அச்சமுண்டு அச்சமுண்டு

Achamundu Achamundu , my good friend Arun Vaidyanathan’s debut feature film is being released today (July 17th 2009) worldwide.

Arun's vision, technical knowhow and his understanding of film making often amazes me. Having worked with Arun in 6 of short films out of 7 he directed and produced, I can categorically state that his debut film Achamundu Achamundu will do justice to film making

When dominant movie makers of Tamil film industry fear breaking the long-established stereotyped formats, Arun has taken a bold step [அச்சமில்லை அச்சமில்லை ] in moving forward and making a Tamil film in par with world cinema. Way to Go.

Arun, you took the risk and followed your passion and dream, and! You made it buddy! My hearty wishes and congratulations!.





Jay Leno, I will miss you

I am regular to the Tonight show with Jay leno for more than a decade. Watching Jay Leno really cheered me up every night especially after grueling day of work. He has jokes almost about everything and every other big name in America. At the same time Jay also has the super quality of being friends with them all. Every Musician, Movie star, Politician, sport personality, comedian and every other person who appears on this show respects this old long chin man in spite of his at times sensitive jokes. This shows how good the person Jay is off the camera. Even “our man” A. R. Rahman has played in his show.

After 17 years of hard work, today will be his last and final show. He is being replaced by Connon O'Brian.

In my opinion - no offense to Connon O'Brian, NBC shot itself on its foot. Connon has this childish comedy just like the over rated Saturday night life. I don’t think Conon has same Leno charisma that carried the show for 17 years.

Good that Jay [and Kevin and the team] will be back at the prime time [10.00pm] in fall 2009. 10.00pm Jay LENO
11.00pm John Stewart
11.30pm I get to watch the Colbert Report live.
11.35 Conan Sorry, I don’t think you are as good as Jay. Prove me wrong.

Just to conclude,
Economy is so bad even the well established and loved comedian Jay Leno has job issues. God bless you Mr. Leno, I will miss you!



Download Hindi Track        Download Tamil Track


World is in need.

The MAC versus PC advertisement, question from Microsoft to Apple is very simple, why should a sane person pay nose bleeding amounts to buy an Apple computer? The stability claim for Apple desktop OS is a fable. I would categorically say Microsoft XP matches or performs better. Apple few months ago introduced a new Notebook with 17th Inch screen and the usual lollypops for a price tag for $2800. Apple discussion boards were going gaga over it. Honestly HP, IBM, Dell, or Sony makes better, cheaper, stable, hip PCs/laptops for ¼ of the price. Apple’s $2800 price tag sounds like emperor’s new clothes. Would you pay $2800 just for browsing the internet using Safari and checking emails with a graphically good looking email client? Apple customers are in a deep sleep to realize that are paying $500 to $800 extra for the logo.

Apple has been trashing PC and its software for past 2 -3 years and no one really cared from the PC side, but now just 2 advertisements from Microsoft, the apple lovers are going nuts and all their defense systems is on high alert.
Apple as a company has no choice here. They will sideline this new cost saving advertisement from Microsoft because they definitely don’t have an answer. The cheapest part in apple is their logo embedded mouse pad which is three times costlier than the normal mouse pad used by normal mortals of planet earth, my question, does the mouse travel faster on a mouse pad with Apple logo? Why it is priced so high? PC has come a long way and evolved to a greater extent, there is no point in trashing it.

I had an opportunity to work on Apple Apps; there are apps for anything these days. There could be an app to stop your snore. The coding language used by Apple is Objective C and this language is similar to any other language known to developers however the language syntax is totally unconventional and obnoxious. There is a thin line between being different and being ridiculous e.g. Dennis Rodman and Apple Objective C.

In support of Apple, they are great inventors; get this right, they were the first company to offer a viable working solution for the music industry. Music industry was in chaos before Apple started distribution via their ITUNES platform. There distribution mechanism is simply fantastic and it works well. Apple’s enemy is their price tag, until this factor is sincerely addressed by Apple, the normal human beings would continue to believe apple is a fruit found in the refrigerator or in a basket.

Apple and Microsoft should take the high road, drop these stupid commercials and focus on inventing concepts for the world. World is in need.


A fan’s tale

Part 6: Another Opportunity

One more opportunity knocked my door, drive my cousin to Panchathan Inn recording studio. It was a late night recording at 11.00pm, the studio had undergone changes, and close to the studio entrance there was a new waiting room. I was asked to sit in that room. Whenever someone opened the door I was able to listen to the track in a very low volume. I heard orchestral hits, tight drum grooves and vocals with lot of reverb.

After 15 minutes or so, suddenly Mr. Viramuthu walked out from the studio. I stood up, he asked me to sit. He then took the seat next to me, my lucky star shines again and I am now sitting next to the Iconic lyric writer from Tamil Nadu. He then asked me in English “Are you Anu’S brother?” I nodded my head and then he asked are you from Delhi, for which I replied in a low voice, “தமிழ்ல பேசலாம் சார்” [I can talk in Tamil Sir], then I had some guts to talk and congratulated him for all the songs he penned right from late 70’s till now. With a grin he nodded his head and then went back inside. One more time an opportunity to hear the tight drum grooves and vocals with lot of reverb.

After about 30 minutes, door opens and no audio bleed this time and I see few walking out, I spot A.R. Rahman in the middle, and to my surprise he said "HI" "How Are You?" I said I am fine. He then started talking to Viramuthu and I still remember, ARR was saying to Viramuthu that he should be calling “Hariharnan” as he has been missing his calls. I was watching this all with amazement. You might wonder what is so amazing about it, true but for a 23 year old watching 2 giants of Tamil Cinema speak is nothing but amazement.

