I once noticed a picture of a vast field full of sunflowers, each one of them unerringly looking at the sun. It was a beautiful sight, not just visually but also symbolically, for we humans are no different. If they were sentient beings, one could imagine a thousand babies looking up at their mother with complete trust and earnestness.
I came across the very touching story of Nick Vujicic, an Australian man born with no limbs. Yes, no legs and no arms. His books, ‘Life Without Limits’ and ‘The Power of Unstoppable Faith’ took the world by storm, and to this day, he continues to travel the world inspiring millions to find meaning in life. His zest for life is infectious, and he speaks at length about how each life is precious no matter the challenges thrown in front of it.
Another example I can think of is of Nightbirde, a stage 4 cancer patient with a two percent chance of survival who powered through one of the most popular American reality shows ‘America’s Got Talent’ with her powerfully soulful rendition of ‘Its Ok’. This was a song she composed to support herself through her struggle with the disease and drove her to fight hard for her life. This is yet another testament to the zest for survival and the drive to find meaning that defines us as human beings.
We as human beings are not just biological organisms. We are souls who are bound by one purpose, to find meaning and purpose through our lives on earth, and by doing so hopefully, get closer to God. All of us are in constant pursuit of that powerful meaning, and our desire to not just survive but thrive and live through our worst times including the World Wars and most recently Covid is a testament to this powerful drive. We are like those sunflowers looking up at the sun for meaning and purpose.
In classical music, as performers, we elaborate a Raaga (a melodic scale) in such a way that all creative phrases lead up to a particular climax point note in that Raaga. Most often it is ‘Sa’ or the first note of the octave. While elaborating the phrases it can seem to the listener as if all the other notes in the Raaga behave like the sunflower—always looking to go towards Sa. Almost like the hidden life meaning that humans search for lies in that climax point ‘Sa’. It is the subliminal identification with this analogy that is the reason I believe classical music, when sung or heard, has the power to move us so powerfully. The Sunflower Syndrome, as I have now begun to call it, is a powerful force that drives us.
The similarity between the pursuit of Sa in Indian classical music and the ‘Sunflower Syndrome’ doesn’t end here. The life of a classical musician behooves him or her to develop all those attributes that are conducive to finding that powerful meaning, or the ‘Sun’. Endlessly pursuing ‘Sa’ through Riyaaz practices is one example. A life of dedication, work and sacrifice towards one single goal makes a person spiritually ready to find her or his ‘Sun’. A classical musician has to live that life every day and in return is gifted with the ability to find his life’s meaning symbolically through the perfection he or she achieves through the music.
No matter what else may differentiate and divide us, we will always be spiritually united like sunflowers in our pursuit of our Sun. And this fact can become as clear as day if we can immerse ourselves in the ocean of Indian Classical Music.
The writer is a vocalist of both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music, with over three decades’ experience. She is also the founder of Music Vruksh, a venture to make classical accessible for its aesthetic and wellness benefits.
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SUNNY, AMEESHA ANNOUNCE SEQUEL OF ‘GADAR’
MUMBAI: The wait is finally over! Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel are all set to make you nostalgic with the sequel of their iconic film ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’.
On Thursday, Sunny took to Instagram and shared a teaser poster of his upcoming project with a promise of announcing “something very special” on Dussehra. Ameesha, too, shared the same poster on her social media handle. The two have not mentioned ‘Gadar’ anywhere in the post. But the poster, which has the number ‘2’ and a line ‘The Katha continues’ written on it, clearly indicated that the announcement is related to the film’s sequel only. For the unversed, 2001 released ‘Gadar’ was directed by Anil Sharma. The period-action drama was set in 1947, the time of partition in India. It mainly revolved around Tara Singh (portrayed by Sunny), a Sikh truck driver from Amritsar, who falls in love with Sakina (portrayed by Ameesha), a Muslim girl hailing from a political family in Lahore, Pakistan. Fans became super excited after seeing Sunny and Ameesha’s posts. “Gaddar 2 biggest blockbuster paji,” a social media user commented. “Gadar part 2… Wow,” another one wrote.
TAAPSEE TO VISIT STATUE OF UNITY TO PROMOTE ‘RASHMI ROCKET’
MUMBAI: We are all aware of celebrities visiting different places in the country to promote their upcoming projects. Taapsee Pannu’s upcoming film ‘Rashmi Rocket’ will be releasing on 15 October. The trailers and songs of the movie have been well received and people are waiting to watch this spectacular movie the moment it releases. Taapsee, Priyanshu, and Abhishek Banerjee will be visiting Ahmedabad in a day for special promotions and it is also reported that while promoting her movie the stunning actress may visit ‘The Statue of Unity’ in Baroda. It seems the team of ‘Rashmi Rocket’ plans to pay homage to this monument which is one of the greatest symbols of unity. ‘Rashmi Rocket’ primarily deals with the issue of gender testing in sports. The movie is based on Rashmi, an incredibly fast runner who dreams of crossing the finish line as an athlete and making a mark for her country. However, she soon understands that the race to the finish line has multiple obstacles and what seems like an athletic competition turns into her personal battle for respect, honour, and her individual identity. The central topic of the movie is gender testing in sports.
