Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lose Control !

Allah Rakka Rahman.

The entire world knows the thump of this name, now. Popularly known as AR Rahman, he has bagged the Oscars for best composer and best song (along with Gulzar), for the film Slumdog Millionaire. This post is definitely not about his life, his younger days, his movies and how he won the Oscars, as you would find this information almost in every other blog around. I just wanted to mention what he has done in my life, as a composer.

Well, as like every other kid, I grew up hearing songs. But, there was a difference. The other kids grew up hearing songs, but I grew up hearing ONLY songs. The reason? My uncle’s recording library. In my childhood days, the recording shop was located between my home and my grand ma’s home. There was a big house and we rented it for the purpose of the recording Library. Initially, much before the recording library, it was the manufacturing place for the ‘mithais’ my father used to produce. They were so popular at that time that he used to busily visit all the southern states to distribute the mithais. They are the small, round shaped, sugar coated, jelly like mithais, with delicious taste. I can remember all those days where my father, my maternal 2nd uncle, and the employees used to work tirelessly to make them. My father and my uncle themselves go to the big iron vessels placed on the hot furnace, mix the ingredients and make the mithais, sweating profusely.

Hence, that business was popular. But suddenly, one fine day, father stopped the business, for some reasons. From then on, my uncle started a recording library at that place. Now, consider the period of the early eighties. Song recording was a unique concept, and people used to hear songs only through transistors. Cassettes were quite new, and people were just beginning to record songs in cassettes.

Since it’s a big house, a room was dedicated to keep all the recording instruments (Amplifier, record player, equalizer, big wooden speakers). The sound system was of the brand ‘Sonodyne’. The covers of the records were placed in the walls, and since the wall was huge, it would give a great ‘filmi’ look. The business was going like hot cakes during the olden days.

I used to spend most of my leisure time there at the shop. Somehow, from the very first day, I was attracted to music and movies. I quickly learned to play records and cassettes and how to record songs. I had so many old cassettes with me where I used to record my favorite songs and would play them, during the closed hours.

It’s well known that Ilayaraja was the master, during the olden days. Out of ten films releasing during an occasion, eight would be his musicals. And those songs were real good also. Hence, most people used to record his songs. Also, during the Christmas season, the songs sung by DGS Dinakaran & Nataraja Mudaliyar would be in demand. Plus the Ayyappa season!

I can clearly remember that incident. A new cassette arrived to the market, and the first time my uncle brought it home, I played it. I used to play all the new cassettes/ records once they arrive to the shop. The first song was playing. I was puzzled, as I have never before heard such a kind of music. All the music I have heard so far was tabla, bangos, drums and guitar. But, this is something unique. Something fresh! I dunno how to explain the perplexed feeling I experienced during that day. I clearly remember. I recorded all the songs and just before a song started, I recorded my voice mentioning about the song details. I was very much impressed.

With that film (Roja), Rahman changed the entire Tamil music industry! It happened like a magic! From then on, Rahman steadily moved up in the career ladder, and everything he touched, became a musical hit. People were craving for Rahman, and all the while, he was down to earth and humble to the core. His simplicity brought him the fame and everything.

He is now a phenomenon around the world, and international music directors, like Hans Zimmer, are praising his work.

The specialty of his music is the variety of instruments he uses, and the effort he puts in (for ex, he records ten different renderings of a single line of a song, and uses the best).

Here are a few songs of Rahman I love..

Jashn-e- bahaara – Jodha Akbar
E hairathe Aashiqui – Guru
Poo Kodiyin Punnagai – Iruvar
Masakali Masakali – Delhi 6
Marangotthiye – Ah Aah
Sonnalum Ketpadillai - Kadhal Virus
Khalbali – Rang De Basanti
Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodha Akbar
Rang De Basanti & Loose Control (remix) – Rang De Basanti
Vellai Pookkal ulagam engum – Kannathil Muthamittal
Kadhalikkum pennin kaigal – Kadhalan
Munbe Vaa – Jillunu oru Kaadhal
Sahara pookkal (melody) – Sivaji
Nenjam ellam Kaadhal – Aaydha Ezhuthu
Raasaathi – Thiruda Thiruda

These are few songs which immediately come to mind, as I hear them often. There are many more!!

