Dec 28, 2008

The Best Mallu Wins !!!

Err.... apologies to everyone here, but a post in my mother tongue, written in English without the usage of any English words was one of my blog resolutions that I had taken somewhere in the beginning of this year. So for people who got me misunderstood (you know, with some one like Raj Thackeray) the reason behind such a resolution is that once upon a time (oh no! there I go!) this blog was read only by my family and the closest of friends and I wanted to dedicate a post to them. I never ever imagined having a friend circle through blogs and now that I have, it is selfish on my part to attempt one such post. If only I knew it before, this would not have happened. But guys, a resolution is a resolution, right?

Then again, whats the use of writing a post without receiving comments and having interaction? So people, I just devised a new game here, but only for the mallu readers. (Now before the others throw stones on me; guys, you might find some fun too, read on !)

The below post is the one that’s written entirely in Malayalam. All my mallu readers here, have to just come up with the literal translation of the same post, but in English; making it funny, weird or the tone in which the original post is written is all upto you and your imagination. The best translation would receive a gift from me and would be sent to the winner wherever he/she is. That’s right, I will make sure the gift reaches you even if you are on an expedition to Antartica! The non-mallus could have it written it through their mallu friends and still claim the prize. (Am I being a lot generous?). The last date to submit the entries is 25th of Jan’09 (For those who aren’t contended with 24hrs in a day) and the results would be announced on the 31st of Jan’09. You could either post your entry as a comment or mail it to me -

Hints : Pandaaradangaan could be deciphered as ‘settling in the past with six’ (pandu-aaru- adangaan), orakkey chirikunnu is the simplest which is Laugh Out Loud and lekhanam is nothing but ‘Post’ !

This, by all means, would be my last post for this year. Wish you all a very Happy 2009. And thanks a lot for suffering me and V-Lokam for one long year.

Ee lekhanam oru lekku ketta mattaaa !!!

Randaayirathi ezhu kazhinju kondirikkumbol, enikku oru cheriya budhi thonni. Randaayirathi ettilu ente ee kochu lokathilu ente maathrubaashayil oru lekhanam ezhudiyaalo ennu. Adum aangaleya vaakkugal ottum upayogikaande ! Kashtamaanennu enikku appazhey thonni, kaaranam njaan chindikkunnadum pravarthikkunnadum aangaleyathilaanu. Uttavaurde koode maathramaanu ente maathrubaashayude prayogam. Enikkaanengil swantham baashayil theerey ezhudaanum arinjooda. Ente orma sheriyaanengil, idinu munpe idu pole ezhudiyadu paththilu padikkumbozhaanennaa.

Anganey ikkollam kazhiyaaraayi, enaalum pandaaradangan oru vishayavum kittiyilla ezhudaan. Kashtam thane, alley? Pinnendinaa ee koppu aarambichennaavum palavarudeyum chodyam. Endaa cheyya, njaan onnilu irangi thirichaal, adu poorthiyaakkaande vidoola. Pinne vichaarichoo idippo ezhudiyaalum aaraa vaayikkyaa? Ente ee oru lokathilu, parichayam ullavaril malayaligal kammiya. Baakiyullavaru idu vaaayikkaan thuninjaal ente thalakku nalla asugam undennu karudum, allengil ente ee lokathil edo maaragamaaya krimi pettu kidappundennu vichaarikkum. Aaru endu vichaarichaalum pullaanennu karudaanum vayya. Ivide ippo enikkaayittu oru nilayum vilayum undu, adu kalanju kudikaan njaan thayyarumalla.

Njaan munbe soochipicha pole, endaa ezhudaa ennu aalochichu angudum ingudum nadannu. Oru ethum pidiyum kittunilla. Nammude naatile ippozhathey sthithiye kurichu ezhudaa ennu paranjaal, adum malayalathilu, bayankara budhimuttaa. Kore ere vishakalanathinu sheshamaanu ee oru kali kalikkaam ennu vichaarichey. Ivide ulla ellaa malayaligalkkum oru pani paninja maadiriyum aavum. Idokke idey pole, valli pulli vidaandey, vaakugalude artham vethyaasam varuthaadey tharjama cheyya ennu paranjaa chillarakaaryaaa?? Ee oru varsham inganey thanne avasaanikkanamennaavum avarude okke vidhi (orakkey chirikkunnu)!!!

Dec 26, 2008

Current Favs : Nov 1 - Dec 25

1 Oo Saaya from Slumdog Millionaire (English)
2 Kaise Mujhe Tum from Ghajini (Hindi)
3 Anal Mele from Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil)
4 S.I.D.H.U. from Chandni Chowk to China (Hindi)
5 Vaigarai Nadiye from Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar (Tamil)
6 Aavaram Poo from Poo (Tamil)
7 Megam Pole from Aanandha Thaandavam (Tamil)
8 Machaan Machaan from Silambattam (Tamil)
9 Tum Ho from Rock On (Hindi)
10 Zhala menu zhala from Khalballi (Hindi)

Dec 25, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Part 2 : The Silent Protest

Continued from Part 1

It was Friday and each one of us involved was excited about the event next day. By afternoon, we got a call from the Commissioners office that shook us !!! All of us panicked and were in a state of confusion.

When we had sought permission from the Commissioner to conduct this event, we had mentioned that it would be a silent protest. And our letter also carried the same. Now, according to some new rule or act, due to security reasons, the word protest would anyone to conduct such activity only for an hour. Had we mentioned silent movement, silent prayer in our letter, we could’ve conducted the event as per the planned 4 hrs. A full day would have been allotted if it were even a fasting session. And to change the activity is next to impossible as the invites were already circulating among our contacts.

The event was supposed to be from 9am to 1pm and now we are supposed to wind up by 10.15am when most of the invitees had agreed to drop in only by 10-10.15. Damn !

The event kick started at exactly 9am with a welcome note by one of the volunteers. Initially, there were nearly 35 members excluding the 18 volunteers. By 9:10, we were 73, all together under the tent remaining silent. To our surprise, there were two elderly men sitting along with us. We were surrounded by police officials, the lady officials came in a little late, probably they did not expect the female crowd. We had a lot of onlookers whose questions were answered by the police. Though our banners explained our purpose, the passerby’s would have been surprised to see a couple of young people sitting silently in the heart of the city under a tent with police protection. During the event, RAW officials approached us to take snaps and for a brief write up. After an hour, we went up to the two elderly gentlemen to check their whereabouts, one person was an Ex- Airforce official and the other a retired Professor from Anna University. Both of them never knew each other but the reason for their presence along with us were the same. That’s were I guess, we succeeded; we had managed to bring in people from different age groups, from different cultures, from different states, but everyone had one thing in common- love for the nation. We asked if the two men could address the crowd and they agreed without hesitating. The Airforce official spoke about how the youngsters could contribute to the nations security while the retired Professor gave us a lot of insights on how to take this small group of ours to a bigger platform. After their inspiring speech, we had one of our volunteers recite our national anthem. This was the best part, all 73 of us and the entire police officials stood with our heads held high in unison. Never did I get such goose bumps thinking about our country and never before had I felt proud of myself. By 10.30 made a note of the registrations, wrapped up and retired.

We felt a little discouraged when the head count was less, but then, inspite of being a Saturday and also with the last minute changes, we shouldn’t expect more. One thing was sure, the next time we conduct a similar event, we already have 73 people confirmed. I must admit, it was such a riveting experience to be present with those like minded janta, to be just one among the crowd which believed in one common cause. It was our first event; we need to improve a lot more on the co-ordination and assigning work amongst ourselves. From mistakes we learn, and from what we learn, we act !

