Songs that I grew up on

I’ve spoken a lot about metal, Mark Knopfler, Megadeth, RHCP, Pink Floyd, Maiden, Scorpions, etc. that have been my obsession since the last 7-8 years. Though as a kid, I was fed with a liberal dose of Carnatic music and Tamil movie songs. Needless to say Ilayaraja and MSV ruled. So I feel its not fair that I haven’t written a single post about my most favourite Tamil movie songs. The list is endless, but I’ll try to keep it short n sweet. Here it goes.

1. Ninnukori Varnam: This is from the movie Agni Natchatram (Mani Ratnam) and music by the Maestro (Ilayaraja). There’s something about this song that just makes me sway! Cuteness personified and Amala is the most beautiful actress ever according to me!!! Flowing hair, flawless complexion and amazing grace. How could I forget K S Chitra, (playback singer) who’s silky voice is something that the whole of my family is mad about.

2. Sundari neeyum: Now this is from a cult movie “Micheal Madan Kamarajan”. You say this movie’s name and I’ll be in splits. Every dialogue that Kamal Hasan mouths in this flick, I just laugh! Yet nother favourite actress Urvasi. Versatile and so good in the craft that it feels she was born for this field. I’m not talking about Kamal. Man, the man can act, dance, sing and romance! Which joker from the current scenario can boast of these many talents eh? BTW, Ilayaraja again!!!

3. Ilaya Nila: This is the original Neele Neele Ambar Par. The best part about this Tamil version is the music (obviously) and the singer S P Balasubramaniam, popularly known as SPB. My love for guitars and guitarists started here. Forgive this actor trying to hold a guitar. Just enjoy the song…

4. Kuzhal Oodum Kannan: Another cute song song from the cutie pie K S Chitra. One helluva singer! Music again the Maestro.

5. Mannil Indha Kadal: The original breatheless song by the phenomenon called SPB. Good movie as well. Very matured performances by SPB and R Radhika. My dad’s fav song.

6. Kanne Kalaimane: Another king called Yesudas. One of the most brilliant movies ever. I’m not talking much. Just enjoy this dreamy, sleepy song.

7. Amma Endrazhaikkatha: Yesudas with Ilayaraja gain. Phew. This is a Rajnikanth movie. Though I’m not a big fan of the Superstar, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this man just fills the screen. Terrific screen presence. About the song, one’d enjoy the song more if he/she knows Tamil properly. This is for all the mommies in the world.

8. Yedhedho: Ilayaraja + Vairamuthu (lyricist) + K S Chitra + Kamal Hasan + K Balachander= (Heaven + Paradise) * 1000! The video is bad but who wants to see the video when the music is so mesmerizing?

9. Mandram Vantha: This super song is from the movie Mouna Ragam that I’ve seen more than a zillion times and I’ve still not got enough of it. It talks about relationships, marriages in particular. Good story, super performances and killer music. Ofcourse you can expect magic when Mani Ratnam and Ilayaraja come together and this one wont disappoint anyone. BTW, this is our very own Cheeni Kam title track music! Obviously the Tamil version came way back in the 1980s.

The song lyrics make my eyes moist every time I listen to it:

[to live so unattached like water over lotus leaf ,
to live like friends, why should we marry?
to live without any relation/responsibility
life is not stage play to go separate ways after a scene, its not a river to take its directions as per its whims and fancies, like the moon in the sky, why can’t u live with me for ever and ever??]

10. Kadhal Sadugudu: Would be lying if I said, I grew up listening to this song. Rather, I refused to grow up after falling in love with my Maddy. A very recent song from the movie Alaipayuthey with music by A R Rahman. Though I can list innumerable songs by Rahman, this one is really close to my heart for many many reasons. One of them being, my Maddy looking awesomely cute!!!

Will post some more in time…

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12th March 1993 in Mumbai…. It happened….

The 1993 bomb blasts in Bombay, the 1992 communal riots, the 6th December 1992 attack on the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. One man L K Advani. One another man Tiger Memon.

Demolition of Babri Masjid happened and Hindus allover India, especially Mumbai were massacred. The Thackerys who are known for not taking things striding down, started their attacks on Muslims. Few knew what was in store. Innocent lives from both communities,  businesses worth crores lost and thousands of lives misplaced. All for some stupid fundamentalism.

