Archive for June, 2011

India after Gandhi

P.S: Title inspired by R. Guha’s book


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Thieving musicians!

A few days back, I found out that my favorite Malayalam film song of the year was shamelessly ripped off from a Canadian singer. The music of the song Aaro Nee Aaro from the film Urumi, beautifully rendered by K.J. Yesudas and Swetha Mohan  is a direct lift from Loreena McKennitt’s  Caravanserai song from her 2006 album An Ancient Muse . Just listen to this:

This is the song from Urumi:

and compare it with the original

Not an adaptation. So definitely a case of inspiration. In fact, the music director was so inspired that he chose not to change anything.

This is not the first instance of plagiarism in Indian music or anything, as this site amply demonstrates, but this case was really heart breaking for me, not least because I spent a better part of the past few months listening to this song, the wrong one!

In the 80s, when Indians weren’t exposed to the world so much, copying a Celtic tune from a Canadian singer might have made sense, though in a very sick way. It would only be too easy to pass a Mona Lisa replica as your own to attain fame in your homeland if people are ignorant of the real one. So I wouldn’t be surprised if I learnt that no one in my parent’s generation knew that the popular tune “Thannannam thaanannam” by Ilayaraja in the Malayalam movie Yathra (1985) is just the same as the quite celebrated “My favorite things” in The Sound of Music. You could call it inspiration or blatant copying depending on how kind you are. When it comes to a maestro like Ilayaraja who has his own infinite creations to his credit, its easy to be kind. But not with the Urumi music director, Deepak Dev.

Considering that about 90% of the greatest movies and documentaries I have watched were pirated copies, I do not have a Gandhi level moral authority here to judge the thieves. To be sure, I am quite thankful  to all the fellow thieves who were kind enough to share the stolen material in torrent and other sharing sites. In fact, just like this blogger  says, I am even thankful to Deepak Dev for his blatant plagiarism coz otherwise I wouldn’t have heard anything about Loreena Mckennitt, let alone her lovely voice. So I am quite thankful to these particular brand of thieving that helps creative work spread across masses. I say the same thing to support local artists who sing ARR songs without paying any kind of royalty. If that is the only way common folks can afford to hear ARR songs live, so be it.

But there is a line here. A thick one. Does any of these local singers try to pass ARR music as his/her own original work? I mean, how hard is it to add the line “An adaptation of..” or an ” Inspired from..” at the end? To put things in perspective, I don’t think many people in India know about the Turkish pop singer Tarkan or his song Sikidim even though almost everyone here recognizes the music immediately, thanks to the popular song Shikdum  (which by the way is notable due to a whole different reason, but lets not delve into that) from the movie Dhoom.

So one thing you can reasonably expect is that the creative folk will always be pissed off about any kind of theft of original work, at least on principle. So what is to be made when established creative folk themselves steal from one another and pass it on as their original work?

This is why the curious case of Deepak Dev is even more curious to me. In this age of internet, did he really think no one would ever find out??
If yes, LOL! Already its mentioned in Urumi’s wiki page, and the youtube link for the song is flooded with comments about plagiarism. Internet sure does make copying easy. But it also makes it easy to get busted. Doesn’t it? God! the guy must be so stupid!!

To conclude, we have a beautiful garland for the music lovers. Never mind if the flowers are stolen from a neighbor’s garden.

– Contributing to the Malayalee musical tradition, Deepak Dev style.

EDIT : After reading this and this, I learn that if the govt passes the newly proposed additional rules for the IT Act, this blog would be illegal and I would have to remove it if I don’t want to be accused of cyber crime. The blog would be termed “defamatory”, “disparaging” and borderline “abusive”. I hope its not “blasphemous” god forbid if that is to happen. The guy who drafted these rules must be a real genius. I really wish I could meet him one day..so that I can request him to please return to his home planet!

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Lately, I have been daring to move beyond realistic paintings. Even though above paintings are anything but abstract, I think I kinda get the whole abstract painting funda now. What I mean is that if a realistic painter comes and tells me that what I have drawn here don’t look anything like real sunflowers or the lady looks more 2D than 3D, its quite likely that my critic will end up looking like a jerk. Because nobody cares. I should not be told what or how to paint as long as I am not asking anyone to like it. I am free to paint. You are free to hate.

P.S: If you don’t know whether to love it or hate it and need someone important to tell you that, then you probably have a whole different set of issues to be worrying about.

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New Masthead

Hi everyone, I am changing my masthead. A colorful pretty pic of the blogger just doesn’t feel right. Its too personal. And the whole point of internet is to get impersonal anyway. So now I am sporting this semi-abstract photograph collage thing I just came up with. I want to replace my b/w photo with some kinda cartoon character and a coffee cup too. Maybe later.

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Lifey #3

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

well,the point is: Get things done YOUR way!!


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Grand children!

Generations of parents have tried to hide from their kids what sex is all about..


..but they always find out!

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