The Project Unplugged

Music is an unending journey. It needs a little spark to ignite, but then spreads like wildfire, bringing happiness to people and helping communicate in a language that is not just defined by a set of grammar.

Pradumn Kumar, a student of the then 1st year used to write poetry and post them on social media websites. Venugopal (violinist, composer) and Pravit (guitarist) were musicians who would perform in odd functions and would look for opportunities to spread the love of music.

It was just another day when Venugopal looked at some of Pradumn’s poetry, and gave music to a poem with the help of Pravit. This resulted in a song called ‘Rehta Mai’, written by Pradumn and composed and sung by Venugopal. They made some of their peers listen to it, and it instantly gained popularity because of the honesty of the lyrics and the innocence of the music. To promote it through a proper channel, a Facebook page was proposed. But all three of them knew that creating a band would not work with just two musicians and a lyricist. Therefore the trio came up with the idea of The Project Unplugged, a group which anyone could be a part of. Any lyricist, instrumentalist or singer could collaborate and create music.

The page slowly gained popularity and more musicians from the university came up wanting to contribute in some way. Soon after Rehta Mai, the sequel to the song, Rehti Mai was composed and became a hit on the page. The trio had roped in another batch-mate Virajita Sharma for the vocals. People started loving this kind of music because it was pure poetry converted into fresh, raw music. The group did not have any recording gear, and used normal mobile microphones. The quality of the song did not lie in the gear, but in the music itself.

Soon, more music started appearing on the page with The Project Unplugged becoming a common platform for the creation of music in the college. After the success of the original two songs, the trio featured Ronak Jain to lend his voice for the song Unkahi Baatein. The latest song the group has worked on is Gunjte Alfaaz, composed and written by Venugopal with Madhawam Agrawal helping with the lyrics too.

The group traveled as an acoustic band to BITS Pilani, where they participated in the Indian music event. The crowd loved the melodies and harmonies created. The group consisted of Venugopal on the violin, Pravit Tuteja, Yash Saxena and Rishabh Chakrabarti on the guitar.

The group has also successfully conducted Bandishe, a live music event which was the first of its kind in the college, since all the music performed are original creations. It had the BITS Pilani team performing with Raghav Mittal also as a vocalist.

These days, Venugopal and Pravit have launched a side series called ‘What We Do For Timepass’, where they cover popular songs using just the violin and guitar. It’s a huge hit on Facebook and was recently launched on YouTube on the group’s official channel.

For the trio, making music is not just another hobby. It’s a way of expressing themselves. This trio will graduate from the college, but the music they have created will always be cherished and will always continue to grow.

Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theprojectunplugged and on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWXSmaIKiQj9Z01xJ7-K4Aw.

“Doing good is part of our code”

APOGEE-16 one of the biggest and most reputed Technical Fest of BITS PIlani.

This year, the BITS Firefox Community invited the Mozilla Community of NIIT University  to be a part of their tech fest. A team comprising of the leaders and the members of the Mozilla community participated in the fest.

On the first day, we were greeted warmly by BITS Firefox Community (BFC), it was an informal meeting where both the clubs were introduced. The day ended with a community dinner.

Next day we were invited to participate in a series of events planned under the hood of BFC like performing your bets in events like Wiki Run and Appathon.

We had rounds of technical discussions with the BITS community which helped us to understand the the essence of open web and web literacy, followed by our participation in brainstorming sessions for the better design and usage of the web.

We also had fruitful discussions on Internet Of Things , Community Development  and Data management .

The work done by the BITS Firefox Community which includes coding for Mozilla mission inspired us and helped us in framing our upcoming events. Both the Community leads Harmeet Lamba from BFC and Shivang Shekhar from Mozilla Club-NU resolved for the development of inter community programs, like the Path Finder.

The Path Finder program encompasses –

1. Technology Sharing between both communities from now on.

2. Organizing Online Interaction sessions every month.

3.Organizing Inter Community online challenges every 3 months.

4. Project development.

Project development will take place on inter community basis and both the communities will be involved in upcoming projects.

Also an upcoming technical event is thought of, for understanding cutting edge technologies like(IOT and VR) to be hosted by us.

 

We also attended a talk by Richard Stallman,  a software freedom activist, and it was truly inspiring.

A round table discussion on Free Software vs Open Source ideology was also conducted.

The second day was also filled with events in which community members took part and performed well.All in all, it was a great learning experience and we are truly thankful to our university, NIIT, for extending their support to us and encouraging us for such amazing learning experiences, both in and outside the campus.

 

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Varanasi At Least Once

It’s known variously as the land of temples, the city of Lord Shiva, and most recently, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The holy waters of the River Ganga here have received the mortal remains of countless Hindus over the year and the ghats alongside are equal parts chaos and spirituality. The city itself offers a colourful mix of contemporary cafes, pure veg dhabas and tons of shops where you can stock up on everything from rudraksha beads to fine silks. There is no doubt that Varanasi is one of the most compelling destinations in India and is as much a much-visit as Agra or Jaipur. If you’re still not convinced, here are seven top reasons to visit the city at least once in your lifetime.

1. Dashashwamedh Aarti

Dashashwamedh is one of the most sacred ghats on the banks of the Ganges, and never is this more evident than during the daily Ganga Aarti that is performed here. The air is thick with incense and the glowing aartis are nothing short of mesmerising. You can witness this spectacular event on a boat in the river, which is quite an amazing experience.

2. Temples and spirituality

 

There are hundreds of temples in the city, all which come laden with history and religious significance. Many temples are as old as 500-1000 years. The Kashi Vishwanath and Sankat Mochan temples are the most popular but don’t let that stop you from finding your own favourite place of worship. Unsurprisingly, yoga is deeply entrenched in the local culture and it is easy to source a good yoga master who’ll take you one step closer to achieving unity with the universe.

3. Eclectic cuisine and shopping
Once you have paid your respects to the divine forces, seek out material riches in the form of Banarasi saris, hand-knotted carpets and exquisite woodwork at shopping hubs such as Godowlia and Vishwanath Gali.

In Varanasi, you can also sample cuisines from all over the world or go local and tuck into the most delicious street food (don’t miss Kachori Gali!). The city is full of foodies and you can usually find something tasty to munch on regardless of the time of day. Many good restaurants sit along the river Ganga, so you can enjoy your food while watching the beautiful sunset and the river.

4. Music and concerts

After religion, it is music that courses through the streets of Varanasi. The city has been home to number of maestros, including Ustad Bismillah Khan and Ravi Shankar. One of the most immersive experiences in the city is listening to a classical music concert at the Music Paradise Hall. Find yourself swept away by the trains of the sarod or flute or the rhythm of the tabla.

There are also many music schools in the city should you wish to learn an instrument and there are lots of shops to buy them too.
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5. Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat is another good venue from where to witness the Ganga Aarti. It also has several restaurants offering marvellous views of the river.

 

6. Forts and history
Considered to be the oldest city in India, Varanasi proudly bears the marks of centuries past. Don’t miss the 18th-century Ramnagar Fort which sits solemnly on the eastern bank of the Ganga. Built for the Maharaja of Banaras, it has a museum displaying vintage cars, royal swords and weaponry, ivory artefacts and other antique items. Chunar Fort is about 40km from Varanasi and was built during the time of Babar. It also briefly served as a shelter for Warren Hastings, the first governor-general of India.

7. Sarnath

This holy place, 10km from Varanasi, is where Gautama Buddha first preached to his followers after he attained enlightenment. The grounds are beautifully maintained, with the historical Dhamek Stupa as a centrepiece. Sarnath is also home to stupas and monuments representing the Buddhist traditions of countries such as Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

 

-SOURABH KAUSHAL

B.TECH II YEAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article was published in the Huffington Post

 

 

Bhangarh Fort: Asia’s Most Haunted.

At a distance of about 400 kms from Delhi, Bhangarh is famous for its haunted ‘Haveli

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A road trip with your friends is just the perfect gettaway for the weekend.

 

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The premises of the fort is prohibited for human movement after 6pm, due to the numerous reports of paranormal activity.

 

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A walk through the main premises starts with a stroll through the Jauhari bazaar, which still boasts of the remnants of the 17th century architecture

 

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The stoned pathway is mostly occupied by langurs and wild animals that surround the vicinity.
The Jauhari bazaar opens into a vast space, which contains the temples and the old post office of the Rajput emperor that reigned Bhangarh.

 

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As of now, the locals extract palm leave from the trees growing in and around the ruins.

 

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The innumerous rumors about paranormal activity inside the fort is nullified by the locals. Yet the fort, even in broad daylight seems spooky to the first time visitor.

 

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The fort, when made stood 7 storeys tall.
Over 300 years, attacked by the extremely vicious Thar temperature, it has now crumbled down to 4 storeys.

 

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The boundaries of the fort run in three parallel layers, which were done in an effort to step up security for the then emperor of the fort.

 

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The interiors of the fort smells of dead animals (or some say dead humans).

 

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The ceilings of the topmost storey which housed the kings room has given in to rugged climate and is mostly broken pillars and huge chunks of stone.

What you take away from this visit to the haunted fort is the impeccable architecture that the Rajput dynasty boasted of.

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The Bhangarh skyline is blank.
As if someone specifically prevents households from developing near the area.
Haunted or not? Is your call.

 

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Thank you.

 

A POST BY:-

SOURYA RUDRA

B.TECH

II Year

A Summer In Thailand

Love seafood? Scuba diving? Temples? Adventure? Hospitable crowd? An escape from your monotonous life?

Well, this is the place you ought to visit.

Yin-Dee-Ton-Rab

Summer of 2015

An invitation for me to explore Thailand!

Our first stop was Wat Trimitr Vityaram Voravihahn (Temple of the Golden Buddha)

This 700 years old Buddha is a complete marvel. It is made with pure gold and weighs 5.5 tons. It’s value is approx. 28.5 million pounds. The Thai hold this so close to their hearts that they have gone to lengths to ensure its safety. A tourist is given only 30 minutes to park his vehicle and tour the temple. The vehicle is seized by the authority if the time limit is exceeded!

Entering the temple, you are flabbergasted at the sight of gold everywhere. Looking up, one could marvel at the intricate detailing on the gilded roof forever.

Moving onto the next part of the temple, you’ll encounter another golden Buddha, this one is just gilded but it is as mesmerizing as the previous one.

Sitting on one side of the interior of the temple you’ll find a Buddhist monk who is ever so lost in his own reverie that the perpetual chatter of the tourists entering-clicking-leaving the temple doesn’t distract him one bit.

Outside the temple, there are rows of light-weighted small bells, hanging in succession. As a gentle breeze blows, the air is filled with the soothing gentle chimes of these mystical bells. As you feel the breeze on your face, the gentle chiming of the bells brings about a peaceful sensation and a calm to your mind.

As the 30 minutes come to an end, our Thai driver brings about the car and we are off to our next stop.

Wat pho (The temple of the reclining Buddha)

This temple has the gilded statue of the reclining Buddha. Measuring up to 46 m long, it depicts the entry of Buddha into nirvana and the end of all reincarnations.

Exploring the other parts of the temple gives you an intriguing experience. You’ll find all kinds of people, children on school trip, tourists, Thai temple workers taking a nap and passionate artists sitting around the corners, busy with their sketches and paintings, oblivious to the passing time.

The auto-rickshaws in Thailand a.k.a “TUK-TUK”, are lined outside the temple as you exit. To beat the heat, ice-cream vendors are always trying to grab your attention by shouting in their own dialect in quite a comical way.

Day 2 started with the visit to the Safari World.

The first show is a hilariously staged, boxing match between two chimpanzees and, quite an impressive band performance by another group of them. This show was successful in securing all the cheers from the crowd, which included the adults as well as the children. As you explore the safari world, you’ll come across this miniature lake filled with beautiful variety of colorful fishes. One could stay here all day at the edge of this lake admiring it’s beauty.

The sea-lion show is splendid. You could see the sea-lion pulling all kinds of stunts, from balancing a chair on his nose to leaping 7 ft from the water to hit a ball.

School trips are an integral part of the 12 years of schooling. One could see young Thai kids on their school trip to the safari park, moving in a single file, with their hands on the the shoulders of the mate in-front of them. Trying to interact with them wouldn’t get you anywhere, as they are not familiar with any other dialect other than their mother-tongue. But that doesn’t stop them from their single letter questions like, “Camera !?”, “India !?”.

The Dolphin show keeps you at the edge of your seat. With the Dolphins launching themselves from the water to more than 10 ft in the air, it’s marvelous! The synchronization of their jump and the perfect execution of their stunts are breathtaking.

Moving on to the other parts of the park, exotic birds are a common view. You’ll find crocodiles and other animals also, in their respective enclosures.

Some birds are friendly enough to land on your head or your hand, if you have the bird food. Feeding the birds is quite an experience as one can place food on his hands and head and wait for the whole flock to come, cover your body with feathers.

Moving onto the car Safari, one can easily spot these majestic creatures basking in the sunlight or taking a nap in the shade. They roam around freely, without any fear. These Royal Bengal Tigers are one of the endangered species, but thanks to initiatives being taken around the world, their numbers are increasing.

There are bars everywhere in Thailand. But some are quite exotic with their special cuisines be it an Italian bar with its pizzas and pastas or an Irish bar with its signature beer. A perfect place to relax at the end of the day recounting the day’s experience.

The next day we leave for Pattaya, a 150 km road-trip.

A lush green stretch of beautiful landscape welcomes you as you enter the city of Pattaya. As you enter the main city, tall buildings come into view, projecting a mesmerizing view, with the coastline visible just a few kilometers ahead. We leave for Koh-Larn, a beautiful coral island, on a speed boat.

On the way to Koh-larn, you can get off the boat onto a, 30 sq. meters, floating platform for parasailing. Tied to the end of the boat and sailing with the wind, 100 meters over the water, one of the most exhilarating experience ever. It gives you the top-of-the-world feeling, with the view of exquisite Pattaya. It’s a must have experience on one’s bucket-list.

As you get off the boat, you are welcomed by the sight of clear waters and an amazing view of the, 500 meters long, stretch of beach. With all kinds of water sports happening on the island, there is no chance of boredom creeping into your schedule.

A perfect place to sit under the sun with a beer in your hand and tingle your taste-buds with Thai street food or more like Thai beach food. With every passing second that you spend in this country, you fall in love with it all over again.

Coming back to the mainland, one can roam endlessly, traversing the through the streets of the city. The city itself is full of life. You can see people and tourists bustling from one place to another going about their work. You can see small shops and stalls almost every 20 meters selling mouth watering Thai food or really tempting clothes.

Airport Cafe

And the Journey ends right where it began, the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

-Shashank Kumar Pawar

Being Alone

I am alone,

but not by choice.

I am sad,

despite all the joys.

No one to tell about my day

before I sleep.

No one to share with,

the darkest secrets I keep.

I feel like a vulture,

looking to satisfy its hunger,

but even after I try all I get is,

other people’s (love) leftovers.

I hope tomorrow will be better,

than the day before,

and someone helps me escape this lonely room

by opening the door.

I am alone,

but not by choice.

I am sad,

despite all the joys.

 

Poem by Nikhil Nair

B.Tech II Year