Magnets love Rajinikant. Coconuts too.

Amit links to an Indiatimes article that’ll soon be flooding Inboxes everywhere (it made its way to mine this morning). The updated Rajinikant Logic-Defying Stunt email. Please, someone help me out here. I’ve always wondered about this email. I consider myself a moderate Rajini fan, but am not sure what movies these are allegedly from.

#1 – Chandramukhi, except I don’t remember him jumping high up in the air and staying up there for a few minutes, defying gravity. (He did perform a nifty move where he jumped and clicked his heels, but hey, that was him just dusting off his shoes).
#2 – Chandramukhi again? If yes, then that was supposed to be part of his comedy routine with Vadivelu. Hmm, “comedy routine with Vadivelu”…sounds so much like my “date with Kate Beckinsale“.
#3 – What the Ffffffevicol? Really, he did that?
#4 – Veera, but it was NO swimming pool, but somewhere inside of a recording studio. There’s a difference. Spools of magnetic tape *could* do that to 6 knives. Water cannot, cos’ Water sucks.
#5“A coconut falls on the starter, Rajni releases clutch, and away he goes chasing the villains”. He then breaks open the coconut with 6 knives, and with a smattering of cigarette ash, he uses the brake wire and muffler to refine the coconut water into high octane gas. So what?
#6 – I didn’t watch Baba, so let this be from Baba, cos’ Baba was apparently made in the middle of one of his drinking binges.
#7 - One of those Maaveeran/Manithan era movies? They don’t count. Anything after ‘Mr.Bharath’ and before ‘Guru Sishyan’ does not count.
#8 - Rajini runs faster than the current. And what’s logic defying about that?
#9 - We’ve already established what he can do with magnets/magnetic fields. If there is a magnet involved in a Rajini stunt, it is with good reason.

Rahman’s Rang De Basanti

Ek Onkar Satnaam:
What can you say about sweet female vocal harmony that half-sing, half-chant a Guru Nanak prayer for about 90 odd seconds? Nothing much really, so fast forward.

Rang De Basanti:
A Bhangra 101 intro greets you at the outset – the impatient picking of a tumbi (which seems to go a little awry, but that’s Rahman for you), the background male voices with their already appreciative oh-oh-ah-ah and the dhol beat. But that’s only until 00:18, after which the Rahman sound begins layering niceties on the song. The staple Rahman bass sound that’s always a delight, followed by the strings, and finally the twist in the anupallavi(!) that makes even Daler Mahendi’s voice go mellow and you go “Nice”. Rahman even reprises the staccato synth ala ‘Noor Un Ala’ to increase the flavor. A pause and then…like a whiff of stale breath at 1:04, Daler goes off on a 30 second boring Bhangra binge that just plain sucks. Thankfully you don’t hear it again for a long time until 04:50. In between there are short interludes and charanams that are lifted beyond the ordinary by carefully placed trademark Rahman chords and the bass. But the absolute piece of sweetness in the song is the contrapuntal female voice that leads you out of the saranam. Chitra’s thin playful voice in the next charanam is in stark contrast to Daler’s, but it works. If not for the standard Bhangra-isms that the song descends to in the beginning and towards the end, it works as the foot-tapping number it’s meant to be. I’m not a big fan of the genre, except when it helps feed my drunken dancing frenzy at times. But just like with other Rahmanized Bhangra numbers, I’ll make an exception and listen to it more than once.
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Rahman Fans Tribute


A group of Rahman fans (face T-shirts & all) got together someplace in Malaysia and played his songs…in a house. While the singing could best have been left to vocal tracks from the original audio, the musicians kick butt. Obviously a lot of programming went into the synthesizer, but still, considering there are only 3 instruments used, the reproduction is quite impressive.

Video Playlist 1
Video Playlist 2

PS: There’s also the usual Polar Bear-Eskimo humor associated with such gatherings. Good fun.

Chocolate Amusement

Chocolate is a dumbed down Bollywood version of The Usual Suspects. Well, dumbed down & sexed up with ample Tanushree Dutta cleavage. Assuming you know the premise of the original, the Hindi movie works around the fact that Irfan (orig:Kevin Spacey) is feeding his imagination off the lead stories on the cover of a GQ magazine, which incidentally carries the photo of Anil Kapoor- Britain’s #1 lawyer (his words). At one point in the movie, they zoom in on the cover, as Irfan is in the middle of another one of his yarns. This is what it looked like:


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Credits


Tamizh movies must be getting real expensive. Is it just me or is this a cry for help from the producers of Majaa? A subtle pun where they’d like you to know through the Credits about their shaken credit?

