The past year has been tumultuous on many counts — Covid-19, climate change, and severe natural disasters were offset by the widespread fight against oppression based on race, religion and colour. These events led to a build-up of rage in dissatisfied youth, who chose to creatively express themselves through music, film and other arts. ‘Closer’, a recently-released indie track, is the perfect example of this.
In this evocative song, Asad Khan aka Khanvict, the Surrey raised Music Producer of South Asian origin, collaborated with American influencer, model and activist Seema Hari and renowned filmmaker Anjali Nayar — both of Indian origin. When the world was in quarantine, these three creative souls felt the urge to shout their message to the world — on the issues of colour and caste affecting and infecting the South Asian community living abroad.
Anjali Nayar, the Director of the music video, explains the sentiment succinctly, “this film was made in quarantine by brown people and their allies, as a creative outlet and expression of hope for a better and more equitable future, where people are not judged based on who they are, who they love and how they pray. Although this film digs deep into our South Asian heritage, there are many similarities between our caste/colourist system and the current issues in the Americas. This is our allegiance to the common cause.”
Khan specialises in sculpting soundtracks which play up the element of fantasy through the use of lush strings, deft percussion and deep bass played in harmony. He claims to be equally inspired by Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman as electronic artists like Close and Troyboi, and in this track, he weaves together indigenous lyrics with his signature style.
Anjali Nayar, the Canadian filmmaker behind the impactful video, is a former climate scientist, and founder of the TIMBY suite of environmental and human rights reporting tools. Her feature films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and Toronto’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, before being picked up by the likes of Amazon and Netflix. Additionally, she has written and filmed extensively for Nature, Reuters, the CBC News, the BBC, and NPR. The ‘Closer’ triumvirate is completed by Seema Hari, who is an engineer, model, anti-colorism and anti-caste activist, making her the ideal candidate to spread the intended message far and wide.
Released under the Snakes x Ladders label, ‘Closer’ is an interesting song using traditional Punjabi lyrics, set to Electronica and EDM. It is the kind of track that stays with the listener long after hearing it. The Punjabi lyrics are essentially comprised of ‘Boliyan’, which are couplets often sung to accompany bhangra dances. They provide a glimpse into the social and political conditions of women living in Punjab at the time they were written. Nayar states, “the interpretation of this particular boli, ‘Bhabho Kehndi Eh’, is a bit layered. When I listen to the original song, it seems that the women are singing about infidelity by their husbands. This is indicated by the usage of the word ‘saukan’ which means ‘husband’s second wife’.”
Boliyan in general and specifically those of ‘Bhabho Kehndi Eh’, were a common tie between all three creators involved in making this song. Khan explains this by stating, “we know that song and dance were creative outlets and expressions for hope, a kind of solace for the hardships our ancestral women faced. A simplistic analysis of the connection between bolis and this video is that they are both forms of creative outlets and expression in the face of these hardships. But diving in deeper, I see anger. Women are often denied anger as an emotion, instead being told to fit the mould, be compliant and complacent. But when they do express that anger, it is enough to raise fire and lead to tremendous change.”
As evident from the sentiments echoed by its creators, ‘Closer’ is an attempt to initiate a change in existing circumstances, beginning from oneself, and proceeding to the community and pre-existing frameworks that people live within. It is a fine example of the power exuded through creative mediums.
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be contacted on email@example.com.
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DID YOU KNOW THALAPATHY VIJAY IS A BIG TIGER SHROFF FAN?
MUMBAI: Kollywood superstar Thalapathy Vijay, who celebrated his 47th birthday on 22 June, is a big Tiger Shroff fan. This was revealed a day before his birthday by when a few celebrities like Keerthy Suresh, Anirudh, and Malavika Mohanan gathered on Clubhouse to recall their fond memories with the superstar. During their chat, organised to celebrate Vijay’s birthday, Malavika revealed that Vijay is a big fan of Tiger.
The ‘Master’ actress revealed, “We had gone to watch the film together as a crew. During the intro scene of Tiger, Vijay got visibly excited and cheered for him shouting, ‘Thalaiva!’ Not many people get to see this fun side of him. He later mentioned to her that he likes the young actor.” Tiger’s father Jackie Shroff has shared screen space with Vijay in 2019’s blockbuster ‘Bigil’. He played a baddie in the film.
This is quite an interesting revelation about Vijay and we can’t wait to see him work with Tiger.
Meanwhile, Vijay will be seen in director Nelson Dilipkumar’s film titled ‘Beast’. Its first look and title were released recently. Keerthy Suresh, Dhanush and many other actors praised the first look of ‘Beast’ oozing style and swag.
The film also stars Pooja Hegde, Yogi Babu, Shine Tom Chacko, VTV Ganesh, and Aparna Das. The music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander and the film is backed by Sun Pictures.
