Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My first Roopa's Performance

I have seen one earlier performance on YouTube of Roopa's where she sang "Kavithai Kelungal", Vani Jayaram's hit from "Punnagai Mannan" and I thought it was a good performance if not a great one. The very important thing to notice about Vani Jayaram's songs are that they have this very unique voice tone to them and they can be emulated but not surpassed. You can come up with a better version provided you have a unique voice as hers. The other thing that you can do is to imitate her voice but then that is hardly original.

My heart today was beating fast in excitement when the clock stuck 8 tonight. Roopa's performance was the first. As she was speaking I noticed that her voice sounded different. I later come to understand that her voice was indeed blocked. Inspite of this I think Roopa put on a great performance. She sang the difficult number exactly as it was sung. It would have certianly had a bigger impact had only she sung with her unblocked full voice. Without her full voice the song lacked energy. Vani Jayaram and Jaychandran did find few mistakes but they were kind enough to advise Roopa on how to overcome them. Unlike YouTube there was enough to watch of Roopa. Roopa broke down twice emotionally and it was painful to watch. I did vote and look forward to her duet tomorrow.

I did take a peek at American Idol, actually my first show and I only wonder how our judges would react if the contestants of our shows were to conduct like the ones on A.Idol.

In the midst of all this, a definition for God

My wife complains that I keep jumping from pleasure giving thing to another and that I don't stick to anything for long. Just a week ago it was Avial the band and now Roopa of Super Star Global. Soon she says I will be onto something else. I admit this is true. This is not just my nature but the nature of man. We put our heart and soul into things that give us fleeting moments of joy deceiving ourselves thinking they will last forever. Inspite of this I must say that some couples have managed to keep their "True Love" as fresh as it was when they first met. But True Love is in fact spiritual and divine. However not many have had this good fortune.

But then is there something that is always fresh and new, always beautiful and young and always happy? I believe this leads us to one of the definitions for God. God is forever young, forever the most handsome and the most beautiful and forever bliss. That is why our seers always request us to seek Him first.

Mat 6:33 - "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

I need to remind myself these words of wisdom constantly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Idea Star Singer vs Super Star Global

I have just watched two shows of Super Star Global after subscribing to Tata Sky and I can clearly say Super Star Global wins hands down when compared to Idea Star Singer. There is no question about it. Not that SSG does not have defects and not that ISS does not have any merits, but overall my thumbs up clearly goes in favor of SSG. Here is my detailed unbiased analysis. Let me know what you feel.

1. Production - SSG is truly professional. Monday being the first day of the week the host took time to introduce the guests and the chief guest of the show, singing legend Vani Jayaram. Everything was done so well and Shyama the host does a far better job than Ranjini. All over YouTube there are numerous viewers demanding Ranjani be thrown out of ISS and for good reason. The interaction among the judges, and the singers before and after the performance on SSG is truly pleasant and professional. Performers and judges really take time out to interact and not via strict time slots as in ISS. It is impromptu and it feels good instead of having to talk only at a particular time. Shyama is more relaxed and introduces guests pleasantly unlike ISS where it looks as though the introduction is accompanied by a drum roll. Conversations between contestants and judges are a lot more meaningful and purposeful. ISS clearly needs some better programming and event management.

Graphics, Editing, Music on SSG are also better and more pleasant than on ISS. ISS has a bigger stage but that hardly matters. Both ISS and SSG need to do some filtering of their guests though. I am sure there are more passionate beings who could be better guests at both the shows.

2. When is the show going to be over? Each time you think 2 or more are going to be eliminated from ISS, just one is. Looks like the show will go on till the end of the year at this rate. I can already see the pressure on M G Sreekumaran who I think feels the show must have been long over by now. The strain is also showing on the participants and I am sure many of them think the same. In the elimination round on Monday Vani admitted that was hardly worried if she was in or out of the competition. And how much longer do we have to put up with the host of ISS, I am not sure.

3. Judgement - I happy the judges on ISS are now giving their marks instead of making Ranjini, the fortune teller guess them. Here is one thing I like in ISS in that, that judges are critical of performances. Even Usha Uthup who is always encouraging never fails to remark when it needs to be done. Here is where I am not fully in favor of SSG. Jaychandran and Chithra Iyer seem to be praising contestants even if they are making mistakes or if they had performed poorly. While it is encouraging it gives viewers a false impression. Both Teena and Jeethendra's performances lacked lustre but the judges were never critical of the same. On ISS it can sometimes can get very far and contestants are left in tears although some of the comments may be justified. But I have noticed some situations where I thought the judges went a bit too far. I have respect for both M G Annan and Sharath for their musical acumen but Sharath is certainly not a person to be taken very lightly. Even a small intimidation can evoke a serious response from him which I think is not quite correct. At least on two occassions I have seen him snub contestants. Some arguements of his are also unwarranted and there is no use in trying to console a participant after making him or her cry. This makes contestants seem very subservient to him whereas on SSG contestants are more free and this also puts them at ease to bring forth a better performance.

4. Guests - A plethora of guests have come and gone on ISS but the guests on SSG are fewer. However on SSG they certainly speak more and considerably well on music whereas in ISS they don't do that and neither do they get the room to do that. I am also in favor of guests related to music like Karthik, Unni Krishnan and Sujatha on SSG than many of those on ISS who have hardly any say in music.

5. No self proclamations that SSG is the best but on ISS I have already heard them enough that ISS is the best, most watched show etc.

6. Talent - Here ISS clearly scores. Najim, Durga, Hesham are better than most contestants on SSG. There are others who are good too like Thushar and Amrutha but I'll keep them in my second best list and many others who put on memorable performances, Krishnajith, Teenu Telence, Arun Gopan and Bineetha. However SSG has one contestant who beats them all and that of course is Roopa who stands so tall that no one from any contest show that is on currently can even come close.

7. Judgements and Elimination - I am yet to see eliminations on SSG but there is less drama at least when announcing the safe and danger zones. On ISS it is a nightmare with play acting, crying, embracing and such. Ranjini and the guest that come to announce who is in and who is out of the competition take it to pathetic and hysterical levels testing our patience. Many a time I would just leave the room and wait for my son or wife to tell me who won and who lost.

Were judgements fair? Not on ISS. However here the judges cannot be blamed. Two contestants Sunny and Vijay Madhav had a very long run which I understand were due to the number of votes they were getting.

8. Rounds and creativity - ISS sucks with its stupid rounds such as Family and friends, Property round etc. Why judge a singer on his dancing, acting, set designing abilities? How many of today's big singers had to do these to get this far in their careers? In fact I doubt if any of them would have even made it had they had to go through a competition as this. Isn't this supposed to be a music show? I believe SSG has categories too but I haven't seen anything wierd as in SSG.

9. Host - The quality of ISS will improve if Ranjini alone is removed from her job. Many have told me that they mute her parts and listen to the performances alone and several others have stopped watching the show because of her. I have seen Shyama on SSG make mistakes but they are few and forgivable. Overall I think she does a very nice job. Meera, initially who came to participate on ISS and subsequently who co-hosted ISS could have anchored the show as well. And talking of hosts, Gandharva Sangeetham on Kairali TV has a very pleasant and attractive host. I could write about Gandharva Sangeetham too but I'll save that for another post. I am not writing about Star Wars (you are wondering how I manage to see all of these, actually I don't) because I am a big Stars Wars fan and I think George Lucas or the Star Wars franchise should be suing Kairali for stealing the Star Wars logo. Shame on these guys who couldn't come up with a better name. Even the font and style of the original Star Wars logo has be copied.

It is Wednesday today and I cannot wait to watch Roopa perform "Ezhu Swarangalukkul" Vani Jayaram's evergreen and very popular hit in front of Vani Jayaram herself. On SSG Vani provides tips and insights that are a delight to listen. I am moved by her intelligence and her voice that she has worked hard to retain inspite of age. I am sure it is going to be another feather in the cap for Roopa who has been delighting us, one after the other with her mind blowing live performance.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

So why am I going to get Tata Sky?

