Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Journey Through Amritavarshini, The Raga of Rain!

Some names, words, music pieces and faces draw my attention for no obvious reasons. Though I enjoy singing, I have no knowledge regarding ragas or their compositions. However, the name Amritavarshini somehow made me curious to know more about it. Here's all that I could compile:

Amritavarshini is a janya raga (derived raga) of Chitambari, which is the 66th Melakarta raga in Carnatic music. Only five of the seven musical notes are used in this raga. They are Shadja, Antara Gandhara, Prati Madhyama, Panchama and Kakali Nishada. The other two notes (Rishabha and Daivata) are not used in the raga and its compositions. Amritavarshini has its equivalent in Hindustani classical music, which is Megh Malhar.



The Story of Amritavarshini

The famous Carnatic composer Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar once visited the drought-stricken land of Ettayapuram in Thirunelveli of Tamil Nadu. On a visit to a local temple there, he prayed to the goddess in this raga. He sang one of his compositions, Anandamrita, which was based on Amritavarshini. It is said that as he sang the line "Varshaya, varshaya, varshaya", it started raining heavily and the place got flooded soon. Later, the rains stopped only after he sang the raga replacing "varshaya varshaya varshaya" with the line "Sthambaya sthambaya sthambaya".


Tansen and Megh Malhar

There's an interesting story behind the magical musician Tansen and Megh Malhar. Tansen was once called to Akbar's court to sing and prove the magical powers of the raga Deepak. Tansen knew that the heat emanated from singing the raga would be enough to burn him to ashes. His daughter, who was an exceptional singer herself, suggested that he teach her Megh Malhar, so that she could sing the raga and save him from death by bringing rain.

On the day of the performance, Akbar's court was adorned with countless oil lamps. As the legend started singing, the court heated up, lighting the oil lamps. As the temperature of the hall rose and the surroundings were in flames, his daughter started singing the raga Megh Melhar, and it rained, extinguishing the flames and saving her father. 

Amritavarshini and Megh Malhar are ragas associated with joy and ecstasy. They are also believed to have healing powers to cure diseases related to heat. 

Thanks for reading this blog post, and I welcome you to contribute to the article if I've missed out on any interesting info on the ragas.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fraudulent Calls from Shine.com

This is just to make all of you aware of what's happening in job portals in the name of a better job opportunity. When you're unemployed and desperately looking for a suitable job, you may fall for such frauds out there. Never! 

Here's one of my experiences with Shine.com, which you may have faced already, or may face in future. I had received several phone calls from this job portal asking me to pay an amount for better services. Since I generally ignore such crap unless it gets on my nerves, I kept ignoring. Today one so-called Shine employee got a royal treat from me when I lost my temper and decided not to neglect it anymore.

This "gentleman" called me saying he's from Shine.com and started asking me my previous job position, the reason for leaving the last job, what kinda offers I'm looking for, etc.. I got impatient and here's the rest..
I: Why do you need all this? What is this call regarding? 
He: This is regarding better job opportunities. 
I: Thanks a lot. I'm not interested. 
He: Why not? You don't need internal references? 
I: No, thanks. 
He: Why so, madam?
I: See, when you keep talking, you're wasting my time as well as yours. Please understand. 
He: But you have been searching for a job for a few months now.
I: That should be my concern, not yours.
He: I'm here to help you.
I: I know to help myself, thanks. I've read about such fraudulent calls from Shine, so don't waste your time.
He: How do you know whether I'm a fraud or a genuine employee? How can you say that?
I: Oh. I'm sorry. Now please.. (I can feel my blood boiling)
He: It's not just your time that's precious.
I: Yeah that's what I said too! (disconnected the call as he kept on talking)

So this is what a "genuine employee" of Shine does to you if you tell him you're not interested in paid services. I am now left with the regret if wasting my words and time on some fraud who wanted to prove that he's genuine. Please don't fall for such calls/SMS/mails from any official job portal. Thanks! :) 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tracing The History of Nanthuni

I’ve always been curious about various things around me, and I generally take time and do my study on them as well. Nanthuni, a musical instrument, is something that caught my attention recently. I heard it in a Malayalam song, though I’m not able to recollect the song. The word Nanthuni has a resemblance to the Malayalam word thuni which means cloth. This is what made me curious. I wanted to find out the roots of this instrument, and here is what I gathered from all the online and offline sources available.

Nanthuni is believed to be having a history dated back to the times of the Puranas and other Indian texts. It is said that sage Narad or Narada, also known as Narad Muni, had played this stringed instrument called Nanthuni during the time of Shiva Tandava. History has it that several Hindu communities used to play Nanthuni during various traditional festivals and religious occasions. The name Nanthuni, as per some online sources, is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Namdhwani’. It used to be called by several names like Nanduni, Naldhuni and Nanthurni. This wooden instrument has strings made of ‘pinjaavalli’ or ‘eerachulli’, though today most use metal strings to play it. A thin stick made of splinters is used to play the strings. Nanthuni is 4 feet long and a foot wide. The upper part of the instrument is divided into seven parts, depicting the seven notes of classical music. The wood used to make Nanthuni include Kumizhu, Koovalam and Chiitamruthu.

