Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#499 : Day Sixty Eight- Rahmania - A tribute

It's day 30 of Rahmania and I write this post with a heavy heart. I might as well continue writing about the songs I love, but then, it would become all about me, my likes and my life. That's not what I had in mind when I took up the challenge of 100 days of blogging. Today, its about the man. The man who unknowingly touched many lives through his music. The man whose compositions speak way louder than his words.

People normally assume that the likes of me "have become fans of him" after he won a couple of Oscars. It is a blissful feeling to ignore such ignorant-pretenders. Before Facebook, twitter and internet took over, there were things like television, radio and normal conversation. The need to proclaim the love for something in public was non-existent. For some of us, it is still that way. Then why have you been writing about this man you ask?

It's Simple. Music unites people. I've connected with a lot of people over this common topic. I've had people who are almost strangers asking me to write about a particular song. There are just a handful of people who can do that, bringing people together - AR Rahman, Ilayaraja, JK Rowling are a few to name.

Eventually we are all forgotten pages in the lives of others. Wouldn't it be worthwhile to be that page which would give at least a moment of happiness if not chapters of remembrance? Wouldn't it be worth while to cherish that moment when you connect with a stranger all because of a song which probably holds different set of memories for both of you. I digress. The man and his compositions are legendary. His humane nature is truly inspiring. What we see is what we get really when it comes to him. How do you know you ask?

My fiance shared this incident with me. His friends and him, they were waiting among the large crowd which thronged Rahman's house every year on his birthday. Rahman came out and waved to all of them before speeding off in his car. Being the ardent fans they were, my fiance and his friends picked up their bikes and followed the man till a building near Taj Nungambakkam. His car stopped momentarily and a man from the car signaled these guys to follow them to another building which was away from the main road. The car finally stopped and out step the man who signaled them - the driver. He asked if these guys had camera and advised them to keep it ready. Rahman himself stepped down with a gentle smile and wished these guys. He asked each and every one of them their names and as to what they were doing in general. He stood and posed for photographs before politely excusing himself. Chasing a celebrity is probably is not a good idea. He might as well have booked him for it, yet he didn't. He wasn't angry that they followed him all the way, nor was curt when he met them. Stellar example of how to be even when you have truck loads of money and a room full of trophies.

This sir, is my little tribute to you. I have zero knowledge of music. I know in all possibility that you certainly won't read this. But if you did, please know you impacted my life in a way no one else apart from my father did.

Good music has the power to heal or destroy a soul in trouble. Please be assured that your's healed and couldn't have possibly destroyed any soul.

Signing off with a song which I promised would be last.

Why is it at the last?

I don't know!

Why not other songs?

I really don't know.

Kaiyil Midhakum Kanava nee!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGN1v_Q6OmA]
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#498 : Day Sixty Seven - Kannamoochi Yenda En Kanna!

Day 29 of the ARR madness, I decided to save the best for the last. The year 2000 was a milestone of sorts to me. That was the year I actually started watching Tamil movies and this movie - Kandukondain Kandukondain was the first movie I remember watching properly without taking a break. I used to watch movies in installments due to the lack of ability to sit still for a good three hours.

My favorite color is blue. It's been that color since the year 2000. This song is the reason behind it - Aishwarya Rai's blue lehenga  and that peacock feather background to be precise. I simply fell in love with that color and the composer's tunes too. That's when I officially became a Rahmaniac. No turning back since then!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-kKmRfqhA0]
It's difficult to pick songs from his entire discography. There are just too many favorites with fond memories attached to each song. It's simply overwhelming to look at back and see how many favorites I've missed out because I couldn't really pick. One can't possibly "rank" favorites among his compositions. With the month coming to end tomorrow, I'm saddened a bit that I wouldn't be writing more about his compositions. Nevertheless, I can always repeat such an activity later :-D


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Monday, November 28, 2016

#497 : Day Sixty Six - Manmohini Morey!

Day 28 into ARR fever, today's number is a truly mind blowing one. 

Sung by the extremely talented singer Vijay Prakash, this song has a Classical-Gazhal undertone. Combined with modern music, this song is an absolutly divine! 

Starring Anil Kapoor and Salman Khan, the visuals seem a wee bit silly for a song of such a caliber. Having not watched the movie I might have overlooked the impact of context, but that doesn't really justify as to why the visuals seem so distasteful shot. 

https://youtu.be/D4jce-8oxlo

Being a musical, Rahman seems to have poured his soul and sweat to ensure that all tracks are artistically appealing. In fact I debated a good one hour before deciding upon this song. Its simply too hard to pick between Tu Meri Dost, Tu Muskura and this number! 

