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Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rains, winds, songs

             What would be our reaction today if we hear that all famous nursery rhyme 'Rain, rain go away, come again another day' so that some child wants to play......My reaction then and even today is that "oh come on, don't drive away those rains which is nature's bounty!!! Kids can play after the rain stops on the fresh, bathed ground. And of course, today they have lots of options like video games, mobile games to be played endlessly. Will they care for those rains???
                                                   Well, I have always been fond of rains from my childhood though scared of lightning & thunder. The summer rains in my hometown have always accompanied by blinding lightning & ear splitting thunders which have sent shivers down my spine and to hide under our cot till those thunder sounds reduce. The sound of the rain is always musical to my ears and my heart jumps with joy when I see the overcast clouds. Our school days were always associated with heavy downpours, raincoats, umbrellas, slippers instead of uniform shoes which our convent school resented. Since our school was at a walkable distance, we used to carry an umbrella all the time. The damp streets and the plants that look fresh and greener after the rain are always a treat to the eyes. I always like to go out and take a walk after a heavy rain to enjoy the moist air and feel the coolness. I, however, do not want to get drenched and dripping as is shown in the song sequences of Indian movies. Rain scenes are always 'hot' favourites with our film fraternity where the hero and heroine along with the extras are shown fully drenched and still dancing and singing. Every actress who wants to climb top in the tinsel town has to pass through this 'rainy test' dressed in skimpy clothes, much to her chagrin. If watching rain songs in a movie is a fun for us, it is lot of 'drenching'ly hard work which involves lots of takes and retakes until those scenes are enacted to perfection. Aren't we lucky that we are not in their shoes? Rains are best enjoyed in the evenings, sitting in a patio with a steaming cup of tea and something spicy and crispy to bite with a favourite novel! When a famine strikes, there will be so many pujas to please the rain Gods to bring the rains to the parched earth.  Tansen, the prominent singer in emperor Akbar's court, was believed to have brought down rains with his soulful singing in the raag 'Megh Malhar.'
                      If it is about rains, can the winds which precede or follow the rains can be ignored? Or even otherwise, aren't the gusty winds as romantic as rains? You can take a walk while it is windy unless you are not in a desert where there will be frequent sandstorms. Winds, breeze fall in a different category. If winds are to be enjoyed, one needs to be outdoors unless he/she is not too sensitive to catch infection or cold. Rains can be watched and relished indoors, while winds are to be experienced outdoors. Talking of winds, the months of July and August are mostly windy months. Rains will reduce and winds will increase. In South India, this month is known as Aashaadha month in the Hindu calender. Auspicious and religious functions like weddings, house warming ceremonies do not take place during this time. There is a practice of sending the newly married women to their parents' house ( do not know how much this is practiced today) during this month and then sent back to her in-laws' place with all the sweets and savouries. This period is a transition from rainy season to fall season or next monsoon season. Unless the winds are gusty or stormy, there is no reason why we should miss out the fun by not venturing outside. Winds drive away the oncoming rains, it cools the air. Are the winds romanticized in our movies? Yes. Lovers meet in a secluded area, their eyes seem to convey longing, passion while the 'silky' hair just seem to keep flowing in the wind. Words are not needed here. The cool breeze or wind seems to create the needed effect. Wind, however gusty or light it is, freshens not just our faces but our minds too. Like rains, winds are helpful for flora and fauna as wind pollination takes place (where pollen is distributed by wind). Like solar energy and hydroelectric energy, energy is derived from the wind with the help of windmills.
                                                            Image result for rain & wind images

                                                   There are so many rain songs in our Indian cinema or songs sung in rain. As I am lazy to list out all the songs, I am copying a link.

That is the list carved out just from the Bollywood. There will be endless songs from all the languages in our cimena.  The all-time famous rain song tuned in the album Colonial Cousins ( Leslie Lewis & Hariharan) is always close to my heart. The lyrics of the song are:
                                             Rain Clouds in the sky, ( I ) Don't know why
They make me blue, when I'm thinking of you
Maybe they want to cry, As I walk on by
Hiding my tears, in a world of good byes
{Dhentha Dhentha Dhena na Dhena ///
Dhentha Dhena na.........na ne na }
Love during summer rain, Causes no pain
Cause I'm looking back, at you once again
Memories crowding my mind, You're one of a kind
Life with out love, I'm helpless I'm dying
{Dhentha Dhentha Dhena na Dhena ///
Dhentha Dhena na.........na ne na }
Rain drops and dance, strange kind of romance
I don't know why (whether) to cry out loud, But I'm feeling fine
Watch the rhythm of the rain falling down
{Dhentha Dhentha Dhena na Dhena ///
falling down //.............}
sa, re, ma, pa, ni ma, ni, re ni, ma, ma, re, ni, sa, re, ma, ma,
ma ma re ....... ma, ma, sa, re, ni, ma, ni, sa, re, ma, ma, re, ma, pa, ni
pa, ni, sa ni, sa, re, ma, re, ni, ma
Rain drops and dance, strange kind of romance
I don't know why (whether) to cry out loud, But I'm feeling fine
Watch the rythm of the rain falling down

