From the recent order by the supreme court declining to vacate the stay on reservations
"You had waited for 57 years. Why can't you wait for one more year,"
Come on judges, the question is so very unnecessary ! Think from the viewpoint of the political parties. They are not aware as to whether they would be in power even the next day. Hence, they want to push ahead all that they can do (read filthy caste based vote-bank politics), whenever they are in power, so that in the event of an election, they are elected again. Simple isn't it ?
But, all said and done, I somehow think that it would take a lot of effort (read cunning) to push this reservation bill.
Now that all the dust has settled down over the Virginia Tech massacre, there are some, or rather, there is one important question that is going unanswered.
The first round of shooting happened at 7.15AM. The second set of shootings happened at 9.45AM (Link). A full two and a half hours after the first set. And most importantly, the distance between the two locations was few miles at best. What happened to campus wide alarm systems ?
What was the SWAT, e.t.c., doing ? Didn't anyone call 911 ? The second set of shootings claimed thirty people. In a country where people call 911 and go on alert over very trivial issues, what were they doing after hearing gun shots ?
"The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness does not become apparent till it is too late."
How very brilliant and how very apt. That line sums up the kind of a life most Indians lead. I say most, as I find this guy to be a notable exception ! Of course, there are many more others too.
As my friend says, everything in India happens across generations. Our parents did not have proper access to education, so they gave us education. Our generation is working towards monetary benefits. Hopefully, two or three generations later, people would be _living_ life.
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies" from the movie "Shawshank Redemption".
There's a lot of controversy about what Narayana Murthy said/did to the national anthem during President Kalam's visit to their campus in Mysore. Check here and here. Somehow the apology seems too hifalutin and hollow.
While a section of media is going bonkers proclaiming him to be the next president (I am sure Slimes of India would be there in this list, which by the way, has not even covered this whole incident), Cho Ramaswamy, as usual, gives a potent observation.
"Totally unconnected". Brilliant words, Cho.
Mr.Murthy, here is a sincere request to you. You are running a company. Please continue running it. If you want to retire, please do so. If you want to do something good, please look no further than your wife, for the kind of changes she is making in the lives of ordinary people. In case you want to come into politics, please contest elections. No empty rhetoric please. Thank you.
What ? Did I read this right ? Code of conduct for bloggers ? Cut the crap will you ? People blog because they want to. Simple. Period. WTF are you to propose code of conduct and crap ? In as much as there is some sense in what the author says, the whole thought seems to be revolting. But then again, whatever said in that article is plan common sense.
Warning : This is a fairly long review, much like my review of anbae aaruyire.
So, without much ado let's start off. To begin with, this is a fairly interesting album. In as much as I can detect the freshness in some songs, I can also sense some overlapping rhythms here and there. There is no comparison to Rahman's earlier album for Rajini, "Padayappa". That was more like he was composing keeping in mind Rajini's image and stuff. In this album, he looks to have had a free hand in composing his music and hence, as they say in tamil "vlayadirukar".
Vaaji Vaaji: "God" Hariharan is back with a bang. In recent times, he has not been singing that many songs as he was during his peak. The song starts off with some nice rhythmic beats. However, the beats sound a tad similar to "Yegiri gudhithen" song from Boys. Hariharan, as usual, effortlessly wafts through the entire song. However, the sore point of this song is Madhushree. "Azhagai saani idu " ? What was she trying to sing ? Or is it that the words are definitely "saani " ?. Saani means cow-dung in tamil ! And sample this again before the end of the first charanam. "Vihigalukul siru thozil pozhiveera?" Lady, there is a word in Tamil called "zha". If you cannot pronounce it, please do not murder it. Either ways, she has butchered the song. The main drum loop looks pretty unimpressive. However, what is interesting is the little bit instruments, the dholaks, the electronic guitar bits that appear throughout the song. Sample: The electronic scratching music (Much like turntable scratching that appears only between the charanams and not again anywhere in the song). One can also detect a violin piece just before the end of the first charanam. There is also a short piano piece that seems to be following Hariharan's voice. Rahman, as always, is a master in fitting multiple layers of sounds into his music, that somehow appear to gel together. This song is no different. BTW, vairamuthu seems to be in his elements. The song opens with "Poombaavai aambal aambal". Aambal means a garland of Jasmine flowers. "Punnagayo movval movval". Movval means lotus flower. Luckily, Rahman did not make Madhushree sing the opening lines. That would have been horror personified. 8.5/10
Athiradee: Stunning use of guitars thought the entire song make it a very nicely composed piece. Rahman seems to be evolving very nicely as a singer. Note the way he sings "Billa Ranga Baasha" lines after the first charanam. He is definitely improving !! Vaali, as usual, has composed a Tanglish song. "Shock yerum padi shokeaa", Roger Moore, Castro and James Bond ? "MRI undha eye ?" Vaali, you seem to be getting younger with passing age. Note the club like techno music sounds after the first Pallavi. Once again, they do not appear anywhere else in this song. The lady singer gives able support. As I said earlier, I am pretty sure that this is going to be some kind of background song, or a song that is played whenever something important happens throughout the movie. 8/10