Multi-tasking with James


The last 10 days have been hectic; time spent poring over mysterious plots and its associated numbers. And I needed the weekend to recharge. On the couch, taking care of my Netflix backlog. But I also had things to do: the laundry for instance. Cleaning. Phone calls. Pedicures. I could multi-task, but I was wary of getting too involved in the separation of colors & whites that I might miss out on getting all choked up about little Damian or not chewing my fingernails as John Leguizamo tried to track down a serial killer.

So I watched the Bollywood action thriller, James, instead.
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According to Sivakasi…

The University of Madras has found its new spokesman in Ilaya Dalapathy Vijay. These are some of his lines from the Deepavali blockbuster, Sivakasi. I also plan to use them as my wedding vows.

oruthanukku oruthiya vaazhanum-na andha oruthanukku mattum indha maadhiri odambe kaatu, ippidi oorukkellaam kaattunaenu vechukke, appram oorle ulle athane payalgalum un koode vaazhanum-nu nenaippaan.

ponna lakshanama azhaga saelaiye katti izhuthu pOthikkittu vandhen-nu vechukke, aambalainge ellaam unne ponna ille, mahalakshmiya nenachu kai eduthu kumbuduvaainge

aayiram thaan irindhaalum avan aambale, police-aave irindhaalum neenge pombale…modhale pombalaya nadanthukkOnge

And that’s when I stepped outside, spat at the blonde in her bikini, cursed the girl in the low rise jeans and lit up the cigarette I had extracted from the shirt-collar with my teeth.

A Glimpse of Raja

If you’ve yearned for an Ilaiyaraja composition that even brought back memories of one of his 90s songs, then check out this Malayalam number called Oru Chiri Kandaal from the movie, Ponmudipuzhayorathu. Sung by Manjari & Vijay Yesudas (who is very close to sounding like his Dad here), the song is somewhat of a cross between MaharaajanOdu (Sati Leelavathy) and Kaadhal Kavidhaigal(Gopura Vaasalile). The bass work is sweet, the tune is soothing and Raja has steered clear of his recent obtrusive machinized drumming. Why not such songs in Tamizh, I wonder?!

Lyrics: Oru Chiri Kandaal.

PS1: Please let me know if you happen upon a mp3 of this song anywhere! Coolgoose!
PS2: Alternative video for the same song. That’s right. I was vain enough to look for “Manoj” videos on Google Video and happened upon this one. I’m a dork!

(The Band) Soft – New Single ‘Higher’

This is not in any way a mp3 blog, but if plugging the music of upcoming bands means I get emails from band-members who send me music samples, and good ones at that, then I’m all for it. :)

The band in question is Soft, who I previously mentioned once here. I’m no music guru, but I think I know an extremely catchy song when I hear one. Their latest single Higher is just that. Don’t go finding a genre to fit the song into, just play it loud enough for the guitars to resonate in your head and the tune to stick to your lips.

Link:
Soft – Higher

Hopkins playing Narain?

Anthony Hopkins Is The World’s Fastest Indian

[via] The Movie Blog

Blame it on the hurricane and all that, but my first reaction was that Sir Anthony Hopkins was too old to play Narain Karthikeyan, until I realized what they were talking about. And if you’re wondering if Hopkins is going to be riding a shiny Royal Enfield Bullet, then NO.

Post Script PJ:
Why would ‘Rear Window’ be a bad title choice for a movie on Narain Karthikeyan?
Because no one would be interested in a blank script.

When outages were fun

Sometime on the night of Thanksgiving Eve 2002, a group of trekkers suddenly questioned the sanity of their decision to begin a 10 mile descent well after noon. Not known for my inspirational speeches, I chimed in with the opinion that it was easily the stupidest thing I had ever been involved in. Tired and depleted of wisecracks, the others simply agreed, flung their walking sticks to the side, turned off flashlights and fell in a heap on the gravelly trail. And there, lying on the North Kaibab Trail at approximately 3000 feet from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, I found the hardened cynic in me take a rest, while the sap crawled out and sighed like a schoolgirl at the vision of THE perfect night sky. And in a collective moment of sappiness, we told each other that the suffering was worth it.
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Discordant Notes