I’m currently reading this book called BLACK FRIDAY by Hussien Zaidi and I’ve found this book to be totally unputdownable. Pages after pages of why Babri Masjid demolition happened, why innocent people were killed, how people were seething in anger, how revenge was planned, how it was funded, how the targets were chosen, how people were recruited, how training happened, how it was executed and how the investigations were conducted is all that this book is about. Who was Dawood? Tiger? You wanna know, read this book. Its about what happens when intense anger is channelized in all the wrong directions. Its mind numbing to realize that a smuggler can actually gather enough people to bomb a city that’s so close to him.The book mentions that Dawood was badly stressed after his favourite city was so badly bombed. Ironic considering the claim in the book that it was he who gave a go ahead to Tiger!

Rakesh Maria. Now this man, DCP Traffic erstwhile, was the one who provided a major break through in the investigations. Single minded dedication is what this cop is all about! What was found out after the investigations, was even more shocking. The planning of the bomb blasts had started nearly 2-3 months in advance with most of the people who planted the bombs were first timers who hadn’t even held a gun in hand!. This was planned, entirely by one Ibrahim Mushtaq Abdul Razak Memon (Tiger Memon. the book even goes on to explain how Memon got the name Tiger! Freaking details!!!!).

There are more names that come to my mind, but if I start, I’m afraid I might end up doing a very bad review of a brilliant book.

I don’t wish to write too much about my thoughts here. Lets just say that this book is so precision personified that it can leave you rattled. I really dont wanna mention the gut wrenching details of how an arm was severed or how bodies were charred beyond recognition that this book goes on to interpret. Dizzying.

To all the Police Personnel, khabris, Zanjeer (a golden Labrador that sniffed out all the explosives), I salute thee! To the people who lost their lives, my heart goes out to them and their families. To the spirit of Mumbai – HATS OFF! I rest my case.

PS: Out of all the books that I’ve read, this one made me cry. Yes I did.

Posted in Slaughterhouse | 5 Comments

Me and my Maddy Madness

I’m sure all of us have THAT one person in our lives who teaches us what it feels like to be in love. Singers, authors, musicians, dancers, actors, actresses, teacher, neighbour’s dog walker, it could be anyone.

There is an actor who portrayed the role of Shekhar Sinha in the very popular Saaya (Sony, every Tue 8.30 PM). He was in love with Sudha, his college buddy played by Mansi Joshi Roy. The show revolved around 3 friends, their lives in college and lives after college. Throughout college life, Shekhar’s role is all about wooing Sudha, who thinks of him “just as a friend”. (Useless female). Little did Shekhar know that somewhere in the Thane suburbs, was a girl who was falling for him. She used to fight with her college pals saying Shekhar belonged to her. And that she was glad since Sudha wasnt responding well to his proposal. As the episodes progressed, her love for him grew. So much that she really felt she’d meet the man of her dreams (Shekhar) some day. The serial ended with Shekhar ending up with Kamya (Achint Kaur). This broke the dreamy girl’s heart into a zillion pieces and like all other females she started hating Achint Kaur. The girl is none other than Sam (yours truly) and Shekhar Sinha, R Madhavan. Yes, to this day I hate that bitch Achint Kaur.

Maddy did appear in other serials like Sea Hawks, Banegi Apni Baat, Ghar Jamai. These didn’t do all that well. Moving from TV serials to motion pictures, Maddys’ first (hit) movie was Alaipayuthey. He was actually approached by Mani Ratnam for his movie Iruvar (Ash’s first movie), but was rejected on the grounds that he looked too young to play a serious role. His eyes looked young, Mani said in one of his interviews.

Now coming back to Alaipayuthey. A little background before that. For the kind of chatterbox that I am, the film review from me starts immediately after I’m out of the theatre. But this time everything was different. I was very quiet. I’d thought I couldn’t love him more after Saaya, only to realize I was so wrong. I was hopelessly and insanely in love with him.  The way Kartik proposes to Shakti was the scene that blew my mind. It was simple, yet cute. Had to be considering it was Maddy who was playing Kartik. The way he took care of Shakti, the way they fought, the way they made up after every fight, had a huge impact on me. I wanted my man to be JUST LIKE HIM. Sensitive, loving, caring and above all understanding.

The movie was a cult hit and there was no stopping me. I used to collect Maddy’s pics from all sides of the print world. What’s more, I pestered my mom to teach me Tamil so that I could read his interviews in Tamil magazines. I used most of my pocket money in buying his posters or getting them framed. This had my dadda see red since, like all Tam Brahm daddas,  he didn’t want his daughter to waste her time behind some loser actor (that’s what he thinks about him, to this day). Instead, dadda wanted his daughty to solve maths!! Yet another Maddy thingie that I did was to get a yellow churidaar stitched from my local tailor, though I hated the colour (Kartik proposed to Shakti while she was aboard a local train and Shakti was in a bright yellow churidaar).

