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

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.

Washington Kali Bari (Shiv Shakti Mandir) Tithi Saraswati Puja Celebration 2011 Events

Germantown, Maryland, Feb 5, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Washington Kali Temple (Kali Bari)  Shiva Shakti Mandir of 16126 New Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866 is in its 10th year of service to the community and encourages all to begin their spiritual  journey in 2011 with a visit to Washington Kali Temple and experience a difference.

Interview: Susmita Dasgupta - Leading Crafts for Sarees To Glorious International & National Sari lovers

Bangalore, Feb 5, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) [Crafts For Sarees]`Susmita Dasgupta was born to parents accomplished in creative arts - her mother is a vocalist and her father is a writer and a painter. It is but natural that Susmita should feel the creative urge in her, which she pursued in a uniquely novel way and today heads Crafts For Sarees (, delivering custom sarees to her customers one at a time, each a unique work of art using timeless classical and natural fabrics of India.

Arijit Chakraborty caught up with Susmita Dasgupta in Bangalore and we recorded this informal chit-chat with Susmita who talks about her innovative service and  unique challenges and rewards of her one-of-a-kind enterprise.

Crafts For Sarees has been covered extensively in the media including Times of India, Indian Express, Explocity, India Toady and, and their designs have been featured in the Indian edition of the iconic Vogue fashion magazine.

Crafts for sarees was created with 2 things in mind:

1. Customize each saree based on customers’ choice of color, fabric and design
2. Integrate such designs with classical and contemporary saree fabrics crafts

Crafts For Sarees
An example of work by Crafts and sarees

We are in the midst of the generation of iPods and Facebook. We like to create our own Playlists by downloading our favorite music from the internet. Then we create our own content and let others participate in that. We tailor make our international holidays, order our designer watches on the internet, and even pick what toppings we want to make our very own Pizza!

Then why can’t we do that with what we wear? And why not sarees?

The Saree is becoming a significant part of corporate dress culture for successful women in India, even if they live abroad. And the saree was, and shall always remain, that particular piece of clothing that adds the enigmatic charm to every woman who wears it.

Crafts For Sarees is the answer to the question, "what better way than to able to create and wear something that I THINK suits MY Style, Personality and sense of Elegance?"

Then, as every tale has its twist, Crafts For Sarees added a twist to their story too – they decided that they will only bring to their patrons the classical and natural fabrics of India, that have originated thousands of years back, with some very contemporary and international designs and crafts.

Crafts For Sarees offers their exclusive Make Your Own Saree ™ service that gives women (and, of course, men buying sarees for women) an opportunity to design their own sarees.

A Crafts For Sarees saree is designed in 3 simple steps of Select, Pick & Choose by the patrons:
Step 1 : Select the fabric
Step 2: Pick the color
Step 3: Chose the Design

As an example, one may want a Tasser (fabric) in Grey (color) with Nakshi Kantha (Design) on it. All she needs to do is select from options as shown in a Crafts For Sarees menu and place the order. is conceptualized, designed and managed by Susmita Das Gupta on behalf of Mrs. Tapati Das Gupta.
Phone: +91 9945560612
D’Zine Studio locations: Kolkata & Dhaka

Securing India's Coastline Post-26/11 Terror Attacks

New Delhi, Feb 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) India, with vast coastal border of 7516 kms. covering 9 coastal States and 4 Union Territories, poses serious security issues and challenges.  After the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11, the entire coastal security scenario of the country has been thoroughly reviewed by the Government at various levels. The National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) against threats for the coastal security has been constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.  It has held detailed deliberations on issues related to coastal security.  All the 9 coastal States and 4 Union Territories are regular participants in its meetings.

Many important decisions have been taken by the various Ministries which are under implementation for further strengthening of coastal security in the country.  For securing our coastline, police of all coastal States/UTs, State administrations, Indian Navy MHA and other Central Ministries are working in coordination. Nevertheless the task of securing India’s vast coastline is immense.