Blogging 2017

Always on Repeat (Part – 5 The Devotional Songs for Travel Playlist)

This is a list that will shock purists of Carnatic Music who swear by their ‘original’ singers. Even though I grew up in a household that appreciated the renditions of Maharajapuram Santhanam, M L Vasanthakumari, M S Subbulakshmi and the other names known in the classical music industry, I developed my own taste and started branching out in search of variety.

The songs in this list are not exactly fusion, but they are not the perfect classical renditions either. They are a mixture of folk, electronic music, and other things I cannot quite name. The list is my travel playlist for devotional songs. Because they are all based on popular classical devotional songs or sung about deities. They have unique flavours I love and would give me the right mood for travel.

Maadu Meikkum Kanne by Aruna Sairam

This song is the first on this list because I loved to hear this during my school and college days. I love Aruna Sairam’s version the best because there is a lilt to her voice while singing this song. I love how she puts expressions into the song as if she is really talking as the mother and the child. My favorite of all the songs she has sung, including her famous Kaalinga Narthana Thillana.

Sree Rama Namam by K S Chitra

This was a random song I stumbled upon in YouTube because I was browsing through another channel in which a part of this song was sung as fusion. This song made my day immediately, and I listened to it continuously for two days before I could get enough of it. This song still tops my list of favorite songs of this versatile singer.

Jagadhodharana by Bombay Jayashri

The same singer has sung various versions of this song. But I love this particularly long version because her voice just strikes my soul and settles down whatever excess emotions I am feeling, be it happiness or sadness. The song is the one I turn to when I am going on long drives because even with the tinny distortion of the speaker, Jayashri just speaks to me with her words in this rendition. This song is even more special because I love the original song, I also love MS Subbulakshmi’s version of this song. This made the list as a close cut just pushing out Srinivasa Thiruvenkadamudaiyan by Bombay Jayashri which is another eternal favorite. God. I love her voice.

Raghuvamsa Sudha by Sikkil Gurucharan (Raaga Expressions)

I heard this song first as a fusion when some band performed it. I have quite forgotten who that band were, (thanks to my abysmal memory, not because their performance was lesser in any way) but then I saw this song in the ‘related songs’ section and it was immediate love.

Poonkuyil Koovum by Nityashree Mahadevan (Kurinji)

This one is a slightly older memory. The song is part of an audio cassette I own. I remember listening to this song when it played on the huge audio cassette player / tape recorder at my house in my preteens and early teens. Once I got older, and the technology became obsolete, the search for the audio CD of this album came to fruition only after 5 years and 10 months after I first started searching it. The album is a favorite as a whole and other notable numbers include Thanjam Endrale, Indha Paramugam, Ramanukku Mannan Mudi.

Kannan Mana Nilayai by Nityashree Mahadevan (Brindhavanam)

This song is a favorite because of the lyrics. It speaks of the yearning of a Gopika towards Krishna who sends a messenger to know about Lord Krishna’s mindset. I don’t know who the lyricist is, but I love the words of the song sung from a woman’s perspective. Nityashree Mahadevan’s voice spells it out just the way I love it and I have not gone in search of any other version of this song, even if it exists, because I respect this version so much.

Nrithamadu Krishna by K S Chitra

One of the songs I heard as the caller tune of my aunt. My mother handed over the phone to me excitedly the first time she heard it, asking me if I could find the song, and we had a nice time after instructing the aunt not to pick up the phone. We kept calling the number repeatedly until we had a hang of the words using which we could then search for the song. I associate this song with happy memories and laughter. This is a favorite.

Rama Rama Rama Seetha – Unnikrishnan

Why do I love this song? There are many reasons. The voice, the lyrics, the way the tone makes the song so special. I heard this on recommendation from an aunt who is close to my heart and I shall forever love this for many reasons. I think of a lot of good memories when I hear this song and it takes me back to the golden days of my life (thus far). An eternal favorite.

Theruvil Varaano by Sikkil Gurucharan

This was a fairly recent find. From a friend who has a music taste I admire and love, this song came as a random YouTube link that was given after some discussion about the song. I watched this particular video (the one given in the link) first and it was an immediate favorite. The song was effective in both headphones and speakers and car audio sets and every medium I heard this with.