PS:- Thanx to cinesouth.com for this wonderful pic,which's my fav!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Memoirs of a son . . .

It’s a Saturday morning. We see a boy, about 7-8 years old, and an elderly man, with the boy. We guess he is the boy’s father. They both are walking towards a big building. The boy is bubbling with happiness, and is exited to the core. The father is calm, holding the boy’s hand. He holds a small bag in his other hand. Everywhere around the boy, we see busy traffic.

The father enters the building. The son looks ahead. He sees huge film posters everywhere. Banners, placards, and more posters. The son keeps looking at a poster, where a big, muscular man holds a machine gun, with a band tied to his forehead. His face is intense, with sweat pouring down his body. It’s a theatre.

As soon as the boy looks at the poster, he cheers up. He walks faster towards the main entrance. The father takes the boy to the ticket counter, and buys tickets for the movie. It’s a morning, and so we don’t find much crowd in the theatre. People are walking casually inside.

After getting tickets, the father takes the boy to a part of the theatre where there is the cafeteria. He buys a bonda for the son, and while the little boy eagerly gobbles up, shows him a big black board, inclined on the wall. The story of the movie is written on the board in Tamil. The son reads the story slowly. The father waits there till the son has finished it up, and then walks inside the theatre. He takes the son to a comfortable seat, and they sit.

The son is thrilled and is anticipating the movie to begin. While the boy is waiting, the father fondly takes a package from the bag and gives it to the son. It’s a Japanese cake. The son eats it up, and the father fondly strokes the son’s head. The movie begins. The son watches it awe inspiringly, and the father leans back, with the pleasure and fulfillment of having introduced something creative to his little boy.

From then on, that father has done a lot to his little boy. He has given his life, to make the boy a creative person. This father is not like the typical fathers. He didn’t want his son to be a stereo typed one, who just goes to school, scores good marks, comes home, goes to tuitions, reads and reads, and finally settles down in life with an apartment, a Maruthi 800 and who in turn bears a child and raises the child the same way as he was being raised.

Instead, he wanted his son to be creative. He brought up his son in such a way that the son knew to read and write at the age of 3! Before joining the school, the son knew to read and write fluently. While the son was going to school the first time, every day, the father used to go to the school, wait at the gate, and once the school ends, he would silently stand in front of the L.K.G class, and on seeing his father, the son would come running, with tears flowing down his cheeks. The father would lift the son, take him home and shower him with surprises.

The father was very affectionate towards his little son. He had never ever lifted his hand towards beating the boy. Till date. The father was responsible for the son to develop his singing. He was responsible for the boy to read good books in Tamil and English. He taught his son Sanskrit. Playfully. He presented his son with a very innovative electronic ‘Do it yourself’ kit called ‘Chip- Chap’ which had 101 electronic experiments (like electronic organ, dynamo, traffic signals etc..) when the son was studying his fourth standard! The son amused everyone around by doing the experiments and once while the son was reading the manual in the class, the class teacher got interested and she borrowed the book, took it home, read it fully and gave it to him the next day, saying that he is a very different boy! The boy’s friends had never seen such a thing like the kit (it’s juz 4th standard).

The father once paid a sudden surprise visit to the son’s class (fifth standard). That was the boy’s birthday. The class was going on, and on seeing the father, the son came out. The father placed a huge parcel on the son’s hand. It had some 70 chocolates (not the usual éclairs kinda stuff. It was ‘Relish’, the-then famous chocolate, like today’s 5 star). He asked the son to give it to everyone in the class, and all the students were real happy on that day!

