I did my 11th and 12th standard studies in a residential school called DAV Public School in Purulia, West Bengal. One evening I accompanied some of my classmates who went to a shop to buy some stuff for themselves. I didn't have anything to buy. So, I was standing quietly at one corner. An old man mentioned as O below struck up a conversation with me. S is me.

O: So, are you a student?
S: Yes.
O: Which school do you study in?
S: DAV Public School.
O: Ok, what's your name?
S: Susam Pal.
O: Oh, so you are a Bengali.
S: Yes.
O: Which caste do you belong to?
S: I don't know.
O: You don't know? What kind of Bengali are you?

Waiting for dawn is my second attempt at composing music. I made the first attempt while I was taking musical keyboard lessons from Jason. He is an excellent teacher and very passionate about teaching, playing and composing music. He corrected most of my bad playing habits and taught us some good stuff in a short span of time. However, I dropped out of the lessons pretty soon after a few weeks of lessons to take care of some personal affairs.

I composed this piece after dropping out of the keyboard lessons. The links to the audio files, sheet music, etc. are provided below. The files reside in my website. In case, my website is down, the YouTube link provided below should still work.

This piece consists of 147 measures. It is approximately 4 minutes 28 seconds long.

The mental image I had while composing this piece was that of a guy, sitting alone in a dark night, waiting for the night to pass and the dawn to arrive. 0:00–1:30 of the piece represents the night. 1:30–2:15 is the time when the darkness starts fading away and the sky turns red. Everything after 2:15 is about welcoming and enjoying the dawn.

For me this mental image doesn't just represent a particular night passing away due to the rotation of our planet. It represents how we should handle tough times, heartbreaks, loss, etc. in our personal lives. We should remain calm, wait for tough times to pass and good times to come, and when the bad times give way to good times again, we should welcome and enjoy the good times.

I am pretty happy with what I composed but not so happy with the way I played it on the keyboard. There are some errors in the timing and loudness of certain notes but my friends don't seem to notice them.

In case you have any feedback, suggestions and tips that would help me to improve my musical skills, please feel free to post a comment.

A few notes is a very short piece I composed in December 2009 when I began learning to play musical keyboard. After 3 hours of music lessons, I came up with a very simple single track piece. In the next few days, I added more tracks to the piece and the result was this piece.

The composition is very short and simple. It consists of 29 measures. The duration of this piece is 53 seconds approximately. It is composed of 5 tracks. I played and recorded the 5 tracks separately on my Yamaha keyboard. The tracks are:

  1. Piano (HypeTine)
  2. Harp
  3. Strings
  4. Nylon guitar
  5. Standard percussion kit
The music was recorded as an MP3 file with Audacity after connecting the musical keyboard's output jack to the laptop's line-in jack using a cable with 3.5 mm stereo plug at both ends. A 3.5 mm stereo jack to 6.35 mm stereo adapter was used to connect the 3.5 mm (approx. ⅛") stereo plug to the keyboard's 6.35 mm (¼") stereo jack.

The links to the audio files, sheet music, etc. are provided below. The files reside in my website. In case, my website is down, the YouTube link provided below should still work.

There is no emotion or meaning associated with this piece. This was a pretty much braindead experiment I was performing to practise playing with both the hands independently, trying out arpeggios, etc. The only part where I spent a little effort was the 4th track which kicks in at 0:30. The 4th track contains arpeggios from nylon guitar. I wanted it to play hide and seek with the main track and sound happy. I'm pretty satisfied with the result of this little effort.

The 2nd and 5th track is missing from the sheet music because I couldn't find a way to add a track for harp in LilyPond and I don't know the music notation for percussion kit. I'm not very good at music notation. So, there may be notation errors in the sheet music but it is good enough to remind me the notes of this piece in case I ever forget them.

In case you have any feedback, suggestions and tips that would help me to improve my musical skills, please feel free to post a comment.

This is a poem I wrote during my childhood days for a girl who used to tie me Rakhi on every Rakshabandhan. I was glad that this made her happy.

PROMISE OF A BROTHER

Night after night the moon alters its phase,
Month after month to be full it swells
To shower on us its milky rays
But in none of them delight dwells
As much as it does on that full-moon night,
When to me the moon is utterly bright,
When the silver disc illumes the earth gleefully
And ushers in Rakshabandhan with its ecstacy.

This is the day for which every year I wait
When you are there with the lovely thread bracelet
To tie on my wrist exquisite love's emblem
And I accord you toffees with love amidst them.

I wish these moments pause forever
And stay with me with the fragrance,
But doesn't relent the time austere
And soon it bereaves me of their presence.

Then comes again the annoying mundane
With those moments treasured in my heart, I live;
And of course with a duty to promptly lend
You a helping hand whenever you need
So here is a promise I make, my dear sister;
That whenever you feel you need to count on me,
Just turn behind and I'll be right there
To succour you whatever the plight may be.

Here's a puzzle I came up with when a false fire alarm went off in our office. In the following dialogue, R is my colleague and S is me.

S: Hey! There's a fire alarm. Run!
R: You run.
S: No, I am a true programmer. My job is to keep programming even at the
face of death.
R: Really?
S: Yes, just like … Oh, wait! Let me ask this as a puzzle. There
is at least one profession in which you can not quit your job even if
there is fire. The job requires you to keep working even though there is
fire and you as well as your entire team is going to die.
R: Firefighting?
S: No, firefighters may have the option to exit a building on fire if
the fire poses danger to their lives. I'm talking of a profession where
there is no such option.
R: Hmm.

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