Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Its been a long time since I last blogged. An amazing idea struck me in my dreams. Living in an atmosphere of competition, most of my conversations with people kick start this way,
"So, young man, what do you plan to do in life?"
"Haven't decided yet........."
I'm tired of this question. Most of my friends joined private coaching classes in 8th grade. I felt all this was just a commercial activity to become a billionaire. The rat race finishes at IIT ( A well reputed engineering college in India). People feel that you're abnormal when they hear you say, " I don't plan to take up engineering". So I finally decided to blog out everything straight from the heart and write everything in first person.

Many ideas of mine were quite a lot based on 'The secret life of Walter Mitty'. I read many inspiration stories on Facebook and G+. I finally understood one thing for sure, You can never go hungry if you're educated. I've decided I will live an experimental life, a life without those burdens of insurance, money, buying and selling land and all such activities.

I'll just go where the road takes me and roads never end.........
Learn from nature and experience. I don't like the idea of settling down with one occupation and one house and the concept of getting old. The soul remains young till death. Ofcourse, with age comes experience. Its all in the mind. Just enjoy the present, let tomorrow remain a mystery. 

And why settle with one job? for money?
Money does matter and it will catch up if you're doing the right work. I dream to live a hundred lives, everyday would be a new one. One day I'll work a waiter in the restaurant, another day write a book, teach in an NGO. 
Who cares about reputation? oh yeah, so now I'm caught........that's probably the only thing everyone cares about, followed by money. 
This reminds me of an interesting person I met, a year ago. By profession, he worked as an investment banker in New York for sometime. He is also a talented photographer. So one day his thoughts gave a twist to his career. He decided to give up investment banking and become a dedicated photographer . So, he walked up to a gallery to set up his photographs. The curator explained that there are to ways of setting up photographs, one is to get less or no money for it and set it up with your credits clearly mentioned. The other way was exactly the opposite, that you sell your photographs for quite a good grab but without owning any copyrights i.e You won't be the owner of your own photographs. 
Now, every photographer would dream to be famous and would want to be clearly credited for the dedicated work. That was exactly the case he was dealing with. Since he gave up investment banking, he was no longer earning...........
So he chose the first option and took the money not the credits. He regretted this decision for fighting passion for glory.  
No-one would want to become famous before completing the basic financial needs.
What I learnt from him was-
'Don't let your passion be your occupation'
Because if you dedicate your passion for money, creating a fine masterpeice would be out of bounds and you would rather look at the fastest way to finish the job.
So I'll do what I enjoy doing but will keep a separate room for passion.......
And the magic of music will light the way ...🌟🌟🔱
So, what do you say??


Monday, 13 April 2015

Alleppey Travel Guide

Planning a vacation in South India?
Don't forget Alleppey !
The name explains it all- Alleppey: A small happy town. Alleppey is situated in the coastal area of Kerala. This place is known for beaches and backwaters.
The perfect place to have the 'Houseboat Experience'. We've seen it in the movies, now lets see if its true ! Alleppey is home to 800 houseboats. The South Indian colors come alive here, it becomes hard to find an ordinary white colored house. Houses, Houseboats, clothes and banners are bright and vibrant in colors. All this reminds me of a song sung by The Beatles, 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds' that starts with- Picture yourself in a boat in a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..... 
Houseboats in Alleppey- Siddharth Kothari

Lets not get diverted to music, how can one forget houseboats ?
Being made for tourism, all houseboats are beautifully crafted and named. All tourism companies usually feature a houseboat picture in Alleppey on their pamphlets ! To be honest, houseboats are an excitement for a few hours and then they become boring, after all its just another houseboat......
Its not worth booking a houseboat for an overnight stay, as they dock the houseboats on the shore at night. After 6:00 pm they remain stationary to avoid accidents in the middle of the river. To be honest, once you're in the houseboat, it's just a houseboat. While experiencing the houseboat adventure, you come across many tiny islands. They are worth visiting. You can always ask the sailor to stop by one of those islands and have a look around. Long rows of plantations and flowers on the island all add to the feel of the place.
Houseboat blends with the shades of nature

"Houseboat View"
"Shades of nature"

