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Interview: Faridkot on their latest EP 'Ibtida' and new beginnings in Mumbai

“There is a Punjabi song with sitar in it. I don’t think anybody has done that before,” says Rajashri Sanyal, one half of Indian pop music band Faridkot. Regaling us with their new music, the band is setv to release their third album a decade after ‘Phir Se?’ in 2014 and ‘Ek’ in 2011. Like all good things, their new EP ‘Ibtida’, showcases their evolution as singers and musicians. It is also what they are counting on, in what could be considered as new beginnings for them. For starters, the former Delhi-based band, which was formed in 2008, now calls Mumbai their home and is loving every moment of making music here. Inderjeet Singh, the other half of the duo that comprises the indie-pop band, says, “The EP ‘Ibtida’ is an ode to new beginnings and our new studio in Mumbai. Both of us moved to Mumbai eight years ago, and Raj moved five years ago. In that amount of time, we have our own studio, are making music, and signed with T-Series. There are times when you feel so much love and gratitude but also excitement for all the new things that are happening in your life.”  Also Read: Indian ‘Swifties’ on why they love Taylor Swift, her music and aura Making of ‘Ibtida’ The band, which was signed by T-Series after the lockdown, has five songs ‘Ek Samay’, ‘Tu Dass Kivein’, ‘Main Na Jaan Kyun’, ‘Chhad Ke Na Jaa’ and ‘Aadatein’ with this EP that released on April 19. The music showcases Faridkot in a unique way with Singh’s goosebumps-inducing vocals aided by Sanyal in ‘Ek Samay’ to the richness of the composition for ‘Main Na Jaanu Kyun’ that has been meticulously worked on to produce a contemporary sound with the richness of Indian playback singer Jubin Nautiyal’s voice. It gets even better because they have not only collaborated with Nautiyal but also Raghav Chaitanya on ‘Chhad Ke Na Jaa’ --- all of which has been done consciously to embrace the changing times.   Sanyal, who says he immediately connected with ‘Ibtida’ when Singh came up with it, shares, “I think every time we write a song, it is ibtida only. We don’t like to make similar music because you know how people say, ‘this band has a signature sound’, whereas most of the bands I grew up listening to always experimented with their sound – be it The Beatles and even Bollywood composers – for us it is a new sound once again. Each of our albums, singles, have been one different from the other. We always think - what have we done till now, and what have we not done.”  Making of the album only got better with Nautiyal and Chaitanya who added a different kind of flavour to their music or as Sanyal describes it, “You know you add this masala to your songs but you don’t know how it is till you taste it.” Incidentally, last year, they worked on a song with Shilpa Rao, and these collaborations are an extension of that vision forward. He adds, “Working with Jubin and Raghav has been an amazing experience. Both of them are really fantastic singers with amazing voices. Jubin put out music at a time when the audiences were also different, which is what he told us, that he absolutely loved working on the song with us and loved how different it was compared to all the other music he has worked on till now, and it shows.  The fact that they were two different personalities made it even better, shares Singh. “Jubin is the wise Babaji who is very centred and on the other hand Raghav is a ball of energy. It is not a collaboration with two artists, but two different human beings, who bring two different experiences in our lives. Both of them are ace in their skills, so it was lovely and heartwarming to see people lending their voices and art to our songs to make this colour that has never been seen before,” he adds.  This freedom and growth evidently come from the fact that they have chosen to classify themselves particularly as a pop music band, which allows them to experiment with their music, says Sanyal. He explains, “We love pop music. The term has remained the same but every decade it has a new sound and I love that. That is why we held on to being called a pop band because then we can keep changing our sound and keep having fun. Nobody say that ‘this is your genre’. If you make pop, it can be rock ‘n’ roll, it can be metal, it can be love songs too.” Changing face of musicSo, what really took them a decade to release new music beyond music for films? Sanyal believes it was a combination of everything. He explains, “We were changing as musicians and going through different transitions. One important factor was that the audience was changing after 2014. I don’t think they were listening to albums like they did before that. There were listening to just one song or one single, which is how a lot of independent artists were looking at music. Like very few would focus on albums, and even with albums, people will look at one song, and ignore the rest.”  However, he says the lockdown changed the way people were listening to music as a lot more people were spending time at home and listening to a lot more music, and things just fell into place for Faridkot, who has put out 40-minute albums and 60-minute albums in the past. It made the time ripe to release the EP that eventually came to fruition. While they did work on film music during this same time, Singh says it all comes down to if the artist is in tune with how the trend is going. “If you take a look at Diljit Dosanjh, Badshah or Karan Aujla – all of them have albums coming out. If we are in music for the business, we have to be aware, and if you are aware of the business aspect of it and what is going around, you can adapt your approach accordingly, rather than saying, things are not artist friendly anymore. That will always keep changing. No business in this world is stable. If you are in the entertainment business, you have to keep your eyes and ears on the ground and adapt around it while keeping your core in music.”  Also Read: How Mumbaikars are documenting neighbourhood heritage Sanyal immediately reminds how American rock Red Hot Chili Pepper’s (RHCP) first album and last album are so different. “They are still relevant, because they are understanding what is going around and change and adapt their music accordingly. The good part is they are all great musicians, so doesn’t matter which genre they are playing, they will almost make great music,” he adds.  It is not only the nature of the artist’s releasing their songs as singles, EPs or an album, but also how Hindi pop music has changed over the last 16 years since Faridkot came onto the scene -- with Channel V Launchpad being one of the highlights, as they hypnotised music listeners around the country with ‘Laila’ among others. Most recently, one of their songs ‘Jehda Nasha’ went viral in 2022 and showcase how being released in a different time of consumption can make quite the difference. Singh explains, “Hindi pop music has only gone from strength to strength. The diversity is just blooming, and democratisation of music consumption and music-making has just opened up people’s mind. People are able to understand, accept and connect with such different kinds of music because they are getting exposed to it. Rather than asking the question ‘Aise thodi hota hai’ they are saying, ‘Oh wow, aise bhi hota hai’. You also see indie music getting placed in films and OTTs; the term ‘indie music’ doesn’t stand true anymore, it is just mainstream music, it is just the music industry where anything can be done anywhere.” Sanyal adds, “I have discovered so many songs just scrolling on reels. ‘Jedha Nasha’ was actually released in 2019, but it blew up in 2022. We were really shocked to see the reels and our own song in it. The unpredictability of it is a good thing. Back in 2008, I dropped out of engineering college to pursue music. Nowadays, people are leaving their jobs left right and centre to pursue music. The possibilities are endless. Art getting democratised and the power is back with the listener is the best thing. It is not about appearing in a movie or how much you are spending on advertisements.”  With this new EP, they are on course not only creating more music but also releasing it sooner than before. Sanyal shares, “It is still in a very early stage, but we are definitely looking at releasing an album before the year is over. It is only a good thing. That is the model we like, just put out a bunch of songs.” Among other aspects, it can also be attributed to the city of Mumbai, which the artists have now made their home. “I personally fell in love with the vibe of Mumbai. The beauty of the city is that it gives you the space when you need and it is there for you when you need it,” says Singh. It is no wonder that they have songs inspired by the city. “The first song and the latter part of the EP is inspired by Mumbai because there is so much chaos and funny noises that are coming from the city all the time,” concludes a giggling Sanyal, showcasing how much the city amuses him every day.  Also Read: What is Mumbai bidding for at this ancient relic auction?

