Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pulling the heart's strings

I am presently addicted to apple juice. Apple juice at midnight.Nice way to start the day dont you think? :)I was hooked to Friends (the sitcom), but i guess that wore off because i didn't have more of it to watch.

I like sad songs...slow-soft-sad songs.maybe they just evoke emotion more easily in me than happy songs do...and one really sad song i've been listening to over and over again is "take my heart back" by Jeniffer Love Hewitt. I think sad songs hit one harder if they have a particular context in a movie or something...atleast for me, its like that. You know exactly why that song was sung, or the tune was played, and all the sadness in the movie just infests your mind and strikes your heart.Of course its not always like that...theres always the lyrics which you can relate to
your own life...but lately, more than the lyrics of the song, its the movie situation that has succeeded in making me sad! And then there's the tune...some tunes don't even need words to tell you its a sad one. Reminds me of the time my music teacher was teaching us this particular song in kalyanavasantham ragam, and the whole atmosphere got so gloomy and sad...not like we understood the song...just the ragam and the tune...Its like this sick feeling in your stomach,this emptiness sorrow just swallowed the whole world, and there's no coming out of it. Some sort of enchantment, but a sad one. There's so much beauty in that...when something no one can understand makes each person in the room feel the same thing. I guess that's what they call the language of music :D

I haven't been able to come out of my BGM craze, or my awe for Mani rathnam (if you scroll down, you'll notice my previous post had alot to do with both!). This time, the movie is Thalapathi. I was totally bowled over by the balance of each element in the movie...quite neatly done. Its like Mani Rathnam used some mathematical equation to calculate the proportion of each element, and got it all right, and beautifully. Theres the friendship, the mother-and-lost-son element, theres the right dose of romance, very aptly balanced with the rage and the helplessness coming out of that "unfulfillable" love, theres a good deal of violence (which i guess the movie needed),and there are the well placed songs composed by the maestro, illayaraja. Another thing i liked about the movie is the bond between the little girl (banupriya's daughter) and Rajnikanth.

The BGM that made me re-watch scenes this time was the violin version of the song "Sundari kannaal oru seydhi". Brilliant composition. It makes me feel like the violin is crying out...shobhana's eyes speak it all out...the yearning, the bittersweet its like the violin complements her eyes. And when you realise all the helplessness that's involved in that scene of lost love, its some sort of poignant beauty.

I'm not uploading the violin piece i'm talking about...partly because i think its complicated, and partly because i'm lazy. So if you'd like to listen to it, you can leave me a comment, and i'll mail it across.

And thus we indulge in music and movies, and small or big analyses of them, to help us forget the bigger things in life. To stop dwelling in things that require patience...on things that do not entirely lie at our mercy. After all, I've heard that to get out of difficulty, one must usually go through it!

Yours "This too...shall pass"ly
Signing off...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You're the rain, I'm a leaf!

I was telling one of my cousins yesterday that blogging about A.R.Rahman and Mani Rathnam has become so terribly cliched. Every other blog has a post raving about either of them, their work and their genius. But well, i guess alot of people do blog about them because they really sensible film maker, and one music genius. You know what's even better? The combination. When they work together on a project. And there, i'm finally blogging about them myself! But this is not because of how i'm totally in awe about their work (which i am actually, but that's a different issue!). So why has this post come up?

I happened to watch the movie Aayudha ezhuthu (pardon spelling errors if any) again, but only for the second time. All i could recall about the movie before i watched it again was this - I'd watched it in Mayajaal, after my dad bought tickets that i thought were grossly expensive, i was amazingly cranky and pissed off during the drive, and maybe that's because my brother refused to come with us, we ate some ridiculously dry vazhakai bajji in a small eat out before the movie, and it made me choke no end, my mother thought the movie was too violent and didn't like it,I totally loved the scene where surya is dismissed from college but he doesn't leave because all the students say they'll leave with him, I loved the way surya pushed bharatiraja out of his way in the last scene, and also liked the scene when trisha comes back from sivagasi. Ok i know i could recall more of what happened before the movie, than the movie itself! Maybe that's why i wanted to watch it again!

Anyway, to the point...i watched the movie, and liked it all over again. But this time, i noticed the finer details of the music that i may have noticed, but not gone back to, when i watched the movie in the theatre. The Background Music - the BGM. In the siddharth-trisha scenes. Lovely. Violins. Good dialogue + Good BGM = Scene that can be watched atleast 10 times on the same day ;-) Thats wat happened! But well... something quite funny just happened now. I'd been watching the movie with my cousin this morning, and we reached the part where sid doesn allow trish to leave the bus, and they sit there for a long time till the bus goes to the terminus and comes back to her stop. Theres a small song (a variation of hey goodbye nanba) in the background...I'd recorded the song in my mp3 player because i couldn't find it anywhere online. So i was telling him the lyrics go like this -

May mazhai Naan illai
Idhuku mel oru nilai
vidai kudu, pogrien
eeramai vazhgiren...

He gave me one look, and started laughing! Obviously there was something wrong with the lyrics...the lines didn't sound right! Things didn't add up... so he said he'll listen to it...and he laughed and laughed...because he thought the lyrics actually are...

Nee mazhai Naan Alai
Idhuku mel uravu illai
vidai kudu, pogiren
eeramai vazhgiren...

