Sunday, April 27, 2008

Soundtrack to My Life

Your Life: The Soundtrack

Okay, been tagged by Ess. Surprisingly, this has been a dream come true-REALLY! I've always wanted to be the person who decides the soundtrack for a film (even if the only time it's happened was a group interview project where we made good use of Justin Adams' 'Desert Road' and Thievery Corporation's 'Khalghi Stomp' for the end credits! ) I wonder if there's a career in that...hmmm..I mean I have the qualifications. Come see my iTunes.

Opening credits:

'Nah'seb'-Rachid Taha

'She Moves in Mysterious Ways'- U2

Waking up:

'Gotas de Agua Dulce'-Juanes

'She Moves in Mysterious Ways'- U2 (the opening credits would show me waking up! ;) )

Typical Day:

'Purple Haze'-Groove Armada

'I Hear the Bells'-Mike Doughty

'Don't Worry, Be Happy'

'Ramble On'-Led Zeppellin

First date:

'Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop'-Landon Pigg

'How Do You Like It'- Darius

Falling in love:

'Think I'm in Love'-Beck

'Saavan'-Mitil and Mukul

'Jab Se Tere Naina'-'Saawariya'

Love Scene:

'Sombra de Ti'-Shakira,

'La Valse'-Faudel,

'In Lamhon ke Daaman Mein'-'Jodhaa-Akbar',

Breaking up:

'Undiscovered'-Ashlee Simpson,

'La Camisa Negra'-Juanes

'Simple Like the Truth'- Darius

'The Scientist'- Coldplay

Getting back together:

'Escape'-Enrique Iglesias

Fight scene:

'Rani'-Rachid Taha,

'Lli Fat Mat'-Rachid Taha,

'Vato'-Snoop Dogg,

Secret love:

'En retard'-Rachid Taha

'Rani Ma'ak El Youm'-Cheb Mami

Mental breakdown:

'Hurt'-Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash,

'Silence is Easy'-Starsailor

'Trab'-Cheb Mami


'Scarecrow'-Beck (reminds of driving down a long winding road to nowhere through fields)

'Pretty Vegas'-INXS

'Roadhouse Blues'-The Doors (not intentionally! It's because this is the only happy song on Sam's phone on the way back from college!)


Learning a lesson:



'Las de La Intuicion'-Shakira,

'Bittersweet Symphony'-The Verve

Deep thought:

'Safi'-Rachid Taha,

'Karma Coma'-Massive Attack,

'Yahamami'-Cheb Mami

'Dima'-Rachid Taha


'Gill Te Guitar'-Rabbi

'I Want to Break Free'-Queen


'Summer Moon'-Bob Sinclair,

'Voila, Voila'-Rachid Taha

'Rohi' and 'Samra' -Faudel (they feel like a nightclub sequence out of a Bollywood film for some reason!)

Happy Dance:


'Ida'-Rachid Taha

'Chinnamma Chilkamma'-'Meenaxi'

'Vuroram Puliamaram'-'Parithi Veeran'



'Yamess'-Rachid Taha

'Quizas'-Enrique Iglesias

'Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own'-U2

Long night alone:

'Marseillais du Nord'-Cheb Mami

'Paris Le-Caire'-Faudel

Closing credits:

'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'-U2

'Hey Anta'-Rachid Taha

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Add this to your playlist!

Sniff. Whine. I'm woozy in the head (flu, lack of sleep, loss of appetite) and my newest blog post got deleted! WAAHHHH!! This automatic saving system failed on me and only the title got saved in the drafts. I'm too heartbroken to be mad. Let me try rewriting it.

Artistes/Albums/Songs that are either new or newly discovered by me that I highly recommend. Instead of the usual grab-you-by-the-arm-and-holler-at-you-for-not-getting-this-or-that-song, I am attempting a more dignified approach to promotion. GO LISTEN TO THESE ARTISTES! NOW! (P.S: The compilation could be a little too ecletic for normal taste, so please scan and screen)

1. 'Saavan' by Mitil and Mukul
This song's for the happily committed (and the sappily single) ones out there. Washes over you like a romantic rainy afternoon. Mukul's silken vocals and the highly heart-stopping (and identifiable) lyrics are bound to leave you wishing it was monsoon time again. Contact me for translation.

