Exclusive WBRi Bangla Radio Interviews, Reviews, Features, Songs, Videos, Biographies of Bangla Artists, Bands and Albums

Noted Bengali Nazrulgeeti Singer LIPIKA DAS from Kolkata: WBRi Interview-Feature

Lipika DasKolkata, April 14, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Dedicated practitioners of Nazrulgeeti are somewhat rare in Bengal. Which is why meeting Lipika Das at her Kolkata residence turned out to be a revealing experience. After a warm welcome, the questions came forth naturally and the interview was candid.

Lipika Das began her music lessons at the age of seven under Dwijen Ghosh, an eminent music personality from Bangladesh. Under him, she learnt several forms of music including classical and semi-classical. In fact she also began performing on stage under him at various local music programs and was soon able to free herself of the inhibitions of public performances. Although she learned the singing practices across various genres, she chose to specialize in Nazrulgeeti. However, owing to audience demands, she often has to switch to other musical forms such as Rabindrasangeet, folk and contemporary music.

Watch an exclusive video interview with Lipika Das on WBRi.

Interview: Actress ANINDITA BOSE on Bengali Movies BHUTER BHABISHYAT and KHASHI KATHA - A GOAT SAGA (2012) & Other Films

Bengali Actress Anindita BoseMichigan, USA, April 12, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Bengalis the world over know her as Nalini, Ratri or the smart and confident television journalist Jhinuk Sanyal. They have also started to know her as Rinka in Anik Dutta’s Bhooter Bhabishyat and will now see her in quite a few Bengali films.

Anindita Bose is a dynamic young actress in Tollywood Kolkata Bangla movies. In this audio interview, She spent some time chatting with WBRi after her hectic shooting schedule to talk about her upcoming film Khasi Katha - A Goat Saga and future projects.

Interview: ANOUSHKA SHANKAR Chats with Bharati Mitra & Her Return to Washington DC with the Traveler Ensemble Presented by WPAS

Anoushka ShankarWashington, DC, April 11, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated sitarist, composer, and conductor  Anoushka Shankar returns to DC with The Traveler Ensemble to perform live their "Raga-Flamenco Journey" concert presented by Washington Performing Arts Soceity (WPAS), Co-presented with the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium, on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8PM at GWU Lisner Auditorium. With traditional instruments from India and Spain, as well as a dancer, Shankar’s ensemble condenses Gypsy music’s thousand-year migration from India to Europe into one exceptional evening, where Andalusian flamencos and Carnatic ragas merge seamlessly. Tickets to this eagerly anticipated concert event are available online from the WPAS Website or by calling 202-785-9727.

Anoushka and the Ensemble will perform selections from her latest music album "Traveler". To begin her exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Anoushka Shankar enlisted top players from India and Spain to record Traveller, promptly breaking new ground between South Asian classical and Spanish dance music, as befits the innovative legacy of her father and mentor, the great Ravi Shankar.

Bharati Mitra caught up with Anoushka in Pittsburgh to chat about Traveler and her music in general. In this audio interview, Anoushka shares her thoughts about the genesis and evolution of the album, her experience as a student and a daughter of Pandit Ravi Shankar and the challenges of being a touring musician and a mother of a one-year old boy. Incidentally, Anoushka and her troupe were in a somewhat challenging position when this interview was recorded - it turns out Pirashanna Thevarajah's Ghatam (clay pot) was shattered during the journey to Pittsburgh and the team was eagerly looking for a Ghatam for Pirashanna to play in Pittsburgh!

Interview: Angela Jones on Photography: the only way to capture a moment in time and freeze it forever

By Bidisha Bagchi

Photographer Angela M Jones

Angela M Jones, a Member of America’s Professional Photographer’s Association has had her work chosen to be featured in the students’ portfolio in the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Her passion for photography has given her immense satisfaction in all her work. She spoke to WBRi about how a camera is just not the sole reason for a good photograph and about the scopes for a career in photography.

How did photography interest you?

A Photograph by Angela Jones

I have always had a passion for photography.  Perhaps it was because of all the photo albums my parents kept that gave me glimpses into their lives as children and young adults.  For me it was how the pictures told a story that drew me in.  Photography is the only way to capture a moment in time and freeze it forever--whether that moment is a couple’s first kiss as husband and wife, a child’s first steps, or a stunning sunset in an exotic location.

What is your specialization & what is your favorite subject?

Interview: Past life regression therapist Minal Arora on healing the past to create a better present

By Bidisha Bagchi

Minal Arora

Minal Arora is one of the most successful past life regression therapists in India. She prides to have done her internship under the famous author of “Exploring the eternal soul”, Andy Tomlinson from the Past Life Regression Academy in Singapore. A successful IT professional, she was drawn to PLR for gratifying her inner quest for doing something that had deeper meaning and purpose in life.

Minal spoke to WBRi about her vision to educate and spread the awareness to as many about how their past life karmas create blocks in their current life, just calling out for getting released.

Healing the Past to create a better Present: How would you explain this to common people?

