Saturday, June 4, 2011

Learning the symphony of beats

Indianexpress Express News Service ,
The New Indian Express
Updated Jun 01, 2011 at 11:03am IST

Sathish Babu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The nearly two dozen tablas lend a rhythm to the cool breeze at Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan, creating an impromptu symphony with the drizzle of showers that kept coming back. This day-long ‘riyaz’, in the lap of nature, was special to the 19 learners who had assembled here from various parts of the State. Under the guidance of Sathish Babu,disciple of Ustad Alla Rakha, the participants - all of them students of tabla under various teachers - fine tuned their method of practising the lessons at home.
"A group ‘riyaz’ benefits you a great deal. This is a regular feature in the schools in North India. It will help you perfect the practice sessions undertaken at home and flawed methods do not creep in. Besides, it is refreshing rather than practising alone, especially as a beginner,” says Sathish.
The ace practitioner has been giving concerts and accompanying maestros since 2004 when he returned to Thiruvananthapuram, his hometown, after the grooming in Mumbai. “I stayed in the home of Ustad Alla Rakha for one year and then found a place nearby to move out. Those days, it was riyaz, day in and day out and group sessions were particularly enjoyable.”
Sathish organised the first group practice last month at the same venue and was surprised at the overwhelming response from students - his own and those studying under other gurus. “It was word of mouth publicity. My students informed their friends and they sent SMSes to others and so on. I am really happy that people have arrived from as far as from Thrissur,” he said, introducing us to Abdul Nasar, a businessman who had brought his two sons along for the ‘riyaz’.
"They are both learning tabla under Pandit Subhankar Banerjee in Kolkata. During vacations, they travel to their Guru and stay with him. He gives them enough homework to last through the intervals in between,” says Abdul Nasar. Shaheen, in class X and Sahil, in class VII, are more than eager to lap up the hard-earned lessons, up North and down South.

Sandeep Sagar, a BCA graduate, has been training under Sathish for 12 years now, but has never participated in competitions in school or college. “Competitions have never lured me and that is not what I learn tabla for,” says the soft-spoken Sandeep, and shares a smile with his Guru.

Sandeep Sagar
Sathish says.. “I teach my students how to play this wonderful instrument and to enjoy it. I cannot train them for competitions. Sandeep started coming to my home as a toddler and stayed with us all day, sharing our meals and playing around. But those who learn from me use their knowledge in a variety of ways, some play for music troupes, some have their eyes fixed on winning contests and some others learn for the pure joy of playing tabla,” he says with a smile.
Radhakrishnan, a civil contractor from Kayamkulam, nods in agreement. For eight years now, his Sundays have been kept apart for trips to Sathish’s home in Thiruvananthapuram. These days, he brings along his five-year-old son in the hope that he will pick up a taste for his father’s passion. Just as Karthik, a first standard student of Loyola, was loitering around the mandapam at Vyloppilli because his parents had brought him over as instructed by Sathish. “He began his lessons at Sathish Sir’s recently, and is often asked to simply listen to the seniors playing,” says Karthik’s mother Subha.
At past one in the afternoon, the beats did not sound tired. The group dispersed for a quick lunch before getting back to work. They wanted to make the most of this special riyaz before calling it a day at 6 pm.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Quit Smoking?

We should know by now that smoking is a disgusting habit. It contributes to diseases like cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular diseases and lung disease among others. It is also the most preventable cause of premature death. Why? Because smoking is a lifestyle choice and the decision to light up or not to light up is in our own hands.
Quit Smoking

But we still can see people around us enjoying their cigarette sticks like it is nobody’s business. A closer look in the world of fashion and entertainment; smoking seems to be “back in fashion” according to some people.

Girl Smoking
Young girl...!!
Sometimes the best thing we can do when craving a cigarette is to simply redirect our attention to something different and interesting. Nine times out of ten, the urge is gone within moments. Our thoughts color our lives, so if you find that yours are taking you places you'd rather not go, take charge and shift your focus.

How to Quit Smoking?

How to Quit this?
101 Things to Do Instead of Smoking
Distract Yourself and the Urge Will Pass...

 The following list was generated by forum members in  Website I've read. Thanks to all who contributed!
Distract Yourself and the Urge Will Pass...
101 Things to Do Instead of Smoking
Funny too...