2. 'Raising Sand' by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Ever imagined Led Zeppellin's shrieky frontman would return with a passionate bluegrass-rock album, teaming up with one of country music's nightingales? Well, he just did.
My favourite track on the album is the tragically beautiful 'Polly Come Home' on which Plant's voice floats along, smooth as mist. Another favourite is the powerful 'Nothin'' (don't miss the 'Led' tribute through raw distortion), unleashing fury after a relationship gone sour. I also like the mischievous 'Fortune Teller', a tale of a soothsayer's prediction with a twist! Krauss's angelic voice soars through 'Trampled Rose', just like a songbird. And just when you don't want to get too mesmerised by the exquisite portrayal of pain and heartache, 'Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)' gets your feet tapping...and well, gets you moving on.
Not a diehard Led Zeppellin fan, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this album. The colourful and bouncy video of 'Gone Gone Gone' caught my eye. This interesting new collaboration project proved to be a welcome relief from
-handclap beats
-"I want you You want me We want it" lyrics. A little subtlety, people!
-Also, the depression that seems to be prevalent in all of today's rock. Like Bowling for Soup accurately observed, "It sells records when you're sad these days/It's super cool to be mad these days". As if we don't have problems enough, what with global warming and all! Atleast try singing your sadness a little sunnily, will ya?!
-beautiful voices lost somewhere in the distraction of mini skirts and pouts.
-watertight genre classification, with no room for a little experimentation.

Oh and I also did a little reading up on Robert Plant. Turns out he has an affinity for North-African, Saharan music and has, along with Jimmy Page worked on several collaborations with African artistes. Check out 'Yallah' while you're at it. If I discover that he is best friends with Rachid Taha, I shall conclude that he is my subconscious alter ego living halfway across the world!!!

3. 'Tashan'- Vishal-Shekhar
Minus the excessive promotion, the much-discussed vital statistics of a particular actress and the immensely cliched visuals, a couple of tracks on this album are actually worth a spin or two! 'Dil Haara' is one of them (please shield your eyes from the video! Saif Ali Khan should not be watched dancing-not with the leather get-up and the handlebar moustache. Please stick to acting and glaring, Saif-we love you for that.) "Tabad tod naach lu naach lu naach lu/Naach lu re/Ho oh/Chappan taare tod naach lu/Suraj chanda mod naach lu/Ab to tabad tod naach lu/Main da banjara re/Ho oh"-my knowledge of Bhojpuri is limited, but it is clearly evident that the song is about abandonment and the ecstasy of love. Moreover, I love Sukhwinder Singh's voice (he's sung most of my favourites from 'Chinnamma Chilkamma' to 'Chaiyya Chaiyya') and so the song has me hooked for a while, atleast for the curiosity factor. 'Tashan mein', is another interesting one, fusing Saleem's Hindustani vocals with Vishal Dadlani's razor-edged style in of course, Bhojpuri again. However, the chorus tends to kill this title song. 'Chhaliya' is simply intolerable (it's like Pepsi without the fizz...or fizz without Pepsi?). Not exactly the best way to introduce Miss Kapoor's new look.

4. 'Scream'- Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson and Nicole Scherzinger
Much as I quite clearly outlined my distate in this trend of the music industry, one cannot ignore Timbaland. Here's another from Timba's hit factory for you to press forward to instead of replay on 'The Way I Are'. Shake your hips, do crunches or the stepper to this as you pretend to be Nicole Scherzinger. Or Timbaland. Actually, Nicole.

5. 'Friday'- Goldspot
Yes, it is a reference to that fizzy drink we used to drink as little kids long before there was any Youngistaan...or any awareness of calories. Siddhartha Khosla, the lead singer of this L.A based band apparently discovered his musical inclinations while singing bhajans as a child. However, he took this hobby quite a few steps further (much to the horror of his Yale-educated parents, I'm assuming) and founded this alternative rock outfit. 'Friday' speaks of not fitting in, creating your own imaginary kingdom ( how does that sound familiar?!!) and finding hope. Highly recommended for all you Coldplay/Paolo Nutini fans out there- 'The Assistant', 'Float On' (which appeared on 'The O.C' apparently) and 'It's Getting Old'. I'm hoping Khosla is the next Freddie an alternative/indie kinda way. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Indications of my Tamil-ness