Then someone walks near ARR and whispers something, ARR goes inside. That “somebody” was Noel James working at the Studio and ARR’s long time buddy. Noel requested me to join him in the reception, he told me director would be here anytime and he might not like anyone being around. In the reception as though we were long time friends, Noel and I had a long discussion about music, keyboard etc. We spoke about Pink Floyd to Phil Collins to Whitney Houston and a lot about new keyboards. I still remember that evening conversation. We even started refereeing ARR as “our man” and I did get to know few little things about ARR’s work flow. At around 1.00am I had the presence of mind to get Noel’s phone number.

Tamil film music has tracks that are remembered just for its uniqueness. "முத்து குளிக்க வரீர்களா", "நின்னுக்கோரி வர்ணம்" are few examples. The song that was recorded that night was in the same league -> “Konjam Nilavu” Movie: "Thiruda Thiruda" directed by Mani Rathnam.

The song was all about A.R. Rahman’s rich music, Anupama’s dominant vocals and P.C. Sriram’s camera work. Later when the movie came out the rumor was that PC would use state of the art devices like akelaa cranes for the filming the song. Honestly I am yet to see a singer who could reproduce this song with perfection. The song format was western - verses and chorus. The chorus lines [male vocals] were done by Noel James. I was able to spot familiar sounds from Korg M1/O1W keyboards. Apart from the songs, the uncelebrated feature of the “Thiruda Thiruda” was Rahman’s Background music. The background score by Rahman was well above his all previous movies. For example the French horn theme sounds in Sivaji; Rahman had composed similar stuff way back for Thiruda Thiruda. This movie generated a lot of expectations in me and I was waiting eagerly for its Audio launch.

To conclude this part, following is a piece of advice, when you get to meet top people in any business or industry please! Do not miss the opportunity to talk; Make sure you use it to your potential. I still hate myself for being shy; I hate myself for fear of communication. My fears became factors that created a natural block for me to move forward. I was musically qualified and my sequencing and programming abilities were beyond most during that time, but my silent mode did not permit me to promote my skill set which in turn failed to create peers around me. Though I am happy where I am now, I still rue missing chances. The crude fact is I never got them again! At that time, I did not know that this was the last time I would meet “A.R. Rahman” in his studio.\


A fan’s tale

Part 5: The Flood Gates

The pressure when composing for 2nd movie is 10 times more than the 1st. 1st For A.R. Rahman it was x 100 times difficult. Roja was successful not only in South but it was making it big on the national scene. Expectations tripled in matter of few months. [A.R. Rahman is the only composer till date to win a national award for his first movie.]

Though he was working on movies like Gentlemen and few others, Pudiya Mugam was his second official movie, it did not disappoint even a bit, the composer who some called “one movie wonder” continued to grow, the word new and refreshing expanded.
The song சம்போ சாம்போ (Sambo Sambo) is one of the best arrangements from Rahman till date. Wild bongos, accordion and guitar sequences in the song were simply mind blowing. More over the vocalists, 1st they were not popular or never heard off. These brand new voices added new flavors that were unknown during that time. I was able to hear various kinds of new vocal harmonies and adlibs. Basically the adlibs during that time were limited to “தக துகு தக துகு or “ஜீநாகு ஜீநாகு ஜிஞ்சினகு”.

It looked as though Rahman had opened the flood gates of new singers. In his second movie he had few new names introduced. I was stunned to hear the final version of July Matham vandhal. I would never forget the line “கோடி மக்கள் வேண்டுகோள்”. The final one Rahman approved was not the one what Anupama sang in the recording that I happen to see. The final approved take was simply incredible. An initial proof that Rahman gets best from his artists;

நேற்று இல்லாத மாற்றம் என்னது, I fell in love with Sujatha’s voice why a singer of such standards and caliber ignored by music directors? Nevertheless Tamil film music was destined to witness new voices and surprises.

I would go hang around with my friends during lunch breaks around fountain plaza for “obvious” “wink wink” reasons. On a usual very hot summer afternoon I heard a song in the tea shop that really made my ear pop out. Movie Gentlemen, released by Pyramid audio. The audio tape had printed lyrics and I was reading the lyrics loud at work with my usual sarcastic jab. ஒட்டகத்த கட்டிக்கோ was really funny read, but my boss G.C. Basker told me “dude you got to listen to this song”. I have never seen GCB being musically savvy. At that time I did not know that this song was set to my favorite raga, Dharmavathi, I am fascinated by songs like அம்மானை அழைத்துவரும், காதல் காதல் என்று பேச, மீண்டும் மீண்டும் வா they have been my favorites. On the first go, ஒட்டகத்த கட்டிக்கோ was added to my elite list. This is when I started to follow Rahman's music sincerly.


A fan’s tale

Part 4: A Pause

I was anxiously waiting to get the audio tape of Pudhiya Mugam.
However, I am going pause for a moment to write about something that has been lingering in my head for past 20+ years.

Sub standard music tapes. Tamil film industry is notorious for poor distribution practices. I am against any audio piracy and my friends would vouch my claim. This habit did not form overnight, even way back even in the 80s when audio tapes were a luxury to a teenager, I use get original music tapes, LP records were totally out of my reach. Most of my pocket money was spent on music tapes.

