Arts & Culture Lite Blogs

KBC Arts pays Homage to poets

The performances concluded with   Hanuman Chalisa (Tulsidas) in which the entire audience took part. The performers enjoyed the Mridangam support of the popular  Vijyeyarajah Mylvaganam…reports Asian Lite News

KBC Arts, dedicated to perpetuate and raise the awareness of the rich Indian cultural Heritage held a successful well attended event at East Ham Mahalakshmi Temple on 29th October 2023. The evening was dedicated to exploring and acknowledging the works of 15/16th Century poets Kabir/Tulsi/ Surdas who are highly-respected Indian saints/poets/composers. This is the 13th event in the series hosted by KBC arts with, each event being dedicated to a particular poet (or a set). These events are open to all performers (& free for the audience) and particularly encourage younger generations to explore and understand these cultural gems. The performers express the poets work in any form like Carnatic music, Bharathnatyam, Kuchipudi dance or musical instruments.

Jayashree Varadarajan anchored the event with narratives from the lives of the poets and exhorted the audience to familiarise themselves with their compositions and their philosophies. Mrs. Pushkala Gopal, MBE, an eminent artist, addressed the audience and explained the mysticism of the poets and the profound influence that they had on the Bhakti movement. She deeply appreciated the commitment of the audience/ the performers and congratulated the organisers for the novel idea of holding a series of events dedicated to a specific poet. She added that this would keep the legacy alive as the compositions are refreshed in the memory of the followers.

Dances were performed by Ranjani Dharmarajan (Gaiye Ganpati Jagvandan) and two well-known artistes Sankari Mridha (Sri Ramachandra Kripalu) and Lavanya Rao (Gopi Gopala Lala), which regaled the audience. Shruti Sriram (eminent singer) and her students mesmerised the audience with three compositions– a. Akhiyan Hari Darshan ki pyasi, b.Paani Mein Meen Pyaasi  and c. Bhajman Ram Charan Sukhdai. Another set of students, trained by the talented singer Padmini Pasumarthy) sang Jheeni Jheeni Beeni Chadariya, impressing the attendees. The audience were captivated by the seven-year- old Dhriti Srinath who sang Darshan do Ghanshyam. The performances concluded with   Hanuman Chalisa (Tulsidas) in which the entire audience took part. The performers enjoyed the Mridangam support of the popular  Vijyeyarajah Mylvaganam

The event ended with an Aarti by the temple priests. Photography and Videography was by Aaditya Kaza. The event was conceptualised, coordinated and organised by Geetha & Prabhakar Kaza founding patrons of KBC arts.

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-Top News London News UK News

Queen and family pay tribute to Philip

The service was the first major event this year attended by the Queen Elizabeth, who travelled by car from Windsor Castle with Prince Andrew, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family have joined a memorial service to celebrate the life of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Her son the Duke of York – in his first public appearance since settling a civil sex assault case – accompanied her to Westminster Abbey, the BBC reported.

Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, was described as a “remarkable man” committed to “down-to-earth” causes.

The service was organised as Covid rules meant his funeral, held almost a year ago, had only 30 people present.

Representatives of many of his charities – including the Duke of Edinburgh Award – attended Tuesday’s service, which had 1,800 people in attendance, according to the BBC report.

It was the first major event this year attended by the 95-year-old monarch, who travelled by car from Windsor Castle with Prince Andrew.

There had been doubts she would attend, and she only made the final decision in the hours before the service.

The Queen has had mobility problems and had to pull out of the Commonwealth Service earlier this month. She also tested positive for Covid in February.

Special measures were put in place for her comfort, including keeping the length of the service to 45 minutes.

Unlike the funeral in Windsor last April, where the Queen was poignantly pictured sitting alone, she had close family members in all the seats around her.

The Queen and Prince Philip’s two elder children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, were sitting in the same row as her.

Prince William and his wife Catherine were in the row directly behind along with two of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The Queen’s other two sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, also had front row seats, across the aisle from the Queen.

