Jul 29, 2008

When I met God....

Feb 9th 2008 was the one of the most important days in my life; one of the most special day too.

I had no idea how my day would turn out to be until 6pm that day. I was in a huge crowd waiting for a darshan of my favourite God, when I suddenly got a call from one of my friend. She asked me if I was interested in visiting the same God personally at his temple. But the meeting she said is uncertain; god cant make himself available for me, right? She asked me to wait for her call again. I retired from the crowd, wanted to freshen myself before appearing before him. I waited impatiently and got a call from my friend at 10.20pm to come over. The excitement grew thousand folds as I was on my way. Finally, I got inside and I was made to sit in Gods shrine. The door opened and he just came in wishing everybody and also simultaneously chanting some mantra. I could not believe that I was there in the same place with him, talking to him. I pinched myself. Yes, I am seeing my God. It’s not a dream and it is not mere imagination. My eyes got filled with tears of happiness, somehow managed to hide it. I could spend only about an hour and a half there; he needs to make his presence felt for innumerable devotees like me.

Now for the actual incident - I am referring to A.R.Rahman as God here. The below picture was taken at ARR’s residence soon after his live concert in Chennai for the MARG Group on Feb 9th 2008. I won the tickets for the show through the net and I was at the show enjoying, when my friend, Dhanya, from Times Now called me. She had an opportunity to conduct an interview with ARR and she wanted to know if I would be interested in meeting him. She asked me to leave immediately if I wanted to and also mentioned that there are chances that the interview could get cancelled. I could attend his concerts again, but meeting ARR personally at his residence is like once in a lifetime. However, listened to a few songs during the concert, took a few photographs and rushed home to get ready. I got a call at 10.20pm from Dhanya asking me to reach ARRs residence in 15 mins. ARR actually stays about 10 mins away from my place and getting there wasn’t difficult at all. (Every time I pass his residence, I would slow down my bike and peep to have a small glimpse; but never been lucky.) My dream of meeting him is finally coming true. I reached there on time and Dhanya was waiting for me outside with the rest of the crew. Initially, we were made to sit in his waiting room that was under construction and I was helping the crew with their cameras and stuffs. A Toyota Innova rushed in a little later and we were then asked to make ourselves comfortable in the sitting hall. In 5 mins, ARR came in humming some song; probably he was in his composing mode. He was wearing the same attire that he had worn during the concert and asked everyone if it was fine. A great person, indeed, he had committed a time slot for the interview after the concert and without any starry tantrums, and without even a minute rest, he sat with us. I have read so many articles on ARR being humble, modest, etc; but none of them mentioned about his wits. The man truly rocked that night with his witty one-liners. Whatever I write about him here would be less; we all know how he is. After the interview, my friend introduced me to him and she asked him if he could pose for a snap along with me. He readily agreed and we had a few very normal conversations during the photo session. How I wish I could have told him that I would love to be a part of his team. How I wish I could have told him that I sing and that I would want him to listen to me atleast once. But I did'nt want to take advantage of the situation as I felt it would look bad on my friend and Times Now, so had to keep my mouth shut. Moreover, there were people waiting for him outside, probably some more interviewers. Nevertheless, I could not ask for more than this. During the concert his presence made a lot of fans go wild with happiness but for me ...... I stood in silence with happiness.. so dumbstruck I became on seeing him and so blind I was with my happiness that neither did I have words to express then nor do i have it now; he made me the happiest among all his admirers.

Long live A.R.Rahman !

PS : Special thanks to Dhanya Rajendran who made it possible. I am indebted to her for the rest of my life. It was so sweet of her to remember me when she got an opportunity to interview ARR. Also thanks to the crew of Times Now who were present at that time, they made ‘a nervous-with-excitement’ me feel a lot comfortable.
and I am extremely sorry for posting this so late !

Jul 17, 2008

Song : Chalak Chalak; Movie : Devdas (2002)

In this particular song, I have attempted a few features of the software and gave more importance to them than my voice. This song was originally rendered beautifully by Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod and Shreya Ghosal. Here, in my version, I have retained the voices of Vinod and Shreya and just tried the Udit Narayan part and since Udit stops singing at '02.55' in the song, my voice also ends there.

The lyrics for the song could be found here.

Trivia :

To be frank, the editing and retaining the voices was the only difficult work in this song. The most trickiest being the hiccup which comes in the middle of the song; LOL.

To listen in a better way :

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

Jul 15, 2008

Happy Birthday !

