Politicians are known to beat their own drums. And to try and drum up support for their perennially sagging image. But home minister P. Chidambaram did some drumming with a difference recently. At the inauguration of Jashn-e-Kashmir, a chain of cultural youth workshops in Kargil, the audience watched gobsmacked as he got up to play a spot of drums. What’s more, the minister was given a helping hand by Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. The workshops are aimed at promoting awareness among the Jammu and Kashmir youth about art and culture. Well, who would have thought that the home minister was a man of such hidden parts?
Sarod maestro Tejendra Narayan Majumdar is keen to emulate the success of his 2010 Grammy-nominated album, Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call. Majumdar is currently touring US cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington DC to collaborate with some Hollywood musicians for a sequel to Soul Call. The latter was the product of a collaboration between financial-consultant-turned-musician Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon, Majumdar and other artistes from Calcutta. The album had songs blending calypso, Latin Jazz, Blues, folk, Western classical symphony and Indian classical. Hope the sequel turns out to be as felicitous a mix and match.
Pix: Ilan Besor
Israeli singer David Broza came to India on a lark, accompanying his New York-based designer wife Nili Loitan, who is here on a business visit. “I tagged along with no plan to play any music, but fans and friends in Delhi insisted that I should,” says Broza. Which is exactly what he did. On Thursday evening he enthralled a select audience in Delhi with a musical performance. A goodwill ambassador for the Unicef, Broza’s song Together was the theme song for Unicef’s 50th anniversary celebrations in more than 148 countries. Now that he has had a taste of India, Broza hopes to be back. “I hope to hold bigger concerts in several parts of India in future,” says the artiste who has used Indian music in his songs at times. We look forward to that.
If you are a fan of Sridevi, the queen of Bollywood in the 1980s and much of the 1990s, block September 21 on your calendar. For that’s the day when the yesteryear diva will make her comeback at a theatre near you. After a 14-year break from the movies — during which she got married to Boney Kapoor and was busy raising two girls — Sridevi will be seen in R. Balki’s English Vinglish. Recent pictures of the once oomphy heroine show her, well, looking oomphy again. But will the magic work after all this while? The movie’s director Balki certainly seems to think so. “Sridevi is such a natural and she was the perfect choice for this role.” Perhaps. But with Karisma Kapoor’s comeback vehicle Dangerous Ishq tanking at the box office, one only hopes that Sridevi’s second coming will not suffer a similar fate.
Book launches are supposed to be serene PR events, right? Wrong, especially if the book being launched is one by veteran novelist and playwright Kiran Nagarkar. Before introducing his new novel The Extras in Chennai recently, Nagarkar stepped out of the measured routine of a book launch and went hell for leather at the “censorship” prevailing in the country now. “Either people are losing their sense of humour or are using humour to get mileage,” he said, alluding to the recent shindig over the 1949 B.R. Ambedkar cartoon by Shankar. The writer, whose epic novel Cuckold won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2001, said that the “very breath of democracy” was being stifled in India. Of course, then he apologised to the audience for veering off course and got back to the business of promoting his book. Don’t suppose too many in the audience took offence at his outburst, though.