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‘Ha Gulo’ revisited: Coke Studio brings musical relief to Kashmiris

The song has also caught the imagination of the commoners in Jammu and Kashmir in a big way.

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Kashmiri Singer

Srinagar, July 12 (IANS) Almost 70 years after it was written by revolutionary Kashmiri poet Mehjoor, Coke Studio’s twist to a traditional folk song of love and separation has earned thousands of young admirers in the valley.

Coke Studio explorer released “Ha Gulo” (Oh Flower) on Wednesday. In less than 24 hours, it was viewed on the Youtube channel by thousands of music lovers throughout the world.

Written by revolutionary Kashmiri poet, late Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, the song has been sung for the Coke Studio by a Kashmiri singer, Muhammad Altaf Mir, presently based in Muzaffarabad.

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Picture Credit : Kashmir Pen

Mir was associated as a broadcaster with Radio Pakistan for a long time and these days he leads a band called ‘Qasamir’.

Mir sang “Ha Gulo” to the accompaniment of the traditional ‘Sarangi’ and the Kashmiri ‘Tumbaknari’ — two prominent musical instruments.

Kashmiris of all age groups are enthused by “Ha Gulo”-revisited as it combines nostalgia and modern trends in music.

Noted Kashmiri singer, Munir Ahmad Mir told IANS: “I saw it yesterday. It has a global appeal because of its folk music that is part of Kashmir’s lofty culture. I am sure it will be admired by all those who love and know something about traditional music.”

The song has also caught the imagination of the commoners in Jammu and Kashmir in a big way.

“This song being re-released almost 70 years after it was written by Mehjoor proves that tradition and music always have lovers provided it is done in its original form.

“I simply love it”, said Abdul Gani Mir, 51, who is known as an ardent lover of Kashmiri music.

There are still others who believe the song and its video should have been restricted to only the singer and the musicians.

“The video has a little distraction,” said Tariq Ahmad, 29, who belongs to north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

The younger generation of Kashmiris who are generally seen as lovers of high voltage modern music, has also been impressed by the sheer nostalgia that the song generates.

“The song is simply mesmerising. It cuts across borders and generations as it stands out to prove that genuine music and singing have no dearth of admirers,” said Irfan Ahmad, 24, who belongs to Srinagar city.

Asmat Ashai, president of US-based Funkar International, who has been closely associated with the preparations and the release of this song, said on her Facebook page on Thursday, “Kashmiri music taken to new heights by Coke Studio, Pakistan”.

Ashai told IANS: “I am literally over the moon today. For five long years I planned to have it done by Coke Studio. The intention was to promote and introduce Kashmiri music on this prestigious platform.

“I happened to meet the CEO of Coke Studio through a friend in Lahore. I requested him to have a closer look at our music. It took five years of hard work and preparation that finally materialised in what you see today.

“I had originally planned to have the song sung by artists from both sides of the border. That, however, did not mature due to the prevailing situation between the two countries.

“Anyway, let us hope tradition and music get us closer to each other breaking all man-made borders”.

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Lifestyle

Heart-health behaviour helps reduce diabetes risk

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If you are suffering from diabetes, then following some lifestyle and health factors may prove to be good for your heart and can help prevent disorders, says a new study.

The study showed that individuals who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of Life’s Simple seven health factors had a 70 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years.

The Life’s Simple seven health factors include maintaining healthy blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol, eating a healthy diet, exercising at least 150 minutes per week, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, said the paper published in the journal Diabetologia.

“This research adds to our collective understanding about how physicians can help their patients prevent a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer and now diabetes,” said K. Craig Kent, at The Ohio State University College in the US.

In addition, those in normal blood glucose levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes, whereas those who were already diabetic or prediabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes, said Joshua J. Joseph, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

For the study, the researchers included 7,758 participants and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple seven as a guide for measuring heart health among the group.

“Healthy people need to work to stay healthy. Follow the guidelines. Don’t proceed to high blood sugar and then worry about stopping diabetes. By that point, people need high-intensity interventions that focus on physical activity and diet to promote weight loss and, possibly, medications to lower the risk of diabetes,” said Joseph.

Community outreach is essential to educating people about prevention and helping them start healthy habits.

Furthermore, getting help to quit smoking or finding physical activities and healthy foods can be key to maintaining them long-term and preventing future health problems, the study noted.

IANS

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Lifestyle

How fasting can improve your overall health

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Fasting may not be just a religious or political practice. It may actually protect you against age-related diseases and improve your overall health, researchers say.

The study, led by a team from the University of California-Irvine (UCI), found that fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against age-related diseases.

The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment.

And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear until now how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Sassone-Corsi added.

The research, detailed in the Cell Reports journal, was conducted using mice, which were subjected to 24-hour periods of fasting.

While fasting, the mice exhibited a reduction in oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and energy expenditure, all of which were completely abolished by refeeding, which parallels results observed in humans.

“The reorganisation of gene regulation by fasting could prime the genome to a more permissive state to anticipate upcoming food intake and thereby drive a new rhythmic cycle of gene expression. In other words, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses,” Sassone-Corsi said.

“Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against age-associated diseases.”

This study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Scientists decode different ways human face conveys happiness

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While disgust needs just one facial expression to get its point across throughout the world, happiness has 17 — a testament to the many varied forms of cheer, delight and contentedness, finds a study.

On the other hand, to convey fear humans use three expressions, four to convey surprise, and five each to convey sadness and anger.

The researchers explained that the differences in how our faces convey happiness can be as simple as the size of our smiles or the crinkles near our eyes.

“This was delightful to discover, because it speaks about the complex nature of happiness,” said Aleix Martinez, Professor at The Ohio State University.

“Happiness acts as a social glue and needs the complexity of different facial expressions; disgust is just that: disgust,” Martinez said.

The study showed that humans can configure their faces in thousands and thousands of ways to convey emotion — from anger to sadness to riotous joy — but only 35 expressions are actually similar across cultures.

For the study, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, the team assembled a list of 821 English words that describe feelings and then used those words to mine the Internet for images of people’s faces.

The words were translated into Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Farsi and Russian, and plugged into search engines popular in 31 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia to download an equal number of images.

They found approximately 7.2 million images of facial expressions across a variety of cultures.

Based on computer algorithms, the team found that the human face is capable of configuring itself in 16,384 unique ways, combining different muscles in different ways.

The researchers took the 7.2 million images their searches yielded and sorted them into categories, looking for those that expressed emotion across cultures. They found only 35.

IANS

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