100 Happy Songs : Day 42

If you asked me to name my favorite playback singer, the name that would pop out off the top of my head, despite being spoilt for choice, would be Shreya Goshal. There are very few things that I gush about more than her singing when I’m listening to one of her songs. That voice that makes the rest of the aspects of the song either pale in comparison or serve the sole purpose of elevating her singing to a whole new level – be it the music, or the interludes or the co-vocalists.

And then this song comes along and changes that for the first time. I knew that honey-voice to be hers, those little nuances could be only hers, also those tiny slips in Tamil pronunciation that I’ve always forgiven with a bias in her singing, while needlessly picking on the same when it came to the likes of Sadhana/Udit. But there was something far more compelling about the song that overshadowed her portions effortlessly. Limelight, get ready to embrace your next guest – Haricharan. The song is just him , through and through. First, that mind-blowing singing in Kaaviya Thalaivan(should do a separate post on that) and now this. It was his diction and clarity, the vocal emotion and the classy rendition that had me hooked to the song right away; not Shreya, not even ARR. Pookale sattru oyivedungal – first love of I.

The other songs in the album (with the exception of Ennodu nee irundaal which I’m pretty sure I’ll grow to like) hardly fit the appeal-on-first-listen bill. Merselaaiten has more or less been rejected outright – it carries too much of a Simbu flavor to even warrant more attention. Too early to comment on the other two songs.

For now, though, it is Haricharan, and Pookale settru oyivedungal …

Maya, have you listened to I yet ? ๐Ÿ™‚


100 Happy Songs – Day 13 – 23 : Throwback Thursday

Sometime in the last fortnight as I was laboring through long, never-ending work days, I tired of the playlist I’d made of the recent Tamil songs, and out of the blue started listening to Hindi music from the 90s. Random songs, most of them. And then out of a whim, I youtube-d Tanha Dil by Shaan. And THAT is when the nostalgia wave hit – of the cult that came to be called Indipop – the one that dominated MTV and Channel V for nearly a decade, of “tiffin” time on school day evenings spent in front of the TV switching between the two channels, thinking Cyrus Broacha and Shehnaz were among the coolest people around, and catching up on the “new” songs during lunch breaks at school. This was class 9 upwards if I can remember right. I was quite surprised by the stream of songs that came to my memory from those years – some of them I still enjoyed immensely, and others made me go – THIS song was rage ? Bah ! ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, putting up some songs that I have the most vivid memories of – maybe I’ll revisit this post a few years later and bask in the flashback mode again. Don’t want to overcrowd this post – so avoiding the links. They are all over youtube.

13. Mehfuz : Euphoria
Euphoria is/was easily a favorite Indipop band. Love the earthy spirit of their music. Maeri, Dhoom Pichak and Gully were among the more popular songs back then, but Mehfuz(which I came to know of a little later) went on to become a favorite!

14. Tanha dil : Shaan
You just cannot not like this song/Shaan’s voice. Got a group and wanna sing along together? Pick this.

15. Khoya Khoya Chand : Alka Yagnik/Babul Supriyo
This was one of the songs that got lost in the multitude of songs flooding the scene then. My idea of the perfect romantic song back then.

16. Sare sapne kahin kho gaye : Alka again.
Another beautiful beautiful song.

17. Paisa: Agosh
I was introduced to this song only in college, but I reckon it must’ve come out in the same time frame. Fultoo fun song. Brilliant interlude. Unbelievable Mohanam.

18. Dooba Dooba : Silk Route
The humble beginnings of THE Mohit Chauhan. With a voice like that, he HAD to make it big no? Breezy song. Typical 90’s feel!

19. Indian Rain : Colonial Cousins
I love the entire album, but the feel of this song – aaaha !

20. Woh Chali : Bombay Vikings
This song makes me laugh now, but I have to admit I used to put mega enthu for Bombay Vikings once upon a time ๐Ÿ˜€ Same with Falguni Pathak ๐Ÿ˜›

21. Chamak Cham cham : Yesudas
Yesudas and Indipop ? A rather unlikely combination, one would think. But I remember I used to love everything about the song – the video and the cute guy in the video included ๐Ÿ˜›

22. Piya Basanti Re : Chitra & Ustad Sultan Khan
Lovely song. Just listened to it – and it transported me to Class 10 again!

