Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is what I call a real Tamil Nadu dance. This super dance style lays maximum emphasis on the beat. The best thing about dappan koothu is that it is informal. Anything goes and this gives the dance a sense of freedom that cannot be matched. (Ok, maybe 'disco dance' is also like that...but this is so very local-Tamizh).

One does not need formal training in dance to do a dappan koothu. In fact, perhaps formal training will not help for dancing dappan koothu, since you need to let go. You just need to get with it, feel the beat, groove and MOVE. The moves can range from very stiff to very loose. Cool, huh?

Ideally, the dancer's back will be straight, with head held high unless the step requires you to bend a bit. The impression is one of confidence and mock seriousness. Then come the funny steps which make the others laugh and stop their dappankoothu for a bit. Seriously, life does not get more fun than the uninhibited dappan koothu. 'Koothu' itself was (I think) derived from a sanskrit word meaning dance, but is also loosely used to describe a fun scene or incident with some amount of chaos in it. Dappan Koothu is for everyone -- those with grace and...those without.

Ideal film songs for Dappan Koothu of different types and moods (maybe available on youtube)...but hardly a comprehensive list:
1. Vaalameenu from the film Chithiram Pesudhadee
2. Jalsa pannungada from Chennai 600 028
3. Surangani from where I dunno (!)
4. Annatha aadurar from Aboorva sagodharargal (quite an orginal dappan koothu variety)
5. Appadi Podu from Gilli
6. Singari sarakku from Khakhi Chattai
7. Indadi Kappakazhange from Dhool (PUCCA dappan koothu beat)
8. Kathala Kannale from Anjadhey
9. Nakku Mukka from Kaadhalil Vizhundhen
10. Yennadi Muniyamma (remix version?) from Vaadhiyar -- stylish yennadi muniyamma

Some people look down at dappan koothu. They are the uptight la di da ones. Quite 'ignorable' folks, those, only fit for a cuppa and smooth, formal talk. Besides, who gives them right to look down at any folk dance?

The only thing is you have gotto be in the mooood for dappan koothu.

Dappan Koothu -- very very 'local' and very very good.


Quite idly only...

Not at all in order of priorities, I wannabe...

1. A music composer
2. A popular writer
3. A fabulous mother
4. A best friend
5. A pianist
6. A good entertainer
7. A good singer
8. An artist (woo hoo even I did not see this coming)
9. A model daughter (in law too;))
10. An aerobics instructor (in my cousin's words, BWAHAHAHAHA, I know)
11. A DJ
12. A pilot (finally, something you cannot laugh at!Yes, a PPL does count;)
13. Streetsmart
14.An excellent cook
15. A kind soul
16. A frequent holidayer;)
17. A strummer (guitar)
18. A modest know-it-all!
19. Less fat (very noncommittal)
20. A party animal...but only sometimes. Not as young these days, you see...

Monday, September 15, 2008

'BLEAH!' to the pseudostars, cos SAROJA does Kollywood proud!

SAROJA entertained me for three hours today. From the first scene, until the end. The movie refreshes Kollywood to say the least. Even though I am yet to watch 'Chennai 600 028', I did learn about this entertaining film from a friend ( and when I got the opportunity to spend my Monday midday with Saroja, I just upped and went.

The film is mainly about friendship between four friends. It is also about other things -- a missing girl, another friendship, unrequited love, and so on, and everything is the main plot! Yes, plot it is. Even if you did anticipate somethings in the film, which is unlikely, it is a very well taken film.

Now, I don't usually do film reviews, nor can I call this one. But, I so enjoyed it that I felt it deserved a post on my blog.

I enjoyed it because...
1. I was watching a film after a long time (3 weeks to a month;))
2. It was unscheduled...
3. I expected it to be good (weird logic I know, but it worked for me)
4. The friendship portrayed between the four guys was wonderfully painted and so realistic...such as fighting with each other in a crisis, finally standing by each other, working together against odds, showing weaknesses openly, sharing 'two-aside' secrets, inviting a spouse's irritation by 'just being' , etc.
5. The fights seemed real, unlike in most films when the hero lifts a leg and sends the opponent flying through a glass wall, or he punches / gets punched fifty times and the fight still stays fresh with the fighters quite unscathed. Also, the fights did not have the hero (es) fighting gunmen with his/their bare hands, oblivious to lethal weapons. Oh and people got hurt even when you did not want them to...
6. The songs were pretty good and entertaining with one song showing Macarena-like steps, except it was just A step;) Cute and ...doable. Watch the film and go back and try the moves. Hoo hoo. and upload to youtube or at least pass it to me for MY entertainment.
7. Imagine, I was not even interested in my popcorn and cold coffee. The film was enjoyable enough. Now, that's a first!
8. The dream scenes were scarce, but when they appeared, they were as funny as they ought to be.
9. There were no idiotic duet songs with a couple dashing around or rolling around.
10. The pace was racy.
11. The actors all delivered. Except perhaps for Prakash Raj (who was average), whom the other actors with less experience, simply outshone!
12. Because of one of my favourite actors' presence -- Jayaram. Now, HE delivered.
13. THERE ARE NO SIX PACKS! Whew. Relief. These guys look real and act it.
14. The girls look their age and part. AND, they are attractive; even the siren is super good looking.
15. THE HUMOUR in it...and not always from the designated comedian (although it seemed there was one*), but from the entire cast.
* The guy (Premji) truly brought out the full meaning of the phrase 'comic relief' with not just witty, meaning-to-be-funny remarks...he was funny as a person, and never-endingly so.Definitely a must-have guy in any gang of friends!
16. Fairly good looking villains;) (Sampath, his cronies, etc.)
17. It actually made me long to be part of the cast!
18. The 4 guys -- SPB Charan, Shiva, Premji and Vaibhav were all believable and likeable characters and not because of their looks or screen presence but because of how well they were 'in character'.
19. The film made me laugh heartily, loudly, scream in frustration or fear, yell suggestions and egg the characters on...basically, I lost myself in it and reluctantly found myself again at the end;) Even the end credits were entertaining with not unusual clippings of funny takes.
20. The background score...scores. Yuvan Shankar Raja I think. Damn good.
21...Oh, dear! I wish could go on, but the rest will be the story, which I ought not to divulge and rob anyone of their enjoyment. I will just stop now and say...FINALLY, it's not a bad thing after all that Rajini and Kamal, the original Kollywood superstars are getting old....cos there are some super duper films being made and excellent performers being served up. As for the pseudostars, even if you pull up your socks and work at those six packs to make them five and a half or whatever (Sheesh!), or deliver more of those lame punchlines, you DO have some great guys to compete with, who don't even have THE so-called LOOKS to brag about. Well, pseudostars, 'BLEAH!' to you!