20 April,2024 04:39 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
The ‘Umbrella’ singer further expressed her fondness for her Stella McCartney white cropped top paired with a skirt worn at the Gala itself. FIle/Pic

Rihanna regrets showing off too much skin in her past fashion appearances

Singer-songwriter Rihanna has reflected on some of her past fashion choices, expressing regret over certain aspects. The multi-hyphenate spoke about her favourite looks and her least favourites. The mother of two revealed that one of her current "fashion icks" is showing off too much skin, reports ‘People’ magazine. She told ‘British Vogue, "It's gonna sound hypocritical because I did so much s*** in my life. I had my n****** out, I had my p****** out," she said. "But now those are the things that as a mom, an evolved young lady -- emphasis on young -- things that I just feel like I would never do, I'm like, 'Oh my god, I really did that? Nips out?' According to ‘People’, some of the Grammy winner’s most notable looks were skin-baring moments, including the famed custom Adam Selman design -- which was an unforgettable fishnet dress, gloves, and headscarf that was hand-embellished with over 216,000 Swarovski crystals. Another notable NSFW fashion moment was her 2014 Met Gala afterparty gown, a Stella McCartney design that showed a lot of abs with a daringly low back. In conversation with the outlet, Rihanna also said that the backless gown remains one of her favourite looks, highlighting that two of her top fashion moments are from the 2014 Met Gala. The ‘Umbrella’ singer further expressed her fondness for her Stella McCartney white cropped top paired with a skirt worn at the Gala itself. Also Read: Taylor Swift releases highly-anticipated 11th studio album 'The Tortured Poets Department' This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 April,2024 04:35 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

118-year-old Dharmveer of Palwal oldest voter in Haryana

Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal on Friday said Dharmveer of Palwal district is the oldest voter in the state at the age of 118 years. The other centenarians in the state are Balbir Kaur, 117, of Sirsa district, Bhagwani, 116, of Sonipat district, Lakkhishek, 115, of Panipat district, Chandro Kaur, 112, of Rohtak district, Rani, 112, of Fatehabad district, Antidevi, 111, of Kurukshetra district and Sarjit Kaur and Chobi Devi, both 111 years old. Similarly, Narayani of Rewari district is 110 years old, Fulla of Kaithal district is 109 years old, Chanderi Devi of Faridabad district is 109 years old, Ramdevi of Jind district is 108 years old, Hari of Nuh district is 108 years old, Meva Devi of Jhajjar district is 106 years old, and Gulzar Singh of Karnal district, Shadkin and Shriram of Hisar district, and Geena Devi of Charkhi Dadri district are 106 years old voters. Agarwal appealed to the youth, aged 18-19 years, who will vote for the first time, not to miss an opportunity to voter because the festival of democracy comes once in five years. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 10:13 AM IST | Chandigarh | IANS
The Book Shop lets you borrow a book for eight days with a refund policy in place. Photo Courtesy: Aakanksha Ahire

Mid-Day Premium Pick your favourite read from 50,000+ books at this bookshop in Mumbai

Treading down the Nehru Road in Mumbai’s Vile Parle, a quietly settled bookshop – slightly hidden behind a shade awning – caught this writer's attention. Why you ask? The answer lies in the shop's massive book collection. Tempted to explore, the writer entered the store. Shop owner Ramnik Viram Satra who runs the store along with his son, connected this writer to Javed, a loyal salesman working for the store for the past 25 years who took her through the store and the books displayed for sale.  “Which book are you looking for madam?” asks Javed. He takes pride in telling the writer that they have all kinds of books – educational textbooks, novels, self-help books and children’s books. Established some 30 years back, The Book Shop was founded by Viram Satra, an individual from Gujarat who shifted to Mumbai to earn bread and butter for his family. Earlier a scrap stall, the place gradually expanded into a bookshop. When asked why, Javed reveals they witnessed a good demand for books back then. “Malik(boss) saw an opportunity and chose to open a bookshop.”  Presently, The Book Shop is divided into three sections – one is dedicated to scraps, the second for educational books and the third for novels. Additionally, there is one more book-cum-stationery shop located right opposite this one, under the same name which is managed by Satra’s son.  Buy books starting at Rs 50Although the prices of books here are fixed, you can still find your favourite one starting at Rs 50 or 100 if you wish to get your hands on a second-hand copy. From classics, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, comic, spiritual and religious books to self-help and finance books, you can get yourself any book you wish to read.  According to Javed, “Although we always have all kinds of books that customers ask for given the massive collection, if at all we don’t have a particular book, we order it from our suppliers on customer’s request.”  When asked how many books the shop has, Javed gives the writer a modest smile and says, “Definitely more than 50,000 books.” However, looking at the wide spread of the collection, the writer is sure that the count is somewhere around a lakh.  To encourage people to read books and drive a good amount of sales, The Book Shop lets you borrow a book for eight days. If you read and return the book within those days, you get over 70 per cent refund of the price paid for the book.  Javed tells the writer that since the bookshop is located near two prominent colleges – Sathye College and Mithibai College, the shop sees more young customers than adults and senior citizens. However, he also mentions, “We do have old customers who come looking for classic novels.”  While Javed was busy telling the writer his observations, a Gen Zer entered the store asking Javed for the Harry Potter series. Excusing himself, Javed pulled out the series and handed it over to this young customer. In the meanwhile, what caught the writer’s attention was a foreign gentleman who was busy browsing for books neatly arranged on the shelves.  Crasto from Spain was in India enjoying his retired life, exploring the city of Mumbai. He shared with the writer, “I was passing by and I came across this shop. Bookstores have always been an attraction for me. I entered this store and was shocked to look at the sheer number of books available at lower prices.”  He goes on to tell the writer, “I love reading books especially while travelling and make sure I always carry a book wherever I go. I don’t like using gadgets much besides my phone which I use for clicking good pictures when on vacation.”   Dip in book sales After making a successful sale, Javed returns to tell the writer, “People have stopped reading books, especially post-Covid-19. During the lockdown, people were exposed to social media and OTT content. This impacted the sales of books. After the pandemic, we experienced a dip of over 75 per cent in our book sales.”  He laments that the ease of accessing content on just one device has discouraged people from picking up books and reading. However, he expresses, “The joy that comes from picking up a book, flipping the pages and uncovering the story is incomparable. Our boss himself loves to read books, mostly religious books on Jainism.”  Javed also mentions facing tough competition from ebooks and e-commerce platforms. He says many customers find it convenient to simply place an order online. However, no e-commerce platform sells books at lower prices than these bookshops do.   According to him, due to this, the future of bookshops doesn’t look very promising. “Only those who already have a well-established shop and property ownership can afford to run the business. Younger individuals might not want to set up a bookstore since buying or renting a shop in Mumbai costs a fortune.”  Books in demand Although the shops are undergoing a dip in book sales, there are certain evergreen classics that Javed says will always be in demand. “There is a huge demand for books by authors like Jeffery Archer, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, and Nora Roberts.”  Further, he says that the young are more into reading non-fiction and financial investment books.  Besides selling books, the shop also accepts old books from customers in the form of donations. So if you have a pile of books untouched for years and you wish to find the right place for them, you can choose to give them away to The Book Shop for the benefit of other fellow readers  On her way out, the writer too, purchased The Vine of Desires – a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni for Rs 100 and headed to the nearest cafe to dive into the story.  The best time to purchase books here is during the day as the shop gets crowded post 5pm. The shop is located right outside Vile Parle East railway station, opposite HDFC bank. It is open on all weekdays from 9am to 9pm, except on Mondays.Shop details: Address: 106, Kambli Wadi Society, Nehru Rd, Vile Parle East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400057Phone No.: 080805 92422

20 April,2024 09:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
Taylor Swift had revealed the album's release at the Grammys in February, a night that saw the 34-year-old billionaire win a record-breaking fourth Album of the Year prize.

