Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Top Albums and Songs - 2016

Another year comes to an end, so let me start listing my favorites, starting with music as always. Movies and my awards to follow.

For previous years, 201520142013.

My most favorite song of this year in Tamil is "Kannamma" from Rekka, soulful singing from Nandini Srikar. And, in Telugu it is still "Telusa Telusa" from Sarrainodu even though I didn't understand anything, loved Sameera Bharadwaj's sweet voice. Favorite song in Malayalam is "Thiruvaavaniraavu", Onam song, from Jacobinte Swargarajiyam. And, the beautiful "Channa Mereya" from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in Hindi.

And, eventually Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada becomes my most heard album overtaking Oru Naal Koothu at the end of the year. In Hindi, it's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil over taking Udta Punjab.



Top Albums
  1. Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada - A R Rahman
  2. Oru Naal Koothu - Justin Prabhakaran
  3. Kabali - Santhosh Narayanan
  4. Irudhi Suttru - Santhosh Narayanan
  5. Kavalai Vendam - Leon James
Top 20 Songs
  1. Kannamma - Rekka
  2. Rasali - Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada
  3. Adiye Azhage - Oru Naal Koothu
  4. Neruppu Da - Kabali
  5. Ei Sandakara - Irudhi Suttru
  6. Chellama - Joker
  7. Kannadikkala - Maaveeran Kittu
  8. Maya Nadhi - Kabali
  9. Kohila - KO2
  10. Aval - Manithan
  11. Thalli Pogathe- Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada
  12. Nee Tholaindhaayo - Kavalai Vendam
  13. Naan Un - 24
  14. Remo Nee Kadhalan - Remo
  15. Munnal Kadhali - Miruthan
  16. Hey Mama - Sethupathi
  17. Un Mela Oru Kannu - Rajini Murugan
  18. Thalakaalu Puriyalaiyae - Kidari
  19. Ei Suzhali - Kodi
  20. Nee Kidaithai - Chennai 28 II
Other Favorites - In Release Order
  • Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam - Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam
  • Aavi Parakkum Teakadai - Rajini Murugan
  • Vathana Vathana, Theme, Idarinum - Thaarai Thappatai
  • Vaa Machaney, Usuru Narambula - Irudhu Suttru
  • Domer-u Lord-u, Shoot the Kuruvi - Jil Jung Juk
  • Mirutha Mirutha - Miruthan
  • Konji Pesida Venam - Sethupathi
  • Rain Rain Go Go - Pokkiri Raja
  • Uyire Un Uyirena, Engae Ponaai - Zero
  • Ni Sa Gari Sa - Darling 2
  • Eeena Meena Teeka, Thaimai, Jithu Jilladi - Theri
  • Athuva Ithuva, Adiye Unna - Vetrivel
  • Mei Nigara, Punnagaye - 24
  • Kannamma - KO2
  • Karuvakaatu Karuvaaya - Maruthu
  • Agnikunjondru, Maane Maane, Kaantha - Uriyadi
  • Dushta, Manidhi - Iraivi
  • Kutheeti, Aaravalli - Velainu Vanthutta Vellaikaran
  • Eppo Varuvaaro, Patta Podunga ji, Yaeli yaeli - Oru Naal Koothu
  • Snegidhiyae Snegidhiyae - Raja Mandhiri
  • Veera Thurandhara, Vaanam Parthen - Kabali
  • Ola Ola - Joker
  • Maya O Maya - Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum
  • Yedho Maayam Saeigirai - Wagah
  • Makka Kalanguthappa - Dharmadurai
  • Halena, Oh Maya, Kannai Vittu - Irumugan
  • Oorellam Kekkude - Thodari
  • Virru Virru, Kanna Kaattu Podhum - Rekka
  • Daavuya, Senjitaley, Sirikkadhey - Remo
  • Oyaa Oyaa - Kashmora
  • Kodi Parakkudha, Sirukki Vaasam - Kodi
  • Avalum Naanum, Idhu Naal - Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada 
  • En Pulse Yethitu Poriye, Un Kadhal Irundhal Podhum - Kavalai Vendam
  • Inivom - Uyirellam Ondre, Unkooda Thunaiyaga - Maaveeran Kittu
  • Soppana Sundari - Chennai 28 II
  • Thavazhnthidum Thangapoove - Veera Sivaji

Malayalam



Best Albums
  1. Jacobinte Swargarajyam - Shaan Rahman
  2. Kali - Gopi Sunder
  3. Maheshinte Prathikaram - Bijibal
  4. Aanandam - Sachin Warrier
Top 10 Songs
  1. Thiruvaavaniraavu - Jacobinte Swargarajyam
  2. Idukki - Maheshinte Prathikaram
  3. Thennal Nilavinte  - Oru Muthassi Gadha
  4. Vaarthinkalee - Kali
  5. Payee Veesum - Aanandam
  6. Vaathe Poothe - Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti
  7. Para Para - Kammatipaadam
  8. Ta Ta Ta Tang - Darvinte Parinamam
  9. Rosie - Monsoon Mangoes
  10. Pookkal Panineer - Action Hero Biju
Other Favorites
  • Kaathirunna Pakshi Njan - Kammatipaadam
  • Oh Punnyala, Kathangal Kinavil - Darvinte Parinamam
  • Ennilerinju, Ee Shishirakaalam - Jacobinte Swargarajyam
  • Pularkaalam Pole, Pooram Kaanan - Vallem Theeti Pulleem Thetti
  • Neeyen Sayahna Swapnathil - Ma Chu Ka
  • Theliveyil, Mounangal - Maheshinte Prathikaram
  • Chillu Ranthal - Kali
  • Oonjalilaadi Vanna - Action Hero Biju
  • Mazhaye Mazhaye - James and Alice
  • Kisaapathiyil - Kismath
  • Dooreyo, Nilaavil Ellame - Aanandam
  • Nokki Nokki, Neelakasham - Jomonte Suvisheshangal

Hindi






Best Albums
  1. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Pritam
  2. Udta Punjab - Amit Trivedi
  3. Dangal - Pritam
  4. Mirzya - Shankar Eshaan Loy
  5. Rustom - Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee 
Favorites 
  • Ikk Kudi, Da Da Dasse, Chitta Ve - Udta Punjab
  • Paashima, Yeh Fitoor Mera, Honedo Badiya - Fitoor
  • Sab Tera, Cham Cham, Agar Tu Hota - Baaghi
  • Tere Bin - Wazir
  • Jhalli Pataaka, Dil Ye Ladaku - Saala Kadoos
  • Qatl-E-Aam - Raman Raghav 2.0
  • Bol do Na Zara, Oye Oye - Azhar
  • Dheere Dheere - Jal Gangaajal
  • Rock the Party, Rehnuma, Titiliyan - Rocky Handsome
  • Let's Nacho, Bolna, Kar Gai Chull - Kapoor & Sons
  • Foolishq, Ji Huzoori - Ki & Ka
  • Sindhu Ma, Tu Hai - Mohenjo Daro
  • Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke, Hota Hai, Ek Nadi Thi - Mirzya
  • Kala Chasma, Sau Aasmaan  - Baar Baar Dekho
  • Tere Sang Yaara, Tay Hai, Dekha Hazaro,  Jab Tum - Rustom
  • Besabriyaan, Jab Tak, Phir Kabhi - MSD
  • Jeenay De Mujhe - PINK
  • Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Channa Mereya, Bulleya, Alizeh - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
  • Love You Zindagi, Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le - Dear Zindagi
  • Mehram - Kahaani 2
  • Haanikaarak Bapu, Dangal, Dhaakad, Gilehriyaan - Dangal

Telugu

Favorites: Best Song - Telusa Telusa - Sarrainodu (Thaman)
  • Rang De, Yaa Yaa, Yellipoke Shyamala - A Aa
  • Madhuram Madhuram, Brahmotsavam - Brahmotsavam
  • Love Dhebba, Love Me Again, Follow Follow - Nannaku Prematho
  • Tauba Tauba, Nee Chepakallu, O Pilla - Sardaar Gabbar Singh
  • Nuvvante Na Navvu, Ulikipadaku Ulikipadaku - Krishna Gadi Veera Prema Gaadha
  • Nuvvena, Okko Nakshatram, Paravasame - Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu
  • Athiloka Sundari,  Blockbuster - Sarrainodu
  • Vasthane Vasthane, Nee Navve, Untale Untale Nee Vente Untale  - Soggade Chinni Nayana
  • Ela Ela Ela - ISM
  • Naalo Nenenaa - Hyper
  • Evare, Prema Pusene, Ninna Leni - Premam
  • Jare Jare, KallumoosiOorike Ala, Oye Meghamla - Majnu
  • Pranaamam, Nee Selvadigi - Janatha Garage
  • Raalupoola Ragamala, Aanandamayenu - Pelli Choopulu
  • Mallela Vaanala, Raaka Raaka - Babu Bangaram
  • Rabba Rabba - Chuttalabbayi
  • Srirastu Subhamastu - Srirastu Subhamastu

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Finally we did it - Known Number: A shortfilm in our name

Finally we have made it, Known Number, a short-film and it's released. Though it was just a 10 mins movie, it took a lot of effort and time. And, making a movie, even a short one, isn't easy.