You guessed it right. To watch Roopa on Super Star Global on Amrita Channel of course. It has been Roopa mania here ever since last Thursday. Countless hours have been spent watching and re-watching her videos and I and Suji just don't seem to get tired of this girl. Like actor S V Sekar says in the movie "Varumayin Niram Sivappu", "Sarvam Dileep Mayam" it has been "Sarvam Roopa Mayam" for us this weekend and I don't known when it will end. Where was she all this time and what were we all doing without her?

In all my life no singer from India has got me awestruck with live performances as Roopa has. I am reminded of the oft repeated statement "service with a smile" every time I watch her. Thanks to Karthika, the 17 year old from UAE who is uploading all her performances on YouTube on a regular basis. Even the site dedicated to Roopa has videos from Karthika.

Two more great performances on YouTube. The first, "Bahon Mein Chale Aao". Roopa did make two slips (not mistakes) but they can be easily forgiven. Like Unni Menon said compared to the original this was the best level anyone could take it to.

The second one is one of Sharath's favourite compositions for Chitra called "Maaleyam". Honestly, I found Roopa's version better than the original.

I haven't included the comment videos but you can get them on YouTube.

These days the viewers, auddience and judges are there just to watch and enjoy her performance and not to judge her or find fault with her. Thanks once again to Amritha channel for letting the world know about this "Phenomenon" called Roopa.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Roopa, I am floored! Idea Star Singer, are you listening?

Oh God! I must get this out before it is too late or before my head bursts in excitement. How many of you watching Idea Star Singer thought high of Amrutha's performance (for which she got a 90) in the Fusion round? You guys need to check out this performance from another contestant attempting the same song in another competition. What? Another competition? Yes, Asianet is not the only one that is conducting a reality contest show. There are scores of others. Last September I had seen the much talked about SuperStar Global on Amritha channel in Kerala and I was blown by some of the performances there, particularly one singer Teena. But I was hardly prepared for stuff about which I am going to write about now.

After reading my blog my wife's cousin sent her a link to a video on YouTube about a singer called Roopa (sorry I write "a singer" because in Chennai you need to have Tata Sky or DishTV or the Set Top box to watch the Amritha channel). I did take a look and was very impressed. I was also impressed with the way the judges passed their comments, the telecast, the host and the music accompanyment (just keyboards, synth and software, and sometimes purely acoustic accompaniment too). Judges would give standing ovations and many times loose inhibitions and egos to appreciate the superb perfomances. Even the guests that show up are veteran singers, UnniKrishnan, Karthik, Gayathri to name a few. This is a rare thing on Asianet's Idea Star Singer. It is sad that Amritha channel has lesser coverage. Thanks to Asianet's marketing and reach, Amritha channel's videos gets fewer comments even on YouTube. Furthermore Asianet's also focusses on non-music things like Dance, Costume, Gimmicks, Acting, the audience and the orchestra. The orchestra in many places does not provide perfect support either. On the other hand Stephen does a great job on the keys and software to support performances on Super Star Global. This emphasizes the singers performance instead of the orchestra hogging the limelight.

Back to the main story. As I hadn't watched Amrutha's performance fully I decided to check out YouTube. Here is her performance that you may check and later make your own comparisions.

As I watched I couldn't help reading the comments comparing her performacnes to that of Roopa's on Super Star Global where several viewers have indicated about Roopa's superior performance. Next Stop, checking Roopa's performance and here's my conclusion. If judges on Idea Star Singer could give Amrutha 90 on 100 they would have given Roopa a 150. The performance was mind blowing. Check it out here.

and the comments, from the Judges.

