|ARTS TRIBUNE||Friday, May 12, 2000, Chandigarh, India|
machine of Indi-pop
turn furniture designers
Kapil Dev in the dock
machine of Indi-pop
From the by lanes of South Delhi to the pinnacle of Indi-pop Jawahar Wattal has come a long way. Despite a degree in management, he decided to pursue a career in music his passion a bold decision. Delhi offered no avenues for this 21-year-old to fulfil his dream, still he persevered.
Jawahar set up Adcamp, a 24-track state-of-the-art digital recording studio. Starting with jingles Adcamp produced over 3,000 jingles he went on to score music for countless plays, television serials and ad films.
Talking about his early days, he says his struggle and sacrifice are for posterity. It all came naturally, with grace, he adds. Music is a state of mind, he says. He remembers following a baraat band to a marriage function in his childhood. The music just drew him, like a magnet.
Jawahar made his first foray into Indi-pop with Dilruba, an album with Baba Sehgal, way back in 1990. He joined the big league in 1994 with Bolo Ta Ra Ra, the album that launched Daler Mehndi and set the trend for Punjabi pop. Delhi was finally on the music map.
This was just the beginning. This music machine churned out platinum hits year after year. And in the process, he turned Daler Mehndi, Sudeep, Ali Haider, Poornima, Bhupi, Shankar Sahney, Bobby Cash, Hema Sardesai, Ustad Shujat Khan, Sanjay Raina, Shweta Shetty and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy into stars. He also transformed Shubha Mudgal, Hans Raj Hans, Baba Sehgal and Ila Arun with his magical touch.
Despite being a success story, Jawahar has not lost his modesty and humility. He is a straightforward, down-to-earth person who happily remains in the background while the stars he has created enjoy the limelight. I am not a performing artiste, he says matter-of-faculty. He has been misquoted a number of times but has never resorted to publicity by giving statements.
He devotes practically all his time to music. He does the recording, composing and mixing himself. Music requires selflessness and service. You need to have a good ear. Magic only comes with a free hand. You cannot create it with constraints, he elaborates.
He laments that the music industry in India is not well organised. Music is still a means of survival in the country. Look at the street singers who move around singing devotional songs. They are good, but to establish yourself, you need luck and good contacts. Music has not reached the high level of professionalism like in the West. Pure talent like Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles could not have established themselves here, he rues.
He feels sad that the rustic elements of Punjabi folk music like tappa have not caught the fancy of the industry. He also foresees the decline of classical music. The classical heritage of the country will remain only as long as the maestros are there. The value system has changed. The guru-shishya parampara is practically dead, he says sadly. Will there be an environment for the next generation of classical singers, he asks.
Winner of the Channel V Best Composer Award, Jawahar believes that music comes naturally to a person. Learning and training can only sharpen skills. The talent always comes from within, he states. According to him, the music industry has become too commercialised. It is like instant coffee nowadays, he says.
The person who has revolutionised the pop music industry in the country does not see any competition for himself in the country. He now aims to go to the West. A time will come when the West will dance to numbers like Ek do teen... even if they do not understand the language, he claims.
He also has a number of offers to compose music for films. There is too much of a backlog. After I clear that, I will move on to movies as well probably later this year, he says. His recording studio in Delhi is flooded with artistes and music company executives. His 52nd album, Wallah Wallah with Bhupi, was released recently.
His forthcoming projects
are with Suresh Wadkar, Hema Sardesai, Joy Jasbir, Milan
Singh, Usha Uthup and Maninder Mahi. The magician
continues to weave his spell. Marriage is also on the
cards. This handsome eligible bachelor is going to tie
the knot soon.
A TIGER asleep face down on a tree reminding one of striped yellow cloth put out to dry on a clothesline is among the 61-odd photos clicked by Adhik Shirodkar, Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate based in Mumbai.
Shirodkars exhibition of wildlife photos, taken during the past five years, was recently on at the AIFACS hall in Delhi.
Talking to newspersons, he said his tryst with wildlife photography began way back in 1978. However, due to the pulls and pressures of his career, it remained on the backburner for long. However, the passion was rekindled during the past five years and he began pursuing his addiction, as he terms his hobby, by touring sanctuaries both at home and abroad.
I am not holding this exhibition to show that I am a great photographer. I feel we are going away from nature which is affecting the biodiversity of India. I want to create awareness in the people and make them fall in love with nature. That is the purpose behind this exhibition, he said.
The photos include
various species of birds and animals like the black naked
stork, purple moorhen, snake bird, white breasted king
fisher, purple sun bird and animals like elephants,
giraffe, rhinos and members of the cat family. UNI
All-pervasive film influence
PYAAR KI DHUN (Milestone): The utter predictability of film music gets your goat sooner or later. You long for a breath of fresh air, even if it comes only once in a while. That is why the release of a private album becomes a bigger event than mere film music.