Interview: Arup Mitra, Jt. Head of Western Music of Calcutta School of Music on the school and the Indian Music Section

By Bidisha Bagchi


The Calcutta School of Music is one of the premier institutions in India. It was established in the year 1915 AD by Dr. Phillipé Sandré, a musician of considerable calibre, a contemporary and friend of the famous composer Saint Saëns. It is probably the only school in the country which has a wide ranging canvas of musical disciplines covering all Western music disciplines, dance, speech training, elocution, and drama.

Arup Mitra, Joint Head of Western Music shared some interesting facts with WBRi about the school, its students and the Indian Music Section.

Tell us something about the school?

Anushree Gupta - The Young Singer-Songwriter from Kolkata Celebrating Life with her Songs | WBRi Feature

Anushree GuptaWashington DC, March 27, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Born and raised in Kolkata Anushree Gupta grew up in a joint family amidst lots of love, lots of music and lots of poetry. Her dad was an expert Table player (though he chose to not play professionally) and her mother is a talented singer. Her grandfather has been a major inspiration for Anushree - he used to write beautiful devotional songs that she would sing with him. They spent magical moments together with music.

Read all about Anushree and her songs and listen to her beautiful texture online on WBRi.

Interview: GRAMMY Award winner Sound Engineer Carlos 'Storm' Martinez on "LIFE! CAMERA ACTION..."

Carlos 'Storm' Martinez with daughter Tava Rose
Carlos 'Storm' Martinez with daughter Tava Rose

New York, March 23, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) New York based award winning Sound/Mixing Engineer Carlos 'Storm' Martinez gets candid in this interview about his experience as the Post-Production Supervisor on the highly praised and internationally acclaimed film LIFE! CAMERA ACTION... produced & directed by Rohit Gupta.

Carlos 'Storm' Martinez with daughter Tava Rose

'Storm' as he is known to many is 10 times Grammy Nominated and a Grammy Award winning Sound/Recording Engineer and Mixer. His role as the sound engineer in the film 'God of Love' won the Best Live Action Short at the Oscars 2011. He has worked with the legends in the industry for many years including Justin Timberlake, Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Roots to name a few from a vast list. His work won Justin Timberlake the Best Male POP & Best POP performance at the 2004 Grammy; Patti Labelle, 2005 Grammy nomination for the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performer; The Roots, 2004 Grammy nomination for the Best Rap Album & Jill Scott, 2001 Grammy nomination for the Best R&B Album.

Storm owns 'Creative Mixing' a Sound recording company based in New York.

How did this transition from music to movies happened?


Movie transition happened accidentally when I moved to NYC. The scene died in Philadelphia so I needed to move somewhere I could work and support family and myself.  Once I got to NYC I answered a Craigslist ad for some needing a short film mixed. I thought, "If I can mix a record, I can mix a film."

After getting the project files from the producer, I erased everything they had in there and did all of the sound again-After hearing everything they told me I was the sound designer as well!  As a music engineer we read the manuals to all of the latest effects boxes so that we can manipulate sound in any way possible, the problem is that most musicians don't want their sounds manipulated that much but in film world where someone hands you a dream sequence that's silent and say "bring this to life" I get to have real fun with noise tweaking.

How was the Oscars experience?

Trophies and Awards of Storm

Interview: Feng Shui expert Nalini Rawal on the ancient science and its impact on our lives

By Bidisha Bagchi


An interior designer by profession in India, Nalini Rawal studied Vaastu and her interest grew in Astro Sciences. She also studied Feng Shui (Fung-Shway) and is now an expert in it. WBRi chatted with her to know more about these ancient sciences and how it works.

Databazaar Media Interview with Spirit of Kadalibala (Actress Swastika Mukherjee) from Bhooter Bhabishyat

By Shoma A. Chatterji

The following is a sponsored article from Databazaar Media Ventures.Watch unlimited latest Bengali movies and TV shows in USA and Canada on your TV set via Databazaar Media. Bhuter Bhabishyat, Aparajita Tumi, Nobel Chor, Baishe Srabon, Katakuti and countless other quality superhit Bengali movies : click here for details >

Bhuter Bhabishyat (2012) Kolkata Bengali Movie Poster Release in USA

Calcutta, March 22, 2012 (Databazaar Media Ventures) Swastika Mukherjee is not exactly on the top of the charts. This is no reflection either on her acting talents or on her glamour quotient. It is gossip around her that keeps the media ready to pounce on her and not the films she participates in. However, all this is going to change post the release of Anik Dutta’s maiden film Bhooter Bhabisyat (The Future of the Past) in which she plays a major role. Bhooter Bhabisyat has been acquired by Databazaar Media for distribution, screening, streaming and telecasting in North America and Canada. The name of Databazaar Media features in the credits of this hilarious take on changes over time in Kolkata seen from the perspective of a gallery of ghosts of all kinds coming from different time periods.

What character have you essayed in Bhooter Bhabisyat?

