Monday, September 26, 2011

The Stories We Don't Believe

Folks, there are stories which have happened and you believe, there are stories which have not happened – and you believe. And, there’s a third kind- stories which have happened, and yet, you don’t believe!
Today, I’m going to talk about the third kind of stories. And, there are 3 stories I am telling you.
The first one is the story of ‘The Girl in the Boys’ Hostel’. This happened sometime around Quasar 5. It was around 11 in the night, when many people on my floor were in the hostel itself. This girl from our college had lost her MacBook that day, and doubted that one of the guys had taken it, and hence was going around in every room, along with the guard and a fourth year guy to find the laptop. Yes, she went to each and every block, scanned all six floors of the boys’ hostel.
I’m not sure whether she found what she was looking for, and it goes without saying, that the last thing the guys were expecting in the hostel was a girl! (I mean, c’mon there were guys roaming around in shorts, without a shirt, and scratching their butts.) Now, if I were to tell this story to anyone, would they have a good reason to believe it?
The second story is quite a recent one. It was 3rd September 2011, to be precise. Because of the ceaseless rains for 2 days, the water had over-flown the banks, and the entire road next to the river was submerged. That day, some 8 of us went for dinner outside campus, via the ‘shortcut’.
While returning to the campus, came from the main gate. Many of us are aware that there was more than 2 feet water under the tunnel that is in front of the main gate. The water’s extent was from the beginning of the tunnel almost to the MIT main gate. Only those who’ve been there would believe that there was a boat-man rowing his boat in there. And, he was charging 10 rupees per person to carry the person from the beginning of the tunnel to the main gate. A boat-man and a boat under the tunnel. How many of you believe it?
The third story is the story of a hundred and fifty tractors. I guess most of us know it, but still, I present you my version. It was 2 AM, on 25th September 2011, and Mandeep and I were sitting in the third floor corridor discussing ‘la vie’. Naman comes up, and asks us, ‘Did you see the tractors?’
Me - ‘What tractors?’
Naman - ‘There were some 10-15 tractors that came into the campus from the shortcut, and are now being parked.’
Mandeep and I share the O.o look, and go to the end of the corridor, to see around a hundred tractors parked right next to our hostel, and more were on their way. Slowly, the entire space filled up with a hundred and fifty tractors. It is said that God has a certain place fixed for everyone and everything that stands on the face of earth. But 150 tractors have their place next to MIT-ID boys’ hostel? I guess the plan of The Master went wrong somewhere!
The next morning I got up and while going for breakfast, saw all of them, royally parked there, as if this place was their final destination. Here’s an evidence for those who don’t believe:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moksha through Mukti

For our Inter-Design-Studies this year, we have to study Indian Classical Music and theater, to understand and get to know the population we are designing for. And we were lucky enough to have the band "Mukti" - A World Fusion Band (Amano Manish on Indian Slide Guitar, Uday Ramdas on Tabla & Percussions and N Abhay on Electric Guitar.), who gracefully agreed to play for us at MIT-ID. Mukti means liberation, from all the worldly and materialistic pleasures of the world.
Design in many ways is like fusion music. We mix together art and science, to create a melange, the Golden Mean, to make the people happy. The Mukti band members blend together different styles and genres of music, to create amazing experiences for the listeners. Designers and World Fusion Musicians, both experiment and explore a lot – go beyond the frame, beyond all what has been done, to create experiences that the people will keep in mind for a long time. Both are bound by the rules set to them by their parent science, yet, they explore and improvise to a great extent within their limits.

I had a really great experience, and an amazing story to tell people after this concert. I was really glad to have volunteered for arranging the concert. The band arrived at our college at about 15.30, and along with a handful of classmates, I went to help them out, to carry their sound equipment. I also was lucky to have been the one to show them a changing room in the college, where they got ready for the concert. I had a head to head dialogue with the three of them, though then, I wasn’t aware of what they had in store for us in the next 2 hours. After taking care of the seating arrangements, we all got set for them to start off.
Then, they came in, and in a very modest and down-to-earth way, started off with invocation of Lord Ganesh. The music of the trio was absolutely stunning. They not only had innovative music, but also an unforeseen instrument - the Indian Slide Guitar. They explained us what ‘raagas’ in Indian Classical music are. Through the 7 tracks they played, they displayed vivid fusion of Indian Classical along with myriad forms of music, such as Sufi, Spanish, Jazz etc. The musicians regaled everyone sitting in the foyer, irrespective of the fact that many people in MIT-Institute of Design didn’t have a keen interest in Indian Classical Music. The clapping and hooting by the students – most of whom were sitting for a classical concert for the first time, was almost instant, after every abstract play of notes, and returning to ‘sama’. The Indian Slide Guitar sounded surprisingly classical, as we have a different sound of the guitar in our minds; the electric guitar was refreshingly smooth; and the tabla was versatile – vibrant or serene, as the song demanded.
All in all, the experience was just brilliant, the sound was fresh and it was a good break from typical Bollywood and English songs that most people in the college listen to. Also, in the end, I was lucky to get a photograph with the band, along with the other event-volunteers, and also a small chat with them. This was surely one of those evenings I’ll never forget, and the memories of which will rejuvenate me for the times to come!
Visit Mukti – The World Fusion Band here.