Thursday, January 24, 2008


All Well That Ends Well !

It’s a very, very long journey…we have travelled…!

Whatever consolidated here in these 3 blogs are all about Primary school level of WCM only…!

Objective was to make you prepared for High School studies…!

And then College….and Research……! …….

Still far away is the …..Real IR……! Miles to go….!

So…..its a long, long journey…we have travelled…!

Of course at an un-acceptable many of you….! I do agree.

But I feel it’s just a reconnaissance journey…just to confirm the route we wanted to travel….!

Real journey …like a Pilgrim’s determination filled quest….. to understand Nature and Life .. ….. and of course to reach God…. is awaiting you ahead !

Tough indeed….! But soul satisfying….!

What we are going to achieve with such WCM or CCM knowledge….?

Throughout this series, I was emphasizing that Objective as Understanding IR and give him his due credit…

and carry on the torch further…as much as possible….!

But as a self development subject, you can enhance and multiply your understandings and enjoyment of IR with the above limited WCM knowledge outlined there…!

You can be now free from any kind of aversions and fear to face those jargons, which are unavoidable and find place in most of the technical discussions of IR….

and rather you can confidently contribute to the IR discussions…!

In any forum…!

With the above, I conclude this series of WCM discussions here…!

Hope these were useful to you…!

Atleast this might have kindled some hopes and desires in you !

But I feel, atleast from here onwards, I want the real experts of WCM who are many and available in various forums, to take up further to reach ordinary people who are in pursuit of IR knowledge…!

I am ready to take up any kind of queries and clarifications on any of the previous topics.

Please continue your study on theoretical and practical fronts on any kind of music….as much as you can…and a lot of web based supports are available….!

Anyway my sincere thanks to one and all….Entharo..Mahaanu baavulu….!

Always remain at your IR-service

Bye All !


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Lesson - 74 : WCM Lesons - One Page Summary

WCM concepts are simple and logical…

Music like any language has letters, words, meaningful phrases and modulations and punctuation marks. It has an oral and written form.

Score sheets are used to represent music.

Clefs, Key signatures, Time signatures and musical notes of different durations are notated in such score sheets which are divided into equal time durations called Bars, to convey the music.

WCM Time pattern matrix indicates the Simple and Compound Times that can be used for the Duple, Triple and Quadruple timings.

The time pattern of a song is indicated by the time signatures.

WCM follows certain pre-determined patterns called Scales which are formed by selecting 7 notes out of the 12 keys available.

Such pattern recognition is made with the tone and semitone gaps between the adjacent notes of the pattern.

WCM has 2 main patterns called Major Scales and Minor Scales.

The Minor scales have further variations viz. Harmonic Minor Scales and Melodic Minor Scales. (When all the 12 keys are used that is called a Chromatic Scale..)

All such scales pattern can be formed on each of 12 keys, either pure white notes or the black notes called Sharps or Flats.

In Scales of Sharps, every time we jump to a perfect 5th upward from the previous tonic, to get one additional notes sharpened.

In Scales of Flats, we jump a perfect 5th backwards every time, to get a flat note added.

The sharpened or flattened notes of a scale are indicated by the Key Signatures.

The Degrees of the 7 notes of any Scale are names as Tonic, Supertonic, Mediant, Sub-Dominant, Dominant , Sub-Mediant and Leading note.

The Intervals between two notes are named as 2nd , 3rd etc…and their qualities are termed as Minor, Major, Diminished, Augmented and Perfect intervals.

Intervals are also classified as Consonant and Dissonant depending upon the acceptable nature to the ears.

When more than one notes are played simultaneously they form Chords.

A triad is a chord made of First + Third + Fifth of the notes of a scale under consideration.

Chords are classified as Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented.

Chords are also classified as Concords and Discords.

Music Ranges are classified as Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass (S-A-T-B) and a good music covers all these ranges.

Such writing of vertically and horizontally related music by using Chords is called Harmony writing of Parts.

Harmony rules define the acceptable, desirable and non-acceptable way of placing musical notes vertically and horizontally to form SATB parts.

Such a music writing which follows the Harmony rules gives an effective way of forming Orchestral Music.

Orchestral instruments are classified under four major departments called Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion.

Under each department, various instruments with specified ranges to cover each of the SATB parts are available.

Music has its own Forms like Chamber Music, Concerto, Symphony, Sonata, Chorals etc.

Various Musical terms and shorthands are used to notate music and convey the way a music has to be played.



Lesson - 73 : WCM Time Pattern Summary

Now, for the completeness of WCM lessons, I just want to briefly indicate certain points on Time aspects, which I left out earlier…!

To continue further on this topic, we may have to recall some of our earlier understandings on time durations aspect…!

The various notes of time duration we saw earlier are :

• Whole Note – 4 units of time
• Minim Note – 2 units of time
• Crotchet – 1 units of time
• Quavers– 1/2 units of time
• Semiquavers– 1/4 units of time

Just like our Currency notes and coin situations, how to handle values of in between them?

WCM is having a dotted notes concept.

Meaning….you add a dot by the right side of these notes, then the actual note value is 1.5 times more than the original one.

- A dotted Crotchet is equal to a time value of 1 x 1.5 = one and half notes..!
- A dotted Half notes is equal to a time value of 2 x 1.5 = 3 notes
- A dotted Whole note is equal to a time value of 4 x 1.5 = 6 notes

and so on…….

As we know, a Bar is a measure , which is dividing the musical time into equal values .

Thus each bar will have time durations of 4 units or 3 units or 2 units…etc…!

They are called

Quadruple Time (4 units in a bar) ,
Triple Time (3 units in a bar) and
Duple Time (2 units in a bar) respectively !

However the effective time value of the Bar depends upon the note we select as the “unit duration”.

If we select the unit duration as Crotchet, then each bar will be equivalent to 4 crotchets, or 3 crotchets or 2 crotchets etc….!

Same is the case with other notes also….!

Any notes less than unit duration are grouped together to make one unit…..for easy identifying and playing..!

When we say the time duration, this consists of musical notes as well as the musical RESTS !

Yes….the Silences in music also have same kind of musical value and all the musical gaps and silences are ABSOLUTELY MEASURED CALCULATED SILENCES….!

Thus, the Rests also have value equivalent to Whole note, Half note, Crotchet, Quavers, Semi-quavers etc etc…..!

For the sake of simplicity, the way the key signatures are written in the beginning of musical passage to identify the scale of the song, similarly, TIME SIGNATURES are written in the beginning of the Stave itself and indicates the time pattern to be followed in a song….!

It consist of two numerals….

One at bottom indicates what note is taken for the unit duration (usually crotchet).

The top one indicates how many such units are there in a Bar…!


3 / 4 means (called Three By Four) each bar consists of 3 crotchets equivalent…!

3 / 2 means (called Three By Two) …each bar consists of Two Minim equivalent…!

And so on….

If the unit of time duration is our normal, simple notes like Crotchet or Half note etc…then such time is Called “SIMPLE TIME”…..!

If the unit of time duration is the Dotted notes like Dotted Crotchet or Dotted Half note etc…then such time is Called “COMPOUND TIME”…. .!

Thus we can have Simple Duple Time or Compound Triple Time etc…etc ..!

The following Matrix gives the time signatures possible in a WCM…!

Within single unit duration, there are enormous possibilities of notes combination…!

Since in WCM, percussion instruments are also written with notes on stave… can imagine the permutation and combinations in beats and rhythms possible…!

To minutely detail it out and play as per instructions...!

Again in the Time aspects also, IR is doing a lot of fusion mixing the Time pattern of both WCM and CCM , thereby opening the flood gate of “Timeless.... Timed Classics !”

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Lesson - 72 : Forms of Music

Today let us discuss briefly about the various forms of music in WCM.

Just to have an idea what they generally mean.

Forms of Music, mean the Structural format and other Associated shapes and characters etc, which makes them distinctly different from each other.

For example, in our system of music, we have different styles like -Folk songs,
-Devotional songs,

-Songs meant for Dance,


-War related songs,

-Songs depicting stories,

-songs used for Dramas etc etc

Also each song has its own individual structures.

Some are small, others are big,

There are definite segregations like Preludes, Pallavi, Charanam etc…!

WCM also has its own classification and forms like these..!

Traditionally WCM has two major groups.
One is for voice singing and another about musical instruments..!

Both of these were getting evolved / developed with the passage of time..!

Both were supportive of each other and generally you can always see the combination of them.

But it’s a fact that dominance of instruments oriented music are relatively more in WCM.

Just to mention the few names of various forms of music as a check list :

Voice oriented music types are : Cantata, Choral / Choir Music, Aria, Opera etc.

Instruments oriented music are : Sonata, Toccata, Fugue, Concerto, Chamber music, Symphony, Rhapsody etc.

Dance oriented music are : Minuet, Gavotte, Bourree, Waltz, Scherzo, Suite etc.- Polish, Hungarian, Russian form of Dance etc.

Each of the above has their own distinct style and musical structure of its own.

And again, as we see in any field, all these forms and structures were also undergoing changes with time, so their meaning connotations will vary with time.

Again, each of the composers, has their own affinity towards certain form of music and has done a lot of works in that field.

If you identify Vivaldi with Concertos, Bach is famous for Fugue, Concertos, Toccatas, Dance music, Church music etc.

Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven are famous for their Symphonies while Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelsohn etc for their Piano music.

If Wagner is known for his Operas, Tchaikovsky is famous for the Suites and Symphonies.

In the initial form of music, Binary structures were followed which was normally in two sections A-B format.

The music in Part-A will start in a particular tonic scale and after development end in the modulated scale usually of the dominant .

In the Part-B, the modulated scale is expressed briefly and while ending return back to original scale of Part-A.

In the Ternary structure, 3 clear sections of A-B-A format is used.

While further development of music, different formats like A-B-A-C-A , A-B-A-C-A-D-A etc are slowly added.

Similarly, at the starting, Preludes are added and in the end Coda (meaning tail..) are added

and in between bridging passages are added to strengthen the theme covered in the music.

Sonata-Rondo is such form of music which covers most of these aspects.

With the evolution of various forms over the period, Symphony form also came into existent (after the period of JS Bach…)

which is normally having 3 or 4 major parts in it

and each one is set in different speed format called the movements.

And that form stayed as an ultimate form of music which is a test case for any composers, because it covers all form of music with

Dance form (like Minuet) to Sonata form etc,

with slow speed (of Adagio, Andante) to fastest piece (of Vivace Allegro etc.)

and covering all departments of Orchestra…!

So symphony composing is having its own significance in WCM !

The following is the definition / explanation given in the Oxford Dictionary of Music

“…..As the word is now generally used, it means a large-scale orchestral composition (usually in 4 movements but often in 1, 3, or 5, occasionally in 2), a sonata for orchestra, the 1st movement and others being in sonata-form.

It is reserved by composers for their most weighty and profound orchestral thoughts, but of course there are many light-hearted, witty, and entertaining symphonies.

The movements of the Classical and early Romantic symphony were usually an opening allegro, followed by a slow movement, then a minuet or scherzo, finally another allegro or rondo.

Frequently the slow movt. is placed 3rd, sometimes last……”

Such description of various musical terms you can get in this web site below:

Please have an encounter (!) with various musical terms so that you can “dash” with the Jargon throwing people in future !

The above is an excellent site for all Classical Music related matters and a lot of list of musical works, biographies of Composers etc. everything on WCM is there !

So Enjoy…!



Lesson - 71 : Musical Terms and Jargons

Today let us learn some of the musical terms which are normally associated in the Score writing & playing !

We Modulate while speaking. Similarly, musical passages also have
- the ups and down,
-its dynamic and static nature,
-smooth and rough playing,
-continuous and discontinuous playing etc etc..

Further, in the score sheet writing, for simplicity and smoothness of musical reading and playing, you may have to use a lot of shorthand and abbreviations; for denoting repetitions of passage, start and end indication etc .

All these are expressed in certain musical terms in WCM and are regularly used by allover the world.

I am listing some of them here, just for your knowledge gain !

If any Indian, claims that he knows Bengali irrespective his state of Origin, you may have to accept the fact…! Because everybody knows the National Anthem which is in Bengali Language….!

Like that…if you know WCM terms, you can claim that you know Italian language…!

The way most of the scientific and medical terms are of Greek and Latin origin, … Similarly, Almost many of the musical terms are of Italian origin….!

