Yangon: It can be hard to believe but notably, Bollywood plays a significant part in strengthening the Indo-Myanmar ties. The prevalence of Hindi movies and their widespread popularity in this neighbouring country is definitely helping build stronger connection between the two countries.
In this Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups and home to precious stone markets and impressive Buddhist sites, Bollywood is extremely popular.
For, right from the maitre d’hotel and chefs to top corporate honchos, Hindi films appear to be a mania in this country dominated by Buddhists.
“My parents migrated to Myanmar from India after Independence and so I learned Hindi from them,” local precious stone seller Ma Khin Kyi said.
The mother of two, who never visited India, said Hindi soaps and films, which are quite popular among many Burmese, helped her master Hindi.
Indian cable and satellite television channels Zee TV and Sony Max are popular Hindi channels in Myanmar, she added.
Bollywood stars of yesteryears like Shashi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty and heartthrobs of youngsters; Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan rule their hearts too.
Thirty nine year old taxi driver Mohammad Shafiq, accompanying the visiting Indian journalists, started humming lyrics “Hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte” of “Aashiqui 2”.
He said Hindi films and TV soaps were quite popular in the country.
“Most of the Hindi films with Burmese dubbing are released here simultaneously,” Shafiq, who speaks Hindi with proficiency, said.
Many youngsters, though not literate in Hindi, are so crazy about Hindi film love songs that they keep on humming the popular ones.
“India and Myanmar have a common heritage and long economic and political relations,” said entrepreneur Mak Patel, who was born and brought up in Yangon.
Octogenarian Patel, who is an Indian citizen and settled in New Delhi, said the craze for the Hindi flicks dates back to the popular song “Mere piya gaye Rangoon” from 1949 movie “Patanga”.
“Even popular satellite channels like Sky Net and MRTV-4 have devoted bigger slots for Hindi movies and serials,” Patel, a former consultant with ONGC Videsh Ltd, said.
Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, has six cinema halls that regularly screen popular Hindi movies.
Strict censorship doesn’t allow Burmese filmmakers to show social and politically driven stories forcing movie buffs to watch Bollywood and Hollywood films through pirated copies.
State-run Central Hotel executive Cheery Tun said she liked Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots” and “PK” so much that she saw them several times.
Energy-rich and resource-rich Myanmar, which got its independence in 1947, is home to a 2.5 million-strong Indian diaspora settled mostly in Yangon and Mandalay.
Bollywood actor Vidyut Jammwal has started an initiative to support ideas from different parts of India.
Vidyut has been helping and motivating fans to stay physically and mentally fit since the beginning of the lockdown in March, and now he wants to help people stay financially fit too.
Talking about the initiative, Vidyut said: “I am what I am today because of the love and support I have received over the years. GoodwillforGood is an initiative that is very close to my heart and it is my way of giving it back to society. I have come across many ideas that have the power to make a difference but what they lack is a platform to showcase it. Through this initiative, I will promote these brilliant minds and their unconventional proposals.”
The beauty of the Hindi film industry lies not only in it’s stories but also in the songs that get in tune with the mood of the narratives. These songs remain eternal in the minds of the audience for generations to come, but unfortunately the ones who give their melodious voice in these songs are not always remembered. Jaspal Singh is one of them.
Today we have brought in light one of those gem singers of bollywood~ Jaspal Singh, who has by and large made a significant contribution in Bollywood through some of the most popular and melodious songs he sang.
Who is Jaspal Singh?
Jaspal Singh is an Indian singer who lent his voice to various Bollywood actors in the era 1970’s and 1980’s. He was born in Amritsar and during his school and college days, he realised his passion for singing. He used to participate in various music competitions throughout his school and college life. To further pursue his passion for singing he went to Mumbai where his sister used to stay.
Jaspal’s talent was first and foremost recognised by well known female singer Usha Khanna during the year 1968.
Jaspal’s Early Life Struggle
Jaspal Singh was provided a chance to sing at a professional level, however he did not get the recognition which he deserved in his life. He struggled to make a career in singing and would often visit Amritsar, Delhi and Mumbai time and again.
Jaspal was always an ardent fan of Mohammed Rafi and grew up listening to his songs and singing Rafi’s songs whenever he got the opportunity. As he was attracted to only film songs he did not undergo any training in classical music.
