Thursday, December 22, 2011


'Let go, let go, because there's beauty in the breakdown'

There's something between me and Imogen Heap that connects way too deep, surpassing idol-ship and worshiping. It's how I'm so influenced by her song-writing and music. It's as if she's looking straight into my heart, understanding my emotions and expressing my pain and happiness. Whatever may be the occasion, I always have some song of her's to connect with. It's not sheer poetry that's ornamented with similes and metaphors. They're as simple as singing in the bathroom to being as dynamic as getting your heart broken, from loving someone like never before to being super ambitious. I really feel I haven't lived life the hard way to be able to write so honestly. Sometimes, everything around is so fake with plastic faces and expressions, that I feel so out of place in a Universe, as pure as ever, that bounds us all. I don't feel congested or like a stranger, but I'm on a confused platform, expecting one of the billion stars in the galaxy to direct me to a place where I can feel real. For me, at one point, life was ,or is, just a pattern. Everything is listed, like a lavish a la carte, where you'll choose what's most recommended. But the possibility that there is something outside that, yet to be discovered or acknowledged, is where you have to be lucky enough to experience a path not designed by others for you. That's a feeling I get to live in through her songs. I guess I am not good enough a writer to express her songs, because it's impossible for me to do so.. I'm leaving the rest of this post with some of her songs. You need to be a part of her music to understand it..

Between Sheets




I loved her album 'Ellipse'. It has this impeccable influence of Indian style aalaps and progressions ; and a slight touch of Bjork, the artist. Some of the Cello progressions remind me of Bjork's 'Play Dead' and 'Venus as a boy'. I'm on a high and I wish to be in this feel for ever, forgetting my troubles and insecurities. I'm ending this post with a line from Tidal, "Do what you feel, just how you like..nobody has to know.."

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Hindu: Metroplus: She's Rocking !

Though, a wee bit late, here are few excerpts from my interview for The Hindu. Liza George, the lovely lady who interviewed, was so friendly to talk with, which actually helped me open my mind out to her..

To read the whole interview CLICK HERE

Neha Nair is the new musician in town. Liza George tunes in as she rewinds her journey in music

“I am one of the guys,” says Neha Nair, the sole girl in the Malayalam alternative rock band Avial. “In fact, after hanging out with them so much, I have started walking like one. While we are out together, I even help the guys check out girls,” she laughs.

“I started off as a Veejay thinking that would help me get a break into the film music industry. Unfortunately, all I got were more veejaying offers. Rosebowl's Outcast Vocals and Piano Sessions with Stephen Devassy were what got me noticed as a singer. While hosting In Conversation Session, I got the opportunity to interview music legends like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sivamani. My producer, Kadamba Rajesh, would sometimes tell the guest musicians that I am a singer myself. Often this would lead to a jamming session. I remember singing a ghazal with Hariharan sir.”

Although trained in Carnatic music, Neha is currently concentrating on Hindustani music. “I feel my voice is more suited to Hindustani music,” says Neha, who is polishing her skills in Hindustani music with Manohar Keskar. Although she had learnt Carnatic music from Ramesh K. in Muscat, she is continuing her training under the tutelage of Perumbavur G. Ravindranath and Western music from Binu. “I love music in all its forms. I love the fact that every piece of music is created from the same seven notes. You take a blues song in Kalyani and a Hindustani bandish in the same rag, it may sound different but the root is the same. The endless possibility in creating something new out of these notes is what fascinates me.”

Blogging her thoughts

Apart from music, Neha also spends time on her blog. A journalism student at the city's Press Club, she enjoys penning her thoughts. “It's usually on what I observe around me.” Ask her if she plans to make a career as a journalist and she replies: “I don't think so. I might freelance though. Music is my life and I want to pursue it in earnest. In fact, I listen to music all the time. Music is my work and my hobby,” smiles Neha who is a fan of Imogen Heap and Bjork.

A foodie, who loves everything except seafood, Neha claims her love for food saw her touch 82 kg when she was in class 10. “Constant workouts at the gym and a strict diet have helped me fight the battle of the bulge.” She still binges on her mom, Usha's rajma, channa and dal preparations. So, does she cook? “I can cook an excellent Maggie! Isn't that cooking?”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aashiq Abu Photography

It was the most random photoshoot ever, don't know if I can even call it one! The Salt N' Pepper team was at Dubai to celebrate 100 days and we were just chilling in our rooms, getting as lazy as ever, arguing over which place to check out and stuff. All of a sudden I had the sudden urge of trying Aashiq's Ray Ban, his most priced possession. He probably loves it more than his life! And then we were on a roll.. it was lights, camera, action! I am a terrible poser and just when Ajay Menon gave up on me, Aashiq Abu, one of the most patient photographers I've met, came into the scene. I would keep doing exactly what he wanted me to do.. and by luck.. we got few amazing shots! This one below is my favourite click.. do click here for more :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Iconic Female Singer Award at the IMFA, Dubai

"sabr ka phal meetha hota hain", is something I learnt in my primary Hindi classes back in school. But in my case, there was hardly any wait or struggle in literal sense. I am just a normal couch potato who would rather switch through TV channels than going from studio to studio with a demo CD and biodata. My kind of struggle was a fun ride, where I often happened to slip, too. As lazy as I can get, having sent a dozen demos to the industry's happening composers, only Rahul Raj happened to respond back for 'Chanchalam' in Ritu. But as fate had it, was quite unlucky to not have a video for that, which got the song unnoticed. Then life took a drastically positive turn when I entered into a progressive chamber of creativity aka Rosebowl. From then on, of course, I lost touch with the playback industry, and was immersed in a whole new world of music, where there were no deadlines or commanding producers, but, just plain music! When Aashiq happened to hear Outcast Vocals and invited my to sing for SNP, I never knew it would be a song or a movie that would change the age old commercial perception of Malayalam Cinema. Premikyumbol was probably my fastest studio session so far, in a record of 25 minutes! But what intimidated me was when I heard my voice along with P. Jayachandran's, at the studio. Bijibal sir was so composed and calm even while correcting some of my nuances. And to see it on the big screen ... *sigh*!

When the IMFA, International Malayalam Film Award organizers called to inform me of my award, I thought I was receiving it for only Premikyumbol. But on the day of the function, I realized that I was actually being credited for my musical endeavours with Rosebowl and Avial. Can't believe how progressive music that was displayed only on a local channel, and was circulated on the net, crossing the 7 seas, has scored to such a huge level. I also happened to learn that few Radios in Dubai play the audio tracks of Outcast Vocals, and get a lot of requests for Tose Naina Ft. Anberlin :) Despite recovering from a cold, I had super fun jamming 'Etho Varmukilin' with a talented musician from 'Radio Me', Ranjith. So, a huuuuge thanks to the 'Gelf' Malayalees and music lovers for making this local product international . The list will go on, but can't do without thanking SNP team, Aashiq, Bijibal, Rafeeq Ahmed, P. Jayachandran for Premikyumbol, Sumesh Lal for believing in his conviction, Avial team for making me feel like a family and educating me at all levels regarding music and life; my family, especially Dad.. without whose patience and encouragement I would remain a couch potato. Thank you to everyone on twitter and facebook for having shared my videos and for liking and commenting and retweeting, because of which my work got a little noticed outside Kerala. Finally, thank you IMFA and Radio Me for bestowing upon me this award. I felt really honoured to have shared this moment on the National Day of the U.A.E.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Last supper - Rosebowl, a journey with immortal memories

Ever since I shifted my base to Kerala, my mother has always been bugging me to get into some channel and do one of those chit chat shows, where one has to put on a 32 teeth smile, yapping away with aunties ,like forever ! Not that those shows are lame, but it's so not my cup of tea. I am so damn serious and boring , especially in front of camera, that one would stop calling if I ever was to be part of one of those request-a-song-and-i'll-play-what-the-producer-decides show :) After college when I would go home and become a couch potato ,sipping onto hot coffee, Mom would show me plenty of are-you-interested-in-VJing ads ,to which I would retaliate with endless NO's!! Then, one day, as if it was snowing in a desert, I happened to stop upon 'Rosebowl' , during a commercial break going on between one of those cry baby serials my Aunt is addicted to. I couldn't believe my eyes. Something this contemporary, exceptional, out-of-the-box youth channel in Kerala came as a shocking revelation to me. But, my mom would still try to convince me to audition for some channel and invest my qualitative time in some extra curricular activity, rather than indulging into eating 24/7, which is a sickness for few foodies like me. OK. Maybe, I'm just going on and on without getting to the point. Here, it is- the Om Shanti Om dialogue "kisi cheez ko pure dil se chaho tho puri qaynaat use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jati hain" ... and really, it just happened like that. Some producer who was doing time pass on Orkut, happened to come across my then lame profile (where I had written rubbish like where would I go on a date and so on!), and was bowled over by my display photo, which was, of course, photo-shopped *evil grin* .

The fact is that no one knows about how I had auditioned earlier and was never called back , much before this producer's (Kadamba Rajesh)eye fell upon me. Like a dream come true, I hosted my first ever TV show 'Thank you for the music' , which aired 100 best songs of A.R.Rahman, right before he won the Oscars. The rest they say is history. Sumesh Lal, one of my Godfather in true sense, gave me my first independent show 'Piano sessions with Stephen Devassi' without even an audition. When I asked him about this later, he said that he apparently had some kind of conviction. What followed his conviction were other series like, Outcast Vocals 1 & 2 and the 'In conversation' episodes with a whole bunch of exquisite musicians!

