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

An inspiring change in Kashmir: Women Empowerment

Brokpa women from Kargil, northern Ladakh, in local costumes
Brokpa women from Kargil, northern Ladakh, in local costumes (CC BY 2.0)

Contrary to the 18th and 19th centuries, the 20th Century world in general has witnessed the rise in social status of the women. However, in last few decades, there has been a tremendous surge in the desire among women not to be merely treated as equal to their male counterparts but first among the equals. This phenomenon becomes particularly interesting because this desire of women is backed by a solid endeavour to carve a niche for themselves. Today, women want to weave a world of their  own - a world that promises freedom to make choices, independence to take decisions and indulgence with capacity building activities. Like the rest of the world, Kashmir too is experiencing this transformation among women. The phenomenon of women outshining their male counterparts is a common place occurrence rather than being an exception. Women empowerment, thus, is no more anissue that can be overlooked or given a shoddy treatment.   Despite Kashmir being a male dominated society for centuries and women being restricted behind the four walls, Kashmiri women have proved their mettle in numerous fields around the world. The very fact that they were able to overcome the enigmas of gender inequalities and discrimination, restrictions caused by the conflict and lack of opportunities, there is no more proof required support the argument that the quest for excellence among Kashmiri women was never missing.

Interview: Ustad Zakir Hussain on Celtic Connections Concert in Washington DC - Indian Ragas meet Scottish Strathspeys

ZAKIR HUSSAIN'S PULSE OF THE WORLD: CELTIC CONNECTIONS • Tuesday March 17 • Washington, DC • Lisner AuditoriumUstad Zakir Hussain is bringing his eagerly awaited "ZAKIR HUSSAIN'S PULSE OF THE WORLD: CELTIC CONNECTIONS" concert to Washington DC on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Lisner Auditorium. The groundbreaking ensemble is on its first tour of North America with flowing melodies of Celtic instruments including bodhran, violin, pipes, flutes and whistles, combined with tabla, bamboo flute and Carnatic (South Indian) violin to create a powerful and organic musical experience. Tickets and more information are available at the GWU Lisner Auditorium website »

A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to chat with Zakir just before his "Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion" concert in DC (you can listen to it here ») Zakir is one of the most pleasant and interesting persons to talk to. And I was eager to find out what was it that motivated him to combine Indian classical music with Celtic music - Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Breton instruments and music - a rather rare combination!

The stirring string of a Native Tongue.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
---Nelson Mandela---


As we celebrate International Mother Language Day, with much reverence and fervor we do travel back to our roots, our heritage, lineage and culture and hope to preserve all the glory and richness of our ethnicity contributing to the melting pot that the world is Today. One can feel strongly about his ancestral land and language even though he is continents and oceans apart from his native land. Here is how a string of words stirred a soul in the heart of Manhattan, New York. It didn't have to be through a speech in a seminar, in a symposium or in a literary convention of a forum. It was through a heart- to- heart talk.

Poem on International Mother Language Day-আন্তর্জাতিক মাতৃভাষা দিবসের কবিতা

 ভাষা দিবসে বাংলা ভাষায় মৃগাঙ্কের কবিতা 'ভাষা আমার '

Dharma shines again at Toronto's UN World Interfaith Harmony Event

Canada Marks UN Interfaith Harmony Week by Citing Indian Icons from Buddha, Gandhi and Narendra Modi to SRK, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan as Role Models for Pluralism.


The merry Christmas and Happy New Year signs are quickly replaced by Happy Valentine's Day signs that lures You to some more chocolatey sins, as if all those cookies and Christmas Cakes have not made you a sinner enough. But then you come across some reality checks with signs that makes you laugh out loud as you read ‘God if you cannot make me skinny this year please make my friends fat’. Suddenly the sugar rush gives way to a sugar crash. Now everyone wants to shed the extra pounds they have blissfully gathered from those cakes in the last couple of months. One after all has to get ready for summer and for the much sought after thin and lean look. It's funny to find people carefully reading every label before they even open a bag of chips.



The musical theme of this year's Performance section of Surbahar was, 60's and 70's Golden Era of Bollywood music, comprising songs by R. D. Burman, S. D. Burman, Shankar Jaikishen, Kalyanji Anandji, Ravindra Jain, Usha Khanna etc. Songs on vocal and the guitar was presented by Nilanjann Nandy, with solo vocals by Neeharika Nandy and Ellora Nandy. 


এবং মন মেপে কথা বলছেন সুন্দরীরা।
কিন্তু সত্যেও নির্জনতা ঘাসের মত থাকে।