Interview: Arunava Sinha on his experience as a translator, his insights on the translation industry and his new books


With years of experience, Arunava Sinha has achieved recognition for his works as a translator and has an impressive list of acclaimed publications to his name. It is through him that book lovers get a glimpse into a world that might have otherwise remained unknown to them. Quite recently, his current work ‘Chowringhee’ was aired on BBC Radio 3. WBRi had the honor of interviewing Mr. Sinha about his experience as a translator, his insights on the translation industry and his new books.

Celebrated Composer & Tabla Player ZAKIR HUSSAIN & MASTERS OF PERCUSSION Mesmerize Washington DC WPAS Concert with Drums & Flute

By Devapriya "Debu" Nayak

Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion perform  at The Kennedy Center on March 17Washington, D.C., March 17, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) After his remarkable concert with the National Symphony Orchestra a couple of years ago that is still resonating in Washington, Ustad Zakir Hussain returned to Kennedy Center today with The Masters of Percussion - some of the brightest stars of Indian music today. The concert was presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS).

Simply put,  Ustad ji is a Tabla wizard and a virtuoso. He uses every part of his two palms of his hands to make the Dayan and Bayan (right and left  drums -Tabla) talk. His fingers constantly become blurry while playing, and while doing that he simply bludgeons the audience into submission. “Ustad” Zakir Hussain, a salutation which he refuses to accept (listen to his interview with B. Mitra … like everything in India there is a story behind this one too), is a master of this art and the genre’s most celebrated and recognizable artist around the world. He is also the proponent of a new movement going around the world called “Tabla science” which he teaches at Princeton University. (more info on this in my Tabla blog) . Ustad Zakir Hussain, in recent years,  has reached new heights in exposing new audiences to this ancient musical craft. Tabla, although a relatively newer percussion instrument in the sub-continent, dates only back to 300-500 years compared to Pakhawaj, Mridangam, Madol and other percussive instruments in the Indian sub-continent.

We saw Zakir ji, in the show at the Kennedy center concert hall, offer some newer and exciting elements of sound production for the Tabla lovers in the area. The stage opens with a very traditional tabla duet (which he is used to performing with his father Ustad Alla Rakha), with his brother Fazal Qureshi. The two sets of Tablas, just like any tabla duet performances in India, were set to two different octaves. They highlighted interaction of melodic movements, borrowing stories from Hindu mythological tales of Ganesh and Shiva,  interspersed with speedy syllables of “relas” and “kaida” elements (bols) of Punjab school (gharana), in this syllable-chanting duet piece. The only thing that was missing in this particular piece is the crucial role of a Sarangi player as it is done in a traditional Tabla duets/solos. They decided to keep the time with hand signals - borrowed from Karnatic style – as it’s done in a South Indian Taal Vadya Kacheri.

Interview: Ustad Zakir Hussain - a wide-ranging chat with the Master of Percussion coming to DC at the WPAS Event

Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion presented by WPAS at The Kennedy Center on March 17Washington DC, March 13, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Residents and visitors inside and outside of the Capital Beltway are eagerly looking forward to the very special "Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion" concert presented by the The Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS - www.wpas.org) on Saturday, March 17 at 3 p.m. at Kennedy Center Concert Hall. In this audio interview, Bharati Mitra on behalf of WBRi chats with Zakir Hussain a few days before the concert in an endearing conversation touching upon diverse aspects of Indian classical music and the life, experience, training and works (do not miss the anecdotes) of one of the great musical geniuses of our times.

Along with the Tabla wizard, the concert features Fazal Qureshi on tabla & kanjira, Rakesh Chaurasia on bansuri (bamboo flute), THV Umashankar on ghatam (clay pot), Dilshad Khan on sarangi, Navin Sharma on dholak, Abbos Kosimov on doyra and Meitei Pung Cholom - dancing drummer of Manipur. Tickets are $15-65 and available at www.wpas.org or by calling 202-785-97.

Interview: Singer Actor Director NEEL MUKHERJEE on Bangla Movie GHENTE GHAW ... EKTU ONYOROKOM (2012) & Other Upcoming Projects

Ghente Ghaw Ektu Onnorokom New Bangla Movie PosterrMichigan, USA, March 13, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed singer, actor and director Neel Mukhopadhyay is well known for his songs and acting performances in films and on television. Encouraged by the recent refreshing developments in Bengali cinema where modern film-makers are constantly upping the bar with new story lines and directorial talent, Neel debuts as a feature film director with his first full-length Bangla movie for the silver screen titled "Ghente Ghaw Ektu Onnorokom". In this informal chat with Bidisha Bagchi, Neel describes his motivation for picking up the director's hat and describes what the film is all about.

Interview: Paroma Roy Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Google India on International Women's Day

By Bidisha Bagchi

Paroma Roy Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affair, Google India

International Women's Day (8th March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty. In many countries, International Women's Day is an occasion to honor and praise women for their accomplishments. On this special occasion WBRi spoke to Google India’s Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Ms. Paroma Roy Chowdhury about women in India and their desire for progress and achievements.

Women’s Day is a tribute to female achievement and the desire for progress. What is your idea on this?