Monday, January 28, 2013

I Want To Add This Man In My People Whom I Admire List!


Our whole family had been fans of this man for so many years now! We have watched many of his films in theatres which is a rare thing now, since we get everything...DVDs in our doorstep.  He was always experimenting new things in making films, in acting, in singing etc. I am talking about our Kamal Haasan, the actor, director, singer of Indian Cinema! Many times he had lost lots of money...still he has not stopped experimenting.  Even now, he is into a new experiment, with the movie  'Vishwaroopam'  The release date is again posptponed in Tamilnadu! Is it  Politics or the muslim agitation which is stopping this ? Both, they say.  We had watched so many movies with terrorist background.  Why this new agitation?  God only knows...sorry, Kamal is a 'non-believer'...He has nearly pleaded to the muslim agitators (which is a very tiny percentage of the muslim population here in Tamilnadu)saying that the muslim character in the film is a good muslim one.  The tiny percentage is affecting the whole muslim people's reputation. Rajinikanth gave a supporting statement only yesterday.  Others are keeping mum.

Now, to some of my favourite songs from his films! All the best, Kamal...waiting to watch the movie!

1. This is not the first time I am mentioning this song as my favourite! I love this song and Kamal's  acting!  The film is, 'Guna'!

2.  Kamal had said that this is one of his favourite movie! He had produced this movie, Raaja Paarvai and acted like a blind of his best movies ever with Ilayaraja's lovely music!

3. I love this song and never get bored of watching this! The film is, 'Michael Madana Kamarajan'

4. This is one of my favourite film of Kamal.  He is entirely different here.  The film is 'Anbe Sivam':

5. You can see the baby Kamal Haasan (just 6 years old!) here! Take note of his expression and the film is 'Kalaththur Kannamma' 


6. '16 vayathinile'...this was a very different movie of Bharatiraaja.  I think Kamal started acting 'differently' from this movie.  You can see a very young Kamal and Sridevi in this movie and they became a hit pair after this and acted together in many movies!

7. 'Salangai Oli' This movie showed Kamal as a dancer which he really is! It was a famous movie in those days.  Have look at this song:

8. 'Avvai Shanmugi' A re-make of 'Mrs. Doubtfire' - made to suite Indian audience.  The Hindi version was 'Chachi 420' which got Kamal a good name in the Hindi belt. Kamal acted very well in this movie.  I am not very fond of this song.  But you can see a 'different' Kamal here:

9.  'Thenaali' This is a hilarious but 'different' movie.  Kamal speaks Sri Lankan Tamil and the acting is superb! I watch it again and again!

After '16 vayadhinile' in most of his movies, he did something 'new'. I should mention director Shankar's 'Indian', Mani Rathnam's 'Nayagan', K.S.Ravikumar's 'Sathi Leelavathi' (comedy), 'Apoorva Sahodarargal' in which he acted as a circus dwarf and Balu Mahendra's 'Moondram Pirai' (Sadma in Hindi).  I liked 'Unnal mudiyum Thambi', 'Nammavar', 'Pammal K.Sambandam', 'Virumaandi'. 'Thevar Magan' was one of his best movies with Sivaji Ganesan.  They competed with each other in acting. Wikipedia says he won 19 Filmfare awards apart from 4 national Awards. Have you watched his silent movie,  'Pushpak'? You will know his calibre there.  'Mahanadhi' was one of his classic movie. The story is so strong that I get upset whenever I see this movie.  His acting is superb in this movie.

I have got a longer list of Kamal's songs, but I have given importance here to the different roles he played in different movies. We should be proud of him, instead he is being punished for experimenting different types of cinemas.  I heard from a relative of mine that her relatives are going by two cars to Bangalore to view Viswaroopam!  Problems are there for screening this movie in Kochi and Hyderabad also, it seems. He had screened this film to the agitating muslim group, last week according to their time.  He let them do namaaz in his office itself because it was time for evening namaaz, before watching the movie. I feel very sorry for him. This is just a movie, people! He is an extraordinary actor.  Support him!

