Monday, February 28, 2005

HOWTO Tips for Windows Power User

I will be adding Tips here for Windows Power users. If you know them already, just be glad that you are a Power user. Feel free to add any other.

1. How to delete a file without sending it to Recycle Bin?
Hold 'SHIFT' key also while you are deleting the file. 'SHIFT+DEL' is the 'permanent delete' - will delete unrecoverably - forever. This is also FAST delete. Will take lesser time than the typical delete of sending a file to Recycle Bin.

2. How to remove a program from automatically being started on system start?
There are places to check for this.
First would be
C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
If you a find a shortcut to the program that you don't want to start automatically, remove it from here. Just delete it.
Next place look would be
C:\Windows\win.ini or c:\WINNT\win.ini (depending on Win 98 or Win 2000)
Look for entries 'load=' or 'run=', remove any unwanted entries
(don't delete anything you don't know whets its for, it could be a geniune system program)
Still want to look further?
Open your registry (regedit)
Go to the following location:
MyComputer\HKEY_LOCAL_MECHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
You can remove, any unwanted entry from here.

3. How to do auto-completion in Windows command prompt?
In Unix systems, shell automatically would suggest the full file name or its matches when you invoke 'Tab' on a partially typed file name. Wanna simulate that in Windows?
Open your registry (regedit)
Go to the following location:
MyComputer\HKEY_LOCAL_MECHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor
Modify the entry 'CompletionChar'
Enter value of '9' (instead of whatever there)
Click ok.
For example:
Open a new command prompt. Type in C:\doc and tab out, you will get 'C:\"Documents and Settings"\' automatically.

4. On your browser: Whats the keyboard short key to go back to the last visited page?
Its 'BackSpace' key.

5. How to enable allowing of Renaming 'Recycle Bin'
By default Windows does not allow you to rename 'Recycle Bin'.
You will have to edit Registery for this:
Here is a script for that:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder]
"Attributes"=hex:50,01,00,20
"CallForAttributes"=dword:00000000

Copy and paste the above in a file and save it as {anyfilename}.reg anywhere. Double click on the file name to Run the command. After its successful, you will see windows allowing to rename. (Rightclick on recycle bin to see rename option)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

சுதா ரகுநாதன் - வாணி மஹால் - டிசம்பர் 2004

பாடல்கள்
----------

1. ஜலஜாக்ஷி வர்ணம்
2. வாரணமுகனே
3. எந்தரோ மகானு
4. ப்ரோசேவா
5. மாமவ மீனாக்ஷி
6. நின்னை பாட நின்னை (விஜயவசந்தம்)
7. நாரயணா நின்ன
8. RTP, ஸ்வர ராக சுதா
9. காற்றினிலே வரும்
10. சின்னஞ்சிறு கிளியே
11. மன்கி ஆங்கே (சாய் பஜன்)
12. வந்த வினையும் (விருத்தம்)
13. தில்லானா

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Divine Dream

I had this dream today early morning just before i could wake up at about 7 am. I am still ruminating over whatever I remember from the dream and posting the same.
Location: I was inside our vellingapattarai (Kanchipuram, India) house. We no longer own this house, we have sold it at about 9 years ago, before we moved to Chennai and have never visited that place afterwards. It was a huge house with 9 rooms, an out-house and a room on upstairs.

I was alone in the house, i was doing something (don't remember what i was doing or it wasn't in the dream) in the backyard and realized i better close and lock the front door. The front door was a wooden door and also had steel grill gate. The steel grill gate (those from India would be familiar) is typically made of steel frames to some nice design. We had some floral designs on it. I was about to lock the door with padlock from inside. Suddenly, I remembered that I was about leave the house in short-while, and I better lock the house from outside. So while still being from inside, I closed the outside latch of the grill gate and secured it with the padlock by inserting my hand through the grill gate. It took a few attempts to properly secure the gate. After I was satisfied that I locked it, I was about to return back to what I was doing, I realized that the back door was open for too long. I was worried someone might have entered the house. And to make sure, I was just checking each room. As I entered the pooja (prayer) room ( the room where we keep idols/framed pictures of gods), I realize, what I was afraid was indeed true. To my annoy, I see a man who (black/African as far as I remember) like a thief, was looking at the pictures there showing his back to me. I ran towards him, grabbed him by his neck/shoulder and dragged him to the backyard. I was probably yelling at him (don't remember what it was) and pushed him out of my backyard. But his long sleeve T-shirt (was vertically stripped in orange and black) was in my hands as he disappeared. I wasn't much worried about his disappearance, was only glad to get rid of him.

Then I closed the back door and came inside only to realize the man was not gone. He is still here, sitting on a sofa in the living room. He had well build body structure, with muscles showing up visibly. I realize, the only way to avoid trouble from him is to get friendly with him. I approached him and told him that he has well built body, with muscles showing up like outside of a star-fruit. (what an imagination of me at that time!). He looked at my face and smiled at me. As I observed his smile, I was loosing all my thinking. I immediately sat on the floor in the meditation posture with my eyes closing. There was then this thought that, this man could indeed be God. Within a second, the thought grew up on me so much that I was fully convinced and I was feeling some kind of brightness. It lasted for perhaps for few microseconds may be, I didn't observe much. As that thought fully grew up on me, I immediately prostrated at his feet. Even though my eyes were closed, in the next second I felt that he is gone. I opened my eyes, looked around. I went to front door to see that the previously locked padlock, is now open. The grill gate is still closed, but the opened padlock is just hung on the latch. And the padlock's key is not in the key-hole. As I was trying to look around for the lost key, I woke from the dream to an amazement in my consciousness.
And I am still pondering on my sub-consciousness on what in the world or outside or something that's present everywhere pulled off this dream?
For one thing sure, I never had any experience like this before.