It truly has been a great, fun, musical, extravagant and whatever I say more would only be too less to describe what Rosebowl has given me. I would like to thank all the technicians, cameramen, my producers who've been terribly patient with me ,the other anchors who are so much fun to hang out with , and Sumesh sir for believing in me. You all have watched our work on TV and on the net and have given us so much love, but, a lot of effort goes behind this, from its concept to preparing budgets, to creating sets, lighting, camera, editing, and so much! In fact, we work on a minimal budget, but we have always tried to deliver the best. I hope we've done justice. Tomorrow if our Rosebowl is going to be remembered for Listmania or for Jagee's cookbook or for Talking Point or for Harmonize Projekt, it is definitely because of endless effort and dedication by the small team who works behind the camera. As you all must have known by now, the channel is going to be led by a new creative group. This is what Sumesh Lal, the ex-creative head at Rosebowl had to say on the channel's last day -

Dear friends and well wishers,This is our final status update. The 30 incredibly talented people who were behind Rosebowl have quit...They showed courage and conviction to follow their heart, when everyone else failed to handle the truth. And we will someday tell you that story...We thank all our friends and viewers who were our only inspiration all these years. Well, the show will and must go on. We hope the new guys would take the channel to greater heights...From all of us, producers, editors, cameramen, anchors… Thank you and goodbye!

Goodbye, Rosebowl. This is only a new beginning for all of us who will try to create the same magic in some other platform. Thank you viewers for being such an amazing source of encouragement and constructive criticism. Without you guys, we would never be such a massive hit on the YouTube. This is my last work at Rosebowl..

Adios Amigo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quest for a mind without fear

I have been trying to listen to my inner soul, unintentionally, tossing sides of my cerebral area, deeply sunk into wandering thoughts. I have been experiencing a range of mood swings, most of which are positive and some of which are dark. The only relief I get from the burgeoning thoughts is the music I have bestowed myself upon. As I listen to them, enjoying the lines and the notes, I can feel the music listening to me, my thoughts. Maybe that's why I connect with it, because it connects with me, each time .It's a force that I seldom fail to notice.

Sometimes I just feel how easy a task it would have been for God to thump us upon expecting individuals, who may or may not want to create a generation after them. What are even funnier are the qualities with which he ornaments our souls. Everything is a choice, they say, isn't it? But, what's the right choice is the real problem. This is the quest for my inner soul, I believe.

From birth we imbibe the culture we are born to live with. I succumbed to it as a child, entrusting upon me the inevitable changes of my culture. But, what really is my culture about? Beyond the means of respecting our elders and being obedient, there are others virtues we are expected to follow. Hard work, patience ,tolerance, being ambitious are some qualities we are expected to practice and doing ultimately what your parents think is right for you, or rather what the society has decided to ,unanimously, having a 'secured and safe future'. At one point, I only wanted to make my dad happy, do exactly what he wants me to do with my life, and he has very impeccably chosen the right path for me. But, what he and I were unaware of, for a long time, was that the journey is to be done alone. The journey, from the rugged terrain of scorching heat and dry land to where there are flowing streams and flowers and butterflies. And now, I am still on a quest for my inner soul.

Abruptly leaving this post with lines from The Dewarist - "The story continues with Minds without Fear"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


'India against corruption' has definitely outgrown its expected turnout. Mind blowing! Honestly, I am not writing this to advertise Anna Hazare or his motives. In the past few days I learnt that there are supporters of the movement who are against Anna Hazare, the activist. Whatever maybe your justification, please realize that we are against corruption. Let us not shift our focus from that. I personally feel that Annaji has never gone to make this movement a reality out of his political interests. He has taken a strong stand, come up with reviving of the Ombudsman Bill and has perfectly executed with the right panelists and, of course, mass support! Sadly, I saw few people saying that Annaji is trying to be the new age Mahatma and is sitting inside DGP's air conditioned room. The latter is such a sadistic view of someone who has struggled a long way to take a positive step forward. The former is very disheartening to even hear! Annaji, in my view, never tried to claim the title of another Mahatma, nor does he intend to. He has fought for our nation during the 1965 Indo Pak war and has played a vital role in building Ralegaon Sidhi in Ahmed Nagar district, Maharashtra. For the record, the village runs on solar power, windmills, etc. I feel that someone of this stature who has contributed in a discreet manner would never in his right minds want to make self-claim of being Mahatma. You get what I mean? He genuinely intends on directing the Janlokpal bill on the right path, though, your perception of the bill could have a negative review. If so, then please refrain from supporting Annaji and his movement. You are free to do so, right? Mahatma Gandhi was known as Mahatma for his impeccable execution of ideologies at a time where electronic media, hype, second by second update of reactions were absent. But, the success of this movement deserves a big applause to the masses of India all over the world.

The success of this movement is not celebrating Annaji's conviction, but it is of how a cause can get the masses together. Like Chetan Bhagat had mentioned earlier, initially a lot of people were against Anna Hazare, the bill, etc. for reasons better known to them. But, today we have to garner and express that support for the kind of arrogance the political parties are showing. There is absolutely no gratitude, respect, empathy for the citizens of India. On one side we have reckless commentary and decision making and on the other side... *silence*. MMS has definitely no intentions of speaking up, or has rather forgotten how to do so and instead deploy spokespersons who accuse Anna of being dipped into the ocean of corruption. I knew the Govt. would not agree to the bill so soon, but showing utter ignorance to the common man's view is disagreeable. I didn't support this fight earlier because I felt we had to remove the temptation from within ourselves. But, after the ungrateful assembling of voices belonging to the party sounded so foolish and immature, I want to support this movement to show how much I regret having them into power. I want to support to show my respect towards a bill that deserved its empowerment ages ago. I want to support to prove that the common man won't bend for foolish notions set by the Govt. I want to support to show that we are indeed united. So let us have arguments on whether this is new age revolution, or Anna's greed to popularity, or if we should equalize corruption with Annaji later! This is the moment to understand and acknowledge the power of the common man. Unite.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Padmanabhaswamy - The Lord and his wraths!

The Padmanabhaswamy kshetram is rich. Yes, a lot of money indeed. I don't even know how many zeros to put against the 1. So we all agree that the temple represents frontier of our history. I heard that Maharaja Swathitirunal had put in lots of coins at his sad and good times into the bhandaram as this was one of the ways through which he found peace from chaos and trouble. Presumably, the money is not in the form of ready cash, right? I think it has a mix of cash, antique objects and souvenirs that belonged to the yesteryear rulers. Please correct me if I am wrong here. I do find it surprising when some are in the opinion of the money being used for the 'welfare' of the common man .I definitely wouldn't trust it in the hands of politicians for the simple reason that many are way too tempted to devour it to entertain their personal needs. This kind of treasure should be protected in a reserve or a museum, built to distance it from the eyes of thieves. The temple mirrors the religious sentiments of many, and some amount of discreet tone is maintained due to this. One thinks twice, thrice before passing any comment on the money, worried that they will be targeted by communists and secularists. Most of the recent additions to this huge treasure are in the form of money and various gifts to the Lord in the name of archanas, poojas, festivals; that have all been followed as a part of tradition. I adore the architecture, one of the main reasons as to why I have visited the temple around 6 times in 4 years. But, I was always against certain rules we abide by in the name of God. Why I get angry is because these rules are manmade and are followed in a mandatory pattern by blaming God. You cannot wear a salwar or any form of pants because God dislikes it. Says who? Once upon a time, I used to hear people giving up non veg on the days they visit temples, but interestingly, very conveniently they have a bath after consuming non veg, claiming that the bathing purifies their body. What they failed to learn is that the mind has to be pure, not your pot belly. To each... his own. I respect others views on certain traditions as long as it does no one bad.

There are enough and more charity organizations, NGOs and Govt. approved schemes that are helping the poor. Yes, it isn't enough but you can't demand our traditional collection to be used to serve the needs of the people. Not that I am against this idea. With so much money one would only want to make generous, fruitful use of it. But, to knowingly place the sword in the hands of the deceiver, one shouldn't expect development, but destruction. In no ways am I in a mood to agree on using this money for the nation's welfare only because if it is misused, it is going to take forever to punish the guilty and to procure the lost wealth. What a Bad Idea sirji!

The recent repercussions after the findings by the temple's astrologer triggered a lot of mixed thoughts. It was disheartening to see such statements coming out on such a sensitive issue. I really felt that the religious sentiments were being taken advantage of. According to these astrologers, God's wrath would be unleashed if the respective vault is opened. I wish the thieves would fall for that instead of poor devotees. I have believed in astrology as a form of science, not astrologers. Their inaccuracy can be a cause of huge hesitancy in the minds of millions of people who believe in it. Making strong statements like the exposing of the vault can lead to extinction of your generation is so absurd and uncalled for. Mr. Sunderarajan, the 70 year old man who revealed the Temple treasure died of fever. Apparently he died due to God's curse and was not an outcome of sickness, according to few who are narrow minded. Sadly, there are so many who are going to believe this and will, subsequently, begin to fear God all the more! My request to these astrologers who exercise important powers of not only detecting astrological signs, but who are responsible in influencing devotees' beliefs, must be more responsible in their conclusions. Trust me... if God wanted to curse and spew venom on 'wrongly done activities'... terrorists, scamsters, and the bad guys would have been rotting in hell long time back. That is not how this world works.