But Prince Harry, who has been in a legal dispute over the provision of security, did not travel from California, where he lives.

Political leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer were among the guests, as were representatives from European royal families, including from the duke’s native Greece.

The service was stamped with the personality of Prince Philip, with many of the elements originally intended for his funeral at St George’s Chapel included.

Meanwhile, the Queen had chosen to be accompanied by her son Prince Andrew to her seat in Westminster Abbey despite the Epstein scandal.

Prince Andrew cheerfully waved at photographers as he and the Queen skipped several royal receptions and returned to Windsor Castle in the afternoon.    

The social media witnessed rage from the users seeing Prince Andrew escorting his mum, the Queen, to her seat in Westminster Abbey.

Prince Andrew had earlier agreed to a multi-million-dollar legal settlement with a woman who accused him of raping her when she was a teenager. In January, the Buckingham Palace had announced that Duke of York Prince Andrew’s military affiliations and royal patronages had been returned to the Queen.

The Duke of York held several honorary military titles following a 22-year service in the Royal Navy.

Andrew is the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

ALSO READ-Queen holds virtual meeting with Indian High Commissioner

FEATURE India News News

The unfading legacy of INS Viraat

On March 6, 2017, Indias second aircraft carrier, the mighty INS Viraat, was decommissioned after 30 years of glorious service to the nation. This article is a tribute to this unique warship, which kept Indias shores safe and citizens protected during one of the most challenging times in our nations history…writes Amruta Talawadekar & Janhvi Lokegaonkar

Thus, this article intends to rewind the clock and take a peek at those glory days through the eyes of one of its Captains who commanded INS Viraat when it was in full sail on the Indian high seas.

First, a short backgrounder. The ship was constructed by the Vickers-Armstrong shipbuilders in Great Britain and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes in 1959. She was the Royal Navy’s flagship during the Falklands War in 1982, before being decommissioned in 1985.

The ship started her second innings with the Indian Navy, when she was commissioned as INS Viraat on May 12, 1987 as India’s second aircraft carrier. Those were the heady days when India was operating two aircraft carriers — INS Vikrant and INS Viraat.

INS Viraat was different in that it was larger and operated the Sea Harrier fighter, which was a Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft. INS Viraat remained the flagship of the Western Fleet of the Indian Navy for most part of her 30-year service during which she proudly displayed the Indian naval ensign in many parts of the world, while also taking part in numerous operations which included Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation and Op Parakram in 2001-2002, post the terrorist attack on the Parliament. The ship was decommissioned on March 6, 2017 after almost 30 years of glorious service with the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral Abhay R. Karve, PVSM AVSM (Retd), commanded the ship as its Captain from August 1, 2007 to December 27, 2008. He later went on to be the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, from 2016 to 2018, from where he retired.

Considering his extensive sea experience and varied command tenures, we took the opportunity to seek his unique experience on his command of the mighty Viraat. Reproduced below are excerpts of that interview.

Starting with the basics, we asked for the Admiral’s views on the difference he found in commanding an aircraft carrier vis-a-vis other ships.

Karve replied, “An aircraft carrier has the largest crew complement of any ship in the Navy, which amounts to more than 1,500 personnel when all aircraft Squadrons are embarked. For a Captain, its ship handling characteristics are completely different from other ships. The aircraft carrier embarks various types of aircraft viz Sea Harrier fighters, Sea King helicopters, Chetak and even Kamovhelicopters at times. Other ships of the fleet are required to operate in coordination with the aircraft carrier. The safety and operational ability of such a large crew is the Captain’s responsibility.”

Having set the tone, we asked him about the unique characteristics of flying aircraft from sea and more so, from an aircraft carrier.

The Admiral said, “Every aircraft has its own unique role at sea. This requires specialized personnel to operate and maintain each aircraft. Moreover, the ship’s air wing and the operations team have to work like a well-oiled machine in complete coordination to maintain the tempo of operations. For me, since I had served on the ship as part of the commissioning crew, one was fairly aware of carrier operations and thus one could benefit from that experience when I commanded the ship.”

