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.


Emergency for KFC?

Last Saturday (relative) KFC opened a store at Trivandrum city, the first in the city! I didn’t go home that weekend spending it fairly lazily checking Facebook status, and something that I don’t even remember. Fairly a colorless Saturday that was until I saw the twitter status update from Subin “KFC opened at Trivandrum”. I saw the store under construction two three weeks earlier. However I asked him regarding the same. “Heavy rush man! you will have to wait in queue to give order. But, hot girls! a lot of them!” The second sentence did give a spark! Ok, lets go check it out then! Hmm he’s already gone there today!

After some time got a call from Arjun which gave me a perfect opportunity and yes, its 8.30 AM we started from Kazhakkuttom to Trivandrum. As it was the end of the month, the obvious scenario. Asked my roommate Rakesh to transfer some bucks to my account at the expense of a parcel for him, Extra premium petrol for Rs. 200 to ensure smooth journey. It wasn’t fun riding through the wet streets dodging every car that lavishly overtakes through the wrong side and not to mention the risky overtakes with the middle fingers up for the dumb-ass drivers who think they own the road! When we got there the sight left me spell bound. WTF? Is this a frigging movie hall? KFC is literally “house-full”! People pouring in at a higher rate than the ones getting out even at 10 PM in a city where there’s no such thing called night life!

“No options! Lets dig in!” Arjun somehow managed to get in and so did I. About five counters active where each one having 30-40 people in queue.  “You stand in the queue! I’ll find some place to sit and eat!” I had to admit because he’s having better communication skill and such a thing is more useful blocking a table than simply standing patiently! About half an hour in queue and I’m nearly 10 desperate souls away from giving my order?!  Suddenly this one fat guy with that classic innocent expression on his face pushed me lightly with his meaty shoulders and there you are! He’s now in-front of me. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” I asked him as I was totally clueless on what’s happening. Innocence vs clueless-ness who’s gonna win? Yep! You guessed it right. His next sentence shocked me! “Sorry! Its an emergency!” A wink after that sentence and I could see the innocent expression is no longer there on his face. When I was about to say “Get the heck out!” I saw a small kid along with him, there was no time to think as the long he stays there the more it becomes his privilege. Finally I let him stay there thinking of that little guy! “Uncle can U order Ice creams too?” WTF? He’s not the fatty’s son! Well, nice and pissed off!  This guy never ended it there. He made lot of problems there at the counter cancelling what he ordered after its given, spilling it all over there and asking for replacement.

Ok, Its over! Now its only 4 people away! Guess what? It happened again! Another one this time a skinny not-so old but slightly grey one with the same innocent-face trying to push in slightly!  “Not this time!” I stopped him! “Sir, the queue ends there” I showed him the end of queue and to my surprise, he politely agreed, said thanks and went back! Damn! I could’ve done that earlier!? F**king emergency!

Introducing Roxide & Kaalam

This band or to be specific their track “Kaalam” is not new to me. I heard it from their reverbnation profile a year ago. I wasn’t very impressed with the vocals to be frank, but I liked their simple approach. So I downloaded it(kill piracy) and it stayed in my pc and found a place in my daily playlist. Eventually I started to love it. Those riffs at the end is best part according to me. Lyrics where funny and cool that reminds of our own childhood.

The band says:

Nothing is true like Music and nothing is mightier than Words, they mate inside heart with much of passion and there comes the wonder of ROXIDE. It may change something in his grace, that couldn’t be changed by a thousand Rally! Listen, with all you have inside and feel the great love for you. Hold hands together to make a difference. The Band is here to Serve you with all we have inside. Let the Love flow from hearts to hearts….


Vocals & Rythm: Aldrine
Lead Guitar: Mithun
Bass Guitar: Joachim
Drums: Deepak
Keys: Shine

Must Listen Track

That’s “Kaalam” and here is the video:

About the video, the kids rocked! But guys, do you think that you’re better actors than them? 😀 Kept it simple and humble. Thumbs up for that!



A Personal Appeal to Tamilnadu

Before starting with this post let me say this. I or we have great respect towards Tamil people for various reasons. We depend on you for our food (Raw materials including 70 per cent of our vegetable requirements) and lot other things so there is a situation that we cannot live without you guys. As Tamil is the mother of Malayalam which is the mother-tongue of Kerala, There is no regional or lingual reasons for hate. Also we are all Dravidian. I live in the western part of Thrissur district, Kerala. My blog has carried a badge you can see on the left called “Re-Build Mullaperiyar Dam” for nearly two years. When I thought about putting this up in a blog,  Now a days, I can feel that things have changed. The recent tremors and the predictions for the coming ones are making us more aware and worried. A protest that is going on at Mullaperiyar area demanding a new dam has passed 2000 days. Please note that none of these protests are against Tamilnadu or Tamilians, but for one of the fundamental rights given by the Indian constitution: “the right to live”. Here from what I could understand, the main problem is the worry over the updates in cost of lease. It’s not basically about Tamilnadu being denied of water, but a fear of having to pay more than current value after building a new dam. How much time does it take to build a new one? I don’t think it is possible to build a new dam  by keeping the water level like that in the old one. So during the period of construction, you may lose some water  But TN government must understand the fear of 3 million people living downstream. The supreme court’s verdict can take time. It might be difficult to get a clear technical statement on how secure the dam is. But nature has its own ways. It won’t do any paper work or consult any of these technical or legal experts before its action. Even if the chance for a crisis is as small as 1%, that is a strong reason to worry. I hope you can understand our situation by reading this together with the risk of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant you face and I want to let you know that same is our sentiments on Mullaperiyar. Tamilnadu can argue in the court that its taking measures for strengthening the dam by doing some cosmetics, demand stays and stretch it a lot further. But remember that if you are milking a cow when it is sick, you are killing it.

