3 Months back, Harish (http://magixncurses.blogspot.com) and I conducted A.R.Rahman quiz on Twitter, to celebrate Rockstar audio launch. Harish is the brain behind most of the questions.

(you can access the previous quiz here: Part1 and Part2.)

Here are the questions. Post your answer in comments. Will post the answers and results on 26th Dec (Monday).
You can find the answers below each question. Hover over smudged/blocked text to reveal the answers. If it doesn't work, just select the text, and you'll be able to see the answers.

Q1. What’s the significance of what you see here?
A1. Haji Ali Dargah (Mumbai), Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti (Ajmer), Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah (Delhi) - Each of them has inspired AR to compose an evergreen qawali- Piya Haji Ali, Khwaaja Mere and Kun Faya Kun (of course it'll be evergreen!)

Q2. We've known directors to pen lyrics (Shankar, Mani Ratnam, Tyrewala). Give us an instance of a lyricist lending his voice in a Rahman song.
A2. Mehboob in Dhakka Laga Bukka (Yuva), Raqeeb Alam in Jiya Se Jiya (Connections)

Q3. Identify the singer of this song

A3. Shreya Ghoshal! That’s the female version of Aaromale. Should’ve been Aarofemale. No? Ok.

Q4. Paarthale Paravasam, Ada, _________, Blue, Jhootha Hi Sahi. Fill in the blank.
A4. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Rashid Ali is the connect.

Q5. Identify the voice in this clip
A5. Sivamani. Palakkad sriram did the jathis (bols), while the Love Check, 1,2,3,4 were in Sivamani's voice.

Q6. Connect Naan Eppodhu (Sakkarakatti), Dekho Na and Kalvare.
A6. The original versions of all of them (Yeh Rishta, Baba Kichu Tha, Khili Re) were sung by Reena Bhardwaj

Q7. Grandchild of the 1st CM of what is now Kerala, she sang jingles for AR before her career was revived in a spectacular fashion. Who?
A7. Sujatha Mohan

Q8. Listen to the 2 clips from Jhootha Hi Sahi and put fundae!
A8. Before naming it JHS, Abbas called it “1800-Love” and later “Call me dil”. AR included them all. The beeps were 1800 punched on a phone! (beep-beep-beep-beep-Love = 1-8-0-0 Love)

Q9. Two people featured here share the same birthday. One is Kamal. Who's the other?

A9. Singer Srinivas

Q10. Two BGMs fused in to this Rock piece. Identify the songs :)

A10. Pachai Kiligal (Indian) and Vennilave (Minsara Kanavu). Fresh off AM (Aravind) Studios :D
Here are the original interludes, from the songs.

Q11. Give us Indai Haza's twitter handle.
A11. @Chinmayi - Rahman gave the name “Indai Haza” to her Arabic singing alter ego :) In “Miss You Da” she’s credited with both names!

Q12. Connect: Boom Boom Robot da, Pudhiya Manidha, Maja Maja, Chikku Bukku Rayile, Eechi Elumichi.
A12: Sung by people whose parents have sung for ARR too! (Swetha->Sujatha, Khatija->ARR, Charan->SPB, GVP->Raihana, Manoj->Bharathiraja)

Q13. Identify the voice
A13. Karthik

Q14. Name a Rahman song picturised on a couple of tamil comedy artists (No, Nee Marilyn Monroe will not be counted as a valid answer!)
A14. Coimbatore Maanukutti picturised on Vadivelu and Kovai Sarala

Q15. Ahora conmigo, tu baila para hoy.. Por nuestro dia olvidas, los problemas que sean.. Salud! Baila Baila! Identify the lyricist.
A15. Tanvi Shah

Q16. a) Name the 1st song that Rahman composed and sang in English. b) Name the 1st song that Rahman composed and sang completely in English.
A16. A) Musafir (Vande Mataram) B) Pray for me brother

Q17. Identify the lead male singer in this clip
A17. Benny Dayal. It's the Tamil version - There's a clear difference in the interludes in Tamil and Hindi.