எனது முதல் யுனிகோட் வலைப்பதிவு


வலையில் பலமுறை தேடிப்பின் கடைசியில் தமிழ் யுனிகோட் பற்றி கற்றுக்கொண்டேன். விண்டோஸ் 2000ல் இதுவரை திஸ்கி முறையில்தான் எழுதி வந்தேன். இப்போது, விண்டோஸ் ரீஜனல் செட்டிங்கில் தமிழையும் சேர்த்தபின் தமிழ் யுனிகோடில் எழுதமுடியும்.
எனக்கு, தமிழ் தட்டெழுத்தில் அவ்வளவு பழக்கமில்லாத்தால், நேராக யுனிகொடில் எழுதுவது கடினமாக உள்ளது. ரோமன் எழுத்துக்களில் தட்டியவுடன், யுனிகோடில் உருமாற வழியேதும் உண்டா எனத்தெரியவில்லை. கண்டுபிடிக்கவேண்டும்.

இப்போது, அஞ்சல் கொண்டு திஸ்கியில் எழுதி, முரசு மூலம் யுனிகோடில் உருமாற்றம் செய்தேன்.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dirty War - A BBC Film

Yesterday night PBS showed this BBC Film - 'Dirty War'. It was a very provocative film and heart moving picture to watch.
The story was about a radiological "dirty bomb" attack on central London. The film shows how a "dirty bomb" attack might be planned and executed in London, despite the best efforts of police and intelligence forces - as well as how devastating the consequences of such an attack could be.
An organized group of Islamic terrorists, smuggle radioactive material into England from Pakistan. They plan for exploding a bomb with radioactive material in couple of places in London. The intelligence officials manage to nab the man who was organizing, just before the attack, but they could NOT stop the bomb from exploding. And there is atleast one more bomb waiting explode elsewhere. In the end, they manage to avert that from exploding, but already the damages of the first bomb itself were enormous.
After the movie, PBS also arranged a in-house panel discussion with an US experts in homeland security, emergency preparedness such as fire department and health department , nuclear weapons and terrorism. The host and audience were discussing the preparedness of the government in the post 9/11 scenario.
Atlanta based CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has posted various information about how we can prepare ourselves towards handling the emergency at the following location.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tamizhil SMS

Now theres software to send SMS in Tamil.
Recently released by Murasu and named 'sellinam'.

Here is the link for more information:
http://www.thisaigal.com/feb2005/muthu_interview.html

Cellphones tested:
http://www.murasu.com/mobile/phonematrix.html

Recipe for Asparagus Thogaiyal

Thogaiyal is the spoken word for Thuvaiyal as its made in the South India, especially in Tamilnadu. This can be used as a side dish to many of the south indian dishes.
Its a type of chutney, with a difference that, typically lentils (dal) are also added.
On the lines of making Peerkangai thogaiyal, I tried out with Asparagus instead of Peerkangaai and came out really well.
So here is my recipe:

Ingredients needed:
1 pound fresh asparagus
small block of tamarind
small piece of ginger
green chilies (5 for medium hot)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp daniya seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urud dal
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Preparation:
1. Wash asparagus and cut into fine pieces and keep aside.

2. Fry cumin seeds, Urud dal and chana dal with 1/2 tsp oil.

3. Once they are little brownish, add cut asparagus, ginge, and tammarind and saute them till asparagus is soft.

4. Allow the mixure to cool off, and then add Cut green chilies and Salt.

5. Add sufficient water and grind them to a paste (in a mixer/blender)

Tasty Asparagus thogaiyal is ready to serve. You can store it in a air-tight container, refrigerated and use them for a week atleast.

Am also adding nutrition information on Asparagus (thanks to suggestions from my sister)
Leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid among vegetables.
A good source of potassium.
A source of fiber.
An excellent source of folacin.
A significant source of thiamin.
A significant source of vitamin B6
One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.
% of daily value :
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 20%
Riboflavin 6%
Protein 6%
Magnesium 4%
Copper 4%
Low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 oz. serving, less than 4 calories per spear.
Very low in sodium.
Contains no fat or cholesterol.

Screen wallpapers from National Geographic.com

Would you like download beautiful photographs published in National Geographic magazine to your desktop?
(even if you are not a subscriber)
Here is what you can do.

Type in this URL

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/MMYY

where 'MM stands for 2 digit month and 'YY' stands for 2 digit year
choose your own month and year and you have access to the online version of the magazine. You could explore many of the magazine features.
One of them is 'Wallpaper', which you will see under 'Fun Stuff' on the right most banner.

For example
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0104 for JAN 2004 Issue
OR
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0105 for JAN 2005 Issue

Note: Not all issues are accessible this way, but quite a few number are.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

சங்கிலி

மனமெல்லாம் மருள்
பகலெல்லாம் இருள்
உறவெல்லாம் பகை
நினைவில்லெல்லாம் மறதி.

இப்படித்தான் தொடங்கினேனா?
இப்படித்தான் தொடந்தேனா?
இப்படித்தான் தொடர்வேனா?

துணிந்த கருமம்
என்று வெற்றி எட்டுகிறது?
துணிந்த தினத்திலா, இல்லை.
துணிந்த விதத்திலா, இல்லை.
தொடக்கத்தையும்
முடிவையும்
பிணைக்கும்
சங்கிலிகளால்.
தொடர்புச்சங்கிலிகளால்.

சங்கிலியின் பயன்
ஒவ்வொரு
தொடர்பிலும்
பயணிக்கிறது.
ஆதலால்,
ஒவ்வொரு
தொடர்பிலும்
சங்கிலியின் உயிர்
பயணிக்கிறது.

செயலில்
ஒவ்வொரு
தொடர்பிலும்
உன்
உயிரை செலுத்து.
வேறெண்ணம்
பற்றாமல்
திடம், திண்ணம்
தினம் கொண்டு
தேரினை செலுத்து.

முடிவில் கவனம்
வேண்டாம் மனமே.
தொடர்பில் நினைவினை
நிறுத்திடு நிதமே.
தொடர்ந்திடும் விதமே
வெற்றியை
ஈட்டிடுமே.

