Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tipperary to Thipparalli

I keep remember things in my ‘Life so far’ and that I guess is my biggest inspiration to blog….this time around… … Yes! Yet again I am stuck on the previous subject – Music …. With a dash of humour to it.

The blog was designed this way, I was remembering my granddad talking to me about this person by name T.P. Kailasam, a very well known playright in Kannada, known for his wit and humour……seemed like my granddad loved reading about him, or talking about him as he had mentioned his name to me numerous times at different instances. He was (I guess) called the George Bernard Shaw of Kannada Theatre/Literature, also was tagged to the saying ‘Kannadakobbane Kailasam! Hasyakobbane Beechi’ and what I recollect from my granddad were the short whacky statements from T P Kailasam…..his witty replies when asked about anything – I feel sad that I don’t remember it well enough to pen it down..

Yesterday while shopping at Tesco.. …I happened to see a huge advert of Magners Cider – which read Made in Tipperary – this ignited my thought process about TPK…..and made me think this weird remembrance has to be penned down.

My mind immediately was humming the tunes of ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary, It’s a long way to go’ …which later turned to ‘Namma Thipparalli balu dooraa, nadeyak balu doora’…..though TPK adapted this song from a Irishman’s song from yester years….it’s has it’s own brilliance…..It’s one of a kind in the humour aspect, I find it toungue twisting at times ( still can’t manage all the lyrics)… but is a joy to listen….It’s a story said in the song which you can relate to very easily….a common man’s story, narrated beautifully and in a utterly unusual way. Listen to this piece which gives you a flavour of both the English and the Kannada versions of the song.....for those you are still struggling with the lyrics...ENJOY!

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Little Ben

The main places that come to one’s mind when they hear/read about London are Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge…well…..don’t we all know it as the London Bridge, The houses of parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben amongst a lot of other significant ones.

There are however numerous other sights, locations, places and Monuments…..not so famous, not so significant, and not so known to all…. The nice book called 1000 things to do in London gives a lot of ideas on such small avenues in this magnificent city….

This way I came across the not so big, the not so grand … Little Ben… unlike it’s big brother, this one’s left in the junction of 3 main roads right opposite the busy Victoria station. It can be easily missed by anyone and you can see the many office goers run past it to get to work or home.

For those who get a chance to be here and have the time after having done all the main things…..can just pop out of Victoria Station and take a peek…

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banna nanna olavina banna.....(Looted)...for a few dollars more....

I am very disappointed on a particular thing and yet excited at another both of which are related.

As I had penned down long long ago in my blog dedicated to music……street music is a thing of joy for me! I usually go for long walks in London – the streets of which telling tales of its own (more fun if I have company….. but many a times I do it on my own). You can hear it at many places…..in the tube stations, in alley ways, on the bridges… I was walking down Oxford street yesterday evening, hopping in and out of the many retail shops there. While I was in one of them, I heard this band playing various instruments, went out to watch them play…..they had a few instruments I could recognize which were variations of the flute, mouth organ amongst many which I have just seen but don’t know names of….

I went back into the shop and suddenly I heard their next tune…an instrumental of one of my favourite songs in Kannada banna nanna olavina banna from Bandhana…I went back to see if suddenly it was some Indians playing the music .... but no! It was the same band… it was so melodious, amazing music… I don’t have words – felt like the best thing I had listened to in ages….as you have guessed ….I thoroughly enjoyed it! Then it hit me hard…..I was wondering…. well!!!! Our known Kannada song is actually flicked from somewhere!! And I was sooooo frustrated. I found out that it’s a direct pick from the soundtrack of the movie ‘For a few Dollars more’ – the Spanish Intro .

It is in fact one of the superb compositions of the genius in Ennio Morricone… who has given us other soundtracks like ‘The good, bad, ugly’ , ‘A fistful of dollars’, ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ amongst hundreds of masterpieces….

I feel so disappointed by all these copied music…somehow feels ‘do we lack that originality???’, or is it kind of a tribute that these composers pay to perhaps their Idols?? Is it what they call ‘being inspired'???

I was also excited by the fact that they have the ‘creativity (!!)’ in fitting the music to the scenes of our movies.....I was wound up thinking how a background score from a typical western, cowboy movie fitted in so well as a romantic song in a dream sequence of another movie….

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The (Not so) Mad world of Ads

Strange as it may seem....I have been remembering something today... the advertisements on Indian radio and television. Sometimes, more than the actual programmes, I used to enjoy the adverts more and many a times was caught humming or singing them by family and friends...

