Lifestyle Music

‘I didn’t find drums, but rather they found me’

Talking about bringing together Western and Indian sensibilities to his work, he opines that as a musician one may feel they compete with each other at times. However, ultimately, these cultural differences become superficial, and the music transcends all of them…writes Sukant Deepak

He says playing the drums requires all four limbs to work together in synchronicity, creating a unique voice that is specific to the individual. That when one is on the drums, it is all about surrendering control and becoming a physical vehicle for the instrument to play through the person.

Adding that one develops a relationship with the drums, and “if you have a good enough connection, they will treat you well, but if not, they may not talk to you”, Ranit Barot, one of India’s best-known says, “When every day I look at my drums before playing them, it encourages me to play more. You believe that each drum has a unique sonic marker that you absorb into your brain, and that you spend your whole life chasing the sound you hear in your mind, which is why you keep playing.

“Overall, it seems like I have a deep respect and reverence for the drums and the art of drumming. Playing the drums is not just about technique, but also about developing a relationship and connection with the instrument. I did not necessarily find the drums, but rather they found me.”

Festival Curator of the one-day ‘Mahindra Percussion Festival’ held in Bangalore on March 18, Barot, who guitar legend John McLaughlin calls as “one of the leading edges in drumming”, feels it (the festival) has the potential to showcase the diverse range of drumming and musicianship in India and beyond, including folk, tribal, and contemporary styles. “By highlighting these traditions, the festival can shed a spotlight on indigenous cultures from Latin America and even Native American Indian cultures.”

Talking about bringing together Western and Indian sensibilities to his work, he opines that as a musician one may feel they compete with each other at times. However, ultimately, these cultural differences become superficial, and the music transcends all of them.

Stressing that after reaching a point where all the cultural differences disappear, one is in a place that has no nationality, no color, and no face, he says, “It is a place where everyone is resonating at the same frequency, and it’s just bouncing ideas off to each other. It’s amazing how music can bring people from different parts of the world together, regardless of their background or culture. It’s a tool that helps us transcend our human limitations and connect with each other on a deeper level. So, in the end, music trumps all music, and it’s something that we can all enjoy and appreciate regardless of our differences.”

Optimistic about the contemporary independent music scene in the country, the musician who has worked extensively in the film industry believes it to the music industry what independent films are to the movie industry. “OTT platforms are getting a lot of good content, just as indie musicians are talking about real-life stories that resonate with audiences, particularly younger listeners.

There are many indie artists out there, and I’ve seen my daughter perform in front of crowds of 8,000 to 12,000 people, which is a testament to the growing attraction of original music that’s not driven by glamor or flash. I’ve been playing drums for over 45 years, but I know that it’s not just me that’s drawing such big crowds.”

Also, a film score music composer and a longtime associate of A.R. Rahman, the musician, who is legendary dancer Sitara Devi’s son asserts he never felt any pressure from her to pursue a career in music, in fact, she wanted him to become a doctor. “My mother’s attitude, desire, and relentless nature to be the best influenced me the most. Her name didn’t get me the job; it was my merit that got me where I am today. I attribute my success and my hard work to my mother’s influence.”

Working with John McLaughlin was a life-changing experience for Barot as it refined him as a musician and gave him immense confidence. Adding that it taught him how to approach the drum set in ensemble playing and how to write for Indian musicians, he says, “Indian music is ragga-driven, and when you combine it with the Western harmony, it takes a lot of knowledge to make the two worlds meet seamlessly. John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension gave me the best education I could get in this regard. Gary Husband and Etienne Mbappe, the other two members of the band, also informed me equally about all aspects of being in a rhythm section and soloing.”

“It was a complete experience that taught me how to be complete without having to play too much or have any excess baggage. Everything I am today would not have happened if I had not been part of that band,” he concludes.

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An extraordinary musical sangeet experience

These stalwarts came together to curate an extraordinary musical sangeet experience attended by the iconic Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Sonam Kapoor, Elli AvrRam, Anita Hassanandani, Ekta Kapoor, Sophie Choudhary, Maheep Kapoor and Seema Sajdeh to name some of the stars that graced the red carpet…reports Asian Lite News

Indian weddings are characterised by a wide range of exquisite rituals and contemporary components that are beautifully woven into the history and legends of the country. The concept behind “Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy,” is to honour this ethereal bond. These bespoke weddings are created with personalisation at their core and come to life with excellent cuisine, exquisite decor, and unmatched service excellence.

Marriott International through a musical evening in collaboration with the most eligible bachelor of the country Tiger Shroff, ace director and producer Karan Johar and the very talented guru of contemporary dance Shiamak Davar, put up an elegant evening filled with music, grandeur, glamour and some great dance moves! Karan Johar was the gracious host for the evening in his classic style along with Shiamak Davar, whose troupe put up a dazzling dance show which had the audience mesmerized and grooving.

These stalwarts came together to curate an extraordinary musical sangeet experience attended by the iconic Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Sonam Kapoor, Elli AvrRam, Anita Hassanandani, Ekta Kapoor, Sophie Choudhary, Maheep Kapoor and Seema Sajdeh to name some of the stars that graced the red carpet.

With much fanfare, the guests were greeted to a red-carpet experience. The rustic gold bridal theme was incorporated into the decor, which was then interspersed with floral arrangements that were also in keeping with the overall theme. Celebrities were spotted enjoying and being entertained in true Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy manner throughout the night’s high-octane moments.

Ranju Alex, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said, “We are thrilled to have hosted the biggest musical wedding celebration of the year. Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy is slated to make your wedding experiences, even grander, bigger and luxurious. This reimagined rendition will heighten your dream wedding experience with impeccable planning and execution conducted by the most expert wedding makers of the country: Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy. We are extremely grateful to Tiger Shroff, Karan Johar and Shiamak Davar for putting together a great evening for our esteemed guests and making this celebration a special one.”