I understand that exposing the treasure can attract corruption, but it can also at the same time make us proud of our culture and diversity. Isn't that what India is best known for? Let us be more transparent and help resolve this issue that can satisfy the religious, and the atheists .Security is the main issue and no wrath can keep Robin Hood away from possessing the wealth. I hope the SC takes a wise decision and unfolds the secret treasure and make us feel more responsible in safe guarding it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veetilekyula Vazhi - A selfless journey for the sake of humanity

The way to a destination, chosen by many, that brings together the lines of meet. When the journey begins with a Doctor having to fulfill his patient's last wish, there begins the tryst with destiny that could change many people's lives altogether. But, let me be more concise. Prithviraj, the doctor, takes up the momentous responsibility of taking a little boy all the way to his father, an alleged terrorist. How he does it is what this movie is all about. Basking though the glory of the very famous Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan to the ice tingling snowcapped hills of Ladakh, they have been beautifully captured through the lens.

This elongated search begins with the little boy being recklessly handed over to the doctor, whose vision is too unrealistic but at the same time too determined to have its way. I love the way the boy bids a simple goodbye to the little institution that took care of him till now. Though he may be a little skeptical of what the future has for him, he seemed to be very confident or rather too ignorant about his migration. Amidst his journey, his little habits and mannerisms were what enticed me into falling in love with him. He would watch Tom and Jerry with a lot of curiosity, being a freedom he was getting for the first time. Initially, there was a scene where the doctor had gone to inquire about his father's whereabouts and the boy had just got off on his own doing his own little thing .Later on, quite sheepishly he would always clung onto the doctor's hands , somewhere worried about being left alone, a moment of accountability. Unaware of his past and future, and unaware of the outcome of this intentional quest... he is just comfortable with a little aeroplane or a little ball, or anything that can distract his mind and can keep him occupied. Towards the end there is even a moment when he asks the doctor if it is necessary for him to face his father. Such is the innocence of a 6 year old, beauty of childhood.

I am liking this toned down look and presentation of Prithviraj's character in the movie. He doesn't sound loud or doesn't even make me, as an audience; feel like he is a superstar or whatever. There is certain honesty in his eyes, his biggest asset. At one scene when they were at a terrorist hideout, unprepared for what was about to happen; he looked unhappy while witnessing the making of bombs hidden inside the disguise of a beach ball. He kept looking, not knowing how he should react. It is one of those times when we don't know if we should just stick to what we are doing or should care of our surroundings. Somehow, none of this mattered to him. Though, he did try to strike a small arguement with Indrajith, another Jihadi, it seemed to go nowhere. He knew he couldn't change their motives and he just wanted to give his mission a full stop. In fact, in another scene (which was shown in the trailer), he says that there are several routes that lead to home. Whichever route one chooses, he finds it to be the correct path. Though it may not seem right for the other, one cannot choose for another.

Dr. Biju has incessantly stressed on a selfless element throughout. A doctor who decides to give life to an opportunity which includes people, who took away his zest for living, is a beautiful portray of how one perceives life. There is never a selfless deed, isn't it? Even a philanthropist gains satisfaction after losing his wealth intentionally to charity. But, here, it was a selfless moment, deed, a selfless fight for what was asked for. At several points the doctor is asked the same question again and again... why this selfless journey for someone who is not your’s? Some commendable moments are how he had brought a shade of calmness in most of the terrorists' characters. Terrorists in this movie are calm and composed, and sometimes even have a good heart. There was this loud and happy Punjabi driver who happened to give doctor and the boy a lift. The driver was shown speaking his Hindi in typical Punjab style. This was followed by some typical bhangda music. Another funny moment was when he refers to the doctor as a 'madrasi' on realizing that he is from the South. The plight of South Indians! Whether you speak Telugu, or Kannada, or Malayalam or even 'Manglish'... you'll always be known as a madrasi for most of them up north :)) Such amazing musical forms have been depicted through the sandy deserts of Rajasthan. I also got to hear some real Sufi music along with a small ghazal piece. They all have been so aptly synced with most of the scenes. The only fictitious thing in the whole movie was how easily the doctor could break through into the terrorist circle. The rest is for you to see and judge. The use of other languages has been timed perfectly with the characters and situations that it doesn't make one feel out of place while watching it.

Veetilekyula Vazhi for me is a journey towards finding one's selflessness, an irreplaceable emotion from hugging the bigger cause -humanity.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ajay Menon and his 'Beautiful People'

Ajay Menon, the eye behind Papaya media, has always weaved magic through his extraordinary images inside his eyes :) And everytime he would update his photography page with some amazingly captured moments, I would crave to be a part of it someday !! Whenever I met him I kept nagging him about how he never has time to click his friends' photos and he would always say that we never have time to pose. Just two days back during Avial's pre gig relaxation, we were all sitting together having coffee and fries and pakoras and this man just stood up with his camera, abruptly flashing around, catching us unawares! Then, he asked me and Sreenath Bhasi to sit behind each other and 'act' like we are having a jolly good time. We tried everything but apparently I made all the wrong moves and the photographer seemed to get tired of waiting to catch THE moment. But, we patiently went on posing and ended up getting few 'average' moments caught beautifully in his camera. One of those average moments is what you can see below, featured in 'Beautiful People'. To know more about Ajay Menon and his skills just check out his Page on Facebook :

Justice delayed IS Justice denied

You've got to believe this. I was just trying to, like a normal, inquisitive individual , Google the latest updates on the Soumya rape case and didn't find any useful details. So, I thought of blogging on how pathetic the system is and blah blah, because I tend to become wacky everytime I see nothing being done on such important issues. Then I refrained from doing so as I always end up writing long, boring lectures on this , feeling helpless ! Then, on twitter, happened to read a retweet "In 2010: 48,461 rapes in India. 2011: 5 months, 185 rapes just in Delhi! #SHAME" by @jainnimit.

There are the ones that never get registered, or enough media attention, and hence due to no major reporting being done they're denied any action or justice at all. But the ones like Soumya, how much has actually been done? The whole of Kerala was outraged months ago when the incident took place and it seems like the whole truth was laid out by Govindachami himself before the police. When everything is out in the open, why is it taking so much time to punish him? A month back I read few absurd details on how few top advocates are actually fighting this case for the rapist. Apparently 5 of them are on this case and the soul which is not resting in peace is probably up there crying tears of pain, on how pathetic it will further get for all the other women who might have to go through this terrible fate. I can still remember seeing an ad campaign by Ajan Rs regarding this. Watch it below.

Soumya IS dead
Govindachami IS STILL alive
Politicians HAVE Spoken out
They WILL speak again
When the NEXT Soumya passes away
Open your DAMN mind!

There is nothing left to be said after the countless number of debates and counter sessions of justifications. Yes, justice delayed is justice denied. And hell yeah, we aren't going to forget this for a long time until Soumya doesn't get any rightful justice. If there is someone who knows anything extra about this case or on how it is progressing , please be kind enough to mention it here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chaappa Kurishu - A humble review

Please don't go ahead if you have not watched the movie because I have given away the suspense :)
Aararane ! Nyano neeyo araarane !

Over the flip of a coin around a 1000 true stories are portrayed through the conviction of a man, Sameer Tahir. Based on several MMS scandals that has happened in the past, and is happening even today, this movie goes beyond that basic concept, painfully showing the hovering of emotions and how it can require just one incident to trigger it off!

Ansari (Vineeth), who has been leading a very plain, dull life as a salesman at a supermarket; seems to be unaware of how it would feel to be the king of his kind of world. On the other hand, Arjun, who seems to be a Casanova, is somewhere deep down aware of how he plays his game. The two extremes are evident in every angle of their emotions. When love is blunt and so openly exposed between Arjun (Fahad) and Sonia (Remya); we have Ansari and Nafisa (Niveda) who speak it through the language of sight. One would call the latter 'old age’, but only if one could understand the whole universe of love that revolves around the beauty of silence. Sameer has shot few scenes so how Ansari plunges his teeth into the banana, having bountiful bites at a time, hungry from a half day of tiresome work. There was so much of innocence on his face only to know what a crook he can be when he gets the power. In fact everyday he goes to have one porotta from a nearby eat out and is always ridiculed by another man for having to live on minimal food and sarcastically asks him to borrow money for a plate of Biryani. Also, loved how Nafisa took the first step of extending a hand of friendship towards Ansari, trying to make him comfortable and letting him know that he has someone to rely on since he is away from home.

After a steaming lip lock between Arjun and Sonia, their love making was intentionally captured on his mobile ,and from there begins the adventure of how these two extremes will come together for the same purpose. When Sonia becomes aware about the existence of Ann (Arjun's fiance), she gets into a bickering conversation asking him to back out from his wedding. During this mishap ,Ansari , who at that point of time was there to deliver a letter, happens to possess Arjun's phone that slips out of his hand in mere pressure of losing Sonia and having revealed to her about the their taped video. There are a few talks between the two main protagonists but what I thought was the beauty of this movie is, Arjun being absolutely unaware of how backward Ansari is when it comes to technology. The former is worried on having another stranger possess the clip but is totally unacquainted about how Ansari doesn't even know how to make a call from that phone!! But, it is only when Ansari feels cheated during their first meet (where he asks Arjun to come alone) when he spots two other friends of Arjun accompanying him to the discussed place (where the phone would be handed over), that the game begins ... Not only was Ansari disappointed ,but he also realized how everyone just took him too easy just because he had no power. Now that he knew that he had the phone that could bestow powers upon him, he wouldn't dare risk the chance of giving it all up too soon!

