Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friends Music Festival

The night before, I spent nearly the entire night at the venue overseeing the stage setup. Next morning was back at about 8 am to see the final branding and other issues that needed attention and was in office for a 9 am meeting to put together final details and responsibilities that needed to be assigned to people at the venue. 12 noon I was back at Nazrul Manch, with only 6 hours to go before we kicked off Friends Music Festival 2009. Last minute details had to be sorted. Sound and light was in place. A last minute recce of the venue posed a huge problem. The front gate didn’t have an ounce of jute. This year’s concept was Jute and our commitment to being an environment friendly organisation. A couple of calls and after running helter-skelter we managed to get together several metres of bright orange Jute and masked the entire front gate walls. It was 4.30 pm now and the first set of musicians had arrived. We were good to go.

At 5.30 pm both the gates were opened and we had people trickling in and as the clock struck 6 we kicked off with the choir DAKSHINEE. Rabindrasangeet was the mainstay of day one’s offering. So after their performance, LOPAMUDRA followed by SRABONI SEN also continued with Rabindrasangeet.

The next set of performers bowled me over with their colourful attire and even more vibrant performance. It was probably the second time in my life I was witnessing Baul. The two artists BAUL SWAPAN ADHIKARI & BAUL BHAJAN DAS BAIRAGI with their accompaniment upped the mood of the audience just enough for them to enjoy a brilliant performance by PANDIT AJOY CHAKRABORTY with his vocal renditions of two ragas.

Day one ended with a sigh of relief, though we had an audience of about 1000+ in this 3000+ capacity venue, it was a great start to the Friends Music Festival.



Friends Music Festival

It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to put together such a plethora of musicians to perform on one stage and I was fortunate enough to be around for the second edition of the Friends Music Festival.

The madness started about ten days before the festival when we got all the sponsors together and the ad campaign started. Hoarding, Print ads and Radio Promos all sending the message out to the people of Kolkata that 91.9 Friends FM was celebrating its 2nd Anniversary with the Friends Music Festival at Nazrul Manch from 27th Feb upto 1st march 2009. The artists had been lined up and now it was critical that all sound checks and stage set-ups were in order to get the show on the road. Tickets were sent out to various locations for sale and the Complimentary & VIP Invites disappeared in the blink of an eye. I had spent an entire weekend getting all them designed & printed and believe you me, when they got to the office I didn’t get to see the final product, until I think a day before the show. Well at least am glad that people are that enthusiastic about getting invited to this one of a kind musical soiree.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Friends Music Festival 2009

come together for the love of music

Venue: Nazrul Manch

February 27, 2009 6pm onwards Rs. 40/-

February 28, 2009 6pm onwards Rs. 40/-

March 1, 2009 6pm onwards Rs. 40/-

Tickets Available at:
Swaralipi (Garia)
Melody (Rashbehari more)
Melody (Golpark more)
Music World (Park Street)
Symphony (Esplanade)
Hindusthan Sweets (New Alipore)
Haralalka (Shyambazar)
Island (Phoolbagan)
Modern Music Centre (Sealdah)
Study (Jadavpur 8B Bus stand)
Kathleen (Ultadanga)
Friends FM Office (44 Park Street)
At Venue - 27th onwards

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is Pollution!

I was on my way to Tollygunge Club and as I was waiting at the signal of the Anwarshah Road crossing, I suddenly saw this veil of white move across the front. As I looked to the left, I noticed the cause. Yes a coal fire “chulah”. What was most amazing, even as it billowed wave after wave of smoke, people just kept walking through it, as though this was normal? I guess in a city driven to such levels of pollution, this is just acceptable.

Cosy Joint, Excellent Food: That's Gossip

After having lived at Udayan for a year now, we finally decided to try this joint that was perched on the first floor corner of the Unnayan Shopping Complex. We had once before popped our heads in and didn’t think much of the place. It came across as more of a local watering hole. Which it might still be, but our visit was one, which will take me back there soon.

The lighting is subtle and the décor very basic. It is a small cosy place with all the tables around the arched bar. It looks more like a bar from a gentleman’s club. Anyway I won’t delve much more on the décor but will move on to the service, which is excellent. The alcohol menu is the usual but what really impressed me the most was the food. Some exotic names and believe you me, the presentation of the dishes and their tastes far exceeded my expectations.

Well this is the “Gossip” this side of town, have you been in it?

