Tuesday 31 December 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 256

Goodbye 2013

It is very easy to say let bygone be bygone, very easy to say think positive in the New Year but how do you forget so many beautiful people lost and move on…
As we usher the 2014 I remember legendary singer Manna Dey who had been ailing for a long time. The singer with a distinctive voice my mother loved ‘Aadha hai chandrama ..’/Navrang and I remember as a child how she ran out of the kitchen kadcha in hand every time this song played on the radio. I remember Pransaab looking up my mother in Tata Hospital where his niece occupied the adjacent room and decades later me peeping into his room while visiting my neighbour in Leelavati Hospital. Life is indeed a circle.
We lost audio genius Amar Bose, writer Sushmita Bannerjee, ghazal singer Shamshad Begum, I was in the audience in Ahmedabad when Shamshadji recalled her journey in cinema and talked about dismissing Raj Kapoor until he said he was the son of Prithviraj Kapoor. I remember many encounters with filmmaker Rituporno Ghosh. He had attended my debut book release way back in 1999 when he was not yet a known personality in Hindi films and addressed all the women in his life as Di/sister. The last time he called me was to watch his film, I regret not being able to, will always remember you Rituda when anyone addresses me as Bhawanadi.
We lost Jiah Khan who could have had a great future if somebody had held her hand when she was scared and lonely, that did not happen.
And Farooque Shaikh...I met him last at Big Star Entertainment Awards, he arrived in his trademark chikan kurta, long silky hair and mojris. He didn’t win the award and I said ‘Sorry’ to him. He was sporting as always, promised to meet me over coffee and catch up. We didn’t. He did not keep his promise. Like everyone else I paid him tribute via radio and columns. Why is life so cruel..?

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 255

Junoon & Healthy City

In the 70s Junoon was the title of her father, Shashi Kapoor’s film directed by Shyam Benegal.
In 2013 Junoon is the dream of Sanjana Kapoor for a big city.
A dream to present the Mumbai Local programme - that will provide access to performing arts, revitalize cultural vibrancy and strengthen the sense of community across the city. 
Sanjana wanted to do this for many years but her commitment to Prithvi Theatre did not permit her distractions until one fine day she decided enough was enough. She had done Prithvi for decades and it was time to move on. She did.

A few months into planning and a few months on ground and Sanjana was ready with another baby. She chose the title Junoon because it fitted the idea and more important the title belonged to Filmwala’s her father’s production company. Now the task was to explain to people what Junnon meant.
In every meeting Sanjana explained that Junoon seeks to add vibrancy to existing spaces, to transform them into collective experiences an ongoing, regular feature of our urban lives. Initiating the Mumbai Local programme from January 2014 across four venues – Kitab Khana/Fort, MCubed Library/Bandra, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum/Byculla East, and Somaiya Vidyavihar/Vidyavihar East it will be a rare program where artists and scientist will share the magic of their journeys. 
“Our aim is to intimate indoor spaces as well as open-air public gardens” says Sanjana, “Junoon is a broad-based community effort – where key stakeholders can contribute in their own way and which is the core to the spirit of Mumbai Local. We don’t realize it today but in time to come Junoon will prove the backbone required for any healthy city. Well done Sanjana! 

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 30 December 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 254

Five Points FWA v/s IPRS

Lyricist members of FWA have decided to boycott IPRS’s 43rd AGM today, 30 December, 2013 and there are many reasons for it:
1. This is the first time- since AGM of 29 September 2004 that all lyricists have infact been invited to the IPRS AGM and FWA is curious by this sudden interest and change.
2. In the letter IPRS requests members to consider and adopt the Audited Accounts for the year ended 31 March, 2013. FWA argues that when there has been no AGM since Sept, 2004 there can be no accounts so how can the members agree to adoption of accounts at a sudden meeting for current financial year.
3. The letter mentions status quo order obtained by Saregama India Ltd against IPRS because of which elections cannot be held. FWA questions how a matter of 2004 can remain in effect and only for election? How come the IPRS has not protested against such an order? How come there is no system of Proxy in IPRS and no approval has been sought on the matter from all lyricists? And finally, what exactly does the Tariff Scheme mean when they mention Bundled Services and Content Pool. It is all too vague and ambiguous and requires clarity.
4. The Distribution Scheme is both unfair and inappropriate. FWA has been writing to IPRS for supporting details for years but there has been no answer.
5. FWA feels that IPRS should have taken the Lyricists & Composers Association into confidence about the planned changes and been transparent in communication, which is not the case. IPRS has suddenly awakened nine months after the last AGM in Sept 2004 and invited the lyricists for a meeting which is unacceptable to AGM.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya