Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sangeeth Saritha, Radio Programme, Again!

As I have already written earlier, I am a fan of radio since my childhood days.  We grew up hearing the radio throughout the day, well... until TV took sometime of the day, later.  Even then, the mornings are exclusively for Vividhbharathi programmes.  I don't listen to FM radio because the presenters shout all the time and too many advertisements.  Vividhbharathi gets minimum advertisements and many are govt. sponsored like 'gobar gas', 'road safety', PM Modi's 'swachch bharath' and other reforms (this is the recent addition!).   Other programmes will be heard randomly without much attention but the 7.30 to 7.45 am programme is THE Sangeeth Saritha.  I love to listen the discussions on Hindustani/Carnatic music...many maestros discuss the raagas, how they are used in film music, different types of taals and many more.  Just to influence ordinary people who are not serious classical music lovers (I am not a serious classical music fan...I love all sorts of music!) mostly they include one film song based on the raaga in discussion.  I have written a couple of posts about this programme earlier and here, they are!    And here!

Normally, in this programme, one series about some subject goes for 10-20 episodes.  Now, I am hearing for the past few days, a programme about different music directors, the way they use particular instruments for songs, some famous classical singers who sang for a couple of movies....etc. etc.  The VIP here now, is Pt.Nithyanand Haldipur who is a famous bansuri/flute player.

Today, he was discussing about Shiv-Hari's (famous santoor player, Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharma and famous flute player, Pt.Hariprasad Chaurasia) contribution to film music. Today, he was talking about one song from film, 'Tere Mere Sapne'
and the song is given below.  He said, 'In those days, RD Burman, SD Burman's son was becoming famous and was very busy recording songs.  SD Burman got the above movie for directing music.  Singers, Latha Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar were fixed. He had shortage of orchestra players.  At that time he came across Shiv-Hari and got an idea.  He asked just the both of them to play for one song.  With just two instruments, Santoor and flute, he finished recording one beautiful song.  I hear just the tabla sound apart from the two instruments in the background.  My favourite song.  Really, SD Burman is a genius.  Now, hear the song.  The lyrics by Neeraj is superb.

Kishore, Latha's voice, Dev Anand, Mumtaz's acting made the song a hit.  The movie also was a hit.  My parents were not happy about us, young girls, watching this movie (adult theme it was, in those days (1971, I think!).  I and my sister went with my cousins to Rajkumari theatre (a complex is there now!) at Pondy Bazaar, Chennai, to watch this movie.  All the songs were good.  A movie was always a hit in those days, if the songs were good!

I had written about SD Burman and RD Burman's music here!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Our Favourite Musical Programme Now...Voice India Kids!


Our week end prime time is exclusively for watching &TV programme, 'Voice India Kids'.  The finale is nearing, so all the kids are in perfect form.  This show has become famous for the talented kids and the most talented coaches and judges, Neeti Mohan, playback singer, Shekar Ravjiani, Singer cum music director, Shaan, Singer.  They are coaching the kids very well, we could see the improvement in the kids' singing, every week. 

Remember, Shreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh, Ganjawala, Anwesha and many other singers are products of reality shows. 

 I love this girl, Shreya Basu's voice! All are very very young...

This girl Priyanshi Srivastava is a strong contender!

Saanvi Shetty is singing here! What a voice!

Wonder who will win....3-4 voices are very good.   Sometimes the children who come 3rd or 4th in the reality shows, become famous later, with good training and dedication.  Shreya Ghoshal participated in Saregama as a small girl, look, where she is now!  Musical reality shows started then.  Sonu Nigam was young and was the favourite anchor of many households, including ours! I had done a post on this subject, long back, here, it is!


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Lata Mangeshkar, Who Was/is My Favourite Singer Since My Childhood!

Singer Lata Mangeshkar
The Great Lata Mangeshkar!

Where shall I start? I had been hearing Lata Mangeshkar's songs from my childhood via radio.  It was 'Aap ki farmaayish' during daytime in those days and even now, though we hear her in 'bhoole bisre geeth' in the morning too, where very old songs are played.  She is 87 years old now!

From my mother, grand mother to my sons, love her songs/voice! My son loves her old songs, though!

Wikipedia gives more details about her here! I think I will write mainly about the precious cassette we had during the late 1970's!

