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The Hindu on : Talk of the town

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on
Friday, December 15, 2000

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Talk of the town

By K. Kannan

It will be music mania with a difference. Sukhbir, Mehnaz, Euphoria, Silk Route, Pentagram along with thousands of shrieking and screaming fans will join Channel V live at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on December 16 in what promises to be one of the biggest musical spectacle seen in the Capital.

Creating a niche for itself in youth-oriented programming, Channel V, in the last few years, has done 14 successful road shows, organised 40 Indipop and international performances in India since 1996 besides holding three exhilarating music awards. Last year, the channel and Star Network entered into a grand alliance to create synergy for enhanced quality and competitiveness.

Road shows, according to Raj Nayak, executive vice President, Ad Sales and Marketing, Star TV, have been their way of reaching out to the audience giving them out-of-the-box experience in an environment where they can interact with the artist.

In keeping with this trend, Channel V Vjays, Gaurav, Ranveer, Purab and Piya were present along with Sukhbir at a press conference on Thursday to announce their latest road show.``The idea is simple. We plan to rock this city. Great music, great performances live. We have succcesfully done such shows in the past and we hope Delhi loves this one too,'' says Sameer Nair, executive vice-president, Star Plus. * * *

It is not media publicity, but real concern for the poor tribals who will be displaced by the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam which brings the Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy on the road.

This was clearly evident on Wednesday when the celebrated author, cancelling all her appointments, decided to join a few hundred tribals from Madhya Pradesh, the moment she came to know that they had landed in Delhi to hold a protest demonstration before the Supreme Court.

Though she was hungry, the author of ``God of Small Things'' remained at the main gate of the Apex Court on Bhagwan Das Road to provide the much needed moral support to the tribals.

And finally at 4-30 p.m., when the tribals had their lunch of ``khichri'' and ``chutney'' prepared on the road side she decided to join them. The food, according to the author, was one of the best she has had recently.

``It was delicious. I needed it very much as I was hungry. And when you have chutney prepared by these people, it is, indeed, very fulfilling and satisfying'' she remarked.

* * *

A regular at Delhi's cocktail circuit, artist Satish Gujral is going to be the toast of the glitterati in the coming fortnight. And, with good reason. The artist turns a septuagenarian this Christmas.

As it is a time for celebration -- owing to Yuletide and New Year (new millennium, for those who insist another era in time begins in 2001) -- the 70th birthday of the veteran artist appears to have given the chattering class of Delhi another reason to party.

And, leading the brigade is the Belgian Embassy. The Belgian Ambassador is not only throwing a party for Satish Gujral this coming Sunday, he is also lending space within the diplomatic mission for an exhibition. Why, some might ask, are the Belgians taking such an interest in this artist? Well, it was Satish Gujral who designed their mission premises and put the sprawling complex on the International Forum of Architect's list of 1,000 best buildings of the 20th Century.

But the Belgians are not alone. On December 24, the Austrian Ambassador, Mr. Herbert Traxl, and his Kathak dancer-wife Shovana Narayan will host a smaller do; specially for Satish Gujral, the man who chased his dreams and made it good.

(Contributed by K.Kannan, Lalit K.Jha and Anita Joshua)

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