Kanne En Kanmaniye by Bombay Jayashri

This was a song I always liked. But it became an eternal favorite recently when I felt the emotions behind the lyrics and the words. There are many versions of this song I love, including one sung by Nithyashree Mahadevan, but from my perspective, this is an easy winner. There is something about the voice that suits the mood of this song so well. Though this is meant as a lullaby, I hear this song more to calm myself than to actually fall asleep.

The above list is the best part of my travel companions in this genre. I have 17 such playlists consisting of various combinations of songs each of which I wish to make a post out of. I love music and I love travelling (especially long drives). When both of these combine, I am unstoppable.

*Happy Hagrid*

Blogging 2017

The Colour Green

Perhaps one of my most favorite songs of the millennium year is Pachai Nirame, the cult hit from the Tamil movie Alaipayuthey

Be it in the music or the peppy voices or (okay, I agree) the actor, everything about the song is perfection. The lyrics are my personal favorite though, for various reasons. The hero describes the love of his life using different colours, and the things he uses to denote those colours are what make the song perfect. (Credits to the lyricist Vairamuthu here).

I have always associated many things in life with colors, even some emotions. And this is one of the reasons why I relate with the song on a deeper level. Life has always been about different colours for me. Dull days are grey days, bright days are ocean-blue days, orange is the colour of vibrant and happy things, red is the colour of anger and increased temper, and blue, strangely, represents a melancholy despite being my favorite colour.

Yes, Inside Out really did get it right. But it represented disgust with green, and that is the only choice I disagree with. Though the explanation given by the moviemakers (read somewhere off the internet) did answer some of my questions.

“Joy was a star, or a spark. Golden and illuminated. Sadness was a teardrop. So her shape and color resemble a teardrop. Fear is like a raw nerve, just a squiggly line, that’s why he’s tight. Disgust is the shape and color of a stalk of broccoli. And of course anger is a brick, immovable.”

Green has been forever associated with the wrong emotions. Be it in envy or feeling sickness, green as a colour has got the short end of the stick many times. Feeling green translates to being sick, Green with envy is a very common expression. As a colour, green has been vilified in many ways. Even in my favorite world of Harry Potter, green represents evil, and red the good side.

Avada Kedavra, the killing curse was represented by a green bolt of light while the good side’s spells were usually red in colour. (The author herself has spoken in detail about this). I wondered back then, as I do now, why green was the colour that suffered in every which way whenever any piece of literature was considered. Even the emoticons (emojis) have not fared well. And the only green face is the one that looks strangely sick.

To me personally, green is the colour of healing. The colour that represents freshness, the colour of the grass that the morning dew settles on, the colour of the rich paddy fields that dot the lonely road to villages, the colour that comes out brighter after every rain and spreads a sense of innate calm in me. It is the colour of the ‘charge complete’ LED notification of my phone, and of the send button of a WhatsApp text.

I had not always been a green lover, almost always preferring the brighter shades like red and orange. But of late, I have gotten an affinity for this mild shade. I have to gotten to like the color more because of how calming it is and how it is recommended as the colour one should surround oneself with for that purpose. Green is easily one of the most misunderstood colours but whatever the movies say, I am enamoured by the colour in many ways, because it is the colour of my favorite people!

*discreetly hides shopping bag full of green dresses*

*silently changes the green wallpaper*

*smiles softly at the ‘seeding’ and ‘finished’ torrents*

Yes. Green is a good colour.

*sly Hagrid*

P.S.: This post is to prove that I can ramble about nothing in particular and start somewhere and end somewhere else entirely. 😛

Blogging 2017

The 40 Year Old Transistor!

Travels down the memory lane are always sweet, and definitely worth it for all the beautiful recollections they bring along. I have always associated many memories to the strangest of things such that a single song, a simple scene or an aroma can take me back years to some place I had long forgotten. The memories are vivid when they come and surprise me with their sharp details.

Today was such a day. One of my neighbors, a septuagenarian, was sitting in the common waiting area of my apartment, a table before him holding pieces of what looked to be some gargantuan electrical appliance. He was working not minding the sun that steadily beat down just feet away from the shadow he had seated himself in.

Curiosity got the better of me and I approached him, only to know what he was working on. By the time I approached him though (after an hour of contemplation regarding disturbing his single minded focus), he had finally finished working on whatever he wanted to do and had closed up the individual parts and tidied up the work table. As he was closing the tool box he had been using, my eyes fell on the ‘appliance’ he had obviously just reassembled.

