22 Mar

I heard there was a secret chord

that David played and it pleased the Lord,

But you don’t really care for music do you.

It goes like this the fourth the fifth,

the minor fall and the major lift

The baffled king composing hallelujah

Here is Rufus Wainwright playing ‘Hallelujah’ in the movie ‘Shrek’.

Chords & Lyrics

I have grown up listening to carnatic music. Everytime i sit down with my books, ‘Aaa..AAAA…AAAHH….Sa Sa Re Re Ga Ga..’ will come booming from my neighbour’s window. I used to hate it. But, over the last few years, Ilayaraja,A.R.Rahman, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Slingshot have redefined the way i respond to music.

I think the biggest farce in the history of music is the ‘Institution of Carnatic music’ which bred the oft repeated phrase ‘Sangeedha gnyanamae theriyadu’ or ‘You have no knowledge of music’ or other comparisons to a donkey sense of smell etc. The carnatic music fraternity is responsible for its own death, decay and destruction. The singers themselves were humble, but the critics and the others who started looking down on any other kind of music just ruined it. ‘Ahangaram’, they say.

Music is the most beautiful and selfless of all love. Imagine, farming at 52 degree C somewhere in Kenya or India, with a other farmers, humming your favourite folk song. There is beauty in all forms of music. Rock, Folk, Carnatic, Hip-Hopp, Jazz, Blues, Country, Metal…Carnatic music is different as it is rigorously structured and scientifc. If you have heard of Robert Schumann’s ‘Traumerei’ (Titan Soundtrack), it is an excellent demonstration of ‘Fibonacci series’. Carnatic music and Western Symphony, (My knowledge in this aspect is hearsay) are very theoretical.

Music is about how you feel. It is about your senses, the way they respond. It can be structured, but that is not the only way. Music is tribal and rudimentary at times. It is simple. It is good that you want to handout Nobel prize for Economics, but if those people are creating structures and theories which are things we do not need and will not work, then i guess we should ask them to shut the F*** up. The same goes to the guy who says ‘The ragas of carnatic music are so beautiful and to imagine the kind of music you listen to?’.

Carnatic music, is really beautiful. A foundation with the Ragas and Swaras will help you in picking up tunes while singing and playing. It needs to adapt. It needs to bend some of its rules to travel globally.

Why? Its our responsibility to spread the knowledge we possess. In exchange for other forms of music.

So what should you do? Go out there, learn an instrument or take up singing. It gives you totally new dimension. i remember when i was in college there were loads of them who had learnt an instrument at some point in their lives. Joseph with the Guitar, Daniel with the keyboard, Jhanu with the guitar and so on, but only a few still had the passion to follow it even as a hobby. I just have a gut- feeling this will count in the long-run. Then there the other who picked up the guitar or the drums to learn it. I didn’t put in the effort.

But, today, i know the CDEFGABC of music. These alphabets are definetly worth learning.


Chennai Rail

4 Feb

Train travel has always been a great experience for Indians. I have been moving around in trains lately.


Chennai train network looks like this.

With the Chennai Metro coming along, Chennai Rail is going to get a much needed boost. The MRTS, has been a huge letdown compared the investment.

Why is MRTS a failure?

MRTS connects parts of Chennai where people work, but not where people stay.

What should we look at?

Middle-class families should also use rails. Money moves. When i travel today, i do not see the middles class at all. Most of them prefer two-wheelers, buses and autos.

What else?

People use trains even if they are packed, smelly and uncomfortable. You can reach on time. Its all about giving them that much comfort with tickets, subways, coffee, timings and connectivity.


This site from Southern Railways is the Resnick and Halliday, Hal Varian and B.L.Thareja of train timings in Chennai. Complete list. Go to surfonline. Download the entire site upto 3 backtracks.

Chennai train service accept RAIL CARDS which cost you 100Rs. This allows you to use the vending machines for tickets which saves you time with those big queues. You can buy top-up packs from the counters when you return.

Where am i getting with this? Check planemad. Chennai should never become a Bangalore. I think a good database of existing resources of local travel will save time, money and effort.

