Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Musical Musings

With Navathri happening, my life for the last weekend has been visiting houses and marveling at the Kolu’s . I really admire the patience of the people who put them up, buy the gifts and of course make the sweets and the sundal.But the weekend ended for me with concert of S.P.Balasubramanyam. I must admit that I am generation ‘Rehman’, Tamil music for me started with Roja. Sitting in the concert , pushed me back to a time before cable invasion in India.(Warning :To those who are unfamiliar with tamil music n movies – stop now and move to the joke or atleast have your google and Tamil dictionary with you :D)

I remember listening to music on the AIR when I prepared for school. For 3 years I had afternoon schedule , so used to actually wait for the ARR sugandhu paaku commercial to start changing into my uniform. Life was easier then with my mom actually feeding me while I danced around the room to the beats of Raja from Agni Nakshathram and parallely finished the last minute homework assignments (she still did that when I used to study for my Masters listening to Kalayanam than katikettu from Saamy :)).The music continued when the rickshaw walla used to blare his radio all the way to school.We listened in awe as he spoke about attending the first show of Thalapathi and his pal breaking his leg while dancing to “Rakamma” from Thalapathi. What really showcased these songs was the impromptu antakshri’s at school during a free hour. The girls would gather round and the singing would start. Every girl had a favorite song with a unique way of singing it. Mine was ‘Then Paandi Seemayile’ from Nayakan . The more wailing we could infuse in the song ,the more quirkier and funny it would be and the entire gang would sway drunkenly across benches (Of course the only way we could do this is to ensure the first row was on a lookout, so when a teacher came by we, the backrow would be covered :D).

During culturals, it was a hard prospect to get the correct song. Sometimes, all four teams would land up singing the same song. Imagine the judge’s plight when they had 4 versions of ‘Chinna Chinna Asai’ from Roja. But the competitors were more cut throat than those we watch on survivor. One group would have a insider, maybe a sister in another group, to find out what song and who is singing. If the song was intricate, the poor gal in the former group would have to hunt for a song with a classical twinge, as the judges always picked the Light music song which was classical in nature….. so of course the favorites were Nila Kaikirathu from Indra or Margazhi poove from May Matham during the 90’s. But I must say there was a general dissent with the judges from all teams when a girl sang “Kuraloothum Kannan” from Mella thiranthathu kadavu beautifully but did not win because another sang ‘amma enrazhaikkadha’ from Manan and won on the basis on the lyrics and song content (we all thought the judges got their job description wrong!!!). My favorite song though, till today is the ever green “oho Megam vanthatho” from Mouna Ragam. Start the monsoons, we girls would walk in the rain to the bus stop , humming the song and each wishing she was Revathi in the movie : ) .

The 50’s and 60’s numbers also stay in my head. With Fridays being time for oLiyum Oliyum, the only program to see the songs on DD, the 8.00 slot was a much honored one. Watching Sivaji Ganeshan strut his walk with “mela nadai’ from Annai Illam to MGR swinging to “Atho Antha paravai pola” on a ship made, made my cousins really walk funny and swing from the tree :D . The ladies weren’t far behind with Padmini’s grace coming out in “nallam thana” in Thillana Mohanambal (with all the girls trying their bharatanatyam best in front of the Tv) and KR Vijaya singing “Athai Madi methai adi” which promptly put all young ones especially me to sleep. My favorite songs were those hummed by my mom when she cleaned up the kitchen in the night. The rhythmic sounds of the water splashing on the vessels complimented my moms off tune music (she is going to see red when she reads this :)) . My dad used to try and whistle out Chandra Babu numbers, though they made a racket, it was fun to hear which was the highest note he could reach.

Music conjures up memories, which I didn’t know I had. Lyrics and songs nowadays get forgotten every 5 days. With the constant bombardment of new music , its very hard for a song to be retained .I am not saying there aren’t any good songs, but the songs which a person would like to remember has slowed to a trickle.Though ‘Manmada Rasa’ created quite a stir, associating a memory with it would be hard. Songs generally reflect the popular mood, but what’s slipping between the cracks is the message that these songs used to give out. Nowdays all the lyrics weave words of passionate love or violence…. But the joy that people feel when singing these lyrics are nowhere to be found
“ohoa maegam vandhadhoa aedhoa dhaagam thandhadoaellaam poovaikkaagaththaan paadum paavaikkaagaththaanpookkal maer neerththuligal venn paakkal paadaadhoathooral poadum naeram poonjaaral veesaadhoa”

and to make you smile…considering I just started work again , this is important.....

Tips for Working Hard or hardly working :D

1. Never walk down the hall without a document in your hands.
People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they're heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they're heading for the toilet.
Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy.
Any time you use a computer, it looks like "work" to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, calculate your finances and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. When you get caught by your boss -and you *will* get caught - your best defense is to claim you're teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training expenses.

3. Messy desk.
Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year's work looks the same as today's work; it's volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you'll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail.
Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don't call you just because they want to give you something for nothing – they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM. That's no way to live. If your voice mailbox has a limit on the number of messages it can hold, make sure you reach that limit frequently. One way to do that is to never erase any incoming messages. If that takes too long, send yourself a few messages. Your callers will hear a recorded message that says, "Sorry, this mailbox is full" - a sure sign that you are a hardworking employee in high demand.

5. Looking Impatient and Annoyed.
One should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Appear to Work Late.
Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read, but have no time until late before leaving.

7. Creative Sighing for Effect.
Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are very hard pressed.

8. Stacking Strategy.
It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc... You can always borrow from library. Thick computer manuals are the best.

9. Build Vocabulary.
Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products.
Use it freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember: They don't have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.

10. MOST IMPORTANTLY: DON'T forward this to your boss by mistake!!!

Keep smiling



Blogger artnavy said...

"Music conjures up memories, which I didn’t know I had. "

You really "took the words out of my mouth" as they say in Hindi.

Well written piece.

12:17 AM  
Blogger mitr_bayarea said...

Reading this felt like a trip down memory lane. I am an out and out Illayaraja fan who loves the SPB-Janaki combo and Illayaraja music, esp in the 80's songs. Yes,the words are so well written that it blends into your soul, unlike the peppy and romantic songs that come up these days (most of the numbers) and the lyrics are not only vulgar but also fail to make an impression. Manmadha Raasa falls under the first part, but with these kinda songs becoming popular, the genre of Illayaraja-SPB music (whenever we get to hear it) comes like a whiff of fresh air.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous harry said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Raju said...

Welcome back.. and back with a bang..

For me, music conjuring up memories continues to happen even now.. I pick and choose songs I like, so I virtually travel to that place and time when I hear it after quite sometime.

Had a hearty laugh on ur 'working hard tips'.. :)

1:30 PM  
Blogger Anu said...

artnavy- thk u
mitr - Totally agree with the fresh air part of it...the concert was great
Raju- I am always ard,:D...but just too lazy to type a page,, thks for welcoming me anyway:))

6:27 AM  
Blogger Aravind said...

nice post ..kuraloothum kannan ..supposed to be Kuzhal or was something funny associated as someone singin in that way..

10:53 AM  
Blogger Awatts said...

Your post made me nostalgic!...I could relate to every sentence here...right from sungadha paaku ads to the songs listed etc..etc...

10:48 AM  
Blogger Harish Suryanarayana said...

What a song "Kuzhaloodhum kannanuku" is ! Judges somehow always manage to screw up !

1:17 PM  

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