Friday, March 28, 2014

Trying to play a short-pitched delivery

No more stories out here. That would be because I moved them. Moved them all to a new space

http://short-pitched.blogspot.in/

Do follow/tweet/status-update/(Goes on his knees with folded hands)Make me famous.

As far this place goes- Let's see. I still should be able to write some non-sense.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Musings of A Rahmaniac

From the Archives . .
I don’t know where to start. And I am sure there would be no ending. People follow music religiously. It is tough to tag it as a ‘hobby’ anymore. It almost defines the kind of person you are. Only a few end up taking up music as a profession & make a living out of it. Others have to be content with just listen to music. Their tastes differ. It differs as much as the lines in the palm do. You will find people sitting down on the floor to listen to a “kutchery”, tapping their thigh with the beats. Or, you will find them banging their heads in a rock concert. I remember from school a friend of mine who used to listen only to Christian devotional songs. And there also are people who would listen to anything that come their way. But there is a set of people who take one man’s music seriously. And when it comes to listening to that man’s composition, they would leave aside everything else. These people would dedicate their lives for one cause – being a Rahmaniac. There is only one religion that they follow – Rahman’s music. They call him “Boss”. And no points for guessing who their God is. I know, it is crazy calling a human being God. But then to each his/her own God. I belong to this cult too.

The amount of pride these people take in being a Rahmaniac is bewildering. They would have first hand information of his compositions. What movies he has signed, where his next concert is, what song is coming next. They researching deep into each one of his compositions – it’s almost dutiful. Following Rahman in his concerts, buying original CDs on the first day of music release, posting their thoughts in various groups, meeting up fellow Rahmaniacs and discussing only and only his music comes to them instinctively. It is mighty hard for them to accept that any Rahman composition can be “ordinary”. Ask them what the one thing is that you want to do in life”. The answer would be simple –Meet the man! Some would have a secret ambition of singing for him. I would not go mad about getting his autograph or getting a photo clicked with him (Even though it would give me 10000 likes on my facebook profile pic!). If ever that moment is to come, I would just like to say ‘Thank You’ to him. For all the music he has given us and the ones he is going to.

One of the things you would notice about rahmaniacs is all of them would have their status message reflecting his song names/movie names etc. It is not to show off their craziness. They do not know any other way in which they can express the happiness, bliss, eternal satisfaction they feel while listening to his album. And the pleasure you get when you play the CD for the first time, is unmatched. The CD would be played in loop. And on each round of listening, the music grows on you. Slow nectar, they call it. There are other songs/compositions too which would be like cocaine – would shoot up to the brain straight. These people need no drugs to follow the music. His music in itself would take the effect.

So what is bringing out this huge outpour of emotions into words? The Oscars? His being the ambassador for Indian music? I guess not. Something better has happened over the years. For me it started with a song called Chaiyya Chaiyya. It made me realize that music could be the only way to salvation. I could go on to make a list of songs, but then it will include most of his compositions – from Roja to Rockstar. But once I heard Arziyan. Life had a new meaning to it. People say you have to die to go to heaven. I tell them I have been their atleast a thousand times – each time I hear Arziyan. And by the time the harmonica of “Tango” from Passage faded, the Guitar strums struck me. Aaromale was a word I had never used till then. It might be the word I have used the most, now. As always, I am happily waiting for the next one now. Like I said, I do not have a concluding paragraph for this write up. I thank God, the real one, for having had me live in this era – The era in which A.R.Rahman lived.

And to Boss all I would quote a line from his own song - “Un isai mattum illayendral naan endro endro irandiruppen”

Signed
Vinod R Iyer
A Rahmaniac

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pavilion

So what are you working on now?
I am working on this story.

I see you are writing only stories these days.

Well ya. Fans like it that way

Who?

Not important. It is better than writing random observations about unimportant things. Don’t you think so?

So what is it about?

I haven’t decided. I have this character in mind. A guy who is single.

Rare character, I must say

Don’t interrupt. So this guy is the hero of the story.

And heroine?

No heroine. In fact on second thoughts, let there be a heroine. This nice girl who he sees in the cafeteria every day. They keep staring at each other.

He wouldn’t go talk to her?

No. The moment you talk or get introduced, you cannot stare at a girl right into her eyes, till the moment you fall in love.

Ok. So they fall in love?

Who said it is about love?

Thank God!Just tell me the story

I don’t have a story as such. There is this hero, heroine, a couple of sentimental characters, lots of comedians, and villains?

Sounds like a tamil movie plot already

Just read the script and tell me how it is. I will take your valuable comments later on.