Amusing Indian Music

Indian Classical Music has two branches being Carnatic and Hindustani Music. 'Carnatic' is somewhat the original Indian classical music while the 'Hindustani' is its Persian hybrid.

Apart from Singing vocally, a large variety of instruments such as Violin, Miruthangam(a percussion instru), Veena ( a huge size guitar like), Flute, Morsing, Gatam (a pot), Tabala (percussion), Shenoy, Sitar, ChitraVeena can be used to play. Over time, even Guitar, Mandolin and Saxophone are 'adopted'.

Western music believes in specifying the absolute pitch of all notes and thus, the frequencies of all keys are fixed and the same for all keyboards (in fact, all instruments, if one can locate the corresponding notes). Indian music is based on relative positioning and thus, notes are not of fixed pitch. As a result, the standard keyboards are not suitable to play Indian to its grammar.

For more, Here are links:


http://www.medieval.org/music/world/carnatic/cmc.html

http://www.khazana.com/et/music/gentle1.asp?mscsstcid=

http://dhool.com/chords/articles/Srikanth/001/mt1.html


Having Written About the Classical Music, Let me Write about the Tamil Film Music and its Western Influence. Also Having Heard about the various Musical forms such as Jazz, Rock, Pop and so, ever wondered What these are and Where Tamil Film music fall into?

Let me make a disclaimer first that its hard to say for sure what the music director intended it to be called but we can always from it.

Let me give some examples:

The Famous IllayaRaja song 'Poove Semboove Un Vaasam Varum' is predominantly Jazz song! Another example is 'KaalaKalamaaga kadahullu naangal Arpanam' in Punnagai Mannan. I'Raja has also used Jazz Violin in 'Kana kaanum megam mella Urangaatho...' song. The list can go on and on, but most of them are not fully Jazz songs, but you will se IR hitting Jazz chords now and then!.

Well, Whats Jazz?

Jazz is a certain type of arrangement of notes to convey certain expression or mood to the listener. Its like saying disco music expresses Dance movements. Well Over the years various artists have been expressing this in a certain form and thats what everyone call as 'Jazz'. But over the years, it has undergone considerable modifications by itslef.

One of the core concept of Jazz music is that the performer gets the freedom to play to their imagination (unlike classical music not struck to certain grammar).

From ARR: Hello Mr Ethir katchi from Iruvar (Jazz Keyboard and percussion)

Early TFM composers like MSV were heavily influenced by classical Jazz.

Jazz songs, but you will se IR hitting Jazz chords now and then!.

Now There are two type of Jazz (Or Should I say two derivatives?) Which are Blues and Rock n' Roll.

Jazz songs, but you will se IR hitting Jazz chords now and then!.

Examples of Blues:

Enna Saptham Intha Neram

Manram Vantha thenralukku manjam

Jazz songs, but you will se IR hitting Jazz chords now and then!.

Examples of Rock & Roll

Ram Bum Bum Aarambam (IRs MikeMatKamRaj!)

Vaan Nila tharum oli (ARRs Kanathil Muthanittal)

The starting beats in Ore manam Ore Gunam (Vidhayasagar's Villan)

Film Review of Tamil Movie - Pithamagan

Pithamagan is definitely a good crafty movie but not for everyone. That was obvious from everyone’s reaction as we walked out of the theater in Atlanta, US. To the extent I observed, Looked like I was pretty alone among those who could have enjoyed this kind of movie. There may have been some exceptions - who are probably die hard fans for the two hero’s of the movie - Vikram and Surya and for Director - Bala. But for them, in general the movie was not making any sense to the public in general.

The expectations that Bala had created from his previous movies ’’Sethu’’ and ’’Nandha’’ which were artistic, moving and sensational. Vikram was the hero of Sethu while Surya was the hero of Nandha. Bala had extracted exceptional acting talents from both the actors in respectively in those movies

Whats good about this movie?
Portrayal and Presentation of the Characters:
Director Bala is has done a wonderful job in characterizing the lead actors pretty well as he did in his previous movies.

Vikram is characterized as the man in charge of the burial ground, someone who was born and brought up all along there. His lives there with only one person to accompany - the old man who brought him up. With such a background, Vikram has no idea what the external world is like, worst of it - he is not even ’used’ to converse to public - thus in most of part of the film - he doesnt’t even speak. Such a person after the death of the man, who brought him up, comes out to village and mixes with the public. The movie is all about how he copes with his experiences, how he is caught up in the evil web of city life. He plays part to perfection. A very powerful portrayal of a powerful person.

Surya’s character is just opposite to that of Vikram. He earns his everyday bread by fooling around by bursting a scam or two in selling stuff around. Surya’s character nicely compliments the seriousness of Vikrams character - without which the plot could have been little intolerable. Bala uses Surya and Karunas to establish the balance.

Laila’s character is also something different. Her performance raises everyone’s eyebrows. Something that many fellow heroines to envy about. Given a chance, Laila has proved her acting smartness. I am not sure if Bala had selected Laila and then built up her character or chose Laila for this character. She just lives it every moment - like an acting dynamite ready to burst any moment.

How abt the Music?

needless to say, IR would give his best for a movie like this.
The Background music is nice, but Visual medium is strong that they just block hearing senses.
As far the songs, there is nice ’Elangaathu veesude’ melody which Bala uses to show the funny moments Vikram pondering over - the world he is unaware of.

Well, Why did the movie appeal to me anyway?

There is so much of Violent scenes in the movie, which is something that strikes everyone to say ’Ah, Yucky!’. I know. But believe me, its all in the perception. Last year around this time, I saw an Hollywood - spilled with lot of violence like this - Gangs of NewYork. I was highly critic of that movie - that it was a bad example.
But in this movie, I did not see that Violence as Violence, I saw it as Power.
Power of Good to beat Evil, Power of Krishna to beat Duriyodhana.
Every time I saw Violent depiction, I felt stronger and stronger to fight against the evil inside me.
And unavoidably it come to mind that, if everyone thinks like that, how strong would we be?
But Violence is not a permanent solution to any problem - Anyway that totally a different topic

Is this movie realistic?


