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I am missing the magic of live: Pankaj Udhas

The singer, who has seen the music industry shift from albums to singles, calls the development a tragedy.

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Pankaj Udhas,

New Delhi: In January this year, Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas completed 40 long years of his career. With more than 50 albums under his belt and some ever-green film songs including ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai and ‘Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise, the singer was all set for a grand celebration — 40 concerts across the country. However, he could do only one at the Nehru Stadium in Mumbai in January. “Things changed completely after Covid struck. Nobody could imagine,” laments this Padma Shri recipient.

For someone who has always preferred live concerts, jumping the digital bandwagon, like many other singers was not really an option. “You just cannot create the right atmospherics in a virtual concert. There is no intimacy, no immediate feedback and no interaction with the audience,” says Udhas.

Feeling that in current times, the whole narrative has been around Covid, and many other diseases which also require urgent attention were being ignored, Udhas, who is also the President of Parent’s Association Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT) decided to do a fundraiser called ‘The Ghazal Symphony’, which was streamed on Hungama Platforms on November 21.

“I had recently performed 11 of my most popular Ghazals with violinist Deepak Pandit in a Symphony set-up that involved 40 musicians. While Ghazal as a genre is spontaneous like Jazz, in this the music was arranged. Also, it was captured on a five camera set up and recorded on multi-track. We had a good opportunity to do post production work properly. The concert therefore had top class sound and great visuals. Considering we did not want to charge for a virtual concert, a call for funds was raised through Ketto. “

Optimistic about the future and popularity of Ghazals among the young, the veteran singer says that one just has to take a look at social media to see how the genre is faring among the young. “Be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, don’t we see a lot of couplets being thrown around by young kids? I agree they may not be in the major groove of Urdu literature, but they are still using lines by Mirza Ghalib to current generation poets like Bashir Badr and are therefore aware of the poetic aspect.

Also, back in 1998, I made some changes in terms of the musical approach to my Ghazals. I intentionally created some numbers which were sung keeping in mind the young. They were accompanied by videos that would appeal to the younger generation. Take for example the nazm — ‘Aur Is Tarah Kijiye Batein’. I get tagged by youngsters singing it on Instagram.”

Believing that the digital medium can be instrumental in making Ghazals more popular, Udhas plans a series of activities on his YouTube channel that will involve young listeners, once the pandemic is over.

The singer, who has seen the music industry shift from albums to singles, calls the development a tragedy. “Albums were in demand when we sold music physically. While selling CDs, records, one needed a certain playing time, like 44 minutes on a CD. To accomplish that, six to eight numbers were required.

It’s sad that today as far as audio labels are concerned, they show zero per cent physical sales. Now even DVDs are more or less gone. So the point is when physical sales are gone, how do you monetize eight numbers? In order to create eight songs, one needs money — to pay the poet, studio and musicians. That’s why everyone has got into singles, because with that you are investing a limited amount of finances..”

Talk to him about his absence from the movie music scene and Udhas feels that film music is going through a dark phase and has not really made any headway in quite some time. “In the 80’s, when Nadeem–Shravan came up with ‘Aashiqui’, it became the music of the nation crossing all barriers. Or take the music of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ which spellbound everyone.. We haven’t had any major success like that lately. Cinema music will take a while to recover because they have got into a groove — they need to break out of that and try to create something different.”

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Male sex hormones may help treat breast cancer: Study

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

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Sydney : Researchers have found new evidence about the positive role of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones but also found at lower levels in women, in breast cancer treatment.

In normal breast development, estrogen stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life.

Abnormal estrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers, but the role of androgen activity in this disease has been controversial.

The new research published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that androgens have potential for treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

A cancer is called estrogen receptor positive if it has receptors for estrogen, according to Breastcancer.org.

Using cell-line and patient-derived models, the global team, including researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, demonstrated that androgen receptor activation by natural androgen or a new androgenic drug had potent anti-tumour activity in all estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, even those resistant to current standard-of-care treatments.

In contrast, androgen receptor inhibitors had no effect.

“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,” said lead researcher Theresa Hickey, Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide.

“We provide compelling new experimental evidence that androgen receptor stimulating drugs can be more effective than existing (e.g. Tamoxifen) or new (e.g. Palbociclib) standard-of-care treatments and, in the case of the latter, can be combined to enhance growth inhibition,” said Wayne Tilley, Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.

Androgens were historically used to treat breast cancer, but knowledge of hormone receptors in breast tissue was rudimentary at the time and the treatment’s efficacy misunderstood.

Androgen therapy was discontinued due to virilising side effects and the advent of anti-estrogenic endocrine therapies.

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

“The new insights from this study should clarify the widespread confusion over the role of the androgen receptor in estrogen receptor driven breast cancer,” said Elgene Lim, a breast oncologist and Head of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at the Garvan Institute.

“Given the efficacy of this treatment strategy at multiple stages of disease in our study, we hope to translate these findings into clinical trials as a new class of endocrine therapy for breast cancer.”

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Elizabeth Olsen: Nepotism creates fear that you don’t deserve the work you get

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

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Elizabeth Olsen

Los Angeles, Jan 19 : Hollywood star Elizabeth Olsen says she once thought of changing her surname and distance herself from the success of her family because it was insanity growing up in the spotlight.

“It was insanity. There were times when my sisters would always be spotted and I would be in the car with them and it would really freak me out. It has helped me navigate how I want to approach my career,” said the actress, whose older sisters are Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen.

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

Elizabeth opened up om the fears of nepotism.

“The thing about nepotism is the fear that you don’t earn or deserve the work. There was even a part of me when I was a little girl that thought if I’m gonna be an actress I’m going to go by Elizabeth Chase, which is my middle name. And then, once I started working, I was like, ‘I love my family, I like my name, I love my sisters. Why would I be so ashamed of that?’ It’s fine now,” she said.

The actress said fame has made her more of a homebody.

“Fame has also made me someone who is more of a homebody than maybe I would like to be but I know where not to go. If I could do whatever I wanted for the day, I’d start with the gym, then I’d go to the grocery store, because it’s my favourite thing,” Elizabeth told The Sun.

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