Another time, one day in the school, the son forgot to bring his pencil box. When he casually inserted his hand in to his schoolbag to take his pencil, he was shocked to learn that the box is missing. Bewildered, he borrowed a pencil from his friend. Exactly at the same instance, his father was standing outside the class, with the pencil box in his hand, smiling at the son! The son cannot control his tears, seeing his beloved father standing outside with the pencil box, having traveled ten kilometers from home. Later, the father told the son, “I thought about the shock you would experience when you see the box missing. That’s why I came to give it back”.

There are numerous instances like this. The father loves his son a lot. The son too, loves his father like anything. Presently, the son is 29 years old, and the father, 69. Even now, when the son goes to his hometown, the father keeps a half a kg Basundhi dabba, for his son to gobble it up!

The son once broke his father’s heart. It was the time when he confessed to the father that he is a drunkard. The father slowly digested the fact, and said nothing. The father can understand about the reason his son became a drunkard. After that, the son stopped drinking. He broke the promise a few times, but now, after the arrival of a princess to take care of the son, has stopped drinking again.

To the son, his father is the greatest of all living beings. He respects his father a lot. His father is also his best friend. They both share a relation, which cannot be typed just like that. It’s beyond everything. To see his father smiling, the son would do anything. The same goes with the father too.

His mother too, is a very caring lady. The son is now blessed with a down to earth, casual, compassionate, considerate, and loving angel of a girl with whom he is going to share his life, forever. The girl and his father have become good friends now, and all the son wants is this peaceful, happy family to be with him, till eternity. He also wants to bring up his children like the way he was brought up by his father.

Well, you might have guessed that the little boy is me, and the father is my father, whose name has adorned this blog. Mr Giriraajan. To me, well, he is simply great! My inspiration. I’d love to be born as his little boy for another hundred lives to come.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The eight Siddhis

From the ancient times, acquiring power has been dwelling in the deeper trenches of man’s mind. The one with physical power such as wealth, strength and army was considered as a mighty soul. Kings were considered equal to gods. The one with mental strength such as knowledge, metaphysical abilities etc was worshipped as the great Gnyani – the one who knows. Knows what? Knows what moksha is. The Atma is god. The one present outside is the one present inside. ‘Tat Tvam Asi’. The one who knows Advaitha. The one who ‘practically’ lives the advaithic way.

Such people were called Gnyanis. They guided people to know the meaning of life. The Samsara Saagara. The endless cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth and how to overcome it.

It’s been well observed that once the Gnyana – the practical truth of realizing the Atma as god - is obtained, the Gnyani automatically inherits most of the powers of the supreme god (Brahman – as mentioned by the scriptures. But if I mention that word, then suddenly I’m sure of someone raising the question – ‘Don’t use the name of a caste! It’s Brahman – not Brahmin. Anyway). Attention. Most of the powers. Not ‘all’ the powers. Once the Gnyani acquires the powers, he uses them with the kindness and compassion of guiding the people around him to overcome the cycle of birth and death. All the Gnyanis we know have done the same thing.

Take the Gnyanis of our times:

The Paramacharya of Kanchi - The embodiment of Advaitha, Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharshi, Ananthamayee ma, Sri Arobindo, The holy Mother, Swami YogiRam Surath Kumar - Visiri Swamigal, Sri Seshadri Swamigal, Sri Bhagawannama Bodhendra, Sri Abhinava Vidhya Theertha Sankaracharya Swami of Sringeri Mutt and many more.

Now, the advaithic realism attained by a Gnyani is the one which comes to him directly once he realizes the Atma. He didn’t crave for these special powers but he yearned ONLY to realize the true self. This is one kind of power. A power which is like a shirt – the Gnyani can also live without such a power. The power is unimportant for a Gnyani who has realized the true self.

Now, there is one more kind of power. This power is acquired by practicing what is called as Yoga. The Yoga is different from Gnyana. Bhagawat Gita clearly bifurcates these two categories. A Gnyani is someone who has realized the true self – the Advaitha – which states the Atma and the supreme god are same. Whereas, the Yogi is the one who, in search of Gnyana, practices certain principles, which yield him the desired Gnyana.