UNS-77, Unnayan Commercial Complex,
1050/1 Survey Park,
Kolkata - 700075
Tel: +91-33-24188348

Delhi-6: Fabulous Soundtrack, Vague Script

Masakali, Masakali. Guess we all have been humming this from way before the movie hit the screens. “Jay Ho” to A.R. Rahman’s music. The movie Delhi-6 has been made superbly. Abhishek Bachan’s paring opposite Sonam Kapoor couldn’t have been better for this film. A typical boy meets girl and falls in love with her under extreme circumstances is all good. The cinematography is awesome, the script and the way the story has been woven together is superb and gripping. I loved the way fine details of the back alleys of the old city and the depiction of myriad people who make up its colourful culture and daily life have been put together by the director.

Well at least till the last 15-20 minutes. All this is undone in the final scenes of the movie. Suddenly one feels that the director needed to wind up the movie and give it some sort of a happy ending with a message. The message was quite clear, but the method was a bit forced.

Anyway go watch it and make your own decision.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mamta's TMC Stikes Again

I was just on my way back from the printers at Tangra and at about 1 pm reached the Park Circus round about. As I came upon the round about, in a flash out of nowhere throngs of people waving flags descended upon the road and blocked traffic. Mamta’s TMC Party was at it again. It was a chaka-jam. I haven’t a clue what their demands were, but they sure had brought traffic to a grinding halt. I quickly took a u-turn, parked my car next to the Park Circus Maidan, jumped out, pulled out my camera and captured some of the action on the road. I then headed back to Congress exhibition road and managed to skirt the disruption in the nick of time to head back to office via Theatre Road.

Once back in office I managed to catch the news on all the local channels. Apparently, they had sprung up at various crossings of Kolkata and stopped traffic for an hour or so. I still don’t know what this was about. Guess it must be warming up for the general elections and making her party’s presence felt.

King Khan Strikes Again

Apart from being a poignant story about a simpleton barber “Billu” and his long lost chaddi buddy Bollywood superstar “Sahir Khan”, this movie is all about Shah Rukh Khan establishing himself as the undisputed king of Bollywood, “KING KHAN”.

Irrfan Khan plays the part of Billu and does an exceptional job. SRK is his usual self – KING, KING, KING all the way. Other notable performances are by Lara Dutta who plays Billu’s wife, Bindiya, Rajpal Yadav, Om Puri and Asrani.

SRK manages to rope in Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra & Deepika Padukone for three item numbers and adds pizzazz to the entire powerhouse effect of the movie.

The movie as such is decent and typical Bollywood style comedy, emotion & melodrama, but isn’t that what movies are supposed to be about. That’s why we love the movies.

Another FM Station Hits the Streets

Drive to Kolaghat

Kingdom of Rhythm Album Launch

Bickram Ghosh and Pete Lockett put up a great show at Tollygunge Club on 13th Feb 2009. The show was the launch of their album on which they had collaborated called "Kingdom of Rhythm"

Post the show went for dinner to Azad Hind at parna Das Road. Didn't know they had one here too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well Made Movie: Dev D

Dev D, loosely based on the famous Devdas, this modern day movie about love, loss and drama is quite freaky. Anurag Kashyap strikes the right cord in portraying a modern day lovelorn Romeo devastated by circumstances and loss of his one love. His depiction of modern day India is spot on. The night life, the characters, the pace of life and the entire aura gets you to identify with the film as a city dweller.

Paro played by Mahi Gill is one of the characters well cast and played. Dibyendu Bhattacharya plays Chunni who introduces him to the vices of life and the other woman who Dev gets obsessed with; Chanda, played by Kalki Koechlin.

Abhay Deol, plays Dev better than any star I can imagine. Popping pills, drinking like a fish and baring his soul torn between two women he fits into the role with ease.

This is a marvel in terms of movie making. Kind of makes me proud that Hindi movies have come of age with movie like this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Best Friend Ever

Marley & Me is a movie based on the book by the same name by John Grogan. It’s a true story about his dog and how that little bundle of joy and naughtiness was the sole bonding factor in his family. A beautiful story based on a chapter in Jonh Grogan (Owen Wilson) and Jennifer Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) involving his neurotic dog Marley, will definitely bring tears to your eyes. How Marley influences all the decisions in their lives and his love for the family through good times and bad is so well narrated, it is no wonder that from a best selling novel it also was made into a major motion picture.

This is probably the best thing that John Grogan could do for Marley; in fact for all pet dogs and their selfless love for their owners.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Max Payne

Based on the ever popular PC Game, the plot has ex-detective Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) whose wife and daughter were slain years ago, working in the police station in storage so he can go through old unsolved cases and track down the killers of his family.

One day he chances upon Mona Sax (Mila Kunis) and her sister Natasha Sax (Olga Kurylenko) and from there on the movie takes on a crazy, flashy action packed video game type pace as he gets a clue as to his family’s killers and then hunts them down. Meanwhile he too is being hunted down by the police as he is framed in Mona’s murder.

Action and adventure all the way. So if you’re into that kind of stuff, Max Payne is for you.