We are gathering soon to decide on whats next. This series would continue !

Jai Hind !

Dec 22, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Response to a comment

Before I write a post on how the event was, let me thank each one of you for your support and encouragement. The event didnt turn out to be as successful as we expected, but we are not in any way disappointed or discouraged; we had taken a vow to unite for more such activities. More details in the next post.

This is basically a response to one of the comments in my previous post. The person who commented is one of my best friend and the replies here are my personal views and so people, dont judge our relationship after this post, we are still going to be the best of friends. and I would request everyone to come out with their own views too.

“I might sound extremely critic on this aspect but I guess I have to. Main beacuse almost a month after that incident, I am one of those guys eagerly tracking the nation's progress on a daily basis.” --- Its great to know that you are keeping a track of whats happening in our country on a daily basis. Why is it that a nations progress is tracked ONLY after such disturbing incidents? Isnt it our duty to know whats happening around us well before that?

“What in the world are you achieving by shutting your mouth and sitting idle for hours together? There have been like 100s of them who have done that before - what have they achieved? You think the politicians will change? you think the terrorists will change? You think you will gain anything apart from some useless publicity?” ---- Our event was not targeted at any politician or terrorist. We want the general public to be aware of their basic responsibilities as a citizen. Infact, one of our main objective in the meeting was to make people aware that India is still a much safer and a united country to live in, its just that the we as citizens have to be a little more socially responsible. If something suspicious happens around you, its your duty to inform the concerned. The terrorists were in Mumbai for months, but our people had been very busy in their respective lives that they failed to see whats happening around them. Why blame the politicians alone everytime? We are equally responsible for this state of our country. If we wanted better leaders, we should have made sure of that while casting our votes. How many of the youngsters take initiative in voting? Many of us still consider taking a day off during the elections rather than exercising the right to vote. Speaking of useless publicity, if we really wanted the useless publicity that was mentioned, we would have called the media, considering the fact that my best friend is one of the best reporters here in Chennai with one of the leading TV news channel. I did speak to her, but only to understand how the legal formalities are. The press club of Chennai was adjacent to where we conducted the meeting, and for your information, none of us approached them for a 'useful' publicity. Moreoever, if you think I, personally, wanted some useless publicity, I would’ve published the below post on Dec 5th itself when we decided to go ahead with this project; publishing one day before the event wouldn’t make a difference at all. And now why silent? It is all about an initiative; all of us have spoken enough. We have had our share of blaming, pitting against each other, but what have we achieved? Nothing at all. Lets see if there is anything that could be achieved by remaining silent. Atleast that way, a protest would be different and not disturb the general public. What is one achieving by burning candles? It is an effort to raise your voice, that’s all. And we were symbolic in raising our voice by remaining silent. There might be even 1000’s who had done this before, its not about what they achieved, it is something beyond that; its more of satisfying our conscious.

“I'm sorry buddy but this is sheer waste of time. Instead what if you guys could silently collect some money and raise a fund for the poor who were dead? Those who didnt manage to get the govt aid? There aer people in Mumbai who raised money to buy good bullet proofs for police men. That is what I call ACTION!” --- Were you a contributor to any of those ACTIONs? Why didn’t YOU take an initiative to raise funds? Why do you expect others to start an event so that you can either follow or criticize? What have YOU done other than tracking and cribbing about the nations progress? How many events have YOU participated, how many common forums have YOU attended to voice your opinion? Ok, I agree, you neednt participate in any activity per se, but don’t you think you are responsible to the society too? If you want a change in your country, why isn’t there a contribution from your end other than paying your taxes ? Sheer waste of time, my friend, is sitting in your chair, tracking the nations progress on a daily basis, cribbing about the politicians and the system, doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the nations progress and venting out your frustrations to your near and dear ones. Collecting money and raising a fund wasn’t our objective. Money and aid isn’t everything; and like you said, there are people to do that. If people are willing to change their attitude towards our country, our government and our system, everything will happen on its own. Wouldn’t you repair your home if it is damaged, wouldn’t you take initiative to stop a similar disaster to happen to your home again? If you can pray for your home, why don’t you pray for the nation that has your home.

“While I apreciate the way you empatize the terror attack and victims, I must say you are doing nothing productive - instead you are being counter-productive!” --- Thanks for the appreciations. If there are 100 individuals to read about us and our objectives, and out of that 100, if there are 10 whom we made to think and if there is atleast one who is willing to change, I consider our mission accomplished or rather we consider it as a productive effort.

Wake up, its not too late yet !!!

Dec 19, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Part 1 : The Invite

How many of us still think about the 26th November incident these days? Its hardly a month now and it looks like it has faded out of peoples mind except for the ones who were directly affected. The patriotic sms’, blog entries, formal and informal debates, everything related to terrorism has taken a backstage now. Well, that’s human tendency, especially for us Indians, since we are slowly getting accustomed to being a victim of such injustice.

Whatever happened last month in Mumbai is something that still disturbs me. We have had similar attacks in our country, but I must admit none of them had affected me to this extent. It was more of a feeling of helplessness even though I had no friends or relatives who were directly involved. I was confused if it was out of patriotism or out of a fear to live in this country from now on. If it is the latter, how long is it going to continue? And isn’t it going to be even tougher for the future generations to survive in India ? But what I can do all alone ?

I should thank our Smita for it was this post of hers that inspired me. She had mentioned something very honestly, which made me realize- what are we bloggers doing other than ranting about such incidents in our blog? Nothing at all. What can I possibly do other than writing a post, receiving comments and replying for them?

I was absolutely clueless until Dec 2nd when I casually mentioned my state of mind to Ram, a working colleague of mine. There was a spark in his eyes, which made me ask if both of us could conduct an event, some activity like a peace rally. The intuition didn’t go wrong as he was also in a similar confused state. He too wanted to do something to raise his voice against what is happening in our country today. Probably, it is not we alone; everyone else is going through a similar state of mind. It is just that more often than not, we hesitate to ask each other and most of our initiatives remain within ourselves. Ram immediately called another friend of his and the very next day, three of us had a brainstorming session. We had our focus on the objectives, but were confused on what to do. Three of us turned out to four in a day, four became ten by the next day and ten became eighteen by the end of the fourth day. All of us were like-minded working professionals and that’s the only common thing between us. We named ourselves ‘Lets Change’; the name might sound very ordinary because much of our time wasn’t spent on thinking on what to call us. After all, whats in a name !!!

Together we discussed on the feasibility of the project and finalized the objectives. We didn’t want to concentrate on the Mumbai terror attack. Of course, the attack was the reason, it ignited us to go ahead; but we wanted to voice our generalized concern on the present pathetic situation of our country, the change that everyone expects and the role that we could play in going about changing. The discussions then proceeded to what-to rather than how-to. A peace rally happens all the time, and moreover such rallies, especially in a sensitive city like Chennai, would eventually be politicized. The next option was to go through a fasting session on the decided day, but then again, fasting sounded too cliché for our cause. After a couple of options, we zeroed in on a silent protest. We decided to remain silent on a particular day to voice our opinion; enough of sitting back and cribbing about what has happened. As working professionals, we need to be socially responsible too and realize that a handsome salary or a property in the most happening area doesn’t actually mean success. Then again, the questions of why concentrate on the working community aroused. We aren’t; we would be happy if others joined too. It was easier for us to spread about the event among the corporate since most of us came from different organizations.

