Code, coffee, music

Starbucks Powai is an ideal place to code a few hours away, sipping some not so great coffee (filter kaapi i brew at home beats ‘n’ number of CCDs and Starbucks  coffee hands down) and listening to good music. The WiFi connection leaves little to complain and the ambience is ofcourse superb. Recommended!
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Birthday Concert 2013

So I have a wonderful thing to blog about today!

The annual Birthday Concert of the Indian Music Group was celebrated on 12th Jan in St Xavier’s Campus, on Saturday in the most splendid way. Here’s how:

(a) Classical Vocal performance by Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar :

The concert begins with Pt Abhyankar’s introduction to the Raag that he will perform, a basic primer about the bhaav and lyrical interpretation of the raag, for the audience. He starts with Raag Shuddha Sarang, accompanied by extremely talented musicians on the harmonium, tanpura and tabla. The aalaap gradually grows into the main body of the raag, and Pt Abhyankar has his listeners in absolute thrall. He sings ‘Din ki Puria’ next, and explains that it is a variant of the much popular ‘Puria’ raag with a single note changed. I personally enjoy this performance more as the raag is familiar (Puria and the similar Puria Dhanashri, simply wow raagas, these !). The next song is a Surdas ki vaani, a classical piece by created by the great saint, about Lord Krishna. Pt Abhyankar ends his part of the concert with a beautiful bhajan and rises to greet the audience whose claps resound throughout the huge and St. Xavier’s auditorium.

(b) Classical flute performance by Pt. Rupak Kulkarni:

The evening had more to offer. After Pt. Abhyankar’s wonderful renditions, the audience were in for a surprise. Pt. Kulkarni, one of his disciples (It feels weird to use the term disciple, as Pt. Rupak Kulkarni himself is very young), Mridangam maestro, Shridhar Parthasarthy and Tabla wizard, Ustad Fazal Qureshi (son of the late Ustad AllaRakha) created a heavenly musical atmosphere. Everyone in the hall were happily lost in the lilting melody of Raag Madhuvanti. (again a familiar Raag, thoroughly enjoyed). Shridhar and Ustad Qureshi were at their best, occasionally playing a sawaal jawaab of percussion. Next up was Raag Bhinna Shadja (heard this one for the first time, but was no less magical than the other performances). The concert ended with a short dhun, where all the maestros contributed equally in making the finishing stroke memorable.

Next on my list: The JanFest (IMG’s flagship event) that sees the most established stalwarts of Classical music perform at the Xavier’s Quadrangle ! Excited..

 

I really liked this post.. Reblogging it therefore..

Making the Complex Simple

With the vast array of technology, language and platform choices available today, it can be very difficult to figure out where to best invest time in training your skills as a software developer.

I’m often asked advice on how to be a better programmer.

Most often the question someone asks is based on whether or not they should invest their time in a particular programming language or technology versus another.

I’ve been giving this quite a bit of thought lately and I’ve come up with what I think are the most important and timeless skills that a software developer can attain which will give them the best career opportunities and make them the most effective.

Skill 1: Solving Problems

problems

I’ve talked about the need to learn how to solve problems before and I’ve even given some steps of how to learn to solve problems, because I believe this skill is…

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Mood Indigo-2012 Day1

As the title of this blog suggests I am extremely audiophilic. I am simply crazy about good music (and I have no qualms about stating this very often 😛 ).. Mood Indigo is the Annual Cultural Festival of IIT Bombay and it is pretty much the largest Cultural festival of India, attracting participants and artistes all over the world. I love MoodI because of the amazing music concerts it has. Wasn’t disappointed this year either.MoodI day 1 had these wonderful treats for musiclovers:

