of As[h]ai Mugam and Anga Rendu Ver Nikkian, Inga Rendu Ver Nikkian

Ok, apparently this is at least a year old as I write about, but I happened to come across some songs that Shankar Tucker produces and uploads on youtube. Most of them are pretty good. Now, I am by no means a trained musician, nor do I claim to know music. But like anyone and everyone, I have my own preferences. I am generally open to any genre as long as it is engaging enough. (almost any genre. Pop makes me want to puke most times.)

Now, it is not true that my parents did not try and get me to learn a musical instrument. While my siblings could all play the Violin, thanks to my boarding school, all I could play (and not even well at that), was the Bugle. My dad made every effort to enroll me in a music class post the boarding school stint, but he wanted me to learn keyboard (by now, Violin was obviously out of the equation) and I wanted to play the drums. 😀 Stalemate.

Many many years later, I tried learning guitar on my own, and even blew a decent amount of money on a Cort acoustic guitar, making sure I only replaced the strings with D’Addario when I broke them. (which was, well, once too often) After about 6 months of playing with it, I had learnt nothing. Two flights and a few time-zones later, I was a few thousand miles away from my guitar, and more than a year and a half has gone by. The gist of it – can’t play instruments – don’t know music. I shall make every effort to try and learn again.

Anyway, back to the point of the post, this is the song under discussion,

What was amusing, other than the video, which I think is a little goofy 🙂 (not that I mean that negatively at all), was the pronunciations of a couple of words. The post title gives away one of them. As[h]ai. S[h]olven. Nes[h]am. If you speak Tamil, then you’d probably know that these words are alternatively, and perhaps more predominantly pronounced Asai, Solven,Nesam. Now, hailing from a PI (Palakkad IyerTamilians who are somehow associated with Palakkad in Kerala, and as a result speak in a uniquely different way which combines Tamil and some Malayalam, and some other stuff, that neither camp understands. :D) family myself, I could instantly recognize the pronunciations.

My reaction was a mix of curiosity and incredulity. Very few people I know still speak like this today. My parents’ generation does. My grandparents’ generation most certainly does. But I know very few people of my age group who still speak this way. People still do, and I am sure I have other relatives who look at me and say ‘how come he doesn’t speak like us?’, but even so, the PI Tamil speaking population is a little limited.

If you have never heard PI Tamil before, here’s probably a good (I might include one of the more popular) reference,

I heard S[h]eri as I was previewing the video. [chuckles]

Anyway, as I was thinking about how the pronunciation was amusing, I got to reading the comments on the video, and the amusement vanished. Of course, as always sensible people exist, but a good number of people taking a stand for no particular reason. I would like to heard some of these people speak Tamil. Take people in Chennai [Sennai anyone ?] for instance.

I am reminded of a day when I was still in college (oh, wait, I still am 😀 only different place, and different time) when one of my classmates said something that went ‘Anga rendu ver nikkian, inga rendu ver nikkian‘ and I burst out laughing. He joined in. I later learnt that in Tirunelveli Tamil, that meant ‘there are two guys standing there, and two guys standing here’. I sure as hell don’t remember anyone asking him not to ‘mispronounce’ words.

Back to the sisters, their rendition of ‘Nee Ninaindhal’ is also pretty good. Munbe Va – umm, not so much.

[Edit – Nov-19] As I continued reading the comments section on YouTube, my amusement only increased with each comment. I think the comments can pretty broadly be classified into the following (actually, a lot of YouTube videos have comments that fall into these categories. Some of the videos are richer in the diversity of comments though. 🙂 )

I [y]am the save the Tamil Language/I will criticize thee, and also contradict myself/An*l retentive:

Several of the ‘your mis-pronunciation spoil the beauty of the song’, fall under this broad category. Here are some of these jokers,

“How ‘sai’ can become shai? can sit become shit?..you have a wonderful voice …just some caution while pronouncing language will help.”

“music is gd…but ashingamaana pronounciation…sucks :(“

“tamil and our people means perfection. we lost it.because of cultural invasion like u broadminded hypocrates headed people spoiled in all the way. great work enjoy.”

“great work , sibilance sound always have fanciness and attractiveness but any change in language looses its basic property.i don’t think the poet will accept this.Musically its advanced and inspiring.”