But – in big red bold – there is a huge pitfall. While going through the several steps of the process, every step yields a special power to the Yogi. This is not the case in a Gnyani’s practice. The Gnyani meditates scrupulously chanting the upadesa he received from his guru and at one stage he practically realizes the truth. He is not getting any special power while moving on the spiritual ladder towards Gnyana. But, the Yogi’s case is different. Since he chose this particular path, he will also get the fruits of the particular steps while climbing up the ladder.

It is mentioned that the Yogi gets eight special powers – The eight siddhis while he is moving up the spiritual ladder. They are:

Anima – The power of shrinking the body to that of an atom.
Mahima – The power of growing one’s body to a very large size (like vishwaroopa)
Garima – The power of increasing the weight of one’s body
Lagima – The power of reducing one’s own weight. Becoming totally weightless
Praapthi – Acquiring the material of one’s choice
Praakamyam – The power of unrestricted access to any place
Isitwam – The power of creation
Vasitwam – the power of attraction – to change another mind to obey us

These are the eight special powers. If attained, these powers have the ability to throw the practitioner back in to the mortal world again, letting him enjoy the fruits of these powers, instead of continuing his journey towards Gnyana. Hence, they are stated as dangerous by many.

Our country has witnessed numerous numbers of yogis with the above mentioned powers. Just take a look at ‘An Autobiography of a Yogi’. You will be astounded by the details given in that book about the yogis found all over India.

I will try to give more details in the subsequent posts.

Monday, February 16, 2009

iTONE - Serve mankind.


Read this link first. This is by Shree. My partner.

Then, think about helping the needy. It's juz a matter of donating ten rupees per month. Think about it, and once the organization gets registered, come. Help us. Help us to help the needy.

Will brief everyone soon about the organization. Take care, and think about this, for a start.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do ghosts exist?

Lot of people have asked me this question many times (Don’t start considering me as a pandit or a wisecrack immediately. I always wanted to begin one of my posts with this sentence . Hee hee).

“Do ghosts exist?”

I have always told them the same answer.

YES. They have. They do exist.

The reason? I’ll tell.

The story goes back a long time. Around hundred and fifty years from now. It’s around the period of 1860. There lived a young Brahmin named ‘Venkata Kuppaiyah’. He was a ranger in Anaimalai district of Tamil Nadu. Once, while he was patrolling in the night inside the thick forest (Anaimalai is dense even now. So consider the 1860s!!) in his horse, he lost his way. He was going round and round in the forest, but was not able to hit the road. Well, believe it or not, suddenly there appeared a black gigantic figure in front of him. It was not human at all. It ordered him to go to Kasi (Varanasi) immediately. When he accepted, it showed him the route and disappeared.

He went to Kasi, got upadesa from a renowned sanyasi and became Swami Abhayanandha. He built a temple for goddess Soolini Durghamba in Coimbatore, near his house. I have given the vivid account of his story in a previous article here. The reason I am mentioning it, will be explained shortly.

Now, Swami Abhayanandha has written his life history in detail and it is safely guarded. This book has not been published as yet, and is present in the form of a manuscript. In this book, he has given a detailed account of all his experiences with various tantric practices and with gods like Shiva and Subrahmanya. I have seen the manuscript myself.

Swami Abhayanandha is my great grandfather.

That he possessed great powers is unquestionable, as my grand ma and many old members of the family have seen it themselves. In the olden days, the temple he built was very famous for driving the ghosts away from poor humans. He has used many ways to drive them out. Sometimes, he will throw vibuthi. Sometimes, he will throw sacred water. Sometimes, he will talk to the ghost patiently. My father himself has seen this and has told me in detail about the powers of Abhayanandha.

He also had a ghost in his control which he used rarely. The name of this ghost is ‘Karna Kudumbini’. It sits on his shoulders, and will tell all the intricate details of the person who is sitting in front of the great sage. Now, Abhayanandha had such great powers that he manifested himself at multiple locations numerous times. Such a sanyasi needed no kind of help from a ghost like Karna Kudumbini, but just to demonstrate to other people about ghosts and their significance, he has used it at some rare occasions.