23. Lucky Ali/ Adnan Sami
This post would be incomplete without a mention of these two, but I can’t pick a song. Lucky Ali has a very distinct way of singing that I quite like, but to me, all his songs sound pretty similar. Kabhi Aisa Lagta hai, maybe? Not crazy about Adnan Sami at all. Bheegi Bheegi raaton mein, if I had to pick one for the record.

I think this could go on and on, but I am not spending any more of my 100 songs on this post :P. Band of Boys, VIVA, Sunita Rao, Sonu Nigam(I LOVE his singing. But infinitely prefer his songs in movies to his albums, hence not including in this list), Kaliyon ka chaman, Vasundhara Das – what else did I miss ?

Such is life now !

When you bring your face really close to his when he is lying down, and he intently peers at you while his little fingers run all over your face, at times trying to grab your mouth and at times pinching your cheeks, and always trying to tug at your chain. <spectacle wearers are sure to get their glasses pulled off.>

When you have not had enough of your beauty sleep at 4 in the morning but sigh, you know the little one next to you is up and active already. Gone are the days when he would lie there on his back silently kickboxing into thin air. Now, he moves around till he gets perpendicularly between the two of us and rolls to lie on his tummy, and diligently makes sure both of us are aware of his achievements by kicking K with his legs and scratching me with his hands. You look at the clock groggy eyed and its barely 4. You stare at Pattani as if to ask what on earth he is up so early for. And THEN he flashes that toothless grin. Phut! You banish all thoughts of getting back to sleep, and scoop him up to give him his first peck for the day !

When he is lying on his tummy making valiant efforts to move forward, and you egg him on, going “vaa vaa vaa, pattans vaa vaa” and amidst the million other sounds he is making, he suddenly blurts out vaa vaa vaa in that baby voice. And you feel like he just spoke a full fledged sentence. Remember THIS ad ? We are much like that, yes !ย  The husband gets over ambitious and spends the whole Saturday coaching him to say Appa, and obviously has to concede defeat. He is all of five months old, after all, you chide him. Somehow it has caught on, and Paati casually sits beside him and says Appp-paa ! The bub looks at her and repeats – Pa , appp-paaa ! The look and smile on K’s face – you are quite sure you have never seen the likes of it anywhere else.

When he makes a big show of feeling sleepy and you put him in his thooli and start rocking. No sir, mere rocking is not enough. You sing all the songs you can recollect. Status:awake. You tune all the gibberish you can muster and make it sound like a lullaby. Status:awake. Repeat cycle. You start losing patience and your shoulders cry in protest. You bend down and peep into the thooli to see what he is upto. He is mildly startled, quickly gains composure and gives you that impish shy smile, the traces of sleepiness nowhere to be found. You grin back, trying not to think of the futility of the efforts of the last 30 minutes.

Picking up from where I left…

2 years. A very long time for blog dormancy I know. That puts my prospective biographers in a very sticky spot indeed. Imagine, 2 years of undocumented life! It would probably leave a huge section of the world guessing what transpired then. HENCE, being the gracious subject that I am, I have decided to give a quick round up of the last two years to plug this gaping hole.
Did I hear someone grunt ? Haan ? No ? Ok good. I thought not.

So well, the last 2 years, at the risk of sounding extremely cliched, have indeed FLOWN by ! Looking back I realise there were so many things I should have put down then and there, and would have made pretty reading for me at 40, but because of <insert lame reasons here>, I somehow never got around to doing it ! So, as a comeback post, I thought I should put down all that I remember now, and all that need to be remembered, lest old age catches up ๐Ÿ˜