It was an old transistor radio (nostalgia alert) that had been in fashion some four decades ago. Knowing full well that there would be no hope for that device now, and there was no chance it would work even if he had exerted his best efforts, I could not resist asking him what he had been doing. He patiently explained that he had been very attached to the radio and fond of how crystal clear it used to sound and had been trying to salvage it from definite ruin.

Whether or not it worked, I never asked. I don’t want to know, either. But when I saw the intensity of his concentration as he worked on the radio for that one hour took me back to those lazy Sunday afternoons with my father who taught me life through the little things. My father’s favorite pastime is to take things apart if they were not working, find out what is wrong with them and try to sort them out. He mostly is successful.

He always made a project out of it, and once I was old enough and sensible enough to not swallow the parts, I was his proud assistant. It is from him that I have the habit of breaking things apart and putting it all back together. And if we do have time, we still do it much to the annoyance of my mother, who watches with an exasperated resignation that is in equal parts funny and scary.

The more I watched the man working on the forgotten relic of the previous generation, the more I remembered with a bittersweet tinge of nostalgia the lazy afternoons when Dad would appoint his assistant (me) to watch if the TV reception was good while adjusted the aluminum antenna. Or those times when he soldered bits and pieces on the PCB as I watched, fascinated, as the smoke curled upwards and the bits fell into place.

There was a very childish satisfaction in watching the dead appliance come to life after my father applied his brains to it. And the simple joy of clapping with glee as a child is one of my strongest memories, because it happened quite often. As I watched him fix broken things like magic, I grew up into the same habit. I am nowhere near the magician that he was but still apply a thoughtful analysis when something goes wrong.

With his actions, the lessons he imparted during those projects fit not only mundane everyday things but also situations in life. While I was jumping about anxiously, being quite the bored kid, he would patiently explain everything he was doing, though I could understand very little of it. Those afternoons taught me virtues like patience and perseverance and kept me going when I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration when a computer or a phone went wrong in the recent past.

He gave me the sense of importance when he ‘trusted’ me with the little things that would eventually help the big picture. It was like fiddling with a disconnected joy stick but until I was old enough to understand, he told me proudly that I had done by bit for the device to finally work and that made my week. I got a flashback to a recent time when his phone’s touchscreen failed to work and I suggested the last thing he would have expected from me. A replacement for the phone.

Because it made much more sense to buy things anew. They were not built to last, anyway and they became obsolete within two or three years of launch. Only after he looked at me sternly that I realised I should have answered that only after I had done my best to try to make it work, and not suggested getting a replacement as the first and only available option even if it was the thing that subsequently had to be done.

When I watched the genial old neighbor repairing his decades old transistor because it was a favorite, I was visited by a strong surge of nostalgia that made me reflect a lot about how much everything had changed in the last two decades. Life was much simpler and much less complicated back then, where broken things were repaired and not thrown out or replaced.

*pensive Hagrid*

Blogging 2017

Little it is…

Happiness is a vague concept. The definition of what constitutes as happiness varies not only with person to person but also with the same person in different scenarios. There is never a finite meter for happiness, but the world revolves in dissatisfaction because everyone uses someone else’s meter for happiness to define their own.

To some people, happiness might be in the little everyday things, and as I have realized since the last 80 days, every new day brings a cause for happiness, in whatever form. The happiness posts since the year began have taught me a lot of things, but the first and foremost of them was the time I spent in deciding which was the happiest moment of the day.

But the more I searched, the more I realized that there were a lot of options in one day, and I was able to pick and choose from them based on what I thought was the crowning moment of glory that particular day. When I got into the habit of sorting through the day for material for ‘the happiness post’ as my friends called it, I also found another interesting thing.

After about twenty five days into the routine, I was actively searching for happiness, smiling to myself when something nice happened because I knew it would be my ‘happiness post’. Everywhere I turned, despite the sad and upset moments, I saw little things that made me happy. Over time, I got into the habit of waiting until the day ended to post the update unless something outside the normal boundary of ‘happy’ actually happened.

There was the need to search for happiness, to actively seek it, and I was collecting and hoarding happy moments everywhere I could find them. Touchwood. The 80 days thus far have been an amazing search into myself, and my analysis threw up interesting things about myself that I had not known or realized. Based on what I found a cause for happiness, I realized a lot about what actually made me happy and where I was going wrong, searching in all the wrong places.

