From the Editor's Laptop I am reminiscent of a warm August evening in 2012 spent in a small meeting in that little stretch of grass behind the BBA near the infinite truss, with each one of us D361 members pulling tufts of fresh unmown grass; poring into each other’s pokerfaces. Of that evening when Sandeep and I were handed the reins of Degree361. Of that evening when the “with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility-withgreat-responsibility-comes-an-insane-workload” sentiment actually hit me. Fastforward a SAC meeting (with the most proactive, zealous team I could have asked for) and we were brainstorming over the structuring and theme of the magazine. As you probably would notice if you went on to read the rest of this magazine, most articles (either subtly or vehemently) have an element of music associated with them. The minority of the religious D361 readers and the larger chunk of cynics might implore in unison alike – why music? I’d like to let that question be answered by this philosopher-mathematician who lived in ancient Greece about 2,400 years ago. (This isn’t like one of those fake Bob Marley quotes doing the rounds on cyberspace.) This is what Plato said: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Let’s spend a moment here to ponder over the wizened old Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments-like bearded man’s thoughts. To say that each one of us have at some level or the other connected to music of some genre wouldn’t be an overstatement. That there undoubtedly is some mystic, surreal, inexplicable relation we bear with music. Keeping the musicalIy-skewed nature of the edition in sight, I would say we have a large setlist with myriad genres to offer. We only hope that you have as much fun flipping through these 56 pages as we had while making it.
Vishnu Kunchur Editor-in-Chief
Sandeep Mahanthi Technical Head
This edition, we decided that the cover story would reflect the euphonic (absolutely no pun intended) aspect of the NITRklean culture – a eulogy of sorts to the bands which once played here and a glimpse at the current scenario. Also, for probably the first time in the magazine’s history we’ve included an interview – we managed to have a tete-a-tete of sorts with Suraj Mani (ex-frontman of Motherjane, a phenomenal Indian Progressive Rock band), easily one of the best singersongwriters (in English) in the Indian rock scenario today.On the academic-front, replete with the advice and tips of some very meritorious students we’ve included a researched article on internships. We asked you to write for us, and the response has been overwhelming.There have been some truly fantastic contributions we’ve received and it has been, I confess; mighty difficult to do justice to all of them. We shall try and post them on our website which shall soon be launched, hopefully by the end of January 2013.
Acknowledgements aplenty – I would like to extend my gratitude and regards to Prof. Anindya Basu, our faculty advisor who has been very supportive and encouraging to say the least. Eva Dowd, the international publicist and music promoter of Suraj Mani, who graciously arranged for us to interview the rockstar himself. Samujjwal Bhowmick, for having non-grudgingly borne with my fastidiousness for the portion he designed and Rahul Pandey for having contributed to the Quiz. Samik Ghosal for having been the knight-in-shining-armour (no hyperbole, this) when we needed him the most and finally, Sandeep Venkat Mahanthi. You blitzkrieg-ey genius! Your efficiency would've caused Carnot to rethink his laws if he were alive today. With the sincere hope that these glossy pages in your hand amount to a tad more than merely adorning the glass windows in your room, Cheers! \m/ Vishnu Kunchur Editor-in-Chief P.S: Whether you’ve got bouquets to give, or brickbats to fling at us – do not hesitate for one moment to express your thoughts, views, opinions, suggestions, criticism on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us? Show it. Shout. /shout.d361
Dreamers -Subhranshu Mahapatra
Peaceful mind and bright eyes are all that appear of a dreamer; The broken heart and painful path Is enveloped in a faint smile. From grounds where they lock your mentality and erase your reality; Rise towards the painted sky, dreamer where dreams are beautified. Flow on through repeated betrayal Towards the blue sky; Where dreams will be unified And forged into reality.
long time ago when They was fab
It was the 10th of April, 1970. A visibly exhausted Paul McCartney sat at his coffee table, chewing the end of a pencil. In front of him lay a piece of paper, handwritten scrawls covering its surface. Adjacent to it, a waste-paper basket was close to over-flowing. For the regulars of the McCartney household, this was no strange sight. But oblivious to them, this paper did not contain the scribbled lyrics of the next hit song, or a soon-to-be auctioned response to a fortunate fan. No, this paper held in it something much more powerful, much more calamitous. It contained the single biggest decision of his life, it was to change everything. Q: "Why did you decide to make a solo album?" PAUL: "Because I got a Studer four-track recording machine at home - practiced on it (playing all instruments) - liked the results, and decided to make it into an album." It was thirteen years ago that he had wandered into the St. Peter’s Church Garden fete. Wandering through the sounds of trumpets and marching bands, he had heard a song that was as alien in that place as the voice that was singing it. Following the sound he came to band calling themselves The Quarrymen performing on-stage to a crowd of enthusiastic youngsters. While the fifteen year old Paul could easily gauge the low level of musical talent the band contained, he was struck by the sheer radiance and wit of their front-man who was singlehandedly driving the performance. Getting himself introduced through a mutual friend, Paul grabbed his guitar and tore through a series of Rock ‘n Roll classics. The recognition between the two boys was instant, a chemical connection between two very likeminded individuals. No matter what might have been said about their relationship and rivalry later on, that day it was love at first sight. The boy’s name was John Lennon. Q: "Are all songs by Paul McCartney alone?" PAUL: "Yes sir." It was another year before Paul brought in another boy, named George Harrison, into the band, this time with an audition in the upper deck of a bus. The Quarrymen broke up, but John, Paul and George, having added Stuart Stucliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums, kept on going, playing anywhere and everywhere they got a gig. From the most obscure and foul-smelling bars in Liverpool to the sleazy strip-joints in Hamburg, where they played twelve-hour straight sets every day for months, sleeping in a dark dingy room behind the screen of a porn theater. “Where are we going to Johnny?” they would ask to which Lennon would reply “To the toppermost of the poppermost”. They did make one tiny change though. They started calling themselves The Beatles. Q: "Will they be so credited: McCartney?" PAUL: "It's a bit daft for them to be Lennon/McCartney credited, so 'McCartney' it is." 07
Skip two years, in 1962, their manager Brian Epstein had landed them their first ever studio session with producer George Martin and a record deal. Having talked him into allowing them to record their original composition “Love Me Do”, the Beatles scrambled to get their act together. Years later, Martin would recall his thought on that day, “It wasn't a question of what they could do [as] they hadn't written anything great at that time. But what impressed me most was their personalities. Sparks flew off them when you talked to them.” He agreed to sign them on the strength of their charisma alone. He had one condition though. Their drummer had to go. In a decidedly cruel and unceremonious act, Paul, John and George immediately dumped Pete Best and put in a call to the best drummer that Liverpool had to offer. By the end of the week, Ringo Starr had joined the Beatles. Q: "Did you miss the other Beatles and George Martin? Was there a moment when you thought, 'I wish Ringo were here for this break?'" PAUL: "No." Within a year, their world had changed. Catapulted into utter and absolute international stardom, the Beatles reached a level of fame hitherto unknown in showbiz. Every city, every continent they visited, they sold out entire stadiums. Thousands of fans lay siege to airports, hotels, venues. Water cannons were used to disperse riots while First-Aid Posts were set up in concert areas to handle the sheer number of girls who fainted. The madness that had descended worldwide was unprecedented in history. A new word was coined to describe it - Beatlemania. Q: "Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles?" PAUL: "No." By 1966, the ugly side of fame had caught up with them. Embroiled in multiple controversies, from facing persecution from the First Lady of the Philippines to receiving death threats from religious Americans, the summer of love was coming to an end. Being at the helm of a world descending into madness had taken a huge emotional and physical toll on the boys and in one unanimous decision they stopped touring. But it was then that the true wizardry started. It is said that if Bill Haley invented Rock ’n Roll, it was the Beatles who perfected it. Musically gifted beyond compare, they produced albums which pretty much laid down the foundations of the next half-century of music. From inventing Psychedelic Rock in their album Revolver to creating their magnum opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album that even today, is considered to be the greatest album ever recorded, to publishing the White Album, with its mind-boggling 31 songs and unmatched variety of genres ventured into, the Beatles took music, as a whole to an entirely new level, and brought artistic legitimacy to Rock ‘n Roll. The magic was in their melodies, musical alchemy, songs that the whole world was singing at the same time. Q: "Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?" PAUL: "Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know." But as they were growing, they were growing apart. Although Lennon-McCartney was the world’s most successful songwriting partnership, it did not change the fact that with age, they had gone on two very separate musical paths and styles. Add to it the emergence of George as an able songwriter, demanding and deserving space in the albums for his songs. Matters came to a head during the recording sessions for the Let It Be album. Relationships soured to the point where they stopped collaborating on songs altogether, with their final albums being prettymuchsolocompositionsgroupedtogether.Withbusinessdisputesaddingfueltothefire,andthenever-fulfilled 08
desire to break free from the pressures of Beatlemania, a break-up was imminent by 1968. But in true Beatlesque fashion, they did sign off in style. Not wanting to get bogged down by the logistics of a concert, the Beatles gave an impromptu gig on the roof of their Apple Corps HQ. The famous Rooftop Concert has gone down in history as one of Rockâ€™s most iconic moments. They followed this up with their final album Abbey Road, a last adieu to their fans and to each other. Meanwhile, they all had already started working on solo projects. It was Paul who jumped the gun, announcing his upcoming solo album and their break-up via a handwritten interview. Q: "Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?" PAUL: "No." For a moment, the roar ceased, the tension melted away, a lucid stillness filled the void. The enormous pressures of celebrity, of superstardom receded. As the Beatles they had faced the crowds, heard the screams, felt the love. They had lived the dream. They had created magic, had changed the world as they knew it. Culturally, their influences reverberate even today. The four would continue with their lives. Paul would become Sir Paul McCartney, knighted by the Queen, and play to packed stadiums even in 2012. George Harrison would become one of the most revered guitarists of all time, an artist in his own right. He would spread the message of spirituality and organize concerts to feed the poor till the day he would succumb to lung cancer, all those cigarettes catching up at last. There would also be the day when a crazy fan would shoot John Lennon in the head, ending the life of one of the most successful musicians in history, forever immortalizing him as Saint John, the perfect archetype of young and hungry Rock â€™n Rollers everywhere. On that morning in 1970 though, all this still lay in the future. The Beatles had broken up. The music had stopped. But the legend had just begun.
