Monday, February 28, 2005

neoblogism of the day

in yet another under-the-shower-bulb-glowing moment i realised none of you have any idea how much pun i have.
here you go:

neoblogism - A new word or new meaning for an old word that is defined for the first time in a blog.
usage: neoblogism is the neoblogism of the day today
source : from neologism

more to come..just watch this space or make one up yourself and let me know. i'm always eager to increase my vocabulary- whether its real or made-up

Friday, February 25, 2005

a short at fame

STOP bugging me with all those emails asking me when my next post is..god my gmail inbox is about to explode.

i can dream, can't i?

thanks to a friend i managed to catch all of the short films nominated for the oscar including Little Terrorist, the film touted to take the oscar making india proud. since its a short fim, so is my review.
here's my 4 word review :

Little Terrorist : ball, boy cross boundary

its a film that is as amazing as it is simple but i liked the spanish 7.35 in the morning more.

the other 3 are all animations :
'gopher broke' by blur studio has some fantastic animation but a rather disney-like gopher story .

'guard dog' in creator plympton's own words "answers the eternal question- why dogs bark at pigeons and squirrels" - while not embellished with as much eye candy as the first one it surprises instead with some real dark humor . see a short clip HERE

'ryan' is about a animator who has fallen on hard times. the gestures and movements of the characters are so realistic that i was quite surprised to read that it was done without using motion capture. take a look and decide for yourself --> Ryan

my award goes to 7.35. click the links and take ur pick.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hurt me plenty

as his eyes blinked open, he realised he was standing. he quickly looked around trying to recollect what he was doing there. he seemed to be at the entrance to a huge hall and all around him bodies were strewn. most of them looked like soldiers, some looked like mutated humans but they were all armed. he quickly gathered a couple of guns and a few grenades. seemed like he might have to use them soon to avoid ending up like one of those bodies around. he walked into the hall and suddenly out of corner of his eye spotted some movement to his right. he quickly turned, and not waiting to see if it was friend or foe, he shot to find another mutant twitching post mortem on the ground. suddenly all hell broke loose. a horde of mutants descended on him from all corners, their guns blazing.he responded with lead but try as he might he could get only a few of them. going by the number of holes being put in him , a piece of swiss cheese might've felt sorry. as he retreated towards the door, a glance to the left revealed a window through which he could see a couple of boys of about 10 or 11 looking at him intensely. he tried warning the kids but found he had no voice. maybe it was because of the gunfire. he continued retreating and strangely the window kept pace with him floating along the wall magically.the kids kept watching as he slipped into unconsciousness. the last thing he heard was one kid telling the other "This level is the toughest. Want to try your hand at it ? "
as his eyes blinked open again, he realised he was standing.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


..and then there was light. its as if sanjay leela bhansali decided to wake up one day and change the perception of a bollywood film. gone are the garishly colorful songs, replaced instead with tones of grey - not the gloomy, depressing grey instead it makes us focus more on some unlikely heros. one who, while physically incapable of beating up villains , wages a battle with her disabilities and comes out triumphant. another is her mentor, who never tires of teaching her. the biggest one is the story and the way its told.

the story just sucks you in and pretty soon you dont notice that michelle(rani) is not speaking at all but you can still understand what she is saying. debraj(amitabh) is gesticulating like a madman but it seems as natural as blinking. debraj leads the blind and deaf michelle to the light by teaching her alternate ways to communicate and understand and then himself disappears into the darkness that mental disease inflicts on one's mind. michelle returns the favor by bringing him back from the black. a great background soundtrack, excellent camera work and fantastic color settings complete the picture.

i almost didnt go because it was showing at a suburb quite far away and it was a rather cold day. but thanks to some persistent friends and the lure of 'authentic' indian food at a restaurant there, i was able to see india's oscar nominee for 2006.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

the oldest blogger trick

a dearth of topics to blog on + inability to think with a sore throat has forced me to reveal a much better blogger/writer.
read his take on Thirupachi

also read the comments for some interesting explanations (which means i commented there. *wonders if comments on other blogs can be considered as blogs*)

