Archive | November, 2012

CLASSICAL NIGHT WITH BOMBAY JAYASHRI AND RONU MAJUMDAR

27 Nov
DATE : 25th NOV 2012
VENUE : RAVINDRA BHARATI, HYDERABD
It was the last day of NOVEMBER FEST 2012 and a concert of Jugalbandi by one of my most loved classical singer Bombay Jayashri and flute by Ronu Majumdar , I know so little of Ronu till I heard him yesterday.And what a night it was, full of poetry and divinity rendered through the voice and flute of divine souls accompanied aptly by Suresh Narayanan at Mridangam and Ajit Pathak with Tabla.
We went in nearly 30 minutes before the show to the venue (RAVINDRA BHARATI) and it was full so there were advertisements of sponsors to begin with.So a word about the sponsors, BOSE and FRIDAY REVIEW (a Friday edition of THE HINDU).BOSE gives us the best sound and that being the sponsor, I was sure of going to hear the perfect acoustics in BOSE speakers, so thanks to BOSE. Now  when cultural news is fading away to the commercial fanfare (politics and entertainment) that occupies most of the columns in newspapers, we have a special edition by THE HINDU in FRIDAY REVIEW and this very edition has always given out very precious and valuable information and is it’s own way has been the torchbearer for the cultural and arts news in INDIA.I respect this edition and mostly go through it. While there were other substantial sponsors that helped this event. 
About Bombay Jayashsri : She is one of my most favourite classical singers and I am privileged to have known her through an A R Rahman composition “Sasivadane” and then through many songs and the very very popular “Zara Zara”. But my most favourite of her renditions is Subramanya Bharati’s “Suttum Vizhi Chudarvaal”. And well she has learnt music from Lalgudi Jayaraman, a legend and a genius. 
About other artists, I have not known much so not writing much here. OK, now let me revisit those divine 2 hours of the concert (kutcheri with a jugalbandi) and what a heavenly feeling it was. It began with the Aalaap of Raaga Saraswati in Ek Taal (Rupakam in Carnatic Music). The Aalaap was agreat opening with the austerity and poise of something great, it took the audience to a trance, Wow, to Ronu Majumdar for sustaining at few places. Can you believe one note being sutained for more than a minute in flute, it was just stupendous and magical. And the rendition by Bombay Jayshri was exemplary. The Aalaap was followed by a “Saraswati Namostute” a great composition and it was rendered as if Saraswati Devi herself was singing a song for herself. Such was the divinity there.
Next, was the Tyagaraya Krithi  “Sara Sama Dana” in Kaapinarayani and the flute was done in Jhinjhoti. Now, the Kriti was preceeded by the Aalaap and then the Jodi (taal) and what a soulful Aalaap that was, mellifluous. When the Kriti began,  I believed there was a strong resemblance to the song “Raghuvamsa Sudha” in Kadanakutoohalam, and only now I found out that indeed that there is a similarity. Look at the Aarohana (Aa) and Avarohana (Av) of both and one can understand. 
Aa: S R2 M1 P D2 N2 S
Av: S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
For, Kadanakutoohalam
Aa: S R2 M1 D2 N3 G3 P S
Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
If that was beautiful, then the romantic number was yet to come and it came as “More Mandir Aaj Woh Nahi Aaye” sung in Jaijaiwanti while the flute was rendered in Bageshri/Desh. It was beautiful and Romantic the Aalaap, the song, it was just a perfect song for a romantic night, just that romance was happning through music. The god was with his flute and the goddess rendering this. It gave the most happiest feeling, just loved it. 
This song, was followed by the “thaniyavarthanam” a percussion contest of Mridangam and Tabla. It was indeed a contest and both had to outplay each other and by the end, we were all thrilled by the talented musicians came to their own and gave us something great, they felt like they were speaking and lsitening to each other then they swayed their daggers and finally called peace. Also, I noticed a few rasikas walking away, may be they thought that was the last item. 
Then, came a request by Ronu Majumdar, that he wants to perform “Krishna Nee Begane” so can we stay there for a few minutes more, for sure everyone wanted more and then began what I can say, the best rendition of this song, it had taken a long time to reach that sangam (confluence) and the path of the river was just fluid. To merge into the ocean, this song was the right one chosen and indeed it’s Pandit Ronu’s most favourite song as this is about Krishna “The God of Flute”  
And then, came the applause that had been heard many a times all through this great concert, now this applause had come with a standing ovation and I stood there bowing my head in salutation to the God and Goddess and to the heaven, the stage that has given me divine pleasure. It’s a night that I shall never forget. 
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WAKE UP NOW

26 Nov

Each night, there was a light
Of hope and happiness that shone bright
Now, it’s gone dim

Sleeping in tears, weeping in fear
Walking under vigil, talking of own peril
On what shall we rely?
When God has not come to save
While he took the offerings we gave
And love is hard to be born
In such times when we are torn

Yet we must, make a way to fight them
And give back the terror they have given
But how could it be done?
When we can’t be one, on mother earth
When egos cannot gel and, for compassion
There is a dearth