The best part of the last 4 score days were the moments that did NOT become happy day posts. There was one yesterday, one the day before, one the day before, and so on. These moments could not go on Facebook for public scrutiny, but were stored in a permanent locker in my mind to help me sail through the not-so-good times.

Eighty of the hundred happy days have passed and I have found things to be happy about in ALL of them, and it was not even such a difficult task. Once I got into the groove, it was a nice thing to do. And based on how many friends pinged me to ask for the happy post (and consequently the ‘post of the day’ in this blog, since I had taken the habit of posting together) every day, I could say that, in a way, I was also making some of the others in my friend list smile.

Happiness has a weird quality. When shared with the right people, it multiplies. I am not talking about the other alternative in this post. Spreading happiness is a very easy thing to do. But the success of that venture is largely dependent on the recipient. The recipient receives the full benefit only if they are ready to receive it. Tricking the mind into being happy becomes a habit and the brain automatically starts searching for reasons to be consistently happy. That is a beautiful cycle.

Not all of the eighty days have been completely happy. There have been a mixture of other emotions too. But through that all, the rays of happiness have shone, and boy, have they done it with consistency. Technically, this post should be written on the hundredth day, but I am writing this today for a little celebration beforehand. I don’t know where the rest of the twenty days might lead me, I am also unsure if I will continue, but this premature celebration is also a cause for ‘happyness’.

There were some little glitches on the way, with some ‘friends’ wondering what was there to be happy about such insignificant things. But thanks to them, I realized that a difference in perspective does not mean that things lose the meaning they have. Happiness is independent of a common standard or rule book and has different manifestations everywhere. The size of the reason or trigger no longer matters. It never did.

Little it is, so what?

*Happy Hagrid*

Blogging 2017

Deciding a Theme

I learned the English alphabets like every normal child in the early days of my schooling. I quickly memorized them like everyone else did. I sang them in my head until I reached the alphabet I wanted. Yes. Elemenopiquaaryestea made more sense than L M N O P Q R S T.

It was all fine because I remember the little picture book that showed pictures depicting A for Apple, B for Ball, C for Cat and so on up to Z for Zebra. But today, I dearly wish I had saved that picture book where I had inscribed other matching words for each letter. Because, as a five year old, I had more ideas for the words fitting each letter than I do now when I actually want them. Well, maybe not conforming to a theme helped back then.

The last five or six days have been hectic and I have spent them searching for words that match each letter of the alphabet and are based on a common theme. For the second consecutive year, I have decided to participate in the A to Z blogging challenge this April 2017. It is easier said than done, and while I have lot of options for the common letters including the vowels and other frequently used letters like S and T and R and so on, the language stumps me with lack of options for the lesser used letters including X, Z and curiously, Q.

The theme planning has taken up a whole excel sheet that has been naturally divided into columns for common themes where each row has the corresponding word for a particular letter. The sheet looks happy and full for the first fifteen letters and then things begin to slow down until they reach the above-mentioned letters where I barely scrape through.

The beauty of the A to Z challenge being that I can arguably write anything about anything but still have no concrete idea about what exactly will go down in the blog. If the themes are anything to go by, the suggestions for the words are strange, exciting and fill me with a strange thrill.

As I am still in search of a good topic, every day exciting options present themselves. I have so far tried 17 themes, discarded 12 of them. Narrowed it down to five of which three are regular, mundane. Of the remaining two, one is well near impossible to pull off, requiring me to write poetry for the 26 days, and the other is, well, the one I think I am going to actually take, and belongs to my favorite world of books.

Now… Blogging is easy. Says who?

*Hagrid confused*

Blogging 2017

The Phantom Road

Hand in hand

Amidst the wildflowers

The miles we’ve walked

Without a care

 

Sometimes I wonder

If you knew, even then

That the roads will end

At a broken fork?

 

Looking back at the

Way we’ve crossed

I see the blessed

Phantom road

 

Of nervous giggles

And snide jokes

Of a million memories

That come alive

 

In some place down the road

Must have been the point

Where you’d finally decided

That it should fork

 

The future mocks

The past ridicules

Was I too blinded or

Were you really guarded?

 

The fork in the road

Has come at me

Like a blind turn of

A hairpin bend

 

A phantom pain

In a phantom limb

A phantom beat

Of a broken heart

 

Should I walk alone

Knowing I should

Or should I wait?

Uncertain if you will?

 

Did you know it before

The presence of a fork?

