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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Adventures of Orlando Mazzotta

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Everybody enjoys reading a tale of intrigue and if it is one that figures a classic chase and escape caper with spies, counter spies, double agents, assassination plots, people like Hitler and spymasters like Peter Fleming (the brother of the 007 creator Ian), your senses can tingle in juicy anticipation. So here goes, let me try and take you on a trip, through a trail set up during the WWII 40’s time frame.

I cannot help but remember Bad Gastein in Austria. For it was here that I was once feted for a particular business triumph, many years ago. A beautiful mineral bath location, famous from the Roman times, I still recall the many hours we walked on the mountains and the final hour spent in the warm radioactive waters which just washed the weariness and pain away. It was a fascinating week that I spent there, but at that time I knew nothing of the people of this story. A couple of the characters in this story once lived there and as you will all see, this tale will possibly end at B…

Omana Thingal Kidavo

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തമ്പിമാമന്‍ടെ താരാട്ട് - Uncle Iravivarman Thampi’s Royal Lullaby
One could go north or south in Kerala, through the various regions, where they talk different dialects, think somewhat differently even, where the Malabar aristocrat sometimes subtly expresses his mistrust of the Travancore person or vice versa, where even the food habits and spoken dialects change with the terrain, but there is one thing they will all agree to, that the ‘Malayalee standard’ lullaby is Omana Thinkal Kidavo penned by the illustrious Irayimman Thampi for his young nephew Swati Tirunal Rama Varma. Most children would have grown up listening to someone in the house humming this song, for it is a dear memory in many a Malayalees childhood. It was a desire to sing it for our recent Samaroha that made us check the background in detail.
As I checked, I came across quite a few versions and at least 12 or so recordings, done in the raga’s Hindolam, Arabhi, Nellambari, Kurinji, Kanada, Sankarabharam or even the Hi…