Concert @ Infy, Bangalore

Played mridangam accompaniment in a 2 hr carnatic classical concert yesterday at Infosys campus, Bangalore. Details are as follows:

Flute: S. Datta
Violin: B. Lakshmi
Mridangam: R. Ramkumar (thats me)

List of songs:
1) Era nApai (varnam) – tOdi – Adi – pattanam subramaniya iyer
2) bAgAyanaiyya – chandrajyOti – Adi – thyAgarAja
3) paridAnamichitE – bilahari – kanda chApu – pattanam subramaniya iyer
4) nenarunchinAnu – mAlavi – Adi – thyAgarAja
5) paramapAvana – pUrvi kalyAni – Adi – pUchi srinivAsa iyengAr
6) thillAna
7) pavamAna – sowrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

Hope I didn’t miss any songs in the above listing. Lakshmi played the violin really well with beautiful raga alapanas of bilahari and pUrvi kalyAni. I think she has a really bright future in this field.


Cricket humor

Some light moments from the game Indians are mad about ….. don’t know whether these actually happened, but thought these are worth sharing:

1) Boycott was facing a torrid over from Micheal Holding . After playing his first 5 deliveries somehow, he got out bowled the last ball. When Boycott entered the dressing room, one of his teammates remarked something about the supposedly best test opener of his times.

Pat came Boycott’s reply: “If it wasn’t for Boycott, England would have been 0/6 by the end of that over”.

2) “Man, it don’t matter where you come in to bat, the score is still zero.” -Viv Richards to Sunil Gavaskar at Madras 1983.

Gavaskar had decided to relinquish his opening position and come in at no 4 for that test. But, Malcolm Marshall fired out Anshuman Gaekwad and Dilip Vengsarkar for ducks, setting the stage for Gavaskar to walk in at 0/2. And he thought there would be less pressure!

3) Greg Thomas was bowling to Viv Richards in a county game. Viv missed a superb outswinger, and Thomas said “It’s red, round and weighs about 5 ? ounces.”

Next ball Viv hits Greg Thomas out of the ground for a 6 and replies, “Greg, you know what it looks like. Go ahead and find it ! !”

4) Fred Trueman bowling. The batsman edges and the ball goes to first slip, and right between Raman Subba Row’s legs. Fred doesn’t say a word. At the end of the over, Row ambles past Trueman and apologises sheepishly – “I should’ve kept my legs together, Fred”.
The reply is classic Trueman, “Not you son, Your mother should’ve ! ! ”

5) Then there’s this wicketkeeper who quietly asked the new batsman: “So how’s your wife, and my kids ? ?” Guess who………Rod Marsh….to Ian Botham!!

6) New Zealand vs South Africa: Daryll Cullinan was batting, attempting a comeback from a complete bamboozling from Warne in earlier games. Cullinan played the first ball from Chris Harris very carefully back down the pitch, and keeper Parore yelled out “Well bowled Warnie !!”

7) Australia fighting for a win nearing the end of a Test Match, Fred Trueman at the crease. The Aus captain has plenty of close in fielders, whose shadows fall on the wicket. Fredie finds this objectionable. ‘Ere, if you lads don’t back off, I’ll appeal for bad light !!”

8) (Incident described in “From the Pavilion End” by Harold “Dickie” Bird)
“Bomber” Wells, a spin bowler and great character, played for Glocuestershire and Nottinghamshire. He used to bat at No.11 since one couldn’t bat any lower. Of him, they used to paraphrase Compton’s famous words describing an equally inept runner; “When he shouts ‘YES’ for a run, it is merely the basis for further negotiations!”

Incidentally, Compton was no better. John Warr said, of Compton “He was the only person who would call you for a run and wish you luck at the same time.” Anyway, when Wells played for Gloucs, he had an equally horrendous runner as the No.10.

During a county match, horror of horrors…….both got injured. Both opted for runners when it was their turn to bat. Bomber played a ball on the off, called for a run, forgot he had a runner and ran himself. Ditto at the other end. In the melee, someone decided that a second run was on. Now we had all four running. Due to the confusion and constant shouts of “YES” “NO”, eventually, all of them ran to the same end.

Note: At this point in time, the entire ground is rolling on the floor laughing their behinds out.

One of the fielders – brave lad – stops laughing for a minute, picks the ball and throws down the wicket at the other end.

Umpire Alec Skelding looks very seriously at the four and calmly informs them “One of you buggers is out. I don’t know which. You decide and inform the bloody scorers !”