Actually Amrutha's performance on Idea Star Singer literally pales in comparison to that of Roopa's. Amrutha's performance is hardly enjoyable after you watch Roopa's. Roopa is also more in control and seems to enjoy the song and delivery than Amrutha whose face is writ with tension and anxiety. The only consolation for Amrutha I have is the fact that she is only 17 whereas Roopa is 23. But as they say "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". What ultimately is expected is the better song and Roopa clearly wins.

In fact Roopa's performance even suprasses the original song sung by Sudha Raghunathan. Bear in mind that Sudha Raghunathan's song was made IN THE STUDIO. So it could have been done with a hundred or more takes and retakes. They could have even recorded Sudha's part seperately (though this may not be the case) and then fused it to the music track to create the complete song. Not to forget that Roopa does the English part of the song too which Sudha does not do in the original.

Simply put Roopa's version makes Sudha Raghunathan's version a "screaming version" and Amrutha's "cacophony".

However the best part is this. Roopa's performance is enjoyable both visually and aurally. Her voice and singing is perfect and enjoyable at the same time, something which both the studio recording and Amrutha's performance lack. Amrutha had also stretched her song making it longer while Roopa's is tight and crisp. Roopa also sings Malayalam lyrics (making the performance even longer) which are neither in Amrutha's song or Sudha's making me wonder if there was a Malayalam version sung by Chitra. Let me know if you have any information and I will report a comparison on the same.

The best part of Roopa's lovely and very beutiful voice is that it is extremely soothing and pleasant to hear. Looks like you could give her a bad song and Roopa could come out with a better version of the same. Personally I am not against Sudha Raghunathan or Amrutha but I must say when Sudha R sings I cannot stand regional intonations and accents such as as "Ishai" instead of "Isai" and such. It is just a turn off. Check out the three songs and compare yourself.

Next I dug up more of her vidoes and I couldn't believe what I saw. Performance after performance of excellence and mastery. Be that English, Tamil, Hindi or Urdu her pronounciation is near perfect. Just check out the comments (you will have to search them on YouTube) and you will know. The reaction from the audience and the judges tell it all.

I have to mention my friend Tee Pee (man are you listening?) who used to tell me about Thodi Raagam and how Thodi Ragam veteran TNS could make you cry singing Thodi.
This song is based on the Thodi Raagam. Here is another Thodi based song, originally sung by Yeshudas. The audio and video aren't very good on this one.

Here are her other memorable and unbeatable performances you cannot afford to miss.

Mana Mohana


Comparing her ghazal to that of Najim Arshad on Asianet I must say it was as good as if not better. Najim is the best on Asianet and very good too but I would rate Roopa better than Najim anytime.

She makes songs sung by other artistes sound better. In one of the comments session Unni Menon even said to her that after judging her for so long he was waiting to hear a better performance from Roopa than S Janaki who sang the original.

Songs sung by other artistes that I have ignored seem and sound much better. Here is one of them.

Tharamakumbil - terrific singing, great keyboards,

Sundara raavil, an acoustic delight with Stephon on the piano. Check out the judges comments where Chithra Iyer even confesses she doesn't feel she is in a competition but in a concert. Unni Menon thanks Roopa for giving him and other the good fortune of listening to this song.


And to top it all here is a song sung by Roopa who had only been out of the hospital with 5 shots (wonder why she took 5) half an hour earlier before her scheduled performance. Check out the comments video for the standing ovation from the judges plus comments. Roopa is almost shaking. Thank God she didn't collapse.

Raavil, Veena Natham pole...

After I dug more info on her (I just couldn't restrain myslef) I also understand Roopa is good violinist having won consistently awards for both her singing and playing from 2001 to 2005. A fan has even promoted a website on her. You can check it at

Here is an overstatement. Roopa will be the next big sought after singer music directors will be see gunning for, more than any of the other contestants in the two competitions, Idea Star Singer or Super Star Global. Music director Jaychandran, actor Lalu Alex, and singer Chithra Iyer, all judges on SSG have already adopted her as their daughters. C'mon all this cannot be some conspiracy or a strange coincidence either.