Right before the interval, there is a scene when Ansari calls Arjun to a park where he assures him of handing over the phone. Eventually he doesn't and ends up playing around with him, making Arjun do bold things which Ansari himself was insecure to do so. They both sit on either sides of a bench, a smirk slowly developing on Ansari's lips, a smirk that says it all. That one smirk is his acknowledgement of power, of remote control that is in his hands. It was the unveiling of the little demon that was triggered off from his dormant dream!

I love how Sameer has juggled with emotions, each commanding the other, depending from situation to situation. At one time, Arjun was so comfortable dealing with many girls at a time, but after having lost his phone it was only about Sonia that he cared. He just frantically searched the net to see if his MMS clip was uploaded, only to feel glad about its absence. If it wasn't for Nafisa's disappointment over Ansari's weird behaviour changes, leading to lies; maybe he would never give up his new found power. On Nafisa's word, he decided to return the phone back. There are a series of other phone calls between them and I was continuously wondering how the hell a phone battery stays that long. But, at this prompt moment, the battery dies and Ansari hands it over for charging at one his friend's shop. On the other end, Arjun was dying out of angst, helpless as to what he could do to get his phone back; what he was unaware of was how huge a scandal was waiting up the line for him.

Yes, the video is uploaded by the friend who charged his mobile and Sonia and Arjun end up becoming the libido factor for many of the perverts who enjoy the tape soon after. The climax is a fight sequence between the two which was full of anger, impatience and the urge to end the pain. There were no fashionable stunt scenes to highlight the muscles of our respective heroes which are exactly what made me applaud. It was a pure fight that was a mixture of guilt and fury. There was a point when both stood opposite each other, one contemplating the other's move; it was that moment which spoke about how scared and confused they both were of the consequence.

Another scoring point was how the female characters were given limelight. Sonia who is shattered with failure in love does not break into a dramatic outburst of tears, and very strongly speaks whatever is there in her mind. It somehow gave me a picture of how strong women are emotionally. We do know how to handle the worst of situations, and sometimes can save a sinking ship. After having learnt about her video on the net, there is a scene where she stops by in the traffic, through the rolled down windows one can see a guy handing over money to a prostitute. In a look one can get how she equates herself to the other woman across the road. For absolutely no fault of her's. Nafisa is so simply portrayed throughout the movie. She talks so little... but whenever she does it is like sweet music filling into my ears. There was so much of honesty and sincerity in her eyes, and this lady is so damn expressive!

Meanwhile, the end seems to be a sort of closure, in a more positive way, for everyone. Sonia, who contemplates on giving up her life, decides to move on and is surprisingly accompanied by Arjun who at last understood how truthful her love was for him. Ann, feels deprived of his love with this scandal churning up more hits day by day, but feels lucky to have survived the mistake of getting married to him. Ansari is a happy, young man now. He got to taste the power and at the same time feels good to have retaliated to whatever injustice (according to him) done to him. He lives his life the way he has to and ends up being served that one plate porotta yet again .. This time he does oblige to the ridiculed comment, and asks for those 50 Rs, believing he has earned himself a Biryani!

I loved every aspect of this movie. I don't think you should watch it just because it is experimental. I would refrain from using such terms as it will undermine the other highlights within the movie. I found Salt N' Pepper experimental too, only because it dealt with the most common topic, love, with edible delicacies and subtle humour. If one calls Chaappa experimental for its technical brilliance, then a movie would be incomplete as it only fulfills the technical side. But, Chaappa has everything from a strong story line, to brilliant casting to brilliant music ,by Rex Vijayan, complimenting every scene perfectly. Bravo! to the whole team of Chaappa Kurishu. Don't flip a coin over watching this movie, because you will miss one helluva movie if you lose it ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guru Pournima 2011

I'm quite on a blogging spree this month! Hmm... Loving this interest, and Inshallah, shall be inspired more to sustain it :) During my last session with my Hindustani Guru, Prof. Manohar Keskar, we were discussing about what I should try singing for Guru Pournima celebrations. In hindsight I got to understand how these celebrations are traditional held. There are norms and 'rules' some gurus/ shishyas attach to this day. Whenever I have found myself to be punctual, responsible and disciplined I know I have to attribute it to Dad. He always used to tell stories of struggle, compromise, adjustments and whole lot of that you-know-during-my-time incidents. Sometimes, I wonder how hard it must have been which on the contrary made him a super strong human being, a super dad! Making me a musician was his idea of making his dreams fulfill through me. He got me the best of everything to facilitate my studies particularly in music. From then on life went on a roller coaster ride, swirling through ragas , aalaps and extravagant journey so far.

Along with learning some beautiful, magical nuances in music; I also got to see some beautiful insights of my inner self through my Gurujis' knowledge & experience. I had some very negative impact while being associated to another musician who, maybe unintentionally, almost tarnished my determination and will to do sadhana. Why & How? I do not know. But definitely it was meant to be ,because if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't have learnt some valuable lessons of life and most importantly, taken a step forward in music.

It is another whole traditional episode for music students throughout India to literally fall at their Guru's feet every time they see him/her. Coming from a much care free teaching system at Gulf, I was not so used to these traditions though I knew I had to do it on important occasions like Saraswati pooja, etc. During one such occasion, for Sai Baba celebrations, a very interesting thing happened. I was supposed to accompany my Carnatic Guru, Perumbavur G. Ravindranth sir, on vocals. I was already on a high when he invited me to sing alongside him, a privilege very few students get *yippee* . Soon after the concert commenced and people had settled down to listen to the bhajans; sir had signalled me to sit beside the accompanying instrumentalists. After that he himself, being an ardent fan devotee of Sai Baba, spoke few generous words on him and music and soon after came and sat beside me. He just looked once towards his right and left and gave a sort of approval to commence the concert. At that point I realized that I never touched his feet and it would be bad luck in that case. I looked at him, worried, with trouble in my eyes I tried to tell him of the horrible mistake I had felt I committed. He smiled lightly and then laughed a little more. That itself was so assuring, but I still felt guilty. He told me, "All this is nothing, child. Respect is in the mind, not by touching my feet. Pray to Sai Baba in your mind and sing, my blessings are always there with you ". That moment was something that will always remain etched in my heart forever. These are such simple things one tends to exaggerate and over exercise in the name of God, rituals, tradition, etc. After that day I was able to believe that everything is in the mind. Our love and fear for God, our judgements based on circumstances, a normal moment turned into aggression for the silliest reason... is all in the mind.

I remember how my very first Guru in Carnatic , Shri. Ramesh K. had come over to my home to commence our lessons. That time my sister would also learn with me. When he began teaching us geetam, there was a time when he would ask me to stop running like a rabbit :) I guess as kids we just tend to be really impatient as though wanting to learn and sing everything all at the same time ! But, he has been the sole reason behind my initial growth in music. He is the most patient person I had met at those times which was why it was a pleasure to learn under him. He is amazingly funny and would always crack little jokes to make the learning process more interesting. I just loved his classes so much that by the end of high school I told mom to ask him if we could secretly pack & bring him to Kerala :) He would never ever praise me for my performances even when I came first for Light music under junior category, consecutively for 3 years! But, that is exactly what made his every comment so exclusive. Probably in my 8-10 year of learning under him, only on 2/3 such occasions was he able to appreciate my singing. On the other hand, my Pakistani guru Ustad Khalid Anwar Jaan, would always keep motivating and praising the slightest nuance or taan I took which was why I felt super confident whenever he taught me.

Some of my musical sessions with Prof. Keskar go without any music at all! Hehe... he is a talker and I am a good listener if it is him on the other end. Initially when I was a new bud who was overtly willing to bloom, he would suppress my impatience with some of his scholarly talks. I remember him telling me how he despised all these poojas that were held at Gurupoornima celebration because it would simply embarrass him. He never liked the concept of Guru being literally treated as God with pada pooja (washing their feet) and restricting them from accompanying their shishyas on vocals or instruments. He has always broken barriers, very successfully, if he felt it curbed the freedom of expressing in any art form. I so love this attitude of his! So, this time during the practice session we were going through this cheerful geet in Raag Yaman . He played the tabla as I tried expanding my vocal chords to suit the rhythm. I so loved the thekas he played that I requested him to accompany me on the main day. He so happily agreed to it reiterating how he dislikes the rules some authoritative people put on Gurus like they are not allowed to accompany people smaller than them, especially if it is their own student. This time with his entire mind he said he would accompany me only for that small composition.

Today was Guru Pournima and I did a 35-40 minute interpretation of Raag Puriya followed by a small geet 'Rang rangile phool khile' in Yaman . Ratnasree, a fab tabla artist accompanied me for Puriya and Guruji for the latter.Also, on the harmonium was a very talented musician, Hussain Ali. Towards the end of the day , Guruji said that how much he teaches is proportionate to how receptive the student is. With the Universe reflecting all the positive energy given out by all my Gurus, I assume that this energy will give me the courage to take fruitful steps forward in most of the things I do ..

