Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jai Ho!!!

Hurray! He did it! A billion prayers answered. An Indian composer wins the prestigious Golden Globe best composer award for the first time. It's ARR's tribute to India and Indian music. I was lucky to catch the live presentation of the 66th annual Golden Globe awards on TV last Sunday and all the anticipation ended in jubilation. I was so proud to see the entire audience, the who's who from Hollywood and from other film fraternities around the world, give an impromptu standing ovation to our "Mozart of Madras" as he walked up the stage to get his award. And then each time a Slumdog nomination or award was announced, the inspirational song "Jai ho" played in the background.
I would not say that Slumdog Millionaire is Rahman's best work. It very well ranks with the top music he has produced in the last 15-16 years. But he needed this film to catapult himself and India to a global level of recognition. In fact, in the 2 days since the GGs, I have heard at least 4-5 people I work with, actually evincing interest in his work and talking about his music for the film. I think that is simply remarkable. Soon, they will be able to pronounce his name well too! (They called him AR Roman or some such thing at one of the award ceremonies.)
2008 was indeed a fantastic year for ARR. Before we could have enough of one album, he came up with another chartbuster. Jodha Akbar, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Ada, Yuvvraaj, Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire... wow! And what a way to start the year! I can see many more awards coming his way in the next few months. An Academy award too perhaps; watch out on February 22, 2008. Another billion prayers for the musical genius please!
And from reading a million news articles on ARR in the last 2-3 days, I can tell you somethings that you probably didn't know:
That Shahrukh Khan was offered the part of Anil Kapoor as the host of the 'Who wants to be a millionaire', but refused because he was busy with Om Shanti Om. He apparently regrets it now! First, he missed Lagaan, and now this.
The award winning song "Jai Ho" was composed by Rahman for Yuvvraaj, as a song for Zayed Khan's character. Subhash Ghai felt that it did not suit the movie, and agreed to let ARR use it for Slumdog instead.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


That's right! Fatigability, severe joint pains, headache, dizziness, feeling of impending doom.... I had all these symptoms this afternoon as I returned home after a 4-hour shopping mall outing with my wife. I believe the 'pleasurable' excursion was long overdue, and we were initially excited to find what great deals everyone has been talking about. But what a way to begin a year!
Just entering a mall, any mall, small or big, causes some blurring of my vision. All covered with artificial lighting, a really jarring combination of colors and styles. The miles and miles of walking and turning into aisles. Don't even ask about the pressures of finding the best price between stores and amongst the heaps of clothes, shoes and bags. The irritating banners all over the place, one bigger than the other; but each less informative than the other. One said: "all items $4.99 and up", with the latter two words in small print, about 1/100th of the size of the first three. Another shouted: "Up to 80% off". Then the BOGO scam: Buy One Get One deals. I sincerely sympathize with store managers who arduously scale up prices to 200% one day prior to the sale only to give the gullible shoppers half-off. And if you're finally done with your selections, at the check-out counter, would they ever forget to ask you to enroll for their credit card if you want another 15% off? One generous lady even wanted my e-mail id so she could send exciting offers about the latest bath and body products. I courteously declined.
All this prompts me to go on the internet for all my shopping needs and urges. Already, I shop for electronics, books, some groceries and sometimes shoes and clothes online. You can often make the best decision in lesser time, be certain of good quality by reading customer reviews before purchasing, compare prices at different stores and have it delivered at home comfortably.