Clicked these pictures of the fort at Vellore (Tamil Nadu), this summer. This fort is of historical significance. This was where the first ever mutiny against the British took place - in 1806 - long before the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut in 1857!
The 200th anniversary of this event was celebrated recently. has a special feature about this fort (dated 14.08.'06).

fort 3

The moat has water throughout the year, surprisingly! I have never seen the moat dry! Now, boating has been introduced in the moat!
fort 2

Loved the brilliant painting on the sky, by nature! A part of the fort can be seen as silhouette on the left.
fort 1

Update: All 3 pics above are silhouettes and the details are not visible. So, here we go - one more snap, with better detail!
fort 4

By Aravind on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 7:51 AM Post Categories:
This is a masterpiece composed by A.R.Rahman, for the Chinese movie "Warriors of Heaven and Earth" (Tian di ying xiong). There are 3 versions - the English version sung by Sunita Sarathy, hindi version sung by Sadhna Sargam and the Chinese version sung by Jolin Tsai (known as the Madonna of China).

I just love Sunitha's rendition of the song. Blaaze has done a great job with the lyrics. Few of my fav lines from the song:
Call me when you need a friend
To be with you until the end
As the mountains crumble to the sea
Share your loneliness with me
Trouble always finds a way
To keep you further everyday
if only the end justified the means
For the complete lyrics, go here (this is a blog of a foreigner who has fallen in love with A.R.Rahman's music after listening to WOHE.)

Listen to the english version here.

Upload music at Bolt.

For the hindi version, click here.
It's a pity that this album which won the hearts of many worldwide is hardly known to people in India! However, many might have heard the tracks of this album because these tracks have been copied by many Indian composers including Yuvan (Oru Kallooriyin Kadhai), Vidyasagar (HulChul, Maja) , Niru (kalaaba kaadhalan) and are also being used as BGMs in many TV serials, as title music for many game shows - none of them credit the tracks to A.R.Rahman!
By Aravind on Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 8:39 PM Post Categories: ,

When your Dreamz turn to Dust

---- Vaccum ----
By Aravind on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at 11:56 PM Post Categories:
The album came out after a long wait. There was lot of hype surrounding it. The producers of the film kept attaching lots of importance to the music and to ARR. So, lot of expectations on this album!
Does it live up to the expectations? Well, more than just meeting the expectations - it truly rocks and might well be the album of the year... err.... probably not... Guru is releasing in October!

Kummi Adi (or Ammi Midhichaachu):
An energetic folk number with fast beats.
Naresh rocks... Had a discussion with Deepak, about Naresh's voice in this song - he was wondering if it was Naresh in this song!! I felt Naresh's voice has so many dimensions. He sounded so soft in Tu bin bataaye (RDB) and Myiliragey (Ah Aah), sounded very different in Roobaroo and Paathshaala (RDB), and had that rustic feel in Kammaaa karaiyile (Godfather). His voice sounds so different in each one, and in this song, it is the "kamma karaiyile" dimension!! It was great listening to Swarnalatha, Seergaazhi Sivachidambaram and Theni Kunjaramma!
Already a chart buster.

Sillunu Oru Kaadhal:
Typical jazz song of 1970-80s. The beats, bass guitar arrangements, sax interludes, instrumentation - everything give us that retro-jazz feel. ARR proves once again that he can give a master any genre! Total fun song. Tanvi's voice is so fresh and apt for the mood, and the cat mewing sounds are so enjoyable.

Munbey vaa:
A soothing melody by Shreya Ghoshal and Naresh. The string arrangements are brilliant through out the song, especially during Shreya's humming after the first "rangoli" chorus. The starting instrumental and the BGMs (is it santoor?) are so cute. Highlight is the Rangoli part.

Rahman loves to experiment a lot and break all rules. And he has gone totally unconventional in this song . This song doesn't follow the usual routine of pallavi-interludes-2 similar saranams.
The song starts of in a slow, high pitched opera-song-kinda mode and then the fast beats take over. Carolissa handles the high pitch portions throughout the song with ease.
The song shifts to a totally different mood after about 3 mins, when she says "Gautam" (it does sound like a mohini pisasu, as Harish pointed out !!) and Aslam takes over. Aslam's portion is melodious and is backed by fast percussion and wonderful string arrangements. The "tejo mayam " ending is good.

A peppy number. Shankar Mahadevan and Vasundara Das create magic. Loved the part when shankar sings "Thaangadhe Machakkaari" -starting from a low note for "thaangaadhe" and dragging on the "machakkaari" part to a high pitch and then goes "ohhh"... lovely! And, the bass guitar peice at the end of the stanza is mind-blowing! Potential chart-topper.

