Notes to Myself



स्वयं Talks – Youtube Channel

मला TED Talks ऐकायला आवडते. अर्थात खूप कमी Talks खरंच दर्जेदार असतात. बरेचदा Talks सुमार किंवा यथातथा असतात. पण एक उपक्रम म्हणून TED Talks किंवा Google Talks ही खूप चांगली कल्पना आहे.

उगाचच भव्य-दिव्य किंवा जीवनरहस्य सांगायचा आव न आणता साधे पण प्रभावी वक्ते आणि त्यांच्याशी गप्पा अशा प्रकारचे कार्यक्रम मला चांगले वाटतात.

मराठीत असं काही का नाही असं मला वाटायचं…वाटायचं अशा साठी म्हणालो की आता ABP माझा चा “कट्टा” किंवा इतर काही मराठी चॅनेल वरील कार्यक्रम, किंवा पूर्वी झालेले “ग्रेट भेट” असे कार्यक्रम Youtube वर बघता येतात. पण तरीही TED Talk सदृश काही नाहीये असं वाटायचं.

पण नुकताच मी Youtube वर “स्वयं Talks” हा चॅनेल पाहिला. त्याचा format हा TED Talks सारखाच आहे…पण मराठी मधून. २-३ Talks ऐकले ते चांगले वाटले, म्हणून इथे शेअर करावं असं वाटलं… असे अजून काही कार्यक्रम तुम्हाला माहिती असतील तर नक्की सांगा…


अशोक नायगावकर – कविता आणि बरंच काही

अशोक नायगावकर – कविता आणि बरंच काही

Digital Entertainment: NetFlix, Youtube and “Shape of You”

Yesterday I saw a post on Twitter which compared profits of Netflix with Indian Hindi Film Industry (“Bollywood”) profits.

img_9311NetFlix started the US in 1997 as a “DVD by mail” service (similar to Blockbuster) and soon switched to online streaming of content and video-on-demand. It really picked up in last 8-10 years when broadband connectivity and internet speed increased multi-fold.

NetFlix is a great example of advent of “Digital Media” and how it can disrupt multiple things. In India, Reliance Jio is already creating a bold strategy of owning/controlling every bit of the “Digital” world – right from the backbone network (Jio) to content (Reliance owns TV18 Network which own multiple TV channels and online news etc). NetFlix has started (or popularized) phenomenon of exclusive Web Series; HBO and Amazon are also investing big money in producing exclusive web contents.

All this started with the Youtube phenomenon. When Google bought Youtube for $1 billion many felt that Google had wasted money by hugely overestimating Youtube’s value. But now, $1 billion seems like peanuts considering what Youtube has done to Digital revolution and thus increasing stronghold of Google.

This is somewhat like 1991 in India, when era of satellite TV channels began. Till then we had only Doordarshan – the state-owned TV channel and only fixed hours of show time (not 24×7). Thus, we had only so many hours of contents for viewing and only few could grab a part in those shows – and hence employment in TV industry was limited. Now, the TV industry is a bigger employer than Hindi or all regional movies put together. You have so many channels producing so many TV shows which give opportunities to hundreds of actors, technicians and related jobs.

Youtube (or any Digital Media platform) has shaken up Movie, TV industries in multiple ways. Firstly, even any unknown person can create new content and share with the world and directly compete with the “formal talent”. A great example of this is the dance and singing videos posted on Youtube by the upcoming or novice artists. And this leads to some amazing creative stuff and new ideas. Take example of “Shape of You” – the popular song by Ed Sheeran (age 27!). The official Youtube video of this song has received 3.3 billion hits! But you would be stunned if you check other creative improvisations or versions of this song by novice or lesser known artists. Here are two examples I liked a lot!

First is the Carnatic Mix version of Shape of You – this is the rendition of the song molded in a form of Indian classical music i.e. Carnatic Music (music of South India). They have added some Indian classical notes and created an amazing version. Do check it!

The second video is improvisation of the above Carnatic Mix version by adding Indian classical dance to it. The video is created by the dancing duo – Poonam and Priyanka – who have posted so many dance videos on their Youtube channel. Do check their Indian Classical dance on Shape of You (Carnatic Mix) version.