Q18. Connect Roobaroo, Rozaana, Saiyyan (Nayak), Munbe Va, Omana Penne
A18. Sung by singers who were popular music reality show contestant! (Naresh Iyer, Viva, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Benny Dayal)

Q19. Find the odd one out in this clip.

A19. Irumbile. Everything else was sung by Suzanne. She sang the hindi version of Irumbile.

Q20. Identify the voice in this clip.

A20. Conductor Srinivasa Murthy

Q21. Connect!

Hint:  Focus on the names.
A21. Lakshmi Narasimha Vijaya Rajagopal Sheshadri Sharma Rajesh Raman - aka Blaaze!

Q22. Connect Aalalakanda, Semmozhi anthem, Ballelakka, Oh Maria
A22. Music composers have lent their voice in these songs.

Q23. Something strange happened in 2004 and 2006. It had never happened since 1993 and has not happened since. What?
A23. The only years since his debut when ARR did not get any Filmfare awards.
(Another interesting answer came from Bharat KV - Those are the only two years in which ARR performed Haj)

Q24. Okay, this question is a little tricky. Go through all the odd numbered questions and the answers till now, and make a note of people related to each question. Find a connection (please note: order is important)
A24. A.R.Rahman, Shreya Ghosal, Sivamani, Sujatha Mohan, Srinivas, Chinmayi, Karthik, Tanvi Shah, Benny Dayal, Suzanne D'Mello, Blaaze, A.R.Rahman. The 12 of them feature in AR Rahman Foundation Official Calendar 2011, in that same order :)

Q25. Rockstar achieved a feat that was missed by Duet, Lagaan and Swades thanks to Yesudas, ARR and Vijay Prakash respectively. What?
A25. Given the number of voices Rahman experiments with, it's very rare that the lead actor lip-syncs to the same singer. Duet missed out with Yesudas singing one, Lagaan with Rahman/Srinivas and Swades with Vijay Prakash. Rockstar has Mohit all the way!

Here are the scores:
  • Bharat KV - 15.5*
  • Maanasaa & Envyram - 14 † ‡
  • Kanchna Subramaniam - 12.5
  • Kranthi Chand - 10
  • Sandeep - 9 
  • the hyper enthusiast  - 5

Clearly, Bharat tops the quiz, followed by Maanasaa & Envyram and Kanchna.

Congrats guys!!

*Q23 - We'd asked for a "strange" occurrence. Haj can't be labelled as strange. Hence, partial points.
Q22. The parents of the singers are not just film personalities, but they themselves have sung for ARR. That was the connect we were looking for. Hence, partial points.
Q17 - The clip is from the tamil version and not the Hindi version and hence, Benny is the correct answer. If both Benny and Sukhwinder are mentioned in the answer, I've given just partial points.
By Aravind on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 11:24 AM Post Categories: ,
This is part two of the ARR Quiz. You can find part 1 here.

Pls post your answers in the comments section. I'll post the answers and the points scored, on 16th Oct 2011 (Sunday).
You can find the answers below each question. Hover over smudged/blocked text to reveal the answers.

Here we go:

Q 11: Which performance was this? Name of the place will do.

A11: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 
Q 12: Clip 3 - Identify the song from this manipulated clip.

A12: That was "Satrangi Re" (Dil Se) played in reverse 

Q 13: Dream, Desire, Buddy, Sizzle, Little One - What are these?
A13: Names of the Ringtones created by Rahman for Airtel

Q 14: Who's this "Black Sheep"? tongue

A14: Vanessa Mae. The track is Raga's Dance from her album Choreography.

Q15: Something interesting happened after Sabaq Aisa (Tehzeeb) and before Sandai Kozhi/Kabhi Neem(Aayitha Ezhuthu/Yuva). What?
A15: Sujata Bhattacharya's name changed to Madhushree. Rumour is that it was Rahman who selected the name!

Q16: What AR Rahman connect makes these two movies special: Kandukondain Kandukondain & Kadhal Virus.
A16: AR Rahman appeared on screen in both these movies.

Q17: Connect:

A17: Songs from these 3 movies made it to the Oscar longlist, but didnt get nominated. 

Q18: What's common between these two songs:

A18: Star and Alli Arjuna had songs dubbed from other languages. These were only original compositions in the albums.