Given a choice I'd pick all three. So the song for today is not just this track but all three. For ARR's music it's okay to cheat a bit 😂😜
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

#496 : Day Sixty Five - Chandralekha!

Day 27 into ARR madness and this one is a gem of a song. 

Sung by singer Anupama, this is a techno pop number which set a benchmark for pop numbers in the Industry. Anupama's voice combined with Rahman's magical interludes, this is song is every rebel girl's dream song including mine. The rhythm is so unpredictable that a first time listener would be absolutely delighted at the rythemic twists and turns! 

The visuals are also equally scintillating! Shot with a fort in backdrop and beautiful lighting, the song and the visual complement each other so well! 

https://youtu.be/Uj_18hXo5G0
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

#495 : Day Sixty Four - En Mel Vizhundha Mazhai Thuliaye!

Day 26 of the ARR celebration on my blog, as promised I've taken up a request. This one comes for my friend Kavya Janani. We share a part of our names apart from the love of ARR's music and Harry Potter. In spite of being complete strangers, there are few things which truly unite you. This is the best example. I hardly know her. Our interactions have been via Facebook, but I connect with her thanks to ARR and JKR - two people whom I owe a lot.

Sung by singer PS Jayachandran and KS Chitra, this song renders you speechless. Lyricist Vairamuthu has once again proved his prowess over the language. One can't possibly imagine a better song to describe the pain of separation and finding your loved one back again.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsbIcG2vMrM]

Looks like 30 days aren't going to be enough to celebrate this man at all.
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Friday, November 25, 2016

#494 : Sixty Three - Mudhal Murai Killi Parthen!

Day 25 into ARR fever, this song is upon a request from my fiancee. The love for ARR's music is something we have in common, just among a handful of other things. He wanted me to feature this song today and la, wish fulfilled. This is also dedicated to my to be sister in law. Apparently, this is one of her favorite movie.

Sung by accomplished singer Srinivas and Sujatha, this song is a total melody. It's about the feel of first love. Actor Rahman and Vindhya have done a fantastic job of acting for such a fab melody. All the songs in this album are way too good. I had initially wanted to write about Mazhai Thuli song, but then he asked and I couldn't say no.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mIxJDdCSDI]

It's 25th already and I have plenty more favorites to go. Picking songs is becoming increasingly difficult.

What's your favorite ARR track? Let me know, I'd be happy to feature it for your, just for tomorrow only though :-P
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#493 : Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon : Review


Picture


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOjj0mvFhRM&w=560&h=315]





My love for Italian culture stemmed from reading plenty of fiction which was based in that country. This book is the epitome of my Italian fantasy. The story line is quite simple and doesn’t have much to go on so to say, but the narration and characterization is way too good.
Our protagonist Sophia succumbs to the sorrow of losing her parents. Having raised by a mother who loved the Italian culture, Sophia connects with her mother’s Italian muses and heads on a path of self-recovery. She goes to Italy to study art and connects with every important historical moment her mother had told her about when she grew up.

My want to visit that beautiful place filled with such rich history increased leaps and bounds after reading this book. The crux of the story is rather simple – a girl on a road to recovery with memories of her mother which intertwine with Italy’s rich history. The story contains major chunks of interesting history of Italy’s famous persona like actress Sophia Loren, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Garibaldi, Dante Alighieri and Casanova. Then there are the others whom I hadn’t know of – Marcello Mastroianni, Simonetta Vespucci, Eleonora De Medicim Lucrezia Borgia, Lorenzo de Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi and Giuletta Capuleti.  The story itself is divided into 8 parts featuring various states of Sophia’s life featuring each of the above mentioned persona who help her out in times of trouble. It is apparent that the writer knows her history well and is familiar with even the most vivid detail of all the sights mentioned in the book. With such lush narration and vivid description, this book is dream come true for me. In fact, Sophia is such an inspiration for me to step up and work towards my dream of learning Italian and visiting the country. In spite of being so beautiful, the writer hasn’t described the real ugly face of the city. However, this can be overlooked. After all, some positivity doesn’t hurt.

The cover and the section covers deserve a special mention. While the cover it was just perfect, the short comment mentioned by another writer it spoiled it for me a bit. The section art work in black and white, with write ups, were brilliant. Given that this is an ebook, the writer had provided links for songs and other tidbits of information. I made a colossal mistake of reading this book on my kindle and couldn’t visit the links. Planning to re-read this book on my tab so that I can go check out all songs and other interesting information she has linked up.