Turning from operations to the more basic necessities of food and water, we asked him how such a large force of men were fed and clothed while being fighting fit at such a large distance into the sea for months at a time.

Karve explained, “Onboard an aircraft carrier, stocking of rations and ammunition is a massive evolution requiring a few days of whole ship involvement. Fueling in harbour and at sea is also a unique exercise for the carrier which can be extremely stressful for the crew and Captain who are always alert for any emergency.”

Our final question was on the unique problems that an aircraft carrier faces while at sea. To this, the Admiral had an interesting insight to share.

“One of the unique challenges of the carrier at sea is the sea-space it requires. The ship must remain on steady course and speed for a longtime during launch recovery operations. Other vessels, including fishing boats, are required to stay clear of the carrier conducting flying operations. This may not always be possible and therefore can pose navigational challenges to the carrier, especially during night flying operations,” he said.

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“Aircraft carriers are central to the concept of Indian naval operations. The carrier is an extremely versatile platform and with its integral air power is able to exercise sea control over vast stretches of the ocean at will,” Karve added.

This reinstates the vitality of aircraft carriers. Carriers are no doubt expensive but the unique capability that they provide to the Navy is unmatched and unachievable by other ships or capability.

Currently, India has one aircraft carrier in commission, INS Vikramaditya, while the new Vikrant is undergoing sea trials and would be commissioned shortly. A follow-on third aircraft carrier is an operational necessity for the Indian Navy and is under active consideration.

Meanwhile, INS Viraat will remain a milestone in India’s maritime history. Today, we honour this mighty warrior on its decommissioning anniversary and pledge never to forget its great service to the nation.

(The writers are Senior Research Associates at the Maritime History Society)

London News UK News

Prince Charles leads tribute to Queen  

A smiling portrait of the queen, surrounded by the royal coat of arms and her year of accession 1952 to the present year 2022 marks the Platinum Jubilee on the pieces…reports Asian Lite News

Britain’s Prince Charles led tributes to his mother, Queen Elizabeth, on the 70-year anniversary of her accession to the throne on Sunday, saying it was an opportunity for the country to unite and celebrate her service to the nation.

Charles also thanked the queen for her statement on Saturday that she hoped the heir to the throne’s wife, Camilla, would become Queen Consort when he becomes king.

“We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother’s wish,” he said in a statement. “As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout.

“The year of this unprecedented Platinum Jubilee brings an opportunity for us all to come together in celebrating the service of The Queen, by whose example we will continue to be led in the years to come.”

Typo on souvenir raises eyebrows

A spelling mistake on the souvenirs manufactured to mark Queen Elizabeth II‘s 70th year of accession to the British throne has grabbed attention. The error has been printed on thousands of commemorative tea sets, mugs and decorative plates, reported the BBC.

A smiling portrait of the queen, surrounded by the royal coat of arms and her year of accession 1952 to the present year 2022 marks the Platinum Jubilee on the pieces.

However, instead of “To Commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II” the plaque reads “To Commemorate the Platinum Jubbly of Queen Elizabeth II”.

The pieces were produced at a factory in Changzhou in China, as per The Sun report. Wholesale Clearance UK agreed to buy the pieces, which have been advertised as “Queens Platinum Jubliee (Jubbly) Souvenir Stock with Slight Typo Mistake”.

Karl Baxter, the Clearance website boss, was quoted as saying by the BBC that he will pitch them as collectors’ items “in classic Del Boy-style”. “What could be more unique than our limited-edition misprinted crockery?” he said.

The 10,800 items have been offered for 32,400 pounds instead of 323,892 pounds with a 90 per cent discount. Interestingly, the Wholesale Clearance UK website has brought a sitcom connection for the sale. “Become an Only Fools and Horses fan and wow your friends with your Lovely Jubbly set!” the website says.

