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A R Rahman to receive Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award

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Mumbai: Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman, who has taken Indian music to global shores, will be honoured with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award here on October 26.

The fifth Hridaynath Award will be conferred on Rahman by veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai on the birth anniversary of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, the late younger brother of legendary playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

The ceremony will be held at Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Hall, at Vile Parle (East) here, read a statement.

The first Hridaynath award was given to melody queen Lata. Asha, megastar Amitabh Bachchan and actress Sulochana Tai have also been its recipients.

Meanwhile, the music maestro was also named the Cultural Ambassador for Seychelles in appreciation of the invaluable services contributed to enhance Seychelles’s art and cultural development.

(IANS)

 

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Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor

An experiment between a biography and an autobiography, a special book, will be launched to mark the 93rd birth anniversary of late actor Raj Kapoor and singer Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor

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Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor
Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor. IANS

December 14, 2017: (Editors note: To mark the 93rd birth anniversary of late actor Raj Kapoor, a special book — an experiment between a biography and an autobiography — will be launched by his children Randhir Kapoor, Ritu Nanda, Rishi Kapoor, Rima Jain and Rajiv Kapoor on Thursday evening. Presented here is an exclusive extract from “Raj Kapoor: The One And Only Showman” where noted singer Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor)

It was sometime in 1948 I was recording a song at the Famous recording studio for music director Anil Biswas. At that time, Raj Kapoor had a very small office on the second floor in the same building. Anil Biswas contacted him and asked him to come down to the studio and listen to my voice. I sang and he listened. There was no reaction. He listened and left! Next day, Anil Biswas called and said that Raj Kapoor has called you at the Mahalaxmi office.

In Kohlapur, I had seen Prithviraj Kapoor’s film “Sikandar” fifteen times. I was a great fan of his. He was tall and so handsome. I thought it might be a good opportunity to meet my favourite star’s son, Raj Kapoor.I accepted the invite and went. Raj Kapoor was sitting on his desk in his office. I sat across the table. He said ‘I want you to sing for my film,’ and asked me what that would cost him. I responded by saying any amount that he gave me would be acceptable. He replied by offering me rupees 500 for the same. At this time, Ram Ganguly was the music director and both Shankar and Jaikishen were music arrangers. They all worked together at Prithvi Theatres.

Shankar was on the tabla and Jaikishen on the harmonium. They sang and taught me the song ‘Jiya bekarar hai’ for the film “Barsaat.”

It was after this recording that Raj Kapoor took the decision that the music director for the film would be Shakar-Jaikishen and not Ram Ganguly. This was the historic decision, with Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri handling the lyrics, that created the evergreen music of R.K. Films.

I also recall Raj-ji cautioning Jaikishen. He was concerned about my ability to sing commercial film songs, being a classical singer. Hearing this I was naturally very upset. I was new and had not worked in the film industry. I sang all the songs in Barsaat. It was very gratifying for me to hear of a request from Raj saab for a bhairavi alaap in a certain song in Barsaat. I sang it and he loved it and was very happy. The music of this film was very successful.

Later, for the following films, he would leave the details of the melody to me. But he always wanted an alaap which would touch the hearts of millions of people.

I recall a time when we were recording the famous song in Awara, ‘Ghar aaya mera pardesi’, with Manna Dey accompanying me. We reached the recording theatre. Shankar and Jaikishen made us learn the lyrics and the melody of the song, but Raj saab, who came later, rejected our entire day’s work. He said to Jaikishen, ‘I don’t want a popatiya song!’ He changed the whole song. He also added an alaap to the song! All this went on till 3 a.m. and only after it was done did he say, ‘Now let us eat!’ He had arranged food for the entire unit. I remember the entire team sat in the middle of the road and ate. There was almost no traffic those days, particularly at 3 a.m. A sheet was spread on the road where we all ate and left for home.

This was his way of working…

I was also bad tempered. I used to fight. I was recording with his son Randhir Kapoor for his film “Kal Aaj Aur Kal”. Raj-ji had come for the recording. There, he told me that he was soon starting his next film called “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” for which he wanted my brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar to score the music. I replied to him saying that I would ask my brother. I managed to persuade my brother who was not really interested in scoring scores for films…

I left for my US trip where I was shocked to hear from Mukesh, ‘Hridaynath ki picture gayi (Hridaynath has lost the film)!’ Hridaynath called and said that he had accepted the film because of me but the newspapers were writing otherwise. He was offended and embarrassed. I was very angry with Raj-ji. On my return, I called him and said, ‘why did you do this?’ I had persuaded him because you had asked me to!’ (IANS)

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Paradise Papers: The “loot” of Nation’s Wealth by the “ultra-rich” of the Country

India ranks 19th out of 180 countries in Paradise Papers.