Audio companies in Chennai never cared or knew the word “quality”. 1st in my list, a company called Echo. Many of the best and legendry Tamil classics were pathetically packed in a pink colored shell made from cheap plastic. The mastering process was just dumping music on to these poorly manufactured audio tapes. The little parts in the tape would wear out in few weeks and worst of all these tapes produced lot of white noise. Cost of a tape was Rs40 to Rs 50. The outer plastic case will break the moment the consumer open the case. If you ask the reseller he would blindly say “that’s how it came”. The consumer was totally ill treated by these music companies.

Sheer out of passion for music I would go and spend all my pocket money to get these substandard tapes. Music directors had no real say in the deal. Companies like INRECO, HMV, Lahari were in par with Echo. There was also audio companies like Pyramid that offered some good quality tapes, but was a rarity.

This greedy “taking consumer for granted” habit continues even today, “Surthilayam” that distributes Tamil movie aboard is doing everything it can to ruin the movie watching experience. In order to make more money, they bundle double movies on to a single DVD. However in order accommodate 2 movies on the DVD they kill the DTS or 5.1 sound tracks. In order to gain more space on the DVD, the sound channels are neutralized to mono and it is pushed to the 5.1 spectrum. You would get the same sound on all the 5 channels. As if this was not enough without any ethics they display a 5.1 logo or DTS on the label. Why? When someone pays $20 to get an original DVD, what not respect them? Why not provide the quality you promised on DVD inlay card? Tamil movie and music distribution is governed by non scientific distribution channels.

When situation was such, a Bombay based company called Magna sound published the songs from Pudhiya Mugam. Let alone the sound mix part, the overall manufacturing quality was few light year ahead from their Chennai counterparts. Tape Cost RS.35, it was worth the money, and the first track in the Tape said it all.

நேற்று இல்லாத மாற்றம் என்னது! (nEtRu illAtha mAtram ennAdhu)


A fan’s tale

Part 3: Meeting My Idol

One "fine" evening, my cousin calls me and requests a bike ride to a recording studio. I was busy at work, but still I asked who the Music director was, she told it was “A.R. Rahman” I had no second thoughts, took the bait, I wanted to meet him at least once.

We walk into a cozy little studio, air conditioner blasting to its maximum and I was formally introduced to as "Srikanth" "Software Engineer", I gave my business card, we shook hands and my cousin asked him if I could watch the proceedings, he smiled and said “that’s fine”.

I was very nervous but curious than the usual, my eyes scanned the surroundings. There was an 8 track spool recorder and a big mixing console with many volume control knobs. There was a vocal room with an adjustable boom microphone. And couple of keyboards in the room, I remember vaguely seeing Korg M1 or 01/w. I was quite amazed by how A.R. Rahman worked, he was operating the 8 track recorder and mix-board and he was fast like a bee, just doing all with ease. In first place, I was very surprised. A music recording would have many people surrounding the music director and he would give the music etc. I have never ever seen a music director operate the console himself with just one singer around.

With little fear and lot of amazement I stood there in the corner. Suddenly he called me to sit next to him. I never expected that I would be sitting next to the new sensation A.R. Rahman, and right in front to me was his sound mixing console.

They started rehearsing the track, all of a sudden he spoke to me, "so what language you program in [in Tamil]" and once again surprise, I never expected that, it took me few seconds to hydrate my senses, and I stuttered and replied "before anything congratulations on your recent success of Roja". For which he gave a humble simile and asked me again, what language? I replied, Turbo C, Clipper etc. He asked me how C is different from C++, I gave some technical reply and my voice sounded very tense. Hence I guess to make me comfortable, he then told me that he has friend in Canada who just look like me and speaks like me. Ya! I guess it worked, I became little more comfortable and told I am from T.Nagar and work for company called PC India and I loved his songs in Roja and looking forward for more, I also had guts to mention, I have a small midi setup etc using Cakewalk and play live on stage... He smiled and told "keep them coming", he was all the time multi tasking.

The recording was about to begin, for the first time I heard the track in full, all the channels have been powered up, I was blown away by the opening guitar prelude; later I came know it was played by Guitar Prasanna. It was mind blowing. The overall sound was new to me. I was not excepting it at all, and then suddenly SPB sings a line, from there on I was totally out of the world. It took me a lot of time to come back to my senses. Music I was hearing was something else to what I am used to. The song was unbelievable. It had Spanish guitar, fretless Bass and most of all a new Tabla sound and placement. When I heard the Cousin’s vocals, I was stunned by the quality. I have heard her sing, but not at this level. Rahman was giving her a lot of directions in a friendly manner. He had an amazing quality, he was able to say anything without hurting the singer.

About 15 minutes into the recording, I was told that director would show up and he would not like me there, I was all set to walk out. Director Suresh Menon walks in; to everyone’s surprise he permits me to be stay in the studio.

"Thanks to Anupama", my lucky day I guess, sitting near A.R.Rahman (and Suresh Menon) recording a new track “July mAtham vanthAl” for the movie pudhiya mugam . That was Anupama’s debut track. I still cherish the fact that I was among the first few to have heard the new track from A.R. Rahman after Roja. Of course, I was boasting all about it in my work place.

“It was an experience of life time”. This is where I realized making music is all about having fun. I walked out of the recording studio with a lot of memories not knowing that I would meet him again one more time during recording of another track, the track that created history and is being remembered even today.


A fan’s tale

Part 2: "New" & "Fresh", means what?