Karan Johar commented, “Luxury hospitality is synonymous with Marriott International, and I am proud to have partnered with them to bring forth this rendition of Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy. Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy is known to make dream weddings with utmost detailing, customisation and luxury at the heart of it. From venues to menus to decor, these shaadi specialists work round the clock to make your dream wedding a reality. Tonight, was a grand celebration which witnessed the offerings of Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy in its full glory and I am very impressed to say the least.”

Commenting on the association Tiger Shroff said, “Ecstatic to be part of this grand celebration called Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott is a reputed name when it comes to curating luxurious experiences and Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy helps couples celebrate the most cherished day of their life with bespoke experiences. Weddings are a huge affair in India with a lot going into making this special day as novel and as memorable as possible. Executed with impeccable personalisation, weddings are made special by Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy. I am happy to be part of the biggest sangeet of the year. This celebration and association will always be very close to my heart. Wishing the most eligible shaadi makers of the country lots of luck.”

Karan Johar, Tiger Shorff & Shiamak Davar hosted the biggest Sangeet Night.(photo:IANSLIFE)

“Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy is a great concept and I am delighted to have collaborated for this magical evening. It was a Shiamak-style performance, an extraordinary combination of Indo-contemporary mixed with folk & traditions. I am glad to have put together the special Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy look for the evening,” said, Shiamak Davar.

Kunal Chauhan, General Manager, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar said “We are very proud as JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar continues to be the most sought after wedding destination in the country today, from Sangeet functions to the Pheras & Reception! A star studded event like Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy further reinforces our Marriott commitment to immaculate execution of bespoke menus and decor and most importantly personalized service to deliver a fairytale wedding. After all weddings are about creating magical memories, the rest is to be left to us, the wedding experts!”

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A complete musical month

India is perhaps the most musical and musically diverse region in the world. This diversity is evident in the folk traditions associated with different regions. Through this festival, we try to showcase the folk traditions of different regions. This year the focus is on Madhya Pradesh…reports Asian Lite News

With a complex history spanning more than three millennia, Indian music has always held a prominent position in the world of art.

The NCPA features a wide range of artists, from up-and-coming to top-ranking and living legends, and incorporates all the major genres of Indian music. Pure classical, semi-classical, devotional, light, regional, folk, and crossover music are among the many styles that are represented. Each property has a special theme component that makes it stand out. Artists and audiences around the globe have praised NCPA’s thematically curated Indian music festivals over the past ten years.

Upcoming Events in March 2023:


Curated and presented by Tushar Bhatia with Sraboni Chaudhuri, Shivani Vaswani, Aditi Banerjee, and the group’s Main sponsor: Oilmax Energy Pvt. Ltd. ‘Aye Mohabbat is a concert dedicated to the legendary singer Begum Akhtar (1914-1974). The presenter, music composer, and sitarist, Tushar Bhatia, has researched extensively and produced a number of albums of Begum Akhtar for HMV, Music India, and Sony music. The singers, Sraboni Chaudhuri, Shivani Vaswani, and Aditi Banerjee are well-trained established singers.

The evening will showcase some popular ghazals, Dadras, and Thumris from Begum Akhtar’s repertoire covering multiple languages, from Urdu, Bhojpuri, and Awadhi, to Bangla. The song selection will include masterpieces like ‘Aye Mohabbat, ‘Diwana banana hai to’, ‘Koyaliya Mat Kar Pukar’, ‘Mere Humnafas’, and others. Highlighting the uniqueness of her works, Tushar Bhatia will also share personal interactions with people close to her, along with some interesting anecdotes about this celebrated master musician.

When: Friday, March 3, 2023, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show

HINDUSTANI CLASSICAL VOCAL MUSIC by Harish Tiwari of Kirana Ghara In association with Kilachand Foundation

Initially trained by Thakur Chaubey, Ajay, and Nandlal Baranashi, Harish Tiwari was privileged to be groomed in the Kirana Gharana style by the great doyen Bhimsen Joshi. Endowed with a strong voice that is heavily reminiscent of his legendary guru’s; his singing has remarkable impressions of his mentor’s inimitable style. Harish Tiwari is a lecturer in music at Delhi University and has been a regular performer in AIR, Doordarshan, and prestigious music festivals across India.

When: Saturday, March 4, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre

Tickets: Book My Show

LIVING TRADITIONS: FESTIVAL OF MADHYA PRADESH an NCPA presentation supported by government of Madhya Pradesh, Directorate of Culture

India is perhaps the most musical and musically diverse region in the world. This diversity is evident in the folk traditions associated with different regions. Through this festival, we try to showcase the folk traditions of different regions. This year the focus is on Madhya Pradesh.

Living Traditions: Day 1

Kabir songs by Jagdish Boriala group

The works of Kabir (c. 1425-1505) and other saint poets have had a pride of place in the cultural heritage of the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. These are preserved and propagated through the oral tradition of the Malwa region. Couched in Malwi language, the musical renditions are based on diverse melodies, reflecting a folk flavour characteristic of the region.

Raee Nritya by Devki Ram Kushwaha Group

Raee is a popular dance form prevalent in the region of Bundelkhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Performed by veiled female dancers, it is meant to celebrate victory in war. The movement of the body and feet are accompanied by vocal music and instruments like Algoza, Mridang, and Daphali.

Bundelkhandi Folk Drama by Sandeep Srivastava Group

Translated from Kafan Aur Pus Ki Rat, a play originally written in Hindi by the great novelist, Munshi Premchand, Sadhau Ghisu Mare Na Madhau is a theatrical adaptation presented in the folk style of Bundelkhand.

When: Friday, March 10, 2023, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show


Bagheli Folk Song by Roshni Prasad Mishra Group

Baghelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh has had a long tradition of performing songs that are associated with different rites of passage from birth to death. The group will present a few songs such as Sohar, Anjuri, Mundan, Barua, Madba, Banna-Banni, Karma, and others associated with various stages in human life.

