About: Kanwal

Recent Posts by Kanwal

From our Archives – In conversation with one of India’s finest Ghazal Singers, Penaz Masani

Penaz Masani is an Indian ghazal singer who started singing in 1981 and has made over 20 albums. She was honoured with the Padma Shree award on 26 January 2009.

Penaz has won a number of awards, including the title of ‘Shehzadi Tarunnam’, by the state government of Uttar Pradesh 1996 and the 11th ‘Kalakar Award’ for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’, in 2002. She has worked as a playback singer for Bollywood, in more than 50 Hindi movies and sung in over ten languages. Under the aegis of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, she has performed in countries as far reaching as Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Vietnam. Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penaz_Masani

This conversation goes back to July of 2010. We spoke about Penaz’s journey, her music and much more – and yes, she did sing as well. Do listen – in for sure, to the re – broadcast, today, 5th March, on our Hindi Radio Show, From our Archives, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

Rohit Bhambi, President of Boston Bhangra, and Founder of South Asian Showdown

Rohit Bhambi, is the President of Boston Bhangra, and the Founder of South Asian Showdown.

Rohit talks to us about the up coming event – the 15th South Asian Showdown. The concept of Showdown is to put the best Fusion, and Bollywood/Hindi-Film teams up against one another and let the judges have the unenviable task of selecting the best team of the night. Fusion is a combination of any dance style set to a majority of Indian music.  Bollywood/Hindi-Film style of dance is based on the Bollywood film style of dance featuring expression, theme and storyline.

There is a lot to catch – so save the dates –  Saturday,  the 6th of April 2024 the event is at 6:00 PM, at the Strand Theatre in Boston, MA.

For more details about the event and to catch a bit of the history of the event, tune – in for sure, today, 27th March, on the 1st half our show, Saat Samundar Paar, on MeraSangeet Gold – at 9:00AM,1:00 PM,5:00 PM and 9:00 PM – EST shows. You can also catch the same mid hour on MeraSangeet East at 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM – EST.

You can also visit https://www.southasianshowdown.com/2024/

In conversation with Sonam Wangchuk – Founding-Director of SECMOL and of HIAL

Sonam Wangchuk was born in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in J&K, India. He went on to pursue his undergraduate course in Mechanical Engineering. Thereafter, he founded the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, (SECMOL) www.secmol.org, with the aim of supporting Ladakhi children and youth in educationally challenging and culturally confusing times. In 1994 he was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope, a triangular collaboration of the government, village communities, and the civil society to bring reforms in the government schools system.

Sonam is also the Founding Director of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL) https://hial.edu.in/, which seeks to engage youth in solving problems in their climate context while engaging in higher education.

Sonam has been teaching innovation at the SECMOL Alternative School and HIAL, where together with the students he designs and builds solar-heated buildings that are low cost, made of earth/mud but maintain +18 C even in – 18 C in Ladakhi winters. He invented the Ice Stupa artificial glacier which stores the unused stream waters in winter in the form of giant ice cones or stupas. He was granted several awards and titles.

We had a very insightful conversation with the Indian engineer, innovator, and education reformist, Sonam Wangchuk. He has today ended his climate fast, after 21 days. We have a message straight from Ladhak to you. Do join in today, 26th March, mid – hour on our Show,  Saat Samundar Paar, on MeraSangeet Gold – at 9:00AM,1:00 PM,5:00 PM and 9:00 PM – EST shows. You can also catch the same mid hour on MeraSangeet East at 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM – EST.

Mridul Lahori, an Engineer, with roots in Jammu and Kashmir, joins our show from New Jersey

Mridul Lahori hails from Jammu and Kashmir, and after obtaining his Engineering degree in Computer Science from Kurukshetra University,  he worked for a decade for multiple software companies in the Delhi NCR region before relocating to the US in 2021. He now lives in New Jersey with his beautiful wife – Nupur Khurana. They are dedicated advocates of sustainable living and always try to do their part in promoting responsible development for a better future for everyone.

Mridul feels, his roots in the Himalayan region, especially Ladakh, run deep due to its historical connection with Jammu & Kashmir before it became a Union Territory. Right from my childhood, he has always been happiest when he was close to nature. As the years passed, he realized that his affinity for nature wasn’t just a passing phase; it was an integral part of who he was. It shaped his values, influenced his choices, and enriched his life in ways he couldn’t fully articulate.

