5 things to begin your gardening journey

One thing that constantly inspired me and my music in the entire lockdown was my tiny home garden. I share my garden updates with my Instagram family and their constant motivation and queries inspired me to jot these points down. Having a few house plants will give you abundant happiness and joy along with a few health benefits too. Whether you are an avid gardener or an aspiring one, these few essential things will enrich your gardening journey.

  1. Potting soil

The basic ingredient to healthy plants is good quality potting soil. You can get some from local nurseries or have a go at this tried and tested one delivered at your home

2. Vermicompost

Adding this vermi-compost has shown good results with our flowering plants and the overall health of all house plants.

3. Manure

It is funny how we circle back to basics. Even though we have made huge cities and changed the essence of our lifestyle with technology, the basics like : strength of manure for plants, takes us back to the days when we knew these marvels without any pre-existing technologies. We try and put this manure in our plants at least once every 20 days

4. Grow bags

These lightweight grow bags are a win for beginning your gardening journey and are best suitable for apartments with balconies.

5. Veggie seeds

Start your home vegetable garden with this 10 variety of vegetable seeds. We have grown a couple easy ones at home and it is an amazingly fulfilling experience.

It is often said that we might think we are nurturing our garden but of course it is the garden that is nurturing us! Hope this brings you on-board the tiny home garden express and looking forward to hearing your amazing journey in it! Please do share this with anyone who wants to kick-start their gardening journey!

Summary : Just investing in these 5 things can land you in a beautiful tiny home garden.

Vermicompost 5 kg https://amzn.to/33I8zaP
Cow manure 2 kg https://amzn.to/3jKNfa6
4 Grow bags 15 inches : https://amzn.to/3lqw7XM
Potting Soil 5 kg : https://amzn.to/34GJhsL
Veggies Seeds 10 varieties : https://amzn.to/3jK4WXz

The links mentioned in the blog are affiliate links and if you decide to buy them, I get a small commission which helps me to keep my studio, work and music running! So please do consider buying through the mentioned links. It does not change the price for you. Thanks!

Music and its immortality

I am writing this post with a heavy heart as we lost one of our dear music composers today. Narendra Bhide a myriad of musical elements. He was a composer, arranger, musician, sound engineer, entrepreneur and most importantly, a true passionate music lover. He was known for his critical musical tastes and classy musical works. In the crowd of social media posts, his always stood out because they were infallibly straightforward, witty, yet meaningful and came right through his heart.

In all the condolences that I kept on reading, I was stunned to read this one sentiment : your music will always stay with us. That got me thinking on music and its immorality. Humanity has dealt with the loss of so many popular personalities over the ages. But today’s episode got me thinking. When a musician creates a melody or a beat and pours his heart in it while doing so, can it not be felt while listening to it again and again ? This must of course fulfil the prerequisite condition of establishing a bridge of emotional connect with the listener. When I listen to Micheal Jackson or RD Burman today, it is hard to believe that this person is physically not around anymore. It is almost like their music made them immortal. Coincidently today, I was also listening to the story of Alton Lomax who was an ethnomusicologist who spend almost 70 years collecting, archiving and conducting field recordings of thee 20th century music. While listening to a folk concert in the 1930’s which he had recorded (his collection has a physical recordings of all his work), it feels almost impossible to believe that this music was so old. It felt so alive and fresh as if someone was playing next door to me! That is the beauty of timeless music I guess!

Thought of penning down this flow of emotions that I had today. Sharing this recent power booster that I received from Narendra dada over my rendition of his composition : Avantika Title Song

Adding quality to your audio & video

I get go many queries about people wanting to start recording, making videos, and creating content but very few of them actually cross that ‘first step’ Even if we live in a ocean of information, sometimes the tiny content which you produce can positively affect someone’s life and maybe that is an amazing motivation to start.

Beginning is always the hardest step. Here are a few easy ways to begin creating content!

There is no doubt that social media is one of the most effective means to showcase your work, and even if you don’t want to get into it full-time, the quality of content that you post speaks a lot about you. Be it work-video calls which are LIVE or it is recording of content, quality of audio and video is important. For example, if you are recording a video from your phone camera, even if the content you are showing is fabulous, but the video is shaky, it will not give the viewer a good experience and might hamper your audience engagement. Using a tripod when recording videos can be an easiest way to improve your output quality.

I recommend using this light weight yet sturdy tripod (which I personally use and love) and you can get it here : https://amzn.to/33DZYpt

If you want to shoot videos outdoors too and want some flexibility on that front, try using this gorilla tripod which will work hard for you. This is a reasonable product and will work wonders on the stability than hand=held videos : https://amzn.to/2GtbXha

If you plan to talk in your videos and want clear voice you can try a base level lapel microphone to make the output sound better. I have personally used this : https://amzn.to/3nudnsg

This post is just to facilitate the process of motivation for you to start creating the content you want and not look back! Watch our for this space as I intend to share much more information about content creation process here!