People, we are conducting the event on the 20th of this month in Chennai near the Chepauk cricket stadium. We had sent invitations through mailers and sms to almost everyone we knew. Rest is for the invitees to decide if they really want to join us. Even if are just five of us, we would sit with our mouth covered from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday and that’s certain. I am personally inviting my fellow Chennai bloggers and also extending this invite to anyone who accidently bumps into V-Lokam. If you cant make it up, please pass on this information to anyone whom you think are socially responsible. You might face a similar question that I was asked while inviting – “Don’t you think it is too late?” for which the reply from my end was – “Do you think so? How often have you promptly reacted to such incidents?”

Below is one of the invite that we sent across. Special thanks to Sangeetha for the content in the invite.

Next -- It is never too late to react! Part 2 : The silent protest

Dec 13, 2008

The Meanest Tag and the Coolest Award ever !!!

Guys, believe me, this is the meanest and the weirdest tag ever ! and of course, the most creative one that I have ever attempted too. Thank you, Pavan, for tagging me and I also thank Su for your joint efforts with Pavan in coming up with such a tag. This is my first battle with MS Paint and I hope I have lived upto the expectations of my tagger.

Here are the rules:
  1. You must use all the five words given to you by your tagger and draw pictures using paint or GIMP or any other photo editing tool.
  2. Each picture must be self explanatory when you relate it to the given word.
  3. Each word MUST have at least one picture attributed to it.
  4. You have to draw them yourself. No suggestions from a second person.
  5. You need to pass it on to other people with a fresh set of 5 words.

These are the 5 words assigned to me :

1. Mist

2. Teach

3. Umbrella

4. Dump
5. King

I tag the following people ( I pity you all, but I have no choice. Buhahahahahha) :

Your 5 words are : Music, Communication, Riot, Profession and Parents

Btw, I thank each one of you who had casted their valuable vote for me. I am referring to Poonams Avant Garde Bloggie Awards where in I was awarded the Most Responsive Blogger Award. Thanks a lot Poonam for creating such an opportunity for all of us. and btw, next year, I am going to nominate this post under the Best Tag Category.LOL.

Updated after publishing the post : Went to inform IHM on the tag and this is what I found :

Thankssss a lot IHM and thanks a lot people for all the love bestowed on me. This marks the 12th recognition for V-Lokam, all in a span of just 7 months.

Dec 9, 2008

Este Blog investe e acrediita na...Proximidade! (whatever that means)

Things are finally falling in place; going through the final phase of disaster management at home, my friendships back to normal and there are a couple of new initiatives that I am going to be a part of. Probably, my next post would be on that and I would want help and support from all of you.

Yet another award for V-Lokam and this time its from Gods female yo-yo, Smita. Thanks a lot Smita ji, keep spoiling me by giving away these kind of recognitions. LOL. Well, I could’ve easily got away by pasting the image on my sidebar, but there’s also this responsibility to transfer this coveted award to some of the bloggers I know. So here goes :
This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

(and i must admit, that text is indeed cleverly written :D )

I chose :
Oxy, Sangeetha, Pavan, Rakesh, Nimmy, Nikhil, IHM, Priya

All eyes are on Poonams Avant Garde Bloggie Awards now. Getting nominated itself was a big thing for me and even if I dont win, atleast theres an opportunity to come up with statements like "Damn ! just missed !!!"

Dec 6, 2008

Couldnt come up with a title !!!

People, I sincerely apologize for disappearing from the blogosphere for a couple of days. My mind was all messed up and couldn’t focus on any anything. But being away doesn’t mean that I wasn’t updated with any of your recent posts, its just that I refrained myself from any sort of commenting. I am yet to even reply to the comments that I received for my earlier posts. For the last few weeks, I hadn’t written anything worthwhile and even Children of God, my previous post, was merely a cut copy paste work; help extended to one of my friend. I understand that a blogger is entrusted with certain responsibilities once he/she enters the blogosphere, and I feel disgusted to have been away from you all. I hereby pledge to perform my duties as a blogger from now on without fail.

Inspite of being silent, V- Lokam still managed to receive two more recognition – Butterfly award for the Coolest Blog from Verbivorehere and a Trophy from Rakesh Vanamaali. Thanks guys, it really means a lot to me. I am hereby passing over these awards to everyone in my blogroll. (Please get the picture from here and paste it in your blogs)

With all the horrible things that had been happening around us, I don’t know if I should really embark on celebrating this particular post. This is the 100th post of V-Lokam and I thank each and everyone who has made this journey a memorable one. It took me one year and 3 months (Oct 22nd) to reach 5k visitors and I am proud to inform you all that in less than 3 months, the counter is about to touch another 5k. Thanks once again.

At this juncture, I thought I would mention some of my best posts here, some of them recognized well enough and others that were written during my early days of blogging, which went unnoticed. A widget with a list of my fav posts is already up in the sidebar.

Most commented post:
Sorry my Lord, I didn’t mean to harass her !!!
The 5k milestone

Most visited post:
An incident of Web abuse

(There is a visit to this post everyday, obviously for wrong reasons. There is a mention of a porn site, which I believe is driving visitors to this post)

Posts that I wished had more visitors/comments:
I killed him !!!
Start..action..cut (Bollywood)
Vilm-Fair awards 2007
When did..??
Why..why..but why ??
The Expansionist Meme
Being weird is fun, especially at the movies

I, now realize why the last two posts weren’t noticed, tags are supposed to be passed on !!!
The whole concept of tagging was new to me back then and moreover, whom do I tag, all I knew in the blogosphere during those days was Poonam.

Better (very) late than never, I hereby tag :

Expansionist Meme : Aaarti, Apar, Archana, Pradeep, Rakesh, Rads, Vinod and Whacky

Tag on Movie quirks : Smita, Oxy, Su, Reema, Aparna, Bhargavi, Nikhil and Verbivorehere

Now, time for some updates. The tab ‘This is how I heard them’ which had my songs will now be known as ‘My version’. I have included two more tabs under the header - one for Tags (inspired from Su) and another on the Raagamalika show (would feature the entire ‘They shot me !!!’ series and the videos of all the 8 episodes). Also planning to include a ‘Next on V-Lokam’ widget to the side bar. As the name suggests, that would indicate the next post in the blog. I really don’t know how feasible this is because certain posts are updated all of a sudden and this widget would not make any sense then.

There is a post that I am yet to work on and I can’t avoid it, as it was a part of my blog resolution. I had mentioned it here long ago. It’s a Malayalam post written in English without the usage of any English words. I know it sounds silly especially when most of my readers are not going to make out anything from that post. Havent even thought about a topic yet, but a resolution is a resolution and I have to keep it up.

I am ending this post here, quite abruptly; my little brain is preoccupied with a lot of things. The attacks in Mumbai, a rain that destroyed my home and the properties inside, a good friendship that is on the verge of breaking up because of misunderstandings, and a few more important decisions that I need to take. As mentioned before, my mind is messed up, big time; it’s craving for peace!

Nov 27, 2008

Children of God

“Children of God” was born from the personal experiences of its founder Juliana Jeya Priya who has been witness to the challenges and needs of the physically challenged, in their day-to-day lives, as she saw the difficulties faced by her own mother who is deaf. She was joined in her efforts by her friends - a group of young people from different backgrounds.

Children of God – A Recognized Charitable Trust
The germ of the idea to form an organization to lend our helping hands to help the disadvantaged and needy was born in the year 2007. This thought took shape and resulted in the formation of Children of God (COG) as a charitable trust based in Chennai. It has since been established under the Indian Trust with the registration number 3809/2008 dated 3rd November 2008.

