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Singer/Songwriter Abhilash Choudhury releases first track from his debut EP

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fwd life Abhilash Choudhury (1)
Photos: FWD Media

The man with a story behind every incident in his life

Text: Devika V Menon

I head over to Tonico Cafe in Kakkanad to interview Abhilash Choudhury, who released his single ‘Guzaarish’ only last week. Making casual conversation, I ask him why he chose to stay in Kakkanad, assuming he worked in some company in Infopark. His answer quite literally left me shocked. He quit his job to pursue his dreams! Way to go!

Guzaarish has gained a lot of attention on social media.How does it feel?

It feels good! It’s been around a year since I wrote this song. I have been planning this EP for more than a year. Even though I’m part of a band, we all have our own musicalities, and our own messages to convey. People are giving a lot of positive feedback, which is great! For an artist, that’s the greatest gift if people are able to connect to your music in a personal way.

Through Guzaarish, you’re telling people to love themselves more. Any specific reason?

Everyone is special in their own way. I think it’s something everyone should do. It starts from within. There is no particular reason for me to convey this message through my song, but this is something that I believe in.

How was your transition from a software engineer to musician?

When I was a kid, I always loved music. My mom is a trained singer. Thought I have never received any formal education in music, I always had the passion. I was always a bright kid in school. After my 10th, I moved places, and was in the hostel, which is where I met a few people from the North East who were way into music. I noticed they had a different style, and they all had guitars. So, for my first birthday away from home, I asked my dad to send me money to buy a guitar. I got my first ever guitar on July 17, 2008.

fwd life Abhilash Choudhury (2)

And your musical journey?

Yes, so after I got my guitar, I focused more on music and less on studies. My 12th results came and they were not really that great. So when it came to choosing an engineering college, I had to pick a private college in Tamil Nadu. I spent around 14 hours a day on my guitar, which left me with no time to focus on my studies, but I realised I had to find a balance between it all. After my degree, I got into NIT Calicut. We had a lot of cultural fests, and somehow a friend found out that I write my own songs. I agreed to participate and there started my first ever performance. That’s also where I met my band member Vaishakh.

When you perform in front of a live audience, you get instant reviews. Is that better than recording at a studio?

I guess so, since the studio has only a handful of people and they’re pretty much biased to like my music *chukles*. But when it’s in front of a live audience, the results can be pretty gruelling. You’ll know how your song is that very instant. I’ve played at places where there were hardly five people in the audience.

What’s your most memorable performance?

I’d have to say the recent launch of Guzaarish has to be my favourite. I expected only a handful of people to turn up, but it was a happy surprise to see the entire place housefull with a lot of people who I did not know, there just to enjoy my music. Also, I loved performing live at Pondicherry and NIT Calicut!

Future plans?

For now, I have enough cash to get me through a couple more months, since I quit my job. I’ve only released one song in my album, there are more to come. I wish to finish them on time. Do a few more gigs and get on with my musical career!

 

You can watch his latest track here:

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Entertainment

Indian Celebrities who turned Politicians

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From MGR to Rajinikanth, celebrities make their way into politics to create political revolutions.

RAJINIKANTH

Superstar Rajnikant’s entry into politics has made Tamil Nadu go all gaga. The superstar said he wants to create a political revolution by forming his new party

Image source: news18

MGR

One of the most prominent names in Indian political history, Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran, aka MGR, was a pioneer in shifting gears from the film industry to politics. Though he campaigned for DMK, he later founded his own party, ADMK. He became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1977 and continued in office until his death in 1987.

Hema Malini

Actress-politician Hema Malini campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Vinod Khanna, former Bollywood actor during the Lok Sabha elections in Gurdaspur, Punjab. From 2003 to 2009, the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam nominated her as the MP to the Rajya Sabha. She officially joined BJP in 2004 and was appointed as the general secretary of the BJP.

Image source: completewellbeing

 J Jayalalitha

Jayaram Jayalalitha was an Indian actress and politician who served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for over fourteen years. She is considered as one of the most powerful female figures in India.

