Monday, January 25, 2010

An evening to rememeber for a lifetime



Red Oak, The Checkers hotel and 24, January, 2010 are going to be etched in the memory of everyone who attended the 1985 VanaVani batch re-union. The previous night I so exicited I couldn't go to bed till 1.00 A.M in the morning. From a class of 120 we were still able to manage 30 attendees, and many of them, who left school in the X standard or earlier. I am still reeling from the event that took place last night and I am not sure when I'll be out of this hangover. Who cared for the Shankar Ehsaan Loy concert at Saarang. We were talking so much that it was only when I went home I realised I had taken just 10 pics and one video. I even missed out covering everyone adequately. It was incredible to imagine how time had brought changes in us in 25 years. One person in particular was unrecognizable. The evening went so quick I thought we didn't have time to finish talking and sharing experiences. I did go there prepared to jazz up things and I could have, given some more time. There were identification games and people recalling past events which honestly need probably a day or more to complete. In the little time we had we even planned a strategy to make contributions to teachers and staff of our school, some of them who needed immediate help. The event concluded with dinner and drinks. Whether we will be able to meet again, stick to our plans and fulfil our goals, only time will tell, though this time the group looks more committed. However it shouldn't take another 25 years for that to happen. Some of our classmates and our teachers are already gone. We could have certainly helped them in some way or the other had we met earlier.

The pics can be viewed at the following link on Facebook

Re-union pics

Below is a small video I made. Should have taken more videos but I was so occupied with several other activities that I couldn't keep my camera busy.



VanaVani friends, how many could you identify in the pic or the video?

Honestly I wish everyone, all over the world could have a day as this with their old school classmates.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lorry

Lorry, one of the words American's find highly amusing when we use them in their country while referring to a truck.

Here are a couple of lorries I caught on my camera recently.

The first a lorry overturned on its side pictured from inside the car we were travelling on our previous trip to Kerala.



The second an overloaded lorry carrying granite and Kadappa slabs with its rear sunk into the watery soft mud from the recent rains, in Thoraipakkam.



Sadly all the supersitious and religious things on the truck didn't ward of the bad luck. Also noticed the name "Chaithanya", same as my son's name on one of the windshields only after publishing the photograph.

Same lorry, more pics.






Other words Americans find amusing in our English are "Lift" for elevator, "Ladies Finger" for the vegetable Okra, "Petrol" for Gas, to name a few.
However the most amusing of them all seemed to be "Torch" for Flashlight. And in Singapore they'll never understand if you say "AC" for Air conditioning. Use the word "Aircon" or better still say, "Aircon La".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A rare day on ISS Season 4

With the pretty Parvathy as the guest, all the four performances on Monday's night of Idea Star Singer Season 4 were stellar. In the final performance of the day when Vidyashankar sang "Ilamai Itho Itho" he requested Sreenath and Danny to join in. I request you to take a look at this video to watch Danny dance. Dance was dressed in a Dhothi and the moves he made got everyone rolling with laughing. I wonder what was on his mind when he made those outrageous moves. What a sport! Check the video to watch him in action. The video is not complete but Danny's part is there.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya disappoints, Goa has noticeable songs

For Goutham Menon this is the first movie where he has dropped Harris Jeyaraj for A R Rahman but the songs are far from impressive. Of all the songs the title song sung by Karthik stands out. However take a listen to the French band, Air and the singer Nick Drake and the title song seems heavily influenced by the music of these artistes.

Check songs of Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya here.

Meanwhile Yuvan Shankar Raja scores some decent ones for the movie Goa. Check out "Idhu Varai" and "Valibaa Vaa Vaa", the former sung by Andrea and Ajeesh and the latter by Illayaraja, SPB and Chithra.
Check out the part when Chitra joins in.

Just do it from Chance Pe Dance. What a song/video!

I watched a bit of this video on MTV and I couldn't wait to watch it on YouTube. I only wished they could have made a good longer number out of it.



Watched it a zillion times already. Shahid was good too. One dance move resembled something that Hrithik Roshan did earlier. The Harmonium sounds were the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mathilugal, What the......

Ok, this post is not for kids or for those who think you aren't adult enough for a mature post.