The Alleppey Beaches and Backwaters- 
Alleppey is known for its beautiful backwaters. Actually this town, interestingly has a beach on its one end (facing the Arabian Sea) and the backwaters run along its length and breadth. The other end of Alleppey faces the silent Vembanad lake. Despite being a tourist destination, the beaches are clean and not crowded. This, is where you can spend a lot of time just watching the waves coming in. Many movies are shot here. Rows of houses are built along the backwaters. Lots of beautiful lazy resorts line the backwaters.
A beach in Alleppey

Lets not forget that Alleppey is a part of India's most literate state- Kerala. People around here are quite friendly and the concepts of equality of occupation are well spread among the masses. I happened to wave my hand to hire an autorikshaw (A local 3-wheeler Taxi) to find a good restaurant to dine in. Suddenly, an auto-rickshaw driver caught my action and came to us. I told him that we were looking for a restaurant. All he said was-"Hop on".
He made no mention about the fare, which was a matter to worry about as it was now upto him, how much he would charge us.
However, the worry didn't last long. He took us to a decent restaurant and when we got off, I asked," How much is it?"
"Low price, No problem, sir"
"Is 40 okay?"
"Even 30 would do"
Hearing this we felt satisfied and handed him a Rs. 50 note without any hesitation. Such tiny incidents enhanced my stay in Alleppey. 

If Modi's ideas are being implemented anywhere, it has to be Kerala. The railway stations in Kerala have to be the cleanest ones compared to the others that I've seen in India. They are well adorned with flowers and tiny plantation nets along the platform. Waiting for the train in the burning March heat, I was trying to keep myself busy. Just then, a bystander threw a biscuit wrapper. My eyes were fixed on it, just then another traveler picked it up and threw it in the dustbin. THIS, is something hard to find in other parts of India. I felt guilty, for not being the one to pick it up. It seems that many of us have misunderstood John Lennon's saying.
"You may say, I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
 I hope some day, you join us, and the world, will live as one"
Many of us follow a similar thought-
"Cleanliness....hmmm....quite right.... But how much can this tiny thing dirty the environment? besides that, I'm not the only one doing so........."
If we keep this in mind, our country will never progress. This thought can only be eradicated by 100% literacy and that is exactly what the Government of Kerala did. By investing in human resource, Kerala has now become a much cleaner and better place to live in.
Alleppey Railway Station

Alleppey railway station

If you happen to book a vacation here, trust me, do not book the Hotels online. Since most of them are built along the backwaters, the pictures of the resort can be very misguiding. People often book the resort, just after they have a glance at the pictures and come to know they face the backwaters ! Hotels and resorts often turn-out to be very different from what you see on the internet.
The best way to select the right hotel would be to hire a ferry boat and roam around, and whenever a decent resort is spotted, stop by and check it out! In this way you can't go wrong and the search for the right place becomes interesting...............

Monday, 30 March 2015


Munnar, Kerala (South India)
Visiting South India?
Be sure to visit Munnar! A hill station in Kerala..........

Truly an escape from the remaining South India's burning heat, Munnar stands as a hub of tourism. Munnar is a hill station 130 kms away from Kochi (the city in which the Kerala Airport is located). Tea plantations and all the agricultural stuff never excited me, but after my visit to Munnar, I changed my views. The entire hill station is stocked with tea plantations, and is probably the best place to buy organic Indian spices. Tea is planted along the slope of the hills. To reach them, one must be an average trekker! You can spend hours roaming around them and exploring other areas near them. You can find a variety of flavored and organic refreshing tea with the exotic aroma. The fun sparks out in having a thick block of chocolate ice-cream in the burning heat. Did I mention, Kerala is the only state in India having 99.9 % literacy? Literacy has resulted in clean streets and proper management of resources. The amazing arrangement of houses and long continuous roads could be an inspiration for other cities. The population is equally distributed throughout the city. The hill station, from the view of a high flying helicopter would look like colored Lego pieces placed on a green base. The houses are painted bright and vibrant in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange etc, unlike those usual whites and grays in other states of India.
A tea plantation in Munnar,Kerala

'Colored pieces of lego on a green base' :)
Being rich in flora and fauna, Munnar has many flower gardens. 'The Rose Garden' is among the popular tourist attractions on the hill station. Its a great stress buster, walking through the nurseries and plantations accompanied by cool breeze. The hill station is also well populated by wildlife sanctuaries. 