Gangaur Folk Dance by Vishal Sakalle Group

Performed during the first month of the Hindu calendar (Chaitra), the festival of Gangaur celebrates the union of lord Shiva (Gan) and his consort, Goddess Gauri or Parvati. Bedecked in colourful costumes, both married and unmarried women dance merrily to the accompaniment of rituals and folk songs, seeking the blessings of the holy couple.

Bagheli Folk Drama by Neeraj Punder Group

Based on a traditional belief that a child born with its feet coming out first, has magic in its feet, Latmarba is a folk story of one such person, Jiyaman. At first, unaware of his ‘miraculous’ power, he struggles through life. However, upon realizing the gift that he is endowed with, his life changes forever. Presented through the medium of Bagheli songs and dance, this folk drama conveys a socially significant message.

When: Saturday, March 11, 2023, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show


Master-Class on ‘Bandish’ in Hindustani music conducted by Ajoy Chakrabarty In partnership with HSBC. Under this educational initiative, a senior guru is invited to impart advanced training to a select group of music practitioners. Ajoy Chakrabarty, doyen of Patiala Gharana, will conduct a workshop on ‘Bandish’ in classical and semi-classical music. An eminent vocalist who has had the privilege of training with great masters like Gyan Prakash Ghosh and Munawar Ali Khan, Ajoy Chakrabarty has been a guru to several students at the ITC-SRA and Shrutinandan, Kolkata.

When: March 14 to 16, 2023, 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Where: West Room 1, Above Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA

Registrations: In Progress – Applications are invited from vocalists of Hindustani music (Khayal and/or Thumri). Preference will be given to those with at least a ‘B’ grade on the AIR.

For Participants: Rs 1500/- (including GST) for 3 days, For Observers: 300/- per day

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Honey Singh focuses on joy and fulfilment

The lyrics of many of his numbers were considered offensive – vulgar and misogynist by many, with even the courts being approached…writes Sukant Deepak

He remembers not snatching anytime for himself when the sailing was smooth. He laments the fact that while anxiety and depression are discussed, they barely scratch the surface. “One particularly dangerous condition is the mania phase in bipolar disorder. It is something I would not wish on anyone, even those I do not like,” rapper, singer, and songwriter Honey Singh tells.

Honey Singh

Singh has known fame, well more than ‘known’. His Punjabi album ‘International Villager’ was released in the year 2011. The track ‘Gabru’ from the album, featuring singer J-Star, topped the Asian music charts, including the official BBC Asian charts. It was reported that he was paid the highest fee ever for a Bollywood song (as of 2012) of Rs 7 million for a song in the films ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Mastan’.

The singer also topped the chart of trending videos of 2012 and earned two places on YouTube’s list of top 10 trending videos of that year. His song ‘Brown Rang’ made it to the top spot. ‘High Heels’, in collaboration with Jaz Dhami, took the fourth spot.

The lyrics of many of his numbers were considered offensive – vulgar and misogynist by many, with even the courts being approached.

“My focus has always been on pursuing what brings me joy and fulfillment. In return, my audience has been appreciative of my work. People will always have an opinion about everything, but it is up to me to decide which ones to take seriously and which to brush off.”

But Singh was in the fast lane, high on popularity. And then came the crash – around the year 2016. Rumours were in full swing, with many news outlets publishing his interviews never conducted.

The singer, who had become a prisoner of his own mind, withdrawing in a shell says, “My two cents to people struggling to seek professional help is – do not suffer in silence and try to maintain a facade of positivity. With the right support, it is definitely possible to overcome mental illness.”

Even as his newly released album ‘Honey Singh 3.0’ breaks new records, Singh asserts he is full of hope. “I can feel the energy. The comeback is in a truly Yo Yo Honey Singh style. My parents have been my backbone during the darkest time, their unwavering support has been a source of immense strength, and for that, I will forever be grateful to them,” says the singer whose songs were part of films like ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Fugly’ among others.

Singh, who will be live during Season 5 of Red FM Swag Fest, to be held on March 11 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital, stresses being on stage is an electrifying experience and the energy he receives from the crowd is indescribable. “There is something beyond special about performing for a crowd of people who love and appreciate your music. It is the support of youngsters that motivates me to continue doing what I do. I am thrilled to be performing at the on-ground event in Delhi, my hometown” says Singh whose songs have been played by Red FM ever since he started out.

With ‘Honey 3.0’, he is creating an album after nine years, the last one being ‘Desi Kalakar’. Stressing that he and his team have raised the bar on every aspect of this project – sound, music, the vibe, the singer feels the album features a unique blend of old and newer elements, allowing the audience to relish in the nostalgia of his previous avatar while enjoying the freshness of the newer version.

Honey Singh

“This time, I have taken on the responsibility of writing and composing the songs myself. Bass Yogi and Hommie Dilliwala have taken on the role of music producers. We began the process in September, and by the end of October, we had created about 30 songs. From that, we have selected the top 10 for the album.”

Singh, who recently collaborated with actor Akshay Kumar for the song ‘Kudi Chamkeeli’ and is in the process of working on the visuals for the album, adds, “Owing to the Pandemic, we have not been able to shoot outside India, but will soon do that. The concept is to always to shoot internationally while being unapologetically desi,” he concludes.

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Ace Indian vocalist National award winner Mahesh Kale to hit UK shores soon

India’s renowned National Award winning classical, semi-classical, and devotional and Marathi natya sangeet vocalist Mahesh Kale will soon hit the UK shores, Rahul Laud reports

Immensely popular for singing various genres including Marathi natya sangeet, Kale will perform in two UK cities to enthral his fans and larger audience. SMS Entertainment & Bright Stars Talent Hunt present singer Kale’s “Sur Niragas Ho – UK tour”. 

