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A.R. Rahman gets encore on Tamil song in New York

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New York, July 15: It was an encore all the way for A.R. Rahman as he performed the original Tamil version of his “Urvasi Urvasi” chartbuster for the IIFA Rocks audience here as he celebrated his 25-year journey in the Indian film industry with a two-hour concert.

The scenario at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was far removed from his July 8 London concert where fans reportedly walked away complaining that his performance was dominated by Tamil instead of Hindi songs.

“Once more, once more,” shouted out the fans at the MetLife Stadium, even as the clock struck 2 a.m. here on Saturday morning.

“It’s too late right…,” commented Rahman, but broke into the rocking “Humma humma” nevertheless.

The audience joined in as an ensemble of singers including Hariharan, Kailash Kher, Jonita Gandhi, Benny Dayal, Mika Singh and Neeti Mohan jammed it up with the music maestro on stage.

With a list of songs largely dominated by Hindi tracks, Rahman also sang around three to four numbers in his mother tongue, and the audience wasn’t complaining.

“Rahman’s performance was every bit worth it. We had no problems that he sang in Tamil because we believe one should preserve their culture,” Rajan Panda, who has been staying in New York for 30 years, told IANS here.

A Nepalese couple that has been staying here for the last 15 years also said language can never be a barrier in music.

“We enjoyed the show very much. We came for Rahman. It’s music, it’s universal… It doesn’t matter what language it is in,” Arjun Awaley, a software engineer, told IANS after the show.

Rahman kept saying “I love you friends” and “Love you too” to the crowd that swayed to, clapped to and even danced to his tracks.

Even the rain which came pouring down right before Rahman took the stage — and mid-performance too — didn’t make fans go away here.

In a silver sequinned jacket, the Mozart of Madras, who started his film career with “Roja” back in 1992, took over the stage.

His set started with instrumental renditions of his popular songs, and then came “”Dil se re”, “Nadaan parindey”, “Jo bhi main”, “Dil hai chhota sa”, “Kinna sona”, “Mangal ho”, “Agar tum saath ho”, “Tu hi re”, “Nahi saamne”, “Aye hairathe”, “Tere bina”, “Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi”, “Heer toh badi sad hai”, “Maiyya maiyya”, “Tanha tanha”, “Yaayi re” and “Sachin” — tracks either sung and/or composed by him.

The crescendo came with “Jai ho”, which had won Rahman an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 2009.

In the prelude to the culminating performance by Rahman, singers Kamaal Khan and Diljit Dosanjh took the stage to belt out popular numbers and got the audience grooving.

IIFA Rocks host Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul were quite a damp squib with tongue in cheek comments, toilet humour, some jokes around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns and some audience engagement involving stars like Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan.

All in all, IIFA Rocks rocked with the music, but more so once Rahman was on stage.

The event was a part of the ongoing Bollywood extravaganza — the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards — which will end with the final awards ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday evening.

IANS

Entertainment

Majeed Memon: Sushant was not as famous during his lifetime as after death

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Majeed Memon

Mumbai, Aug 12: Nationalist Congress Party leader and senior criminal lawyer Majeed Memon has called out the media clamour around the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, saying that publicising every minute development adversely affects truth and justice. Memon is being criticised by a section of social media for his comment.

“Sushant was not as famous during his lifetime as he is after his death. The space in media he is occupying nowadays is perhaps more than our PM or President of US,” Memon wrote on his official Twitter handle.

“When a crime is at investigation stage, secrecy has to be maintained. Publicising every development in the process of collecting vital evidence adversely affects the interest of truth and justice,” he added.

His tweets were met with mixed reaction, with many taking offence to his posts.

Reacting to the adverse reaction to his views, Memon wrote: “There is so much noise on my tweet on Sushant. Does it mean that Sushant was not popular during his lifetime or that he should not get justice? Certainly not. Misinterpretation should be avoided. The tweet does not in any way insults or belittle him.”

On June 14, Sushant was found dead in his flat in Mumbai, with police declaring his death as suicide. The late actor’s family subsequently lodged an FIR charging his actress girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her family for abetment to suicide among other charges.

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Entertainment

Sanjay Dutt diagnosed with lung cancer

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, as the news spread that the 61-year-old actor may have cancer, Dutt had taken to social media to urge well-wishers not to worry or unnecessarily speculate.

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sanjay dutt

Mumbai, Aug 11 : Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has been diagnosed with lung cancer, it was revealed on Tuesday.

The news was confirmed by trade analyst and film industry insider Komal Nahta on Tuesday night.

“Sanjay Dutt diagnosed with lung cancer. Let’s pray for his speedy recovery,” tweeted Nahta on his verified Twitter account, @KomalNahta.

According to reports, Dutt will fly to the US for treatment soon.

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, as the news spread that the 61-year-old actor may have cancer, Dutt had taken to social media to urge well-wishers not to worry or unnecessarily speculate.

“Hi friends, I am taking a short break from work for some medical treatment. My family and friends are with me and I urge my well-wishers not to worry or unnecessarily speculate. With your love and good wishes, I will be back soon,” he tweeted on his verified account, @duttsanjay.

Dutt’s health came into focus last Saturday evening when he was rushed to hospital in Mumbai after complaining of chest discomfort and breathlessness. The actor had subsequently been discharged from hospital.

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Political circles mourn Rahat Indori’s demise

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Rahat Indori

New Delhi, Aug 12 : Condolences have poured in for noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori, who passed away on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. The poet had also tested positive for Covid-19.

Offering his condolences, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted in Hindi, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the demise of noted poet Rahat Indoriji. He was an ardent personality of Urdu admiration. He has left an indelible mark on the hearts of people by his memorable poetries. It is a great loss for the literary world. I extend my condolences to his loved ones in this hour of grief.”

“My heart sank after I got to know about your demise. It has created a vaccum in the literary world which will be difficult to fill,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.

Quoting pne of Indori’s couplets, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Ab na main un na baki hai zamane mere, phir bhi mashhoor hai shahron mein fasane mere… Alvida Rahat Indori sahab.”

Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said in his condolence message, “He will be remembered for his free, fair and fearless poetic expressions.”

“India has lost a great Urdu poet; I salute the departed soul of Rahat Indori, the voice of millions of Indians,” Azad tweeted.

Indori, a poet and painter, taught Urdu literature at the Indore University before foraying into Bollywood as a lyricist.

Among the many memorable verses he created for Hindi films are “Neend churayi meri” and “Dekho dekho jaanam” (“Ishq”), “Chori chori jab nazrein mili” (“Kareeb”), “M bole toh” and “Chhan chhan” (“Munna Bhai MBBS”), “Dil ko hazaar baar” (“Murder”), “Tumsa koi pyaara” (“Khuddar”) and the title song of “Sir”.

His popular books include “Do Kadam Aur Sahi”, “Maujood”, “Chand Pagal Hai”, “Mere Baad” and “Naraz”.

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