Nanthuni is used for Hindu rituals and related music like Kalamezhuthu paattu, Bhadrakali paattu, Ayyappan paattu and Vettaykkorumakan paattu. It is generally played by the Kurup community, who are believed to be the descendants of Narad. However, other communities like Ganiya and Pulluvan also use the instrument for some of their rituals. For instance, the Mannaan community of Central Kerala uses Nanthuni as a part of a ritual, Bhagavathy Thottam. The Ganiya community of the southern part of Kerala uses this instrument for ‘oottum paattum’ as a part of their custom. The songs in which Nanthuni is used, are collectively known as ‘Nanthuni paattukal’. There is a mention of the instrument in Unnuneeli Sandesham, one of the oldest Malayalam literary works, which was written in 14th century.

As per Natya Shastra, there are four types of musical instruments – stringed, percussion, hollow and solid. Nanthuni belongs to the category of stringed instruments. Saraswathi Veena, one of the variants of Veena, is said to have been inspired by Nanthuni. Interestingly, Nanthuni is also a female Hindu name, though I’ve not heard anyone with that name! ;)
Please leave your valuable feedback on the same, and I also would appreciate if you could add details to this article. Thanks for reading! 

Info Courtesy:


Thursday, June 29, 2017

എൻ്റെ പ്രണയം



"ഒരു സമയത്ത് ഒരാൾക്ക് എത്ര പേരോട് പ്രണയം തോന്നാം?". അതിനുള്ള മറുപടി ആണ് എൻ്റെ ഈ blogpost.

എനിക്ക് എൻ്റെ കാഴ്ചപ്പാടിൽ നിന്ന് മാത്രമേ സംസാരിക്കാൻ അർഹതയുള്ളൂ. എനിക്ക് ഇഷ്ടം തോന്നുന്ന എന്തിനോടും ഏതിനോടും എനിക്ക് പ്രണയം തോന്നാറുണ്ട്. മഴ കണ്ടാൽ ഞാൻ കുട പുറത്ത് എടുക്കാതെ മഴ കൊണ്ട് നടക്കും. ആകാശത്ത്  മാറി വരുന്ന നിറങ്ങൾ കണ്ടാൽ അത് നോക്കി നിൽക്കാറുണ്ട്. ചിലരുടെ voice പോലും എന്നേ വല്ലാതെ ആകർഷിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഇതൊക്കെ എൻ്റെ പ്രണയങ്ങൾ ആണ്. എനിക്ക് എന്നോട് തന്നെ പ്രണയം ഉണ്ടെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞാലും അതിൽ തെറ്റില്ല.

മനുഷ്യരോട് തോന്നുന്ന പ്രണയത്തെക്കുറിച്ച്‌  സംസാരിക്കാം. പ്രണയം ഒരാളോട് മാത്രം തോന്നുന്ന ഒന്നാണ് എന്നുള്ള concept'ഇനോട് യോജിക്കുന്നില്ല. എനിക്ക് അത് മനസ്സിലാവില്ല എന്ന് പറയുന്നതാവും ശരി. എനിക്ക് പലരുടെയും പല qualities'ഇനോടും പ്രണയം തോന്നിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതിൻ്റെ അർത്ഥം ഞാൻ അവരേ എൻ്റെ  boyfriend ആയി കാണുന്നു എന്നല്ല. Boyfriend/girlfriend എന്ന വാക്ക് തന്നെ തെറ്റാണ്. അങ്ങനെ ആണെങ്കിൽ എനിക്ക് സംസാരിക്കാൻ ഇഷ്ടം ഉള്ള, എനിക്ക് ഒത്തിരി കാര്യങ്ങൾ discuss ചെയ്യാൻ പറ്റുന്ന, എന്നേ അടുത്ത് അറിയുന്ന എല്ലാവരും എൻ്റെ boyfriends/girlfriends ആണെന്ന് പറയേണ്ടി വരും. അതിനേക്കാൾ എനിക്കിഷ്ടം, എൻ്റെ പ്രണയങ്ങളുടെ അംശങ്ങൾ അവരിൽ ഒക്കെയും ഉണ്ട് എന്ന് പറയുന്നതാണ്.

ഞാൻ ചെയ്യുന്ന ജോലിയോടും, നടക്കുന്ന വഴികളോടും, കാണുന്ന നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളോടും, കേൾക്കുന്ന വരികളോടും, ആസ്വദിക്കുന്ന രുചികളോടും, അറിയുന്ന സൗന്ദര്യത്തോടും എല്ലാം എനിക്ക് പ്രണയം ആണ്. എൻ്റെ മനസ്സിലെ പ്രണയം.

Note: ചില വാക്കുകളുടെ ഭംഗി/അർത്ഥം നഷ്ടപ്പെടാതെ ഇരിക്കാൻ English ഉപയോഗിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

On Leaving A Place I called 'Home'...

