I sing in Bangla….

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
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The Marathi girl from Maharashtra on the west coast of India has captivated the world, not just South Asia, but the enchanting magic of Kinnar's voice. Lata and her sister Asha's song waves are also admired in the homes of Bengal far away from their birthplace. Music empress Lata Mungeshkar is an example of a musician who has become popular by singing in Bengali without being a Bengali. Being not Bengali music emperor Mohammad Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur, Kabita Krishnamurti, Alka Yagnik, Sadhna Sargam and many other artists became famous by singing Bengali songs. However, in the subcontinent, there were only two equivalents, the Lata of India and the Nurjahan of Pakistan.

No other non-Bengali artist like Lata Mangeshkar has come so close to Bengali. It started in 1948. Bengali director Shashadhar Mukherjee made his mark in Bombay at that time. He was directing movies and also taking the responsibility of production. He has set up a famous studio called 'Filmistan' in Gurgaon. Famous writers Sadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai, Ashok Kumar - who was not there!

At such a time, famous music director Golam Haider appeared before Shashadhar babu. He brought with him a young girl of 19 years, who was born in a Marathi family in Indore of Madhya Pradesh. The girl has already sung in several Marathi and Hindi movies. Fascinated, Golam Haider brought the girl with him to Shashadhar Mukherjee.

But their mood was not fulfilled that day. Shashadhar babu did not agree to take the girl at all. He said, 'The singer's throat is very thin. As a result, she will not be able to work. On hearing this, Golam Haider became very angry. He took it as a challenge that day. He knew this girl had come to win everyone's heart. One day, the directors will be standing outside her house. One day the world will be her. Golam Haider was a pure jeweler; he did not make a mistake in recognizing diamonds. The name of that nineteen year old girl of that day is Lata Mungeshkar.

Then in 1948 the movie 'Majboor' was made. Lata's 'thin throat' sang 'Dil mera tora, mujhe kahi ka na chora'. Then history witnessed the rise of a legend. Lata Mungeshkar herself became an ongoing history, who, not with a pen or a fight, but with her own throat, with a melody, became the creator of creation, immersing everyone in the nectar of melody.

Lata was a true devotee. She herself said that in order to understand her life, one has to understand and listen to her pursuit. Mete was with music all his life. She has spent a lifetime in the melody of music. Ninety years later, she was still a young analog of melody.

Although she was initially turned away by a Bengali director after stepping into the world of music, Lata sang Bangla songs openly. Lata had a lasting relationship with Bengal. She made a bridge of music between Bombay and Bengal.

There is a lot of controversy about when Lata first sang in a Bengali movie. However, it is believed that she entered the world of Bengali music in 1956 with the film 'Asampta', in which she sang two songs. Then Lata sang a timeless Bengali song one after another. Sometimes Salil Chowdhury, Sachin Dev Barman, Hemant Mukherjee, sometimes Rahul Dev Barman, Bappi Lahiri have mesmerized the music world of Bengal.

Lata was not a Bengali by birth and did not understand Bengali. But she fell in love with the language. If you want to sing in a language, even if you don't know that language, you have to be able to feel that language. Otherwise the song itself cannot be touched. Therefore, Lata Mungeshkar kept a teacher at home just to learn Bengali. Basu Bhattacharya became the teacher. She tried her best to read and write, not in a benevolent way. Lata was an aquatic proof of how bold an artist can be to take such a bold step.

Lata saw in the middle of her career the triumph of Bengali language, culture and Bengali director-composers in the art, literature, music and film of the subcontinent. In her personal life, Lata Mangeshkar also became involved with a Bengali family. That is how she got acquainted with the proverbial artist Hemant Mukherjee. Once upon a time there was a good relationship between the two families.

Exactly how close Hemantada was to Lata is known from several incidents. For example, in 1951, director Hemen Gupta summoned Hemanta to Bombay. He wants to be in charge of the melody of the next movie 'Anandamath'. After completing his work in Bengal, Hemanta left for Bombay. He appeared at Filmistan Studios. Shashadhar Mukherjee gave him the job of music director. He will sing the song 'Bande Mataram' with Lata Mangeshkar. As soon as he told Shashadhar babu, he said, Lata may not come. Did she remember the old words?

Meanwhile, Hemanta has decided not to sing this song to anyone except Lata. So once he tried, he wanted to. Shashadhar Mukherjee agreed somehow. After going to Lata Mungeshkar, he said only one thing. ‘I decided not to sing there, but only for you’. And money? Lata said, no, I don't want money. She just wants to work with Hemanta Mukherjee. She even went straight to Hemanta's house to rehearse, which was against Lata's nature. Such was the depth of respect and human touch towards the relationship.