And the more you dig further the more amazed you would be to see how Youtube is unleashing creativity of people. One new trend I liked a lot and follow regularly on Youtube is the “Reaction” to Bollywood movie songs by foreigners. It is such a delight to see and listen to what the foreigners think about Indian film music, and culture. Here are a few good examples.

You can see that there are many Youtube channels who regularly post “Reaction” videos and have huge fan following.

And then there are some interesting videos which I wouldn’t have been able to watch without Youtube (or such Digital platform). Here are a few:

Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo by Tanya Wells (UK)

  1. R. Rahman, “Jiya Jale” (Dil Se): Berklee Indian Ensemble (Cover)


Finding Chatur

I think many more new businesses or social enterprises would come up in coming years using the new Digital platforms – particularly in Entertainment industry and that is not a threat but a blessing for the conventional entertainment industry.

National Pi Day 2018

Today is National Pi Day (March 14th or 3/14). I had written a blog post on National Pi Day in 2009 which you can read here (the blog post was imported from my old blog and there seems to be some loss of content or distortion of metadata). I joined Twitter on 13th March 2009, just a day before the 2009 National Pi Day when I wrote that blog post. So I was hardly conversant with Twitter and hadn’t checked Pi Day messages. In fact Twitter itself was new at that time, so I doubt if there was much content around Pi Day.

Anyways, since then I have been following National Pi Day messages on Twitter every year and also on other social media.

So this year I thought of posting a collection of few interesting messages related to “Pi”.

Prof.  Arthur Benjamin is a well known Maths professor who has combined Mathematics and Magic through his program Mathemagic. All mathematicians find “Pi” intriguing and they like to explore various aspects of Pi. Prof. Arthur has composed a nice song on Pi which I recently saw on Youtube. Here is the song:


Matt Parker is another Math enthusiast who has several interesting videos on Mathametics on Youtube channel Numberphile. As we know Pi is an irrational number. It doesn’t end and goes on and on. As of now researchers have found out up to 2.7 trillion digits of Pi. That is 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of Pi!

Coming back to Mike Parker…he printed first million digits of Pi and laid down along a mile strip on airport! He also discussed interesting points about Pi. Here is the video:

A comment on this video summarized the exercise pretty well. It said “Completely unnecessary, but absolutely awesome!!

Here are some interesting messages on Pi and Pi Day.

Pi looks as “PIE” in mirror

Humorous take on Pi – the “irrational number”

Today’s Google Doodle and message on Twitter handle of Google India. There was speculation on what the text message means. One possibility could be the next Android version (version P) could be named “Pi”

Unfortunately today’s Pi Day began with the sad news of demise of great theoretical physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking. Interestingly enough Pi Day also happens to be birthday of another great theoretical physicist, Dr Albert Einstein (or as a funny tweet called him, [mc^2-instein] ). And many people on twitter talked about this coincidence.

Then as usual, there were several offers celebrating Pi Day and offering things for $3.14


Here is a funny dialog between the “imaginary” number “i” and “irrational” number “pi”

And lastly, here is a funny cartoon on Pi being the lonely number 🙂

Humor for #PiDay Pi Day.

Question: “What did the palindrome and math lover say when she was offered cake?” Answer: “I prefer pi.”

Indian genius mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan had special affinity for Ramanujan. Lot of his equations involved “Pi” in very elegant and artistic manner. Here are a couple of examples:


I have few more resources on magnificent “Pi”, but will save it for the next year…till then Happy Pi Day!


James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics Documentary

I am always in search of interesting documentaries and thought provoking lectures, videos and ideas – particularly related to topics I am passionate about. So I watched few good documentaries and video lectures related to Maths and I’ll write a separate blog about that. But while doing that I came across this documentary: “James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics Documentary (Full)“.  Do watch it to get rid of some of the misconceptions you may have about certain unscientific notions or ideas.