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SOLD : Zana & Nadia

Nadia and Zana Muhsen (Yemen)

The sisters right before they left for their holiday-turned-nightmare

This is Nadia with her daughter, Tina

This is Zana with her mother, years after her escape

Spell bound! I had been searching for ages for 'SOLD: Zana Muhsen with Andrew Crofts' but eventually ordered it through Flipkart. I have never ever felt so moved after reading a book. I share some mystical bond with it for sure..! My previous relationship with the book was when I was 14, the same age as one of the protagonists, Nadia. The story in one line is about the tryst of two England born girls, Zana and Nadia, with their sudden change in destiny. It was a beautiful holiday trip that just went wrong. Horribly wrong. These young girls decided on going for a holiday to Yemen, the birth place of their father, for a month or so. What they didn't learn was that they were already sold and apparently "married" to their father's friends' sons. Zana, who seems to be the stronger one, describes her whole nightmare that lasted for around 8 years before she could escape to England for good. In fact the book was written by a ghostwriter, Andrew Crofts for getting Nadia out of Yemen. Zana was first to escape and wanted this book to be used as a tool to reach out to her sister who is by now mothering around 6 children with her Arab husband, Mohammed.

What were painful to acknowledge was the chores she was made to do. This is a real life story that happened during the early 80s. I don't think I can ever relate to the pain she went through. But having to learn that she was married on her 3rd day of so called vacation to being forced to lose her virginity with an unknown stranger who was then known as her husband that too for a few dollars is unimaginable! When I read it during my school days there was an anxiety to know more about Arab women and their lifestyle. There are few photos of Zana and Nadia in the book and also available on net. I used to stare at those photos for a long time and try to picture how they walked miles together to collect water to not even having a standard latrine for fulfilling nature's call. When Zana had to deliver her baby, which she says is a product of her rape by her alleged husband; she had to do it at her hut-like home without nurses, doctors or proper instruments required for the purpose.

Though I did try to empathize with her very action and reaction, what I couldn't do was shed a tear. Zana had such great conviction, the will to fulfill her plan, and to never lose hope that always kept me as a reader very sad but determined of that tiny ray of hope. The book ends with Zana's return back home which almost freed me from some kind of a dungeon, I felt I was in, while reading the book. I could just keep writing about her agony and struggle and eventual success but it is not worth spoiling the essence of this book through my blog. Somehow, many events from her life kept haunting me at one point or another and then I decided I must get this book. I remembered almost all the important events as though xeroxed into my memory. Just finished reading it today and feel so light, as if it were a task I had to accomplish from the day of my birth! A must read, people! I totally recommend this woman's true account on modern slavery.

I did my little research on this and the latest reports on Nadia is available on this site : , where she states that she is apparently happy with her life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The raining grey cloud of music

Lovely, lovely music I am hearing as I blog right now. Now playing - Summertime by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald. Love the way the violins flow behind the melody, splattering a canvas containing sparkling stars shining over the white, shiny horse, galloping its way through the night. Aah.. What music can do to me! When I listen to these songs, especially jazz, makes me want to go back to the golden era... where knights in shining armour were clearly visible amongst the dark shades of night and long hours of wait. Love the way people loved in olden times. Just one love for a lifetime. Ain't that really hard in today's time considering the pressure to flaunt your success, fame, achievements, papa-kehte-hain-bada-kaam-karega and what not...

I guess the song just took me to a different world altogether. What I started this post was actually for few interesting notions that came up before me in the recent past. Quite diligently I have noticed the increasing rate of songs that seem to be copied from here and there. This has been happening since many years, but has come to my notice, a lot, in the past couple of months. It is a surprise when you begin to love, accept and spread some amazing taste of music only to learn that it is apparently copied, or rather 'inspired' in the composer's language. No problem. Good music is good music at the end of the day, but don't you think one needs to give at least minuscule share of credits to the original source? I have been noticing the trend in movies too. But let me stick to the topic.

Few months back I had a nice, healthy discussion about the same with a very popular playback singer of south who also very vehemently happened to say that all this doesn't matter at all. He said if it is matter of respect then obviously the inspired ones lose on that hold, but how many of them really want to make music from the soul and all? Everyone apparently wants chart toppers. I don't think that is true. It would be very unfair to generalize them considering the entry of few very talented musicians who concentrate on quality. During school I remember telling my friends about how Pritam's 'Ya Ali' was copied from Guitara as the Arabic track 'Yagali' was the only Arabic song I knew at that time :) But coming to think of it, despite all the controversies and rumours of Guitara suing Pritam had emerged as a cloud of problems, none of it seemed to matter to the public. Well, at least all the school kids would sing that for competitions, functions and every possible place where they could prove their musical talents. Coming to the present there are several composers who have lifted songs from World music genre and have very cleanly put this across to the audience as their own production. As much as I have loved most of these alleged numbers, it pains to see how the credibility from the true composers are just plainly denied, or in other words, ignored. An absolute disappointment! 1. Because composer claimed it to be an original, 2. Because they think we don't have good enough ears to be exposed to such world music classics! With the growing age of the Internet and YouTube, it is a huge treasure palace of wonderful music... and one has to think twice before lifting it. But I wish the composers could mention the inspirational source in their album to at least give a sense of not being totally fooled as a public 

These are all just my personal insights... what about the general public? The ones who slog at work and listen to music in their free time, i.e. probably during gymming, in their iPods... are they concerned? My sister, very buoyantly, happened to be undeterred from listening to such 'inspired' tunes. She says that she likes listening to them while in the car, or while watching TV and it doesn't make a difference as far as it sounds good and belongs to her favourite genre. Would love to know your thoughts and views on this too... not that it is going to change anything... but am quite curious as the more worried I get about carbon copies, the more I'm told not to worry about them at all.. Because it is a passing phase and the world beckons a fleet of soulful music ahead.

P.S. I remember having asked M. Jayachandran, a popular composer down south of what he thinks when his contemporaries indulge themselves into such practices. He gave me an interesting perception - every song made for films from the 40's or before have been linked to some raga or 'route' which lead to ragas that were created for our knowledge by none other than the Trimurthis and the likes. So what the Trimurthis invented can be called original and everything that came after that was evolved from that. Hmmm.. music for thought hah?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Opaque wall of your reflection

Experience is what makes us more mature, wise and progressive. At the same time, experience is also what makes us judgemental ,proudy and over confident. It can make and break a person. Is it even worth a try ?

Very recently got to observe the journey of a person who now seems to have a broken identity. He came from a very complex background ,breathing life into whatever he found consoling. At a time when he assumed he ruled the roost, he was mistaken .People only let him believe that. Now that he is on the right path , which one would call progressive, he seems to have absorbed it as his dead end rather than just a mere beginning. When one feels he knows it all, it is the final call for his end.

I've seen people make their lives fruitful and vice versa. Sometimes, what concerns me the most is how one perceives things. In a situation where the glass can be looked as half full, the deceitful will always view it as half empty. It is easy to enjoy a good soul's company and even easier to wash away responsibilities from your hands when the soul needs you. But, it is all karma at the end of the day. Who wins and who loses? If you are going to be content by pin pointing at others.. you are the one at the losing end. How further can you prove your insecurities? It is as simple as that. The trick is to look deeper at how people perceive you. They really may have a valid point. Not everyone criticizes with a bad intention. And if they have criticized.. have you ever thought once about why they did so? If they are wrong then ignore ! How will it make a difference if they were wrong about you and you know it ? But what you may miss, in the hustle bustle of hastened commentary, that are purely situation-related and can terribly mislead you, are their genuine wishes for your well being. Let it go before it is too late.. life ain't that bad right ?

P.S. Wishing that troubled friend a healthy recovery .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Adaminte makan Abu

It is not a movie that defines simplicity. It is beyond that. It gave meaningful insights of my life in a very succinct manner. I don't have to be a poor man, or a Muslim, or a brilliant critic, or a rural person to understand it. That's the beauty of the movie. I have always believed that every human being has a good and negative spirit within him. But, one of them is always dormant for reasons better known to us. Abu reveals the good spirit that is perhaps dormant in many of us. Maybe it needs a reason like wanting to go to Hajj to unveil the positive energy within us.

There were subtle moments in the picture that made me smile wide open even though unintended. When Abu comes back home, discussing about his business not doing too well, he said about how people only cared about Gulf-made perfumes. Back in Muscat , every time an Omani woman would pass by swaying her abaya the rich scent of Attar would hypnotize my senses for few seconds. That strong was it's scent. Though all the young teen cousins of mine would demand for any, just any perfume that has an Arabic price tag on it , I would be gleefully looking at the Attar that would be kept on an exclusive shelf of the store.

