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reviews of movies and latest film world stories of Hollywood, Mollywood and Bollywood.

Sajeev Sarathie: This Keralite is a well-known Hindi Lyricist, Poet and Writer

He speaks such scholarly Hindi, that you will never imagine that Sajeev Sarathie was born to Malayalee parents in Kerala. He grew up in Delhi from the age of four and he became more familiar with Hindi than Malayalam. Now he is a connoisseur of Hindi Language and Literature. He has carved a niche for himself as a Hindi Poet, Writer and Lyricist. He is a much-loved writer the Hindi media to write of Hindi songs, poems and screenplays. He is doing tremendous teamwork to promote unknown talents. He is also part of radioplaybackindia.com a leading Hindi blog in podcasting. He also worked with Late President Honourable DrAPJ Abdul Kalam. He also wrote songs for Honourable Prime Minister Narender Modi’s Beti Bachao, Beti Bachao movement.  After the release of his latest song Bekhud, I had a voice interview with Sajeev.

1.     Tell us something about the latest song Bekhud?
Bekhud is my latest single, it is a romantic song which has an Arabic feel to it, Composed by very talented Krishnaraj and beautifully rendered by International pop sensation Biswajit Nanda along with super singer Hema Sardesai who need no introduction at all, the voice behind songs like Awara Bhanvare, Badal pe paun hai and many more Bollywood hits. She worked with the likes of ARR, Salim Suleimaan, Anu Malik etc, she is indeed a living legend, and we are fortunate to have her voice for the duet…
Sajeev Sarathie hindi lyricist

2.     Tell us about your life as a songwriter?

I am writing lyrics for the last 10 years collaborating virtually with many national and international composers and singers. Since most of them are placed in different cities of the world, we connect through the internet and do a lot of online jamming to create music. I started with an online platform called “Hind Yugm”, and in 2008 released our very first and literally a zero budget album called “Pahla Sur”, which has 9 songs, all done through our online jamming process. It was an experimental album released in the World Book Fair and became the second largest sold product of the event. 6 songs in this album were written by me and the kind of response I got really pushed me to go further and to take new challenges in this field.  After that, I produced two more unique albums called “kaavyanaad” and “Suno Kahani”. In Kavyanaad, we gave an opportunity to new generation music composers to compose great work of legends of Hindi Literature like Nirala, Pant, Jaishankar Prasad, Mahadevi Verma and more. While in Suno Kahani we compiled 15 stories of the great Munshi Premchand in an album.
Another album of mine, “Beat of Indian Youth” which has 13 songs in 9 different Indian languages was released in 2013. This unique feature of this album has 13 songs in 9 different languages on one single theme saw it enter into The Limca Book of Records. Though I penned lyrics only for 3 songs, this album gave me the honour to share the lyrical space with our National icon and Ex-President Late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Ji in the song “Hindustan”.
One of my song from Pehla Sur, “Baat yeh kya hai jo” was recreated and featured in the movie Dam999, which was released in the year 2011.
Apart from my 96 singles which have been released so far, I have also penned for various initiatives/ movements by our Govt or other institutions. For example, one of my song “Druzba” was featured in Indo-Russian Friendship festival in Moscow. In 2015, I wrote a song for the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” movement started by our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Modi Ji. “Hindi Meri Awaaz Hai”, one of my poems is part of the 10th standard curriculum in Maharashtra.
An anthology of poems, “Ek Pal Ki Umr Le Kar” has been published by Heavenly Baby Books.
Apart from lyrics I have also written a lot of screenplays for various production houses. So, overall it has been a very satisfying journey so far.
Sajeev Sarathie hindi lyricist

 4.     You are from Kerala, then how did you get interested in Hindi poems and songs?

 Yes, I was born in Kerala and while I was 4 we shifted to Delhi. So, both the places are a part of my childhood. My schooling began in Hindi medium while at home we communicated in Malayalam. However since all my friends spoke Hindi, so probably that’s why Hindi became the dominating medium for me to express myself.

 5.     You are doing tremendous work online for promoting unknown singers and songwriters,  Tell us something about your online web radio radioplaybackindia.com?