Taylor Swift releases highly-anticipated album 'The Tortured Poets Department'

Taylor Swift has released her highly anticipated record "The Tortured Poets Department" today -- the 11th studio album from the megastar who is already having a blockbuster year. "All's fair in love and poetry... New album THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT. Out now," she wrote on her Instagram account, ending the announcement with a heart emoji. Swift had revealed the album's release at the Grammys in February, a night that saw the 34-year-old billionaire win a record-breaking fourth Album of the Year prize. With the drop of "Tortured Poets" in the United States at midnight Eastern time the artist could be on track for a fifth. Since her bombshell announcement, her loyal legion of Swifties have been working around the clock shelling out fan predictions. The working theory is that the album centers on her ex, British actor Joe Alwyn, who Swift dated starting in 2016 until they broke up about a year ago. Alwyn ('The Favourite') and fellow actor Paul Mescal ('Normal People') revealed in 2022 that they had a group chat entitled "The Tortured Man Club," which also included Andrew Scott ('Fleabag', 'Ripley'). The Swifties think their queen's album title is a likely reference to that text circle. Before their breakup, Alwyn had multiple songwriting credits on her albums under a pen name, William Bowery. Swift already revealed the tracklist, with titles including "So Long, London," "I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)" and "The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived." Florence + The Machine is among those set to make cameos on the album, as is Post Malone, who Swift said Thursday will feature on her first single "Fortnight." "I've been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever," she wrote on Instagram. Swift said a video companion for the track will come out late Friday after the album drops. SEE PHOTOS: Indian 'Swifties' on why they love Taylor Swift's music and aura 'Shake up the world'Swift has repeatedly eviscerated her former lovers in song, including dropping lyrical takedowns of John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal. Her current beau, Super Bowl-winning NFL player Travis Kelce, has already praised her new work. "I have heard some of it, yes, and it's unbelievable," he told reporters in February. "I can't wait for her to shake up the world when it finally drops." Swift has already had an earth-shattering past year or so, staging the first billion-dollar tour with her ongoing series of Eras concerts, breaking myriad chart records and making Grammys history. Topping the charts with BeyonceSwift -- who was born in Pennsylvania on December 13, 1989 -- began writing songs professionally as a teenager, signing with Nashville's Big Machine Records as a country artist. After a highly publicised dispute with Big Machine executives regarding ownership of her first six albums, she made the cunning, risky decision to re-record those albums to own their rights. It paid off, delighting ardent fans, bringing new Swifties into the fold, and earning her renewed respect within the industry. With "The Tortured Poets Department," she stands to make waves once more, although she'll face stiff competition from the likes of Beyonce and Billie Eilish next awards season. Beyonce dropped her latest -- the electric, statement-making 'Cowboy Carter' -- on March 29. That offered a charts cushion -- whether intentional or not -- that would allow both her and Swift to notch wins. The two reigning stars are often pitted against each other as rivals although they've repeatedly taken steps over the years to dismiss the notion. They will almost certainly be competing for next year's top Grammys, as will Eilish, whose third album "Hit Me Hard and Soft" is due out on May 17. But these wildly wealthy, supremely talented and conversation-commanding artists have all emphasized that at the end of the day, it's about the music. Writing her forthcoming album "kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life," Swift told fans at a recent show.

19 April,2024 12:08 PM IST | New York | AFP
Nita Ambani, who is the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, celebrated the first anniversary of Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) earlier this April. Photo Courtesy: File pic

'Mukesh and I together had a dream to create a center of art': Nita Ambani

Nita Ambani, who is the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, celebrated the first anniversary of Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) earlier this April. Speaking at the event, Nita Ambani said, "It's a year already. And what a year it's been! It feels just like yesterday that we inaugurated NMACC. Memories of that opening night are still so fresh and vivid that I can recall every moment of excitement, uncertainty, and nervousness. I remember standing here backstage and waiting anxiously for the first reactions. The overwhelming response and thunderous applause from all of you, our dear audience, will remain etched in my heart, as a beautiful memory for a lifetime! It was the moment I knew that we all had embarked on something truly special, something important, something noble, something that we hoped would make our nation proud and our culture shine." Expressing gratitude, she stated in her speech, "I stand before you with a heart full of joy and a deep sense of gratitude. Thank you for an extraordinary year of firsts! Your presence has energised us. Your appreciation has inspired us. And your love for thee arts and for our beloved country has shaped this beautiful journey. Dil se dhanyawad." She added, "I am also immensely grateful to all the artists from India and around the world who have blessed and trusted us with their art. In the last 366 days, we have hosted 670 artists, 700 shows, and over one million audiences at NMACC. Our Art House has had several cutting-edge exhibitions that the world has ever seen. Through Swadesh, we have given a global platform to artisans from the remotest villages and smallest towns of our nation. It has been an honour to spotlight India's age-old arts and artisans and give them the respect and recognition that they so richly deserve." She further said, "From breakthrough Indian theatricals like Civilization to Nation... to iconic Broadway musicals like The Sound of Music... From hosting maestros at Parampara... to supporting young upcoming artists... and celebrating children with Bachpan... From the finest classical, semi-classical, or folk music from India and around the world... to memorable dramas, rare ensembles, and solo dance performances... It has been an absolute joy for us at NMACC to become a welcoming home to the arts, to thee artists, and to you, our dear audience." The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC), located within the JioWorld Centre in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, was formally inaugurated on March 31 in 2023. The NMACC was established to display the sensory journey of India's rich cultural history through costume, performing and visual arts. Speaking about the centre Nita Ambani said, "Mukesh and I together had a dream to create a centre that would be a center of art, culture and knowledge. There should be a center, here music gets new notes, dance gets new rhythm, art gets a new home and artists get a new sky," Nita stated. She ended her speech by saying, "As we complete one year of NMACC, we look ahead with renewed purpose and enthusiasm. Today, we rededicate ourselves to NMACC's founding vision. Mukesh and I have always believed that India's priceless artistic heritage is our intangible national wealth. In all humility, I can say that no country in the world can match the sheer diversity and depth of India's cultural legacy."The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre is home to three performing arts spaces: the majestic 2,000-seat Grand Theatre, the technologically advanced 250-seat Studio Theatre, and the dynamic 12S-seat Cube. It also features the Art House, a four-storey dedicated visual arts space built as per global museum standards with the aim of housing a shifting array of exhibits and installations from the finest artistic talent across India and the world.