The first time he woke up from a nightmare , deterred, which in contrary was a dream of his journey to Hajj , it not only showed how beautiful the experience was but also how difficult it is to get there. Dreams are my favourite . The only time you can just imagine you are on a roller coaster ride , licking your favourite praline and cream from Baskin Robbins , set in the middle of the Grand Canyon, blissfully closing your eyes to the beautiful Rahman number in the background. Where else can you picture all this that too for free??? :))

When Abu and his wife began their preparations for Hajj, there was this scene where the lady was posing for her passport size photograph. Once the photographer captures the face, there is this smile she gives to Abu that is kind of an approval of having done justice to all the time she took in getting herself ready for the moment. A smile of assurance that could mean so many things na? For some it is plain arrogance if you don't smile with your teeth shown, for some it means nothing more than diplomacy, for some it is a moment etched forever in their minds and for some - plastic. What I found more innocent was the way Abu jittered after he was photographed. The same kind of jitter that happens when you are caught unaware. That one expression was so captivating that I really had to take a moment from the reality of the character to appreciate the skills of the director, Salim Ahmed. Another scene that was humorous was when his wife thought that Mukesh's character resembles their only son who abandoned them, Abu , very bluntly, replies how good a person is Mukesh unlike their son. At a time when one would think he would remember his son and it would be one of those tear jerker scenes.. Salim Ahmed strikes yet again with a tinge of unintended humour :)

All said and done when Abu is unable to go to Hajj due to lack of funds, I really wanted to tell him that he doesn't have to go there to consider himself closer to God. Because, he already was God in disguise. To have a pure heart, a forgiving mind and honesty in it's own way very divine. But what made me realize that he (here I am referring 'he' to Abu & the common man) is not God and can never be one when he talked about why God never let him make it to Hajj despite his honest efforts and wishful thinking. Quoting the famous Om Shanti Om dialogue - Kisi cheez ko pure dil se chaaho, toh puri kayinat use tumse milane me lag jaati hai. I guess he didn't wish enough. In the climax - Abu and his wife were discussing about how they would have been celebrating at Hajj if they could make it on time , etc , there was a very valid point highlighted by him - How selfish a man is for his wants. We are never content with our needs and keep going to whatever extent possible to own everything we want. Abu, is too innocent by considering his idea of selling the tree, grown in his garden , a selfish deed. That was one of the ways to collect his money for Hajj. He felt God has punished him for doing that since the tree is also a living thing. A very thoughtful message. I don't know if there are any selfless deeds a man indulges himself into because at the end , Abu, plants another small sapling into the soil. With this deed he intends to go to Hajj the next year.

I don't want to underrate it by calling to simple, beautiful and meaningful. It is a movie that will surely open your eyes to the needful side in you that is inevitably hovered by the wishful side :) Don't watch it because you are a proud Malayali or because it won the National award. That way you'll only be able to clap hands during entitles instead of sinking into what Salim Ahmed has portrayed. This movie also speaks of how the 'superstar tag' is never a hindrance in creativity that is born out of such conviction. I'm luvin it :)

P.S. Sorry I am not a great writer who can ornament every scene in a manner by which I can compel you to watch this movie. Bare with it please :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When I had a small chat with one of my friends from the media, having read my blog, felt that I'm critical about a lot of things. I agreed during the conversation but, partly, inside myself I disagreed because I always claimed to be a positive human being. But that is sort of contradictory to majority of my blog posts :) Soon after the chat I happened to scan through the archives and did realize how critical I have become of so many things !I was watching news channels today and realized that every half hour there would be some bad news reported. Martyrs being carted in garbage trucks, J Dey murder case, Mayawati's undignified silence on growing rape happenings , SFI clash at Kerala and what not... Invariably I end up blogging about some issue that boils my blood as this is my only platform to pelt my anger on.

Is life all about this ? I mean .. if there is so much of negativity in the world how is one able to heave a sigh of relief? Or are we all just sensitive for a certain period of time ? Blood boils, anger aggravates, angst is poured onto social networking sites which sell like hot cakes! Once the cake is eaten with the cherry topping .. one big fat burp and there.. time to download.

Even news to an extent is like that. There is news hype that ignites debates. Then comes the part where the public retaliates in all possible ways. The witty/intellectual/well-worded tweets make headlines and it's a new day .. a new issue.. a new my-big-fat-media-headlines .

As I type this, I'm simultaneously having an arguement with another gentleman who thinks public perception of actors are that they are talented but without brains. Quite concerned.. your views would be appreciated ..

Monday, June 27, 2011

New notes in the block

With my latest track Premikyumbol from Salt N' Pepper hitting the nearby stores, I've been invited to share my experience with Radios, Channels and even print media. Most often asked question is my take on today's Film music. Invariably I keep talking about how noncommercial music must be promoted and that the current music trend in films are really aping new heights. I was obviously asked to take names for which, without any hesitation, I mentioned Amit Trivedi's and Prashant Pillai's name. There were a few who thought it was a big mistake by taking their names because that's what some others in this overtly hypocritical world call 'soaping'. I beg to differ, but I don't hesitate in appreciating anything as much as I am never reluctant in criticizing too. At the time when Dev D had set a trend in Indian Cinema, I couldn't help but notice the quintessence in its music too. But, Amit Trivedi arrived with Iktaara. People stated him as the next A.R.Rahman, for which I thought it was too soon. Not only because I worship Rahmanji but also because legends don't need to carry forward a name. They don't have to be following a particular trend but are the trend setters. Amit has already created a new space, genre, signature for his music and that should be acknowledged. I watch & read a lot of interviews wherein most of the artists always talk about how they were asked to make music resembling a chart topper. For instance, in Bollywood, I'm dead sure that many composers are trying to make another Sheila and Munni whose aftereffect was Jalebi Bhai :p But , very rarely musicians think of doing what they can and are capable of and most importantly are comfortable doing it minus all the insecurities. Forget the rat race. There's nothing like survival of the fittest /strongest/shrewdest... it's plain hardwork, attitude, and a 'vishala manasu' (pure heart).

With City Of God, I was so enchanted by Prashant Pillai's music. What it had was not soul or magic but simplicity packed in a box of selfhood. He had a signature with every song. His music was extravagant in Shaitan too. I could just watch the movie for the 2nd time only for it’s music. The kind of freshness it brings is something you'll get to hear seldom or probably once-in-a-blue-moon. Maybe, that's how it's supposed to be. They say na .. exclusive! It's absolutely great to see such music venturing into the commercial space where the ignorant get to hear, even though it's by chance!

What is required at such a trance is open mindedness. Don't go by reviews and by word-of-mouth. Listen, absorb and feel the change. You never become a smaller person by acknowledging their good deeds openly. In fact you should only vouch for what you think has made an impact in your thought process... So guys, *Open your mind* and go conquer the world :D

P.S. Happy Birthday Panchamda

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview for Manorama Online Edition

This post is about one of those phone interviews I really enjoyed doing with a Manorama journalist, Joe Jacob. This person has done his homework really well and I realized that only after reading the whole online edition. Surprisingly our conversation lasted for around 1/2 hour where predominantly we were speaking about news reporting and journalism and spent hardly 10 minutes discussing about my musically inclined life . What amazed me more was how much information he had gathered about me in a span of few days to accommodate fine details of my childhood in a succinct manner. When he messaged me saying he had posted the interview , I thought it would be a tiny column of a page devoted to other substantial news. It was quite thrilling to read a lot more than I had said, all of which is true, in that interview . If you wish to have a look at it then you may click HERE .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Interview for Sound Box

Being an interviewer myself.. have found it challenging to always come up with different, creative questions during the sessions. But, for a change, I was on the other side :) Jo had requested for an interview of mine to which I obliged acknowledging the fact that I have very little to share about my career till now.. His questions were out-of-the-box that totally motivated me to ,*rosebowl-style* ,open my mind ;) ..Here goes few excerpts from the interview :

How did film music, Avial and VJ-ing come through? How was the experience?

As I had done my schooling in Muscat, coming to India for music was because of my dreams of becoming a playback singer. I was so influenced by 80′s and early 90′s qualitative productions that all I ever wanted to do was sing for films. But when I joined for BA music and started to learn and take music a lot more seriously I realized that music is a lot more than just recordings. I was never a Rock music fan but became one when I was exposed towards it and were given opportunities to do something creative. All the credits go to Sumesh Lal sir, the creative head of a Malayalam TV channel called ‘Rosebowl’ . He discovered the artist in me and gave me an empty space to paint in with vibrant colors of music. He gave me a chance when I was new, inexperienced, totally believing in my intuitions and ideas. I got to work with Rex and Binny of Avial for a production by Rosebowl through which they invited me to perform with the band at the India Fashion Week, Delhi and ever since have been regular with the band. I have done very few films but recording in the silent space of the sound booth is immensely toxic!

Also, I came at a time when reality shows were on a boom. So to venture into playback, Rock and pure classical was a huge learning experience for me. Mass audience would still prefer commercial music anyday as it is more easier to comprehend than understanding the complexities of quality music by bands, etc. Coming to films, I have to thank Rahul Raj sir was trusting in me blindly by making me sing for Shyam sir’s Ritu. It was a fab experience. He is extremely positive and had been my mentor at that time. Also, working for Phani Kalyan for Telugu film ‘Pappu’ was another fun filled experience. Kalyan has always been a friend so it’s very informal when I work with him.

You blog about many issues in your personal blog, which is a rare thing among people in the music industry. How important it is for a musician (or an artist) to respond to socio-political issues? Do you think expressing yourself in a public space like blog would effect your career in music?

If I wasn’t a singer I would have been a journalist because I feel that is the best medium to project our views. So I decided to blog about whatever I felt about what’s happening around the world. I think it’s every human being’s duty to remain informed about what’s happening and to contribute to it in whatever small possible way. I wish I could do a lot more that is action oriented than just removing my frustration through the blog, inshallah! I hope to make an impact through my views someday. My western sir has always said that we can become a good artist only if we are a good, well informed human. There are people who have expressed their dislike towards my career just because I am open about my views but it doesn’t matter because it’s better to be honest than being a hypocrite. Nothing can effect your career if you are ethical towards the society and work. One should not live in the fear of losing work but in the adverse effects of being ignorant.

You sing for Avial, a rock band. There was a time when Rock music was considered evil or indecent among many in our society. Do you think it has changed?