 Well, radioplaybackindia is doing very well and is a leading Hindi blog in podcasting. We promote original songs, involving amateur artists. We have a weekly programme called “Bolti Kahaniya” through which we podcast Hindi stories and is a huge hit among our audience. The blog is rich in information on Indian Classical music, Film and Non-Film music.
I host a programme called, “Ek Mulakat Zaruri Hai” which recently completed 50 episodes, featuring several famous Bollywood artists like Shubha Mudgal, Amit Khanna, Ritu Pathak, Shriram Ayyar, Ibrahim Ashq and many more.
There is another programme I host, “Geet Ateet” which takes the audience into an unknown or lesser known story behind the song; using some artist associated with that song.
Programmes like “Old is Gold”, “Mehfil-e-Ghazal”, “”Podcast Kavi Sammelan” etc are big hits of our channel.
I am one of the 6 founding members of the channel and though I have been given the honour of being Chief Editor; but to tell the truth I have not been able to devote much time to radioplaybackindia.
Sajeev Sarathie hindi lyricist

 6.     Your songs are different from the Bollywood film music or mainstream albums. Your songs have the nostalgia of the yesteryears. Do you have a huge fan following for your kind of songs and music?

 Of course, there is a huge audience for my kind of lyrics. Actually, I got a little surprised by your query on following for different style of lyrics and music. As a matter of fact, I am open to all form of music. Old, new, Indie, western…for me music is music and it’s my way to connect with the God almighty.

 7.     You were affected by polio from the age of one, Has the disability been a hindrance or an inspiration for your successful career in Hindi literature?

 We all have weakness and shortcomings, as no one is perfect in this world. Life. I would say that God has been kind that my disability is only at a physical level and I am very well aware of that; otherwise many people don’t even get to know what their weakness is and therefore find it difficult to move ahead in life.
As a matter of fact, now I don’t even consciously think of it until someone points it out. I think, when people talk about my progress despite my physical disability, I feel God is presenting me as an example for many others who have no physical disability; that they can achieve so much more in life if they only follow their passion with dedication.

 8.     Tell us something about your family and those who are behind your success?

 My parents always supported me. I have an understanding wife and two beautiful and gifted children, and all of them have contributed immensely in more than one way in all that I have achieved so far.
Apart from my family, I got strong support from my friends. I am really blessed to have such nice friends. And above all, its God, my best friend; who is always holding my hand.

 9.     Please recite one of your poem for us?

 Sure….this poem is titled “punar-janm” which means ‘Rebirth’
sangsaari kii had se pare,
Duniya kii jadd se door,
wo jiddi paak bedaag sa khwaab,
Dekha tha use jaate,
shaam ke dhundhalke men,
Doobte sooraj ke paar,
jahan samunder toot ke girta hai,
Kisi Anjaan si khala men…
Fir se lautne ko kabhi,
Kinhin a-janmi aankhon men….

10.            Have your written in English or any other language?

 No, I think I am not that versatile. So, for me, one language is sufficient for this life.

In conversation with Grady Long

Grady Long’s video had gone viral where he sings ‘Aayiram Kannumai‘ at the ‘Kairali Gandharva Sandhya‘ in Kerala. He sang in the presence of eminent singers K J YeshuDas and Usha Uthup and there were a couple of other stalwart musicians present including the composer of the song, Jerry Amaldev.

Grady says he was surprised by the rousing applause from the audience. His plan was just to sing and leave the stage. But he became an overnight celebrity in Kerala, and in the last one year the video of the song has been shared and viewed tremendously  on the social media.

 

 

 

Before singing the song, Grady tell the audience that he was introduced to malayalam movies by his malayali wife…..

I got an opportunity to have a video conference with Grady, his wife Suja and Children.

Speaking different languages is a talent, and Suja got the talent to speak different languages fluently. She uses English, Spanish and Malayalam in her daily conversation. Though Suja left Kerala for the US at the age of 4, she put in lots of effort so as not to forget her mother tongue.

After her marriage with Grady Long, 15 years ago, they both used to watch a lot of malayalam movies, whereby Grady learnt malayalam movie songs that included Aayiram Kannumai.

