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J. Cooling Rajaiah: The Christian Tamil composer is the Uncrowned King of Sacred Music

Rajaiah is known to be a talented and a self-taught musician who dedicated his entire life to composing music with a spiritual overtone

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Choir (Representational Image). Image source: www.templenet.com
  • No wedding is complete without raising a toast to his popular compositions Mangalam Nithya Mangalam, or Mangalam Nithya Pongidavey
  • His piano skills were impeccable and were in great demand in the festive season
  • Apart from being a music composer, he could also deconstruct group performances with accuracy

Even six years after his death on July 10, 2010, J.Cooling Rajaiah is survived by a bounteous legacy of sacred music compositions, which resound in the Tamil Christian community till date. No wedding is complete without raising a toast to his popular compositions Mangalam Nithya Mangalam, or Mangalam Nithya Pongidavey.

Rajaiah is also one of the founder members of Tiruchi’s oldest choir group, ‘The Carollers’. His rousing ‘The Carollers’ March’ remains a stellar rendition during most of the choral presentations during Christmas.

These and other numerous renditions constitute the legendary singer’s great body of work that continues to enthrall and captivate listeners and performers beyond geographies.

Speaking to The Hindu, J. Philip, his nephew, said, “Uncle never left Tiruchi, but his music traveled all over the world.” Philip who took over the family tradition of composing sacred music is himself the founder of Tiruchi-based gospel choir ‘Singspirations.’

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Rajaiah is known to be a talented and a self-taught musician who dedicated his entire life to composing music with a spiritual overtone.

THE HINDU An early photograph of J. Cooling Rajaiah (in suit) at work. Photo: Special Arrangement by The Hindu
An early photograph of J. Cooling Rajaiah (in suit) at work. Photo: Special Arrangement by The Hindu

Talking about how Rajaiah had an affinity for music even as a toddler, Bhaskar, a family member, told The Hindu, “My grandfather used to keep him on his lap when playing the organ when he was a toddler. Later, Uncle would be drawing the scores on the sand as his father took music lessons for others.”

Named after English Methodist missionary Reverend James Cooling,Rajaiah was born on December 5, 1927, to Mr. and Mrs. James William.

Mrs. Louisa, Rajaiah’s sister revealed that his first mouth organ performance was at the age of nine and his first composition was ready by the age of 13. “We all knew our brother had a unique gift for music very early on,” she added.

Rajaiah also had a brief stint in Tamil cinema after he became a member of the orchestra of Gemini Studios in Chennai as a pianist and piano-accordion player.

But what is termed as the turning point in his career was his joining the Madras Jazz Club. Bhaskar iterates, “Uncle got most of his exposure to world music through the Jazz Club.”

In spite of a flourishing career in early years, Rajaiah had to settle for a job in Southern Railways as the competition in the industry was cutthroat.

His piano skills were impeccable and were in great demand in the festive season.

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His compositions were an effortless mix of rhumba and swing element. “He also accompanied the Minstrels and All Saints Church choirs in the rendering of the oratorios, the highest musical offering of choral praise,” reported The Hindu.

Apart from being a music composer, he could also deconstruct group performances with accuracy.

Known as the ‘Mozart of Tiruchi’ Rajaiah’s expertise in interpreting scores also credits him being a man of many talents.

Rajaiah never married and needed complete silence whenever he used to compose music, explained Bhaskar.

He added, “Rajaiah was among the few people who would encourage younger musicians by giving them a platform to perform. Nobody could match up to Uncle, but he was always trying to learn new things from the youth.”

Though Rajaiah stopped composing at the age of 81, his work will continue to inspire many generations to come.

-prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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7 Bollywood Celebrity Lehenga to Flaunt in the Upcoming Wedding Season

Excited for the upcoming wedding season? Take inspiration from these Bollywood divas and their styles!

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Celebrity Lehengas
Wear Celebrity Lehengas for your special day. Instagram.

New Delhi, October 23, 2017: The wedding season is knocking the doors and you must be excited to flaunt your best at the occasion. This time present yourself in the beautiful lehengas worn by Bollywood actresses and look gorgeous to make your evening a memorable one.

Look stunning like Deepika and enjoy the charming attention of all. Brace it with an exquisite piece of kundan jewellery to add up  the radiance. 

Celebrity Lehengas
Deepika rocks the show in this navy blue royal lehenga. Instagram.

Dazzle your wedding evening with this celebrity lehenga of Kareena Kapoor’s. A messy hairdo and matte lipstick will give you an awesome look. 

Celebrity Lehenga
This Wedding Lehenga of Kareena Kapoor is just superficial. Instagram.