I don’t know if Rock was considered evil, but was definitely not so popular as it is now. People have learnt to open their minds and we can see an increase in the Rock culture nowadays especially among youngsters. But there are many who live under the wrong impression of rock being all about head banging and walking around like a crazy person who parties and swears all the time. It’s an absolute cliche!! Rock can be just as subtle as eastern music and can at the same time give you an adrenalin pump. If you hang around with Avial band itself you will realize how less they talk and how more they speak through their music. The cliche about Rock musicians being high on drugs and having a rugged lifestyle is totally untrue. True (rock) musicians are very much ethical, who don’t believe in using inappropriate language on the stage and who work very hard in sounding extravagant every time.

Popular concepts of music still revolves around film music. Do you see any changes there? What hope do the independent music and musicians have in Kerala?

Popular music has always been filmi music but it hardly stays around for a long time. Sound programming is at it’s peak now and melody has been given less importance now. I don’t even know if the songs made today will be remembered in the next few years. But it’s more easy to understand, glamorous and more fast paced in terms of it’s release and promotions. Where as, bands take almost 2-3 years to come up with an album and another 2 years to popularize through live gigs. But the scene is changing. We have Amit Trivedi in Bollywood who has elevated bollywood music to another level through Dev D, NOKJ and Prashanth Pillai in Malayalam who has broken of the typical commercial line up with City Of God. At the same time, Motherjane did an OST for Malayalam movie “Anwar” and Avial has also done an OST for another Malayalam movie “Salt N’ Pepper”. So film music industry has also begun to ape towards greater heights in terms of qualitative music. Independent musicians don’t anyways work for commercial hype. They just want to be part of good music that will be etched in our hearts for a long long time. So whether they being commercially acclaimed or not doesn’t really matter to them.

If you have found this interesting enough.. then you can CLICK HERE to read the whole interview.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Soumya case follow up.. a joke?

The hype never excites me anymore because nothing substantial happens post the hype. Sometimes we tend to get immersed into small incidents that cause huge uproar due to it's nature. But that hardly lasts for a span of few days. And this immersing cannot sum upto the pain the victim goes through. Soumya rape case is probably one of the recent cases that attracted immense support from the masses. This tear jerker made it to the headlines of many tabloids and newspapers and channels. It was a tailor made real story that hiked up the so called trps. Masses crowded in to marches that were held in Soumya's name, and so many protests were held. But, in vain, that was it. The hype lasted for another 2 weeks.. Perhaps a month... and though Soumya's name is remembered once in a while... the main culprit, Govindachami, was soon forgotten. Whether we choose to be ignorant is another thing. Many a times I have felt that the media played a superior role in elevating certain cases to its end point. Sadly in this one nothing of that sort happened.

Someone posted a link of the follow up and I got to learn some horrifying facts about the case. Govindachamy who was earlier booked for theft and was currently booked for murder apparently has 5 advocates fighting for him. The man was making a living out of stealing and suddenly he has funds to get him the best lawyers. Some of these best advocates are not smart enough to realize the consequences of what they call their work ethic. Fighting for your client to win is maybe work ethic. But, not having a key to a transparent glass door may not let you access the room but also does not deny you from seeing what's on the other side. Even if you remain ignorant to all that is happening around you... you certainly cannot show a blind eye towards all the bad things happening on the other side. Fighting for Govindachami may just be another win-win situation for the advocate... but the buck doesn't stop there. There are millions of other Govindachamis multiplying out there who are waiting to attack this region where decision making by the judiciary is not more important than an IPL match.

Every time we have a Jessica, Aarushi, Ruchika and Soumya .. We must remember that tomorrow we could be one among them facing a bunch of ignorant morons like us who end up doing nothing. And with this we produce another league of monsters, scripts for movies, debate topics, measures to upgrade the use of being powerful and even-worse versions of Govindachami.

To read the whole follow up on Soumya's case please click HERE . (It's in Malayalam)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A.R.Rahman special Hits concert - Dubai

I was as excited as ever to be a part of 'A.R.Rahman Special hits concert' that happened at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium last evening. Her divine voice just gets one spell bound every time she would strike a note. This was a show organized by Rahmanji's sister, Israth didi without the involvement of sir. As much as I longed for his presence the experience of working with Sivakumar sir (sound engineer) and Murthy sir (conductor) was incredible. To work with a man like him who is empowered with knowledge and experience, it was interesting to see his extreme sides. Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam and Benny were planning to rehearse only in Dubai.

Preparations for this show had begun ages ago and the wait just seemed forever. There were few funny moments during this journey such as Stephen Devassy being mistaken as M.S.Dhoni by a fan! Apparently a lot of people ask him for autographs in the name of MSD and now he's quite used to it!! Aaah.. The plight of being a famous musician only to have a striking resemblance to another ace cricketer! Another one is Vijay Prakash who seems to be an exact clone of singer Shaan only a little taller. Dr. Narayan has these amazing techniques of knowing how to make a happy happy song sound sober by changing a note or phrase. But the best one was Naresh's whole idea of starting a website called 'unwanted' when any of us would think too much out of the box. It happens when we sing those kind of songs where one is tempted to attempt it differently and ends up slipping down on its failure :) One more similarity that was discovered by me was Naresh's hairdo. Ditto Malinga!! Reminds me of CB's comment on how Malinga should endorse Maggie noodles :) Mummy bhook lagi hai .. Chetan Bhagat, are you listening ??

There was absolutely no time to shop or travel with hectic rehearsal schedules but thanks to Keba, the guitarist, I got to taste some amazing cheese cake! I just love to hear Keith anna's base interludes when everyone is busy taking a tea break .He's just fab and so is the flautist!

Dubai is amazing as ever. Was there after a gap of 6 years not to forget that 6 years back it was a mere road trip and this time I was there as a performer.

The show went pretty good and was blessed in the presence of Rahmanji's mother. It had drizzled a little during sound check and in between the show but thankfully that didn't encourage the outflow of crowd. Surprisingly I even met two fans of Outcast Vocals who claimed to have 6 videos of the show in their mobiles! Great to see the power of YouTube! A big hug to my pal , Phani Kalyan, because of I got to debut in Telugu with 'Pappu', who always encouraged and believed in my talent and to Faizji for playing a vital role in getting me this opportunity.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The World Cup is ours!!

Wow!! I really can't believe we won the World Cup! I belong to a category where I don't know half of the cricketer's name...but now I do. To hike up the spirits I went and got jerseys and stuffed our fridges with edible snacks to keep the non-fans interested too :) But the fact is that I lost interest the moment Sachin was out. I so badly wanted him to score a century. But eventually became enthusiastic to watch it partly because we were doing pretty ok...and partly because of Chetan Bhagat's super funny tweets! I had a ball laughing at all of them especially the one where he tweeted about how Maggie should be endorsing Malinga since he endorses the product :D and also about all the kids going 'mummy bhook lagi hai' when they see his yellow highlights :). As much as I hate making sarcastic comments on people or laughing at any, this man, Chetan is just too funny to ignore. And he sort of does it in a harmless way. Another funny tweet was how easy it is to gift Sreesanth a birthday gift- a comb!!! Ok ok.. I guess I need to stick to the topic now... I was checking out Android apps (which are ultra-cool) and got back to watching the match after I heard a lot of yelling and hooting. Something right was happening and so I decided to watch it for the sake of cheering. This is also the only match my sister would have sat throughout... talk about patriotism! The ONLY event where you can they see the whole of India united.

On one end a friend was consoling saying the real match is over when Indian won with Pakistan and this is just a for-the-sake-of-it match. On the other end I heard another friend supporting Srilanka for Jayewardene’s undeterred attitude towards doing the right thing at the right time! There were some funny moments where an uncle claimed to have seen the world cup win in his dreams and was just watching the game to prove he's right! Amidst all this action, my heart went out to the game when I saw Gambhir doing exceptionally well. Few minutes before Gambhir got into form, my whole timeline were filled with tweets of abusive nature and wotnot. I hope all these abusive people realize that they are not perfect and how sometimes a little bit of motivation can really boost the players at such a tight situation! Save your energy abusers... it's not the time yet! Anyhow, Gambhir and Dhoni had this amazing vibe on the field and kudos to them for their intelligent batting strategy. There was a look on Sangakkara's face towards the ending where he knew there was no chance but fought it through with dignity. That look is the look of an undefeated hero. They must have settled for a tea cup but they will still remain heroes for putting up such a tough fight.

Yuvraj Singh !! Whatta man! Just couple of months back he was slammed for being out of form and for being a party animal who is a total womanizer. At that time I was also angry with most of these players who kept partying during IPL series where Sachin, on the other hand, was sleeping early to remain in form. I thought it was the end of this guy but the way he got back and shone right throughout the world cup series is impeccable! Now that is exactly what I call success. The best part of this whole game was that a legacy is coming to an end and is being taken forward by the next worthy opponents. To have Sachin out was planned by God only to show that the future is as bright and shining as ever. The youngsters took over this game beautifully making the winning moment a dedication to the God of Cricket. It was the perfect way to tell Sachin that after him they will carry the responsibility with pride and dignity.
What a fantastic way to begin April 2011 and feels nice to not have to use the 83 video clips every time we discuss about the world cup. Need to pinch myself to see if this is all real...uh-oh!! Mummy bhook lagi hai :) ..Just saw Malinga on TV...thank you CB for making hairstyles a powerful appetizer :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unfair victim of life

I was reading about articles on Euthanasia featured in The Hindu. Obviously, for me, Aruna Shanbaug is the first name that comes to me whenever I think of this subject. We all have debated over this again and again and with time, we just forgot about the other side. Sohanlal, the ward boy who is responsible for her present vegetative state, is probably the least affected in this case. FYI, he was only booked under robbery and attempt to murder and not for 'unnatural sexual offence’. A life cut short to fulfill his revenge, causing irreparable loss for Aruna and to all those attached to her, he has only served 6-7 years in jail. How content are we as human beings who forgot to punish the man whose actions triggered this debate? This time we can't even blame the power addicted politicians or bureaucrats as Sohanlal is just an aam aadmi like you and me. Justice does not only prevail amongst the powerful but also amongst the ignorant. Now that Aruna has been granted passive euthanasia, the sinned must also be punished. The fact that she was denied to live a normal life, but instead is being punished for his sins, itself is too much to bear. I was told that she had to bear this brunt just because she happened to be a disciplinarian . When she accused the ward boy of having stolen meat that was ordered for the dogs, he thought of taking his revenge this way. Maybe that's why we all are so scared to come forward and fight for someone else's justice because we are worried of facing the consequences and even more frightened of the justice that will never be done.