Due to peer pressure, he started practicing law and started living in Mumbai. In spite of the hardships he was facing, he never gave up and then, a well known Music Composer, Ravindra Jain gave him the big break for a song in the movie called ‘Geet Gata Chal’ of 1975. After this song, he became a prominent name. His voice was unique and was unlike any other and he sang for some hit bollywood movies like‘Nadiya ke paar’, ‘Ankhiyon ke jharokhon se’,’Sawan ko aane do’, etc.
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Jaspal’s Singing Career in Bollywood Industry
In 1975 as the opening credits of the newly released film “Geet Gaata Chal” rolled out and the cinema hall resonated with the fresh, melodious, energetic and high-pitched vocals of Jaspal Singh singing the title song- ‘Geet gaata chal o saathi gungunata chal…’
Every viewer was mesmerized by this totally new, original, youthful and brilliant voice which was both pleasing and heart-warming. This was the magic his voice had.
For the audience who did not see the film at that time, hearing the song was enough to transport them to the villages and immediately entreating up images of the person dancing amidst the lush green fields, flowing rivers, chirping birds and pleasant winds. Such was the effect the song had on the listeners of that time that it became one of the most iconic songs of the decade.
The film “Nadiya Ke Paar” produced by Tarachand Bharjatya under his banner “Rajshri Productions” was to be the launch vehicle for introducing child artists Sachin and Sarika as adult stars in a romantic story. As the existing singers of the time were all associated with different popular heroes, the new male singer Jaspal Singh was chosen to do a playback for Sachin.Not only did the film became a big hit, all the songs of the film also became super-hits and music lovers wholeheartedly accepted Jaspal Singh as the new sensational voice.
According to an interview, Ravindra Jain was apprehensive about giving Jaspal the title song which according to him was his best composition for the film but associate producer Rajkumar Bharjatya was in favour of taking the risk.Whatever the concerns may have been, still the fact remains that finally Jaspal Singh did get the green signal to record all the songs and the rest as they say is history.
Jaspal Singh was very thrilled to get such a golden opportunity. Those days it was not very easy for a new singer to make inroads into the industry especially without any father figure to launch him!
Luckily for him the film established him in a big way. He proved his versatility in the film by singing fun songs, romantic song and even ‘bhajans’.
Though, popular perception is that Geet Gaata Chal was Jaspal Singh’s debut film, technically he had made his debut earlier in 1968 in the film Bandish. It was music director Usha Khanna who decided to give him a break. She gave him a solo number which was picturized on a comedian in the film. As the film did not create any ripples, the song also did not get much attention and Jaspal Singh’s debut song went virtually unnoticed.
After this he also sang a duet with Mahendra Kapoor for the film Anjaan Hai Koi, 1969, but again that song also did not receive any great response. Once again Usha Khanna was the music director and the song was picturized on character artistes. In the coming years, he started singing for many other films in Bollywood.
How did Jaspal “Lost in Transition?”
Slowly it was becoming evident that as Jaspal Singh’s voice had become the voice of actor Sachin, he was not going to be used for any of the top actors of that period. Also keeping in consideration the type of films he was singing for, he did not get an opportunity to sing a variety of songs in his career. Eventually, actor Sachin’s career also did not take off in a very big way as a hero and in the absence of any top music director willing to try his voice, Jaspal’s career went towards a downward trend.
But today, he has no complaints whatsoever with his career. He feels that whatever he accomplished was due to divine blessing and his good fortune. He is thankful to the Bharjatyas of Rajshri Productions and music director Ravindra Jain who placed so much faith in him and gave him a break in the industry.His stint in Bollywood got him many stage shows all over India and abroad as well which gave him an opportunity to outshine him.
Indeed this winsome vocalist’s career was short-lived but whatever he sang was melodious and from the heart. Today not many people may pause to recall this underrated singer but for those who grew up in the seventies, his songs remain etched in their memories and listening to them still gives them inexplicable pleasure.
Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages known to mankind It is also believed to be the most systematic and technical language of all. It is also referred to as the mother of all languages and is the only language that is used in holy functions and ceremonies of the Hindus, as it has always been regarded as the sacred language of the religion and gods. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with the sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual.