Wake up now for you may not live next moment
In vain shall go, the hardships you underwent
And the time spent to realize your dreams
They would turn to nothing but screams
So get up, my sisters and brothers
Stand as one and leave other bothers
To live and to fight those who feel
Its right to take our lives

So get up and light the light
That shone bright in the night
So get up to run free again  
And have fun under the sun

TERRORISTS

26 Nov

With a motto to kill
They come through seas of Mumbai,
Airs of New York
And kill at own will
Life for them has no meaning
Heart is devoid of compassionate feeling
Fear or faith, want or need
Excuses these are, of theirs own
Some for money and some for food
So to gun their brothers down
What a pity and what a shame?
Hope they hear this world’s blame
And think before they take a life
As it’s a crime that has a penalty
And before they are by a gun or knife,
Shall be killed, I wish by their own guilt


****Written for 26/11 Mumbai Attacks. Just very recently, Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who was caught was hanged

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) – ENGLISH

25 Nov
This a laugh out loud film we can enjoy with our families.
Now, again we have Billy Wilder at the helm as director and he turns Men into Women and makes a fun ride. Now, why this makeover, they need job and women are given job, so they turn into women, funny isn’t it? Yes indeed this is a fun ride. This is a kind of movie that can be watched with a family or friends and can be laughed at. It’s a great movie to watch with just that we have to keep our brains out.
Billy Wilder had earlier debuted with a movie called MINOR OR MAJOR where a woman becomes a minor to get a ticket at half price, so these kind of funny things are not new in Billy Wilder movies, just that they get funnier here. We have the ever young Marilyn Monroe here and wow, the way she walks is worth a watch and only few can kiss like Marilyn does on screen. There is certain kind of enigma to her personality I think that kept her the highest paid actress then. 
The technical aspects of this film are good, just that we don’t care too much of it because of the constant laughs we get. Yes look at the scenes between Josephine and Daphne (the men turned women) and they are the best. There is a certain kind of comic timing that is just so hilarious. There is lot of running around too, chases in vans, cops, mafia dons, women, music all come together in this film. 
Above all that, it’s the dialogue that makes it more lively, the last scenes where Daphne says “I am a Man” to which his male supposed fiancé says “Well, nobody’s perfect” and there is THE END of this film. 
I am going with 4/5 for a great fun movie. And as always Billy Wilder film is worth a watch and this one makes up more than that. 

WILL I?

24 Nov

Will I ever?
Get one who can hold unto me for days along
Sing with me in the moonlight,
And under the sun write a song
Will I, in the days to come?
Get one who can share my pain
When all my work has gone in vain
But to make me smile again
Will I ever find the one?
Who shall bear me in arms
When I am too happy
And have no more qualms
Will I, in this imperfect world?
Find a perfect face that is pleasant
And in that place I seek solace
Will I ever?
Find a shrine that I can call as mine
Residing there,
I shall love and make the goddess mine

WILL YOU?

24 Nov

Will you want me?
When I become Old,
When the hair is grey
Will you move me?
When I walk slowly,        
When the feet are dying down
Will you make me up?
When I wrinkle
Will you kiss me?
When my lips are thin
Will you hold?
When my cheeks are down
Will you feed me mellowed things?
When my teeth are less
Will you, as my love?
Sing me to sleep and take
The last breathe in peace
And make me feel happy
As you send me to grave with your sonnet

SUNSET BLVD (1950) – ENGLISH

24 Nov
Oh what a tragedy that was not supposed to be there.
It’s a kind of movie that you can call cult because there were many such kind of movies later. Where, a man or woman wants to redeem their career or try hard to look younger or anything like that. To name a few, I get “American Beauty” and that woman in “Requiem for a Dream” in my mind. Where people want to go back to their younger days and just want to start again. 
Now, this not just the story of a woman trying to get young, it’s also about a man who wants to make his career. It begins with this man, accidentally driving into this woman’s mansion and just trying to act as a busy man. Now, as many other Billy Wilder movies, it starts as an accident that happens between two people, here it’s between this writer and a middle aged woman. Now, that is where the film takes on, and that is the what gets us interested. 
This movie has a fine performance by Joe (William Holden) and other actors but it is Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson) that this film belongs to and wow, she has made it her own by bringing a certain kind of wicked insanity that is rare even in today. Yes, many have tried to emulate this kind of wicked emotion as done by Swanson, but I believe she was just great at it. 
And hey, Gloria Swanson played out an near autobiographical role here as she had worked with Cecil DeMille in those silent pictures in true life and played that very character who just wants to get back to cameras. Wow, Billy Wilder has got the right woman as Norma Desmond.
You have to watch this movie for more than one reason, it is believable, intriguing and yes it has a kind of suspense that will make us sit and see who is that man and what he is up to?. The protagonist here is not that lady though, it’s the man and this is his story. The writing is simple yet great and each scene is lit well and shot well so cinematography is good in here. The audio, yes it’s mostly dialogue with the big background suspenseful score filling a few gaps, music is good too. 
Having said all that, it’s not my kind of drama and it is not my favourite yet. Though, I give it 4/5, I am not sure if I am going to sit through this movie one more time.