The king of ghazal is gone, but the queen — for long years closeted in her chambers — has taken a bow. Last year, Chitra Singh brought out an eight-song album of Jagjit Singh’s concert songs. And since then we hear she has been flooded with requests for more such collectors’ delights. Chitra, who’s been on a self-imposed exile for the last two decades, organised a concert on the late ghazal king’s birth anniversary recently. And now she plans to share with the world his last studio recordings. Clearly, she is doing her best to ensure that his memory doesn’t fade away. And songs are the best way of keeping Jagjit Singh alive.
When the creative mind stirs, ask no questions. At least, don’t badger Bengali film director Shankha Ghosh yet. After making his name as an experimental director in Bengali cinema, a little bird tells us that he is now planning a Hindi film based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Char Adhyay. The movie, tentatively titled Atin Ela and Char Adhyay, will have only two characters, unlike the book, which has many. And, oh yes, the camera will be a character in the film. Did someone say “Smile”?
Books, as someone said (or should certainly have said) are not what they used to be. Once they were merely read; now they come with musical soundtracks. The Shiva trilogy by Amish — who seems to have dropped his surname Tripathi — celebrates Vayuputra, an album with songs drawn from various sections of his three books, the last of which, The Oath of the Vayuputras, is to be released later this month. The lead track — a song called Jo Vayuputra Ho — has been composed by Taufiq Qureshi, table maestro Alla Rakha’s son, and sung by Sonu Nigam. The musicians who have contributed to the other songs include Bickram Ghosh and Palash Sen. And the organisers tell us that Amish has performed in one of the tracks as well. Now that’s multi-tasking.
Sonam Kapoor has style. And what’s more, she has an opinion. Ever since she paired up with Ayushman Khurrana for a new Yash Raj film, the style diva has been telling the boy from Chandigarh what he should wear. Or make that what he shouldn’t wear. Apparently, she doesn’t approve of a certain pair of purple pants that our Vicky Donor dotes on. And poor Ayushman can wear those only when she’s not around. But it seems that he’s not ready to hang up those trousers yet. He is spotted — at almost every promotional do — in his purple pants. We are waiting for Sonam to turn purple.
It’s a tribute from one maestro to another. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia will be presented with the first Legend Award instituted by Santoor Ashram, a gurukul near Calcutta dedicated to continuing the guru-shishya parampara (master-pupil tradition) of Indian classical music. Founded by santoor exponent Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya, the ashram will be awarding the flautist for his immense contribution to Hindustani classical music and the preservation of the gurukul system. Pandit Chaurasia, who teaches countless aspirants in his six ashrams across India, will be presented with the award next Sunday. And no doubt there’ll be music in the air.