10.Well...let me show a normal Kamal Haasan song, no, two songs(!) in which a beautiful Sridevi also acts! This movie, 'Varumayin niram sivappu' was also a most talked about movie of Kamal! His acting was superb in this K.Balachandar movie!  The second one is from 'Moondram Pirai' (Sadma in Hindi). Now, to the songs!


Hope you enjoyed this post! You can add your favourite Kamal song in the comment section please!

Hope he comes out of the current problem without much hassle.  Reviews seem to be positive.  The movie is running full houses in Hyderabad.

EDITED TO ADD ON 30.1.13:  This should not happen to him, he doesn't deserve this.

Reacting to the controversy surrounding the film, Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, said that it was 'unjustified'.

"This puts the entire film industry and the artistic creative spirit of Indian people under a strain. How will people express themselves freely? And he (Haasan) is not irresponsible. I have seen a lot of irresponsible film but this is not one. So I think it is absolutely unjustified," Samson said.

As soon as I woke up in the morning, I remembered the Vishwaroopam controversy! What is happening is not good. This is not good for us Indians. Kamal is ready to cut more portions from the film. This is going to be a bad precedent. Jaya is not doing the right thing. Her name is maligned now in the whole country. A fraction of muslims is promoting hatred for other peace loving muslims too. I have muslim friends but all are normal people like us. God save us and our country. Feel sorry for ourselves. Have a look at this

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Republic Day, To All Of Us, Indians!


We had been watching this video for so many years now.  Even now, the Doordarshan channel transmits this song often.  This video is not very good.  We get overwhelmed when we see this clearly in DD.  The song and and the video - both compliment each other. Wikipedia link says:

The concept for Mile Sur was developed in 1988 by Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad and promoted by Doodarshan and India's Ministry of Information.  The song was composed by Ashok Patki, co-composed and arranged by Louis Banks with lyrics by Piyush Pandey, then an Account Manager and presently the Executive Chairman and Creative Head of Ogilvy & Mather (India).  The project was conceived and directed by Suresh Mullick (then All India Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather) and recorded by people from all walks of life, including a super group of Indian celebrities, musicians, sports persons, movie stars etc.

The National Integration video was intended to instil a sense of pride and promote unity amongst indians, highlighting India's different linguistic communities and societies - India's unity in diversity, so to speak.  Mile Sur was telecast for the first time on Independence Day in 1988, after the telecast of the Prime Minister's Speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.  It quickly captivated India, gaining and maintaining near-anthem status ever since.

We can see prominent persons from art, like music & dance, literature, sports and cinema.  

Singers: Pt. Bhimesen Joshi, Dr.Balamurali Krishna, A.V.Ramanan,  Lata Mangeshkar and Suchitra Mitra

Dancer: Mallika Sarabhai

Authors: Sunil Gangopadhyay, Anandashankar Ray

Cartoonist: Miranda from Goa

Film Maker: Mrinal Sen

Sportsmen: Narendra Hirwani, S.Venkataraghavan, Prakash Padukone, Ramanathan Krishnan, Arun Lal, P.K.Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Syed Kirmani, Leslie Claudius, Gurbux Singh.

Film and TV personalities: Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Kamal Haasan, Raj Kapoor, Tanuja, Waheeda Rehmaan, Hema Malini, Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi, Meenakshi Seshadri, Pratap Pothen. Deepa Sahi, Om Puri, Dina Pathak (from TV serial Tamas which was a famous DD serial).

One ragaa, Desh, connects all the regions of our country...languages, locations, people etc. in this video.  I think the regions' instruments also are used.  I must hear and see the video again! Tell me your feelings also, friends, when you see this video!

I think I have mentioned about this song in my earlier posts on Door Darshan serials Here. This time I am quoting all the details!

We hear this song so much that we forget that we are lip-sinking the other languages also, nearly easily! I can never stop humming along whenever I hear this song! We are a great country with so many languages and cultures...still we are together always!



EDITED TO ADD IN THE EVENING:  Our salute to these people of ours...we are living a normal life, thanks to these people.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Pongal Festival At Home!