1. Got married! Not that I am likely to forget that, but still, since it ranks amongst the most momentous happenings of life, it comes there right on top! Also, simple as it is to say “I got married last year”, the process behind that was extremely long winded(to put it mildly) and took up more than a year of the 2 year hiatus ! From tamilmatrimony.com and numerous jaadagams and conflicting astrologer views and aย  million phone calls and inquiries, to skepticism, hope, disinterest and apprehension, it seemed to loom out like it would never end, but things took shape and miraculously fell in place in the eleventh hour, and as it so turned out, the quest ended in the office work station next to mine ! ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Ah, so all IS well that ends well. Following whichย  were the frenzied wedding preparations. Now it seems like those seven months were just ONE LONGGGGG DAY – nothing else was thought of/spoken about apart from the wedding. Drawing up lists, striking items off them, countless rounds of shopping, arrangement check lists – take it from me, Indian weddings are NOT overrated – they ARE truly truly big ! And then, the move to the husband’s place. (Ok, that sounds wierd even to me, even now. Henceforth, he shall be referred to as K). So the move has been smooth enough. More than I could have hoped for, actually. I ve lived away from home for 4 years of engineering, I am used to it, is what I thought. I was wrong. Living on your own, and living with people whom you suddenly start considering family are two different things. Thankfully, the bouts of homesickness have been few and far apart, thanks to K’s parents.

2. Visited places – quite a few of them. Going to new places came to a pretty abrupt end after campus trips stopped. 2011 brought in a good amount of travel, and my first passport stamping ! Yay !! Srilanka it was, for the record. That apart we visited Alleppey(heaven-ish, really!), Pondy(my first time after 16 years of living in chennai :|), Lonavla(touch and feel clouds) , Pune(dad’s transfer :|), Coorg(the office gang trip), Trichyย  and a host of temple towns. Missed travelling to the US by a whisker, but thats another story altogether.

3.Watched IPL matches live – 3 of them, with friends from work. On that note, the GAENG at work (comprising of animal planet and a couple of human beings) has been hugely responsible for a lot of laughter and fun over the last couple of years. Yards and yards of chat on Skype(we have concluded that if someone wants to look for something in the chat, the only way to do it would be to data mine it.), eat-outs,food obsession, gossip, cribbing and a whole lot more. 2012 holds a new job/workplace, and not to be pessimistic or anything, but I am quite convinced that workplace is never going to be so much fun as it has been these 3 years.

4. Started watching sitcoms and serials – now this surprises even me. For someone who was not bitten by the F.R.I.E.N.D.S bug even in college, when the whole place was going gaga over it, I have definitely come a long way. I think it just caught up a little late. So now it is Big Bang Theory – check. Dexter – check. HIMYM – on and off. 24 – current fever. Lined up – Prison Break and House. Agreed, I still fall asleep mid-episodes sometimes. But the frequency is coming down ๐Ÿ˜€

5. Watched more movies in the theatres this year than I have in my entire life. True story. This includes many downright crappy movies that noone in their right minds would even think of downloading, leave alone , watching in the theatres. But the film-buff in K is indomitable. He truly considers it his duty to write off a share of his income to the film industry religiously.

6. The passing away of thatha – by far the most saddening thing ever and shaken up seeing death at such close quarters. It is still way too hard to digest even as I am typing this, and has left a void nobody can possibly imagine to fill. I feel proud and blessed to have shared my childhood with him, have him tell me stories, teach me shlokas and let me see a part of the great life he led. If I had to attribute the word “godly” to a person, it has to be, without doubt,to him. It is an absolute privelege to be addressed as “Venkatesa Iyer pethi“. The way I felt/feel about his greatness is not something that can be expressed in this triviality of a blogpost. Plans are on to write his biography – an attempt to put down the gratitude of the many many lives he has touched by his wisdom, humility and benevolence –ย  I hope I will be able to contribute to that. RIP, thatha.

7. Did a good amount of reading – admist managing home and office, this is a real blessing, thanks to the office drives with K. Nothing like good books and music to lighten up office journeys. The Millenium series and the Shiva trilogy are picks of the lot. Hoping to read more good Indian writing AND translated Tamil works.

