Tag Archive: musings


Halfway thru

…. 5 mths 2 go. … past 7mths of sloggin’… hope to be spared from the heat stroke for the remainder of summer in this hilly terrain …. mountains all around ….. No complaints ‘coz of the amazing view of sunset , mountains from terrace….cud get lost gazing@ the sky ,clouds….. #Mood=#song

 Excerpt from the hindu :

Evolutionary mismatch

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” — Socrates.

Darwinian evolution has become outdated and its place is taken by the Lamarckian hypothesis of evolution by environmental compulsions. Darwin himself agreed with Lamarck but the neo-Darwinians, who have a big business interest in keeping the status quo, are at it even now. Even Erasmus was for environmental evolution long before Darwin came into the picture. Most of our pathophysiology of diseases is based on the Darwinian model unfortunately and it has to change for good. Earlier the better.

Daniel E Lieberman is an evolutionary biologist at Harvard. He has written a new book, The Story of the Human Body . I feel this is the right step in the right direction. Unfortunately, medical doctors do not go into evolutionary biology, even if a few of them go into biology. Poor patients have no access to evolutionary biologists. The result is that many of our lifestyle diseases have no clear cause known to the medical world. We are clever people, though. We cloak our ignorance is high-sounding Latin jargon. Words ‘idiopathic’ and the like simply tell us about our colossal ignorance. Even the use of steroids in many of the autoimmune diseases defies logic. They only palliate and the fire is still smouldering under steroid cover. The latter might even make the patient more vulnerable.

The Palaeolithic man is yet to fully evolve to match the much more evolved cultural evolution in the last 200 years. That might take a hundred more years. Thanks to technological advances, life on earth for the so-called civilised man has become vastly different from what it should have been had we just followed the environmental evolution that our ancestors in the Palaeolithic period have achieved. So there is a vast difference between the rate of natural evolution of man and the rapidly evolving cultural evolution that has happened in the society we live in.

One example will suffice. What our ancestors ate and what chimpanzees eat today compared to what we eat in the so-called modern society are poles apart. While most of us have developed a sweet tooth eating lots of sweet foods and refined carbohydrates, our ancestors in the forest were eating very little sweet food. Even today, chimpanzees eat raw food with the best fruit that they eat in the forest being less sweet than carrot! Our need for sweet foods and carbs was necessitated by the demand for more calories to cope with the cultural evolution which has gone much faster than the human body’s evolution.

Lieberman has convincingly showed how many of our killer lifestyle diseases, which might even be called modern diseases like Type II diabetes, many cancers, heart attack, strokes, acid reflux, acne, anxiety, asthma, depression, flat feet, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, lower backpain and osteoporosis have their origins in this evolution-cultural growth mismatch.

Over thousands of years in evolution the human body has acquired a survival mechanism to protect us from our predators. The autonomic nervous system and the RAAS (renin angiotensin aldosterone system) have evolved to keep us alive under stress which is an integral part of life in the hostile environment. These two are useful in any emergency for the fight, flight and fright reaction.

If a man sees a tiger approaching him in the forest he must try to run away. The above mentioned two systems are there to help him run away from the wrath of the angry tiger. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two hormones through which the two systems keep one away from danger. Such a Palaeolithic body today is placed in a very hostile modern society of monetary economy and technologically advanced society where life has got itself transformed into a heartless, cruel rat race.

Our greatest stress today is to acquire mundane things. In that rat race where the world is too much with us we spend most of our energy getting and spending. We have no time to see the good things in nature that give us tranquillity and pleasure. We seem to have sold our soul to the devil. It is a sordid boon. In this rat race we encounter many tigers in life. Our Palaeolithic body produces the same fight-flight response producing adrenaline and cortisol. The latter would be used to run away from the forest tiger in our Palaeolithic age. But the tigers in life today (stresses) do not let you expend the two hormones by running.

