Under the sun

Friday, July 29, 2005

In The Name Of The State

Update: Surprise!!!!!!!!!!! As expected, the REAL docs have been leaked. As expected, it turns out that de Mendes was not wearing the unusually heavy clothing, he never jumped the security, he was not running. He was shot deliberately in cold inhuman blood. This is just the latest example of a pattern being followed since the IRA bombing days.

A few days back i had made this post about the killing of an innocent Brazilian immigrant by the London Police.
I could see some strong parallels to Gerald Conlon's story. It hasn't ended there. Gareth Pierce, who took up Jerry's case is now taking up de Mendes's family's case as well. As for the two cops who shot de Mendes, one has been granted leave and another transferred to a different department. Justice, and how!!!!
The IRA has announced their abandonment of armed struggle and their decision to get into the political process. Life is indeed full of coincidences and related events happening all around. Will the lessons be learnt at all? Or is it too much to ask for?
"The answer my friend, is blowin in the wind
The answer's blowin in the wind"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

India's ODI Slump

I came across this interesting Cricinfo article. It talks about the inconsistency in the bowling department, particularly. I think while the main reasons would be fluctuating forms of our bowlers, fitness but also the general trend witnessed in the last couple of years. We can see the batsmen dominating more than ever. 300 is no longer a safe target and bowlers everywhere are slaughtered and yet the ICC comes up with more batsmen-friendly rules (Sunil Gavskar should be sacked from the commnetary panel for his double-speak).
A match should involve a contest between bat and ball, an even contest under equal conditions for both.
Coming back to our bowlers, i really wish "Karunchiruthai" Balaji delivers this time, assuming he makes it to the 11. With Dravid at the helm, i think that's a distinct possibility unlike Ganguly who seems to wait for a single bad match to drop Balaji.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

I recently bought a VCD when i was in Bangalore - G3 Live In Denver. G3 is actually a Jam band with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen getting together, all on (guess!) electric guitars. The set list didn't have what i was dying for - Joe Satriani's classic "Flying On A Blue Dream", but all in all it was OK, at least Satch was rocking.

Satch began and his numbers had semblances of melody and structure, which Vai and Malmsteen (in particular) lacked. Satch didn't have his 1000 notes a second show-off trips. He ended the first part with "The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing" Steve Vai followed. Vai started well but wasn't particularly intoxicating. Malmsteen was the wildest of the lot, typical metal stuff. I'm not a metal head, sorry.
Thankfully, the final session had all three jammin together. The last 2 numbers were Hendrix's, "Little Wing" and my all-time fav "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". The latter was really "wicked", as Vai would say back-stage after the concert, though Malmsteen kind of spoilt the fun by not adhering to Hendrix's every note.
Joe Satch saved an otherwise unremarkable album.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I'm just a man imperfect lowly

I'm just a man imperfect lowly
How can i review something holy

Well, i can't. I mean, you just can't review works like Ilaiyaraaja's Thiruvasagam. You just listen, be taken to a different plane of musical bliss and be humbled in the process. No reviews please, thank you. I haven't read a single "review" on TIS till date, nor do i intend reading one.
I've been consumed by the music for a few days now. What's with the people north of the Vindhyas? Are their tastes so impaired by mediocrity? Or has their notorious intolerance peaked to higher levels?
Forget our Northern brethren, what about our Brahmin brothers in Chennai? What about orthodoxy and the violin vidhwans? TIS is selling like hot cakes alright but that's not what i meant. I regret giving away a few CD's to some friends and relatives - gnana soonyams.
The first time when i listened to Polla vinayen was the only occassion where i could successfully fight my tears. Every other occassion, i'm being barely able to speak after The Experience.
Its not religion or devotion that moves me. Rather, its Ilayaan's devotion and the sheer musical power which does. Of course it had to be Sudha Dhanyasi for the Thumbi song..... you had to get that elevated feeling with all the Budapest violins playing SD. How more poignant can you get than Shanmugapriya when Polla Vinayen ends with "Namachivaya vaazhga, naadhan thal vaazhga" even as the Hungarian choir is singing "Hail hail: Joyous hail" in Shanmugapriya!
The sheer simpicity of the last number...........

If TIS doesn't move you, you are not good enough for Ilaiyaraaja.

Ilayaan isakkurugaar edharkkum urugaar

They shot the wrong man

This is the picture of Jean Charles de Mendes, a Brazilian who was slain by armed officers who feared he might detonate a bomb.
You can find the story here.
The British Police are under extreme pressure and one can understand the precautions which have to be taken in circumstances of suicide bombers on the run, waiting to blast the next possible train or bus. that can in no way be an excuse for the pumping of 4(or was it 5) rounds of gun shots at point blank range. The worst part of all this is that Georgie and his crony Tony have used this fear to gear up support for their "noble liberating missions" and it is precisely this fear which voted them back to power. Now, their people are having more of it and the terror threat is now higher than it ever was. The eerie thing about this killing was that i thought right from the beginning that they had the wrong man. Just before news broke out that the man killed had nothing to do with the attacks, i had a doubt and thought "Man, what do i know sitting in Chennai? They must have got a valid reason for shooting him". Sadly, how right my initial hunch was!

Cut back to 1993 - there was this absolutely gripping and "moving" tale of an innocent man imprisoned for 15 years, wrongly suspected and later convicted of being an IRA bomber, the main terrorist in the Gildford Pub bombing in London(!) in 1974(?). the movie was In The Name Of The Father , directed by John Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis playing the real life character Gerald Conlon. At least, Gerald Conlon challenged the verdict after 15 years in prison, won and lived to write a book on his experience. Too bad de Mendes can't do that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Prey and Play!

Thalaivar is back on track with Vettayadu Vilayadu.

Thankfully, Khaja Moideen, the producer survived his suicide attempt (he swallowed 40 sleeping pills) and cleared all doubts regarding the matter to the press at Kamal's Alwarpet office. This should shut the mouths of rumor-mongers who had a gala time all this while spreading rumors like wildfire. The movie is likely to be released on December 15th. Gautham also put to rest all doubts regarding Kamal's alleged interference in the movie's script.

Varudhu varudhu vilagu vilagu vengai veliye varudhu

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The terrific three

Soonapaana's back after a while........
Was put in my place in our company's annual Quiz... didn't even make it to the final and i'm not talking about an inter-company quiz!!! Anyway, that my team-mate overruled 4 of my answers (correct answers!) in the prelims didn't help. The QM Arul Mani was great, but he couldn't tell "Voodo Child" from "Purple Haze" and in my book, any QM worth his salt should know his Hendrix well.

Got my 8 CD's of Thiruvasagam but haven't yet listened to it. Waiting for the right place, right frame of mind, and the right sound system before i listen to it. Don't want to read any reviews of it as well.
Will be watching the launch programme on SS music with our mandra urppinargal at Ma Foi, Chennai this weekend.

Watched 3 movies over the last couple of days and can't quite make up my mind on which is the best - Milos Forman's Amadeus, John Sheridan's In the name of the father, and Milos Forman's One flew over the cuckoo's nest. Amadeus was a bit long, but worth every minute. I could see some similarity between Mozart and our own Ilaiyaan :)
Haven't got out of the "mood" of the other two. Great works.