Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Worldcup 2015 - Different script, familiar ending.

Another Worldcup comes to an end and once again Australia are the champions. Their fifth Worldcup and they have done it in five different continents, wherever Worldcup was held. They are world champions in cricket for sure, now why don't they just retire from playing in Worldcup, sigh.

Since my childhood this is the first Worldcup which didn't feature Sachin. Really missed him and looking at the stats I wonder how much he would have scored, who was always at his best when it comes to Worldcup.

As an Indian team fan I'm more surprised than anything else. To be frank I didn't even think they would cross quarterfinals. I expected them to win some four games and will be placed as a 4th team in the pool side and lose to some strong team from Pool A. The reasons are, we are not strong when we play away and also our bowlers failing consistently. The tri-series we played before the Worldcup just proved my points.

After the WeWontGiveItBack and Mauka Mauka campaign, I was wondering whether this will be our first loss in Worldcup against Pak. But, we were fantastic, played like a champion or it may be some jinx which Pak cannot break. Whatever, it was a right game for India to begin the campaign and their first victory in Australia in three months. The second game was against the mighty SA and we played even better confirming we are totally a different team from what we were in the last three months. Winning SA must be one of our highs in this Worldcup.

It was Raina’s innings against Pak and Rahane’s against SA which made all the difference to our total and everyone kept contributing in every match. Then, it was little tough game against Zim, but Raina and Dhoni made sure we win all the Pool games and finish on top. All other games were just a formality. It was an unbelievable achievement to finish on top winning all the games and especially bowling out all the teams. Our bowlers came to party big time, especially our pacers which was really unbelievable. Shami and Yadav were brilliant where Mohit was providing good support. And, the surprise was Ashwin, who usually struggles away from India, but he was brilliant throughout the tournament.

Quarterfinals against Bangladesh was almost one-sided except for few controversial decisions. And, the semifinals against the champions Aussies were forgettable. We played like how we did against them before the Worldcup. Nothing went in our way, we couldn't bowl out our opponent for the first time, let them score more than 300, lost wickets in power play. If only we could have restricted them below 300 by getting out Johnson early and if only Dhawan didn't play that shot, things could have been different. But, it was a good tournament for India, they did surprise me. Dhoni once again proved we won't get a better captain for India to replace him in the ODI.

This Worldcup was mostly dominated by batsmen. Two double centuries and 38 centuries were scored. And, ABDV was hitting all over the park even though he didn't score a double and Sanga was absolutely brilliant, scoring four consecutive centuries. Among the bowlers Starc, man of the tournament, was brilliant along with Boult.

We had a few close encounters, some of them were involving associates. The game of the tournament is the first semifinal between SA and NZ, followed by AUS vs NZ’s league match, which Aus almost snatched the victory from NZ.

Among the associates Ireland were brilliant, Afghanistan were promising. England’s campaign were disastrous, Srilanka and SA’s campaign were disappointing. Pakistan’s campaign were mixed, after losing badly against WI they came back strongly to win  against SA. Also, they played well against Aussies in the quarterfinals. Wahab Riaz's spell was brilliant in that game. Bangladesh were lucky. NZ were unlucky to end up as a runner after a wonderful campaign. Aussies were as usual brilliant and made everyone to hate them even more by winning the Worldcup again and again.

This Worldcup also saw few great players bid adieu to this format. Sanga, Mahela, Misbah, Afridi (who can come back again), Vettori and Clarke, among them Clarke had a memorable send off. Winning the Worldcup at home, he couldn't ask more. It was sad ending for Misbah, who couldn't make even one century in this format. And, a very bad last game for the SriLankan greats.

It was a memorable tournament for many reasons even though the result wasn't the one I expected. I just hope Dhoni plays the next Worldcup. Winning it in the Lord's just like Kapildev will be the perfect ending for his wonderful career.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Oru Vadakkan Selfie - Marana Mass, Kola Mass

Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Nivin Pauly’s new movie directed by Prajith and written by Vineeth Sreenivasan.

Nivin after finishing engineering with 42 arrears wants to become a director. He decides to be GVM’s assistant. In the meantime, love at first sight with his neighbor girl. One day, he decides to go to Chennai when his father forces him to work in his shop and he meets that girl in the same train by accident. He sends a Selfie to his friend which he took with her(of course without her knowledge). When he comes back after a week trying his luck with cinema he gets to know people in both their homes think they both eloped. So he goes back to Chennai to find her.