The following you are about to read is just my opinion, and my definition of “opinion” is very simple. OpiNION , if you check the word closely it has as “pi” (pi=22/7), world is yet to calculate this anomaly and the rest is “ONION”;

If you have observed like I do, songs that came during late 80s and early 90s had common sets of sounds in their instrumentation. Just to sample few,

1. Programmed drum pattern over live drum performance
2. A lot of keyboard flute over real flute
3. Violins playing counter to the lead
4. The most distinguished – chord punches on the bar using popular Yamaha DX7 bells sounds. Few keyboard players whom I know use to call it job security.

Besides, majority of the songs were sung by the same handful of singers. Fresh new voice seemed a rarity.

From a technical stand point, the structure of song and the melody progressions was very predictable. You might wonder, what the hell he means by it. I shall try and explain it see if you can grasp it;

Dissecting more, a song had a prelude, a very simple “Pallavi” that negotiates after 8 to 12 bars, this was followed few bars of very well or sometimes outstand background score [With the same set of sounds], followed by a “Saranam” that is mostly in Q&A format, meaning the first line will ascend and the second shall descend and, finally Saranam would end by pushing the same “Pallavi Sandam” to an higher octave which then returns to the Pallavi. [Read it again if you don’t get it]. Sixty to seventy percent of the songs were in this format. Examples are beyond the scope of this article, may be later if time permits.

Having said so much on the structure, sound and instrumentation, I also firmly believed that there were valid reasons for songs being in the format mentioned above -> Majority of Tamil music fans loved it. Also these songs are kind of easy to reproduce in light music shows. Why? The guitarist need not change his sound or amp model once he sets it for a song. Same sound model would work for 70% of the song.
To conclude my justifications, I had no choice to any alternate music. Hindi film music was pretty much ordinary during the period. I started to feel a repetitive pattern in songs of late 80s and 90s.

The day I heard the tracks from Roja, I felt something different, could this be the paradigm shift that I was looking in Tamil music? The usual sounds were missing. It sounded as though the AR Rahman had put meticulous effort to avoid violin counters, the usual Tablas pattern and violin sections.

Rather than hearing them as individual instruments, I heard them as sonic emotions. New sounds like fretless bass, reverberation over percussions were blend well. Best of all the usual stale DX chords punches vanished; instead pizzicato [plucking the violins] or a wide drone pad tone carried the chords. By this approach sound and the Chord harmony seemed expand and enhanced in the sound spectrum. It never distracted the melody.

In a nut shell, A.R. Rahman used the musical melody + harmony, and most of all, "sound spectrum" to convey the energy and emotion found in the lyrics to average human ears.

It is "somewhat" easy to play Highway Star(Deep Purple), a good guitarist will nail the notes and riff in no time, but that is just half the effort, getting the perfect guitar tone used in the by Deep Purple is another task, the guitar tone plays vital part in convening energy and mood. The point is ARR using the combination of notes, harmony, vocals and sound textures was able to convey the mood or “feel” much better than his predecessors.

This was the reason I was able to feel a lot of depth in songs like Pudhu vellai mazai . Moreover, check this, usually in an erotic number, vocalists will do their usual "mukal munagals" and the song would end up as banned by Radio Stations. "Rukumani Rukumani" was altogether a different package. Another feature I noted was - Free flow of melody. The melody lines had very minimal truncated notes. These notes had longer gliding lengths, and a lot vocal improvisation.

I discussed a lot with my friends, most did not agree with me, for days I had to confront people about my opinions on the repetitive pattern. All said and done, can A.R. Rahman be the best person to take Tamil film music to a new level”?

Next: When did my expectations for ARR expanded exponentially?


அர்த்தமுள்ள ஹிந்து மதம்

Few days ago some of my friends sent me a link, Click here

Visitors to Hindu temple are welcomed by Lord Ganesh also called as Vinayaka, and in Tamil “Pillaiyar”, he is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped deities of Hinduism. Pillaiyar is widely revered as the "Remover of Obstacles" and "Lord of Beginnings" patron of arts and "sciences" , and the Angel of intellect and wisdom.

One of the most common sight in Hindu temples is worshippers performing an unusual squatting act in front of Lord Ganesh. Crossing their hands holding their ear lobes and they do a squatting routine. This is called "தோப்புக்கரணம்" [thoppuk kaRanam] in Tamil.

Hindus have been performing this act for centuries; today it has been proved that this squatting act is medically beneficial to the Brain. Holding the earlobes and squatting for five minutes create a lot of stimulation in the brain.
This is now called or given a fancy name “Super Brain Yoga” by doctors in the west. As per the CBS clip above, there seems to be enough medical proof that this exercise [தோப்புக்கரணம்] helps to improve brain activity in Children especially. The doctor in the clip has prescribed this method for Kids who have been slow in their academics and these kids have made very progress in academics just in weeks after doing this act for 5 minutes a day. Totally amazing

It matter of time, Nintendo WII would soon introduce a “தோப்புக்கரணம்” controller.


“Jambu” “Chaaiiish is Yovershhh”

Last week AVM productions filed a complaint to Chennai police that someone broke into their royal movie junk yard and took away a lot of old movies. Similar complaints have been received from other movie producers in recent times. Chennai police are looking into it.

Here is a clue to catch the culprit. -> SunTV and KTV producers.

We have seen Mr. Bharath, Ejaman, Muratu kalai and many more of similar crap being repeated every alternative day. For past few months these 2 channels have been slaughtering us all in name of broadcasting. Same movies are shown alternatively on these 2 channels. Even the so called badly dubbed Hollywood crap is being repeated. Moreover, 95% of their programs spill over or do not follow any time sense. Do they really care to manage a TV station?

