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NALLA MADRAS

NALLA MADRAS

By NANDA NAYAR

Music, films, and the arts are the central subjects of these podcasts and blogs.

The seed of these podcasts and blogs is nostalgia, a recall of what I have heard, read about, or experienced; from a bank of recollections spread over six decades, I am not exaggerating my memory or age.
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The story behind All India Radio's signature tune
The story behind All India Radio's signature tune
This tune was composed by Walter Kaufmann, a Jew, and played by violinist Mehli Mehta a Parsi, for a radio station first founded by Professor M V Gopalaswamy, who taught Psychology at Mysore University. Some of you must have guessed it by now. It is the signature tune of All India Radio. Mehli Mehta, incidentally, is the father of composer-conductor Zubin Mehta. Almost eight decades have passed since the composition of this piece is based on the raga Shivaranjini. However, the lilting violin notes played over a tambura still manage to evoke a sense of longing. The signature tune was followed immediately by Vande Mataram.
05:56
September 28, 2022
Chic Chocolate - the Louis Armstrong of India
Chic Chocolate - the Louis Armstrong of India
Antonio Xavier Vaz, better known as Chic Chocolate, was a popular jazz musician in Bombay. He also worked as a composer and trumpet player for Hindi film scores.  Chic Chocolate and Chris Perry led a two-trumpet barrage at the Green's Hotel. Chic Chocolate was a nightclub performer for most of his career, but he was also a talented film composer, recording and arranging soundtracks for several films.  Chic was a successful Bollywood music composer. In 1951, he worked as a music director for the first time on Nadaan. Aa Teri Tasvir Bana Lu by Talat Mahmood and Sari Duniya Ko Piichhe Chodkar by Lata Mangeshkar were two of Nadaan's most popular songs. Chic Chocolate was a part of C. Ramchandra's team. Two of Ramachandra's most popular Bollywood songs are Gore Gore O Banke Chore from Samadhi and Shola Jo Bhadke from Albela. Chic Chocolate is to be credited for these songs. Lata Mangeshkar sang the song Koi Dard Hamara Kya Samjhe in the 1952 film Rangili, on which they collaborated. He is remembered today for his collaboration with Madan Mohan and his work with Naasir in the 1956 film Kar Bhala. Chic worked as the film's assistant music director.  The movie Albela featured him in a song sequence with his band dressed in frilly Latin-inspired costumes and a cameo appearance. Chic wore the costumes from the film for his subsequent live performances.  Chic and his family, including his wife Martha and their children, lived in a Colaba apartment until he died in May 1967, at 51. Chetan Anand's Aakhri Khat was released shortly after. Several shots in the movie showed Chic Chocolate playing his trumpet from the bandstand during the blues song Rut Jawan.
10:60
July 28, 2022
The future is all around us!
The future is all around us!
The art of divination is a skill that has been practiced for ages.  The various ways are by something as gory as checking the entrails of a bird, which was the form practiced by the ancient Romans.  Thank goodness, it is not so messy these days!  However, most practitioners are still stuck in a time warp, meaning they are not in touch with reality.  Many of the cures for a bad time in your life involves cures that are worse than the problem in terms of expense and effort.  Nehaa Goyal, of Nehaa Goyal Shreem Reading, is what one would call a modern-day divinatory.  In addition, she is a mindset coach, Tarot reader, numerologist, and NLP Coach.  With around 15 years of experience in a corporate environment, she knows what reality is out there.