Mazaa Mazaa:
Shreya Ghoshal sung Thazhuvudhu Nazhuvudhu (Ah Aah) with SPB. This time, she pairs up with SPB Charan for a similar kind of song. Charan has tried to sound like his dad and succeeded in many places!
Just loved the percussion arrangements and the transistion from one mode to another! Very light percussion in the starting, and then some very heavy percussion at 1:07 - u keep listening and never know then shift in beats happened - so smooth! The starting ("mm mm hmm") is so addictive. Highlight of the song is the point (4:13) when all percussions stop, Shreya sarts to sing "Jillunu oar...", stops, giggles and then SPB Charan completes "Jillunu oar Ginger beeru thaan"... Awesommme!
Also love the part when both sing "kandaal Paavam unda....." (3:07-3:13) - SPBC sings that line from high to low pitch and Shreya goes from low to high... brilliant!

New York:
Definitely the pick of the album. A guy-misses- his-gal song - a very common theme, but the song is so fresh. Everything about this song is so different. The tune is very unusual and unpredictable and makes you keep guessing all the time.
This is second song in this theme in Rahman's voice, the first being "Mera yaar milaa de" from Saathiya. I dont think anyone else could have done justice to this song other than Rahman - wowwww - he just takes u in to that mood.
I was spellbound by the starting of the song itself, when i heard it for the first time. The "hmmm hmmm" (which keeps continuing to about 1 min) starting is so innovative. After some heavy acoustic guitar strumming in Roobaroo and Luka Chupi, Rahman continues that trend again and it adds to the mood. The lyrics by vaali are just awesome.

Best album in recent times.... Haven't got the album yet? What are u waiting for?
By Aravind on Monday, August 21, 2006 at 8:17 AM Post Categories: ,
Ponnarasi tagged me again... So, here we go!

I'm thinking about: Deadlines!!
I said (say): Take it easy! Chill Maadi!
I wish: I could walk in space
I hear: New York Nagaram (Sillunu Oru Kaadhal)
I wonder: why life is soooooo unpredictable
I am: a dreamer!
I dance(d): very rarely!
I sing: always!
I cry: when people really close to me are in trouble.
I'm always: cool and relaxed! Take it easy policy!!!
I make with my hands: Nowadays, everything is thru comp!!
I write: hardly anything other than my assignments
I get confused: sometimes...
I need: a vacation!!!!

And, I tag:
By Aravind on Sunday, August 20, 2006 at 7:12 AM Post Categories: ,
One of my long term chinna aasai-s was fulfilled yesterday! Ya... finally got the A.R.Rahman T-shirt on independence day.


Thanks to rahmantimes team for the brilliant work!
By Aravind on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 12:01 AM Post Categories:

"Let us for a moment pause to reflect what it is that for which we would like to be remembered for by future generations. Will we be remembered for how many mosques our generation has added, will we be remembered for how many temples our generation has added or will we be remembered for how many gurudwaras our generation has added?

No, not at all. We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India, resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with civilisational heritage."

- Hon'ble President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalaam

Happy Independence Day!
Vande Mataram!
By Aravind on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 9:46 AM Post Categories:
New York nagaram song (Sillunu Oru Kadhal) lyrics.

New York Nagaram Song lyrics
By Aravind on Monday, August 07, 2006 at 9:19 AM Post Categories:
"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost."
- Charles Caleb Colton

But, I believe true friendship can never be lost. True, there may be differences, there may be rifts - but the bond of true friendship is strong and powerful to overcome these.

When writing this post, I am reminded of "Yeh Dosti" song from Sholay - the sidecar separates from the bike at one point of time - similar to rifts in friendship! But, then it is only a matter of time before it comes and joins with the bike! Friendships are forever!
Don't forget to wish your friend on Friendship Day - this sunday! It is a way of telling him/her that he/she is special to you!
By Aravind on Thursday, August 03, 2006 at 11:35 AM Post Categories:
During the launch of the movie Sillunu Oru Kadhal (earlier known as Jillunu Oru Kadhal or Jillendru Oru kadhal), there were posters all over Chennai city with just the foto of A.R.Rahman! I had written about this here in January!

Now, for the movie release/audio release, huge hoardings have been put up in Chennai, which have just ARR's foto covering the entire hoarding!!! I just love the importance the producers are attaching to the music! Audio is expected to release tomorrow or day-after!Till then, you can listen to the samples in Raaga! Here's the complete track list! (from Ferrari's blog)
Location: Venkatnarayana road (T.Nagar), opp Ekayars petrol bunk
More fotos here.

Update: One more SOK hoarding featuring ARR, has been put up near Central Station. This is the pic that is used in the hoarding, couldn't get a pic of the actual hoarding, though.

PS: This is my 100th post!!!
By Aravind on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at 6:37 PM Post Categories: