Sagar Behere

I doubt, therefore I might be

Sissel's concert

I am just returning home from a concert by my favouritest female singer, Sissel Kyrkjebø. Am completely, hopelessly starstruck.

The first Sissel song I heard was her singing Pie Jesu. It was at Martin's place and I remember reeling in awe and we both agreed that if ever an angel could sing, it would be like Sissel. After that, I looped her on Spotify for several weeks and when the chance came to hear her live in concert at Stockholm, Martin and I couldn't resist.

What I believed would be a fairly ordinary evening turned out to be anything but …

Hazaron khwaishen aisi

Mirza Ghalib often returns from the grave to tug at my heartstrings. Always at opportune moments. I've often discovered specific ghazals which seem to apply in their entirety to the situation I find myself in. Perhaps this is another illustration of the principal, "The more personal it is, the more universal it is!"

Here is Hazaaron Khwaishen aisi... Bits and pieces of this ghazal are floating around the internet; certain individual stanzas are more popular than the rest. Here is the most complete version I am aware of. I wish I could translate for those who don't understand the language …

A tale of two countries

It is hard to dislike a place where you've been laughing every five minutes. And eating good food. And having great conversations with random strangers. And making new friends. Where good natured ribbing, flamboyance, art, tradition and culture blend smoothly into the potpourri of life. In short, it is hard to dislike Italy.

I love Italy so much because it maximizes the values and attitudes I hold dearest. The random stranger is a potential friend, Life is taken with a generous dose of salt, passion is expected, the occasional flaw is to be overlooked, rules are those-things-you-sometimes-break, it is okay …

Pisa diary: Wrap up

The last few days in Italy were a blur of activity.

To begin with, the summer school activities became more and more exciting. Two teachers from Barcelona delivered a crash course on control and realtime scheduling. They were young, funny and I wished I had them as my first control teachers. The day brought a very solid  realization of some concepts that had vaguely existed in my mind. Like the impact of CAN bus loading on control system performance. These are the things sidelined during regular courses, but return to bite you when you do a real implementation. We started …

Pisa diary: Day 2

4 hours of sleep is not the specification I was designed for. Consequently, when the dual alarms from my mobile phones started a clamour around my head, the only thought was a faint "whhaaatt?" Half an hour later, it pierced through my foggy brain that I needed to wake up, wake up fast, and wake up now. Grumpily I fell out of bed, and silently congratulated myself for setting the alarms half an hour before I needed them.

Someone had obviously told my shower the concept of Pulse Width Modulation and the shower took it seriously. So instead of getting …

Pisa diary: Day 1

Greetings from Pisa, Italy. I am back in the country I love so much and nothing has changed. It is still as crazy as ever and it took me all of 2 minutes to realize it.

I landed at the Galileo Galilei International Airport half an hour before midnight, walked past the baggage carousel and was out! Did I mention the airport was small? At the exit, I looked for the information service, which I found so quickly that I was pleasantly surprised. It was closed. I was not surprised.

Walking out, I found the taxi stand. In Stockholm (yes …

The cool uncle

When I was young, my Grandpa's brother would always bring story books when he came a-visiting. Today many things have been forgotten and he is no more, but he stays stuck in my head as a memory: the "cool" person who'd always bring me books.

A few days ago, Cecilia (the nicest Swede ever) invited me to her home for dinner. She has two children.  Axel is 7 and Clara is 6. While pondering what to take with me, the thrilling realization dawned that my turn has come. I could be somebody elses "cool uncle" who brings them books. Whereupon …

Ab ke hum bichade

I have stayed away from ghazals for a while now. But a jumble of recent events had me listening to "Ab ke hum bichde" by the unimitable Ahmed Faraaz. The poet knows how to pluck the right strings to trigger a silent sigh that grows into a thunderstorm of pent up sorrow. Here comes the text and a free translation.

अब के हम बिछड़े तो शायद कभी ख़्वाबों में मिले
जिस तरह सूखे हुए फूल किताबों में मिले

ढूंढ उजडे हुए लोगों में वफ़ा क …

My sadness has no seasons

Few things match the "Oh yes, yes! Exactly!" feeling you get when you come across a poem that describes exactly how you are feeling at a given moment. James Kavanaugh did it for me this time.

My sadness has no seasons,
It comes when the leaves
Surrender to the persistent wind
And lie at attention,
When the snow
Coats twigs and footprints
In a gentle obituary of white,
Or when the birds
Fly back to the parks
To help the old folks count the years.
It even comes when the hot air
Keeps the crickets awake,
Complaining in the parched …

Control the mind

Here is a sketch I created of a concept in Swami Vivekananda's Jnana Yoga, in the chapter on Realization.

Mind System

And it is described thusly

'"Picture the Self to be then rider and this body the chariot, the intellect to be the charioteer, mind the reins, and the senses the horses. He whose horses are well broken, and whose reins are strong and kept well in the hands of the charioteer (the intellect) reaches the goal which is the state of Him, the Omnipresent. But the man whose horses (the senses) are not controlled, nor the reins (the mind) well …