FIFA World Cup- The Festival Of Malabar: Argentina Brand ambassadors of Malappuram district

15 June Malappuram

By the time I reached Malappuram, two youngsters in Argentina jersey were waiting for me. Mr. Tanvir, my friend from Makkaraparamba, had arranged the meet up.

Mr. Shafiq and Mr. Nithumon were the self-proclaimed Brand ambassadors of the Argentina team. During the World Cup season, in their specially decorated Scooter, they travel to all the interior parts of the Malappuram district, spreading the message and encouraging everyone to root for the Argentina team. They make sure that they cover all the football clubs and they are treated as local heroes, especially at Argentina fan clubs.

Mr. Shafiq told me that they purchased their scooter mainly for the World Cup season. They spent about Rs 1000 for stickering. That evening there was a road show in Malappuram town. These road shows are a mere demonstration of fans’ craziness towards Football. You can see all types of merchandising, flags, bikes and cars decked with stickers and painted in various soccer playing nations’ flag colours. In Malappuram, blue was the predominant color, Blue being the color of Argentina.

Mr. Shiju, a business man, wanted to do something different during the World Cup. So he decided to sticker his two cars. He attended all the road shows related to the World Cup. He spent around Rs 3000 per car for stickering work.

FIFA World Cup- The Festival Of Malabar: Tanvir- ul – Isque: My friend from Makkaraparamba

I met Mr. Tanvir at Legends sports club at Makkaraparamba. He was thrilled when I told him that I had come from Chennai to write about Football. He arranged for photographs of the match that the club had organized. On that day there was supposed to be a huge road show, organized by Malayalam Manorama, one of the leading Malayalam dailies. The road show was at Areekode, some 60 kms from Makkaraparamba. He said he would take me to that place and show the entire proceeding.

On the way we decided to visit Malappuram town and then proceed to Areekode. So we set off for Malappuram town. By the time we reached Malappuram, there were diehard fans waiting for us, thanks to Tanvir. The fans were on bikes and in cars with stickers of their favorite nations. We couldn’t spend much time in Malappuram so we said goodbye to them all, promised to visit them again and headed off to Areekode.

On our return I noticed one strange thing. Most of the people who overtook us were screaming at us. I could hear only Argentina. I wondered what we had done to provoke such jeering. When we stopped mid way to fill petrol I understood the reason. Tanvir was wearing the Brazilian flag as a head gear since it was raining heavily and seeing him attired this way hardcore Argentinian fans heckled us. Tanvir smiled and said they were hard core fans. At last I dropped him off in front of the Club. He had only one question, when is the book coming? Tanvir is the true representative of the football crazy people of Malabar.

FIFA World Cup- The Festival Of Malabar : Crown Fashion Enterprises- The shawl distributors of Malappuram

I met Mr. Manoj and Mr. Anil, two youngsters in front of the Garima stores. They were about to leave with a bag full of shawls that they had purchased at Garima. Mr. Manoj worked for Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. Their company, Crown Fashion Enterprises mainly distributed sports related stuffs throughout Malappuram district. During World Cup season they procured only football-related merchandising. “Football is in our blood” said Mr. Manoj, who is a hard core Argentina fan. In his Argentina jersey, he showed me various nations’ shawls. Messi’s jersey has the highest demand and Mr. Manoj had purchased around 1000 pieces. Other items included Wrist bands, flags, football itself and shorts. I requested for some pictures and within no time Mr. Manoj and Mr. Anil draped their car with various nations’ shawls.

Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Cameo Role In The Malayalam Movie NAAM

So the news is that Gautham vasudev menon is debuting in Malayalam cinema, hold on, not as a director but as an actor!  You read it right,  GVM, as he is fondly called,  was in kochi recently for the official audio launch of forthcoming Malayalam movie “Naam” where he is doing a cameo as “GVM” himself.

Association with NAAM

Naam is produced and directed by Joshy Thomas Pallickal under the banner of JTP films. And GVM had lot of good things to say about the director. “Joshy contacted me and narrated the theme of the movie and I liked it’ says GVM.  The movie narrates the story of 10 friends in their college days. Naam is a musical entertainer, probably a movie with lot of songs after the super hit “Premam”. There are 9 songs in the film and 8 of them are penned by the Premam fame Shabareesh Varma. The music is by debutant duo ” Ashwin shivadas and sandeep mohan “. ” I liked the musical approach of the film”, says GVM  and when Joshy requested me that I should do a role, I was apprehensive in the beginning but then he gave me confidence and I thought I must be part of this good movie.”

140 Plus debutants!

The film has close to 140 debutants and the lead roles are played by Shabareesh Varma, Rahul Madhav, Gayathri Suresh, Aditi Ravi, Tony Luke, Mareena Michael and Saiju Kurup.

Joshy Thomas Pallickal, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vineeth Srinivasan

The title song Naam is already a hit on the YouTube and the rest of the songs are expected soon. The film is expected to hit the theatres in Jan 2018.

Global Ghazal Project by Sachin Shankor Mannath

Global Ghazal Project is the brainchild of musician Sachin Shankor Mannath that aims at reinventing the sound of traditional ghazal genre for world music audience around the globe. This is by collaborating with international artists, mixing different genres like pop, rock, classical, edm, world music etc, basically aiming at popularising Indian music in a global platform

The project will focus on releasing a series of singles (originals) in the coming months by collaborating with artists all over the world. The first song, Zindagi Mein To Sabhi Pyaar.. is a tribute to the legendary ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan who popularised the ghazal. The song will feature American guitarist Matt Bacon and Malaysian artist Marvellous Vish on Tabla. Sachin has sung, arranged and produced the song while Ishit Kuberkar did mixing and mastering.

Song: Zindagi Mein To Sabhi

Singer – Sachin Shankor Mannath

Music Arranged and Produced – Sachin Shankor Mannath (Genome Records India)

Guitars, Bass – Matt Bacon

Tabla – Marvellous Vish

Recording Engineers – Manoj Raman (AM Studios) , Leroy C Jerson (Le Music Studio)

Mixed and Mastered – Ishit Kuberkar (Sound Potion Studios, Strum Studio)

Original Composition Credits – Nashad (Composer), Mehdi Hassan (Singer),

Lyrics – Qateel ShifaI

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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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

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.