Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I am listening to Madurai Mani Iyer exploring Charukesi. Its been months since I heard anything even remotely carnatic..And here I am now, writing this post, rather being forced by the subconcious to write. Why? Because this rendition, this great doyen of South Indian classical music, this raaga and this very moment of bliss I am experiencing, all deserve more than just an insignificant bit of blog-space, which is the least I have to give.

I have never heard anyone with such creativity when it comes to kalpana swaras. As far as my knowledge goes, a raaga is usually elaborated in the initial aalapanai..but in Madurai Mani Iyer's case, the kalpana swaras and neraval elucidate the whole raagam beautifully. I don't think it should take an afocionado to appreciate the music..pure brilliance!!

Charukesi-what a beautiful name for such a wonderful raaga! It has melancholy written all over it, bringing a smile on the face, and a tear in the eye. One raaga that has a life of its own. In fact, it is very much like life itself..just as you begin to enjoy it, it reaches a point where there's utter sadness, and yet you refuse to let go of the happiness it just brought to the mind. In the end you are left with a sense of fulfilment, rather fullness(I can't find the right word here).

Again, I wonder why I even wrote this. I am not satisfied with this write-up..I have no idea why. But yes, I am happy that I wrote about something I wanted to write about..some things don't change over time..like this particular rendition of this song Adamodi..the singer doesn't exist in this world anymore..yet he exists in those who have heard him sing. This raaga doesn't exist to the person who hasn't heard this..isn't this the case with everything in this world..wonder how many such things we are missing in life!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wordsworth(less)

Its that time of the semester again! (No I don't mean
"blog-update" time. I'm trying not to make it a yearly
ritual but kya karein..read on and you'll know why I'm so
busy) It the model exams. Now before you call them a
waste of time, let me tell you that our college has been
pretty empathetic with us students. The exams have been
timed from 1 to 4 pm ! Our college definitely understands
our need to sleep well before writing exams, so that we
write them with a relaxed mind. And what does a relaxed
mind write in the answer sheet? Well, thats what this post
is all about !

I draw a lot of flak from my peers for writing beyond the
third page. What these poor nitwits don't seem to
understand is that I write for the sheer pleasure of
writing. Not that I am Paulo Coehlo or anything, but when I
put pen on paper, like they say "the words flow out" ! And is
the stuff I write relevant to the subject ? I'll leave you to
answer that, considering I've written so much into this post
and am not even through with the introduction yet :D. By
now you probably know what to expect when I write.

Today's paper was a trip down the memory lane : Principles
of Environmental Science and Engineering. Yes, this is
another of the university's sadistic moves to remind us that
we are on the wrong side of 20 and were better off ten
years earlier reading about what happens to the food after
it exits our system. I was pretty pleased with the stuff I
wrote, so instead ofsubmitting my paper, I brought it home.
I'm posting some excerpts. Due to the
"kid-with-a-halo-around-his-head" reputation that I suffer
from in college, I had to enforce a degree of censorship. But
the internet's a fools paradise. So here goes !!


Q: List the physical properties of soil (huh)

A: 1.Soil is dark in color
2.It feels like mud
3.It tastes awful
4.It contains moisture
5.It also contains dead and decaying plant and animal
remains, and sometimes even people buried alive.
6.It is found in train toilet seats, hence the saying "do not soil the toilet seat"

(the above answer is a tribute to all dumb Americans, sorry
all Americans...and Bush)


Q: What is the 3R principle?

(this one I know!!)

A: The 3R* principle mainly applies to plastics and is as
follows:

1.Reduce
2.Reuse
3.Recycle

* Not applicable for condoms


Q: State article 51-A(g) of the Indian constitution

(they give Bush stiff competition, don't they?)

A: (My intelligence curbed my urge to write "Article
51-A(g) of the Indian constitution" as the answer to this
one)

"All men are born equal, and enjoy equally the right to
freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness, women and
trouble. However if any sonofab***h tries to mess with
momma nature, she's gonna stick an antarctic iceberg
up your a** and freeze it mighty stiff "


Q: What is precautionary principal??

I didn't answer this one..I mean I didn't want to lose
internal marks writing about our principal despite the
temptation. But now I realise I might as well have written,
for I've brought the answer sheet home !

Q: Explain "clean technology" and "end of pipe approach".

A:(this one's muh favorite)

Clean Technology is technology that poses no threat to
the environment. For example: A bird's nest.
As is obvious this field has no scope to offer for humans
the reasons for which are elucidated in the next answer.

The "end of pipe" approach is an indecisive approach. Its
success largely depends on which side of the pipe you are
on, and what the pipe is made of. Success here would be a
vintage English pipe with expensive tobacco. Failure would be
facing the wrong end of a sewage drain pipe ! As we can
see this method has its pros and cons.

Q: Write about management of municipal sewage.

(I didn't want to answer this one, but like I already
said...)

A: Sewage as we know it is all waste matter mixed in water
to form a slushy substance. However I feel there is more
to this term than just organic waste. There is an emotional
plane to this concept as well. It deals with thought
processes.

