Categories
Movies Song

Kurutham Kettavan – A Malayalam Album With A Difference

I first heard of Kurutham Kettavan from mom. She heard about this new Malayalam music video featuring Suraj Venjarammoodu and Ranjini Haridas on TV and alerted me immediately. Not exactly a fan of Ranjini, I didn’t show much interest. But mom seemed all hyped up about the video, despite not having seen it. Now, my mom’s the last person who’d follow a new music album or anything. So I really didn’t have a clue as to why my mom showed interest on Kurutham Kettavan.

Only until I saw the video myself. 🙂

Made in the ‘Palavattam’ mould, the album tries to undo (irreparable) damage done to the Malayalam Music scene by a juggernaut called ‘Silsila’ (incidentally made by a namesake of mine 😐 ). Sung by Anoop Sankar (Asianet Plus fame) and composed by Hariprasad, the peppy number has a tongue-in-cheek video featuring Ranjini and Suraj.

The song is about the travails of a random guy, played by Suraj Venjarammoodu, who is  a Kurutham Kettavan (one who’s upto no good) from childhood. Ranjini Haridas is Rosykutty, his love interest. Pepped with 3D animation, the video has a cartoonish-feel to it, making it quite endearing. The song’s also pretty-good, and matches upto the ‘Palavattam’ quality.

Kurutham Kettavan is a product of Vishraam Creations. Favour Francis is the video-director. Prakash Velayudan has handled the camera while Sushil has crafted the 3D visuals of the video. The video is edited by Dheeraj Warrier.

You’d surely enjoy the video, if you know the language. Do check it out! 🙂

Categories
Musings Song

Tribute to M.G. Radhakrishnan

It’s been a week since the demise of Malayalam music director M.G. Radhakrishnan.

Image Courtesy: mathrubhumi.com

Brother to singer M.G. Sreekumar, Radhakrishnan was a stalwart in the Malayalam Music scene. His tracks had the simplest of tunes. Yet, they would capture every bit of your aural presence and take you to another level. The down-to-earth music director started-off composing music for the All India Radio. After the success of many songs he pioneered for the radio (including a popular radio show teaching music for listeners), he was invited to do the music for the Malayalam movie ‘thampu’. Soon, offers came pouring in, and Radhakrishnan churned out mellifluous tunes for many movies including ‘Manichitrathazhu‘, ‘Agnidevan’, ‘Devasuram‘, ‘Advaitham’, ‘Ananthabhadram‘, et al. He’s bagged the state award twice for ‘Achaneyanenikkishtam’ and ‘Ananthabhadram‘.

I’ve forever been a fan of the musical maestro. I find immense solace in some of his tracks, in times of despair. My favourite MG track is ‘Sooryakireedom‘ from Devasuram – a haunting song that talks about the transcience of death and the uncertainity of life. The news of M.G’s death came a day late to me. M.G. is one of my favorite Music Directors, right after Raveendran. I actually had plans to interview M.G. for the papers, and a friend had even given me his contacts. In that context, the news of his demise pinned me down with despair and shock.

I could not help but offer my tributes to the maestro who has continue to amaze me with his tracks. Here’s my cover a favourite M.G. Track.

Song Name: Vande Mukunda Hare.

Movie: Devasuram (1992)

Singer: M.G. Radhakrishnan

Vande Mukunda Hare | Music Codes

The video of this song has Oduvil Unnikrishnan‘s character (Peringodan Shankara Marar) bids his adieu to buddy Mangalasseri Neelakantan (Mohanlal) – A feudal landlord,who stands wounded and decapitated after an ambush. Marar can’t bear the sight of watching his once-healthy mate now in tatters. The lyrics of the song make references to mythology: Kuchela is bidding goodbye to Lord Krishna, who meets death by a stray arrow after the destruction of Dwarka.

Rest in peace, Radhakrishnan Sir. I know I haven’t done justice to your original rendering, but I’ve tried my best here. We’ll miss you! 🙁

Categories
Fun Life

Culture Shock

My uncle made a sudden announcement that he’s migrating to the U.S. of A, to the family’s surprise. His company posted him overseas with a pay that’s equivalent to ten times as much it’s worth in motherland. Despite the odds, especially the countless diplomatic hassles, he decided to pack his bags and live the american dream with his wife and daughter (my cousin), who was a five-year old back-then.

Three months of red-tape-dodging later, the three of them took a  flight from ‘namma ooru Bengaluru’ to ‘The Valley’, in pursuit of the much-cliched ‘American Dream’.

The flight was bumpy and it took  little Karthika (my cousin) six visits to the loo just to get ‘settled down’. Aunty and Uncle were excited about the trip, but Karthika wasn’t. She bawled all over the place when she heard the news of departure. She couldn’t stand the thought of leaving  her buddies at Sacred Heart’s School. And besides, she’d come to love Bangalore. She just couldn’t let go, yet her parents didn’t take no for an answer.

Twenty Three harrowing hours later, the trio landed at SFO (San Francisco Airport) – they were supposed to land at the San Jose Airport, which was closer to their destination – Palo Alto. Sadly, a storm turned things around, literally, that is. Now, that was a huge blow for uncle, cause he had his company car waiting at San Jose. SFO was over twenty one miles from their destination. The driver had been informed of the change, but it would take at least three hours to reach SFO (which was over 35 miles  from SFO, and the storm made driving hard). Uncle, Aunty and Karthika had to wait in the passenger lounge for hours. The jet-lag was killing them, and they hadn’t taken enough woolen clothes. To make things worse, temperatures neared sub-zero and it was snowing heavily outside. Karthika was seriously pissed – but even she was too tired for tantrums; she struggled to cope up with the cold, under four layers of woolen clothing.

CC Credits: artofthestate

The USA was new to Karthika. A whole new world of people who were either too fair or too dark. It was so clean, swank and modern. Every square-metre had some beeping/gleaming electronic gadget attached. She stared open-mouthed, with an emotion that was part-awe and part-fear. She observed every nook and corner of the airport, trying to read signs in English – she was already familiar with the language; her teacher at school was American, and she’d already learned ‘the drawl’ from her. She could read and write well-enough for a five year old. As she was observing the red neon signs on the wall opposite to her, something caught her eye.

‘Someone’, actually. Not some-‘thing’.

The plural of ‘someone’ to be precise.

Two people stood close to each other, beneath the neon sign. The man was clad in a tee shirt and shorts while the female wore a sleeveless blue tank top. Strangely, they didn’t seem to feel the cold at all. And they were doing something to each other. Karthika squinted. She moved forward, braving the cold, and eyed closely. The man seemed to be biting the woman’s lips. No, he was eating something from her mouth – she couldn’t be sure. It was gross! For all she could see – the man’s mouth was inside the woman’s. Perhaps the woman was hungry, and the man was trying to feed her? Aw, no – that shouldn’t be the thing.

Now, were they kissing each other?

No, Karthika reassured herself. People kiss each other in the cheek. Her dad kisses her on the cheeks before they go to work. Her mom does that too, when she’s playing with her. And she’d seen Mohanlal kissing his heroines in Malayalam Movies they show on Asianet. They must be doing something else, she decided. Two minutes later, they didn’t seem to stop and Karthika felt sick staring at them. She turned around only to see another couple in the act. And another. And another. She even saw a man, biting/stucking another man’s lips/tongue (ewww). Karthika’s tummy did a back-flip. She ran to her mom who was trying to find some sleep on her dad’s shoulder and rested herself on her mom’s lap.

Aunty woke up, and caressed her arms lovingly on Karthika’s head. Karthika’s query caught aunty unawares.

“Amme (Mom), What are these people doing?” (Pointing to a kissing couple).”

Clean bowled.

“Molu (Daughter), er, that’s the american way of greeting people! In America, you kiss a new person when you meet him/her. Much like we shake hands in India.”

“Oh, so they are kissing right? I thought so. But why are they kissing on their mouths? Why don’t they kiss on the cheeks like us?”

“Er… Er… I guess, that’s the American way of kissing, molu.”

“Oh, athu shari.” (Hmmm, I see).

Karthika failed to notice the beads of sweat that had accumulated on Raji aunty’s forehead, as she nodded in understanding.

Later on that day, they reached Palo Alto and they were ushered into their cozy apartment. The jet lag took a toll on the three of them, and they spent the entire day sleeping. Workaholic that he is, uncle left for work at 6 AM next morning. Aunty woke up soon after, and set about exploring their new fully-furnished home, awed by the profusion of gadgets, (especially the kitchen). Karthika took her time, and walked about their new apartment. She enjoyed the ambiance – and loved it even more, noticing the projection TV with countless cartoon channels. Meanwhile, somebody knocked the door, and  Aunty opened it. Next-door neighbours had come visiting  – A lovely black lady Michelle, and her son Tyler. Aunty ushered them in with all charm she could muster, silently-glaring at Karthika who was too busy with Spongebob Squarepants to notice. Reluctantly, Karthika had to switch off TV and attend to the guests; she knew the what the outcome would be if she didn’t comply! Perfunctory conversations later, Aunty eyed Karthika to talk to the guests. She hadn’t uttered a word, and she was dreading that moment; partly the reason why she glued herself to TV, not acknowledging the guests. She simply couldn’t get herself to do it. But now her mom had commanded her, and there was no escaping from it.

Taking a deep breath, Karthika got up from her sofa, gingerly stepped forward, and walked to Michelle and Tyler. She paused before for an awkward second, as Michelle held her arms out to her. Tyler, a six year old, beamed copiously at Karthika, who returned the smile.

Before Tyler knew it, Karthika went over and kissed Tyler, straight in the mouth for ten full seconds! 😐 😐 😐

Michelle’s eyes nearly popped out. Aunty had her arm on her head, silently calling all the Gods she knew, red with embarrasment. Tyler was in a daze, he kept staring blankly at Karthika whose smile now morphed into a puzzled expression. She stared at her mom and asked innocently:

“Amma, I was just welcoming Tyler, ‘the american way’, as you’d told me at the airport!”

Bottom Line:

Real story, altered names. 😉

Categories
College Engineering Review

New Talent: The Latest Pirates and Synth

It’s not everyday that you get to see the flashes of innate talent that amaze you beyond conventional benchmarks of surprise! You aren’t just blown away by amazing feats of passion and paragon – you stand stupefied and dumbfound at such wondrous talent closer to genius and perfection, and that too from 20-21 year olds!

It so happens that some of my best buddies have come up with such magnanimous works of art that I couldn’t help, but blog about ’em! These kids are of my age. And all of them in their final year of engineering at the esteemed College of Engineering, Trivandrum. You can’t call them novices or amateur’s. With their maiden works of art, they’ve literally had the entire town talking about them…

Without further ado, let me present before you – The Latest Pirates and Synth!

The Latest Pirates

Six spirited Electrical Engineering students – Harisankar SA, Chaitin, Dileep, Shivan, Sidharth and ‘Ponni’ (I don’t know this dude’s real name. Or rather, no one does! :P) a.k.a. Arun A, made quite an impact with their ‘Pinneyum Palavattam‘. With a bang, they’ve come up with another pioneering adaptation of the “Unnam Marannu” song from ‘In harihar nagar’. The entire song is remastered and fully re-scripted with College of Engineering, Trivandrum (and the entire city of Trivandrum), being the background. The video is very cheekily titled – In Engineering College.

Trust me, one look and you’ll concur. It’s SO MIND-BLOWINGLY AWESOME!

Even professional comedians from TV would find it hard to match up to their perfection. Kudos, guys! 🙂

Check out more videos from these pirates at: http://thelatestpirates.jimdo.com/

Synth

Synth was the brainchild of a coterie of music lovers from CET. Subu, Anand, Sandeep, JK and Navaneeth, with help from Minu, Rameshwar, Jishnu and Anand, released their maiden album. Haunting themes, mellifluous voices and fantastic songs. One attempt at listening to any one of their tracks and you’d totally fall in love with ’em all. Another fantastic band, which has already drawn rave reviews from all over town!

Here’s a track from Synth:

Synth | Upload Music

Check out Synth at http://synthmusic.jimdo.com/

Feel free to promote the work of these young artists! 🙂