        

After watching a countless of movies and seeing your friends make shorts, you always want to do that. My first thought was I wanted to be a part of my friend's short film crew, just want to present in the spot when he makes the film, That's what I asked, but he offered to cast me in his next short. I was excited after hearing the story, it was funny. And, we kept talking about it for years and it never took off. I just liked the thought of being a part of a movie, though it may be a short, even if it's not acting, but it didn't happen.

Then, last year same time around my company announced its annual event where short films will be a part of it. So with my colleague who's my roommate as well started to do a movie. This time we did create a poster and it was put up on the walls inside our company. Then, we even shot for few days thanks to my friend, who happens to be a photographer. We rented lens, camera, etc., and shot for few days. First, the function was canceled, but we wanted to finish the film even if it won't be telecast there. And, then came the rains and it was unofficially dropped. We had to shoot in too many places, involving many artists, by many I mean four people and nothing went as per plan and so we dropped it.

This year when the event was announced we decided to do a short again. This time we want to do a different movie. So, my colleague/rommie, wrote a script in which there won't be a need of any female artist or any other location except in and around our room. And, thank god, our previous movie cinematographer, who was very busy agreed to be a part of this. We don't think this movie would have happened if didn't accept, at least not by this time or by this quality we did the camera on our own.

It took us a month to complete the shooting though we shot only for four days in the night time. We started in our rooftop with sun-gun lights and it was like a real shooting spot. And, we don't have any pics, thanks to Suresh. We slowly moved out, shot in front of our room, then in next street, then in the GST road, finally in front of a busy hotel and TASMAC to wrap it up. It wasn't much difficult to shoot in those areas as well. We made a lot of changes on the go and we okayed many scenes without going for a retake. And, never noted down the dialogues or the okayed shot number which haunted us during editing and dubbing.

And, we learned some tools, thanks to Suresh again and we did the editing, it was a tiring job. Every night we all sit with laptops like how we used to get together for night study.

The next part was dubbing, which was most difficult part in this movie. I didn't expect us to go this stage, to go to a dubbing theater and all. I was giggling right from the moment I entered the theater. The dubbing was even more fun. I try to say a dialogue and it sounds terribly funny to those sitting in the other room. I know they are laughing, but I try to ignore it. In the end I sounded terribly funny. It was embarrassing, funny and an unforgettable experience.

After that using some software, we completed the sound mixing and adding background scores thanks to all those music directors around the world. It was once again a tedious job. And, it's ready the only time we spent money making this movie is for dubbing.

I know we haven't achieved something great. I know we were just a drop in an ocean of short films that are already in YouTube. But, we are happy and satisfied that we are also a part of it.

We were very ambitious to try a sci-fi, night shoot, double action and to fit everything in 10 minutes and also to learn the tools to edit, mix the sound in our first movie itself. But we are proud of our output even though it isn't perfect. If at all we make a next one, we will try to better this.

Thanks to my team Ram, Suresh, Bharath, our cinematographer Rakesh and everyone who supported us from last year.

மகிழ்ச்சி!!!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Exile a memoir - Taslima Nasrin

Exile a memoir by Taslima Nasrin is Taslima's struggle after being exiled from Bangladesh and India. It's written in Bengali and translated into English by . And, thanks to Flipkart Blogger Review program for sending me this.



Taslima Nasrin, I've heard this name a lot of times in TV channels and newspaper for all the controversies. I haven't read any of her works, which got her into trouble, before and this is my first book.

Exile, talks about her life in India after returning from abroad, where she spent most of her life after going away from Bangladesh. Exile is all about her survival even after receiving numerous fatwas and threats and the political games which many played and how everyone used her to gain nothing but votes. It's also shows she's survivor and never let anything change her from the stance she took.

She returns to India and started to live a peaceful life in Kolkata. Slowly she was feeling Kolkata like her second home until one day she went to a book launch event in Hyderabad reluctantly, which changes everything. It was an event to launch her books translated in Telugu. A mob of religious fundamentalists attacked the event when she was speaking. She was scared to death, she thought her life was going to end there. Fortunately, the Police reached there on time to save her.

And, this incident changes everything in her life which was going smoothly in India. She was kept in home arrest in Kolkata. She has to get permission written even to meet someone or to visit any place. And, she was pressurized from top people to move out of Kolkata.

And, then another incident, another protest against her in Kolkata left her with no option but to move away. She was sent to Jaipur, but the government doesn't want her there. Then, she was taken to a safe house in Delhi and kept as a prisoner.

And, the next part of the book consists of excerpts from her diary when she was kept in the safe house in Delhi for more than four months. It talks about he people she met during this time and how everyone suggested her that she should move out of India and the politics surrounding her. She struggled even more here, she was not even allowed to visit a doctor and even the doctors are threatened if they decided to treat her.

Just for speaking or writing what she feels right she faced all the trouble from Islamic groups. His feminist thoughts and also some parts in her biography got her into trouble. And, in India it was all about votes. So, even our secular country couldn't help her because of the vote bank politics.

But, none of these affected her spirits, she didn't change her stance on any of the issues that she spoke or wrote about earlier. She didn't want to give the satisfaction of victory to the people who are against her by leaving India, but her health condition made her do it.

All she wanted was freedom, only she knows how difficult it is. It makes me wonder how lucky I am.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Goodbye KONE - Thank U Guys

So my almost two years journey in KONE finally ended. I must confess I joined here by an accident. I never thought I would be working here till a day before my joining and started working here very reluctantly, but I really enjoyed my stay here.

Thank you guys (PC: Dir Ram)


One thing I really liked about working for KONE is our building, then Indialand Tech Park now One India Bulls. Whenever someone asks where am I working? I usually tell my company's name and area. And, if they don't get it, then I will be like "you have seen the movie Kaththi right and that same glass building".

The initial days were horrible, to get up by 6 am and catch the bus by 7. That was too early from my previous jobs and it was like living an extra half a day daily.

This is a dream company for any software engineer, at least my role, few people were always slogging. Here, I had a lot of time to learn, but being a lazy fellow I didn't do much of learning. I didn't have much work pressure, neither worked in weekends nor stayed late in weekdays. No defects fixing, no calls from manager during holidays, no defects from customer, didn't have to go to customer site to fix something. Never worked on the edge of a deadline. But, later I found out I enjoyed working like that rather than this lethargic job.

Another interesting thing here are the things we do outside work. Started playing cricket, carrom board, volley ball, badminton, etc., after very long time cos of all the tournaments arranged here. Even started playing TT for few days. It was always fun to do something as a team, even though our first cricket tournament went a little bad and the second went worse. But, very happy that I was part of a cricket team after all these years.

I would have never played in a carrom board tournament or participate in a quiz competition or act in a short film (more about this soon). All thanks to KONE, it was not just come-in-open-system-code-code-leave kind of a job. There will be always something going on outside our work. Planning a trip for someone's wedding or deciding the dinner menu for our team outings or organising some lunch or dinner plan or selecting a team for any tournaments, etc.

Team outings were new to me even after working in IT for more than six years, my first team outing was here in KONE where our whole team went to resort and had a gala time. Those were unforgettable experience.

And, I had a huge company for my daily coffee breaks. It was one thing I really look forward daily after reaching office, it will be mostly fun to discuss on various topics, will be missing it.