It's a Venkat Prabhu film, by the way.


Yours truly entertained,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bear Hugs

A bear hug is the best kind of hug.

I don't think I want to be hugged by a bear in real life although a bear hug from a human (wonlee a human I be liking very much;)), is great. We Indians -- oh, ok, we South Indians, tend to underestimate the hug as a gesture and often get embarrassed by them -- regardless of whether we are looking at people hugging or experiencing a hug.

Hugs are great. A hug is a gesture of affection really, and nothing more, nothing less.

I am not referring to the kind of pseudo hugs that are followed by one or two 'Ummm...uahs', which are kisses blown in the air by smacking your lips. Typically, these Ummuahs go with: "Hi, darrrrling" or "Oh, hellllloo sweetheart" and so on. That would be drip drip drip, my pseudo ship.

No, I mean the kind of hug you may give / get when you are meeting and greeting somebody after a long time (at least a month) and you have really missed and / or are REALLY happy to see him or her. The hug should be tight, warm, whole hearted, platonic (thank you) and feel-good. Ahhhh, yes. Such a hug is almost like therapy, I say.

Anyway, so, sometimes we may be a bit shy to hug someone or are put off by the false hugs. But I don't let such hang ups stand in my way these days. I was taught the art of great hugging by a friend from college and must remain thankful to her forever:). Before that, hugs just made me uncomfortable and conscious of onlookers.

Now, I hug like ...a bear. I do pseudos too sometimes(!), but cannot bring myself to Ummmuah anyone;)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pommanaati (Tamil word)


I am sure there is something seriously wrong with this word. I love my mother tongue Tamil or Thamizh to be precise, but this word I strongly object to. It means woman -- general, just 'woman', but I sure cringe every time I hear it.

It is the sound of it being pronounced that sounds ugh. Somehow, even though it just means woman, it sounds like an insult. 'Pombalai' sounds better although am sure it came from 'Penn Pillai' -- quite charming then.

I am sure there are more words I dislike but for now, it has to be just pommanaati.

Pee in my pants!

Umm no, don't get scared. This is not actually about the pee in my pants, nor is it about me peeing in my pants (well, maybe a little about that!), because that is another story, he he. No, stories -- plural.;)

What I want to say is that I miss the pee in my pants. Er no, I don't want to suffer from incontinence or any other such embarrassing health issue, nor do I want to be in a situation where I am so scared I pee...but I want to laugh so hard that a little pee will make its way out.

For a really satisfying laugh, something has to tickle you. For a really hearty laugh, the laugh has to last. I want both obviously.I honestly think it's been a long time. I do of course laugh from time to time but not quite that way.

Oh, and when such a laugh happens, it is most enjoyable if it comes on in the company of your best crazies -- friends or friendly relatives(!). During such a laugh, you will laugh so hard you cannot stop, with belly shaking, eyes watering, stomach aching, a lot of noise making, looking at each other and shaking your heads, which will keep triggering off more such bouts and then finally for the grand finale, some pee will escape and you will think "uh-oh, I have peed in my pants and I had better stop now...". This thought itself can make you laugh even more a;though you will now be guarded (more pee = wet spot and all that). Sadly then, like all good things, the laugh too will come to an end.

Now that it's been such a long time, I really won't care if I do laugh and the grand finale happens.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Right here...waiting for you

The song. 'Right Here Waiting For You' by Richard Marx, whose songs all seemed to me to sound sommmmewhat similar! Yet I chose that song for my hitherto one and only solo vocal performance. Oh, yeahhhh, those were the days when i roamed around the campus with my guitar in hand. Heavy stuff.

The guitar, I meant. Definitely not my perfomance.

I chose that song in my final year of school in the inter house competition (Western Music category) precisely because it was not challenging and I would not easily make a fool of myself. Now, I don't normally sing soppy stuff, but this was an easy song, I say! So I went up there on the stage and sang my heart out. Closed my eyes and all. Really FELT the moment of waiting for 'you'. Thankfully, when I opened my eyes, the audience was still around. In fact I got them woo-hoos and cheers. Oh well, after 14 years in the same school (Rosary Matric. Chennai), I had better have been at least that popular!;) Although, of course, it was my big group of friends and acquaintances who rooted for me.

SIGH. In spite of all that, I did not get the best vocalist prize -- even out of 4 measly singers. Sour Grapes Inc.

But I contributed to my position too. Not by singing badly -- er, not that I sing great but my friends did tell me I sang SOULFULLY and was very impressive -- AHEM. The truth was, because of a misguided goodness of the heart, I went about coaching another girl (my at-that-point VERY nervous and high strung junior and my namesake) competing in the same category on how to sing 'Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You' and taught her to use her high-pitch moments beautifully. Stupid I was. I see it now. Only 16 years later.

Lost moment of glory.