When malayli kids born and brought up abroad or outside Kerala, say that malayalam is difficult to master, an American son-in-law of Kerala sang the evergreen song with relative ease. He also gave beautiful musical twist to the song which surprised Jerry Amaldev and K. J. Yeshudas, and they appreciated him.

Suja Long is now on the mission to train their three kids to speak in malayalam. She even posted her first video of teaching her children basic malayalam. Her video has got good review from the media. She plans to make more videos in the coming days.

 

 

Before his tryst with malayalam music, Gary was already a well accomplished singer in the US, singing with many bands. He sings in various Genre and different languages like Spanish, German and Latin. He was also popular for singing Bollywood songs. Gary has also sung Tamil songs.

He will be singing more songs in India very soon, for which he will travel to India with family. He will keep us updated on the developments. And in the meantime Suja is teaching children malayalam so that they can communicate well in Kerala. Both Grady and Suja agree that to learn any language you need to speak the language, and you will make mistakes which is part of the learning process.

We wish Grady and Suja Long all the very best for their upcoming projects.

Meet Sophia Banks who styled Priyanka’s most googled 2016 Oscar Outfit

Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar outfit, styled by Sophia Banks, was the most Googled Oscar Dress of 2016. Choosing the right kind of dress and accessories takes months of preparation and hard work. Sophia Banks has worked with Celebrities like Amber Heard, Sharon Stone and John Travolta. Here is an interview with Sophia Banks, where she talks about her work with Priyanka Chopra; her professional life and her future projects:

Tell us something about yourself?

I moved to the USA, Launching a fashion boutique was the next step for me, it was called ‘Satine’ and quickly became award-winning Hollywood hotspot. Satine was written up in all the fashion magazines, shopped by celebrities  and because of its fashion forwardness, step me up as a ‘Trend Forecaster’ from which started my career as a fashion consultant. I began to consult to top fashion lines and design for them. One of my favourite projects was for fashion house Rodo where I was flown to Italy to design shows.

As well as styling I have been recently working as a director on fashion Commercials.

Which all celebrities have you worked with?

Of course Priyanka Chopra.

Amber Heard, Sharon Stone, John Travolta, Leighton Meister, Shay Mitchell, Erika Christensen and many more..

Sophia Banks the stylist of Priyanka Chopra
Checking out an Outfit with Priyanka Chopra
As a celebrity stylist, what are your responsibilities?

When I first start working with someone I create a style guide for them which we follow for them as a guide. I also create a trend book for them for the season.

Then I help shop and buy their entire wardrobe. I also search the world for the best dress for ever red carpet event so they make it in press all over the world.

For a lot of my clients, I do all the costume for films, TV and commercials as well.

It is my job to set a goal with them such as be a style icon or get most googled fashion dress of the year and then reach that goal.

How did you choose the famous Oscar dress of Priyanka Chopra that was the most googled outfit of 2016?

It was so amazing working with her, she is such a wonderful, kind, beautiful person who works so incredibly hard. We always had such fun choosing dresses.

For the Oscar look as it was a big deal we were very involved in the selection of the dress. We of course requested many gowns and flew to Montreal where Priyanka was filming to do a fitting with about 40 gowns in tow.

We then did the fitting and the white was a top option along with many others but it needs alterations.

What is your opinion about Priyanka Chopra?

I think she is an amazing, beautiful and incredible woman. She is also such a hard worker, she is always flying somewhere to shoot something between the USA and India. Her success is an example of what happens when you give everything it takes towards your goal.

I also love her attitude to life, she is super fun loving and easy going. We always had fun together.

Sophia Banks who Styled Priyanka Chopra
Sophia Banks in a television interview
Have you been to Priyanka Chopra’s home Country, India?

Yes I have, I am originally Australian, and so I have travelled to India and all over. It is one of my favourite countries, I love it there. It is a spiritual place for me, there is something special once you land.

Do you have future plans to work with in Bollywood or with Bollywood Celebrities?

Yes I am in talks with new clients right now and am excited to work with some amazing Bollywood talent. I am also working on my first script and am possibly looking at filming in India, so I think I have a lot of future there.

Sad Demise of Malayalam Actor Kalpana

Heartfelt condolence on the sad demise of the veteran malayalam actor Kalpana, 51.