I came in here reluctantly, but the people here made me feel good to be working here. I really got a lot of friends. This two years and the friends I got here will be part of my life and I am not going to forget soon. Goodbye and thank you guys, will miss all the fun. I am really sure its never gonna be like this again wherever I may work in the future.

I know we will be in touch at least with my coffee gang. We will meet soon for a movie.

And, I am gonna miss my laptop as well ;) Now I need to get a new one to watch the movies in weekends.

Finally, some things never change or too hard to change, like, I came in here single and leaving here single as well ;).

Monday, 14 November 2016

Another wedding, another trip and a memorable experience

I ended my last post about our trip with a question, "So. who's gonna be the next and where will be our next trip?",  and the answer is here. It's Dharun's wedding and our next trip was to Munnar via Erode again.

Happy Married Life Dharun bro.

What's special about this trip? Campfire. Right from my college days during my every trip always wanted to enjoy a campfire. Just like I have seen in TV and also in some places, sitting around the fire, chatting, singing, dancing, enjoying, etc. And, it never happened in any of my previous trips and it's finally fulfilled in this trip. But, I have to admit it wasn't as great as I imagined, still something is better than nothing.

So, this time everyone boarded the train on time and 'action eh illa' this time since few people were missing this trip. We reached Erode as early as 3:30 am followed by a short bus travel to Komarapalayam to reach our hotel rooms. As usual, most of us dressed in traditional dhotis, which we all try once in a while like these functions, reached the temple just on time to catch the wedding ceremony. After finishing the 'pongal', we started our photo sessions, which went on and on, even the newly wed couples and their family left the temple before us. And, the wedding photographer took some good pictures, hoping that we will get it ;).

Followed by a lazy afternoon, few of us went to Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada, in a local theatre. It was a half-open hall theatre without AC, but the screen and sound system was much better than what we have expected. As far as the movie, it was just watchable with ARR dominating the first half which tells the romance and turns into an action thriller in the second half. And, the climax was underwhelming. But, anyway it was nice to catch it on the release day in that area, Komarapalayam.

And, then we started to one of my memorable trips. Just like our last trip to Ooty, we started early morning 3:45 am to Munnar, we mostly slept throughout the journey and a wild elephant on the road woke up everyone and welcomed us to Munnar. Two innovos started reversing and we too started going back, but there were two more elephants at the back as well. Fortunately, those two left and it was quite thrilling for few minutes to see that big fat elephant with tusks walking slowly towards us. Anyway, it left without causing any damage.

This time we didn't have a hard time finding hotel to eat. Our plan was to reach our destination, our camp site after the breakfast around 10 am, but the travel took very long and we reached there for lunch. After a not-so-satisfying lunch we walked towards our base, which was nearly two hours long draining and tiring walk in a hot weather. After a refreshing tea, we started our actual trekking on the mountain. That place was surreal, the scenery around us was truly blissful. The mist passing through and touching our face. Even though we were little scared as we climbed up, but it was an extraordinary experience. And, as usual we didn't have much time and energy to explore fully.

Faking a smile for the picture, it was a tiring walk.

And, that night after dinner the campfire happened finally. That location was little awkward we didn't have much space around it. Following that everyone slept in the tents that was set around. This was the first time I ever used a sleeping bag and we all slept inside the tent, first time for the most of us, without fearing about any wild animals poking around our tent. We didn't have a problem with our mobile signal even at that top, which was disappointing though. I thought we would be cut off from this world for two days.

The next morning after having "puttu" for breakfast and clicking few more photos, walked towards the place where we left our van. The return wasn't as tiring and the weather also worked in favour of us. We were all set to Erode, and once again we were not sure whether we would catch the train. On the way we stopped at Lakkam Waterfalls. I went in without the intention of bathing, but seeing the falls couldn't resist myself from getting in. And, oh boy, I have never bath in a freezing cold water like that before. It was definitely a highlight of our trip, but it's a shame that we didn't have enough time to spend in that falls fearing we would miss our train. We managed this trip without much cash reserve and we searched for ATMs everywhere, thanks to Modi ji.

We reached Erode station well before our train's departure time, once again Dharun anna sent us some extra ordinary dishes for dinner, we couldn't thank him enough, it was overwhelming. Thanks for your hospitality Dharun bro and we all wish you a fantastic married life.

Overall, I finish my experience of the trip to Munnar, trekking, camp fire, staying in tents, etc., with this lyrics from Rasali song in AYM written by Thamarai. I feel pity for those who couldn't stay with us for the whole trip, yeah Muthu I am talking to you ;).

முன்னும் இது போலே புது அனுபவம் கண்டேன்
என சொல்லும் படி நினைவில்லை..
இன்னும் எதிர்காலத்திலும் வழி இல்லை..
மறவேனே!

So, this could be my last trip with Kone guys, I will really miss these trips. Will there be another trip, let's see what future holds.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Skyfire - Aroon Raman

Skyfire, written by Aroon Raman, thanks to Flipkart Blogger Review found another new exciting Indian writer. This is Aroon Raman's third book and my first. Even though this book has the same characters from his previous book, he gives enough background information on each every character so it's not a mandatory to read his previous works to begin this.



Skyfire, is another thriller set in India with some deadly threats like weather manipulation and child trafficking. Right from the word go, this book has enough surprises. The prologue sets up the book nicely and gives us a glimpse of what is about to come.

Chandra, a journalist, Meenu, a history teacher, Haasan, a police officer, are friends for a long time. They start to look into a missing kid who's a regular to the school Chandra and Meenu maintain for orphans. They get to know its not just this single kid is missing, there are too many kids from different areas went missing. On the other hand, India gets attacked by mysterious acid rain attack in Indore which followed in many places within India all due to some weather anomaly. Nobody was able to find the reason behind this weather's behaviour.

So one side child trafficking within Delhi, on the other side series of weather anomaly which causes huge casualties and chaos, which is now a national threat. How and whether these two things are interconnected? Who's behind all these? We get the details of how they are connected, how Chandra, Meenu and Haasan get involved into this. And, how they solve the child trafficking and the threat caused to India from this weather manipulation. They travel from Delhi to Bhutan, and even involve Pakistan to solve this.

Once the villain is revealed, we can easily guess 'what' is going to happen, but Aroon Raman keeps it interesting by the way 'how' it happens. The possibilities of the things which can be done by manipulating the weather was unbelievable. The last few chapters were very shocking and brutal with things which are hard to even imagine.

The negative thing about this book is it was very easy to guess the villain when the character was introduced or even before when they talk about him. I wished he wasn't the one behind all this, but my prediction was right. And, usage of Hindi, which I couldn't get it. They kept talking about Shadow Throne, author's previous book, should read that next.

Overall, Skyfire was a riveting thriller and the things which were discussed in this book was scary. Weather manipulation, what a serious weapon it is, I hope no country uses it in warfare.

And, I am going to read other books of Aroon Raman soon.


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Deepavali 2016 - KODI Parakuthu

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Started Deepavali’s eve with this KJo’s romance starring Rambir, Anushka, Fawad and Aish. Pritam’s music was already topping the charts and the movie ran into enough controversy to raise the hype for this film.



This is another version of Rockstar, KJo’s version with Aish mixed into it. There was too many similarities which cannot be ignored. Right from the hero Rambir, who's trying to become a singer. And, someone advising him that he should have a heartbreak to give soul stirring music and the similarity doesn't end here.

The first half is how Ranbir gets friend-zoned by Anushka, who already had a bad breakup. And, it was fun, Ranbir and Anushka mocking some old Bollywood movies. Ranbir gets so attached, but Anushka sees him only as a friend. So its Ranbir’s Love vs Anushka’s Friendship till the end. 

In the second half, after he gets friend-zoned, Ranbir meets Aish. OMG she was stunning. But, Ranbir still struggles to forget Anushka who was now married to her ex-boyfriend (Fawad). The final moments gets too emotional. Also, the second half was little dragging.

Rabir as Ayan and Anushka as Alizeh has given some fantastic performance. Ranbir was too good for this role. Anushka too equally performed well. And, few nice cameos from Alia and SRK as well. Aish and Fawad have done their part well.

