Monthly Archives: February 2016

Raagmala Paintings Depict Ragas

Ragmala paintings or raag dhyan is again a big reason music enthusiasts visit various painting oriented places. If your field is Indian classical music, one must be aware of Ragamala Paintings, which depicted ragas as a human.

Musicology includes an explanation of ragas in short sanskrit verses called ‘Dhyana’ or meditation of 14th century. ‘As stated in ‘Ragatarangini’ by Lochana, these verses highlight the characteristics, nature, mood, tendency of ragas, injecting life into them, providing them a particular persona or swaroopa as in like a deity, nayak or nayika. This led to the rag-ragini systems and the subsequent creation of the ragamala paintings, which is mainly ragas on canvas. The theme or rasa for these paintings are usually shringar (romance), bhakti (devotional) or baal-kreeda (momism). Here are some examples of the paintings on Raga Bhairav and raga Hindol.

                                                            Raga Bhairava and Raga Hindol:

Ragamala Paintings

Ragamala Paintings

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Raga Hindol

       However, Ragmala or rag-ragini paddhati has lost its relevance today but it’s still a sheer interested and aesthetically rich topic for the tourists, music lovers, and paintings who frequently visit places like Madhubani, Ellora, Mewar, Dharwad, Mithila etc. to find the live pictures of the ragas especially the ragas which they love or have already learnt.

Remove filters of brain … Be like kids!! (Short story)

As  grown-ups, we tend to live up on what all we have been reinforced to do. Our family tells us there is God and we need to pray; and we start praying; without asking where is God? Have you seen him Mom? This reminds me of Neelima, my student, who shares how her son questions and challenges the society rules and rituals.

Over the time, these filters and conditioning layers itself firmly in our minds that it becomes hard to wipe off. Have we ever dared to think out of the box?

Here is a short story to illustrate why kids have extra power to execute  something than the elders.

Suresh and Dilip were more than best friends, former being six years and Dilip, ten. Once they were busy in their mischiefs beside a deep, ancient well of their village when Dilip unfortunately slipped in, deep down.

The other one snivelled shockingly and shouted, “Somebody please help!” for a long time. Nobody being around to help, he quickly grabbed a rope, tied it with a tree and giving the other end to his friend down, started pulling. It didn’t help at first as the victim was five years elder than the helper. But surprisingly he saved his ten years old friend. They both embraced each other with their mixed emotions of pleasure of achievement and fear of losing.

They went back and excitingly explained the tale to the villagers but nobody believed, not even their parents.

“All this is bullshit ! how can a six years old possess enough strength of pulling the ten years old.”

Only an old and wise soul in the village known as Rahim Chacha, who was obeyed and respected by the villagers, was convinced with the boys. Others gave a weird reaction at Rahim Chacha’s approval and demanded explanation why he believed the boys.

“Younger one saved the elder because there was none to tell him that it’s impossible for you”. explained the old man.

The implicit power lies within us. Often times we do not execute things because we think we won’t. Our deep-rooted brain filters, sanskars and beliefs hinder us to cross our comfort zone, because of which we are unable to recognize our capability and potential. As adults, lifelong we are surrounded by the past conditioning and intimidated to try new things. Kids, being free of those thousand filters and myths, keep trying new things with formidable vitality and courage.

How a Therapist creates Music using Heart-beats

Music therapist and a guitarist Brian Schreck creates emotional music involving the heart beats of terminally ill children especially for soothing the grieving parents who lost their kids.

Schreck, who works at Starshine Hospice and Pallative Care, believes in the power of heartbeats creates genuine music using the heartbeats as the rhythms.

“Internal rhythm is so personal and I thought it could be used as a way to really help families feel connected to ones they’ve lost,” Schreck says. “By having the parents engage in the creative process of making the songs, it brings them together, preparing them for the grief and the pain they may soon encounter.”