Did you create it alone

While I refused to see?

 

Whatever you do

Wherever I go

The memories linger

Bittersweet and sour

 

I stand at the fork

Wanting to return

As the road crumbles

Dispelling the thought

 

The memories crash

All at once – as I

Finally breakdown

For one last time

 

It was a game

Had always been

With one person playing

But the other living

 

Across the sky

A billion stars

Somewhere along

I see ‘us’

 

The fork has come

And I finally know

The path I should take is

The one you won’t!

Blogging 2017

Always on Repeat (Part – 4 Kappa TV Special)

This post is dedicated to the gems I found from Kappa TV’s official channel on YouTube. I curated this playlist from the channel based on the songs I loved. This list is not exhaustive, nor does it cover all seasons of the Music Mojo show. These are just handpicked favorites that I heard in one of those music ennui periods. And I am glad I did. So here goes.

Enakkenave Piranthavale – Navneeth Sundar Ensemble

This one is a song close to my heart because of the way I first heard it and the person who suggested it to me. And from there I got so addicted to it that it was a week before I could even hear other songs. There is only one thing I would change about this song – it is too short for such wonderful content. I love everything about it. The lyrics. The meaning. The voice and the music. I especially love the violin bit by the genius Embar Kannan in between. The song brings happy tears to my eyes for many reasons. A very, very close personal song I will cherish forever.

Padayatra – Job Kurian Collective

This one is for the voices. And the excellent veena interlude. I loved it the first time I heard it. The story behind the song is equally beautiful and even though I didn’t understand the lyrics much, I could feel the emotion in my bones. And that I think is the success of music. It unites without the need for words. And then there are the voices of Harish and Job. I don’t even need to tell about them do I? The song is special for being the one I heard every morning consecutively for a week.

Achudananda – Sopanam Ensemble

Technically, this should be the first song I should list here because it belongs to my favorite band but the other two had personal significance and were pushed ahead. The song combines traditional Malayalam temple sopanam music with modern instruments. Sung by the father son duo of Sadanam Rajagopal and Sreekumar Vakkiyil, this song is special because it is the first I heard from the band I later got addicted to. Only after hearing this did I search for the singer’s other songs and that has been an interesting journey.

Alaipayuthey – Haricharan w Bennett and the band

The song came as something of a surprise. The flute bits were awesome and I had always known Haricharan as a playback singer. This song introduced a whole new side of him from where I progressed to listen to his other classical renditions. The best thing about the song is the Easter egg surprise that the last stanza is. Not revealing it here because it deserves to be held as a surprise until one hears it, but this goes to say how the basics of different songs might be the same Raga.

Jewels (Medley) – Kadal

This song is based on popular Malayalam hits. Something I had no idea about. I was ensnared by the voices and the beautiful rendition. I loved the bits in between where the singers sang the swaras in between. I had no idea about the original songs so this was entirely, refreshingly new for me.

Aye dil-e-aashiqui (Ghazal) – Sanskruti

I love ghazals and have a special corner in my heart for them. So the name immediately attracted me when I saw it on the suggested YouTube list. I listened to it immediately and loved it right then. Abhay Jodhpurkar at his best in this one. This song was a change from the regular playlists I heard day in and day out and was very welcome.

Kaanthaa – Masala Coffee

One of the folksy comedy numbers. I love the song for the energy and the happiness. The voices and the composition make it a song full of positive energy. This song was the one I turned to when I wanted to listen to songs that pepped me up. I loved this companion for long train journeys and it was consistently on repeat when I was bored or dull. It cheered me up immediately.

Maula mere le – Stephen Devassy f. Nivas

The song begins on a high note. I have heard that this is a movie song from a popular movie. But I had not heard the original before so this song remains special that way. I love it for the voice and the way the singer sings soulfully. Nivas’s voice gets into my soul when I hear this and this is the song I hear during the times when I want to do some soul searching. The song has an amazing capability to transport me back to certain memories and times.

Sree Ragamo – Prayaan

Until recently I had no idea this was a popular Malayalam movie song. A friend sent me the original song and I was immediately attracted to it. But even then I remembered this medley because it was the first rendition that I heard. Loved the soothing tune and the happy memories associated.

Kuzhanthai Thoonga – Navneeth Sundar Ensemble

The lyrics, the voice, the soothing lullaby that it is… I love a lot of things about this song. The violin in between is heavenly. I also appreciate the calm quality of the song in the lonely nights when I need something to lull me into sleep. Overall a fitting finish to this motley list.

