A Second Helping of Minestrone


Hmm… I’ve been writing a lot of obscure posts of late… much more than usual anyway. Guess it has something to do with the large number of non-disclosure agreements I’ve signed, the even larger number of documents marked ‘Confidential’ I’ve read, the security measures I’ve religiously followed, and the like, of late. I almost feel ready to work at R&AW (Yes, that is still an ambition. Only, now, it’s narrowed down to NTFO and Joint Cipher Bureau).

I’ve not done much reading of late. Nor do I travel by BMTC anymore. Basically I don’t indulge in activities that are blogpost-fodder.

I might want to write about the recent conversion-yada and the media reports that followed, but then I have neither the time nor the inclination to respond to people who’d read it and say, “Heck, where’s my flame-thrower?”. The sweeping generalizations and general lack-of-informedness of such a bunch are too much to take, and I’d not be saying anything that folks haven’t already said on the comments section of Churumuri.

Talking of Churumuri, this one screenshot of Aaj Tak reporting on Rahul Gandhi deserves a look:

Aaj Tak screenshot on Rahul Gandhis meals

Aaj Tak screenshot on Rahul Gandhi's meals

Moving from TV to radio, I find that all radio stations in Bangalore sound the darned same! Same songs, same boring RJs, same programming formats. Little wonder then that listener loyalty is at rock bottom or lower. And it’s not entirely the channels’ fault… the private ones aren’t allowed to telecast news. I’m not sure if it would be better if they were allowed to… all news channels also sound/look the same these days. On a more constructive note, why can’t they innovate and do something other than have music with breaks for R-bit Jokers to talk idiocy in? Just give the music a rest for once? And have something nice like a talk show? Or some serious discussion forum for once? Or atleast an arbit discussion forum? Stand-up comedy?

Though I must say Radio One is one better than the rest… Chamrajpet Charles, Ulfat Sultan, Ghanta Singh… I laike!

But even it doesn’t come close to what RadioCity was in its first couple of years. The sheer variety of music they played was mind-blowing. Obscure and unknown should-have-been-hits unearthed from nowhere! I had a bout of nostalgia when I accidentally came across the soundtrack of this Sunny Deol-Sushmita Sen starrer Zor. The music was composed by Agosh, of Paisa fame. They were the same guys who composed the first few RadioCity jingles.

And where did I come across this song? This godawesome Music Search Engine: Guruji Music. Guruji.com is the Indian search engine… searches only pages which are from India. I don’t much use their search, but their music search is the best thing on earth since sliced bread. They comb the databases of all the Indian music streaming sites. End result, any Indian song since 1932 can be found on that site. Wow!

And I also found the only Kannada song that Kishore Kumar has sung. For those of you interested, here it is – Haadu, aata aadu. Frickin’ wow!

Though, I must say it’s clunky. I’d prefer a better interface that allows me to search on multiple parameters at once, that allows me to filter my results on more than one field. Like now when I’m searching for Asha Bhonsle, I end up with close to 20 pages of results. If I’m looking for Bengali songs of hers from the ’70s, I’ve to either filter my results to only the Bengali tracks, or to her ’70s tracks, but not both. And it doesn’t support boolean search. Doesn’t support quotes which ensure your search string is searched for as such, and not its variations. Side effect: if you search for Rock On, the ‘on’ is ignored, and your results include some arbit ‘rock the party mix’ too.

I watched Rock On last week. Goodlooking Arjun. Okay-looking Farhan. Sweet-looking Purab. And I’ve never seen a better-looking dying person than Luke Kenny. Who, in my opinion, looks better with short hair than with lustrous locks that makes me hate the hard water of Surathkal even more for ruining my once-lustrous locks.

The music is nice. The lyrics are tacky. Which adds to the entire rock-band effect – they sound juuust like they were written by an average-Lakshman-aka-Lucky type.

The performances are nice. Especially the lady who played Arjun Rampal’s wife. And Purab Kohli. And his oh-so-sweet looks deserve another mention.

But the plot is tripe. Every bit of it. More so since it puts in every damn cliche in the book, and even more so since it seems like an elaborate excuse to fit in the music.

However, in all, it doesn’t feel like an assault on my senses. Which seems to be the only parameter I seem to use to evaluate movies these days.

