Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Secret of My Energy

My iPod is my trusted companion whenever I go to the gym (I thought of saying "whenever I work out" but considering how little I do compared to others who are in the gym at the same time, calling it a 'workout' seems disrespectful to them!). My iPod has only Tamil songs on it and not surprisingly, I do have a separate playlist for the gym and start listening to it when I step on the treadmill.

I have to admit that the iPod does help me work out just a little bit better. I know its purely a psychological thing but hey, whatever works! While I do start listening to songs when I start running, their usefulness is seen mainly towards the end - at the point where I think I'm done. If I'm in the middle of a song at that point, thinking "let me run until this song ends" really helps in keeping me going for a little bit more. In fact, I think that's the reason music works so well during a workout. "Let me run until this song ends" in general works much better than "let me run for 2 more minutes".

My rule for a song to be moved into the 'workout playlist' is pretty simple. It has to be fast and have some good, fast beats. Slow songs, however much I love them, will never find a place on the list. The kind of song doesn't really matter. It could be a solo number(male or female), a duet, a group song or a duppanguthu number. So my collection of songs is pretty eclectic. Right now, I have on there songs as different as Ballelakka..., Karkka Karkka..., Uyirin Uyire..., Undhan Vizhimunai..., Boom Boom... and Manmadha Raasaa....

But my favorite workout song, by far, is Arjunaru Villu... from Gilli. The pace of the song, its lyrics and its picturization make it one of the best in this category. I don't think its a coincidence that the song takes off with the sound of a whistle - like at the start of a race - because thats exactly what the sequence seems like. The pounding beats and Sukwinder's energetic singing make the entire song, a continuous shot of adrenaline. The song is filled with inspirational lines (edhiriya kollu, imaiyatha vellu, unakkoru ellai kidaiyaadhe) and the lines
Eru munnEru, idhu karaiye illA kAttARu
Odu munnOdu, oru vetri enbadhu kaikoodum

seem like they were written just for runners!

For me, the song sequence always plays in my mind when I'm listening to the song and Dharani's picturization of Arjunaru Villu... is simply brilliant. The quick editing and the variety of camera angles give the sequence a lot of energy. It is brilliantly choreographed in sync with the song(my favorite part is in the middle when Trisha is narrating her story and her brothers' murders by Prakashraj sync perfectly with peaks in the music). And when a shirtless Vijay lifts his jeep(for its tyre to be changed) with a cigarette held in his mouth, it proves that even a thin, bony fella like him can be made to look like a stud!

I have this song towards the end of my playlist and always navigate to it when I am nearing the end of my run. It helps me go the extra mile... well ok... the extra 0.1 mile :-)

For those who share my thots about the song and need a boost of energy, here's the song.

PS: By the way, I love listening to Arjunaru Villu... in the car too. I've found that as I listen to it at a high volume while going on the freeway, I become Vijay, my wife turns into Trisha and all those harmless drivers in Camrys and Accords turn into stick-wielding goondas in Tata Sumos!


At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb, is there an image that's spsed to load? i am using mozilla and i see a huge empty space between the last para and the PS...?

anyways, very nice write-up...since i wear my iPod when I go for a run, I know exactly how u earliest experience of this kind was way back in the Fall of '98 when Appa bought a treadmill...I had the audio CD of "Dil Se" playing at a loudddddd volume much to the chagrin of used to be perffffect...Sapna Awasti's rendition of the first part of "chaiyya chaiyya" leading to those beats used me to make me think of running on top of a train (with malaika in tow!)...then "jiya jale" and "dil se re" used to keep me going...after "Satrangi re" I used to slow down a bit to be in perfect sync with the slow but haunting "Ey Ajnabi" helping me cool down at the end...
yeah, ipovum adhey maari fast songs kaettaa odarchey its really a runner's favs:
Beat It
Kalloori Saalai
Silu Siluvena (Kovil)
Thee Thee...
Kadhalikum Pennin Kaigall...
En Aasa Mythiliye
Oothikinu Kadichukalaam...(Ninaivirukum Varai)
...and a few more...

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


All are fine, however

I become Vijay, my wife turns into Trisha and all those harmless drivers in Camrys and Accords turn into stick-wielding goondas in Tata Sumos!

Please don't think the cops on the road to be Arjunaru villu's ponnambalams. Instead of you listening to Eru munnEru you would be seeing red&blue coloured light and you have to listen to orampO orampO kaappu vandivarudhu. Then the same harmless drivers in camrys and accords would be singing a counterpoint chorus aappu kooda varudhu :)

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not the just the lyrics that are energetic, even the opening music before the lyrics gets you warmed up pretty well. Another of my favorite work out songs is a rather weird choice but works pretty well for Rajini fans. Its "Style Style Thaan" from BAASHA.

The opening music (still the best start to any Rajini song), the lyrics, and the way even the slow parts seem to keep getting faster is just amazing to listen to while on the treadmill.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, that was supposed to be a youtube video of the song. the embedding didn't seem to work. have changed it to a link now :)

cacophonix, LOL! nice comparisons :)

nish, yep, starting with the whistle, the song moves with amazing tempo.

