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Monsoon Duo performed live in historic Gaiety Theatre

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Monsoon-Duo

“In seven years what we liked about India is the diversity of culture”- Monsoon Duo

The magic of Monsoon Duo left the audiences spell bounded and proved the statement that music is universal language true. Their first every performance in Shimla won many hearts and left their audience spell bounded.

It is often said the music is a universal language and same was experience at the historic Gaiety Theatre, the Mall Shimla, in a musical concert – Canadian Voices- Celebrating Canadian Creativity, organized by Consulate General of Canada, Chandigarh on March 14.

In the concert the famous Monsoon Duo – Canada based Indo-jazz music group were see performing and winning the hearts of the audiences. The Monsoon Duo consists of Jonathan Kay (tenor, soprano saxophones) and Andrew Kay (alto saxophone, percussion). The group is inspired by jazz musician John Coltrane, who was deeply influenced by Indian music and during their performance they performed the famous piece “India”.

“It has been seven years when we came to India to learn the Indian Classical music. We have been trained in Jazz music but wanted to learn the India Classical Music too in its pure form”, informed Monsoon Duo.

Currently both brothers are learning North Indian classical music in Kolkata, under the famous vocalist Guru Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharya. It was their first performance in Shimla as they shared, “Though we have travelled many times through Shimla but this is our first performance. We love this place for its scenic beauty and wish to perform here again if ever given an opportunity.”

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“In seven years what we liked about India is the diversity of culture. Each state has something new to offer. It is always like a new world if we travel which we often do. Other than that we also enjoy the variety of food especially Punjabi and South India”, they shared further.

When on one hand Indians are drifting away from their music Monsoon Duo has spent seven years learning it as they shared, “No doubt we do find India classical music bit hard to learn as it is not something that we have grown up learning. However, we feel there is lot of scope of experimenting and fusion so we took up getting trained in this form. The names of various Ragas are difficult to remember but we are getting along with them now.”

Music is often consider being the refection of one’s inner thoughts and while performing the inner joy of the musicians came out in a form of smile on their faces while performing. Though the musicians were playing classical music but still it seemed that they were not alien to it which made listeners too go in trance.

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However due to bad weather the concert failed to fetch spectators in large number. The majority of spectators comprised of Auckland House School students and even foreigners were seen enjoying the show.

While commenting on the concert Madan Kumar, a classical music lover said, “It was an amazing show. I did not feel that it was being played by someone who does not belong to this nation. They played it so well that how the time flew by I did not even realize it. I feel that it is a lesson for our people who are drifting away to western music that even they find scope in Indian music which is looked down upon by the youngsters.”

“I enjoyed the fusion part most rather than Raga as I am also a big fan of John Coltrane and I really like the way they created the artificial sounds that we hear in any natural place. It was a wonderful evening I can say and wish to have more such evenings in the future too”, expressed Anil Sharma, a college student.

The way musicians used Ghungroo was an amazing site; to produce the sound effect in the music piece India.

Art & Culture

Shimla’s emerging filmmaker grabs 3 more awards for short-film “Papa”

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Papa Short Film by Siddharth wins awards

Shimla: Shimla-based emerging short-film maker Sidharth Chauhan (27) has grabbed more awards for his work “Papa.”  His short-film Papa has received three awards at the Vintage International Film Festival, 2018.

As per the results announced on March 20, 2018, the movie won Sidharth the best short-film award in the National category. The film also won the best director award for Siddhartha and best cinematography award for Yashwant Kumar Sharma.

The film is written, produced, and directed by Sidharath.

Papa is the same film that was first screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala in 2016 where it claimed its first award (best film).

Later, Papa made its first international premiere at the London Indian Film Festival in 2017 where the short film won the Satyajit Ray award. 

It was a mature storytelling which balanced a realistic sense of frustration and claustrophobia, with a finely nuanced thread of subtle and deadpan humour,

said the jury.

The film is a story of a paralyzed mother, Sushma and her young son, Rajiv, who are living a tough life post an accident, which left their lives scarred forever.

You can read more about the film, its crew, location etc. in one of our previous posts.

Other than Papa, Sidharth’s short-film Pashi has also fetched appreciation and awards for Sidharth.

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Himachal’s traditional ‘Mandi Shivratri’ fair begins today

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Mandi shivratri 2018 pictures

Mandi: The traditional Shivratri Mela of Mandi district, which is a week-long international fair, began today as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, formally announced the opening at the historical Paddal ground at Mandi. 

This year’s celebrations are special for the people of Mandi as it is the native place of the Chief Minister. Also, Bhartiya Janata Party has captured all 10 seats in the district including the support of the one independent candidate.  

I am happy to see all nine MLAs including an Independent who have gathered here for celebrating the festival with traditional fervour,

he said.

Earlier, after paying obeisance at the famous Madho Rai temple, the Chief Minister participated in the traditional ‘Jaleb’ (Shobha Yatra) of Shivratri fair, which began from DC office to end at the Paddal ground.

Mandi shivratri 2018

Local deities along with the Chief deity Madho Rai led the procession.

The locals draped in their colourful attire thronged the procession carrying along the palanquins of the local deities and marched towards the Paddal Mela ground. A little less than two hundred Devtas participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra, from almost all corners of the district.

The life of the people of the state revolves around the local Gods and Goddesses, and the local deities are an inseparable part of the people. The Shivratri festival gives a glimpse of ‘Dev and Manav Milan’ (the meeting of humans with deities), he said.

The Chief Minister announced a hike of 20 percent in ‘nazarana’ of the local deities, 20 percent hike in ration quota, and two times increase in honorarium of ‘Bajantris’ – the musicians who accompany the deities.

As compared to Rs. 3,64,000 in 2017, with two times rise in honorarium of Bajantris, the expenditure the expenditure will be Rs. 7,31,000  in 2018.   

The Chief Minister has assured that the government will register the left-out deities in a phase-wise manner.

 ‘Sarv Devta Committee’ will formulate the guidelines, examine each case, will pass a resolution in the house unanimously, and the committee will forward the case to the district administration for necessary action. 

 The Chief Minister also released a souvenir of the festival on the occasion. 

He said the government would soon come up with parking places to decongest traffic.  

The Chief Minister said Mandi will be connected with air services under UDAN scheme, (a regional connectivity scheme of Government of India). A helipad will be constructed in Mandi, he said. 

The state government will take up the issue with the Union government along with the demand for direct flights from Chandigarh to Kullu, Kangra, Shimla and for tribal areas,  the Chief Minister assured. 

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Pahari short-film Pashi wins best Cinematography award at Marietta Film Festival in Georgia

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Siddharth Chauhan’s Himachali short-film Pashi has won the best Cinematography award at Marietta International Film Festival in Georgia,  Europe in the short-film category.

Earlier, Pashi had also made it to an Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival’held in USA in August 2017. It was the first international premiere for the film. Like Rhode Island, at Marietta too, Pashi was the only entry from India, said Sidharth.

Siddharth was the Director of photography while Yashwant Kumar Sharma was his cameraman.

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The film is inspired from Siddharth’s childhood memories in his village Dhanoti, Rohru of Shimla district and produced under the Secret Corridor Picture.

In the regional Pahari spoken in Rohru, Pashi means a trap – an ancient concept used by villagers & children for hunting birds and animals.

pashi film shooting locationThe film was primarily shot in Sunta Lodge, a beautiful wooden mansion of village Khalwan. Some of the parts were also filmed in Village Dhanoti neat Tikker (Rohru).

Pashi will be showcased at Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on the September 17. On February 2, 2018, the film will be showcased at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington where it already has five nominations – Best Director, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor.

Siddharth has emerged as a talented filmmaker from the Hill state where the film industry is still in infancy. Luckily, the parents of Siddharth, Mr. Balwan Singh Chauhan and Mrs. Bimla Chauhan offered a thorough support to him in his endevour.

Lead actors of the film include Chetan Kanwar, a Class XII student at the Chapslee School, Shimla, John Negi, a model/actor from Rampur, Kamayani Bisht, an English Professor at the Government College Theog, Savitri Devi Sunta, the oldest family member of the Sunta family in Khawalan.

Supporting case includes Dewansh Kanwar (Chapslee School), Aditi Sunta ( Rohru), and Dev Ranta (Rohru).

Other crew members are as followed.

  • Assistant Directors: Mridul Surbhi, Shefali Chauhan & Ankit Rathore
  • Music: Prabir Sekhri from Canada
  • Sound: Tanmaya Das from Mumbai
  • Visual Effects: Himanshu Hirwani from Pune
  • Story/Direction: Siddharth Chauhan from Shimla
  • Associate Producers: Swati Chauhan & Ankit Rathore (from Delhi)

 

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