Balelakka: Can anyone come even remotely close to SPB ? At 60, his voice sounds stunningly fresh. Note the drum loop. I think that is thavil and dholak. "Kada kada vena kadakira kaveri". Do not even attempt to sing along those lines. This _has_ to be superstar's intro song. In fact, I think Rahman has probably composed the best intro song's for super star. Remember the opening for "Oruuvan Oruvan Mudhalali" from "Muthu"? Coming back, this is a definite monster hit song. Overall, this song seems to be extolling the virtues of living in a village. "Koovum cellphoneai marandhu" is a very interesting line. The background music seems to be having a cellphone ring-tone like sound at that time ! What was disappointing was the lines "Tamizhnaadum America". Why make such shitty comparisons ? Is this Na.Muthukumar who has written this song ? Also check out the shenai/nadaswaram piece before the second pallavi. The way SPB sings off the song with "Cool" is cool indeed ;-) Note the guitar pieces that accompany the chorus singers when they sing "Ballelakka". 9.5/10
Sahana Saaral: Udit Narayanan ? Why Rahman Why ? Note the tabla sounds that accompany the singers during the first few lines of the pallavi ? If you are careful enough, you can note a soft drum beat throughout the song in the background. It starts off just before the song starts and stays put all through. Udit Narayanan's voice just brays at high pitch ! I find it hard to classify this song as a melody song. Rahman comes in for a brief moment for the "Dheem thana" piece. And is this Chinmayi ? This lady has improved a lot ! For a moment, I thought that the singer was Mahalakshmi. She has done a good job at the husky/caressing portion of the song just before the end of the first pallavi. Check out the tabla portions that appear throughout the song too. Nice touch Rahman. Overall a very interesting song and a fairly layered song, except for the fact that Udit Narayanan ends up being a pain in the ear. 7.5/10.
Sahara Pookal: This is the sad version of the "Sahana Saara". Mr.Udit Narayanan, please see how Vijay Yesudas has sung this song. And who is this Gomathi ? She must be one of Rahman's new singers. She does manage to sing pretty well, but at high pitch, her voice begins to squeak a little. Much like what Rahman did to "Alaipayudhey" song by introducing a new rhythm for it, he has now introduced a new way of singing Thirupaavai. And yes, it does sound very nice. Most importantly, there is a soft Guitar strumming away in the background and a little "chak-chak" sound. That's all. Nothing else. Simply brilliant. 9/10
Ooru koodai sunlight: What can we say about this song ? Funk meets carnatic meets techno meets rap meets hip-hop ? A hard to classify but a stunning new sound. We have to hand it over to Rahman. This song is full of random sounds, no specific loop or whatsoever, and keeps shifting between various styles of music. And most importantly, I am unable to detect the usual pattern of charanam-pallavi approach. That has always been Rahman's style. There's lot of Spanish in between. I could detect the words "maestro fourturo delvidho thengo". Heh, even though I have been in Mexico for three months till now, I am unable to make out the meanings of those words. I guess I need to check with some people here. Note the way the female voice says "Staayleee" in the middle of the song. An outstanding song. IMHO, the highlight of the album. 10/10
The Boss: This looks to be some song that will be played when there is some stunt. Note the "siva" word that is made to sound like "sivaaaa". Interesting. The words suck. "vaila beeda pottukada" ? "Podava vaangi kattikada" ? Crap. Trash. However, once again, Rahman manages to layer up his sounds and instruments. I think I noticed the "yakkai-thiri" beat sequence in between this song. Power ranger and Jetix comparisons ? Come on. That _is_ so lame. In fact, this song seems to blend in well with the overall style of the album ! 8.5/10
Overall, this album is definitely worth a buy. As is with every Rahman song, you may not like it at the first hearing. However, do not let that put you off. Just listen to it patiently and be stunned. There is no way that this album can be compared to Harris Jeyraj's work for Shankar's previous movie Anniyan. Even though it has a few good songs ("Remo" and "Iyengaaru"), Rahman simply proves why he, and only he, can come even remotely close to Illayaraja.
The songs will be a huge hit for sure. "Athiradee" sung by Rahman himself is foot tapping at the first listening itself. Though it has some traces of the drum beats loop used by Michael Jackson, in the song "Dangerous", from the album Dangerous, it _is_ indeed lilting !
Balelakka, sung by the evergreen SPB. If this is not the introduction song for SuperStar, I think I must stop seeing movies. As far as I can remember, SPB has been singing the introduction song for SuperStar with unerring consistency. This _has_ to be the intro song for superstar. The background drum beat loop is interesting. Looks like thavil. Needs more hearing.
However, as seen in Chandramukhi, Superstar did not have any introduction song, but only a thatthuvam (philosophy) song later on. Since shankar is the director of the movie, I think we can guess that the song "Athiradee" would be used as some kind of a title song when super star comes onto the screen (It has words like "Thalapathi" and "Billa" and "Basha") and Balelakka as SuperStar's Philosophy song.
Stay tuned for a detailed review in the forthcoming days.
Update : Yes, I know. A detailed review is in the works. Patience is a virtue folks ;-)
"The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness
does not become apparent till it is too late." Amitava Ghosh in his book
"Hungry Tide". Code monkey, marathon runner, bicyclist, motor biker & general crazy-ass guy