Electronic Folk!

Vidwan is the newest band from Kerala that I’ve heard of. Got no information on when they had formed, but I have heard them saying in their teaser video that for a year they have been experimenting with their music, and now they have two EPs in their reverb profile. They describes Vidwan as:

A Rule based expert system shell implements backward chaining inference mechanism with uncertainty factors and explanation facilities. With a simple rule base structure, it is easy to learn to use Vidwan and can have sample runs of the execution with Vidwan on the provided example rule bases.

Videos of one of their unreleased track Pulikkali is also available in youtube with Rex Vijayan of Avial doing the live guitar duties. There is no “Rock” in their genre description, but I would consider them as a rock band since they have some nice acoustic blends with the authentic folk songs. If you are going to listen the track “Kaithola”, be aware that it is sung by a guest vocalist Melody Walker, probably an American. So Malayalam accent is not really good. They could have worked with her in-order to get the best pronunciation. Music wise it is really a great attempt.

Genre: Folk , Electronica, Experimental, World

Vocals: Saju Sreenivas
Keyboard & Synth: Yakzan Gary Pereira
Guitar & Bass: Ben Sam Jones
Drums: Arpith Easo Samuel
Vocals, Guitars & Synth: Vivek Thomas
Guitars live: Rex Vijayan

Must Listen Tracks


Wrenz (Re-)United!

Last couple of years; we saw the rising of Motherjane. But at the end we did feel the pain and disappointment of Baiju -The GOD of small strings leaving the band! Some predicted the end of motherjane, but most hoped and awaited the re-incarnation! Yes, they are back with their new Guitarist, Santhosh Chandran after a small interval. The excitement is at an all time high as the whole thing resulted in pleasant surprises! Baiju who left the band had a reason. Apart from his creative heart urging to explode with riffs, Wrenz was his old band formed in 1989 and later disbanded.

Wrenz United will be having music labeled as International Indian Rock. It consists of Roney R Philip on vocals, Baiju Dharmajan on Guitars, Biju James on Bass and Nirmal Antony on Drums.They released 3 Eps as their debut album which they call is just an invitation to Wrenz, By the moonlight, God’s own country and King and Pawn.

The first song I heard is By the moonlight, in which the first thing attracted me was obviously those mesmerizing riffs by Baiju. I didn’t like the vocals on first listen as my subconscious was expecting him to sing like Suraj of motherjane. Roney have a different style of singing and his powers are different! Eventually I found the beauty.

The next song, God’s Own country is a song about Kerala and you can feel that from the music itself. At some point Roney sings “Ohohoho” That was really captivating and the fans are going to sing that along! If I’m right the Kerala traditional percussion instrument, Idakka has been used which adds to the flavor. As motherjane use Chenda, Wrenz should at-least use an Idakka, Shouldn’t they? Nirmal did an amazing job with his drums where the beats are powerful and have a touch of tradition. Its quite surprising that he is the same guy I saw in the Big Band show on Asianet, playing with Baiju, the Karnatriix bassist Josy and the famous violinist, Balabhaskar.

The final one is King and Pawn, which I’ll rate good but I like the other two better. Did I forget to mention someone? Yep, the BIG guy! Biju (not to be confused with Baiju) the bassist. In all the three songs we can feel his strong presence. He backs it very well and shows the skills in the portions where Baiju and Roney are silent. Wrenz now released two of their videos, God’s own Country and King and Pawn. Videos are having similarity with those of motherjane. Especially, the way God’s own country is shot is similar to Fields of sound of motherjane. Videos could have been more creative, but music fills all those gaps!

Overall, Wrenz United is a good team with potential, professionals who are having great expertise and amazing talent. All the best, Wrenz! Keep rocking!

Syllabus for B.Tech Part-time Degree Course Restructured!

Today, I got a mail with the subject: “Restructured Syllabus for B.Tech Degree Course E & C – Part Time (2010 Admission onwards)” It had a pdf attachment with the same name. The document was the syllabus for B.Tech Part-time course 2008 Scheme (Electronics and Communication) for the year 2010. According to this, most of the subjects in first year is removed and it is replaced with the subjects from the following semesters. I’ve applied for B.Tech Part-time Computer Science this year. Don’t know whether this is a fake one This is not fake! I got the link to the document. Click here for link to the document in the College of Engineering, Electronics and Communication Department website! It really helps if the nonsense subjects which are difficult to pass and are useless in the respective field gets removed.

Previously there was another rumor that Part-time B.Tech is going to be reduced to 6 semesters (3 years) like the Regular B.Tech with lateral entrance, for the Diploma holders. There was some law suits filed for that cause, and later heard that it didn’t pass. Some one told me (don’t know what the truth is.) that some lecturers from T. K. M. College of Engineering, Kollam opposed to this only for the purpose of selling their own books for the 1st semester! But what’s going to happen this time? If it happens to my branch of study, I’ll be delighted that my life won’t be miserable for the next year.

By the way, I searched a lot for this document in net and couldn’t find one. The document is not present in the websites of Kerala University, Department of Technical Education, Kerala and College of Engineering, Trivandrum. Don’t know whether the document is waiting to be uploaded. Somebody please confirm this! Click here for the document I got.

I think I’m seeing some rays of hope here! Please find the syllabus for Computer Science here.