***
Enter villain one - This guy’s house owner calls him up and says, “You have to shift next month. I am going to make this a serviced apartment.”

“What kind of service? “,he wants to say, but ends up saying, “Ok. Sure”

“I will give you a few agents’ number. They will help you get a house by that time”, says the owner.

“Sure. That would be great”, he says. That wouldn’t be great, he knows.

He starts looking out for a house. Meanwhile the sentimental characters, his mom and dad, do what they do best. Worry. The dad is so sentimental that he could be cast straight into one of those ongoing tamil soaps. Mom is a bit better. She is one of those do it all moms. She wants to find a house, shift things, set things up for her son and leave to attend to her grandson. Time is an issue for her.

The mom starts the sentimental attack on her son. If you had gotten married by now, without declining every other girl coming your way, you could have taken a nice 2 bhk now. Now you have to wait and see where her office is going to be when she comes and then take a house. This is why I say you should have married earlier. And the conversation becomes about marriage. Goes on for 2.5 hours, before the hero runs into his room for cover. His dad sits there waiting for him. He repeats the whole thing. Another 2.5 hours.

He starts searching in the web. Things are easier to find with the help of the websites, apparently. Calls a couple of people looking for a 2 BHK. BHK – a famous abbreviation used in the cities. Bedroom, hall, kitchen to be elaborate. Baksh-do Hum Ko is also BHK coincidentally. Hero looks up the classifieds in the paper, net , everywhere possible. Calls up a few people.

Enter comedian one. He says”Sir, I am an agent”. All the James bond movies run through hero’s mind. James bond is highly over rated, he thinks. The agent continues, “I show one good house sir. Vastu compliant”. Vastu must be one whiny bitch. Keeps complaining.

“24 hour water supply, sir. Owner is very good. He gives houses to bachelors also” concluded the agent

Lucky me, the hero thinks. Landlords build houses and then they forget the land part. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahadev, Lord Land

So the agent shows a matchbox and calls it a house. “How much is the rent?” the hero asks. “10k” the agent says. “I will pay 10 Rs for this”, he wants to say, but ends up saying, “I will take it”. The hero goes into a train of thoughts - Ground floor, mom can walk in easily, owner doesn’t stay in the apartment – so no monitoring business – close to where I stay now, meaning , I don’t miss out on the food in the mallu restaurant. And also on the saloon. Finding a good barber is like finding inner peace.

Hero takes mom and dad who make sentimental requests to the owner, villain 2, to reduce the rent. The owner falls for nothing. He must not be into tamil serials, the hero thinks. Gives a token advance. Feels relieved. < Intermission>

Next day the new owner calls back, asks the hero to take the token amount back. He wants to give the house to his relative. The hero wants to sue him. He sues twice aka goes and takes a leak.

House hunt part two begins. He calls up another agent and waits in the area for an hour. Agent doesn’t turn up. Frustrated hero decides to expand hi horizon per mom’s advice. Goes around the city looking for houses. Fails to find any. To-Let board haunts his dreams. All he has is a toilet.

And then it happens. He sees an ad in the office bulletin board. Leaves office immediately to see the house. It is like a dream come true. No brokerage. Cheap house for that area. He reaches the houses. He sees a couple leaving the house happily. It is taken. He wants to kill them and occupy the house. Goes homes and sleeps instead. He is woken up by flurry of words in the advisory tone. Has to be dad.
He gives up all hopes. Decides to dump all his luggage somewhere and live on the road. May be buy a tent or something. Agent Mallik calls and says I have found a 1BHK. Hero says, let’s keep this a secret mission. We will go in the night, when others are not there to see the house. And finish the deal. Agent mallik thinks the hero has gone mentally ill.

The hero is not able to sleep the whole night. All he could think about is his 1 BHK. Morning he goes to the temple to pray. And then goes to see the house. Finally, the prayers are answered - the deal is done. He has found one. Mom is not entirely happy with the house. But gives a go ahead. Happy ending.

***

Forget it mate, you suck at story telling

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh My God !

I don’t usually write about too many serious things in life. I feel I am not knowledgeable enough to do that. But there are certain things you cannot be funny about. Like poverty, patriotism, ethics or the reason behind this write up– faith.


I am not going to go into one of those ‘does God really exist’ or ‘what is the meaning of life’ questioners. Neither am I searching for God here in this blog space. Born in a south Indian Iyer family, I have always been taught to pray; taught to say prayers; taught to visit temples every now and then; taught to give offerings to God. Everyone does these, I guess. My mom does pooja everyday and I have grown up watching her doing that. I too visited the temples regularly. There was a point when I used to visit the Ganapati temple daily. Daily at 8.20 pm for the deeparadhanai(aarthi). But lately, somewhere down the lane, I have lost it. I just can’t get myself to pray these days.


