Iniyethra Naal (original composition)

I am not an expert in music and I don’t have even the basic ideas of the raaga/classical system. However, I love to compose songs occasionally. The first time I composed a song was many years back. It was a devotional song. It happened this way – our Church choir had an A grade in those days at All India Radio, Thrissur station. We were occasionally invited to the AIR studio to record songs for Easter or Christmas days. The songs had to be original works.

Once we had an invitation to record for the Easter week. Our main composer, George chettan, was kind of busy with working for albums and he could not do all the songs. There were about 5 to 6 songs scheduled for the recording session. So he asked if anybody had any songs composed and ready to orchestrate. My friend Lindsie knew that I had composed two devotional songs and she mentioned that to him [I owe you for that, Linu! :-)]. I presented the songs before him, both which I wrote and composed. He liked the songs and agreed to orchestrate it.

The recording on that day at All India Radio, Thrissur is an unforgettable moment of my life. It was my first studio experience ever. The AIR studio used (I don’t know if they still use it) old recording techniques, so there was no studio softwares or punch-in options. If you misspell even just one word or go out of tune in one place, you would have to sing the entire song from the beginning to end. I was totally nervous (as I always am when I sing) but somehow managed to sing the songs.

I was so happy that day that I could sing my own song at AIR. I was even more happy when I listened to the song at my neighbor’s house through their radio (we did not have a radio in our house then). My heart nearly burst out when I heard the announcer saying my name and the song’s name before the song was played. I wanted to scream to the world that this is my song that you are hearing through All India Radio. The song I wrote, composed and sang [ Listen to the song here – not the original version, re-recorded many years later]. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get hold of a recorded version of the original. After many years, when I went to learn Karnatik music, I made my teacher listen to the song and he said that the song was based on Hamsadhwani. I had no idea of what raaga it was.

Now that’s a long introduction. Coming to the topic, I composed a song recently for a short film being directed by a friend’s friend. Here is the situation of the song as I learned from my friend:

The girl hasn’t met the boy yet. She has only heard so much about him. He is a revolutionary kinda person and she develops a heroic crush towards him. He is in jail. Even though they haven’t met each other yet, she begins to love him after she learns a about him from his family etc, and waits for him to return from jail. So this is not a sad song. This song is about waiting, but involves the pain of love. So I kept all of these in mind when I composed.

The song is written by Retheesh from Malappuram. I met him first at my house when he came in with the lyrics and explained the song situation. His beautiful lines inspired me to come up with the tune in a short span of time. He made several changes to the lyrics on my request. Orchestration was done by Rajith, a keyboard player who also owns a small studio in Thrissur. He has done an awesome job and made this song to what I had imagined it to be. When I requested Divya S Menon (who needs no introduction to the music blogging world) to sing the song, she happily agreed and did a wonderful job on the vocals. My thanks to all of them.

I sent this song to two of my close friends in the field of music and both of them gave me positive reviews. One said that the song fits the description very well and the other said that I should quit my job and become a full time music director. My thanks to you guys for your kind feedback. 🙂

Now, I leave the song to you guys to listen. Let me know how you like it. When the music video gets ready, I will post it here.

Song: Iniyethra Naal (Malayalam)
Lyrics: Ratheesh
Composed by: Joseph Thomas (Jo)
Orchestrated by: Rajith
Singer: Divya S Menon

Download the song here

Categories: Entertainment, Music, My Songs

Life in 140 characters

This is funny. What if you were restricted in the real world to only 140 Characters? The office might be a sticky place.

(Thanks to Deepu for sharing)

Categories: Humor, Video

Decisions

There are times when you would have to take a decision – a harsh decision that you know if taken would hurt all the people close to you and even yourself. And if not taken, it would hurt yourself and the other party so much more. What’s worse is that it was my fault (a big fault at that) that lead to this decision.

So now I have to tell you this. I am an asshole. I recognize it and admit it. I deserve so much pain. A lot more than what I feel now.

PS: That new phase of life I wrote about will not happen now.

Categories: Notes

Austerity is Expensively Inexpensive

For you, to think about.

Ms Sonia Gandhi’s trip to Mumbai, accompanied by SPG, meant that the first three rows of the economy seating area were not available to regular passengers. Mr Gandhi’s train journey to Ludhiana required 200 policemen each to be deployed at New Delhi and Ludhiana stations. In spite of that, the security risk was not fully averted as there was stone pelting on the return journey. Also, there can be little justification for the 77-year old foreign minister S M Krishna to undertake a four-day visit to Belarus and Turkmenistan on a commercial carrier. [via]

Categories: Nation, Politics

A whole new phase

I know that the frequency of posts in this blog for the past week has been very low. I also know that it has been some time since I have posted a song here. The reason is that I am preparing myself to enter a new phase of life, which seems a lot exicting and even more terrifying when I come to think of it. I am talking about marriage. 🙂

Being an individualistic person (not that I am very proud of it), I always needed a lot of private space in my life which I never cared to share with anybody, not even close friends. You can tell that by the way I live now; living alone in a guest house room, without sharing the space. I do not regret living that way, because this private space has given me a lot of time and energy to do creative things. It gives me a lot of freedom.

And in a few weeks time, somebody is coming in to that space. Someone whom I am only beginning to know. And then will come a whole new phase of life. Part of it is exciting, of course. Part of it though, quite terrifying. But as the days go past, and after talking to friends and taking tips from them, I have a feeling that everything would work out well gradually, even though I know that I will have to change/compromise/adjust in certain areas of life. One thing that I am certain of is that I am not going to kill the free bird that nests deep in my soul, but okay to control it whenever needed.