Q19: Which movie connects Kadhalukku Mariyadhai and Jodi.
A19: Doli saja ke rakhna. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai was remade as DSKR. All of DSKR songs were reused in Jodi.

Q20: Connect: Rehna tu (Delhi 6), Acid Darbari (127 Hours) and Phir Mile Sur.
A20: Rahman played Continuum Fingerboard in all of these.


Radhakrishnan Subramanian and Aditya Nataraja top the quiz with 9 points each!

Followed by:
sandeep18march  - 5
Rahmanic (Prasannavenkatesh) - 4
Abhinav - 2


Will post the next quiz shortly!

By Aravind on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM Post Categories: ,
On 5th Jan, Harish (http://magixncurses.blogspot.com) and I conducted A.R.Rahman quiz on Twitter, to celebrate AR Rahman's birthday (Jan 6).

Posting first 10 questions here for everyone to attempt. The next 10 will follow.

We conducted a tougher quiz recently to celebrate Rockstar audio launch (but we're still awaiting the CDs as I write this, thanks to T-Series and their unprofessional ways of running the business). Will post that quiz too, later.

Now, post your answer in comments. Will post the answers and results on 10th Oct (Monday).
Answers posted below each question. Hover over smudged/blocked text to reveal the answers.

Pls post ur bouquets and brickbats too in the comments. Harish and I will pick them up :)

Q 1: Clip 1: Whats special about this interlude?
A 1: It's not a flute. It was actually whistled by ARR.

Q 2: Name the first ARR song to be sung by someone from the Raja family.
A 2: Semmozhi - Yuvan

Q 3: Connect Pudhiya Manidha (Endhiran) and Na Na (Couples Retreat)
A3: ARR's kids sang in these songs. Kathija in Pudhiya Manidha and Ameen in Na Na.

Q 4: Clip 2: Name the two instrumentalists.
A 4: Raju and Kadri Gopalnath

Q 5: This was for a UN campaign. What campaign?

A 5: Stop TB campaign

Q 6: SPB : Kumar Sanu :: Chitra:    ?   
A 6: Alka Yagnik. Kumar Sanu has sung only one song for ARR - Mil Gayi (Kabhi Na Kabhi) which is a hindi version of Anjali Anjali (Duet)

Q 7: Connect: Bombay, Fire and Lord of War
A 7: All 3 movies featured the soulful "Bombay Theme" music.

Q 8: Apart from Sreenivas and Nithyashree, who are the other singers who have sung in Minsara Poove (Padayappa)?
A 8: Hariharan and Palghat Sriram. Apparently, 8-10 mins of Harijis aalaps was recorded for this song!

Q 9: Connect: Pettai Rap (Kadhalan), Veera (Raavanan), Noor-un-Ala (Meenaxi)
A 9: Lyrics for these songs were penned by the directors of the respective movies.

(Hint: We wanted to include songs from JTYJN and Jhootha Hi Sahi, but then we'd have had to include all songs from these albums)


PS: Shankar mahadevan is a singer by profession is a trivial fact. We're looking for much a much more interesting answer :D
A 10: All of them have sung for ARR, but only Simbhu did not appear in the video of the song which he sang (Baila More-Kadhal Virus)

Here are the scores:
Arvind - 8
Arun KB - 7
Bhargavi Sekhar - 7
Vijayan - 6
 Congrats guys! Hop on to part 2 :)
By Aravind on Sunday, October 02, 2011 at 5:02 PM Post Categories: ,
After Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, the media called composer Ismail Darbar the next big thing in Hindi film music. And, I should say that was well deserved. The music was indeed very good. After a couple of not-so-good albums, he again came back with another good album - Devdas. After that, no-one hears of him except when he judges reality shows or when he makes ridiculous statements.