Lata's relationship with Bengal and Bengalis did not stop there. Hemanta Mukherjee's wife was then pregnant. Lata Mungeshkar was her best friend. At this time Bengali Hindus have a tradition of feeding 'sadh'. Lata did that with responsibility. She took her to the hotel and fed her.

No one will forget that autumn evening at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata. Fifty years of Hemanta Mukherjee's musical life. A special function was organized to mark the occasion. Hemanta called Lata hesitantly. If you can come. From the side of the phone, the queen of melody became excited by herself. Fifty years of his song 'Hemantada', and she will not come, what happens! Three days before the ceremony, Lata became very ill. Maybe not. But that is what Hemanta Mukherjee is talking about. Lata could not, but came.

The song has taken her to the ends of the earth. Even though she passed away in her eternal sleep, she has left the story resounding with thousands of songs, which reminds us of an extraordinary artist who loved Bengali, sang in Bengali, with her heart.

"A new Parliament building for New India": SRK congratulates PM Modi on inauguration eve

International Desk, Barta24.com
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Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the new Parliament building inauguration.

SRK took to Twitter and shared a video showcasing the parliament building.

he wrote, "What a magnificent new home for the people who uphold our Constitution, represent every citizen of this great Nation and protect the diversity of her one [email protected] ji. A new Parliament building for a New India but with the age old dream of Glory for India. Jai Hind! #MyParliamentMyPride."

PM Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to inaugurate the new Parliament building on Sunday.

Earlier, music composer Ilaiyaraaja and actor Rajinikanth posted congratulatory messages.

Taking to Twitter, Ilaiyaraaja shared his excitement as a citizen and posted a statement.

The statement read, "Tomorrow as the Hon'ble PM inaugurates the new Parliament building, am happy & excited as a citizen & especially as a Parliamentarian and join our joyous and proud nation in congratulating PM Modi, the Govt of India & all those people who have contributed to building this historic structure in such a short time. I sincerely pray the new structure becomes the abode for transformational policies and decision making as the world celebrates a new India under the inspirational leadership of PM Modi."
He praised PM Modi for his vision of taking India to new heights and his duty-bound actions reflects the same.

The statement continued, "The royalty who possessed the revered Sengol (an ancient Tamilian culture & pride) and successfully ruled over their kingdoms revered the sceptre as a symbol of justice, order, honesty, and ethics. It's with immense pride and joy that we welcome the return of the sceptre to its rightful place of pride. As Head of the World's largest democracy, PM Modi has a vision of taking India to new heights and his duty-bound actions reflects the same. May God be with him in all his endeavors and I sincerely wish him, the Govt of India all success on this momentous occasion."

Rajinikanth also expressed his feeling and wrote, " the traditional symbol of tamil power - the scepter - will shine in india's new parliament building. My sincere thanks to the honorable bharat pratham @narendramodi who made tamilians proud."

Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament Building on December 10, 2020. It has been built in record time with quality construction.
The task of constructing the new Parliament building was a mammoth endeavour. It witnessed several key construction activities being done off-site as well. Further, the construction also saw the usage of materials sourced from across the country.

As per the government officials, Teak wood was sourced from Nagpur, Maharashtra while sandstone (red and white) was procured from Sarmathura, Rajasthan.

The carpets to be floored inside the new building were procured from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.

The bamboo wood flooring came from Agartala, Tripura.

From Rajnagar, Rajasthan and Noida, UP Stone Jali Works were obtained.

The material involved in constructing Ashoka Emblem was sourced from Aurangabad, Maharashtra and Jaipur, Rajasthan while Ashok Chakra came from Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Some of the furniture acquired was procured from Mumbai. From Lakha, Jaisalmer Lakha Red granite was obtained. Ambaji White marble was procured from Ambaji, Rajasthan. Kesharia Green Stone was procured from Udaipur.

The stone carving work was obtained from Abu Road and Udaipur, and the stone aggregate was from Kotputali, Rajasthan.

The M-Sand was procured from Chakari Dadri, Haryana, and Fly Ash Bricks from NCR Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and the Brass work and Pre-cast Trenches were got from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, while the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha false ceiling steel structures came from UT of Daman and Diu.