Kale will be Live in Concert at the Hatch End High School, Headstone Ln in Harrow on  Saturday, March 11, 2023 5:00 PM GMT followed the next day in the city of Manchester at the iconic  Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Rd on  Sunday, March 12, 2023 4:00 PM GMT.

According to Sameer Mukund Shirwadkar from SMS Entertainment, “Kale has evoked huge response among the Maharashtrian Indian diaspora in the UK. Apart from from the two cities of performances Kale’s fans will drive long distances as far as from Scotland to hear their favourite artiste.”

Kale’s over two hours each shows in the UK will include a broad mix of different musical genres. People’s favourite bhajans and natya sangeet will definitely by presented say the organisers.  

Kale came to prominence after he won the 63rd National Film Award as the Best Playback Singer, for classical piece in the Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusli based on a Marathi play with the same name. 

He is a disciple of the late Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki popularly known as “Buwa” by his disciples, fans and music aficionados. Hailed from Goa, Abhisheki had a unique and distinct style of rendition that is imbibed by Kale.

Kale was ranked nineteenth in The Times of India’s Top 20 Most Desirable Men of Maharashtra in 2017. Kale holds a Bachelor in Electronics Engineering and a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University,United States.

Kale is married to Purva Gujar-Kale and they reside in San Francisco Bay Area. Kale is a popular judge on Marathi musical reality TV show Sur Nava Dhyas Nava.

Tickets for both the shows can be can be booked at – . For more details visit:

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Events London News Music

Sitarist Roopa Panesar set to enchant London with ATMA concert

One of UK’s finest sitarist Roopa Panesar In concert at London Barbican. A preview by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International

British-Indian star sitarist Roopa Panesar will present a concert of deeply soulful music at the Barbican Centre in London on Saturday 18th February 2023, from her new spring album, ATMA. Translating as ‘The Soul’, ATMA beautifully portrays life – love, loss, grief, separation and ultimately the bliss of union.

After a period of personal loss, Roopa wrote the music for ATMA which was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. The music echoes feelings associated with challenges of life, with the intention to uplift. At a time of personal and global turmoil, Roopa Panesar reflects via her music.

Roopa Panesar will perform in a wide range of styles from Hindustani classical music, western classical, jazz and world music. Roopa will be joined at the Barbican Centre on February 18th by leading Indian classical and jazz musicians, bringing the full panoply of Indian music to this vibrant cultural centre.

Roopa Panesar has performed for King Charles III formerly HRH The Prince of Wales at VJ75 Day as broadcast for BBC1 Television. Roopa has toured India, the USA and performs consistently in the UK.

ATMA live concert is produced by Asian Arts Agency in association with the Barbican Centre London.

The album ATMA is funded by Asian Arts Agency as part of its Breaking Barriers ‘Innovate’ Music Commissions and recorded at Real World Studios. ATMA follows on from Roopa Panesar’s critically acclaimed album of morning ragas called SUBHA (2022). ATMA will be available at the Barbican on 18th February 2023 ahead of its national and international release on March 24th 2023 through Asian Arts Agency.

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NCPA presents a fantastic line-up for upcoming months

Home is a film about Fulmani, a resident tea plantation worker, and her impending retirement. In order to keep her home after she retires, Fulmani must send her daughter Aarti to take her place at the plantation…reports Asian Lite News

It’s an exciting time since the spotlight is now shining brightly on the performers on stage. The NCPA produces, performs, and hosts world-class theatrical productions that delight, challenge, and inspire. And the stage is abuzz with a fantastic line-up of presentations.

Coming up in February:

Reality Check (The Show Must Go On) I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with Cinema Collective

The NCPA has revived the Reality Check?film?series, which was started in 2014, to promote and encourage documentary filmmakers in India, whose work reflects life and culture in the country today in a provocative blend of creativity and integrity.

After decades of dormancy, the aging icons of Parsi theatre return to the stage, putting aside their walking sticks and wheelchairs. Plunging into rehearsals, this documentary chronicles the resilience of a singular cast of characters that want nothing more than to go out with a bang. For most of them, it will be the last time on stage after careers spanning over half a century. As the film tumbles headfirst into the creative chaos of rehearsals, we get an intimate portrait of the bonds shared between veteran stars and youngsters, along with a distinct flavor of their sensibilities, marked by a particular brand of not-so-subtle humor that is uniquely their own. The actors want to put up the best show they can. In a way, this film is also very much about celebrating old age. About how people considered well past their prime, still have so much to give, while being their flawed and joyous selves. A great tragedy befalls the cast on the eve of the final show. Will it change everything? Or will the show go on, despite all odds?

Date – Friday, February 3

Time – 5.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. (Followed by a discussion)

Venue – Godrej Dance Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Free Entry, on a first come first serve basis

Documentary Film Screening| English, Hindi & Gujarati | 60 mins

Lavanyavati (Premiere Show in Mumbai) I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with Kali Billi Productions

Lavanyavati is a performance devised in collaboration with Lavani and Tamasha artists. In this performance, we follow the journey of Lavani through the years. The dance form, which is part of Maharashtra’s folk tradition, has evolved over time with changes in social, political, and cultural developments as well as changing audience preferences. It has not just survived but thrived through these changing times and has become a part of contemporary cultural identity. Starting from the traditional form of Tamasha and Sangeet Bari performed mainly in rural areas and smaller towns of Maharashtra, it has also reached audiences in metro cities like Mumbai.

Exploring the meaning of Lavanyavati (one who performs Lavani), we start our journey from the early 1800s till today. In this performance, we look at Lavani and Lavanyavati through the lens of legacy, gender, and modern feminism.

The performance is devised in the form of documentary theatre. Along with live performances of Lavani songs, we share stories, archival material like family photographs, video interviews, and contemporary works like our collaboration with the Agents of Ishq and Paromita Vohra.