The temple continues to be present at the same location, enlightening everyone about Swami Abhayanandha.

Well, since I have a practical proof of ghosts, I know they exist.

Another question I have faced multiple times is about the tantric practices, and their outcome. That is, about the various activities performed by worshipping goddess Shakti and the powers obtained by it, and the outcome of it. In short, the manthras, the eight siddhis and the outcome of practicing them.

I will write in brief about these special powers in the next post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A trip to remember - Pichavaram with Charu

It all started on Thursday morning, when I called Charu to talk about his Vijay TV interview which was aired on Wednesday night. While talking, he casually mentioned about the Pichavaram trip, planned for the weekend. I had a marriage to attend on Sunday night and I told him. He said, “Nalla decide pannikkunga ..”. I thought about it for a while, and all of a sudden decided to go for the trip (Senthil – enna mannichiruda - my friend who got married that weekend). I spoke to my girlfriend, and immediately she said she also is coming. That was a total surprise! I was elated to the core and sent a msg to Charu that we both are coming.

Then, I called Srini, an organizer for the trip and confirmed my participation. He gave me the route and suggested to pack my girlfriend off to Pichavaram during the night of the get together (??!!). Did a small R&D and found out about the place, as I haven’t visited it before.

Thursday evening. My girl friend says she is unable to come for the trip, as the traveling distance was too much. 28 hours of travel to and fro since she is coming from B’lore. So, the plan changed. My room mate Surr said he too wants to come, and it then became me and him instead of me and my girlfriend.

Saturday morning. The previous night, we decided to start at 5:00 AM and catch the bus around 6 in the morning since it’s a six hour journey to Chidambaram from Chennai. Pichavaram is at an hour’s journey from Chidambaram. But on Sat morning, when the alarm rang, we switched it off and continued our sleep. We finally woke up around 6:45 and rushed to the bus stand. The bus started at 8:30.

While traveling, it was a wonderful sight, as the road was full of trees and farms, all the way to Chidambaram. It was fantastic and I took a lot of snaps.

Sat afternoon. We reached Chidambaram. Enquired at a bakery and learned that the Pichavaram bus is coming in half an hour. We got the bus and reached Pichavaram around 3:45 PM. reached the spot, met Srini. He was joking that Suresh is my girlfriend. Finally, met Charu.

Charu was with a gang of friends. Fellow fans, having arrived much earlier. They all were talking about various topics.

A short while later, it was decided to start the trip to a small island which is about an hour’s journey from Pichavaram.The first batch started for the island with Charu. Me and Suresh waited for the second trip, as the boat was almost jam-packed.

While staying back, took a few snaps of the beautiful spot.

At about 6:30 PM, the boat arrived, after dropping the first batch at the island. We both, along with a few more friends, got in. A few paraphernalia was loaded (like the gas cylinder, part of the drinks, some food, and generator) and we started around 7.

The journey was awe-inspiring, to say the least. It was dark all around our boat, with only the moonlight showing us the path. The journey continued for around 45 min, and I saw something which I’ll never forget in my life.

In the middle of the water, I saw some poles. From a distance, they appeared like poles, and I pointed them to Suresh. He said they appear like electric posts. When we went near, I took a good look. They were indeed electric posts, which were connected to each other by wires, just as we see them in the road. The telling factor is that the village was flooded in the Tsunami and completely submerged. The poles were the only remnants of the disaster. I silently stared at them till they went out of my sight. It left a powerful impact in my mind, and I was thinking about them for a long time.

We arrived finally at the island. It was a very small island, with a lot of coconut trees. There were 2 huts, constructed on poles about six feet high. There was no light, as the generator was with us. At one side, the goat was getting roasted. It was a pretty site altogether.