The hormones that thus accumulate in the system are the cause of most of the killer diseases. While this is the leading mismatch, there is another equally important mismatch in that our cultural evolution vis-à-vis our biological evolution leaves us today much more sedentary than our ancestors who had to trek miles daily to get their next meal. We hardly move around as the technological comforts have brought everything to our global village. Some of us use our vehicles even to go to the toilet. This compounds the stress hormone damage, causing more grievous injury to our systems.

Although technological advances make life “comfortable,” they do damage our system, causing killer diseases in the bargain. The technological feats add thousands of cancer-producing chemicals to our surroundings adding insult to injury. The bad “Hygiene Hypothesis” or the Germ Theory of disease made all our friends and close relatives, trillions of germs, into our enemies to be destroyed. The antibiotics and antiseptics have started killing us now instead.

Our cultural evolution has been only external without a concurrent internal development to understand the meaning of life on earth and our societal obligations. This self-ignorance leads to more stress in life. Most of us try and change the world to suit our convenience little realising that we should, on the contrary, change ourselves to suit the world to have less stress.

In The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease , Lieberman traces these troubles back to their origins.

This seems to be a more plausible explanation for many of our idiopathic diseases. My own hypothesis of the origin of the many autoimmune diseases has its root in our mind. Whereas every cell in the human body, of which there are more than one hundred trillion in all, loves one another and also the cells of others in the world, our hostility towards fellow human beings confuses our cells. If that mental attitude deepens further into a trait, a time will come when our own cells start hating our other cells, auto-immune disease. I call this the you-me concept.

Let us try and understand human illness in its entirety and try to achieve Whole Person Healing , the future hope for mankind on this planet.

“During moments of strife and ‘dis-ease’, check your flow and redirect your focus to that which is naturally good.” — T.F. Hodge

This article set me on a musing trajectory ……….( I think this wud be a befitting end to this and a gud start for the next – to start striving to take nature as a role model , the lesser the artificial burdens , the easier to be free and sway with the flow like the mighty old tree  – grand yet humbly supple to be swayed by the wind , retaining its  core at the same time – easier  said than done – but worth making a start

War and Pace, 1984 and Great Expectations are among the classic books Britons have pretended to have readClassic books in 140 characters – Telegraph.

   ( Few novels like Jane Eyre – love the work , but I feel the opening line is not sooooo  gr8 , and vice versa – loved the opening line but don’t feel like reading or didn’t like the piece of fiction  )

……………………..62% of people admitted they had falsely claimed to have read a classic literary work. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was the top choice for fakers, along with War and Peace, Great Expectations, Lord Of The Rings and Crime and Punishment.

To make it just that little bit easier to bluff your literary knowledge in the digital age, here are the five books in tweet-sized 140-character summaries.

CHARLES DICKENS: GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Pip is poor. Wants to be posh. Old hag raises expectations that are shattered when he finds benefactor is a crook. Heart broken by Estella

 

GEORGE ORWELL: NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR
Big Brother controls all, including truth. Winston Smith falls in love, keeps a secret diary. Punished in Room 101 for ‘thoughtcrime’. Obeys

 

JRR TOLKIEN: LORD OF THE RINGS
Frodo and Hobbit pals take magic ring on quest. Gollum tries to steal ring. Wizard Gandalf is nice, Sauron is nasty. Battles. Ring destroyed

 

FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Raskolnikov, Russian student, may get away with a double murder. Bit guilty. Confesses. Sent to a Siberian prison. Redeemed by love of Sonya

 

LEO TOLSTOY: WAR AND PEACE
Napoleon invades Russia. Russian aristocratic families sent into a tizz. War ensues. French retreat. Russians celebrate. Lots of them marry

 

 

Fav excerpts from30 great opening lines in literature

 

 

< > Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1878)

 

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (1878)

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticising any one, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (1925)

Leslie Poles Hartley CBE, known as L. P. Hartley, was best-known for The Go-Between.