JOURNEY TO THE AFTER-LIFE
Silently I tread on this path so bizarre Full of twists and turns that not only mar My journey to the after-life But also evoke an inner strife Legion hues of blinding lights aflame From the burning souls of lives claimed The bleak hands of inevitable Death Spares no man no religion no faith Wretched souls haunted by an eerie tune Fettered and wilted can’t yell can’t fume I so plod upon this damned path Conceding to the Almighty’s wrath Each thought each deed each sin we inscribe In this very path to the after-life Just one glance back is all it takes To realize I was wrong, see those mistakes Doomed we all are, not one can evade The penance till all debts are paid In life and death no peace no quiet Oh! Do ease me of this dreadful plight! I had sinned without the slightest remorse Led astray from my destined course I now scorch in the fire of my own evils Silently enduring as my existence shrivels……..
The Missing Note
Little Derek is sitting alone in the living room. The room is crowded, after all; his sister is getting married. But even in this crowd, Derek feels all alone. He has been finding himself this lonely ever since his mother left him, forever. Everything changed after that, at least for Derek. Earlier he was a pampered child. Everyone would talk to him, play with him, and get gifts for him. But now, no one even cared to exchange a smile with him. He had been completely alienated. His mother’s death was an accident, of course, but everyone seemed to think it was Derek’s fault. He could feel the strange looks of the people staring at him, people talking about him in an almost hissing manner. All this should have made him uncomfortable, but now, it had become a part of his life. In this sea of people, all Derek aspires for is that soft caring hand of his mother caressing him, which will break the dam of his patience and with his eyes wet; make him hide his face in his mother’s bosom. But though it may seem too much for a kid, he has learnt to act mature, holding back his emotions. For Derek has something for momentary consolation. A set of lullabies sung by his mother, video recorded. His father lets him keep the videos to himself, for he understands how much a mother means to a child. Derek puts on his earphones and listens to his mother singing songs, watches her gently tapping the infant Derek’s shoulder till he dozes off. He realizes that he has either transformed into a stone-hearted person, or he has already shed all the tears one could possibly have. Playing the video in the repeat mode, he hopes that the tides of pain in his heart will calm down soon, for every time he finds himself lonely, the video has been with him. He starts listening to it with his eyes closed and memories open.
But something is wrong, he thinks. There is something missing in the song, something which is just not perfect. No, he would never question his mother’s melody, for she was Derek’s favorite singer. The song though, still sounds incomplete. Derek has listened to this song a thousand times, but ever since he has started taking piano lessons, he has learnt to appreciate the true beauty of music. His musical ear has developed. And now suddenly he realizes that his mother’s recorded song isn’t perfect! That comes as a shock to him. Mother was the best, he knew. He tries to comprehend the missing factor, but the chaos around him is just too deviating. So he runs to his room, jumps into his bed and with his earphones plugged in and eyes closed, he listens to the music with all his concentration. He keeps on listening, but then again he is only just an amateur. It takes time, after all, to develop a perfection of the musical ear. So finally, he decides to play the song on his piano. The missing component strikes him in a blinding flash of reality. It is a note his fingers strike every time he tries to play the song. With that note included, the song sounds complete, infact perfect. As Derek discovers what the note is, he cannot control his tears. He should have already understood. The music is his truest friend at all times, just like his mother once was. The music is the last memory he has of his mother; it was, in a way, his mother’s essence in his life. She is gone though; probably to that place they call heaven. And with her, she has taken away all her feelings, all her emotions. Even in her music, she has gone missing. The missing note is “Ma”. Little Derek casts his piano aside and watches the video again, this time muting the sound. 11
The Singing Sensei Speaks Degree361 interviews Suraj Mani, one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary singersongwriters in the Indian rock circuit
What is Rock all about, according to you? The most significant thing about Rock music is not the sound; it is the reason behind the sound - the expression of a feeling that breathes in every individual at some stage of his/her life. God knows in some of us, it does so forever. Rock, to me; is a democratic form of music where everybody is welcome. It has space for all kinds of people, voices, viewpoints and quirks. Musically it is a genre that embraces contradictions enthusiastically and without apology, ergo it’s wide following amongst the youth and those young at heart. A Mechanical engineer by training, you went off the beaten track and ventured into music. Tell us what that was like initially, and how you manage to strike a balance between music and SME Pvt. Ltd. today. Well, I’m a lucky guy in the sense that I pretty much do what I like and like what I do. Atleast most of the time. (Smiles) I started singing in Engineering college after getting ragged and I guess I have been balancing these two sides of my personality since then. I’ve been in the HVAC industry for the last 17 years and have been running my own firm (Suraj Mani Engineers Pvt. Ltd.) since 2001. It helps that I don’t have to take permission from the boss when I want to do a show. As disparate as these two worlds might seem to outsiders, I love them both and have found that the ability to be disciplined, creative and hard working is something that any and every field demands. One of my greatest joys is that both these roles are challenging and when work gets stressful, I switch over to music and when music gets stressful, I switch over to work. What can I say….life rocks! How has the contemporary rock scene in India shaped up? How have we made an impact on the Global rock scene? In a country that is fed and overfed on a staple diet of film tracks, my guess is that there are millions of us out there who want to sing and listen to songs that reflect our dreams, aspirations and heritage beyond the ones that live and linger around the midriff of some Bollywood beauty. (Now, don’t get me wrong! I love a good midriff as much as the next man, but there is more to me than that!) (Grins). In India, rock has been growing and redefining itself, especially in colleges. Many of us have seen the scene shift from crowds objecting to bands playing originals to crowds that insist on bands that play originals. We have had numerous Indian acts (yours truly included) whose careers have been supported by the passion and the drive of an unending stream of students. On behalf of all the rockers in India and myself, I thank you. You have changed and you are still changing our lives with your patronage.