The human mind is as corrupt and full of excess as is a
sewage tank. only, it appears pristine at the outside. This
in itself is one of its devious illusions, that stands testimony
to its treacherous nature. For how else can we explain
greed, lust,hatred, racist vendetta, lobbying, red-tapism
and other heinous acts of mankind. And how else can we
explain the biggest illusion of deception devised by the
human mind, that drives other minds to insanity- the illusion
that is "love" !

Ask they ask me to write about what the municipality does
about managing sewage ! Can't you understand ? The
municipality is filled with minds that are far worse and
emanate fouler stench than any sewer in the world ! Don't
you realise that the municipality, the administration heck,
the whole of mankind IS the sewage we are talking,
err..not talking about ?!

Now don't ask me if I'm not one among these corrupt
minds. I agree I am, and have no qualms admitting that you
are too ! I am writing this for the sake of sixteen
worthless marks, but don't give a damn even if I'm
deprived of 'em. What really seems to matter is that even
as we are wasting our precious time and contaminated
thoughts poring over how to make each others' lives
miserable, another chunk of melting ice has just fallen into
the antarctic ocean, another child is dying of hunger in
Cambodia, another helpless Muslim woman is being harassed
by the man she's supposed to call "husband", another futile
war strategy is being planned against Iraq, another college
student is contemplating suicide...Man the environment sure
is colorful !

(that question was for 16 marks so please understand...)


Pretty long post eh? I guess that makes up for the delay it
took coming to this blog :) If you thought my answers were
funny, I strongly recommend the PEVS book by Charulatha
publications. If you thought otherwise, I still recommend
that book (get a life !)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Where is the asylum?

What's worse than a dvd getting stuck the moment you run it? A dvd that gets stucks when there's just fifteen mins to go in the movie,and the movie that happens to be The Pianist!
I guess it was the same foreordination that didn't introduce me into the world as a Jew in Nazi Germany that made the dvd work properly today.The movie had arguably,the most haunting visuals I've ever seen till date.Anyway I guess its a bit too late to review this flick,and I'm bad at it,so full stop.

Cut to GRE class this evening,and I was as usual,resolute to pay maximum attention;and as usual discussion about some word veered off topic..a la orkut it was roughly thus:
machiavellian -> history -> the pianist -> nazi and vietcong -> beslan -> survival of the fittest -> happiness
I had been to this home for the mentally challenged quite some time ago in one of our Rotaract club outings.It had about 40 inmates,and we were to interact with them for a few hours.I had never been to such a place before and was a bit skeptic(scared says my alter ego).But the moment we entered the room where the inmates lived,my mood changed.There was nothing abnormal about the people I saw there...atleast I didn't find elongated heads,or saliva-dripping mouths out of the ordinary.There were people of all ages,ranging from 3yr olds playing with blocks,to a 55 yr old man who was a specialist in identifying raagas of any song u sang to him!
The feeling of joy in a child's face when you give him a chocolate is something...the glee in the face of these people we called callously label retarded,when we gave them sweets,is beyond words.
One particular guy took a liking for me,as my name was Vijay and happened to be his thalaivar's name,and wanted me to dance with him...it was the first time in my life someone had asked me to dance and i'd obliged...then it was time to go..we left.

Reminiscing the visit during our talk about happiness set me thinking: all our lives we go in pursut of happiness.We set goals and subject ourselves to many an ordeal,consoling ourselves that the fruition of the goal will make us happy.Whether or not we achieve our goals is another issue..sometimes we get what we want, yet there is a sense of unfullfilment;and sometimes we are happy for no reason.What about those people we consider mentally challenged? Do they crave to become doctors or singers or actors too? How is it that I saw a smile on every one of their faces?How is it that they are ecstatic when asked to dance,or given a chocolate? They live in a world of their own...We sympathise with them for being what they are..but I wonder..could it be the other way round? Maybe thiers is a world where there are no agonising ordeals,no commitments,no sacrifices to be made...a world that knows no sorrow,a world where one does not pine for a love that never was,or grieve over stolen money or fight for oil...a world where simple acts of love can leave one in blissful enjoyment..Maybe in their world,we are the mentally "retarded" ones...retarded because we are incapable of saying a "thank you",because we judge a person by his color,because we are incapable of thinking beyond money,carnal pleasures and more money...because we fail to appreciate those little things in life that bring a smile to their faces..because we have more questions than answers....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flightplan

"Mitti ki hai jo khushboo..thu kaise bhoolayega.."

