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.
She successfully manages two careers, as a Graphic Designer and a Painter with elan. Poonam Bevli Sahi has been running her designing studio, FACET, for the last few decades. She got many prestigious customers, Help Age India being the first, who design their dossiers and other communication material at her office. Many well known companies have got their designing works done with her for decades, as they trust her reliable and quality services.
When you go to her office-room there will always be an unfinished canvas which is being painted. And the canvas is the indication of her other profession as a Painter. She has been Painting, and wining prizes, since her childhood. Asked how she finds time for painting, in the midst of the already busy and time-bound designing career, she says steals time.
Poonam Bevli Sahi, I know her since I used to get the designing work done at her designing cum home, for the magazine that I worked with. There is an artistic feel in her home, beautiful wall hangings, artistically shaped furniture and everything placed in such a manner so as to accentuate the beauty of the surrounding. And the most attractive was the floating flower arrangement in a copper vessel.
Poonam Bevli Sahi has conducted a number of exhibitions both in India and Abroad. Many of her paintings are brought by private painting collectors around the world.
From March 2nd to 8th, she has been exhibiting her paintings at IIC, Delhi with the theme of the painting being ‘Life is a Circus’. She narrates the various challenges in life which is similar to the tasks carried out by Circus artists. Circus is an unexplored theme in painting.
Poonam Bevli Sahi inherited her passion and painting talents from her mother who herself was an amateur Painter. Her mother was married young, and before starting her career at NCERT, she used to do a lot of canvasses. And she used to visit, with her mother and sister, many painting exhibitions and interact with artist. The exposure to the world of paintings, she says constantly fuelled her passion for painting.
When asked whether painting, was a hobby, which she pursued during her free time, she reiterated that painting was her profession. Leading a disciplined life with proper diet, yoga and meditation helps to manage all the activities.
When asked about how she portrayed women in her paintings, she said that for her men and women are equal.
In today’s world when women try to balance their family and career, like a trapeze artist, Poonam Bevli Sahi is an inspiration for women. With proper delegation, passion and hard work you can be successful in two parallel professions.
When asked what message she would like to give to the young women entrepreneurs, she said there is nothing impossible for women. Be consistent in your pursuit and you will achieve your dreams.
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..
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.
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.
Yesterday during Mother Teresa’s canonisation there were two trending topics – ‘SaintTeresa’ and ‘FraudTeresa’. Many considered here a Saint, other’s viewed her sainthood with doubt “how can this be”.
Two thousand years back a 12 year old girl asked the same question to an angel that appeared to her and told her that she will bear a son. She said to the angel, “How can this be, when I haven’t known a man”. From that moment, Mary the mother of Jesus underwent many pains and sufferings. Now she is the most revered, after Jesus Christ, and the foremost among the Saints of Jesus.
Man is fallible, and so there will always be doubts about how human beings with all their inherent faults can be declared saints. A saint is one who is in heaven with God because of their holiness and virtue.
We only have third party knowledge of saints, mostly through verbal stories passed on from generation to generation, because holy people are declared as saints years after the death of their contemporaries. I couldn’t meet Mother Teresa, so all the that I know about mother is third party information – through books; and the experience of others. Stories about her inspired me all through out my life. Many prominent people have shared their rendezvous with mother, which changed their life forever; and listening to their experience changed my perception of life.
Saint Teresa took care of the sick people, infected and dying on the street in a way which is unimaginable to replicate for an ordinary human. There was a story, in a newspaper, of a woman who was a strong anti-campaigner for Mother Teresa, but when she saw the missionaries of charity helping a sick man lying on the street, she changed her opinion. Because, the Sisters were doing a service which she couldn’t imagine herself doing.
Mother Teresa inspired people to share food, and to give the left over food to the needy. Giving away food is the simplest act of charity which any human can do. The inspiring food stories , share in this post, resonates Saint Teresa’s famous quote; “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Here are some of St. Teresa’s food stories that inspired many to do charity:
The story of the broken biscuits
In Khushwant Singh’s book ‘Unforgettable Women’, he says that once he went with Mother Teresa to a biscuit factory where the Manager was ready with excuses like there was a Union Strike, they were already doing charity, and so on. She thanked the Manager for all the broken biscuits they had given in the previous years and continued **”You must have lots of problems. Everything is in short supply— flour, butter, sugar.’ It was evident that Mr Mukherjee’s speech had been taken out of his mouth………….** When Mother continued with stories of the hungry destitute, Mukherjee finally delivered forty large boxes of broken biscuits to Mother Teresa.
Picking up waste food at parties
Usha Uthup the popular singer, has 47 years of association with Mother. She says mother had tremendous influence on her and St. Teresa never talked about religion though she was from a different religion. Once Mother told Uthup that when she goes to parties, she should pick up the left over food and give to the needy. Though her assignment was embarrassing Usha Uthup did her job dutifully.
Charity in the air
Jiji Thomson, former Chief Secretary of Kerala, said that once when he boarded a flight there was an announcement that Mother was also on board. Everyone clapped their hands. When the food was being served there was another announcement that if there is any leftover food, the passengers were requested to hand it over to Mother. Every single passenger gave their food packet to Mother.
The flight story shows the universal impact of Mother. Imagine who all might have been on board- atheists, youths enjoying life, Kids waiting for the tasty meal, etc. All of them forsook their meal to be part of a great service to humanity.