MY SAY: One beautiful book.
RATING: 5/5




About the book




GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 232

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from Italy book tours.


BOOK LINKS: 



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

#492 : Day Sixty Two - Meherbaan!

Day 24 into the ARR fever, this one is a transcendental number.

Though the movie didn't fare well, the songs are way too good. Sung by the master magician himself, this number is one perfect romantic number. That husk in his voice brings out that perfect emotion of being in love.

Here is the song,

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpmPU_BnVLI]

This version doesn't have the actual visuals from the movie. I found the original visuals a bit depressing. The hero goes on to sing this song with  permanent frown and sadness on his face. Let's just forget about the visuals and listen to the song shall we?
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

#491 : Day Sixty One - Kya Mohabbat hai!

Day 23 into ARR fever and yet another permanent song form my playlist. 

With lyrics penned by master poet Gulzar and sung by the genius himself, this song is way too good. Added bonus - the visual has our clam genius singing away while playing the piano mixed with some scenes from the movie - Ek Deewana Tha. 

This song wasn't a part of the original version in Tamil movie but for people like me who follow both the versions, this song is a bliss to listen to! Though the Hindi version of the movie bombed, the songs were simply too good just like that of the Tamil version. Best of both worlds I say! 

https://youtu.be/PxtDiKInxLk

On that note, signing off for today! Feeling to tired to stay awake and type! I need to go and listen this on the loop! 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#490 : Day Sixty - Roja Roja!

Day 22 into the ARR fever, yet another beautiful composition.

Among all the songs in this list, this song is the second most visually appealing song after Pachai Niramae. Shot with a lush rose flower cover with Taj Mahal in background, this song is every die hard romantic's dream come true. Of course, some parts of the song with VFX incorporated look like such an eyesore when compared to other parts of the song.

The audio part is a different story altogether. Singer P Unnikrishnan has poured his soul to make this song such a intense rendition. Penned by Vaali, the song compares the heroine and rose.

This song also has a Telugu and a Hindi version. The former also being sung by Unnikrishnan and the latter being sung by Hariharan. It so happens that every time a song from either of the language is dubbed to other, the songs more often than not, take a colossal  hit. It sounds so odd to listen to it unless the translation is top class. In spite of such an great singer like Hariharan singing the Hindi version of this song, it sounds so vague and plain irritating. In fact, for the first few seconds I had trouble believing that Hariharan had actually sung the song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvwtUqtDt9I]
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Monday, November 21, 2016

#489 : Day Fifty Nine - Nadhiyae Nadhiyae!

Day 21 into the ARR fever and yet another track with a permanent place on my playlist. For reasons unfathomable it seems to have skipped my mind to write about this song earlier.

Sung by Singer Unni Menon whose voice has a distinct similarity to that of Singer KJ Yesudas's, the song compares the traits of water with that of a woman. The beauty of the song lies in the melodious water sounds and interludes combined with lyricist Vairamuthu's bewitching lyrics. Director Vasanth has done complete justice to such a mellifluous composition by shooting the song in scenic locations. All the songs from this movie are based on the five elements of earth - namely Water, Wind, Earth, Sky and Fire with this song obviously representing water. Watching action king Arjun in a romantic and soft role was a refreshing change. With Arjun's killer looks, scenic locations and soothing melody, this song is every die hard romantic's fantasy.

Bliss personified!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQXaZewuc8o]
In my search to listen to quality music, I stumbled upon this enhanced version of the song with the BGM so clear that it's hard not to fall in love with that man's music.That sound of laughter with the BGM at 6:01 is just too good to be real. Plug in those head phones and listen to this with your eyes closed. Trust me, this the best medicine to beat Monday madness.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCEhzGKV6aE]
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

#488 : Day Fifty Eight - Chinna Chinna Mazhai Thuligal!

Day 20 of ARR fever, this song is an absolute favorite which should have been way ahead in the list. I think I unconsciously saved the best for the last.

Starring the insanely handsome actor Arvind Swamy and pretty actress Isha Koppikar, the song is visual treat purely because of Arvind Swamy (Okay, I admit, I'm being a tad unjust here)

Sung by MG Sreekumar, this song is purely a joyful rendition which celebrates Rain. Vairamuthu's lyrics are magical as usual. It so rarely happens that a singer's voice suits the actor so perfectly that it almost seems that the actor himself is singing it. This song is one such rarity. Sreekumar's voice fits Arvind Swamy's persona so well.

