Kiruba Shankar’s Adventure With Brands!

I was, as usual , going through my work on Facebook and suddenly noticed this post from my friend Kiruba Shankar.

Kiruba was on his way to Coimbatore, flying with Jet Airways and when he reached the destination, he was received by a shocking news! Jet Aiways forgot to load his luggage. Now Kiruba was visibly angry and upset and he posted this on Facebook.

"Pathetic! JetAirways say they "forgot" to load my luggage. Now, I've landed in Coimbatore and in a few hours scheduled to speak at an elite gathering of over 200 CEOs and leaders. I'm in Tshirts & Jeans. Have to now hurriedly shop for my formal wear from suits to shoes. Unnecessary stress because some lady behind the counter in Chennai "forgot" !!" 

Now Kiruba is one of the leading authority in Social Media and has got a huge follower base. People went berserk , sharing similar stories, sympathising with Kiruba and asking him to tag Jet Airways and lodge a formal complaint.

Couple of hours later Kiruba was back with this post!

He went and purchased whole set of formal ware and shoes and was saying still no clue about the luggage. I had a close look at the clothing and figured out that it was Raymonds, a well known brand 🙂 And hour later his latest post came.

Now his mood has changed from being angry to being awesome! He was sharing how confident he was in his brand new dress. I thought, Raymonds’ slogan is “The Complete Man”, yes a man who feels awesome even after going through the trauma of missing the luggage. Branding is all about this. Creating experiences, play with human emotions!

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Mindscreen Film Institute’s one year certificate course in Acting

Remember the political leader in Iruvar, or the blind musician in Rajiv Menon’s Minstar Kanavu, the ever powerful villain in Mukham or Bijjaladeva in Baahubali series? Nassar is no doubt one of the finest actors in Indian cinema. Now he is sharing his 500 plus cinema experience, Nassar is heading the newly announced One year certificate course in Acting by Mindscreen Film Institute.

Mindscreen Film Institute

Mindscreen Film Institute is one of the leading institutes in India that offers various courses in Photography, Cinematography and acting. The institute is the brain child of well known Director -Cinematographer Rajiv Menon.

One Year Certificate Course in Acting

The program is designed for individuals who desire to achieve a position in Film & Television, but want to focus exclusively on acting, with a concentration on acting for film. Classes include various techniques in acting and other aspects of acting. In addition to the course work, students perform projects, both on-camera and on stage.

For more details regarding the course, click here

 

Nazia Amin Mohammad : A singer from across the border.

I first came to know her when she shared my brother’s song ‘Malare’. At first I couldn’t believe, the way she was singing the song. First time someone from Pakistan was singing a Malayalam song.  We became friends on Facebook and started interacting. She used to send songs that she had sung.

But on 13th August, she gave me a real surprise. She pinged me on Facebook and asked me to check whether the song was ok.  The song what she had sent was ” Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon”, originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar.

Nazia and her Brothers

Childhood Memories in Pakistan

Nazia started  singing from a very young age. “I have got my voice through my mumma that is why my voice tone has an Indian touch. My mumma is an Indian. From Adilabad in Andra Pradesh.” She says.  Her parents used to listen to songs of Great Kishore da… Rafi sir… Mukesh sir… LATA DIDI AND ASHA JEE… and thats how she started loving music.

Favourite Indian Singers!

I asked who is her favourite singers and she says without hesitation, “My Most Most Most favt Singer is Lata didi.. then Kishore da… Chitra chechi… Yesudas sir, ALKA JEE… Shreya ghoshal… Sonu nigam… Arijit Singh, Jagjit jee, srinivas sir, Kumar Sanu sir and Pankaj Udas sir too.

Music in Pakistan

I think… Music is treasure of India. Pakistan got it from India only. “We do not have musical schools and music is not being taught to kids in schools”. Says Nazia.