Nivin as Umesh really steals the show and Aju Vargese was fantastic, especially the way he says 'Marana Mass'. Good debut for Manjima Mohan as Daisy as well, who was able to impress in her first movie.

The first half was total laugh riot. Nivin and Aju Vargese, who's seen in almost all Malayalam movies, provides us with enough laughs with their acts like their shooting a short film, trying to help people during hartal.

Second half has Vineeth playing as a private detective who helps Nivin and Aju to find her in Chennai and their journey was equally fun also have some suspense as well. Watch out for the scene where Nivin calls his father in midnight towards the end of movie And, along with writing and singing Vineeth can act as well. 

The other departments have done their job really well. The edits were perfect and the movie never bored for even a bit. Shaan Rahman, who always gives his best for Vineeth have done a good job in this movie as well with perfect BGM. And, the songs were equally good, especially the first song sung by Vaikom Vijayalakshmi.

The movie was all the way hilarious and also provides some thrills in the second half. It's always nice to see movies without over the top heroism and fights. And, Vineeth is proving to be a good writer and an excellent debut for director Prajith.

To say it in Aju Vargese style, Nivin Pauly and Aju Vargese- “Kola” Mass. Movie - “ Marana” Mass.

Rating - 3.5/5.0.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Second Year in Chennai

Summer have started in Chennai and that reminds me, I have completed another year here. This year was packed with more actions and many new experiences just like last year.

This is the year I have thoroughly experienced the worst of Chennai. It is Chennai’s weather and Chennai’s traffic. I've started going to a different office and it was more than a 10km commute. Oh boy it was terrible ride for most of the days. And, that too in the morning, Chennai’s weather and traffic is the worst combination.

Devi - Biggest screen in Chennai, where we watch most of the films

This year I have been to many different theatres in Chennai. Almost all the major theatres like Devi, Kasi, Kamala, Udayam, Vetri, Inox, Albert, Abhirami “Mega Mall”, Shanthi. I was very much disappointed with Abhirami. They don't know the meaning for the word Mega or for the word Mall I guess. It doesn't look Mega and or for that matter it doesn't look like a Mall at all. It looked much better in 'Naan Mahan Alla' movie. And, you can spot someone from Tamil cinema industry on any given day in Satyam cinemas, it happened every single time this year as well. Spotted Jeyam Ravi, Chinmayi, Varalakshmi, Nakul, Director Vasanth, Karu Palaniappan, Santhosh Narayanan, Mia George, etc.

For the first time we attended a Carnatic musical kutcheri at Kamarajar Arangam (Chinmayi’s) in Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyar show. My friends and I looked very odd in that hall. But, we noted to attend this every year, much colourful this place is ;). Also, attended Chennai's book-fair this year as well. Too many books and spoilt for choices. Did manage to select a few from Kalachuvadu Pathipagam this year as well. Finally, visited Pondy, but in wrong time of May, the weather made sure we spent our time sitting inside our rooms.

And, not to board buses on a long weekend like Vinayagar Charurthi. Bus started by 10:00 at Koyembedu and crossed Thambaram well past mid-night at 2:00 am and reached Coimbatore by next day afternoon.

Since I have been working in a new company this year all those I have missed in the previous year have returned. Leaving from office very late, night-outs, weekends at office and what not. Changed my room also to near my office. Started walking to office for few days, then brought my cycle and went in that for few days and ended up going in two wheeler. It also worked in disadvantage since sometimes I get a call in midnight to come to office. But, really enjoyed working there and it didn't end as well as I expected.

My second year was equally good like my first year. Got few more friends in new company and once again lots of movies with new roommates. Also, a lot of movies and series in my laptop during weekends because of this weather.

My third year have started and everything have changed again since I have switched company last month. Let me see how this year goes and what's it has in store for me. And, let me keep exploring Chennai. I'vent even covered 25% of Chennai yet I guess.

