Interviews, Features, Events, Bengali & Indian Performing Arts & Artist Reviews

Utpalendu Chowdhury | Exclusive Video Interview | Watch & Listen Online to Great Singer of Bangla Folk Bengali Tribal Baul Songs

Washington DC, Feb 7, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Utpalendu-da has passed away, leaving back a legacy and memories with millions of Bengalees across the world. I had a chance to meet Utpalendu-da in October of 2008 and vividly remember his inspiring words, and we recorded this interview in a casual setting. May his soul rest in peace. - Supratim Sanyal, WBRi.

WBRi Exclusive Utpalendu Chowdhury Interview Utpalendu Chowdhury is one of the most popular singers of the present genre. Utpalendu gathered his repertoire under the guidance of his father Nirmalendu Chowdhury, the legendary folk singer from Bengal and carries on his quest to know more intimately the splendors preserved by the teacher-to-disciple oral transmission. With a single-minded purpose he looks forward to popularizing the folk songs that he has inherited from his father and the rivers of Bengal.

Eminent Folk singer Utpalendu dies at 62!

Utpalendu Chowdhury, dies today at 62, in a medical facility of the city suffering form cancer for a long time now.

11th century Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple complex damaged by Thai-Cambodian crossfire

Hindus upset at damage to landmark Hindu temple by Thai-Cambodian clashes

Nevada, USA, Feb 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Hindus are shocked and upset at the reported damage to 11th century Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple complex because of Thai-Cambodian crossfire at their border.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the international community to urgently intervene to stop the fighting in order to save the landmark Hindu temple from further damage.

Let there be peace... (Cairo, Egypt)

With the recent political turmoil in Egypt and with Cairo being turned into a semi battlefield with thugs and protestors clashing, the only thing that the World can pray for that country now is Peace. I have travelled across the World extensively and Egypt was perhaps one of the nicest of all countries that I have visited in my lifetime. So, this is a prayer to God Almighty to restore peace in that “otherwise” peaceful nation. The country is full of historic treasures, nice, polite and friendly people, great food and the majestic river Nile… let peace be restored and let everything and everyone be safe. 

Discuss Asish Basak's M-Factor about Muslim impact on India from Md. Ghori-Timurlane till Shahrukh Khan-Katrina Kaif

M-Factor by Ashish Basak
M-Factor by Ashish Basak - click on the picture to zoom in

‘M-Factor’, written by Asish Basak, is an absorbing tale from vehement times of Mohammad Ghori and Timurlane till the rollicking days of Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. It begins when Islam appeared like a desert-storm in the Arabian peninsula and thundered to India on stomping hooves and flailing swords, It maps Muslim impact in India’s ‘Mission Possible’, and how the Muslims slowly Indianised to become a part and parcel of this wonderfully endowed time-tested civilization.

The Puppet Queen - An Ambitous Indie Animated Film By Pia Chaudhuri

PIA CHAUDHURI - Producer-Director of THE PUPPET QUEEN Animated Film
PIA CHAUDHURI - Producer-Director of THE PUPPET QUEEN Animated Film
Picture By Aditya Chakraborty / WBRi

Calcutta, Feb 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Animation films don’t have an industry in India as the target audience is limited and they are also very expensive to make. Also the films are far less technologically equipped in comparison to a foreign animation film. Other than the rare 'My Friend Ganesha', very few films have met with success. When the film is not even a big budget mainstream, there is even less chance of success and publicity for the film and it takes courage to make films like that.

One such person who has decided to make such a film is Pia Chaudhuri who has taken courage to make a small budget film called ‘The Puppet Queen’.

Read all about the film and Pia's conference in Kolkata, and watch a promotional clip online via Washington Bangla Radio.

Sufi Sutra - First International Sufi Festival in Eastern India

By Indrajit Ghosh Dastidar

Calcutta, Feb 5, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) First ever International Sufi Festival in Eastern India presented by and Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal has created SUFI Ka Alam or a Sufi Ambience at Kolkata.

The Festival is on from Feb 4, 2011 and will conclude on Feb 6, 2011. Famous film personality and Director Aparna Sen officially inaugurated the festival on Feb 4, 2011 eve, in presence of a huge crowd of folk music lovers and folk artisans. The festival is held at Nicco Plaza followed by an exhibition which is explaining more about Sufi Philosophy and Cult, number of workshops, folk crafts buyer seller meet and a lip tickling food court of RANDELDA. Amritorupa , Surobhi and Rupa, staff of were whispering among them. Only miss in the food court is the Afgani Kabab.

NECKLACE (2011) - Locket Chatterjee Delivers An Excellent Performance As The Thief's Wife Swarnachampa - Bengali Movie Review

Sekhar Das at Premiere of NECKLACE - Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie
Sekhar Das at Premiere of NECKLACE

Kaushik Ganguly and Churni Ganguly
Kaushik Ganguly and Churni Ganguly at Premiere of Necklace in Kolkata - Images © Aditya Chakraborty / WBRi

Calcutta, Feb 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Sekhar Das (interview) who has directed the national award winning film like Krantikal (buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA) and also other notable award winning films like Mehul Bonir Sereng (DVD), Kaaler Rakhal (DVD) etc has directed his first comedy film with a different touch. The filmmaker who is known for his dark, grim films with a very serious undertone based on a rural theme has made his first city-centric tale with an assembly of actors from the world of films and television

It stars Rudranil Ghosh (interview) and Locket Chattopadhyay (interview) as a pair of thieves Keshto and his wife Swarnachapa who go to houses to steal at around dawn and whenever they are confronted by members of the household, Keshto falls down and gets injured. His wife lands up there and starts wailing and to avoid further harassment, the people of the house where they go to rob pay up. Such a similar incident occurs as well one day when this pair goes to rob Biswanath and Shikha. Similar events occur just after that and Keshto lands up in the hospital, while his wife is taken to Biswanath’s house where she starts behaving like a queen. On top of that, Swarnachapa finds Shikha’s necklace in the bathroom which she starts to wear and behaves like a queen. Biswanath has some helpful neighbours to help him out in this situation. Biswanath is very perturbed with this and finally reveals the truth to his boss. While conversing with his boss on this matter, he comes to know that this particular couple have tried this trick before several times where he falls from a great height while he goes to steal and the wife lands up at that spot instantly and people are forced to pay up to save further harassment. Biswanath’s boss goes to the hospital and confronts him and Keshto is forced to own up. They are let off with a severe warning. After getting out of hospital, they become changed people. They start a home delivery service whereby Swarnachampa (Keshto’s wife) takes care of the cooking and Keshto goes from house to house to deliver the food. They even deliver food nowadays to Biswanath and Shikha who are their clients.

Read the complete review and watch the theatrical trailer of Necklace (Bengali, 2011) film.