Happy Bday to you,
Happy Bday to you,
Happy Bdayyy to V-Lokam,
Happy Bday to youuuuu !!!!

Was confused to celebrate this as a blog-erssary or a birthday, but I guess a Bday sounds more appropriate. This space in the World Wide Web (as how Optimus Prime puts it in the Transformers movie) has not changed ever since I started it, except for the missing in-depth movie reviews and the inclusion of my songs in karaoke. Of course, it was earlier named as Vlog (the change in name is explained here) and had one of the Bloggers default black backdrop.

V-Lokam has made a considerable difference in my personal life. I have spent so much of my otherwise wasted time here and I must admit, I really enjoyed it. To be frank, I am not good at this writing thing, but with whatever that I am doing now, I am contended. And my 'writing skills' have only improved ever since I started spending time here. The other great thing that has happened in my life is that I am being recognised for my songs which was attempted only with an intention of uploading it here. I do have a good news now thats related to the songs but I would prefer making an announcement once its through; probably by the end of next week. Also, I am happy to be a part of the blogosphere now with a couple of blogmates; the interaction is indeed fun.

I am not elongating this post (atleast this one!); I take this opportunity to thank each one of you who has encouraged me till now through this blog with their regular comments especially Reeta, Rakesh, Soneeta and Poonam. And for people who visit and leave without commenting (for example by brother, who used to comment long back under the name Saintly Sinner); I would appreciate if you would key in your thoughts too.

A final biiiig thanks to everyone for keeping V-Lokam alive.

Jul 10, 2008

Flickr Mosaic Tag

Just when I was breaking my head thinking which post to publish from the ones I had planned, this tag from Poonam came as a blessing. Yippie, I have more time to think !

How this is done :
1. The answers to each of the questions below are applied in Flickr Search.
2. The best image is picked, but only from the first page.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1 ) What is your first name ?
Vimal. I was surprised to see the results in flickr. Only Vimal ??? Give me a break !!!

2) What is your favourite food? Right now?
Puttu and Kadala Curry; now and always. For those of you who dont know, its a Kerala delicacy. Puttu is often referred as steamed rice cake and Kadala Curry is the gravy made from black chickpea. Yummmm! I am going to see if I can get this 'right now'. Heres a link to the recipe :

3) Which high school did u go ?
Govt. Victoria College. The tree in the mosaic is a part of our huuuge college campus; thats where the ground is. I am surprised and equally glad to find this picture in flickr. Some good alumni soul had posted it but this is the only image of our college in flickr. The tree is referred as "Muthasshi maram" which means Grandmother Tree and is believed to be centuries old; our college started functioning from 1889.

4) What is your favorite color?

5) Who is your celebrity crush?
Honestly, there has never been any. But any celebrity who could come close to being called a 'celebrity crush' would be this French news reader, Melisa Theuriau. Check out her info in Wikipedia. Phew ! With such a news reader, who wouldnt watch television, huh?

6) Favorite drink?
Orange juice. Now a little fact about me- I am a teatotaller in all sense; I have never and will never have plans to taste any of the alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) and have stopped tea and coffee 3 years ago.

7) Dream vacation?
Egypt. I just love the concept of Pyramids and the mystery behind it.

8) Favorite dessert?
Caramel Pudding.

9) What do you want to be when you grow up?
Singer ( Though I wish this question could have been reframed as "what do you want to be as you grow older?")

10) What do you love most in life?

11) One Word to describe you.

12) Your flickr name.
Now this is tricky. My flickr name is vimmuuu, but the search result was zero asking if I meant "vim" and thats how I got this into the mosaic.

I must thank Poonam for this tag, it was real fun !! And now I tag Oxy for his version.

Jul 4, 2008

Why....Why...But Why ??

“ I entered the room and was asked to be seated. The room was well lit but was quite small; I never had an idea how a RJ room would be. It was my first interview after winning the film fare awards for my debut song. The RJs face looked very similar; oh good god, it’s my boss. What on earth is he doing here? I looked around and I was stuck in a room, which is similar to my office cubicle. He has got a smirk on his face. Out of the blue, he played the All India Radio music. He played it too loud, it was breaking my ear drums” Pooooooof. I hate that irritating music of All India Radio and that’s the reason I had kept it as the alarm tone in my mobile. Why do sequences in a dream appear with no correlation at times and why do dreams that conclude abruptly get linked with something that’s happening simultaneously in our conscious life? (The alarm that rang apqpeared as a song played by my boss in the dream). I opened my eyes and got hold of my mobile which was somewhere beneath my pillows. Gosh, its 4.05 pm and I am supposed to catch a train at 6.30 pm! (As if I didn’t know this would happen when I kept the alarm)