Dance Performance in Documentary Theatre |Marathi, English| 90 mins

Date – Saturday, February 4

Time – 5.00 p.m. & 7.30 p.m.

Venue – Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Dekh Behen (99th & 100th Show) I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with Akvarious Productions

A big fat Delhi wedding is underway. Merely hours before they need to put up their rehearsed item number, five bridesmaids catch up, gossip, eat, drink and bitch about their identical outfits. But that is not the only thing they have in common. They all dislike the bride. Akvarious Productions presents an all-female cast and crew in a bittersweet comedy about daughters, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and wives, and getting through one wretched shaadi ka function.

English/Hindi Play | 100th Show| 18+| 70 mins

Date – Sunday, February 5

Time – 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Venue – Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

One Week And A Day I The Indian Express Film Club screening in association with NCPA & Embassy of Israel

One week and a day is a bittersweet drama about families, neighbors, and the glue that keeps people together. A grieving father steals medicinal marijuana from a hospice, skips work, and hangs out with his estranged neighbor’s son, while his wife tries to get back to her daily routine as she fights off school teachers, stray kittens, and dental clinic workers.

Hebrew Language with English Subtitles | 98 mins

Date – Tuesday, February 7

Time – 6.30 p.m. (Followed by a discussion)

Venue – Godrej Dance Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Free Entry, on a first come first serve basis

The film screening will be followed by a discussion with Shubhra Gupta, Film Critic, and The Indian Express.

The Book Of Dust I An NCPA National Theatre Live (London) Presentation

Elevator pitch: Set 12 years before the epic His Dark Materials trilogy, this gripping adaptation revisits Phillip Pullman’s fantastical world in which waters are rising and storms are brewing. Two young people and their demons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the center of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future.

Screening | English | 3hrs | 6yrs+ Date – Wednesday, February 8

Time – 6:00 pm

Venue – Dance Theatre Godrej, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Comedy for Comedy’s Sake I An NCPA-Off Stage Presentation in collaboration with Comedy Ladder

Valentine’s Day is for Love but also for broken hearts. A breakup is part of life, and if you haven’t had your heart broken, this is a great place to learn how it may happen and how to deal with a broken heart. Come and watch some very funny comics talk about their past relationships and share their experience.

Comedy | English, Hindi | 16yrs + | 1hr 30mins

Date – Tuesday, February 14

Time – 7.00 pm

Venue – Dance Theatre Godrej, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Readings In The Shed – Letters of Love I An NCPA Off-Stage Presentation?

When was the last time you wrote a love letter? Or penned a quick note to your beloved? In these times of beeps and pings, ink and pen messages seem to be losing their relevance. Until you come across an old trunk or a shoebox, scoot the dust bunnies off, that is. And lo and behold, they emerge…on yellowed paper and in faded ink, words that are, or deserve to be, immortal. Join us as we dig through the archives of some famous folk to uncover love stories that have lived on. Readings in the Shed presents the fifth edition of Letters of Love?

Storytelling | English, Hindi | 2hrs

Date – Tuesday, February 14

Time – 7.00 p.m.

Venue – Tata Garden, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Aurat Aurat Aurat I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with Motley Productions

An all-female cast enacts selections from Ismat Chughtai’s autobiography, and three other writings (Ek Shauhar ki Khaatir, Aadhi Aurat Aadha Khwab, and Soney ka Anda) which are essays rather than stories, reflecting Chughtai’s abiding concern for the state of womanhood, her impatience with empty rituals and her anger at the condescension women are subjected to.

Drama| English, Hindi| 2hrs | 12yrs

Date – Saturday, February 18

Time – 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Venue – Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Bhagi Hui Ladkiyan (Theatre Group from Delhi) I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with Aagaaz Productions

The play explores the actors’ gendered bodies and their relationship with the self, others, and public spaces-the piece uses objects, physical theatre, and cartography to devise a thought-provoking experience.

These stories begin on a random day. These are first-hand retellings of day-today in Nizamuddin Basti. The spectator is invited to enter the performer’s world through the everydayness of the narrative. The stories begin to twist into tales of how gender and sexuality play out in the lives of the four actors. Conversations about family, trust, consent, personal space, and gender dynamics begin to surface. Their questions and confusions about their identity and how they are perceived within the boundaries of their home and their community, come forth through their words and actions.

The play attempts to highlight the contrast between the confining yet comfortable quality of the home space and the liberating aspects of the outside world. The differences between ‘who I am’ and ‘how people see me’ guide the explorations that the performers embark on. The audience is invited to experience the happenings through a gender-sensitive lens.

Drama | Hindustani | 1hr 5mins | 13yrs+

Date – Sunday, February 19

Time – 7 p.m.

Venue – Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Taking Sides I NCPA Presents the Company Theatre production

The play is set in post-World War II Germany, during the period of ‘denazification’. While on the surface the play is about the investigation of a world-famous music conductor of that time-Wilhelm Furtwangler-it takes on larger discussions and motifs spanning music, art, culture, life, politics, morality, ethics, and more.

Drama | English | 2hrs 5mins Date – Saturday, February 25

Time – 5.00 p.m. & 8.00 p.m.

Venue – Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Book Here

Short Film Corner I An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with White Wall Screenings

Home I Hindi film with English subtitles (13 mins)

Home is a film about Fulmani, a resident tea plantation worker, and her impending retirement. In order to keep her home after she retires, Fulmani must send her daughter Aarti to take her place at the plantation. But this decision comes at the cost of her daughter’s future, which she had hoped to protect from an exploitative and back-breaking labor system.

Home 2 I Hindi film with English Subtitles (12 minutes)

One afternoon, 7-year-old Inaya is suddenly unable to recognize her own parents and starts feeling like a captive in her home. Her parents call the therapist to uncover the mystery of what happened to their child.