How true! Especially if you're scared of flying like I am :D.A lot of people would probably laugh their asses off but who gives a damn!So here I am in aamchi Mumbai happy to be writing this post.Inference: My flight landed safely!!
Was a Jet Air flight,and that was some solace(the airhostesses look way better than IA or AI).But then again,the moment the plane picked up speed,my heart did the usual hop-skip-n-jump and when it finally took off I was mouthing all the slokas that my parents taught me as a kid.Finally it steadied at a height from which I couldn't see the ground(read the vertical distance couldn't frighten me anymore).This is what heaven must look like!Full of cotton candy without carcinogenic coloring.No,this was not my first flight,heck it must've been my thirtieth,but I guess the older we grow,the more perverted our imagination gets.
I tried to distract myself and distraction was right beside me in the form of a beautiful chick in a green hug-me-tight tee and tighter jeans.Had this been a train or bus,I would've been on clound nine.But hell,this was a plane,this was nine thousand feet up in troposphere, this was way above cloud nine! It isn't often that a beautiful girl who hasn't seen you before smiles at you,and in my case she was the first.All I could offer was a constipated rearrangement of lips.
Talking of constipation,inflight meals arrived.I'd rather not talk about the mor-kozhambu+jeera rice+"barotta" combo that was served.But then there was mango souffle and it was really good.Halfway through,the plane started trembling,cabin lights dimmed,there was an announcement about turbulent weather and undigested food was desperatey trying to push the souffle out of my throat.I hope "Green"ita(howz that for a name :D) wasn't watching the expressions on my contorted face.That was the end of meals and souffle.
It was landing time,and time for more turbulence,more nausea.And guess what? Greenita was cold and tense too.I could see it in her face.Maybe it was her first flight...Maybe I could talk to her after we landed..if we landed that is...Back to slokas...
I was waiting for my baggage to arrive.It arrived.She was waiting for her baggage to arrive.I had to leave,and couldn't risk getting caught ogling,by my mom.One parting glance..There was my uncle waving at me.
I was inside my uncle's car,and just as we left the airport I saw her again...OK enuff of this romantic crap...you are in Bombay!! My uncle turned on the radio and there was Rahman crooning mitti ki....
BOMBAY HERE I COME!!!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Of Culture shaack and OC saappadu

"Konala irundha thaan adhu Vanavil"
-G.Ashok (Cultural Secretary,Vanavil 2006)

Beat that and you get to sit in his chair next year.Well,the first intercollege culturals of SRM Valliammai engg college ,Vanavil '06 finally happened.Yes,it was a success,thanks to Ashok and a long list of other ODeers.
Day 1
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,and their ignorance of the fact that my musical knowledge was limited to group songs in school,landed me a post called "organiser" for the classical solo comp.As usual everything started late and the judges for the finals arrived before the prelims even started,so we decided to let them judge both,prelims and finals.Everything went smoothly after that,except that there were no writing pads for the judges,refreshments actually served their purpose by arriving late,I missed my host performance leaving my guitarist fuming,and only one out of my nine team members turned up that day.Thanks to this one soul Srikant,and a bunch of willing juniors,we pulled through...well,sort of.
One of the judges was my music teacher in school Shri P.B.Shrirangachari, and boy,was I glad to accompany him to lunch at the Royal Southern,a 3 star hotel owned by our management.Giving me company was the other Sreekanth of our class who'd escorted Sir to our college that morning.Butter naan with a coupla paneer side dishes and a 3 storey ice cream delite was somewhat fulfilling,considering i had to only sign the bill,not pay it! Sreekanth escorted Sir back home in the same college-arranged cab,while I returned to college.A loud belch signified the grand success of my event.
Day 2
Payback time it was,and here I was watching RJ Balaji from Radiomirchi giving Ashok's mokkais stiff competition.I was supposed to be helping Santhosh organise the RJ-ing event.The chap had been there throughout my event,compering, so I had to do something in return.Well,they learnt from our mistakes and I had not much to do but sit back and let my ears bleed.We celebrated the success of our events by taking snaps with baba,our princi(you see I'm a photography buff and plan to send the pics to NGC)
Pre-valedictory,there was the SS music team with Craig n Shyam,shootin college da.There were paper rockets flying everywhere.I took a formidable seat between Craig and the ex-bomb of our college,only to realise that the disciplinary commitee(our CS dept female staff) was sitting rite behind me.My HOD and a co-whiner ordered me to tell the students to stop throwing 'em rockets,even as Craig got up and threw them back at the crowd!! The VJs went on stage and Craig introduced us to the sexiest man in SS music(his producer).Had we heard right?? He had just said the word "sexy".Wasnt that taboo? Boy,you should've seen the faces of our staff!! Then there was Craig pulling our cult sec's leg.
As usual the valedictory function had empty seats despite Anuradha Sriram's presence.Meanwhile I was into my second innings at Royal Southern,this time with Shyam(of kolangal fame and Mukesh,the guy who sang that helluva song thickuruvi for thalaivar).Arguably the best part of Vanavil'06 was the jingle composed by Satyaraj,the prodigy of our college,and Baba messed up the credits to the song by mentioning my name as Vijaychitra instead of Vijaynarain (yes,I've sung in it).
Thus ended the first ever culturals of our college,and thus ends my second proper post to my blog.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

My warm wishes to all of you for a prosperous,happy,successful (and a not so cliched) new year!!Things I plan to do this year??

-Go to college (regularly ie)
-Take up my GRE (assistance welcome)
-Start learning to write into blogs(again assistance welcome)
-Take up piano classes
-Take up carnatic (and/or) hindustani vocal lessons
-Cope up with all these classes and still find time to blog
-Listen to good music aka ARR
-Sing for ARR
-Grow up at least another 3 inches (suggestions welcome)
-Do my bit for my country

Ok,thats enough to start with...