According to sources she was spotted unconscious in her hotel room, in Hyderabad, around 6:00 AM. The versatile actor was rushed to Apollo Hospital where she was declared dead due to a cardiac arrest. Kaplana was in Hyderabad shooting for a Tamil and a Telengu films and for a film award function.

The News shocked the malayalam film industry which was left with a void after her sad Demise. A National Award winning actor, she gave many super hit movies pairing with popular comedy actor Jagathy Sreekumar. Her colleagues remember her as a dedicated and passionate actor who maintained friendly relation with her co workers. Her last film released in malayalam was Charlie. She also did unforgettable roles in new-age malayalam films like Banglore Days.

She was very active outside the film appearing as judge in reality shows on television and anchoring various shows. Her parents were Theatre artists, and both her sisters Kalaranjini and Urvashi and well known actors in Malayalam. Kalpan ventured into the film world as a child actor and both her deceased brothers also acted in movies.

 

Revolution Movie 2012: A must watch movie for all age groups

 

I post this article, a day after Environment Day. As long as I convey the message across to the readers, I don’t mind  if I am a bit ‘slow’ at getting the work done. My idea about ‘setting targets’ and ‘racing against time’ to achieve the goal, received some rethinking after watching Rob Stewart’s Movie ‘Revolution‘. We are part of an ecology that evolves slowly. Are we achieving or losing by ‘running against time’ to achieve our goals? We are a minuscule in the ecological system of the world, so do we need to rethink about how we live our life so that we don’t march towards the destruction of the mankind and the other species on Earth.
 Revolution Movie 2012 sheds light on the environment issues that need to be immediately addressed to save man and the earth from extinction. Rob Stewart, the creator of the movie, made the famous film  ‘Sharkwater’ where he travels underwater to find out more about Sharks so as to save them from extinction.  The film was a huge success and in addition to earning many International Awards, it created a worldwide awareness to save Sharks.
In Revolution, Stewart travels around the world to understand the various environment issues disturbing the ecology and expediting the extinction of many species.  Using brilliant photography and storytelling techniques he explains how the earth is moving fast towards a catastrophe. He explains the factors that are leading towards the next mass extinction of species from the earth – Deforestation, Climate Change, Over Fishing and Ocean Acidification.

Of all the topics pointing towards mass destruction of the species on earth – global warming, deforestation, carbon foot prints – I felt Ocean Acidifcation was the scariest. Acid is a scary term, which is destructive and corrosive in nature. Acid eats and destroys the things they come in contact with. Ocean is acidified when manmade chemicals mix with water leading to the destruction of the coral reefs which is home to million of underwater species. What we need to realize is that we are a small part of a big whole that consist not just the life on land but also underwater. If the underwater beings are deprived of their food, and their homes become inhabitable, they will extinct whereby disturbing the ecosystem.

Revolution is a must watch movie to understand our responsibility to nature. Anyone who watches the movie gets influenced by the arguments made for the urgent actions required to  protect Man and the other species on Earth. The environment experts in the movie say, there were atleast seven mass extinctions in the history of Earth which some species like the Sharks and Cuttle fish have withstood. If we do  not wake up and take proper action, a bigger extinction will happen within a few decades.[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”2″ gal_title=”Still from Revolution Movie 2012″]

At a conference, in the movie many, environment activists including school students, desperately try to grab the attention of Corporate and Political leaders. Their protest indicates the beginning of a new kind of revolution that is growing worldwide by those who want to save the world from the ambitions and greed of man, to progress at the cost of destroying the earth.

Revolution is a movie to be watched by all age groups. The children, who are the guardian of the earth tomorrow, also have a crucial role to play.  Mankind has to design a world where their progress and activities do not disturb the ecosystem.

What Ratan Tata, the former chairman of Tata Group, famously said is very relevant in this movie “If you want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone. But if u want to Walk Far, Walk Together.

10 Reasons Why ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Is not precisely a Bible Movie

Exodus

Before telling why ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ cannot exactly fit into the genre of Bible Movies, I would like to say that watching Exodus was a thrilling experience, the actions and costumes kept us glued to the seats for 154 minutes.  The epic story  is set in the ancient kingdom of Pharaohs with all the magnificence of the kingdom – the antique utensils and gorgeous actors in stunning attires.  For every occasion, the Pharaoh wore a different costume. While going for battle he wears gold ornaments and while in the palace, he wears precious stones.  Zipporah in the desert looked dazzling in her rustic attires and ornaments. Read about the Christmas celebration in a Church which is attended mostly by people of other faith.