19 April,2024 10:41 AM IST | Mumbai | ANI
As Taylor Swift embarks on the South American leg of The Eras Tour, fans who are not able to attend the concerts are watching the film screening. Photo Courtesy: Ira Malik/Alifiya Joel/Arunima Joshua

Mid-Day Premium Indian ‘Swifties’ on why they love Taylor Swift, her music and aura

Ira Malik is 16 years old. The New Delhi-based teenager wasn’t even born when Taylor Swift released her first eponymous album in 2006 but the Gen-Z relates to the singer just like a Millennial. She has already booked tickets for The Eras Tour in Liverpool on June 14, 2024. Malik says she has been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as she can remember. She reveals, “If I had to pick a particular era or album, it was when she released ‘Speak Now’. It has been 13 years since the American singer-songwriter released the album. As the world is experiencing ‘The Eras Tour’ this year, which Swift embarked on in March 2023, her life and persona have become a global phenomenon fuelled by her fans.” Today, Malik not only owns vinyls of most of her albums but has a lot of merchandise related to the singer. Incidentally, Taylor Swift started as a singer at the same age as Malik. Two years later, she released Taylor Swift (2006) and Fearless (2008), which not only produced hits like ‘Tim McGraw’ and ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’ but also ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ respectively. Ever since then, she has garnered many fans, who fondly call themselves ‘Swifties’. Malik along with other Indians is very much a part of this fandom that only seems to be getting bigger by the day. Interestingly, when Malik heard ‘Speak Now’, she was already gravitating toward the singer. “I had been a fan because of songs like ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ but I remember listening to ‘Enchanted’ when it was released on my old iPad for the first time and falling in love with it which led me to listen to her entire discography at that point.” Being a ‘Swiftie’As Taylor Swift launched the South American leg with her performance in Argentina earlier this week, one can’t help but remember the ticket fiasco from last year that showcases her popularity. According to several media reports, when tickets went for sale online in November 2022 for Taylor Swift's American leg of The Eras Tour, American ticket sales platform Ticketmaster crashed within an hour. During this time, even after users were logged out and were frozen in a queue, there were as many as 2.4 million tickets that were sold. It broke the record for the highest number of ticket sales by an artist in a single day. Mumbai is also hosting a ‘Tribute to Taylor Swift’ with a Western classical performance at the Royal Opera House this weekend. The event comes weeks after ‘The Eras Concert’ film was showcased at different locations not only in the city but also across India.  Unsurprisingly, Malik made her way to the movie when it was showcased in the capital city. “I went to The Eras Tour Film recently and the feeling of being in a room with absolute strangers but still feeling so connected to them was special,” explains the teen, who is the daughter of Subir Malik, founder of Parikrama, one of India’s most iconic rock bands, and has been exposed to different kinds of music over the years but her Swift fandom trumps all. Such is her fandom, that Malik has already watched the film two times and plans on watching it again with fan groups in the city. The Taylor Swift phenomenon is quite similar in other cities too. Bengaluru-based Fathima Ashraf became a Swiftie even before the term existed, way back in 2008. More precisely she dropped hits like ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ the same year. “The high school girl in me loved her storytelling and catchy lyrics. I remember learning all the lyrics and doing sing-alongs and all the very cheesy stuff with my friends,” she reminisces, continuing, “For the teenager I was, I found it magical. I still feel she does well with mystic vibes.” Even though the second album made her an eternal fan, Ashraf says her favourite is ‘Lover’ (2019), which is the most recent of the 10 albums she has released till now. She explains, “I love the collaborations that she does -- she knows to pick the right voice to collaborate with. ‘The Last Time’ with Gary Lightbody is one of my favourites, along with ‘Willow’, ‘Delicate’ and ‘All Too Well’, ‘Wildest Dreams’.” So, what is unique about Taylor Swift compared to any other artist today, and why does she have a hold on her audience so much? The 28-year-old says, “She is very versatile. She can do pop, country, folk, alt-rock. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets into hip-hop one day. So even if you don’t like all her songs, chances are that everybody can vibe to at least one of her songs.” The fact she is hardworking, says Ashraf, is impressive because the thought and effort that Swift puts into each of her projects, be it a song, music video or concert isn’t something that everyone does. Dissecting Taylor Swift and her auraMalik agrees with Ashraf in more ways than one. She believes Taylor Swift is one of if not the best songwriters of this generation, especially because there aren’t a lot of mainstream pop artists that are even a part of the songwriting process anymore. She explains, “Taylor Swift is constantly reinventing herself. She started with country music, slowly delved into pop in 1989, and even covered alt-music with ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’. Further than just a shift in genres, her albums are extremely different sonically and aesthetically. This is why I believe that she is one of the few artists that have been able to make a permanent place in the industry and continue to at the age of 33.”  Even Mumbaikar Alifiya Joel, who has settled in New Zealand and has been a ‘Tay Tay’ fan, as she calls it, for over a decade now, the American singer is beyond just her music. She explains, “She is a great mix of creativity and business. She not only writes all of her songs, but she also knows how to sell them at the right time to the right audience. Re-releasing her albums was a daring business move and she did it anyway. She is a benchmark for someone who works in the marketing and advertising industry,” says 32-year-old Joel, who works as a marketing professional, and has been influenced by Swift not only professionally but also personally. “Taylor has great fan engagement, and the fans notice and appreciate it. It is a craze that harms no one. I have a couple of Taylor Swift T-shirts. She is so relatable that a lot of her fans have mentioned her in therapy. I know I have,” reveals the Mumbaikar, who hails from Wadala. Everybody has different kinds of experiences but for Joel, her Taylor Swift fandom has come full circle in more ways than one. She narrates, “Everyone was listening to ‘Love Story’ when I was in college and somehow, I am listening to it again just before I got married. It is the longevity and relatability of her songs that make them memorable.” Such has been her connection that even the Mumbaikar didn’t know that what started as an earworm from the singer, would eventually make her so big. “Through her albums and her exploring different genres – ‘Fearless’ versus ‘Folklore’ - completely different vibe. I felt like I grew up with Taylor Swift all these years. Her albums and her lyrics kept getting more mature and relatable,” adds Joel, who says she is in her Taylor Swift era after Beyonce and Brittany Spears had theirs. “She is as big as The Beatles, if not bigger,” shares the Mumbaikar, who says she can sing any of her songs at any time. “I can sing most of her songs while driving in my car or with a hairbrush in front of a mirror. Currently, I’m listening to ‘Exile’ and love the piano in it.” Living in Auckland, Joel says she got lucky to watch her ‘Reputation Tour’ live before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Even though she wasn’t lucky enough to get the Eras Tour tickets, she did not miss out on watching the movie with her closest and biggest Swifties. Just like Malik, Ashraf and Joel, it was ‘Love Story’ that got Arunima Joshua, another Mumbaikar hooked to Taylor Swift, but she became a ‘Swiftie’ with ‘1989’, the 12-time Grammy awardee’s fifth album. “Blank Space from the 1989 album converted me. I was very much an indie music fan because I would listen to Devendra Banhart and Karen O and Jamie xx and not much pop but I couldn't get ‘Blank Space’ out of my head. I would loop it all day. I accepted that I love pop music then,” shares the Mumbaikar, re-living her journey with Swift. Apart from loving her songwriting, Joshua says the fact that her lyrics are personal and universal at the same time is what makes her more relatable. “Swift’s rhythmic cadence elevates the level of pop music as a genre. The compositions are done so ingeniously,” the 28-year-old adds. Even though her fandom is mostly about music, she has gifted her best friend Taylor Swift merchandise and themed gifts. “They are not official merchandise but bespoke items I got made like candles or a cosmetic or book that references her songs,” shares the Swiftie, whose favourite song is ‘False God’ because it is It's a solely underrated synth sax bop and very 80s and sexy. Even as Joshua has caught the movie screening in Mumbai, she wants to attend a Swiftie Night but is afraid that she will find fewer people her age, however, we think when Swifties come together, they may not unite by age but by their love for Taylor Swift. “To be a Swiftie is to not only be a fan of her music but to be deeply entrenched in theories and stories of her personal life which she strategically places but also distances herself away from,” shares the Mumbaikar, who speaks for many fans not only in Mumbai and India but around the world. 