53:31
June 14, 2022
Jim Rajan - distant healer, musician, visualization coach
Jim Rajan - distant healer, musician, visualization coach
An unrestricted conversation with Jim Rajan.  Jim is an empath and an intuitive, distant healer.   "My mentors Jiddu Krishnamurti, Kahlil Gibran, Rabindranath Tagore, Deepak Chopra walk with me through a universe that I hold gracefully within my own hand. And, I’m honored to have their words by my side" says Jim.   "In the past 25 years I’ve studied shamanic healing, reiki, buddhism, daoism, mindfulness and the curative arts to bring about my own growth and healing and that of those around me. But when I learnt the art of visualisation, life literally took off and underwent a profound expansion. It is the key to the future. To your future. But you have to know what you are doing and do it right from the start.  As an empath and intuitive healer I’ve learnt to master my own mind and energetic body, to be the protagonist not the victim. And when I took the decision to work on myself, amazing and wonderful things emerged. We are all intuitive, we all have the capacity to feel everything and our work will open that door for you, too.  For me sound is an incredible healing medium. As a composer and musician I’ve searched for sounds that bring about expansion in consciousness. I play drums to the earths’ rhythm not my own. And the bansuri flute, a traditional north Indian folk instrument that transports you directly to your source. My poetry is deeply meditative and purely from my heart. And, when I put all these resources together with these teachings, this work just sprang mystically into existence.   Our followers have said it instills ‘feelings like flying’ and ‘floating through dreams in space’. The presence it brings about in you has been called ‘mystifying, spiritually enriching’. And, others called them ‘vivid magical journeys’. And, I’m filled with gratitude for such words about my work." says he.
47:20
June 14, 2022
Richard Bach or the Mahabharatham - Priya Murle has it all in her stride! Listen to know more.
Richard Bach or the Mahabharatham - Priya Murle has it all in her stride! Listen to know more.
Kalaimamani Smt. Priya Murle, is a senior disciple of Padmashree Prof. Sudharani Ragupathy and was a senior teacher at Shree Bharatalaya, prior to founding Shri Silambam Academy of Fine Arts. Intense training and commitment to the art form have marked Priya's career in Bharatanatyam. Priya has a multi- dimensional approach to dance. A versatile performer, choreographer and teacher, she also has a keen interest in Music, Nattuvangam and Sanskrit. She has done research in the field of aesthetics and has worked on the Rasa Theory as part of her M.Phil. Dissertation. She has numerous performances to her credit and is particularly well known for her powerful rendering of Jathis. She has performed in all the major Sabhas of Chennai and other places in India. She performs regularly in both solo and group presentations. She has travelled extensively to Spain, Russia, United States, Canada, Switzerland and Norway, giving performances, lectures, demonstrations and conducting dance workshops. She is also been to the Reunion Islands as a Jury of Bharathanatyam examination and given Priya was also part of the editorial team of Shree Bharatalaya and assisted in bringing out the Handbook on Bharatanatyam, titled “LaghuBharatham”: Volumes I, II and III. Priya was the convenor for Natyadharshan conference (2018 and 2019) conducted annually by Karthik Fine Arts. Titled “Kadamba”, the flowering path, the conferences received rave reviews in its first year. The Government of Tamilnadu has awarded Priya Murle the title “Kalaimamani” for the year 2017, for her tremendous contribution to the classical dance field. She has also received senior scholarship for dance awarded by the Department of Culture (Govt. of India), Bharat Kala Ratna Award by Trinity Fine Arts of India, Narthaki award by Brahma Gana Sabha, Yuva Kala Bharathi title by Bharath Kalachar, Nadanamamani title and Shriram Award of Excellence by Sri Kartik Fine Arts amongst many the awards and accolades. Priya also serves as the Vice President of ABHAI (Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India).
43:58
April 27, 2020
Improve your singing dramatically with voice culture - Dr. T. Unnikrishnan
Improve your singing dramatically with voice culture - Dr. T. Unnikrishnan
Prof. Dr. T. Unnikrishnan is a well known Vocalist and Internationally reputed voice trainer. He is a multifaceted personality as a Researcher, Administrator and Performer. He has done intensive study and research in Voice Modulation and developed many rare techniques to increase the quality of voice and also to eliminate various voice related problems. He has developed many rare techniques and exercises to prepare singers with increased range and a flexible voice. He is regularly invited in seminars of otolaryngology associations and ENT departments to deliver lectures on voice issues and ways for natural cure for functional voice disorders. A large number of singers from 16 countries have received online training through his website www.voicecultureindia.com which includes professional vocalists, teachers and playback singers. He is holding Ganabhuhanam & Sangeet Vidwan Diplomas in Vocal Music, M.A in English Literature, Clinical Psychology and Doctorate in Music. Presently he is Senior Professor, Music Faculty at Indira Kala Sangit University, Khairagarh. He has also served the University as Registrar and Vice Chancellor. He is an expert member for UGC and many Universities. He is a visiting voice expert in ITC Sangeet Reearch Academy, Kolkata for the scholars of Hindustani Music. He has also served in Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Indian High Commission, Mauritius as a faculty on deputation by Govt. of India. Unnikrishnan has also guided many scholars pursuing their Ph D in music, voice modulation and related topics. He has widely travelled in India & many countries for vocal performances and workshops. He has sung for few South Indian movies. He is author of two books ‘The Singing Voice’ & ‘Institutionalized Teaching system of Carnatic Music’ and many articles. He is recipient of many awards like ‘NavarasaSangitaChakravarthy’ from Varanasi, Tagore Memorial’ award from Chattisgarh and ‘Sangeetha Bhaskara’ award from New Delhi.
