I am a little troubled by AR Rahman’s Jana Gana Mana. Not with the packaging – Times Music has released a beautiful CD+ DVD package, retailing at 399 Rs – but at the fact that the release is actually a RE-release. Everybody, including the Rahman experts seem to be ignoring that. And Rahman himself? The man who cried “foul” when Magnasound rereleased one of his private albums composed for Shubha, touting it as AR Rahman’s first English Language album, the man who went on record and split with a company that had brought out his first albums is happily floating on the publicity machine.

I bought the cassette of Jana Gana Mana in February 2000, in Sangeet Saagar, Hyderabad. Agonised over buying the CD version, which came with a free VCD ( note the technological leap we have taken in the last seven years. VCDs are gone, baby, gone. ), but unfortunately was priced at 500 Rs. Over the years, I would wait for the CD to be released without the VCD, for prices to be slashed, for some kind of sale where I could get it cheaper. But nothing of that sort happened, and I never did get around to buying it.

Will I buy it now? Don’t know really. 399 is still too high, in my opinion. The prices of DVDs are at an all-time low, with Moser-Baer cornering the market, and T-series releasing old favourites at 45 Rs. Even DVD stalwarts like Eros and Shemaroo are offering 99-Rs DVDs in a monsoon-sale offer, although their new offerings are still high-priced. I am betting prices will stabilise at around 150 Rs. Yashraj is the only company that is staying put at 300-plus prices, but who wants to buy YR DVDs anyway?

I believe there have also been a spate of Rahman “singles”. ‘One Love’, which is an ode to the Taj Mahal and features the same song in *shudder* multiple languages, and ‘Pray For Me Brother’, which has a train-wreck of a video. These must be the first ARR albums that I have consciously refused to buy.

I think the best ARR tune in recent times is that new Airtel ad, in which a kid plays in the rain and there is this bouncy melody going on in the background. It lasts for about a minute, but gets me everytime. I am not even sure it’s by ARR, but the voice and the music segue into the familiar Airtel tune and that’s why I think it’s him.

And oh, the DVD of Vishal’s The Blue Umbrella is out. Even before the movie has been released in Hyderabad. Bah!

Also, a fabulous article on 15 Years of AR Rahman.


Further Wish-list Fulfilment

You get all kinds of DVDs at National Market. Especially blockbusters, the kind of big-budget movies that go on to make a lot of money and win awards and all that. All three of the Lord Of The Rings movies have been available at National Market, and in different formats too. You can get the fullscreen versions, the widescreen versions, all three movies in one disc, all three movies PLUS Spiderman 1 and 2 on the same disc, or if you are really feeling adventurous, all three LotR movies and the three Harry Potter movies in the same disc.

Me? I was feeling a bit more adventurous.

And a good thing I was, too.


The Way Things Are – Music

Happiness Quotient : High
New Music Quotient: Extremely High.
Anime Quotient: Low
Graphic Novel Quotient: Extremely High
Ebay Spend Rate: Red Alert.
Work Rate: High.

There you have it.

I have come to the conclusion that there’s absolutely nothing personal/thought-provoking/interesting I can write in my Livejournal, so I shall skip the Happiness part, and the reasons behind it, and go directly to the New Music section.

Secondspin.com rocks. The US-based site sells second-hand CDs, with very low shipping costs. They send CDs sans jewel cases, and the postage comes to a flat 5$ plus 35 cents per CD. But that’s not why I say it rocks. I had ordered a small shipment of anime DVDs once, and a Danny Elfman TV/Movie theme collection called Music For a Darkened Theatre Volume One a couple of months ago, which were delivered pretty early. Two months later, I get an email, which said – We have not received any orders from you in quite sometime, and so here’s this coupon that gives you free International Shipping on your next order.

And who could resist this offer? I went berserk ( what’s new, pussycat?), and ended up ordering thirteen CDs off them, a lot of Original Soundtracks I had been lusting after, some assorted artistes I wanted, and two Sonny Chiba DVDs that I included because they were two dollars each. The prices of the CDs ranged between 7.99 for some ( which, let me add, sell for 525 rupees here, if you manage to find them), and 99 cents for others ( doobie-doobie-do! ), so the average price came to about 175 rupees per cd, which is about 3.5 dollars per CD. And of course, free shipping, so no additional charges.

Two weeks passed. And then two days. After which the package glided its way into my office cubicle. A little more money went into buying jewel cases – brand new ones, that is – and a lot of evenings after that were spent in taking in the new music.

This followed a particular sale I stumbled upon, in dear li’l Hyderabad a week ago, where a shop was getting rid of its unsold CDs, and were selling them off for 150 rupees . Picked up ten, and for a change, paid cash.

The loot, with commentary….