The Movie clip/trailers are obnoxious, irritating, and horrible. Every 10 minutes why are we forced to watch the pathetic hero and his set of punch dialogues or some half naked Bombay chick record dancing. Just to balance act of half nakedness, we are now forced to see a naked C.Sundar walking. Why? What did we do to you?

We get it, the Marans are into producing movies, but they just don’t seem to understand people pay lot money to watch their programming. We are paying close to about Rs 20,000 a year. They have taken us all for granted.

Yesterday when watching the facilitation show for A.R.Rahman, the entire show was just less than 40 minutes however their advertisement and commercial craze extended this program for close to 3 hours and it was so irritating I had to quit watching it.

DO YOU THINK SUN TV + KTV ARE WORTH $30 a month? They are getting worse than the Doordharshan of the 80s. Tamils in US have been patronizing them for about a decade now, why aren’t they respecting their patrons?

Will Mr. Maran or the so called SunTV branch office here in US answer us?

Finally, Another joke on the same channel

Prasanna the singer who is now the judge of singer/dancer show on Sun TV was seen wearing a big ray ban look like sun glass in a well lit indoor studio

Why do we need sunglasses in an indoor studio?
1) Madras eye. Hope he recovers quickly.
2) A Clandestine method for “Sight” Seeing.

For more reality punch effects say it like our beloved Late M.N.Nambiyar –"Jambu" "Chaaiiish is Yovershhh" [Choice is yours]

Good week Guys!


A fan’s tale

Part I: Who?

Around 1992 I was a senior software engineer at PC India, Chennai. The work environment was vibrant. I was already a part time musician then, my keyboard playing abilities and of course my decent handsome looks, [ok! Ok settle down] attracted attention.

During lunch break, “Maria” our receptionist and few others mentioned about a song from the new movie “Roja” on TV, and were going gaga over it. I had no idea about this movie. It seems director Mani Rathnam was breaking away from his old acquaintances was introducing a new music composer.

On my way back home I got the audio cassette for Rs35.00 from an audio shop in fountain plaza. I had an Akai sound system, the songs did sound fresh and unique, and I recognized the song “china china asai” I was really surprised to hear “reggae”, just few months ago I heard the same words in a different format. I do not know how many know the history of “China China Asai”. Poet Viramuthu wrote this song for a special program on Doordharshan and music was composed by the genius composer MSV, sung by T.K. Kala [If I remember right]. Though MSV’s composition was the usual TV type, the words were fantastic. The same song was now presented in a different sound. Moreover, each and every song in the album surprised me. Kadal Rojave [in middle on side A &B], Pudhu Vellai mazai [Side B 1st song] and Tamiza Tamiza [Side B last song] had some something in them; this was later termed as “freshness”. I was also surprised by the new set of singers 1) Minmini, 2) Unni Menon 3)Sujatha, 4) HariHaran who are they? Where did they come from?

Somasundram grounds T.Nagar was the face book of our times, sitting on the "wall" we discussed Gavasker , Rajainee to Kamal et everything. Our main point of discussion was Roja. We were wondering why did Mani Rathnam (KB -Kavithalaiya ) take a big risk on their big movie, a new unknown composer with new set of singers? I checked with my friends in the music industry and there was already a buzz about this new composer, “Dileep” was popular among some of my friends and my cousin who worked in the advertisement industry.

There were many rumors and stories floating around. The famous one was “Being at the Right Place at the Right Time”. Those days there were no cell-phones. It seems Mani Rathnam often walks out to a private office to take phone calls. He gets calls every few minutes hence it would be very hard to get his attention. But when Rahman came for the discussion, it seems there was no single phone call for 30 or 40 minutes. Rahman was able to play all this tracks without any external disturbances.

How true the story was , who cared! it was a perfect juicy story for guys sitting on the wall to discuss.

Like every other Tamil public I did not know that this brand new music composer is destined to create history for India.

What did I find new in Roja songs? Next Thursday in detail!


Temperature is crazy

A very cold weekend in DC with a lot of snow, the temperature is crazy and currently we are well below the dry ice levels.

I was watching a recording of the Sun TV singer show, singer [Trivia: How many film songs you have to record to get this title?] Prasanna is quite a personality. The verbal war between Vijay Anthony and him often gets obnoxious. The musical pair have been given the license to “eve tease” every other young contestant in the program. If a juvenile utters the similar language in a bus stand or a train stations he/she would be behind bars in no time for eve teasing. I am no behavioral police, I believe music is divine and judging in a competition is an honorable portfolio, please maintain the sanity of the portfolio. Do you believe that singers Karthik and Chinmayee were Sun TV finds, Mr. A.V. Ramanan Sir we miss you. Where did that quality vanish?

When clean Tamil is a rarity these days on TV, I had a glimpse of Rani Maharani host “Mamathi” (மமதி) , her powerful Tamil language diction and screen presence was quite awesome. If it sounds like a crush, let it be it. Every Video jockey out there on Tami channels must get trained by her.

Please pardon this sinner for the ittle technical talk.

Microsoft Cloud Computing buzz, “AZURE” joins the crowded cloud computing market that is already dominated by IBM [no real proof :)], Sun Microsystems, Google, Amazon etc. Microsoft might be a late entrant into this market, “thought late it would be the latest”. :)

AZURE could be a paradigm shift for Microsoft, contradicting their desktop OS philosophy.