The beat of ‘Veyilodu Vilayadi’ makes me nostalgic for paddy fields and blinding sunshine for some reason despite the fact that I am as rural the Gemini flyover. However, the chorus of ‘Mustafa Mustafa’ can make me more misty-eyed.
I watched ‘Sivaji’ more than once.
When I want to be affectionate without being mushy, I call someone ‘da’.
I always change to Sun Music after VH1 and Zoom.
Vada sambhar, sambhar-rice, bisi bela bath. Call me.
I grew up on a staple diet of Prabhu Deva’s baggy pants, funky dance moves and with swells of pride while listening to each newest A.R.Rahman creation, each marking a new season in my life.
Marina beach may be the dirtiest, most crowded, most overrated place in the city but it’s still our beach.
I wanna dance like Vijay!!
Pongal brings so much hope even though I don’t own a cow and dread the increase in sunshine from that time of the year. And salty
‘Dai’ can be used in so many contexts ranging from blind fury to playful greeting. Why, it’s even in my phone’s messaging dictionary (though probably as the starting of the word ‘dairy’. Hmmm. Never mind)
The Tamil slang is so open to other languages. Conversation is easy for anyone. (“Ippo straight, ippo right, ippo left!)
I love shouting out when spotting familiar places in Kollywood movies. ("Spencers!!!")
Tamil comedy is something else altogether…

I complain on and on and on and on about the heat but I don’t go anywhere.
My best friend knows your aunt’s sister’s son/daughter.
Only in Chennai can you go to a Café Coffee Day and wind up meeting 2/3rd of your graduating class from school.
Lungis seem so comfy…Dhaavanis look so pretty… :) even though you hardly see them anymore.
Sure, it’s sleepy but after all that sun, that’s all you really want to do.

I love my Madras. :D

Culturally challenged

Yes, I'm culturally challenged.
No, it's not that I have no respect or understanding or interest in culture of any kind. It's just that I have an affinity for ALL of them!
Wait let me explain...
My paternal side of the family is Telugu, with origins way back in Rajasthan...
My maternal side is Malayali but with settlements all over the North of India...
My cousins are half-Bengali and half-Himachali each (with the confusing mix of Malayali blood and Delhiite upbringing thrown in)...
My language of thought and most speech is the colonial inheritance, English (with a medley of Tamil, Hindi, slang and whatever language is closest pulled in)...
My poetry! The language of my heart is Spanish, for its poetry in every phrase, in every word and its capability of expressing my soul (though I barely speak it anymore)...
My music! Music speaks to me most strikingly through Arabic-the whispers of the desert, the wind in the qanun and the hypnotic beat of the derbouka...
My movies! Bollywood and the Hindi dialogues, songs and dances of its films envelop me in their profusion of warmth and colour...
My food! Has to be spicy and colourful and vibrant and over the top. I cannot live without some dose of Andhra food...
My school! Sanskrit was my second language. My reverence for the holy language was a bit dented after 5 years of non-understanding texts that advised me to not hang necklaces around a snake (No offence meant)
My college! French was always a language I appreciated for its exquisite accent (which I practised much on my friends, much to their er..concern for my sanity) and also because it so resembled Spanish.

You would wonder how I survived these many years without tripping over my own tongue. Linguistically, culturally, emotionally... I have no clue where I stand.

What is my mother tongue? (er, English)
What are you? (er, human)
Where are you from? (er,Mommy?)

Oh my, you don't speak Telugu, what a shame. You don't speak Malayalam either? Tsk, tsk.
No I cannot feel pride welling up if I see coconut trees and backwaters. Sure, it's pretty but it isn't mine.
I love my 'mudu-pappu' and mango dal like crazy but I cannot follow a word of the Telugu language and as much as I try to feel guilty about it, I really don't.
And I just don't have a soul to practise Spanish with. It's not much fun being pointed at while you speak to yourself in a 'foreign' language.
And my spoken Hindi shows no improvement despite my Bollywood fixation and the fact that it was my general elective this semester!

So where do I fit in? Where is that home, the place I belong? Where everyone goes on holiday and comes back with unified stories of family, tradition while I take a pinch of nearly everything. I want to understand jokes in Malayalam slang and want to understand the lines to inane Chiranjeevi songs (Big Boss!!!).
I want to speak perfect Hindi and not just ‘hahn, hahn’. I want something to call my OWN. And it’s too late to invent a language. (already did that in Std I…until concerns for my development made me stop)

Maybe that’s why I created Estarra. Hmmm. :)