Visit to Nagpur

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Had been to Nagpur this weekend and was it Nostalgic or what !? “Now what is Nagpur got to with Nostalgia ?”, you may wonder … Ok lemme tell you … Nagpur is where I have spent my formative years of my life … 10th Standard onwards till finishing my Engineering … Everything from my first crush to all the successes and failures in between happened there … Had to show the place to Janani … She is all impressed I am sure.

Highlights of my visit to Nagpur …

  • City has developed like crazy: Lots of more Shopping Malls, Buildings, Apartments etc … it was getting difficult to recognize places there
  • Visit to my Engineering college (Priyadarshini college of Engineering and Architecture): The college looks gorgeous with the majestic main gate (one of the biggest I have seen). The new IT Building looks like one of the buildings you normally see abroad (huge pillars and large doors etc) … People of my batch would remember the “water body” that was part of the initial college plan. You would not believe the college is now complete with an actual water body, proper landcaping, trees and greenary all over. There are couple of new buildings and overall it was awe inspiring
  • Sad news on the college front – Dr. (Mrs) R V Deshpande (or Deshpande madam as we called her !!) .. our Engineering Mathematics professor, passed away after fighting cancer for about 2 years. May her soul rest in peace.
  • On the way back from college, I saw our regular hangout the Pakodewala @ trimurti nagar … unfortunately was closed
  • City Roads seem to have taken a bit of a beating and needs some repair. When I had left Nagpur, they were in much better shape and the roads are something that the city should be proud of so its sad that there are maintenance issues. I hope the authorities take the necessary action soon to get it back in shape.
  • Visited my junior college SFS College in Seminary Hills … The drive to the college was as usual breathtaking with all the greenery and the hilly roads. Also took a drive to the Parsi Agiyari on Seminary hills .. it’s a good view from there … I used to go there when I was in junior college … Also visited the deer park and the nearby gardens. The road from the SFS College passing by the cemetery and to the Japanese Garden is now closed … Don’t know for what reason. But that used to be a good road to go into.
  • Visited the Balaji Temple on the hills … it has also changed drastically with the new enterance Gopuram and the new temples under construction. Got a good darshan there. Got back some old memoriesAlso visited the Telankhedi Mandir … no changes there except that the Samosa wala is now a big guy with a big shop and all that .. he used to be a small shop then … :) …
  • Passed by the Telankhedi lake and then went to the Ambazari lake and the garden beside the lake … learnt that boating has now stopped for the last 2 years … it was a nice view nonetheless
  • Saw some more temples that were close to my (late) Mother’s heart. I used to take her there often. (Sai Mandir on Wardha road, the Hanuman Mandir @ Ramnagar Chowk and South Indian Temple – Sarveshwara Devalaya Temple in Ramnagar)
  • Lunch @ Haldiram Thaat Baat, Breakfast @ Gokul Vrundavan and Chaat @ Bajajnagar Thelawala … Awsome …
  • Drive by Dharampeth main road was awesome .. Softcell is no longer there … :( … Sudama Theatre is now better after the renovation … Saw Kameney there … (I didn’t like it !!!)
  • Saw the house that I used to stay in … met my old landlord uncle … And met my Nagpur Music teacher … It was nice meeting her after a long time.

That is a lot for activities for a day … How I miss not taking my camera … :( .. So I have no photos to share with you all …

I left the places with a feeling of Nostalgia. Nagpur brought back sweet memories of the time that I spent at there … it will always be a pleasure to visit the place anytime … Hope there is something like a get together that can be arranged with all friends back in Nagpur for a visit … A distant dream … Lets hope … Text Color

Carnatic Music Trinity

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The contemporaries Tyagaraja (1759 - 1847), Muthuswami Dikshitar, (1776 - 1827) and Syama Sastri, (1762 - 1827) are regarded as the Trinity of Carnatic music (or Mummoorthigal) due to the quality of Syama Sastri's compositions, the varieties of compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar and Tyagaraja's prolific output in composing kritis.