“Hi– if this is repetition– sorry… Pls pronounce Thamizh words in Thamizh phonetics only– there is a sanskrit flavor heard.. especially while listening to S sound – it is ASAI- not ASHAI, it is Solven – not SHOLVEN … it is NESAM – not NESHAM– The song title itself shown as ÄSHAI— please correct it…! The lovely voice flowing to heart– but the pronouncing of words hitting back… Plss”

I defend thee: Several of the ‘give them a break’ comments fall under this category,

“Excellent.They are singing their hearts out and all you can do is criticize their pronunciation?A language,any language for that matter,is meant to be spoken freely.”

“AWESOMENESS……………….­………there is no wrong in the pronunciation of “sha”……………super innovation…..inner meaning and eternal music have created a good product……..all the best”

I don’t know Tamil, but I am totally dig this song: (after going to Google translate and typing – எனக்கு சுத்தமா தமிழ் தெரியாது , ஆனா நான் இந்த பாட்டை ரொம்ப தோண்டுவேன்   )

“I am Like this Song And My Life Chan..ging Very Help This Song And This 2 Sister Thank Sister”

“Kudos to shankar tucker and the singer sisters, beautiful job, i dont knoe tamil, don’t even get one word, but cant help listening it multiple times every day, same goes with the other 2 songs as well “Nee Nenaindal” and “Munbe Va””

People who are from the Snail Mail Era:, and write Dear Sir, Dear Madams and please find enclosed herein

“Hi Shankar Tucker….”   O, hello there yourself.

Hyper People/ The punctuation-ally challenged/The SMS speak:

awesome songs you guys are super!!!!”

“fantastic Superb song…singers …music……”

“Just ❤ der voice”

The woefully misinformed:

“It not different dialects, its english influence but still good to listen to.” – right then.

“they are brahmins , they incorporate sanskrit alot in their daily vocabs. Nothing wrong.” – yes, GRE Vocabs 800/800

These are pure tamil word we often use in srilankan tamil” – Ok, maybe I am misinformed, but really ?

The Trolls:

“12345”

I [y]am know music better than you B**es:

 (well, that’s just figurative. The category would have remained even if it was for a Justin Beiber song.) But these are at least way better than the ‘don’t spaail the Tamil comments’

“Very amateurish. No feelings or emotional connection. This sort of retro rerecording has become a fad. The singers lack basic understanding of music, melody and raga. Gamakams are half-baked at best and blatantly incorrect at worst.” 

“singing is bad..no breath control”

“its..ok..nothing grt !! :)”

I am suck so much at this:

“Hi.. am **. love this song so much.. i am so bad in singing.. but i feel so good when sing this song.. I tried n recorded..pls comment if u do hear..(at ur own risk) :-)”

The pirates:

“How to download this song.. pls give me link..”

The disliker dislikers:

“.and why their are bloody 110 dislikes…probably some alliens”

“108 deaf people came here.”

The lower-case Challenged

“TAMIL LANGUAGE MUST B SAVED AND THE GIRLS DID WELL BUT INDIAN MUSIC NEEDS PRONUNCIATION AND ITS VERY IMPORATANT………………”

The teachers/reviewers [go, and redo it I say]

Beauty of language is in its words and at least when one is singing it is VERY important to pronounce well. Girls sing well, I am sure they can correct pronunciation and redo… All the best”

Ok, as I going on reading, I am find more categories, but I think for now this should suffice. 🙂 More, when I am bored.

Please Don’t Stop The Music

Well, firstly, if you are reading this and a song is playing on your computer, let it play on. 🙂 It’s not about the song that’s playing on your machines though unless, of course coincidence of coincidence, you are playing Rihanna’s “Please don’t stop the music”.

I listened to this song only a few days back, but man, is it amazing or what ? It made me sway to the music, and I must say, not too many songs can claim to do that to me. I don’t really indulge myself by dancing. But for a pacy song such as this, even I felt compelled to do a tiny jig. I have been listening to the same song over and over again. It just gets better with each time.

But wait, there has to be a catch. And there is. Having listened to the song, so many times, I decided to check the video out at youTube. Oh, man was I disappointed or what!! Why am I disappointed ? Well, I have this image built up in my head that if a song makes me dance, then the people in it’s videos must be super-humans dancing like no one could. Then I see the video. I would advice people from watching it if you haven’t listened to the audio. If you have, I would still advice you from not watching the video.

[youTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsRWpK4pf90]

Now, let’s compare that with this video, shall we ?

[youTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiklYMiGgOQ]

Here are some observations from the video:

1) Rihanna can’t dance.

2) The dance steps (if I can call it that) are very similar to what a Vijaykanth or a Rajini or say an Amitab Bachchan would do. I think those guys  actually pull it off better.

3) Madonna though older, shows more enthusiasm, than Rihanna does in this video. Even Britney Spears is probably better.

4) Clapping your hands does not count as dance.

5) Adjusting your dress (ahem!! you should wear straps you know 🙂 ) does not count as dance.

6) Clicking your fingers together most definitely does not count as dance.

7) “Walking” does not count as dance. (We thought we told Ajith that when he attempted it in Godfather (remake of the remake of Don) )

8) Standing in one place, while people around you are acting epileptic does not count as dance.

Only this other day, I was feeling bad that they don’t play English music any longer on Channel V and MTV. I remember the good old days when they used to play only english music there. But you know what ? Maybe it’s good they don’t. With such videos doing the rounds, it’s better to watch “Kaptain” dance.

DEMONOID IS BACK!!

Ok, Firstly, thanks to my friend Renju for letting me know of this. Only this morning, I was telling someone that Demonoid used to be a haven for great torrents, but sadly was no more. How idiotic of me!! Little did I know it was back online. 🙂

Demonoid

Go out there, get the music, the movies and the games you want. Don’t blame me for not having told you about Copyright violations though. 😉

Demonoid’s State of Suspension:

After Demonoid went offline, finding quality torrents was always an issue, with the Internetflooded with spam. Thankfully, IsoHunt listened in to the wishes of people and allowed commenting on torrents. This way, bad, malicious and spam torrents could be avoided.

Read my earlier post here:

Demise of Demonoid ?

People who know about torrents, will be jumping with joy at this news. Yes, torrents on Demonoid are still old and need to be updated. Chances are you won’t find the latest torrents just yet. But knowing the Demonoid community, things will be back in no time. So keep your fingers crossed and just be patient. Also, when things are back, SEED. Till you reach a rario of 2.0 atleast. Don’t be selfish.

For people who do not know to use torrents, read this

A Guide to Using Torrents

Really Awful…

Not knowing what to do, now that my project is done, (Well, almost. Still a few finishing touches and fine tuning remaining.) I set out to try something.

I thought I’d record myself singing a couple of songs I thought I could sing well. The result: Awful!! Really Really Awful. I don’t know what the issue is. I mean I know I am not a good singer (no, wait I am not even a bad singer) and I can’t render high pitches at all. I know my limitations. (Yea, I can’t sing.) But I thought, it sounded decent when I was singing it. However on playback, it just sounded like someone I really hate braying. Pathetic. I better give this a rest. Or, wait, could it be the substandard microphone?

People, who are considering suicide, can write in to me. I’ll send you a CD with my songs in it. It’ll be real quick (can’t assure painless) 😛

Creative Zen – A Must Buy

I have already written in short about Creative Zen in a post earlier. (I am too lazy to link it. Use the search facility 😉 )

Features ?

Specifications ?

Why am I writing about it again ? Well, couple of reasons:

1) I actually saw it today for the first time and tried using all the facilities to an extent.

2) I was going to get one for myself, but then I might have to sacrifice it if I want my K801i

3) Some of my friends didn’t even know there is a player called Zen!! (Message: Read my Blog 🙂 )

My First Impression:

Saw Sricharan’s Zen today. Sricharan was/is my senior in/from college. Shiva’s batch-mate. Shiva also has a Zen, but either he treasures it a lot or didn’t want me to take a look. 😉 I am thoroughly impressed. Why ?

  • Comes in 2,4,8,16 and 32GB variants. 
  • It’s tiny.
  • It’s weightless.
  • It’s got an awesome screen. (For a tiny player, it sports a 2″ screen) 
  • Good sound quality.
  • Radio with 32 built in presets
  • Sound Recorder that works really well and
  • Lot’s more such as organiser, DivX and Xvid support…etc.