**Excerpts from ‘Unforgettable Women’ by Khushwant Singh
After Messi, now the renowned footballer and coach Zinedine Zidane will be the Brand Ambassador of an Indian company. Real estate development company Kanakia Spaces today confirmed the signing of French football legend and Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane as face for its ‘Paris’ project in the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
Probably this kind of an endorsement is for the first time in Asia, because Zinedine Zidane owns three in one fame – a celebrity, ace-footballer and a Coach. When asked about his new assignment in India Zinedine Zidane said “This is my first involvement in India directly and I am delighted to be a part of it. When Mr. Himanshu Kanakia and Mr. Ashish Kanakia reached out to me for this project, I did not hesitate and was delighted to come on board with them in a consulting capacity for this project.”
Kanakia Paris is a unique project and aims to recreate a Parisian experience for the future residents at the complex. The project will bring to life the essence of Paris, namely art, romance, architecture, monuments, fashion and food, fully immersing residents in the Parisian way of life.
To make the Paris inspired project more authentically indigenous a renowned architect from Paris, Olivier Vecchierini, will design the landscape and some interiors of the project. He is going to use his vast experience across various countries to ensure Kanakia Paris delivers a unique experience.
There are 7 towers at Kanakia Paris with 463 units in the 2 & 3 bedroom categories which start at Rs. 3.7 crores.
Kanakia Group was formed in the year 1986 and has earned a distinct reputation as one of India’s premium developers. It is rated as one of the top-ten real estate development brands in Mumbai.
The flagship real estate development company, Kanakia Spaces Pvt. Ltd. has delivered over 13 million sq. ft. of commercial, residential, entertainment, education and industrial spaces to date. The company has been honoured with several prestigious awards for its landmark projects, which exemplify the quality Kanakia put in their work.
I do not know Cartoonist Toms well though I like his old cartoons. Thought provoking humour at its best and which would stand the test of time. There are some who makes you think and some who makes you laugh, but very few who could do both…I remember my Professor once pointing my views to the dog in the cartoons; to check the actions and reactions of the tiny dog in each situation. The finesse in even the smallest of details……. Every frame filled with thoughts but yet with a few strokes. The pen has stopped but the ink will remain indelible and will continue to spread for generations………..
Relocated from her dwelling
An NGO discovered the prodigy
Trained like a Pro
24 Carat Friendship with participants of other countries
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.
When I met him first, he was taking photocopies of Newspaper cuttings and said that he ran an NGO, for helping the underprivileged. I was just curious to know what kind of support S. Devender Singh Anand, 67, was providing for helping the needy. “I keep all the Newspaper cutting of News that benefit the public, for instance, the Legal News” he said. He uses the Newspaper cuttings to empower the underprivileged. Suppose someone goes to the hospital for a handicap certificate with Address Proof, Id Cards, and still he is denied the license; then Mr. Anand provides the person with photocopies of Newspaper cuttings supporting his claims. The applicant can then challenge for his rights with the Newspaper cuttings. If required, he confronts the officials about the provisions that the claimant is entitled to “I have the information, no one can challenge me on the information.”
Mr. Anand, who was into truck transportation business, was injured and bedridden in 1992. And since 1995, after the trauma, with the experience he gained, he decided to help the underprivileged.
He says only four out of hundred physically challenged are utilizing the benefits entitled for the physically challenged, and that too mostly from the educated section of the society. Most of the physically challenged are unaware of their privileges. He says in Delhi there is the Handicapped Finance Corporation, which is underutilized by the physically challenged. And there two special commissions appointed for the physically challenged– National level Commissioner at 6, Baghwan Das Road and State level commissioner at Mata Gujri College. Suppose the specially-abled people are not getting the justice they can approach the commission and register a complaint against the authority who is denying them their right. At both the Commissioner offices, you get booklets about the facilities entitled for the physically challenged. Those who are knowledgeable about the content of the booklets avail the facilities.
Helping everyone in need
Other than the physically challenged, Mr. Anand has been empowering the underprivileged like the poor, the senior citizens, the uneducated and so on. He tries to help everyone and guides people with Newspaper Cuttings. Whenever he meets people, he tells the deserving people to approach the authorities to get their benefits and in case, they are challenged they can show a photocopy copy of the Newspaper cuttings.
An interesting piece of information that Mr. Anand shared was, there is a provision for a free legal attorney, in every Court, for those having income less than Rs 1 lakh. “You can go to a Court, and get a free lawyer immediately when you show documents of your earning,” says Mr. Anand.
In addition to providing information, if the situation requires he physically approaches the authorities and speaks for the underprivileged. Once he educated his housemaid about the benefits of opening a Bank Account, but when she approached the Bank, she faced many hurdles. So Mr. Anand himself went to the Bank, talked to the officials and successfully opened a Bank Account for her. She was excited because she could now save her earnings and she also got free medical insurance coverage. Encouraged by her, her relatives also opened bank accounts.
After helping the underprivileged for nearly two decades, he registered an NGO ‘Happy Living’ to help the cause of the physically challenged. Happy Living accepts old clothes from donors and distributes them among the needy.
Mr. Anands strong support comes from his wife, Harpreet Anand, a Criminal Lawyer, who teaches the Children of Watchmen, maids and construction workers of the locality.
With the passage of time, Mr. Anand has advanced his methods to garner information. He now uses the new-age tool of RTI (Right to Information) to “provide Justice for those who are denied Justice”. He is an inspiration to the youth of today.