Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mad gals in Madras

What do two sweet Malayalee sopranos, one blond Swedish counter-tenor and a jolly green Tambrahm bass do when they get together?

Open a nursing college cum online matrimonial agency with inexpensive designer furniture?


Well then?

Elementary, my dear Bhaktavatsalam Seetharam Kumar Korraguntla. They take a deep collective breath and sing 15th century European music.

Hmm. That sounds like err.. fun. 15th century eh? Did Europe have oxygen bars yet? Chicken teeka masolla? Rock shows? Oh wait, they wore afros and shiny costumes, didn't they?

Yes. Life in the 15th century was one big oxygen bar. But since there were only 27 people around, rock show infrastructure was limited to medium sized dining tables around which they gathered, sporting trendy page-boy cuts and linen tunics.

To eat mutton biriyani and butter chicken boneless full?

Yes. And to sing songs and play on lutes.

Ah, dinner music, is it aano? Then sallright. What was it called? Bleat and eat?

Close. They were called Madrigals. Usually 4 voices, two high, one medium and one low, singing complicated music. Usually acapella

Who is Acapella? Is she cute? Single? Available?

All of the above. Acapella is also the word for music that is sung with no instrumental accompaniment. Which makes it harder to perform because there are no instruments to cover up wonky notes, and tougher to sustain the attention of a 2007 Adyar Audience.

Wait, you're performing in Chennai? Two sweet Mallu sopranos, one blonde Swede counter-tenor and one jolly green Tambrahm Bass?



Two sweet Mallu sopranos, one blonde Swede counter-tenor and one slightly tense Tambrahm bass who has to set his tail on fire after the show and rush off to join his relatives at a jolly green wedding in Mahabalipuram yay.

Oh fun. So no instruments eh?

No instruments for the Madrigals, but lute and harpsichord accompaniments for the lighter songs about unrequited love, death and stuff.

Fool. They stopped making such things in the late Baroque period. Where you will get such instruments at such short notice in Madras. From your grandfather's anjanapotti or what?

In Madras, anything is possible. However, to be safe, we have cleverly transcribed the harpsichord and lute scores into music for piano and classical guitar, which are still in production, so there.

And it sounds the same?


Oh. Because the instruments are different.

Correct. And because voices brought up on a diet of nadan kozhi curry and morkozhambu performing European music on a sultry Chennai evening 500 years after it was composed, are bound to sound different. Cooler, but different.

Can't 'ardly wait luv.

Then come over to The Unwind Center's Acoustic Music Fest at KRMM college hall (Behind Adyar Ladies Club), 3rd Cross, Gandhinagar, Chennai at 6:45pm on Sat, Sep 1, to hear us. Four voices, piano and classical guitar (played by a random jolly green tambrahm). We perform for half an hour or so, after which all manner of contemporary sorts will take over the stage. Don't be late ok?


Friday, August 24, 2007

One rainy afternoon on St Marks road..

(Translations in the comments page)

Clap Clap

Me: Wha..?
Aye Rajeskanna, Rajeskanna, lamba saal jiyega tu. Aao teri jindagi batati mai Rosy.
Me: (nervously) Ha ha maaf karo maaf karo.
Rosy: Arre kai ko maaf karna hai re, lamba saal jiyega, gaadi bangla rakhega re tu, chal, mummy ko kuch de de na.
Clap Clap
Me: Nahin mummy maaf kar do. (To friend) Polaama?

