Listening to Sonu Nigam at Minneapolis concert!

PAGE-SANKARA-SONU-NIGAM-SAN-JOSE-CONCERT-03-DSC_0721Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin – when Sonu Nigam crooned this song at a concert in Minnesota, the crowd went still. The singer’s voice had an amazing melody and depth that soothed the over enthusiastic, frenzied crowd and made them listen, intently. Before the singer’s entry, the concert was average, where upcoming singers mostly performed on the latest, peppy Bollywood remixes, but he transformed it into something special. When he sang, it was clear, he did not need additional accompaniments, suggestive dance moves and props to spice up his performance, his voice had it all!

Even when not singing, his voice, carried the same melody. And he did miracles with his song – lifting, lowering, extending, shortening, pausing – unpredictable twists that made the audience respond with thunderous applause. At one point of time, during the concert, the audience went so overboard that they blocked the fire exit, the singer had to make a request to restore order. The security had a tough time containing the crowd who had come to listen to one of the most well loved singers in Bollywood.

Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar, the two biggies of Indian Music Industry, are currently performing in a number of cities in the US and Canada. And we had the good fortune of attending one of those concerts in Minneapolis on Saturday, with our lovely family friends. It was a night to remember in amazing company!

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Now talking about remix queen Neha Kakkar –  she definitely had the crowd eating out of her hand, as she wriggled and danced akin to Shakira, but was not melodious. She had a shrill and powerful voice, that entertained, but did not really touch the heart. It was her latkas and jhatkas that entertained more!

Coming back to Sonu Nigam, his dedication to music seemed real, palpable and fame seems to be just one part of it. Small wonder then that he has held his own for decades despite a crowd of eager, fresh singers striving in Bollywood and changes in music style. Plus the guy doesn’t seem to age at all! To my great joy, someone in the audience requested to sing ‘Bijuriya’, and he sang with an amazing alacrity, giving it a perfect end with the famous ‘Moonwalk’ step!

If you ask for my personal favourite from his bunch of songs that included – Suraj Hua Madham and Hans Mat Pagli, I would say the song mentioned in the opening line of this post – Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin. That song was sublime!

As I watched the singer’s performance, one thing seemed sure. He did not belong to that rising group of people, who do passable work for instant fame. Unfortunately, the ‘chalu’ type of work has invaded all arts across the world. Integrity, dedication and hard work increasingly replaced by quick something for social media fame. Thankfully, the singer seems to belong to a select, small group of people, who practice art for sake of art!

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I have been listening to Sonu Nigam’s songs right from my teenage years and have always liked him. But it was a different experience to hear him live. In between the songs, the singer paused and remarked – ‘when I’ll die, this song will be played for sure.’ And he sang – Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi from ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. Well, none of us would like that to happen, ever. May he continue to enthrall us all with his soulful singing!

(First Two Images courtesy Google)

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Small Things#18 – Here is why Buddha carried light on his head!

After observing this painting of the Buddha, which I had painted in 2014, the Little One asked – Do you know why Gautam Buddha carried light around his head? I shrugged and asked – Do you know?

“Ah, yes! He carried light on his head to see better at night while walking. And also because, this was his style,” he answered expertly. The answer left me in splits. What perspective!

Just a Thought – Camera!

We try to look and behave our best if there happens to be a camera around. We instantly change our expression from frown to smile and adjust our dress to look perfect. If we spot a surveillance camera somewhere, we feel conscious of being watched and behave lawfully.

But how about the ‘witness’ camera we carry within us all the time. The observer, the beholder, the watcher is always there watching us nonchalantly. Why are we not always conscious or aware of the watcher? Wouldn’t this awareness change us to be the best version of ourselves? Would something change if the watcher is watched back by us often? And is the watcher in you the same as the watcher in me? How so?

Ponder and share your thoughts, dears.

(Image courtesy Google)

Polymer Clay Faux Venetian Mask and an easy decoupage technique for polymer clay

Polymer Clay Artist Mihaela Georgescu’s works are gorgeous. She makes amazing stuff out of Polymer Clay. On my request she made a gorgeous mask out of it. Check out her blogs and get inspired! Thanks a lot Mihaela!

Learn Polymer Clay

Polymer Clay Faux Venetian mask - polymer clay video tutorial

Hello dear friends!

How about some inspiration for making a polymer clay mask?
Even though I tend to concentrate on making jewelry pieces using polymer clay, from time to time I like trying my hand at doing more than jewelry pieces.
Today’s piece is inspired by a request that I received on my blog. I was asked if it’s possible to use polymer clay to make masks and if I could demonstrate the process. (Thank you
for the idea! , Shivangi https://adivir.wordpress.com/ )
And here it is. I had to think a little bit about this project. I admired images of beautiful Venetian masks, I thought about how to go about this project to make the process interesting as well.
And I decided to use translucent polymer clay for the base. I love translucent clay and I thought it would look great for a mask, especially for a mask decorated…

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Messengers of Spring

After a long wintry wait, messengers of Spring flew by my home announcing – Spring is finally here!

The Lake heard them and began to melt!

A dainty flower blushed deep pink and adjusted the green frills around her.

Yellow grasses got up, shook off snow and embraced each other..

Kids got the message and took out their bikes…

A fitness enthusiast headed outdoors…

And….I brought out my brown chair to inhale the deep freshness of Spring! Yes, Spring is finally here. We’ve all got the message! 😀

(Pictures – Shivangi)

Small Things#17 – Dealing with the Momo Scare!

A few days back, I heard the older one’s friend talking about the Momo scare. It seemed that kids were talking about it in school. Later, my sister sent us a creepy video, showing how the Momo challenge messes around with young kids by popping up in between a popular cartoon series. While, the video was dismissed as a hoax but it correctly showed how evil, sick people could entice vulnerable kids and push them into doing dangerous things. To tell you the truth, even I was freaked out by Momo until an idea struck me!

Generally, parents would like to avoid talking about such challenges and it is okay. Less is always good. But in case, your kids know about it through friends or in school, what do you do? You find out a way to make them stay unaffected! What I did was I clowned around like Momo and made faces. After initial wonder, my kids burst into laughter. I established that Momo was insignificant in every way possible (actually poor Momo was just a sculpture by some Japanese artist). You could punch it and it will cry and run away. I took away the power of Momo to scare my kids.

BUT! I told them this was the second way of dealing with scare. First rule was to remember the instructions (updated version) by Mahatma Gandhi’s three wise monkeys – do not chat with strangers on the internet, do not watch bad things on the internet, do not listen to bad things on the internet.

With great power of the internet comes great responsibility for parents. Evil is right there on mobile phones, iPad and TV. We are now a part of the world wide web, we can’t break free but what we can do is to be watchful and alert when kids are using the devices.

How would you deal with such dangerous challenges?

Image courtesy Google