Everything was setup. It was like a mini bar, with all the drinks being neatly arranged by Srini & co. Right from O. C (Old Cask rum), all the famous liquor brands were there. And then, the party started.

While drinks were being served, the sound system was set up, and Rahman’s melodies were played (as Charu doesn’t like Ilayaraja). Everyone formed groups and were chatting with each other, when Charu grabbed the mike. He said, if he wanted to meet Srini and the other organizers, he’ll do it in Chennai itself, and if everyone were seated in groups chatting with each other, then what’s the purpose of arranging for such a meeting.

We all gathered around Charu, and he started the discussion. He himself raised the frequently asked question of “what is post modernism?” (பின் நவீனத்துவம்). He then gave a beautiful answer to it, associating the term with the sensitivity of a female. While we can refer the male for Modernism, post modernism can be linked to a female, he said.

Then, slowly one by one were asking questions and Charu answered everything. I started a new topic about Mani Rathnam and his reproduction of some famous movies in English, and why is that we are not able to produce great movies. In this fashion, the discussion went on.

At one stage, I felt so sleepy that I dozed off sitting in the chair. When I woke up, it was 4:15 AM. No one was near me, and I was sitting all alone in the island, surrounded by the beach! It was real dark everywhere and I then went to the hut, joining Suresh, who was sleeping there.

The next morning, the discussion continued, and Charu was playing us some songs from his mobile, which he said will be hearing every day after his meditation. After a while, the boat came up, and we all bid farewell to Charu, Srini and Needhimani and started to Pichavaram.

Well, this is the story about a wonderful trip I made, to that deserted, forlorn island, which stands testimony to one of the worst disasters to have hit our country.

We then went to Chidambaram and to Vaitheeshwaran Koil. I’ll post about these visits in my next post.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another copy cat of my posts !!

Updated on 20th Feb 09

- Note:- The guy has removed the post, after reading my warning. Hence, I'm deleting his details from this post.

There is yet another idiotic copy cat of my posts. here is a letter by letter copy of my 2 posts about Naan Kadavul.

These people !! Seems they won't stop copying content from the other blogs.

If this guy is not removing the post, then I'm sure he is gonna face a law suit from me.

All the best , slughead!!

updated at 10:30 PM. Wz checking the post again. Good to see a couple of responses. Thank you friends.

Here are the responses to the copied content.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Naan Kadavul - disappointment !

edited on 11th Feb 2009.
Just finished watching Naan Kadavul. In chitambaram. Went to pichavaram yesterday and while returning, halted here. Well, the ticket price was 80 Rs - that equal's Sathyam's price - economy class! And, there was no A/C ! Anyways, finished the film and composing this review from our hotel room in my cell.

What does Naan kadavul say? It's the story of a man forsaken by his father in Kasi who comes to take him back to his home fourteen years later, and the experiences the son faces, in the father's town - Malaikovil in South Tamil Nadu. The film begins and ends at Kasi.

For the first time, there is no romance in a Bala film. Good to see the change in Bala's approach. The heroine is a blind girl, who begs by singing songs. Also, there's no real 'story' till the interval, and the film 'begins' only after the first 80 mins. Unlike Bala's earlier films.

In the beginning, when the father comes to Kasi in search of his son, we see Arya, who is an 'Aghori' - a sanyasi group which followes certain vigorous rules and worship Lord Shiva's violent stature - Kaala Bairava. We see an Aghori Guru, for whom the Hero is a disciple. The hero is called Rudra. The father talks to the Guru and after the Guru assuring his disciple that he will return to him when the time comes, takes his son to his home town.

Back in Malaikovil, we see Thandavan, the villain, who has copious beggars under his control, and collects all the money raised by them. We see a group of terribly mutilated beggars along with Murugan, a gunda who works for Thandavan and has a collection of beggars under him. Rudra lands up in Malaikovil. He doesn't like any kind of relationships which bind him to the mortal world, and his sole aim is to contemplate and meditate upon the lord. So, he leaves home and goes to a place in the hill where the other 'sadhus' reside.