Hopped into a rick and asked him to take me to the station ASAP. The bugger went slow and stopped at the first gas station. I just don’t understand why these guys do this only in such emergency situations. We started moving again and got stuck in a huge traffic. The C.M. was on his way to meet his second wife who stayed somewhere closeby and the people who elected him were literally immobile on the roads. Mine was just a normal situation, but there could have been people who are desperate to reach somewhere. Why is this discrimination towards the public when India is supposedly a secular, democratic, republic and socialistic country? Though this has been the practice for ages, why isn’t there any politician or social reformer today to stop this from continuing? I stepped out of the rick to have a better view of the traffic and that’s when I noticed that the C.M.'s posters are all over the city. I asked the driver about this, he said that it’s the C.M.'s birthday and the entire city is filled with posters and banners of the C.M. Now isn’t that sick? Why isn’t the government spending all this for something useful? Why is it so important for people to celebrate an 80 year old C.M.'s birthday this way by polluting the city with his posters and creating such a havoc on the road?

After a long wait for about 20 mins, we started moving again. On the way, we experienced a similar stoppage, this time in form of a religious procession. Fortunately, unlike the earlier situation, this time the traffic officers had a voice in controlling the scenario. But why is there so much of exhibitionism in our country in the name of religion. If I am not wrong, according to the Indian Constitution, religious practices in the public are allowed as long as others don’t find it disturbing. For ‘gods’ sake, I was finding it disturbing, and I am sure most of them would be too. In this particular procession, there were people of all age groups, including children who should be less than 2 years old. I am sure the kids would be having no idea as to what was happening. Why is religion so important to people that they let their children suffer this way?

Finally, I made it on time, and I got into my coach. While I was making myself comfortable in the seat, an old Brahmin couple came in and got seated beside me. They were looking so cordial and during the journey, I had some pleasant conversations with the male member, while the lady preferred to keep quiet. My stomach started making noises by now and was waiting for the train to stop at a station to get dinner. The couple had already started having theirs which they had brought from their ‘aathu’(typical Brahmin slang meaning home). I got an egg biriyani and the moment I opened it, the lady opened her mouth. She asked me to go somewhere and have my food, as they weren’t comfortable eating along with me. I looked at them all puzzled; she then continued that it was the egg that she wasn’t comfortable with. I made up a sarcastic smile on my face and moved to the side seat turning my back to them with the intention of offending them. If these so called orthodox vegetarians can have milk which also comes from an animal, if they can wear silk clothes with the silk being extracted from worms, why on earth should they have a problem in a co-passenger having his dinner with egg?

I looked at my watch with my eyes still carrying the burden of sleep, its 6 am, I should be reaching any time now. But I wasn’t worried, it’s the last stop and even if I over slept, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Even then, I jumped down from my upper berth to be on my slippers to get fresh. The old Brahmins weren’t there anymore; instead I found a young couple. I tapped my head twice to check if it was a dream. Nope, I am in my senses. The guy was good-looking with sharp features, but the girl was just the opposite, I could not find her looking good in my eyes. If he looked like a Greek god, she looked like a descendant of the Amazon tribe. But oh yes, beauty lies in the eyes of the damn beholder! They were very much in ‘love’ in the train and were not ashamed of it too with their rom-’antics’. Good gracious, why is this feeling called ‘love’ so blind? As I moved towards the toilet, I found a crowd near the exit. It will take the train atleast 15 mins to reach the station and I have always wondered why people crowd at the exit when they clearly know that the train is approaching the final destination.

This is what happens when my mind wanders, I tend to question myself frequently. The answers could be silly and sometimes self explanatory. and there are days when I ask myself, " Why bother? Why do you even think of all this ? Why…Why…But why? "

Jul 1, 2008

Current Favs - May 30 - June 30

1 Kahin To Hogi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (Hindi)
2 Kangal Irandal from Subramaniapuram (Tamil)
3 Naan Varaindhu Vaitha from Jayam Konden (Tamil)
4 Milo Wahaan from Ada (Hindi)
5 Mehfuz from Aamir (Hindi)
6 Tu Hai Meri Soniye from Kismet Konnection (Hindi)
7 Manjil Kulikkum from Verude Oru Bharya (Malayalam)
8 Pyaar Ke Liye from Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (Hindi)
9 Anbe En Anbe from Dhaam Dhoom (Tamil)
10 Meelon Ka from Love Story 2050 (Hindi)