Friday, February 11, 2005


movies are most often a short segment of a life. sometimes they happen over some days, sometimes over a lifetime. look at it from this point of view : when a story takes place over a few days, there is a obvious need to skip over the redundant details. conversations are no longer continuous. rather the characters have a transient memory remembering only the intent of a conversation than the actual words spoken. we fill in the remaining details ourselves with our imagination. collateral lasts over one night in LA. this reduces our background thought process allowing us instead to concentrate on some interesting details.

first the characters . the movie starts with a cab driver. the way he cleans his cab reveals he is a neat freak. then there is this woman he picks up and through his penchant for detail figures out is a lawyer a la sherlock holmes. they have a conversation where everything clicks between him and her to the point where she leaves her card with him.then there is the assassin who spouts philosophy and demographics like captain without the trench coat or the excess flab. "no one cares if someone unknown dies" he says.

he gets the cab driver to drive him first to one kill ,then another and one more, while at the same time he reveals a strange character who kills without remorse but cares enough about the cab driver to stop him from getting harrassed by his dispatcher and also buys flowers for the cabbie's mom when he takes him to visit her in the hospital. a stockholm syndrome like bond develops between the cabbie and the assassin and some more philosophical talk happens. too much of anything is bad and this time all the extra wisdom from the assassin ticks the cabbie off into taking some proactive steps about his situation leading to a cab crash. he finds out the next victim is the lawyer woman and being the good man that he is he rescues her and kills the assassin, with a little remorse.

tom cruise comes off being a little pedantic instead of the uber-cool assassin he is supposed to be. but jamie foxx is superb as the cab driver. coming back to the advantages of reducing a smaller interval of time into a movie - the cabbie repeats some of his lines, at one point even a joke. thats a ploy i've used several times when i find a certain line or phrase works in eliciting a laugh. the conversations though longer are continuous and more like a real life conversation. all of this has helped jamie foxx earn an oscar nomination for a supporting role in this . if you were looking for a reason to see the movie, you have one right there.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

its a rap

despite the misleading title, this post still dwells on tamil film music. the hip-hop movement apparently started in africa, migrated to the New World and claimed New York to be its capital. setting base there the hip-hop nation started broadcasting its agenda and the whole world tuned in and now thumps and shakes its booty to the heavy beats and the rhythmic repeptive rap.

it was only a question of time before the ingenious men (mostly) of indian film music ,who liberally borrow and sometimes steal from the world over, saw this humongous potential for something that rhymes as well as gaal and chaal or kuruvi and aruvi . initially it found few takers in the formula-bound film world which still insisted on one fast song for the hero with his friends, one for the heroine alone on misty mountains, a couple of duets-one in a foreign locale with or without caucasian dancers and the other (u guessed it ) dancing around trees and one sad song that had the hero and heroine singing separately + give or take an item number here or there(remember i am talking of a while back before the formula was modified to permanently include this spicy hot ingredient). where is the melody in someone talking rhyme they wondered.

around the same time ini kamoze was hotstepping on indian MTV , there was a guy named Suresh Peters in tamildom who was trying to kickstart the concept of a music video. his was a new voice on the block and predictably it got picked up by A.R.Rahman .together they produced what was possibly the first tamil rap song. appropriately titled pettai rap, this new art form married the folk art of gana (a regular form of entertainment in colleges) with the international phenomenon of rap. it was a rage. i still remember that "emjaaru sivaji rajini kamalu , bagulu bigulu sevulu avulu all shows house fullu" was one of the few lines i was able to "sing". sadly that was the first and last of the true tamil raps. since then there have been some other english interludes which have been added more to give a western feel than some serious lyrical support.

the most notable occurences almost all happened on Rahman's albums. samba samba from Lovebirds and kalluri salai from Kadhal Dhesam both had some lines by this dude ,aslam mustafa (same chap who sung ho gayi hai a indipop song with shibani) who i have a faint suspicion also penned them. but my favorite lines are in Enrendrum - Alai Payuthey...possibly the best rap bit in a tam film song ever. vairamuthu could not penned those lyrics even if he were seriously stoned and the cassette i have does not credit anyone. the high energy / attitude in this song is reflected well in the's how it goes (am not so sure abt the part in italics..anyone who clarifies it will get a mention in a wall of fame page that may come up if my readership ever exceeds 5) :

Hey here we go
I'm lipped up on the mark
Just swinging with the hip, the hop
Once again in effect
Feel the constant
Slamming of the bassline
Never mess around with the funk
B'cos I'm sticking
peeking always finger lickin
I dont need halloween
Just to be trick-or-treatin
Cos I am always on the top
yo wiguda wagudu jiguda jagudu

outstanding rap in my opinion and the first time i heard it, i didnt know what halloween, trick-or-treating or wassup was. a clear demo of how much one (pop)culture rubs off on another in such an exchange.

