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Stand-up comedy, a major attraction on entertainment channels just a few years back, has virtually disappeared from TV and is sprouting on the platform of Internet. After “The Great India Laughter Challenge” in 2017, it’s hard to recall any stand-up comedy show of significance telecast on any Hindi TV channel.
While it is being missed on TV channels, the urban youth is getting its dose of humour with comedy shows and channels on the Internet.
There are comedians Kunal Kamra, Zakir Khan, Atul Khatri, Varun Grover and of course, Vir Das, Hasan Minhaj and the like, who have become the millennials’ favourites with their content which has got a platform via social media, live concerts and shows on OTT platforms or on YouTube.
Comedian Abhishek Walia, winner of the fifth season of stand-up comedy reality show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge”, finds “lack of innovation” and “censorship” the main reasons behind the downfall of stand-up comedy on the Hindi small screen. “StarPlus’ tagline says ‘Rishta wahi, soch nayi’, but recalling my experience of working with the channel, I would say that it believes in ‘Rishta wahi, soch bhi wahi’.
“Production houses are not ready to bring changes in the format of the shows, especially stand-up comedy shows. You can’t even say ‘kutta (dog)’ while performing acts on TV. And If you are planning to make a joke against the government, makers will cancel your stint,” Walia told IANS.
He was referring to comedian Shyam Rangeela’s experience two years ago. Shyam Rangeela was stopped by StarPlus from mimicking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the show. On a short notice, he was asked to prepare fresh scripts after his act on Modi got rejected.
Walia said: “I understand there is a pressure on production houses and they have certain policies, but with time, comedy has evolved and one can’t serve the audience the same thing. Comedians should be given freedom to express in acts.”
Shows like “Acting Ki Funshaala”, “Comedy Circus”, “Funjabbi Chak De” and “Mazaak Mazaak Mein” were once popular. It was almost a daily dose of comedy.
But as far as the current scenario is concerned, it is only “The Kapil Sharma Show” that pops up in the mind. And that too cannot qualify as a proper stand-up comedy show as a major part of it involves a chat-with-celebrities format.
Actress Archana Puran Singh, who is currently a part of comedian Kapil Sharma’s show and has judged several comedy shows in the past, said: “A higher level of stand-up comedians is required, and the number of people who can do that level are not many.
“That is why stand-up comedy shows are less on TV. Television holds on to masses. What comedians are doing on the Internet is quite westernised.
“They appeal more to English-speaking people. If you have to survive on TV, it is a must to appeal to masses. Therefore, comedians who appeal to masses can go a long way on television and Kapil Sharma is one of them.”
Comedy is considered a difficult genre. Is that also a reason why TV channels are no longer interested in the risk-taking business and want to play safe? IANS tried to contact officials of multiple channels, but they refused to comment. Comedian Chandan Prabhakar said the “difficulty level” is one reason why there are less number of stand-up TV comedy shows.
“Comedy is a tough subject to do. Everyone can’t do comedy. You can find a dance school or music school, but you cannot find a comedy school. No one can teach you comedy,” added Chandan, who made his TV debut with “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” season 3. He is now working with Kapil on his on-going show.
There’s still hope for the return of stand-up comedy on TV. Sunil Pal, one of the small screen’s favourite comedians, says the Internet cannot make everyone laugh.
“There are many people who do not even know what Internet is. They still binge watch shows on their TV set. There are people who still wait for 9 p.m. to watch their favourite shows on TV.
“TV has its own magic…I wish channels start creating more comedy shows for TV audience as it will also help comedians in getting more opportunities to spread their humour and in gaining face value,” he said. (IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.
The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.
While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."
"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.
Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.
He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
Light, airy, and silky, Chanderi silk is to the standards of Indian royals. Some believe it resembles muslin because of its texture, but recently, it has been incorporated with silk threads which adds an additional sheen.
Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi town is where the silk fabric was born. Handwoven sarees were famous here, as it was the primary textile centre in between the 7th and 2nd century BC. Because of its transparency, lightness, and rich look, royals began to patronize this fabric. From the 11th century AD, Chanderi silk became well-known across the country.
The Chanderi weave is a heritage. Long lines of weavers passed this skill to their children, and it is not disclosed to anyone else. It is too delicate to be woven on power looms as the threads are spun until they are as fine as a 300 count. A special root named Kolikanda is used to extract the cotton wool for the silk. These days, gold and silver are embroidered into it. Motifs were created with metal dust.