I’m sure most Indian rockers know that Freddie Mercury, one of rocks greatest frontmen and singer-songwriters ever; was Indian. So who’s to say that India has not changed the international rock-scene already? Who is to say it is not doing so as you are reading this article? Being a singer-songwriter, what have your vocal and lyrical influences been? Well this is a question that I’ve never been able to answer with proper clarity because though I have always loved certain vocalists and can do a pretty good rendition of their songs, I’ve never been overly interested in doing so. For me, singing is a form of self-expression and I don’t see too much expression of the self when one is trying too hard to sound like the people he/she idolizes. My singing style is influenced by this general process- I tend to write a lyric first that verbalizes an emotion or thought that is in my head and then I tend to stare at it till it sings itself out to me. If you are asking me about singers who have inspired me, oh well- the list is endless: Freddie Mercury, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Steven Tyler, most of the Deep Purple frontmen. Coming to lyricists, I’ll say Pink Floyd, Mark Knopfler, Jim Morisson, The Beatles, Bob Dylan & maybe even Bruce Springsteen to an extent. However I may cite my greatest inspiration as being a book written by Kahlil Gibran (when he was barely 18). It is called ‘The Prophet’ and I remember how lyrical the prose was. I like it when lyrics read like lucid prose. There is no dearth of talent in Indian rock bands. Yet most of them fail to surface and come under the spotlight. Why? At the risk of offering one single cause for this, I would say that artists always grow and flourish when good promoters step forward and create a scene. I’m talking about certain quality individuals who love the art itself and are creative about showcasing what they believe should be showcased. That’s why I thank many of the colleges and college kids out there, because they have done a yeomen service to Indian Rock. I think the second most important (and I stress upon this being the second most important reason) is money. While commercial success is not the key motivator in any art industry, commercial success is important because it empowers the musician. If any brand experiments and invests in one or two good Indian acts out there and is serious about their intention, then they would have a property that would pay them great dividends. It always takes one guy to do it and then there are a million others to follow. On your part, you guys can become aware that all you need to do is to be part of the solution and put a value to the music you consume. 13
So what are your plans for the future? Tell us something about your upcoming album. Well, I’ve been a ‘live’ musician for 10 years as the singer, songwriter and frontman of a supergroup until as fate would have it, I suffered a ruptured disc in my back last year. It’s almost a coincidence that this interview is coinciding with the approximate period of this happening in 2011. I’m still in recovery and am now a singer-songwriter and a ‘recording’ musician in the Indian rock scene. I hope I find bliss in doing what I have to do. I started noodling around with a guitar last year during this period and I composed a new album which should come out soon. I basically strung together melodies by singing them into my iphone while lying down and walking, came back and found the notes on a piano app and then messed around with the keys until I found some suitable chords. One app later I was holding the chord on the guitar J J. It was both exhausting and exhilarating! After that I stepped into the studio and did an acoustic set of all the 9 songs in the album which I played to Mr.Alwyn Fernandes (a brilliant guitarist/ arranger) who lives near my home in Bangalore and who I instinctively invited to play in the album and head the production. He has done a phenomenal job and has brought in some of India’s finest musicians into this project. Let me give you a list:
Aman Mahajan- Keyboards/Piano Alwyn Fernandes – Guitars, additional percussions/arrangements Cajetan Dias – Strings programming Keith Peters – Bass Suresh Peters- Drums & Drum production Suraj Mani- Singer, Songwriter & Composer As I type this, I have my masters ready and am currently tying up the other aspects of production like artwork, CD production, packaging etc. I must tell you that while all this has been hardwork involving hundreds if not thousands of cumulative hours, it’s been exciting. I think you will like it because it is fundamentally rock and yet has an originality about it that is interesting.
Do you have a message for the new bands that are just starting out? Indian bands are going all over the globe and wowing crowds with their unique interpretations of rock, lending their voices to the aspirations of our youth, society and nation, representing you and me. Which throws up a pertinent question. Have you found your voice yet and more importantly, have you made it count? Like I said, the most important thing about rock is not the sound; it is the reason behind the sound.
Suraj Mani •Best Rock Vocalist in Asia at AVIMA 2010 •Best Singer -The Jack Daniels Rock Awards ‘08-‘09 •Best Singer/Songwriter -The Leon Ireland Award ‘08-‘09 •Maya, a song penned by Suraj made history as being the first song in the Indian Book of Chronicles among other literary giants during the course of his career with Motherjane •Suraj ‘s song “I believe in Jihad if Love is the Weapon” touched people around the globe; the Motherjane video was the most viewed/discussed in India and was ranked at #78 in the “Most Watched Videos In The World” within 24 hours of its release •The Singing Sensei ‘s “The Tribes of Babel” written for the Amnesty International Peace project was shared in over 58 countries. •Suraj Mani’s first solo album, “The Tattva Trip” launches on 12/12/12. D361 wishes him the very best for his upcoming venture. The entire album may be listened to/ downloaded at www.surajmani.in 15
Quiz Time 1. Connect the following pictures:
2. Connect the pictures below and put fundae Hint:
3. Identify this insanely popular song from its waveform given below:
4. The 3 versions of American forensic drama CSI have something in common, related to a famous rock band. What is it?
5. Put Fundae
6. What is being talked about here?
"It was kind of creepy [to think] that many people have seen me naked. I feel like I'm the world's biggest p**n star."
â€œThe chant became a very complicated thing because I wanted hundreds of thousands of voices, and it's not so easy to get hundreds of thousands of voices. So, we Twittered and we posted on the internet, for people who wanted to be part of it. It seemed like an interesting thing. We've created this world, over these last two movies, and somehow I think the audience and the fans have been part of this world.â€?
7. Connect to an iconic moment in Rock â€˜n Roll history
8. Identify the blanked out portion
Answers on page 51 17
For Those about To Rock (We Salute You)
Disclaimer: Whatever you might opine I stand by the subliminal truth that a chronicler’s task is never simple. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the correctness of this article. Erroneous details (in the unlikely event that there are any) are requested to be brought to the notice of the Editor-In-Chief at shout.d361@ gmail.com without creating a ruckus about it on any social media platform whatsoever. Over the years, the serendipitous confluence of musically skilled engineers-to-be has resulted in the formation of bands with varying inclinations towards the musical sphere in the institute. And in a place like the NIT, one could easily attribute this variance to the amalgamation of musical interests of students from different parts of the world.
A Long, Long Time Ago: Back in the academic year of 1999-00, a bunch of musically monochromatic students jammed together and formed the institute’s first official band – Euphony. One may go so far as to say that the inception of Euphony broke musical grounds in the institute and laid the cornerstone for the first lineage of musicians (intact till date). Although it is speculated that there existed a shortlived band called “Black Pearl” (which either predated Euphony, or was formed around the same time) not much is known about it. With influences ranging from Bach to A.R.Rahman, the first generation of Euphony could safely be labelled as a fusion band. Lack of proper infrastructure and equipment at the time, however; resulted in the band fading away from the scene. In the year 2002, the band was revived with Nimisha Kaul, Navin, Ram Rajvi and Rahul Krishnan on vocals, Siddharth Hazra on guitars and Saurabh Sinha on drums among a few other musically talented students. Says Utkarsh Shrivastava, vocalist/drummer of Euphony and Class of 2010 passout: “Euphony was all about melody then. The band made many compositions, all of which were soft and melodious. In addition to Hindi compositions some of them were in English, 1-2 were in Tamil as well”. Euphony started conducting annual inductions to recruit new members to their talent-pool. Winning the Eastern band competition at IIT Kgp in the ’04 Springfest, the band monopolized the music scene over the next three years. It was not until the academic year of 2005-‘06 that the institute would witness the emergence of a new musical group.
To Infinity (and beyond): Infinity
In the fall of 2005, shortly after the Euphony inductions; a group of 8 musically-proficient members formed a band, calling themselves Infinity. The nontransparency of the induction process, it is said; resulted in the cohesion of Nirjhar Bhattacharya, Aniket Dwivedi, Gilbert Eddie, Ravi Shankar, Mayank Gupta, Nishanta Sourav Das, Avinash and Sudhakar to give rise to the band. Kuntal Das and Vikas Singh joined shortly afterwards. One brilliant performance in the SAC later, Infinity’s popularity surged instantly and the authorities recognized it as the second official band of the institute. Deemed crowd favourites, Infinity always managed to
pull off popular Bollywood and Sufi “crowd supportive” tracks. Renowned bands like Jal and Euphoria performing during the cult-fests at the time influenced the insti-bands to a great extent as well, with Euphony and Infinity performing covers. Nishanta Sourav Das, Infinity founder and Class of 2008 passout says, “We predominantly played light, contemporary music influenced by Sufi and Western elements alike”. With Euphony and Infinity being forerunners of the music scene, fresh talent was embraced and channelized. Both bands conducted inductions, and as Zuneid Alam (Euphony member and Class of 2009 passout) put it, “to generate a free pool of talent, talent which could be tapped as and when required”. “It's a different feeling of being a part of one of the school's most historical and cherished things,” Zuneid says. “A feeling of not just continuing with the tradition but also of continuing to improve over the previous lot, enriching and fusing music together. The spirit of allowing your music to evolve must not be compromised upon. The induction process evokes that spirit.” With the likes of Arun Venkat, Ramendra Pathak, Biswa, Utkarsh Shrivastava, Zuneid Alam, Anirudh and Liju Robin George at its helm, Euphony was teleported into a different plane altogether. In addition to the existing tryst with fusion, Euphony forayed into Indi-Rock, covering bands such as Agnee, Faridkot and Jal. Torch-bearing the Infinity legacy were Abhishek Majumdar (vocals) and Madhurya Baruah (on drums) in 2008 - Ashrit Das and Abhishek Mondal shortly joined in on vocals with Aniket Dash as lead guitarist. About a year later Ankurman Shrestha would join the band. People who witnessed them perform still remember the impressive covers of Bollywood tracks like Tu aashiqui hai, Garaj Baras and Socha hai (to name a few) they did. At the crux of the NITR music scene, Euphony and Infinity had become household names. All this while however, a radically skewed underground music movement was brewing.
