always jammed. Regular commuters by that route knew better. They made sure to bring some magazines along with them, so that they could finish reading them by the time they crossed the tunnel back onto the expressway. A GRE aspirant was rumoured to have completed the entire Barrons while inching his way out of the tunnel.*FLASH and the blurred screen comes back into focus*Tom Ayto was in a hurry to get home. The shortest route was through the tunnel, and he was determined to swerve his way through the traffic back home even if it killed him. He figured he had an advantage, driving a compact car. He edged past a black Cadillac, and snuck through between a sports car and a Sedan. His victorious whoop was, however, short-lived, as he found himself obstructed by a gigantic truck. Dead end. Tom slapped his forehead in frustration.*FLASH. Back to focus.*Dick Tator was an enigma. His serious demeanor and smooth talk had earned him quite a reputation in the corridors of Law. Off the court, he redefined cool. Spotted most of the time in designer wear, zipping through the streets on his new bike, Dick enjoyed life as if everyday was his last. He was a man who thrived on challenges. Determined to meet his girlfriend, he'd placed a bet with himself to get to the other side of the tunnel even if the other vehicles had come to a standstill. Swerving between vehicles, he made no attempts to slow down. He noticed a car in front of him trying to do the same. Figuring it'd be a lot easier following the car, he tailed it all the way, almost crashing into the Cadillac that the car in front of him overtook. Finally, he saw light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, it was the tail light of a truck in front of him. Dick came to a sudden halt beside the car, and threw a glance at the driver smacking his forehead.*FLASH. Focus. *Harry Leggs, the professional skateboard stuntman, worked his way home. In other words, he was going home on his skateboard. But even for someone who earned his livelihood risking his neck, the traffic jam was too much of a daunting task. He turned back and looked for a detour.*FLASH*[These scenes were edited out though. The director preferred to deal only with the heroes. The following is what you would have seen in the movie.]Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith came hurtling down the road in their Ford LTD, not caring the least about the traffic jam ahead. With a casual click of a button, the car morphed into a kind of suction vehicle. Swerving to the side of the tunnel, the car zoomed up the wall and rocketed through the tunnel at breakneck speed, upside down. Once at the end of the tunnel, the car flipped back down and sped away leaving the rest gaping at them.
~~*~~Thus, what Tom, Dick and Harry could not do, the Men In Black did, by crossing the tunnel inspite of several obstacles.Moral of the story?Where there's a Will, there's a way :)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Deccan Chronicle - 2
We just stood there. Shivering with cold and miserably drenched. "I can't come back again to Bangalore. This is the last of my free weekends", I repeated over and over in my mind. There were a coupla policemen standing under an umbrella, and we couldn't resist singing "Pyar hua, ikraar hua hai"! By 7:30, I lost all hope. But I was happy to see I wasn't the only nutcase standing in the rain waiting for Rahman. Everybody stood there, not moving an inch, braving the rains, at least to get a glimpse of him even if it was just to see him come out and apologise that the show was being cancelled.
Rahman did make an appearance at around 8. This is what Gopal Srinivasan, the moderator of the Rahman Fan Group had to say.
"Around 8 PM, the boss made an appearance on stage dressed in a sky blue turtle neck T-shirt and the whole arena erupted into a loud cheer. He said "This is the holy month of Ramadan and the showers are a blessing from God. Give us a few minutes to set up the stage and the show will go on". The crowd again went up in a cheer. One of us overheard H Sridhar remarking, "Why is he saying this! Its not safe to do a concert now". But ARR was resolute."
That's what sets Rahman apart from the others. He was genuinely touched by what he saw and was determined to give back something to the audience. Thalaiva, thanks! The one hour wait we had to endure for the show to start didn't seem like too much of a trouble, now that the show was on after all! Our patience began to wear thin when so many artists came out and said "We love you Bangalore, you're the best audience I've seen in my life". It sounded like a formality, but now, on hindsight, I guess they really meant it. A few artists like Sivamani, Blaaze and Kailash Kher did their bit to make sure the restless crowd didn't return home.
As promised, at around 9, our man came out and rendered Fanaah.The crowd erupted! Rahman sounded a bit offkey, and I wasn't too happy with what I was hearing. What happened to that voice that gave me goosebumps everytime? But was I pleasantly surprised by Rahman's vigour! I've never seen the shy man so alive before. Confidently striding out from his comfort zone surrounded by his keyboards, he bobbed up and down punching the air, trying his best to give us the show of our lives. At that moment, I was enveloped by a feeling of warmth and reverence for Rahman so great, that his throaty "Ma pa ma pa" alaap didn't bother me one bit.
