I sing in Bangla….



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
photo: collected

photo: collected

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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.

Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor choose a unique name for daughter



News Desk, Barta24.com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor reveal the name of their daughter and it’s as unique as one would imagine. Sharing a picture of their infant, holding her in their arms, Alia shared that her daughter’s name was selected by her mother-in-law, Neetu Kapoor.

They have named her Raha. In the caption, Alia explained that the name has different meanings in different languages. She wrote, "The name Raha (chosen by her wise and wonderful Dadi) has so many beautiful meanings...Raha, in its purest form means divine path in Swahili. She is joy, In Sanskrit, Raha is a clan. In Bangla - rest, comfort, relief. In Arabic peace, it also means happiness, freedom and bliss. And true to her name, from the first moment we held her - we felt it all. Thank you Raha, for bringing our family to life, it feels as though our lives have only just begun.

Alia Bhatt welcomed her first child with husband Ranbir Kapoor earlier this month. The actress announced the news of her daughter's arrival with a post that read: And in the best news of our lives:- Our baby is here...and what a magical girl she is. We are officially bursting with love - blessed and obsessed Parents! Love, love, love Alia and Ranbir.

Alia and Ranbir fell in love while filming Ayan Mukherjee's 'Brahmastra'. The film did well on the box office.

Alia Bhatt welcomed her first child with husband Ranbir Kapoor earlier this month. The actress announced the news of her daughter's arrival with a post that read: And in the best news of our lives:- Our baby is here...and what a magical girl she is. We are officially bursting with love - blessed and obsessed Parents! Love, love, love Alia and Ranbir.

Alia and Ranbir fell in love while filming Ayan Mukherjee's 'Brahmastra'. The film did well on the box office.

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A melodious story of emerging singer Gourav Golpo



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Gourav Golpo

Gourav Golpo

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Bangladeshi young man Gourav Golpo is creating bengali songs in America. On October 11, 2022 he release a new song titled 'Kokhono' for audience on his YouTube channel.

Gourav Golpo was born and raised in Mirpur, Dhaka. His childhood and youth were spent in the love of music. He got family inspiration in music from childhood. His father used to sing. But he never thought of taking music as a career. He always wanted his son to stick to music.

When Gourav was six years old, his elder sister Katha and he started taking lessons from singing masters. He can play guitar and keyboard. He learned keyboard for two years from late Tushar Gomez from 2006. Besides studying, he spent teen-age time for performing music in live shows and concerts at various places in Bangladesh.

In 2014, Gourav Golpo went to Los Angeles, California to take a diploma in music. Currently, he is working on creating original songs as well as performing live in different cities of America.

The song 'Kokhono' is composed by Gourav himself. It has lyrics written by Proloy Bappy and music composed by Amit Chatterjee. The video was directed by Peeze.

Gourav has combined Bengali language as well as other languages in this song. In this context, he said, ‘If a song is multilingual, it can easily engage the audience of different countries. Similar trends are often seen in other countries. I adding another language is mainly for the spread of my bengali songs.’

Earlier, two original songs titled 'Amar Bhalobasha' and 'Elemelo Kolpona' have been released on Gourav Golpo's YouTube channel.

'Elemelo Kolpona' was written and composed by K. Zia. Big Dave gave rap in this song. Music by Billy R. The video was directed by Future History Labs.

Gaurov himself has composed the music of 'Amar Bhalobasha'. It has lyrics written by Proloy Bappy. Music by Ahad Fahim. Both songs were mixed and mastered by Amzad Hosen Bappy. The video was directed by Kerrigan Production.

Gaurov likes to sing Melo Rock, Sufi and Pop genres. Apart from original songs, his YouTube channel has covers of various popular songs of Bangladeshi singers. In his words, 'I try to cover only the songs that are in my heart, not trends. I present the creations of artists or composers who have influenced my musical life in a new way.'

What are Gaurov's future plans to do justice to the own name? His answer, 'I want to make new songs. I want to achieve the glory of getting audience love.'

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Rushdie's new novel slated for release in early 2023



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
Rushdie and the cover of his new book. Collected image.

Rushdie and the cover of his new book. Collected image.

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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, the most controversial author of the contemporay modern English literature has a new novel slated for release in early 2023.

Author of the booker prize-winning 'Midnight’s Children', India-born British-American  writer Rushdie, has just secured a deal that will see his new novel 'Victory City', released in Australia in early 2023, and concurrent release in the US by Random House, UK by Jonathan Cape, and Canada by Knopf Canada on February 7, 2023.

His new novel Victory City has been announced as a translation of an ancient Indian myth, and follows the story of “a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries.”

Michal Shavit, Publishing Director at Jonathan Cape has shared, 'Victory City’ is a tale for indian mythology in modern narrative. Brilliantly styled as a translation of an ancient epic, this is a saga of love, adventure, and myth that is in itself a testament to the power of storytelling. And at its heart, a true heroine, Pampa Kampana, who sets out to give women equal agency in a patriarchal world. This is a stunningly beautiful, lyrical, and gripping novel about power and the hubris of those in power.