It’s been almost 10 years since Alaiypayuthey released. My Thane home still has all of the Maddy posters, cut outs and pics neatly pasted in big drawing books. No one’s allowed access to that shelf and the key to that place is with me in my bag. Such is my love for that man. I like him not just for his looks but also for the way he conducts himself in front of media. Polished and classy, unlike all the other loser maniacs who are Rakhi Sawant’s relatives (bloody attention seeking and loud). May be his public speaking course (where he met his wife, she was his student there) helped him in saying just what was required. 

Kannathhil Muttham Ittal, Dum Dum Dum, Nala Damayanti, Anbe Sivam (yet another fav), Run, Aayutha Ezhuthu (Yuva in Hindi), Rang De Basanti, Guru have been his hits and needless to say I’ve seen all of these more than 10-12 times. A loving hubby, doting father to Vedant and a complete family man. What can I say? Love you Maddy! Or like Van Halen said “Cant Stop Loving You!” Freddie (Queen) was right. Love is crazy and Crazy li’l thing called love!

Posted in JLT | 4 Comments

Some Stupid Updates

1. Last few weeks have been a mixed bag. Work life is the same, nothing ever changes there. People who know whats going on are asking me to be hopeful, but I’m like whatever! Its futile to even search for a ray of hope when you have no expectations from anyone around. But the thing that I’ve begun to dislike (cant call it hatred since that’d be too strong a word) is, the situation has changed me. And whats worse is that it has started showing. Family is worried and that hurts me. But….

2. My appetite has grown. Its completely contradictory to whats mentioned above & I know. Due to Half Yearly Closing, there wasnt much work on 30th Sept. So our team and our super boss went to Rajdhani for some timepass lunch. A li’l background about the food served there – the plate is huuugggee with 6-7 cups (bowls??) for the curry and stuff. They serve piping hot theplas, rotis, puris (at times) and an assortment of veggies. Desserts are always there and  ghee floats atop saying a big hi to your hips and butt! Oh, how on earth could I forget buttermilk?!! And the service is pretty quick. Here’s what I ate that day: 4 theplas, 10 rotis (the size aint that big you see), some bhaji (have no clue of what the hell that was), dahi kadi, daal, daal bhaati (Rajasthani food), 3 glasses of buttermilk. Desserts? Oh yeah, 3 servings of Gulaab Jamun and 2 servings of Doodhi Halwa. My team members were zapped and my boss was shitting bricks since I wasnt saying “I’m full”. He had to pay the bill you see. I dont care if no one believes in this, but I’m writing this since this is something that has never happened to me before. Yes, Sam ate like a pig and she digested a freaking horse that day!  

3. Some malls have some pretty good stuff [though I’ve never been in favour of blowing thousands for a pair of shoe or bag or apparels]. I belong to the category who picks up stuff from the roadside after a good bargain (read fight). I get a feeling of accomplishment when I shop that ways. 🙂 But 2nd October was when Sam shopped like a freak in a mall! Shoes, bag, cosmetics, apparels and I bought them all. I would have never stopped if it wasnt for the rains. On the hindsight, I feel it was Rain God who felt a pinch (rather many pinches) on behalf of my wallet. Damn you Rain!

4. The Monday Holiday stops this week. This sucks bigtime. Atleast for someone who thoroughly hates Mondays.

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Memories of Navratri

Navratri. These 9 days bring back a hell lotta memories. Golu (its a creative display of dolls in odd numbered steps), Vettalai Paakku, Chundal, Naivedyam, Saraswati Poojai, Vijaya Dashami.  The building where I used to stay was Southie dominated. It was a combo of all Iyers, Iyengaars, Andhraites and Kannadigas. Here’s a glimpse of what used to happen:

The entire house was washed and Mamma drew amazing Kolams. Mango leaves torans (festoons) were put up on the main doors and in our poojai room. Though we didn’t have Golu at our place, Mom used to keep a Kalasham and do the pooja. My favourite part was the one where in I used to arrange for the Vettalai (betel leaf) Paakku (betel nut) in a plate. 2 0r 4 betel leaves, 2 betel nuts, a pair of tumeric roots, kumkum packet, a coconut, fruits, flowers, one or two rupee coins, one packet of prasadam (invariably, it was Chundal) and a small gift. Now this gift changed every year. Small mirrors, bangles, kajal, etc.  