1. Read a book.
2. Wash the car.
3. Wash the dog.
4. Go for a walk.
5. Knit a scarf.
6. Do a crossword puzzle.
7. Take a nap.
8. Call a friend.
9. Post a message here
10. Play with the cat.
11. Turn the bathroom into a spa and do all those beauty treatments.
12. Listen to a relaxation tape or some favorite music.
13. Go to a store and get a free make-up session.
14.Give yourself a manicure and pedicure.
15. Try out a new hair-do
17. Go to the movies.
18. Hang out at a mall.
19. Do a jigsaw puzzle online at Jig
20. Breathe deeply!
21. Swig down some ice water.
22. Jump on a treadmill or go to a gym.
23. Give someone you love a huge hug.
24. Plant some flowers.
25. Do some exercise - swimming, aerobics, yoga, etc. Great for releasing endorphins (feel good factor) and relieving stress (physical and mental).
26. Work out how to post a picture in the forum!
27. Take up a new hobby/interest - channel your thoughts into something constructive and interesting.
28. Work in the garden.
29. Retail therapy with the cash you saved from not smoking.
30. Suck on a piece of TART candy (Jolly Rancher is my personal favorite).
31. Slather on a rich, creamy hand lotion and rub, rub, rub! It keeps fingers busy, and reminds you how nice it is not to have tobacco stink on them.
32. Eat a Popsicle.
33. Floss and brush your teeth.
34. Make-out with your special someone! Hubby hated kissing me when I smoked, but now he LOVES it. Soooo, when the urge strikes and he's within kissing distance, I plant a big one on him!
35. Chew gum.
36. Chew a toothpick (shiny teeth).
37. Spend time with a kid.
38. Give yourself a treat every day of your quit - not matter how small.
39. Spend an hour filling the paddling pool in the garden on a gorgeous sunny day, only to find that the kids would rather play on the computer.
40. Play several games of Internet Scrabble, and hopefully win one!
41. Walk in an old graveyard with the man you love.
42. Get your jammies on early, and park yourself in front of your computer for the night.
43. Build a REAL closet
44. Hang the Sheetrock on said closet.
45. Do the mudding, taping and sanding on that closet.
46. Paint the closet.
47. Add the doors to the closet.
48. And last...when the real closet is finished, create THE CHOCOLATE CLOSET on this site.
49. Hang on dearly to a caramel apple sucker.
50. Sing loudly.
51. Practice smiling in the mirror (releases endorphins)!
52. Make lists of pros and cons of smoking.
53. Find gross smoking disease pictures.
54. Play with Silly Putty.
55. Whistle "Don't Worry - Be Happy."
56. Get a camera, and take some pictures.
57. Write a letter (you know...on paper).
58. Clean OUT the closets.
59. Crank up the radio and sing at the top of your lungs (works great for driving craves).
60. Crank up the radio and dance like no one is watching.
61. Make a puzzle.
62. Organize your boxes of pictures.
63. Alphabetize your CD rack.
64. Come here and read and post.
65. Go to mini and PLAY GAMES.
66. Do your nails. Hard to smoke with wet nails. I've tried.
67. Take a shower.
68. Take a candle-lit bath.
69. Clean out a messy drawer.
70. Take a day trip.
71. Try making home-made candles or soap.
72. Run in place.
73. Do some jumping jacks.
74.Put away the amount you spend on smokes every day and use it to treat yourself once in awhile.
75. Write a poem.
76. Go antique shopping.
77. Go plant a flower for every negative thought.
78. Go to church/talk to God.
79. Let your husband cook supper for you.
80. Call your Grandmother!
81. Paint a room.
82. Eat a hot fudge sundae.
83. Go play mini-golf.
84. Clean the basement or garage.
85. Wax the car.
86. Make love with your significant other.
87. Scrub the floor.
88. Treat yourself to a massage.
89. Chop up some veggies for a stir-fry - keep your hands busy!
90. Clean out the litter box.
91. Check your car's tire pressure.
92. Call a radio show and request a song.
93. Go ride a few roller coasters.
94. Take a walk in nature.
95. Watch the sun set.
96. Write a goodbye letter to cigarettes
97. Donate blood.
98. Color your hair.
99. Make a greeting card.
100. Write a list of things you are grateful for.

The final suggestion in our list comes in the form of a story...

101. Run around in the sand in your socks!

think about all of the good things
An individual should think about all of the good things that can happen after they quit smoking. Make a list and carry it with you to tell yourself just why you wanted to quit. It won't be simple to quit smoking 

but i can't... :(

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