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

Bengali Magazine KOLKAJ of Hyderabad requests submissions for Barsha Shonkhya (Monsoon 2010 Edition)

Bengali Magazine KOLKAJ Puja 2009 Issue CoverMar 7, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) The KOLAJ Bengali Magazine editorial team is gearing up again for the next edition after their successful paperback Bangla magazine launch over last year's Durga Puja.

KAJIRANGA - Bondhu Tomay On Rupashi Bangla TV Channel - June Maliah, Kushal Chakraborty, Bhaskar Banerjee

Bondhu Tomaye Rupashi Bangla TV Channel Watch OnlineMarch 6, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) KAJIRANGA is a hilarious story of a woman trying to find her life partner, unfolding over March 8 - March 12 on the Bondhu Tomay TV show at 7 pm & 9 pm on Rupashi Bangla TV Channel broadcast from Kolkata, India.

KAJIRANGA is directed by Kushal Chakraborty, starring Kushal Chakraborty, June Maliah and Bhaskar Banerjee.

Watch Indian Bengali Kolkata TV Channels video live on your PC - click here.

Bhaskar Banerjee and June Malia have previously appeared in Debraj Sinha's film RAKTOMUKHI NEELA (Buy DVD) with Sabyasachi Chakravarthy, Dolon Roy, Dipankar Dey and others. June Maliah also played a lead role in NRI director Suman Ghosh's critically acclaimed film Padakkhep - Footsteps (Buy DVD) costarring Soumitra Chatterjee, Nandita Das, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Sabitri Chatterjee and more.

Gargi Banerjee, Priyanka Chowdhury, Laboni Mukerje crowned in Sananda Srimati 2010 Kolkata Beauty Contest

Sananda Bengali Magazine CoverKolkata beauties Gargi Banerjee, Priyanka Chowdhury and Laboni Mukerjee were crowned the top three beautiful women in Calcutta at the 2010 Sananda Srimati beauty peagant.

The beauty contest was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Salt Lake, Calcutta on March 4, 2010. The official title of the 2010 contest including the names of the sponsors is Nihar Naturals Sananda Srimati.

Sananda is a magazine published by Ananda Publishers, Calcutta, targeting the modern Bengali woman. The magazine was initially edited by famous actress and film-maker Aparna Sen. The magazine is actively promoting young girls in Bengali modeling and fashion events for the past few years, including the famous Sananda-Tilottama event that launched the careers of top actress models like Koena Mitra and Bipasha Basu.

According to the official ABP website, Sananda had a circlulation of 1,46,085 in 2008 with a readership almost eight times that number (i.e. 8 people read every copy sold). The magazine marked its 20th year of publication in 2006.

Unfortunately, Sananda does not seem to be available in any online edition at the time of writing.

Interestingly, a quick website reservation (from here) check by this correspondent came up with best rates of around $180 per night at the Hyatt Regency Kolkata, comparable to standard accommodations for business travelers in any average 3-star hotel in the USA.

Women of India outdo men in philanthropy

Women of India have outperformed Indian men in philanthropy.

Latest list of Forbes Asia of “48 Heroes of Philanthropy” contains only four Indians and all of them are women.

These philanthropic heroes are: Anu Aga (67, Director of Thermax; Thermax donates 1% of its profits to charity), Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (56, Chairman of Biocon; contributed $10 million to Bangalore Cancer Center, donates $2 million annually towards health insurance of villagers, committed $3 million to Hyderabad Business School); Kiran Nadar (58, wife of HCL Technologies cofounder Shiv Nadar; opened an Art Museum), and Rohini Nilekani (50, Infosys investor; donated $40 million over the years).

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged each Indian to take a vow of undertaking at least one charitable project during this year for less fortunate members of the community.

CNN lists Gurudutt-Amitabh-Pran-Nargis-Meena among “Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time”

ZANJEERGuru Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Pran, Nargis, and Meena Kumari are among “Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time”, according to CNNGo, a division of Cable News Network (CNN).

The listing, posted on March four, lists struggling poet of “Pyaasa” (1957) (Buy PYASA DVD Online ) as the “best role” of Guru Dutt and mentions about his “soulful acting”. Talking about “deep voice and broodiness” of Amitabh Bachchan, it declares Inspector Khanna in “Zanjeer” (1973) (DVD ) as his best role. Portraying Pran as “pre-eminent villain of Hindi cinema”, it states his best role as Good Samaritan in “Upkaar” (1967) (Upkar DVD ). Praising Nargis’s “versatility and natural expression”, it announces strong-willed Radha in “Mother India” (1957) (dvd ) as her best role. Dubbing Meena Kumari as “The Tragedy Queen”, it finds “yearning to be understood” woman of “Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam” (1962) [Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film ] as her best role.

With five actors listed, India has highest number of entries. It compares Guru Dutt to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane). About Amitabh Bachchan, it argues that “Zanjeer” “cemented his image as a dark and deep character, triggered to explode”. Talking about Pran, it says: “So great is his notoriety as a villain that some Indian parents dare not name their sons Pran”. It stresses that Nargis stole the show in the Oscar-nominated “Mother India”, known as the Indian “Gone with the Wind (Blu-Ray DVD)” About Meena Kumari, it points out that her grief-stricken roles “mirrored the sufferings in her private life”.

A.R. Rahman having “Jai Ho” concerts in 16 world cities choregraphed by Amy Tinkham

Mar 4, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) will be taking his “Jai Ho” concert worldwide, starting June 11 from New York (USA) and ending in London (United Kingdom) on July 26, according to reports.
During this period, he will reportedly have live concerts in USA, Canada, Netherlands, France, Norway, and United Kingdom; covering the cities of New York, Atlantic City, Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Amsterdam, Paris, Oslo, Glasgow, Manchester, and London. More concerts of this world tour will be announced in the future.

Perturbed Hindus ask for immediate recall of Shiva & Ganesh puppets

Upset Hindus have asked for the immediate withdrawal of Shiva and Ganesh puppets and few other similar products, calling it inappropriate, upsetting, and denigrating.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Kolkata Rock Band FIVE LITTLE INDIANS (FLI) Announce their debut album

Mar 3, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Five Little Indians(FLI) is a 5-piece rock outfit featuring two vocalists based in Kolkata (Calcutta), India.

Over the past couple of years, FLI have drawn up a delightful catalogue of what sounds like modern rock hit music. The five-track sampler available for listening online echoes Toad The Wet Sprocket, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Switchfoot. The band features two vocalists, Neel Adhikari and Sayak Banerjee each bringing a unique sound to the table. It’s not just strong harmonies – FLI also add in Indian classical vocals, courtesy Bannerjee which seem to work on few tracks and sound slightly forced on some. The very able rhythm section (Arko Das – drums, Sanket Bhattacharya – bass) holds down a tight groove, while also adding just the right flavour on tracks like the groovy ‘Screaming At The Sun’ and the hard-rocking ‘Go Back In Time’. They also get sensitive on the moody, beautiful ‘You Make My World Turn To Lead’. Guitarist Allan Ao perfectly complements Adhikari’s acoustic strumming with his intelligent parts and occasional rock god moments.