Carnatic Music

This is a guide for learning Carnatic music for beginners.

1. Identification of Ragas is easier with this YouTube channel. Carnatic 101 is a wonderful collection. https://youtu.be/G02uoTF95cA

2. Lessons on swaras and the basics.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oneteamus.CarnaticMusic

3. For collection of Carnatic music songs.

For those of you interested in Carnatic Music here is a treasure
https://ramanarunachalam.github.io/Music/Carnatic/carnatic.html
This is a directory of 37,000 Youtube videos of Carnatic Music, searchable by Raga/Artiste/Composer/Kriti. A Bangalorean has aggregated this by crawling though Youtube.

4. For another collection of carnatic music songs. https://www.sangeethapriya.org/

5. At your leisure , you can also look at Chennai Mathematical Institute’s videos on music by T M Krishna. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXbeECQLLcSjPRUhVzBkRLUmBm0ATbhQL

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Pinax-Notifications

This post is an attempt to help persons who are trying to configure pinax-notifications for Django.

While pinax-notifications at https://github.com/pinax/pinax-notifications have documented it very elaborately, there are some errors which I encountered.

1] First error: RuntimeError: Model class django.contrib.sites.models.Site doesn’t declare an explicit app_label and isn’t in an application in INSTALLED_APPS.

If you look closely, the error explains that Site is not added in INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py.

Add ‘django.contrib.sites‘ to INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py. Also, many users in StackOverflow suggest that one needs to add SITE_ID=1.

django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: You’re using the Django “sites framework” without having set the SITE_ID setting. Create a site in your database and set the SITE_ID setting or pass a request to Site.objects.get_current()
is the error one gets if the SITE_ID=1 is not added into settings.py.

2] Second error: RuntimeError: Model class account.models.Account doesn’t declare an explicit app_label and isn’t in an application in INSTALLED_APPS.

The error suggests that Account is not added to INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py.

Please add ‘account’ in INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py

3. Send the notification by calling send function on performing an action.

send([user], "friends_invite", {"from_user": user})

4. The result of sending notification is seen on the terminal.

Using pinax-templates or your own templates, you can set notification emails to be sent.

For any doubts, ready to help.

-S

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Mates who meet

This poem was for Beetle Magazine.

Unfathomable, unpredicted chance meetings

that addiction difficult to abandon

Appreciating the aspiration to be similar

Thoughts that – Mirror Images

He came in a personal difficult time

Barren was my mind and soul

He gave life to me – assertion that

life is an assimilation of godsend realities

Adhesive so perfect

Soul searching ally

That attention – awakening my mind

those problems we did solve

those ambitions we have

anticipating moments with him

But Tired of asserting the non-attractiveness

its just trust, not lust

Friend who ascends you to the zenith

through knowledge and wisdom

Transcending you to a different world

reiterating that platonic does exist

He is a gem – so rare

Wouldn’t trade anything for the friendship

Intelligent and Genius are words that will shy

I am an admirer and will be forever

How is it even possible? you ask

Arousing interest in mind

All men don’t do

commend him for such a personality

Force of intelligence is more than attraction

It’s so easy to pen yet so difficult to express

the emotion I have for him

can’t abandon the adoration for once

Certain things are boolean

his friendship is with charm – but

benefits it is not

Days go by but our attachment is stronger

He knows me better than myself

He guides, reprimands

That is how life is meant to be

with him as a best friend forever

These were the rules:

Poetry:

Up to 60 lines maximum (1,500 words)

Topic: Can Men and Women be friends?

WordSlush-

men – again, force, pen, zen , ten

women – abandon, abstraction, activation, addiction, addition, adhesion, admission, adoration, adoption, adulation, affection, alleviation, anticipaiion, appreciation, aspiration, assimilation, assertion, attention, attraction, awaken, barren, beckon, boolean, certain,

friend – ally, soul, admirer, trust

ascend, commend, extend, intend, mend, godsend, transcend

Stay Safe. Mask up.

-S

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Sonnet

I decided to participate in Wingword Poetry Competition.

I wanted to write a Sonnet since I never attempted one. So I started reading through the sonnet structure. I had to decide whether it will be Shakespearean Sonnet( 4 + 4 + 4 +2 – ABAB CDCD EFEF GG )  or Italian Sonnet( 8 + 6 – ABBAABBA – CDECDE/CDCDCD)

I put a ring on the Shakespearean sonnet.

Here is my attempt.

The poem is in Shakespearean sonnet style. It is about love and trust. It is also about betrayal of trust. It is about the new found love and excitement of the lady at first. Then the town gossips about the love as a clandestine affair. This breaks her heart and she wishes her lover understands that her love is pure. Unfortunately, the “whispers” of the gossipers were more important than the trust in her and he loses her. The sacred love she had is termed as an affair in his head.  It is an acrostic poem ,  it is a mock at the gossipers who are the real cancers of society poking their noses in unnecessary things.