Learning about the other person who is going to partner with you is an interesting thing. You even learn a couple of things about yourself in that process. Which makes you look at yourself and wonder if you knew yourself well enough. But the whole preparation for the ceremony and arranging every material thing needed for it (including money) is a hectic process. I don’t know if there is any other phase in life which seems so exciting and boring at the same time.

So right now, life is busy. I focus more on freelancing when I come back to my room after office hours. It helps me to save a few bucks, using which I could buy a Zune player last week and going to buy a good external sound card for my home recordings. So it is good, though sometimes freelancing drives me crazy with lack of good sleeping hours.

That’s a lot of ranting for now. Before I stop, I promise that I will try to be more frequent and will try to post a couple of songs before the big day. And to you I would request to wish me luck. 🙂

Categories: Notes

Zuning the music

I have been using iPod to listen to music and it has been a great experience so far. The one I had was an iPod Nano 4GB which was gifted by a friend. But as the music kept stacking up and 4GB was not being enough, I was planning to upgrade to a newer version of iPod. Then I researched a bit and talked to friends and Sijo, who uses a Zune suggested to use Zune instead of iPod. A couple of others who have used both was of the opinion that Zune gives a better audio experience. So when Sijo went to US related to work, he bought this piece of beauty for me. This is my new Zune 120GB. I am yet to begin experiencing it (MS asking for Windows updates now when I tried to install the software!) and am looking forward to it.

zune

Categories: Music

55th National Film Awards

The 55th National Film Awards of 2007 have been announced and so many talented people have been recognized. First of all, I am glad that Prakash Raj won the Best Actor award. He has amazed me with his performance in Mani Ratnam’s “Iruvar“. His dialogue deliveries in Tamil made a non-Tamilian like me to appreciate the beauty of Tamil language (though I did not understand much of it). His performance as a villain in the movie “Aasai” was also wonderful. I haven’t seen the movie “Kanchivaram“, but I’m sure he must have done a wonderful job there too.

I have no words to say about Ouseppachan‘s achievement in this year’s national film awards. He has won the Best Music Director award for the songs of “Ore Kadal“. Like a Twitter friend mentioned, this award was long due. He has given us some musical gems right from the beginning of his career. I can forever listen to the songs like “Kaathodu Kaathoram“, or “Nee En Sarga Soundaryame” or “Unnikale Oru Katha Parayaam“. In the movie “Ore Kadal“, he chose to compose all 5 songs in one Raagam, that is Shubha Panthuvaraali. Even though all songs are based on the same raaga, each song stood out with its own features.

Do I even need to mention the maestro Adoor Gopalakrishnan? Though I am unsure of how well the other competitors have done with their movies, I have seen “Naalu Pennungal” and loved all the four segments of the movie which featured 4 women characters, each so powerful on their own right.

Pattanam Rasheed, whose name is so familiar to any one who watches the Malayalam movies, has rightly been awarded for the make-up of Paradesi. Shankar Mahadevan has bagged the Best Male Playback Singer award for his soul stirring rendition of Maa from Taare Zameen Par and Shreya Ghoshal has won the Best Female Playback Singer award.

To conclude, there are no controversy over the awards so far and that’s something we haven’t seen in the recent years.

Categories: Entertainment, Movies

The oldest profession in the newest form

Some women sell themselves for hours. Some of them do it for no price, expecting a favor in return – perhaps an opportunity for a breakthrough in the showbiz. Some of them do it for ‘pocket money’ and it varies from lakhs to thousands per hour.

There is nothing you need to do about it, unless there is blackmailing/force/inducement involved in the business.

Then there are some women, like the women in Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh, who sell themselves for anything that varies from Rs. 200 to Rs. 50. They are not sold for hours. They are sold forever. And for what? Food.
And Survival.

Now there is definitely something that the Government which talks about country’s economic growth rates can/should do about it. The question is, where did all those announced packages for farmers go? What happened to NREGA? How well is it being implemented? What is the state government doing? What is Mayawati doing after all the statue-unveiling that she’s on to lately?

Categories: Nation

Memories of Onam

Yet another Onam has passed by. Onam is nostalgic to every Malayali, but it is not exactly what has been described in the Onam specials of magazines and newspapers. Not at least for me. I never heard a “pooviLi” in my childhood. I haven’t gone collecting flowers from the neighborhood either (though my elder brothers did). I have never seen any woman singing and dancing to the tunes of “thiruvaathirakkaLi“. But I remember waking up early in the morning of the thiruvONam day, to put a “pookkaLam” (floral carpet), which would have more leafs than flowers.

As time passed by and collecting flowers became very difficult and the price of the flowers in the market shot up, we had to resort to pookkaLams made with salt. We would mix salt with different color powders and put the “salt-kaLam” in the courtyard. My second brother, who left this world 12 years ago and was an excellent artist, would draw the kalam and we younger ones helped in mixing the color powder with the salt. To our pride, people came to see this salt-kaLam than the floral carpets in the rich houses of the neighborhood, because of the artistic mastery of my brother.

The kaLam would be finished by 7 or 8 in the morning and then came our time for bath and then playing music. The wait for Sadya came next. I also have memories of going to the neighbor’s house to watch movies. The TV channels were not so plenty like in these days and there were not many programs on Doordarshan. But the neighbor used to play video cassettes of popular Malayalam movies and we children used to go watch them. So Onam was about watching movies too.

What I like the best about Onam? It is neither the pookkaLam, nor the Sadya. It is the time when the family comes together. My sisters, their kids and my brother came home for Onam and they are staying in for a couple of days. We talk, make fun of each other and the chat sessions go as longer as the next day morning. It is this togetherness that I love about Onam. And I hope and pray that this togetherness lasts forever.

Hope you all had/having a wonderful time during this year’s Onam.

Categories: Notes