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Madi Das, scoring a Grammy nomination for his album of bhajans “Bhakti Without Borders” along with the singing sensation Taylor Swift and rapper Kendrick Lamar, says it’s a “completely strange” feeling. But Das, who spent eight years learning kirtans and bhajans in India, believes it’s high time that traditional music gets its due recognition.

“It is completely strange, yes (to be featured as a nominee alongside Taylor Swift and others). But also, this music has so much more history than pop or R&B. This music has been around for centuries; so is it not the time for it to be recognised as a rich and important tradition?” wondered Das, a former Hollywood entertainment executive now working in the Australian film and TV industry.

“Bhakti Without Borders” is the debut album from Das who grew up in the Vaishnava tradition of Bhakti yoga. Looking forward to Best New Age Album (a category of non-Christian sacred music) for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards to be announced next month, the record marks the third time a kirtan album been nominated; the emerging genre has never won yet.

“Bhakti Without Borders” features 11 Bhajans and is produced by well-known kirtan artist Dave Stringer. Das sings a duet with a different female vocalist on each track. “I describe my music as world music with sacred origins, like the Hindu equivalent of gospel music,” Das told in an email interview from Melbourne.

As Das was born in Germany to an American mother and German father, his upbringing was an assimilation of different music genres. He went to a boarding school in India (in Vrindavan and Mayapur) at the age of seven. He spent eight years learning kirtans and bhajans and becoming fluent in Hindi.

He subsequently lived in Ireland, where he was exposed to traditional Celtic music. Film school brought him to the US.

His album reflects a mixture of Irish and Indian music. Western music influences in the US added to his reserve which created a blend of country and eastern sounds in the album.

But what about the tag of ‘hippie music’ that is often shoved on western artists who pick up such spiritual sounds? “Perhaps because the first influences of Indian music integrating into the West hark back to the Beatles and Ravi Shankar, which took place during the hippie explosion, there is a tendency to categorise it like that. “… and indeed there are still some strong hippie influences in some practitioners of modern kirtan,” Das conceded.

But he also acknowledges there is also a “growing movement of authentic western artistes who have taken the time to study and learn the eastern traditions”.

“And they are now creating something that has strong foundational roots in the East while still adding the more commercial broad strokes appeal to people who like Western music,” Das explained. Presently the popularity of kirtan music is “exploding” in the US what with bhakti festivals, radio shows and retreats, said Das, adding everyone enjoys the music.

“If we can enjoy each other’s music regardless of faith or culture, perhaps we can gain some understanding and empathy for each other… then that will put an end to intolerance,” he signed off.(IANS) (Picture courtesy:


Photo by Pedro Durigan on Unsplash

The world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.

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Wikimedia Commons

Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month.

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Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.

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Roger Federer RG2012 volley Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons

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Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

By Hitesh Rathi

Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.

Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.

Look younger as you get old The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr

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