I haven't seen this Mammooty starrer where he won a National award for best Actor but I was surprised for what I saw last Sunday. While channel skipping I caught the movie being telecast on the Doordharshan's Malayalam channel. However after just a few scenes and shots and I was running for the change channel button on my TV's remote.

I already knew the story line of the movie, about a prison inmate, played by Mammooty falling for another prison inmate, a lady who is imprisoned on the other side of the tall wall separating the men and women prison areas. In the small scene that I saw Mammooty throws a food packet to this lady on the other side. As the food packed falls on the other side the translated conversation goes something like this.

Lady on the other side says "Ouch, your food packet hit my breast".

The conversation continues for a while and then Mammootys says "When I meet you I am going to kiss your face, neck and breasts."

My son had already started asking "What is mona amma, what is mona Acha"? He had incidentally got the Malayalam word wrong while I tried to divert his attention by changing the channel. I guess he'll read this post someday but then I am sure he will be mature enough.

So much for "Mathilugal" which I am told later, is abundantly loaded with similar dialogues. A pity that such obscene things are disguised in the form of an "Art film" and being shown to the public. Wonder what the guys at censor boards do. I guess they are fooled too.

I may have a different opinion if I were to watch the movie in its entirety and more privately. But as of now I have lost that interest.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Two creative YouTube videos

Creatively done by YouTube users, the first one is done using clips from the classic 2001 A space Odyssey tuned to Kraftwerk's "Spacelab".


The second one taken from several U2 videos edited to the tune of U2's "Acrobat"

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Rare pics of Osibisa, when they toured Chennai previously

My friend Sudhaman had these pics taken at actor Rajinikanth's house along with Osibisa and their entourage when the band was here in the early 80's.



Rajinikanth himself can be seen in one of the pics, the one on the bottom left. He is towards the right end of the snap standing between Teddy Osei (partly hidden, extreme right) and Sol Amarfio.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The most downloaded song by a female artiste in the US



OvuaOvuaOw! Certainly catchy, danceable, very electronic and not without the "Oomph". Sometimes giving you that "old wine in a new bottle" feeling too. You wonder what ingredients go into making a hit these days as most of the vocals sound so modulated.

A performance that deserved more praise

First for choosing such a nice song and second for singing most of the parts perfectlly, particularly the Pallavi. Shika certainly deserved more praise. Instead the judges were wasting time on her partner, ex-ISS 2007 singer, Roshan and the dancers. Undue importance and praise is being to given to ex-ISS singers even if they perform badly.



Be patient for first few minutes of the intro.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

AVATAR

I remember while writing a review of Peter Jackson's King Kong I discussed if there would a movie that would beat the CG FX of that movie. Truth is that there will always be a movie with better special effects and it only gets better. However there will be movies that are FX landmarks and James Cameron's AVATAR is one. Watching this surreal and amazingly beautiful movie I am amazed at the technology that has gone into the making of AVATAR. At the end of the movie it is difficult to believe you are actually in love with the animated characters. No single frame was boring or imperfect and the two hours plus did not seem lengthy at all. Frame after Framer you are simply blown away with the amazing graphics from the biggest to the tiniest of animations.

Besides the Sanskrit name Avatar, meaning re-incarnation, I found several similarities to Hindu Mythology and religion in the story. The relation to nature (the trees, animals) like the animals of the "Threta Yuga" in Hinduism where animals and trees talked, blue colour of the natives like the colour of the blue god "Krishna", their height like the denizens of the world during the time of the Mahabharatha - (10 - 15 ft) and finally natives feeling at one with the nature (animals, trees, the air etc) which is very similar to the concept of the one Brahman existing and living in all in Hinduism.

The movie is currently running in 3D Imax in some cinemas in the country. I wonder how that experience is going to be. Could be frighteningly beautiful because even a slow documentary on the IMAX I watched several years ago was frightening.

When it comes out the BlueRay disc is worth every penny and if your hardware can support 3D there's nothing more you can ask for.

P.S - One corny thing about the movie, the name given to the rare metal that the humans are mining on Pandora, "Unobtanium". Why this blot on a perfectly clean film? When James Cameroon could come up with a new language for the natives why not a better word for the metal they are mining.