A view from the Munnar flower garden
Entire Kerala (despite being a tourist destination) faces a major problem of clean drinking water. Hotels, shops, restaurants and even local residents use packaged drinking water for daily consumption. This way, you end up spending a lot just on drinking water. The best way to address the problem would be to carry your own large sized water bottles and always be on the look for Public water filters and be sure to refill from every jug in the restaurant.

Munnar, being situated at an elevated height and having less pollution, makes a great place  for star-gazing. Be well equipped with your telescope !
If you happen to plan your vacation in Munnar, I would recommend that you book your stay in 'Anna Homestay', located in Chithrapuram (9 km away from the main city). 
A navigation board, so that you can obtain the contact number :)

 Reading the word- 'Homestay' you get altogether a different idea of what the rooms would look like, but this one is out of the ordinary....
Veranda outside the rooms 

The owners are very friendly and helpful. Papachan, the owner of this place has a perfect taste of interior design and arrangement of rooms. The rooms are well equipped with large glass windows, lamps, clean balconies and also the key-card system.
It is built more like a resort - A one storied building for this very purpose, labelled rooms, key cards for electricity etc add to the feel of the place.The place looks beautiful at night. However, this place is not equipped with WIFI. The 'packaged drinking water problem' continues here. Since it is a home-stay, you may have a chat with the owners and customize your breakfast. The best part of this place is, its a stone's throw from the TEA PLANTATIONS !

A well known attraction in Munnar is Punarjani (meaning- traditional village), A stage for the traditional arts of Kerala. It is located in the 2nd mile, Pallivasal, Munnar. They stage two daily shows here- Kathakali and Kalaripayattu.

Kathakali is a world famous highly stylized Indian Classical Dance Drama- known as the king of performing arts, performed in a kothambalam (art performance temple) by skilled artists.

Kalaripayattu is an ancient traditional martial art of Kerala reknowned as 'mother of all martial arts'. It has a long tradition and later many techniques of this art were adopted into martial arts like karate, Kung-Fu, judo etc. The performance includes body control exercises, fight with metallic weapons like sword, shield, spear, dagger etc. Its something worth watching. The fights were fast and short, amazingly performed feats. I did click a few pictures but watching such feats live, altogether create a different effect.

Kalaripayattu- A feat- Somersault through the fire ring

Kalaripayattu- Led Sticks

Kalaripayattu- A dangerous feat involving fire lit sticks

                                                                                      Siddharth :)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Hey there guitarists,
How often do you run out of picks ?
Accepting the ugly truth that a pick is just a piece of plastic or maybe a cut out from nylon sheet, why should you spend a few bucks on them? Knowing that they will break soon.............
Here is the solution- Make your own custom translucent blue picks !!
Making picks isn't that hard and would take barely 5-6 minutes. The best part is that you can actually bend them and also have your custom pick with your band name on it ! Anyways here's how you do it !

So the first step is to select a DVD. The visual difference between a CD and a DVD is that CD's are white on their reflective side and DVD's are blue on their reflective side. So what we need is the BLUE one. In case, you're stuck-

All DVD's are made of two layers - The cover and the projection layer. We want the projection or the translucent layer. To separate it, all you have to do is make a cut on its edge (circumference) and separate it out. We won't be needing the opaque plastic cover so you can throw that. And if some of that sparkly stuff is stuck on the translucent area, don't worry ! That can be used to make the FANCY ones....
I know its difficult to explain, So I guess the GIF animation should explain it all.

Now, this is easy. On the translucent CD, using a real pick and a permanent marker trace out the pick shape that you want on the CD. So trace out as many picks as you can to fully utilize the CD. Keeping the pick steady, while tracing it might be a difficult task. So I suggest, while doing this use the index finger and press the pick downwards and then trace it. Be creative and find your way to do this :)

Step 4 -CUT IT OUT !!
Simple- Use a good pair of scissors and cut out your traced picks! Do this with a steady hand and cut it cleanly in one go without stopping.
Step 5 -SAND IT
Smooth-en the edges using a sanding machine or by hand using sand paper. And you're ready to rock !! Optionally you may make your band logo or some graphic on them once you're done with sanding.
And that's it !! You can also make picks with old credit cards and Cheetos Tazos :)
I hope this works for you! If you're stuck at any step, do leave a comment and I'll get back. HAPPY PICKING :)
                                                                                        - Cheers

Friday, 13 February 2015

School Challenges : Lessons from life

Little did I suspect, that learning guitar would place me in a head breaking situation........