Mridul says, “Unchecked development threatens Ladakh’s delicate ecosystem, including its mountains, glaciers, and rich biodiversity. We’ve already witnessed significant forest loss globally in the name of progress, with glaciers melting and global warming accelerating. It’s imperative to address these challenges. Sonam Wangchuk’s leadership in advocating for Ladakh’s development deserves commendation. As a nation, we must unite and urge the government to declare Ladakh under the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. This designation would ensure Ladakh’s development aligns with its unique needs and safeguards its environment for future generations. Glad to be a part of this movement.”

To listen in this conversation with Mridul, do join in today, 25th March, – the 1st half – of our Show, Saat Samundar Paar, on MeraSangeet Gold – at 9:00AM,1:00 PM,5:00 PM and 9:00 PM – EST shows. You can also catch the same 1st half on MeraSangeet East at 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM – EST.

In conversation with the Democratic candidate and DLCC Spotlight candidate Marilyn Lands

Marilyn Lands is a licensed professional counselor with a business and community development background running in a special election for a seat in the Alabama House this March. Marilyn sees a clear path for growth and prosperity for her state, with a focus on quality education, health care, and good jobs for hard-working families.

Marilyn’s family came to North Alabama for her father’s work on the Saturn V program. She is a wife, mother, and Licensed Professional Counselor who has served on and chaired over a dozen non-profit boards. She is running for State House to eliminate the grocery tax, expand Medicaid, and protect abortion rights and IVF access.

Today on the show, we talk about the Alabama special election, about the Alabama IVF ruling issued by the Alabama Supreme Court, and much more.

So, in case you missed this earlier, do join in today, 25th March, – the 1st half – of our Show, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

Dilip Jain, Founder of DJED Foundation and Co-founder of Friends of Ladakh Friends of Nature

Entrepreneurship, Education, and Environment are the 3E’s of Dilip’s work ethic, and DJED Foundation also works at the grassroots level on the same 3E’s.

Dilip is a CA and has a PGDM (MBA) from SPJIMR. He spent over 7 years in corporates and another 7 years running his own business. In 2020, he founded the DJED Foundation which works in 7 villages. His main aim is to move the world’s attention from Economy (part) to Ecology (whole). He says, “The existing Western belief system, which underpins the economy and all of its systems, has been destructive for species, societies, and spirituality. , We need a model that allows people to learn, be, and do everything in harmony with nature and life.”
Dilip was named a founding member of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh, at the age of 37. He took a pro-bono volunteering sabbatical for almost two years to be a part of Sonam Wangchuk’s core team that founded the alternative university and its ventures. He has been a volunteer with SECMOL Ladakh since 2004 and has been especially involved since the start of the renowned Ice Stupa project, which won the Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2016. He is involved in the ClimateFast initiative.

Do join in for this wonderful conversation with Dilip, today,  in case you missed this earlier,  today, 24th March,  the mid – hour – of our Show, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

Shaheed Bhagat Singh – His relevance today- Conversation with Prof Jagmohan Singh(Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s nephew)

Today, as we pay tributes to the great Sons of the Soil- The Great Martyrs’-Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar and Shaheed Shivaram Rajguru who sacrificed their today for our tomorrow-for India, it is also imperative to search our souls. Search our souls, indeed, to see if we are following the path they would want us to tread…to see if we live in an India which is free from the shackles of poverty, corruption…

Time it is for sure to introspect if we have not fallen prey to greed, to selfishness…time it is to look beyond ourselves…to help those around us as much as we can so that all are equal- in terms of opportunities, of education, of life in all its facets..

So, today, we bring to you a conversation from our archives-our guest on the show is Prof Jagmohan Singh, nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh -this is a conversation which holds much relevance today. Prof Jagmohan shares a number of anecdotes, talks about the ‘Real Bhagat Singh’ not as he is frozen in time but as the world ought to know him.