Metal Years: The Rise of Roxygen
Although there had been several attempts to create a rock-band (in the truest sense of the phrase) over the past few years most of them were either stillborn or were dissolved within a matter of months. Liana Ralte and Liju (a Euphony member) played together in a brief metal stint they called the Roxygen Blood Brothers. Arun Venkat's brilliance with the synthesizer gave them an impetus, and with the roping in of Anshuman Acharya on vocals and Madhurya Barua on drums; the underground rock movement witnessed the light of the day in late 2007 with the formation of a band whose portmanteau name was only suggestive of how integral rock was to the band: Roxygen. Influences ranging from classic rock to heavy metal, Roxygen not only added a new dimension to the existing framework, it revolutionized the scene in general. The inclusion of Ankurman Shrestha (an erstwhile member of Infinity), Abhijeet Barua and Mark Tsuki signified that rock had firmly set its roots into NIT Rourkela. Heralding a new age of music, Roxygen participated in Wildfire, the western-band competition at IIT Kgp alongside bands of considerable repute such as Banned, Dream Diabolic, Silver Tears; judged by Kryptos – a popular first generation Indian metal band. Pioneering a new cult of headbangers and 19
metalheads, Roxygen amassed a loyal fan following back home. On a diametrically opposite portion of the musical sphere though, another movement to revive and promulgate Indian classical music had already begun.
Reviving Classical Indian music: Heartbeats
Even as a group of classical music aficionados were discussing the decline of interest towards Indian classical music among students, they resolved to form a band which would restore the affinity. On November 9th 2008, Praloy Kumar Ghosh, Raju Balan, Varun Sreenivas, Vinay George, Ashish Sahoo, Slokarth Dash, Umesh Suresh, Yuvraj, Subhashree, Monika and Raghuveer founded the institute’s first official fusion band - Heartbeats. “We knew a purely classical band would not be very popular,” says Raghuveer (Heartbeats founder member and Class of 2012 passout) “and hence decided to fuse eastern and western elements together with Heartbeats”. Beseeched for classical concerts in and around Rourkela (they have a performance in CityMall, Raipur to their credit as well), Heartbeats went on to bag the first place in Octaves ’09 (the yesteryear Rockmantics in NITRUtsav). The melange of different elements and the willingness to experiment gave Heartbeats a unique sound, one which it is resonant with even today. With four genre-distinct bands at the fore, the scene had gained an appreciable depth and diversity. With the Ankurman Shreshta fronted Roxygen, Sukalyan Das fronted Euphony, and Heartbeats; musical dexterity had taken a quantum leap. Musical Night contests were fierce and the thirst to prove oneself during say, a Freshers night was like no other. It was also a time when the instrumentation was upgraded both at SAC and in the Hall-7 music room, the perfect haven for late-night jamming (as long as one knew who had the keys to the room and how one could procure them). By 2010 however, what with the passing out of the last few members of Infinity; the band saw the metaphoric light at the end of the tunnel. About a year later, with the departure of the iconic Ankurman Shreshta; Roxygen too, dissolved. The void Roxygen had created could only be replete with the formation of a new rock band. Brief stints like Almost Honest and Sphinx did not last for long. Yashveer Rana and Mark Tsuki, both erstwhile members of Roxygen brought in Rishabh Kashyap on drums and Ashish Khandeparker on bass, setting out to do something new and came up with a different brand of music; playing rock covers of artists ranging from
Five Number Summary performing during Innovision 2012 in the SAC
Magdalene to Beethoven. Holic, they called themselves. Meanwhile a trio from Roxygen, namely Bijay Shankar, Renoy Cherian and Rituraj Borah, with Buddhiman Tamang on bass formed Holocaust, a full-blown metal band which performs covers of popular metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, System Of A Down and Lamb of God till date. Holocaust is influenced by musicians the likes of which include John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Mike Portnoy, Travis Smith and Cliff Burton. Apace with their penchant for fusion, Heartbeats continues to be a favourite in the local circuit; their talent has been appreciated in an article published in the Indian Express recently as well. In the aftermath of the postSukalyan Das lead era, Euphony has swerved from the 10 year old legacy of fusion/Indi-rock and has forayed into classic/progressive rock, continuing to experiment with its sound. Be it the early fusion rock of Euphony or the spirit of metchulation conceived by Roxygen; the groovy Bollywood tracks rendered by Infinity or the Indian classical-Western rendezvous incorporated by Heartbeats into their music; the myriad genres have woven a rich fabric – one which has formed an important aspect of the NITRkl-ean subculture. The procurement of a new TAMA drumkit (scheduled to arrive in early 2013, hopefully) and the Fender Squire among many new instruments with a SAC funding windfall only stands to testify that the institute is more than willing to lend a helping hand in this regard. So is the new guitar/keyboard teacher who takes classes on 9am every Sunday in the SAC. And the SPICMACAY unit set up on campus (which we hope to see in action by next NITRUtsav). The home crowd is one that has always been difficult to appease (read brutally unforgiving) – the chappal-flashing, the “Washing-Powder-Nirma” chorus ranting in the BBA during a poor Freshers performance exemplify that. Nevertheless the abundance of latent talent is unquestionable, and it is imminent that new bands shall rise and further enrich the culture, bequeathing a new legacy (or carry forward the old ones?)- instilling within us a sense of pride and nostalgia in the process. And as Bon Scott from AC/DC would have said - for those about to rock; we salute you.
Some things can be touched- mobile phones, Reebok shoes, the keys on your laptop; while some others are only meant to be felt- getting placed, finishing an assignment on time, listening to your favourite song on your brand new earphones. And sometimes when you attend a spine-tingling concert that makes you say ‘this is it!’ and incites you to do something such that it may reach out to the people at large - an idea is born, which if given proper direction and virtue gives rise to an organization which stands high and shows things in new light. The average Indian college-student listens to western/Bollywood music and can tell the difference between rap & rock music but may not even have heard of 'dhrupad' or ‘thumri’. Not all of them, though. Some of them do read between the lines and stand up to shoulder the responsibility of attempting to make the Indian culture resonate - not in the distortion of the electric guitar; but in the mellifluous, sacred strings of the veena. With these small but trifling thoughts an organization was born way back in 1979 with the motto of fighting de-culturization (not westernisation). The organization that took up this noble cause was SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Among Youth), founded by Dr. Kiran Seth, a professor from the IIT-Delhi. It all started with an Ustad Aminuddin Dagar - Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar dhrupad concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. Being a western music aficionado, Dr. Seth had no idea as to what dhrupad was or who the Dagars were, but he simply accompanied his friends to watch the concert. The concert had an inscrutable effect on Dr. Seth. Recalling the concert he says “I went to the concert walking on the ground and came back walking one foot above it.” The series of events that followed led to the formation of easily the largest non-profit, voluntary, cultural youth movement in independent India – SPIC MACAY. Its contribution to Indian classical music & dance is unparalleled. With over 500 centers in India and abroad, organizing more than 5000 events and programs annually such as LECH-DEMS (lecture-demonstrations), FESTS (festivals), VIRASAT (a weeklong festival comprising of performances and workshops in folk/classical arts), talk series and yoga/holistic camps, SPIC MACAY aims to promote and preserve the rich Indian culture. Anybody can be a part of this organization and help propel the organization’s objectives further.
SPIC MACAY units are present in almost all premier institutes in India. If you were wondering why NITR, despite being an institute of national importance has no SPIC MACAY unit on campus; gear up! SPIC MACAY recently opened its chapter here at NITR. The main objective is to rope in classical artists and speakers from various fields so that the students would get a feel of the classical cultural component that has been missing from our institute for a long time now. Now that SPIC MACAY is already set up, the top thing-todo on the to-do list is to spread awareness among the students.
The Dagars performing at a Dhrupad concert
Dr.Kiran Seth, SPIC MACAY Founder
In spite of all the good things, a question that many would still like to pose would be - why SPIC MACAY? Is it really that significant, or is it simply a sham? The founder has the answer to this. “As we are moving on in space and time, we are taking with us two types of knowledge - inner and outer. The outer knowledge comprises of computers, robots, stock markets, etc and the West comes on top of providing this knowledge. So what have the people out in the East done? They have searched and studied the inner domain – spirituality. This gets reflected through our classical arts, philosophies, meditation, etc. So to strike a balance between the inner and outward knowledge, SPIC MACAY is required.” The organization has done some very good work and is performing to its fullest as of now. The opulent Indian culture is getting noticed in the whole world but sadly in our country we see people becoming obsessed with the materialistic aspect, slowly but surely tarnishing the facets of our culture and heritage; key aspects which once defined our country. Let’s join hands and take this movement a little further so that when we look back in life, we may see ourselves working for the things that actually mattered. “Each of our art forms represents a philosophy of life and when one is lost, we lose one road to the top of the inner mountain." - Dr. Kiran Seth, Founder, SPIC MACAY
-Pratyusha Amanchi 25
She shimmers, glitters and shines within The world she holds is frozen glass, Behold her frozen voice hidden from the bright sun As arms extend to touch her heart, And cold withers beneath moss. Comes, she slips out of the crackling glass; a warm light Uncertain, afraid to endure his light smile, The tinkling and the musky song he hears them right He breathes peace into her, restless mind feigning ire. Hours become moments, as she learns to make her own color Her world attains color of rainbow, yet she remains grey Wishes gain spirit, desires overflow as he stands amidst pallor, What he shows isnâ€™t a dream, she thinks; she prays.