The founding members of Children of God (COG) have been associated with organizations which are helping the mentally challenged, aged destitute and orphan children, assisting them with their time and effort for various programs and also extending monetary assistance through their personal means.

Children of God’s First Step
Having established ourselves as a trust to organize our efforts better, we are developing our own home for destitute and orphan children. We have already identified a location and are raising funds to put in place the necessary infrastructure to house them.

Just Reach Out – A Musical Fund Raiser
We are organising a musical evening of carols performed by the leading choirs of Chennai, in order to raise funds for our project – a home for orphan children. The choirs who are lending their heavenly voices towards this noble cause are, CSI Wesley Choir, Egmore; Lutheran Men’s’ Voice; The Revival Singers (Santhome Cathedral Basilica); Elvis Hurley and the Good Tidings Choir. The evening will also feature choreography by Lokesh – guest performance. The fund raising event is on Saturday, 13th December 2008 from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm at St. Ebbas Girls Higher Secondary School, Mylapore.

Our Plea To You
This mammoth task cannot be achieved without the assistance of generous and willing hearts like yours. We request you to adopt our cause as your own and contribute with a generous heart towards this noble cause.

How Can You Contribute?
You can make out your Cheques / Demand Drafts in the name of “Children of God”. Our address is # 2052, Vasantham Colony, Anna Nagar West, Chennai 600 040.

Warm Regards,
Julie. L
For Children of God

Below is the poster for Just Reach Out - A musical fund raiser on 13th December.

Nov 21, 2008

(V)ote for (V) - Lokam

Guess what, I have been nominated under two categories for the Avant Garde Bloggie Awards; for my Jodha Akbar Movie Review and for The Most Responsive Blogger. I am honored and I consider this a privilege. I know how tough it is to make your posts come into the final list since I was a part of the nomination scrutinizing team for A.G.B.A. along with Reema, Smita and Perx.

There are six posts in the Best Movie Review category and there are twelve contestants in the Most Responsive Blogger category. It is upto you to decide the most deserving candidate. Neither do I require a vote based on friendship nor am I requesting my readers to vote for me. Instead, I'd appreciate if you would cast your vote only after considering the efforts of my blogmates too. Let the best blogger win.
Please find the links below :

I hereby wish all my fellow bloggers, the very best.

Nov 20, 2008

Why am I like this? Its because of them!!! --Part 3

I spoke to her yesterday; for the first time. She went ga-ga over the phone. They say it is difficult to understand a girl. It is, especially when she is hardly 8 months old !!!

She is Dhwani (meaning sound), my niece, and the latest entrant in our Lokam. This is probably her first public appearance (apart from her locked photos in my bros and s-i-l’s respective orkut album).

PS : the first uploaded song in V-lokam was dedicated to her on the day she was born.

Part 1 and Part 2 could be found in the About Me section (theres an 'About me' tab just below the header)

and oooooh yeah !, this series would continue ........

Nov 17, 2008

Song : O Paalanhaare; Movie : Lagaan (2001) - Hindi

This is one of my earlier attempts at recording and my actual intention was only to test the different editing options in the software that I had been using. Played around with a couple of songs and this one came out really well after editing, especially the final ooooo's in the song. Though my contribution to this song is very limited, (my voice comes only at 3.10), it was a pleasure working with Lataji and it was my dream come true when I got an opportunity to sing along with her. LOL

To listen in a better way:

  • Please wait till the entire song streams.
  • Try using a headset/earphone for the overall sound clarity.

Nov 14, 2008

S.i.B - 7

Again, a couple of old releases! The next part would have Welcome to Sajjanpur( Hindi), Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil), Dostana (Hindi) and the yet-to-be-released movies :D

Hello - Hindi :
Yaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnn . Rating : 1 / 5 (1 for Sharman)

Roadside Romeo - Hindi
A novel attempt for the Indian audience from the house of Yash Raj and Walt Disney. Though the storyline is typical Bollywood-ish with hero, heroine, villain, sidekicks, a love triangle, item number, etc, the animations are cool. Some of the jokes are crude while some of them totally forced. Among the animated characters, Charlie anna, voice over by the ever-dependable Javed Jaffrey, was the best. Kareenas character had very less to do and could’ve easily been dubbed by any normal female dubbing artiste. Saifs dubbing lacked expression and sounded as if he had lost interest in dubbing mid way. However, the animated bloopers at the end were very creative which saved up for the lost humor in the movie. Avoidable. Rating : 2.5 / 5

Kurukshetra - Malayalam
Manipulated Indian Army emotions, fat military officers, terrible dialogues, poor background score and too many characters spoil Major Ravis intention of bringing the Kargil war on celluloid. Please avoid. Rating : 2 / 5 (2 for the cinematography)

Heroes - Hindi
Surprisingly good. Barring, the first few scenes of Vatsal / Sohail and the climax which was a big let down, this patriotic movie is different in its approach and was watchable. Vatsal looked perfect for the role while Sohail too old. Salman looked different but was at his usual; Preity was a treat to watch and so was Mithunda. The rest, Bobby, Sunny and Dino were unimpressive. Director Sameer is getting better with each movie; though he could have paid a lot more attention on the music department and also on the length of the movie. Rating : 2.5 / 5

Aegan (The one and only) - Tamil
Ace choreographer, Raju Sundaram, gets into the shoes of a director for the first time by remaking the SRK starrer ‘Main Hoon Na’. The first half provides a couple of gags and can be sat through, but the second half is unbearable. Rajus choreography in the movie is commendable but his direction is amateurish. If not for Ajiths screen presence, this movie would’ve seen the dust already. Avoidable. Rating : 2.5 / 5

Fashion - Hindi
A typical Madhur Bhandarkar cliché driven movie. Except for the length of the movie and a couple of inconsequential gay characters, the movie was not all that bad. Infact, the only saving grace of the movie was the performance from the lead cast and the music. The fashion industry gets portrayed in a very bad light as if there aren’t any positive outcomes out of modeling. The movie is definitely watchable but not for those who expect entertainment going by its name. And yeah ! one needs to be patient enough to sit through the final 25 mins. Rating :3 / 5

Nov 10, 2008

Quirky me !!!

It has been quite a while since Apar tagged me to list down 6 of my quirks. To be honest I love doing tags, which I guess, in blogosphere, should be considered. The first tag that I had attempted was also related to my quirks, check it out here.

This is the best I could come up with and I hope these are quirky enough. I am sure that even my family and the closest of friends would not have noticed some of these odd traits in me.

1) The light quirk
I feel very upset and depressed if the lights in the rooms are not switched on after 6pm. Not to be mistaken with Achluophobia, it’s a feel of loneliness and I imagine that the last person left on this planet is me.

2) The sweet quirk
I DO NOT LIKE sharing chocolates, sweets and ice creams (especially) with anyone. I am ok with sharing food (again not from the same plate), but I give a disgusted look to the person once they intrude into my space with those mentioned. I also follow a unique way of finishing my ice creams, something which should actually be watched to understand and I guess the only person who had noticed that is my sis, Ramya.

3) The fruit quirk
I really don’t know if this is a quirk, but according to some of my friends, it is. I love fruits and I could survive for days only on them. But there is one particular fruit which I don’t like at all, a fruit that is considered to be the king of fruits - Mango ! I have come across people who love mangoes more than their spouses. But I just cant stand the way it tastes.