We celebrated Pongal festival at home this morning! This is a very important festival celebrated throughout India in different names in different states.  Pongal in Tamilnadu, Makar Shankraanti in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra, UP, MP, Goa etc. Uttarayana in Gujarat and Rajastan, Lohri in Punjab.  This is basically, a 'Harvest Festival'  Our country is  mainly a farming country.  So this festival gives importance to the 'Sun god' who helps the farmers for their cultivation. This festival comes in the month of Jan. (around 14/15th and in the Tamil month, 'thai'). The previous day is called 'Bhogi', when we clean the house and destroy all the old and unwanted things.  The next day to Pongal, is Maattu pongal, which is like thanksgiving for the cattle which helped them in farming...Maattu pongal is celebrated in a grand way in villages. Read more about Pongal in the wikipedia link here .

At home, we clean the house for 'Bhogi'.  The sweet for the day is 'pooran poli'.  The next day is Pongal.  We draw beautiful ronglis/kolams in front of our house in the morning (You can see them in the wikipedia link!).  We hang a bunch of mango leaves on the door step to indicate that we have a festival/celebration at home.  We cook Sweet pongal (Raw rice, moong dhal and jaggery combination dish), Ven pongal (same rice and moong dhal with salt, pepper etc.), Yezhu curry koottu (koottu is  a typical Tamilian dish prepared with coconut, dhania, chilli, hing etc. alongwith minimum 7 vegetables like root veg. (Potato, yam, sweet potato), veg. from creepers (avarai kaai - val beans and its seed, pumpkin - red and white),  veg. from plants like beans and raw banana. We make black gram vada also.  Curd rice as usual.

We cook the sweet pongal in a brass vessel which is visible in the photo.  Then tie the vessel with ginger and turmeric plants  and take it outside  to our backyard near the tulsi plant. We draw a small kolam of sun god (one circle surrounded by small small lines!) and place the vessel on it.  Then we do a small pooja and offer the sweet to the Sun god (in our earlier houses we were doing this in our balcony).  Then bring the vessel inside and keep it in front of the gods and do the normal pooja.  We have to decorate the pooja room with sugar cane like you see in the picture. Sugar cane is a a must for this festival. Then...'pet pooja' means eat them!

We do the pooja near the steps in front of the Tulsi plant, placing the vessel facing east!

Turmeric and ginger plant...these are very important for this festival!

The next day to Pongal is Kaanum pongal...i.e. visiting relatives, mainly visiting mother's place or go out and enjoy! In our house my sis in law and other relatives come home. This festival is celebrated by the women/girls of the house for the well being of their brothers.  In the morning we keep coloured rice balls which are made from the left over sweet pongal and curd rice. We add some haldi and kumkum to a portion of the curd rice.  We keep these balls in 3 to 5 lines on turmeric leaves along with beetel leaves, nuts, banana and a sugar cane piece.  We do this mostly on the terrace.  We do a small pooja and offer them to the gods and pray for the well being of our siblings, mainly brothers!  Have a spoon of the previous day's sweet pongal and take head bath after this small ceremony.

For lunch we make different types of mixed rice like pulianjaatham (tamarind rice or lemon rice), coconut rice, ellu saadam (til rice), karuveppilai saadam (curry leaves rice), curd rice etc.  We make the pastes for all these rice before hand and just mix them on that day.  More kuzhambu with White pumpkin to mix with the mixed rice. Vada and paayasam will be there.  Eat and then we mostly play cards.  We used to have many members in our family earlier.  Now the children have grown up and got married and have gone out. Slowly our family is getting smaller and smaller! We, nearly 12 to 15 people, used to sit in a BIG round and play cards till night! Those days are gone! We used to have the sugar-cane eating session after except for a small piece, others go to the servants!

Next year's pongal will be in our new flat...pongal will be offered to the sun god in our new balcony!

Happy Pongal to all!

Edited to add on 16.1.13:

Kaanum Pongal...comes on the next day to Pongal

I have written about Kaanum pongal above.  This is the picture of the small ceremony which we did yesterday morning!

The crows which come home to eat my curd rice (link) never eat this coloured rice with haldi, kumkum etc.!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Classical music concerts in Chennai in December...!

I have already written about Ajoy Chakraborthy's concert in Chennai here.  As I said there, nowadays we are attending both Hindustani and Carnatic music concerts, here in December season. I make it a point to attend Bombay Jayashree's at least once in the season.  She is a great singer, trained in both Hindustani and Caranatic classical music.  Her wikipedia link is here, which is very interesting to read.