A few years back, he mentioned that he considers AR Rahman, his Guru.
"I call him (A.R.Rahman) Guru. He also respects me..." "I remember he won at two different award functions; he went on to win for Taal and Saathiya. See the humility in him... he called me through lyricist Mehboob and said that I deserved both the awards (for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas). That's why I respect him"
(from http://www.flickr.com/photos/arrahmanfans/377089831/)

But, before this interview, came this interview:
"My work has always been better than his. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was better than Taal. Even Devdas was better than Saathiya.
But it is destiny that he got international fame. Angrezo ne uska haath pakad liya hai toh logo ko lagta hai ke yeh kuch zyada hi hai (Foreigners encouraged him so people think he is very good).
I am not saying this because of jealousy. This is the bitter truth. Whenever my work is good and he takes the awards, I feel bad.
I wonder why people run after name and fame, and not good work. Kyunki hamare yahan bahut kum akal ke log hai (we have very few intelligent people here). We see some foreigners holding someone's hand, and he becomes a big man."

(from http://in.rediff.com/movies/2005/mar/08minter1.htm)

Now, that we have seen what a two faced person Mr Ismail Darbar is, let's come to the latest controversy!

His recent allegations are the most ridiculous yet from him, the allegations being AR Rahman buying the Oscars, AR Rahman "stealing" credits, the entire industry being behind Rahman though they are "aware" of all this, the national awards committee flouting rules just so that they can give an award to Rahman.

If you think these are too ridiculous to be true, here's the interview published in Mid-Day.Justify FullLets look at these one by one and we'll see how non-sensical Mr Darbar's claims are!

So, he talks about Oscars being bought. What about the two Grammys? What about BAFTA and Golden Globe? And, BFCA Critic's choice and all the numerous other awards that AR got for Slumdog Millionaire? Paid money to the jury of every single of these academies? Laughable isn't it? Mr Darbar, what do you have to say?

And, Rahman stealing credits? This must be the biggest joke. Everyone in the music industry knows it was Rahman who introduced the system of crediting all musicians and harmony singers. He gives credits where due. So very often, we see harmony singers and musicians thanking Rahman for crediting them and making them known to the world! Mr Darbar, what do you have to say?

He says Saathiya pipped Devdas at the National Awards, and Saathiya was chosen despite it being a dubbed film. First of all, Saathiya was NOT a dubbed film. Second, AR never won a national award for Saathiya. Mr Darbar, what do you have to say?

What could be the reason for this sudden? There's news that he's joining politics. May be he's trying to garner some attention before his plunge into politics! Only Mr Darbar can answer!

We can say only one thing -
He seems to be suffering from some serious mental disease.
So, get well soon, Darbar!

By Aravind on Wednesday, June 01, 2011 at 11:33 PM Post Categories:
Woohooo! My fav song from Raavanan (Naan Varuven) has a proper music video now, featuring AR Rahman and Aishwarya Rai! :)

It feels great to know that work on this video should have been in progress, while I was writing a post about that song!

By Aravind on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM Post Categories: ,
*Warning: Could contain spoilers*

As a fan of Kamal's comedy movies, I was eagerly looking forward to Manmadhan Ambu. Reviews from my friends who watched it first, were not encouraging, but press/media reviews were mostly positive.

I went to the theater with an open mind. As the movie kept unfolding, I was being drawn into it. As Ambu realizes the truth, and the movie breaks for intermission, I was so in awe of the film. I felt, after such a lovely first half, nothing could go wrong to make it bad. I was wondering how this movie could get negative reviews! I was thinking to myself that it didn’t deserve the bad reviews it got.

Post the intermission too, it was all going fine. Till the last 20 mins, where Mannar and co, start making plans to stage a “drama”. That’s where the film lost track. To me, the movie till that point and post that looked like two different films. First, a very mature story, and then, a very childish slapstick episode.

I felt cheated. Totally. It was as though the filmmakers were making a mockery of the audience, for having en the first half so seriously and building up expectations.

It is not that I hate slapstick comedies. I loved MMKR. Hell, I love Kadhala Kadhala too. And, the last 20 mins of MA kept reminding me of Kadhala Kadhala. But, while similar strategy worked in KK, it didn’t work in MA. But, why would that happen? When you watch KK, you are prepared for slapstick for, it is slapstick from start till end. You go there for slapstick, you get slapstick. You are happy.