4) The weekday quirk
I always wished if there wasn’t a Tuesday among all the other weekdays. Tuesdays have always turned out to be horrible and unlucky for me and on such days, I wouldn’t dare take a decision or venture into anything on purpose. I have been helpless a couple of times, but even then, I must have tried my best to avoid it. Also ask me for a favor on a Tuesday, and you would hear NO from me !

5) The photo quirk
90 % of my snaps would have my trademark Donald Duck smile. But things change the moment I wear a sunglass. I would insist someone to take a side profile snap of mine and for some reason, I would not smile. These are only a few of them :

Another quirk of mine is that I take a lot of my own snaps and relate them to famous quotes, which I call ‘Quotos’; check out my orkut album to understand what I mean. Some say I am obsessed with myself and my brother, after looking at those, even claimed that I have N.P.D. (Narcissist Personality Disorder) !!!

6) The tablet quirk
How does a person have his tablets normally? Swallow them along with water ???
Well, I prefer chewing them. Yup, I literally chew the prescribed tablets and only after that I drink water to cleanse my mouth.

Apart from these, there were a couple of other temporary quirks too. For example, years back, I used to stop speaking to friends of mine who drink or smoke and during my MBA lectures, I visit the loo everyday at 10.20 am; majority of the class would have a check at their watches when I get up at 10.18 to seek permission ! Quriky me, I say !!!

I now tag Verbivorehere, Archana, Sangeetha, Whacky, Su and Rakesh. All the best guys !!!

Nov 5, 2008

S.i.B - 6

The S.i.B series, this time, is split into two; too many movies here spoil the fun of writing (and even reading) one such series. The next series would have Hello, Roadside Romeo, Heroes, Aegan, Fashion and whatever I watch this weekend. Yeah ! Yeah ! I know, most of these would be available on original DVDs by now. Hmm..what to do, I was partially blind for a while and wasn’t allowed to watch movies. Restricting movies is something next to corporal punishment for me. Some of the latest releases were watched on pirated DVDs and I hereby express my sincere apologies to those producers and distributors, but at the same time, the movies that some of you come up with, doesn’t deserve to be even watched.

Here is the first set; the movies listed are based on the release dates :

Thirakadha (Screenplay) - Malayalam
After a couple of commercial debacles, director Ranjith has come up with a path breaking movie. Infact, the movie is a good relief for the Malayalam film industry which is going through rough patches. One wishes if only the director stuck to these kinds of movies rather than churning out all those frequent mindless masala flicks. The screenplay is based on the real life romance of Kamal Haasan and Sri Vidhya during the 80’s. Priyamani has done a good job, but looks artificial in some of the emotional scenes while Anup Menon clearly steals the show delivering an excellent performance. Prithviraj takes the movie forward with his narration and has nothing much to do. Recommended. Rating : 3.5 / 5

Kadhalil Vizhunden (Fell in love) - Tamil
Hero loves heroine, proposes her and both fall in love. They elope to live happily but get chased till the end. So whats new, huh? The suspense quotient along with the racy treatment of the screenplay post interval forms the only highlight in Kadhalil Vizhunden, as the first half moves sluggishly. The songs’ including the famous ‘Nakka Mukka’ number appear out of nowhere and at the same time do not take the movie forward in any way. The transformation of Nakul from a plumpy careless teenager from his Boys days to the slim and suave action hero is noteworthy. Nakul is someone to watch out for. Avoidable . Rating : 2.5 / 5

Sakkarakatti (Sugar cube !) - Tamil
Please, cant even review this !! Rating : 0 / 5 (Cant even rate for ARRs songs, they were raped by the way it was picturised)

Raman Thediya Seethai (The Seetha whom Ram searched) - Tamil
It’s the Cheran charm that made this otherwise soap opera watchable. Pasupathi and Nitin Satya has very little to do, but excels in their respective roles. Out of the five heroines, Ramya Nambeesan stands out with her brilliant performance. With an offbeat subject on love, faith, self-confidence, will power and sacrifices, this movie could have been a lot better if it was trimmed. Rating : 2.5 / 5

Drona - Hindi
A slow motion (like how its put in the movie) lethargic superhero, wears the weirdest of costumes (even a dupatta!) and matches his fists against a joker (the villain!) to save umm..err…now what was that? Cant even remember for what it was all about. Torture. Rating : 0.5 / 5 (0.5 for the interval)

Kidnap – Hindi
The funniest movie I have watched in ages !!! The only person perfect for the role was Sanjay Dutt. Imran Khan doesn’t know how to emote and that’s proved once again after his debut. He needs to work on his dialogue delivery too. Minishaa and Vidya, the ladies should have swapped their roles. I cant believe that I actually sat through this !!! Rating 0.5 / 5 ( 0.5 for the final scene picturised on Imran and Minishaa)

Nov 1, 2008

Current Favs : Oct 2 - Nov 1

1 Man Mohini from Yuvvraaj (Hindi)
2 Nenjukkul Peididum from Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil)
3 Kuch Kam from Dostana (Hindi)
4 Kanaa Kaangiren from Aanandha Thaandavam (Tamil)
5 Aavaram Poo from Poo (Tamil)
6 Mar Jawaan from Fashion (Hindi)
7 Tum Ho from Rock On (Hindi)
8 Oh Priya from Twenty 20 (Malayalam)
9 Natta Nada from A Aa E Ee (Tamil)
10 Wheres the Party from Silambattam (Tamil)

Oct 24, 2008

The 5k Milestone

Dear Visitors and Readers (they are different!),

This is to inform you that I have successfully crossed the 5000 visitors milestone on 22nd this month. The counter was placed on Dec 18th 2007 when my boss’ suggested me to do so (I do have a very encouraging boss). It took exactly 3 months ( March 18th ‘08) to reach 1000; what a struggle, huh ? LOL. After March, I got
introduced to this universe called blogosphere through Poonam and then after a series of ‘You comment in mine-only then I comment in yours’ sessions with
fellow bloggers, the counter in V-Lokam finally started moving. I still remember those days (not long back though) when I used to bug my colleagues through internal chat and a couple of close friends through orkut / sms /mails with URLs to my posts. Yeah, I was that desperate, LOL !!! Today, I am a happy blogger with quite a few regulars but at the same time, I also know that V-Lokam has still a long way to go in terms of its visitors and the posts. Nevertheless, even this achievement wouldn’t have been possible without you people and I take this opportunity to thank all of you, it seriously means a lot to me when I meet you guys here.

and now its time for a cliché statement, “ Though I have received a couple of valuable awards, what matters to me the most is when someone leaves their impression here
after visiting. So please, do comment and keep V-Lokam happier.”

Last but not the least, I would like to mention about a wonderful human being who kept a track of the number of visits in V-Lokam. Though I never bothered to know my visitor stats, she kept a close eye on the counter daily- literally!!! She would inform me whenever I cross the 1000’s and even take screenshots to send it across to me. Now how sweet is that !!
Thanks a lot Reeta a.k.a Reets. Your presence, here, has inspired me a lot and
has also been of great encouragement to me. And for the same reason, I dedicate
this post of V-Lokam to you. I have also enclosed all the screenshots that you
had sent me. Thanks once again.

Warm Regards,
Vimal Vijayan (Vimmuuu),

The screenshots taken by Reeta :





and finally 5000 !!!

Oct 21, 2008

Clicked !

Now, this is a very peculiar tag that Reema asked me to do. I am supposed to display some of my childhood snaps (a snap atleast 10 years old) that were taken without my knowledge or in other words, candid. Somehow I have never been comfortable with these tehelka kinds of shots and have always avoided when anyone tries to do that. I feel, I appear weird in all the candid shots and so I try my best to pose the moment I see someone lugging around a camera.