I enjoy her bhajans in Kannada, Tamil and Sanskrit.  Her voice is very expressive and soft. This time we went to Krishna Gaana Sabha for her concert.  It was housefull. She never speaks in between two songs.  Never explains the raagas...some singers do explain. She sang continuously for 2 1/2 hours without break. Normally people go out, have coffee and snacks in between songs. Every sabha arranges for food from famous caterers and some people attend concerts in different venues and finish their breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner and go home! We can see many foreigners who attend these concerts seriously.  I didn't see much poeple getting up and going out in this concert!

Now, hear her beautiful, melodious voice here in different type of songs:

This is a thillaana (type of song) in raaga Desh:

Yaadava nee baa yadukula nandana... a soft song:

Jagaddhoddhaarana...Purandara dasa krithi in Kannada....fusion...It's different!

She has sung some film songs in Hindi and Tamil.  This is a Bharatiyar song from the film 'Bharathi' Ilayaraja...a beautiful song!

I like the way she closes her eyes and enjoy singing.  She enjoyed thoroughly in the concert we went this year.  She moves her hand like Pt. Jasraj and enjoys singing. And we enjoyed with her.

Here she is singing at the Sai aradhana festival.  Amjad Ali Khan's son, Ayaan ali  plays sarod later in this video.

The next concert we went was Pt.Jasraj's.  I have got some very good cd's of his songs.  He has got a booming voice! This concert also was 'housefull'.  The standing ovation after the concert was nearly for 5 minutes! Now, nobody will say that Chennai music festival is just for Carnatic music lovers! We love Hindustani music too! And the concert was at the famous Music Academy.

Mata Kaalika...Pt.Jasraj is singing this bhajan on Mata Kaali...normally I don't like to listen to male singers.  But hear Pandit's voice...beautiful!

Pt. Jasraj with Ustaad Zakir Hussain

Pt.Jasraj is singing here...a clear live concert video:

The concert we attended was a bit like this.  He was singing with his disciples.  They call it 'vocal support'.  Still, we enjoyed this concert because  of his voice.

In this rare video, you can watch our Carnatic singer Smt.M.S. Subbulakshmi and Pt. Jasraj singing during Gandhi Jayanthi (1988). A young Durga Jasraj (Pt.Jasraj's daughter) can also be seen.  The then President Venkatraman, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and other political leaders can also be seen.  Smt. Subbulakshmi is so comfortable here. She had the opportunity to sing in front of Gandhiji, just a few months earlier to his assassination, a commentor says.

The last concert we attended this year was Swamy Haridas Mohotsav... Hindustani music concert.  My niece Ashwini was compering and I went there to watch her...she is learning Hindustani music now and is quite a good singer.  But we had a feast of the year! Smt. Lalitha Sharma, about whom, we had never heard of, sang for more than two hours! Her voice was too good to believe.  She is a desciple of Pt. Jasraj.  She finished graduation in the Madras Music college (carnatic music) and then went to Calcutta and Bombay and learnt Hindustani music.  You can know more about her here.  I noticed her was just like Pt. Jasraj's! The mini hall of Narada gaana sabha was full! Actually, Chennai audience are famous for leaving the concerts as soon as it was 9 pm.  But on that day, we wanted to hear more of her songs! Will wait for next year! I looked for more good videos of her songs, but couldn't get. Again, I will do a post on her concert next year!

A video of Smt.Lalitha Sharma is here.  It is not very clear, though.  I couldn't get more of her videos.

Sorry, the post is too, too longer than usual!

EDITED TO ADD ON 9.1.13: I came across this photo today and thought I will add it here in this post, so that you can know how we felt while watching Smt. Lalitha Sharma's concert.  The hall was very cozy with minimum audience.  We were sitting closer to the stage and could watch the expressions and mannerisms of the artist clearly.  And this was a free concert.  We paid Rs.100 or Rs.200 for other concerts! Have a look at the atmosphere:

Smt.Lalitha Sharma's concert! Click on the photo to get a bigger picture!

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