Monday, March 05, 2007

flaws of motion

motion is inevitable. speed is addictive. control however can prevent bloody,scraped knees. i learnt this first hand as i went through an out-of-cycle experience rounding a corner on my sister's bsa slr when 10. tired of falling off my sister's bike i quickly graduated to several first rate spills from my own bike. slowly balance was achieved and by that time my sis had upgraded to a moped. i took to it like a fish would take to a motorized fin. it could go faster and i didnt have to change the chain as a bonus i also learnt how to steal petrol by watching the helpful petrol bunk attendants. my sis then went and got herself one of those kinetic hondas. being a speed demon, i decided to one up her and grace my dad's scooter with my lead wrist. there was one small hitch though.

left hand back brake, right hand front brake. right? wrong. the more variables that are introduced into a problem, the tougher it becomes to solve. i now had one break in hand, one beneath my feet, a clutch that could rotate clockwise, anticlockwise and otherwise in the other hand and a lot of confusion in my head. carry over the fact that the scooter is perhaps the most unbalanced piece of machinery ever invented and you got yourself a lot of problems on the street. the result was that between balancing and changing gears, i was sufficiently scared off geared vehicles for life.

(one has to take time out of life to ponder the strangely asymmetrical beast that the scooter is. now is not the time though.)

still peer pressure is a rather coercive thing. it makes people do things that they didnt think themselves capable of. i, for instance, joined a driving school after Ux started taking lessons. i didnt learn much with the instructor controlling most of the drives using his set of pedals. but after sitting behind the wheel for a month or so i entered the driving test stage of my driving life cycle. the guys who assess driving tests must be descendants of the vikings. how else can one account for the courage and sense of adventure that causes them to repeatedly get into a 4 wheeled metal shell of terror under the control of someone whose hand-to-eye coordination skills are hitherto unknown. i slowly started in the first gear, didnt stop or make my car buck like a horse, went into second and was just starting to dig my spurs in when i was asked to stop. that was it. the metamorphosis from relatively harmless on ungeared two wheeler to homicidal with one foot on the clutch had taken abt 100 meters and 3 minutes. fortunately for scores of pedestrians i didnt own a car and the few times that i drove Unhygenix's it was in iit where even the deer would hide knowingly.

i conveniently chose an automatic when i bought a car. none of that clutch nonsense for me. Unhygenix, ever so trusting, did let me try his bimmer here a couple of times - the time that it spun its wheels like crazy without moving an inch was the last. the burnt rubber can still be seen on a section of I-90 somewhere in indiana. the drive continues however sans any clutch or shift but with a lot of control including that one incident where with total control i skillfully guided my vehicle's left side onto a stationary pillar. my next objective is the space shuttle. heard that there are no gears on that ride(must be easy). i wonder if i can get underground parking though.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

the woefully short

disclaimer: music, a subject that i know nothing about yet write up one pretentious post after another. anyone who knows better (i.e. everyone) please feel free to school me.

this one is about short tunes..the dittys that have so much potential to fill a full 5 minute slot yet wrap up in a minute or so and pretty much leave us wanting for more. i have no idea why they are so short. maybe the studio owner chased the crew out or the producer didnt pay the music director's entire fee. nevertheless here is a short list of my favs:

en jannalil therivadhu ( mozhi) : a spanish guitar, a simple rhythm and karthik's voice - this song just takes off in one small minute

hari gori ( majnu) - slightly longer. the indecipherable words lend a mysterious aura to it..seriously though, if i remember right it also fit in really well with the situation.

Ninaichu Ninaichu (sethu) - a love song on a rocket. maybe illayaraja felt it would not be able to sustain that speed so the flight only lasts 51 seconds

aathukulla athimaram (rajathi raja) - its an oldie and gets mention here as it reminded me of the other short numbers. this movie also has another ditty - ulaga vazhkayae - which never fails to make me grin when i listen to it.

ore nyabagam( minnale) - short and catchy

the only a.r.rahman number of comparable length that i really liked was the mangalyam bit from alai payuthey. though it is the slow paced version of endrendrum, its a good mix.

did i leave any out?

yuvan and his bling bling

yet another mutant offspring of tamil and hip hop snakes its way into the airwaves courtesy who else but yuvan. jalsa (remix) from the chennai 600028 soundtrack has hey-yo-yuvan dropping lines like fiddy drops bullets..wait that doesnt sound right. well neither does yuvan talking about riding his bimmer with the woofer and the tweeter. the lyrics still sound a little stilted. nevertheless yet another attempt by yuvan. the man certainly doesnt tire of trying this genre and as a nod to his western gurus, he manages a self-referential line ( "4 mixes in a row and i'm still in my game" what?) and even includes a diss at the end of the song.

though he regularly dips his toes into the rap world, he manages to restrict them to a specific genre of movies - the young, urban kind. for other movies he spins some pretty good numbers. check out thaaliyae thevaiyilla from thamirabharani or kadhal vaithu from deepavali. the latter with some fresh lyrics by na.muthukumar and a catchy tune is a rather nice number.a far cry from the cookie-cutter tracks that harris is rolling of the assembly line in his massive song factory. i am not getting into the debate of whether a cover is better than the original but it does get a little stale when you hear the same sounds over and over again.

here is a nice assignment though...identify the 4 mixes that yuvan has blended so far.. tons of extra points for using google...u will then shine like the sun and be number 1 like yuvan..rhyme unintended