Apr 27, 2005

Chandramukhi - A different Thalaivar movie

April 14th - The day dawned. A welcoming Tamil New Year day. For Rajni fans, one more reason to celebrate the day. After a gap of nearly 3 years, Thalaivar movie is releasing. Critics have written off Rajni and his last movie, Baba. Frankly speaking, being a fan of him from my childhood, I didn't like Baba the same way as I liked Padaiyappa or Annamalai or Veera. But my hopes on Chandramukhi was very high. I had a wish to watch the movie in Bangalore before my brother watches it in Chennai.

I browsed through PVR's portal and to my disappointment, found that all tickets were booked for the next 4 days. So I planned along with my friends to watch the movie in Urvasi on Saturday, April 16th. Our good friend, Skely took the pain of booking the tickets amidst myriad hands of passionate fans. I never expected Monu and Debu would also join the party as they cannot understand Tamil. But that was the effect a Rajni movie can have. The show was about to start at 2.30 pm. But we were still waiting for DD,Aki,Monu and Debu. We couldn't control the excitement. So we just grabbed our tickets from Skely and rushed towards the balcony stall. By then, the movie had started and the lights were switched off. With great difficulty, we found our seats. An over-excited friend of Skely grabbed the tickets from my hand and tore them to pieces when Thalaivar's footsteps were shown. We got so much engrossed in the initial fight scene that we didn't realize the seat numbers. Then entered Skely and others to create the confusion (Or was it the over-excited guy who got rid of the tickets!!!).

So much of chaos related to ticket numbers happened that poor Skely and Aki had to sit on the steps and watch the movie. The best part is Aki had already seen the Mallu version of Chandramukhi that he knew exactly what's going to happen in the gripping screen play.

The movie started off with style-packed action and intro of the super star. Typical Thalaivar song in "Devuda Devuda" followed the action. The song reminds me of "Adhanda Idhanda" from Arunachalam. Nevertheless, a thathuvam song in Rajni movie sets the tone. The characterization of the remaining characters was a bit of a drag. Fear gripped the audience when the word Vettayapuram Aranmanai was uttered by Prabhu. Jyotika looks older , unlike her bubbly looks , maybe that was done so that she can match up with Prabhu.

When I was so absorbed in the movie, I was getting back-to-back sms on my Nokia. Thank God, I didn't bother to read them. Jobless Aki who knew the story in and out sent those messages revealing the hidden character in Chandramukhi. Around the intermission time, Aki was so adamant in revealing the secret that Karthi managed to pacify him with a Sizzler treat at Jukebox.

The comedy of Vadivelu is his usual. Definitely not my kinda comedy. His humour part sounds the same in almost all his movies. Vivek is the reigning king of humour. The heroine Nayantara has no expressions on her face. An absolutely useless actress. I really doubt how she got the offer for such a big movie.

I'll be doing injustice to the movie if I don't talk about the scary background score. Due credits to Vidyasagar. Songs are pretty good, especially "Konja Neram" rendered beautifully by Asha Bhosle.

One who goes with the expectations of a second padaiyappa will return with disappointment. This movie doesn't fill the appetite of a typical Rajni fan expecting stylish action and punch dialogues.

You can definitely call it a horror movie. I got scared at many places, especially when Jyotika's fiery eyes were shown. The screenplay is gripping and makes you think what happens next.

My verdict - A must watch for all Tamil movie fans as well as Rajni fans IF AND ONLY IF you hadn't seen the Telgu,Mallu or Kannad versions of it.

Apr 21, 2005

A pleasant evening

The sun waving good-bye to me
A cool breeze gently touching my cheeks,
A drop of rain cooling my body
Lightning flashes welcoming me
Bustling trees at the background, I ponder.
I ponder about my day, just gone-by day
Has it been eventful, action packed?
Has it been memorable, peaceful?
Innumerable questions passing in and out of my mind,
In this serene state, I realize
The cool breeze is memorable,
The drop of rain is memorable,
God given nature is memorable.......

Apr 15, 2005

My learnings

"It is incumbent for us to serve the needy. Altruistic people contribute their best while there are a few who feel vexatious when they just see a beggar on the road. But the situation looks propitious now after the pernicious Tsunami waves. These waves provided a milieu to many who were indolent in such volunteering activities. The quandary of whether to contribute or not is thrown out of their minds after watching the deadly waves obliterate the fishermen families.

It is hortatory to see so many young volunteers pouring their efforts to help the affected people recuperate from the tragedy. This makes me feel India is impregnable by any means. The blarney of unctuous politicians is nugatory to them. It doesn't make any difference to these imperturbable youngsters. Cataclysm is not under our control. India is vulnerable to earth quakes. But in case of such exigency, the huge nation is not obdurate to be insular. The positive effect of helping the affected people is pervasive and I'm sure that myriad helping hands will come out."

You might wonder why I had written these lines. It is actually a small exercise I did to improve my vocabulary. I asked one of my colleagues how to remember the new words that I get to know everyday. He suggested to coin those new words into a story or incident and that would help me to associate the words with their meanings.

If you have any other suggestions, please let me know by posting your comments.

Apr 14, 2005

Illayaraja - the Raja of melodies

I had always been a Rahman fan and never listened to Illayaraja's songs from my childhood. Melodies are always my favorites and I can listen to Rahman's melodies for hours together. In the past one year, I caught hold of a few good Illayaraja numbers and listen to them while working. Bang!!! A change has happened in my music taste buds. How can a person who adore melodies miss this maestro's songs? This was the question that came to my mind when I started liking Raja's songs. Better late than never, I consoled myself. From all possible sources, I got a good collection of the genius works and am listening to them at this very moment.