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953)

Samuel Beckett's 1938 novel Murphy

“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” Samuel Beckett: Murphy (1938)

J.M Barrie wrote Peter Pan

“All children, except one, grow up.”J.M. Barrie: Peter Pan (1911)

Henry James's Portrait Of A Lady

“Under certain circumstance there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James: The Portrait of a Lady (1880)

A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was published in 1859

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” Charles Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities (1859)

 

< > J.D Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye was published in 1951

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” J.D Salinger: The Catcher In The Rye (1951)

Jean Rhys wrote Wide Sargasso Sea

“They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.” Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)

< > Elmer Gantry is a satirical novel written by Sinclair Lewis in 1926

“Elmer Gantry was drunk. He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk.”Sinclair Lewis: Elmer Gantry (1926)

“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” Christopher Isherwood: Goodbye To Berlin (1939)

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

“Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.” Albert Camus: The Stranger (1946)

 

Aug 24th 2013 – loved the play – HTS Giraffe @ RB on Aug 24th  – Witty Satirification – i reviewed  it @The Hindu as satirical questionification ,  – (my first ever review to get published  ,surprise surprise ?!?! )Many points worth pondering ……..Vanilla urbanisation , people on blind dates conversing about how many friends / albums they have on Social Networks , the decline of free thinking etc.etc. – worth introspecting .

review

Review

JS @ RamaKrishna Math ……… Spiritual / philosophical gems explained by monks . Excerpts :

Can one really understand / get 2 know reality unless one knows god ?

Death moves with us as our shadow.

The ‘I’ /Ego is like a bullock tied to a tree – just keeps going round and round.

He who hides himself best , accomplishes the most – after  all ,  the Lord is hidden.

Conquer yourself and the whole world is yours.

Meditation is like taking bath in the holy waters of the mind.

Food at this makaan

Food at this makaan – The Hindu.

Reading this sent me into a reminiscent mode……LM and ofcourse Nishrinkala (q-m-play). Though famous for the samosas , loved the Nimboo Pani – quenching the parched throat after rehearsing ( shouting ) the lines umpteen times with your partner . The essential ingredient was V mam , who made this experience ( first and last for amateurs like myself ) , a worthwhile ride …..Thank you mam .

(P.S  just noticed the THE paani was mentioned in the article too …..totally  worth it )

http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/the-50-greatest-travel-books-of-all-time/

I doubt if I can read all of them  , but my first picks are  Kerouac , (has long been on my list) , Salak ,Krakauer , have read few of Whitman , Rilke , Ginsberg (I think  he and kerouac together , for knowing about the beat generation)  and of course – Mehta /Mumbai. These are the classic recos , but i think there are many works of fiction , which i  picked up for a dose of mystery or chicklit etc and  ended up travelling ( armchair travel , I mean 🙂  ), as the writers succeeded in intertwining the plot with the place , making it a fascinating read  .

My recos : So from the works of fiction I’ve read ( and can hopefully recollect) thus far – picks from my limited knowledge –   The Razor’s Edge ( W. Somerset Maugham) – Paris in all its bohemian glory  ,  Austen / bronte – for their depiction of english countrysides ( envy lizzie’s walks in the countryside , beautifully picturised  in the  adaptation *ing Ehle – my all-time fav portrayal of   Miss Bennet) , FINDING MONSIEUR RIGHT – Muriel Zagha and  Ellen byerrum‘s  Lost corset( should carry  these 2 as tour guides for Paris) , Out of africa – the real Africa in all its glory  – incomplete without its ethnic tribes – the Masai – poignantly portrayed by Isak , Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda  – though not a travel book as such , I think it portrays the hidden India , our soul- which we are trying to move away from , a mystery set in  Maine –  the name of which I can’t  recollect as of now , Shallow breath – Australia , with its beaches and wildlife , Louise penny‘s books  for a peek into the Canadian countryside etc. Now for the matador   list :

1. Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway

2. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux 

3. Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin

4. When We Were Orphans by Kazou Ishiguro

5. Four Corners: Into the Heart of New Guinea-One Woman’s Solo Journey by Kira Salak

6. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

7. Into the Wild by John Krakauer

8. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: A Novel by Dai Sijie

9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

10. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

11. America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan

12. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History by Robert D. Kaplan

13. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

14. Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East by Pico Iyer

15. The Castle by Franz Kafka

16. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

17. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

18. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

19. The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert

20. The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel by Liza Dalby

21. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

22. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomson

23. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

24. Lord of the Flies by William S. Golding

25. Dubliners by James Joyce

26. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

27. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

28. Maximum City Maximum City by Suketu Mehta

29. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

30. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

31. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

32. Going Solo by Roald Dahl

33. I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallman

34. The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost

35. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Marie Rilke

36. The Living City by Frank Lloyd Wright

37. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

38. The Beach by Alex Garland

39. The Size of the World: Once Around Without Leaving the Ground by Jeff Greenwald

40. Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

41. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

42. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron

43. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

44. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

45. The Book Bag by W. Somerset Maugham

46. The Summing Up by W. Somerset Maugham

47. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

48. Collected Poems 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg

49. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

50. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Bring a vacation home into your interiors by following the cottage style influence.   The cottage style brings in relaxation, casual charm and an open atmosphere to any space.  Cottages are usually associated with calming retreats away from your daily life routine, such as visiting a beach or perhaps a bungalow in the city or even in escaping to a cabin tucked away in the woods.  So create this ambiance in your own favorite spaces or home décor.  The cottage style is a bit simplistic than most but none the less filled with plenty of beauty and serenity. – See more at: http://stagetecture.com/2013/06/guest-blogger-how-to-bring-cottage-style-into-your-interiors/#sthash.Bbdhwip5.A8ZlGoaH.dpuf
Bring a vacation home into your interiors by following the cottage style influence.   The cottage style brings in relaxation, casual charm and an open atmosphere to any space.  Cottages are usually associated with calming retreats away from your daily life routine, such as visiting a beach or perhaps a bungalow in the city or even in escaping to a cabin tucked away in the woods.  So create this ambiance in your own favorite spaces or home décor.  The cottage style is a bit simplistic than most but none the less filled with plenty of beauty and serenity. – See more at: http://stagetecture.com/2013/06/guest-blogger-how-to-bring-cottage-style-into-your-interiors/#sthash.Bbdhwip5.fVbWhLw6.dpuf

Rand take-downs

This article I  read at flavorwire  (The All-Time Greatest Ayn Rand Takedowns   – after the latest by Chris Kluwe – I agree with his opinion of Galt lacking empathy and divorced from reality) , sent me into one of my periodic Ayn Rand musings . I first “discovered ” Rand , in the form of an old tattered edition of  The Fountainhead  , on a searching spree after a loss – and the result of my treasure-hunt –  Fountainhead , Reader’s digests from the 60s and 70s etc. etc. – from the old attics in the village .

Thus started my  “relationship”  with  Ayn rand ,-from a  fanatic idealization of her philosophy , to a passionate  take-down and now we are on a neutral territory – Rand and I , but this was definitely not the case in my late teens when  I read  “The Fountainhead” – it was during that confusing transitory phase from adolescence into adulthood (do we ever fully crossover ??? ) and I’m sure all those “randians” who have read her  at that age will identify with me when I say that  most of  us turned into “Roarks” or “Rombies “(randian zombies , in my opinion) ,as i explained in an earlier  “Rand Ranting” ( https://excerptsandm.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/348/ )   . Well the Rand phase lasted for a long time  , and the latest article stirred up memories , Rand will always have her critics , but legions of  “RAN-doms”  – Ayn Rand Fandoms you know you are getting addicted to tumblr when you start using the word fandom ) and the websites , even the critics  are proof of her pure genius (only a masterpiece can spawn such passionate take-downs years  after its written ) and lets admit it – for all the rand bashing we indulge as adults now  , Roark  , or not to forget , John Galt  is certainly not a bad example to look upto  as a youngster .