In more recent times Yuvan Shankar Raja seems to have taken over the mantle of the rebellious youth, including rap and western rhythm in many of his songs. but Rahman for his part hasnt stopped experimenting. his recent offerings E20U18 and Boys were liberally sprinkled with the spoken word by some guy named Blaaze. while the competition between the 2 isn't exactly the same as a freestyle rap battle , it is throwing up some exciting sounds for the fans of tamil film music. being one i'll blindly follow them into any genre they choose to explore.

so what up y'all ? any other genres i shud know abt. do u know of a hindi song that has celtic flutes or a tamil one that fuses hamsadhwani with heavy metal ? whatcha waiting for..get the word out

afternote : what they giveth , they taketh away. i'm sure everyone also knows abt the thoda resham lagta hai fracas that had bappi lahiri flying to LA to sue Dr.Dre and if you haven't heard jayz and punjabi mc bangin away with beware of the boys, stop reading right away and find a legal way to download it. seems like they are tuning into us too.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

voices in my head

if i am home you can almost always find me in that corner of the hall on my can call out all you want but i am not hearing you. the only things i hear are the voices in my head. from illayaraja to iron maiden, mandolin srinivas to maroon 5 all of them happily coexist in the little itunes window and sing for me on-demand. putting them all in shuffle and listening as it switches from the heavily folk "vadi vadi vadi vadi china chiclet" (kattu kattu from thirupachi) to the classic rock "When all are one and one is all, To be a rock, and not to roll" (Stairway to heaven,Led Zeppelin) is all the high i need for the day.

Here is my thank you to a small subset of those providing juice to my jukebox.this post is about some of the female voices in the tamil film song world that i like and would like to listen to more often. the only criteria I am going to enforce , to make my job easier, is to list only those voices that have fewer numbers (but most of them golden) to their credit.I also issue the caveat that I am not a maven of any of the classical schools of music. the school I went to had wooden benches that I would bang arrythmically, sometimes leading to bleeding knuckles and the closest i come to sounding musical is when i am snoring.

Sadhna Sargam - Though she is a northy, the song that made me (as well as a gazillion others) take note of her was from Alaipayuthey. Snehithane is among the higher ranked songs in my library. A very melodious voice with just a bit of the hindi accent. Though I freely curse adnan sami for murdering my mother tongue I dont mind sadhna's diction in boom boom (from Boys).Another number that I like is Swasame from Tenali.

Shreya Ghosal - One of my policies regarding movies and music , especially Indian ones is that the original is always better and so I regularly skip the remakes ,music, movie and all. This stupid notion almost made me overlook Shreya Ghosal's presence in the Pathukulle number from Vasoolraja MBBS. In fact I saw the movie just for this song and ended up enjoying both. I can almost visualise her smiling as she sings Sandiyarae from Virumaandi and lowers her voice to a whisper to suit some of the lyrics. Hard to believe she is yet another northy. Other songs of hers that keep cropping up are azhagina azhagi from E20U18, elangaathu veesuthe from Pithamagan and dil dooba from khakee(i lied when i said tamil film song world..shud've been film song world)

Madhumita - Yet another rising voice in my opinion. I really liked the song Kana Kaanum from 7g rainbow colony and thats the only famous number she seems to have sung. One of my friends who is about infinitely more musically capable than I am seemed to think that song wasn't all that tough to sing. I still think she was wrong. The song is sung very earnestly and I think that requires some talent above the average. Waiting to hear more from her.