GURU AND MRUNAL’S ‘SNOW FIGHT’ ON THE SETS OF ‘AISE NA CHHORO MUJHE’
MUMBAI: Guru Randhawa and Mrunal Thakur had an amazing time on the sets of their next single ‘Aise Na Chhoro Mujhe’. While the entire team was under layers of clothes freezing in -10 degrees, both the artists were having snow fights and riding on the snowmobile all around the location. Guru and Mrunal were having such a blast on the set while filming in Kashmir, so much so that director Aashish Panda had to intervene and remind them they were shooting for the music video and had to get in their character. Both these artists, who have paired for the first time together for a music video, got along like a house on fire and completely forgot that the cameras were still rolling. Going by the camaraderie Guru and Mrunal share, we can’t wait to watch ‘Aise Na Chhoro Mujhe’ to catch their electric chemistry. Presented by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series, the love song penned by Rashmi Virag and composed by Manan Bhardwaj, is an achingly sweet romantic track that tells a modern-day Romeo-Juliet story.
RAJKUMMAR BAGS NEW FILM ‘BHEED’
MUMBAI: Rajkummar Rao is all set to work on a new film titled ‘Bheed’. The upcoming project will be directed by Anubhav Sinha. Excited about the film, Rajkummar said, “I am thrilled to be working with Anubhav Sinha. It’s a matter of great honour and privilege to collaborate with a filmmaker who has such a distinct voice. Reuniting with Bhushan Kumar feels like coming back on home turf after the success of Ludo last year.”
Anubhav is extremely happy to get Rajkummar on board. “Bheed is one of those titles that the whole team jumps at the moment you propose it. To me, casting was crucial. Raj is a very intriguing actor. He is one of the very few actors who can be so successfully transparent in a story. There always was a keen desire to work with him and I am looking forward to it. I am honoured to have a solid collaborator like Bhushan on my side who is such a strong pillar and a sturdy sounding board,” he shared.
‘Bheed’ is touted as a socio-political drama, which will be shot across Lucknow. It is expected to go on floors in November. Also, the movie is jointly produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series and Anubhav’s Benaras Mediaworks.
4 ACTORS WHO HAVE PUT INDIA ON THE GLOBAL MAP
MUMBAI: Cinema is a universal language. A film’s story and emotions speak to the audience. Holding the statement true, many B-town actors and actresses have found acceptance and love with their international ventures. While legendary actors like Irrfan and Om Puri have made a dent with their work in Hollywood, we have a younger generation of stars following their lead.
Here’s looking at four new-age actors who have put India on the global map with their acclaimed projects:
Ali Fazal became a hit in the west within no time. The actor, who is soaking in the success of ‘Mirzapur’, made a debut with ‘Fast and Furious 7’. Later, he played the lead in ‘Victoria and Abdul’ alongside Judi Dench. Ali also has ‘Death On The Nile’ in the pipeline.
Touted as a powerhouse performer, Huma Qureshi ventured into international space with Zack Snyder’s zombie action-thriller ‘Army of the Dead’. Released on Netflix, the actress made a lot of noise for her impactful performance in the same.
The young actor Priyanshu Painyuli is garnering love from all across for his phenomenal choices. The actor, who left everyone mighty impressed with his character Robin in ‘Mirzapur’, featured in American drama ‘Extraction’ in 2020. Priyanshu is gearing up for the release of ‘Rashmi Rocket’.
Actress Elnaaz Norouzi, who stunned the audience with her portrayal of a Cam-Girl in ‘Chutzpah’, will feature in an Apple TV+ and Emmy Nominated drama series ‘Tehran’ with Oscar-nominated star Glenn Close. Meanwhile, Elnaaz also has a thriller titled ‘Sangeen’ in India on the horizon.
REMEMBERING KISHORE KUMAR’S ICONIC SONGS
MUMBAI : There are a handful of celebrities in the showbiz who leave a strong imprint on everybody with their exemplary persona, and late legendary singer Kishore Kumar is one of them. Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly and fondly remembered as ‘Kishore Da’, the versatile singer died at the age of 58 on 13 October 1987 but his memories are still etched in people’s hearts. Other than being one of the most accomplished singers of his time, he was also a screenwriter, actor, composer, director, and producer.
Paying an ode to the evergreen cinema gem on his 34th death anniversary, here are a few of his iconic songs that have been remade in Bollywood films: ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Pas’ is the song from the cult classic ‘Blackmail’, it is still considered one of the best songs of Kishore Kumar’s career. It was recreated two times. ‘Dil Me Choopa Lunga’ is an evergreen song from the 70s sung by Kishore Kumar for ‘Darling Darling’. The song was re-used for ‘Wajah Tum Ho’. ‘Dil Kya Kare’ is the song that belongs to the romantic drama film ‘Julie’. The track was recreated for ‘Kaabil’. ‘Bachna Hai Haseeno’ is the iconic song sung by Kishore Kumar that belongs to the musical drama film ‘Hum Kisise Kum Naheen’. The song ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was recreated and also the title of the film.
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