He speaks such scholarly Hindi, that you will never imagine that Sajeev Sarathie was born to Malayalee parents in Kerala. He grew up in Delhi from the age of four and he became more familiar with Hindi than Malayalam. Now he is a connoisseur of Hindi Language and Literature. He has carved a niche for himself as a Hindi Poet, Writer and Lyricist. He is a much-loved writer the Hindi media to write of Hindi songs, poems and screenplays. He is doing tremendous teamwork to promote unknown talents. He is also part of radioplaybackindia.com a leading Hindi blog in podcasting. He also worked with Late President Honourable DrAPJ Abdul Kalam. He also wrote songs for Honourable Prime Minister Narender Modi’s Beti Bachao, Beti Bachao movement. After the release of his latest song Bekhud, I had a voice interview with Sajeev.
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.
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.
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.
Before telling why ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ cannot exactly fit into the genre of Bible Movies, I would like to say that watching Exodus was a thrilling experience, the actions and costumes kept us glued to the seats for 154 minutes. The epic story is set in the ancient kingdom of Pharaohs with all the magnificence of the kingdom – the antique utensils and gorgeous actors in stunning attires. For every occasion, the Pharaoh wore a different costume. While going for battle he wears gold ornaments and while in the palace, he wears precious stones. Zipporah in the desert looked dazzling in her rustic attires and ornaments. Read about the Christmas celebration in a Church which is attended mostly by people of other faith.
Secondly, you get involved in the process of an aristocrat transforming to the Leader of Slaves, liberating them form 400 years of slavery. When the slaves’ doubt how he will make them cross the Red Sea, like a true leader, Moses urges the people to have faith and trust in him and the God.
Unfortunately I went to watch the movie with some friends who were not experts in Bible stories, so while watching the movie there were many instances when I had to give background explanation as the story unfurls on the screen. Therefore, I concluded that there is drama, action and adventure in the movie which is set in the overall frame work of the Bible story.
The movie fits better in the genre of a Psychological Thriller because the story has more to do with the inner psychological battle of the two men in the movie ‘Man of God’ (Moses) and ‘the King’ (Ramses).
At the beginning of the movie, Seti the King of Egypt sends Ramses, the prince, to a battle along with Moses. Before the two left a priestess predicted that Moses will save Ramses. The King gave both of them swords with name of Moses on Ramses sword and vice versa. As predicted, Moses saves the future kings life from the Hittites and there begins the mental turmoil of Ramses.
After the death of his Father, when Ramses became king he was completely dependent on Moses, who serves as his adviser. Therefore, the anxiety of Ramses is very clear when Moses is banished from the palace.
Moses’s psychological turmoil begins with episode when God talks to him through a burning bush. Whenever Aaron secretly watches conversation of Moses with God, he sees Moses was talking to Stone.
God the boy
In this movie, the God is an eleven-year-old boy while in the Bible God is the Father. Eastern Orthodoxy tradition sees burning bush in parallel to the womb of Virgin Mary giving birth to the son of God without being harmed. Is there any interpretation for the representation of God as a boy?
Moses wears general’s uniform
When Moses left the palace, he seems to have disowned nothing, not even the sword. Moses is usually represented wearing shepherd’s cloth and long hair. In this movie, he is always in a generals clothing and with clean hair cut.
The staff is missing
The most evident missing link in the movie is the staff of Moses that he used to split the Red Sea, and to perform miracles whenever there was a need. He turned it into a snake many times. In this movie, Moses carries the sword given by the Pharoah with Ramases name inscribed on it.
The sea doesn’t divide
As you can see in this picture, the sea recedes like a tsunami. And the miracle happened when Moses throws the sword into the sea and goes into a deep slumber.
Moses cries for the Egyptians
Not just Moses, the audience will sympathise more with the Egyptians when Moses asks God to stop the plague because he cannot see the people he grew up with undergoing so much pain.
10 plaques in 10 minutes
Before you recollect the 10 plaques, they are shown at one stretch and also with added elements like the crocodile that killed people to make the Nile blood red. Many film goers are not familiar with Bible stories, the plaques required more explanation. Therefore, if you are not aware of the story of Moses then read articles like this one here before watching the movie.
Scientific interpretation of the plaques
An expert scientifically explains to Pharaoh the reasons for the plaque. Due to the bad climate, the water of Nile turned red and so the frogs jumped out of the River, which in turn resulted in a large number of fly and so on……….. The rationalised interpretation removed the supernatural power attached to the plaques.
Moses in just 40
According to the Bible, Moses left the palace at the age of 40 and lived in Midian for 40 years and returned to save the Israelites at the age of 80. Moses in this movie doesn’t look more than 40 till the end of the movie.
However the power and presence of God is acknowledged in a few instances. When Moses is unable to free the Israelites, God tells Moses that he would do the rest of the work and then the plaques begin. When Ramses bring the body of his dead child to Moses, he tells the King that not a single Hebrew child died that night. Finally, even if we assume that the sea was split by a receding tsunami, only the presence of a super natural power could keep the sea divided for 600,000 people cross to the other side.
After watching the movies when I asked my friends what they felt about the movie. They said that Exodus: Gods and King was an excellent movie worth watching.