(one thing I learnt later, by way of listening to the radio announcer on these subjects, while pronouncing them, “c” is pronounced as ‘ch’ and ‘t’ pronounced as ‘th’ ….etc. …

Try your luck on "pronoun-ch-iasion"… )

Terms and signs are numerous…only a few common words are indicated here.

Apart from such words, a lot of musical shorthand are also written. Which will vary from each custom, each musician, different musical departments etc…!

You will come to know those, when you are encountering them in future….if you take up this music field…!



Lesson - 70 : Harmony & Orchestration

As is learnt earlier, a 4-part harmony system gives a completeness of covering the ranges of notes and present it in a pleasant way.

Such musical pieces, even if we use the small number of instruments which are capable playing of those 4 different ranges, you get a fulfilled feeling !

Such a small group of instruments playing is what usually called as “Chamber Music”…meaning music played within a chamber…!

Depending upon the number of instruments used, they are called as Trio, Quartet, Quintet, etc.

If any Single instrument type is highlighted with a support of orchestra of other musical instruments such musical pieces are called “Concertos”

If we want, we can multiply the effects by adding a lot of instruments for each of S-A-T-B parts and present it in a grand way..!

Then it becomes an “Orchestral Music”.

Such orchestral instruments usually are classified into four main groups/departments.
1. Strings - basically sound produced by a string, bow arrangement, plucking with hands – eg Violin
2. Woodwinds – made of wood - sound by air/ wind blowing, but smooth sound – eg Flute
3. Brass – made of Brass - sound by wind blowing - but heavy sound - Trumpet
4. Percussion – For rhythm purpose – Kettle Drum, Cymbals, Timpani, Xylophone, Triangle, Tubular bells etc.

Under each category, to cover each of the range of SATB, we have different instruments.

But basically they belong to same group, and appearance wise as well as working principle wise you can see some similarity between these instruments, within the same group.

Some approximate grouping of these instruments under the first three categories are tabulated below.

Since each instrument has its own higher and lower range, there may be possibility of some overlapping in the adjacent ranges also. But it gives some rough idea :

Depending upon the effects required, these instruments are used in multiples, thus a large set of instruments occupying a big concert hall etc, necessitating to arrange them in groups in specified locations…

and finally…but more importantly, requiring some body to Control the big “Circus”….who is the so called ……. “Conductor”…!

Thus the same 4 line SATB musical piece can be played with 4 instruments in Chamber type or 40 to 60 instruments in Orchestral type…!

When the instruments grow more, you can feel the necessity of re-arranging the SATB passage to suit each of the instruments and effect needed as per the composition.

Basically to determine who plays which part and with what effect…..!

Such person who re-arrange the compositions is called “Arranger”.

Unless, you have :

the feeling of each instruments ....

and the effects it can generate w.r.t. smoothness or flatness, loud or soft, .....

their inter-relation with other instruments whether such usages will nullify the other or enhance them.. etc etc…

One cannot become a good composer or arranger…for the orchestral situations….!

So….. the music creation means.... melody line Composing….., then harmonizing to get SATB…….then arranging…then conducting….and finally in our modern times one additional job is recording…!

IR is the one who does everything himself…..In such a prolific manner….day in… day out….!

Now onwards, listen to each song of IR, with the above concept of musical departments and the corresponding instruments in mind and the SATB coverage they are doing etc…!

You have enough job to do for a few births in future…!

Open up your Ears and Mind…!

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Lesson - 69 : SATB & Chords - Concepts Extended

Harmony with more than 4 notes!

We saw the chords of 3 notes (combination of first+third+fifth) only so far…

And for the four part harmony, it was told that one of these 3 notes is to be doubled to get the fourth note.

In fact, chords of 4 notes, 5 notes etc are also there….! These are formed by adding the 7th note, 9th note, 11th note etc….and are called the Chords of Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh etc!

But visualize the complications in such cases….!

As you know 9th, 11th etc are only the octave higher notes of 2nd, 4th etc…..!

You can also easily recognize such adding of additional 3rds one over another, results in intervals of 2nd , 7th, 4th etc….

-which are creating complicated dissonant intervals/ discords etc….
-which may need special treatments !

So further complicated but interesting subject…!