Oh my God, I am on a total Roopa trip!.... Maybe I am so overwhelmed because I got it all in one shot whereas regular viewers were seeing things gradually. It is Saturday morning and I am still writing..I have been doing this for almost three days now.

I say just give her the Merc and close the competition. Really don't know what the organizers are waiting for. Maybe to let us listen to more of her, because we may not get to see more of her soon? She is just too big for the competition. No wonder Jayachandran in a gesture even wanted to leave indicating he is too small to judge her.

Final words. This is a highly opionionated review. Feel free to comment. For days now I have been blogging only about the singing contests on T.V but sorry guys I will write about other topics too. If only I had 48 hours a day. But the new posts will come soon. I value your patience.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Durga delivers another stunner

When I was thinking what Durga, my No.1 female contestant at the Idea Star Singer 2007 contest is going to do to outsmart the competition, lo she comes back with a great performance in her cool, confident and inimitable style. No one was prepared for her performance today for which she had only a day of practice. Durga sang the immensely popular K B Sundarambaal's "Pazhamneeappa" from the Tamil movie "Thiruvilayaadal" giving viewers and the judges goose bumps throughout her perfromance.

What took everyone by surprise was her near perfect Tamil pronounciation. It is impossible to believe she picked it up when she was studying the song just yesterday. Durga can only manage a little Tamil. A stunning performance that fetched a deserving 85 points out of 100. My guess is that she will be through to the semi finals of the contest. I pray for her.

Meanwhile Avial's ballads "Njaan Aaara" and "Ettam Paatu" that I have been listening to the last few nights keeps me company as I work through the night.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amrutha's fantastic performance at the Idea Star Singer 2007

It was Amrutha's turn to turn the competition around and yesterday's Fusion round at the Quarterfinals saw her perform a very difficult song for which she deserved the 90 marks, the second time anyone in the competition has been offered such a high score. I finally voted for her. Like I wrote earlier she was my favourite for the best female singer in the contest initially till Durga Vishwanath came along. I will not say it was a stunning performance but a very good one. But how much it is going to help her is the question as marks in her other rounds were comparatively low.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Avial, you make the Malayalee proud!

Yesterday and today belonged to Avial. I did write earlier that I had ordered the CD. When I didn't receive it I called the courier company who luckily had an office here in Perungudi and went there and collected the parcel myself. The CD is simply AWESOME! The packaging is creative and superb. It looks like a slice of Kerala. The songs that I have already heard sound better with the cleaner studio recording. But the surprise was the 4 new songs that I haven't heard or seen before. "Njaan Aara" and "Ettam Paatu" two lovely ballads simply blow the listener away. "Njaan Aara" has a blistering guitar solo from Rex Vijayan rivalling any good lead solo out there in the market today. The instrumentalists haven't also wasted trying to solo as most rock bands in India do. Writing of Rock bands from India, Avial is a creed apart purely because of the way they have adapted Malayalam to rock. That also speaks of the versatality and beauty of the powerful Malayalam language which has its origins in two of the world's greatest and oldest languages of the world, Tamil and Sanskrit. Lyrics are not the shoddy stuff you hear written in English like many bands from India have done when they attempt rock. Instead they are meaningful and most of them reflecting the music and culture of Kerala.

I first listened to the CD on my computer, then on Suji's computer but the best part was when I listened to it on Sathish's Bose and today on his car stereo. Good audio gear only further emphasizes the beautiful recording. There are suprises in other songs too, particularly "Arikuruka". Pay attention to the voices you hear at the end of the song and let us see if you can make out anything.