51:45
April 25, 2020
An insight into Mohiniattam, by Kalaimamani Gopika Varma
An insight into Mohiniattam, by Kalaimamani Gopika Varma
Kalaimamani Gopika Varma - a brief description Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Kalaimamani award, Nritya Choodamani award from Krishna Gana Sabha - a student of Guru Kalayna Kutti Amma,  Guru Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, and Kavalam Narayana Panicker - not to mention the training she received from Smt. Girija and Smt. Chandrika Kurup, both senior students of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma, and also from Kalyani Kutti Amma's daughter Smt. Sreedevi Rajan. She is married to Prince Poorurttathi Thirunal Marthanda Varma ,descendent of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal of the ancient Travancore family, that is very well known for patronage of the arts.  Maharaja Swathi Thirunal is deemed to have resurrected Mohiniattam and restored the wonderful art form to its right place. She considers every dance of hers as an offering to the divine; Sri Padmanbhaswamy, the tutelary deity of the Travancore Royal family. She runs a school called Dasyam, in Chennai, India.
53:28
April 23, 2020
Laugh your blues away! Ask Fif Fernandes how!
Laugh your blues away! Ask Fif Fernandes how!
Fif Fernandes, in her own words: "As director and founder of MeDiClown Academy (a registered activity of the Auroville Foundation) , I ignite the power of human potential, sparking well being through laughter, love, joy and play. I design and implement retreats, courses, seminars and workshops in healthcare, hospitals, education and organizations to alleviate mental illness and stress. We focus on happiness and relaxation to enhance productivity, creativity and gain a greater sense of inner and outer peace. I have been a Specialist Advisor, Trainer and Examiner for Physicians, Medical Students and Foreign Trained Physicians for 28 years. I have worked in paediatric and adult acute, urgent care settings as a Therapeutic / Medical Clown with children and adults in Oncology, Emergency, Intensive Care, Palliative, and other inpatient and outpatient wards. My specialized work and avant garde approach in the hospitals has led to invitations to present keynote addresses and workshops at international conferences. I have received my BFA (Drama) Specializing in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Calgary, holds certificates as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, Certified Yoga Teacher and I am a Humor Academy Graduate (HAG) from the Association of Applied Therapeutic Humor in the USA. Also, as a television and stage director, producer, writer and actor, I received over a dozen national and international awards; most recently "Friends of India Brand India" globally in the field of Heath and Fitness and "YES! i am the CHANGE" - YES Bank Foundation."
01:02:44
April 19, 2020
The times we live in - A Perspective by Ajitha Srinivasan
The times we live in - A Perspective by Ajitha Srinivasan
Born in India, Ajitha currently lives in the United States of America. Her educational background is a Bachelors in Architectural Engineering & Masters in International Business. While serving as Senior Vice President at a multinational bank, she is also pursuing her passion for being an entrepreneur. QUOTE "I am also a creative, visual & performing artist. Music, Singing, Art (Painting, Jewelry Making, Drawing) and Dancing are my passions since childhood. Above all, being a conduit for witnessing healing in others, give me a sense of deeper purpose. I am equally, if not more, passionate about serving and helping others in ways that I can.  This website is my conduit to the world where I share my passions as a service to you! I am also available for speaking opportunities. Please send me a message on ajithas@innovagaia.com or via the "Contact" page. Love to hear from you!" END QUOTE
42:41
April 17, 2020
Early learning modalities for children - A conversation with Padma Srinath & Maya Nayar
Early learning modalities for children - A conversation with Padma Srinath & Maya Nayar
Padma Srinath has been in the Early Childhood field for well over 4 decades. She believes strongly in following the children's developmental needs to frame a curriculum which has more of talking rather than chalking. Maya Nayar, is a certified school psychologist and learning disabilities teacher consultant in the US public education system. In my conversation, I asked Padma, amongst other things, if all children are born equal.  She had a very direct answer to this question.   Listen to the podcast to know what she said.