Get the angelic look similar to the gorgeous Sonam Kapoor. Use minimalistic jewellery to add authencity to the attire.

Celebrity Lehengas
Sonam Kapoor in Abujani Sandeep Khosla gown. Instagram.

Get the classy chic look in this floral piece adored by Shraddha Kapoor. Pair the attire with wine red shade on your lips to enhance the look.

Celebrity lehengas
Shraddha Kapoor in Floral attire at a fashion show concert. instagram

Dia Mirza ensembles this studded lehenga over a rose braided bun and nude lipstick

Celebrity Lehengas
Dia Mirza looks ethereal in this blue shiny gown. Instagram.

Look enticing like Alia Bhatt in this off white lehenga with a crop top or embroidered blouse for the wedding evening.

P.S: A high bun will work wonders on this outfit

Celebrity Lehengas
Alia Bhatt flaunting the gorgeous look. Instagram.

Get that hot and sexy look like Kriti Sanon if you are one of the besties of the Bride-Groom. This off shoulder green lehenga should be paired with beaded chandbali and minimal makeup.

Celebrity Lehengas
Kriti Sanon in turquoise green crop top looks ravishing. Instagram.

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Love Destination Weddings? 7 Locations in Udaipur to have the Wedding of your Dreams

An entire week of celebrations in an oh-so-gorgeous locale, away from the madness of your city life.

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destination weddings
It is hard to have a wedding in Udaipur that is NOT stunning. Pixabay

Udaipur, October 3, 2017 : With baraatis and band baaja in tow, the modern-day groom wears aviators and crosses lakes to get to his bride.
The bride these days no more sits coyly in rooms. Instead, she walks down royal stairways lined with exotic flowers to welcome the groom and his entourage.

A royal backdrop, stunning photos, bright colors, and lovely weather. Destination weddings are enticing, aren’t they?

An entire week of celebrations in an oh-so-gorgeous locale, away from the madness of your city life.

Not only do destination weddings ensure everyone stays at the same place, having all the more fun, and saving you all the last-moment panic attacks about absent guests, but you get to live one of the most important days of your life with everybody who is special.

destination weddings
The most special day of your life should be perfect in every way! Pixabay

Now unless you have been living under a rock all your life, destination weddings would ring ‘Udaipur’ in your head at the loudest decibel possible. It is hard to have a wedding in Udaipur that is NOT stunning. From entirely Rajwada style comfort settings with cushions in a blast of fuchsia to metallic gold boho bulbs’ lighting to the breezy blue and silver décor and marigold-filled pathways around the fort in tune with the wedding, venues in Udaipur offer a surprising blend of traditional and modern wedding razzmatazz perfect for dreamy destination weddings.

The city has an abundance of gorgeous and scenic locations that should all probably be at the top of your list; we tell you why!

List of Best Destination Wedding Locations In Udaipur:

1. Jagmandir Island Palace

When history, art and weddings collide, it’s pure inspiration! Beautifully snuggled on an island in the middle of lake Pichola, Jag Mandir has an encompassing view of the City Palace, Lake Palace, the lake and the Aravali hills.

destination weddings
Jag Mandir is also called ‘the Lake Garden Palace’ for its astounding beauty. Wikimedia

Imagine getting ferried to and fro the venue in decorated boats in the form of a procession; isn’t it already sounding dreamy? Beautifully illuminated with lights, the entire island as one nears Jag Mandir.

destination weddings
Jag Mandir resembles a floating jewel in the middle of lake Pichola. Pixabay

The 17th century island palace is believed to have inspired Emperor Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal and rightly so! Once inside, the place transcends you to another era. It is well equipped with a fine dining restaurant, a bar and seven tastefully adorned suites and can accommodate upto 5,000 people- enough space for pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding functions.

destination weddings
The courtyard of Jag Mandir Palace. Wikimedia

The picturesque Jagmandir Island Palace today plays host to an elite clientele and makes the perfect host for destination weddings and for couples who dream of regal nuptials.

2. Fort Fatehgarh

Looking for a serene wedding location in the hills? Perched on a hilltop 20 minutes outside the city, the Fategarh palace spells an old world charm and a true feel of a heritage hotel.  Adorned with poised white pillars, domes and intricately done jali screens, the place has been tastefully crafted with its graceful proportions and airy reception areas, courtyards and verandas.

destination weddings
Located on top of a hilltop, Fort Fateh Garh will take your heart away at first glace.

With about 50 rooms and suites and 3 outdoor wedding lawns, the hotel is perfect for families who would want an entire palace to themselves with all its regal grandeur.

destination weddings
Wedding arrangements at Fort Fatehgarh.