This was a simple post to share my experiences of using digital media. If you would like to share any insights on this, please share it in the comments! Would love to know more! If you need a customised solution for digital media for any of your projects, I would be happy to help here : https://saeetembhekar.com/digital-media-services/

The links mentioned in the blog are affiliate links and if you decide to buy them, I get a small commission which helps me to keep this website running! So please buy through the mentioned links. You also might end up getting it cheaper. Thanks in advance and good luck!

What is a hashtag

What is a hashtag and how to use it effectively for your work

If you are even 10% active on social media, you have definitely heard the term ‘hashtag’. Hashtags gained momentum on the social media platform of twitter where it was used for trending topics but gradually won over instagram and now facebook, linked-in too! I decided to write about this because I see a lot of ‘interesting’ usage of hashtags everyday and my OCD about proper titles, descriptions and social media elements poke me when I read them!

What is a hashtag?

In simple words, hashtag is text joint with the symbol of # and is used on the social media platforms to bring posts of similar topics under one heading. It is a ‘link’ which gathers various posts posted by different people who has used that specific hashtag under a giant umbrella. So when you want to make your post discoverable under a common interest you can use a trending hashtag for that topic. For example, when I release a new song in the marathi language, I can use the hashtag #newmarathisong to make bring it under the umbrella of collection of new marathi songs.

Things to keep in mind when using a hashtag

  1. A hashtag does not work with spaces. The text has to be joint with the symbol of #. So the correct hashtag is #newmarathisong and not # new marathi song.
  2. Hashtags are not case sensitive. But if your hashtag is not a single word, you can use capital letters to begin a new word and that would make it more readable. For example : #NewMarathiSong.
  3. Spellings are very important for hashtags. It is not about the correct or wrong spelling but about using the EXACT spelling of the hashtag you want to be under. Even if you want to say the same thing but there is one letter missing, your post won’t be included in the hashtag
  4. There is no rule as to who should use a hashtag, but if the purpose of it is to be fully understood, it is a discovery tool – if you are writing a post and hunting tool – if you are looking for content on a specific topic. So in this ideal scenario, #happy birthday #dear # best friend or something similar is of very little significance to the actual concept of hashtag.
  5. Here is how you can use hashtag for work . Try and search for trending hashtags in your area of work and use them in your relevant posts. If you want to learn more about a specific topic related to your work, search that hashtag in the search window of your social media platform and you will have a bundle of information on the same.
  6. You can create your own unique hashtag and use it every time you post to create your identity and bring all your posts under that umbrella. For example, all my travel blog posts are under #smtravelstories. This is unique hashtag to places we have visited and is not a discovery-based hashtag for travel industry.
  7. Avoid hashtag crowds. Too many hashtags make it difficult to read the post and can also seem annoying, There isn’t any rule as how many hashtags one must use, but we can try and keep it reasonable.

This was a simple post to share my experiences of using digital media. If you would like to share any insights on this, please share it in the comments! Would love to know more! If you need a customised solution for digital media for any of your projects, I would be happy to help here : https://saeetembhekar.com/digital-media-services/

What really is the New Normal in Live Concerts

Though I have been on the microphone side of the stage for most instances, I have also enjoyed being on the speaker side to listen to my favourite artists live. The concept of Live Music is amongst the most affected by the current pandemic. Till the time it is safe to gather together, it wouldn’t be safe to conduct live concerts. It has been a rough time for all the artist fraternity; trying to figure out ways and means to continue doing their work.

Creativity is kind of an inbuilt plugin in the performing arts and that has led to explore online platforms to be able to present art in the new normal. All of us in the performing arts sector are striving towards implementing the best listening and viewing experience for our audience through online platforms. I can totally understand that all of us will be missing the overall feel and ambience of attending a live concert (not to forget the vada-pav in the intermission) Nevertheless, I can assure you ONE thing certainly as a representative of the artist community : the urge with which we perform remains the same, rather might be a tad more, to be able to reach you through the gigabytes of bandwidths.

I would like to conclude with a tiny request to all art and music lovers. Please try out this new perspective of attending live concerts in this ‘new normal’ and lets spread music, love and happiness in these difficult times.

If you decide to be a part of my live concerts, I would be thrilled to meet you on the other side of the screen. Please have a look at the latest event happening here : https://saeetembhekar.com/events/

Long drives & Music

We are currently living in a virtual world where things like long drives seem like a melancholy. Long drive is a concept very close to my heart. Me and Manish (my better half) love to travel and our love for roads and serene drives is endless! One thing which is constant for any drive is : Music

Earlier we used to have a new playlist for each new trip but later when we realised that almost 90% of the songs remain constant, we just started adding to our existing one! Some songs have that inbuilt vibe in them which take you on a trip even when you are at home. Listening to such songs when on a long drive is like adding a nutri-boost to your adrenaline and travel spirit.