Bombay Jayshri - Saving the best for the last seems to be the norm. Here's a voice that is famous all over south india. Anyone who knows the notes of carnatic classical is sure to have heard this name. A sizeable contingent of my near and extended family goes from sabha to sabha during the december music season.I'd always assumed my carnatic gene had been swapped with the lazy gene at conception as I would have none of that, preferring a movie instead. A couple of things caused me to pay attention to carnatic music - a.r.rahman's alai payuthey from alai payuthey and bombay jayshri's vaseegara from minnale. she managed to repeat the same genre of singing in Ondra Renda (Kaakha Kaakha) and Malargale (Puthukottailirunthu saravanan) with great results. I won't claim any nonsense about how her carnatic background is obvious from either of these fantastic renditions. Its just a glorious voice.period. I'm reminded of Unnal Mudiyum Thambi a great movie that illustrates how carnatic music can be taken to the masses. Just give me more voices from the same stable and I'd be quite happy.

Thats just 4 voices out of the hundreds that launch me into aural heaven. Are there any that I missed ? Any other worthy mentions that you think my ears would be happy to hear ? Use the comments. Make yourself heard. My earphones are plugged in.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


found an easy way out to avoid thinking what to write about, i am just going to type out something about a few superbowl ads that impressed :

The only thing people look forward to on Superbowl Sunday, other than the game itself , are the new ads that are showcased during the game. At $2.4 million for a 30 second spot, the brands'd better come up with something good. While it is questionable if anyone is actually swayed by the creative output, it all makes for very good entertainment and even a chronic channel flipper like me stays glued to one channel for about 4 hours on a sunday.

This year's ads started with a bud light one that was really funny .it starts with a sky diver who is afraid to jump out of the plane. the instructor shows him a budweiser 6-pack ,throws it out of the plane and asks him if he still doesnt want to jump out after it. suddenly the pilot comes running out and follows the six pack leaving the other 2 dumbfounded. go to and click on the Entertainment link for a huge collection of their ads . you have to be 21+ to enter ;)

Diet pepsi had p-diddy going to a awards show in a diet-pepsi truck and seeing him every other celebrity buys the diet-pepsi truck as their new rides.huge array of celebs in the ad.

Lays chips - some kids lose a baseball over a fence..they throw a pack of Lays across into the grumpy neighbor's yard and get their ball, a kid gets his dog thrown back,another his father's '72 impala and finally m c hammer is thrown.the ad ends with the kids throwing mc hammer back while "You can't touch this" plays in the background

Pepsi itunes ad : the moment someone opens a pepsi bottle a song plays leading to some really interesting situations.a garage band is practicing with a pepsi bottle open and when one of them tips the bottle the song starts skipping.very nice concept.
the same ad continues in the next break .it was pretty interesting cos they had these 2 ads back to a story.this one ends with a girl carrying a pepsi bottle playing gwen stefani's latest song entering a elevator and gwen stefani exiting it. shorter ad compared to the first one.

Michelob ad :
a guy plays music on a swell hifi system for his girlfriend but can't dance one bit - voiceover: rich..but not smooth
another guy cozys up to a girl and plays some nice soft music..its an eletronics shop and the shop manager comes and asks him where his name tag is - voiceover : smooth but not rich...
voiceover : michelob .. rich and smooth

the half-time show was pretty good. paul mcartney sang 4 beatles' numbers. though the selection was a little questionable -- get back, live and let die and hey jude with the customary singing of the na-na-na bit by the crowd

an ad for a tabasco sauce that shows a hot girl in a bikini walk into her home and add a few drops of tabasco to a dip , take a bite and then pushes her bikini strap aside to reveal that the skin that was covered is burnt not the one that wasnt..awesome voice over so took me a minute to understand.

Toyota prius - shows people walking in place, cars and trains running in place.voiceover says 'its been a long time since transportation advanced' then shows a prius zipping through all the stationary traffic and the ads ends claiming the prius 'a small step on the accelerator, a giant leap for mankind' had a couple of ads with some chimps playing bosses to a guy. both end asking if you want to change jobs. the second one ends with one chimp literally kissing its boss chimp's ass.

the best ads : the first budweiser one. it was simple and hilarious. the tabasco ad a close second for being too clever

i'm sure my writing was so good that you could all visualise the ads just the way they were pictured. in case you want to doublecheck go to :

oh yeah the game - the eagles lost proving yet again how unlucky i am to teams i support.
i'm going back to watch the simpsons.