Nazia and her Mumma

Indian Roots

“My father was not a pakistani… My grand father was an Indian too… He married an African lady (Tanzanian). My father was born in Tanzania and then he got settled in Pakistan for business and studies. We have grown up listening to stories about life in India. My mumma came to pakistan afyer marrying my father in december 1983. Through her wedding, she thought of  building a bridge.

Looking forward to visit India

“My Mumma is dying to visit her native place and see her entire family…. Her last visit was in year 1988. I really wish to come to India with my mumma… Am going to apply for a visit visa,” says Nazia.

28 Languages and counting!

Nazia’s family is so much diversified and as a result of that she picked up so many languages.  “I knew several languages at a young age… Later… I started singing in different languages to build bridges and bring people closer”, says Nazia.

“I have sung in 28 lnguages as of Now… 4 more are in progress… I check songs on youtube and try to google the lyrics… Otherwise i jot down the lyrics after listening to the song line by line.”, says Nazia.

Malayalam Songs

Malayalam was difficult in the beginning, admits Nazia. But now she feels like none of the language is difficult. Till date she knows around 13 to 14 songs in malayalam. “K J Yesudas Sir… S Janaki amma, Chithra Chechi… And shreya Ghoshal are her favourite malayalam singers.

Why Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon?

Nazia shared how she chose this song. “I actually prepared Indian National Anthem for Independence Day… My mumma used to sing it for us all the time… Few days back When i sang it for the first time… It brought tears into my eyes… I got goose bumps… I shared the demo with my few Indian friends too It was a risky thing… Because of the sensitivity …I got scared and changed my mind… Looked for national songs.. I know almost all Indian National songs… Vande. Maatram… And few. More… But never thought to sing.

Independence Days Gift

But this was the right time to show my love and respect to all my Indian friends

One thing that i can never forget about this Indian National Song tribute… It made Me cry… It gave me goose bumps… I felk. Like i was singing my own national song of pakistan… There is no difference in the feelings of patriotism, whether a person is Indian or a Pakistani

Nazia’s message to India

I wish All my Beloved Indian Friends “A Very Happy Independence Day” in Advance.

Please accept a very Little Musical Gift on this Occassion.

AYE MERE WATAN KE LOGON!

Originally sung by My True Mentor, My Most Favt. Musical Angel, Grand Legend, Most Respected Lata Didi (15 Aug 1947)

Dear All!
India and Pakistan are like siblings who live independently! But, we belong to a Single Global Family! Borders are Men-Made! God created all of us in a Single Global Family!

Let’s Love eachother more and more!
I, being a Pakistani Citizen, respect you All amd Love you All!

God bless both our Nations!

Love and Prayers

VOCALS: @nazaminmohd, @naziaaminmohammad

MUSIC: @BENOYABRAHAM

Dean Jones’ Cricket Tips

“I really don’t care what stance a batsman has as long as he gets into a boxer’s position at ball release. Think of great Muhammad Ali’s stance in the ring..”

“Dean Jones’ Cricket Tips”, the things they don’t teach you at the academy’ is a wonderful read, full of wit and great tips. Illustrations by John Spooner is the added attraction.

The book is packed with advices from the cricketing greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Wasim Akram, Sourav Ganguly, Michael Clarke, Rahul Dravid and Waqar Younis, to name a few.

The book has various sections like Batting Tips, Bowling Tips, Fielding Tips, Wicket-keeping Tips, tips on Strategy, mindset, tactics, fitness, and diet.

Interesting quotes

Throughout the book you would come across interesting quotes by well known players and coaches.

“You watch the bowlers for the first 15 minutes and then the bowlers can watch you for the rest of the day”. Ramakant Achrekar, Sachin Tendulkar’s coach.