40:19
April 17, 2020
A general overview of Ayurveda - Dr. A. R. Ramdas, medical director of Vaidyagrama
A general overview of Ayurveda - Dr. A. R. Ramdas, medical director of Vaidyagrama
A chat with Dr. A.R. Ramdas Hailing from Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala in southern India, Dr. A. R. Ramadas is the medical director of of Vaidyagrama. He is also a founding member of Punarnava Ayurveda Trust. He inherits a strong family line of Ayurveda practitioners, serving the sick for more than half a century. Dr. Ramadas completed his B.A.M.S. (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) from Ayurveda College in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, then underwent 3 years’ training in Nethra Chikitsa/Ophthalmology under the guidance of Manakunnath Gopalan Vaidyar. He then trained under the well-known pediatrician C.N.S. Gangadharan Vaidyar. He also has an M.S. Psychotherapy and Counseling from Institute of Behavioral and Management Sciences in Chittur, Andhra Pradesh. In 1992, he joined as consultant physician in his family firm Rajendra Pharmacy and R.P.M. Ayurvedic Nursing Home, which he headed for a while. He managed the first overseas center of Punarnava in Vietnam in 2007. In more than 3 decades of practice, he has treated over 50,000 patients from various parts of India and abroad for conditions relating to neuro-musculo-skeletal, endocrine, skin, gastro-intestinal, respiratory, cardiac, psychiatric and reproductive health systems. One of his patients describes him as “a soft and kind soul, full of compassion and an inborn healing ability.”
53:09
April 16, 2020
Kalaimamani Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala - a dancer, teacher & choreographer par excellence
Kalaimamani Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala - a dancer, teacher & choreographer par excellence
Kalaimamani Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala is an established practitioner, versatile choreographer, teacher, able festival curator, a loving mother and wife. Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala, started learning Bharata Natyam at a very young age under Kalaimamani Smt. Krishnakumari Narendran, Padmabushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan and Shri. Bagavathulu Sitharam Sharma. She has performed solos in various venues, and has participated in festivals in India & abroad. In 1998, she renamed her mother’s institution ( Nava Nandini Kalalayam ) to Kala Pradarshini with a vision to sustain world class Bharata Natyam artists. In 2018, she spread her wings and started a school in Annanagar to reach out to more students. A graded and empanelled artist with Indian Council for Culture Relations (ICCR) , she is also a member of the International Dance Council (CID, UNESCO) and has served as a Vice President & Secretary and presently as a Committee member for Abhai forum.
42:51
April 10, 2020
A chat with a filmmaker - Suhir Ponncchamy
A chat with a filmmaker - Suhir Ponncchamy
Suhir Ponncchamy is the director of ‘On Path to Liberation’ and several other features and short films.  A Sri Lankan by birth,  and an American by choice,  Suhir is an amalgam of multi-cultures.   We quote what he said in an interview with a prestigious magazine: "I am the best at casting. I know how to choose the right people. For me, it is the intelligence that is needed. Then comes screen presence. If a person is beautiful, the audience would watch him/her for some time. But after a point, they need more. But if a person is talented and can get into the skin of the role, maybe the audience would get bored for a minute. But, real talent attracts the audience and connects with them. So, that is why the audience never forgets talented people. But beauty fades away very soon".  Well said Suhir! He learned his craft from the Tisch School of the Arts. His movie Ahead Xing is available on Amazon Prime.  Here is a small chit-chat with Suhir, exclusive for the listeners of  WIT CAST!
21:43
April 07, 2020
School shut-down - A teacher's perspective
School shut-down - A teacher's perspective
The COVID19 virus has forced the schools to shut down and it is amazing how the teachers were able to cope so well with it.  Overnight, they were asked to do online lessons and apart from a few tech glitches, far and few, they have been able to do an admirable job so far.  Here is one teacher's perspective of the challenge.  She is a teacher in one of the largest public school systems in NJ, USA and also a Learning Disabilities Teacher consultant and a qualified school psychologist as well.
13:32
April 07, 2020