<B>Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar</B>

I have learnt a few Dikshitar Krithis ... but never delved the person behind those beautiful compositions. So I guess today is the day ...

There is this story about him that as per his guru's orders, Dikshitar went to Tiruttani (a temple town near Chennai). There, while he was immersed deep in meditation, an old man appeared and asked him to open his mouth. He dropped sugar candy into his mouth and disappeared. As he opened his mouth, he had a vision of the deity Muruga and Dikshitar burst forth into his first composition "Shri Nathadi Guruguho" in the raga Mayamalavagowla.

I know the above composition and I can tell you that it such a beautiful composition that it sound so simple while you hear it and is so difficult while actually singing it. It is also symbolic that his first composition was in Raga Mayamalavagowla which is also the raga in which all the first lessons (swara exercises - Sarali, Jantai, Daattu, etc.) in Carnatic music are set in. Guess it is why he may have choosen it for his first composition.

Muttuswami Dikshitar also undertook the project of composing in all the 72 Melakartha ragas, thereby providing a musical example for many rare and lost ragas. Dikshitar was a master of tala and is the only composer to have kritis in all the seven basic talas of the Carnatic scheme.

<B>Sri Thyagaraja</B>

Tyagaraja has composed hundreds of devotional compositions, most of them in praise of Lord Ram. If I look at the krithis that I know of the Mummoorthigal, I know larger number of krithis of Tyagaraja than krithis of the other two masters. My favourites include 'O Rama ni naa mam yemi ruchi ra' and 'RaRa Raajivalochana Rama' among others.

It is said that in 1839 during the month of April, he visited Tirupati, but when he went to the temple, it was closed. In sadness, he sang "Teratiyagaraadaa" and the temple officials gathered round in admiration when they saw the door opening by itself and the screen falling aside. He sang "VenkaTEsha ninu sEvimpa" in his happiness at seeing the Lord.

It is also said that Lord Rama appeared before him in his dream and offered him Moksha after 10 days. Lot has been written about his Rama Bhakti. I saw this interesting article here which details <a href="http://www.saintthyagarajar.com/ramabakthi.htm">Tyagaraja's Rama Bhakti</a>. I quote "Thyagaraja lived the life of a Ramabhaktha. From early dawn to late night, his daily routine which was full of service and rituals to the Lord, made him live with Rama every moment he was awake. He saw Rama as a child, as a virtuous adult, as a saviour of mankind, as a Lord of the whole cosmos. He cajoled him, taunted him, cried for him, served him, and did various other things which a person in ecstasy of devotion does."

The `Thygaraja aradhana' is celebrated every year on Pushya Bagula Panchami day when the saint attained samadhi under the auspices of Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha at the saint's samadhi at Thiruvaiyaru. Five of his compositions called the Pancharatna Krithis are sung in his honour at the Tyagaraja Aaraadhana in chorus by the great musicians of today as a tribute to his contribution to Carnatic Music.

<B>Sri Shyama Shastri</B>

Although Shyama Shastri did not compose as many kritis as his two prolific contemporaries, Syama Sastri's compositions are equally well known.

There is a very interesting story about him. In all his compositions Shyama Shastri addresses Goddess Kamakshi as his sister. The word SHYAMA KRISHNA SODHARI (sister of Shyama Krishna) appears in all his songs. This is why it is. Those were the days when the temple for Goddess Kamakshi was being built in Thanjavur by its Maratha ruler Thulajaji. Young ShyamaKrishna would practise the songs in his wonderful voice to the delight of the passers-by, sitting on the tower meant for the temple bell. His aunt who was fond of him used to send him milk through her little daughter. One day the girl came calling him 'ANNA' (Brother), placed the milk by his side and disappeared. Shyama noticed her angelic charm that day with the necklace of the deity adorning her neck. He at once ran home to reprimand his mother for having sent her decked with the deity's jewel. When he learnt that she had not sent her that day as she was not available he knew that Goddess Kamakshi had come to enslave him. The first song that flowed from his lips praising HER grace was "Oh, Jagadamba" in the raga Ananda Bhairavi later followed by about 300 songs all addressed to Goddess Kamakshi as Shyama Krishna Sodhari. (Notice that the goddess addressed him as ANNA!).