In case of MMA, there are very few laughs in the first half (though the ads and promos project this as a full-length comedy), but I loved the few comedy sequences as none of it was not forced. It is as though, just to justify that it is a comedy movie, all the final nonsense was forced in. But, why do that? Why project it as a comedy movie?

To me, it looked like Kamal & Ravikumar co somehow weren't clear what they want to serve. After a classy first half, they probably got worried that it was not mass enough, and tried to make it slapstick! And, that's why it didn't work for me!
By Aravind on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 4:55 PM Post Categories:
Ah! It's been really long since I blogged! But, I knew I wanted to come back! It was as though I was saying to myself "Naan varuven, Meendum Varuven" ("I'll be back") :D

So, before I start writing about the song which I've been listening to a LOT in the past few days, here's wishing everyone a very happy new year!

Ok, now... the song is "Naan Varuven" from Raavanan. This song wasn't there in the audio CDs that were released initially, but was included in the Raavanan collectors edition pack (which has a DVD with making of the music + a CD with 5 additional tracks, including Naan Varuven).

To me, Naan Varuven is the best song of the album. After having listened to the song a couple of times at the cinema (if you are not aware, it's the end credits song) and the unofficial rips several times, I was waiting for the official release! And, so overjoyed was I when I got the collector's edition disk, for just this one song.

What's so special about the song, you ask? The music, the lyrics and the expressive singing - all just so perfect for the situation.

Let's look at it from Veera's point of view, shall we? This song plays in the movie, just as Veera (Vikram's character) is shot, and is dying. He just got to know that Ragini (Aishwarya Rai's character) likes him. As he is dying, his life, his desires, his dilemmas, his love - everything probably flashes before his eyes.

Now, lets look at the lyrics. The song starts of with
"Naan Varuven,Meendum Varuven,
Unai Naan Thodarven, Uyiraal Thoduven".

He's just realised that his sweetheart likes him, but he doesn't want to go away, he only wishes to come back and live with her - at least in spirit (probably, as a spirit, even... who knows? :P)

Then, spring the dilemmas in his mind. He is clueless as to how everything changed so suddenly. Ragini, who didn't heed to his love all these days, has suddenly turned around. He has so many questions about his life, but doesn't have answers. Just as he begins to get some clarity, the entire game changes. He's won her heart, but he's going away from this world! He feels all his dreams are making a mockery of him and are jeering at him! Look at how elegantly, Vairamuthu has brought this out in his lyrics:

Oru pillai ezhudhum kirukkal thaan vaazhkai-ah?
Adhil artham thedi alaivadhey vetkai-ah?
Artham puriyum bodhu vaazhvu maarudhu
Vaazhvu maarum bodhu artham maarudhu.
Oru kanavu kaatril midhakkudho?
Adhu midhandhu kondu sirikkudho?
Sheer brilliance, no?

Now, lets come to the musical brilliance. This song's mood is in contrast to the film's entire score, which has a tribal flavour with heavy rhythms, to show the crudeness/roughness of the character. But, this song is so soft? Why would that be? I think, it is to show the peace and calm that engulf him, as he embraces death. He is happy knowing Ragini's feelings, but he also knows he is dying. He is not angry, but he is disappointed and confused!

And then, we have the African vocals. The African sounds were used throughout the movie to bring out the tribal feel. And, it flows into this song too, albeit in a softer form. To signify that his rough animal qualities have toned down, and love has made him softer? That's my guess!

Notice the mystic ambience that Rahman has created with his music. Right from the mellow opening piece and the unique ARR voice which bundles in so much of emotions, to the twisting flute pieces interspersed through out the song, Rahman knew what he was doing, and did it perfectly.

It was said that this song was not planned initially, and was composed and added as an afterthought. I think, nothing else could have been better to end the movie. The song adds so much emotion to the climax. When three wizards like Mani, ARR and Vairamuthu join hands, you expect extra-ordinary magic! This song is one such - a true masterpiece.

Song: Naan Varuven
Album: Raavanan (Collector's edition)

Singers: A.R.Rahman, Jali Fily Cissoko
Lyrics: Vairamuthu.

By Aravind on Saturday, January 01, 2011 at 8:47 PM Post Categories: , ,