Rosy: Ayyo rasaa, Tamil pesuriyaa. Aye Sarasu, Monica, Daally, vaanga dee, raasa tamil pesudhu
Me: Uh oh.
(Chorus of claps)
Sarasu: Adadada yevalavu alaga irukku idhu. Nalla kelu dee, Rajes kannu kuduththudum
Daally: Kudu rasa kudu, nee nalla iruppai, azhagu raasaava iruppai.
Monica: Ippave ivvalavu superaa irukkiye kannu. Indha Monica sonna innum perivana valaruvai chellam.
Rosy: Rajessu, kudra kanna. Naan Rosy kekkuraen illa? Kudu raasa
Me: Aiyyo illai ma (err pa). I dont have any change.
Rosy: (Switching back to Hindi to compensate for my embarrassed English) Toh change kyun deta hai re. Sau rupya de de na Rajes.
Me (idiotically): I dont have 100s. Only 500s
Sarasu: Toh 500 de de na mere Sarukh Khan, Salman Khan
Monika: Kuduthudu rasa, nee periya aakitru aaguvai. Yellarum unnaiyeyyyy paaaaathukittirupaanga. Apparam nee indha Monika vai marakka veyyyy maate. (clap clap)
Me: Ainooraa? Ungalukku 500 kuduthein na naan yenna aaguvain?
Rosy: Aiyo yen kutti Siranjeevi, ainoorla nee suberstar aaguvai, Kavaskar aaguvai, Tata Pirla aaguvai, Yen kannu kutti chellon aaguvai.
Me: Err
Sarasu: Ada po rajesu, ainoorla nalla sandal kooda kadaikkaathu ippa ellaan. Naan pesaveyy maatein unnoda.
Daally: Chalo, tum 500 de do Rajes, main 450 ka chutta deti hoon
Me: Abba ozhinjudhu. Indha ma. Sillarai kudu.
Rosy: Vangikka dee Monica
Slurrpy kiss from Monica
Caress from Sarasu
Two heavy cheek pinches from Daally.

Chorus: Yen Kannnnnu, mavaraaasa, Raaajessu. Nalla iru kannu. Poittuvaren Rajesssu
Me: Err.

Sniff.. Nobody's been so nice to me ever!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tag-a-raja Kriti

I have been commanded by the infamous KA to write 25 random factoids about my existence. Muhuhaha what you hawe let yuvarself in for I say muhuhahaha.

  1. I like zoning out. I've done it all my life and regularly go "wha...?" in the middle of important conversations. Bunches of friends have named me Zoney M, Blanko, Bladdy Phull etc on account of it. I am also known to make unrelated stupid remarks to save myself from being caught out but only get myself into more trouble.
  2. I will order anything on the menu that I havent tried before. Even if it Kissan jam sauteed with yoghurt and egg noodles.
  3. I love biking in the rain. Love it love it. Until the first drop of water seeps through into my chuddies. Then I hate it, hate it.
  4. I went green last year and sold my mobike to buy a Reva. I have subsequently hit my brain several times with my father's ancestral hawai chappal. Insanely proud though, that good old Jog Falls can give good old Dubya a run for his money. But I want my old chugger back!! wail!
  5. I love Mangalorean food. I also love Mallu food. And Coorg food. And Rasam and baby potatoes. And pretentious chi chi pooh pooh food. And thair sadham. And wadakina wendekai. And.. err ok I like food.
  6. I've joined a gym 4 times in my life and have never gotten past the third month. Whenever I feel flabby I watch a fitness video and instantly feel better.
  7. The world's best masala dosa exists in a pokey little hotel called Central Tiffin Rooms in Malleshwaram. In fact its location is so top secret that they have even changed the name of the hotel so that people dont kidnap the cook. Be nice to me and I might take you there - blindfolded of course.
  8. I adore roller coasters! I'm considering living on one for a few years. I dont even have to use two tumblers to cool my degree coffee. Just pour it off the top of a slope and catch it on my way down. Fun fun.
  9. I play guitar with the skill of a cotton fluffer. I can get away with murder if I threaten to play it amidst company.
  10. I always have an out of body experience when I go to Purple Haze and realize we're headbanging to death metal in a pub on a plateau in South India!
  11. I cannot remember birthdays. Even if I am reminded the day before. Always compensate by being extra nice to the person a month later. I dont think this has worked very well.
  12. When the price of cucumbers goes down in Malleshwaram market, the vendors will cry out with mock incredulity : "Yeld rupp yeld rupp. Yenri idhu?" (Rs 2, Rs 2, What is this (insanity)?)
  13. In 1987 the Bangalore city corporation decided to substitute the water in the Sadashivnagar Olympic swimming pool with dil. HCl. I owe my beautiful pink peeling skin tone to this.
  14. My lifetime ambition is to sneak up to someone in Beijing and say "Are you Chwyneeeeeeeeeeese?"
  15. I want to sign up the person who writes the captions for Page 3 pics in Bangalore Times for a therapeutic public stoning.
  16. Enid Blytons are best enjoyed atop a mango tree.
  17. My mother has steadfastly deprived me of potted meat sandwiches and scones all through my childhood.
  18. Andhra's speciality mango pickle was so named when a famous Australian called Nan Dandee tasted it for the first time and said "Its Awkay mite".
  19. A schoolboy looks ridiculous when he walks through a rice paddy in Trivandrum with his shoes held above his head and his shorts fall off.
  20. Sparrows left Bangalore in 1999. I did not receive a message thanking me for the sunflower seeds and caterpillars. Where are you my little ones? Come back I say.
  21. When your cousin says "They have cleaned up the Adyar" and offers to take you on a bike ride down the bridge, do not go. "They have not."
  22. The best way to get out of a Hijra's clutches is to fold your hands, say maaf karo and dive at their feet.
  23. And just to be contrary, I will stop at 23.