I have a very peculiar memory of long drives and music. We were once driving from Pune to Nagpur when I was in school and Dad had asked me to take care of cassettes to carry for the journey. I goofed up and we were left with just one, which was already in the car : Deewana by Sonu Nigam. We listened to the same cassette over and over again for those 12 hours, to and fro. Now, whenever I listen to any fraction of a song from that album, I am suddenly taken back to that specific road trip.

Similarly, when we were touring Ladakh, our guide had this peculiar Ladakhi prayer music in his car. It was like the entire natural beauty was translated into that music. I have always been excited about music that soothes long drives and finally came up to making one such song which I will definitely add to my long drive list – not because its my song, but because of the vibes it carries.

Do you have any specific memory about long drives and music ? Would love to hear in the comments below!

Keep it green, double your happiness

I am of the humble opinion that, in the already existing set of chaos in our external environment, we can try and minimise the problems caused by us! There are a million ways to do it and I am always inspired by so many people sharing amazing ideas to do so!

The festival season has begun in India and the Ganesh festival marks an important one. At such times, I often remember powerful words from a very special song :

देव देव्हाऱ्यात नाही, देव नाही देवालयी
देव चोरुन नेईल, अशी कोणाची पुण्याई?

Idol worshipping is a topic for another day but today I would just like to share a small snippet of how we can double our festive happiness. Last year me and my husband made a Ganesh Idol out of our garden soil. We had sowed tomato seeds and till date we eat fresh tomatoes from the same plant! Watch the step by step process here : https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18066855178084271/

Belief is a strong virtue and no-one is asking to step away from it. The only thing matters is how you practice your belief. If buying idols made from non bio-degradable materials makes some-one’s belief work, we are no-one to judge that some-one, but the planet will surely judge him/her, so good luck with that!

I know that sustainability is an ocean of actions and may be we can’t just achieve it with small drops all of a sudden. But just by taking small actions, we can surely add up to the level!

Why Minimalistic Songs?

I came across this concept of minimalism a couple of years ago. It has many aspects to it and from understanding it to living a life on the principle of minimalism, there are a lot of steps involved. I feel that I have at least crossed the first stage, that is to accept the fact mentally that we own, use and deal with a lot of clutter in our life, physically and mentally! Minimalism is a way to take out the chaos and highlight what really matters!

I have become a fan of minimalistic photography and have tried my hands on a few ideas which you can check on my instagram! I am following this lifestyle closely and would love to share all my experiences and thoughts on the same here on my blog platform!

When I started to work on ideas on 2020, I had a little dream to venture into independent music and I am so glad to have started the journey with my single, Saya Tujhi and my Album of 4 songs : Antar. Along with this, I had a plan of ‘minimalistic mondays’ : to present songs close to my heart in a minimalistic way. I admire the lyrics and melody of a few specific songs and I feel I could present them with the use of minimal instruments and also try my hands on programming! So all this gave rise to ‘minimalistic songs’ I also try to make the videos of these songs simple to watch and to go with the theme of minimalism.

If this concept excites you, welcome to the minimalistic club! Please have a look at a few minimalistic songs that I am sure you will enjoy.

Tu bin bataye Minimalistic Song by Saee

Avantika Title Song Minimalistic Version by Saee

Tu hi Re Minimalistic Song by Saee

Here is the link to the entire playlist

If you have any ideas or any requests for minimalistic versions of any songs, please feel free to comment below 🙂

Share love and music, take care and stay safe!

I heard it on a cassette :’)

Mom had been behind me to clean my old closet and I always successfully found out excuses. Today when I was out of all sensible excuses, she finally won and I dragged myself towards the closet. I opened the drawer beneath and saw an array of neatly arranged cassettes with a layer of dust on it. Before I knew anything, I was lost in time while taking each one out and looking back with the memory associated with each one. That feeling when I pulled out my favourite one from the cover and hurriedly put it in the cassette player and pressed the “Play” button !!!!! It was heaven ! The two small drops couldn’t stay inside my eyes. It must have been 10 or 15 years since I last did that. It was like meeting an old buddy. And hugging that buddy heart to heart. I experienced the definition of nostalgia in the true sense. Now I know how mom-dad must have felt when they heard the disc on grandpa’s gramophone the last time.

The cassettes were an integral part of our childhood. Since I was a baby, mom would put the cassettes on and I would lie near the player listening – is what I am told. We also had some blank cassettes and a double player where we could record the music from one cassette to other. I remember one of our playtime was to put the chairs in line and assume we are in a train while listening to our favourite music on the tape-recorder. 