There are some people who enjoy getting drenched in the rain and there are others like me who love the smell of rain but don't really like getting all wet and mucky. I belong to the latter category. Strangely, whenever I watch or listen to this song, the prospect of dancing away in the rain feels enticing.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKMc4xogQ9k]

I've never come across a live version of this song. Wonder why though.
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

#487 : Day Fifty Seven - Masakali!

Day 19 of ARR fever, this one a comical and fun song! 

Sung by Mohit Chauhan, this song is about a pigeon and its life comparing it to the human life. 

The picturisation features Abishek Bachan and Sonam Kapoor and isn't that great though. The song however is throughly funky and makes you want to Dance quirkily! 

One peppy, funny and quirky number this one is! 

https://youtu.be/DeJQrbUPQg4
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Friday, November 18, 2016

#486 : Day Fifty Six - Enge Enadhu Kavidhai!

Day 18 into ARR fever, yet another permanent song from my play list. Yet another masterpiece by the genius composer.

From the movie Kandukondain Kandukondain, this song conveys loss and melancholy. The protagonist, played by actress Aishwarya Rai, discovers the man she loved to be engaged with another woman while she is there to record a song for a movie produced by that woman. With the sorrow of losing her love, the song comes out beautifully, as the song is actually about lost love.

Sung by the brilliant singer KS Chitra, this song is a timeless classic. That tone and depth she brought into that song can never be matched. Not many people attempt to sing this song live in contests or otherwise due to high pitching. Moreover, to justice to that soulful rendering one has to possibly be in that situation!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU0K7Tid5K8]
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

#485 : : Day Fifty Five - Mukabala! Muqala Mukqabula!

Day 17, this is one fast number. 

Sung by Mano, Swarnalatha and ARR himself, this song is one peppy and funky number! Needles to say, the visuals are way too good, thanks to innovative graphics and some class dancing by ace actor and director Prabhu Deva. His dancing skills are legendary and he has literally danced his head off in this song! 

Mano's voice is similar yet is different from SPB's voice. This song is the best example of that difference. That boldness and that funk that he brings out is simply perfect! Of course, having listened to the Tamil version only predominantly, the Hindi version sounds a bit strange to me! 

https://youtu.be/Zy8Y2xWflFI
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#484 : Day Fifty Four : Hai Rama Yeh Kya Hua!

Day 16, another song from my playlist! Yet another Hariharan and ARR combo! 

With a young and an absolutely stunning looking young cast (back then) -Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar and a little older Jackie Shorff, this song isn't visually as appealing to watch but it's the old nineties! Gyrating hips and gaudy clothes were apparently in vogue! 

With a semi classical tune and Hariharan's silky husky voice paired with shy sounding Late singer swarnalatha's singing, this song is simply divine. 

Try taking in the wonderful lyrics and the astounding music with your eyes closed! 

https://youtu.be/IxqB1xUX36s

Sadly one of the singers who sang this song is no more. True to her name, her voice was golden!  Here is a live version sung by her! May she rest in peace. 

https://youtu.be/kV8f9QQuS9A
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

#483 : Day Fifty Three - Ennavale Adi Ennavale

Day 15 of Rahmania, this is a family favorite! My parents love this song and so does my sister! It's rather obvious that this song is truly evergreen! 

Singer P Unnikrishnan has rendered this song and went on to win the national award for this. Given that the song has a strong classical base, it must have been a piece of cake for him! 

The visuals are equally beautiful! Actor Prabhu Deva and actress Nagma have perfectly played out their parts adding that emotional beauty to the already beautiful song!

https://youtu.be/tvZi0fd_1IY

Again, there are few tracks you never wish to go in search for a live version! This is one such song! 
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#482 : Corporate Citizen by Gabriel Valjan : Review

Gabriel Valjan is back with another book featuring Bianca and Dante. Yet another book filled with dangerous drug dealers, corrupt agents, and scheming doctors. Having read the previous books in the series, I felt comfortable enough with the story. Though the book can be read as a standalone, I feel that it would be wise to read the entire series to understand each character well, which would eventually ensure that the reader is hooked to the story.

After the showdown in Naples, Bianca is on a time out with Dante. However, a call from an old friend leads her back to Boston. The team goes with her too. What follows is a Bianca traversing an intricate web woven with designer drugs, a talented hacker who goes by the name Magician, and of course, Bianca’s ex-employer Rendition.