Pritam was biggest strength for this film, all his songs were too good aptly supported by Arjit's voice, just like Mohit's voice in Rockstar. We get two songs back to back and nobody complained. Cinematography was excellent with pleasing visuals and pleasing lead actors, shot mostly abroad.

So ADHM was too romantic and too emotional movie I have seen in recent times. It has some good performances, songs and a smoking hot Aish and most of all it's running with subs.

Kashmora - My most expected movie of this year Deepavali releases. After in the making for quite long time, this movie's first look posters and teasers were interesting which increased my hype even more. Gokul, who has given two contrasting movies, Rowthiram and iDhaba has come up with totally different genre again this time.



The plot, it was disappointing. After seeing the pre-release buzz I was expecting a totally different movie, but what we get was just another horror comedy. What ra?

First half introduces us to fake god man Karthi, as Kashmora and his whole family doing the same as business. Vivek as Karthi's father and Sri Divya as a student who was trying to expose them. And, a glimpse of what's in store in the second half. It has few fun scenes, but not much interesting. 

The second half we get to know about the much awaited historical sequence with Rajnayak, Karthi and  Rathnamadevi, Nayan, who was gorgeous. And, we get to know their history and why Kashmora and his family was selected by Rajnayak. And, it shares some funny moments as well.

Karthi was excellent as Kashmora, we get to know the meaning of this name as well, and as Rajnayak, a brutal "Thalapathi" of a kingdom, as well. Sri Divya does a regular role, nothing interesting. Nayan as Rathnamadevi was really good. I wish to see her as Nandini if someone decides to  make  Ponniyin Selvan into a movie.

The BGM was not great, but does it job in most parts. The songs were disappointing from SaNa, The movie could have been made a little crisp and all the marketing focused into the historical part which occupies less time. 

Overall, leaving my expectation, it was a good attempt for a horror genre except for its pace issues. 

Kodi - Dhanush's first dual hero role directed by Durai Senthilkumar of Ethir Neechal and Kakki Sattai fame. And, it comes after a disappointing Thanga Magan and a forgetful Thodari.



The first half shows the rise of Rudra and Kodi in their respective party (Republic and Democratic, just like USA ) and their love story. Also, Anbu, the twin brother's love story with egg seller Malathi, Anupama Parameshwaran. The politics keeps getting interesting and finally Kodi and Rudra face each other in a by-election. The second half was even more interesting when Kodi (or Anbu) and Rudra starts playing political game against each other.

Most of the scenes seems to be inspired from the headlines we have seen in recent times. And, I just wonder what really happened to all those news. And, Durai keeps us guessing with some interesting cat and mouse game with enough twists.

Dhanush has performed wonderfully both as Kodi and a timd Anbu. It was good to see him do both the characters at ease. Though its still hard to believe him as someone who can beat ten men. Anupama, gets a good debut in Tamil, though her character has lesser time. Trisha, gets one of a better roles in recent times, and she has tried hard to justify this role. And, I kept wondering how Nayan would have carried this role.

SaNa gets the songs right here, but the BGM was totally bad, felt silence in many scenes or is it the theatre's fault. I guess, maybe a deliberate effort from director and him. And, in some of the scenes could have had better scores. Other departments have done their job pretty good, stunts, editing, etc,.

Overall, an excellent and much needed comeback for Dhanush in his first dual role movie. Durai Senthilkumar's writing was better and he delivers a neat political drama. 

So, my pick of this Deepavali's releases is Kodi hands down.  KODI Parakuthu.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - 3.0/5.0.
Kashmora - 2.5/5.0.
Kodi - 3.5/5.0.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

When Love Finds You - Yashodhara Lal

When Love Finds You is Yashodhara Lal's fourth book. Thanks to Flipkart Blogger Review program for sending me this which gave me an opportunity to know about yet another Indian author. Now, I should try reading her other books.

WLFY is about 'One Indian Girl/Woman' Natasha, a 35 year young VP in sales. She is still single and she is seen as a Hitler in her office. She's a strict boss who doesn't like excuses. The first part covers mostly what's said about Natasha in the book's description. And, introduces most of the characters her friend Priya, her annoying neighbor Mrs. Chopra, her new boss Rishab, who supposedly took her position and another new colleague Nikhil.

I must confess it really irritated me the way Natasha treated her team, her colleagues and even her friend. So, Natasha isn't another ordinary woman, she wants results and she feels her methods are right if it gives the results. And, other feels she lacks people skills. She is tough because the society never accepts a woman as a boss. And, the book also tells about the challenges she faces in the corporate world.

In the second part Natasha and Nikhil become friends. She gets to know more about Nikhil, a single father of a seven-year old girl Tisha. She gets friendlier with her annoying old neighbor Mrs. Chopra. And, her hate towards Rishab grows more and more on every occasion they have been together.

In the final part, Natasha and Nikhil relationship goes to next level. We finally get to know about her father and mother. And, her troubled relationship with her mother. She finally decides to put an end to her haunting memories of the past. And, all her problems seem to be solved after her trip to meet her mother. And, finally a happy ending.

Did Natasha change because of the love? And, even the problem in one of her team is suddenly fixed, but Natasha didn't do much. So, where was the A-game she always brings?

I haven't read the other books written by this author, but I can safely say Yashodhara Lal didn't bring her A-game here.

So, overall it was  just a time-pass page turner without many twist and turns. It just went the way you would have figured after the first part. But, it wouldn't be a waste of time to try this book, somehow you will end up reading till the end.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Pooja Weekend Movies - Rekka, Remo, Devi

Rekka - The first movie I saw this weekend. The hero’s name in this movie is Siva so you can easily guess the genre of this movie. VJS decided to have some fun and wanted to smash the goons in the air like our mass heroes do.



The plot is like any many other commercial movie. The comedy with Sathish works in some places. And, the second half have some senti scenes and a nice song “kannama” featuring a gorgeous Sija Rose as Mala akka in half-saree. I wish she had little more screen time.

The negatives are, couldn't take VJS as a guy who will send 100 men in the air with a single punch. The mass scenes didn't work much, but Imman’s bgm helps get pass them. And, Lakshmi Menon, it's very hard to see her with too much makeup. And, the good thing was she doesn't come into the movie for the first 45 minutes at least.

Overall it's just another passable commercial movie from VJS. And, Im sure he won't attempt another movie of the same kind soon because his Aandavan Kattalai released two weeks before was too good.

Remo - The much hyped SiKa’s movie which has soa top technicians and result was evident. The movie looks rich and colourful roping in PC helps big time.



Another movie on the line of Kadhal Mannan, Minnale, Titanic ;) where hero tries to woo the girl who's already engaged. And SiKa changes his getup and joins as a nurse in the same hospital where Keerthy Suresh works as a doctor.

The first half was fun, SiKa, Sathish and co takes care of the comedy and SiKa’s nurse getup looked good on screen and the nurse character does enough to confuse Keerthy Suresh. And, filled with enough cliches.

But, the second half was a let down. SiKa doesn't do anything to convince Keerthy Suresh to break up from her engagement other than just stalking her. SiKa doesn't do anything like Ajith in Kadhal Mannan or Madhavan in Minnale or Jack in Tittanic to win her over. But, as usual “that guy” with whom Keerthy was engaged was shown as a bad guy.

Overall SiKa does manage to deliver another commercially successful movie without worrying much about logic. And, the team thought the nurse getup was enough to sell this movie. But, I'll watch Kadhal Mannan or Avvai Shanmugi over Remo anyday.

Devi - AL Vijay’s back with a trillingual which brings back Prabhu Deva as a lead. And, its yet another horror comedy which has 2% of horror or Vijay didn't even try to scare us in any scene.


The plot is, thank god, not an usual revenge story like every horror movie in Tamil cinema. It's about a model’s wish to become a successful actress and uses Devi to fulfill its wish.

It's good to see Prabhu Deva as an actor instead of his nonsense crap bolly movies. He does excel in this role which brings out his comic best. And, Tamannah too has done both the roles well, dances well too. RJ Balaji with his limited screen timings works well.

But, the movie looked like a dubbed one in many scenes and Sonu Sood looked odd. And, there isn't any interesting twists or shocking scenes. At least the movie’s running length was just over two hours.
Overall Vijay’s attempt in this genre has few good moments and watchable. Better than his previous movie Idhu Enna Mayam. Watchable.