Soul-Kadhi I Hindi film with English subtitles (13 mins)

In the upside-down realm of the night, an orphan daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law develop an uncanny bond. Secrets are spilled, recipes shared and late-night thoughts exchanged that will set them free…literally.

Date – Friday, February 24

Time – 6.30 p.m.

Venue – Little Theatre, NCPA

Tickets – Free Entry, on a first come first serve basis

NCPA’s Indian Music Line up for February

The NCPA embraces all the major strands of Indian music and continues to feature a wide spectrum of artistes – from up-and-coming to top-ranking and living legends. The range of genres is equally diverse – from pure classical, and semi-classical to devotional, light, regional, folk and cross-over music. The unique thematic element associated with each property makes it exclusive. Over the past decade, NCPA’s thematically curated Indian music festivals have been appreciated by artistes as well as audiences worldwide.

Coming up in February:

L. Subramaniam

Sama’a : The Mystical Ecstasy

Festival of Sufi Music (4 events)

Rangreza: a musical presentation based on Sufi poetry

When: Friday, February 10, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show

Concept & narration: Suhail Akhtar Warsi

Singers: Girish Sadhwani and Pooja Gaitonde

About the performance: The pain of separation from the Creator is at the core of Sufi lyrics and music. Themes and styles established in Arabic, Persian and Punjabi-Sindhi poetry have had an enormous influence on poetry and music throughout the Sufi world. While saint-philosophers like Rumi, Lal Dedh, Kabir and others, have fervently expressed their love and longing for the Divine through their poetry, we find similar thoughts also being echoed in works of others like Mir, Ghalib, Tukaram, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and many Bhakti poets across ages in numerous languages.

Rangreza portrays hues of the ultimate truth as revealed by numerous philosophers from Amir Khusrau, Baba Bulle Shah and Meera Bai, to Guru Nanak, Shahbaz Qalandar and such others who wrote in various dialects such as Awadhi, Saraiki, Behawalpuri, Multani, Hindustani, Hindavi and Punjabi.

In a style that has a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary musical elements, the presentation will showcase the similarity of thoughts underlying the diverse poetic works, highlighting the universality of the truth.

Ovi Ovi Gumphali

An Ode to Rumi: Presentation based on the Poetry of Mevlana Rumi by Kabir Bedi

When: Saturday, February 11, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show

Concept & design: Jai and Taru Talwar

About the performance: Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (1207-1273), popularly known as Mevlana Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic who composed one of the crowning glories of Persian literature, which profoundly affected the Persian cultural sphere of Khorasan.

Although originally written in Persian, Rumi’s poems have been widely translated into many international languages including Urdu and Punjabi. Rumi’s works transcend national and ethnic borders and seem to be relevant even today across varied cultures.

Blessed with a sonorous voice, Kabir Bedi, one of India’s best-known international actors, will read a selection of poetry penned by Rumi.

The presentation will be divided into five parts: The Seeker, Finding Love, Tasting the Divine, The Awakening and Union with the Divine.

Suhail Akhtar Warsi & Pooja Gaitonde

Rumiyana: a journey within

Presented by The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust

When: Sunday, February 12, 3.30 p.m. & 5.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show

Direction & design: Dadi D. Pudumjee

Text & animation: Shaaz Ahmed

Music: Sandeep Pillai

Language: English

Duration: 60 mins

About the performance: Rumiyana is a multimedia musical puppet theatre performance based on Mevlana Rumi’s work, Masnavi, whose influence transcends national borders and unites people of all races, nationality, and gender across the globe, owing to the universality of his thoughts.

Enacted by two performers, the master and the student, the performance is synergised with dancers, puppeteers and visual theatre with specially composed music.

The dialogue of the story which is narrated at the threshold of a door unfolds a journey within, to unravel the path outside. Four stories emerge out of a single narrative to tell a tale of seeking and receiving, from being the light to spreading light to shining bright – the Unity of vision.

The presentation with animations and projections explores the concept of pluralism, and unity of all existence, as one. It uses the metaphors of soul, body, and shadow to realise the idea of the true self. It promotes unity, love, and peace, by the celebration of diversity, for there are, as many ways as there are seekers.

Raga Rang – Parthiv Gohil

Within: songs of the sacred

By Sonam Kalra & The Sufi Gospel Project

When: Sunday, February 12, 7.30 p.m.

Where: Tata Theatre, NCPA

Tickets: Book My Show

About the performance: Delve into a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Sufism as Sonam Kalra, a multifaceted singer and composer, seeks to blend the many voices of faith, through poetry, prayer and music to create one universal voice of faith.

In this presentation, prayer and poetry from different languages and religions come together to create a sound that touches every soul. The mystic poetry of Sufi poets like Kabir, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusrau and Zaheen Shah Tajji are presented to highlight the one absolute truth; that God is within. Where the call to Allah finds resonance in the ever-soothing Sikh morning prayer and Vedic chants, where the poetry and ideologies of Sufi mystics from across the world find common ground across time and region, and where Indian classical sounds seamlessly flow into the Western accompaniment.

Thus, the lines between religions are blurred through the beauty of note and music, revealing that no matter what the language of the lyrics or the ethnicity of the sounds, there is but one language, the language of faith.

And that is the universal truth.

Ovi Ovi Gumphali: Celebrating Marathi Language Day

An NCPA Presentation In association with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra

Concept & Presentation: Dhanashree Lele

Supported by Preeti Joshi, Deepti Joshi

Music Arrangement: Vikram Muzumdar

When: Friday, February 24, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Experimental Theatre, NCPA

(Event to be presented in Marathi)

Entry – Free on a first come first served basis

Sonam Kalra

About the performance: Marathi, like many other languages, is endowed with a rich vocabulary. Oral tradition associated with it also shows a wealth of literary forms. Ovi is one such form used as a medium of expression, mainly by the so-called “illiterate” women folk while they engaged in the drudgery of household chores. Couched with the most appropriate words capable of expressing finer shades of emotions, the verses of ovi are meant to unequivocally state the Universal truth in the simplest manner. Moreover, plain yet sonorous tunes to which they are set, make a mesmerising impact on listeners. Today, while many Marathi words are going out of vogue from colloquial usage, the ovi literature seems to still retain some priceless age-old expressions.