Pink Confessions -Abhipsa Mishra
Caution: Guys beware; you may be in for more than a shock and a scare! 1. 2. 3. 4.
A broken nail is more painful than a broken heart. I don’t gossip. I just pass on relevant public information. I can walk ten miles in your boots but you can’t walk half a mile in my high heels. My heart may not stop at the sight of my crush, but it always misses a beat when I see the mannequin in that perfect dress. 5. Ten dozen roses are not as vivid as a single solitaire! 6. The universal solution to all problems: Shopping! 7. I can count the number of beads on HER necklace in the exam hall and get that integration correct on my answer sheet at the same time. 8. I can always share my boyfriend, but NEVER my favourite pair of shoes. 9. My mascara is too costly for shedding tears. 10. My books might soak in the rain, but not a single drop should be on my hair. (P.S: I’m not selfish, I just want everything!)
Sonnet Of A leaf and The River -Ganesh Prasad Sahoo
The tawny leaf, shaded with dusts of lust Parts from the crinkly stem, descends with shame. Veiling disgraced sobs, angst and pains unnamed Falls from lofty crest, betraying cold wind gusts Kisses riverâ€™s surface- mirage of trust. The river, sinuous, lures leaves from the stem. Poor leaves fall like feeble flies in the flame In swirling undertow, airy homes lost. Riverâ€™s heart, hidden, lined with vanity Treats him with fake love and false sympathy. Devours his tears, sobs showing forged empathy Then she flows on feeding her gravity. For ripples may form with touch of dry leaf But the river flows on with no woe no grief.
Reading articles on Music can be tedious, because one more often than not ends up feeling that the author doesn’t really get the song at all, that he has gotten it all wrong. Such strong is the conviction sometimes, than even interpretations by the song-writers themselves are scoffed at superciliously.
Acid- Fossils: The guitar is impressive throughout. But the solo that hits you at 3.59, with you really being hit at around 4.14, this one is really special. I guess it is partly due to the old vernacular pride being stoked. Killing in the name of- Rage against the machine: The guitar is really the first thing you hear, and it sets up the head-bobbing-feet-stomping rhythm from the first word. And Tom Morello starts murdering you precisely at 3.50. The solo lands smoothly into Zach de La Rocha screaming “**** you I won’t do what you tell me” 16 times in a row and cheerily concluding with a yawp-like “M*********er”.
So I being of a slightly more sensible disposition, would rather present you with a list of some music to listen to. This too, can be a matter of widely varying opinions, and disagreements can run as strong as in the case of the song-meaning. So, instead of just making it a random list of songs, I would like to present a list of some of the best guitar solos according to me.
Especially in Michigan- Red Hot Chili Peppers: One of the only songs that starts off with a solo, and it never leaves the song throughout. John Frusciante keeps drilling in your head right from go, and keeps doing it prominently in the background throughout. But it is at 2.24 that he really gets a free hand, and sets your scales on fire.
La Grange- ZZ Top: In this song the guitar is the maincourse. It starts with the guitar, with some ho-humming in between, but Billy Gibson really starts deploying the missiles at 1.10. The rhythm is totally foot stamping, and this is one of the boogiest songs out there. Suzie Q- Creedence Clearwater Revival: This one just drips of flower-power and all things groovy. The solo starts at 0.58, and it is not like a tsunami that just hits you, but like a rather pleasant water current around your feet, gently tugging at you. Before you know it, it smoothly decomposes into vocals, only to come back with an entirely different playfulness at 2.13. This John Fogerty- led cover is probably the most popular version of the song, although the other versions are usually called Susie Q.
-Susruta Chakraborty Alumnus, Class of 2012
NITRATURE When I was a class ten kid, I once wanted to run away from home, go to Puri and start working as a chai-serving hotel boy there (and please the hotel owner, and her daughter, go on to marry her and live happily thereafter). Another day, another time from my higher secondary days, I wished I could run away from hostel, go and stay somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas, away from everyone I know, start life afresh as an honest man reminiscent of some of the characters from the Ruskin Bond books. Life was thus dealt a weird turn when I landed up in NITR. It took me one year, one poem, one bus journey to realize, that if ever again I would like to run away from life, I would then come back to this place. There’s the turn in the road behind the library, near the NCC ground, where lies the lone platform. I would go and sit there, watch the odd cyclist pass by, look for the dry leaves that are supposed to be on the road, and reminisce of moments from Momen, if that be my dreamland. Lightning had struck! Across the mountain, Not once, but times ten or eleven. Through a window on the third floor, I sat imaging, admiring the main building in rain. Then something else struck, And I swiftly jumped on to the time train. To me, NITR was a picturesque montage of Robert Frost and Ruskin Bond in the beginning; long lonely roads, unending, with newer ones appearing with every new turn, small hillocks behind the hostels, plenty of greenery, and silence aplenty. The first night I was here, I went on a walk with a friend of mine on the dispensary road. There was a light drizzle. And all of a sudden we faced an insti-round power cut. With the summer holidays still on, not a soul breathed. It was then while standing half-soaked, half unsure as to where to proceed that I somehow managed to come up with this thought – this place must be a heaven for studying! The full implications of the statement were suggested by our parents of course; lawns everywhere, students would just sit anywhere they wish and start studying! And so I spent my first year accumulating more ‘P’s than ‘D’s. And so I spent my first year end semester exam writing a letter to my Electronics professor on the answer sheet which had “Respected Sir” in the beginning and “Sorry for everything I wrote” towards the end. The one and a half page long critical evaluation that constituted the core didn’t do any good except perhaps buying me a P grade with nineteen marks on hundred. I wouldn’t have survived my first year, had it not been for ‘degree darling’, as I later coined the term and loved her so much. Yes, I’m talking of this very magazine. They said this, that readers were amiss, That degree ain’t striking chords, “Using words” Some complained. But time came whence, To pen a simple English sentence, Our degree lords, Were saviors, were gods. It’s been a few months since I left NITR and a lesser few since I relocated to Poona (the good old name). It’s a lovely city with a picturesque evening sky. The local Marathi is half not bad, and definitely understandable given you note the right cues. Adding to all this, I have the immense satisfaction of 32
experiencing something for the first time in life – earning money that is. (I realized the gravity of the phrase when a friend of mine once pointed it out that I could actually hire a cook these days, and that, without burning a sizeable hole in my pocket). Life toddles on. One fine Monday, nostalgia catches up on. It’s the registration day back at the insti. Whosoever said those were hectic, There always was a different story. The old familiar faces, At the mould of proverbial places; Homecoming! No yearning beyond that warming. Going back to the places that prompted these writings – the hall-7 cycle stand that once sheltered me for one hour during a severe summer night thunderstorm, the CCL of many late night counter-strike finals (as spectator), the shady short-cut through the Chemical department where the quotation said “There’s no short-cut to any place worth going”, the Meta department classroom teeming with faces of my Meta pals, my SAC with my MM Team, my hostel room, the peace of coming back to its shelter at the end of every single life day; on and on and on. If I start rocking back and forth recounting my institute memories, the treasured trove would blast way beyond this article. The best thing about nostalgia is this one single word called nostalgia which can mean a thousand lives, a hundred thousand tales, ten hundred thousand moments to someone. Keeping it terse, I could say this – my Nitrature will always be my Nitreasure. Welfare it was, or was it Farewell? ‘Tis time, said the calling bell. Before its late, wrap up your tell, Very soon, you’ll no longer dwell. The first time the farewell thought came to me was at the end of my second year, and I thanked the stars for blessing me with two more years at this place. When our seniors left the next year, the farewell fear had finally hit me: the agony, the grief. It was on one of those days while eating samosas from Raju Bhai’s at backpost and waiting for the neembu paani that it somehow glided onto me – I would cry a million times the single moment I leave this place. A year and a few months later, on a quiet May evening, my facebook status read “The day I kissed the grounds, put on a smile, and left NITR.” The end of my days. Winds an’ clouds an’ a tempting tempest, When all you love is the breeze on your face; But the signs are up, and we must make haste, Where from we came, where now to pace? When I say I would always want to come back to this place, I of course would. It would happen that as I walk around the campus, I would see faces staring at me, faces of my friends, other people on the campus, the Hall – 2 guard, the jhaal moodhi wala in front of hall -5, singada mausa from a sunny afternoon; ghastly faces, faces from a long bygone era. They would haunt me beyond the unthinkable. But I would dare the haunt. Because in pain lies bliss. Because in flashback lies happiness. Because in NITR, apart from the free internet and DC++, lies a lifetime of memories. -Sourav Pattanayak Alumnus, Class of 2012
Where does the