All three movies were better than Thodari, but not as good as Aandavan Kattalai. Not unbearable and nothing extraordinary.

Rekka - 2.5/5.0.
Devi - 2.5/5.0.
Remo - 2.5/5.0.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Thodari - Train-wreck

The first thing that came to mind after watching Thodari's teaser was a dialogue from "Kandukondein Kandukondein", "train speeda poittu iruku, ellarum nega kadichittu parthittu irupanga appa Hero velia poi duet padittu varuvara", here our hero does that. Right from the teaser and trailer this movie doesn't invoke any interest to watch it even though it involves Dhanush, Prabhu Solomon, etc,. Even Prahu Solomon - Imman combo songs didn't help either.



The plot, it's another love story on an unstoppable train between a pantry boy, Dhanush and touch-up-cum-aspiring-singer-cum-loose-ponnu Keerthy Suresh. What starts as a love story with usual comedy later becomes a thriller when the train's engine driver dies and the train becomes "unstoppable".

The first half was filled with many characters like Karuna, Darbuka Siva, Thambi Ramaiah, Radharavi as a minister, Harish Uthaman as his guard on duty, etc,. The first half was mostly filled with comedy and unnecessary Tamil vs Kerala fight and Dhanush's love. The second half, what should have been a thriller was even more funnier than the first half. It was unintentionally funny in many places.

Dhanush, no idea why did he even accept this. It wasn't enjoyable to watch closeups of Keerthy Suresh sans makeup and what's with directors giving this "loose-ponnu" character to heroines. Tamil cinema is overusing this and it is not cute any more. And, here she is a complete loose who believes a tea-vendor is a close friend to Vairamuthu, and the list goes on and on till the climax, where you think she has escaped from mental asylum. Harish Uthaman's character was the most irritating throughout the first half. And, Radharavi as minister was only solace in this movie.

The thing with Prabhu Solomon A.M, (After Myna) is that he started making these "dheiveega kadhal-at-first-sight" movies. Be it Myna or Kumki or Kayal, it's all about "dheiveega kadhal-at-first-sight". And, here Dhanush feels like he won't get another girl if he misses this "loose ponnu", and we want to believe this is another "dheiveega kadhal". We don't even feel for this couple.

Prabhu Solomon, wants to take a dig at inefficient government employees and especially the over glorifying media, who does anything for TRP without knowing any facts. And, also mock their debate shows. He really lost the plot here, it isn't a complete love story or a satire or a thriller. And, the run-time of nearly three hours looks as long as a journey between New Delhi to Chennai that too with terrible VFX, even for the songs.

Everyone praises Prabhu Solomon for his realistic filmmaking, so he decides to make some unrealistic movie and thus Thodari was born. He makes the hero to dance, fight, romance, etc, on top of a moving train with 700 passengers, which is going at more than 120kmph. And, that's not the only unrealistic part here. People inside the train watch all the action live in their phones and laptop with the Jio connection I guess. And, this nonstop train was about to reach Chennai Centrail in six minutes and they don't even start evacuating people earlier than that. And, even in near death situation Karuan and Thambi Ramaiah makes comedy connecting Thambi Ramaiah with terrorists. And, they go on and on which gets irritating after a point, I just remember Chandler from FRIENDS "You have to stop the Q-Tip when there's resistance!".

Tamil cinema already ruined horror genre by making them into horror comedy, now Prabhu Solomon wants to attempt to localize these kinda thriller films it seems and the result was terrible. And, a dialogue from this film, "nalla idea kodukka Hollywood padam pakanum illa arivu iruntha pothum" suggesting this was his idea, I just wish he could have watched the Hollywood films instead.

My Rating - 0.5/5.0.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

After hearing some great things about this book, I gave it a shot and finished reading this absolutely touching tale by Khaled Hosseini. I know it's little late to talk about this book, but still I have to write about it.



The story starts with Amir, currently in US, getting a call from Rahim Khan, Pakistan, asking him to take a trip to Pakistan. Rahim Khan says, "There is a way to be good again" to Amir. So what wrong did Amir do and whether he was able to do the good again is the story of this book.

Now the story goes back to Afghanistan when the times were good. Amir was living with his father and his father's servant Ali's and his son Hassan. Amir's father, Baba, treats them with respect and Hassan gets special care from Amir's father, which sometimes irritates Amir. Baba was a businessman who doesn't believe in religious sentiments. And, this part tells Amir's story as boy, his friendship with Hassan, his liking to write stories which his father didn't like much. Rahim Khan, Baba's friend was supportive of Amir's writings.

Hassan was Amir's most loyal childhood friend.  An incident which takes right after Amir winning the kite festival changed things between Amir and Hassan which eventually leads to Ali and Hassan leaving Amir's place even after Baba's protest. Amir has to live with this guilt.

In the next part, Amir and his Baba escapes to Peshawar then to California after Soviet Union military intervention in Afghan. Baba starts working in gas station, Amir joins school, gets married to another refugee Soraya. He becomes a writer and things goes well until the call from Rahim Khan.

In the next part, Amir leaves to Pakistan to meet Rahim Khan. He gets to know about Hassan and his family. And, Rahim Khan requests him to travel to Afghan to do a task which will make up for the wrong Amir did and also he reveals some shocking truth about his father. Amir's task is to save Hassan's son Shorab from Afghan. His struggles to get Shorab back to US and their life after he reaches US.

This book was fantastic, lived upto the expectation and the hype created. And, I got to know a lot about the troubled country Afghanistan. Soviet's intervention, Taliban's rise in Afghan etc,. And, also how they treat a certain class of people called Hazara. The author gives a clear picture of Afghan's state thorough the eyes of the characters. I really like Amir's father Baba, one of my favorite characters in this book, Amir's role model of course.

The book has all the emotions especially Hassan's love towards Amir, when he says "For you, a thousand times over", before he runs to catch the kite.

The book gives a satisfying feel once we close it. A truly touching experience and a must read. For the feel it gives I can read it a thousand times over.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Girl Who Chose - Devdutt Pattanaik

The Girl Who Chose is Devdutt Pattnaik's latest book where he narrates the epic Ramanayana in a new way. It's an illustration of Ramayana for children. This is the first Children's book I am reading, it's because I have never read any books other than my textbooks when I was a child, so thanks to Vivek Tejuja for sending me this as a part of Flipkart's blogger review program.



The Girl Who Chose explains Ramayana on the basis of five choices Sita made. Sita was not bound by any rules she was free to choose. Sita's five choices eventually makes Ramayana. It's a good start for young ones to know about Ramayana if they have not heard about it earlier.

The book was really interesting with its illustrations which run little over 100 pages. Devdutt have covered most of the important segments from the epic. And, as expected it was very simple and easy to read.

Even though Ramayana is all about Ram, Devdutt explains how important is Sita . Also, we get to know the Ramayana has happened only because of Sita and her choices. Like, if she has not stepped out of Lakshman Rekha to help someone or if she decided to escape from Ravan with the help of Hanuman.

Ramayana has numerous characters, Devdutt includes few important characters.  Also, he explains how a lot of animals helped Ram. Also, Devdutt says Ramayana has a lot of brothers and sisters, except Ram and Lakshman everyone was fighting among them. And, it doesn't end with Ram killing Ravan, it says Sita's fate and their children's after they return to their palace.

Not just the main story, Devdutt presents a lot of trivia and tit-bits about the characters and how Ramayana is interpreted throughout the world over the period of time. How each character and their actions are treated differently by each authors and people which are very interesting.

Ram is bound by the rules he will not break any even it does harm to him. Ravan never follows any rules. Sita is not bound by the rules she is free to choose, she breaks them to help others. So, we are free to decide, but we should be ready to face our consequences.

So, The Girl Who Chose is a must read especially for its illustrations and simple word which gives you the essence of the epic Ramayana.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Olympics - RIO 2016

Olympics, biggest sporting event which happens once every four years. Once again it wasn't a successful campaign for India. When most of the known contestants who won in previous attempts failed our expectation, but few really surprised us.