Well, here are three of those paparazzi moments and I believe there would be just another one or two of such lying at my native.

This snap was taken at one of my brother’s friend’s home in Deira, Dubai. The snap shows how busy they were playing carom and look at me, as usual equally busy in my own world. I wonder (not again, huh?) what would have been in my mind at that age? ( in the picture : extreme left - my bro, extreme right - his friend, vinod)

The damn media never let me even sip my juice in peace !!!
This was taken at the then Safa Park now known as Mushrif Park, Dubai. It seems till I reached a certain age, my folks had to just mention ‘Safa Park’ and I’d be this obedient kid. Parents, I say !!! (in the picture : me and mom)
Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, na mumkin hain…..
I was in my kindergarten when this snap was taken in our Satwa residence, Dubai. You see, I was this chota Abinav in the making, but I would have been discouraged by my parents on account of my inborn violent traits. Guess what, I still play with a gun when I get hold of one; a toy gun that is !

And as a part of the tag tradition, I hereby declare my tag victims :

Aparna, Apar, Aaarti, Vinod, Pradeep, Smita, Sakhi, Vinu, Oxy, Arvind

Oct 16, 2008

Sorry my lord, I didnt mean to harass her !!!

Disclaimer : This is not any kind of chauvinist post and I don’t intend to offend anyone, rather take it in a light way. If you still feel that the post hurts, then I would request you to take a break or probably attend the Art of Living classes.
The above picture was taken from Alleppey-Bokharo Express.

It reads :

Harassing women passengers is a punishable offence.

Any obscene remarks, teasing, touching, stares, gestures, songs and unwanted attention are all forms of sexual violence, punishable by up to two years or a fine under section 354A, 509 and 294 under Indian Penal Code and section 145 and 152 of the Railways Act.

I happened to notice this information on my way back from the rest room; strategically placed inside the train, near the entrance. I don’t know how or why I missed this pin up before but it sure did make me think for a while about the privileges a woman enjoy. I mean, do we men have any act that is even remotely close to this??? Don’t women harass men at all? The stories would be less in number, but I am sure there are. And they claim men and women are equal. Hmmph!!! It is not that we men aren’t afraid of women. Sometimes, men are too scared to react or behave in front of a woman thinking of the consequences. There are certain women who are simply unpredictable and who get offended very easily and believe me, such women ARE dangerous. However well mannered the man is, our Indian law/society would not believe him even if the woman makes a false / misunderstood allegation. That’s not fair, is it?

I returned to my seat with those Acts, Penal Codes and the newly developed inequality feeling in my mind. There was a middle aged woman in the same compartment. Gawd, I have this habit of singing or humming constantly and now I do have to think twice before I could do so. I had to be sure that the song didn’t have bad lyrics, vulgar picturisation or an ill famed actress? Aargh!!! Or even an inappropriate situation to sing the song would be enough for me to taste the bitterness of trouble. What if she stares at me for no reason, I can’t even return the stare!! I was getting settled in my seat when my Aquafina bottle fell and landed up near her foot. Oooooops, I just harassed her; that was an unwanted attention !!!

Oct 12, 2008

Song : Mungaru Malaye; Movie : Mungaru Male (2007)

Well, this is going to be the first song that I am going to dedicate to someone in the blogosphere. I was waiting for an opportunity to post this love song and thats when I came across someone whos so much in lovvve that he keeps trying all possible ways to express his love through his blog. who else? our very own love struck mirror-cracked, Nikhil.

Nikhil, buddy, we wish you all the best for your love and we are all waiting for the news!!! (Please, dont hunt me if this song brings in any negative reactions!)

The lyrics can be found here.

Trivia :
Its a whole new effort from my end, I do not understand head and tail of Kannada language and I seriously dont know how my diction is. The original singer is Sonu Nigam, and I hope he has sung it with proper pronounciations as he was my only reference. So, Kannadigas, if I had mispelt any of the words making them sound offending, please pardon me.

This is the first Kannada song that I ever listened to and it was my current boss, Mr.Vijay Shankar, who referred me this song. Believe me, the music and the flow of the lyrics are so magical that I fell in love with the song the moment I heard it. A fine example of language not being a barrier for music.

To listen in a better way:

  • Please wait till the entire song streams.
  • Try using a headset/earphone for the overall sound clarity.

Oct 8, 2008

seven wonders.....

wonder what would Maneka Gandhi do when her house is filled with cockroaches, rats and worms ?
1) Buy another house
2) Call the pest control
3) Live with those creatures (well, arent those animals too????)

wonder where would Saif Ali Khan be today if Dil Chahta Hain never happened ?
1) With Amrita Singh still enjoying the glory of Yeh Dillagi and Main Khiladi Tu Anari.
2) Doing item numbers and participating in reality shows like Big Boss.
3) Waiting for Salman Khan to re-introduce him.

wonder why do certain words carry silent alphabets (for example, p in pneumonia, t in listen. aah well, there are so many !) ???
1) English is a zfunny language
2) People who coined them included their name initials
3) They actually arent silent, we are too lazy to pronounce the words with an extra alphabet.

wonder when would people find a cure for A.I.D.S. ?
1) Never
2) The sadistic Germans had already found it out in 1940's during the world war (Even Fanta was created in 1940 by the Germans) and they just wont reveal it.
3) A.I.D.S. who ???

wonder whom would Aiswarya Rai be dating now if she hadnt married Abhishek Bachchan?
1) Imran Khan
2) Himesh Reshammiya
3) Amitabh Bachchan

wonder if dinosaurs existed during Ramayana and Mahabharata?
1) No, they knew what was coming and so committed mass suicide.
2) The dinosaurs got misinterpreted as demons and rakshasas as centuries passed by.
3) They would have, if Michael Crichton tried his hands at the epics.

wonder how people would treat this post?
1) Crap, nonsense, waste of time
2) People read anything as long as it is in a blog.
3) See you in the comments section, yeyy!!

Oct 6, 2008

Current Favs : Sep 2 - Oct 2

8 new entries this time. Harris Jayaraj comes with a superb album, Vaaranam Aayiram after a very very long time. Yeah, but he still reuses his tunes ! I am not a Himesh listener, but two songs of Karzzzzzzzzz (Sorry, if i mispelt it) were kind of good, Lut jaaoon and Dhoom; the latter sounds more like Main Jahaan Rahoon from Namastey London and would have sounded better if any other singer tried it (Wonder why the hindu activists are keeping quiet on Himesh's Hhharrrri Ommm). The surprise song this month was the one from Horn, Ok Pleassssssss(good god, whats with these names??), another aggressive number delivered by Sunidhi Chauha like Beedi from Omkara. I am sure Oxy would go ga-ga over this song, its got Rakhi Sawant in it.

1 Mundhinam Paartheney from Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil)
2 Tum Ho from Rock On (Hindi)
3 Mit Jaaye(Rock version) from Kidnap (Hindi)
4 Mar Jawaan from Fashion (Hindi)
5 Ek Meetha Marz from Welcome To Sajjanpur (Hindi)
6 Nathani Uthaaro from Horn Ok Pleassssssssssss (Hindi)
7 Lut Jaaon from Karzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (Hindi)
8 Taxi Taxi from Sakkarakatti (Tamil)
9 Drono Redux from Drona (Hindi)
10 Vaa Vaa En from Abhiyum Naanum (Tamil)

Oct 2, 2008

I just hate my forefathers !!!

It has been quite a while since I wrote something different and wow, it really feels great to come out of the never-ending series shell.

