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

Britain attempting to cash on the Royal Wedding fever ?

Nevada, Feb 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Headquartered in London, Visit Britain, Britain’s National Tourism Agency responsible for marketing Britain overseas (which is sponsored by Department for Culture, Media and Sport of United Kingdom) is publicizing its “British Royal Wedding Escape” and “William and Kate`s Royal Wedding Walk” tours.

Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, and Catherine (Kate) Middleton, both 28, who got engaged in Kenya in October, will be married by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowland Douglas Williams on April 29 at Westminster Abbey in London. They met in September 2001 at the University of St Andrews in Scotland studying art history, and then reportedly split in April 2007 for a short period. Middleton is said to be the first commoner in 350 years to marry an heir-presumptive to throne.

Harry Potter to be honoured at BAFTA

Harry Potter to be honoured at BAFTA

February 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Pen Men at Work): Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have been enthralling us in their garbs of wizards and witches for close to 10 years. We, the audience, on our part have found an easy escape from our mundane world as we get thrown into the magical kingdom weaved wonderfully by various directors over the course of 7 films.

Tapas 'R' Us

‘Tapas’ are the famous snacks of Spain and before we went into venturing this unique kind of snacks, we did a bit of prodding to understand the origins of this fare. 

Orion Ent: TOGETHERNESS audio albums by Kaushiki-Parthasarathi Desikan and Purbayan-Sanghita Chatterjee MP3 Songs Download

Purbayan Chatterjee and Sanghita Chatterjee : TogethernessTogetherness - Bandish Duet by Kaushiki Desikan and Parthasarathi Desikan

Calcutta, Feb 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Continuing on it's remarkable record of producing unique albums of lasting value in excellent packaging, Orion Entertainment of Kolkata have started to release their Togetherness series of albums featuring the best of Indian songs and music from artiste couples.

Washington Bangla Radio had the opportunity to speak with Suvojit Roy of Orion in a candid interview which illustrates Orion's mission, philosophy and approach to lead the resurgence in Bengali performing arts. You can listen to the interview via our audio-on-demand broadcast service in this post.

In Togetherness - Bandish Duet by Kaushiki Desikan and Parthasarathi Desikan - both scholars of ITC Sangeet Research Academy who have received their taalim under the legendary Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty - they present us with seven remarkable bandish duets and solos with accompaniment on Tabla by Subhankar Banerjee (WBRi interview). Having come in close association with the likes of Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Pandit V.G. Jog, Girija Devi, and several other eminent musicians of hindusthani classical music, both Kaushiki and Parthasarathi have made mature impressions in the domain of indian classical music at very early ages. Here . The music album contains the following seven songs/raagas.

In the album Purbayan Chatterjee and Sanghita Chatterjee : Togetherness,  ace sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee (WBRi exclusive interview) - a distinguished artiste of the Maihar gharana and an acclaimed vocalist, together with wife Sanghita, present seven popular tagore songs from a new angle in the style of lounge.


Kumarajiva The Philosopher and Seer From India: International Seminar on Kumarajiva (Jik mó luó shí)

New Delhi, Feb 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Buddhist savants who traveled from India to China and from China to India have contributed to the evolution of Sino–Indian cultural relations in the classical age.  They contributed not only to the spread of Buddhism but also to an understanding of social and economic relations, as torchbearers of Indian civilization to Central Asia and China. Unfortunately ancient records of India are silent about them but there are a large number of documents preserved in Chinese and Central Asian languages.

[Kumārajīva sitting on a lotus, meditating in front of the Kizil caves as a young monk]
Kumārajīva sitting on a lotus, meditating in front of the Kizil caves as a young monk. These are one of the most famous sites in Central Asia, situated on the Muzart river, where a multitude of Buddhist temples were discovered, hewn in the mountainsides. Approximately 300 caves at Kizil contained frescoes. The local name for this site ‘Ming-oi’ (1000 cells or chambers) referred to the vague figure of great magnitude.

Only a few Chinese records are so far discovered narrating the lives and works of Indian monks in China. One such record is the Gao Seng Chuan (Biographies of eminent monks) and another important work is the Kuang hungming chi (Seng chao’s obituaries).  One of the eminent scholars was Kumarajiva, who broke political, geographical, cultural and linguistic barriers with a long cherished mission: propagation of the true spirit of Buddhism.

Memorandum to US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer from India's Political Party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Calcutta, Feb 3, 2011 - Innocent Indian students are already victims of  US University, they should not be inhumanly behaved by the US Authorities. Law of Land should prevail but also the basic Human Rights of students should not suffer. Sh.Avinash Rai Khanna, MP(Rajya Sabha) Incharge of Human Rights Cell and Sh. Sudhir Aggarwal, National Convener strongly voiced against these violations and atrocities upon Indian students duped by California based Tri Valley University and also submitted a Memorandum to the US Ambassador Mr. Timothy J. Roemer to forward these concerns to Hon’ble President of US and California State Administration.

Amar Biya Hobe Shaadi Hobe: Complete Shadi Audio Songs MP3 Download Collection

A Hindu bride during traditional wedding ceremony

Image via Wikipedia

Bengali weddings, both Hindu and Muslim weddings, have many rituals in common among a multi-day ceremony that brings joy for an extended time to the typically equally extended families of the bride and the groom.

The Ashirbad phase where elders bless the soon-to-be wed bride is rapidly taking on an added Western practice of the groom presenting the bride with a "wedding ring".  Subsequently, the bride and the groom's families separately apply turmeric on their bodies (perhaps to ward off diseases since turmeric is a proven antiseptic), followed eventually by the actual shaadi / bie (wedding) ceremony. After that, the bride is welcomed to her new home by the grooms family, and the bride and the groom live happily forever.

These, and many other beautiful events, take place over many days.

Popular wedding songs (biyer gaan / shaadi gaan) entrenched in deep roots of folk music are sung by well wishers and family members, often in chorus, all through these days - especially in rural Bengal.

Thanks to the age of the internet, many such songs are now available online for MP3 download via our affiliate Bengali audio song download service - click here to listen to free previews and download the Shadi songs and related Biyer Gaan and of course Shehnai tracks >

Here is a complete list of what songs are available ...

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.