Though this installment of the story is eerily similar to the other books in the series, in terms of character and plot development, there was one marked difference. This book showed the vulnerable side of all the characters in depth. That vulnerability set off the path for a different feel for the story.  Bianca at one point seemed all strong and blasting off, but with Dante and Nick around she seems so vulnerable. The writer has established himself as a master story weaver. Just like his previous books, no heart pounding or smoldering hot scenes in this book. This book was like water bubbling away slowly to the boiling point and converting into steam slowly.

MY SAY: A perfect, well woven thriller.

RATING: 4/5

About the book


GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 388

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Roma Series #5
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from iRead Book tours in exchange for an honest review. 
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Monday, November 14, 2016

#481 : Day Fifty Two - Thalli Pogathey!

Day 14 into Rahmania in my blog here, today I decided to pick one of my latest favorites. Sung by the young and talented singer Sid Sriram, this song has quickly become a super hit amongst the youth. 

The Tamil film industry should be proud of itself to have an insanely talent lyricist like Ms.Thamarai. Ruling the roast in a male dominated industry is not an easy job. Her resolve to write clean lyrics is certainly laudable. 

I have no idea how the visualization looks like as the movie released just a while ago! Hoping he has done justice to such beautiful soulful tune! 

https://youtu.be/IarsrX60bZw
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

#480 : Day Fifty One - Malargale Malargale

Day 13 into the ARR month in my blog, featuring another request today.

Yet another Hariharan and ARR combo. Aren't they one insane combination? That soulful love oozing tune combined with that beautiful husky rich tone, the output is simply out of the world. For reasons too personal to mention and memories too difficult to be revisited, I have been avoiding listening to this song, yet today, when my close friend requested it, I felt that  the Pandora's box  had to be opened one fine day, why not today!

Malaragale,

https://youtu.be/TnqSfDkiig4

For some reason,  I've never had that urge to look in for a live version! If you have enjoyed listening to any,do share your thoughts!
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

#479 : Day Fifty - Thoda Thoda Malarndhadhu enna! Thoda Thoda Pyaar Hogaya!

Day 12 of the ARR fever and yet another permanent song from my play list.

Rendered by  legend singers Dr.SP. Balasubramaniam and Ms.K.S.Chitra, this song is way too good. With beautiful interludes set appropriately for a village backdrop, this song leaves the listener feeling blissful. The song actually begins with beautiful birds chirping away!The lyrics, the interludes and the visualization convey innocence and the feeling of being in love for a long time so beautifully. Needless to mention, the lead actors Arvind Swamy (*drools*) and Anu Hasan have done a wonderful job of giving life to the lyricist Vairamuthu's words.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFdbqgWZJRE?list=RDIFdbqgWZJRE]

The Hindi version is a real surprise. There are two versions actually, one sung by singer Hariharan while the other by the original Tamil singer, Dr.SPB. The official sound track features SPB sir's track. Apparently, he was so moved by the tune that he wanted to sing the Hindi version too while ARR had already recorded it with Hariharan. That version was released separately.

Here is the Hindi version by Hariharan,

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvB3R_e3BYI]
Today, I ended up listening to both the versions back to back. It was totally surprising to note the change of emotions that both the tracks conveyed. The tune is the same, the lyrics are the same, but when the singers differ, there is distinction is modulation that each singer brings in. While Dr.SPB  version oozes  of a spectrum of innocence to mature form of love, Hariharan version conveys the feeling of young seductive love.

Did you notice any such difference? Would love to listen to your thoughts!

PS. It's 50th day of my 100 days of blogging challenge. Not bad. Not bad at all. I didn't miss a single day! Hoping to hit century.
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Friday, November 11, 2016

#478 : Day Forty Nine - Munbe Va!

Day 11 of ARR fever, this one is on popular demand. 

Lover boy Surya, mellifluous Shreya Goshal and the genius ARR. Need one ask for more really?! Not to forget Naresh Iyer! His voice is akin to smooth chocolate melting at the first bite! Kind of like that of singer Hariharan's voice, but with that distinct husk. 

With insanely high pitching, this song is hard to replicate unless you have enough practice. 

Without much further ado, here is the song, 

https://youtu.be/-Z-Wq6xX_Ew

There is this live version I remember watching in the Asianet Channel, it's not great but it's worth a watch! 

https://youtu.be/z9gWWEybCaQ
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

#477 : Day Forty Eight - Kadhale En Kadhali

Day 10 of ARR fever, this song is also a permanent fixture in my playlist. 