Just like how Rahman and Maniratnam combo works these days, Illayaraja and Maniratnam combination should have worked really well in the 90's. Be it the super star's Thalapathi or world star's Nayagan. Although both these movies are action-packed, the songs are mellifluous. "Sundari Kannal", "Yamunai Attrile", "Thenpandi" and "Nee Oru Kaadhal" will take any melody lover to a tranquil state. Can anyone forget about the wonderful movie ever taken in the history of Tamil Cinema? Yes, I'm talking about my most favourite movie "Mouna Raagam". The background score as well as the songs blend so well into this family melodrama.

One more blasting combination is Illayaraja-Mohan-SPB which has given countless mesmerizing songs. This combo has worked very well in the 80's. It is very difficult to come out of the effect these songs produce on oneself. You can listen to "Udaya Geetham" and "Mella Thirandadu Kadhavu" songs several times.

The ace director Balachandar's movies always have a different story line and Illayaraja's music provided the much needed support for these new themes. Punnagai Mannan's theme music has become one of my most heard themes. All songs are peppy with a touch of Raja's melody. The low pitched voice of SPB in the song "Keladi Kanmani" in Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal is a master piece.

These are just 10% of the beautiful melodies given by the great Illayaraja. His melody list is endless and my collection grows everyday.

His songs have just widened my interest base when I was only focussed on Rahman's show cases. Both Rahman and Illayaraja are a boon that has happened to music industry. Keep listening to these enchanting melodies. Life will be at peace.

Apr 12, 2005

Peer influence

This topic has been in my mind for a long time. We come across this word "peer" in every stage of our lives - right from school to college to workplace. A student who has just completed his 10th std wants to take up commerce, not because his parents are insisting, not because he is interested in the subject BUT his friend has taken up commerce. During my engineering days, most of my colleagues were digesting Barron's word list one after the other and giving GRE exams. Not because everyone's ambition is to do an MS, but they didn't want to stand behind their friends after college.

These days, competition and peer influence has gone so high that people hardly find time to identify their interests or talents. Even if a few of them have identified their talents, they don't really take it forward. A first year engineering student is good at poetry. In the second year, he has to go to different computer classes because many of his colleagues / friends have joined. He hardly finds time to write a poem. In the third year, he is totally lost in touch with poetry. In the final year, he forgot that he actually had a talent of writing poems.

Each person in this world has a unique talent. It is a gift that God has given to his children. We got to hunt for this treasure. It is tough but if we are in the constant lookout , we are sure to find it. You might get success if you go in the path of your friend. But it may not give you happiness or satisfaction. Find your own path of success, don't follow others.

Apr 6, 2005

Who am I

Lots of thoughts flashing bright and hard in my mind today. Most of them are questions. What is the purpose of my life? What am I doing here? Is happiness defined as success at work, success in career, success in personal lives? Why am I thinking always about only me, myself, my family, my life?. Am I such a narrow minded person? Have I ever thought about the lady asking for alms with a child in her arms? Dropping a one rupee coin doesn't change her life. But I think I have done my duty. I talk a lot about India and I cannot tolerate if an NRI calls my country as a garbage. I don't drop a piece of paper in the streets. I try my best atleast from my side to keep my country clean. I pay my taxes regularly. Is this enough? Am I contributing to my citizens, to my society?

A big NO thunders at my heart. I'm not going to blame my parents or the way I've been brought up. It's upto me to decide MY life. I'm thankful to God for giving a sound body with no disabilities. It's my duty to help those who aren't gifted like me. What people need is love and affection, not money. Some rich people even think twice to drop a rupee in the hands of a beggar but they don't mind dropping lakhs of rupees in the temple Hundi. I'm not an atheist. I truly believe in superpower. God will be more than happy if we serve the needy than arranging for a special Pooja at home.

I realize that supporting and helping the people who are suffering from pain, hunger, ailments etc etc will definitely give me more satisfaction and meaning to my life. Enough said....Now what am I going to do to find this meaning? Actions speak louder than words. What qualities or strengths that I have which I can make use of to help the needy? Definitely education is a plus point, thanks to my father. I need to find time to do that, somehow. No more excuses that I don't find time. Every human being in this world has 24 hours in hand. It's upto me to make the best use of it.

I will definitely update this blog time and again from now regarding my contributions to my beloved Indian citizens.

Apr 5, 2005

Sleeping - Who votes for the best leisure activity?

By the very topic, you might have understood that I love sleeping. I don't prefer watching movies all night or finishing a thriller novel by 4 am. Many of the people whom I know do that. I go to bed around 10.30-11 and fall asleep soon. Sleeping in the afternoons during weekends for a couple of hours is such a nice experience. It tends to relax me a lot. I'm not sure if it is a fact or my mental block. I always think that for a human body to function properly, it needs 7-8 hours of sleep. People argue that one-third of a day is spent in sleep. But if you want the remaining two-thirds to be fruitful, it is essential that you spent that one-third in sleep.

People who tend to sleep for just 4-5 hours feel stupored and are sluggish. To keep themselves awake, they gulp gallons of caffeine and disturb their digestive system. Everybody thinks that the number of hours you put in either at your workplace or for your exams is more important. I don't agree. If you are productive for 10 hours a day, you can definitely achieve a lot many things than slogging through day and night. I'm sure none of the insomniacs are successful.

You don't have a cooling fan to cool down your hard working brains. Giving enough rest is the only way to keep the precious organ active.

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