3. Oberoi Udai Vilas

With sprawling courtyards, rippling fountains, reflection pools and lush gardens, Oberoi Vilas mesmerizes every on-looker. But as they say beauty lies within, it is what is inside that is a complete delight. Interiors embroidered with decorative domes, hand-painted frescoes, intricate mirror work and beautifully crafted artifacts; the place is what is defined as love at first sight!

destination weddings
The Oberoi Udai Vilas : what dreams are made of. Wikimedia

The site with its green lawns graciously spread all across the property, the promenade and the Chandra Mahal offer perfect venues for intricate weddings.

destination weddings
A panoramic view of the lake palace Hotel. Wikimedia

4. Udai Kothi

Splendid exteriors in sparkling white, it is like you have been magically transcended to Greece!  Located at the heart of the city, this hotel has a lot of character with each room and each corner having its own style, perfect for an intimate wedding affair.  With carefully selected furniture, soft accents and décor and artistically done jharokhas overlooking a delightful view, the hotel has all the right vibes for destination weddings.

destination weddings
A panoramic view of Udai Kothi

 5. Raas Leela

Tucked at the edge of Lake Pichola with a spectacular view, Raas Leela is a dream location for a sun-downer wedding!  The property opens to a marvelous, specific view of the royal lake and would be a pretty location for lakeside wedding destinations. Adorned with luxury cottages that echo the rich taste of Mughal travelling cottages overlooking the royal palaces, the venue is a fusion of modern comfort and traditional style.

destination weddings
Raas Leela is a dream location for a sun-downer wedding

The venue by itself is so interesting and appealing, the décor really stands out, pictures turn out prettier and of course everything looks better with the shimmering, pearly water in the background.

6. Chunda Palace

Wonderfully tranquil and peaceful, this might be the gorgeous destination weddings’ venue you’d not want to miss!

destination weddings
Chunda Palace is perfect for a small wedding with friends and family.

With a heritage and traditional appearance, Chunda Palace screams sophistication the moment you enter it.  Exteriors embellished with royal carvings and the interiors decorated with Rajasthani architecture, this hotel offers a spectacular view of the City Palace and lake Pichola.

destination weddings
The interiors of the palace bear intricate and detailed designs.

The venue perfectly fits the criteria for small but strikingly royal destination weddings for a group of 200 people.

destination weddings
Chunda palace has a rich heritage and traditional appearance

7. Ramada resort

Parched in the backdrop of the mighty Aravalis, the Ramada resort offers breathtaking views of Sajjan Palace, panoramic views of lake Pichola and the City Palace with all its many forts and palaces. Varying in height, the resort creates a spectacular view with its array of gardens and pool side spaces in tranquil settings.

destination weddings
Corridors of the Ramada resort

The venue can be tailored according to requirements, from an intimate gathering of your closest friends and family to a formal setting for hundreds of guests.

 

Your guests will remember what the bride wore, how the groom entered the venue, and who danced to what Bollywood number. But apart from this, what makes a wedding out of the world? Undoubtedly the venue and the entire setup! Udaipur venues for destination weddings make your shaadi unapologetically quirky, complete with fun Rajasthani colors, funky décor, tasteful pool parties and finally, a traditional and glam wedding.

Check out the best of our list on venues of destination weddings and let all your sherwani and saree clad guests enjoy your five-day affair with zeal matching your own! Happy wedding!

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A 20 year old Elephant gets blessing at a Kerala Church

An Elephant named Mahadevan was blessed in a Church in Kerala.

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Elephant blessed at Kerala Church
An Elephant was blessed at a Kerala Church. Pixabay

August 6, 2017: In a rare happening, a 20-year-old Elephant got “blessed” at a church in Kerala. Speaking to IANS, Fr Thomas Vedikunnel, the parish vicar of the famed St George Foronah Catholic Church at Aruvithura, however, tried to play down the whole episode.

“Yes, an elephant got blessed. It was done by a junior priest attached to this church. Is this news?” asked the parish vicar. He said to use the word baptized is wrong and the correct word is “blessed”.But veteran Kerala politician and seven-time legislator P.C. George, who is a member of this church, told IANS that the blessing took place on Thursday.

“In my Plathottam family, over the years there have been 50 elephants. The one that got blessed on Thursday belonged to my cousin. The elephant’s name is Mahadevan and is around 20 years old.” George said the blessing will not mean changing the elephant’s name, which is a Hindu one. “Please don’t misunderstand that since Mahadevan got blessed, his name is going to be changed. He will not have a Christian name,” said George. (IANS)