avi, really, it was him who helped me to get back into being a pop singer. He was the one who said to me, you know, try to find my background, or some roots. What's my roots? I mean, the first thing that meant something, really, that I could call a root was riding down the road on my bike and hearing Heartbreak Hotel coming out of somebody's house. So, "Right, it's Heartbreak Hotel." So from then, I went from Los Angeles, where I was with Ravi with my sitar, went to New York on my way home. That was the last time I really played sitar. I checked in the hotel in New York. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton happened to be staying there. Then I thought, well, maybe I'm better off to get back into being a guitar player, songwriter, whatever I'm supposed to be. Because I'm never going to be a sitar player, because I've seen 1,000 sitar players in India who's twice as better than I'll ever be.â€? The first time I came across these words from an interview of George Harrison, I couldn't help but relate it to the absolute raw form of music creation, as such. About how finding one's 'roots' can possibly be the most elementary principle of composing music. The same applies to (or at least should apply to), Indian 'Rockstars'. Broadly speaking, I am considering members of bands performing any genre with guitars and drums, to be rockstars. When one thinks of the Indian Rock scene, the vision seems to be hazy, misted with an interlude provided for international bands touring our country. Bands which may have a reasonable viral following or a name among college circuits get a chance at widespread recognition only when they are allowed to be supporting acts in highly publicised gigs of mega bands. On a broader outlook, the underlying problem can be attributed to the lack of interest in the band culture in India. But time and again, has this point been negated, through the acceptance of pop bands from across our ever-so-hostile white flag bearing neighbours. Even our own home bred bands like Euphoria have risen to the occasion at times. But what started out as a breath of fresh air of Indie Rock in Dhoom, over the years has turned into a cheap gimmick in the form of 'C U Later'. There have been other bands which generated initial buzz, but have really failed on encapsulating on it. On further introspection though, the problem seems to lie in something more fundamental. And that is, understanding the roots of oneself and thus picking the right genre. The influences a band collaboratively experiences, should thus, result in the final concoction. It has never come down to a scarcity of references for bands who have made it; as has been beautifully quoted by Jimmy Page,
â€œI think it was that we were really seasoned musicians. We had serious roots that spanned different cultures, obviously the blues.â€? These serious roots resulted in memorable guitar riffs,lumbering rhythms, psychedelic blues, groovy, bluesy shuffles and hints of English folk, which made Led Zeppelin a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal. And it was this wide knowledge of music forms, which made these pioneers of heavy metal release their third album falling back heavily on acoustic sounds, drawn directly from folk and Celtic music, showcasing their versatility. Similar feelings about oneself are shared by 'The globe's loudest band', Deep purple, who claim that their music cannot be categorized into any specific genre. A perfect example of the aforementioned traits is Bob Dylan. Corkscrew hair, languorous shoulders, sunken eyes and a voice with roughness equaling the empathy of imminent danger and pathos written in his songs, Dylan was an epitome of poetic brilliance, social awareness and musical zenith, almost unfazed by his own cultural importance. He who was once touted to carry the legend of Woody Guthrie, soon turned into a Rock n' Roll performer, much to the whims of his followers. A career spanning more than half a century, the man is much more than a puny rockstar. In direct analogy comes the greatest band the world has ever seen. Four Liverpudlian boys who started out with playing covers of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly in the shabby taverns of Hamburg soon became the greatest act in the history of popular culture, let alone music. The Beatles spanned across Rock and roll, pop, psychedelia, opera, classical, country music, folk, vaudeville, blues and Hindustani music. Each of this genre, which smelled heavily of fresh and ground breaking sounds, with every distinctive album, represented the unanimous state of mind of the Fab Four. Almost every Beatles' record has a fable surrounding it, and most of them praise the development of these records, which again were rooted deeply in the influences they had had all their lives, right from Elvis to their LSD trips. The focus now shifts on where the Indian rockstar stands. India, as such, has never had a flourishing rock culture, but more of an Indie music scene, that too in the mid-90's. A major problem on why an indigenous band has never matched the ranks of its international counterparts can be attributed to the absolutely mercurial reach of Bollywood music. Such varied is the music of the Indian film industry, that Bollywood has in itself emerged as a genre. And because record labels adhere to popular demand, bands are twisted to the same. The prostitution of one's sound to reach to a larger mass, thus, results in abomination over a course of time. And coming back to roots, this is where new bands really falter. Extreme sub- genres of music like rap rock and death
Pt. Ravi Shankar on the Dick Cavett Show
metal have somehow entered into the mainstream of the metal/rock scene in our country. Almost every alternate band springs into deep growling vocals and heavily distorted guitar riffs, from the minute go. A hefty population of bands tend to coin themselves 'underground' or relatives of none other than the Satan himself. The fact that the emergence of other extreme sub-genres like Black metal in Norway, due to fanatical angst against churches was the primary factor in the mannerisms of such bands, seems to be completely unknown to a large crowd. That the mode through which underground bands express their stories is an outcome of their upbringing; alien to the way we have been in our country. Some argue, that an Indian can never be a rockstar, because we just don't have it. But this altercation was blasted off the roof, when a man named Freddie Mercury emerged, the greatest frontman the world had ever seen; from the dusty lanes of Bombay. Queen, like other British bands, ushered the entire world into British culture with its sound. The same must be expected out of an entirely Indian group. Some have tried that and pimped it out in the name of 'fusion'.But one doesn't need Indian instruments to exemplify a new wave of Indian music. The fact that psychedelia emerged out of Hindustani music, in mid-60's through The Beatles, after their public connection with eastern mysticism and Indian culture, in particular, is a glorifying example of what can be achieved through our very own roots. How reggae shattered the norms of non-English music remaining concentrated in small pockets, should serve as a source of inspiration to Indian musicians. Yet against all the odds, there are bands like Motherjane and Indus Creed that restore my faith in a bright future of the Indian rock scene. There has been a dawn of bands in the recent past, which sound authentic without losing the very basis of being a band. But sticking to a specific sound will also result in the imminent doom of that band. Change, like every other thing, is mandatory. Darwin knew it, and so did Bowie. Elvis never did. And that is what resulted in the fall of the king. Fallability in itself, plays a huge part of one's legend. But to become one, as the Indian rockstar knows it, the path is steep and slippery; the way it was always meant to be. -Vaibhav Gupta 36
Things we did they seem so clear, times we spent they’re always dear Times apart you felt so near, yet times we spent just disappear Nights and nights of broken dreams, nights and nights of mournful screams Emptiness that stalks and says – “you’re not redeemed”, just darkness and sadness accompany me And my scornful dreams. Living my life is I’m just pretending, love doesn’t mean much - it’s just resending Thoughts of wonder like clouds lavender, say “love’s too much let’s just surrender” Like a cigarette that dims that wound now heals Just want to let you know I’m still living, or pretending to live that seems My heart‘s tired of your presence it seems I wasn’t born to be caged so I’m flying away, so far that I’ll never be yours, so please bear And I hope you find someone who’s worth your care.
A WALK THROUGH THE EMPTINESS -manoj rupanagudi
e y E r u o Y In le k n i w T t a …..th r
The world is shrouded in darkness, Black waves break on the shore, I watch them silently as they crash by, And think of things that are no more. An aberration in the world of life, I am a ghost violating curfew, Though I have seen many and will meet many more, My thoughts will always return to you. Still can’t recall the day we met, I still can’t pick the prize from the pile, Just remember that you mouthed “Thank You”, And gifted me that incredible smile. You smiled, I smiled, And you produced that bubbling laughter And I knew that I had to keep hearing it again and again, No matter what followed after. I had judged you too early, But fate somehow made us friends To repent the rash mistake that I had made, And if possible, to make some amends. I walked with you for years, A watcher standing silent on the shore, Each day won me over a little, Each day you impressed me a little more.
I grew to respect you, And admiration mutely followed suit, My heart didn’t even remotely suspect, And yet you had taken such deep root. I don’t know when I fell in love, I only know when I did it again, It was every day when you smiled, It was every day you eased my pain. I never meant to tell you, Yet separation forced my hand, What followed was a nightmare, The pain, I could barely stand. We drifted apart, alone for some time, But in a few days you were right as rain, Your presence quieted my heart, And I fell in love with you all over again. Now we walk on different paths, Now I can only look at you from afar, You still don’t know what you mean to me, You are still blind to every single scar.