  • Integrate Chennai rail, Chennai bus and Chennai Share-Auto in one internet portal with AC coaches, AC Buses and AC Share autos.
  • Combined passes for all three with TV advertising in their FSI, which is already there at Central stations.
  • Share Purchases, Procurements and Advertising revenues proportionately.
  • Tap on working professionals to use Local service instead of catching the 7.30 office bus which people hate to take. Corporate contracts can be made.
  • Provide this facility to College students and school students at subsidized rates which gives the government all the praise.
  • Work with Mobile SMS and E-mail alerts for timings and logistics.(I have seen Southern railways at work, they are capable of this. With the money they have, they can outsource. This is an amazing organization inspite of the bureaucracy in it.)
  • Auto-rickshaws are ‘lobbying’ against share-autos which are much cheaper and better for citizens. Share-autos will be the ultimate tool for connectivity. Also, the best way to take our revenge against the famed ‘autorickshaws’ of Chennai.
  • Parking lots near all stations for two-wheelers including cycles.
  • Increase ROAD TAX for Cars.
  • More of the newly designed coaches which have more standing space in them.

Share Auto routes.

T.Nagar –  Nungambakkam – Loyola – Nelson Manikkam Road – Anna Arch – Blue Star – Thirumangalam (25 Rs)

Chennai Beach – Tollgate. ( 5 Rs )

Sripermabdur – TVS Delphi (10 Rs)

(If you happen to know more routes, please let me know)

Most people are looking for cost-cutting. With a little bit of planning you can do that. Using a combination of the 3 services you can move around quite easily. Especially for college students without job and people looking to save time driving, this is a good option.But, its important that you share the knowledge you have on any of these transportation system.


Take pictures with your mobile phone about the timings and put them online in Wiki. Blog about the connectivity and logistics. Nearest landmark etc.

Make your boring journey into knowledge sharing experience.I just wish the government was reading my blog.

Lessons ‘wiki community’ need to learn from Al-Qaeda.

29 Jan

Note : Ideas not in flow. Don’t read words inside brackets. They are tangential conversations.

In 2001, Jimmy ‘Jimbo’ Wales came up with a concept. A concept, which defied the economics of money. The idea was to share knowledge for free. Imagine a magician or a doctor doing that. Knowledge got you money. Quite ludicrous. It would be shot down for sure.

Creedy: [desperately shooting at the approaching V] Die! Die! Why won’t you die?… Why won’t you die?
V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

Imagine a world without ORS (it saves many lives in africa), Micro-Finance, Beatles, Non-Violence, Wal-Mart… Ideas are powerful weapons. Every generation falls under a single ‘IDEA’. Since 1600, the barrage of scientific ideas meant the decentralization of Science from Religion, of Thought from Belief and of Reason from Faith.

With Industrial Revolution and Colonization came ideas of capitalism, free-markets and transportation. World Wars gave berth to Hitler, Israel, Nuclear Bombs and Cold War.

At that time in India, 1947 gave us meaning to lost lives, democracy, Sovereignty, Nehru and Freedom.Then consumerism took centre stage with cars, television, clothes and refrigerators. Newton, Churchill, Ambani….

So what is today’s idea? Internet is not an idea it is technology. My take: Wikipedia.

Free-market economics is based on value-based trading. Most of us work (in broader sense study, live, eat….) to buy capital, i.e. to earn money. Wars were fought for land, resources and people, which is capital. Money was the final answer. Try questioning every answer and see where it leads? The last meaningful answer would be ‘I want to be happy’. Happiness is equated with capital, which is quite true. Simple equations, with simple human solutions.

But, Jimbo believed that people thought of knowledge, not as a licensed commodity which could be marketed at a premium, but as free goods which can be given readily upon asking. This grew alongside FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).

Today, Wiki is a success. Britannica, which is edited by committed professionals who work for money, is struggling to compete. Imagine making this jump.


You need a rope from the sky or you need a run-up. Stimulus plan. (On that front, rope from the sky is similar to a tax-cut). Wiki needed a push. Why?


As, the second-law of Thermodynamics (Without bhaav or scene: Any system becomes more chaotic as the days go by) fails in this case.

