Farooque Shaikh, who died on 27 December of a heart attack on a visit to Dubai with his family, was the plump, unlikely hero of scores of Bollywood films. He was born in 1948, his career beginning on a high note with the 1973 film Garm Hawa, about the Partition. His performance earned him a key role in Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players, a study of the decadence of India's feudal classes. His cherubic looks struck a chord with ordinary people, who identified with his man-in-the-street image.
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Tuesday 14 May 2013
'This drama will speak about sexual violence'
Wednesday 10 April 2013
Whilst most people struggle to learn one new language, a 16-year-old from New York has managed to master 23 different tongues.
Wednesday 18 January 2012
Scared of Spanish? Flunked French? It could be time to try again, says Enjoli Liston, who's finally tackling Hindi
Friday 04 November 2011
The sudden death in Bangalore of the lively and ebullient Mathoor Krishnamurti at the age of 85 has stunned his friends, disciples and admirers in both Britain and India. He was born on Janmashtami, the birthday of the Hindu god Krishna, hence his name. Though rooted in ancient Indian culture and literature he was essentially a man of the present: he could quote from the Vedas while busy employing up-to-the-minute computerspeak. He was compounded of past and present and believed in the creed of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ("The world is one family").
Monday 28 March 2011
BBC Hindi, the shortwave radio service that since 1940 has brought global news and current affairs to some of India's poorest and most remote regions, scaled back its transmission yesterday in a move that the author Vikram Seth said was contributing to "a great loss of goodwill and increase of mistrust in India".
Sunday 27 March 2011
I was absolutely amazed to find out from a series of recent questions in parliament that the BBC hadn't even consulted the Foreign Office when they made their decision to axe their shortwave Hindi programmes, which resulted in such a great loss of goodwill for Britain in India - and concomitant increase of mistrust.
Sunday 13 March 2011
Rather than hook up with an Indian singer of existing repute, the first collaborative album by the criminally underrated Cornershop is recorded with Bubbley Kaur, an unknown who was working in a Preston launderette and singing in cellar clubs prior to their chance meeting.
Friday 08 October 2010
This gem of a book deserves to outshine the narcissistic platitudes of Eat, Pray, Love. After crises in both health and career, Rich "no longer had the language to describe my own life. So I decided I'd borrow someone else's". She went to India not to imbibe some mish-mash mysticism but to learn Hindi via "total immersion" in the lakeside city of Udaipur.
Friday 16 July 2010
India has finally got a symbol for its currency, the rupee. The government announced it had selected one of five short-listed designs it hopes will become as recognisable as the shorthand for the dollar, the yen and the euro.
Wednesday 27 January 2010
Sunday 08 November 2009
The Japanese title means "Journey to the West", which in this case indicates a journey – led by the Paris-based Vietnamese Nguyen – with the Japanese koto-player and singer Mieko Miyazaki, tabla-player Prabhu Edouard and the great Hindustani flute player Hariprasad Chaurasia. Each is conversant withtransnational modernstyles. The resulting musicchanges its cultural centreof gravity from track totrack. Sometimes it's northIndia; sometimes it linksJapan and San Francisco.Asparky experiment.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan: Sarod maestro who played with Ravi Shankar and appeared at the Concert for Bangladesh
Thursday 25 June 2009
In 1966 Yehudi Menuhin uttered the words that have reverberated in many of the sarod maestro's obituaries. When introducing Ali Akbar Khan, ustad [master] of the sarod, he called him "an absolute genius... perhaps the greatest musician in the world." Uncounted thousands of musicians and music lovers would contest the "perhaps". His music affected the Beatles, Byrds and Grateful Dead and, as the Indian classical singer Rita Ganguly wrote, "... there is hardly any instrumentalist in our country today who is not indebted to the great musical philosopher, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, directly or indirectly."
Thursday 11 September 2008
Tuesday 27 May 2008
To hear Kishan Maharaj or his contemporary Ustad Alla Rakha play tabla – the two-piece hand drum now synonymous with the Hindustani art music of northern India – meant you knew you were in the presence of musical giants. It would be difficult to overestimate Maharaj's reputation as the living embodiment of the Benares style of tabla playing.
Thursday 09 June 2005
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
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