On school days, part of the usual rush with the morning chores was the All India Radio giving us company and a tune to start the day. I don't remember the shows aired, or the news narrated, but do remember the advertisements in between.

We used to watch the serials every evening on TV…. some really nice ones were Udaan,Oshin, Mungeri Lal kay haseen sapnay, Ham panchi ek dhal ke and a few others...No matter what we watched or listened to, whether it was long hours of cricket matches, or the only movie that used to come on Sunday evenings or the 9'o clock News or anything...I very distinctly remember the advertisements aired in between....

A few that I remember very well are Chal meri Luna, Vicco turmeric ….nahi cosmetic, buland bharat ki bhuland tasveer… ..hamara Bajaj (remains one of my favourite tunes), hajmola sir (so funny!), Liril ads-Never wanted to use this soap though....remember my brother and me naming it ajji's soap(grandma's soap), Dabar amla kesh thail, How can I miss out the taste of India..Amul, swaad bare shakti bare…. parle G, washing powder Nirma, kurrum kurrum.. Lijjat papad, Cadburys... love the song, Fevicol ka jod, Natraj pencil- don't remember using anything other than the pencil with red and black vertical lines.

I have always thought that ads are such creative works...they need to get the point across in just about 30 seconds...I think that's amazing! Of late….of course, many of us might avoid watching movies on TV as a 3 hour movie would end up being 4-4.5hours with all the ads...Some ads of the 2000's that I liked were the Airtel ad (with A R Rahman's tune), the Hutch Ad, well…. the ad's with the cricketers.. Rahul Dravid's Pepsi, Aamir khan, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan in Coke & Pepsi ads....the main difference I find in the ads now a days to the ads before were that the older ads concentrated a lot on family, society and India as a whole...we do have them today... but the feelings don't seem very strong..

If you are someone who enjoyed something similar to what I have written…. just you tube Indian Ads and it will take you back to those days... atleast for a few moments...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Music of Rain..

I tend to get caught with a topic while blogging (i.e. when I do blog!!!) ... when I write about coffee I am drowned in it, when I write about travels, I am lost in it and now that I just wrote about Rain.... looks like I am going to get drenched in it.

On a lighter note this time, with an attempt not to write the part 2 of the previous tale....is about this song...which I consider as one of the best songs written and picturized describing 'Rain'...It goes Rhim Jhim gire saawan .. sulag sulag jaaye mann...bhige aaj is mausam mein, lagi kaisi ye agan....

.......Many years ago, I heard this song from my room while my mother was playing this on her favourite stereo in her room... I loved it instantly. It was the Kishor Kumar version of the song (which I thought was the only one), I remember playing it over and over again to learn the lyrics.....it was a simple song.... no heavy lyrics, not the greatest tune yet had an ease about it, seems like he has sung it so effortlessly....it definitely has a feel good factor...It used to take me back to a rainy day and my own imagination of having a good time.

However, I saw the video of the song much much later and well! It was a female voice, that of Lata Mangeshkar, but the video bowled me over.....I loved it all over again.
Today, I love both versions of the song and the videos, however the one which is picturized in the streets of Mumbai with the Rain is the closest to my heart and remains as one of my most favourite videos... it makes me feel happy and doesn't fail making me smile.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Tale of a Rainy day

Ask anyone whether they ‘Like rain’ and more than 90% of the answers would be ‘Yes, I like rain, I enjoy rain, I love rain’- I am surely one who falls into this category – sipping hot coffee with friends, eating hot spicy food and chatting along while you hear and smell the rain outside is something I would always rejoice! However there are a second set of people who could add on the fact that Oh! It’s so messy after it’s rained; I don’t quite enjoy getting drenched in rain when I have to get to some place or if I am in a hurry. There are also a third set of people who says ‘It doesn’t affect me, I am not quite bothered whether it rains or not’ and so on.

Rain can mean different things to a lot of other people too. For the office goer’s it would mean a nuisance if it rains just at the time they need to leave home or leave for home from work, for the school kid, it’s a joy who can play in the puddles, get the clothes and shoes wet, perhaps very heavy rains can also bring them an unexpected holiday; For the street vendors, it’s a blow on their business, as it might force them to close down the shop for the rainy day. For those who have organized an outdoor activity, event, a function it’s a cause of tension – what if the shelter is not good enough, what if people drop out of the plan of attending, what would happen to all the food, where can we make alternate arrangements, for the sports freak especially a cricket fanatic, it would be a missed game, a missed day of fun, on the other hand for the person whose home is the very street, he would be swept off from his home.