Dhanashree Lele is an impressive orator, award-winning author, scriptwriter and multilingual compere renowned for her scholarship in Sanskrit literature and spiritual subjects.

Organised on the occasion of Marathi bhasha divas, this event aims to showcase a range of literary forms from the oral tradition of Maharashtra. Besides presenting some ovis with their original tunes, the event will also feature allied forms like bhav geet, bhakti geet etc., including a few that have been used in Marathi films.

Raga Rang: Raga-based songs from Hindi films of yesteryears

Parthiv Gohil & group

In association with Sahachari Foundation Events

When: Saturday, February 25, 6.30 p.m.

Where: Tata Theatre

Tickets: Box office opens on 29th of January, 2023

About the performance: This thematic presentation showcases gems of poetry and musical works featured in old Hindi films that are based on classical ragas and raginis. These timeless melodies continue to enthral listeners even today.

Having trained with several reputed masters like Laxmipati Shukla and Zia Fariduddin Dagar, Parthiv Gohil went on to become a playback singer performing for a host of films like Devdas, Saawariya, Vada Raha and others. His other projects include participation in the iconic song Phir mile sur mera tumhara and MTV performance with reputed artistes. Notable among the numerous awards received by Parthiv include best playback singer for the Gujarati films in 2007 & 2009. Parthiv and his group will present a special selection of geets and ghazals written by iconic lyricists and composed by legendary film music composers of the yester years.

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A beautiful fusion of Indian ghazals with European orchestration. Recorded live at Liszt Academy, produced by solo violinist Deepak Pandit; singers: Pratibha Singh Baghel, Kavya Limaye; flautist Paras Nath & the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kálmán Szennai. Film director: Imre Szabó-Stein

From the musical heart of Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Indian star vocalist, Pratibha Singh Baghel stands centre-stage in the Grand Hall wearing a magnificent blue and white dress which gently sways as she moves closer to the microphone, preparing to sing. Conductor Kálmán Szennai readies The Budapest Symphony Orchestra, while violin virtuoso Deepak Pandit is moments away from bringing compositions and melodies to fruition that he has poured his creative genius into. On stage, the musicians prepare to give magical life to one of the oldest forms of poetry, ghazals. 

‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ is a beautiful fusion of Indian ghazals and romantic songs or thumris, with European orchestration. Composed and produced by one of India’s most respected violin virtuosos, Deepak Pandit, ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ brings together a rare combination of musicians and lead vocalists. The celebrated Indian film singer, Pratibha Singh Baghel and Indian TV reality star, Kavya Limaye are accompanied by the full power and finesse of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and master guest musicians.

Grand Hall Preparing To Perform @Judit Marjai

Ghazals – pronounced ‘guzzle’ – belong to a genre of poetry and are not a musical form yet lend themselves to being performed in either a classical format with minimal musical accompaniment or, as on ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’, arranged to be sung with an orchestra. Featuring a collection from India’s finest ghazals, romantic thumris and film songs, the album presents themes of joy, sorrow, love, loss and separation as well as the bhajan or devotional song ‘Krishna’.   

The making of ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ was a dream come true for visionary composer, Deepak Pandit. Supported by the Sufiscore music label, Deepak was able to bring his full creative vision to light with the excellence of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. A creative team of more than forty musicians, singers, sound engineers and film technicians collaborated to simultaneously perform and record the songs as both an album and film project. As Deepak Pandit says, “I really enjoyed working on this project as all the musicians and singers from both India and Budapest were outstanding. I have recorded the Budapest symphony in a couple of my albums in the recent past, they are highly professional, passionate and skilful. Your life becomes easier when you know the music you have created will be played with utmost perfection specially as we performed live.”

The multi-award-winning Hungarian film and art director, Imre Szabó-Stein was Sufiscore’s perfect choice to create a dramatic and impactful film. Imre Szabó-Stein’s film industry awards include the prestigious Venice TV Golden Lion award for Performance Arts in 2020 for ‘Concerto Budapest & Kremerata Baltica Concert film for Mezzo TV’. This two-hour classical concert music featured the Grammy Award-winning European ensemble Kremerata Baltica led by Gidon Kremer and the renowned Budapest Symphony Orchestra.  Sound recording producer Gustáv Bárány and lead sound recording engineer, Gergely Lakatos ensured perfect sound replication from within the resplendent walls of Liszt Academy’s Grand Hall.

Pratibha Singh Baghel’s golden voice weaves an emotional landscape throughout ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’. As the album’s lead vocalist, Pratibha delivers the perfect balance of warmth and intensity for songs. The opening ghazal on the album is ‘Ajab Apna Hota’ – If Only We Had Been Together, was written during the ‘Golden Era’ of Urdu poetry by the 19th century poet, Nawab Mirza Khan Daagh Dehlvi. In this ghazal, Daagh Dehlvi ponders how he would be if he were to actually experience union with his beloved.  

The ghazal ‘Lutf Wo Ishq Mein’ – The Joys & Sorrows Of Love brings together many elements central to the album: Pratibha Singh Bhagel’s vocals, bansuri flautist master, Paras Nath; pianist Santosh Mulekar; Gaurav Vaswani on keyboards, tabla master Prashant Sonagra with Swaranjay Dhumal on percussion. ‘Lutf Wo Ishq Mein’ was also penned by the revered poet, Daagh Dehlvi.