I don't remember following Olympics closely previously. This time I have watched many events live and tracked most of the events online. Maybe because of social media and Star network's coverage are the reasons. And, I feel it's over suddenly, just when India started winning some medals ;).

The first event I saw live was Indian women team's archery against Russia. After a poor start, they came back well to win the second and third sets. And, few misses in the final and the shootouts made them bow out of that event. They were close to winning. And, in men's archery Atanu Das was stunning who constantly got 10 points and had high hope on him, but he was out in the quarterfinals. 

Abhinav Bhindra, it was heartbreaking to see him lose third place by a whisker. We were watching it live, but we didn't understand what happened for a few minutes. And, when we changed the channel, our Indian men were playing hockey against Germans and it was 1-1. We were watching the last few seconds and Germany managed to score one and win the game in the last few seconds.

Dipa Karmakar, we watched her qualifying round, even though couldn't understand the format, was happy that she got selected to the finals. Again, she too missed her medal by a mere 0.15 points. But, she was the one to watch out in the future. I hope she wins big next time. And, her performance Produnova was considered very dangerous and called Death Vault, really hats off to her to become fourth best in the world. 

Then we kept losing in most of events and didn't open the medals tally. We lost in the hockey as well, in which I had some high hopes. Finally, it was Sakshi Malik, first women wrestler to win an Olympic medal, opened India's account with a bronze medal. It was great and fantastic achievement. 

Also, P V Sindhu. who made everyone to watch badminton games live. She won the semi-finals easily against the Japanese and became the first Indian women to play in an Olympics finals. She fought hard against the world's best Carolina Marin and gave her a tough fight and she won the first set. Marin played brutally in the second set, especially her smashes. Even the third set were at 10-10 at one stage, but Marin proved to be world class. Still Sindhu made history with a silver medal in the Olympics. And, her coach Gopichand should be lauded as well, who was behind Saina when she won the Bronze last time. 

This time our medals tally were less than last year, some familiar names like Abhinav Bhindra, Gagan Narang, Yogeswar Dutt, Saina Nehwal who all won a medal in their previous attempts couldn't continue to do so this time. But, we had some new heroes emerging this year Dipa Kamrakar, Sakshi Malik and P V Sindhu. Let's hope for a better outing next time. And, all those

Including me, of course

Friday, 22 July 2016

Kabali - மகிழ்ச்சி, சற்று குறைவே

Kabali, the biggest movie of this year is finally here. My first FDFS (5 am) in Chennai for a Superstar movie. And, it's off my bucket list and it must be experienced once, even though I paid much for a ticket. What started as a small budget film from Rajnikanth with new team, but the over the top promotions made it as a huge movie.



When the announcement came that Rajini was going to do a movie with two-film-old-director Ranjith it came as surprise and what made it interesting was Rajni playing his age. And, Ranjith retained his Madras film crew for this movie.

The plot is an old gangster in Malaysia after getting released from prison resumes his fight against the gang and also searches his family. Ranjith once again adds some his political touches in this film as well, but it didn't work well in this film.

Rajnikanth was as usual wonderful, especially as aged don. He totally rocks in mass scenes and in emotional scenes as well. Especially in the second half when he reunites with Radhka Apte, best scene in this film. Even at this age, his mannerisms and expressions are good, even the fight sequences. Radhika Apte proves she's an excellent actress and fits the role perfectly. All the scenes involving her are the highlight in this movie. Also, Dhansika who was equally good in her role, two excellent castings. Among the others John Vijay and Kishore does their part well. And, Dinesh made people laugh unintentionally. The villain character Tony Lee, was a dud.

I really loved the first half, which had the mix of mass scenes - terrific first 15 mins or so, emotions, the flashback portions and an excellent interval point. Luckily the flashback wasn't too big and it wasn't shown in a usual way and Ranjith carefully avoided the romance scenes and all. The wig doesn't suit well in the flashback portions. The second half turns the movie into a usual commercial flick which wasn't expected from Ranjith. All his talks about close to reality was really missing. The screenplay wasn't much engaging either which flows predictably.

SaNa once again gives terrific BGM, everyone's wish of watching Rajni in his BGM was fulfilled. Whenever the "Neruppu da" BGM plays, the fans went berserk. And, also in the emotional scenes as well his scores does the job perfectly. The costumes for Rajni and Dhansika should get a special mention. The editing could have made the film even more trimmer.

Kabali could have been more of a Ranjith film than a Rajni film, maybe some strong scenes in the flashback portions which depicts Rajni fighting for the Tamil people there. Rajni - Good, Radhika Apte - Good, BGM and Songs - Good, Story and Screenplay - could have been better, which would have made Kabali a much better film.

But, all said I really liked Rajni playing his age a big takeaway from this movie and also working with young director. I wish Rajni continues to do more films playing his age here on.

FDFS @ Sri Brintha Theatre
Rating 2.75 / 5.0. - #Kabali > #Linga. #Madras > #Kabali.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Movies 2016 - Best and worst so far

Half-yearly report of 2016, so far have seen nearly 50 films in big screen this year, little less than last year.

Visaranai, is the best movie of this year so far for me. Kshanam in Telugu, Kammatipaadam in Malayalam and AirLift in Hindi.

Tamil

Best:

  1. Visaranai
  2. Irudhi Suttru
  3. 24
  4. Oru Naal Koothu
  5. Sethupathi
  6. Thozha
  7. Iraivi

Not Bad:

  1. Uriyadi
  2. Rajini Murugan
  3. Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum
  4. Theri
  5. Pitchaikaran
  6. Manithan
  7. Velainu Vanthutta Vellaikaran
  8. Aviyal
  9. Vetrivel
  10. Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam
  11. Miruthan
  12. Vil Ambu
  13. Zero
  14. Kanithan
  15. Kathakali
  16. Pugazh
  17. Gethu
  18. KO2

Worst:

  1. Pokkiri Raja
  2. Jil Junk Juk
  3. Thaarai Thappatai
  4. Idhu Namma Aalu

 English


Best:

  1. Dead Pool
  2. Captain America: Civil War
  3. The Jungle Book
  4. Zootopia
  5. Kungfu panda3
  6. Angry Birds
  7. Conjuring 2

Not Bad:

  1. XMen Apocalypse
  2. Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice

Worst:

  1. Independence Day 2

Malayalam


Best:

  1. Kammatipaadam
  2. Jacobinte Swargarajiyam
  3. Maheshinte Prathikaram
  4. Action Hero Biju

Not Bad:

  1. Kali
  2. Puthiya Niyamam
  3. Paavada
  4. Darvinte Parinamam 

Telugu


Best:

  1. Kshanam
  2. Nannakku Prematho

Not Bad:

  1. Sarrainodu
  2. A Aa
  3. Krishna Gaddi Veera Prema Katha

Worst:

  1. Sardaar Gabbar Singh
  2. Brahmotsavam

Hindi


Best:

  1. AirLift
  2. Udta Punjab
  3. Fan
  4. Neerja

Not Bad:

  1. Raman Raghav 2.0
  2. Kapoor and sons
  3. Nil Battey Sannata
  4. Ki & Ka

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Songs 2016 - My favorites so far

My favorite song of this year so far is "Telusa Telusa" from Sarrainodu even though I didn't understand anything when I started hearing, loved Sameera Bharadwaj's sweet voice.

And, ARR rocked the first half this year with his two albums 24 and AYM (including AYM, since you can never wait for a Simbu's movie to release). Missing Ghibran and Anirudh so far. SaNa's albums are mixed bag so far, few hits and few misses.

Impressive album is Oru Naal Koothu by Justin Prabhakaran, even though the songs released last year itself, the movie finally made it to the big screens this year.