For most of us accustomed to city life, it doesn’t quite matter whether it rains on not as much as the farmer or that individual who is dependent on it for his day to day life. For them, rain would be a blessing; they would pray for it and would be overjoyed and relieved that it did rain. Of course, we city dwellers might get to realize it only when it’s too hot, or there are too many power cuts, the cost of vegetables are way too high and when little issues creep in. It would be out in the news and can also become a topic of discussions – especially when you are with a group of people who you are not acquainted with.

It’s interesting to see the turn of events when the skies cry…. You can see the dogs on the street just running at a slow pace trying to get shelter, but also at the same time not quite bothered about getting wet, the cows who remain so unmoved from their positions, birds flying from tree to tree….On the other hand, you can see the vendors hurriedly covering their cart full of things, women running to get the washed clothes hung outside (which had almost dried up until this happened), old men/ladies retiring with a cup of hot coffee/tea by the window sill, kids trying to sneak away and play in the rain, a group of friends talking about having hot fried food and coffee at their favourite restaurant or cafĂ© and monkeys hanging from a Mango tree and trying in their so many human like ways to cover themselves…these could be amongst many other things you might have noticed.

The smell of rain is a much loved thing to most people who enjoy rain, the smell of mud, the smell of the garden – the washed leaves of trees, plants and flowers – all of them looking clean and green, the smell of hot corn on the cob, the smell of hot spicy food by the street where people who wanna have a quick grab, the people coming out once it has stopped and having a chat together, the noise of the street businesses resuming, some people working on cleaning up the havoc caused by it, everyone getting back to their activities…….The after effects need not be always good….if one doesn’t pay attention while walking along the street, they might end up with a shower of mud and rain water, the slippery roads can be quite horrible, the flies in the evening is the most and the only annoying aspect of rain that I remember. It can also be in the news or the next day’s morning paper if things have gone pretty bad…..Nonetheless, the whole cycle ends and routine begins again until the spell of rain starts the sequence of events on yet another day… a morning of shower, an afternoon of quiet rain, an evening of heavy rain, or a downpour at night…..

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life's Little Moments

A friend of mine had put this up on his profile on gtalk, simply loved it!!! It's so very true, I was nodding my head and had a broad smile for ever word that was written...

" I want to go back to the times: When "DRINKING" meant 'Apple Juice'... When father was the only "HERO"... When "Love" was Mom's Hug... When the only thing that could Hurt were 'Skinned Knees'... When the only thing "Broken" were 'Toys/ Cricket Bats'... When Goodbye only meant till Tomorrow !!! "

Such a simple thought....only if 'life' could have been as simple as this!!?!

On the other hand, it's also true that Life is as simple or complex as you make it to be, its in our hands, its in the perspective.
Times change, some times are hard, some happy, some fun, some tense....but overall life goes on....be in happy days or sad, once it's passed by, just becomes a thought that flashes by and most times it puts a smile on your face or just makes you feel stronger.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Remembering Miss Lingoleela

For those of you who might not know Miss.Lingoleela.....was the character played by the Radio Jockey Priya Ganapathy on Radio City 91.1FM in Bangalore...It was the good old college days and we used to be hooked to the different shows on this FM, this was a snippet 'The daily kannada ward by Miss.lingoleela' where she teaches the audience the kannada slang, as she put it, her task was to educate the peepols about the lochales language. She was SSLC passed but currently unemplaaayed. A new word was taught every day…. though this was for the outsiders to get a taste of the slanguage, it amused a lot of us kannadigas and was a perfect coffee time chit chat.

Words like bombaat, sakkathu, jinkchak,ghoostlu, kireek, bejaan and many more became a part of our day-to-day conversation....some known, some new. A sentence was also framed in the show which showed the usage of the word...Perfect!!! You even know the context in which it could be used!!! There were mixed responses in the audience.....some totally loved her, some disliked the misuse of the language...but the show went on.. I don't have an idea of how many such daily words were taught….. but it went on for months or may be a year!

Someone has  had put up a list of a few words and the meanings on this page which I think thought was hilarious….. Take a look and laugh out!
- Lesson learnt to have a local copy of web pages you like and not bank on the links. 

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Girl Can't Help It!