Whispers

Damsel dancing to her own tune
Aching to meet her lover

Many days she would croon 

No one would discover

Yes, there’s a secret, concealed

Oh! That’s not appropriate 

Under a cloud, lips not sealed

Clandestine , called it was immediate

Agony, all eyes looked at her

Not knowing what she was going through

Connected she didn’t feel, betrayed feelings are

Earnestly, she waited for him, only one she knew

Rare moments, he believed them than her more

Suddenly, lost her to a sacred ‘affair’

Stay Safe. Mask up.

-S

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Self-Publishing

I have to be honest. I found it hard when I embarked on the journey of self-publishing. So many confusions so I wanted to give up on the task. But I treaded on with the goal. Now, I want to help people who have started and have the same confusions.

First things first. You have to decide what medium your readers would like your work in. I chose Amazon KDP for Kindle version and Notionpress(Xpress publishing mode) for paperback version. The urge to release a paperback version came many months after the release of Kindle. Amazon KDP paperback versions are not available in India. That’s the reason I opted for Notionpress Xpress Publishing mode.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing:

  1. Create an Amazon KDP account here.
  2. Go through the “Getting Started” link for KDP. I used Learn on your own. Use our self-guided resources for moving further.
  3. Be ready with your manuscript and cover(if custom). Else KDP has resources to create your cover as well. I sorted the size of the manuscript in MS Word and checked the pages on Kindle Create(Kindle is in .epub format.) on how it will be viewed on Kindle devices. There are custom sizes on how the length and width of the paper should be.
  4. Do ensure you have the latest browser.
  5. In your KDP Bookshelf. In the “Create a New Title” section, click + Kindle eBook.
  6. Enter information for each section.
  7. Publish your Kindle ebook after entering all information.

After publishing, you can promote the ebook with different offers and promotions.

Help for different topics on KDP can be found here in this link.

NotionPress (Xpress Publishing mode) :

I rummaged the Internet to find a suitable resource for publishing my paperback versions of my books. After many days, to my relief , I found NotionPress.

Since I had experience with Amazon KDP, the process with NotionPress Xpress Publshing mode was way too easy. The claim is that you can publish in 4 steps. That is, if you know the cover creation and manuscript formatting processes.

  1. Create a new book project and key in your book specifications and manuscript. You can either upload or type the manuscript.
  2. Design the cover and interiors. It is a guided interface. So, you will get the hang of it.
  3. Select distribution. I chose NotionPress, Flipkart and Amazon. There are different options, once you research on them, it is clearer.
  4. Set a price and publish. Royalty Calculator calculates the profit. Set the ideal price and publish.

These are some of the steps I followed. If you want any more help, you can contact me on Twitter or mail me. You can also contact me through contact form on this site.

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Journal Entry for Learning How to Learn

The Final Project for Learning How to Learn course on Coursera requires writing a journal entry on the efforts to get a better handle on procrastination and discover (and overcome!) the illusions of competence of learning.

Procrastination is that pain you feel when you don’t want to do something. There are things I used to switch my attention to so that I don’t feel the pain at all. Not anymore. I have discovered that the pain remains only for a few minutes so I sit with the thing I am supposed to do and enjoy it later.

These are the steps I follow so that I don’t procrastinate:

  1. I need to learn to become a web developer. So I keep the laptop in my line of sight so that i don’t miss learning.
  2. I am eager to learn. Even though it is little painful to start learning. Once I start to learn , the pain goes away and I start to enjoy it.
  3. I keep distractions to a minimum. No television in sight. Mobile in silent mode. Everything else can wait.
  4. I tell myself constantly that I need this learning phase so that I can achieve what I want.
  5. I resist the urge to sleep in the afternoons and work on my learning instead.
  6. I get two hours in the afternoons. I keep a kind of Pomodoro technique when I switch off everything I am doing when the time is over and reward myself with social media time.

Discover (and overcome!) the illusions of competence of learning:

  1. In college, I very rarely used to code on computer for exams. I would glance the text and think that I have understood the text but what I had(now I understand) is an illusion of competence.
  2. I used to reread the text and think I have got it.
  3. I also used to highlight important text.

But now :

  1. I recall the text or code on the computer so that I can retrieve the knowledge and help forming chunks.
  2. I don’t highlight anymore.
  3. Rereading is only done in spaced repetition so that I can recall what I read.

These are how I overcame the illusions of competence.

