You may (or may not) know of Azerbaijan as the land of fire, but the Transcaucasian nation has a long and strong tradition of music. In the run up to the 2012 Eurovision Awards, an enterprising project named Bizimkiler (meaning "ours"), in the spirit of internationalism adapted popular western tunes to their traditional style of music.
The project was the brainchild of Seyfulla Mustafayev, the Vice President for Media at the ANS television channel. Explaining the idea, he told a local news outlet, “It would not have been appropriate before. Everyone knows our ethnic music but Eurovision created a new resonance. I wanted to show our guests from different parts of Europe that our victory in Eurovision (in 2011) was no accident; music has deep roots here. I also wanted to give international music to Azerbaijanis in the language of their own instruments.”
He adds, “Of course there were tricky moments – not every serious musician is comfortable with being asked to play such relatively simple music and let go of the conventions associated with their genre.”
The project had initially started out to cover “ten globally-known western tunes, plus three melodies adding a little eastern flavour.” Since then it has expanded to include covers of songs by artistes ranging from Chuck Berry to Lady Gaga.
Music is serious business in Azerbaijan. It has been influenced by Western opera and jazz but this project was met with resistance by musicians and listeners. Visionsof Azerbaijan reports, "Some musicians just could not do it and some of the local audience were disturbed to see serious musicians smiling, not to mention appearing in ‘civvies’ – casual clothes."
The views have steadily increased, however.
Traditional instruments lend themselves to a wide range of genres.
There are now covers of Lady Gaga, Nelly Furtado, Selena Gomez and other pop stars, besides the old greats like Pink Floyd and The Doors.
The ordeal of choosing the right data pack for your connectivity needs
"Your data has been activated." <10 seconds later> "You have crossed your data limit."
The internet is an amazing space where you can watch a donkey playing football while simultaneously looking up whether the mole on your elbow is a symptom of a terminal diseases. It’s as busy as it’s big with at least 2.96 billion pages in the indexed web and over 40,000 Google search queries processed every second. If you have access to this vast expanse of information through your mobile, then you’re probably on something known as a data plan.
However, data plans or data packs are a lot like prescription pills. You need to go through a barrage of perplexing words to understand what they really do. Not to mention the call from the telecom company rattling on at 400 words per minute about a life-changing data pack which is as undecipherable as reading a doctor’s handwriting on the prescription. On top of it all, most data packs expect you to solve complex algorithms on permutations to figure out which one is the right one.
Even the most sophisticated and evolved beings of the digital era would agree that choosing a data pack is a lot like getting stuck on a seesaw, struggling to find the right balance between getting the most out of your data and not paying for more than you need. Running out of data is frustrating, but losing the data that you paid for but couldn’t use during a busy month is outright infuriating. Shouldn’t your unused data be rolled over to the next month?
You peruse the advice available online on how to go about choosing the right data pack, most of which talks about understanding your own data usage. Armed with wisdom, you escape to your mind palace, Sherlock style, and review your access to Wifi zones, the size of the websites you regularly visit, the number of emails you send and receive, even the number of cat videos you watch. You somehow manage to figure out your daily usage which you multiply by 30 and there it is. All you need to do now is find the appropriate data pack.
Promptly ignoring the above calculations, you fall for unlimited data plans with an “all you can eat” buffet style data offering. You immediately text a code to the telecom company to activate this portal to unlimited video calls, selfies, instastories, snapchats – sky is the limit. You tell all your friends and colleagues about the genius new plan you have and how you’ve been watching funny sloth videos on YouTube all day, well, because you CAN!
Alas, after a day of reign, you realise that your phone has run out of data. Anyone who has suffered the terms and conditions of unlimited data packs knows the importance of reading the fine print before committing yourself to one. Some plans place limits on video quality to 480p on mobile phones, some limit the speed after reaching a mark mentioned in the fine print. Is it too much to ask for a plan that lets us binge on our favourite shows on Amazon Prime, unconditionally?
You find yourself stuck in an endless loop of estimating your data usage, figuring out how you crossed your data limit and arguing with customer care about your sky-high phone bill. Exasperated, you somehow muster up the strength to do it all over again and decide to browse for more data packs. Regrettably, the website wont load on your mobile because of expired data.
Getting the right data plan shouldn’t be this complicated a decision. Instead of getting confused by the numerous offers, focus on your usage and guide yourself out of the maze by having a clear idea of what you want. And if all you want is to enjoy unlimited calls with friends and uninterrupted Snapchat, then you know exactly what to look for in a plan.
The Airtel Postpaid at Rs. 499 comes closest to a plan that is up front with its offerings, making it easy to choose exactly what you need. One of the best-selling Airtel Postpaid plans, the Rs. 499 pack offers 40 GB 3G/4G data that you can carry forward to the next bill cycle if unused. The pack also offers a one year subscription to Amazon Prime on the Airtel TV app.
So, next time, don’t let your frustration get the better of you. Click here to find a plan that’s right for you.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel and not by the Scroll editorial team.