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One of the largest belongs to Mukesh Ambani.
One of the largest belongs to Mukesh Ambani. Wikimedia Commons

By Salil Gewali

India boasts of having one of the largest and expensive modern mansions in the world – second only to the palace built by Sultan of Brunei. That belongs none other than a filthy rich Mukesh Ambani. But very contrastingly, India has also often been disgraced for its maximum number of citizens who spend their nights, their weeks, their months and years in the open pavement even in the cutting cold of the winter. Yes, the country bears the burden of the largest number of poor people in the world – approximately 276 million people live below poverty line. What a vast difference between the haves – the super-rich, and the have-nots.

The “loot” of nation’s wealth by the “ultra-rich” of the country had been going on quietly until the German newspaper brought out to the open the details of Paradise Papers from Appleby, the Bermuda-based legal service provider. Needless to say, for the ultra-rich, the name of the game is “tax planning”, offshore finance, the creation of off-shore entities, et al. In the eyes of our authorities, it is about “deemed lapses in corporate governance, alleged fund diversion, irregularities in disclosure norms,” and so on. One wonders, in this scenario, what is at stake for the common man?

  As for the common man, his humble “paradise” is being looted; his God-given right to share his due is throttled. His children’s chances to come up in life, if at all there are any, are choked. His right to a “fair living” is gradually drifting apart. Because the very means of his life is plundered by a few ultra-rich. On a wider outlook, at the national level, the country’s wealth is burgled and robbed. Then who are these plunderers?

There are more than 700 of them from our country in the disclosed list of having Paradise Papers– the disclosure is still incomplete – of Paradise Papers. Very funnily, these names include persons, who the common man relies on, worship, holds in high esteem and vows to give his life for. Film star Amitabh Bachchan, who is often worshipped, Union Minister of State  Jayant Sinha, BJP Rajya Sabha M.P., R.K. Sinha, Corporate tycoon Vijay Mallya, Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, Harsha Moily, son of former UPA Minister Veerappa Moily, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife Dilnashin, son of former UPA powerhouse and Central Minister P. Chidambaram, former Union Minister Sachin Pilot, and several others who is who of India’s Corporate world, politics, and other fields. Interestingly, What more? Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, Lord Ashcroft, the most prominent British politician, U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, Shakira, Madonna and notoriously disgraced Harvey Weinstein, for his sexual wrongdoings and so on and so forth.

In spite of strict regulations in every country, it would be interesting to know, how these celebrities, politicians, multinationals, and the ultra-rich individuals are hiding Paradise Papers. I’m not wrong that rules in every country have built-in loopholes. In other words, rules of every country have provided loopholes to the cunning and crafty to circumvent them. And we have got them in abundance. The very fact that our country ranks 19th out of 180 countries in Paradise Papers is certainly not something that we can cheer about.

 The wealthy form shell companies, “foundations”, and “trusts” as a cover to hide their money from tax authorities. They form “offshore” accounts that are handled by law firms specializing in these “offshore’ expertise. To the world, their forceful argument is “offshore” banking which is legal. But, this is practiced by only the ultra-rich to evade tax. They take advantage of the legal loop-hole by taking shelter under the tax treaties by our Government.

  But frankly speaking, will they ever be able to “use” that wealth? I don’t think it’s possible in the practical world. They can’t even see, touch and feel their wealth they have once dispatched. Not even after 500 years, they can use it if they ever could live.  Because these super-rich people already have countless wealth which is in their various kind of treasury vaults.  Is it not the paradise of illusion then?

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali.

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Legendary Singer Asha Bhosle regrets for not singing English Songs

Asha Bhosle shares the reason behind why she didn't sing any English song.

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Singer Asha Bhosle
Singer Asha Bhosle. wikimedia commons
  • Legendary singer Asha Bhosle regrets not getting a proper education and says she would have touched greater heights if she had studied further and crooned songs in English too.

Bhosle talked about her regrets at the Leadership Lecture Series at the Dubai campus of the Global Indian International School (GIIS) on Tuesday, read a statement.

Asked about her message for the young generation, she said: “A person is responsible for his own success. The one who works hard day and night and keeps doing his work, he will always be successful. And for your school, the message that I have is, I haven’t studied much and today when I go abroad, when I go to America or London, I really regret after listening to their songs, I feel bad that I can’t get that accent.”

The legendary singer Asha Bhosle added: “I really wish that I had studied more but back in those times, in my generation, 80 years back, there was no use of educating women, they said women are supposed to do simple household chores, deliver babies, why make her study.

“So, the education never happened. And now I really regret that if we were made to study or given our education, then we would have been at different heights in our life and I would have gone way ahead in English songs because our style and English words would have taken me to greater heights.”

Asha Bhosle is one of the most versatile singers to have been associated with Bollywood. From cabaret to ghazals — she has sung songs like “Jhumka gira re”, “Dum maro dum”, “Chura liya”, “Mehbooba mehbooba”, “Mera kuch saaman”, “Dil cheez kya hai” to “Prem mein tohre”.

From Zeenat Aman to Urmila Matondkar and Rekha to Vidya Balan — Bhosle has lent her voice for actresses of different generations over six decades and has managed to stay relevant by adapting to new styles and singing techniques.(IANS)