I have taken many courses on Coursera and Edx and other platforms. People often ask me how do you remember all of the courses. My answer is I recall and code. I believe in active learning. Also, anyone can have mastery in learning, they just have to persist.

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Links to buy my books

I have written 2 books. One is a collection of poems and another is a short story. Below are the links to buy my books.

Navarasas – Poetry :

Kindle version :

Paperback version:

Flipkart :
https://www.flipkart.com/navarasas/p/itm22ffc0b12f8f7?pid=9781647839079

Amazon :

Notion Press : https://notionpress.com/read/navarasas

Perpendicular – Short Story :

Kindle version :

Paperback version :

Flipkart : https://www.flipkart.com/perpendicular/p/itm5ea04f3eb7286?pid=9781648059148&affid=editornoti

Amazon :

Notion Press :

https://notionpress.com/read/perpendicular

Enjoy your reading!

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DelSlam Challenge

Recently , on Instagram DelSlam asked for an interpretation of a poem.

I discovered Amarushataka.

Each turned aside
on the bed
silently suffering
secretly hoping to reconcile but
afraid to lose face.
At some point their furtive eyes met—
there was a quick
unintentional laugh and the
quarrel broke
in one wild embrace.

—Amarushataka 21

Below is my interpretation of the Amarushataka poem:

The poem is an excerpt from an earliest anthology of Amarushataka. It describes the feeling of love when two people are upset with each other. It emphasizes on love as being a wonderful emotion and that no one can escape it. The scenario is that there might have been a fight between two people and they are looking away from each other. But they are silently suffering. Suffering from the pangs of love. Each is secretly hoping that the other will try to reconcile. Self-respect and self-esteem come in the way of this reconciliation. Such is the power of love. That you still want the attention of the one you fought with. Then the stealthy glances are made. But they are caught when they are venturing into a territory that should not be travelled. Then they laughed and embraced each other.

The poet has taken a moment of love converted into a memory. Each aspect described here is so important for love. Whether it is the upsetting issue between two people, furtive glances or the embrace at the end. Human emotions of love are so important for happiness in one’s life. Each moment described is essential for love. Ultimately, love is an emotion no one can escape is the underlying moral of the poem.

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Making a Difference – Introduction to Corporate Finance

I am plunging into finance to widen my understanding. I am doing the course Introduction to Corporate Finance by McMaster University on Coursera.

As an assignment of Week 1 I have to reflect on my learnings , post takeaway messages , spot a local or global issue that grabbed my attention with growing understanding of finance. I have tagged #F4E for easy reach.

Reflect on your learning and engagement :

Finance is an important aspect of our lives. This deals with two types of money. My money or your money. Money is a scarce and valuable resource. Finance is the decisions and processes that allocate money for their most productive use. It can be from oil prices to bank interest rates , global currencies to stock markets. We are affected rather our decisions are affected by all these. These financial decisions have to be revisited as the social context changes. Money related decisions are borrow , invest and manage.

As discussed , my money is called equity. Your money is called debt. Creditors in the short term, Bond holders in the long term.

There are different types of financial markets. Commodity, currency , money, bond , stock markets. All of these drive the economy. These efficiently relocate money from those who have money to those who have less. Examples are Banks and Insurance Companies. They redistribute surplus money to those who need it. They transfer money via lending mortgages , lines of credit, credit cards.

Takeaway messages resonated with me:

  • Finance is an important subject and aspect of our lives.
  • We should get financially literate.
  • All of these – Oil prices, currencies markets, stock markets affect us. Hence there should be a basic knowledge about the same.
  • Financial marketplaces drive the economy and allocate money from those who have surplus to those who have less.
  •  We should get financially literate as the social context changes often and we need to make financial decisions based on them.
  • Money is a scarce, important and valuable resource. We need to ensure we manage it wisely.

Local or Global issue grabbing my interest with growing understanding of finance:

Coronavirus outbreak

Eurpoean, US and Indian markets slumped as new coronavirus infections spread outside China, exacerbating fears of a global slowdown. Europe and New York markets saw a sea of red. London, Frankfurt, Paris all posted losses of more than 3% on the day(28th Feb 2020). Lot of uncertainty gripping the markets.

Links:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/coronavirus-outbreak-could-impact-india-inc-report/articleshow/74335882.cms

 

 

 

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Rubicund

Topic : Happiest day of my life.

Rubicund

We were by a lake
At a predetermined hour
We looked into each others eyes’
Our love climbing a tower
Nothing can set us apart
Love has so much power

I said yes, you were jubilant
I was colored in red
I was so confused
Nothing went into my head
One thing led to another
Kisses were taking the lead

The light in the water moved
Just in rhythm with the intensity of us
This brings me immense happiness
I don’t want to discuss
It was happiest day of my life
Though I need to make a fuss.

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