This song is truly out of the world. With that soulful tune and melancholic voice of the singer, this song is full of powerful of emotions. ARR has fully captalized the amazing skills of veteran Saxophone player Shri Kadri Gopalnath. Rendered by ace singer Dr.SP.Balasubramaniam, this piece is one timeless classic! 

In one part of the song - 'Urugi Urugi Azhuven', SPB almost cries without actually crying. Makes you want to weep in sorrow. 

https://youtu.be/avpG0MJMZ3Y 

There are few songs which impact you so much that you don't ever wish to listen to anything but the original. This is one such song! 
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

#476: Day Forty Seven - Pettai Rap!

Day 9 of the ARR mania, while the world is going bonkers over the US presidential elections and currency devaluation here at home, I'm in the mood for some peppy number

This song Pettai Rap is the big boss of all peppy numbers to me! It kind of makes you want to get into the vibrate mode and dance away.

Featuring the king of comedy, Vadivelu and the king of dance, actor/director Prabhu Deva, this song is an absolute laugh riot. It's hard not to laugh at the insanely skinny Vadivelu dancing comically in semi classical steps.

The song needless to say is the uncontested master of Indian rap! Here it is,

https://youtu.be/Jqv6fqTWeeQ

I'm yet to find a live version of liking. If you know of any, do share away!
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#475: Day Forty Six - Dil Se Re!

Day 8 into ARR fever (and I am literally down with fever though), another song which has a permanent place in my play list!

Rendered by the composer himself, this song is insanely popular for it's sky high and earth low pitching. That variation in the that he brings out is nothing short of being marvelous. Staring the Badsha of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, this song is picturised against a tumultuous backdrop. 

One timeless classic this song is!

(Click to watch! I am having trouble embedding!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwfCMvo19s8&sns=em

Of course, ARR has performed this song live plenty of times, picking a clear favorite is just too difficult from those mind blowing live performances! This is rather old video, an old performance. My absolute favorite! 

https://youtu.be/Sp6wUe9gMrw
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Monday, November 7, 2016

#474 : Day Forty Five - Narumugayae!

Day 7 of ARR fever, featuring today is a Semi-Classical song. Singer Unnikrishnan seems to have finally made a debut in my list, I know I've been partial towards Hariharan. Guilty as charged, he is my favorite after all!

Iruvar - The cult movie - Period political drama featuring a lot of now super hit actors like Prakash Raj, Mohan Lal, Aishwarya, Revathi, Nasser and Tabu. The soundtrack was also a super hit for the variety that A R Rahman managed to bring in. This song, sung by P.Unnikrishnan and Bombay Jayshree is classical number with some old style music infused. The interlude at 3.34 Min of the video is simply mind blowing and has been smartly used to aid that vignette style of filming. Unnikrishnan's singing is truly disturbing is a good way. Bombay Jayshree's voice is unique, she has that natural husk which ends up oozing emotions. Exquisite lyrics in unadulterated Tamil combined with such a tune, this song is a mix of one explosive combination.The visuals are also artistically done with a mix of color and vignette skipping between two timelines. Sadly, I couldn't find the full video of this song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uicwU2xT6Cg]
There a couple of live versions of this song but there is sample from Airtel Super Singer competition where a contestant sings this song and Unnikrishnan, the original singer corrects it bit by bit and later explains how this song was recorded. Skip to about 12 minutes where he explains it all in detail.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3tCNYJnaq4]
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Sunday, November 6, 2016

#473 : Day Forty Five - Nila Kaigirathu

Day 6 into ARR fever blog, the song featured today is simply breathtaking.


Starring the insanely dapper actor Arvind Swamy and actress Anu hasan, this movie album has a number of wonderful tracks. This very song has a female version sung by the Singer Harini. Surprisingly, that version of the song is actually the popular one. However, the male version sung by Hariharan is my favorite. That man I tell you, he is god's gift. His voice, that husky-silky texture, one can probably listen to him sing all the day. The added bonus of the song, apart from the mind blowing rendition and incredible classical tune, are the visuals. Arvind Swamy's expression of sadness and that longing reciprocated by Anu Hasan with regret and sorrow is too good.


*Note to self - quit drooling at Arvind Swamy, you have a write up to finish and tonnes of work to do*

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtg8ZSU9Ws4?list=RDWtg8ZSU9Ws4]
The audio of this particular video is pathetic, but for Arvind Swamy, it's worth a watch. Plug in those headphones I say!


