World’s First Airbag Helmet For Cyclists

Cyclists have often raised concerns over safety issues. Due to the lack of cycling infrastructure and unorganized traffic in cities, cycle enthusiasts often let go of their eco-friendly commute options. Well, with a new invention by a Swedish startup, man’s old rustic friend may soon flood the streets again.

Hovding, based out of Malmo, Sweden, has come up with the world’s first airbag for cyclists. The airbag is designed like a hood, which inflates and provides shock absorption in case of an accident, and protects all of the head, leaving only the field of vision open.It is the perfect invention for those of us too vain to bother wearing a helmet while riding our bikes.

The airbag is designed like a hood and made in an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won’t rip when scraped against the ground. Hövding protects nearly all of the head while leaving the field of vision open. The inflated airbag covers a much larger area than a traditional cycle helmet and is designed according to current accident statistics.

The airbag fixates the neck and provides extremely soft and gentle shock absorption. The pressure remains constant for several seconds, making it able to withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident. After that, the airbag slowly starts to deflate.


The gas inflator that inflates the airbag is a so-called cold gas inflator that uses helium. It is placed in a holder in the collar on the cyclist’s back.

Thousands of tests were done, re-enacting cycling accidents using stunt riders and crash-test dummies, to collect the specific movement patterns of cyclists in accidents. In parallel, an equal amount of normal cycling data has been collected using test cyclists wearing Hövding in everyday cycling. Based on this collected data, we have developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling from accidents.


The collar is made of waterproof, functional fabric that provides the best possible protection for the built-in airbag system. The collar isn’t washable but is protected from wear, sweat, and dirt by the surrounding fabric shell. Any marks on the collar can be rubbed off carefully with a damp cloth.

The collar is ergonomically designed with even weight distribution across the shoulders. It is slightly heavier at the back than at the front so that when cycling the weight is resting on your back.

The price of this Hovding Airbag Helmet around $279 each.


Meet ASIMO: The Robots Closest To Man

ASIMO is a man made robot created by Honda in 2000.

In 1986, Honda engineers set out to create a walking robot. Early models (E1, E2, E3) focused on developing legs that could simulate the walk of a human. The next series of models (E4, E5, E6) were focused on walk stabilization and stair climbing. Next, a head, body, and arms were added to the robot to improve balance and add functionality. Honda’s first humanoid robot, P1 was rather rugged at 6’ 2” tall, and 386 lbs. P2 improved with a more friendly design, improved walking, stair climbing/descending, and wireless automatic movements. The P3 model was even more compact, standing 5’ 2” tall and weighing 287 lbs.

ASIMO is the culmination of two decades of humanoid robotics research by Honda engineers. ASIMO can run, walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, turn smoothly, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects. ASIMO can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands. ASIMO has the ability to recognize the face of a select group of individuals. Using its camera eyes, ASIMO can map its environment and register stationary objects. ASIMO can also avoid moving obstacles as it moves through its environment.


Recently Honda’s ASIMO robot emerged waving from behind a sliding door, an audible gasp of surprise and excitement arose from the packed room of middle school students who had gathered at Honda Silicon Valley Lab for a special demonstration. While Honda’s long-term plans for ASIMO are focused on helping humans with daily tasks, in the near-term Honda is hoping that ASIMO can inspire young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively referred to as STEM.

As development continues on ASIMO, today Honda demonstrates ASIMO around the world to encourage and inspire young students to study the sciences. And in the future, ASIMO may serve as another set of eyes, ears, hands and legs for all kinds of people in need. Someday ASIMO might help with important tasks like assisting the elderly or a person confined to a bed or a wheelchair. ASIMO might also perform certain tasks that are dangerous to humans, such as fighting fires or cleaning up toxic spills.


The Levante is all in all Maserati

The Maserati Levante is in its element everywhere, inspiring your driving experience with its precise handling and inspirational performance.Its elegant surfaces, spacious leather seats, intuitive on-board controls and exceptional engineering creates a whole new class of SUV.