However, this one does not keep its promise, purely because it is greatly influenced by film music, a genre you are trying to avoid to begin with. Whether it is Shaan and Sadhana Sargam in Aa bhi jaa or Shankar Mahadevan and Sanjeevani in Jaaneman jaanejan , they all perform as if they are rendering playback.
Perhaps the illusion is deliberate, because the tunes themselves are derived ones. Yes, lyrics by Amitabh Varma have a fresh feeling about them.
Among the few songs that one does enjoy are Bekhabar behosh by Reshab and Arasha and Dil pe by Ishaan and Arpana.
HADH KAR DI AAPNE (T-Series): This is the patented Govinda type music: low on nutrition, high on calories. Anand Raaj Anand is the perpetrator. His music is marked by a frenzied beating of the instruments. Anand Bakshis lyrics harp on cliched topics like tota and maina.
The only point of interest is new singer Vibha Sharma, who has done reasonably well in two songs, Mujhe kuch tumse hai kehna (with Udit Narayan) and a parody song.
Jaspinder Narula has another go at the Pyar to hona hi tha kind of vim and vigour in Kudi kanwari , but with far less satisfactory consequences.
JAZBAAT (Sony Music): When good new music is in short supply, one enjoys going back to time-tested songs. This is a collection of 10 such numbers, four of them by Jagjit Singh, three by Lucky Ali and the rest by Shubha Mudgal, Shamsa Kanwal and Asha Bhosle (one each).
Jagjit and Chitra are at their nostalgic best in Woh kagaz ki kashti, woh barish ka paani . But his finest here is Shaam se aankh mein namee si hai .
Lucky Ali sings Dekha hai aise bhi , Teri yaadein aati hain and Tu kaun hai
The Asha number included here is the film song Chand grahan...
(T-Series): While most companies are cutting
individual albums, T-Series repeatedly hits paydirt with
a combination of singers. Here the cassette presented by
Shamsher Sandhu features Hans Raj Hans, Sardool Sikander,
Surjit Bindrakhiya, Satwinder Bitti, Parminder Sandhu,
Kultar and Joginder Sandhu. Besides Shamsher, lyrics have
been written by Kulwinder and Navdeep, although the
cassette does not mention which particular song has been
written by whom. Music is by Atul Sharma.
by Suparna Saraswati
Architects turn furniture designers
WHEN Jitesh met Harinder neither one was aware that their meeting would end up in a twosome venture delving into alternate art interiors, specifically lamps and furniture. The young artists are professionally qualified architects, with creative inclinations entrenched in aesthetics and innovation. Having a fantastic rapport and the requisite skill, makes these two an indomitable team in the competitive world of art and design. While Jitesh pivots himself solely on designing utility-ware range of interiors, Harry, alias Harinder, accentuates then with his clay sculptures.
They have lent expression to their respective artistic ideologies through an exhibition-cum-sale titled Aureole. Through an informal chat, the more outspoken one of the two, that is Jitesh, shared his experiences and understanding of this new introduction bordering on art and functions in the field of furniture.
He begins with defining the term itself: Furniture would commonly be defined as an object which facilitates the functioning of life in a living environment. A piece of furniture enters our subconscious very naturally. We constantly use it, without becoming aware of it or even noticing it. There is, however, a capacity in an object of daily use to transcend the functions and reach a subjective level, a level of art. Our endeavour has been to design objects that apart from fulfilling the day-to-day function also have a dimension in them which involves the users beyond its immediate use and leaves an invoking impression on the conscious or sub-conscious mind. That is truly an artists articulation about his work!
So, how did an architect plunge into the uncertain realms of alternate furniture designing?
Jitesh replies in a matter-of-fact manner, It took place gradually. Even during my internship and post-internship period, that is while working at places like Ahmedabad, Delhi and Chandigarh, I continued my passion for art work (painting and design). But it was only during my work tenure at Construct Design, an architectural consultancy in Chandigarh, that my focus for designing furniture and allied items took shape.
And where does this artists motivation for his work come from?
It is not very direct, I confess. Nothing is predefined. However, natural forms are basically the source of these creations. The subject primarily evolves on its own as it is not necessarily thought of beforehand or preconceived as it were, Jitesh clarifies.
Then, one enquires about the kind of variety of raw materials used in the designs for instance, glass bangles, ceramic tiles, cement, hand-made paper, marbles etc. So what is their criterion for selecting such stuff?