I recently stumbled upon an unplugged version of the song by singer Sid Sriram which is can't be compared to the original, but is certainly too good!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L37IOwL-cd4]
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Friday, November 4, 2016

#472 : Day Forty Three - Pudhu Vellai Mazhai! Yeh Haseen Vadhiyaan!

Day four into the ARR Fever and this song is an absolute favorite. In fact, I had a real tough time deciding if this song should go at number 2 spot instead of Roja Jaaneman, ultimately that song won for it's melancholic expression.

Shot in at Kashmir amidst the pristine stone, starring the overly handsome Arvind swamy and Madhoo, this song is every teenager's fantasy in way. I vividly remember the first time I consciously heard this song. It induced in me emotions I didn't know existed at all. It scared me to experience love and such passion through a song. I avoided listening to this song for a long time. Then as time passed, I actually wanted to listen to it. Such is the power of a passionate song.

The Tamil version of the song is sung by Unni Menon and Sujata, while the Hindi version is rendered by Dr.S.P.Balasubramaniam and K.S.Chitra. The male voice of Tamil version and the Female voice of Hindi version would have been a better combo though. For a Tamilian who knows Hindi well enough to write, read and talk fluently, the Hindi version seems a bit too fast and abrupt. The translation is at fault may be? Neverthless, this song is every lover's dream. The feeling of being in love is beautiful, especially the phase where one falls in love is even more beautiful. This song aptly describes that phase.

Here is the song,

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pyWZqbzcvk]

*drools at Arvind Swamy*

*wipes off the drool from keyboard and starts typing away furiously*

There is a live version which isn't great but is worth listening for Singer Hariharan's voice. He is just class apart when it comes to live concerts and improvisations. So here is that video,

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNU1G9hpJX8]
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

#471 : Day Forty Two - Theeyil Vizhundha Thaena

Day 3 of ARR fever and I picked this song. An unusual choice it may seem, but I picked this song for the emotions and voice of the singer of this song - The master himself. With insanely high pitching and choking emotions, this song can melt even a stone.

Bringing in mother sentiment is a sure shot way to garner attention when it comes to Tamil movies. Till this song was released, there was just one song which was really famous and associated with the mother sentiment - Amma entrazhaikkaatha - the song featuring Rajanikant as the devoted son carrying around his mother and singing the song. This song came along and the attention shifted. Of course, that gem of a composition by maestro Ilayaraja can never be matched, but this song sure gives a tough competition.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0r21IYOBxY]
The visuals sure are touching, but the emotions are simply out of the world. I wanted to weep and wail badly the first time I listened to this song. That voice quality is magnificent. Especially that part when when he says the word (at around 3.04) Amma, that expression oozes melancholy. Every single time I listen to this, I can't really recover for a while. I've not chanced upon a live version of this song. I suppose this is way too difficult and depressing to perform live.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#470 : Day Forty One - Roja Janeman! Kadhal Rojavae!

It's Day 2 of ARR madness and second on my top 30 favorites list is Kadhal Rojavae/ Roja Janeeman. I really cannot decide which version I like more. There is one in Tamil rendered by the legend singer Dr.SP. Balasubrahmanyam and there are two Hindi versions one by my all time favorite singer Hariharan and the other also by  Dr.SP. Balasubrahmanyam. These two are stalwarts who cannot be compared with each other. While Hariharan's voice is like fine silk which flows with such lushness, Dr.SPB's voice is like warm sunshine on a rainy day.

One cannot really believe that this sound track was composed by a rookie music director. His music is simply beyond being soulful. Especially the flute bit before Charanam 1 and the female humming is divine. I don't remember the first time I heard this song, but every single time I listen to it, that bit always moves me to tears. I don't think the pain of separation can be expressed so beautifully.

Directed by Mani Ratnam and staring a very handsome looking Arvind Swamy and the beautiful actress Madhoo, Roja is one well acclaimed movie. Almost all songs in this album have a prominent place in my play list. Though the song has been shot amidst lush greenery and contrasting darkness of a man in captive at  Kashmir, it can't truly be labelled a visual treat. However, Arvind Swamy's sad expressions and his memories of a cheerful and beautiful Madhoo with such soul stirring music playing behind brings out that effect of pain perfectly. This song is an a perfect example of the pain of separation!