And now my world is falling to pieces, It is time for me to say goodbye, Still I yearn to hear that bubbling laughter, Still I wish to see…that twinkle in your eye.
‘If someone is interned, they are put in prison or in a prison camp for political reasons’. Err…not the right dictionary definition we are looking for. With some modification, we have ‘if someone is interned, they are put in an organization or a research institute for academic reasons’. Add the compulsory eight-weeks after the sixth semester clause and bingo! We have almost reached the true meaning of a summer internship/ training. I would like to leave it to the reader’s imagination if the prison analogy was an intended pun or a happy coincidence. Jokes apart, let us start by clearly distinguishing between the various choices available for you to spend those eight supposedly productive summer weeks. One could choose to take up industrial training, wherein one would get an exposure to the industrial environment and process-flow. One gets to experience first-hand, the functioning of an industry, the application of theory in the real world, the life-like machinery and equipment; oh and not-to-forget, the bureaucracy and a taste of job-life in a similar organization. Here, after the initial industry orientation, students are expected to undertake project work conducting a few experiments and using data from their own observations; making practical use of it. Sometimes, if company policy permits, students have the opportunity of competing for a Pre-Placement Offer. A research internship on the other hand, is laboratory work, which more often than not involves re-searching that which has been already discovered and presenting your own findings. Research though, offers tremendous scope for applying your own creativity and bringing new and improved methods for cost-cutting or increasing the efficiency of a certain process or a product. Original and innovative work can fetch you a publication in a reputed journal. A research internship is generally carried out in reputed universities, institutes, national laboratories and esteemed R&D organizations. Carrying out proper research work can be the basis for that push for a confused mind, which would convince a budding scientist to take up higher education in a field he/she is interested in.
MYTHS There are two myths surrounding the summerwork which one does. First, if you don’t have a good internship, you won’t get a campus placement offer. False. Students have been seen time and again, to have interned in steel plants or thermal power plants and yet, land up with a reputed software or consultancy profile. The internship matters, but that is certainly not the only parameter a company would judge you on before hiring you. Second, industrial work helps in placements, while work in research institutes are always for higher studies. This is partially true, because your research work or the lack of it will prove as a pivoting point for admission to a graduate university. But, that by no means amounts to one not getting a job. Organizations look for creative and sincere people. 39
When is a good time ?
for an internship after the sophomoric year may not really be that good an option for many. Many experts believe that this is probably the best time for one to grasp the maximum, to undertake training; rather than internship. The basic difference between the two remains receiving a stipend during an internship and working free while training. But the difference doesn't stop there. The cognizance that one is there to learn, instead of helping them with their bugs, gives enough space to the respective guide for setting up the perfect environment for one's growth, something sorely missed in internships.
How do we go about bagging that prestigious internship? Let’s hear what the experts have got to say, “A student in his sophomoric or junior year, should at first, subscribe to blog.internshala.com for regular updates on available internships, nationally as well as internationally. And basic as it may sound, it really is a very important step in finding some amazing internships.” says Apurva Pathak, the only student to get a PrePlacement Offer (PPO), of the current final year batch of 2012-2013 yet. “A feeling of content among the students plays a huge evil. One should analyze the path he/she has to choose after the completion of the respective bachelor- job or further studies. And a decision has to be made in accordance.” adds Pathak. As is the case with other social tiers in our country, the fact that a student is categorized in accordance to the college he/ she goes to determines the kind of internship one gets. “Professors (associate or assistant)
from foreign universities are willing to pay stipends to IITians from their own pockets, as opposed to any others from our country. But this doesn't deter the chances of an NITian to get a paid internship in Germany or any other European country. It only means that the fight to get one coarsens for non-IITians. I myself had my application accepted at about the 190th attempt.” says Shubendra Nath Saha, the exclusive ambassador of DAAD from our college. “Because students face rejection in their early attempts, they tend to find an easy escape to be done with their internships. An internship must not be just a completed objective in one’s resume, but an indication of what credentials one holds before the completion of the respective student’s bachelors' degree.” Professors must be bugged at regular intervals in order to undertake projects. Projects weigh heavily in favour of the student, if one is to venture into research and development. Having good terms with any of the professors from one's department doesn't hurt either. While some may seem to be aloof towards their students, some take a keen interest in helping their students in getting through to the finest of possible destinations. Like the 70s' Bollywood flicks, the whole idea around 'sifaarish' is amusingly beneficial. In the field of academics they are known as recommendations, the Holy Grail for many. And opposite to what Kennedy stated, we may ask what we can do for our professors, but must demand what they can do for us. One good recommendation could serve to act as your trump card in the internship game. For students of core branches, the more exposure one gets on field, the better chances they have at making it big. Students may opt for an extension (given that the company/research institute policy permits it) thereby buying themselves more time to perform some good work. “Undertaking projects during this period heightens your chances of getting a PPO letter. The project manager should realize the gravity of importance this opportunity holds for you and for that, one has to display sincerity and dedication that shines brighter than the rest of the interns.” concludes Pathak. 40
But prior to experiencing any of the afore-mentioned situations, one has to most importantly get an internship. Bagging a good internship is tough, but bagging a similar seemingly ‘out-ofmy-league’ looking job is a tad tougher. Myths surround it, and the longest standing one is that of the CGPA. That the one with a higher pointer gets the best of chances is an overstatement. Sure, it is a crowning jewel in one's resume, but that isn't the only way one can land an internship. In some cases, the institute sends the names of a few hand-picked students for certain internships, and that is done solely on the basis of one's CGPA. Some companies have multiple rounds of selection, which may conclude in an interview round. And then, there is the cream of companies, which offer on-campus internships. These companies generally have a lower cut-off CGPA criterion, and take in the ones with the best of skills and academic performance. But if one is able to impress the desired target with the necessary skill-set, then CGPA no longer remains the most important criterion. The questions asked are generally aptitude-based in nature and test the basics of the student. This is where your resume plays its greatest role. Yet another critical aspect to be borne in mind is that of penning down that impressive Statement Of Purpose (SOP).What is an SOP? A Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of your application that will tell the addressee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far and your professional interests. The SOP# is where you divulge your interests, ambitions and express your commitment towards the cause in as succinct a manner as possible. Bagging the right internship is like winning the Triwizard Cup, with a Mad-Eye looking over you all the time. Only this time, the Portkey transports you to a heaven’s door waiting to be knocked upon. If you are hardworking and sincere enough, you will open up the Road to El-Dorado for all your future academic endeavours and if you are willing to learn, you will reach the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. *A standard internship resume template may be looked up at: http://blog.internshala.com/2012/12/ sample-internship-resume/ If you so desire, you could also get a professional review of your CV (details on the same page). #Get an insight into some good SOP writing here: http://blog.internshala.com/2011/11/howto-write-a-statement-of-purpose/
Role of your CV / rESUME
Your CV/resume plays a great role in your internship application. “Mostly students have glitches in the way they prepare their resume*. “A minimum level of research on the addressee must be made prior to submitting an application. One shouldn't tend to be flashy by attaching one’s photograph or by having an email id which has catchy words. While applying abroad, small bluffs can also be made (at your own risk, ofcourse) but one shouldn't come across as Tony Stark. Many students shy away from mentioning their non-academic achievements, and that is a mistake one must never make”, says Saha.
The very best of xkcd #Music
e p o H f o y a
Harshith - Naga
The chains of time have crushed me And the goddess of destruction smiles with malicious glee My strength is waning like the moon Fighting for or against has no meaning now The darkness I was fighting against began engulfing me
It reached the tip of my fingers I felt all my anguish vanish along with the tears I welcomed the darkness with open arms But then I heard a soft voice… “Stay, don’t go” it begged And then I saw light entering from the keyhole of the door Into the dark roomA ray of hope, a desire to live….
Because Some Things Are Simply Worth Doing
Nothing is permanent. Yet, within the turbulence of transitions, there are moments of stark clarity that resonate and create the harmony of music. The deluge of human emotions amalgamated with the forces of nature, cradling lives but harsh and brutal in their expression of distortion; convey the identities of musical upbringings. The urban dictionary defines ‘Dewarism’ as a social, political and economic doctrine, based on the writings of Tommy Dewar, the famous Scottish Whiskey distiller, expressing the conviction that the journey of life can be enjoyed without giving up on the achievement of success. The concept of Dewarism has off late materialised into a musically euphonic movement in India, owing to the collaborative efforts of a breed of musicians who call themselves ‘The Dewarists’. ‘The Dewarists’ is a part travelogue - part music documentary which reduces to a vast musical confluence enlaced with the divinity of the ages. It succeeds to play with the precincts of fusion, the inferno of ideas these musicians turn into a masterpiece and bequeath as a legacy for the generations to come to withstand the test of time and life. The show’s host Monica Dogra (famed for Shair & Funk and Dhobi Ghaat) journeys to an exotic location, arranges a rendezvous for musicians from diverse and often contrasting genres who orchestrate one impromptu original song; roping in the kaleidoscopic sounds, tunes and cultures of the places they travel to.