“I always tried to keep the pitch clean of any debris when i batted. It’s my office, so I tried to keep it as neat as I could.” V V S Laxman

“The key to success when bowling the yorker was to have your eyes level at ball-release. I would usually aim just below the manufacturer’s or sponsor’s logo.” Wasim Akram

Ricky Ponting’s Checklist

Ricky Ponting, the former Australian skipper had a strange routine. He used to make a checklist the night before the match, the checklist looked something like this,

  1. Watch the ball
  2. Play straight
  3. Loud calls
  4. Be patient
  5. Make 100
  6. Be man of the match
  7. Visualise how are the bowlers going to get me out
  8. Then sleep

The book also offers some general tips on how to handle media pressure, how to practise, how to handle the cricketing equipments. Overall, its a wonderful read and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. So if you are a great fan of the game, its a must read.

 

CROSSROAD- Another experiment in Malayalam Cinema

Malayalam cinema has seen so many experiments , bold themes and pathbreaking creations. The very presence of wonderful talent pool makes the industry ever growing in terms of quality and innovation.

First Anthology

In 2009 the industry got its first anthology, Kerala Cafe  produced by Director Ranjith and directed by a team of ten directors. For the first time in Malayalam cinema, one film was conceived by a team of 10 directors. 10 cinematographers, musicians, editors and art directors. The film was well received.

Crossroad, another first!

The soon to be released ‘Crossroad’ is also another first in Malayalam film industry. This will be the first Anthology centered purely on women and their issues in the modern day. The movie is presented by The Forum of Better Films, a creative body of skilled filmmakers from Malayalam, of national and international repute.

The Film Project consists of Ten Short Fiction Films, each directed by a reputed filmmaker and starring a prominent actress from the Malayalam industry as the protagonist.

The film has ,

42 Artists
10 Directors
10 Producers 
9 Cinematographers
9 Music Directors
8 Editors

And innumerable technicians behind the scene

The film will hit the theatres on August 11.

An Evening with Jeffrey Archer!

On 8 March 2011, Jeffrey Archer was at Odyssey, Express Avenue as part of launch of his latest book ‘Only Time Will Tell’, first of the five parts of the upcoming Clifton Chronicles. As soon as he arrived, Archer thanked the crowd for the warm welcome. Archer is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (14 times), short stories (4 times) and nonfiction.

Archer spoke about the latest book. How he manages the busy schedule (this time in India, he is covering 5 cities in 6 days, in Chennai alone 11 interviews in a day!). Archer shared lot of interesting trivia about him. He can’t use any of the latest technologies while writing, so he literally writes all his books, takes almost 50 days to finish the manuscript. Take 2 hours of break after every 2 hours of writing.  He spends almost 10 hours for the first page of the book and 15 hours for the last page, shows how important to have a great beginning and a fantastic end.

While answering to one of the questions from the audience, Archer said as a storyteller he does not need a specific place, a special environment or writer’s desk to write and that any place would do. His advice to the aspiring writer was “never wait for a special time or place to write otherwise it might never happen.” Archer praised the Indian people’s passion for literature. Only Time Will Tell had gone to number one on the bestseller list in India after just two days of its release. Archer was happy to share that readership for his books were higher in India than anywhere else in the World. As per a survey, in the Unites States and Europe only 2.5 people read a copy whereas in India approximately 25 people read one copy of a book.

Archer said he has no plans to write a novel set in India because if he did so people here would undoubtedly say he had “got it wrong” as he has not enough knowledge about India. According to him one should write about what one knows intimately and he cited his latest book as an example as the protagonist is born 15 miles for where he himself was born, goes to prep-school and finally to Oxford like he did. Jeffrey Archer was full of energy at this age of 70. He stressed the importance to be physically fit. His talk was a great mix of wit and wisdom. Archer talked about the authors that inspired him, about the ongoing Cricket World Cup (he predicted, of course he was not serious, an England Vs Ireland final but said An India Vs South Africa final would be great).  He was little bit worried about the book piracy. Archer joked that the day is not far away when a kid would knock his door and ask whether he wants ‘the latest Jeffrey Archer’. The evening with Jeffrey Archer concluded with book signing and photograph sessions.