Cinema is a medium of exaggeration. Then where does ’Realism’ come into picture? The extent to which there is less exaggeration - that’s the degree of realism. On that note, Yes the movie is. Bala’s portrayal of characters is realistic. Questions like - Why do Laila’s parent’s don’t come into picture after a while - do arise - but then you can expect a director to tell you and justify every minor detail. Certain things have to be taken for granted. Certain people can’t accept that. Still some other ponder, these things don’t happen. For them its Not.

DO I recommend?
No, Not for young audience and light hearted people.
Yes, for the brave and intellectuals.
A must for anyone in who care about film direction

Is there any message in the movie?

Yes. To those film directors, who are still making movies on based masala formulas (Alas, even Shankar fell into that trap) : Stop it, or else you will be thrown out. Beware! There are more creative talents on upspring.

TOP TEN TAMIL FILM SONGS OF 2003

Here my final Top 10 scores list. First let me brief you my comments on those songs which where nominated but did not make it to top it. Most of these songs where pretty good, they missed the rankings simply because there few other songs which are richer in some aspects that apealed to me. It does not mean that these songs lack in any attribute. They are simply superb in themselves.
Ah, Finally I have made up my mind for the top ten. If you are looking for a song and you don’t find it, don’t get disheartened. It does not mean that that song was not any good or misses something. Songs are composed for situations and demands of the directors. If certain situation demands certain type of song, the composer can’t do much more than that. It does not mean the composer lacks in his ability.

Having said that let me explain as to what attributes I looked for in deciding this top 10 list.

• It’s all in the composition. It can be simple, but has to be impressive.

• It need not appeal to me immediately, but it should make a strong appeal.

• Usage of Ghamakam by singers

• Progression.

• Instrumental richness

• Singers fluency with the tune

• Lyrics

• Pronunciation


#10 Muppadu nimidam

Singers: Unni Krishnan, Sujatha

Composer: AR rahman

Film: Parasuram

The greatest percussion song of all time in TFM with Thavil. Wondering who uses Thavil these days, Well it’s from AR Rahman!. Singers, Sujatha and Unni Krishnan are very fluent and captivate the listener. The highlight of the song is the Aalaphanai by Unni Krishnan. After hearing the song for a new times, can’t stop thinking of the Aalaphanai even if I hear first few beats. So captivating!

#9 Kana Kandeanadi

Singer: Madhu Balakrishna

Film: Paarthiban Kanavu


Madhu Balakrishna - the new find of this year, at his best song of the year. The song starts with nice prelude of Saxophone - sounding pretty much like a Nadasawaram - that Tamils are so much used to hearing to - an essential ingredient for a successful song. The sounds of Whistle provide enough excitement setting a well made stage for a wonderful presentation. The song is all the way backed by good lyrics. Saxophone repeats after first charanam. Vidyasagar has used Miruthangam and also Drums making song apeal classical as well as western!

#8 Pei muzhi

Singers: Sharath and Sindhu

Composer: Ramesh Vinayagam

Film: Nala Damayanthi


This song definitely did not appeal to me in the first, but after a few hearing I was amazed by the composition. The lyrics definitely make you say ‘What..?’, You may even argue that they should not say words like ‘Thedi poda churchai…’. But forget the lyrics; there is wonderful music beneath it. The sound of record twisting and ambulance siren sound – just to name a few are fresh. The way the song builds up and then at towards the end of the charanam when Sharath – the singer twists like ‘uuuuuuHhhhhaaa’ the ends it with a ‘Oooooooo’. It’s just amazing. Something no one has done so far, at least to my knowledge. (Composer Vinayagam does the same in the title song of SUN TV serial Vikramadithan after this). A song meant for shear enjoyment.


#7 Vaan Nila tharum

Singers: Karthik and Srinivas

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kadhal Virus


Starts with slow sax piece, and suddenly bursts into a Rock & Roll style song. ARR, There he goes one more, taking the listener by surprise!. Pretty challenging song for the singers as they have split the words and sing to the tune. Fabulous job done by Karthik and Srinivas. They are so much in Sync that, it’s very hard to notice that there are two voices out there, but for a slight difference in their voice. The sax in the interludes is a special treat to hear!. This is possibly the richest Rock & Roll ever in TFM. Don’t watch the video of this song, you will fail to appreciate due to Ad-film like picturisation.

#6 Theekuruvi

Singers: Harini and Mukesh

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kangalal Kaithu Sei


This is pretty much a difficult song for the singers – as they have to sing very fast words longer than the beets will last. Just try to sing by yourself – you will know how difficult it is. And the new comer Mukesh sings it fluently and soulfully. Wow, a great introduction to TFM. The female singer is Harini, she makes her choice pretty much a default - Look at her masterful Aalaphanai. Here ARR does something unique – takes the Aalaphanai to the background, plays the instruments including flute and Mandolin, slowly dims the Aalaphanai, after a few seconds again brings back the Aalaphanai and finally finishes with instruments. Another masterpiece from AR Rahman.


#5 Poi solla koodathu

Singer: Hariharan

Composer: Vidhayasagar

Film: Run


Starts with an exiting Violin and then a Flute prelude. Hariharan starts then with nice and soft. His voice is like giving soft 'othhadam' to the listener's ears. The violin and flute interludes are so unforgettable and will keeping buzzing in my ears for a long time. Good lyrics here too. Towards the end of the charanam, the thaalam get faster and then back to slower thaalam while re-rendering the pallavi - and then the interludes are faster again. That’s great sandwich of faster and slower beats - and the progression between them is just great!.

#4 Yedo Yedo

Singers: Karthik and Gopika Poornima

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Enaukku 20 Unakku 18


I can’t believe that the male voice is that of Karthik. Wow, how much has he matured in terms of modulation, or is it the song that inspired him for such a wonderful rendering!. Gopika Poornima is also equally good. ARR also introduces some cross fading in voice specifically at 3:05 with male voice in background while female is singing and vice versa. There is a wonderful violin interlude starting at 3:34 is amazingly done. He has also sprinkled a few bell sounds at the end of the violin interlude. The drums all through the song are awesome.