Salman Rushdieis an Indian-born British-American novelist and essayist with huge popularity and controversy as well. His work, combining magical realism with historical fiction, is primarily concerned with the many connections, disruptions, and migrations between Eastern and Western civilizations, with much of his fiction being set on the Indian subcontinent.

Ahmed Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay on 19 June 1947 during the British Raj, into an Indian Kashmiri Muslim family. He is the son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a Cambridge-educated lawyer-turned-businessman, and Negin Bhatt, a teacher. Anis Ahmed Rushdie was dismissed from the Indian Civil Services (ICS) after it emerged that the birth certificate submitted by him had changes to make him appear younger than he was. Rushdie has three sisters and he wrote in his 2012 memoir that his father adopted the name Rushdie in honour of the great Muslim philosopher Averroes (Ibn Rushd).

Rushdie grew up in Bombay and was educated at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Fort, South Bombay before moving to England from India to attend the Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, and then King's College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. 

After graduating from Cambridge, Rushdie briefly lived with his family in Pakistan (who had moved there from Bombay, India), before moving permanently to the UK.

Rushdie has been married four times. He was married to his first wife Clarissa Luard from 1976 to 1987 and fathered a son, Zafar (born 1979). He left her in the mid-'80s for the Australian writer Robyn Davidson, to whom he was introduced by their mutual friend Bruce Chatwin. His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993. His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan (born 1997). In 2004, he married Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-American actress, model, and host of the American reality-television show Top Chef. The marriage ended on 2 July 2007.

Rushdie came from a liberal Muslim family but is now an atheist. In a 2006 interview with PBS, Rushdie called himself a "hardline atheist". In 1989, in an interview following the fatwa, Rushdie said that he was in a sense a lapsed Muslim, though "shaped by Muslim culture more than any other", and a student of Islam. In another interview the same year, he said, "My point of view is that of a secular human being. I do not believe in supernatural entities, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu."

In 1990, he issued a statement claiming he had renewed his Muslim faith, had repudiated the attacks on Islam made by characters in his novel, and was committed to working for better understanding of the religion across the world.

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Sisimpur steps on its 18th year



News Desk, Barta24.com
photo: collected

photo: collected

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“Sisimpur”, the program that embarked on television aiming to turn the learning into more enjoyable experience for pre-primary and primary level children, has completed 17 years and steps on the 18 th year on this 15 April. Every year, the 15 April is celebrated as “Sisimpur Day” as it was the very first day of broadcasting Sisimpur.

With the help of the television show and printed materials, Sisimpur helps children with identifying letters, identifying letters from words, matching words with letters, creating sentences with words. They also use the the materials from the the surrounding environment and help identify the colors and words through them. For example, the beginning letters of the words such as house, banana, mango, table, clock, cow, tree, leaf, pen, book etc. are taught through play.

Through the characters of Sisimpur, different elements of the environment such as colors, shapes, etc. are taught. The accurate pronunciation of Bangla language has always been regarded as an essential matter at Sisimpur. That is why, all the Sisimpur Muppets, human characters and even in the animation episodes the Standard Bangla pronunciation has been especially emphasized so that the children get sufficient exposure to Standard Bangla language and can practice as well. At the same time the dialects, cultures and life-styles of different areas are also portrayed. So, the children learn to show respect towards various cultures and dialects which are different than theirs.

At present, the 14th Season of Sisimpur is being telecasted. This popular television program is shown in BTV, Duranta TV and Machranga TV. From the onset of this endeavor, Bangladesh Television has been broadcasting Sisimpur program relentlessly for last 17 years which is a remarkable fact. This is a result of the cordial efforts by Ministry of Women and Children’s Affair of Bangladesh and the Authority of Bangladesh Television and Sisimpur. About 10 million population of the country is enjoying the program through three television channels.

Sisimpur has become the attraction for the children at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. During the weekends of Book Fair, the Fridays and Saturdays, a great number of children splash towards the fair to spend fun time with Ikri, Halum, Tuktuki and Shiku. This has already become an integral part of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

Regarding the accomplishment of 17 years’ journey, the Managing Director of Sisimpur, Mohammad Shah Alam says that for sixteen years, this program is being created to meet the early education needs of 3 to 8 years old children. And the goal is also to meet the needs of the parents, caregivers and teachers. Through joyfulness and play, Sisimpur plays an integral role in the holistic development of the child. To mention some of them, there are: Language-letters; Mathematics; Environment; Gender equality; Social values ​​and behavior; Tolerance and respect for differences and diversity. There is also, balanced and nutritious food; Healthy Habits; Earthquake; Road safety and drowning related water safety; building awareness against injury prevention; Giving ideas about income-expense and savings to children. It includes our art-culture and heritage, and many more.

Sisimpur also emphasizing more on showing mutual respect, affection, admiration towards unity and diversity among the cultures as well as the people of the country.

Sesame Workshop Bangladesh operates all its activities jointly through public, private and international organizations. In the last 17 years, Sisimpur collaborated with the Government of Bangladesh through the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Culture etc. Sisimpur started its journey through a funding provided by USAID and the support from USAID is persisted till today.

Sisimpur is the Bangladeshi counterpart of New York-based educational television series Sesame Street which is co-produced in Bangladesh through Sesame Workshop Bangladesh.

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