.NET amazes me a lot than any other technology platform today. I have been working in the software industry right from the days of Turbo C in the early 90s till now and have seen/been through a lot of technologies. Microsoft .NET frame work is one technology that amazes me. Microsoft is pumping in lots of tools for the AZURE development, most of them are free. I have signed up for an account to evaluate the architectural perspective with AZURE and its service platforms. You can read more about AZURE here the job market is slow and this would be a good time to learn a new skill set.


Honestly , it was very easy for me

Sometime around Oct 2008 time frame, out of the blues Dheepa Ramanujam, a film maker from Bay area contacted me. Thanks to the kind words of my good old buddy Vijay Kumar popularly known as VK, VK is a talented keyboard artist and performs in most shows in and around the west coast. We go back a long way.

Dheepa Ramanujam has staged many successful full-length plays with her group of artists since 2001. She has worked under the guidance of director K. Balachander and many other stalwarts of Tamil cinema. The tremendous response for her played titled "Thanimai" [Tamil] provided the encouragement to her to form a dedicated group to Tamil theatrical arts. Dheepa founded a production company called Krea with her husband Ramanujam.

When Dheepa told me the story of her short film “Sunset”, I had no hesitation to jump into the bandwagon. Working with Dheepa and her talented team of folks was a pleasure. Dheepa’s passion and dedication towards art simply amazes me. “Sunset” has already won few awards in Film festivals. Following Sunset, I had the pleasure to work on her next film titled “Good Bye”. It is in the final stages of post production.

There are many folks in and around DC metro with tons of talents, some of them are unnoticed. I am now working with one such film maker. "Babu Venkatesh"

Around Dec 2008, my good friend Iyappan and I were working on track in my studio. Iyapppan mentioned about Babu who wanted to do a short film. Babu was moving to India to work in the movie industry and he wanted this short film to be in his portfolio. Babu visited my studio, and outlined his plans, and asked me for serious help in making this happen.

Honestly it was very easy for me; I just had to connect these 2 film makers.

Result, fantastic short film called "Appa Vanthar".

Movie was written and directed by Babu and produced by Dheepa. Dheepa came up with a talented team in no time. Icing on the cake, movie was short on the popular "RED" camera. One person I like to mention here is a young sound designer from LA, "Kunal Rajan". He has a lot of energy and vision on sound design. He would be working on sound follies for this short movie. I am very happy to be the Music Director/Original Music Composer in this elite team.

Honestly, when lot of money is being lost for average home dwellers in this economy, these short films have kept me smiling. Yesterday we had a lot fun during recording, and we almost nailed the back ground score in full. We will be recording the tracks for next few days with vocals and other live instruments.

My best wishes to Babu for a successful carrier in Chennai.


Donkey drops at will - India VS New Zealand T20.

I woke at 2.00am today to watch India VS New Zealand T20. I should have right royally completed the natural sleeping quota of 8 hours. Anyways,

New Zealand tour has always been a mystery to the Indians. In spite of the cricket grounds being smaller than my cubicle, the rock star Indian batting fire power resembled the popular Sivakasi produce dipped in water. The home team played their natural game and of course with some help from the umpire, won the game very easily. Indian Batting was quite hasty and it looked as though someone told them to play a T5 game.

But the credit goes to the Indian bowlers. Congratulations, the thoughtless Indian Bowling act signed today. Harbajan Singh looked as though he was upset about Sukwinder Singh being denied a visa to the Oscars. Harbajan took over what Anil Kumble was doing for years. Throwing large quantities of donkey drops at will, seeing the quantity thrown, the local New Zealand donkeys and mules “poked” Harbajan via face book. Bowlers were more or less without any idea or a plan, something similar to the current US congress;

Dhoni’s captaincy reminded Yuvan Shankar Raja’s modern music arrangement -"Harmonically" cut loose -> என்ன கொடுமை இது சரவணன்.

My pathetic performance award of day goes to Irfan pathan for his bowling. The ball was hit to locations where "no ball has gone before.". India sucked to its maximum, which in a way is good for the team, now team will think about bouncing back with some passion.

Reaching the top position is only one side of the effort, maintaining it is sheer "Horse Horns". [குதிரைக் கொம்பு]


Trouble shoot yourself

Economy is in doldrums and I see every other financial guys and gals churning money by writing books on Economic survival. Hence as a service to the society I decided to write a book to save the world, and here is the sneak peek of my new book

"Trouble shoot [yourself] the BLACK BERRY STROM".
The Basics
1. Screen Orientation - Unit test case: The virtual keyboard never changes to landscape mode.
a. First step would be to jingle the storm for a quick up and down for 10 seconds. Prior experience could come handy. Technique is very important here. If done properly it should change. But if it does not change, read further.
b. Leave the black berry storm on your table, drive to a nearby struggling star bucks and boost their sales, get the “Mojo” and drive back to your office. 6 to 7 minutes gone hence it is time to check our subject. It should have changed.
c. If no, on the positive side you would have gained a little technical skill, try giving another CPR oops jingle, this time 20 seconds, if nothing happens, wait for another 10mins to 13 minutes, you are very close to resolving it - the record time is about17 Minutes. It will change. If your name is not Bill Maher, throw in a prayer or 2 to the almighty. You could see the light in next 15 minutes.
d. On a side note, record your actions with a web cam add some music and post it on YouTube. You will be an instant hit.