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


enna karpanai thiramai..

I think you can direct the next LOTR, you look very good at fantasies :-)

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely, music is the only way I can go to the gym(same category as you bb). No music, no going gym. I was forced to a couple of times, and spent the entire 1/2 hr to 45 min looking at everyone else and the tv monitor. And yes, I too must listen to fast songs, or new selection of songs.

But Arjunaru villu?:-)! On that note, I am always amazed at how badly music fans receive Vijay's film music, but they end up becoming hits in the end.

At 2:30 AM, Blogger Lavs said...

Never knew that a song can have such uses…..A great post!

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

I use that same song for my jogs too. It used to play right at the runner's low for me and gave me this extra surge of energy. I am desperately trying to get back to my running schedule - may be loading that song back will help.

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once played "Aha mella nada, mella nada" when my wife was on the treadmill and I don't have to say how that turned out :)


At 8:58 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

At 9:25 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

anonymous kumar sir,

just kidding ok:-)

Unga "wife Aha mella nada mella nada" patta kettoootu, treadmilla stop pannittu vandu music systemla cd change pannitu did she put the song "Apdi Podu Podu Podu..... " with whatever she had in hand and took care of you.

Idu verum karpanaidhan nijam illai.
thangal manadai punpaduthiirundal mannikkavum.

nanri vanaakam

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kumar, that was really funny!!

here's an imaginary exchange at the gym, between prabhu and asin:

Prabhu: "nadaiyaa...idhu nadaiyaa..."

Asin: "gundaana udambu illaika kudhirai savaari senjaa..."

"ohhhhh, oru thendral puyalaagi varumeee!!"

"penn idaiyum iraivanum ondru thaan...rendum irundhum therivadhee illai!"

"en vervai-ku nee porupu!"

"ilamaiyil padupavan, mudhumaiyil thavikkiraan!"

"kopparai thengai pole naan kuppara paduthu kidanthen"

"unaal mudiyum anne anne!"

"yappa yappa yappa thoppa ganesa...enaku appa amma sivaji ganesaa!"

At 11:44 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

kalakkiteenga ram oray mixingo mixing

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Raju said...

Ram, that was gr8..

Balaji, amazingly, I was about to write a similar post on my gym routine as my next.. neenga mundhikkitteenga.. that would be truly a biggg secret and a different perspective too..

BTW, I didnt really prefer fast songs exclusively for gym.. but one song that was always my last song during last year was "Dhoorampo Naina" from 'Azhagai irukkirai...'.. Though it is a bit slow in the middle, that is just enough to get ready for a nice adrenalin rush in the end for over a minute.. What a music.. my heart rate would touch sky-high... amazing feeling.. Never felt so for any other song..

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Yakkai Thiri' (Ayutha Ezhuthu), 'Karka Karka' (VV) would be on my list, except I don't work out!

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Shanthi said...

ditto for ur postscript : ) i always wish i could drive my car fast listening to that somg!!

At 5:24 AM, Blogger Kunthavaiyin Kaathalan said...

I use tamil songs for completing my run but I dont listen to them while running. I normally listen to them before I start my run and replay them in my mind, usually trying to forget the visuals associated with the song. Mostly, I put myself in those songs and it helps if I dont remember how these songs are picturized.
Some songs:
Vettri Nichchayam - Annamalai - My all time favorite song for this purpose
Arjunar Villu - Gilli
Vettri Kodi Kattu - Padayappa
Singa Nadai Pottu - Padayappa
Adadaa - Pithamagan
Annanukku Jay - Murattu Kaalai
Yaar Yaar Sivam - Anbe Sivam
Merkey Uthiththa sooriyanae - Citizen
Manitha Manitha - Kann Sivanthaal Mann Sivakkum
MGR philosophical songs
Vikram - Vikram
Tholvi Nilaiyenna - Oomai Vizhigal
Ovvoru Pookkalumae - Autograph
Vetri Vaenduma - Ethir Neechchal
Batchaa Paaru - Batchaa

The personality cult in tamil movies makes these songs perfect for the purpose.


At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb great post.

I like the Gilli song as well.
But what gives me more energy are the opening sounds of:

Sivakasi - Vaada Vaada
Kutthu - Otha Viral Kathina
Gilli - Gilli
Pokkiri - Pokkiri Pongal

Most of them are Vijay songs and in my opinion Srikanth deva is good at fast tracks.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

srivatsan, karpanai-la dhaane vaazhkkaiye odudhu :)

kajan, tv works too but i usually remove my glasses midway thro the run and so doesn't help much after that :)

lavs, thanx :)

munimma, good to know the song has another fan :)

kumar, lol :)

raju, that song from AIBI isnt on my list but i do remember it had some dialogs in the middle. maybe thats why...

krishnan, wow great list. those inspirational songs r always good choices :)

anon, thanx :) if we don't have to think about the lyrics then yeah, vijay intro songs will definitely be fast numbers suited for the gym :)

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the secret of my energy is the theme music of captains vijaykanth film "sathriyan" before he reenters as commissioner ips.
Kudos to Illayaraja

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Bagyaraj said...


Can u email me the sathriyan theme music pls?


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