R. Vedavalli @ BTM Cultural Academy, Bangalore

“Sangeetha Kalanidhi” Smt R. Vedavalli sang to a packed house on Saturday at Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind, 3rd Cross, 3rd Phase, J.P.Nagar, Bangalore. The concert was organized by BTM Cultural Academy. Strict adherence to tradition, step-by-step build up of raga alapanas with all important patterns covered were the highlights of the concert. In short, an enjoyable evening of classical music for the audience and a great learning opportunity for any (young) musicians present there. Here are the details:

Vocal: Smt R. Vedavalli

Vocal Support: Sumathi Krishna
Violin: Charulata Ramanujam
Mridangam: Arjun Kumar
Ghatam: Sukanya Ramagopal

List of songs:
1) sAmininnE nEla (varnam) – kannada – Adi – ?
2) mahAganapathim – nAttai – chatusra Eka – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
3) divAkaratanujam – yadukula kAmbOji – chatusra Eka – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
4) mErusamAna – mAyAmAlavagowla – dEsAdi – thyAgarAja
5) nIvada nEgAna – sAranga – kanda chApu – thyAgarAja
6) chEtasri – dwijAvanti – tisra Eka – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
7) O ranga sAyI – kAmbOji – Adi – thyAgarAja
8) na jAnAmi (viruttam) in ragas sAvEri, varAli, kApi, yadukula kAmbOji, sindhubhairavi and surutti, followed by
pathiki hArathI – surutti – Adi – thyAgarAja
9) pavamAna (mangalam) – sowrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

R. Vedavalli – The Living Legend

“Sangeetha Kalanidhi” Smt R. Vedavalli (refered to as RV henceforth) is considered to be a living legend. In a career in Carnatic Classical music spanning over five decades, she has enthralled audiences in India and abroad with her staunch adherence to tradition, deep understanding of and vast knowledge about Carnatic music and manodharma (improvisations). Though in her 70s, she continues to give quality concerts even today.

Though I had been hearing RV recordings for quite some time, I had never got the chance to attend her live concert. I came to know about a month back that BTM Cultural Academy is organizing her concert in Bangalore and had been eagerly waiting to attend the same since then. Having attended the same today, all I can say is that it was truly a great experience.

During my childhood days, whenever I heard old maestros sing, I used to wonder why people liked them so much. The quality of recordings would be poor and All India Radio would add to the woes through its poor broadcasts. A beginner in Carnatic music at that time with no one to teach me the nuances, I would get pissed off upon hearing such recordings. As I started hearing Carnatic vocal more, I learnt more and more by myself and started appreciating the nuances. I then started hearing recordings of old maestros and then realized why they are revered by many even today. For example, we had this old audio cassette of Shri T. N. Seshagopalan (TNS) at home. It was one of the very few audio cassettes we had at that time. The quality of the cassette was not all that good and I could never understand why my father used to praise TNS so much. I happened to hear the cassette again when I was in Class X. Though having heard quite a few musicians till then, I had never heard anything like what TNS had sung in that cassette before. I instantly became a fan of his and he continues to be one of my all-time favorites even today.

Coming back to RV …… will write more about her concert in the next post.

Diary of an MBA

Diary of an MBA ….. a hilarious mail I received from a batchmate of mine recently …. couldn’t restrain from posting:

Dear Diary,

I can’t hold myself down. My FIRST day on the job!! And I like it already.

“Assistant Junior Deputy to the Vice Chairman – Manufacturing”. My dad was thrilled when he heard my designation.

“What the f!@#!!!” were his exact words. Oh I love it when my parents are happy…

Need to meet HR in half an hour. I can’t wait to get my first Employee ID Card and cubicle. I hope Parthasarathy Whatayblouse Crappers (PWC) is the beginning of great things.

P.S. I have brought my favorite textbooks back from the institute OD, OMand HR should help me grow rapidly in the organization. And I WILL handle soft issues before facing hard issues here at PWC.

July 28th

Dear Diary,

Had a lot of fun with HR yesterday. The guy who had recruited me had left a month ago. So they didn’t know I was joining. We had a hearty laugh over that one.

I’ll get my cubicle in a few days time. For the time being I am sharing a nice one with Claire. She’s with Corporate Communication.

The phone doesn’t work though…

August 2nd

Dear Diary,

Met my boss today. He spent a lot of time with my CV and then asked me how I managed to get a job with them. (Even he knows how lucky they are to get me..) He told me to review our material ordering system in the err… umm… the… the “big yellow and blue noisy machine section” of the plant.

Claire is working on an “Our Employees Love Us” campaign. The office boy had just resigned. So she got me to pose with an apron and a tray of cookies for a photo. They are going to call me Ramon and use it for ads. I am going to be famous.

