A Kerala Culture #Fail @Technopark

Techno park, the largest IT park in India. I’m a software engineer working in this green and serene campus. During my early days, one thing that i couldn’t resist but take notice (it happens frequently) is the rubbish done by a company to welcome its clients in the name of Kerala Culture. To be able to point out such a thing I must possess a decent knowledge on Kerala culture. Being from a place known as the cultural capital of Kerala, somewhat gives me the privilege.

Speaking of the welcome ceremony, there will be an elephant so skinny that it can be tied along with the cattle (“yes, that old Malayalam saying”). Besides that, the drummers who perform the “melam?” don’t seem to know what they are doing. I never heard something like that in my place. Something worse than “Shinkari melam” which itself is not considered as a classical form of art. It sounded to me like a combination of dappankutthu and the beats for Pulikkali.

I enjoy various traditional percussion ensembles like “Pacharimelam”, “Pandi Melam”, “Thayambaka” “Panchavadyam” in all its authenticity and to see something foul being served in the name of Kerala Culture felt like an insult.

However, the idea of traditional welcome looks so refreshing when done appropriately in a client perspective. No resorts in here seem to offer such a welcome ceremony. Given the first impression that makes them feel special, it can eventually get some business! But I don’t really like the idea of companies going to any extent to win a business especially in the wrong direction. In my opinion, they should be showcasing their capability instead.

I started this post as a draft 3 years ago. It is sad that it is still continued the way it is.


Auto PNR! What an Idea Sir!

Ticket booking from IRCTC has always been and is still the most addictive multiplayer game India ever produced. Forget tatkal. If somehow you survived the thousands (which infact is more than the website can handle) to get a ticket, problems are not yet over. A good initiative by the indian railways to go green had a tremendous impact as people need to carry only the confirmation SMS. Sadly the information in the SMS is hardly readable as it contains lot of unnecessary info (or it looks like that to me) and it is really difficult to locate the SMS for next train i’m going to board. You may need to remember your seat and coach number. Also, if you are having a ticket that is not confirmed, its not very easy to get the status as the website is not responsive and the UI of current PNR status apps are crappy.

Here is where this gem of an app I found comes in handy. AutoPNR is an android application developed by Abu Sufiyan. It works like a charm with its simple and responsive interface. It simply reads your SMS stack to get the active tickets and displays the details like your PNR number, Seat number, time of departure, train number etc in a neat and clean way. This app actually helped me today to realise that I have booked a wrong ticket for my return this monday. By clicking on the entries you can see the live status of the ticket incase if it is not confirmed.

So no more searching through SMS. Use AutoPNR. You can find the link to the app below.


Ettam Pattu Unplugged Cover!

I hope everyone know the band called Avial. Ettam pattu or “8th song” in English as the name implies is the 8th song of their self titled album. This is my favorite song as it is a slow folksy ballad which carries a taste of rural Kerala as well as impeccable melody.

Arjun and me met at Technopark when he saw me carrying a guitar with me. We got acquainted, jammed and became good friends. Needless to say he is an awesome guitarist, he mostly plays metal and some awesome acoustic stuff too. As I was studying classical guitar. I couldn’t resist but learn how to play this song from him.

Last week his cousin Sanchay had come to his place. He is a good vocalist trained in carnatic music. So we recorded this cover with me and Arjun on guitars, Sanchay on Vocals.  Here is the video, its our first such attempt. Hope everyone likes it.