As I write this I also cannot help writing about the tragedies that you and I read about in the newspapers and watch on T.V. Over 35 are killed in a suicide bombing in Pakistan. Indian TV channels are transmitting like crazy footage of an ambassador car trying to run over two Government Officials (in the midst of police protection) in a failed assasination attempt. In Orissa naxalites go on the rampage killing innocent people. In Maharashtra a Marathi is killed amidst all the violence that is being perpetrated. In the U.S a gunman takes the lives of 6 people in a campus shooting. Will there be an end to this violence and loss of life? I feel immensely blessed for my life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Asianet Idea Star Singer, part 2

My favourite lady participant Durga Vishwanath did a poor show yesterday in the Fusion round. I did vote for her because she sang it so cool but she could have certainly selected a better song. In fact I strongly believe this competition can just be won by any good singer provided he or she simply took the pains to select good songs. This is one reason why Durga excelled at most of her stages and also lost valuable points at other times. I am afraid her close rival Amrutha who I originally used to consider the best female candidate might overtake her. I knew Amrutha would end up as one of the best if not the best right from her very first performance. But somehow the stress of winning the competition seems to be showing on her and her mother's face a lot these days. She has a great voice and great voice control but she seems to be stressing a lot while performing these days, her face bearing the stress of singing a rock song in her performances. Singing fast songs and pop songs is certainly not her forte and this is where Durga excels.

These days the contest could aptly be renamed "Ranjini's Guess Show" or "Ranjini the Clairvoyant" because one wonders if there is any program monitoring going on. For the past several weeks after every performance, Ranjini the forever-despicable host is being asked to guess the marks of the performance and after watching some sick histrionics from her, provides the answer which most of the time turns out to be right. I wonder then, why have judges afterall. Let Ranjini decide the marks and the winner. I wonder why the people behind the show cannot stop this circus or think of another technique than this. Some serious programming needs to be done.

In my previous post I had mentioned about some very memorable performances. Here they are.

First up, this memorable song from Renjin, a contestant no longer on the show. I am happy watching this show got me familiar with many good songs, this one in particular from the movie "Sarvakalashaala" that I have seen in bits and pieces. A great number from the late Malayalam music director Raveendran. This is one performance I have downloaded on my computer. Each time I listen to the song I am also reminded of the heart-touching farewell speech he gave when he was eliminated from the competition.

Next, from the youngest contestant on the show, Krishnajith singing "Ennavale". There are flaws but considering that it was a live performance Krishna did a great job.

Arun Gopan is a fine singer but who constantly makes mistakes, particularly in his pitching. He is still in the competition and this is one of his finest songs. M G Sreekumaran, judge of the show and original singer of this song had good comments to make. Honestly I liked Arun's version over MG's.

And who can forget the lovely Teenu Telence from St.Theresa's college. My wife went to the same college and she has tales to tell of the beauties there. Teenu proves she is not just beauty with this performance. Sharath, judge on the show was very critical of her performance and I even thought he went a bit too far. Teenu was in tears because I thought (and she might have thought it herself) that she did a great job for such a difficult song. Teenu is out of the competition too.

And finally Nikhil Raj with this hit, another M G Annan's number.

Most of these singers who are out of the contest are being offered performances on other celebrity shows and events, a luxury most aspiring singers did not have in the past.

Will there be an Idea Star Singer 2008? Maybe but then you can expect even lesser vareity in the songs as most of the good ones have already been sung. So it may end up being a repeat of the the songs and performances that we have been hearing or watching until now with maybe some small variety. And of course not to forget another season of torture putting up with the host.

Avial's much awaited album released

It is officially out, the much awaited album has been released. Get it from Music Yogi. I have ordered mine online and I cannot wait to receive it. Get to Avial's site and click on "buy album" on the home page.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Asianet's Idea Star Singer

What began as American Idol has had its ramifications far and wide on this earth with all kinds of versions and variations of the show being conducted in many countries and one of them being Idea Star Singer 2007 (they had a lack lustre one in 2006) on the Asianet channel in India. After months the singing contest program has now reached its Quarter final stage. I really want to know if the so called 2007 contest is going to be over before the middle of 2008. The program is being dragged meaninglessly with more stupid rounds such as Performing with friends and family, Performing with property (can't they say props) and stuff. Some of the events including friends and family were obnoxious making me cringe. One even wonders if a singer needs to know dancing, creativity in designing sets and the studio, dressing, interaction with audience, dancing/acting skills of friends and family to win the "Singer" award of the show.