#3 Nenjodu

Singers: Unni Krishnan and Sujatha

Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Film: Kadhal Kondean


Starts with Guitar strings playing very slowly and suddenly a rush of drums in the prelude. Sujatha sings the first charanam and Unni Krishnan sings second charanam. Its like having two songs in one song!. (Like Illiayaraja did in ‘Aapdi pakarithellam’ of ‘Ivan’) In between, the interludes are just amazing – mostly drums are just magnificent and the flute is simply superb!.
The ‘HoHoo’ singing in between gives the western classical impression. Also plays a horn sounding like Wind instrument (Don’t tell me that it’s Sax, it will be hard to believe). Unni Krishnan shows his mastery and control over song and Sujatha is no less good. A very good song, from the two very good singers.

#2 Aval ulaga

Singer: Karthik

Composer: Harris Jeyaraj

Film: Laysa Laysa


Starts with a fast Violin prelude. Mind it, its not just the prelude – the entire song is filled Violin interludes. Even while singing the pallavi, violin plays fast in the background. It’s a solo song for Karthik, who gives one of his best performances. All good songs of this year seem to go in search of Karthik and What a great year for him. The first interlude of this song starting at 1:13 goes like this: a kuyil’s Koo Koo sound sandwiched with strings, followed by the playing the pallavi in Veena which is sandwiched by a short Flute piece. This is followed by Karthik singing a ‘thaka-thaka-thaka’ in the form of ‘Kunakkol’ and shortly after Violin(s) joins him. And they finish the first interlude at 1:53 – pretty good 40 sec. The second interlude is also very nice – but this time plays the tune of ‘Chittukuruvi Chittukuruvi seathi theriyuma, Ennai vittu pirinja kanavar innum veedu thirumbale’ – literally, but little faster. I am not sure why he chooses that though. The percussion for this interlude is Miruthangam – which gives a classical appeal. This is a heck of a composition from Harris Jeyaraj.

#1 Ennuyir thoziye

Singers: Unni Menon, Chinmayee

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kangalal Kaithu sei


Yet another superb song from ARR. His choice of singers is as if the song was composed for them. Unni Menon with ever so-sweet voice renders this melody to his mastery. And Chinmayee, she scales great heights with this one single song. The way ARR starts Chinmayee is another wonder. He starts her humming with Gamakams in it – sounding like Aalaphanai in humming. Miracles follow as he plays Piano notes and then guitar chord which is soon followed by Humming on the background. Mind boggling progression! The whole interlude speaks volumes of the ARR geniuses. Look at the modulation in Unni menon’s voice as he sings ‘Thool Thool AanauDu…Nn…Mai..’ The lyrics also sound fresh and neat. Even the way the songs ends – everything in this song so admirably done, making it all the way to top of the top 10.

Top Ten Tamil Film songs - 2004

In the past ten years or so, Tamil Film Music has been the leader in Film music innovation when compared to other regional scores mainly thanks to AR Rahman on the western front and Ilaiyaraja on the classical and folk side. As years progress, we see more and more composers spawning and creating a very healthy competitive arena. Yet, It has been a year of average compositions for Tamil Film Music. Film music composers understandably work with different motivations rather than creativity, so not much can be expected of them. Yet, it’s not a complete disappointment.

If you are wondering what my choices for best songs of Tamil Film Songs in this year of 2004, here is my top ten. Before going the actual countdown, two songs need special mention. For those special reasons, I have not included them in top ten. They are:

Veena Vani / Kalpana, Prasanna / Pon Megalai / Ilaiyaraja / Muthulingam:

This is such a classical song, incomparable and outstanding; it will be unfair to compare it with others. So it’s special. Excellent performance from the two sisters - Kalpana and Prasanna. This song will find a special place for many years to come like the song ‘Pazhamudir solai’ of Varusham 16. Hats off to Illaiyaraja.

Vanin Uyaram / Harish R, Gopika Poornima / Vanam Vasapadum/ Mahesh/ Vairamuthu:
This is a beautiful duet from Mahesh’s last film. It’s a powerful score to leave strong and haunting memories of him for the years to come. Wish Mahesh is still with us, to see TFM lover’s great reception of his performance.

'Kangala Kaithu Sei' is not been included as it was considered for last manager and did earn 2 positions in top ten.

Let me go to the count down now.

Song/ Singer(s) / Film / Composer/ Lyricist

10. Thottal Poo / Hariharan, Harini / New / A R Rahman:
The fusion of techno music and classical percussion at the start sets the theme of the song - Experimentation. From there on, it’s all left on Hariharan to exercise his enormous abilities. Wow, he mesmerizes the listener with all that ‘aharam’ singing. What a fluency, he has. If only musical instruments can think, they wound cry in envy, hearing Hariharan sing. Echoing of words in middle of sentence is something new. Though, this is a nicely done remix, hope it doesn’t do a trend setter.

9. Nijama Nijama / Kay Kay, Shreya Goshal / Bose / Yuvan Shankar Raja:
Nice song with fast beats. The fast beats in both the interludes combined with keyboard is something new. But it needs many hearings to understand what’s going in this progression. Kay Kay’s voice is refreshingly different in TFM. Sheya Goshal is good, but need to work on her pronunciation.

8. Unakenna / Haricharan / Kaadhal / Joshua Sridhar / Na MuthuKumar
A song with great interludes with nice flute and violin solo pieces. The sax start and huge thunder like sound at the start violins in the interlude sounded very much like ARR. Joshua Sridhar displays his strong western classical skills in the interludes of this song and the rest of the album. But he has to go beyond interludes, to conquer tough competition in TFM. Singer Haricharan sounds soothingly nice. Little nasal, but never mind. The traditional drum backdrop is strength of the rest of the song.