Balkrishna Doshi, 90, wins Pritzker prize for architecture

Renowned Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi (Age 90) who worked with Le Corbusier, supervising his designs for the city of Chandigarh, has been named as the winner of the 2018 Pritzker prize, the highest accolade in architecture. The award is considered to be Nobel Prize of Architecture! He is the first Indian to win this prestigious award.

Here is the news:

Check this article showcasing 9 iconic buildings designed by Ar. B.V. Doshi.

Architect Doshi is more than just an architect, or a designer. He is also an educator and thinker of the architect profession in many unique ways.

Do watch this 8 part documentary on Architect B.V Doshi to understand how he looks at Architecture and the world at large!



Smarter Every Day…

Winston Churchill once said: “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught”. Churchill was a Punekar (Puneite) in that sense. I too, like any genuine Pune resident, don’t like to be taught; but I am always willing to learn!


And if you really want to learn with above motto, this is the best time period to live in! A phenomenon called “YouTube” has revolutionised the concept of learning. When I say “YouTube” it mainly refers to online learning through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) offered by edX, Coursera, Khan Academy, and Indian initiatives such as NPTEL. But YouTube is more representative.

These online tools have achieved three main things:

  1. Shifted focus from Teaching to Learning – Now you can learn based on your needs and learn via various sources (Video, online class, online books, tests etc) rather than only from an assigned “teacher”
  2. Made learning a continuous process and on-demand – You can access learning resources at your own pace and convenience and as and when you need it
  3. Connected great minds and thoughts from the past directly with the present generation – I can now watch a recorded speech or talk from 1986 by Warrent Buffett to an MBA graduating class. I can watch a rare speech by Dr. Ambedkar / Mahatma Gandhi and others. I watched on YouTube a great docu-series by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and learnt much more about his ideas than fron Economics book. It wouldn’t have been possible to learn from “eminent dead” without this new medium. It has also enabled each and every person to become a tutor, a trainer, a teacher by leveraging free platforms such as YouTube.

So when Google bought YouTube in 2006 for an unbelievable and astronomical sum of $1.65 billion, everybody was flabbergasted! It defied all the conventional wisdom of valuation and generated huge debate whether Google had committed a blunder. 12 years on I think debate is well settled. YouTube is probably worth far more than $1.65 billion.

I intend to write a separate blog series on Valuation and will write in detail about YouTube valuation. However the purpose of this blog is to share an interesting series/initiative on YouTube for learning new thing everyday.

The series is aptly called “Smarter Every Day” posted on the YouTube Channel with the same name.

A guy posts small videos for each day which help us learn a new, interesting thing, idea, principle everyday and thus make us smarter each day. The video is meant as a quick learning intervention which could then be followed by in-depth learning from various resources. I liked the idea and it’s great to see how people can come up with such innovation, once a platform (like YouTube or Vimeo etc) is made available to them. Another example of this is the YouTube channel on Indian Classical Music which I blogged about few days back.

Check the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel and these videos in particular:

The Backwards Brain Cycle


The Archer’s Paradox


Slow Motion Flipping Cat Physics

Harmonium Magic

This is Shri Sachin Jambhekar, Pancham da’s (R. D. Burman’s) Harmonium (bought by Panchamda in 1960) was gifted to him by Asha Bhosle…

See the magic he creates on Harmonim…!

Good Read: Zen and The Art of Bookselling

There are many booksellers who sell books on pavements, or road-side, but very few do it passionately. I know few such people in Pune and visit their stalls often and also get good books at bargain price.

Recently one such person – Sameer featured in a Marathi newspaper. Sameer has started a WhatsApp group for book lovers and regular visitors of his stall on Lakdi Pool (I am also a member), where he shares info about good, rare books and people instantly book them. At times he conducts auction of rare books and people fiercely bid for them and often raise prices multi-fold. Here is a newspaper clipping about Sameer from Loksatta (Marathi daily).


The reason I remembered this and decided to write this blog is that I came across this wonderful article recently about a bookseller in Mumbai and thought of sharing it as part of the Good Read series.

Bablu has said some very profound things in his video! Worth watching!

I am reproducing the article from (along with link to original article and video).




Blog at

Up ↑