The "when-is-this-show-going-to-end-thing" also means there are still many more weeks of putting up with the host of the show. It has become a torture session to watch her and conduct the show. I only wish viewers also had an option to SMS negative messages and have her removed from the show for another host. 8 out of 10 viewers want her thrown out of the show. Just check out for comments on YouTube. One of the contestants Meera who incidently was picked to play the role of co-host of the show. The girl had to leave the show when she was offered a movie role. Why couldn't they pick a host from one of the candidates who was disqualified. There were one too many participants who I am sure could do a much better job than the current one who can neither speak Malayalam nor English right.

In spite of all this viewership for this show is high and I can't help watching it myself although most of them these days I hear more than watch. There have been some great performances and some even stunning. Here are, in my opinion two of the most stunning performances that literally gave me the goose-bumps. The first is when Durga Vishwanath (in my opinion the best female singer of the competition) turned the competition around by singing this song from the Rajnikanth Tamil movie "Padaiyappa". Chekc it out. A one-of-a kind performance where she sings both male and female parts. Check out the way she passes a sweet smile at the judges as she glances at them and that too just before doing a difficult portion of the song. Very cool and confident singing.

Check out the comments from the judges at the end of her performance in the video that follows.

And then check out the performance of Najim Arshad, my choice for the Idea Star Singer, 2007 Award. This was a performance that stunned viewers and the judges and a performance that netted Najim the highest score ever on the contest. The only flaw I could detect was the Hindi lines that he spoke bfore beginning the actual Ghazal but it was tolerable. It is difficult to belive a young Malayali sing a Ghulam Ali ghazal so cool, confident and relaxed.

One of the judges Sharath was chocking (he is usually the best critic of each performance) and had hardly words to speak. Veteran singer M G Sreekumaran even admitted that it would be impossible for even him to sing a Ghazal as this.

There were some other great performances and some from singers who were eliminated from the show but I'll save them for another post.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Made in Japan, this product is just unbeatable

Do you laught out loud? Like laugh till you are rolling on the floor. When was the last time you did that? When we are younger these moments are a plenty but as we grow older laughter seems less in our lives (may not be the case in yours) but that was generally speaking. As for me I do laugh out really loud and I love a good rip roaring laugh. Laughter afterall is a very good medicine for one's well being.

But I was hardly prepared for what I was going to see on YouTube on Wednesday the 9'th of January. I have been addicted to YouTube for sometime now (a post is pending on the same) but what happened that Wednesday night will be a day to remember because I have never laughed so much in probably my entire life. I laughed so much that my stomach and head were aching bad, maybe reiterating the statement that too much of anything isn't good. I was laughing so loudly and was alone in my room. It was late at night too and I was wondering if security would come knocking on my door. So the first thing I decided was to spread the news. I had a rocking time at Suji's place when I showed her the videos and then with Sathish and Sneha at my place a few days later. Mother saw it a few days ago.

Before I display the links let me actually set up the stage. Sometimes my writing could could also make you expect a lot but if you have been watching programs like Candid Camera (which I later began to dislike) and Just for Laughs, Gags on the Pogo TV Channel you are going to see something similar. I repeat only "something" similar. You have no idea what these videos are going to show you. So let's watch them, Japanese style. Honestly I don't think anyone else could do it better and I never knew the Japanese had such a taste for humour too. Even though the language is Japanese you will understand every bit of the fun and pun. Watch them in the order that I have presented below and enjoy.

This first, called Taxi Drivere is similar to the a People's Choice video on Just for Gags but there is absolutely no comparision. In fact I actually wanted to close the browser but I am more than glad I didn't.

Fun at the Ski resorts

and to top them all, The Amazing toilets

There is a sequel to the Taxi Driver, Taxi Driver 2 and here it is.