Friday, August 24, 2007

"Warm up before you work out!!! "

I have heard this advice from so many people including doctors, physiotherapists, my husband and my sister. But I never took it seriously, until that day.

Literally, I was not doing any sort of physical exercises for years. Cycling and walking were means of commutation during my school and college and they have been keeping me fit and healthy those days. But after I started working, only stepping up 2 staircases were my physical activity for a whole day. And I was working as a software engineer, I need not explain my job's effect on my health. Even though I was aware of it, I did not take any steps to work out. I resigned my job and moved to US after wedding. One fine day(very bad day for me :-(), I went to play racquet ball with my husband. I was playing after some 8 years. I did not even think of warming up. I just happily went to the court and started playing. After some silly shots, I took the game seriously and tried to play a good game. So I was stretching my legs and running here and there. Obvious that I lost the game to my husband.

I was perfectly fine with my leg. I was wondering that I was able to play better after so many years and I was telling some silly stories about my childhood games to my husband proudly. Told him that I was a good athlete those days and only because of it I could play better after so many years. Things started when I woke up next day morning. I could not move/lift my leg. I could not get up from bed. I initially thought it is some sort of sprain. After sometime, I somehow got up and tried walking. I was able to walk and it was much better after some 2-3 hours. But when I tried to sit, I was having such a terrible pain that I could never imagine in my life. I thought that it will become better in 2-3 days. Even after a week, I was not able to sit for even 5 mins. I was perfectly fine walking and doing all other activites. But I did not take it seriously. Since I was not working, I just passed the time without sitting. After a month, it did not get any better.

My husband was totally scared and we went to doctor. He checked it up and guessed that it could be muscle tear and said that it would heal itself in some 6-7 weeks. If it doesn't, then he asked us to go for physiotherapy. I waited for 2 months. I was able to sit for nearly 1/2 hour, but I had a little pain always. When I travelled to India, I had a very tough experience sitting in the flight for 9-10 hours continuously. I did not go for physiotherapy immediately. Trying to be smart, I started following some tactics to live with the pain. Time went by and I was not getting better. So nearly 5 months after that incident, I was scared that it could be some spinal cord problem since I heard the same from couple of my friends, I went to physiotherapist. For some 4-5 sittings, she was not able to identify the reason behind my pain. But she was sure that my hip muscles were very tight and when the nerve behind those muscles try to do some activity, it was giving me that pain. So she gave me some exercises to stretch those muscles. But I was not getting much better. Meanwhile, I started working out regularly doing Treadmill and stuff. Also, in the 6th sitting or so, she found the exact exercises to stretch the muscle that is giving me the problem. So I started doing those exercises and was working out regularly too. In 2 months, i.e., feeling very much better and I feel like it is 90% recovered. My physiotherapist said that she needs only one more sitting and we could stop with that. The worst part in my pain is I was not able to sit in our new reclining couch since we bought it. I was very upset about it. And now...I am sitting in our couch (it is not new anymore :-)) and typing this blog for nearly 1 hour without any pain.

Sorry for boring you with my story but I wanted to stress the importance of warming up. So friends...

Warm up, warm up and warm up before working out/playing/doing any strenuous activity

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Gushy Voice of Yuvan Shankar Raja "

First, I thought of writing a post about Ilayaraja. But there is no one as far as I know who is not aware of the great maestro. A salute to our tamil music genius! Listen to the starting music of the song “Kanne kalaimane” from Moonram pirai. I am pretty sure that you might have heard it million times. But do it one more time for me. That music is more than enough to speak about our music king. There are crores of tamilians who started liking music because of Ilayaraja and only because of him. I am one among them. I started liking carnatic, western and all different varieties of music only after listening to Ilayaraja’s songs. His music has the power to bring out emotions and the most surprising part is his music is very simple. If you listen to the song “Neeyoru Kathal sangeetham” from Nayagan, the background music is all a very simple beat of tabla. But it makes the song so rich. How and why? That is Ilayaraja. See, I started talking about him and it would continue for pages. This is why I don’t want to write about him. This post is about Yuvan. So let’s talk about Yuvan.

Yuvan Shankar Raja is a little genius of the maestro Ilayaraja. He is also a great musician. This post is not about his music composing, but about his voice.

Listen to the songKanave kalaigirithe from Azhagai irukkirai bayamai irukkirathu before continue reading this post.

“Ithu thana kathal ithu thana
Anu anuvai sagum vali thana”

When he sings these lines, I cannot believe that he is just singing this song. The words seems to be pouring from his heart.

“Tharayil mothi mazhai thuli sagum
Viralinai thedi imayodu kanneer kayum
Valikkinra bothum sirikkiren naanum
Unakkaga naalum theigiren”

These beautiful lines get their complete meaning when they come out in Yuvan’s voice. That too, the last line…”Unakaga naalum theigiren” , as the meaning of this line says, his voice fades out gently and kekkara naamum apadiye antha kural la mayanguvom.

Next song which is going to talk about his voice is “Yedhodha yennangal vandhu” from pattiyal.

“Viralilla malargal ennai vanthu varudiyathe
Kaalilla katru than ennai vedi thadaviyathe
Siragilla megamum ennai ennai mothuthe
Nagam illa iravugal ennai mattum keeriyathe”

I am really surprised that a tamil song can be sung in such a stylish way with correct pronunciations. I like the way he says the word “iravugal’. We can feel the pain of love when he sings these lines.

Next song is "Indha kathal" from Satham Podathey that we are gonna talk about. But this song is not fully sung by Yuvan. Adnan Sami is the main singer. Listen to it! I am not going to write anything about it other than mentioning that it is too good. Enjoy listening to it!