Chennai is good.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Uttama Villain - MruthyunJaya MruthyunJaya MruthyunJayaho

Uttama Villain, Kamal’s latest movie’s audio is finally released. I was wondering why Kamal signed Ghibran for Vishwaroopam 2 since Shankar-Essan-Loy have done good music in V1 and why not ARR if he wants to change the composer. Then, I was more and more surprised when he signed him for almost all other movies he started doing. And, this album just shows why and cleared all my doubts. But, I was a Ghibran fan as well, he is yet to give a bad album, but he gives it for some bad movies and UV should break that jinx.

Loveaa Loveaa - A fast, instantly catchy, peppy number to start the album. And, a fantastic debut for the female singer a duet in a Kamal's movie and singing with him as well, she can't ask for a better debut. The lyrics by Viveka is fun and all praise to Kamal like, 'nee thodatha uchcham unda, sadhanaigal micham unda', 'muththahin aasan nee', etc. Fantastic start for the album which gonna take a different route.

Kadhalam Kadavul - A soothing melody to follow up sung well by Padmalatha. This song must come in 8th century period as the lyrics suggests. This is Ghibran’s trademark melody which he delivers consistently in most of his previous albums like Amara Kaaviyam and TEN.

Uttaman Introduction : Sounds great. A Villupattu to introduce Uttaman. The chorus were awesome especially towards the end.

Saagavaram - The lyrics in this song is too good and must hear more than once to the meaning of this song which talks about Immortality, big bang theory (?), etc.

Now comes the three dramas Iraniyan Nadagam, Mutharasan Kathai and Uttaman Kathai. All three are beautiful done, once again it's Kamal’s lyrics and voice along with symphony orchestration makes it a fantastic listen. And, it would be even more awesome to experience in theatre with the visuals.

Among the three Iraniyan Nadagam is my favourite. Kamal’s voice is scintillating and mind blowing. Right from the beginning when you hear the words ’En uthirathin vithai’ he really takes you to another level. And, once again the lyrics shows his mastery in Tamil. Really addicted to this song. 
Now waiting to see him perform on screen which will make this song even more special. His lyrics, voice and performance is gonna be one awesome package for sure.

Uttama Villain is not just another album, it's a milestone for Gibhran. Even though it's Kamal’s voice and Kamal’s lyrics all over the album Ghibran also scores high. And, once again he proves he's the best among the new composers in town along with Santhosh Narayanan. I would rate him slightly higher than Santhosh, maybe I'm biased. And, with two more albums with Kamal in his pipeline, I'm sure he will be in a different league.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Crushes - Crashes

Jeeva movie, released last year was one of my favourites and I have seen it twice for few reasons and one among them is Sri Divya, especially in the first half as a school girl. Sri Divya in her school dress actually reminded me of my crush after a very long time.

I don't clearly the names of the girls I had crushes when I was studying in my lower classes :), so skipping it, except a girl during my 5th standard. My first crush as far as I can remember clearly is during my 10th standard and Sri Divya reminded her ;).

It all started during my bus travel to school daily. She studied in a different school and gets into our bus in a different stop, but used to travel together in our regular bus. (the 'we' here refers to some 10 people, we used to travel together in same bus in same seats).

Some days, rarely, we used to travel in the same bus while returning. One day I was excited to see her get into the same bus while returning. The bus wasn't crowded much, but she didn't get a seat. Immediately I asked my friend to sit on my lap and offered his seat to her (I know what I should have actually done). It was a good ride back home and I still remember that day very well.

Then, next year she might have joined some other school or I heard she moved to some other city and I completely lost her. We didn't have cell phones or e-mail those days.  Next year, during my 12th standard I saw her getting down in her stop while I was returning home from school. I told my friends it was her even though some didn't believe me. I still remember that look when she got down from the bus, I know its her. That was the last time I saw her.

Then after some years, while watching Varanam Aayiram it hits me. Man !, this guy travels to another continent to meet his girl, I didn't even go to another bus stop to find her. So, I did, went there to find her. One of my schoolmate was there even asked him to enquire about her in that area, but no luck.

And, after many years, there she was, in my new company. Nope, just a dream, wake-up man. Why these kinds of things happen only in movies? Sigh!

After that, naan thedatha Social Networks illa, from Orukut to Facebook, couldn't find her at all. And, even if I find her now I don't think she will remember me.

To be continued..