19 April,2024 10:00 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Photo Courtesy: AFP

Ahead of album release Taylor Swift unveils first single featuring Post Malone

Taylor Swift is making waves with her much-anticipated album, 'The Tortured Poets Department,' as she takes the music world by storm. With the announcement of her lead single, 'Fortnight,' featuring rapper Post Malone, Swift is captivating audiences worldwide. The pop sensation's collaboration with Post Malone has sent fans into a frenzy, with Swift expressing her admiration for the artist in an Instagram post, stating, "I've been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever. I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we work together on 'Fortnight.'           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) As anticipation mounts, Spotify has witnessed a surge in pre-saves for Swift's upcoming album, marking it as the most pre-saved album countdown page in the streaming platform's history, as per Billboard News. As per the report by Billboard News, iHeart Radio has also joined in on the excitement, rebranding itself as 'iHeart Taylor' in honour of the album's release. In addition to the musical frenzy, Swift has teased a 'Fortnight' challenge set to kick off alongside the album launch, promising fans an immersive experience beyond just the music. 'The Tortured Poets Department' is slated to release on April 9, midnight ET.Also Read: ‘I feel like I grew up with Taylor Swift in all these years’: Decoding Taylor Swift’s fandom in India This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

19 April,2024 09:49 AM IST | Washington | ANI
Mallika Keer has spotted the likes of Bhoj Mahal building near Matunga's Tejookaya Park and Nachiket Joshi is fascinated by houses such as Belvedere near the grotto in Chembur's Central Avenue. Photo: Mallika Keer/Nachiket Joshi

Mid-Day Premium Accounts on architecture: How Mumbaikars are documenting neighbourhood heritage