As usual, suggestion welcome. 🙂

 

Blogging 2017

Always on Repeat (Part 3 – Rahman Romantic Melodies)

So repeating the weekend special, this Saturday is for the Rahman Romantic Special. I have handpicked ten of my favorite Rahman Melodies that are either romantic as a solo or as a duet.

Snehithane – Alaipayuthey

Evergreen song. I will never tire of it no matter how many times I listen to it. This song captured my imagination in its melodious and haunting tune and in some way the only song I turn to when I need to soothe myself with a romantic melody. Sadhana Sargam’s voice is an additional plus despite some words being bitten off.

Anbay idhu nijam thaana – Rhythm

The song of the sky. Be it in the beautiful lyrics or the choreography, this song has been an amazing companion on many misty morning bus journeys. I had a fellow music lover to appreciate the song the first time I heard it, which was years from the album release date. But that was a moment I will never forget and the song still brings out beautiful memories.

Pudhu Vellai Mazhai – Roja

The main reason why this has taken the third place in the list despite being the first musically is that the other two songs have a personal significance for me. This song has been hailed many times over as one of Rahman’s best ever and I happily second that thought. I have nothing more to add, except say that this song is love in itself.

Manapennin Sathiyam (Manamaganin Sathiyam) – Kochadaiyan

Again, two songs with incredible personal significance. Though very recent, parts of this song have become my ringtone (which means I love the songs more than others) and I never split them to listen. I have a repeat playlist that consists of only these two songs and when they released I heard them together for days on end.

Mannippaya – Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya

This song was a cult hit when it released and this album is also one of Rahman’s best. VTV defined my college days and all the songs were a craze for years after the release. I cannot pick and choose one from this because I love many songs from this. But if asked to select only one, I will choose this song compared to the much more popular hit numbers Hosanna and Aaromale.

Idhayam Idam Mariyadhe – Jodha Akbar

I do know this is a translation and I do love the original In lamhon ke daaman mein (hoping I am spelling this right). The tamil version though has an in depth meaning because I understand. Another song for the lyric, this one. And since it belongs to one of my all time favorite movies, this song shall remain special.

Malargale, malargale – Love Birds

There is not one thing I will change about this song. Be it the lyrics or the music or the rendition, I love everything about this. This song is one for my permanent playlist and I never do skip it when it comes up on shuffle. A song I love so much that I can listen to it for days on end and never get bored. Part of this is my ringtone.

Vennilave, vennilave / En azhagenna – Minsara Kanavu

The pair of songs that I never listen to separately. I love the lyrics and the simplicity of the music. This is one movie I will watch many times over without tiring of it. The songs captured the imagination of many of my older cousins and since I listened to it with them at the time of release, it grew up on me and I still love it.

Poonkatrile – Uyire

Yes, Ai Ajnabi. But still, something about the way he sings “Vaanam engum un bimbam aanal kaiyil seravillai” makes me melt. Another favorite from the genius that I can never get enough of. Nor am I going to try, ever. This song is a real favorite and I am yet to see the movie. I am thinking I should.

Kurukku Siruthavale / Ulundhu vidhaikkaiyile – Mudhalvan

Another pair of songs that I never see as separate entities. I love them as wholes mainly because they belong to the same tune and because they are two different versions and lyrics of the same emotions. Love the rendition and the folksy tune of the songs.

Hagrid’s note: My Rahman playlist is exhaustive and there is a separate Hindi playlist too, thanks to some amazing friends. I have two other playlists’ worth of Tamil songs that are romantic numbers. This list is shortened to just ten songs because I have to maintain uniformity.

Even with that limit, I still have gone on to give more than ten songs in the list. There will be another Rahman list soon. The Ilaiyaraja list will exceed five posts, at this rate!

I know I have missed many of his recent movies like OK Kanmani, from which I have two favorites. This list is made of the songs that come in the top ten and have been chosen from the MRU of the Rahman’s Romantic duets playlist because this week has been one of nostalgia and personal memories.

To my readers: Kindly suggest more songs from the genius. Personal favorites and associated memories very welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

Blogging 2017

Not everything is a challenge

This sentence almost defines many aspects of my life. Of the many people I have come across, a lot of them took life as a challenge. The laidback attitude is often related to lack of ambition, not a worthy life quality. In a place where everyone has an expert opinion on how someone else’s life should be lived, it is hard to maintain a stubborn and firm opinion of one’s own sense of right and wrong.