Brian Schreck, 35 and the father of two, records the heartbeats of the terminally ill patients with the help of stethoscope and microphone, uploads in the computer and works with the parents for providing original scores. He collaborates with the parents acknowledging the child’s favorite songs and synced with the child’s heartbeats as rhythms.

When the child dies, he provides the completed track to the parents/family.

This is indeed a wisdom to pacify parent’s heart after their kid’s death and Schreck is upgrading his karmic account by keeping the child in the songs.

“This intervention is a coping mechanism and a way for parents to remember their kids when they’re gone,” says Schreck, who has created over 100 tracks inculcating heartbeats rhythms in the past two years.

Watch out the story here.

World Music Event at Hyderabad by Trios from ‘Forward’

To celebrate World Music Naina, Scott and Gino performed at a recent event in Hyderabad. The Event was held in the Inorbit Mall.

The Trio gave the audience a taste of Pop and Jazz.

Talented  Scott Kinsey persisted on the Keyboards for around one and a half hours, accompanied by Naina Kundu on the Bass Guitar and Gino Banks on drums.

The three were able to hook around 200 audience by their heart-stirring percussion effect and vibrant music. Naina Kundu’s vocals also blended well with the fusion. They hardly took any breaks and performed the pop and jazz genres spontaneously at one go for an hour.

Learn Music To Increase Memory

Music is beyond what we think. Recent Music Therapy researches have proved that indulging in any kind of music improves Memory, Retention and Grasp.

Longer periods of listening or playing music resonates the brain’s cortical and subcortical areas and makes us recall the past knowledge and experiences clearly.

The valley manor care center of Montrose recently introduced a memory care unit called ‘iPod program’ or Music Therapy program, where the music is heard 24 by 7. Amazing results have been noticed among the patients as explained by their attendants.

“It’s therapeutic music for them” says Memory Care Specialist, Brandi Garcia. “It has therapeutic purpose and it ties those early childhood memories to the resident. So often we see these resident blossom. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Even the kids suffering from Dementia or other psychological disorders, often are recommended to enter the MCU, who end up being back to normal in a couple of weeks. They do not want to leave the place as the gentle tunes make them feel peaceful and at home.

Here is a short story about a kid, Tim, who had a chronic communication syndrome since birth. He could not speak among friends and was high on stammering when asked a question in class. His mom took him to the memory care where he was asked nothing. He had his own space to look around the musical gadgets. He explored all the stuffs for three days when his mom got him regularly. Until he picked a violin one day and started playing. He started learning and playing the instrument for hours, which resulted in comparatively clear speech. The words were completely understood with less stammers and he felt confident too.

It is highly essential to adopt music in being healthy, dynamic and responsive rather than just considering it a purpose of entertainment and relaxation.

Learn, play, listen, and compose music in order to enhance yourself in studies, work, relations and overall demeanor.

Read more stories to explore the facts on how music improves memory power and retention.

Facebook Craze

The other day when I was coffeeing in Starbucks, when I heard a man next to me, received a call, may be informing about his wife’s sudden death. He vociferated in a shattered voice. He shivered badly and his body was loosing control.  Watching this, some girls came to pacify him. People at their best offered to accompany him to his vehicle. He tiredly scotched and stood but halted, “Wait!” Guess what !

He took his iPhone out of his pocket for posting an FB update… “My wife’s expired”.

A girl who came to console her reprimanded sarcastically, “Hey, why don’t you wait for the likes and RIPs before leaving”.

Facebook likes

Facebook likes

Overly affect and attention to Facebook likes and dislikes and liking others pics so that they will click the same for me, parties on their extreme, night-outs on weekends, illogical drinking, gossiping, with frequent smokers, noon wakeups on the Sundays thinking five days will anyways go busy, purchasing items without even a thought of its feasibility… Lifestyle maintain its hyper decline for the youngsters and then we claim there’s no good in life.