  • MI Studio :  This was a fusion music recital featuring two unique and extremely fascinating instruments, the Jaltarang played mesmerisingly by Sandeep Dicholkar and the Hang played by a Slovenian gentleman whose name eludes me. Ragas played on the JalTarang were Kirwani and ShivRanjini. The Hang ( I didn’t know such an instrument existed until I actually saw it ) can be used to play rythm as well as melody. The Slovenian gent’s dexterous fingers did such an amazing job that it almost felt like two instruments being played in sync, one rythm and the other leads(melody). This ended with an amazing jugal bandi of the two instruments.(loosely based on ShivRanjini)
  • Trania and Snehashish Majumdar: Trania, a 3 member band collaborated with Mandolin and guitar player, Snehashish to create some fantastic jazzy Indian Classical (yes, it is as amazing as the name sounds 🙂 ). Snehashish who has been playing Classical raagas on his guitar/mandolin since a long time teamed up with Trania to jazz up the atmosphere with novel improvisations. Definitely a #win
  • Talavya: Talavya as the name suggests, is about ‘taala’. This 5 member band headed by the son of Pt Divyang Vakil, takes tabla playing to a new level. With four tablas and one harmonium, they played a rich variety of taalas (rythmic cycles), including vilambit, madhya lay, dhrut and finally ending with a superb crescendo of ati-dhrut. A sonorous harmonium melody (desh raag I think) kept playing in the background giving the tabla playing a good melodious base.
  • Pt VishwaMohan Bhatt: Vishwa Mohan(winner or more appropriately charmer of the world) indeed, he is a living example of what human genius can achieve. Pt Vishwa CREATED the instrument he plays. Adding many more strings to an acoustic guitar (taking the number from 6 to 20 !), he designed the ‘Mohan Veena’ or ‘Slide Guitar’. He played Raag Maru Bihaag beginning with a slow aalaap and then increasing the tempo gradually, soaring gracefully to the dhrut and finally with a ‘gamak'(which was an ode to thunder clouds, he evoked the sound and feel of the thunder, rain and lightning in the most amazing way possible). Next he sang (yes, he can sing too, wasn’t aware of it before) a Maand, Kesariya Baalam, a folk song from his native Rajasthan. Then came two beautiful numbers from his Grammy award winning fusion musc album, ‘A meeting by the river’ (collaboration with Ry Cooder). Pt Vishwa signed off with Vande Mataram and Jana Gana Mana. Mohan Veena totally rocks ! 🙂 And Pt Vishwa is a true ‘Sultan of Strings’ (Dire Straits fan 🙂 ), he looks like one too and he plays like the Greatest Sultan Ever !! Only two of my friends I know appreciate and enjoy Classical music as much as I do, both of them were out of town. Had to go alone therefore, nonetheless, enjoyed it thoroughly.

Here’s to Mr. Nikhil, the courier guy who delivers my Flipkart shipments

Shopping online is one of my favorite things, Flipkart being my trader of choice coz of their promptness and awesome packaging, not to forget the free home delivery for orders exceeding Rs 300. Flipkart shipments to my house are usually brought by one Mr. Nikhil Patil. Unlike other courier guys, the packages he delivers always come with three lines of neat, clear writing in blue ink on the body of the packaging:

Nikhil Patil

9892767651

Fridge, Washing Machine, AC

Whenever he hands over the package, he politely points to what I believe, he must have so meticulously written on each and every package given to him for delivery and says, “Sir, if you ever need some help with your fridge, washing machine etc, just call me, I ll come immediately. Don’t forget to mention me to your friends.”

His words always put me in a contemplative mood. The gentleman knows how to repair complex machines that I am sure many of those who are much more qualified than him wouldn’t know, yet he works as a courier, delivering shipments from door to door. Many in our nation, especially among the youth, work as unskilled workers despite being capable of doing better in their lives. Tapping the potential of the youth in a largely ‘young’ nation like India is critical to growth and development.

If you live in and around Dombivli, and need help with the above mentioned appliances, please call Nikhil !! 🙂

Buongiorno !

And so here I am, back to blogging.. After a long hiatus I am back with a new blog. My old blog, I feel was rather flashy and showy. As opposed to that, my present blog is quite minimalistic and simple. Simplicity is an amazing quality.

A quick introduction, I am Abhishek, currently pursuing my Final Year BTech in Electronics from  VJTI, Mumbai. I am extremely passionate about technology, music, food and travelling. I love to code and would love to be a highly respected ‘code-ninja’ some day. I listen to a lot of Hindustani Classical and rock music. I am a Cancerian by sunsign and like a true Cancerian, I love the sea, perhaps a little more than my fellow Mumbaikars. I don’t know to swim but I fantasise about being able to go surf-boarding on a high tide some day.

That’s all for now