7. Enge enge / Karthik / Sathurangam / Vidyasagar / Yugabharathi :
The solo piece wonderfully sung Karthik is set for the situation of hero looking for his lover. Karthik is all set to conquer great heights in TFM, proves his class and versatility once again by singing a soft number this time. Yugabharathi has pen down great fresh lyrics for this song.

6. O Mohalai Mohalai / Harish R, Harini / Arasatchi / Harris Jeyaraj:
From start to finish, a perfect complete synchronous number. Harini and Harish Ragavendra have done a very good job. It’s a typical Harris Jeyaraj tune, yet a classic. Harris nicely adds the Quwali flavor using tabala and claps and blend is very natural. This song is like a lesson for few other composers out there who can do no better than few sounds and interludes rather than a complete song where start to finish all the sounds conveys the same mood rather than trying to show all their talent in one song.

5. Malargale / B JayaShree / Pudukottaiyilirunthu Saravanan / Yuvan Shankar Raja
A Very soothing number from YSR, though the tune sounds like that of Harris Jayaraj. Bombay Jayashree is played to perfection. Both interludes (first in violin, second in flute) are very nice. The piano keys fall on me like honey droplets from the heaven.

4. Eppadi solvathu / Chinmayee, Unni Krishnan / Orumurai solli vidu /Bharathwaj:
A very nice duet, from a less known film. The guitar progression in the first interlude will definitely raise your eyebrows. The lyrics are also rice matching the jathi. Unni Krishnan is at his best fluency, as he has proven before of his wonderful soothing voice. Chinmayee is also impressive, especially the finishing of the song. The song is fully sprinkled with flute pieces all over very nicely.

3. Kavithai Iravu / Karthik, Sujatha /Sullan /VidyaSagar /YugaBharathi:
Versatile Duet queen Sujatha pairs with Karthik for this song, which is typically in Vidyasagar’s style. Who can fail to recognize those short fast violins he has been adding consistently, for many years now. The lyrics of YagaBharathi are also strength of this song. The highlight of song is the fast solo veena (or is it guitar or mandolin?) interlude, with a Middle Eastern touch.

2. Adiye Kiliye / Illayaraja / Kudaikkul Mazhai /Karthik Raja/ Parthiban R:
Its great to see Karthik Raja making it to top ten, whose songs off late lack completion. This is an exception and lives up to his erstwhile reputation. As a singer, Illayaraja masterfully refelects the pathos mood of the song. The first and only interlude played in piano is simple and sweet. The way the piano progression slows down in the interlude is very nice, reflects philosophies in it. The same piece is also played in Violin in another track which is also nice.

1. Kaadu thirandu / Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam/ VasoolRaja MBBS /Bharathwaj:
A classic song composed in perfect harmony. Pallavi yields to violins playing Madurai Mani Iyer ‘s English notes and then Hariharans voice, followed harmonious violins reaching higher octaves progressively which is then mixed with Sadhana’s humming. In the second interlude, he ends the violins with a crisp bell sound, WOW. Where was Bharathwaj hiding these talents all these years? See, what the confidence of a successful year can do to a composer. Hariharans voice adds to the beauty of the song and Sadhana sargam comes clean on pronunciation.

The albums which came close, but did not make it to top 10 were:
Virumandi, Jay Jay, 7 G Raibow Colony

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Karma Yoga - Swami Vivekananda

These are experts from Swami Vivekananda's famous book Karma Yoga.

Karma ?
We are responsible for what we are; and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by out present actions. Each is great in its own place The important thing is to know that there are gradations of duty and of morality ? That the duty of one state of life, in one set of circumstances, will not and cannot be that of another. Our first duty is not to hate ourselves, because to advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
The Central idea of Karma Yoga:
The Karma-Yogi is the man who understands that the highest ideal is non-resistance, and who so knows that this non-resistance is the highest manifestation of power in actual possession, and also what is called as the resisting of evil is but a step on the way towards manifestation of power, namely non-resistance. Before reaching this highest ideal, man's duty is to resist evil;
Let him work , Let him fight, Let him strike straight from the shoulder, Then only he has gained the power to resist, will non-resistance will be a virtue. Inactivity should be avoided by all means. Activity always means resistance.
The Secret of Work
We read in Bhagavad-Gita again and again that we must work incessantly. All work by nature is composed of good and bad. We can NOT do any work that will NOT do some good somewhere. Every work is always a mixture of good and bad; yet we are commanded to work incessantly. But Good and bad are bondages of the soul, The solution reached in the Gita in regard to the bondage-producing nature of work is, that if we do not attach ourselves to the work we do, it will not have any binding effect on our soul. Remember the great saying from Sankhya - "the whole of Nature for the soul, not soul for the nature". The very reason for the existence of the nature is for the education of the soul; it has no other meaning; its is there because the soul must attain the knowledge and free itself. If we remember this always we will never be attached to the nature. Nature is there for us learn, and after we are done with it, it has no purpose for us. Instead of that we are identifying ourselves with the nature; we are thinking that the soul is for nature, that the spirit is for the flesh, Work, and Work like Master, not like a slave. As soon as the attachment comes, there is the deep impression on the soul, which binds us down and makes us work not from freedom but like slaves.
Complete Self Abnegation:
However we may try, there can not be an action which is perfectly pure or perfectly impure, taking purity and impurity in the sense of injury and non-injury. We cannot breathe or live without injuring others and every bit of food we eat is taken away from another's mouth. It may be men, animals or microbes. That being the case, perfection can never be attained by work. The true solution is found in the Gita. Its the theory of non-attachment, to be attached to nothing while doing our work of life. Know that you are separated entirely from the world though you are in the world, and whatever you may be doing in it, you are not doing for your own sake. Any action that you do for yourself will bring its effect on you. To work properly, you have to first give up the idea of attachment. Secondly, do not mix in the fray, hold yourself as a witness and go on working. My master used to say, "Look upon your children as a nurse does". The nurse will take your baby and fondle it and play with it and behave towards it as gently as if it were her own child; but as soon as you give her notice to quit, she is ready to start off. Everything in the space of attachment is forgotten; it will not give the ordinary nurse the least pang to leave your children and take up other children. Even so are you to be with all that you consider as your own. The greatest weakness often insinuates itself as the greatest good and strength. Its a weakness to think that anyone is dependent on me, and that I can do good to another. This belief is the mother of all our attachment, and through this attachment comes all pain. We must inform our mind that no one is dependent on our self. No beggar depends in our charity; not one soul on our kindness. All are helped by the nature, and will be so helped even though millions of us were not here; Only blessed privilege to you and me that we are allowed, in the way of helping others, to educate ourselves. This is a great lesson to learn in life; and when we have learnt it fully, we shall never be unhappy; we can go and mix with the society anywhere and everywhere;
Freedom
Any one idea or, according to our psychology, any one wave thats produced in the mind-stuff, Chitta, must always give rise to many similar waves. This is psychological idea of association and causation is ONLY AN aspect of this grand, pervasive principle of association. This pervasiveness of association is what is called as VYAPATHI in Sanskrit.In the external world, the idea of 'Law' is the same as in the internal - the expectation that a particular phenomenon will be followed by another, and therefore, law does not exist in nature. Practically, its an error to say that gravitation exists in the earth, Or, that there is any law existing OBJECTIVELY anywhere in nature. Law is a the method. the manner in which 'Our mind' grasps a series phenomena; its all in the Mind. Certain phenomena, happening one after another or together, and followed by the conviction of regularity of their recurrence, thus enabling our minds to grasp the method of the whole series, what we call 'Law'.The next question for consideration is what we mean by law being 'Universal'. Our universe is that portion of existence which is characterized by what Sanskrit psychologists call 'Desa-Kala-Nimtha', or what is known to European psychology as space-time-causation. This universe is only a part of infinite existence thrown into a peculiar mould, composed of space, time and causation.When we speak of 'Universe' we only mean that portion of existence which is limited by our mind - the universe of senses, which we can feel, touch, hear, think of, imagine. This alone is under law; but beyond it, existence can not be subjected to law, because all law has its essence in causation. Therfore we see at once that there can not be any such thing as free will. the very words are contradiction, because will as we know, must be subject to causation can not be FREE.

