Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Veda Chakra - why the name?

I have a strange trait, something that you probably share too - Always ask the question(s) "Why" and "Why not". It can be rather distracting,frustrating at times - if you know what I mean. So anyway, as I was brushing up some music theory regarding minor scales, I could not help up wonder why the three minor scales are from the same chakra called "Veda". Okay, one reason(and perhaps the only) is that it is the fourth chakra and there are four vedas. But my wicked mind cant help wondering - Perhaps the "vedas" were so important and this chakra was named so? I really don't know. By this, I don't mean the other melakarta ragams are not important. It's just the minor scales are so "HUGE", you know?

In any case, here are some facts.

The Veda chakra comprises of 19-24th melakartas in the carnatic school of music. Of the 6 melakartas in this chakra, three are most popular, even in the western school of music - what are called the "minor" scales.

Melakarta 20 - natabhairavi = natural minor
Melakarta 21 - keeravAni = harmonic minor
Melakarta 23 - gowrimanOhari = melodic minor

Note however that the melodic minor is gowri manohari while ascending and back to natabhairavi while descending.

In my future posts, I will probably write about "blue oyster cult" using natabhairavi as their favorite scale ;o)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hamsanandi: brings tears

If you know me on a personal level, you know that Hamsanandi is one of my most favourite ragams. I feel so closely attached to it. For years I have been so fascinated by how it stirs me. Hamsanandi or Sohni(as it's called in hindustani music) is usually synonymous with Adi Narayana Rao's brilliant "Kuhu Kuhu Bole koyaliya". It tops the list of my most favourite compositions. The devarnama "Kunidado Krishna" is also an amazing composition.

I was blown by this piece today. S.Balachander's rendering of hamsanandi has to be one of the most soulful I have ever listened to. It played with my feelings. I hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

the nightshift terror

My blog 'nAda' is usually about music. But I had to write this today as I think we must do something about this.

I am sad, terrified and angry (about) - a recent disappearance of a young IT professional in India at 3 am after his night shift. A few months ago, in Bangalore, a 24 year old woman was attacked and killed by a cab driver during her night shift. The driver pretended to be the late night driver of her company transport. The innocent call center employee rode along not realizing that the driver was a killer. She was found dead a few days later. As usual, this story was in the news but buried as time went by. There was no action taken by the employer.

There are many several cases where Indian IT professionals who work "off shore time" are attacked/killed because they are out late at night and cannot reach out for help. When are we going to learn? Firstly what is the need to be a slave to a company, to sacrifice safe and normal living? Offshore jobs seem to be the pride of many locals so they might claim that they are working for an multinational or who are desperately seeking opportunities in bigger cities and for big bucks. Some may argue that working offshore shifts give fathers a chance to attend their child's school events or not spend money on day care. What about the young single individuals and their safety? There have been too many incidents the last few years that have proven that it is NOT entirely safe for a young 20 year old girl/boy to be out on the streets at 2 am in a city like Bangalore. Is the money worth it??

It has been proven that night workers get less sleep and get less restful sleep. Chronic lack of sleep harms a person's health and safety. But apart from all health reasons, it is just very unsafe. Companies *have* to take responsibility in peoples lives. They have to believe that their employees are not slaves. As employees, we have to make it clear that we are not here to be driven by them. We must not succumb to their rules if it is a matter of our safety and health. If we don't speak out, no one else will for us. One thing is changing the law, which seems to be an non-penetrable task for the common man. The least we could do is spread the word as it ultimately lies in our hands. We got to do something about this. If you are reading this and agree with me, I hope you will spread the word too and let people know that they do not have to live life dictated by their employer, and its not really something to be proud of. My heart goes out to those families that have been affected by this already.