Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Amitach Bachchan recovering after surgery

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is recovering from successful abdominal surgery over the weekend, doctors say.
The 69-year-old actor, who has a history of abdominal ailments, was operated on in a hospital in the western city of Mumbai on Saturday.
Bachchan, who continues to act in films, was last admitted to a hospital in Mumbai with abdominal pains in 2008.
He also underwent surgery for an intestinal condition at the same hospital in 2005.
Bachchan suffered a near fatal injury during the shooting of an action scene on the set of a film in 1982 and was critically ill for several months.
Saturday's surgery lasted for "about two to three hours and everything is normal," tweeted the star's son, Abhishek Bachchan, himself a Bollywood actor.
Bachchan is likely to be released early this week if everything is fine, his son said.
Bachchan has acted in more than 180 Indian films over 40 years. He remains India's most popular actor.
Last year he returned as the celebrity host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire - one of the most watched shows on Indian television.
He also made his Hollywood debut in a new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Spice up Valentine’s with Kee!

Valentine’s Day may be often derided as a rather repellent, commercial exercise by the cynics among us but it’s good to know that there are hopeless romantics still fighting away for the other side.  Forget the prohibitively expensive roses, the Pink champagne and candle-lit dinners, nothing says ‘I Love You’ like the perfect Valentine’s Day song.
And fans of Brit-Asian singer Kee are in for a treat today with the release of the soulful singer’s latest single, the appropriately titled ‘Pyar Hai’.
As a terrifically busy Kee geared up for what is certain to be a hectic Valentine’s, The UKAsian had a quick tete-a-tete with the singer.
What would be your perfect Valentine’s Day?
I’m a real softy at heart and I abolutely love romance and I’m also quite traditional.  This song is the favourite of all my releases for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately I’m a single gal at the moment and yet to really experience that perfect Valentine’s.  I like simplicity so a romantic dinner for two with plenty of candle light.  Perhaps someone should surprise me!
You’ve collaborated with the immensely talented Arjun on ‘Pyar Hai’; what was it like working with him?
I’ve worked with him many times before and he’s like family.  I really like the way he works with music, his perfection.  Above all I think he has the right attitude and vibe and is capable of capturing a particular mood or sensibility of a song and producing it accordingly.

Did you grow up around music?
I did grow up in a musical environment; I had a close cousin who was part of a band and I loved walking into his rehearsals.  I got professional training for my vocals and was really supported by my amazing family who have always encouraged me.  And I’ve invested a lot of my time and money into making it and that’s important for anyone looking to get into music professionally.
What’s it been like as a British Asian and a woman to boot?!!
I think it’s difficult to get into the mainstream because you need a lot of financial backing.  But I think it’s becoming increasingly easier to raise awareness, with club nights and social networking sites and blogs and so forth.  So it is getting easier but it can still be quite expensive.  PR is also key.  I know it’s easy to say that if you have the right kind of music and talent then you will be successful.  But I’m afraid that talent alone isn’t.  There are loads of amazing singers and musicians out there plying their trade in bars and clubs up and down the country.  PR is important because you need help to get your talent out there.  As a female, again, the barriers have been broken down to a great extent but there’s still some way to go.  More girls should take more risks with following their dreams, especially in the British Asian community.
Do you write your own stuff?
Absolutely.  My last release in December was written especially for me because it was a proper Punjabi track and I don’t usually do Punjabi songs.  It was my first attempt so I had to get a lot of help.  Otherwise I write all my songs.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?  And are you a Bollywood girl or a Hollywood girl?
I’m definitely a proper Bollywood chick.  Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to make it there, maybe get to work as a playback singer.  That’s the ultimate dream but loads of work to be done to that end!
In terms of influences, they are really varied.  I listen to a wide variety of music, from classic Bollywood numbers to contemporary hip hop and RnB so that’s a great spectrum to draw inspiration from.  Beyonce is my idol and I love Atif Aslam.  Of course, I’m loving Arjun and what he’s doing at the moment.
‘Pyar Hai’ is now available for download on iTunes.

-    Poonam Joshi

‘Pakistan: Ready to Rise’: Liberal Pakistan comes to Whitechapel

When Pakistani TV presenter Maya Khan was recently caught hounding innocent couples at a park in Karachi, social medial sites in the country reached melting point as the public took to Twitter, Facebook and other forums to denounce the ‘Vigil Aunty’s’ blatant intrusion on people’s privacy.  That rallying call by the Pakistani public led to Khan being quite publicly sacked.  
The episode not only showed the power of social media but the ever increasing influence of increasingly disillusioned, liberal segments of Pakistani society.  
And now, perhaps the most influential of all liberal social campaigns in the country – Azme Alishan – is bringing its message of hope to Great Britain.
‘Pakistan: Ready to Rise’ is a music concert which will see Pakistani and British Pakistan artists join together to promote the message of tolerance through music, in particular the edgy, angry yet hopeful voices of youth which make up punk, rock and hip hop.
Among the artists performing will be rapper Adil Omar, punk-rock group Bumbu Sauce and British Pakistani urban acts Pure Music Generals and Shizzio.
The audience will also be treated to a special performance by Aziz Ibrahim, a British Pakistani singer and musician who has collaborated with the likes of Simply Red, The Stone Roses and Paul Weller among others.
The campaign behind the concert – Azme Alishan – has been instrumental in providing a voice to Pakistan’s disenchanted youth who make up more than 65% of the population and who have been weighed down by extremist violence, political upheaval and economic uncertainty.
The social networking site is described as a “Meeting place for positive Pakistani voices that believe in and represent the true spirit of Pakistan; a country of diversity, creativity, tolerance, opportunity and potential.”
Pakistan: Ready to Rise takes place at the Rhythm Factory at Whitechapel, London, on March 1, 2012.
For more information on the event and Azme Alishan – The Spirit of Pakistan, visit www.facebook.com/azmealishanuk