I shall now tag rustyneurons to kindly do the needful and oblige.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The hellos

If you thought Javed Jaffrey invented this latest lingo that is all the rage today, you are the wrongs. It has been around for quite a while in the Benglurs. It is terribly uncool and gets on your nerves, but is also hopelessly addictive. The trick is to intersperse colonial governmentese with random prepositions, throw in a tass-puss accent and vernaculo-pluralize the whole thing. Simples.

"The hellos. How it is?"
"Sallrights. Vat is to be doings?"
"The tv watchings, readings, chumma sittings and generally jolly lo janardhanings"
"Vary the goods. I will to come in 10 minutes ok va?"
"Comes in won'nour times. I am going for oil bathings"
"Oh yes aa, wokay I will do the aforementioned."
"Yes kindly to be doing the same."
"OK byes the."

It is perfect for corporates the communications:

Dears the employees,

I am to notings with growing the concerns that ppls are coming into office wearings vaterveritis they are vantings. It is with great the regrets that I have to announce that is unaccept-the-bles. The chuddis wearings, the hawai chappal with yellow toenails showings and product-free hair is just appalling I tell you. Howitis you can wear the aforementioned items in proffessional the atmospheres pls to telling. I therefore request one and all to kindly take note of the same and pulling up socks till navels and tying tie around head if your overfed software engineer's neck is beings the too thick for it. You follow?

I remain sin-the-cerelys
Semi evull HRs the Managers.

Or pre-recorded multi-voice railway station announce-the-ments:

(squeaky voice) Gaadi nembers ... (Deep voice) The threes, the fours, the twos, the threes ... (Mallu squawk) Lyaaalbaaguhs the Essprruss .....(Squeak) fraam .....(Deep voice) The Channis.....(squeak) is expected to the arrives at platform numbers..... (Deep voice) the Twos .......(squeak) At ........(Mallu sqawk) Den dherty pms.

Or a break up letter:

Dears the Johns,

It has been many a day since I have been the thinking about writing this to the yous. Boss it is not the happenings. Please to kindly finding ettanother appropriate ladies for maritals the purposes.

Thanks and best the regards,
It is I.

Or perhaps a recipe for exotic continental dish

1. To takings the freshly picked aspara-the-gus from alpine mountain tops and blanching in haats spring vaatrs for 13 seconds.
2. Taking anchovy-fed guinea-bissau pheasants, turning inside outs and stuffings with a mixture of the fresh eidelweiss, juniper lichens, antarctic olives, a dash of dijagaboranjo vinegar, the potetos and the taametos.
3. Then to be marinatings in white wine reductions for 28 days while talking to it in cooings the voices for 3.2 hours per diem.
4. Finally boilings in the salt vaters for 2 hours, drying in suns, and depositing gently in dust-the-bins.

Due to to extreme efficacy in conveying the meanings, in my humble opinionings, this language is to be adopteds univers-the-lly for all communications in the futures.