Friday, February 04, 2005

tiger devours cattle - part 2

haven't read part 1?? just scroll down a bit

a few years later microsoft is now well known in the western world and starting to infiltrate the asian markets, leaving several english speaking asians scratching their heads trying to guess why there was such a fuss about a fabric softener .In the early 1990s a young boy who has only seen computers at school forces his parents to get a 486 DX2 PC by telling them lies like "i can do our home accounts and income tax calculations with my left hand without using the mouse and i will also use it for my school project". two days after the computer arrives his parents start looking
for a replacement for their son.the previous one had gotten lost in the castles of Wolfenstein 3d.
i am digressing.Windows replaced the green phosphorous cursor with a shiny arrow which released from the bounds of lines and columns, flew across the screen playing games with solitaire. The few americans who'd managed to overcome shock and sacrificed a car and an europe vacation to invest in a fruit were screaming their throats hoarse that they already had such a user interface. no one heard them.bill gates energised by his brand's success turned his focus on the business world's computing needs, ignored all the cleverest punners in his geek army and chose to clear the confusion by naming his next product Microsoft Office. Realisation dawned on many a face. They now knew Microsoft was into building comfortable, ergonomic offices. Apple on the other hand was facing a boardroom fight and a bunch of bad apples kicked jobs out of office (not the microsoft one). apple continued on a downward spiral while everyone in the world claimed they were the best spellers in the world because their Office knew a Word or two.

by now apple has lost so many battles that keeping count is hard. lets just jump into the next century when king jobs took back his appledom. microsoft is now giving a lot more with windows. pinball and freecell are now standard apart from minesweeper and solitaire. it becomes a rage and all those lacking psychomotor skills uninstall Doom and start playing freecell instead. but Microsoft is still adamant with their naming policies . in an effort to express the maximum meaning in the fewest words, they name their entertainment application Windows Media Player. No nincompoop can misconstrue that one. it plays media on Windows.period. Apple, trying to come out of publishing houses and art galleries , names its music player
iTunes. they've also taken the time away from public view to develop working and beautiful software and hardware and also name them with words that people identify with. safari was a adventure on the internet. no one wants to come home weary from work and use something called Office. iLife was quite literally all the parts of one's life that could be converted to 0s and 1s. Combine this with a neat little package called the mac mini and you find that more and more mislead windows users are starting to understand the term "get a life"

so Apple is back in the fray armed with word power and Microsoft taking a lesson or two about semantics from Apple named its next operating system Longhorn causing some crazy macheads to make too much of the names by making it their blog's title.

Next up : A numerological analysis of William Henry Gates III and Steven Paul Jobs . yeah right?

Disclaimer: As you might've already guessed Apple did not remunerate me
in any way for writing this. If they want to , one of those new powerbooks would be adequate.
Neither did Microsoft for all the free tips they've received. If they want to, a copy of Halo 2 alongwith an XBox will make my apartment a tad more comfortable to live in.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

tiger devours cattle - part 1

i haven't started reporting for national geographic..yet. i am still on a mac high though i've stopped pointing out to everyone how cool exposé is or how i use iCal to schedule the running of my applications (unix geeks : i know abt cron, its a lot easier with iCal). Why is the mac cool and why is windows, despite its prevalence, been the butt of some bad jokes like :

What is common between james bond's tuxedo and windows xp ?
Spy ware (get it?..ROTFL at my own joke )

using illogic i shall attempt to make molehills out of the huge mountains of facts created by several technical journalists and many other regular ones who found it easier to report the most popular news instead of being original.

lets look at the name - microsoft. did someone at the business registration bureau make a mistake, leaving a hosiery manufacturer befuddled with a name like Unlimited Limited? considering it was the late 1970s the name chosen by Gates was as meaningful as the expanded name - Microcomputer Software. the number of people on the planet who knew what a computer was, let alone what software was,could have been counted by using a couple of abaci(sources inform me that this is the plural of abacus). on the other hand everyone on the planet knew what an apple was. Even if they didn't know what the english word meant, the logo of an apple was something recognizable even to apes. here's where the confusion began. apples(the fruit) were very cheap so when Jobs came up with a product that is supposed to be as easy to bite into as an apple but is about a million times more expensive people were aghast. they turned to a product which by virtue of its unique name they could not price match with any other known product in the market. so the first battle is lost -people choose price over product and over product name.

blink a few times and come back..this one isn't over yet.