Any system grows chaotic as it moves away from origin (that’s why we have bubble bursts, which facilitates in creative destruction, which I vaguely think can be correlated to Darwinism). As the editors and pages in Wikipedia grew, it became less chaotic and more precise. It worked on a concept called the ‘Economies of scale’, which means that for Wiki to be a success it needs to happen in a massive scale, massive is not just ‘Wal-mart’ massive or China massive, much bigger than that.

Assume you want to make software, immaterial of the demand population (1 or 1 million) you have the ability to churn out a decent software.Wiki defies all this.

So how did Wiki work? How did it grow to a massive scale when it was implemented at the mini-scale where it needed a set of people to work with a commitment without expecting any returns? What was the ‘stimulus package’?

There answer lies with…


Al-Qaeda has its ‘terror network’ operating from Manila to Manhattan. They voice their opinions through various communication channels. Training cells, operation modules, modus operandi, agendas and more. They work like an organization without regional barriers towards one cause. Terrorize humanity. The concept of ‘Terror-States’ are no more. Just like wiki, interested people can gather and participate on a sound platform. Terrorists don’t receive a salary slip. What was the ‘rope from the sky’, they got?

JAAGORE, was an innovative campaign headed by Jasmine Shah. I was a little skeptical about this. But, i heard him speak about this. These are ideas which need the rope from the sky. What is that rope?

You see this rope in Blogging, You tube and Citizen Journalism and many more. People are writing not for pay-checks, people are making films not for the box-office, people are turning into reporters not for the salaries. Fame? Maybe. But I guess the answer is that the tools to express oneself have been democratized.

So, don’t turn a blind eye to your urges. Why can’t we wage a war against poverty in spite of corruption? Why can’t we give educate every child if we all form communities and fight it with modern tools and technology? Why can’t we lower emissions? If terrorism can create an impact with so many barriers, why can’t all these other communities create an impact.Yes, the roads are bad, the poor are hungry, there is blood on the streets of Gaza, there is AIDS, but Al-Qaeda has taught me that a small, well-k’net’ community of people, deeply motivated by a common goal, are able to work efficiently against all odds, and create a huge impact on the global map.

d-60Tools to express ($$)

CHENNAI SANGAMAM – Thannambikkai – Believe in yourself

14 Jan

The Britishers had a simple plan. Make everything British superior and everything Indian inferior. They succeeded. Indians have always had the fascination for the west. Be it goods, services or the people. White skin is the better skin. A friend of mine recently asked me “Why force people to watch art form which they do not want to see? Let them choose what they want. Freedom of choice. Capitalism.Democracy”

I pondered. As an advocator of socio-capitalist markets, i also asked myself  ‘Why should there be a regulator for my choices?’. If cricket is played by more, give them cricket. If people want to watch more movies like Ghajini, give them that. Let the markets decide by supply and demand.

Ms. Kanimozhi. The lady behind the success of Chennai  Sangamam. The first thing you notice about her is the disarming smile.

First impression.She has my vote.
For a just society, we should ensure that effort and talent should always get the same encouragement. Even in the markets, it is wise to spread our investments. Every system run into chaos. Actually, not doing so is a big crime. If you deny ability and effort its adulation and worth, you are taking away that happiness that is due to the artist.

I saw artists from various parts of Tamilnadu, showcasing their culture and tradition. They asked me whether they will be on Television or Newspaper. I told them they’ll be on the internet. I saw the look of disappointment on their faces. Like Nandan Nilekani, i want to see that the benefits of IT reach them. For the first time, i saw Chennai alive at midnight.

I think its our duty to celebrate our inherent ability. Curbing it and subverting it for the sake of others is the act of a coward. Life is finally a matter of choices, not of ability or talent. The choices you make reflect who you are. As Rudyard Kipling said

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting”

Yes, i believe that when we make tough choices, we should have the ability to back it up with effort and unwavering dedication. Yes, you might not be the owner of millions, you might not have your fanfare. But, it is that when you go to sleep, you shall be able to do so without any regrets.

More pictures…

Picture this.

7 Jan


28 Dec

I am proud to be a part of this institution. Weighing all the pro’s and cons, NITC is synonymous with Democracy. It gave me everything i could ask for; academics,Co-curricular, extra-curricular and besides that a bunch of great folks.

Alma mater.

P.S. There are things which can get better, but its time to appreciate the good.

Enna D nee?

24 Dec