Another aspect to learn is the Chords for Carnatic Pattern… !

As you know Carnatic Raagam with less than 7 swarams, or complicated intervals among notes…..will be a puzzle to harmonise….

Because, if you add a chord to a Canatic melody line, some times (many-a-time) you may land up in notes which are not used in the Raagam itself….!

Additionally, a lot of discords and treatement may be necessitated…as per WCM rules…!

May be CCM have no such problems of discord concept at all , since all these intervals are accepted intervals in CCM !

So far I was trying to cover the conceptual part of Harmony only.

The real harmony learning involves mastering of chord concepts, understanding and following some hundreds of harmony rules, analysis of existing musical pieces of famous composers etc. to follow and break the rules !

IR is the Walking Universe on this subject!

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Lesson - 68 : S-A-T-B & Counterpoints !

Let us continue our discussions on S-A-T-B further…. for understanding some more conceptual matters only!

As we saw earlier, if any one part is given we can add the other parts.

We also stated that the melody line at top is what initially composed (based on the requirement, creative talent etc….all merge here…..possible also…because you have no other constraints here…at this stage) and then the other parts are added by way of harmonization technique.

So for a S-part we can add the other three parts (A-T-B) as Chords !

And similarly, if B - part is given we can add the other three (S-A-T)

Undergoing all the complications of rules and other criteria… explained earlier…… to satisfy the compatibility of notes Vertically and Horizontally.

Some examples of Harmony exerise I am adding here for your easy reference and better understanding of the topic:

Now, please imagine you have collected all notes of such A-line, T-line and B-line after harmonization …..and assign them…to individual singers or some instruments…!

Just listen to the individual player… what he produces….!

By all probability it is possible that you cannot make it head or tail about what he sings/ plays…..!

What you hear may be some musical notes going up and down …but not a song….!

While playing them collectively all SATB together, you may realise the acceptable chords progression…!

But individually each of those lines are not forming an acceptable song..!

Such a situation of S-line as melody and all others as chords (and just as chords only…) is what the common thing you can witness in most of the film songs.

But in IR’s case, you can notice that the other lines also form beautiful melodies… many of his songs….!

Such a situation of Melody supported by Melody is what usually called as “Counterpoint”.

Counter-point means… Point …against… point..!

So each note of a melody is positioned against each note of another melody… !

One may create a counterpoint melody without satisfying the Harmony conditions… .but to satisfy both Harmony and Melody requirements, is a tough job…!

You need extra-ordinary talent to create such counter points….!

In case of IR, some time it is amazing to note that each of SATB lines, each voice and every instruments sing/ play their own melody along with main melody…!

Raja’s Harmony chords and counter melody usage are of breathtaking proposition !

· Note the case of Bass guitar in the Mouna Raagam song…”Chinna Chinna”…!

· Note the bass flute (or it another voice…?) following the voice part in the charanam of Kozhi koovudhu song…”Edho… Moham….”

· Watch All the parts moving so mesmerizingly in the song “Ennulle Ennulle…” of Valli…! The harmony part of violins itself form the rhythm also in Charanam…!

· See the scintillating phrases of voice and guitar moving in opposite direction…in the Palalvi of song…”Roja Poo Aadugindradhu”…in Agni Nakshathiram

· “Sendhoora Poove” of 16-Vayadhinile another case in point….!

· “Kodai Kaala Kaatre” humming chorus and Singer …who follows whom ?

SATB is at its best and effortless when Raja is in his creative mode !


Lesson - 67 : Harmony & Chords Classifications

Getting back into Harmony…..!

Let us look into the feel….abstract…part of the perceptions of Harmony with reference to the various intervals and the chords made of such intervals…

Very briefly…just to give some hints and to introduce some terminologies…!

For many of you the words like Consonant and Dissonant, Concords and Discords etc etc. may not be new…!

…All the musical terms are part of our normal English also…! But now we are going to se them in their real contextual meaning…!

As we know, the chords are made of intervals….

Generally Intervals like Minor 3rd , Major 3rd , Minor 6th, Major 6th (other than 2nd and 7th) and Perfect Intervals of 4th and 5th are called Consonant intervals.

And the delicate intervals like all Diminished and Augmented as well as the Major & Minor intervals of 2nds and 7ths are called the Dissonant intervals.