It is acted upon by other agents and becomes a cause in its turn But that which has become converted into the will, Which was NOT the will before, but which, when it fell into this mould of space, time and causation, became converted into the human will, is free; and when this will gets out of this mould space, time causation, it will be free again. From freedom, it comes and becomes molded into this Bondage, and it gets out and goes back to FREEDOM again.
So when we speak of man as no other than that infinite being which is manifested itself, we mean that the only one very small part thereof is man; this body and this mind which we see are only a part of the whole, only one spot in the infinite being. All our laws, our bondanges, our joys and our sorrows, our happiness and expectations, are only within the small universe; all our progression and digression are within its small compass. So you see how childish it is to expect a continuation of this universe - the creation of our minds - and to expect to go to heave, which afterall must mean only a repetition of this world that we know. You see that at once that it is impossible to limit the infinite existence to conform to the limited and conditioned existence which we know.
To acquire freedom we have to get BEYOND the limitations of this universe; it can not be found here. Perfect equilibrium, or what Christians call the peace that passeth all understanding can not be had in this universe, nor in heaven, nor in any place where our mind can go, where senses can feel, or which the imagination can conceive. No such place can give us the freedom, because all such places would be within our universe, and its limited by time, space and causation.
The only way to come out of bondage is to go beyond the limitations of law, to go beyond causation.
But it is a most difficult thing to give up the clinging to this universe; few ever attain that. One way is called 'Neti, Neti (not this, not this), and the other is called 'Iti' (this); the former is the negative and the later is the positive way. The negative way is possible only by men of highest, exceptional minds and gigantic walls who simply standup and say "No I will not have this" and their mind and body obey their will and they come out successful. But such people are rare. The vast majority of mankind choose the positive way, the way through the world, making use of all the bondages themselves to break those very bondages. This is also kind of giving up, only its done slowly, and gradually, by knowing things, enjoying things and thus obtaining experience, and knowing the nature of things until mind lets them go at last and become unattached. The former way is called 'Jnana-Yoga' and is characterized by refusal to do work; the second is that of 'Karma-Yoga' in which there is no cessation from work.
Karma Yoga says - Work incessantly, but give up all attachment to work. Do not identify youself with anything. Hold your mind FREE. All that you see, the pains and the miseries, are but the necessary conditions of this world; poverty, wealth and happiness are but momentary; they do not belong to our real nature at all.
Karma Yoga tells us to enjoy the beauty of all the pictures in the world, but not to identify outselves with any of them. Never say 'mine'. Whenever we say a thing is mine, misery will immediately come.
So Karma Yoga says, first destroy the tendency to project this tentacle of selfishness; and when you have the power of checking it, held it in and do not allow the mind to get into the ways of selfishness. Then you may go out to the world and work as much as you can. Mix everywhere, go where you please; you will never be contaminated with evil like the lotus leaf in the water. This is called Vairagjaya or dispassion or non-attachment.
Here are two ways of giving up all attachment. The first one is for those who do not believe in God or anyother form of outside help. They are left to their own devices. They have simply left with using their powers of mind and self-descrimination. For this who believe in God, there is another way, which is much less difficult. They give up the fruits of their work unto the Lord (samparpanam), they work, and they never get attached to the results.

The Ideal of Karma-Yoga

I goal is attaining the freedom as I understand it.Everything that we see around is struggling towards freedom, from atom to man, from the insentient, lifeless particle to the highest existence on the earth, the human soul. Every selfish action, therefore, retards our reaching the goal, and every unselfish action takes us towards the goal.
Karma-Yoga is a systemof ethics and religion intended to attain freedom through unselfishness and by good works. The Karma-Yogi need not believe in any doctrine whatever. He may not believe in God, may not ask what his soul is, nor think of any metaphysical speculation. He has got his own aim of realising selflessness; and he has to work it out himself. Every moment of his life must be realisation, because he has to solve by mere work, without the help of doctrine or theory to the very same problem to which Jnani applies reason and inspiration and Bhakta applies his love.
Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because its not national belief, because you have been made to believe it since your childhood; but reason it all out, and after you have analyzed it, then you will find it that it will do good to one and all, believe it, live upto it, and help others to live upto it. He the one who work without motive,neither for money for for fame, not for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform this world. The man represents the very highest idea of Karma-Yoga.