Once when I had fractured my leg when I was hardly 5... My mother used to have sleepless nights thinking about a future where I would be limping and dependent. Such is the thought process of each of us. When a train is delayed, or stock of milk is over at the store, or couldn't get tickets to ARR concert, we crib and sulk so much. Well, at least, I do. But now, I have learnt to count my blessings. But I would probably never live a peaceful life when people like Sohanlal are walking around freely. Hope he is punished rightly and then maybe Aruna can die a peaceful death.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The cost for a vote or value of a vote?

During my school days I never would be interested in being informed about our political scenario only because I always found it boring. But post 10th grade I began to develop a certain amount of curiosity in Politics as I found it dramatic. And now it keeps me hooked onto it for hours together because it's costing me a vote! Being an Ex- NRI I have always found voting to be a very important part of every Indian citizen's life. My first day at College got me face to face with the SFI and KSU members. But I never knew who was better and what their ideology was. Eventually when the voting days came along I was able to witness a lot of campaigning that is done to get votes in their favour. The funny thing was that when the parties would enter in with their candidates to give a campaign speech, one would never get to hear what developments they were planning for...rather would hear a lot of bitching of the other party. It was always about 'they didn't do this' and 'they'll never do that' but never about 'We are planning for'. I found it really dumb on their part to never speak about their positives but rather waste time on showing how negative the other one is. To my dismay I also learnt that the same process happens even with the political parties at the Central and State.

Once there was a female candidate who came along with her supporters asking for a vote on the basis of being my neighbour. I had the entire mind to ask her what she is capable of but the way she folded her hands with begging eyes, gave me my answers. How many of these candidates are genuinely wanting to or are capable of doing something substantial for our nation? The question is huge and debatable. But the answer is in us. Every individual can make a difference if they want to. We can cancel our meetings and call up sick to the office for watching a world cup match. We can sympathize with the Japanese victims living without food and shelter ignoring the same condition that has been prevailing since years in India. We can only point fingers at our guardians of law but never be united as a nation to act upon it.

Sometimes the Govt. comes up with policies like increasing women participation, encouraging the youth to represent seats, so on and so forth. But what are we doing as mere voters? Just observing and pointing fingers. Recently on the issue of sailors being abducted by Somali pirates, there was a sudden action taken by Sushma Swaraj on contradiction to SM Krishna's insensitive comments. Really don't know if the effort was genuine, or to show the other party down. But after seeing Egypt's unity I have to say that we are extremely weak as a lay man.

Votes are being sold for cash and we are accepting corruption as a part of our life. Moreover, we are accepting parties who have leaders who are caught up in cases like rape, corruption and wotnot. The elections are due in a month...Please vote wisely and remember 'Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote'

Monday, February 7, 2011

A life mortgaged to the man

Rape cases have become a very common thing like bribery. Sadly, a rape victim remains traumatized even after justice is given to the culprit. It's a shame to know how women can never feel safe in any place ever. Just today I observed Rima's tweets on my timeline which said "In the first place why do we have a ladies compartment? Is it not because she is uncomfortable amidst normal men of the society??" I really don't know what to say when such statements are often made. This is when you don't know if you should justify and disagree or agree by remembering every rape victim. No, all men are not bad. But why is it hard for them to respect woman?

I have often thanked the media for covering so many cases that would have remained paralyzed if it were not for their part time hobby to complete the CBI's work. Every time I think of a Ruchika, Aarushi or Priyadarshini ..I can't help but think of me in their position. To count your blessings is one thing, to apply those blessings in a fruitful manner is another? Soumya was just another jolly, intelligent woman who was on her way to see her soul mate and it took 5 minutes of an aggressive man to rupture her life for good only to satisfy his animal-like cravings. 5 minutes. The judiciary would probably require twenty years to punish the culprit for these 5 minutes. Now tell this fair?

It's always been a hard world for a woman. I've never been one of those who said we are equal to men because we really aren't. Emotionally we are a hell stronger than men as we prepare ourselves to produce a whole new life which is almost like bringing a whole new universe into existence. We play the roles of many at the same time only to put a tough fight against this male chauvinist society. It's getting tougher to survive as a woman but the challenge is now getting easier. Now, with several rape cases reported, one doesn't really know about the after effects. So many politicians including the recent revival of the ice cream parlor case has not done any justice to the victims. But why I mentioned that the challenge is going to easier is because we are no longer going to nod our heads to the sweet time the judiciary is going to take for making their so called verdicts. We all as citizens voice our opinions and know that this snail paced judiciary is not going to do any good to any rape victim.

I think it's time that women should stop relying upon other sources of security that claim to be of use. If they really were of some use... Soumya would be in the world even today. A ladies compartment without security is unbelievable. And a train without any passengers who didn't witness or hear her screams is even more appalling. Please women... equip yourselves, keep yourselves armed and mentally prepared for such situations. I know it's easier said than done. But self-defensive measures are the only way out. No one loves you more than their dignity. And so must you. If you want to actively voice your opinions... there is a forum in Facebook called
Voice it Kerala. Do join it here:!/pages/Voice-it-Kerala/170669696312796

Would like to wrap up this by quoting few lines from Swades to the tunes of Rahmanji:

Yaadon ke paalne mein koi khoyi khoyi baat hai, oh nindiya ab aake tu meri di thi lori gaake.. mere khoye sapne dikhlaade
yaadon ka pal na jhulade

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Avial Website Launch at Blue Frog, Mumbai

What a great start to the New Year!!! Well, preparing for this was no less than fun unlimited! Mumbai - The city that welcomed me 21 years ago as a body bathed in blood , fresh with dreams , not knowing that eventually I would never be part of it while growing! My mom always says that I and my sister were lucky to be born at B.A.R.C. for the kind of facilities it offers especially since my Granddad and mom worked there. Throughout my childhood we used to visit Granny every year and all my memories have to do with the traffic and pollution and an ice cream shop called Yankees! Now, I was returning back for a gig of Avial's to Mumbai after 10 long years!!

Nagumomu ganaleni, the evergreen composition of Saint Thyagaraja is something I've been singing since my early teens. I don't know how and when this happened but the krithi came running into my mind abruptly. And that was the exact moment when I knew I had to do this with Avial. So, when I initially discussed the idea with the team they seemed to be skeptical about it as none of them are too familiar with Indian Classical music. I did give them the confidence to experiment with it, and eventually then agreed with a big smile :)

Mumbai is super polluted minus traffic (Guess we were lucky those 3 days!). All of us went for a radio byte to Radio Mirchi 98.3 soon after lunch only to be entertained by the RJ himself! The poor guy who was trying all tactics to make us feel at home was quite surprised to learn despite us being rock musicians, happen to be so silent and subtle in behavior! It's quite a common notion that rock musicians are cool people who talk cool, walk cool, speak cool... but it's not so. In fact, there are many times when I saw youngsters come up to the band members, showing them a 'yo' and they speak words that are considered to be abusive in the dictionary. Anyhow, after the Radio session I had an amazing master class with Rex and Binny who were playing their guitars. Quite interestingly I got to see how the scale changes can be easily understood with certain techniques that are also practiced in Indian Classical system.

Sound check was a bummer in the beginning as the guitar levels were too low and the drums were too high and there was no feedback, etc. With a lot of testing and playing on the stage, eventually got to a point where everyone was content with the sounding. We got back to the hotel for a quick bite and then off to Blue Frog. I was quite surprised to see the kind of artists who perform there. These are the times when I count my blessings. Susheela Raman, Talwin Singh and the likes were the ones who were performing in the days to come. Talwinji for present for our concert. A very jolly human being who was 24/7 praising each and every member of the band.

Ehsaan Noorani inaugurated the concert and sat throughout. The gig opened with 2 acoustic versions of Aanakallan and Kaithola and continued with 'Ayyo', the new song. People went literally berserk every time Tony would speak. I was all skeptical about Nagumo because I was attempting Carnatic after a gap of 1.5 years on stage! Also, the audience was rock oriented, but there were hopes of them accepting it. It was a huge success and I really need to thank God for giving me the power to sing like that! At the end of it all, Chekele was the most-in-demand song and was played again on the stage only that this time; the crowd was singing it :)

So all's well that ends well. It was a fantastic gig, thanks to Mumbaikers and Blue Frog was making it look and sound so pretty. You can take a look at the website here :

You can have a look at the other pics HERE.