2008 according to me is one of the worst years for India in terms of deaths through terrorist attacks and communal riots. It has often made me thinking as to why people actually do this; what pleasure do they get by killing so many; what lesson are they trying to teach and most importantly whom are they trying to teach? To top it all, now, we had a stampede in Jodhpur that killed 147. If my facts are right, this is the second stampede this year at a Hindu shrine. Why is it that people are so disorganized when it comes to religion? We have processions on the road that blocks traffic, we have frequent communal riots, we still have sacrifices (humans or animals-both are uncalled for) and people queuing up until the roads to have a glimpse of their ‘God’, all in the name of religion. We donate crores on beautifying the place of worship, but the same hand shivers when asked to donate for a relief fund. Any idea on how much the annual income of the Tirupati temple is? More than 5 billion Indian Rupees. India is a developing country, huh?

Personally, I am not an idol worshipper and so I have tried my best to stay away from places that has its presence. But to wherever I have been, people, however literate they are, behave so ignorantly at these places. The public, at the religious sites, are so unruly that it is only justifiable to have a security to manage them (referring to the Guruvayoor temple in Kerala, Sabarimala in Kerala and the Tirupati-Thirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh). When Muslims and Christians can go quietly and come out the same way from their respective religious places, why on earth cant the Hindus exhibit a decent human behavior? Why is there even a specific dress code for devotees to enter the temple premises? For example, men are supposed to be topless and women are not supposed to wear anything that looks like pants (even the bottom of a salwar) when they go to Guruvayoor temple. Even more atrocious is the rule that girls aren’t supposed to enter temples when they are menstruating. If God makes women like that, why is there a resistant from his side to attend devotees that way?

All these years, I had been having high regard towards Muslims, probably because of the fact that 15 years of my life was spent in a Muslim country and also for the reason that they believe only in an ultimate power called Allah, which has no shape or form. But off late, it has been very upsetting that only Muslims were responsible for all the world’s recent terrorist’s attacks. They are degrading themselves by doing so and also by calling themselves a minority. They have that undying ‘spirit of Islam’, wherever they go and do just about anything to defend their community. Only wish they had used all these spirits for the betterment of their so- called community.

Everything seems so dignified and disciplined within Christianity, but again as I put it, the discipline is only within. There are communities among themselves who find it hard to exist with each other in harmony. It’s a fact that they have opened missionaries, charities and orphanages, but why does this section always remain adamant on converting its inmates to Christianity. Even in the schools they manage, their prayers are forced on all the students, which they easily put under the bracket ‘daily routines’. Why don’t they have a generalized pledge in their schools, which everyone could follow? And most importantly, why do they claim that theirs is the only religion and the rest are just derivatives from them?

This ranting of mine would never end here and its not that these are the only religions that has flaws, we all know what happened with the Sikh community recently. Except for the frequent festivals and riots, none of these religions even find their place in the newspapers these days for any of their activities. Do we really need these religions for our existence? Or have we created them to kill one another?

I am not against religion nor am I trying to bring out the agnostic in me. But I condemn all those who create India a difficult country to live in. These religions, which I believe, are a set of tenets aimed only at dividing the country and its people. The British back then, were smart enough in realizing this fact and they brought in the ‘Divide and Rule Policy’. Yeah, we did get divided and now it has become difficult to rule us. I hate my forefathers to have created these many religions. I seriously do !

Disclaimer : I know I must have hurt a couple of people on their religious sentiments. I am not apologetic since these are strictly my views and if anyone feels bad, it’s their own problem.

Btw, Happy birthday, oh Father of the Nation!!!

Sep 30, 2008

Thanks, Sorry....oh wait, thanks again !

Thanks a lot guys (of course, it includes the gals also. How would I forget you all?). I am really really really touched after reading the concerns left by you all in my previous post. Infact , I now feel proud of myself to have started a blog, for I wouldn’t have got such good responsive friends in a short span. Thanks a lot everyone, thanks for being there for me.

I am also sorry for the telecast (as if it was in my hands!). Till Tuesday; ie, 23rd, I was informed by the people behind Raagamaalika, that the show would start from 28th. There were some last minute changes, (probably, they happened to see these posts and decided to edit all my portions. LOL) that made them shift the telecast to Oct 19th. I would keep you all informed and will upload a youtube video here once I catch hold of the DVDs.

In the meanwhile, I happened to receive a couple of awards (with palms on my chin). I don’t know if I actually deserve all these but they sure did create an excitement (yeah ! yeah ! the usual award receiving dialogues).

I received my first award from Anniyan(Pavan) of a couple of months back and the award had been on display ever since then. Thanks a ton, Pavan.
The Addicting Blog Award

My good friend, well-wisher and V-lokam regular Reets/Reeta gave me the second award. Thank you Reeta.

The next award was by ‘Kismate Blog Konnection’ fellow blogger Oxymoronic. Thank you Oxy boy.

Smita of gave away an award and a 'Blogging Friends Forever' card. Thanks a lot Smita.

The last two awards are supposed to be passed on as a part of the blog tradition. I believe most of them would have already received it by now and in case you haven’t, please forgive me and feel free to grab it from here.

Nevertheless, I choose the following ones to keep up the tradition :
Pavan, Su, Vinu, Apar, Aparna, Archana, Rekha

Speaking of awards, guess all of you are aware of the marvelous attempt by Poonam in recognizing the bloggers – Avant Garde Bloggie Awards. My best wishes to all of you !!!

Sep 26, 2008

Part 5 (b) - They finally shot me - Final post

continued from Part 5 (a)

It was declared earlier that only the top three would qualify for the final rounds. As of then, Vikram, Aishwarya and me were in the top three. Vikram is a terrific singer and to beat him with the scores was next to impossible for any of us. Aishwarya, the daughter of the program co-ordinator, was also too good. She only selected the toughest of songs but sang it with élan. All they had to do was to maintain our scores to reach the finals and for me, I just have to make sure that none of the songs are messed up.

Day 2 – July 23rd : Reached the place quite early again. I wasn’t tensed this time, rather very excited. All the three songs that I chose were quite simple and very catchy.

We had the regular pitch check for the songs; SB, who by the way is the director of the show, was impressed with my performance so far and started speaking to me normally, the 6 of us became good sportive participants; Vikram claimed on stage that he liked my voice the most (receiving such a comment from a singer like him was more than enough for me). Had some real fun on stage with Balaji; hope all that gets aired. Infact, Balaji and myself shared a good rapport on and off stage.

All the three rounds went well. No one of us got eliminated and I maintained my number 3 position. At the end of the day, I guess I got carried away with all the appreciations, that, I developed interests to be a part of the finals. I desired to win.

The song for the 9th round was still not known. We were told that it would be an impromptu Duet round, but for some reason, they decided to go ahead with a ‘Best of Ilayaraja’ round instead and asked us to prepare a good melody.

Day 3- July 24th : During the practice session, I had given ‘Vellai Pookal’ from Kannathil Muthamittaal as my choice for the 8th round.. But I decided to sing 'Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthen' from 7G Rainbow Colony because through out the rounds, I wasn’t singing even one melancholy track.

After the pitch check with the orchestra, the cameras started rolling once more for the 7th round. I did really well and managed to maintain my 3rd position yet again. Sudhakar got eliminated this time; based on his low scores. It was five of us then; in the order of the scores - Vikram, Aishwarya, Me, Rajeshwari and Gayathri.