I had gone to Dharamsala lately and I did feel close to praying when I stood there before the statue of Buddha. But still, I could not really pray. I kept looking at the statue and the amazing calmness that was exuberating from the smile. And as I sat outside the temple, I saw this old man, who could hardly walk, going around the temple rotating the prayer wheels. He had a stick in his hand and was moving at a pace at which snails would be contemptuous of. But still he went around rotating each wheel. The Buddhists believe in rotating this wheel which has prayers written on them. And rotating all the wheels, they say, is equivalent to chanting those prayers. Pretty short cut method of praying, was what I thought sitting there. But as I saw the old man disappear the question kept cropping up on mind on the amount of faith that he had in the whole ritual. Most of us have rituals of our own to build on our faiths on our respective Gods. Mine has been, saying a slokam on Ganapati as I come out of the shower. The other day I did that subconsciously and then thought to myself, “when lips pray and the heart wonders”. I have been forcing myself to pray for a while now. I decided to visit some(any) temple on all full moon days. Not because someone asked me to, but just because I felt like. But that did not last long either.


I look around in temples, I see people making huge amount of money as offerings, I really can’t tune myself into that frequency. I cannot comprehend the fact that good things will occur to me if I get a darshan of one God, even if it takes 4 hours of standing in a queue to do so. I was amongst these mixed thought process and the effort to restore the old rapport I had with ganapati, when someone tells me that there is a temple in Hyderabad which is called the Visa temple. People who want to go abroad, go there and pray and they get their visas stamped. And there are people who visit certain temples to find their brides/bridegrooms. My aunt calls me and tells me she went to this temple 30 kms away to pray that I get a good life partner. Would these pseudo things appeal to God ? Would he be keeping count of all these things? If I say out some prayer 28 times daily, without even knowing the meaning of it, and more importantly, without even meaning it, would I be blessed with all good things in life? And the customs and the rituals whichare built on this faith – would I be able to justify them?


I have found myself thanking Him more these days than praying. May be that is a sign in itself that things have been smooth. For, when trouble strikes, the first thing that you tend to do is to remember the almighty - to ask for help; and to ask him for intervention. I have been asking questions to my friends lately. Questions like, ‘What do you pray’, ‘What language do you pray in’,’Is it like a conversation’. I was interested especially in the last one, just to ascertain that I am normal. Because that is what I do. I go to meet Mr.Ganesh and I have a good conversation with him. He would tear me apart left, right and centre. And I try to find answers. Or else it happens the other way around. I keep asking him for something or the other. Good marks, Good health, reciprocation of love, the list would last a mile. But it’s been a while since I did that too. It might sound funny, but ever since I heard the lines, “Tum se kya mangun main, tum khud hi samaj lo maula” , and in that divine tone, I cannot ask him for anything. May be that is why I haven’t been getting a few things I wanted too. But nevertheless, I find it selfish and guilty to ask for something to God. And I know I am not the only one who subscribes to this thought.


The closest I have got to praying is when I hear some divine note of music. I am not talking about the Carnatic keerthanas or the Bhajans alone. It could be the scratching sound that might be coming from a DJs kit. One of the things that man discovered in the earliest of ages must have been the fact that music stirs up minds. And must have used it as a tool to spread the faith and the various beliefs weaved out of it. And one hell of a tool it is too. When I look back at it, I feel the panchavadyam that used to be played during the deeparadhanai at 8.20 pm was what I was looking forward to daily. I could close my eyes and just let my thoughts flow when I heard them. And the conversations with God became so much clearer. Most of the vedic chants, prayers, choirs etc would be composed with atmost care so that it makes you hooked to them and paints an illusion that you are praying to the God. Have you ever woken up early in the morning for a big day ahead? And while getting ready, breaking the silence of the dawn light, have you heard the Adhan being called out from a distant mosque? I have. And that for me was one of the purest moments of prayers. Again, it was not the content behind it or the ideology behind it that struck me. It was the sweet flow of voice through the air which was giving me hope for the day ahead, giving positivity to my thoughts. And that is what praying does too, I guess - A positive note to overcome your troubles and a hope of happiness. I hope I hear some piece of music sometime soon, which would get me back into the conversational mode with Him. And someday, I will say the prayers too; understand them and mean them.



Song for the Occasion:
Saakshaatkaara nee sadbhakti
Sangita njaana vihinulaku
Mokshamu galadaa bhuvilo jeevan
Muktulu gaani vaaralaku

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raavanan – A Couple of Views

The following is straight out of a chat conversation between me and my friend, on Raavanan.