2. Disgusted with phone number search. When the page orientation is in Portrait mode, an obnoxious keyboard with twin click appears, meaning the letter “Q” and “W” appear on the same key.
a. Q & W are not used often so no worries, RIM might have thought that’s fine, Q is not used anywhere other than UK and China.
b. What about the killer keys “A” and “S”. 60% of my contacts starts with an A or a S. It takes me about 3 minutes to find contacts.
c. My Solution: Change to landscape mode if you are successful you would get the keyboard known to average human beings aka non Kamal fans. [But you might have to go back to basic point 1].
d. RIM and Verizon is now offering a certification course on Black Berry Storm search.

3. When making a call on Strom I find some people just say “helo helo” and hang up on me”
a. Do not worry, no one hates you, it is a simple touch screen issue. The poor screen does not know to differentiate between your fingers and you [chubby] cheeks [the soft side area of the face between the nose and ear]. The big 10x10 mute button gets clicked by your cheek or if you are Jay Leno it should be the chin. The caller on other end does not know about this; they don’t hear anything hence they hang up blaming their cell phone provider.
b. Solution: Exercise or starve yourself to reduce the muscle density on your face or keep the phone 10cms away from your ears. Bluetooth could help. But more money for Verizon, RIM, and of course china.

People, welcome to the “Who wants to be the Guinea Pig” show brought to you by Verizon [assume Anil Kapoor is reading it]

Define Height of frustration ….
a) US Economy
b) Watching Tamil movie Villu [வில்லு]
c) Watching Villu [வில்லு] on SunTV

Answer is D -> Using the Black Berry Strom.

Kindly someone tell me what to do with this gadget. I have been with Verizon for longtime; however they wanted me to be their Guinea pig. I was very happy with my LG chocolate. Someone from Verizon calls and offers me the so called touch screen sensation. I fell for it and chained myself to contracts. I am writing this blog disgusted.In fact I did go out of my office/home to check for the Verizon guys shown on TV.

Question to Verizon, Is this product a joke? Are your customers’ mere guinea pigs with lot of their time dedicated to “unit” test a pathetic product? I am paying a hell lot of money for a lemon. I did call the support team, Verizon wants to clear all my contacts, reboot, which is about 15minutes and if it still fails, take it to a service center etc, WT* - they better come to my office and fix it. Never ever fall for these phone devices.

What next BlackBerry Havana, the same storm now comes with a cigar holder and a lighter?


எல்லாப்புகழும் ரஹ்மான்னுக்கே!

“My dream” came true today. “Jai Ho” is being played on various radio and TV shows this morning. Words cannot express my happiness when ARR’s name was announced. Oscar nomination is just the ticket to the base camp and not the summit. Winning is the summit and an Oscar double is mammoth accomplishment for an artist. The Indian music has been recognized by the most prestigious outfit in the West. Thanks to A.R. Rahman.

When I landed here in US, long time ago in mid 90s, no TV or Radio shows showed any Indian music stores in US did not carry any music from India. If at all I find one, it was an old classical music CDs. I often rue that “our” music has not been given the due respect by the west. I use to think one day we would have a song from India that would top charts around the world. After all the most popular song in US is “Hey Macarena” and it is not in English. When a Spanish song could carry energy, why not an Indian song? This is also one good reason for me to somehow find time to do music. I want to contribute to this cause as little as I can. Indian music is something remarkable. I cannot describe in words the amount of passion, energy it conveys across to the listener.

A.R.Rahman’s Music is all about the energy that he ports or conveys to my ears. For example the song “Janagana ma” from Yuva“ or “Newyork nagaram” coveys lot of energy, power and emotion. The melodic notes for the songs come from the heart.
Yesterday the Oscar show had many slow movements that kept people yawning. The movement the Dancers started “Oh saya” and “Jai ho”, the stage lit up with a lot of color. The music mixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound took us to a new zone filled with pumping energy. Whatever I am trying to explain here “has to be felt”.

Music is not mere entertainment; listening to music changes “behavioral chemicals” in our tensed human body. A.R.Rahman ‘s music in particular has rescued me from work pressures , tension, hate and other negativities that surrounds my life. Time and Time again, it has kept me in sync with reality. A.R.Rahman deserves all the accolades, let us celebrate it. He rightly put it in a nutshell
"you have a choice in life between Love and Hate, and choose love, it takes you to places"
. Congratulations Rahman.

On a lighter note, I sprained my ankle and calf (ok ok Cow) muscles, thanks to my impromptu dance when A.R.Rahman won the Oscar.

“Jai ho”


God bless Rahman.

Congratulations!...to A.R.Rahman.
Words cannot describe my happiness tonight. My idol A.R.Rahman has won 2 Oscars. A very proud moment for every Tamilian, and every Chennai natives.


God bless A.R. Rahman.

I was eagerly waiting all day for my man "A.R.Rahman" live on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Jay’s first guest was Dennis Miller. Mr Miller’s name says it all as he was more “Tighter” “Fuller” “higher” than Paula Abdul on American Idol. Some of Dennis Miller jokes were plain dry like California economy [btw: the golden state is now on EBAY China] in fact the former US vice president’s written speech had more humor in it. If not for cursing words and bad language, Mr. Miller would face a job crisis. I was waiting for the agony to end. Then this was followed by the “heroine” of SD Millionaire, she made her usual speech.

Finally, the ARR Show – The commercial break just before his live performance was really longer than the usual. Jay introduced him well and pronounced his name AJ Roman, and then corrected himself quickly.

Camera pans for a close up shot of the composer, there I see the little guy from my native city Chennai, India. ARR presented a crisp 5 minutes show; He did the Jai Ho Track from Slum Dog Millionaire.

I do not exhibit my sentimental emotions. However this time I have no words to describe the feeling I had when I saw ARR on the tonight show. I was so happy, I felt as though someone from my own family has achieved such a great deal of success in their carrier.