Here are some photos:

Zen-01

Zen-03Zen-04Zen-05Zen-07

Zen-06

Creative guys, here’s something you should know:

” Your product rocks and kicks ass. People here in India love their mp3 players and are buying them like crazy. But thanks to your lacklustre marketing and to an extent callous attitude towards the Indian market, most people still think that IPOD and MP3 players are synonymous. If you have a good product, you still need to market it you know!!”

Same goes for Zune. Bloody hell!! Make it available in India and see how many people buy it. You will be surprised.

Bottom Line: MP3 players are for Indian markets too. Sell it here and we are ready to buy them.

YARO – Yet Another Rip Off

Well, we know this for a while. Anu Malik is to Hindi what Deva is to Tamil. They shamelessly copy songs from English and not even ones that we would not have heard of. Whether they think the audience is so intellectually dull that it will go un-noticed or whether they are intellectually dull, is something that needs to debated on. (Well, actually not. I guess it’s both.)

So, I was not all that surprised when X* showed me a recorded song on mobile. Well, the recording was not clear and I have not heard the song before. The song was from a Tamil movie, which I later found to be Kadhalil Vizhunthen. The music director is one Vijay Antony. I am being very honest here. I have neither heard of this bloke nor the movie. So what’s the big deal about all this ? Well, X* tells me this song is lifted from some popular English track he has heard before, but is not sure which one. Meanwhile, X* had trouble finding out which movie this song belonged to. He had recorded it on his mobile from a radio nearby I guess. X* however later on determinedly found out the song, the movie name and the music director, which I have written here.

Now, the Song is called Unakkena Naan. The female singer is Ramya and guess who lends the male voice ? The plagiarist himself. (Well, I am hoping he didn’t take permission/rights from the original artiste, in calling him that.)

Here’s the Song for you:

Unakkena Naan

I am going to have a quiz here and ask people to name the real song. (You should note here that X* was also successful in finding the actual song by the original artiste. To be honest again, it’s a song I have not heard of. The artist I have heard of.) We even played the two songs together (on two players) and they seemed to sync for most part. (For the originality of the last 5 odd seconds, I give credit to the music director.)

The Original Song:

Shiva and Marc, both got the original song and the artiste right. It is Unfaithful by Rihanna. To think he copied straight form that song, pity.

Vijay Antony’s Site:

Vijay Antony

What’s comic about the whole issue is, this is what his Biography on his site had to say:

Vijay Antony-the man who impels to do something different repeatedly is back again with his best foot forward to ascertain his note-worthy versatility and uniqueness in whatever he does.

Other note-worthy things about his website,

  • It says under construction on the home page, yet has almost all the data
  • There’s an annoying song playing on the background and there’s no way to turn the music OFF. Grrr…

ROFL.  

Note: X*’s name has been withheld on request. 😉

Zune Again!! And it Rocks

New Zune 

Ok I am turning something of a fan here. Why ? Because I just finished downloading (ok when I say I did something , it could also imply my brother actually did it in my presence.)  and installing the new zune software and firmware and it simply ROCKS!!

Let me tell you why it rocks : (My old zune with new firmware)

  • The new software is free. So is the firmware. Way to go Microsoft!!
  • The new firmware lets me download and watch podcasts on my old (30GB) Zune. The podcast collection on Zune Marketplace seems decent if not great.
  • I can wirelessly sync music from my PC to my Zune. ( I checked it and it works fine. It’s a bit slow, but who cares as long as I can sync songs wirelessly ?)
  • It supports more Video formats. Mpeg4 and H.263. (No Divx, Xvid yet though. That’s a bit of a disappointment.)
  •  The appearance of the new interface on the Zune rocks.

Comparison of dimensions

Why the 80GB Zune rocks:

  • Its available for the same price the 30GB model was available. (250 $)
  • It has a 3.2″ screen (compared to 3″ Zune and 2.5″ Ipod)
  • It is slimmer and smaller than my Zune 😦
  • It has custom engravings and stuff.
  • It comes with premium earphones!! ( 😦 I got normal ones with mine.)

Engravings on Zune

I am not writing a detailed review here. I read somewhere that they have discontinued a few features which were actually good. Like dynamic search and ranking system. I am sure there must have been some reason behind this.

P.S: One thing though. If you are planning to buy flash based players, I personally suggest the Creative Zen. Just Compare its features with any flash player and you will see why. (I think its the best player from Creative stable yet!!)

Creative Zen