Himatri Sute Paahimaam is one of the beautiful Shyama Shastri krithis that I have learnt.

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Masters in Western Music

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I was reading up stuff on some western music composers and I found some really interesting stuff about them ...

Mozart

- Mozart is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time, authoring over 600 works before his premature death at 35.
- He was playing the harpsichord by the age of 4, composing music at 5, and performed his first recital at age 6 for the Empress of Austria.
- Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years"
- Mozart excelled at nearly every kind of musical composition. He wrote 22 operas, over 40 symphonies, and composed a great amount of church and chamber music. Much of Mozart's work is still performed and enjoyed today.
- He died in poverty in 1791.

"When I am . . . traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly" -Mozart

Beethoven

- Beethoven's hearing began to deteriorate in the late 1790s, yet he continued to compose, and to conduct and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.
- Beethoven did not immediately set out to establish himself as a composer, but rather devoted himself to study and to piano performance.
- Beethoven used a special rod attached to the soundboard on a piano that he could bite-the vibrations would then transfer from the piano to his jaw to increase his perception of the sound.
- Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made playing at concerts-lucrative sources of income-increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in 1811 to perform his own Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), he never performed in public again.
- During his middle period, Beethoven said, "I am not satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to take a new way".[57] The first major work of this new way was the Third Symphony in E flat, known as the "Eroica".
- Unlike Mozart, who, owing to extreme poverty was buried anonymously in a paupers' communal grave (such being the custom at the time), 20,000 Viennese citizens lined the streets for Beethoven's funeral on 29 March 1827

Just shows what goes behind the making of masters like these ... It's a life of hard work and struggle and an endeavor to get better everyday

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Happy Gokulashtami !!

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Live updates of the Gokulashtami celebrations at home ... Full on with Nai Appam, Uppu Appam, Avil Paayasam, Vennai, Tairu and Paal ... Yummy !! :)



Happenings in Pune ... Swine Flu Hysteria

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At Pune … There is a mass hysteria about the Swine Flu … Why Pune … All over India … People are calling us with concern and worries asking how we are doing … etc etc … The news channels are adding fuel to the fire by flashing news after news about it (with background music that would add to the panic) and newspapers showing only the negativity of the whole issue (Photos of people standing in line for a test and people in masks .. deserted roads etc) !! But do we need to really worry so much ?? 17-18 deaths in India out of 100 crore population … more people die every day of other diseases … Ok … I am not trying to undermine the seriousness of the issue but also so much panic is also not at all required …

Take all the necessary precautions … Masks in public places … Washing hands regularly … etc … and most importantly not to unnecessarily worry … I feel the unnecessary worry would only increase the chances of you catching the flu … probably your immune system would go weaker because of worries … just believe that you won’t contract it and even if you do … it would go away with treatment … with a mortality rate of less than 1% this mass hysteria is the last thing we need.Most cases if you note the people who died either were kids (with a weak immunity) or people with other complications … What we fail to highlight are multiple cases of people who were treated and are perfectly alright now … let me highlight some cases

So lets resolve not to panic and face this problem with maturity and composure and without get into a frenzy.
Here are some interesting facts for a read …

Hope things get better soon our bodies develop immunity to this one and in the meanwhile take care … Hari

Test Email Post

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Test Post !!!

--
Regards,
Hariharan Krishnamurthy

There is still activity @ http://know-hari.blogspot.com/

Career Crossroads

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Yes, I was at one recently (I mean a career crossroad) ... I knew I was heading towards one so the preparation was on for a long time ... which is probably one of the reasons for the inactivity. So I am now going to the logical next step post my stint in IT presales, getting into Domain side of the game as a Business Analyst.
I am sure there is lots to learn and long way to go ahead .. that would keep me motivated and going for a long time to come ..
Will keep you all posted as it happens ... Till then ...