Maserati’s unmistakable design is showcased beautifully in the sleek, sporty silhouette that features three iconic eye-catching air vents on the front wings. The assertive style of the front grille references the great sporting Maseratis of the past and features the legendary Trident badge the ultimate symbol of exclusivity, refinement, and elegance.

The new Levante has High-specification features for new heights of luxury.Luxurious and adventurous, the Levante provides the highest levels of comfort whilst delivering outstanding performance even in the most extreme conditions. There’s no shortage of space or performance either. All versions come with an eight-speed gearbox, Maserati’s sophisticated intelligent Q4 AWD and a torque vectoring system for a truly exhilarating drive.

A slight flexing of the right foot and your heart will race. The Levante unleashes the prodigious amount of power, coupled with superior handling thanks to a low center of gravity, perfectly balanced 50-50 weight distribution and vehicle systems calibrated to increase driving pleasure. Levante also features class-leading aerodynamics with standard active grille shutters and a sophisticated standard air suspension system that allows for 5 different dynamic ride heights.


Ermenegildo Zegna, one of world’s leading designers, has partnered with Maserati to further enrich the Levante experience. As an additional option, the finest leather is combined with natural fiber Zegna Mulberry Silk inserts on the seats, door panels, roof lining, sunshades, and ceiling light fixture. The Silk is embellished with a hand-stitched macro chevron. Seating features a central silk insert with a micro chevron weave. Door panels, roof lining, and sunshades are covered with Zegna silk jersey.


Each adventure deserves the best travel companions. Specially conceived to satisfy our Customers’ needs, the Maserati Genuine Accessories are a perfect combination of design and functionality. The attention to detail, style, and quality of each individual accessory reveal the very essence of the Maserati brand, always searching for the perfect balance between comfort and performance.
Advanced safety features include six dual-stage airbags, active headrests, and a tire pressure monitoring system, as well as ‘active’ safety technology designed to help prevent collisions, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Alert, Rear Cross Path detection, and Lane Departure and Forward Collision warning systems.
Powered for performance. The Levante is a genuine SUV that performs under pressure and responds to your every need. Innovative, cutting-edge technology and engineering sophistication are the cornerstones of the outstanding 3.0 Twin Turbo V6 petrol engine, delivering incredible levels of performance while providing reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Likewise in the U.S., trucks, and SUVs have seen a new boom in popularity to a recovering job market and gas prices that hovered around $2 a gallon. Sales of larger vehicles boosted overall car sales, which reached a 15-year high in 2016. The U.S. market will be vital to the Levante’s success since 40% of Maserati’s sales occur there.

The Great Scientist better than a President-Sir A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.“-Sir Dr.Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam better known as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The Missile Man who inspired more than millions of people in the world, especially in India was born in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on October 15, 1931, to a humble boat owner. A determined soul since childhood, he started working at an early age to contribute to the family income.  He was brought up in a multi-religious, tolerant society; one with a progressive outlook. He overcame all odds and carried on to pursue graduation in physics and later study aerospace engineering on a scholarship.His father Jainulabudeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque; his mother Ashiamma was a housewife.

Sir A.P.J Abdul Kalam House in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

The Missile Man first mark for our country was his accomplishments as a Scientist. Late Dr. Kalam joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in 1960. Nine years later he was transferred to Indian Space Research Organization. Late Dr. Kalam claimed that joining ISRO was one of his biggest achievements in life.

Young Dr. Abdul Kalam With Vikram Sarabhai. Source: ISRO

In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics. After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954.


ApJ School
School of Sir A.P.J Abdul Kalam


He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, “I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline”. He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.


At Madras Institute of Technology

After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. He started his career by designing a small hovercraft but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO.Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist.In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980; Kalam had first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.


SLV-III Meeting, with presence of Sathish Dhawan



In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia; Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility.Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.

Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the country’s first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as the representative of TBRL, even though he had not participated in its development. In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV program. Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship.Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects. His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige in the 1980s, which prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile program under his directorship. Kalam and Dr. V S Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, worked on the suggestion by the then Defence Minister, R. Venkataraman on a proposal for the simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one after another.R Venkatraman was instrumental in getting the cabinet approval for allocating ₹388 crores for the mission, named Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and appointed Kalam as the chief executive. Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the mission including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile, although the projects have been criticized for mismanagement and cost and time overruns.

Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period in which he played an intensive political and technological role. Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram, during the testing phase. Media coverage of Kalam during this period made him the country’s best-known nuclear scientist.However, the director of the site test, K Santhanam, said that the thermonuclear bomb had been a “fizzle” and criticized Kalam for issuing an incorrect report.Both Kalam and Chidambaram dismissed the claims.

In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low-cost coronary stent, named the “Kalam-Raju Stent”. In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for healthcare in rural areas, which was named the “Kalam-Raju Tablet”

In 2002, both the ruling party, Bhartiya Janta Party and the Opposition Party, Congress came together to elect him as the 11th President of India. After serving a term of 5 years, he returned to a civilian life of education, writing and public service. He has written a number of books and documentaries, the best known being Wings of Fire and Ignited Mind. A recipient of a number of awards, he topped them all by Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor in 1997.


As President

He saw a dream for our country known as Vision 2020. He wanted to see our nation standing amongst the developed countries of the world.

“A dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep,” as he famously said.”


What’s next for the new Chevrolet Corvette’s engine and lineup?

Think yourself and me too  “How Chevy will make a DOHC(Dual Overhead Camshaft) engine, a ZR-1, and a mid-engine supercar?”

After taping up the windows and covered all available whiteboard and wall space with printouts, spy shots, sketches and maps of Bowling Green and Upstate New York. Hundreds of pushpins dot prominent points; miles of red strings connect them all. Data scientists call this link analysis. The cleaning people call it an irritant.

The upcoming mid-engine Corvette, the DOHC Corvette and, finally, the big-wing-toting Corvette ZR-1. Our deductive sleuthing tells us that all of these things are, finally, real. The evidence has been right in front of us for months. GM’s been hiding its plan in plain sight and we think we’ve cracked the code. Pore over our clues, follow along with our reasoning and see if you agree with our conclusions.

Dual Overhead Cam V8 Corvette? Really?

While the idea and crummy renderings – of a mid-engine Corvette have sold a billion magazines and generated a trillion clicks, the transition to a DOHC layout should be the one getting everyone’s attention. Since almost the beginning, a big part of the Corvette’s DNA has been Chevy’s overhead valve, Small Block V8. And for good reason; these engines are compact, make great power across the rev band, can return exceptional fuel economy, and provide the reliability and inexpensive repairs that have kept the Corvette an everyman’s sports car for 60 years. But those rods are pushing their last. After reaching the zenith of naturally-aspirated horsepower that any reasonable company would dare slap a warranty on (RIP, LS7), and Corvette buyers are repeat customers who will expect the next ‘Vette to top the C7’s 465 horsepower and 29 mpg. GM is one of the last holdouts on the naturally aspirated V8 and one of only two firms still offering it with pushrods. If GM wants to keep the V8, meet ever-stricter CAFE requirements, and continue to delight fans of the Corvette, something needs to change.

GM has done everything it can to keep the small block alive. Aluminum block and heads, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing. The next step is to either join the forced-induction party or admit the limitations of a two-valve motor and, literally, step up their camp game. The improved breathing and timing optimization afforded by four valves per cylinder and variable valve-timing-and-lift would get them there without a single person on the internet screaming about lag.


Is it Doable?

The anti-DOHC naysayers will say that it requires a whole new engine block, and GM isn’t going to replace the Gen V engine so soon or spend the money on dual V8 lines. The argument also says overhead cams create a prohibitively tall engine for the available space. Let’s dispel both of these right now thanks to our friends at Mercury Marine. Yes, that Mercury Marine. The company that Chevy contracted to build the Lotus Engineering designed DOHC LT-5 V8 motor that powered the legendary Corvette ZR-1 in the 1990s.