Top 3 Albums

Oru Naal Koothu - Justin Prabhakaran
Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada - A R Rahman
Irudhi Suttru - Santhosh Narayanan

Top 10 Songs
  1. Eppo Varuvaaro - Oru Naal Koothu
  2. Avalum Naanum - Achcham Enbathu Madamaiyada
  3. Ei Sandakara - Irudhi Suttru
  4. Kohila - KO2
  5. Aval - Manithan
  6. Agnikunjondru - Uriyadi
  7. Naan Un - 24
  8. Munnal Kadhali - Miruthan
  9. Hey Mama - Sethupathi
  10. Un Mela Oru Kannu - Rajini Murugan
Other Favorites
  • Adiye Azhage, Patta Podunga ji, Yaeli yaeli - Oru Naal Koothu
  • Raasali, Idhu Naal, Thalli Pogathey - AYM
  • Vaa Machaney, Usuru Narambula - Irudhu Suttru
  • Rain Rain Go Go - Pokkiri Raja
  • Kannamma - KO2
  • Mei Nigara, Punnagaye - 24
  • Aavi Parakkum Teakadai - Rajini Murugan
  • Domer-u Lord-u, Shoot the Kuruvi - Jil Jung Juk
  • Eeena Meena Teeka, Thaimai, Jithu Jilladi - Theri
  • Mirutha Mirutha - Miruthan
  • Kutheeti, Aaravalli - Velainu Vanthutta Vellaikaran
  • Karuvakaatu Karuvaaya - Maruthu
  • Paravai Parandhuchu - Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum
  • Konji Pesida Venam - Sethupathi
  • Ni Sa Gari Sa - Darling 2
  • Athuva Ithuva, Adiye Unna - Vetrivel
  • Dushta, Manidhi - Iraivi
  • Vathana Vathana, Theme, Idarinum - Thaarai Thappatai
  • Vizhigalil Vizhundhavalo - Pugazh
  • Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam - Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam
  • Uyire Un Uyirena, Engae Ponaai - Zero
  • Azhage - Kathakali
  • Maane Maane, Kaantha - Uriyadi
  • Snegidhiyae Snegidhiyae - Raja Mandhiri

Malayalam



Best Albums
  1. Jacobinte Swargarajyam - Shaan Rahman
  2. Kali - Gopi Sunder
  3. Maheshinte Prathikaram - Bijibal
Top 10 Songs
  1. Thiruvaavaniraavu - Jacobinte Swargarajyam
  2. Idukki - Maheshinte Prathikaram
  3. Vaarthinkalee - Kali
  4. Vaathe Poothe - Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti
  5. Para Para - Kammatipaadam
  6. Ta Ta Ta Tang - Darvinte Parinamam
  7. Rosie - Monsoon Mangoes
  8. Neeyen Sayahna Swapnathil - Ma Chu Ka
  9. Pookkal Panineer - Action Hero Biju
  10. Ennilerinju - Jacobinte Swargarajyam
Other Favorites
  • Kaathirunna Pakshi Njan - Kammatipaadam
  • Oh Punnyala, Kathangal Kinavil - Darvinte Parinamam
  • Ee Shishirakaalam - Jacobinte Swargarajyam
  • Pularkaalam Pole, Pooram Kaanan - Vallem Theeti Pulleem Thetti
  • Theliveyil, Mounangal - Maheshinte Prathikaram
  • Chillu Ranthal - Kali
  • Oonjalilaadi Vanna - Action Hero Biju
  • Mazhaye Mazhaye - James and Alice

Hindi



Favorites : Best Album - Udta Punjab - Amit Trivedi
  • Ikk Kudi, Da Da Dasse, Chitta Ve - Udta Punjab
  • Paashima, Yeh Fitoor Mera, Honedo Badiya - Fitoor
  • Sab Tera, Cham Cham, Agar Tu Hota - Baaghi
  • Tere Bin - Wazir
  • Jhalli Pataaka, Dil Ye Ladaku - Saala Kadoos
  • Qatl-E-Aam - Raman Raghav 2.0
  • Bol do Na Zara, Oye Oye - Azhar
  • Dheere Dheere - Jal Gangaajal
  • Rock the Party, Rehnuma, Titiliyan - Rocky Handsome
  • Let's Nacho, Bolna, Kar Gai Chull - Kapoor & Sons
  • Foolishq, Ji Huzoori - Ki & Ka

Telugu

Favorites: Best Song - Telusa Telusa - Sarrainodu (Thaman)
  • Rang De, Yaa Yaa, Yellipoke Shyamala - A Aa
  • Madhuram Madhuram, Brahmotsavam - Brahmotsavam
  • Love Dhebba, Love Me Again, Follow Follow - Nannaku Prematho
  • Tauba Tauba, Nee Chepakallu, O Pilla - Sardaar Gabbar Singh
  • Nuvvante Na Navvu, Ulikipadaku Ulikipadaku - Krishna Gadi Veera Prema Gaadha
  • Nuvvena, Okko Nakshatram, Paravasame - Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu
  • Athiloka Sundari,  Blockbuster - Sarrainodu
  • Vasthane Vasthane, Nee Navve, Untale Untale Nee Vente Untale  - Soggade Chinni Nayana

Monday, 20 June 2016

Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada - GVM + ARR as good as GVM + Harris

Finally the songs of AYM is out which was started way before Yennai Arindhal. Does GVM ever disappointed with his movie's sound track? No. And, his record continues in AYM also, his second outing with ARR after their fantastic VTV.



Thalli Pogathey: The most heard teaser in recent times should be this song's one minute teaser. The amount of curiosity it created was sky high and that one minute teaser went viral. And, the full song didn't disappoint as well. The much expected "Thalli Pogathey" line was delayed in the full song to tease everyone. Sid Sriram once again did a fantastic job for ARR. Also, Thamarai's lyrics or as she said it's more of a "kavidhai", is wonderful. This song doesn't follow the usual pattern and ARR does this time and time again easily. FAVORITE.

Rasaali: The second single and it tops the previous song. A song with strong classical touch from ARR, Shasha and Satya Prakash continues from where they left in "Naane Varugiren." Once again Thamarai's lyrics for GVM's movie is topnotch as if only she can write those. Shasha rocks that "ninnukori" part of this song and Satya Prakash during the lines "Ettu thisai" which sounds like "Muthai Thiru". FAVORITE.

Idhu Naal: Only song which was not released as single or even a teaser and it beautiful as well. This song totally belongs to Madhan Karky's beautiful verses and I think this is his first song for a GVM's movie. Didn't like the tempo change towards the end, but otherwise another likeable song in this album. FAVORITE.

Showkali: My least favorite song of this album so far and an odd song in this album. It's about guys love towards his bike. It sounds like a mix of "Attakara" and "PettaiRap". ADK as usual bursts through this song with a lot of energy. And, someone singing few lines faster than those who say, "MutualFundsInvestmentAreSubjected" in the TV advertisements so it's hard to get the lyrics.

Avalum Naanum: My favorite song from this album. I liked those two lines when it was released in the first teaser itself, "Avalum Naanum Amuthum Thamizum, Avalum Naanum Alaiyum Kadalum". I assumed it's written by Thamarai, but these lines are from one of the Pavendhar Bharathidasan's poems. And, ARR has tuned it perfectly and Vijay Yesudas breezes through this song as good as his father. The violin solo sounded odd at first hearing, but it sounds perfect after repeated hearing followed by a blissful flute. Cheers to GVM (I assume) for choosing this poem and ARR for making it as a wonderful song. MOST FAVORITE.

When Thalli Pogathey released it was instant hit and became everyone's favorite, but after the album's release each one will have their own favorite from these five songs. Wish the album had few more songs. GVM's track record continues, one director who consistently delivers fantastic albums and will not miss to film it as well. Now, I just hope the movie releases soon.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Kabali Songs - Neruppu Daaa...

The much awaited album of this year, at least for me, is out. SaNa scoring for Superstar is like a dream come true. Never thought someone other than ARR will work with Superstar. When the film was first announced with SaNa as music director my first thought was Gana Bala singing for Superstar and it happened.



Vaanam Paarthen - SaNa's regular Pradeep Kumar handles this pathos song well as usual. It's interesting to hear a pathos song in our Superstar's movie, now waiting to see this on screen. The orchestration is very minimal and could establish some emotional connect of the film.

Maya Nadhi - The only song which comes close to a duet in this album. Pradeep Kumar as usual shines in another SaNa's melody, but it was Ananthu's voice which I liked more in this song. The lyrics, "Thooya naraiyilum kadhal malarudhe", suggest this is older Kabali's romance. IMPRESSED.