It was the Cassette season then! No CDs.  We used to hear via radio for many years until then.  Then my husband brought home a car stereo.  It was like small box with knobs and a slot for inserting cassettes.  My elder son was around 2 years old.  He grew up hearing music even when he was in my womb! I am crazy about music...mainly film music, a little doze of bhajans too! I used to play the radio, mainly Vividhbharati from early morning bhajan programmes to night's 'aap ki farmaayish'.  You must be knowing that I am a great fan of 'Sangeet Sarita' programme which can be heard even today from 7.30 to 7.45 am.  The result, my sons also became very familiar with music.  (I think this programme has influenced us to appreciate all sorts of music from ghazals to western classical music).  We used to have many cassettes after the tape recorder came home.  One was 'Lata Mangeshkar's 1971 Live concert  at London's Albert Hall'. It was played 3-4 times a day, everyday! I remember my son mimicking the English words which can be heard in the beginning of the cassette! Dilip Kumar speaks in chaste Urdu! I can't follow many words in his speech even now! But it sounds good in his voice! The cassette became useless after it got cut 2-3 times (I had pasted them again and again!).  I couldn't get a new one later.  I had been searching for it for many years now.  Thank god, I got it now, thanks to 'you tube' and Mega Ayub! Her voice during this concert was at its peak! Soft and clear! Each and every song covered here, is a gem!

Here is some notes about this event at the famous 'Albert Hall' in London:

The 103-year-old Royal Albert Hall in London -- Britain's most prestigious auditorium with a seating capacity for 6000 -- witnessed a musical phenomenon unequalled in its hallowed history when the inimitable Lata Mangeshkar made her international "debut" on its august stage with a series of three concerts in the aid of the Nehru Memorial Project in Britain in March 1974.

Seldom, indeed, has the hall been booked for a single recitalist three times in one week. What, however, made the event equally unique was to have the hall packed by an oriental artiste for all three nights -- and something more. For even after the intermission on the final night (March 14), there still were crowds willing to pay double the highest price for admission to the hall!

Inside the hall, Lata, the cynosure of all eyes, received a big ovation as Dilip Kumar -- one of India's top-notch film stars, who was also specially invited by The India League, sponsors of the Memorial Project -- introduced her at every concert as his "little sister" and as "a singer with the voice that defied description and definition".

Tribute after tribute, as also bouquets galore, came to Lata from many eminent personalities of England and India.

Then amid the ideal setting that matched her many-splendoured talent, Lata sang her songs with a seraphic impulse. She could demand and obtain the spontaneous surrender of her 18000and odd listeners -- and sent them home with gladdened hearts and nostalgic memories

That is at once the singular distinction of the one and only Lata Mangeshkar..."the undisputed melody queen of India"..."the pint-sized bundle of musical genius"... "a singer with a moonlight in her throat"... "a legend in her lifetime"...                                      

I am hearing this now after many years but still can remember the song list clearly!  She is singing even now....for the current famous music director, AR Rahman!

P.S.: I heard this song just now, from the movie, 'Anand'. Goose bumps! She is unbelievably good!

Monday, September 19, 2016

PINK, I Will Never Forget This Movie!

Some movies affect you so much that even after a day you keep on thinking about it...frame by frame! 'Pink' is doing it for me! 'Piku' also did it but in a happy way! But this hurt me, enraged me first and made me happy in the end.  We are reading about girls being raped, thrown acid for saying 'NO' to their advance and some murdered for the same word 'NO'! Esp. in our capital, Delhi.

The story in this movie happens in Delhi, very aptly! Three well educated, well placed in good jobs girls are staying together in a flat, which is common nowadays.

Image result for Free images of Kulhari and Andrea in Pink movie
The three normal working girls, Meenal (Taapsee), Falak (Kirti) and Andrea (Andrea) in the film, 'Pink'!
The movie starts with three scared girls in a car returning to their flat after attending a party where Meenal happened to hit a guy with a glass bottle.  A set of four boys are going in another boy, Rajveer Singh has a bandage in his left eye and they discuss about the girls who hit him.  I was wondering what was happening..thought if I missed something because they didn't show the party scene or the hitting of the boy! But the story starts there!

They come to their flat. Starts discussing about the incident animatedly.  Then the girl, Meenal gets a phone call threatening her about the consequences.  This can happen to any working girl staying away from her family.  

We think that this is like any other story, where the boy is the nephew of a politician, so the girls will be threatened and later put to jail, raped and so on.  But 'NO'.  This is different.  Meenal was taken to jail for 'enquiry'.  But a good Samaritan, a retired lawyer, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) enters the scene.  He is weak, forgetful with a sick wife.  He stays just opposite their flat and had watched the girl jogging in the park and then picked up by the police that day.  He is inquisitive and asks the girls to show the FIR...He decides to fight their case.

Later on, the court drama starts! Since the 'affected' boy had influence, his 'loud mouth' lawyer starts abusing the three girls with very intimate questions.  Yes, this looks like a normal story .... until now! Deepak Sehgal just watches the drama for most of the time.  After Falak breaks down, he gets up and starts 'talking'.

He starts questioning the girls.  It looked like he was  not their lawyer ... well, I should not reveal more.  

Amitabh looks like a sleepy, very old person, older than his real age.  But when needed, his booming voice comes out!  Movies are going to run for him...this one included.  'Piku' will be remembered always for his comedy and this one for his 'stayed back' acting!