Hariharan came on next with Sadhana Sargam to sing "Telephone manipol" from Indian. Sadhana muffed up at a few places. "Why were they performing so badly? Were they all feeling the tension to get the show started?". The song went off in a blur. I was unable to concentrate with these questions scrolling through my mind. Shankar Mahadevan and Blaaze walked out along with George Peters, and they whipped the crowd into a frenzy with "O Hum Dum" from Saathiya. Blaaze improvised on the rap in the middle saying all the right words about Bangalore to make us feel the wait was worth it!
The little man, Kailash Kher came on stage to render "Mangal Mangal". Couldn't see the outfit he was wearing, but it sure did look all bright and funny from that distance! The artists still seemed to be trying too hard to impress. The comfort level wasn't up there yet. But the crowd still loved what they were given. I'd gone to Rahman's "Unity of Light" show in Chennai, and I had seen for myself the sheer magic the artists rustle up. Everyone seemed to be a bit rusty, here.
The next song put an end to all my apprehension. Alka Yagnik came on to sing "Mehndi hai" from Zubeidaa. The crowd was confused, a few muttered "Hey, I know this song, yet I don't!". I was the official information supplier for the group out there, telling them the names of the movies, the actors and on a few occassions getting a bit too carried away to actually give them the year of release and some trivia associated with the movie. Alka rocked. It was a slow song, and the crowd didn't react much to it, but she gave me the confidence that the show was on for good. Her sweet voice resonated with confidence, and I geared myself for one helluva show!
Rahman announced that the next song was from Water (the album releases on Nov 8th, btw) and we were probably the first to hear it. Sorry thalaiva, I already have a few thiruttu samples! ;) "Water?", the guy next to me asked, confused. John Abraham, Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, the last installation of Deepa Mehta's elemental trilogy, renamed as Rivermoon and shot in Sri Lanka almost secretly to avoid all the controversies that happened in Varanasi when she started shooting there.. I was half expecting him to ask me to stop, strangely he didn't seem to mind! :)
Sukhwinder and Sadhana sang "Aayo Re" from the film. Maybe they improvised, maybe they didn't, but it sure sounded a bit different. It was amazing all the same! The people next to me were quite confused to see me sing along. He he, that was fun. The next two songs were "Hum hai iss pal yahaan" from Kisna by Madhushree and "Roja Jaaneman" by Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam. Hmmm, I wasn't able to listen to them properly as there was a small problem in the crowd. I guess this deserves a seperate post. I'll put it up when I'm done with the Deccan Chronicle series.
Naresh Iyer and Aslam began crooning "Doston se jhoothi moothi dusron ka naam leke" and the crowd roared in response! He he, anyone who's listening to Rahman's songs for the first time would have thought a rock song was to follow. Chupke Se from Saathiya still hasn't lost its charm. Sadhana's baby all the way. Rahman announced that the lyrics of the next song were special as it was written by PB Sreenivos for the show (correct me if I'm wrong, I kinda went berserk when he took the mike, and I was too busy shouting "thalaiva!" to notice what he said!) It was Kannalane from Bombay, sung in Kannada. Hmm, I must mention the choir. They were brilliant. They swayed, clapped and crooned in unison and made for a very cute sight. And sounded fab!
Thalaivar came back on, extra cheerful now that everyone was in a groove, even as the orchestration for Chale Chalo (Lagaan) started, he said "This one is for your spirit", and punched the air again! He he, so much for reticence, Rahman looked every bit the rockstar he's made out to be in India! Needless to say, he was brilliant! He was followed by Mr.I-always-improvise-on-stage-when-Rahman's-around. Hmmm, typing "Hariharan" is easier. :) He dissected Vennilave Vennilave (Minsaara Kanavu), breaking into alaaps quite often. But to be fair to him, I enjoyed it! Sadhana sang along, and stuck to the original tune. :D
The choir was in its elements when they sang Chinnamma Chilakkama. Sukhwinder lapped up all the screams and whistles, and was clearly enjoying himself as he grooved to to the beat. Madhushree then came on to sing "Kabhi Neem Neem" (Yuva). I was pretty disappointed with the folks standing next to me as they heard her hum the starting part of the song and began wondering aloud if it was from Swades or Saathiya! She sang the closing lines in tamil, and sounded pretty funny! Sukhwinder came back to sing "Pangdi Sambhaal" from The Legend of Bhagath Singh.
