26 August, 2012

Classical Music meets Engineers

Rhythm Workshop at 3DPLM, July 2012
It is believed that our LEFT brain powers logical thinking, rational thought and enables us humans to work with order, numbers, and logic. RIGHT brain is all about creativity, emotion and free spirit that lead to creation of art like paintings, composition of music and sound. A good balance and joined efforts of LEFT and RIGHT brain produces most inspiring things in the world. Usually a person is believed to have either LEFT or RIGHT brain more active.

At work places like our software company 3DPLM, we pre-dominantly engage and exercise our LEFT brain while our RIGHT brain stays inactive or idle. Creativity and fun start to dis-appear from the work place and even drinking lot of coffee does not help.

With objective to engage our RIGHT brain, I (who can't play or sing) along with colleague and friend Shivraj (who can play Tabla) arranged a three hour workshop “Rhythm in Indian Music” on 12th July, 2012. The artist was young Tabla player Anup Joshi, disciple of Late Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain. He was accompanied by a talented team Amit Khare (Flute) and classical singer Pradnya

What is Rhythm in Indian music? Simply put it is a cycle (a repeated pattern) of certain number periodic beats (sounds) used set the tempo of a musical (vocal, dance etc.) performance. Based on numbers of beats there are fundamental types of rhythms (like Tintal, Rupak Tal etc.) used in Hindustani classical music. So it was a delight for LEFT brained people at 3DPLM Software to know that counting, loops etc. form the basis of rhythm in Indian classical music. Each type of rhythm was illustrated with a piece of  Tabla and vocal performance. Thus workshop demonstrated that it is possible and is quite enjoyable experience for engineers to learn and listen to classical music.

On popular demand, Amit Khare talked about fundamentals of Ragas (composed on musical notes) in Indian classical and general music. Why only certain sequence of notes sounds good? How Indian classical music have different Ragas for different times of day and different seasons of a year. Illustrates by Flute performance were just incredible. The work shop was attended by enthusiastic 3DPLM employees including many who perform in our company band (Guitar and Drums).

Climax of the workshop of combined music performance by Anup and all the artists. A joyful and divine experience that power of LEFT brain and RIGHT brain can create. This workshop will surely help engineers to collaborate and create beautiful pieces of art, looks at things differently with more passion, leveraging and honoring long tradition of Indian classical music.

If you believe that art can ignite passion among engineers working at your company I strongly recommend you contact Anup for similar workshop/performance at your company.

15 August, 2012

Internet Users in India : 2012 to 2015

Just watched a video from Google India:  Happy Independence Day from Google India - Lalitesh Katragadda. This is part of series of videos posted by Google India to celebrate India's 65th Independence Day.

Latitesh mentions number of Indians online using Internet:
  Year 2012 = 120 million
  Year 2015 = 420 million
No doubt this is a huge and impressive number of people, many of them would be new to Internet and would be definitely benefits tremendously thanks to advertisement based models of Internet applications (e-mail, chat, online storage of pictures, videos and news).

I think of Internet users into two broad categories, based on what activity user predominantly (most of times) does on Internet.

Passive Internet User Internet Contributor
Searches for job, house and spouse Buys and sells on Internet market places
Reads e-mails for personal purpose Writes e-mails for all purposes, uses online tools for creating documents
Reads news, blogs, celebrity twits Writes articles on topics of interest, reports local news, citizen journalism.
Reads articles on wiki Writes, edits wiki articles on familiar/local topics
Watches Online videos Uses educational videos and courses on classrooms/training etc.
Uses Online maps Adds missing data to local maps using online tools

It is going to be interesting to watch how those of 420 millions people fall into above two categories. We all would hope for greater percentage of Internet contributors that would make Internet a decent and fun place to visit in 2015.
Few of Interesting factors to think about future of Internet in India:
  • What kind of connection (slow, broadband, 2G, 3G) will user have to Internet?
  • Will users restrain themselves from creating hateful/obscene content that will give Indian government a very good excuse to curtain/control freedom that Internet users currently enjoy?