We also see the heroine. We learn that she is a blind girl who runs her livelihood by begging. This is what we see in the first half.

In the second half, the story begins. Murugan sees the blind girl singing in a train, and brings her to Thandavan. Thandavan hands over the girl to Murugan and asks him to place the girl in the mountain among the other beggars. In spite of the poor girl's resistance, she is placed at the mountain to beg.

A fellow person who does the same kind of business as Thandavan comes to him with a peculiar offer. He wants a few of the beggars to be taken to Kerala with him to beg in certain locations. He offers money to Thandavan and takes a few of the poor beggars with him. He gives Thandavan 10 lakhs for the blind beggar girl to be married to a terribly disfigured guy whose face is nothing but a few remnants of skin sticking on the skull. This fellow wants a girl to be married to him, and since no one would dare to even see his face, plans to marry the blind girl.

The girl refuses and goes to a Saadhu in the mountain, who asks the girl to go to Rudhra. The girl runs to Rudhra and when the girl is about to be abducted, Rudhra beats the gundas and kills the man. As a result, the police arrest Rudhra, who does not care about any of these happenings. He continues to live his 'own' life, bathing in the river, smoking ganja and meditation. The police try to enquire Rudhra about the missing person, but Rudhra says he has given the person what he deserved.

There is one mind chilling scene at this point. When the police ask "What have you done to that man?", A tight close up shot of Rudhra shows his face. He reclines back casually, looks up, and tells "Thinnutten" ('eaten him'). Those words have been cut and a mere beep plays at that time, but from the way he moves his lips, it's clearly evident. There is no direct scene that tells us about this particular trait of an Aghori. . That he eats dead bodies. But this single shot when the hero tells that he has eaten a person, gives us a chill in the spine. This is my most favorite scene in the film.

Finally the police give up and they release Rudhra.

When Rudhra is released, Thandavan runs to him with vengeance and attacks Rudhra. After a battle, Rudhra kills Thandavan. The blind girl comes to Rudhra and pleads to grant her freedom from this janma and the forthcoming janmas, as she is unable to withstand the pain inflicted by Thandavan and his people. She is in a very bad mutilated state, bearing the brunt of Thandavan's anger as the guy who wanted to marry the blind girl refuses the offer and goes away.

Rudhra remembers what his guru told. That he is an Aghori, who has the power to liberate people from this life and the forthcoming lives and grant them moksha. What he does at the end to liberate the poor girl from her sufferings forms the climax, and Rudhra finally walks away from the hill, and goes to his guru in Kasi. And the film ends.

The portrayal of the beggars is a definite plus point. The song 'Pichai paaathiram yendhi vandhen' is filmed in an excellent manner, like 'Kadavul ullame oor karunai illame' from Anbulla Rajnikanth and 'Enge sellum indha paadhai' from Sethu. But, that song is originally about a person seeking enlightenment. If you listen to the lyrics, it's evident. Using such a song to portray beggars, did not gel well. And Pooja's acting. In the initial few scenes and in the climax, she has done a great performance. But in some scenes, while she talks, she has done the same moves, like tilting her head one side and shaking it. Except that, her performance deserves a good applause.

Arya's performance is okay. He overacts in some scenes, and doesn't have any scenes to his credit, to be lauded. In short, he is the executioner. The director fails in this very concept. We see the hero as an Aghori, who doesn't care for anything, and who considers himself as the 'Kaala Bhairav', granting moksha to people who do not want another janma. Now, he beats and kills the bad guys. But there is no relationship with the audience. In pithamagan, the hero does the same but we were able to understand the reasons and were able to connect. But here, there is no real reason for the hero killing the villain. The villain attacks him, and that's the only justification for the hero to kill him. I mean, the audience knows that Thandavan is a bad guy who deserves to be killed, but the hero doesn’t. So, when he gets killed by Rudhra, it doesn’t connect well. That's one of the many weak links.

