Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Archive for the ‘sport’ Category

Malayalam music reality shows on TV

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You might have read my previous posts about the Malayalam reality show – Idea Star Singer (ISS) on Asianet. However I had missed out following or even being aware of another great reality show on Malayalam TV – Super Star Global (SSG) on Amrita TV.

I was introduced to SSG by Preethi (my wife; thanks, dear!) yesterday when she played the awesome rendition of the great Hindi movie song “Kuhu kuhu” [1957!] by the eventual winner Roopa Revathi on an episode from last year. It just blew me away, and so did her medley, not to mention her other efforts!

I am once again thankful to God for having made me someone who can naturally follow both Tamil and Malayalam, and with training — thanks to Kerala schools where you have to learn three languages and Dakshin Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha — Hindi as well. Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi industries are lucky to have witnessed some of the highest quality film songs made in the last fifty years in India. I would rate the songs in Tamil and Malayalam of the last 30 years even higher than that of Hindi, thanks to men of such calibre like Ilayaraja, Ravindran, Johnson, Yesudas, SPB, Janaki, Chithra and Rahman.

Then I stumbled upon this wonderful wrap-up of these two reality shows by Balaji Srinivasan in this blog post. Nothing much is left for me to say. I hope you would get to enjoy a few hours of high quality music. A quick and dirty way to listen to Roopa’s songs are by visiting the audio page on her alternate site (strange a person having two sites whose address differ literally by a dot!).

The only problem I have now is to convince Airtel Digital TV to start transmitting Amrita TV. If that happens, it would be great to immerse myself in music between 8 and 10pm whenever time permits.

Oh, yes, thanks to Balaji, got to read this great piece on Roger Federer by the NYT as well. The happiness I derived from music and reading today was moving enough to inspire me to write something on this blog after a few extremely hectic weeks. I do hope I get to experience more such days, thanks to perhaps the most useful invention of the last century — internet. It would be great to hear your comments.

Update: A comprehensive dissection of Roopa’s SSG 2008 performance is available over at Subash’s blog.

Written by Proto

July 11, 2009 at 02:25 hrs

The Months That Were – July/Aug ’06

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July 2006 was a month of very less activity, lots of reading, some great moments, and some heartbreaks. The heartbreaks started with the German team loosing out to the eventual champions Italy, and the final twist came when Italy managed to steal the World Cup. If ever there was a Champion unworthy of the title (when teams like Argentina, Germany and France were around), it was Italy! Of course, they won and they are the champions, and I better keep my mouth shut! :)

As I was saying in the first para, during this month and the next, I managed to read quite a bit (compared to my recent book reading trends). The best of the lot must be the works of Robert M Pirsigthe Zen book (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and the not-so-famous, but equally good (if not better) second part — Lila. Both have had tremendous influence in my life, and I would advice anyone to give the books a go when they get the chance! The depth and breadth of coverage is quite remarkable.

I should also stress upon the fact that they are not the usual fiction or the fad books, but are categorized under “Philosophy” by the publisher. They are a bit heavy (in terms of pages and theme wise), but are well worth the time invested. I would try to post more about them later on, but for now these two links would do. But suffice to say that the concept of the Metaphysics of Quality (which is explored in the Zen book and given a firm shape in Lila) are simply the best thing I have ever read! But I am sure I wouldn’t mind reading both the books a few more times, time permitting!

In fact, if you are still having a doubt, this is what Joel Spolsky has to say about the book in his famous Book Reviews post:

“Some people’s attitude towards programming is that it’s a nifty way to
pay the bills. For others, that’s not enough… our work is a
significant a part of our lives, and we need a philosophical
understanding to make sense of it. This book goes a long way towards
relating engineering and philosophy”
.

I am deeply indebted to Joel for making me aware of this book (in 2002), Jiju for referring these gems way back in 2003-04 when I was out to purchase a gift for a friend, and to Raghu, who gave me the thing I appreciate the most as gift: Vouchers to buy books (at my engagement) :). In fact, when I left my previous work, I was asked what I wanted as a parting gift. I told them, I am planning to buy a book. Give me your contribution in cash, I will contribute the rest to pay the bill for some book I had on my mind. Probably, I am just crazy! ;)

Apart from these two seminal works, I also managed to read two more great books: Tuesdays with Morrie and The Alchemist. I also enjoyed the Dan Brown novel Angels and Demons. I recommend A&D to anyone who thought The Da Vinci Code was good! This is the novel in which Brown introduces the character of Robert Langdon, and is quite absorbing in itself. I heard that the movie will be out in 2007.

Apart from this, I had been to Trivandrum and Mahabalipuram during this period, and there were lots of team-treats at work as well. So, in all, I was having a nice time.

The lows during this period include a few days I was not well, Mom suffering from fever and being down for more than 30 days (in three slots of 10 days each over a period of 40 days starting in May and ending in Aug), the countless visits to the Doc and the Apollo for treatment. Mom is doing fine, except for muscle pain in her right leg, that makes her limp while she is walking these days. Docs say that it will take at least couple of months for the muscle pain (induced by Chikungunya that spread like wild fire down south of India during summer) to go away!

Thanks for reading thus far. Have a great week ahead.

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Written by Proto

September 3, 2006 at 21:39 hrs

The Month That Was – June ’06

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June is a month that I would like to forget for I was sick for most of this period. The running around for the engagement preparation and the countless hours at work and outside had taken its toll on my body, immediately after the engagement. In fact, looking back at the engagement snaps taken during the late evening, I can see that I was visibly tired!

But I would like to remember this month for the first week of June, when Preethi was around in Chennai, and we managed to go watch Fanaa (a waste of a movie except for a couple of good songs) at my weekly outing place (Satyam Theatres), and got to visit the Besant Nagar beach twice.

Apart from that all I remember is the countless tablets I gulped down and the countless glasses of the thing I hate most — Kurumulagu Rasam — that I drank to ward off the seemingly invincible cold and throat pain that just refused to go away! By the end of the month I had conquered the worst cold I had ever experienced, but my system had taken quite a knock, forcing me to loose some weight (at last)!

Of course, I also remember this month for the great German run at the Fifa World Cup! To me, they along with Argentina were the teams of the World Cup, though France sprang back to life late in the competition.

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Written by Proto

September 3, 2006 at 20:48 hrs

We won!

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“Football is a game played by 22 players. And then Germany win.” — Gary Linekar, England Football Team, 1984 – 1992

We won! Germany beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties to enter their 11th FIFA World Cup Semi-final, a record Brazil would equalize if they end Zidane’s career later today.

I guess we can attribute the above Linekar comment to the outgoing Argentine coach Jose Pekerman as well, after his bitter experience earlier in the day. I will try to update this post over the weekend, but for now, don’t miss this piece on how the Argentines masterfully [pun intended] dug their own grave!

Btw, Apple has something to say on this, and I came up with the title for this post inspired by it.

Go Germany, Go! All the way back to Berlin and lift the Cup!

Written by Proto

July 1, 2006 at 03:07 hrs