Alka Yagnik strode in to sing the western version of "Taal se taal mila". It sounded better than it did in the movie! Shankar Mahadevan returned, pulled Rahman out and had us in splits! "We are gonna sing a song, a very very slow song. It was a total flop in the movie, but we're gonna sing it anyway. It's called Humma Humma from the movie Bombay" and gestured to Rahman to take over. Rahman crooned "Humma humma" like a Muslim prayer song, and Shankar M sang "andha arabic kadaloram" in a tune straight out of Thyagaraja Bhagavadar's handbook! Blaaze, from the audience, said Bangalore's the city of hiphop and got the crowd jiving with his rap and screaming "Humma!" at his cue. They eventually sang the original number and left the crowd asking for more.
Blaaze took over with his Baba rap, putting on a great show. After him was the turn of the man who was easily the second most popular dude out there. Sivamani. His 11 minute solo blew us all off our feet. What a performance! adhu kai-ya electric bell-a? yebbaaaa!!
Then came the song I was waiting for. The poverty anthem that Rahman composed, "Pray for me brother". He began the song mentioning it was very close to his heart, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he put his soul into the song. Rahman and Blaaze sung from their heart, and Rahman hasn't sounded this good since Vellai Pookal (Kannathil Muthamittaal). The tune, the lyrics, the mood, the voice.. I was moved. (I need to get a copy of this one!)
Rahman wasn't satisfied with just touching our hearts. Perhaps he wanted to drill deep down and make sure he took us to heaven. I don't mean he wanted to kill us with his songs!! :) He managed to strike that chord in the heart that fills you with sheer bliss, that makes you forget all your pain and stand entranced, that has the power to move you to tears. The Bombay Theme did all that, and more. One of the violinists was so moved and carried away that he stood up midway and performed with closed eyes. That best described the mood. I stood there, unable to speak a word. Chanceless!
Rahman took up the mike again. I expected him to sound choked, sniff, anything to portray the mood! He just gave us a playful grin and asked, "Do you wanna listen to something from Bombay Dreams?" Alma, the Bosnian singer, sang "Love's Never Easy" and the song morphed into "Ishq Bina" sung by Madhushree. Badri Prasad, the local, and Sayanora, who lived upto her name and waved a couple of times :), rendered Muqala Muqabla, in Himil. That's part Hindi part Tamil!
Shankar Mahadevan and Rahman then got back together, and enthralled us with one of the best unplugged pieces I've heard! He sang Ghanan Ghanan (Lagaan) making sure he edited a particular line to say "paani mat barsaao"! When he was done, he said it wasn't over yet.. "If it had rained in the movie, like how it did today, how would Rahman have composed it?" The jugalbandhi of Shankar's amazing voice range and Rahman's lightning fingers on the keyboard was something to cherish forever. (I need a copy of this too!!)
Rahman's solo performance of Musthafa Musthafa (Kadhal Desam), followed by Sa Re Ga Me (Boys) along with Blaaze and Tanvi was just what the doctor ordered to get the fans all hysterical again. Rehana took centrestage along with Sukhwinder, for their rendition of Chayya Chayya. Sukhwinder was let loose, to play with audience, to get them moving, to tease them, to get them screaming, to get them singing along, to make sure they had fun. And this particular song has a track record that's never disappointed fans all over the world! :)
The choir and orchestra performed the beginning strains of Aazadi (Bose) and thalaivar took over, singing straight from the heart. It started to drizzle again. The song immediately transformed into Maa Tujhe Salaam. And when Rahman hit the high note in Vande Mataram, the heavens opened up, pouring heavier than it did when the show started. It was a magical moment. Even Rahman was visibly moved. "Isn't it a miracle?", he whispered into the mike.
What happened after the concert to be continued in part 3! :)
Song List - courtesy Gopal Srinivasan.
He'd also mentioned a few songs that were not performed because of the delay.
1. O Re Chori - Alka
2. Yeh Jo Zindagi - Sukhvinder
3. Sabak Aisa - Madhushree
4. Tu Hi Re - Hari / Chitra
5. Anjali - Chitra
6. Warriors in Peace - Alma
7. Thee Thee - Sadhna / Raja
8. Jiya Jale - Chitra
9. Yeh Haseen Vadiyaan - Hari / Chitra
10. Yunh Hi Chala Chal - Hari / Kailash Kher / Aslam
11. Vari Girai - Hari / Chitra
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Same difference - 2
Main Hoon Na:Sushmitha Sen wears skimpy clothes, and oozes sensuality.Gajini:Nayantara wears skimpy clothes, and oozes out of them.Conclusion:Liked Gajini. +ves: Surya, Asin, the flashback, Asin.-ves: 9thara, some gaping logical holes, some really corny lines in tense situations, opaari for a background music, songs for the sake of songs.But I'm willing to overlook all the negatives for the 5th positive point I purposely skipped in the list up there. Asin. :)
And once again, have a rocking b'day, Ferrari!