The competitive attitude works well for life goals, and is even healthy in some cases, if the time is spent in moving towards one’s own success instead of losing sleep over how far the other people have come even if they are running behind in the overall race. Things began going a bit too far when the competitive attitude came into play in even the minor aspects of life.

There have been some thoroughly unique specimens I have met in life who have declared non existent competitions open with a vehemence, swearing to win, with a vengeance. It looks even funnier when you look at it like you are walking on the road on an idle evening only to notice someone cycling past you with vigour, turning back, panting and giving you a ‘you are a loser’ sign. If only you even knew such a competition existed!

Most of the modern day life competitions are so silly that make sense only to the person who thinks they are playing in an arena for a great prize. The motivation for each of their life goals has become others’ failures instead of their own little victories. Most often, such people amuse me, mainly because of their ability to turn everything into a competition, every little insignificant thing into a bet.

I have always been the woman who walked on the road while many others cycled past me and patted their backs for winning some non-existent competition they had created. I feel incredibly special to have been a part of their success in my own little way. Even if I had no idea they had formed a competition they had decreed to win.

I guess it is a special feeling to taste victory, but I still fail to see the logic where coming second in a two person race is considered victory. Even worse is reaching the finish in a one man race. Life goals are different for every person, and no two lives are same. There are entertaining people who do seem to think differently and make every little thing in life a competition.

Be it in having that extra mug of coffee or bragging about past successes or going out of their way to prove a point, the ‘opponent’s’ exasperated silence is often misconstrued as an acceptance of defeat. I often wonder if their life loses all color and sheen if they don’t have at least fifteen competitions on their way to work every morning. Do they considered a day wasted if they don’t have the smug smile plastered on their faces at the end of the day for a score of 72/85?

Questions after questions with no answers. Not everything in life is a challenge, but the Indian Hagrid takes this moment to wish those people who see life as a competition the very best of luck! May happiness reach you in your small victories even if there are no competitors.

*sarcastic, condescending tone intended*

 

Blogging 2017

I typed a story…

I learnt typing formally during my teens. And then I understood why there were little raised indicators in the F and J keys. From then on, it was an endless series of FFFs and JJJs before I could progress to FGF and JHJ. Coming to the alphabet line level and typing the entire alphabet in reverse were huge achievements.

Those were the times when I’d seriously dreamed of writing my own novel with a typewriter – a dream I had not given up until recently. The old worldly charm of the typewriter and the tap tapping sound the keys made only added to the intensity of the wish. Having grown up on a diet of early twentieth century English novels, I couldn’t shake this idea off that I needed to finish typing my novel on a type writer.

To my over excited brain, the logistics of wasting so many sheets of paper and ribbons of ink seemed a mere compromise just for the elegance of the text that would come out of the type writer. All that nostalgia about typewriters came to the fore of my mind today afternoon when I visited a friend who had one.

And just for the heck of it, of course I demanded that I have a go at it. She obligingly performed a cursory clean up and readied the typewriter while I mentally prepared myself to write a beautiful passage at least, if not my whole story. All the words were floating in my head and I was sure I could type out an awesome paragraph. I prepared myself with gusto and sat in front of it while my friend watched with barely concealed glee. She knew the outcome better, perhaps.

The blank white sheet seemed to stare back at me and as I placed my hands on the typewriter keyboard, and I was unable to form the words. All of a sudden I wanted to write everything but could not write even a single actual word. I was very aware of my friend’s laugh coming muffled from somewhere behind me. After a few moments of numb hesitation, I finally began typing out a story I had already written, one of my personal favorites and a paragraph I had written at a stretch and read over and over again.

Once I began though, there was no looking back. The words flowed without a break and before I realized I had typed a whole page of beautiful content without a single typing error. This is a great accomplishment I would remember happily for some time to come. Be it in getting my fingers to work extra hard (not to mention unnecessarily tapping my laptop keyboard extra hard as I type this, out of habit) or in watching the page of typed content roll out, the joy of typing in a typewriter has no match. Agreed that computers are much more convenient and efficient.

But I will type in the old fashioned typewriter whenever I get a chance again, because of the feel good factor aesthetics. In this, I belong to the HP world where quills and parchments made more sense than papers and pens.