This conversation was recorded some years back – So incase you missed it earlier, Do listen – into the rebroadcast for sure, today, 23rd March, on our Hindi Radio Show, From our Archives,  on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

Press Release by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

ICYMI: DLCC Hosts “Red State” Zoom Press Conference to Highlight GOP Extremism Across the Country

Earlier today, DLCC President Heather Williams hosted a virtual press conference with Democratic legislators across “red states” who spoke about how fundamental freedoms are under attack in state legislatures controlled by Republicans. Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones, Iowa Democratic Leader Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, Oklahoma Democratic Leader Rep. Cyndi Munson, Texas Democratic Leader Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, and DLCC spotlight candidate for the Alabama House Marilyn Lands spoke about how GOP extremism targeting LGBTQ+ people, IVF and reproductive freedoms, voting rights, gun violence, and immigration is interconnected and happening across states.

To watch the earlier recording of the Zoom press conference, click on https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RpIUt8YUbqB3xgvOCEEzbutkBQtT4AgQ/view?usp=sharing

In conversation with the legendary Indian classical Sarod player, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahaab

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahaab, the legendary Indian classical sarod player, needs no introduction. He is well known and much loved across the globe. He was born into a classical musical family and has performed internationally since the 1960s.

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahaab was awarded the 21st Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award. He received the Padma Shri in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 1991, and Padma Vibhushan in 2001, and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1989 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2011. He was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2004.The U.S. state Massachusetts proclaimed 20 April as Amjad Ali Khan Day in 1984. He was made an honorary citizen of Houston, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 1997, and of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007. He received the Banga-Vibhushan in 2011. Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amjad_Ali_Khan

It was a delight for us to have this conversation with Khan Sahaab, as he talks about music, his journey  and much more. This conversation was recorded some years back – So incase you missed it earlier, Do listen – into the rebroadcast for sure, today, 19th March, on our Hindi Radio Show, From our Archives, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

From our Archives – Conversation with Indian singer and actor, Shailendra Singh

Shailendra Singh is an Indian singer and actor. He sang several Hindi and a few Marathi songs during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Shailendra Singh had many hit songs to his credit. The song “Main Shayar To Nahin”, from the film Bobby became a big hit. So did his song “Humne Tumko Dekha” from the film Khel Khel Mein.

On the show today, we go back in time to the recording and much beyond that – journeying with Shailendra Singh Ji through his acting and singing career. It was a delight to have him with us, as he talked lovingly about his colleagues in the industry, reminiscing so many many anecdotes.

So, tune – in for sure, for this wonderful conversation – on our show, From our Archives, today, 18th March, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

From our Archives – Conversation with Indian actor, film director and screenwriter, Dr.Chandraprakash Dwivedi

Chandraprakash Dwivedi is an Indian actor, film director and screenwriter, who is best known for directing the 1991 television epic Chanakya in which he also played the title role of the political strategist Chanakya and an inspiration for millions.

Dr. Dwivedi is a qualified medical professional who gave up his profession because of a deep interest in Indian literature, and began working in theatre instead. From 1990 to 1992, he wrote, directed and acted in the TV serial Chanakya.

He has also directed the 1996 television series Mrityunjay which is based on the life of Karna, one of the main characters of the epic Mahabharata, for which he won a Screen Videocon Best Director award. His other major work is the 2003 film Pinjar, a tragic love story set amidst the Hindu-Muslim tensions during the Partition of India, based on Amrita Pritam’s novel of the same name. He also wrote and directed Akshay Kumar-starrer Samrat Prithviraj (2022). He was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour of the country, in 2022.  Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandraprakash_Dwivedi

On the show, Dr. Dwivedi talks about his many works, about the Chinmaya Mission, about his journey and much more. This conversation was recorded many many years back – and in case you missed it then,  do tune in for sure, today, 17th of March, on our Hindi Radio Show, From our Archives, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST.

From our Archives – conversation with Indian singer and actor, Abhijeet Sawant

Abhijeet Sawant is an Indian singer, actor, anchor and the winner of first season of Indian Idol.He was the first runner up of Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star and finished third in Asian Idol.

Abhijeet grew up in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra and developed an interest in music. After graduating from Chetana College of Commerce & Economics, Sawant became keen on joining and working in the music industry. Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhijeet_Sawant

On the show, we talk about Abhijeet’s journey, his many albums, his family, his better – half and much more. This conversation was recorded years back and you will love to hear him. Do tune in for sure, today, 15th of March, on our Hindi Radio Show, From our Archives, on MeraSangeet Gold at 2:00 PM EST and on MeraSangeet USA at 5:00 PM – EST

 

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