Carnatic Music Movie

February 12, 2012

Chandru and I had met for coffee today, and we were wondering about what fad a Bollywood movie set overseas would inspire in 2012 (after all the Tomatina nonsense in 2011).

At this point, Chandru said that the Music Academy (the one on TTK Road) should get someone in Bollywood to do a movie about Carnatic music. Barely had he said this than we look’d at each other with a wild surmise, and agreed that actually we should be the ones to make it.

So. This is our movie. We shall faithfully stick to the cliches, er, template, er, tropes of the sports movie genre. It will be like every other sports/ competitive event movie ever – Chak de India, The Karate Kid, Sister Act, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar – except with Carnatic music instead of sports.

Our underdogs will be three guys and two girls (or two guys and three girls, depending on availability of stars) in their teens. Each of them, in their preteens, rebelled against the oppressive and straitjacketed tutition that their traditional Carnatic music teachers were putting them through. Then, all of them found themselves drawn to the mentor figure.

The mentor figure is loosely modeled on Krish Ashok. He acts with disdain for Carnatic purists who frown on experimentation and fusion. Eventually he gets so frustrated with them that he trolls a kutcheri by going up to the stage while the performance is on, and then breaking into an unsolicited jam with the performers. On the bagpipes. Everyone is so shocked and outraged that only one thatha and one maami actually notice that the bagpipe jam is in the same raagam which the guys on stage were putting. But their observation is drowned out in all the outrage by the so-called rasikas. The bagpiper is than made an outcast from the Carnatic music scene and he becomes embittered.

Fifteen years later, he finds these other rebellious kids and takes them under his wing. He teaches them Carnatic music from the concepts, instead of just making them mug and practice endlessly. Like Mr Miyagi got Daniel-san to internalise blocks by doing wax-on wax-off, this mentor makes the vocalist have an epiphany about vocal range by making her scream and shiver in #chennaisnow. And so on and so forth.

While the Margazhi season is on, the mentor tells them to ignore the season itself and focus on the bigger goal – the International World Music Festival, which is being held in… it’s being held in whichever country or city’s tourism agency is willing to strike a deal with the movie’s producers, dammit! So while the mean Carnatic prodigies who bully our heroes are getting condescended to by The Hindu’s reviewers, the heroes themselves fly off to said International World Music Festival. This is kind of like how in The White Feather, Sheen gets over the disappointment of not being allowed to box for the house by going to Aldershot.

Unfortunately, their luggage is lost by the airline (that is, whichever airline that did not¬†strike a deal with the movie’s producers. How do you like them¬†apples?) and they land up at the festival without instruments. They panic until the mentor inscrutably tells them to make music with whatever they have.

There is then a battle of the groups sequence with European classical, reggae, Asian instrumental, jazz groups performing until finally our Chennai heroes come up and unleash jazz fusion Carnatic world music. The gathered metrosexuals orgasm over it. They win the Festival and return like heroes to Chennai, and the Hindu puts them on the front page of Metro Plus.

At the end, the mentor is reintegrated into the Music Academy, our heroes win the awe and fear of former Carnatic music bullies, and unresolved romantic tension between the mridangamist and the vocalist is finally resolved.

People with money who want to invest in this surefire blockbuster – please do the needful and contact us.

How to Read Interesting Links on Twitter on Kindle Later

February 12, 2012

I tweeted earlier this morning about automatically sending interesting links I find on twitter to my Kindle. Since two people (@saffrontrail and @_a_muse) asked me how this was done, and it won’t fit in tweets, here’s a blogpost that explains the process. Hopefully it’ll benefit other people also.

First here’s what you need:

  1. A Twitter account
  2. A registered Kindle
  3. An account
  4. An account

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Create an instapaper account.
    1. Once this is done and you’re logged in, go to Instaper’s Kindle settings page
    2. You’ll see an email address which is something like Save this for Step 2.
    3. You’ll have to fill in your Kindle’s email address. At this point, you’ll have to run Step 2 in parallel.
  2. Set up your Kindle to receive email. To do this:
    1. Login to Amazon. Find the link that says Manage Your Kindle and head there.
    2. Click on ‘Personal Document Settings’ in the sidebar.
    3. You’ll now see your Kindle’s email id. Take this back to the instapaper Kindle settings page, and fill it in.
    4. Also, in the ‘Approved Personal Document Email List’, click on ‘Add a new approved e-mail address’. Now, fill in that email id.
    5. Proceed to Step 3
  3. Now, come back to your instapaper Kindle settings page. Make sure that the ‘Send my Unread articles to my Kindle automatically’ box is checked, and tweak the sending settings to your preferences, depending on how much you read and how often you send new articles to your instapaper queue.

All right! So at the end of Step 3, any new article you add to your instapaper reading list will automatically go to your Kindle. But right now, you’ll still have to open every article before you can send it to instapaper. The next step is the nice part – you can add interesting links you find on twitter to instapaper without opening them. Here’s that process:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Now, go to this link, which is an ifttt recipe which scans your new favourited tweets, and if it finds links in them, sends them to instapaper.
  3. You’ll now have to authorise ifttt to link to both your twitter and instapaper account. This does mean entering your passwords for both these services. Don’t panic – the password is not going to ifttt, only to twitter/ instapaper to allow them to authorise ifttt.
  4. Create the task. Don’t worry about the text box fields that ifttt shows you – you can leave them empty.
All right. The automation is now done. So now, the next time you’re logged into twitter, and you see a tweet with a link that looks interesting, all you have to do is favourite (star) that tweet. The next time you sync your Kindle, you’ll get it in your instapaper delivery.

Note: Maybe you’d rather use Pocket or Readability instead of Instapaper. You can, and the principle is the same, but I’ve never bothered to set it up myself. You’ll have to use an ifftt recipe that links Twitter and Readability or Twitter and Pocket. Linking Readability to Kindle is easy, here’s the page to do it. Pocket, unfortunately, doesn’t send directly to Kindle, and you’ll have to use the third party en2Kindle website, adding yet another step. But if that works for you because you love Pocket, great.