8. Acquisitions: A Dell laptop, an Amazon Kindle(Yayy! By far, the bestesttt wedding gift), an XBOX with Kinect(ok, this one too! ๐Ÿ˜€ ), an IPhone (a hand-me-down phone, but a giant leap from my earlier phone nevertheless, AND my first smartphone), second earring piercings, status elevation to Chitti and Mami(yes :|), LASIK(bye bye soda-buddi and lenses!) and last but not the least, more kilograms of weight than I would have liked ๐Ÿ˜

9. Lived the Mylapore life : Despite spending 16 years at Kodambakkam , and currently living in Mambalam, I think Mylai is THE essence of Chennai. The one year and few months of pre-marriage life there are truly memorable. Soaked up in the temples, kacheris, parks, buzz, karpagambal mess, maminess,ย  poshness and the general tam-brahmness of the area !

If you managed to read thus far, I appreciate your patience and would like to test it no further, lest I lose one ardent fan of the blog. Winding up with a whole lot of memories, mostly good of 2010 and 2011, and hoping 2012 brings forth more to write about !

Appy New Year !!

Phil Shots – II

A walk down the just-washed-by-rain roads with the music from your earphones drowning the activity around you, to think of nothing but the music and feel the freshness of the breeze rushing onto your face, to turn all around and smile at the trees dripping with rain drops and also at the maddening traffic that zooms pastย  oblivious to these little things,ย  and to think, for atleast those few minutes, that there is not a worry in your world – EXQUISITE !

PS: It is truly an exhilarating feeling to conveniently ignore those heaps of work piled at your desk to spend a few moments to ponder about such ideal moments in a day ! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random thought of the moment : There are some things money cant buy. For everything else, there’s mastercard ! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beginnings – II

And so the whole of last week was spent trying to bundle up a whole lot of memories, some as old as 16 years, into an assorted collection of boxes to be taken away from the place that had lovingly cherished them for so long. It is still yet to sink in that we actually decided, after innumerable rounds of contemplation to move in to a different house. But shift we did finally, and just over one weekend, what had been “home” for as long as my memory holds became a “house” – to just leave behind a monster collection of stuff that we no longer require, that had accumulated over the years, nevertheless each a trove of memories –

* a forgotten pack of WWF cards that bro badgered dad into buying, after earnestly convincing him that he definitely would not try the stuffย  Stone Cold Steve Austin(I stunned myself recalling that name ! :D) and Undertaker did on screen. For a couple of months or so after we bought those cards, bro and me would religiously settle down every single evening in the world of Yokozunas and Giant Gonzales and scream out ” Height 7’11” ; chest 56″ much to mom’s consternation.

* a whole load of Tinkles, Chandamamas , Gokulams and Champaks that I had saved from mom’s numerous bouts of for-heavens-sake-you-are-no-longer-10-all-this-stuff-is-going-to-the-raddi-wala-RIGHT-NOW . Stuff that despite all that, I love reading – to date. R K Narayan collections that make for THE perfect tea time read, to date. Other odds and ends books.

*I seem to have had this curious, rather sad habit of collecting all exam papers that had anything remotely like “good” scrawled across them.ย  And report cards. Most with ridiculous comments. Class VI report card : “Shows good scientific intent. Slightly slackening in mathematical abilities. Good student overall”. Hmph ! Gladly added them to the wealth of the raddi wala.

Well, and so many more other things that I had wished to put down in this space for the sake of posterity (Yes, it is of utmost importance to posterity what treasures I unearthed in this shifting process), but in the past week, carroms at work have been giving stiff competition to blogging time and hence I have been led to abandoning the noble deed I flagged off for the sake of posterity

***Ahoy Mylai ! ***

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Yay ! Its stopped raining in Chennai! Rains are nice and romantic and all that mushy stuff ONLY when you can curl up on your bed with a novel and music and gaze out from your window. No, it aint all that pretty when you KNOW you SO want to do all of that , but you HAVE to (Sigh!) wake up and force yourself to a workplace – with so much work to do that it s only a matter of time before – sigh! forget it! I shudder to think of whats the worst that could happen.

Double Yay ! It aint blazing in Chennai either. It is SO awesome that rightfully you should kill yourself for wasting away at your work desk when there are a zillion better things that can be done.

Triple Yay ! Just when you think you should indeed kill yourself, you suddenly get a 2 day leave approved and have a best friend’s wedding to look forward to ! ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodbye work ! Aadoo darling ! Here I come ! ๐Ÿ˜€