The End.
---------------
References:
Karma Yoga and Bakthi Yoga

Illusions by Richard Bach

These are my interpretations of Richard Bach's book - 'Illusions'

Part1:
emphasizes that there is lot more to live in this world than we all realize. We
tend to get settled and satisfied with what we get now. But there is lot more
there. There is lot more height to climb and conquer.

To put it Bharathi's
words:
"Yethanai kodi Inbam vaithai, Yengal Iraiva, Iraiva...
Aathanai ulagamum varna kalangiyam..."


Then goes on to say that, there is no end to learning. One school ends leading
another to begin.
Hesistate not face the tomorrow, however chaotic it may sound. For all the moral
virtues you hold today, will only bestow for a better day and no lesser.

Part 2:

Ok. Now we are ready to conquer lot more height. But how far?. To what limit?.
The answer could be 'limitless'. But definitely We have got our own limitations.
If we try to go past our limitations, we would only end up loosing.
Like the saying "Kalathai meeri kanavu kanathe..."

Attempts to define 'Heaven'. Says 'Being perfect' is being in Heaven.
What is Perfect then?. Perfection can not be defined in Absolute terms.
Any metric measuring perfection could only be Relative.
Perfection is all about 'just being there'.

Ask yourself whom you are?.
Are you the physical body that u are in?. No. You are not trapped in limited
physical body.
Then?
The Truth is that your true nature Lives. Lives Everywhere. All Along, across
space and time.
Keep Observing that very nature that is spread everywhere. Concentrate on it.
You will realise whom you are. How perfect you are.

Often we tend to think that we miss somebody who was close at once. How foolish
is that?. It is not limited by space or time. If we overcome space, all we have
left is Here. If we overcome Time, all we have left is Now.In between Here and
Now we can see each other(????)

Part 3:
Are only some of us are very special and gifted?. Not really. Those who seem to
be great are those who have begun to understand themselves and begun to practice
it.

'Thought' is the greatest process that happens around us. Our body is nothing
more than the thought itself. Observe the thought and keep finding the
unlimited Self. All within you. And its all fun!.

Well. Like how Bharathi finds Nanthalala(his potrayed Self) in everything that sees in the song 'Kakkai siraginille nanthalala..',

As my Guru Swami Subramuniya Swami writes in his mastercourse,

Observe. Observation leads
Concentration.. Concentration leads to Meditation..Meditation leads to
Contemplation.. Contemplation lead to Enlightment..., the ultimate goal for a human being.

Psychological aspects of Love

These are pretty much excerpts from the book titled 'The road less traveled.' written by Dr.M Scott Peck. A book on Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and spiritual growth. This book explains what is love and what is NOT love.

Love can be defined in to various categories:Eros, philia, agape, perfect love and imperfect love.
Definition for love: the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing own's one spiritual growth. All others are more or less infactuations and not true.Let us understand the life from this perspective. When we are just out our mothers womb, we dont realise the difference between our movement and other movement.The child thinks that as it moves the world moves. no difference. It is very happy that everything is as per its like.But as the child grows, it realises...to its shock...understands that things are different..nothing happens as per the child thinks. its assumption is broken. Then as the child grows it develops Ego boudries are developed. Parents are not able understand this as they are in a higher ego sate called parental ego state.At the marriage age when this child meets someone who is in a similar ego state, there are attempts to break the ego boundaries. The breakage of Ego bounties is called Love.
But unfortunately this boundary breakage is very temporary. After marriage again as circumstances develop,differences between the partners grow. They go back to their boundaries...And life is no longer happy..These are the same pair of lovers who thought they are made for each other..But not any more...

What is really needed is the individual spriritual growth...one need to understand oneself better,to understand another...
What is love ? Love is Work and Courage. Work in the form of Attention.
Attention to listen and nurture the spiritual growth ofthe self and others.Courage to face the following risks:

Risks of Love:
1. Risk of loss
2. Risk of Independence
3. Risk of Commitment
4. Risk of Confrontation

Love is Disciplined.Self discipline is essential.
Love is Seperatenes. Keeping yourself as an individual and nuturing your spiritual growth.Love is not simply giving. it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well.U should know where to show your love and where to withhold it. For instance take this case. A mother showing deep love towards her child. She overprotects her child. Does not let the child to out and mingle with the others. The childonly ended up in developing fear and anxiety over the outside world.
Another Case.
A fathershowed his love towards his son too much. He spent lavishly on his son. Bought everything for him including 2 new cars. This son ended up as a irresponsible person having failed to realise his values.These cases explain why u have to be judicious in showing your love.the word 'judicious' means requiring judgement, and judgement requires more than instinct. It requires thoughtful and often painful decision making. It is not only possible but necessary for a loving person to avoid acting onfeelings of love. The person should consciously think of the consequences.
Dependency :
The second most common misconception about love is the idea that dependency is Love.Poeple say 'I can not live with him/her'. ( the loved person in subject)This is actually parasitism ands not Love. When u require another induvidual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice or freedom in that relationship.It is matte of necessity rather than love. Love is a free exercise of choice.Two people love each other Only when they are capable of living with out each other,but choose to live with the each other. Love should be a matter of CHOICE. Such a dependency is the inability to experience wholeness or to function adequately without certanity that one is being actively cared for by another. It is a manifestation of mental illness.If being loved is your goal you will fail to achieve it. The only way of being assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love. Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove.It seeks to receive rather than give. It nourishes infantilism rather than growth.It works to trap and constrict rather than to liberate. Ultimately it destroys ratherthan builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.

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