The website states that the queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. She took to the throne on February 6, 1952, at the age of 25.

ALSO READ-Queen joins select group of longest-reigning monarchs

Lite Blogs Music

Harsh Upadhyay’s music wave of positivity for Covid fighters

The inspiring number was recently shared by Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan on Instagram…reports Asian Lite News.

Getting a positive vibe from somewhere is very relevant at this point . Composer Harsh Upadhyay says, his latest song “Lad lenge” aims to inspire the youth to come together and fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The song is also meant to appreciate frontline workers and create a sense of positivity.

“Audiences should feel the wave of positivity and pride about our frontline workers. Also, the composition is meant to inspire the youth to come ahead and unite together to fight this pandemic along with the government, doctors and nurses of our country and win over it,” he said.

The inspiring number was recently shared by Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan on Instagram. Harsh has worked with Varun as one of the music composers for the actor’s 2020 film “Street Dancer 3D”, where he recreated a song.

On “Lad lenge”, the composer said: “It was already curated by Varun Dhawan and (choreographer) Rahul Shetty before I got a call from them, about creating something of great motivation to dedicate it to our frontline workers. They are the real heroes in today’s world, giving their all out to save lives in this horrific pandemic situation. We wanted to make a short composition which can be used to spread positivity amongst all of us.”

“Lad lenge”, also written by Harsh, has been sung by Divya Kumar.

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-Top News UK News

Britons mourn death of Prince Philip

Britain’s Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, died at Windsor Castle on Friday morning…reports Asian Lite News

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, mourners have continued to travel to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh who passed away on Friday at the age of 99.

Britain’s Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, died at Windsor Castle on Friday morning.

All British government buildings have been told to fly official flags at half-mast in tribute to the duke on the day after the his funeral, Xinhua news agency reported.

Gun salutes have been fired across Britain on Saturday, on land and at sea in memory of the duke, the BBC reported.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh(Wikipedia)

Saluting batteries began firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday on Saturday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well from Royal Navy warships.

Also read:UK Reports 3K New COVID Cases

The royal family website has asked people not to leave flowers and tributes at royal residences. The website encourages members of the public to consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes.

No official details have been announced yet about the duke’s funeral, but it is understood the Duke of Edinburgh will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral according to his wishes, Sky News reported.

The Buckingham Palace is expected to release during the weekend details about the days to come and the duke’s funeral.

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921. He married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. The couple had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

In May 2017, the 96-year-old duke retired from his own program of royal duties after carrying out more than 20,000 solo public engagements.

The duke left hospital last month after a month-long treatment. He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, according to Buckingham Palace.

Also read:Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Dies at 99

Bollywood Lite Blogs News

‘Major’ a great tribute to Sandeep

On the occasion, the actor announced that the film’s teaser is slated to be launched on March 28.

Major Sandeep’s name and martyrdom is unforgettable to all Indians. Actor Adivi Sesh paid tribute to 26/11 martyr Sandeep Unnikrishnan on the latter’s birth anniversary on Monday. Adivi plays the late real-life hero in the upcoming film “Major”, which is inspired by the braveheart.

On the occasion, the actor announced that the film’s teaser is slated to be launched on March 28.

Adivi posted a small video from the film, sharing its first look. “On the Birthday of #SandeepUnnikrishnan. We REMEMBER.Here is the #MajorGlimpse,” he captioned it.

Talking about posting a look from the film, Adivi said: “We all remember him for his heroic sacrifice and bravery in the 26/11 attacks, but not many people know how he led his life until then. ‘Major’ celebrates the way he lived, and not just his sacrifice. Remembering him as a son, a friend and a soldier, on his birthday, I wanted to celebrate him and his ethos.”

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan is known for his valiant action during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. He was consequently awarded the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award.

The film is set to release on July 2, and it also stars Sobhita Dhulipala, Saiee Manjrekar and Prakash Raj. Directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka, the film marks Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu’s debut as a producer.

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