Taapsee as Meenal is new to me.  She is superb.  She must have been an unknown, not very famous actress until now! She will go places.  First the scared look, then hurt look, then resigned look....she is great.  And she is beautiful!

Kirthi Kulhari, also is new to me...she did very well when she exploded in the court.  

Andrea, as a North-East girl looks timid, typical hurt girl for the mere reason that she was from Meghalaya.  

I liked the way Mamta Malik acted as a typical corrupt woman police officer.  God, we can relate to her. 

The best acting apart from the main characters was by Dhritiman Chatterjee as Judge! 

The judgement was unexpected and Amitabh's verse in his booming voice and the scenes they show during credits which was also unexpected, adds to the uniqueness of the movie.  Hats off to the director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury!

We can see different types of men, the soft-natured landlord of the girls' flat (Vinod Nagpal of 'Hum Log' fame), the leering neighbour who was bent on proving that the girls were characterless, the boy's lawyer who questioned the girl in a very dirty manner without batting an eyelid (he must be having daughters, I hope!)...It is always the girls' fault, all men say.  Boys never get any advice from anywhere even from mothers. 

This is a hit movie, I know! No one will say 'NO' for that!

Beautiful lyrics with English translation is here!

The trailor of the movie is here:

Enjoy the movie without fail!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Our Treasure - III

I wonder how I forgot to continue the series 'Our Treasure' after writing Part I and Part II! friend, Shail, did a post on Thiruonam/Onam festival which triggered my memories.  I told her that we had seen a beautiful sculpture of Trivikrama/Vamana at Ellora(!).  During our road trip we had covered Ajanta, Ellora, Badami, Aihole and Pattada kallu at a stretch.  Now, it is more than one and a half years and I am getting confused! This Trivikrama sculpture is at the Badami Caves.  All the three of us, I, my husband and son were so overwhelmed when we saw the minute design of this sculpture, we spent more than half an hour, in front of this unique display of the talent of our ancestors.  Even now, as soon as I saw this, I felt breathless.  Have a look at it now and you too will feel like me!

Trivikrama, a sculpture at the Badami Caves (Karnataka). Notice the fingers, toes, the posture of King Mahabali's subjects pleading with Vishnu/Trivikrama...the Devas are on top...
Another angle!

The whole sculpture is here!
Click on the image and notice the hand holding a sword (on the right side). Such minute details can be seen here.  So many are there.
The story of the sculpture goes like this:

King Mahabali was a powerful, good King, though he was described as asura (demon).  His subjects loved and respected him.  He brought nearly the entire world under his kingdom.  He conquered Indra, the King of the Devas and occupied Indralokha.  He wanted to rule Indraloka permanently.  As per his Guru Shukracharya's advice, he conducted Ashwamedha yaga...a pooja to be the King of Indraloka.  He had done 99 yagas and had started doing the 100th, when Indra's mother Adhiti pleaded with Vishnu to help her son retain the Indraloka.  Vishnu assured her that he would do the needful.

He reincarnated as a Brahmin dwarf boy (Vaamana) and came to the Yagashala, the place where the yaga was taking place.  Seeing him, Mahabali asked him what he wanted, since it was the practice to give anything (daana, it is said) the Brahmins asked during the yaga time.  Vaamana praised Mahabali for his good and peaceful ruling of the kingdom. He reminded Mahabali that his great grandfather Prahlada was a great Vishnu devotee and also praised Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada's father, for his power and determination. 

Finally Vaamana said that he will need just three steps of land which he himself would measure.  Mahabali told him that he is not happy to give such a small amount of daana/gift and asked him to ask for more.  But Vaamana said the 3 steps of land would do.

The King's minister/adviser Shukracharya sensed that Vaamana was Vishnu and asked Mahabali to refuse giving the gift.  But Mahabali was adamant on giving the daana Vaamana had asked.  Mahabali did the sankalpa (sort of promise with tulsi water) and agreed to the 3 steps of land which Vaamana had asked. 

Next minute, the short image of Vaamana grew up in size, so huge that it was impossible to describe in words (which was called as Trivikrama Roopa).  The sculpture shows how the other images dwarfed in front of him.

His first step covered the earth, second covered the sky and when asked where to keep his third step, Mahabali offered his head.  Vishnu did that and Mahabali went into Pataal loka, below the earth.  

Before going down Vishnu gave Mahabali a boon as per the wish of his subjects, he will rule his country for one day a year as their king, every year.  This day is celebrated as Balipadya in Karnataka, Andhra and Maharashtra after Deepawali and as Thiruvonam/Vonam in Kerala (Thiruvona nakshathram/star in the Malayalam month of Chingam...Aug/Sept.).  Onam is celebrated in Kerala (for nearly 10 days, welcoming their King!) with feast, art festivals etc. 

I think I will be writing more about our treasures for a long time!

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