So here’s the link and one can decide based on his/her “present”  opinion of her works

http://flavorwire.com/400084/the-all-time-greatest-ayn-rand-takedowns/

with this palatable side dish – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=randroid

My Musings – Hoping to see more villages like this ……..this can be a plausible solution to check the excessive migration to cities and farmer suicides due to Unemployment and drought in rural india and can also promote Eco-tourism

 

   It takes a village – The HinduEXCERPT

The three S’s — Sea, Sun and Sex — are no longer crowd-pullers when it comes to tourism. They’ve been replaced by the three E’s — Entertainment, Education and Experience. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Sargaalaya Kerala Arts and Crafts Village in Iringal, an hour’s drive from Kozhikode. More than its beautiful scenery and a serene ambience, what has made this place a hit with the tourists is the presence of artisans and craftsmen from across the country and the opportunity to directly interact with them to buy whatever takes one’s fancy. A State Tourism Department venture, the village was designed by architect R.K. Ramesh and built by the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society, formed by labourers, on 20 acres of barren land situated nearly the national highway. Before the village came up, the site’s only claim to fame was being the birthplace of Kunali Marakkar, the naval commander of the Zamorin of Kozhikode, who fought Portuguese invaders.

Biswajith Roy left his home in West Bengal five years ago and lives in the village fashioning furniture out of reeds and cane. Vezeto and wife Sera Telvo came from Nagaland to seek their fortune in Irinjal. “This place has given us hope. Business is certainly better here than elsewhere but we want to attract more in the comings years,” Sera said, placing colourful artificial flowers in her stall. In other stalls artisans from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odissa sell handcrafted products.

…………………….A crafts academy is being established to improve and professionalise training programmes. The authorities also hope that their proposal to name Sargalya a rural tourism village gets the green signal. Another proposal for support to impart training to 1500 women in neighbourhood is also awaiting Central government clearance. The Saragalaya Art Forum organises programmes like Theyyam and Kalaripayatu for visitors with local artists.

Love ur post ,true , we are all spiritual companions and the only danger lies in succumbing to philosophical /spiritual snobbery , as one advances. But you’ve also given the solution – process of self-inquiry as Ramana Maharshi taught J.krishnamurthi’s constant dissection of our thoughts .

New Earth Heartbeat

This is a message to anyone who might feel called upon to step forward as a teacher of yoga. Looking back at my various wonderful teachers over the years, whether Sri S. Rajagopalan in yoga, or Chungliang Al Huang in tai ji and also teachers from my school and college days there is one thing that stays with me till today: who they are. In other words, those who brought themselves into the learning situation with their whole perfect/imperfect living being are the ones who imparted something of value to me for my life. Others merely imparted some more or less good ideas or techniques that served to entertain me for a while during which I continued my never-ending search for the Essential Point.

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Review of the garden mysteries

Anthony Eglin's picture

Now that i’m into  my third Eglin mystery , I think he is more of a passionate connoisseur of the  arts of nature – as he says in one of his novels  ” Along with all the obvious sensual rewards of spending time in these places of beauty, tranquillity, and seclusion, there was often the dividend of meeting the inspired gardeners responsible for creating these Edens on Earth “ – so this is a novelist who is more into the research part than the mystery – he does build up a fairly good mystery to his credit – but it is glaringly obvious that he does his research well – that would be an understatement – inexhaustible research is the word i guess –  i mean if  you are interested in knowing about gardens or  Viticulture or as in the one i’m reading now – expeditions  – with a good dose of the whodunit – go no further than eglin . Talking about his detective – Lawrence Kingston is  a retired professor of botany and amateur sleuth.   He is an old school dapper english gentleman type , who is into solving crossword puzzles in the Times – we come across anagrams  frequently – which lead me thinking – Eglin is   ( well not exactly an anagram) in the word english -silly but couldn’t help it – he writes so extensively about the english countryside and food ‘n’ all. I thought  ” lost gardens” was much better than ” Water lily cross” . But i didn’t like the way eglin keeps inserting these references to his earlier mysteries – kingston solved this few years back  etc. ….. Will be blogging excerpts soon..

