My academic software learning started with Pascal but my career software learning started with C language. Before India became a hub for outsourced software development – C was the language you would learn to do things in. Now it’s sadly, Java. I started to learn C in 1993 – after someone mentioned that it’s the language closest to machine. I picked up the default book by Dennis Ritchie and started to write programs. Since I didn’t own a computer and I had to wait till I get my turn to get into computer lab – I would write the program on paper first and type it in when I got my chance.
Dennis Ritchie’s book taught me the basics of programming. Thanks and RIP Dennis Ritchie.
In Hindu religion the first God who is prayed is – Ganesha and the last God who is prayed is – Hanuman. It starts with an Elephant God and ends with a Monkey God. And so it is, I found 2 songs/bhajans to go with them.
1. Ganesha Vandanam – I first heard this when Sai version of Jersey Boys performed this couple of years back at a Sai retreat in Pennsylvania. I was so moved. I love this bhajan which is in praise of Lord Ganesha.
2. At the same retreat as I was preparing for the evening program – I came across music playing over the speakers throughout the retreat center. It was an amazing song which was just so relaxing. I found my friend who was manning the music station and checked about it. It was a song called “Yoga Lullaby” by Russill Paul from AM and PM Yoga Chants. It’s in praise of Lord Rama whose bantu is Hanuman. The best cosmic lullaby ever.
Listen to Russill Paul’s Lullaby
The churning continues. It will be 5 years tomorrow my dad passed away. The silence in me still stays. So many changes that happend in our lives in the past 5 years. We all miss you dad.
Today also happens to be Krishnastami – Birthday of Krishna. We went to Walnut Creek for bhajans – to get hold of some internal peace.
Krishna is a very different deity – he has religious side, philosophical side and folklore side. A lot of Hindus pray to him religiously as God. A lot of them pursue him through his divine song – Bhagavadgita. And a lot of people seek him through his folklore stories and how he is an embodiment of pure love. I have been to a Hare Krishna temple only once – but their depiction of Krishna is so beautiful and stunning.
Among folklore – you would come across a lot of songs, bhajans and kirtans where gopikas are missing Krishna. The songs and ragas are very touchy. There is one song which kinda matches my mood tonight and which I think is kinda sad raaga – a raaga which comes with deep yearning. It’s a song called – Jai Radha Madhav. The instrumental one I like is here –
It’s the song # 8.
Jagjit Singh’s rendition of the same song is very popular and somedays I just listen to this on loop –
Now that I am all nostalgic about my life (I think which happens every August) – all the heart wrenching kirtans/songs/bhajans just keep coming to mind. It’s like I am donning a memory based eye glasses. One song which plucks the strings of my memory is – “Phibare Rama Rasam”. It’s from a Telugu movie – Padamati Sandhya Ragam (An Evening of the West) – which explored the cultural differences between India and US. It show cases how we are run by tasks, money, career etc on a day to day basis and how Indians who move here struggle to adapt their lives. It’s a story of a Indian girl falling in love with a White guy (yes, the guy from Hung) and their plight.
I loved the movie but more than that this song which was written by 18th century composer – Sadasiva Brahmendra stuck with me. Here is the video of it – it’s kinda cheesy when you see any Bollywood/Tollywood movie but it’s the essence of it is what moves me.
Here are the lyrics:
pibare rAmarasaM, rasane pibare rAma rasam
O Mind, drink the nectar of divine name Rama.
janana maraNa bhaya shoka vidUraM
sakala shAstra nigamAgama sAram
It dispels fear and grief from the cycle of birth and death.
It is the quintessence of all the Vedas and other Scriptures.
shuddha paramahaMsAshrita gItaM
shuka shaunaka kaushika mukha pItam
It is the sacred song sung in the hermitages of the holy and enlightened Yogis.
Great Sages Suka, Saunaka and Kousika enjoyed that nectar.
It basically astounds the qualities/attributes of Lord Rama from Hindu religion.