Take1: So, the verdict ?

Take2: There's no one word verdict :)

Take1: Meaning ?

Take2: The only thing on my mind now is naan varuven, meendum varuven I think that one scene did it for me...

Take1: I saw it in the morning ... the harmonium is still ringing in my head !!!!

Take2: But yeah, I thought brilliant performances, awesome cinematography; India didn't look more beautiful

Take1: Ya ..true

Take2: I would have been abolsutley flabbergasted if the story was a tad less predictable

Take1: First half was a bit dull for my liking

Take2: Exactly. But i have to say... the music got lost in the movie nothing stood out except naan varuven...

Take1: hmm ... agreed .. no masterpiece bgm too ..still the last 20 mins I was like .. damn .. do i have to sit .. i was almost jumping

Take2: The last 20 mins were brilliant

Take2: I think the ramayan adaptation totally overshadows the naxalite undercurrent

Take1: Ya .. the current is almost not there

Take2: It’s there at one point, and then it gets lost with the sister revenge

Take1: And i would ve liked the priya mani bit not to be the reason for revenge

Take2: Yeah that brought the movie down a notch. Its becomes like oh, this always happens in tamil movies .. or hindi movies ;)

Take1: But ya .. he was so vehiment on adaptaion thingie - with karthik jumping arnd and all

Take2: yes, i jumping around was too much

Take1: Ya .. almost shankar-ish :)

Take2: But Karthik was really good

Take1: Ya he was

Take2: Vikram's last few scenes... good God! Where he says usuru vandhurchu and where ash says babababa his expressions were brillaint

Take1: hmm .. wonder how AB would match up

Take2: I was going to type the same thing. I'll find out tomorrow :)

Take1: me too :)

Take2: I have a feeling AB might be as good... because he's wuite looney in real life and he might get the last few scenes right on target because he's with ash

Take1: Ya .. possible

Take1: And prithviraj ... was super

Take2: Prithviraj was alright... not much there ;) but yeah, i'm curious to see vikram in that role. I vaguely liked it that priya mani's name was vennila :)

Take1: I liked her tan look ;)

Take1: And why is ranjitha there .. grr

Take2: I know.. horrible dance steps and no dialogue

Take1: Her scenes got the highest mass appeal .. or response ... i was disgusted.. at the public first and then at mani

Take2: ha ha ha ... but the controversy happened after she was cast, and shot.. we had a few people giggling here when she first came on screen

Take1: Ya .. same ... and then screams in the subsequent scenes .. the "intelligent" tamil audience

Take2: lol

Take1: mixed reviews already .. from worst mani movie to the best

Take2: yeah I was reading some online

Take1: i would take middle path :)

Take2: Frankly, I have never come out of a mani rathnam movie in the theatre going WOW

Take1: exactly my thought !!!

Take2: somehow i end up liking it more over time

Take1: It sinks in ..

Take2: yep... All... aayudha ezhuthu, guru

Take1: Even alaipayude .. i was like .. did i see a good film or a great film

Take2: :) .. Kannathil muthamitaal maybe that stirred me up a bit but none of the others

Take1: AE stirred me up ... since the subject is close to my heart or was ..

Take2: But If it weren't for that last song in Raavan, I wouldn't remain staring at the screen for long after, awed.

Take1: That was the moment of the movie !

Take2: totally...

Take1: the harmonica started first .. i was like wow .....

Take2: when he just looked at her face, and fell over... and the song was his parachute...

Take1: rahman sounded like God !

Take2: Agreed

Take1: I have heard usure pogude since i saw it .. not behne de !

Take2: Still didn't work for me...

Take1: hmm ..

Take1: Beera beera song ..in the bg now i can hear dan dan dan dandanaka clearly :)

Take2: aah! I loved the kaatu sirukki chanting

Take1: oh yeah .. waiting to hear the ranjha version of it .. gotta be better

Take2: hmm :)

Take2: Aapparently that spot where ash falls and usure pogushe starts was the same spot as punnagai mannan

Take1: oh .. interesting

Take1: that priya mani's fiancée ..some guys were talking outside the theatre ..that he is the guy who played amudha's cousin !

Take2: really?! wow

Take2: the scene before kalvare was totally Roja. Madhubala finding where Aravind Swamy was

Take1: hmm :) and I thought one scene was so dil se .. oh ya .. the priya mani - police station scene

Take1: There's no one word verdict, I guess :)



Song for the Occassion: Naan Varuvene ... meeendum varuvene !