I have been following A.R. Rahman as a person, a musician right from his debut. I just adore this guy as I learn a lot from him, it not only music, his social skills, humility etc…. ARR long time ago mentioned once in an interview that the search is important than the destination. He has come a long way.

Looking back at his journey, he jumped into the Tamil movie arena from nowhere. Majority of the Tamil music fans during 90s just did not believe in his music. He was painted as "One Movie Wonder" "Sound Engineer", “Jingle kid” , “Repetitive “or “Electronics Musician” from a majority section of Tamil film music listeners. However ARR went on to prove what he is destined for - powerful and soulful music. It is his destiny to ensure that Indian musicians get recognized all around the world. He is here to do more.

Hey! He now has a new title “Academy nominated Composer A.R.Rahman”

God bless A.R. Rahman


Talk of the town - A.R. Rahman,

There is an article about AR on Today’s Washington Post.
I quote from the article
Rahman hopes all the attention will encourage other young Indians to choose music as a future. We really need that space for creativity in India right now,' he said. 'Most of all, I just want that to be recognized.”

It is high time that Indian popular music gets the deserved reorganization.
and it was a great day for all Indian musicians when AR was nominated for Oscar.
God bless him for all the inspiration he generated in me.

"Academy Nominated" music composer A.R. Rahman is also scheduled to appear on Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Watch out!


“buss buss”, meaning “push push”.

Last night, while channel surfing I bumped into a program called Cobra’s of East on some HD channel. It was the usual husky voice explaining the Cobra and its deadly venom etc. Had it enough, I moved on, the next channel in the surf was KTV.

A 7 foot cobra was busy carrying red Bangles and spits the Bangles to Banu Priya, it took me 10 seconds to guess. Banu Priya is carrying and the snake gave her a baby shower. Our beloved தலை’s மச்சினச்சி then Baby Shamili joins the Cobra, Mr. Cobra then gets a flower for Banu Priya, he then goes on to place it on her head. The movie was Thaipoosam [தைபூசம்].

The Cobra in this movie performs various tasks; he records conversations between bad [Nazer and gang] guys who were scheming to kill someone. The snake clicks the record buttons [remember red one and the regular play button], and after recording he searches for the eject symbol and ejects the tape from the recorder. He then takes it to his master baby Shamili. During recording Cobra seems have seen a message card and he rushes to the type writer and punches “L I O N”. Baby Shamili using her swift brilliance finds it to be No 17. Snake and the kid calls the police, wo then saves the person living at No 17. Nazar and co plans to kill the child, while Banu Priya goes into labor. I was excepting Cobra to do a C- Section; instead the king cobra says “buss buss”, meaning “push push”.

Ramanarayanan Rocks - What an amazing thought process. I still remember the huge crowd for this move in Krishanaveni theater, T.Nagar Chennai. This movie made a lot of money. Hey why not!, when 20 grams human structures [Danush, sorry man no offense] would could whack 200000 tons of human flesh in no time, a snake can type, record, sing and dance. The Cobra had good prospects to be a sound engineer, data entry operator, flower man, However last time we heard from the Cobra star he went bankrupt by making a 3D படம் [Padam]



கிளம்பிட்டான்யா கிளம்பிட்டான்

Been taking it easy for few months, in reality I had very less time to contribute towards anything. Lots of wonderful things happened; A.R. Rahman made it happen for Indian music. I am looking forward for his live show during the Oscars.

How would you feel if a judge during a trail in a municipal court walks jumps out and starts arguing against the pubic prosecutor? I was watching SunTV “பயங்ங்ங்ங்-கரரர-கடி” singer show. Hope you did the obnoxious movements with your hand when you read பயங்ங்ங்ங்-கரரர-கடி Singer– if not before moving on to next paragraph, please do the needful.

One of the judges suddenly got up to show off her capacity to sing கொஞ்சும் நிலவு, poor contestants were made look ordinary. The scale was lowered by 2 keys at least from the original. Show host Erode [off late he is becoming E-Blade] Mahesh, I do respect him a lot for his language diction, he too went on and on with his hyped superlatives. The show is portrayed as a singing and dancing show, honestly neither is good. When all the other TV channels are providing quality music shows with all the money and power Sun TV shows are still in an identity crisis.

The rumor is that SunTV is saving lot money by just keeping their program telecast to around 5hrs. , rest has been dedicated to trailers from their own production company. My hearty Congratulations! To படிக்காதவன் the movie, it just over took திண்டுக்கல் சாரதி trailer (155,231) which had a trailer rating of 70 per hour, now we have seen படிக்காதவன் trailor about 155,232 times till date.

All said and done, படிக்காதவன் is yet to touch “காதலில் விழுந்தேன்” trailer record. KV has a trailer rating of 120 times per minute, that is 2 times per second . In spite of a vast promotion effort, movie was Pongal [I meant Pongal special], and during commercial breaks the trailer of the same movie was shown. What a freaking Media Giant!...way to go.

~கிளம்பிட்டான் யா கிளம்பிட்டான்


A.R.Rahman, my guru, I salute you ,

Every Artist from the soil adore him,
Mighty human force of billion plus behind
When his name was called,
He walked to the podium with sheer humility,
That Slow calm walk explained it all,
A.R.Rahman, my Guru, I salute you ,
“The inspiration has to be passed on” told the great Steven Spielberg
yes, Rahman!
You have been my inspiration from the day I met you In your studio,
A.R.Rahman, my Guru, I salute you ,