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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APPLAUSE ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS 2022 WITH A HAT-TRICK OF SHOW RELEASES IN JANUARY
Applause Entertainment has kick-started 2022 on a high note, with two back-to-back show releases. The Sameer Nair-headed content studio of the Aditya Birla Group started the year with a bang with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ streaming on Zee5 and ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ streaming on Voot Select.
Now, Applause Entertainment is all set to score a hat-trick with Mohit Raina-fronted ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’, streaming on MX Player.
Interestingly, Bhaukaal Season 2 is Applause Entertainment’s 30th release since its inception, it is 10th offering on MX Player and also its seventh show to boast of a second season. The first season of ‘Bhaukaal’, which was released in early 2020, became a huge hit for its hard-hitting storyline based on a real-life super cop, Navniet Sekera. The second season of the show revolves around how this police officer in Muzaffarnagar, UP, busts the Dedha gang and brings law, order and peace to the region.
What makes this feat even more commendable is that Team Applause is constantly exploring different genres with every show. ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ produced in association with Emmay Entertainment, streaming on Zee5, is a story of a royal dysfunctional family featuring an ensemble of fantastic actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Karma, Anya Singh and Raghubir Yadav. The political satire, ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ produced in association with Firstaction Studios and Danish Sait, streaming on Voot Select, takes ahead the 2018 film with a new story running into 10 episodes. ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’ produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Baweja Studios Production has been eagerly awaited by the audience ever since it was announced post the release of its first outing.
DEEPIKA, ANANYA & SIDDHANT STARRER ‘GEHRAIYAAN’ TRAILER OUT NOW
MUMBAI: Directed by Shakun Batra, Amazon Original Movie ‘Gehraiyaan’ stars Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa as leads along with Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapur in pivotal roles.
Gehraiyaan will have its World Premiere on Amazon Prime Video across more than 240 countries and territories on 11 February 2022. Directed by the very talented Shakun Batra, Gehraiyaan is a relationship drama that looks beneath the surface of complex modern relationships, adulting, letting go and taking control of ones’ life path.
Speaking about the film, Deepika Padukone said, “Alisha, my character in Gehraiyaan is extremely close to my heart and certainly one of the most challenging characters I have portrayed on screen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role that was fun and challenging at the same time.”
Ananya Panday said, “Shooting with the wonderful cast and crew of Gehraiyaan has been an absolute high point for me and I never wanted the shoot to end! There’s a certain realness to the story of Gehraiyaan; while the film dives into the complexity of relationships it also talks about the thrill of being in love, of discovering oneself and charting ones’ path.”
ALIA BHATT CLOTHES THE NEEDY
NEW DELHI: Pretty Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt, who will soon be seen in S Rajamouli’s magnum opus ‘RRR’, is now giving back to the community through a new initiative. She launched Ed-a-Mamma, a conscious clothing brand for kids, a while back and has now kicked off a ‘Buy1Give1’ initiative, which will provide basic clothing for underprivileged children. For this initiative, every purchase made on their website will be matched with a garment donated by Ed-a-Mamma for a child in need. Ed-a-Mamma has partnered with Goonj – a renowned NGO working across India that focuses on clothing as a basic, yet unaddressed need. Alia Bhatt said, “With Ed-a-Mamma, I set out to create a world that nurtures in children, a love of nature. Knowing full well that they will look after what they love. The Buy1Get1 initiative will be used to gift garments to children in need and we hope to make kids understand the joy of sharing with people who are less fortunate.”So while the actress’ career is flying high and she is busy with numerous films, Alia has not forgotten those in need.
SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME
MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.
The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.
On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline.
SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST
MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.
That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.”
SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG
MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.
Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.
“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.
He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.
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