Sanskrit is the vehicle through which we have been fortunate to be gifted with the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagvat Gita, and the two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is the only language that is used in holy functions and ceremonies of the Hindus, as it has always been regarded as the sacred language of the religion. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with the sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual.
10 Interesting Facts About the Sanskrit Language
Sanskrit language when recited is no less than a beautiful melody is a mystery in itself. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Sanskrit Language.
1. The Language of the Gods
Sanskrit was considered as ‘DEV BHASHA’ or ‘DEVAVANI’, the Language of the Gods by ancient Indians. The script is called DEVNAGARI which means used in the cities of the Gods. It was believed to have been generated by the god Brahma who passed it to the Rishis (sages) living in celestial abodes, who then communicated the same to their earthly disciples from where it spread on earth.
2. The oldest language in the world
Sanskrit is believed to be one of the oldest languages in the world. The Vedas, the oldest extant texts in any language, were written in Sanskrit. The earliest form of Sanskrit language was Vedic Sanskrit that came approximately around 1500B.C, a period when knowledge was imparted orally through generations.
3. An innovative language
An old, yet, a highly technical, systematic language of the world. Following research, a report given by the NASA scientist, Rick Briggs, Sanskrit is one of the most suitable languages for computers. It is considered to be very efficient in making algorithms.
4. A language without a default script
Sanskrit did not have a “default” script (like Devanagari- Hindi) until very recently, i.e. less than 200 years back. It was written by everyone in the regional script of their region, in over two dozen scripts. This may make it the language that has been written in the most number of scripts.
Sanskrit culture had a great reluctance towards writing, and this continued for at least a millennium before the first texts were penned. Yet there are as many as 30 million Sanskrit manuscripts with around 7 million manuscripts preserved in India itself. This precisely means that the magnitude of work in Sanskrit surpasses that of Greek and Latin put together!
5. Sanskrit Newspapers and Radios
Sanskrit daily news and newspapers exist even today. It is the language of more than 90 weeklies, fortnightlies, and quarterlies published across India. Gujarat started publishing Vartman Patram and Vishwasya Vrittantam five years back and an all India Radio has been broadcasting daily news in Sanskrit once a day since the year 1974. ‘Sudharma’, the newspaper is published out of Mysore, a historic city in Karnataka, India. It has been running since 1970 and is now available online as an e-paper.
6. Sanskrit speaking hamlets
There are still many villages in India where Sanskrit is still the primary language of communication. The villagers also insist the visitors converse in Sanskrit with them. Banter, greetings, quarrels on the streets, teaching – it’s all in Sanskrit here.
7. A Spiritual Language
The word “Sanskrit’ is a combination of two words – “Sanskar’ and “Krit’; “Krit’ meaning “Inculcating’ and “Sanskar’ meaning “Essence of Moral Values’. Thus Sanskrit means a language that has the capacity to indoctrinate higher values in an individual, the self.
8. A highly versatile language
Sanskrit has the power to say something using the minimum amount of words. There are numerous synonyms for each word each with specific meaning in the language of Sanskrit. For instance, a simple word like the elephant has about a hundred synonyms. English has only one word for love, Sanskrit has 96.
Sanskrit has an amazing wealth of words and synonyms to give great versatility. It has in fact over 70 words for water where English has just got one. Amazingly the Sanskrit language has over 122 words for the action to go each with the specific meaning.
9. The master of Phonetics
Sanskrit is perhaps one of the most accurate languages in pronunciation. It makes use of 49 types of sounds that make pronunciations of different kinds of words very distinct. The attention devoted to the grammar, phonetics, and linguistics in Sanskrit is believed to have been unprecedented until the 20th century.
10. Increases brain power
Sanskrit has also been proven to help in speech therapy. Research suggests that learning the language improves brain functioning and students improve academically; they get better marks in subjects like Mathematics and Science which some people find difficult. It is because Sanskrit enhances memory power and concentration.
James Junior School in London has made Sanskrit compulsory. Students of this school are among the toppers in various fields and worldwide exams year after year. Some schools in Ireland also have made Sanskrit compulsory. (VedicFeed)