After teasing the concept for a few years, at the 2016 SEMA show Mercury Racing, the go-fast subdivision of Mercury Marine, launched its 750 horsepower, 8,000 rpm SB4 7.0 automotive crate motor. Based off of GM’s 7.0-liter LS7, the SB4 does away with GM’s valvetrain and swaps in their own 32-valve DOHC setup. On this engine, the new overhead cams are driven by a dual-belt system. A straightforward dual-roller timing chain setup is mounted on the front of the motor off the crank. We’ve reached out to Mercury Marine for clarification on what happens with the now-vacant in-block cum-hole and will update the story if we hear back. In Chevy’s case, it could cast a new block that plugs the oiling holes but would need to reserve this tunnel for a prop shaft. The Corvette’s high-pressure fuel pump is driven off the back of the camshaft so any changes to that would necessitate a fix for the pump, too.

Chevy’s LS3 stands a tidy 17.72 inches tall from the centerline of the crank to the top of the intake. Mercury Marine’s DOHC measures 17.1 inches from the crank centerline to the top of the throttle bodies. Of course, there are some differences in the intake systems that could account for the number spread, but the point remains that converting an LS motor from pushrod to DOHC does not add enough height to kill the project. Especially not when you’re talking about an engine that could return 600 horsepower without forced induction.

This is important for a couple of reasons. Remember that we’re not talking about a new engine for an all-new car here, folks. According to our leaked document above, this is going to be dropped sometime in 2018 while a new, C8 Corvette shouldn’t be expected until 2021 at the earliest. Not only does this new motor need to fit vertically, but it needs to fit in the same mounts as the current OHV motor. New hood? Easy. Potentially relocating the whole powertrain? Not so much. The above solution as proven by Mercury Marine solves both of these problems.

Is GM ready for this change?

Previously speculated, GM’s absurdly massive investment in a “paint shop” in Bowling Green is more than enough to launch another vehicle line, so swapping in a new motor won’t rock the boat. What we didn’t know then was that GM was about to put $295 million into its Tonawanda engine facility, where Corvette 6.2-liter V8s are made, to support “future engine production.” Steve Finch, Tonawanda’s plant manager, was quoted by the Buffalo News as saying that the new engines “would represent the next step for the plant’s existing ‘Generation V’ engine line.” Kathleen Dilworth, GM manufacturing director told the same paper, “They’re going into future vehicle products that we’re not prepared to announce yet, for competitive reasons.”


To put this $295 million number in perspective, the 2010 investment in Tonawanda to build the Gen V small-block was $400 million. That investment should be enough for a significant valvetrain upgrade, especially as this motor will also be spread across the pickup truck line.

“Replacing all of the V8s”, What?

Alongside the nonsense “it won’t fit!” naysayers are the armchair MBAs who argue that GM is too focused on the bottom line and too obsessed with the scale to do another expensive one-off engine line. These people are onto something. GM isn’t going to architect this updated motor just for the Corvette; it replacing all of the V8s.

USC40CHC371A021001The Gen V small block, introduced on the 2014 Corvette Stingray, found its way into the redesigned GMT K2XX trucks/full-size SUVs as the EcoTec3 in both 6.2 and 5.3-liter configurations. Any new development for the Corvette’s powertrain, besides the silly performance motors, needs to be flexible enough to do work across the whole GM portfolio.

Considering this, the timing is too perfect. For 2016, Silverado sales were down while nearly every other truck posted gains. Ford, specifically, is making gains with its lineup of efficient-according-to-the-EPA EcoBoost motors and aluminum bodies. GM needs to do something. A DOHC V8 would increase power and efficiency with minimal costs and no silly (and expensive) turbos. Finally, with the release of the new Chevy Tahoe RST, Cadillac and GMC need a hi-po engine offering to keep those profit machines rolling. We’re guessing the first of these in 2018 as 2019 MY.


To be fair, this is the weakest part of our argument but stick with it. We’ve seen spy shots of this one (we’ll call it ZR-1 henceforth) a few times now, but haven’t gotten a good sense of what’s powering it. For a while, we were on the side of the fence that follows GM’s current pattern and assumed that the new ZR-1 would be the track-focused big-brother to the Z06. Think Chevy’s ACR.