Read more: Colonial Cousins - Indian Rain Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

                                          In this song, Lewis and Hariharan have brought out the 3 'R's ie. Rain, Rythym, Romance very well. Well, if there is romance in rain, there is also a rhythm. 
                                     If there are rain songs, there should be songs on wind too. There are lots of old Hindi songs featuring wind. If one types in google 'wind songs in Bollywood', some blogs have listed out some lilting numbers. 
                                                     Check this link below for top ten wind songs in English.
                                Until next time, take care. Enjoy rain, shine, wind!!



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A movie review - Kaaka muttai

Hi friends,
                  This is one area I have not ventured before. I am not an avid movie buff but not a movie hater. My husband is even less interested in movies, and so an occasional movie watch in a multiplex theatre itself is a big event for me. I keep watching a handful of movies that are close to my heart either in tv or in Youtube. But lately, I am inclined to watch more movies (and of course with those that have good reviews) whenever possible.
                      We celebrated our wedding anniversary by watching a Tamil movie and dining out. To hear that a movie was named 'Kaaka muttai' (crow's egg) sounded odd!!But this was the one we decided to watch as to put in layman's words, 'running successfully for 4 weeks and a definite value for money'. We went for a show on a week day in a multiplex mall and the snacks we bought there cost us more that the tickets for the movie. Therein lies the catch. When we offered the credit card to pay for the snacks, the person at the counter said the machine was not working. The underlying reason might be that they do not want to account for the income generated through the highly priced snacks and beverages. What an irony! On one side, we were ready to watch a movie which depicts poverty and discrimination and on the other side we are contributing to the 'crimes' that these multiplexes involve.
                                         Anyway, the director Mr Manikanthan has done a fabulous job in his debut venture by carrying the whole film on the shoulders of two boys. There are no major movie stars, except for Simbu who appears in the cameo role. The film is set up in a slum dwelling near Cooum river and the director cleverly manages to show the harshness of poverty through the characters without being judgmental. Every character plays his/her part naturally. The mother of the boys is shown to be a bold woman with lot of self-respect who balances her life between her jailed husband, her mother-in-law, her boys and her factory job. The boys who name themselves as 'periya kaaka muttai, chinna kaaka muttai' are shown to discontinue their schooling as their father is jailed and the family being short of funds. They are forced to collect sacks of coal to sell to a vendor every day for a few rupees. As they pass through the city, they notice that a brand new pizza outlet is opened and the actor Simbu inaugurating the same by cutting the ribbon and eating a slice. All the slum children including these two boys throng outside the elite outlet to have a glimpse of their favourite star. Then they get a coupon in which it was written that for 299 rupees, their favorite pizza is door delivered. How they manage to get the pizza which is like catching the moon for them forms the crux of the whole film. The middle class boy in the neighbourhood who talks from the other side of the complex wall, offers some scraps of pizza which the 'periya kaaka muttai' boy refuses as he feels he was insulted. The grandma who tries to make the best out of what is available to satisfy the boys' cravings wins our hearts. Then there is a character who calls himself 'pazharasam' (or fruit juice) who befriends the boys and helps them to find the hidden coal. Every character, big or small, has played the part well to make the film wholesome.  When the boys were slapped by the security person at the entrance of the outlet, we feel they are slapping the poverty's face. The musical score is good, though not very catchy. The boys with their natural acting win our hearts and we feel like we want to own them!!
                                                     But why is the movie named like that? The family could not afford to buy chicken eggs as they were expensive, and so the boys lay hands on crow's eggs in a tree to satisfy their cravings for eggs.
                             One of our relatives was praising the movie all the way out and declared that it would fetch Oscars. Ahhh, it would have fetched those coveted Oscar awards, had it been directed by a white man or a Jew!!!