Music has fascinated me, ever since I was a kid. Guitar, was how I finally settled with a hobby, for the past 3 years. Learning guitar was a challenge, but a million times simpler than the one I am currently facing. Definitely, one has to agree that everything has its own advantages and disadvantages, but when you're troubled all you can point out is disadvantages. 

It all started with the exam season. There is going to be a farewell party (more of an event) in our school for the students of 10th grade. Now here is the mistake (atleast for me) that I made - Being excited knowing that our music teacher wants 'me' to play guitar for the event, without thinking about its consequences, I said ' certainly !!! yeah! I will play! The next hour my brain started thinking on all four sides. Finally, I realized the mistake I made- The Final Exam was less than a month a away, and I would be missing an entire week of school i.e practicing for the event. When I told this to a band mate from my class, without thinking twice he resigned. I couldn't decide how I should react to this situation. 
Now if you were in my place, what would you do ?
1. Miss an entire week of school and let all the notes pile up before the exam and complete your work after you're done with the event .
2.Resign, like my friend and continue with normal school and keep your notes up to date.

I spent an entire day with my mom, on deciding on either of the two options and settled with the first. Remembering John lennon -
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one "
I stuck to the first option and decided to keep studies and hobbies as two separate lives and not compromise one for the other. Just as said in the 'Eye of the tiger'
' Don't lose the grip on the dreams of the past, 
  You must fight just to keep them alive '

Even prefects and sport players in school do the same. So never ever think of giving up your passion just for responsibility.
And for me , I pursued my passion .............And the magic of music seemed to light the way.

            A pile of incomplete doesn't matter much in life !
I hope by reading this , You will save time in making the right decision !
                                                                                       - Cheers Siddharth

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Maggi : India's beloved fast food

When I reached Rohtang (a pass in Manali, Himalayas), an unusual hunger struck me, ignoring the fact that I had lunch less than an hour ago. The snow was dazzling white and my vision wasn't clear. I saw a bright orange tent at a considerable distance. I went closer to it and I saw a slate hanging on the top of the tent. It said - 'MAGGI RS.50' in running cursive. 
The aroma tickled my nose and made me to enter the tent. There was an aged man who welcomed me and asked, 'so, what will you have' 
By the time I observed the tent, my order arrived. A bowl of glowing yellow noodle, with freshly cut and buttered vegetables............

I understood one thing for sure, Maggi tastes better when eaten at a higher altitude.
I'm unfortunate that its impossible to go for me to for a trek every time I eat maggi, But thats how I enjoy it .

Maggi has to be Nestle's greatest invention till date. On this Earth there would be millions of types of packed noodles. But none can compete with maggi. What makes it unique is that its simple to make and does not consume time. 
With time, people have come up with a variety of different dishes that can be made with maggi as the base ingredient. This 'maggi related innovation' is seen all over India. Maggi soup, maggi samosa, maggi paratha, maggi sandwhich etc are all results of innovation. 
The best thing that maggi did after this revolution was to sell the masala or the taste maker separately for a cheaper price. Because ever since maggi occupied the market, people bought it because they liked its unique taste given by the tastemaker. So once they had the tastemaker in the market to be sold individually, they sold like hot cakes. You can add the masala almost to any kind of food that you don't like and make it delicious (except for sweets).

A typical scene on the Indian highways........
So here ends the search for the 'fastest fast food'.
This is no science experiment , SO DO TRY THIS AT HOME :)
And for cooing instructions, Cheers Google :)

                                                  A search for all interesting things going
                                                   around the world,
                                                                                                 - Siddharth  

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Rubik's New Challenge -

Puzzles that changed the world :-

Hey there friends !
I happened to experience the Rubik's revolution taking place around me. Every alternate person on the road is equipped with the most brain-teasing puzzles. Since childhood, the Rubik's cube has fascinated me and I conquered it. The legendary - 'Rubik's cube' was created by Erno Rubik, who is a hungarian inventor. At 70 he still continues the ultimate legacy. His latest invention was the void cube as I have mentioned below. Do check out his profile and jaw dropping inventions. Lets know a little more in detail about some of his masterpieces.