Looking at architecture is like reading poetry for Nachiket Joshi. Even though the 30-year-old isn’t remotely connected to the subject by profession, he has always been fascinated by the intricacies in structures — railings, gate posts and arches — around him. “As a child, I liked the area around Central Avenue and the roads perpendicular to it near the railway station and I am completely charmed by it. You could tell that they were old, special and looked different,” says a mesmerised Joshi. All these years later, Joshi, a Chembur resident has found love in poetry and prose which he finds resonate with architecture too. This interest in houses around him made him start @housesofchembur, as an amateur attempt at documenting them on Instagram in 2019.  Joshi is one of several people in the city who document different regions for the sheer beauty of their architecture on Instagram. There are others who are doing it not only because of their fascination with architecture but also because of the need to preserve regular heritage structures in the city beyond well-known monuments. One of them is Mallika Keer, who like Joshi is a city-based architecture enthusiast and is attempting to preserve heritage by showcasing them on her Instagram handle @beyond_heritage, to drive home the message against their redevelopment in Mumbai. On his many walks through Chembur, Joshi has found beauty in the Grotto near Central Avenue and Ling Mahal, an art deco home that has now been demolished. Photo: Nachiket Joshi Poetry and developmentInterestingly, while both pages display a common love for architecture, buildings appealed to the content creators for different reasons. Joshi explains, “The page is sort of inspired by the poetry I am reading as well for my work. There’s a whole tradition in literature of Le Flâneur or the loafer, who is loitering around the city streets and documenting them through poetry or prose and writing about random things that are seen on the streets.”  Interestingly, Joshi says India — and Mumbai specifically — has one of its very own flâneur in the form of Arun Kolatkar. “Through Kala Ghoda Poems, he has written some of the most beautiful poems about this tiny neighbourhood. My documenting of the houses and the tiny details in my neighbourhood was an attempt at being like that flâneur,” says Joshi, who is currently pursuing his PhD in Paris about contemporary poetry in India. As a part of the thesis, he studies English and Marathi language poetry and translates them into French too. He is currently in the city for the last six months and is making the most of his time here. On the other hand, it was the constant exposure to structures in the city because of her father that made Keer gravitate towards conserving heritage through architecture. “My father is a developer and has redeveloped a lot of heritage buildings, and I was always against it,’ she laughs. “I wanted to change the perspective of developers because they only look at making money out of it,” adds the 25-year-old architecture conservationist.   A little over two and one year respectively, Joshi and Keer have amassed thousands of followers and this is only the start. Interestingly, it did take very particular incidents for both of them to start these very pages.  Seeing beauty in Chembur Now, Joshi has always been interested in architecture, especially in Chembur, which according to him not many people would look at twice when one talks about the subject. It was one particular walk in his neighbourhood in 2019, when a friend came to visit him in the city, that made him take his passion project forward.  He says, “I told my friend it was a nice morning to walk around and so we did and ended up walking for over an hour and a half just looking at the tiny details of these houses. You could make out that some of them were built by individuals because even some of the seemingly insignificant parts of the structure like the gate post were exquisitely designed.” While the gate post caught his eye, it was also the name plaque of another house, which had a black-and-white photograph of a man embossed on it that stayed with him. “These are just idiosyncratic details that may mean nothing to any person except the owner,” he adds.  Joshi didn’t only find beauty in the structures and their designs but also the house names. “There is a house called ‘Caribou’, ‘Sunbeam’ and a lot of French names too like ‘Chemould’. It was just like we were high on this neighbourhood and ended up taking a lot of pictures that morning,” says the literary scholar with a child-like enthusiasm. When Joshi got back to Paris, he decided to do something about it and that’s how the page was born. Now, every time he returns, he adds to the digital repository.  Two years on, he is absolutely keen on taking the next step for the page. He plans to make it more than just pictures by sharing more information through interviews with the house owners. The fact that Chembur is as diverse as any other place in the city, is also one reason for him to keep going. “There are many communities that have been living here for a while – South Indians, Goan Catholic communites and even some gaothans. People have no idea what this neighbourhood has.” He adds, “We have absolutely poor public appreciation of architecture in India.” It is also the reason why, he says that next time people come across his page, they see that even old structures are worth looking at and just because they’re old, doesn’t mean they’re spoilt. By starting Beyond Heritage, heritage conservationist Keer wanted to change people's approach about heritage in their neighbourhood. Photo: Mallika KeerLiving among heritage Keer is of a similar opinion, except she is worried that all of it will disappear from people’s memories if nobody documents it. She realised this when she returned after completing her masters in architectural conservation in Delhi. “I live in Shivaji Park and it is actually an Art Deco ensemble. When I got back one year ago, I realised that most of the buildings were gone. The number of buildings being redeveloped within a span of two-three years are many and so are the number of buildings being demolished for redevelopment,” she explains.  That’s when she realised that there is no trace of it and decided to do something about it. She explains, “If you ask people what is heritage in Mumbai, they will say the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.” Keer wanted to change this very approach and tell people that heritage is not only about monuments. “Even the everyday residential or commercial buildings make the city. We need to conserve and preserve them and that can’t happen if we don’t acknowledge them.” It is something she fears the future generations will not be able to see, if nothing is done about it now.  Taking it forward Keer, who has always been clicking pictures of structures around her in South Mumbai, has achieved considerable success with her page which has over 16,000 followers. She observes, “I used to think people don’t care about architecture but now I have realised through the engagement on the page that people are interested because they message me saying that they have lived in the area for so long and this is the building just next to them and they didn’t notice it.”   Seeing the kind of interaction she has been getting, she wants to explore the suburbs more but says accessibility has been an issue. While it is easier for her to click in Fort and Colaba, she hasn’t had good experiences with house owners in the suburbs when she tries to take pictures of the structures. Having photographed various parts of the city, Grant Road, Lalbaug, Parel, Girgaum and the red-light area have emerged as some of her favourite areas. “Mazgaon is special for me because I was doing my thesis at the time and while doing it, I found a lot of history associated with the area, the Eastern waterfront, the dock and the mills there. I am looking to cover the industrial part of the city with the cotton mills and more too,” adds Keer, whose thesis topic was the restoration of the Ghadiyal Godi buildings.   While Keer usually post pictures in a series of three - going by the architectural style or area-wise, Joshi does a random take on his neighbourhood but makes sure to release only one picture a month for the fear of exhausting his pictures of Chembur as he wants to continue it for as long as he can. “It is completely based on serendipity,” he expresses. While Keer has had mixed experiences with people, Joshi has had better luck and it is the very reason he wants to expand it into better full-fledged interviews with residents. In the process, he aims at keeping the essence of the neighbourhood alive, while Keer hopes to change the view of not only developers but also people in Mumbai by highlighting the structures they may have previously not thought of as ones with heritage value. 