Image source: deccanchronicle

 Chiranjeevi

The Telugu superstar started his own political party, Praja Rajyam in 2008 and later merged it with the Indian National Congress (INC). He even served as the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Tourism.

Image source: indianexpress

Jaya Bachchan

Actress Jaya Bachchan is one of the most versatile actresses of Indian cinema and has showcased her talent and capability not only as an actress but also as a politician. She has always been quite active when it comes to the political scene. She is also felicitated with India’s fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Image source: starsunfolded

Kirron Kher

Kirron Kher started her political career with her involvement with non-profit organizations such as ‘Laadli’ – campaign against female infanticide and ‘Roko Cancer’ – campaign for Cancer awareness. She has also participated in the Anna Hazare’s Indian anti-corruption movement in 2011. She has always been a vocal admirer of Narendra Modi even before he became the Prime Minister of India and has also campaigned for BJP during the 2011 municipal corporation elections. BJP declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Elections 2014 and Kirron even won the seat with a good majority.

Image source: starsunfolded

Shabana Azmi

One of the finest actress in Indian cinema, Azmi is also a noted social activist. In 1997, she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha.

Image source: indiatoday

Let us know about your thoughts on actors turning into politicians. How far do you think things will change?

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Entertainment

Things that broke the internet in 2017

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Kim Kardashian

As we draw an end to this year, here are top 10 things that went viral on the internet in 2017.

 

10. Beyoncé’s twins pregnancy announcement

 Image source:  thedailybeast

9. Moonlight wins Best Picture over La La Land at the Oscars

Image source: thehollywoodreporter

8. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding announcement

Image source: cnn

7. Barack Obama’s Charlottesville tweet

6.Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed his baby girl

Image source: hellomagazine 

 5. Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant

Image source: bbc

4. Taylor Swift’s new album announcement

 

3. Artists #StandWithKeaton, a middle schooler who posted a video of him crying and why people bully him and others.

 

2.Kim Kardashian’s blackface controversy

Image source: dailymail

1. #Metoo. Actor Alyssa Milano asked for those who were sexually harassed or assaulted to respond to her tweet with the phrase “me too,” as a way of showing the scope of the problem.

 

 

2017 is getting over in 3 days. It was as fast as a roller coaster. Let’s hope for a better and eventful 2018.

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In Focus

#MeToo You too. We All too

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fwd life MeToo

Social media is overflowing with an outpouring of sad and even grotesque stories in the form of ‘#MeToo’ statuses proving the we only know of the tip of this iceberg

Words: Nikhil Wilson     Featured image: sbs.com.au

 

Every woman knows what it feels like to be the object of unwanted attention, be it in the form of gawking and stares that would put superman’s x ray vision to shame, to foul remarks and sexual innuendo, inappropriate gestures and even physical assault. Some of us didn’t even have to wander outside the so called safety of our homes to be faced with people who took advantage of us and our bodies. Every woman you know has a story of her own to tell, and most of us have more than one story too, but it was only with the dawn of the #MeToo campaign on social media did womankind all over the world realise that they weren’t alone in their afflictions. It took an outpouring of emotions, and unveiling of skeletons locked away in closets, of memories that were stuffed into boxes and pushed to the back of our mind that finally lead to the gory fact that almost every woman out there has been subject to some form of violation.

Image 1

What started as a simple tweet requesting women who faced sexual assault or harassment in any form to speak up, #metoo turned out to be a movement of gargantuan proportions with women and men across the world speaking up about their experiences and their oppressors.

So why start a social media campaign and what good shall come of it?
Most victims know that talking about it is the first step to overcoming what they’ve gone through. Most of us blame ourselves, the way we dress, the way we look, or the circumstances that we put ourselves in, but from the voices of millions echo in unison when they say that this isn’t the case. So what does this have to say about the world we live in and the people that surround us? Food for thought.

Here are some of the most touching and inspiring #MeToo messages we saw online over the last couple days:

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