Be it the collaboration of Grammy Award winner Imogen Heap with the prolific song composer Vishal Dadlani set in the Samsode Palace of Jaipur or the cross border collaboration of the divine duo- Zeb and Haniya with Bollywood veterans Swanand Kirkire and Shantanu Moitra, the Dewarists have been able to inspire the audience to follow their musical fantasies. The wilderness of Kaziranga captured by Rabbi Shergill and Papon in ‘Khule da Rabb’; association of the rock icons Agnee and Parikrama with the wafting voice of Shilpa Rao; Preeminent Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal joining forces with folk rock band Swarathma to infuse poignancy into the relics of Mysore and Cauvery- have all successfully wiped out the landscapes and applauded the unique multi-musical identity of our country. An entire regeneration of ancient folk melodies fused with Indi- pop, rock and punk with Sufi tinges were covered by many more artists like Karsh Kale, Njerlathu Harigovindan, Baiju Dharmarajan, Raghu Dixith, Midival Punditz, Indian Ocean, Mohit Chauhan, Shri, Rajasthan Roots, Monica Dogra and many other eminent artists in the 10- part series. The series was (and is) directed by ad- filmmaker and Scribe frontman Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and produced by Dabble Productions. The Dewarists have in short, broken all boundaries and brought about a revolution – an avante garde in the scene of Indian music. Together, they have woven a colourful tapestry of earthy lyrical compositions that explain the grandeur of the locations with the realms of music. The second season has promised to be as engaging and exciting (if not more) than the first thus far. A winner of a shiny bronze Lion in the Best non-fiction programme, series or film subcategory, ‘The Dewarists’ is a must watch. And watch it because some things are simply worth doing! -Dikshya Routray
Alone... -Swapna Sonali Panda
Alone I stood, alone I fought The nights were dark and the days were hot, Tears in my eyes, blood in my heart, As I remembered the person, Who tore my heart apart. Alone I sat, alone I thought, That the battle of life was lost The sword seemed heavy, my heart seemed heavier, And I was left cursing myself for my foolish behavior. Alone I kneeled, alone I prayed, But sadly kept on, feelings depraved Lucky for those who never face this, As I know how crippling and painful it is. Alone I am born, alone I shall die, When no one will be there to remember me, At last I leave my thoughts on the sands of time, For others to learn and lead life on the line. Alone we are and alone we will be, Struggling in this world, till our last breath may leave Still, whenever you have a doubt, just close your eyes and let your heart seek. Alone is lonely, alone is a must, For us human beings, who live life just For the sake of living, beyond despair Is the only reason to live sweet but rare? Alone I finish this, alone shall be me, Probably for the time being But a ray of hope appears, as strong as rope, Which will keep two souls, bound together, unbroke...
The Man on the Shore -Nishant Nihar
There lies a stream that separates me from the man on the other shore; topsy-turvy, moaning shy, its water haunts the shore on which I, and the man on the other shore stand; At times, my feet crumble under the wetness of the soil, made wet by the long flowing torrents of soundless transparencies. And so does my friend's, who stands on the other shore. When the sun comes low down, and I see not my reflection in the clear heart of the stream, in agony I stare at my friend on the other side. His face too is blurred. I call him. He does not listen. I hurl words; then stones at him. I am hurt at hurting him. Alas, my pathos gives way to slumberâ€Ś A new sun tiptoes and sends the blue palette saffron. I open my eyes and wash my blood drenched face. I turn back in despair to hide my face from the stray rays. The stones that had ushered from my hands the previous night lie christened on my shore. Still now I ask myself....was that friend, who stood there, me? Or the shore he dwelled on, my own?
QUIZ TIME Answers 1. They were all Bharat Ratna recipients. 2. Floyd Council (left) and Pink Anderson (right) were blues musicians whose Piedmont Blues records inspired Syd Barrett to name his band Pink Floyd. “The Wall” was one of their bestselling albums. 3. Bohemian Rhapsody, a song by British rock-band Queen. 4. All three versions of the American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY) feature songs written and performed by The Who as theme songs; "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O‘ Riley" respectively. 5. Spencer Elden, the baby who appeared on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album in an interview commemorating the 20th anniversary of the album.
6. UJAM teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer and Warner Bros., inviting Batman fans all over the world to join an epic choir in Christopher Nolan's film "The Dark Knight Rises". Thousands of people from 107 different countries followed and recorded their chant on ujam.com. 7. The Day The Music Died. On February 3rd, 1959 eminent Rock ‘n Roll musicians Ritchie Valens, J P “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Buddy Holly perished in an aircraft accident near Clear Lake, Iowa. The incident has been immortalized by Don Mclean in his song “American Pie”. 8. The Woodstock Festival.
The noise was deafening. He could barely hear himself over the shouts of the multitude that had thronged to see the last performance of his life. And he was soaking it all in, like a man parched of thirst. He wanted to remember everything about this day: the day he bade goodbye to music, in public, at least. Music had given him everything he had asked for: money, fame, popularity, success, and countless other blessings. It felt exhilarating to finally pay back in some small measure for the boons music had bestowed upon him. He waited till the end; he signed hundreds of autographs for the last time, he witnessed the fan-frenzy for the last time, he listened to his name resound the stage for the last time. He waited till the last fan had been shooed out, waited till the last light was switched off, waited till the last man on scene was gone, and waited till the amphitheater was as empty as it had been hours ago. Then he went to find his driver. â€œDrop me at the usual placeâ€?, he said. Cliffort, he had christened it, a cliff overlooking the sea, and his haven when he wanted to escape from the world. He often went there when he wanted to be alone and wanted some quiet, or when he just wanted to think without worry. Music had bled him. It cost him his marriage, his peace of mind, his love, his relations, and had ultimately, reduced his life to a shadow of what it was. He was a relic of a bygone age now, a reminder of a dead era, a race horse far outstripped by the newer stock who had ventured into the field. But he was happy. Music was everything to him. Every sacrifice was necessary, was justified. And now, at the twilight of his career, where he grasped only a fraction of the fan base that he had once commanded, where he was around critics who were all too willing to rip him apart at the slightest slip, and where he was really, really alone in the whole wide world, he was unable to dredge up even the tiniest bit of pity for himself. He had no regrets for what he did; given a chance, he would do it all over again without a second thought. He took in a deep breath. For some reason, the salty tang of the sea air always calmed him down. And a sad little smile bloomed on his face. This was the place where he had said goodbye to Anita. He could still remember her telling him that he was growing too obsessed about music to be able to care for someone else. He remembered the way she had walked away from his life, with tears in her eyes. It was the loveliest memory he had of her. If, he mused; someone were to document my downfall, he would have to start from that day. Not financial or moral downfall; but the spiritual one. That day he had lost someone who could have led his life along a different path, maybe would have made him a different person altogether. Her absence drove him to more work, and more acclamation followed, but loneliness haunted him in every step he took. 52
His parents had died without reconciling with him; he could barely remember his sister. And a rockstar like him could afford admirers, not friends. Friendship is an extremely convenient gateway to influence a person and call in favors: he could not afford that. And despite all his safeguards, his career was all but over. Obsessed he might have been, but he was also smart enough to know when it was time to cut losses and quit. A respectable retirement announcement had managed to retain some of his respect; he did not want to tarnish his legacy by petty foolishness. But despite the logic of it all, he felt hollow. At his core he wasnâ€™t just a musician, he was also an entertainer. He did not want money or fame, he lived for the enjoyment, the bliss, that people got when they heard his music. That was all he had lived for. Now, who would listen to him? The sun slowly set in the horizon, staining the sea blood red, a beacon of fatigue, preparing to rest from a full day of work so that it might rise rejuvenated the next day. And watching its reflection, he had a flash of blinding clarity. He stared unseeingly at the shimmering reflection and the churning waves: his course of action gradually crystallizing in front of his eyes. *** Famous musician and singer, Raghav Sachdev, gave his last performance in his hometown, on his forty-fifth birthday. He disappeared mysteriously after that. Extensive efforts of both the police and interested parties failed to turn up as much as a hint of his whereabouts. * Up in the clouds, Raghav smiled at them and sat down to play. He had found a more appreciative audience.
Amul's tribute to the Guns N' Roses gig in India, December 2012
By: Rahul Venugopal Nair