We mainly opt for metal as against wood because of its fluidity, which the latter does not provide. Also it gives a very contemporary and modern look to the entire piece. In addition to this, the durability factor also plays a significant role. After all, who does not want their moneys worth and if the item is slightly more expensive than the usual, all the more reason for it being convincingly good and reliable for any buyer, Jitesh explains.
He does not pretend to defend himself when pointedly asked about the cost effectiveness or creating for a special category of people only. I do admit that whatever goes into the making of our utility furniture items eventually increases its price. But this is not to say that just because they look different and artistic, they are priced on the higher side. The maintenance of our goods is not a tedious task as in case of wooden or any other kind of furniture. I am of the firm belief that art can be combined with function and our designs prove this beyond doubt. Even though there is a very slow and gradual awareness about such new introductions, India does have the potential for such a furniture market today.
Jitesh and Harinder in their journey of transcendence and conveyance, which they call Aureole, have given their thoughts a definite form of furniture, lampshades, paintings and sculptors. Both of them, products of CCA,have tried to blend conveyance with convenience. Convenience of objects for mundane routines and at the same time allowing the object to work its way through the subconscious of the user and settle there without leaving its footprints on the roads of consciousness. The exhibition-cum-sale was held at The Earth Store in Sector 7, Chandigarh.
by Amita Malik
Kapil Dev in the dock
THE last time I saw a top public figure cry on TV was in the year dot. It was in London in the late fifties and in the dock then was one of the most important members of the British Cabinet, Ernest Bevin. The interviewer was John Freeman, later editor of The New Statesman and High Commissioner for the U.K. in India. But at that time he was more famous for his TV programme Face to Face (a title, incidentally, the BBC also revived when Karan Thapar started his interview programme for the BBC last year). Tim Sebastian is nearest in the direct line of succession to Freeman, because David Frost is perhaps a shade gentler when speaking, except when he took on people such as the Prime Minister of Rhodesia in its most racist days.
Well, Karan kept up his relentless line-up of accusations by different people and the press made against Kapil who stood up reasonably well until it was, I think, something else which wore him down. And this was the endless repetition of what he called third party accusations. This went on and on, with variations in the accusations and the accusers, while Kapil persisted in asking for first hand accusations and kept on asking why people had kept quiet for so long and why they had not gone to the police or other authorities with their accusations. And I think it is this monotonous assault which made Kapil finally break down. He became very emotional after a time, I certainly did not enjoy seeing this normally cheerful extrovert sobbing on TV, although it might have made for high drama. But it left many people with a bad taste in the mouth. And others very embarrassed. So one is glad Kapil said he would like to continue to be coach but would have a word with the team before making up his mind.
Quite a contrast was the cocky and cheerfully smiling Jagmohan Dalmiya, although Rajdeep Sardesai, in a voice naturally softer than Karans bark, asked equally direct and in a way more documented questions. On Star News Mr Dalmiya sailed through in his usualbreezy fashion. But I think there is no doubt about which of the two seemed more convincing.
Two anniversaries passed without too much of a noise. Tagores birthday and Kargil. But what did strike one as one of the best programmes of its kind for many weeks was Question Time India where Prannoy Roy handled with his usual tact and good humour an articulate panel with Asma Jehangir in splendid form our own Suhashini Ali and Mukul Kesavan who added the right touch of wry humour and, at times, healthy cynicism. The subject, naturally was Indo-Pakistan relations in the context of exchange of womens goodwill delegations between the two countries and following on Kargil. The frankness of the panel (Asma getting the most cheers) was matched by some very thoughtful questions from the audience. I wondered if they had anything similar on PTV when our delegation was in Pakistan.
With so many cinema
channels available now, one can really pick and choose. I
enjoyed seeing North by North-West with Cary Grant yet
again on TNT, now specialising in classics. And Amol
Palekar getting lessons on courtship from Ashok Kumar.
But while one has ones pick of films including
off-beat small budget ones and even the latest Bollywood
blockbusters, the programmes which discuss films range
from the positively frivolous, with a succession of young
women dressing and talking in bizarre fashion and not
really adding anything to either our entertainment or our
knowledge, to would-be serious discussions which either
fail through lack of time or lack of expertise. The one
on the NFDC is Stars News Hour left out several
important details due to lack of time and also because
some interviewers did not really know enough about the
subject. I also find a little frustrating the very
superficial and at times amateurish interviewing about
showbiz on Good Morning India (not Shireen or Sharad who
come well prepared) by what are apparently cub reporters
trying out their hand at the expense of viewers,
especially culture buffs. I really think Star can do
better than this. Which is why I found refreshing a
discussion on international cinema on Asianet with
several foreign film personalities taking part on the
occasion of the Kerala International Film Festival.