The cassettes spelled out our growing up! Beautiful music, meaningful lyrics and the innocence still intact. The impact is so strong on the mind that I still remember each and every bar of the music and each and every word of the songs I heard back then. May be it was because there were less distractions. I didn’t have the urge to put a status “Listening to” every-time a song gave me goosebumps. May be the music was that intense. Listening to cassettes on the tape-recorder was an “activity” that we did with friends in the afternoon during holidays. The tape-recorder was situated high up on the shelf, so me and my brother had to climb up on a stool, then a chair and then the table below the shelf to reach the tape-recorder. Initially we could hardly reach the buttons, then as we grew, we could even change the sides of the cassette. Changing the sides, rewinding and forwarding, waiting to hear the “click” sound automatically when one side of the cassette was over, writing the name of the recorded song on the blank slip of the blank cassette; those were the moments of small joy. Using the pencil to move the cassette roll to remove the stuck part was like the cleverest thing to do and gave a sense of pride.

~ via the official happiness is account. Credits : http://lastlemon.com/happiness/

Buying a new cassette was a rare episode. We were promised a new one when we got good marks in an exam or did a good job. So that was a limited amount of cassettes to be bought. So we had to make a choice and only the most favourite ones landed home. We would then exchange them with cousins and friends to listen to some of the favourite songs for a few days. The double recorder was also a saviour as we could record multiple songs over and over on the same blank cassette. My cousin had bought the cassette of Escape – by Enrique. It was an even more expensive one, being English Music. While I recorded 2 songs from that album onto my blank cassette, I also remember making a photocopy of the inlay card 😉

The effort required to listen to music was more and maybe hence was the dedication towards it. I still remember on a long road trip we somehow had forgotten to take our cassettes with us and there was just “Sonu Nigam’s Deewana” in the car and we heard the same one in and out for 3 whole days. Now whenever I listen to any of the songs form the album, I remember each and every moment of that road-trip. The portable tape-recorders were a boon. And how funny those songs sounded when the battery was low. That was a reason for our jokes and laughs. I miss that innocence. Please take me back in time, Please !!  I so want to go back.

Thank you for making our childhood super-awesome, dear Cassettes. And also the real quality music that they made back then. We owe you our love for music and the smallest bits of happiness. 
If ever any kid listens to an old song and asks me, have you heard it? I will reply, “Yes dear ! I heard it on a cassette” :’)

Kuch To Log Kahenge

The biggest factor that comes in the way of normal comfortable living of humans who care about almost anything and everything is this awful thought : Log kya kahenge? (what will people say)
Whenever I hear dialogues related to this thought, the first things that comes to my mind are, who are these log ? The crowds that we see on the roads? The people in your neighbourhood? Your relatives? Your friends? Right from what to wear, how you look, what you should study, whom you should marry till if and when you should have kids, all decisions of certain humans can be based on this monster thought:  log kya kahenge! 
The discomfort by basing the decisions on what people would think is the unwanted chain you are tying yourself with. If you are not wearing comfortable cotton shorts in the hot summers, because ‘log kya kahenge’ it is high time you understand that torturing yourself with heat and sweat will not stop the same people from saying ‘Oh look how sweaty he/she is, how awful he/she smells!’ Aspects of your life like wearing comfortable clothing, eating what you like, enjoying with friends and family, taking a vacation, choosing the profession you love and many other personal decisions impact the whole of you to a level no one understands but you! Living up to your choices is the best you can do for yourself. 
Like some old superstitions and meaningless traditions, log kya kahenge is a deep rooted thought that has a strong grip over our society. We have outgrown many such unwanted thoughts and it is time to say goodbye to living for what people would think about you! And most importantly, stop being one amongst those log! Living life or fulfilling the purpose that you are on this earth for, cannot be accomplished without your well being. Doing something that makes you happy or comfortable is NOT a crime. More than half dreams die in the process of thinking log kya kahenge.  People will talk. Whether you are a failure or a success. Whether you are married or single. Whether you have kids or no. But YOU are the only one who is going to face the outcome of any of the decisions that you take. 
Whether you are the president of any country, Aishwarya Rai, Batman or a simple middle class person, working 9-5 : PEOPLE WILL TALK! So why bother? Isn’t it simple to follow your heart and lead a happy life? 
Such visionary lyrics by Anand Bakshi ji in the evergreen song from Amar Prem, 
कुछ रीत जगत कि ऎसी है , हार एक सुभह कि शाम हुई तू कौन है, तेरा नाम है क्या, सीता भी यहां बदनाम हुई, फिर संसार कि बातों से, भीग  गये तेरे नैना ! कुछ तो लॉग कहेंगे , लोगों का काम है कहनाछोडो बेकार की  बातों   में काहीं बीत ना जाये रैना …