Here is the SPB (Tamil) Version of the song

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaJE2mGkBpQ]

Hang on. I'm not done yet. Come back right here before you loose yourself completely. There is this other version on this song performed by one of the singers - Hariharan, live on Coke Studio. The female voice in this version is nowhere near the original female lead - Sujatha's voice, but this is worth a listen for Hariharan's voice. That vibrato and modifications are way too good to be missed. It's my life time ambition to listen to him performing live. Hope it happens soon.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nii5X5YQZU]
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

#469 : Day Forty Three - Kannathil Muthamittal!

Day 5 of ARR Fever and the song for today is not really a famous one, but a true beauty. The joy of having a daughter can't be portrayed more beautifully.

Handsome heart-throb actor Maddy aka Madhavan plays the role of a poet and a doting father who adopts a girl whose parents are refugees of the SriLankan war. This song is pictured amidst beautiful Buddhist edicts, waterfalls and a breathtaking vast land of white sand. The lyrics and visualization of a heart warming relationship between a daughter and her father, brings in fond memories of my relationship with my father when I was a child.

There are two versions of this song though. Comically, both the versions have the same singers, just that one version is majorly sung by a male singer, other by a female and has difference scenes and slightly different lyrics due to the change in POV. My favorite is the male major version. Sung by P.Jayachandran and Chinmayee, this version of the song ooze with love that a dad has for his daughter.

Here is the song,

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16AWPWkbzhc]

Of course, singing this song live is such a difficult thing to do, yet here is a live version by Chinmayee which I enjoyed. In spite of the poor quality, this one is a gem.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urnkwB7jQwg&w=560&h=315]
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# 468 : Day Forty - Pachai Niramae! Saathiyaaa!

For the next 30 days it's purely going to be Rahman fever out here in my blog. I'll be featuring my favorite of his compositions along with a small write up.

First on the list is my the favorite composition - Pachai Niramae from the movie Alaipayuthay, the super hit movie starring actor Madhavan and Actress Shalini. Rendered by ace singer Hariharan, the song is simply out of world. Based on the classical Raga Kharaharapriya, the transitions bits in this flow like a smooth clear water! Of course, the master himself has sung the first few lines of the song!

Beautiful visuals filled with plush colors are a visual treat apart from the music in itself. Vairamuthu's lyrics combined with such plush visuals and the soulful music renders the listener spell bound and peaceful.

And here goes the video! Enjoy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xA-oWnJAWA]

Well! Well! That's not all for today. There is  live version of this song performed by the original singer in Hariharan at a concert in LA. Trust him to come up with mind-blowing rendition. A friend of mine first gave me a copy of this concert video. We were watching it at his place. He skipped straight to this song and there was no sub-title. The singer Hariharan, had started singing few lines in Hindi. I never expect that to morph into this song. You have to experience it to know what I'm talking about.

Here goes the concert video for those of you who have not watched/listened to it!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciVB3ANaPLo]

PS. Wish me luck. I'm trying my hands at participating int he NaNoWriMo thing this year. I really have no faith that I might finish writing 50K words in a month. However, I aim to complete the story I started writing, thus the conscious decision to avoid writing other subjects in general. Nothing like writing about music I say.
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#467 : Ashvamedha - The Game Of Power by Aparna Sinha : Review


“I Controlled, I manoeuvred
I turned reality into illusion
I morphed good into evil
I made rules for you to follow
I scripted your destiny
I defined you”

The book begins with a chilling poem about manipulation, control and power. The narration paces back and forth between timelines and that of various characters, but all roads points to one character, Aswin Jamwal, the protagonist of the story. An honest and simple IAS officer is forced to quit his job when he is cheated by local politicians of Rajasthan for playing his role sincerely. He joins politics and eventually climbs the ladder too quickly, making a lot of enemies in the process.

The story kicks off at an alarmingly fast pace and is laced with twists in regular intervals to keep the reader engaged. Somewhere midway amidst all the subplots which made sense eventually the pace of the story slackened only to pick up pace again towards the end. On the retrospect, it did look like the writer was in a bit of a dilemma as to how to pave way for the climax. The characterization was good in spite of common flaws. Few characters were sculpted to emote well, while the others were mere eye candy! One part of the story, where Aswin rises to immense power reminded me of our own Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. I’m not sure if the writer intended that, but to me it seems to have been inspired by our PM’s style of administration. Also, the climax part which essentially deals with human psychology eerily reminded me of the movie Anniyan where in one character arises out of the desperation of inaction by fair means. The similarity stops just with the conflict, the resolution to the conflict has been dealt differently when compared to that movie.

MY SAY: Perfect Political Thriller.

RATING: 4/5

About the Book


GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 224

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of Author’s paradise review program

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