1. The original 3x3 cube-

Picture courtsey -
The 3x3 cube was the first ever made cube (invented by Erno Rubik). It is the best selling puzzle even today. No matter new puzzles come up, but this remains one of its kind. It has been an inspiration for the creation for many other puzzles. With time, people have come up with hundreds of solution to it. A simple toy, made of plastic, can be shuffled and solved just by a few correct turns, but with supreme logic. Today, when you search 'cube' on Amazon , even a day's time would be less just to flip through all the results. People have created millions of puzzles based on the concept and logic. But the solution to all of them is to master the 3x3 cube i.e if you can solve a 3x3 cube, you can conquer almost any other puzzle. So, what are are waiting for ?? grab yours today and use the famous - 'cheatsheet' below- 

2. The Pyraminx

Inspired by the cube, what we have here is the pyramid. Its easier than the cube and more enjoyable. The pyraminx kept me engaged for a long time. As it is easy to solve you can invent your own way to it. The origin of this puzzle is not so clear on the web, some say it was invented before the creation of the cube while some say it is a recently developed toy.

3. The Mirror cube-

This toy looks futuristic and once again inspired by the cube. It shares the same solutions as that of the Rubik's cube just that it is slightly harder to solve as it changes its shape with respect to the moves you make and reverts to the shape of a cube when solved. It looks very interesting and comes in various metallic color variants. Out of all the puzzles I've tried this is my favorite one. So, do try check it out !

4.Rubik's 360
Amazingly this, is not a cube ! this is real innovation. This is a spherical gyroscope. It has no definite solution unless you find one ! It has 3 plastic transparent spheres, one inside the other. The aim of this puzzle is to get the colored tiny spheres out of the innermost sphere and guide them all the way out to their respective colored shells. To ensure that the colored balls don't come out of their shells while trying to get another ball to it shells, it comes with a circular lock as seen in the picture ( the black rotor ).

5.The Void cube

Here's a whole new challenge ! This is Rubik's latest creation and unfortunately people find it boring as it has to be solved in the same way just as the plain 3x3 cube. The design is the only thing that makes people buy it. There's no centerpiece , that means, you can have your finger go through the cube !!

6. The cube variants- 4x4, 5x5, 2x2 

2x2-The simplest and the easiest cube ever made, also known as -'pocket cube'

4x4- hmmmm........ here we have no centerpieces so hard to decide which color comes where. 

5x5 - 'Professor's cube' !!!!!

That's to much to choose from !!! My opinion - lets worship the 3x3 forget the others :) !!
                                                                                 - Siddharth

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How the world changes in 3 blinks .....

It all started with one of my friends, Manas, instructed me to stay back in the class, during the lunch break. I expected that he would come up with a new type of puzzle (95% , a Rubiks cube) and ask me to solve it or maybe talk about my blog or possibly about the guitar........... But it seemed that his hands were fixed in his bag as if the bag was a Venus fly trap and he had his hand trapped. So out of curiosity I asked him why did he ask me to wait there. By that time, he had his hands out ..... 

Now a GRE student would term this ' My fall in the cosmos' . The next three blinks were hard to understand. My eyes were asking for feedback, i just couldn't understand what the hell was going on !

In my first blink I saw Manas, sitting on his seat with his tiffin in his hand, being put for auction in open air . He probably meant to tell me exclaiming ' Hey come here, ' I've got pizza !'. So ?
Now the next moment I felt as if the entire class had been suffering a famine and finally a miracle showed up.

In my second blink I found myself in a gigantic stampede where people were shouting as if there was a time bomb planted in our class and the doors were locked. Well, that was confusing .........