A weaver working on a Chanderi loom Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Unlike other fabrics, Chanderi silk fibres do not go through a degumming process. They are not crafted to evade breakage and tear easily under high pressure. This is one of the reasons they are so light. It is often called 'woven air' for its breezy, soft texture.These days, the use of cost-effective raw materials spoils the natural beauty of the weave. One of the ways to identify a pure Chanderi saree is from its soft hues. This silk is usually dyed in pastel colours. The motifs are always handwoven and covered in copper dust. The machine weave tends to unwind with time and is not preferred. Original Chanderi can be differentiated from the fake by its glossy shine.
Keywords: Chanderi silk, Royals Silk sarees, Chanderi weave is a heritage.
Each year Diwali is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi, the 14th lunar day of the dark fortnight in the Tamil month of Aippasi. Ancient scriptures of India advise people to worship Yama, the deity of death on the days of Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadwitiya. People light an oil Diya or 13 oil diyas made of wet wheat flour in the evening. They are kept facing southwards just outside people's residences. These lamps which are traditionally dedicated to Lord Yama are known as Yama Deepam.
It is believed that placing a Yama Deep in the evening of Trayodashi of the dark fortnight of Kartik month prevents any untimely death in the family. The legend of Skanda Purana says that the lighting of Yama Deepams with faith and devotion by the devotees can get the lord to bless them with grace and long and healthy life. Yamadev, the lord of death himself gave assurance to his attendants that even though death is inevitable and cannot be avoided those who perform this Deepdan on Dhantrayodashi will not suffer an early death.
The ritual Yama tarpanam can also be performed early in the morning on Diwali day as a form of worshipping Yama.
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Story of Origin of Yamadeepadana
A 16-year-old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day of his married life due to a snake bride. A girl agreed to marry the unlucky prince despite knowing his ill fate.
She wanted to save her husband; on the fourth day of their marriage, the young bride didn't allow her husband to sleep. She lit the palace with innumerable Deepas, and gathered all her ornaments, jewellery and coins, and placed them in a heap at the entrance. When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas, preventing him from entering the room. He waited near the ornament and coins for the prince to approach them. He sat there all night listening to the songs and tales narrated by the young bride. Soon, the sun rose and Lord Yama had to return empty-handed. The wife had saved her husband from the mouth of the death. Since the day of Dhanteras was named Yamadeepdaan and this tradition was celebrated by burning lamps through the night dedicated to Lord Yama.
When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas.Unsplash
Elements of Yamadeepadana
To perform the ritual of Yamadeepadan one requires sandalwood paste, turmeric, vermilion, flowers to offer to the god, consecrated rice in the ritualistic pattern. For achaman (purification ritual) a cooper platter, tumbler, and a spoon are required. The lamp is placed in a copper platter to be taken out of the house. Most importantly, you need to prepare 13 lamps made of kneaded wheat flour mixed with turmeric powder.
Significance of wheat flour lamps
On the day of Dhanteras, the Tama-dominant (negative) energy frequencies are active in a higher proportion which causes untimely death. The lamps made of wheat flowers neutralize these energies and protect you from any unfortunate death.
Why "13" lamps?
- 13 lamps are offered to the lord as the frequencies coming from Lord Yama stay only 13 moments of Hell. Hence, 13 Deepas are lit to appeal to the lord this is known as Yama-Tarpan.
- The number '13' has the power to impress Yama; therefore, on the day of Trayodashi, prayer is made to Yama by offering 13 lamps to escape from death.
- The period of death of an embodied soul is 13 days long, during this period a black covering of death occurs around the soul and slowly it succumbs, in the next 13 days the souls penetrate through subtle boundaries of time to go to other 'loka' from earth aka bhoo-Loka. Untimely death occurs by crossing over these 13 wheels of time. To avoid such untimely death in the subtle 13 wheels of time, 13 'Deep-Daan is performed.
Diwali is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India with utmost dedication, happiness, enthusiasm, and passion by the people. By performing Yamatarpan, the sins of the entire year are cleansed.
Keywords: Diwali, Dhanteras, Lord Yama, prevent untimely death, Yamadeepadan, diyas ritual, wheat flour lamps