August 7th

Dear Diary,

My first breakthrough. I have decided to order nickel ball bearings using the EQO.. QEO… whatever formula. It takes into account item cost, holding cost and weight of ball bearing I think. The purchase guy gave me a funny look when he saw my annual requisition contract form. He is obviously not an MBA…

Claire resigned today. She told me carry on with the “Our Employees Love Us” campaign.

P.S. Lesson for the week. You cannot order 0.7564 of a ball bearing. It has to be in whole numbers.

August 11th

Dear Diary,

I just got a shipment of 4384 ball bearings. I checked up with Engineering. They said that should be enough for around 14 years of requirement. I gave them 3 and stashed away the rest in a cupboard in my room. If prices of ball bearings go up, I see a lot of potential savings.

I have decided to develop informal channels of communication. From tomorrow I will spend a little time next to the coffee machine to understand the unspoken messages within the underbelly of the firm.

(That OD book is good)

August 14th

Dear Diary,

I sent my first official letter today. It was to our Facilities manager Merry Le Bian. She is a hottie. I told her that the Coffee Machine takes too much time to reheat between refills. Wrote it in a WAC format and all with a table of contents and everything. She is sure going to be impressed!! I spell checked it in MS word and emailed it to her an hour ago. No reply yet.

They scrapped the “Our Employees Love Us” campaign. The photo shoot was taking up too much time, and people were being forced to stay late without extra pay. Someone finally went and vandalised the banner. It now reads “Our Employers Shove Us”. I offered to model for all the snaps and videos. They called me a dickhead. I was delighted. Dickhead is internal slang for “Big Stud”. HR told me. Everyone calls me that…

P.S. One more shipment of ball bearings came. Again
4384. The contract can’t be changed now. I dont have
too much space left in my cupboard.

August 25th

Dear Diary,

My letter came back. It had a pink post-it on it from Merry. “Please proofread” it said. It was CC’d to my boss. How was I supposed to know MS Word would spell check her name and change it to Merry Lesbian????!!!!

Where’s natural justice?

Today five minutes before a meeting the cupboard door broke open. It took me ten minutes to pick up all the ball bearings from the floor. I had to run to the board room for the meeting and slipped on a bearing which rolled under the door. I fell on the coffee machine and tipped coffee powder into the polymer mixing matching tray. No one saw anything.

P.S. Sorry for the long break. My computer crashed. There was a mail from an old friend. She’s now married into the Welchia family I think.

Crashed after that. Strange name that Welchia…

September 2nd

Dear Diary,

My boss told me I may not last the probation period. I was mighty thrilled to hear that. Imagine!! Permanent in less than three months!!

That should be some sort of company record.

I made a presentation to all the staff yesterday. Some300 people were there. I think I sent good vibes. Everyone was smiling and nodding their heads during the presentation. Someone later told me my fly was open the whole time. But I don’t think anyone noticed. The presentation was on “An Open Culture: Let the feeling show!!”

p.s. 17156 ball bearings. I floated a scheme to give each employee a ball bearing for every year of service. The HR manager immediately convened a meeting with my boss. Every suggestion counts here at PWC.

September 4th

Dear Diary,

I have been transferred to the office in Sub-Saharan Africa. I will be heading the Room Heater and Hot Water Geyser products division. They have also told me to pay for all the ball bearings I bought. I think it speaks much of the entrepreneurial spirit. I have been told to leave immediately for Kujumbinana.

P.S. A foreign posting in under a year!!!

September 5th

Dear Diary,

I am in Kujumbinana. We don’t have a branch here…

Rudest city in the world?

A survey done by the magazine Readers Digest has resulted in amchi Mumbai being termed as the rudest city in the world, when it comes to common courtesy. Sao Paulo and New York have been found to lie at the other end of the spectrum. Click here to read more.

Are common courtesies so common in India? Some of them aren’t and at least don’t seem to be a part of the culture, in general. For example, during the time spent at my previous company and at ISB, I have met or come face to face with a lot of non-Indians. I have observed, for example, that most of the times you pass by an American, he/she will smile and wish you even if he/she is seeing you for the first time. Same thing is true when holding the door for people coming behind you. In general, I have only seen fellow Indians who have been to the US for some time doing the same. Holding the door for others was however a common practice in my previous company. Whenever new recruits came, they would generally not do the same but would start doing so once they saw others in the company doing it.

If common courtesy demands a few things which most of us lack, how do we make the change happen? Expecting a person to change on his/her own is a bit difficult, especially because of lack of realization that such courtesies should be extended. A better way probably would be for companies to make their employees aware of these. If more and more people start becoming more courteous through this route or otherwise, others around them might observe and change themselves too.