Third blink - ' BLANK ' Now this was like when Harry was shot by Voldemort and was now in heaven talking to Hagrid and finally again returning to real life.
Now I was out of the stampede , amazingly I didn't move out of the stampede the crowd moved away. Now, what I saw was exactly what I saw in my first blink just that the lunch box was now empty and the place was more silent and Manas was neutral.
The entire class extinguished the famine with Manas's tiffin. He was helpless knowing that he is in the class of missing legends , IX D. So all this lasted about 30 seconds and ow amazingly the atmosphere changed. If you can't beat your enemy join them :)


Saturday, 10 January 2015

5 Amazing Tips To Improve Your Guitar Skills

  5 Amazing Tips to enhance your Guitar skills !!

Being a student of music means being a student in perpetuity. So what we have here is a boost to your way to the Top. So here it is !

"It's what you play, not what you play it with "

1. Instrument does not matter

"It's what you play, not what you play it with "
Instrument is the last part of playing guitar. To master the art is important. Buying a Les Paul at an early stage would be a waste of money. The fact that anything played on the electric sounds good is what prevents guitarists from mastering the art. So play the best with whichever guitar you have and aim high !

2. Practice in a group

Teamwork,.....hmm......Playing a song with a guitar and singing all alone is an easy job, but coordinating with the entire band and jamming on the song is where you real guitar skills come live. You get to learn lot more from others in the band, compared to what you learn by yourself. In this way by playing with others you might end up creating your own band. learning by experience is the best way to learn. It teaches you when NOT to play.

3. Maintain a notebook

Human mind has a tendency to forget incidents that happened mere 5 minutes ago. Entering a room and forgetting the purpose of your visit ?
The moment you learn something new , you should have it on paper the next minute. An instant back up , for the music to keep flowing ! or if you want to pass on a song to your friend............In the long run when you would have learned a hundred songs you would find this book very useful and would come in handy.

3. Practice complete songs

All guitarists hate this advice and so do I. Playing 1/4th of the song and then switching to another and then a dragged solo and next comes the blues. This is the worst way to practice guitar. Focusing on one thing shows much more progress than, playing millions of things at the same time. I'm not saying its not good to explore, but exploring the explored for seconds isn't so rewarding........

4. Set targets

You know yourself the best not your teachers or classmates. So challenge yourself ! 
What lies behind you,
and what lies after you,
Are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within you......- Ralph Waldo Emerson

So be your own master, set your targets and deadlines of learning solos, songs or maybe creating new ones. Everyday learn a little more than before and improvise on it .

5. Be a good listener

                               Picture courtesy-

Appreciating all types of music is an integral part of learning guitar or for the fact, any other instrument. 
Before decoding the guitar part of song you should be well aware of the ups and downs of the song which you can only achieve by continuous listening.  The song may sound difficult to play but might be just the opposite. For all this, -
' Cheers You-tube '

And I don't think I need to say this as most of us are aware of it, Whenever you are stuck at some point of a known song , JUST.......... ' Cheers Youtube ' :)

I hope these tips help you on the way to your destination :)


Thursday, 8 January 2015


Hey there guitarists !
About to re-string your guitar?
Well, consider this,
This is for those who use steel strings ,

So when it comes to strings, you shouldn't compromise.......
They should be bought on a long term basis. The right time to change strings is when -
1. Your guitar starts going off tune Very often in a matter of seconds
2. There is a layer of visible dust
3. When, the strings get cuts on the Coated layer

If you experience any of these situations , restring your ACOUSTIC guitar with one of the sets listed below for best results.

1. D'addario EXP coated bronze series:-

D'addario has created and maintained its masterpiece in the years. EXP coated strings are slightly expensive but, worth what you pay for it. If you play guitar , an hour a day regularly or more than that , you don't need to think about it ; blindly go for it ! It keeps your guitar in tune for many hours of continuous playing and creates a heavy, long lasting,clear and delayed sound. I used these for about one and a half years and still I get the same sound that i heard the very first day, when I strung those to my guitar. This also add to the looks of your guitar. Unlike other strings, they have a bright-yellow color which adds to the warm and mellow tone that your guitar produces....

2. D'addario phosphor bronze series :-

These are just the opposite ! 
If you aren't a regular player and don't play often + you don't want to spend much on strings, these are just the right ones. They produce a very light and balanced tone and therefore are much lighter and inexpensive compared to the ones above. These strings are the ones that fit in inventory. The Sound is just perfect for playing country music. You can buy dozens of them and keep them for future.