Thumris expressing both joy and sorrow also feature on ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ including Pratibha Singh Baghel’s emotive performance on ‘More Angana’ – Joyous Love Pouring Down On Me, in which a young woman newly in love anticipates marital bliss pouring down like rain.

Indian reality TV star, Kavya Limaye, a finalist on ‘The Voice India Kids’ and participant in Season 13 of SonyLIV’s Indian Idol is now a well-established vocal star. Kavya Limaye performs on ‘Aisa lagta hai’ – You Seem To Be My Life and the devotional song or bhajan ‘Krishna’ – Lord Krishna.  Penned by the 20th century Indian poet Bashir Badr, ‘Aisa lagta hai’ follows a theme of hope and joy that comes from a new love. ‘Aisa lagta hai’ was originally composed and popularised by the legendary Indian ghazal singer, composer and musician, Jagjit Singh.

Film songs in South Asia have always absorbed some of the best material from classical, folk as well as many well-known ghazals and other forms of Urdu poetry. Pratibha Singh Baghel shines on the album’s film songs: ‘Ae Dil Kisi Ki Yaad Mein’ – The Restless Heart and ‘Ganga’. ‘Ae Dil Kisi Ki Yaad Mein’ was penned by the late, renowned Pakistani Urdu poet, Qateel Shifai and originally featured in the 1963 film, ‘Ik Tera Sahara’.  Ganga’ was penned by the Indian poet and filmmaker, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and featured in the 2003 action-drama film ‘Gangajal’. The song questions why the river goes on flowing in the midst of so much suffering.

All the tracks on ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ feature the majestic sounds of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kálmán Szennai. Established in 1945 by the Hungarian State Railways, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra has developed an international reputation with performances at prestigious venues from Vienna’s Große Musikvereinssaal, The Philharmonie Berlin to Amsterdam’s The Concertgebouw.

Sufiscore assembled a team of creative experts with one purpose: to create a beautiful and lasting piece of ghazal history in the heart of Budapest, and in this they have succeeded admirably. ‘Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest’ releases internationally through Sufiscore on the 27th January, 2023.

Bollywood Lite Blogs Music

New version of Rahman’s ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ unveiled

The song, presented by Jackky Bhagnani’s record label JJust music, rouses the emotion of patriotism…reports Asian Lite News

The first song from the upcoming film ‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’, titled ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ was unveiled on Wednesday.

The song composed by music composer A.R. Rahman was originally written by Late Narsinh Mehta and has been sung by playback singer Shreya Ghoshal.

The film has been directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and marks his return to cinema after almost a decade.

Speaking about the song, Rahman shared, “Rajkumar Sir is a legend and working on a music for him was a great experience. ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ is also one of the special songs because it was Gandhi Ji’s favourite.”

He further mentioned, “This song brought a sense of peace whenever I worked on it and I am sure it will bring the same peace and love in the hearts of my audience as well.”

The song, presented by Jackky Bhagnani’s record label JJust music, rouses the emotion of patriotism.

Rajkumar Santoshi’s daughter, Tanisha Santoshi shared, “Everything about ‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’ is a treasure I will always cherish. ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ was my first song. Since it is in the Gujarati language I had to prepare for it days in advance. Also, there was an added pressure of the legendary singer Shreya Ghoshal ma’am lending me her vocals along with A.R. Rahman sir’s music so I had to give it my best.”

“The song didn’t have any dance steps obviously so I had to make it as expressive as possible through my emotions and eyes. But all in all, it was an exhilarating experience for me,” she added.

‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’ presents a unique concept of opposite ideologies shared by Mahatma Gandhi and his assassin Nathuram Godse. Presented by Santoshi Productions LLP, the film is a PVR Pictures Release, produced by Manila Santoshi.

‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’ will release in cinemas on January 26, 2023.

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Films Lite Blogs Music

M.M. Keeravani feels great like father

Keeravani’s Best Original Song nomination makes history at the 95th Academy Awards for being the first song from an Indian film to land in that category…reports Asian Lite News

Oscar-nominated Tollywood composer M.M. Keeravani can now put on his dancing shoes after securing a spot in Best Original Song for his popular song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the historical action drama ‘RRR’, writes Deadline.

In speaking with Deadline on Tuesday about his nomination, Keeravani revealed that he was working — and definitely not dancing — at his recording studio on an upcoming film when he asked the director to put a momentary pause on their activities. And it was for good reason.

Keeravani’s Best Original Song nomination makes history at the 95th Academy Awards for being the first song from an Indian film to land in that category. (Indian songwriter-composer A.R. Rahman’s 2009 Oscar win for the anthemic ‘Jai Ho’ track was from a British production — ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.)

“It feels great,” Keeravani said about his historic precedent. He said that in his view the Oscars are the best, for “they involve the dreams of artists from all over the world; which is not a joke”.

Keeravani added during his conversation with Deadline: “It takes a great deal of effort and credibility. That’s why the Oscars are the Oscars. That is why we respect and value them very much. And I’m very proud to be nominated for the first time from (South) Asia in this music category. I’m thrilled.”

‘Naatu Naatu’ is a critically acclaimed hit among not only members of the Academy, but also the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, where the song took home awards for its nominated categories. What did it mean to have his song continually climbing the ranks in both pop-culture and cinematic history?

“For me, ‘Naatu Naatu’ means the world.” Keeravani explained in reply to the question from Deadline. “It was just a song when it was born, when I saw my song on the screen after the (scene) was done with choreography, I said, ‘Oh my God! This is my son.’ This was my infant son and now my son has become big.”

He concluded by saying: “He has become a major. Now he’s driving cars, he’s dancing, and he has a girlfriend. Yesterday, he was an infant in my cradle. And now my son is going places and bagging a good name for me. I am feeling like a proud father. I am grateful for this brainchild. And for all the people who made this big wave possible.”

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