Meanwhile, amid the boycott call by the opposition, the Centre has received a confirmed list of 25 political parties, including some which are not a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), that will participate in the inauguration ceremony. (ANI)


India's Bid To Promote Kashmir As One-Stop Destination For Filmmakers

International Desk, Barta24.com
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Srinagar's Dal Lake has been a witness to many romances in Indian cinema - Shammi Kapoor to Shah Rukh Khan, all have had their iconic dance sets filmed with the picturesque lake in their backdrop.

"Almost 370 Bollywood films have been filmed in the Kashmir Valley and now with the OTT platforms, this number will see a sharp increase," G-20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant stated.

According to him, the Working Group on Tourism will ensure more filmmakers from abroad visit the Valley.

"We are promoting Jammu and Kashmir so that foreign filmmakers also come here. We cannot become a world tourist destination without private investment. That's why we want global and domestic investment. We are also encouraging 100% FDI under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including in the North Eastern states and hill states," said Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy.

"In Kashmir, you will find everything within a radius of 10 km. There are snow-capped mountains, rivers and lakes. It would not be wrong to say that this area is a producer's paradise," Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office, Jitendra Singh told NDTV.

Earlier, a lot of films were shot in the Valley but the trend faded in the 1990s due to terrorism. But now it seems old times are coming back again, according to him.

"For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, such a big international event is happening here. It signifies how the situation has changed and how the youth here no longer want to participate in strikes. They want employment," he added.

The G 20 summit organised at the Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) was also attended by Oscar-winning film 'RRR' actor Ram Charan.

He along with the delegates reached the stage and danced to the song 'Naatu Naatu' from 'RRR'. During his performance, he also taught the hook step of the song to Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok.

Sharing his memories of Kashmir, he said, "I have been coming here since 1986. My father shot a lot here in Gulmarg and Sonamarg. I too shot here in 2016. There is some magic in this place which grabs everyone's attention."

The government is trying to bring a new film policy through this working group meeting.

In discussions held on Monday, many countries shared their experiences about how to promote their countries as a destination for filmmakers.

It was also discussed how Tourism in New Zealand went up 40% after the 'Lord of the Rings' movie was filmed there.

"As many as 6% of international tourists who visited New Zealand admitted that they went there after watching the film," claimed an official.

He said even Singapore's tourist traffic saw a huge jump after Hrithik Roshan-starrer Krrish was shot there. "Indian tourism to Singapore increased after Krrish, from 6 million before to 7 million after the film," he added.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir administration stated that about 1.8 crore tourists visited the Union Territory last year. And indications so far suggest that this year this number will see a sharp increase.

Source: NDTV


Guwahati Girl Shines at Global Excellence Awards 2023

International Desk, Barta24.com
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Saubhagya Sharma from Guwahati has been conferred the Youngest Philanthropist of the Year Award for Animal Welfare at the Global Excellence Awards 2023 which was held in Mumbai.

She was delighted to get the award from an animal lover and popular Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene.

She has worked and volunteered with National and Internationally recognized NGOs like The Federation of Indian Animals Protection Organisations (FIAPO), Peta India, PFA and many more.

Saubhagya has always been very compassionate and kind towards stray animals. From fostering in her early teens, while she was working in the H.R. team with a leading international airline company she used to spend most of her non-working days in the animal shelters, orphanages and old age homes volunteering.

Following her passion, she has done an animal communication and psychology diploma under Elmira Strange, University of Whales, UK and under Celtic Learning Solution, Akshaya Kawle in Mumbai.

Inspired by Jo-Ann McArthur she turned VEGAN and has done numerous awareness campaigns, and activism events and single-handedly without any donations has rescued and vaccinated more than 800 strays in the country. Saubhagya aims to be the voice for all the voiceless and teach compassion over cruelty.



Actor Farooq passes away

Entertainment Desk, Barta24.com
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Akbar Hossain Pathan Farooq, veteran actor, member of Parliament and freedom fighter of Bengali film Miyabhai, passed away.

He died on Monday (March 15) at 8:30 am while undergoing treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore (Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiun).

Farooq's wife Farhana Pathan confirmed the matter. She said that his body will be brought home on Tuesday morning flight.

She said, actor Farooq died around 8:30 am on Monday. He was under treatment in a hospital in Singapore for almost two years.

Actor Farooq had appeared in the big screen through the film 'Jalchhabi' directed by H Akbar. He won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1975 for his performance. In 2016, he was awarded a lifetime award.

Notable films he has acted include Sareng Bau, Lathiyal, Sujan Sakhi, Nayan Moni, Mia Bhai, Pinky Now Train, Saheb, Alor Michili, Din Jae Katha Rahe etc.