That theory makes sense not only from a GM product strategy viewpoint but would help explain why GM had rented out Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for testing. Launching a new performance benchmark for your brand makes a bigger splash when you can say you’ve taken back the production car lap record from the Viper ACR. In this worldview, the ZR-1 doesn’t need more power or a new motor, it simply needs better tires, suspension, and aero. Easy(ish). Trouble is, this totally reasonable plan doesn’t solve our problem with the leaked document showing a DOHC Corvette in 2018.

This only leaves one possibility: The ZR-1 introduces the DOHC motor back into the Corvette family with 650 naturally aspirated horsepower (a nice number that is more ponies than the ACR and more horsepower/liter than the Mustang Shelby GT350), an 8,000-rpm redline and the production car track record at Laguna Seca.

For 2019, we bet that the DOHC motor trickles down into the rest of the Corvette lineup (excluding Z06) with 500 horsepower, a lower redline, and 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating. And while we’re just spitballing here, don’t be surprised if the high-power DOHC engine wiggles into a Z28-style Camaro.

The mid-engine Corvette

So what do you think where does this leave the “Corvette” with the engine in the middle?


There are obviously a number of hurdles for the mid-engine car to clear: 65 years of front-engined heritage, the everyman image, and the possible consumer resistance to a $150,000-plus Chevy. The mid-engine car needs to be a true halo product. A brand builder. And because it’s a Corvette (of sorts) it needs to punch above its weight from a performance perspective.

Which means that the mid-engine Corvette is going to have a souped-up version of the new family DOHC motor with a higher redline, higher peak horsepower and torque, and an inline electric motor.

That means it’s gonna be a hybrid.

Where else can they go? Chevy’s already got a 650 horsepower Z06 in the stable, matching or barely beating that power figure for potentially double the price doesn’t work. AWD is cheating. (Besides, AWD could be reserved for a Cadillac version of this mid-engine flagship…the one that gets the 4.2-liter turbocharged V6. Think Audi R8 vs Lamborghini Gallardo here.) Supercharging could work, but it doesn’t provide enough model separation from the Z06, engine-wise. Not only does a hybrid powertrain system avoid any confusion/cross-shopping with the traditional Corvette, but it leapfrogs any domestic or foreign competition and launches the mid-engine Corvette smack into keyboard wars with the LaFerrari and McLaren P1. Especially if Chevy forgoes the obvious front axle e-motor solution and keeps the mid-engine Corvette rear-wheel drive. This layout would fit with Corvette’s heritage and falls more in line with the driver-focused, tire-slaying nature of both Corvette customers and the engineers inside of Chevy.

Something like this integrated motor generator unit from Bosch which produces over 100 horsepower and nearly 300 torques would allow GM to tweak the gasoline motor for top-end power while letting the electric motor handle low-end torque fill. And that’s just an off-the-shelf solution; remember that Bosch was the electrification partner Porsche chose for the 918. If the two companies forge a serious partnership on this project, there’s no reason to doubt that the result would be one of the fastest, most technologically advanced supercars in the world.


Dance is an endearing physical manifestation of the soul. To enjoy the underlying commonality of dance forms across the globe is one thing, but to be oblivious to their differences would deny us of the myriad enthralling experiences they offer. And what a shame that would be!

What is Contemporary Dance?

Combining the elements of several genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet, contemporary dance has no boundaries albeit it is not synonymous with chaos. Often titled as a radical break from the traditional ground rules, it stresses on versatility, improvisation, and bare feet floor work. Pioneered by Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch, and Maurice Bejart to name a few, contemporary dance is a twentieth-century phenomenon that molds art, music, imagery and fashion to reflect upon relevant issues.


Contemporary Dance in India

India wasn’t immune to this Cultural Revolution. The Father of Modern Dance in India, Uday Shankar was responsible for laying the foundation of contemporary dance in India in the 1920s. His world-famous ballets were unique combinations of classical Indian dance forms, tribal dances and elements inspired from the West.