Of bad days and boxes

The entire last week was really bad  ………………i hope there is some verdict  about counselling/seats before the courts go on vacation.

But it has also made me  see the difference the regular practice of meditation makes and its high time i resume my practice after a loooooooong break. But at the end of the day there’s nothing like a  a chat with a good friend ,   a good book , a christie , readin’ up some good blogs , a little of tumblin’ and a horror flick  to lift up  one’s spirits. LIFE !!!!!!!

It also lead me to thinking – may be out of context or not – of how we tend to live in and look through from boxes  – boxes we have inherited and more importantly , those which are self-made , to get out of the boxes we get at birth , we don’t break through them ….rather build larger ones in their place , making our vision more blurry . Does it  mean that we spend our entire lives  either trying to really  break free from them or be free momentarily by escaping and hiding in building new boxes around us ?????????? The big question box !!!!!!!!!

 

 

aseaofquotes:Diana Rowland, My Life as A White Trash Zombie

“There is nothing like a good book to put you to sleep with the illusion that life is rich and meaningful.”Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

lindsayolohan:That’s scaryparadoxically-free :  feel like frowning in a sea of sadness today……………

Living Creed - Good Life ProjectBy Anne Emond

http://www.diycouturier.com/post/47249603128/21-tips-to-keep-your-shit-together-when-youre

So that was that !!!!   now onto blogging excerpts from the novels read………….

A rare musical library

I hope the day isn’t far off for an exhaustive online library tracing the roots of Indian film melodies ….both old and new…..to carnatic raagas and folk music….the folk songs of India are a dying tradition , and its futile to google the raaga on which the song is based , because nothing  turns up even after 20 pages of searching…….doesn’t really matter to me …….but makes a lot of difference to traditional music aficionados like my dad .

A rare musical library in town – The Hindu.

The collection is a treasure trove for classical music lovers.

They can read articles, books, journals on Carnatic music and listen to rare audio and video recordings of renowned musicians, thanks to Saptaparni, which launched ‘Swara Raga Nidhi’ – Musical Archives library on Ugadi. “The inspiration for preserving the treasures of our Carnatic music came from the late Palagummi Viswanadham,” says Rajani Vakkalanka of Saptaparni and adds, “The maestro didn’t want the books to be confined to individuals and book shelves. He would say, ‘We have this treasure, it should not end with us. It should go to people and we should pass it on to the next generation.” “One can sit in a peaceful atmosphere here amidst books and continue reading. The ambience creates the mood,” he says and adds, “It is a humble start. We don’t want to be greedy and accumulate thousands of books.”

If you are done with reading, one can even listen to the audio recordings of legends like M.L. Vasantha Kumari, Voleti Venkateswarlu, Srirangam Gopalaratnam and M.S. Subbulakshmi amongst others.

“There is a big collection of rare recordings in the form of audio cassettes. We are in the process of digitising these audio tapes and it is quite a big project,” smiles Rajani. Nevertheless, some recordings have been digitised.

A user-friendly software SMILE (Saptaparni Musicals Interactive Library and Encyclopaedia) installed by Chamarthi Radhakrishna, a retired scientific officer at Thumba helps music lovers to listen to the recordings. “At present we have the recordings of Carnatic vocalists and instrumental artistes. We will eventually have the Hindustani music recordings too,” says Anuradha Reddy who signs off, “We have taken a small step and hope to take it positively forward.”

killer thrillers

was thinking of how a good ost can make all the difference to a  thriller – movie or tv show………..and you get to know artists you’ve never heard before, not only indie films………which have an excellent combo of gr8 story+indie artists……….especially world cinema – french thriller with a few retro english artists  thrown in the background for example  (though the japanese /korean  filmmakers rely on their soulful instrumental stuff for all genres  )…….is all that it takes  to set the tone required …………haunting or dark or just a subdued piece in the background  or simply  the music to go for a sleek tv show……………….the right  potpourri – musical and plot ingredients will turn it into a    ……… killer thriller