My usual routine on Saturday mornings is a walk along the Church street market to get fresh vegetables, and essentials for the week ahead. It has always been nice to stroll along open markets with people trying to sell fancy footwear, discounted clothes, varieties of cheese, chocolates, oils, pungent perfumes, colourfully laid out vegetables & fruits, grand though economical carpets, day-to-day stuff like cleaning liquids to shower gels to bin liners to tissues. One can also pick plants & flowers from these street shops or any other decorative items for the living room. There is a complete buzz about this place as you can see vendors calling out for
passers-by to pick the big deals they have to offer...for those whose taste buds go active on the smell of food can have a bite at the burritos & kebab stall.

The street would routinely turn into a pedestrian zone and one can see the vendors coming in vans, carts to build their make-shift shop for the day. Then, they would meticulously lay out their goods for display and start their day. The steps are reversed at pack-up time..... Imagine doing this everyday - I would not be successful even for a week. Kudos!!! to these guys who do it day in and day out.

Another important characteristic of this place are the antique shops here selling furniture, mirrors, clocks, vases, jewellery, clothes, rugs, carpets, decorative items and so on... The Alfie's Antique market is a world of its own. One of the shops which really caught my eyes was the store called 'The Girl Can't Help it' - wow! What a name and it stood for what it had….. there were hats, dresses, footwear, glasses, jewellery all from ages long ago....I couldn't relate to any of the clothes there but well... it took me back in time…...it definitely gives you the idea of the
styles that existed and a piece of the glamour world back then....

All this put together..... Starting from shopping for essentials, for day-to-day living, to the fancy side of things like antiques...it shows direct proportionality about the girl, the lady, the woman who really can't help it!!! - can't help but shop!!!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Winter was here...the month of December is for many reasons the best month during the winter, it's festive with Christmas around the corner, the New Year's would soon follow, lots of holidays, celebrations everywhere, gifts, decorations, partying, less work and all things nice. On the other hand January is the most dreaded month - all celebrations over, no more holidays, festivals for a long long time....Just as we wait for January to get over, the weather reports say that the Winter progresses into February and we just start the countdown of 6-7 weeks of winter remaining....

On the night of Feb 2nd and the early hours of Feb 3rd it was a complete Whiteout. UK experienced the heaviest snowfall in 18years; it was my first major one…. There was 15cms of Snow settled -clean and white.... all around us. It gave us all a playground of a different kind, everyone forgot of the ongoing economic crisis, about work, about all tensions.... and played like kids...
Having listened to the song from the past few months - it was indeed 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'....
Take a peek at some of the shots I could capture….

National Gallery @ Trafalgar Square

The garden in our Courtyard

Streets of London

The Big Ben as seen from Trafalgar Square

Icing Sugar on the Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Turkish Delight

We planned for a holiday and I was asked where I would have liked to go….The first thing that came to my mind was - let's go home to India. But, well, that was not possible and was not the idea of having a holiday at that point. So, here were the options to check on, Firstly, it had to be a place which was warmer than it is in London, it had to be a place not as far as India, preferably a place which we both have not seen, a place which each of us at some point thought of as a place to go to, not a place which would create a hole in the pocket....there were other factors too - are we going to get leave from work, will it fall in our budget, do the dates fit in well and so on.... after all this thought process, we finally concluded on the place and it sounded like there couldn't have been a better option considering all the above.... it had to be Istanbul.
Many asked us - why Istanbul ( of all the places) ... but we went on....

One of the oldest cities on earth, it has a huge history.... was called Byzantium, Constantinople and now Istanbul. The city is set to have built on 7 hills with the Marmara Sea on one side, the golden Horn on the other and the Bosphorours River to the north - the city is magnificently situated around the union of these three main water bodies. The land and water complement each other - and this makes the city one of a kind.

We stayed on the European side - near Eminomu- this was the old city....The Blue mosque and the Aya Sophia stood admiring each other’s glory, the view from the Galata tower was breathtaking , the typical Bird eye view of the city....the cruise ride on the bosphorous was amazing... the Bosphorous bridge shouts out as the conduit between Asia and Europe....The hustle bustle of the cafes on the Galata bridge is unforgettable, the Grand Bazaar is unique and proves that it is indeed world's biggest indoor market, the colorful spices of the Egyptian/Spice Market holds you back and the blue choppy waters makes you visit again!

Few illustrations here…...

Aya Sofia

Blue Mosque as seen from Aya Sofia

Spice Market - Turkish Delight, Spices, Teas

Inside the Grand Bazaar

Panoramic View from Galata Tower

From the Galata Tower - see the Asian side of Turkey

The Old City as seen from the new

A Pretzel Cart- you can see them everywhere

A view of the Galata Tower & The new City