‘FRIENDS’ STAR JAMES MICHAEL TYLER REVEALS CANCER FIGHT
WASHINGTON: James Michael Tyler, who starred as Gunther on ‘Friends’, shared that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer and he can no longer walk because of it.
According to Variety, during an interview with a news outlet, Tyler, who played Jennifer Aniston’s coffee shop manager Gunther on ‘Friends’, shared that he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018 after a routine physical. Tyler said, “I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is a prostate-specific antigen. That came back at an extraordinarily high number. So, I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there.
He further, nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, “Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”
Tyler was recently seen on the HBO Max special ‘Friends: The Reunion’. While several other characters from the show stopped by to say hello to the core cast in person, Tyler appeared via video conference.
Talking about his experience, he said, “I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities. It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer’.” The actor is undergoing chemotherapy and is urging men to get early screenings to battle it.
PRIYANKA CELEBRATES NATIONAL SELFIE DAY
Priyanka Chopra shared her selfie on social media on the occasion of National Selfie Day. National Selfie Day is celebrated in America.
Sharing her selfie post, Priyanka wrote in the caption, ‘The only right way to celebrate #NationalSelfieDay’. Priyanka is seen wearing a white and blue colour top and teamed it up with sunglasses. She adjourned a cool yet elegant look with open hair and pink lipstick.
Priyanka has been in news related to Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret is all set to give opportunities to female athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs to promote women empowerment. Priyanka’s name was included in this list.
‘The White Tiger’ star was announced as one of the brand ambassadors of Victoria’s Secret. Sharing the news on social media Priyanka wrote, “Representation matters. It’s crucial for us to show everyone all over the world that they matter and are seen! As a founding partner of #TheVSCollective and advisor to the business, this is exactly what I intend to do. It’s been so incredible to see your reactions to yesterday’s announcement. It’s fuelled me further and I am excited to bring about meaningful change at one of the world’s most iconic brands. I’m so proud to be in the company of the Collective of incredible women that will helm this change.”
WHY KANGANA WANTS INDIA TO BE RENAMED BHARAT
MUMBAI: Kangana Ranaut recently took to social media to share why India should be renamed Bharat and what this word means.
Kangana wants India’s name to be changed to ‘Bharat’ . The ‘Thalaivi’ star, who has never shied away from expressing her views on various issues, has shared her take on social media regarding the name ‘India’ and claimed that it was given to our nation by Britishers. Further, in her note, she has explained why it should be changed back to Bharat. Kangana is back in Mumbai and currently gearing up for the second schedule of ‘Dhaakad’.
Taking to her Instagram stories, Kangana shared a screenshot of her post on the Koo app and wrote, “India can only rise if it’s rooted in its ancient spirituality and wisdom, that is the soul of our great civilisation. The world will look up to us and we will emerge as a world leader if we go higher in urban growth but not be a cheap copy of the western world and remain deeply rooted in Vedas, Geeta, and Yoga, can we please change this slave name India back to Bharat.” With this post, she shared photos of women during old times.
Kangana shared another post explaining the meaning of Bharat and claimed that it is made up of three Sanskrit words,“British gave us slave name India which literally means east of Indus River. Really would you call a child small nose or second-born or worse C section? What kind of a name is this? So rudimentary. Let me tell you the meaning of Bharat. It’s made of three Sanskrit words BH (bhav), Ra (rag), ta (tal). Yes, that’s who we were before we were enslaved, the most culturally and aesthetically evolved civilisation. Every name has a vibration and the British knew this they not only gave new names to places but even to people and important monuments. We must regain our lost glory, let’s start with the name Bharat.”
CHITRANGDA CELEBRATES YOGA DAY IN PICTURESQUE KASHMIR
Actor Chitrangda Singh who is currently at Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir, shared a few pictures of hers doing yoga in the mountains. These pictures have a breath-taking view of the mountains in the background. June 21 is celebrated as ‘International Yoga Day’ every year. Several people have been posting their pictures and videos to celebrate this day.
What makes Chitrangda’s photos more adorable was the fact that she was interrupted by her dogs as she sat down in a yoga pose. On the work front, Chitrangda will soon be seen opposite Abhishek Bachchan in Red Chillies Entertainment, Sujoy Ghosh’s Production, crime-thriller Bob Biswas.
SCHWARZENEGGER REVEALS HIS CHILDREN ‘HATED’ HIS MOVE FROM FILM TO POLITICS
WASHINGTON: The Former Governor of California and Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger recently opened up about his family life behind the scenes of his governorship from 2003 to 2011.
Arnold said his four children weren’t happy with his transition from action movie star to the 38th governor of California. The Schwarzenegger family moved from Hollywood to Sacramento, where Arnold served for two terms.
“First of all, I think it is very important to let everyone know how much you kids hated my job. It was one of those kind of odd things where I just thought that: ‘Oh, my kids will be so proud of me being governor now. And all this stuff, but I don’t think that you guys really kind of connected with that. I think you were so used to what we were doing when I was on a movie set,” he said.
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