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On the film ‘Bidesiya in Bambai’: Mumbai as the doorstep to Poorvanchal

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Surabhi Sharma Just the day before watching this 80-minute film by Surabhi Sharma, I spent a whole afternoon in the company of two European researchers working on the theme of out migrants in Bihar. I was taken aback when the French researcher among them used the word ‘palayan’ [literally running away] for migration. She said she confronted a migrant in Jahanabad, Bihar with the question – ‘why did you do palayan’ in Hindi. My head swirled at the implied accusation but when she asked me for the right word, I discovered I could only offer a very officious and... 

Is Bihar neglecting its own artists on Bihar Diwas?

  Bihar Day: what to play? Patna: viewpoints on this may vary. Is Bihar day an occasion to celebrate and underline one’s own culture or the time to celebrate culture as such? Honouring one’s own artists is worthwhile thing in itself but then an occasion like Bihar day is also the time to bring in cultural currents for the enjoyment of the Bihari population in Bihar! Or is the right solution to present a suitable mix of both? Actor-legislator Vinay Bihari recently complained that the state government was spending exorbitant sums on Bollywood stars for Bihar Diwas ignoring regional artistes. It... 

Sunday Editorial – Between faith and music: the quarrel and the harmony!

By Ratnakar Tripathy ‘The God above': Bhimsen Joshi seems to suggest My earliest memories of religious music are rather traumatic. Way back when I must have been seven or eight years old! I remember from my summer vacations, my grandfather would shake up and wake up the whole household with his Tulsidas bhajans, sung on top of his lungs, while still lying in the bed. This went on for a whole hour. When I complained to my father, who had a decent singing voice, enhanced by a good control over his soundbox, he said lamely with an insincere look on his face ‘it’s the passion of faith behind... 

Caste war through pop songs in Punjab?

  Music: face to face! Jalandhar: When division on caste lines in Punjab especially in rural areas has been deepening, a good part of Punjabi songs have acted as a catalyst in the phenomena. After dozens of songs have been churned out eulogizing “jatt”, his superiority in the past over two decades, this also caused a reaction among dalits with several songs coming out in the last three years revolving around a lower caste – as counter assertion of caste identity. Even several Punjabi singers who consider themselves as true “servants of mother tongue Punjabi and its... 

Ghoora [घूरा] – Gangnam in Ghagha Ghat, Patna: Holy Psy!

  Ratnakar-Tripathy By Ratnakar Tripathy Ghagha Ghat is no boondocks! It is just 200 meters away from Gandhi Ghat, the most glamorized ghat of Patna, meant to be a showpiece for the new shining Bihar.  It is also where I live. I believe I am well-placed in life, musically, if not otherwise. Everyday as I sit down to work and at times when in deep slumber, I get reminded of human mortality. For Ghagha is just a 2-minute walk from Gulabi Ghat, the cremation hub for my part of the city. As the funeral processions move hurriedly along the lane, they chant ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai [Ram’s name is... 

With permission from Great Goonda singers can sing: the Sur Kshetra shame!

  When a goonda hallucinates! Mumbai: the denizens of Mumbai, whether Maharashtrians or non- Maharashtrians, it would seem are now losing the right to despise or laugh at the Bihar, UP culture of small town rowdyism. Just because your goonda is a big man and more powerful doesn’t mean, your culture is any superior or you are any better as a civil society or a political system, is what a common man from other parts of the country will now say. Indeed the bigger the goonda a society obeys, the less culture and civility it may claim for itself! ‘The great goonda has given the permission –... 

Bhikhari Thakur’s legacy goes global: thanks to singer-researcher Kalpana!

Bhikhari Thakur’s legacy goes global: thanks to singer-researcher Kalpana!   Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur: album cover He might have been forgotten in his homeland, but poet, writer and doyen of Bhojpuri theatre Bhikhari Thakur`s ballads and folk songs are garnering huge appreciation in places as far apart as Mauritius and France. A musical album titled ‘The Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur’ was released by Mauritius Prime Minister Anil Kumar Bachoo at a function in Port Louis in Mauritius earlier this month. Singer Kalpana Patowary launched the musical documentation album with nine tracks... 

Global jazz in pre-global times: and the Bihar connection!

Global jazz in pre-global times: and the Bihar connection!   By Naresh Fernandes An ad for the group! A few weeks ago, I received a message from Robert Evangelista, a retired electronics professional who now lives in the US, asking if I knew anything about Filipino bands that played in India in the 1920s. His father, Joaquin “Ivan” Evangelista, pictured above, was a violinist from Candaba town in the Pampanga province of the Philippines. He was part of a band that had arrived in India in 1924 and Evangelista stayed in the country until just past Independence. In the 1920s, a historical... 

Listen to Kalapna: Bhikhari Thakur’s songs and Bhupen Hazarika’s inspiration!

Listen to Kalapna: Bhikhari Thakur’s songs and Bhupen Hazarika’s inspiration!   Kalpana renders Bhikhari The Assamese singer and Bhojpuri icon Kalpana Patowary has just signed a whopping deal for her latest music project – “The Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur” with a London based music label – Virgin Records/EMI Music. She’s on the road to leaving her mark on the Bhojpuri music industry. Virgin Records/EMI Music will unveil the most expensive Bhojpuri Audio CD disc in Mumbai priced at 195/- MRP’ Says Kalpana, ‘there is no recorded songs on Bhikhari Thakur till date... 

The LP [Laxmikant – Pyarelal] era and its magic!

The LP  [Laxmikant – Pyarelal] era and its magic!     Pt Pyarelal now! At 71, Pyarelal Sharma has the enthusiasm of a musical newbie. He remembers his late partner without any false melodrama. “We were like one, closer than brothers, so no one can even begin to understand our bond,” he says. Not many are aware that till Laxmikant suggested that they team up as a duo in films, Pyarelal’s ambition was to become a famous musician from India in Western music abroad, like his close friend Zubin Mehta. After Laxmikant passed away in 1998, the maestro (described by Laxmikant... 
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