As it should, contemporary dancing has evolved ever since, branching out into varied styles. The Danceworx Company, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, The Tagore School of Dance are few of the many flourishing schools that are pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance to produce works unique to India and are garnering global acclaim.

The Illustrious Torchbearers

Astad Deboo

Considered a pioneer of modern dance in India, Padma Sri Awardee, Astad Deboo fuses Kathak and Kathakali to create a dance form that is unique to him. This Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee has extensively toured the world, staging creations that have garnered international acclaim.


Terence Lewis


Terence Lewis needs no introduction. From running his Contemporary Dance Company to creating Jungle in an Indo-Contemporary Dance Festival, Terence has worked relentlessly to popularize the dance form. Whether it is choreographing Bollywood hits such as Lagaan or extravagant musicals like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Terence has developed a unique style that appeals to the purists and masses alike. As he rightly says, If you want to take your message to the masses, then let the message be yours but in a language they understand.

Ashely Lobo

With over 30 years of involvement in theater and dance, Ashley Lobo has worked with world famous choreographers. An alumnus of the Bodenweiser Dance Centre and Sydney Dance Company, he is the founder of The Danceworx Company that trains 5500 students across India. He is also a guest faculty at National School of Drama and Barry John’s IMAGO School of Theatre Studies.


Preethi Athreya

Known for her instinctive precision, Preethi Athreya is a deftly layered dancer. Trained in Bharatanatyam for several years, her choreography is nuanced with a vivid description that shows dance is not always the sum of its parts. There is a constant comic tragedy theme in the background of her creations that leave you with irrevocable inarticulate emotions.

Preethi Athreya

Madhu Nataraj

New York trained Madhu Nataraj was on her way to establishing a reasonably strong career in the States when she came back home with a vision to start a unique dance company aiming at the creation of a distinctive contemporary Indian dance identity. Having produced 75 thought provoking, distinctive choreographic works in the 16-year existence of her company, Natya STEM Dance Kampni, she is often invited to perform across India, U.K, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, Europe, and the USA.


Mandeep Raikhy

Acclaimed dancer-choreographer Mandeep Raikhy’s creations rely heavily on poking the most uncomfortable inner fears through uncertain, intense choreography. His take on the complex question of what masculinity, stands to be the most acclaimed work till date. Through visual, aural and sensual markers, Raikhy creates quite the stir and anticipation in the most subtle ways, leaving his audiences wanting for more.




Classical Music

Every country in the world has some form of classical music. The basis of all classical music, globally, is tied to the standard notes of ‘do re me fa so la ti do’ and their variations. This is mirrored by ‘sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa’ in the Indian system. Although “Classical” is now-a-days associated with the archaic and old, classical music, in reality, has evolved phenomenally and continues to evolve across the globe. Indian Classical Music is an astonishing gift from god given to us. Indian classical music has tradition, which took silhouette in northern India in 13th & 14th centuries from the spiritual, Folk and melodramatic recital performs. Hindustani Classical Music found from several sources of the oldest scriptures in civilization and from the Vedas of Hindu custom. As we talk about the description of music, the Samaveda (one of four Vedas) itself tells the details in length. North Indian Classical Music has its derivation as a form of meditation in front of influential spectators.

Hindustani Classical Music (2)  

Hindustani Classical Music is based on Raag and Taal. They are considered to affect various “chakras” (moods or energy center) in the path of “Kundalini”. With these centers activation, Vedic practice traces the exact corporeal, psychological, natural and religious results. The music system developed by Indian Classical is the most difficult system. It has the similar features of Western Classical Music. The notes which are similar to Western Classical Music are Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sa, and they come in the same order.


Types of compositions

The major vocal forms-cum-styles associated with Hindustani classical music are Dhrupad, Khayal, And Thumri. Other forms include the Dhamar, Tarana, Trivat, Chaiti, Kajari, Tappa, Tap Khayal, Ashtapadi, Ghazal and Bhajans. Some of the forms are taken from folk or semi-classical music. We call semi-classical as light music also.


