July 2009


Here is the fourth one in this series (click here for the third one). It is a rare alapana for a raga that is not that common, although not certainly rare. The raga certainly figures frequently in online forums in topics revolving around classical ragas etc.

Can you guess the raga and the singer?

(Audio Courtesy: sangeethapriya)

(Answer below)
(more…)

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The other day as I was driving around the neighborhood I spotted the following sign at the entry of a neighboring town:
Road Sign

Red Light Photo Enforced Community – Hmmm.. that seems odd and contrived I thought. But I knew what it conveyed. In that community, at certain traffic light intersections. cameras and sensors monitored whether cars came to a full stop on a red light – exactly where they are supposed to (e.g. going over the white line is a violation). If you did not follow the law to the tee, you get a surprise in your mail a few days later. A ticket with a hefty fine, along with a photograph of your car “caught red handed”! You can even go to a website where they will have a video of you caught in the act. Obviously, I am speaking from experience 🙂 !

This was done in my town last year and everybody raised a big hue and cry because it was seen as a big money making racket for the town. For example, they installed it not in intersections which were already considered dangerous (from past accident history), but ones where they expected more crowd etc. – and ones where more affluent folks from other towns were expected to visit – i.e. better revenue stream. It was also argued that these caught more of the very minor violations (e.g. you did stop but went over the line) rather than the real dangerous, major ones as in someone clearly ignored the red light and shot through the intersection. There is also the “big brother is watching” feeling this gave to common folk. Eventually the PR was bad enough that they stopped it. But this is good business for the towns, and they can always say “hey, laws are meant to be followed”. In US, if it is good business, it is usually unstoppable.

Anyway, enough of about that, as that is the not the true intent of this post. It is instead about something far more trivial! I felt that the ordering the words red light photo enforced community read odd and seemed contrived. If one wanted to convey that in your community, stopping at red light was enforced via photo, is this how one would word it? My English isn’t super strong, and so maybe, this is fine, but it still seems odd. As I was thinking of alternate ways, I broke out into a broad smile and guffawed, because I am sure they must have thought of the another ordering and immediately rejected it as it immediately would have been appeared at FAIL blog as follows:

Road Sign Fail

Road Sign FAIL

“Photo enforced Red Light Community” – Now that reads quite funny if you think about it 🙂 !

PS: If you have not checked out FAIL Blog (http://failblog.org) you must. It is hilarious and will keep you occupied for a while!

Here is the third one in this series (click here for the second one). It is an alapana and kalpanaswaras, for a reasonably well known song, although one that is not that commonly rendered in concerts. It may not be also be that rare to render this with alapana etc. as I know of atleast one case where a contemporary artist has rendered this as a main item. However, I think in general it may not be done. The krithi and the raga are very special one in carnatic lore. I have elaborated on this in the answer section.

This rendition is special to me because of the bhAvam/expressiveness in the voice of the singer (who is very well known), which is a natural fit for songs like this, and the fact that he has embellished an already special song with alapana and kalpanaswaras.

I also suspect that many of you will be able to guess the raga, although to my ears there are couple of unusual/exotic spots in the alapana which may not be mirrored in the song (not sure, and dont want to presume either 🙂 ). In any case, first, just enjoy an alapana!

(Audio Courtesy: sangeethapriya)

(Download here)

Need more hint? Here is a snippet of the kalpana swaras but with the dead give way refrain line taken out:

(Download here)

(Answer below)
(more…)

Here is Carnatic Cryptic Crossword Puzzle #5 (Here is Puzzle #4):

Carnatic Cryptic Crossword #5

Please check this page for hints, guidelines etc. I will post the solution in about a week.

Here is the second one in this series (click here for the first one). It is an alapana for a well known song, fairly common in concerts, but perhaps one for which alapana is rarely rendered (at least to me). Thus it is is special to me.

The musician should be obvious to most of the listeners as he is very well known. I also suspect many of you will be able to guess the raga. In any case, just enjoy an alapana!

(Download here)

(Answer below)
(more…)

This creature below was born in the mad scientist’s lab late in the night a couple days ago. This was after an “intense” and “excruciating” labor (of mind of course).

It is a mutant alright, but may be you can still tell whose DNA was used as a basis for it?

Note: I may be presumptuous here, but I think the genealogy should be reasonably obvious at the start itself. The objective was to not completely obscure the origins, although it was definitely to consciously create a mutant (btw, if you cannot tell, this is a convenient excuse that I can always fall back on. Besides, I cannot play “the original” for squat on a guitar – real or synthetic! It seems so much easier to sing 🙂 ! ).

Oh, and a little heads up:  Be a little patient with it, it does try to perk up after a bit!

For those who care, other such creatures can be seen here. They are also accessible from the green My Share box on the right.

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