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Art & Culture- Reviews

Bachchan Honoured With Kishore Kumar Award

          BHOPAL: Bollywood super-star and legend Amitabh Bachchan was awarded the prestigious Kishore Kumar award by the Madhya Pradesh Government for 2002-2003 for his unparalleled contribution to the film industry.

          Chief Minister Digvijay Singh presented the award, consisting of Rs one lakh in cash and a citation, to 60-year-old Bachchan at a colourful function held at an open air theatre in the multi-arts complex, Bharat Bhavan.

        Eight more personalities in various fields were honoured with different awards set up by the Madhya Pradesh Government. They included Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar (Music), Ghulam Mohd Sheikh (folk art) and Kumudini Lakhiya (classical dance) who got Kalidas Samman and Ustad Rashid Khan (Kumar Gandharva award).

October 30, 2002

Asha Bhonsle Sings for the Aged (Go To Top)

           LONDON: Asha Bhonsle, one of the best vocalists in the Hindi film industry, is organising her own concerts these days for the aged, betrayed and the homeless. As part of her fund-raising scheme, she sang at a concert in London recently.

          Bhonsle performed at the Royal Albert Hall here to highlight the particular needs of the elderly in her homeland. The money raised went to the mobile medicare units in India, providing a service for those who cannot travel for treatment. She says, "It's a problem now-a-days in every house. Old people don't like youngsters. I say it's a problem from the ladies because they don't want in-laws in the house."

          The combination of the latest Indian "rap" and Asha Bhonsle's timeless appeal has won her a new audience among the younger generation. But when it comes to artistic self-discipline, she sticks firmly to practices that have kept her at the top even at the age of 69. A two-hour singing session daily and avoiding anything that can damage the voice keeps her relevant and alive even in today's film world.

          "And don't drink (alcohol), don't eat sour things and smoke. They all injure your voice, so don't do that." This is her advice. Her style has embraced so many forms of Indian music. Now Asha Bhonsle wants countrymen of every generation to join together and help the aged.

October 30, 2002

Man Who Keeps Jhummar Dance Alive (Go To Top)

          CHANDIGARH: Jhummar dance, which seems to have got lost in the sands of time, is today being revived in many areas of Punjab. The land of Punjab which has given birth to such fast-paced and vigorous dances as the Bhangra, is also home to the slow and more rhythmic form of Jhummar. Though usually performed by men, it has in it the tenderness of feminine expressions involving actions of hands, arms and feet choreographed with the rhythm of the "dhol" or the drum and "bolian" or songs.       

    This group of dancers belongs to Jalalabad, a dusty town on the Indo-Pak border in Punjab. Their tutor and guide, Pokhar Singh, is one of the last surviving exponents of this traditional dance form. After partition, most Jhummar artistes went to Pakistan. Pokhar and his clan were the only ones to keep Jhummar alive here. He was quick to develop his natural talent and soon became an accomplished dancer. Today, at 86, his limbs might protest, but dancing has always been in his blood.

          Despite Bhangra's popularity, Pokhar Singh played a stellar role in not letting Jhummar disappear. While the Bhangra emerged as the dominant stage dance in post-partition Punjab because of both official patronage and constant experimentation, Pokhar's efforts have helped resurrect this soulful dance.

           Pokhar Singh's single-handed efforts have brightened the chance of reviving Jhummar. The dance is originally from Baluchistan and was spread by traders and camel drivers. With Pokhar Singh's efforts Jhummar now figures as a separate item in university level cultural competitions.

October 26, 2002

Pandit Jasraj Wins Over Ludhiana (Go To Top)

          LUDHIANA: The doyen of classical vocal music, Pandit Jasraj, recently performed before a packed and enthralled audience in Ludhiana.        

  Organisers said they were worried about how successful a classical music concert would be in Ludhiana, a city known more for its westernised pop culture that has contributed to a large number of Indian chart toppers. But Pandit Jasraj dismissed all their fears, as did the audience.

          "The Gurbani ( religious chants to the Sikh Gurus) is inspired by classical music. There are and have been a number of classical music performers from Punjab. Punjab has also given rise to the famed Patiala school of music. What more can I say?" Pandit Jasraj stated.

October 26, 2002

SPIC-MACAY Silver Jubilee (Go To Top)

          NEW DELHI: Started on October 3, Spic-Macay is celebrating the silver jubilee of its popular programme Virasat spread over to the end of November 2002. It is held in a number of Delhi University colleges, besides several institutes and public schools.

          Spic-Macay has chalked out an ambitious programme which includes classical and light music, both vocal and instrumental, classical dances, puppet theatre, workshops, yoga & meditation, calligraphy, films and talks. The films consist the well-known works of Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray.

-India Overseas
October 4, 2002

Catholic Priest Nominated for Nobel Prize(Go To Top)

          PURI: Eighty-four-year old Polish Catholic priest Father Marian Zelazek has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize early this year. Father Marian has been serving leprosy patients and their families in Puri for three decades.   

       Born in Poland on June 30, 1918, Father Marian pent five years in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. The experience, he said, made him more aware of his faith, and of the dignity of every human being. Ordained a priest in 1948, he left for India as a missionary. He spent the first 25 years in educating adivasi (tribal) people.

          Since 1975, he has been working in Puri where he has set up a leper colony. The colony, which has 600 permanent residents, offers lepers a home, food and clothes, and welcomes patients' families. Nobel prize promoters said they wanted to recognize the work of all missionaries who both work to eradicate leprosy and to promote dialogue between religions and cultures.

October 3, 2002

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