This article covers the mind-boggling beauty, challenges, and creativity that are present aplenty in any form of Classical music and specifically in Indian Classical music. We have two extremely powerful styles of Classical Music – North Indian and South Indian Style.


The fundamental fact is that Indian Classical Music is a very vast discipline. We have touched just the beginning here but absolutely none can define what is the end. I do not mean vast by sheer volume, but that

  1. There are strict rules you must adhere to (e.g. raag, taal, pronunciation, etc)You have to understand certain fine technical details (e.g. frequency ratios, relative frequencies of various notes (ICM has lots of concepts that can be explained from basic principles of Physics and Mathematics!)
  2. You must demonstrate your own creativity. You must be able to show your extempore skills when you reach the stage of public performance.
  3. All this requires a huge effort to learn the art – like the IIT JEE that we all underwent.

While presenting a song (singing or playing), it has to be structured in terms of the notes that the item is based on. You have to start with the correct tempo, evolve the composition properly, show your own creativity while rendering, ensure that accompanying artists are with you all through and maintain eye to eye contact with the audience. All of this has to happen within a certain time frame i.e. the cells in your mind should ‘recollect’ the ‘text’, ‘the notes’, ‘the tempo’ etc in nanoseconds – pass that to your vocal chords (while singing) or to your fingertips (for instrumentalist) and produce the sound when you are at the precise beat (called ‘taal’ in Hindustani and ‘Tantalum’ in the South). Then you have to manage your breathing – if you are playing a wind instrument like flute or shehnai. Each song has it’s own unique beat (taal) and a combination of notes (referred to as ‘raag’). While delivering a public concert – all of the above has to happen like clockwork for 2 or 3 hours, while the pundits and vidwans, seasoned listeners keep watching every step that you deliver. As a performer, it is scary but the sheer pleasure when you see the listeners enjoying is phenomenal – like getting quality music has the power to ‘oscillate’ you – as in metronome – without ever physically touching you even a nano-inch.

The first and second longest compositions ever made across any system of classical music across the globe comes from two great composers of South Indian Classical Music – Sri Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan and Sri Mutthu Swamy Dixitar. Both the songs are composed in pristine Sanskrit, highly structured from a grammar (vyakaran) perspective and impossible to replicate. The Longest composition runs to 80 lines and takes about 60 minutes to sing and the 2nd longest is around 58 lines and takes about 45 minutes to sing.


As a journey in South ICM, you need to learn several taals and several compositions in different ragas and remember each one of them to the finest possible detail. But, please do not get me wrong, not all compositions are difficult to learn or listen and enjoy. The structural beauty of even learning ICM is a lesson in itself and a topic for an article. It is mind boggling to realize how our ancestors developed ICM over so many decades that has aspects of religion, nature, basic physics, basic maths, vyakaran of various languages, kundalini, brain cells, chaos theory – all within the confines of just 7 basic notes (well, 12 or 22 depending on how pedantic you want to be). Yet even to this day that very ‘tradition’, that framework and that structure of ICM is 100% intact.

You can treat classical songs as a combination of bhakti (devotional) + raag or just a raag. South Indian classical songs are mostly linked to Indian gods/goddesses and mythological events, while songs and compositions in the North Indian System are probably more towards nature.

I believe Bhajans, Indian classical music songs will go on forever. In fact, revered South Indian Classical compositions that are considered the very backbone of South Indian Classical Music, the ‘perform or perish’ litmus test that performers need to undergo every day to stay above the waters in the field, were all composed some 300+ years ago.


They are fresh even to this day. Thanks to the Internet era, there is a huge surge of youngsters with M. Tech, M E, Ph.D. MBAs, etc qualifications learning classical music. What is even more surprising is a very tiny percentage take the path of being professional musicians even though there is no quick money to be made unless you are saying Bhimsen Joshi or Parveen Sultana or Dr. Balamurali Krishna or Smt M S Subbulakshmi.