Vikram and me after dressing got into the studio while the rest were checking their pitch with the orchestra. To my surprise, Vikram was made to check his pitch and I wasn’t. I asked SB but she smiled and said I don’t need a check and that she believed in me. I took that as a compliment and delivered my best on stage.

Whatever followed after that, left a permanent scar in my heart. I wasn’t hurt, but I didn’t expect this kind of reaction from the judges, especially for that particular song. According to them, I was affected with something bad that they couldn’t find out. They asked me if I knew where it went wrong. I shrugged and replied that I didn’t. Worst part was when I had to say ‘Thank you’ for the horrible score that I received.

I became 4th in the order - Vikram, Aishwarya, Rajeshwari, Me, and then Gayathri.

Usually, after each round, all of us would be made to stand on the stage and declare our total scores till that respective round. The judges would then declare the elimination and the bonus points. For some reason, after this round, that wasn’t done (Its going to be evident on TV too). We waited to hear from the judges :

Judge-M.V. : We have decided to eliminate Vimal.
I involuntarily went one step back; literally, taken aback.

Balaji, who kept a note of everyones scores, immediately waved at SB who in turn stopped all the cameras.

Balaji to SB : “ How is it possible ? Gayathris scores are lesser than Vimals. Ideally, she should be eliminated, right? Is there anything wrong with the calculation ?”

SB : No. Judges decision, Balaji.

Balaji seemed helpless. I smiled at him and said ‘the show must go on’ (dialogue from a Malayalam movie ‘Joker’ delivered at a similar situation)

Camera rolled, retook from where it was stopped and Balaji continued his job as a host.

Gayathri, who was in the fifth position, got in and I went out. No one knew the actual reason for my elimination. All of them including Balaji said I performed well. I was upset, didn’t express it there though, it wasn’t about getting eliminated. I wanted a perfect reason, that’s all.

According to Vikram and Gayathri, I would’ve got eliminated because the succeeding rounds required technical knowledge in music. Their logic was that I did well and since they couldn’t find a reason to eliminate me, this was the only way. Some of them even claimed that I would have been a part of their script right from the beginning of the show. The makers, probably, expected me to create a fuss on stage after my elimination, which they could use for publicity stunts to increase the shows TRP. Damn, I am still not convinced with any of the pacified remarks. I have to watch myself on screen to console my conscious.

I stayed back to watch the next round. I was so impressed with Vikram that I gifted him the shirt that I was supposed to wear for the 9th round. With my elimination, all of them were a little tensed especially Gayathri.

Result for the 9th round – All four got through for the finals (when it was earlier declared that only three would qualify). A blow yet again; I was number 4 and I should have been there. It happens all the time; I get things unexpectedly, and don’t, when I really need them to. Bid good bye to all of them when they were on the stage and left the studio.

Went out, looked up, and realized, I don’t even have a God to ask him, why me?

The finals were shot on 28th July. They did have classical round initially, for the finals, but due to time constraints they decided to replace it with a Melancholy round. I did go to the studio to watch the finals and also to collect my consolation prizes. Vikram got hospitalized and could not make it for the show. Now, that’s even worse than my situation; he truly deserved to be the winner.

The rest is for you all to watch; who wins and who else gets eliminated.

Show details :

Jaya Tv – Raagamalika; airs at 9 am only on sundays. Repeat telecast on saturdays at 11pm.

Try watching the entire series and please do not stop with the first episode of mine, which, according to me, is horrible. I would be on air from this Sunday, ie, 28th Sep to Nov 16th.
Thanks a lot for being so patient in reading these posts and commenting here.
Its just the beginning…..

Also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3(a), Part 3 (b), Part 4 and Part 5(a)

Sep 24, 2008

Part 5 (a) - They finally shot me !!!

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (a), Part 3(b) and Part 4, or else you wouldnt understand a thing !!!

As far I am concerned I had to undergo a couple of sacrifices for this show. I was already under a diet and was working out a little inspite of the torn ligaments in my leg. The diet began well before my first audition, and I decided to continue it so that I looked trim on TV. I stopped consuming oily, junk and creamy foods and had only bland food most of the time. I only had hot water, most of the times, with honey and lemon (this not only helps u in burning fat, but also clears your throat). Eventually, I reduced 5 kgs and I did look trimmer (Gained all that in a months time though). I kept a time limit (5-10 mins), had time slots to speak to my friends and family and some of my friends remarked that I am acting like one of those snobbish celebrities before even entering the show. Stopped watching movies for a week and listened to only those songs that I chose to sing for the show; initially 24 songs and after the practice session, the 9 songs.

It would only be appropriate if I briefed about what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling. The shot portions are anyway going to come on TV.

Day 1; July 21st – Though we were asked to reach the studio at 9 am, I made my presence there at 7.30 itself. I was the only person who went there all alone, the rest of them came with their parents. After dressing up, we were made to check our pitches with the orchestra. We were allowed to take the lyrics on stage and I didnt understand why Sb created a fuss on the first day. The judges were Malaysia Vasudevan and Uma Ramanan; two famous singers in the Tamil film industry. The intro song was not included for the judgement and so we were asked to relax and shed all those stage fear that we had. I was called fifth, after Vikram, Aishwarya, Sudhakar and Rajeshwari and this order was followed through out the show except for one round. The host Balaji (he is one of the best RJs in Chennai and now also a small time actor), called my name, “Vimal”. But I insisted him to call me, “Vimal Vijayan”, (for people who don’t know, that’s my full name). I am a little superstitious at times; including my dads name has always brought me luck. The cameras rolled again and I was welcomed with my full name with a little bit of sarcasm from the hosts end (I loved it though!)

There was a short intro on the stage about my whereabouts, likes and dislikes and after that I was asked to sing. Took a deep breath and when the music started, I gulped (yeah! the mike was away). As mentioned in my earlier post, I wasn’t quite happy with the intro song that I chose out of frustration. Unless I am convinced with the song, I wouldn’t be able to render it the way I want. According to the rest of them, I sang well, but personally if you ask me, I wasn’t happy. Well, it’s the intro song; no judgement and no more stage fear !!!

I passed the mike to Gayathri who went after me. Both Vikram and Sudhakar said I sang well and that I was getting worried for no reason. Lets see, its going to come on TV and I cant stop it !!

After Gayathris, we packed up and got ready for the next round. Each round is one episode and so we had to change our dress. This was the only round that I was tensed from the very beginning. 1940’s,(Thyagaraja Bhagavathars Naatiya Kalaye). Balaji asked me if I am all ready for the song. I replied saying that I was and since I hadnt learned music, I was a little worried. He then asked me to think positive and boosted my morale (I don’t know if all that would appear on screen, but the conversations happened when the cameras were rolling). I started off , not very confidently, but somewhere in the middle, I started getting into the groove and I am sure I ended it well. The judges gave some good comments and so did Sb.

Result for round 2 - none eliminated, and I was ranked #3.
After the shoot and before the pack up, Balaji called me separately and injected me with a few good thoughts on confidence. I owe a lot to him for this gesture of his.

Confidence level—increased. Stage fear –nil. I am sure I did the next round- 1950’s(Paattu Paadava) well and according to some of them, its my best performance. Balaji was dancing like crazy when I was rendering it and I hope they show it on TV. Judges were happy too and again got some good comments from them.

Result for round 3 – none eliminated and I was still #3.

That’s it for the first day. Next shoot was on July 23rd.

Trailor for the final part
Judge (after the 8th round) : We have decided to eliminate Vimal.
Host Balaji : How is it possible ? Gayathris scores are lesser than Vimals. Ideally, she should be eliminated, right?