I laughed too. Mainly at his "when do we get rain in May?" question! But still, the eermai vazhgiren part didn't make sense... and then, the movie was playing on tv, and we were watching the same scene... and we realised...we got the first line wrong! It ACTUALLY is

Nee mazhai, naan yelai
Idhuku mel, uravu illai
vidai kudu, pogiren
eeramai vazhgiren...

Whew! And now, it finally makes sense!

Translation... (if u already understand the lyrics, please dont read this translation, it'll be terrible!)

You're the rain, I'm a leaf
We don't have any relationship beyond this
Say your farewell, I'll leave
And live in all Wet-ness! ;)

Anyway... its been an ayudha ezhuthu BGM week. Been listening to the same tunes, and watching the same scenes over and over again... some movie! If you want to check out the video of the song i've been ranting about... here

Yours "Vidai kudu...pogiren"ly
Signing off.....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thair Sadam

Statuotary Warning - The following piece contains an unfair amount of the tamil language for an (apparently) english post. Those who fear comprehension, may stop right here. To those of you who do understand tamil, beware, your stomach might just grumble a little louder than usual ;-)

My hippocampus is still alive with the memory of my mom and our neighbour aunty packing thair sadam and elumchampazham sadam (lemon rice) on one of our trips to some national park in Kenya when i was around 4 or 5...the bond between thair sadam and me (actually, every tamilian) goes back a long way! But never did i realise its
significance till a few years back. Infact, there was a time i'd just not like the look of it. However, as the years flew by, i realised no dish really imparts the satisfaction of having eaten thair sadam, not too pulippu, preferrably thallichufied (i dont know how to translate that, sorry!), with something to go with it. The exact scene that's playing in my head right now is this - My mom used to give my bro and I balls of thair sadam in our palms, so that we couldn put it into our mouths by ourselves when we were kids. She'd make a kuzhi (hole) in the rice, and fill it with a few drops of sambar/some kozhambu, and we'd adachufy (stuff) the whole thing into our mouths, making our cheeks wet with the curd, and giving ourselves white meesais!The last vaai (mouthful) was always called the yaanai-kutty-vaai (baby elephant mouthful!), because it'd be extra small! (back then, we were innocent of the superstition that the one who gets the last mouthful is blessed with a good spouse! See my mom is a very wise woman, she knew what to teach kids, and what not to!). *sigh* feels like that incident happened in another age, in someone else's life now!

Now getting on with life... and this post! The best thing about thair sadam is that it can be eating with almost anything! Salty or sweet, bitter or otherwise! Here are some combos i love and don't really love so much...

(for convenience, i'm going to call thair sadam TS)

TS + Urga (pickle) - This has to come first in the combos, most definitely because it is one of the most heavenly combinations on earth! My personal favourite is aavakai urga, though alot of people prefer lemon, or garlic, or ginger! Nothing to beat aavakai, that too from my periamma's house!

TS + Mor molagai/vepala katti - If you're a tamilian, and don't know what either mean, i suggest you consult your paati! I rate both these equally with thair sadam. Though i'm sure my bro would go in for the former. Aah i can almost taste it!! Damn!

TS + some kozhambu - The kozhambu's can be - sambar, vethal kuzhambu, ara puli kozhambu, molagu kozhambu, porucha kozhambu, and the list goes on! For best outcome on the tongue, one must put a drop of kozhambu on the small amount of TS that is already on the fingers, ready to be taken into the mouth!

TS + Mambazham (mangoes) - This is my thatha's personal favourite, though i find the whole combination revolting!

Now to my favourites...

TS + Rasam - Ridiculous? Thats what alot of people think! They find it impossible to believe that i can eat thair sadam and rasam! Anyway, it appeals no end to my taste buds! Better if the rasam has alot of puli (tamarind) and tomatoes, and alot of kadugu (mustard)!

TS + Namutha appalam/chips - This again, people find weird. I've been a fan of namutha appalam (softened/non-crisp appalam) forever now! And i love its cloth like appearance and feel when its soaked in the TS and the slightly salty taste it imparts to the curd! *heaven* And chips also ofcourse...! Potato chips with TS :D :D

TS + Rasam + Appalam - This beats the above 2!

My stomach has got this funny mechanism...whenever i over-eat, i start hiccoughing! And most of the times, when my meal ends with the last combo, i end up holding my breath to stop my hiccoughs! Such be my fondness for the king of all south indian dishes ;-)

You could add on more combos in the comments section!

Yours "TS the best of all"ly
Signing off...

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Sept 1 - Happy birthday mommy!!!

The past 2 weeks have been like holding breath under water... (though i have hardly ever done that!)...and today, i found my way back to the surface, followed the light, re-introduced oxygen into my lungs. Breathing again. Stopped racing. The marathon is over. The sad part being this marathon doesn't matter at all in the big picture. The big-picture-marathons dare me to step in and start running. And its like I'm sitting and watching them "boo" me, jeer, make fun...beckon. Still scared to enter the arena, and fight. But still, trying to make sure I'm not dragged in by force...Anyway, i stop here!

Lesson of the week - If you know you're in for yelai sapaadu at a kalyanam, cut your nails!

I dont grow my nails...unfortunately, they happened to be un-cut during my cousin's wedding last week. And i think i ended up eating more from the table than from the yelai, thanks to all the scratches and holes my nails made on the yelai! And ofcourse, i ended up with leaf-filled green nails after each meal! Like wearing a saree wasn't enough!

My posts are getting shorter. I'm not blogging as much as i'd like to. *sigh*

Yours "extremes.."ly
Signing off...