I had an Andhra neighbour (Avva [– grandmother in Telugu]! Meeru ippudu ekada unnaru?) who used to baby sit me as a kid and I was treated like a granddaughter. Man, there’s was a big family with 4 sons, 4 daughters-In-law and their kids, where each couple had 2 kids! I, along with other granddaughters, was given complete freedom in deciding which doll needs to be placed in which step, which colour to be chosen for decorating the Mara Paachi bommai (doll), etc. My responsibility didn’t end there. I used to dress up and go to all the other flats to invite all the aunties and their girls for Vettalai Paaku. Yep, to the Andhra couple’s house as well as mine. I used to invite them in Telugu for Avva’s house and in Tamil to my place. Gosh! Those were the days.

I had 3 friends and these were my paattu class (music class) friends. We were always invited to all the houses and were supposed to sing in front of the Golu. So Navratri was something that we as kids always looked forward to. We used to decide days in advance what colour pattu pavadai to wear, how to do up hair, what colour pottu (bindi), glass bangles or plastic ones, etc. I was never in favour of glass bangles (though I love them and have an amazing collection) since they could end up getting broken while putting Thalam, while singing. So there used to be some tu tu main main before deciding to go with plastic bangles (matching ones).

Vijaya Dashami, the last day, is the one that I will always recall fondly. Our music teacher used to teach us new songs, new students would get enrolled and all this happened in Bhavani Temple. The temple used to be beautifully lit up and Goddess Bhavani used to be decorated in the most spectacular way! Yellow and Red coloured silk sari nicely draped, decked in fine jewels and flowers, the Goddess looked bewitchingly gorgeous!

These images and memories are so etched in my mind and are so fresh as if these happened just yesterday! Wonder if that temple still celebrates Navratri with such aplomb. 

 BTW, Happy Navaratri all!

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Wish I hadnt known this

Learnt a very valuable lesson today. Never strive to know everything or never ask for everything, you may end up getting it. Feeling disgusted now! Nonetheless. As always music was there to comfort me.

I’m not in the mood to write or do anything for that matter. Just uploading a couple of songs that helped me heal today.  These belong to my super list of I-CAN-LITEN-TO-THIS-SONG-AT-ANY-GIVEN-POINT-OF-TIME.

Posted in Music, Slaughterhouse | 1 Comment

Will we ever learn?

I’m back to my bickering. Cant help it much. When I see nonsense and I’m not allowed to do what I’m supposed to, it bothers me.

Traffic and the Desi attitude: By far, I find this to be the most annoying one. Everybody wants to go first. Picture this – where there’s traffic on one end, all the vehicles from the other end will just cram up wherever there’s space. Numb skulls dont realize that its clogging the whole freaking road. The point is “Even if I dont get it its fine, but I need to ensure that YOU dont get it.”  And to do this, we’ll break signals, bribe the Pandus, runover innocnet people. Killing people here is not that big a crime if you got the power of Vitamin M. Again the same shit starts. Buy witnesses, kill ’em or destroy them, bribe babus.. Somewhere I feel Mustaine had India in mind when he was writing Killing is my business. 

Mob Mentality: This you can find everywhere. Where there are queues, mob mentality makes its ugly presence felt. Simplest of all examples. Lunch time and Cafeteria. Instead of behaving in a disciplined way and waiting for my turn, I’ll just pounce on the guy who’s serving food. I’ll just shove my plate into his face and scream “Dal Rice aur pappad”. I’m not just alone there. There are scores and scores of hungry (since last few months, perhaps??) wolves who do this and this just scares the jeebies outta the poor guy on the other end. Most popular examples of it being our marriages, functions and festivals. My due respects to everyones’ sentiments, but just one thing. You book a hall or a hotel or a whatever, get inside that room and do whatever you feel like doing. Why block the roads with some band playing the lousiest of music and cause traffic? And when there’s traffic, refer above.

Crazy conversations at a holy place: Like, I come to this temple everyday, observe fast for 8 days a week (^&^#*(@#), my son is doing his PhD in USA (so???), my daughter cooks well and so on. C’mon! Who gives a damn! Your daughter being a good cook or son doing his PhD is not gonna be a life transforming piece of information to us. Just shut up, pray and get lost, will ya? On the hindsight, dear God, I feel sorry for you.

We’ll never understand that one doesnt need policing to behave well. Simple fact – Money can buy you everything, but not the basic etiquettes.

Posted in Slaughterhouse | 4 Comments