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Cricket, Aayathu Ezhuthu

I lost interest in Cricket the day the infamous betting scandal broke out. Yet whenever Indian and Pakistan play, I allow my blithe unconcern for the game to slip into a partial concern. There is something about this traditional rivalry, something about the electric atmosphere on the day of the coveted encounter which makes it impossible for you to ignore the game. While taking an evening stroll down MG road today, a friend remarked “Show me one TV set today which isn’t tuned to the match”, and indeed - be it Barista or a restaurant serving Andhra food – they’ll all have a TV showing the match. Call it their love for the game or pure economics; if you are eating out, chances are you won’t miss cricket much. The din of crackers outside my apartment informs me that India has won; another salient feature of an India Pakistan encounter – the celebrations after a victory sometimes make Diwali seem bland. I am not complaining; nothing quite brings this country together like a keenly contested game of Cricket, even more so if we happen to be taking on Pakistan.

Another Rahman flick came out last week - Aayathu Ezhuthu. Actually, Aayathu Ezhuthu is just the Tamizh variant, this has been a simultaneous release in Tamizh, Telugu and Hindi (it is called “Yuva” in latter two). There are six tracks – all fresh tunes. I sometimes miss the Rahman of a decade ago and the simple melodies that used to be a key element in all his works. Except for one track (Track 3, Sandai Kozhi) in this album, all others are heavily techno/club – though most of them still grow on you within two hearings. This album will definitely qualify as an experimental work of Rahman, who also happens to have crooned for 3 of the 6 tracks. If you are a Rahman fan, definitely pick this album. (Oh yes, the opening notes of Track 5, Nenjam Ellam, for some reasons, remind me of the track “Warehouse” from Dave Matthews Band album Under the Table and Dreaming).

A friend explained to me that this album (the Tamizh version) has an interesting rationale behind its name. Aayathu literally means weapon while Ezhuthu implies “writing”. However, this is not where the exact connotation comes from – Aayathu Ezhuthu together mean “last matra” (diacritical) and this is where the real gist lies. The diacritical “Ah” is denoted in Tamizh by 3 dots arranged in a triangle (imagine 3 dots at each vertex of an equilateral triangle something like the symbol they use in Mathematics to denote “therefore”). Now, “Ah” like any other diacritic, is always suffixed to a character (e.g. கஃ) and this is the “matra” being referred to here. There are 3 protagonists (“heroes”) in the movie; each dot represents one of them!

posted: 25.3.04

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