Life takes turns when you least expect them, and at times, you are forced to listen to your head rather than your heart. Since May 2012, life was like a fairy tale. Yes, OneIndia made me believe in fairy tales again. :)

Today, I am about to leave this place that my heart recognises as 'home', for all the experiences it has given me, all the knowledge I've acquired from here, all the dreams that were woven here and all the minute details of what I am today. 

OneIndia's travel portal Native Planet was like oxygen to me. I still remember going to office with fever saying that I'll feel better once I'm in office. Well, that was no exaggeration! 😷 

As I can see that I'm soon leaving this family, let me do something for my NP team... There is nothing I can do better for NP than writing a few lines for the love it has showered upon me. So, here it goes...

You brought me smiles and laughter,
You made me weep in despair,
I fought for you when I saw you in danger,
I saw you grow with so much pride in me,
But they said you are lifeless.

I celebrated your victory with damp eyes,
You gave me moments to cherish a lifetime,
You inspired me to dream ahead,
You taught me to love my life,
But they said you are hopeless.

I spent sleepless nights thinking of you,
I rejoiced at each tiny phase of your growth,
I loved the way you loved me,
My life and happiness revolved around you,
But they said you are just a product.

You gave me wings to fly,
You gave soul to my life,
Even when I'm about to move out,
Leaving you feels so painful,
And they call you Native Planet.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Life from the eye of the Past!




I stand by the tree shade,
And watch you grow,
Watch how happy you are,
From when you were with me.

The days we had were bitter and hard,
You cursed me and tried to hide from me,
I could only see your tears,
And stay silent to all your sorrows.

Today you're here, strong and bold,
Weaving a dream that you've always seen,
Walking the trail of a dreamy path,
Leaping to goals, one after the other.

As I stand and watch you live,
I also see your Future far away,
He's waiting to hold you in his arms,
To embrace you, and to love you.

Go slow, yet keep going.
Walk to him like a dainty bride.
Let him see how beautiful you've grown.
From the one I knew to the one he holds!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Basic Email Etiquette Every Professional Should Follow

Being a professional, you are bound to deal with a lot of emails, both at the sending and receiving ends. The language of your email talks a lot about you. When you send an email, the receiver sees only the text, thus it should be handled well. Here are some basic email etiquette that every professional should follow, to avoid being misread or misinterpreted.

Have a Proper Subject Line

Some have a habit of sending an email as a continuation of an old email which is not related to the subject to be discussed. For instance, the subject line would be "Re: Work Status Report For The Day" and the email would be to discuss what is to be gifted for the boss's birthday coming up next week. Please open a new mail and have a proper subject line instead of using the thread of an old one. This will help you in future, when you need the particular mail to be searched and found.

Usage of "Reply All"

It surprises me that some professionals don't even know that something called "Reply All" exists. Well, let me take the privilege to educate you on this. "Reply All" is used when a mail is to be sent to more than one person. For eg. If A sends an email to B and C and if B wants to reply to both A and C, a hit on "Reply All" will send the email's reply to both A and C. Whereas, if A clicks on "Reply", the mail is sent only to A, and not to both A and C. Please make a not of this, if you tend to forget what's taught to you! ;)

Use a Professional Email Address

Thanks to the brands/companies that create email addresses for their employees. I've come across email IDs as weird as barbie_girl78@outlook.com. Please have a proper email ID, you're using it for serious purposes, let's be serious about how you address yourself too.

Use Apt Salutations

When you start an email, please use a Hi or Hello rather than a "Hey" or "Hi guys". This helps set a tone to the email and be taken seriously. There is a class of professionals who don't even believe in using salutations. God save them!

Use a Signature Block

Instead of typing out the signature at the end of every email or sending an email without signing off, have a signature set, so that you can save time on that each time an email is sent.

Use of Exclamation Marks, ALL CAPS and Emoticons

Use a minimum of or no exclamation marks, emoticons and other informal symbols in your official emails. Some have the habit of using ALL CAPS in either the subject line or in the main body of the email. Please be informed that ALL CAPS is generally interpreted as a shout. You may want to shout at your boss, but why let him/her know that?! ;)

Use of Humour

It is better to avoid humour in official emails, unless you are friendly with the recipient. The recipient may not get your tone or get to see your smile, hence don't risk yourself by bringing in a tone that is informal, when you're not sure how it will be read (or misread).

Have the Courtesy to Reply

When an email is sent to you along with other recipients, please ensure that you reply to the email, even if it wasn't meant for you or targeted at you. A reply to an email is as good as returning a smile.

Check for Errors Before Hitting 'Send'

It is better to proofread your emails before you send them across.

Don't Send to the Wrong Person

There would be two different persons with the same name in an organisation. Check for their email addresses and ensure you're sending it to the right recipient. I know of those who tell me that forwarding emails to the right person is one of their daily tasks.

Use a Formal Font

Comic Sans is one of my favourite fonts. That does not mean I use it for all my official emails. Similarly, select an appropriate formal font to convey your messages.

Remember That Nothing is a Secret!

When you type, beware of the fact that nothing is confidential on emails. Every word you type is documented. Use your words wisely, lest they hit you back!