And, the movie has been filmed in such a way that the audience doesn't know whether the hero is a real Saadhu or is a guy who believes that he is a great soul. Most scenes are towards the second point which alienates the audience from them.

Overall, I was not able to like it. Some scenes were good, but when commenting as a whole, I would say it's a disappointment, which made my assumption right, after seeing the trailer. Refer my post which I published after seeing the trailer. That it's a bore.

My previous posts about Naan Kadavul. .

Sent from my mobile device

Affly, Rajesh .

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nagesh - excellence personified !

The first ever film in which I saw Nagesh was Thiruvilayadal. I was a small boy and my neighbors had newly shifted to the house. I was invited for their movie screening (those days, TV and video player – affectionately called as ‘Deck’, were a rarity). I was elated to the core, and ran to the open terrace where there was a good multitude of people seated in chairs. I too went to my uncle, and there started the film. People who have seen Thiruvilayadal will remember about the Technicolor and the actors. To me, it was a new experience, seeing the elephant faced god (Vinayaka) and the bull faced Nandhi playing Mridangam. I was watching it with utter amusement, and there he came.

Dharumi. The poor poet, who craves to live a good life. I was laughing my guts out as he starts questioning Shivaji Ganesan (who plays Lord Shiva, who gives a poem to Dharumi which answers the King’s doubt about do women have natural scent of their tresses or the scent is because of the oil and perfumes they use). As the poet (Lord Shiva in disguise) answers every question, Dharumi leans backwards a little, and finally when all of his questions get answered, he jumps straight to the poet’s feet and declares he is the ultimate poet. The way he calls Shivaji (“pattuduthina pulavaaa”), meaning the one who wears the silk dress, during his legendary soliloquy, a few scenes later, is quite a famous one.

After that movie, I became his instant fan. We saw almost all of his hits in video those days. Sarvar Sundaram, Neerkkumizhi, Pattanathil bootham, Anbe vaa, Galatta kalyanam, Soppu seeppu kannadi, Thillana moganambal, Thenkinnam.. Many more. His body mannerisms, his tone, his timing, they all were quite exceptional, and he had mentioned that he considers Jerry Lewis as his inspiration. Walking out of his home and parents declaring that he will be back only after he excels in his career, Nagesh got a job in Indian Railways, and started playing in various roles in drama troupes. He utilized his major breaks provided by Directors Sridhar and Balachandar and went on to become the unconquored supremo of Tamil comedy.

Mehmood had mentioned that he considers Nagesh as his guru. Nagesh has handled every role with flamboyance and ease. Almost all the MGR films have had Nagesh, as the side kick.

I loved his roles in Magalir mattum (as a dead body), Aboorva Sagotharargal (as one of the four villains), Michael madhana kama raajan (as the cunning yet funny Avinashi). Who ever can forget kadalikka Neramillai (which was later remaked by the same team as 'Pyar kiye Jaa' in Hindi) where Nagesh plays the wannabe movie director Chellappa! The story he recites to his father (Baalaiya) - "அப்பா இது ஒரு சஸ்ஸ்ஸ்பென்ஸ் கத.. அந்த சுவர்க்கோழி இல்ல.. ஜிகுஜிகுஜிகுஜிகு ஜிக்கு.. ஜிகுஜிகுஜிகுஜிகு ஜிக்கு.. " – unforgettable!

Nagesh expired on 31st Jan 2009. Indian movie industry has lost an all time great man, who can make even the most hardcore irate to laugh. One of my most favorite actors, let his soul rest in peace. Now, I know all magazines would start publishing his biography. But, at this time, is it not a disgrace to the government for having not confered nagesh with any award? Even in the recently given Padma awards, his name was not futured. This is not a disgrace to Nagesh, but to the government. Now, I know immediately they will confer the award posthumously to him. These politicians and their politics!

R.I. P dear Nagesh. Thanks a lot for making us laugh all these years.

PS:- The picture taken from tamilwire.com. Was unable to get a quality pic of Nagesh from the net! Thanks for them too.

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