Secondly, you get involved in the process of an aristocrat transforming to the Leader of Slaves, liberating them form 400 years of slavery. When the slaves’ doubt how he will make them cross the Red Sea, like a true leader, Moses urges the people to have faith and trust in him and the God.

Unfortunately I went to watch the movie with some friends who were not experts in Bible stories, so while watching the movie there were many instances when I had to give background explanation as the story unfurls on the screen. Therefore, I concluded that there is drama, action and adventure in the movie which is set in the overall frame work of the Bible story.

Psychological Thriller

The movie fits better in the genre of a Psychological Thriller because the story has more to do with the inner psychological battle of the two men in the movie ‘Man of God’ (Moses) and ‘the King’ (Ramses).

Emotional turmoil

At the beginning of the movie, Seti the King of Egypt sends Ramses, the prince, to a battle along with Moses. Before the two left a priestess predicted that Moses will save Ramses. The King gave both of them swords with name of Moses on Ramses sword and vice versa. As predicted, Moses saves the future kings life from the Hittites and there begins the mental turmoil of Ramses.

After the death of his Father, when Ramses became king he was completely dependent on Moses, who serves as his adviser. Therefore, the anxiety of Ramses is very clear when Moses is banished from the palace.

Moses’s psychological turmoil begins with episode when God talks to him through a burning bush. Whenever Aaron secretly watches conversation of Moses with God, he sees Moses was talking to  Stone.

God the boy 

In this movie, the God is an eleven-year-old boy while in the Bible God is the Father. Eastern Orthodoxy tradition sees  burning bush in parallel to the womb of Virgin Mary giving birth to the son of God without being harmed.  Is there any interpretation for the representation of God as a boy?

Moses wears general’s uniform

When Moses left the palace, he seems to have disowned nothing, not even the sword. Moses is usually represented wearing shepherd’s cloth and long hair. In this movie, he is always in a generals clothing and with clean hair cut.

The staff is missing

The most evident missing link in the movie is the staff of Moses that he used to split the Red Sea, and to perform miracles whenever there was a need. He turned it into a snake many times.  In this movie, Moses carries the sword given by the Pharoah with Ramases name inscribed on it.

The sea doesn’t divide

As you can see in this picture, the sea recedes like a tsunami. And the miracle happened when Moses throws the sword into the sea and goes into a deep slumber.

Moses cries for the Egyptians

Not just Moses, the audience will sympathise more with the Egyptians when Moses asks God to stop the plague because he cannot see the people he grew up with undergoing so much pain.

10 plaques in 10 minutes

Before you recollect the 10 plaques, they are shown at one stretch and also with added elements like the crocodile that killed people to make the Nile blood red. Many film goers are not familiar with Bible stories, the plaques required more explanation. Therefore, if you are not aware of the story of Moses then read articles like this one here before watching the movie.

Scientific interpretation of the plaques

An expert scientifically explains to Pharaoh the reasons for the plaque. Due to the bad climate, the water of Nile turned red and so the frogs jumped out of the River, which in turn resulted in a large number of fly and so on……….. The rationalised interpretation removed the supernatural power attached to the plaques.

Moses in just 40

According to the Bible, Moses left the palace at the age of 40 and lived in Midian for 40 years and returned to save the Israelites at the age of 80. Moses in this movie doesn’t look more than 40 till the end of the movie.

However the power and presence of God is acknowledged in a few instances. When Moses is unable to free the Israelites, God tells Moses that he would do the rest of the work and then the plaques begin. When Ramses bring the body of his dead child to Moses, he tells the King that not a single Hebrew child died that night. Finally, even if we assume that the sea was split by a receding tsunami, only the presence of a super natural power could keep the sea divided for 600,000 people cross to the other side.

After watching the movies when I asked my friends what they felt about the movie. They said that Exodus: Gods and King was an excellent movie worth watching.