People lack even a speck of contentment in their life. We perpetually want people around us. We cannot even spent a day midst of our own self with the best of our company. It becomes hard to accept even a single week that I’m alone and nobody is there with me.

My apartment mate, Neeley, constantly demands ultimate privacy with her boyfriend. She is always vexed with the unexpected doorbells, calls or even work when she is fully charged with Tom, her fifth and so-called forever soulmate. At times, she is annoyed with her own sensuous sounds while the process. After half an hour, she bangs in my room to show me  a couple of her intimately romantic photos just updated and received 800 likes too. Some pics are crossing their obscenity and makes me shout at her, forbidding to show me. I keep wondering when did she do that; a few minutes back I was trying to focus and ignore the weird, devilish sounds coming from her room and now it has been published before the world.

So confused, right ? People want privacy; however, they want to show those private pics to the world. Where’s the privacy ? What do they really want ? Privacy or publicity ? Or publicized privacy … Or may be unclear what they want ?

Simplicity has been implicitly overshadowed by glamour and show. People want to share/reveal and seek comments, “nice comments” on each moments of their life, which actually they feel should not be intervened or don’t want to accept they’re not being personal at all. Lack of self approval and appraisal was anyways in the aura of the society when these inter-personal sites are adequately successful having put the icing on the cake.  The day is not far-off when the FB alerts and friends will remind gals about the arrival of their menstruation date. Nice, attractive app will be displayed to remind them to go for change as she has already spent 15 hours on FB.

I often visit a nearby park to take music classes of my 80 years old student. We both enjoyed a lot being together. My satisfaction and bliss quotient transcended with the feeling that I’m able to soothe an ‘old‘ guy  with my company and music. I visited the park on a fine Sunday and noticed his absence. I waited there before I called him up to find out that he was suffering with depression and has been taken to a psychiatrist. Few weeks later, we resumed the lesson in the same park and I obviously inquired the cause of his depression. I wanted to faint after hearing it….why did I ask  dammit? I thought.  Reasons were two:

“My wife remarried”, he sobbed.

“As far as I know, Mr. Ted, you had been divorced  back in your 40s?”, I couldn’t resist asking him on his illogical, unreasonable cause and statement.

“Yes! but you know, you feel really shattered, when you see someone close to your heart with someone else…that day I could believe my eyes when I saw the romantic pics of my wife on FB …she got 500 likes. Can you believe it ? …..you won’t get my feelings kid…. blah blah blah.”  He was reciting all of it with his broken and fragile voice and watered eyes.

I tried to console her; however, I had nothing to say on this stupid act. Someone feeling low or slight detrimental thoughts broke down for few hours in such situations can be digestible. But depression and meeting psychiatrist for the woman you’ve left long ago was something I wanted to punch that pervert.   For the first time, I was repenting to visit the park. These are the negative consequences of being addicted. Here is the scientific study on how Facebook is making people paralyzed and frangible.

Basant Panchami: Its Significance

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Basant Panchami is a festival to indicate the arrival of the spring season. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and is celebrated in the fifth day of Magh shukla (Hindu Month). Since the festival is related to the Goddess of Art, music and knowledge, Maa Sarawati, it is also known as Saraswati Puja and even more auspicious and loving day for the musicians and music lovers. It is believed that this is the birth time of the Goddess.

Since it symbolizes the spring season, Basant Panchami is dominant by the yellow color celebration. Yellow depicts the ripening of fruits and crops; The yellow mustard crop is extensively spread in the lands, making the environment peaceful and vibrant. The puja and festivities are performed wearing yellow color. Mata Saraswati is decorated by the yellow sari and ornamentation. The prasad or other worship eatables are also made yellow by using saffron or turmeric  in order to depict the festival properly.

Kids are especially taught to read Sanskrit shlokas and mantras in order to imbibe positive and intellectual vibrations in them, as Sanskrit is the soul language of all the modern ones. It is said that if one can speak, read or write Sanskrit, he has mastered his brain 70% more.