Veera Thurandhara - Gana Bala for Superstar happened in this song. Gana Bala sounds very different from his usual self and it's fantastic with  SaNa's stamp all over the song. And, the rap portions make this a stylish don song, can't wait to see Thalaivar's swag in this song. IMPRESSED

Ulagam Oruvanukka -  This song is like a group of  Rajini fans come together to celebrate our Superstar. SaNa, Gana Bala and others sing this spiritedly and the output is fantastic and energetic. The KabliSwag rap portions in the middle is too good. And, if it the opening song then, this is way different from Superstar's opening numbers over the years. No hero praising or advising the youngsters or dropping hints on Rajini's entry into politics are present in the lyrics.

Neruppu Da - The opening siren sound, the electronic guitars and the whistles with the Arunraja Kamaraj's singing makes this song of this album for sure. Arunraja Kamaraj with his lyrics and singing with support by SaNa's fantastic orchestration owns this song or even this album completely. And, what more it has Superstar himself mouthing some dialogues especially that 'Naan vanthuten nu sollu' is the highlight of this track and can't wait to experience this in theater with the fans. Heard this again and again repetedly before moving on the next songs. The "Mass" will be redefined for sure this year. MIGHTY IMPRESSED

Ranjith and SaNa delivered an album which completely related to the movie which results in a different album for a Rajini film. Now, can't wait for the movie. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Losing My Religion - Vishwas Mudagal

Losing My Religion is author Vishwas Mudagal's debut work. I got this book from the FINGERPRINT! publishers, another book through Flipkart Blogger Review Program.





LMR, is about a young entrepreneur, Rishi's journey after he lost everything. He meets a hippie from US Alex and they start their journey together leaving everything behind. They do some crazy stuffs and Rishi meets his love Kyra and things get interesting once they get to know who she is. And, they all end up in a reality show to prove themselves to this world. It was one hell of a roller coaster ride for Rishi. Rishi and Alex goes to Malana, then Om beach, then Maha Kumbh Mela and finally to the USA.

Rishi's first trip was to Malana with his new friend Alex, who's a careless go lucky hippie. It's interesting to know about this place, where people think all the outsiders are untouchables and their main business is to sell Malana Cream, purest marijuana. They think they are descendants of Greek and they have their own laws. Rishi and Alex have a great time until they create some trouble to the people there and they have to escape from that place ends up being a thrilling experience. It was good to know about this place, which is in India.

The next part is Rishi and Alex end up on Om beach, another place you would like to visit after reading this. They get hold of some Malana Cream during their escape and they decide to own a shack in that beach by selling it. They ends up buying an old shack and renovates it and things get going as per their plan. Then, Rishi meets Kyra in a casino at Goa during a video game championship event and he even compete against her. And, Rishi falls for her right away, they end up together, but eventually she leaves him to go back to her home, U.S.

In the next part Rishi struggles to get over Kyra, they go to Maha Kumbh Mela, one of the largest human congregations on the Earth. Rishi gets back to his business skills and Kyra joins him finally. We get to know about one of the biggest event. Rishi forms a team called The Coconutwallahs and they start selling coconuts and eventually turn this into bigger and they make millions.

And, the next part was full of surprise and exiting. where we get to know who's Kyra and her background and where it leads Rishi, Kyra and Alex to. And, they finally ends up participating in a reality show and things get really exciting. It was a different reality show and they compete against a biggest businessman.

The good thing about this book there was never a dull part in it. It was hard to put down and things keep getting interesting on the go. Alex character is the most funniest and he had a big influence on Rishi. And, Kyra, a strong woman character who wasn't just for romance, she was as good as Rishi in everything.

The end suspense could have been guarded, we know Rishi's going to win and we also know how even before we reach the end. Overall, Vishwas Mudagal's excellent debut, looking forward to his next or even a sequel to this LMR.

You can buy your copy here: http://bit.ly/1PGUwad

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

lPL 9 - Oh no RCB, not again

Another IPL season comes to an end with an unexpected twist, SRH, becoming the champions for the first time. This time we had two new teams GL and RPS, instead of the most-loved and most hated team in the IPL CSK and RR.



SRH, the only foreign captain standing at the end of the season, at the start we had two, but Miller was replaced, Warner lifts the cup. Warmer single-handedly took his team to the victory line in most of the games, supported by his bowling unit. Bhuvi was back to form and Nehra kept delivering till he was injured, especially his last over to Dhoni. And, Mustafisur is the find of this season who proved he was a difficult bowler. His yorker to Russel was one of the best delivery of this season. Dhawan's struggled in the beginning, but gained his confidence in the shadow of Warner. And, Yuvi played a few scintillating innings. It was Ben Cutting who had a good day on the finals to get them the cup. Nobody gave them a chance, but they proved they are worth it and happy for Yuvi. CHAMPIONS.

RCB, a team with too many star players like an Avengers team. But, they had a worst bowling line up. Virat was in form of his life scoring almost a 1000 runs supported by ABD. Rahul, surprisingly adapted to T20. And, Gayle was more miss than hit. The team was struggling at the bottom, but it was their inspiring batting led by Kholi placed them at the top. But, they should have won the finals easily. After scoring more than 100 runs without any loss of wickets they choked. Third time in the finals and all while chasing, not good. It was ABD and Watson's fault this time. RCB deserved to win, feeling sad for Virat again after WT20. DESERVED TO BE CHAMPIONS.

GL, a new team with half of the CSK players led by Raina really surprised everyone and finished on top in the league. It had quite a few big hitters Mac, Smith, Finch and Raina. Also, Bravo's death bowling won them a few games especially against DD where Morris went bonkers scoring fastest fifty of this season. His slow yorker to bowl Miller in their first match was one of the best deliveries, next to Fizz's yorker. It was like straight out of EA Sports. A fantastic debut season for a new team and Raina's not as good as he was while wearing yellow jersey. EXCELLENT DEBUT.

KKR, once again they qualified for the playoffs after missing out last year. With a settled side they won few matches comfortably, but Uthappa wasn't as good as he was in last two years and Narine as well. Surprisingly Yusuf played well most in most of the matches. And, Russell was their match winner and they really struggled to win once they lost him to injuries. Still hate this team for Gauti's attitude, but he proves he still has it to make to Indian side. USUAL BUSINESS.

DD, with a bunch of fresh talents and a new captain DD started of poorly by getting bowled for 98 against KKR. Zak told it was one bad day and they proved it after winning few games continuously which they haven't done in the past few years. But, they blow their chances by chopping and changing their winning combination in every match. DeKock, Morris, Zak and Nair were good, Shreyas Iyer disappointed after a fantastic IPL8, so is Negi who was the costliest player of this season who didn't even make it to the playing eleven in most of the games. Better luck next time and . WASTED OPPORTUNITY.

MI, so last year champions didn't even qualify for the playoffs much like KKR last year. They were on and off for most of the season. Rohit was fantastic during chases. Hardik Pandya was biggest flop in their team, but his brother Krunal Padiya is a find of the season for them. Their batting failed miserably in few games which cost them a place in the playoffs. Pollard scored a fastest fifty in his 100th match, but not much of a contribution in other matches. I still have a soft corner for this team cos of SACHIN. UNLUCKY.

RPSG, right from the team's name to jersey color everything looked funny, but they started strongly with a win against the defending champions MI. Everyone thought this new Pune team's fate will be different from the older one. Dhoni, who likes to play all the matches with the same eleven was forced to change his side every match due to the injuries. It was funny to see every foreign players get injured one after the other. Overall a disaster season, but their last match was interesting. Fighting to save some pride to avoid the last spot, Dhoni scored 23 from the last over to win the game. It was like a bad movie finishing with an interesting twist and promising a sequel. Will the sequel be good, let's wait and see. DISASTER DEBUT.

KX1P, another disaster season, they relied heavily on the M&M and both of them were out of form. After handing over the captaincy to Vijay, the team did play some better cricket, but it was too late. Their campaign never took off just like RPS and finished last. I hope they pick some good players in the auction next year. BAD TEAM.

Impressed players are Fizz, K L Rahul, Chahal, Morris, Krunal Pandya, M Ashwin, Zampa, Stoinis. Disappointing players are Naman Ojha, Uthappa, Negi, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ashwin, Dhoni, M&M.

Since there will be a fresh auction next year, I hope the teams like KX1 and RPS pick some best players. Just one more year and CSK will be back, the whistles will be back, but will Dhoni be back as well?