Now that’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for close to a year now – how to evaluate movies. I somehow have never been able to get the right words to express what I mean to say. And never the right lines either – everything I want to say seems to be a contradiction in itself.

Talking of Lakshman-aka-Lucky, Ashok Krish (who does Jalpa, shows Jilpa and puts Gilma, and comes up with amaklamatic expressions like “Holy Mother of Mel Maruvaththur!” and “Holy Saint of Samayapuram!”) has a friend who’s come up with a new term for folks BITSians refer to as ChOMs (Chapati-oriented Monkeys. Their terminology, not mine) – read all about it here.

And when I talk of evaluating movies, this post sort of says part of what I want to say. But then, for that matter, Dipta Chaudhuri/Calcutta Chromosome frequently says all that I have to say, more succintly and in a more feel-good way than I can ever dream of. Mr. Chaudhuri, I don’t know if you read other blogs or what, and if you read mine or what, but let me tell you, right from when I stumbled onto your blog while looking for Quick-Gun Murugan, I’ve been a diehard fan of your writing style. The feel-good-ness and positivity of your writing is something I aspire to achieve.

Another thing about this blog… he blogs on Bengali literature so passionately that it kindled in me the desire to read some Tamil literature. And what did I do? I, who take the better part of an hour to read the review of Anniyan in Kumudham, jumped straight into Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan. That’s like the average Korean starting off with Wordsworth. My sister and I spent fifteen minutes deciphering the contents of a page before we realized it was the preface.

My saga didn’t end there… I found an English translation of the novel. Thanks a ton, Dushyanth. 44 chapters later, the translation ended. But the action in the novel was just beginning. So, well, I was left wondering what happens to Vandiyathevan and Aditya Karikalan… and Poonkuzhali and Kundhavai.

Next step… I asked my granny to read it out for me. Brilliant experience, I must say, especially with granny putting interesting trivia and fundae on Yaazhpanam, Pazhayarai, Kalki Krishnamurthy, you name it. But then granny being a very busy granny with more books to read and more grandchildren to pamper has gone to visit cousins of mine and once again I’m left high and dry right in the middle of all the action.

Oh, and my BMTC post got the attention of Bangalore Mirror. Only, they chose to publish it without my permission. While I now have adequate grounds to sue them (they violated the Creative Commons Non-Commercial License my blog is under), I think I’ll be content with just informing the losers that there is something called a LICENSE, and that arbit copypasting from the Net CAN put you in serious shite.

And the publishing DID get ME into serious trouble with the cousin I’d mentioned in the post. And it did drive me to a point where I seriously considered suing Bangalore Mirror for indirect emotional torture.

Aaand we come close to the end of yet another post that is about everything in general and nothing in particular. I’m considering starting a blog which publishes really, really arbit posts collected from bloggers blogosphere-wide. What say?

I was thinking of calling it “Minestrone for the arbit soul”, or some such. And maybe I can get a book version published. And come up with newer editions, all named “A(n) Xth Helping of Minestrone for the Arbit Soul”. And maybe I can use clustering algorithms to group posts into broad groups. Label generation will have to be perfected to automatically generate titles – “Minestrone for the Sporty|Filmi|Paparrazi|Bangalorean|Bong|Political soul”.

What say?

Obscure tailpiece: I’d just like to say thanks to two gentlemen I know. Communication is a wonderful thing.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in analysis, movies, Music, Priya's Travails, Review, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Second Helping of Minestrone

  1. Dipta says:

    I am flattered beyond comprehension that you started to read Tamil literature after reading my post on Bengali literature! Very commendable.

    BTW, the Ponniyin Selvan series (?) is available in English. Penguin, I think.

  2. wanderlust says:

    good to see you here 🙂
    yeah, ponniyin selvan is available in English. the translation doesn’t do justice to the original, but something is better than nothing, i guess.
    i’ve not got ALL the five books… Landmark and Crossword didn’t have all of them in stock 😦
    it’s actually not a series (as in the Harry Potter series). it used to be a serial in a Tamil magazine, which was novelized. It’s 1600 pages long, with five parts (which are to be read together, not independently), and so the translation comes in five books.

  3. dushy says:

    Whoa

    Me on your post.I just hope this post gets Bangalore Mirror’ed 😀

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