Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall colors

As I was driving back home from work, I looked up and saw beautiful, wonderful fall colors on my street. I parked the car, went out with my camera, and shot these pictures. All these are within a few steps of my home.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda

Just finished watching this movie. Hobbes usually has full control of our Netflix queue, but he hasn't been feeling well, and in his feverish delirium, he agreed to let me add some movies and move them to the top :)

SKSG (Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda) brought back memories of the many Sunday evenings and afternoons spent in front of the telly. I was a kid then, and like everyone else around me, more or less hated these artsy movies. Watched them nevertheless, since the pull of the "Sunday feature film" was so strong. Having grown up and seen many, many more movies now (thanks to Hobbes), I can truly appreciate some of the gems that I saw then. Watching SKSG was an attempt at realizing it's true worth.

The story was fairly straightforward. There were only a handful of characters, and they were portrayed quite naturally and, were developed very well. The plot was simple and easy to follow. (Compare this to Marte Dam Tak, which I watched last week. There were so many characters and sub-plots that I was totally lost and utterly confused within 30 minutes of the start of the movie.) That is not to say that the characters themselves were simple. They were complex and had shades of gray. More than anything, they were normal human beings who could be selfish and self centered at times.

I loved the locations and the sets! There were no exotic locales, no designer inspired homes and no awe-inspiring landscapes. Everything looked in its rightful place. The broken windows, the dirty, narrow lanes, the tiny homes, the shared terraces - again, extremely nostalgic.

I don't know anything about camera work or cinematography, but I liked the fact that most frames had very shallow depth of field. In most of the scenes, only one or two characters filled the whole frame and were in focus, while the rest was blurred. The signal to noise ratio was pretty high and that made my brain happy :) There wasn't extraneous background information to process.

I was surprised to hear Pallavi Joshi and Rajit Kapoor break into a song (I believe it was sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy) in the middle of their conversation. The song was below-average and seemed out of place. I would say this was the only negative thing about the movie.

All in all, a weekend afternoon well spent!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My newest toy

No, the D40 doesn't cook :) But these are some of the first pictures I took!

Click here to view all the pictures.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tose Naina Lage

Last week, I was watching "Antakshari - the Great Challenge" - it was the episode in which Vasundhara Das was a guest. There is a round on the show where the celebrity sings a favorite antara of theirs, and the contestants have to identify the mukhda.... One of the songs she picked was Tose Naina Lagey (Javeda Zindagi) from Anwar. (The teams were not able to identify the song, they confused it with Maula Mere Maula from the same sound track.) I loved what she sang, and I looked up the song on the net. I have to say, I hit a JACKPOT! This song is amazing, fabulous, awesome, well, adjectives don't do justice do it ....

I admit, I am late to the party, the album was released in 2006, and I hadn't heard this song till last week. (I had heard Maula a couple of times in bits and pieces.) But once I heard it, I was totally hooked. I rented the movie on Netflix, and watched it. (The movie isn't anywhere close to being as wonderful as these two tracks, but can be watched once. A subject matter of an hour or so is unfortunately stretched out into around two and a half hours. The premise of the movie is, interesting, though.) I listened to Javeda Zindagi straight for 8 hours on two consecutive days at work, and it is PROFOUND. I still get goose bumps when I listen to it. Out of the mediocre-listen-today-forget-tomorrow Hindi film music, comes this gem. What's not to like - the voices, the prelude, the interlude, the chanting (dhyaan dhyaan dhyaan dhar man), the words.... The jewel in the crown is the tabla, though. Specially endearing is the part where Kshitij sings the sargam and alaap instead of the words in the mukhda.

I looked up the meaning of Javeda - it's actually spelt as Javeeda at some places and it means eternal. Now that I know this, the song makes a lot more sense, and it fits right into context in the movie. I liked the fact that it plays in the background in the movie (no one lip syncs it, it actually plays during the end credits). That adds a lot more enigma to the song and makes it apt for the situation. SPOILER ALERT ............ All the central characters in the story are dead, and the song talks about how love gives a whole new life and renders death meaningless.

I like watching music shows for this reason - I don't get the time to listen to all the new music being written, and these shows introduce me to the gems that I miss out on. (I heard Kailash Kher's Teri Deewani for the first time on SaReGaMaPa Little Champs when Abhrokanti sang it.)

Maula is also a great song, though it pales in comparison to Tose Naina Lage. Another song worth mentioning is Dilbar Mera, but I wish that it wasn't so harsh-sounding. I think it's a rare talent that Kailash Kher possesses - to be able to sing in a raw voice, and yet sound gentle. I wonder how this song would have sounded if Kher had sung it, but we will never know ....

Listen to the best song of 2006 here.