Now the Chord formation is done with the Thirds and Fifths.

So Chords also derive the desirability and pleasantness limitations based on them and classified as Concord and Discord.

Chords formed with Consonant Intervals only are called Concords.

Concords leave a satisfactory and finished effect upon our ears.

If one or more Dissonant intervals are found in Chords then they are called the Discords.

So you can easily divide the available Four Chords viz. Major and Minor Chords as Concords and Diminished and Augmented Chords as Discords…!

As already said, Discords shall not give you the feeling that these are totally forbidden.

But what required is to treat them properly.

Meaning… you properly arrange the chords before and after them….. that is to say….you approach and quit a discord in such a fashion that you never feel the awkwardness…!

(Just eating a ginger bit alongwith Upma…..! You enjoy it in fact…).

In WCM Harmony terms, this is called "Preparation and Resolution"

Again a lot of Harmony rules are dedicated to describe such methods and guidelines for Preparation and Resolution aspects also….!

So some more jargons today….Enjoy…!

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Lesson - 66 : Harmony in Life and Music - Perceptions

Harmony is all about the relationships and their co-existance !

Relationship doesn't mean that it will only be a happy and peaceful all the times! But the aim is how to live peacefully together in-spite of the differences!

Many of us, would have seen and felt also, the warmth and affectionate relationships between a Child and its Grand-parents…..!

I could not fully decipher the chemistry behind this wonderful relationship…!

This may be due to the maturity of a grandfather or grandmother, or their longing and desire to return to the old life, ……..or…the mutual love shared without any kind of expectations from both sides….!

Reasons may be many…..!

The same way, the relationships between the child and parent is a different kind…there are some mutual expectations and duties and responsibilities to be fulfilled….!

In such situations the relationships are of love-hate kind…and nothing is stable….!

When the generation grows, one more generation is getting added …! But the relationship chemistry remain the same.

The day-to-day fighting of a mother-daughter on even trivial matters and the grand mother taking side with the grand daughter etc…these are not just cinematic…but real life situations…!

You won’t believe me…! The same kind of features I felt in my professional college life also…!

The fire-brand hatredness and frightening relationship with immediate next year seniors are different from the relationship of third year seniors…!

When they grow….third year become fifth year and first year become third year and so on….carrying on with them the relationships…!

Same is the case with countries of immediate borders and away from borders etc. etc…! Immediate neighbour is always problem !

By this time, you might have more than guessed what I am trying to convey…..!

Music is nothing different from real life…!

Such attractive chemistry of first, third and fifths is what resulting in the formation of beautiful, coherent and cohesive and pleasing Chords….!

When the relationships are at their best you get the excellent HARMONY…..!

People are said to be living in Harmony….when you maintain your individuality intact and at the same time as a group maintain a peaceful and pleasant co-existent for the benefit of everybody…!

Same is the case with musical notes..!

Harmony...whether you are in Static mode or in Dynamic....!

In reality, everything is not always pleasant……! So there are some Discords…! That doesn’t mean that you have to throw them out or eliminate…!

You have to live with them…By embracing them…! By Concealing their mis-deeds….! By appreciating their good deeds and enhancing them…!

Same are the cases with certain musical notes and intervals ! So what is required is…To TREAT them….!

And change their appearance or behaviour and bring them into mainstream….! To maintain the Harmony…!

This is what precisely the Harmony exercises do …..!

There are a lot of rules and guidelines prescribed for that….!

Again rather than the rules….the experience teaches more than anything to deal with such instances….!

That’s why IR can treat the Carnaticised songs so beautifully and still can write chords and harmonise them with excellent blending…!

That’s what Western experts are also wondering about this MAN…!

What according to them might have resulted in a "non-sensical chords and intervals" (and affecting harmony as per their rules…..for such situations) .. it never happened like that ..! ……rather the pieces look at their Best when treated by IR….!

For both the reasonable critics of WCM and CCM , it looks HAUNTING……!

[But for some crooked critics on both sides…..he is making mistakes on their respective rules….! By God’s grace he had the courage to continue his onslaught…..on and on….unmindful of what others say …… and finally triumphed …..! Now it’s easy for anybody to praise him…!]

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