Thinking green Food for thought Coming up...
- Published 26.12.06
|Ujjaini on song. Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya|
Calcutta warmed up for a week of partying last Saturday with Beyond Barriers Chapter VIII, a musical extravaganza organised by the St Xavier’s College (Calcutta) Alumni Association and RPG Enterprises in association with The Telegraph.
The programme kicked off with performances by a few alumni members. An 8,000-strong crowd, including students, parents, alumni, working executives and industrialists, had turned up.
Earlier, Xaverians had had to postpone the college’s annual fest Xavotsav because of a 48-hour bandh call. The zestful event line-up on Saturday evening made up for the disappointment as they danced to Bollywood numbers on the college grounds.
Before the stars of the evening took the stage, the college principal, Father P.C. Matthews, greeted the audience for Christmas.
The association handed over a cheque of Rs 25 lakh to the principal towards development of the second campus of St Xavier’s College, which is coming up off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
“Kailash signifies satyam and shivam, Ujjaini, from our own city, is sundaram. So today, we have satyam, shivam sundaram and nothing beyond, ‘Nihil Ultra’,” said the principal, introducing the two singers for the night, Kailash Kher and Ujjaini Mukherji.
Up first was Ujjaini, the winner of Ek Main Ek Tu, the musical talent hunt on Zee TV. She performed for 45 minutes with chartbusters like the title track of the film Golmaal, It’s the time to disco from Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaame from Dhoom.
But it was Kher and his band Kailasa who stole the show. The sufi singer walked on to the stage rendering the title track from Mangal Pandey — The Rising. He followed it up with other hits from his album Kailasa such as Tauba tauba and Teri deewani.
The hour-and-a-half-long show ended after the singer had given in to popular demand and sung two songs after Allah ke bande.
Sufi from Bollywood
|Kailash Kher and his band Kailasa thrill the Beyond Barriers crowd|
A dynamic self-driven singer who has trained under 15 gurus, Kailash Kher comes across as a humble person despite the success of his works in Main Hoon Na, Fanaa and Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II.
Who helped you get established in the music industry?
I struggled the first few years of my career in the jingles industry. A lot of people have influenced me as a singer and as an individual. I owe a lot to my 15 gurus, especially Guru Pandit Kumar Gandharva.
Have you changed after Allah ke bande happened?
I don’t get attracted to material things. I still lead a simple life of a sufi. With the blessings of my parents and the Almighty I have carved a niche for myself in the music industry.
lWhere do you see yourself five years from now?
I believe in destiny. Whatever I sow today I will reap tomorrow. I am a public figure so after five years I will be where my fans place me. My album Kailasa is a milestone of my life.
lHow did you like Calcutta?
It was wonderful performing here. I enjoyed myself. I would urge budding singers to work hard as nothing comes easy in life. Learn from Tagore’s famous song Jodi tor daak shune keu na ashe, tobe ekla cholo re…
How different are Sufi songs now from what they were traditionally?
The basic thing remains the same, only the style changes. You have to serve the traditional dishes in a new form to attract the youth. I am a bridge between the traditional and Bollywood.
What is Sufism for you?
Madness about your beloved, passion that goes beyond all barriers and becomes pure and out of this world such that there is nothing beyond… Nihil Ultra, that is what Sufism is.
MA journalism & mass comm, CU
happenings here ’n’ there
The city finals of the fifth Euro-Enviro Quiz, organised by Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment in association with TTIS, was held at Rotary Sadan on December 16. It started with the audience and participants taking the Enviro Pledge based on three Rs — “Reduce wasteful consumption, Reuse everything optimally and Recycle responsibly”.
Twenty six schools from Calcutta participated in the preliminary rounds which were held over a month. The top four teams out of them pitted their wits against each other in six rounds at Rotary Sadan (picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha).
South Point High School maintained the lead from the first round till Calcutta Boys’ High School caught up in the third round. Debasis Bishoyi and Agriva Roy of South Point won in a tiebreaker against Calcutta Boys’. They will compete against 30 teams in Mumbai on February 9.
Around 300 schools from 16 cities participated in the contest which is part of the e-initiative movement of Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment. “We never thought that we will win,” smiled the jubilant Pointers.
Food for thought
The basement of Apeejay School, Park Street, recently hosted a food carnival for students of classes VI to X. The event started with an introduction about types of food and their nutritional value. A computer presentation followed in which the benefits of a good breakfast was emphasised upon. A chef from The Park hotel then spoke on the different types of breakfasts. Enthused by the response from the children, he even demonstrated how to cook two dishes. Later, the students took their pick from Pav Bhaji, Aloo Paratha, Chaat, Biriyani, sweets and other delicacies on sale at the stalls.
Rohit Banerjee & Parantap Bhattacharya,
A lecture series and workshop on Paper II (poetry), especially oriented for the students of English honours of Calcutta University, at Charukala Bhavan (behind Calcutta Information Centre), from December 27 to 29, 5 pm to 8.30 pm.