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

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Hollywood)

If you have liked to read C.S.Lewis and watched the earlier Narnia films, you would probably love to return to ‘Narnia’ once again with the Pevensies….a magical journey to the parallel world of Narnia.

Sunil Gangopadhyay's MONER MANUSH - An Audio-Book CD Collection on writings on LALON FAKIR from Bangla Beyond Borders

Germantown, Maryland, Oct 21, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Published in 2008, the novel Moner Manush is a biographical account of Lalon Fakir - the Emperor of the Bauls - through the eyes of the acclaimed Bengali poet and writer Sunil Gangopadhyay.

Fakir Lalon Shah was a folk philosopher and composer, born in 1774 in the present district of Kushtia in Bangladesh. The novel depicts the life experiences of Lalon: his childhood; the tragic separation from his family; his settlement in the forest away from locality and the growth of his follower community and his simple philosophy of life. Lalon's life and his beliefs have a huge relevance in todays world when religion has divided our society. Lalon lived between institutional religions and called for a unified approach towards realising the presence of 'God' within the human body. His songs give subliminal exposures to the reality that lies beyond the material world and show the triviality of any attempt to divide people both materially or spiritually.

Watch a video preview of the Audio-book online.

Bengali superstar Dev has now got a personal website

Bengali superstar Dev has now got a personal website

February 2, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Pen Men at Work): With the advent of modern-age technology, the distance between the stars and the fans have, somewhat, shortened. Gone are the days when a mega star used to be inaccessible and unreachable. Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, now the movie stars are just a mouse click away.

Hopes and Aspirations at a Small Town Fair In India

New Delhi, Feb 2, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) After acquiring a spacious shop to showcase his handmade footwear, Ashok Chawade is a happy micro entrepreneur today.  With the help of a loan of Rs. One Lakh from the National Scheduled Castes Finance Development Corporation (NSCFDC) which he had taken six years back,  Chawade has taken a bigger, more spacious shop and has also bought a new ‘Raapi’ machine to trim leather more efficiently. This has helped him a great deal in making many more pieces of footwear than ever before. What is more satisfying for him is that he got the loan from NSCFDC on very easy terms which he has to return in twenty years. Ashok, who is intermediate pass belongs to Ramtek, a tiny but picturesque town of Nagpur district in Maharashtra State with a population of less than half a lakh and with a modest flow of tourists who throng various temples situated in the town. “The town has lot of tourist potential if properly tapped”, Chawade contends while contemplating on ways to expand his business. He makes footwear for a large clientele as his shoes range from Rs. 100 to Rs. 600.

Hindus find Boy George's "Amazing Grace" disrespectful

Nevada, Feb 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Hindus have termed Boy George’s “Amazing Grace” music-video as “disrespectful” to the highly revered deities of Hinduism.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that unnecessary and inappropriate dragging and trivialization of Hindu deities to advance the commercial or other agenda could be hurtful to the devotees who worship them in temples and home shrines.

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: A video-feature on Sandhak-Fu Trek

Calcutta, Feb 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) I had been languishing in utter boredom and hollow feeling. Boredom vanished as soon as Dr. Mili Chakraborty of the Dept. of Botany requested me to join Sandhak-Fu trek and I readily gave assent. She led me to their departmental teachers’ room and introduced me to Avik Sen, the proprietor of Impression India, specialized in Himalayan treks and I was impressed by the reassuring smile of the thickly mustached young man around forty. Mili showed me the list of trekkers already given consent and it included Dr. Mala Basu, popular for her story telling and her amiable hubby Mr. Asoke Basu, Dr. Bani Bahttacharyya of the Sanskrit Dept., well known to me for her advise on ancient Indian culture and many other colleagues and a few of their friends who were all well known to me.

Watch the short film on Sandakhpu trek and read the fascinating account of the trek by Dr Ratan Lal Basu on Washington Bangla Radio.

Has Deepika Padukone chosen Rajinikanth over Akshay Kumar?

Has Deepika Padukone chosen Rajinikanth over Akshay Kumar?

Indian Silk: Sericulture for Developing The Rural Economy in India

Detail of 16th century silk velvet on gold fig...

Image via Wikipedia

By Rajesh Malhotra
Director ( M & C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi

New Delhi, Feb 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Sericulture, an agro-based rural industry has the highest potential for developing the rural economy.  Silk industry plays a major role in equity distribution, as silk is mainly purchased by urban rich and around 61 per cent of the final value of silk fabric is estimated to flow back to the rural farmers and reelers.  Around 60 per cent of the workers in various sericultural activities – starting from host plant cultivation and rearing of silkworms till the final production of fabric and garments – constitute women.  Silk industry, is an eco-friendly, sustainable and labour intensive economic activity.