18 April,2024 04:13 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Every year, World Heritage Day is observed on April 18. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Mid-Day Premium How are Mumbai institutions preserving intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage or living heritage refers to the practices, traditions, customs, and knowledge that are passed down from generation to generation within communities. It encompasses various aspects of culture that cannot be physically touched or seen, such as music, dance, oral traditions, rituals, and festivals. These forms of heritage are an essential part of the identity of communities and contributes to their sense of belonging. They are also essential for preserving cultural diversity, promoting social cohesion through intercultural dialogue. Due to its inherently fragile nature, it requires safeguarding to ensure its continuity for future generations. On World Heritage Day, we spoke to experts from organisations offering diverse cultural engagements to understand how they are promoting and preserving living heritage.  We work to enrich heritage through local dialogue and cross-pollination “We believe that intangible heritage plays a vital role in the cultural ecosystem, and we work hard to enrich it through local dialogue and cross-pollination with other cultures. We collaborate with local historians, intellectuals, and international scholars to promote and celebrate India's diverse culture and heritage,” says Ayeshah Dadachanji, senior program manager at Avid Learning.  Among India's leading arts and cultural programming platform, Avid Learning has presented over 1600 multiverse and hybrid programs, domestically and internationally. In Mumbai, it has been at the helm of programming at the iconic Royal Opera House since its reopening in 2016. They also conduct several engagements, including panel discussions, and heritage walks delving into neighborhoods, and communities of Mumbai.  “As custodians of art and culture, we feel it is our responsibility to create platforms and opportunities for a variety of events that showcase the diversity of the arts including living heritage. Our goal is to build cultural capital and nurture new audiences, patrons, and future stakeholders. We offer a range of events in categories such as music, dance, theatre, and opera performances. Some of our popular series include Multipolis Mumbai, Culture Capitals, Across Cultures, Uncovering Urban Legacies, and Sustainability Now. These talks are archived and available to view on our YouTube channel,” elaborates Dadachanji.  When asked if there is a category of arts that is preferred by audiences, she says, “Our wide-ranging audience has a heterogenous taste, and we aim to democratise the arts and deepen engagement by providing equal access and opportunities to new learners and fresh voices. We reached 1.8 million interested learners globally through our online platform – Avid Online.”  It’s often a challenge to showcase living heritage to a mass audience while maintaining its integrity. So how does Avid prevent themselves from commodification of living heritage? “To prevent the commodification of living heritage, we approach this challenge with a multifaceted strategy rooted in respect, collaboration, and education. We work closely with cultural practitioners and experts to ensure that the representation is accurate, respectful, and true to their essence. Our platform prioritises the voices and perspectives of communities themselves, and our programs provide the necessary historical, cultural, and social context that gives meaning and depth to these traditions. Our goal is to help audiences appreciate the significance and nuances of these traditions rather than viewing them as mere performances, or commodities,” concludes Dadachanji. Also Read: ‘Growing up in Mumbai, Thingyan Festival felt extra special' The focus is on encouraging discussions on the relevance or the need to preserve heritage Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (BDL) is Mumbai's first and one of India's oldest museums. It was established to promote the arts and crafts of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, tells us Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, managing trustee and director Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum.  BDL is not just a heritage landmark, but a proactive partner and catalyst in the promotion of diverse arts and culture in the city. “The Museum represented the finest of Indian craftsmanship at several major international and national exhibitions. After the Museum's restoration and revitalisation in 2003-2008, we launched an extensive exhibitions and outreach programme. The museum showcases a rich variety of modern and contemporary art through sculpture, paintings, and other experimental media and design. The Museum supports Indian craftsmanship through crafts fairs and workshops by artists from across India. We also support music, dance, theatre and film and video art,” elaborates Mehta.   While the museum showcases the city’s art and culture through a rare collection of fine and decorative arts that highlight early Modern Art practices as well as the craftsmanship of various communities of the Bombay Presidency, the team has also curated workshops, storytelling sessions, and a children’s book corner to deeply engage with audiences across ages. “The Museum attracts a very diverse audience through our multi-pronged approach to explore the many facets of Indian art and cultural heritage. Younger audiences are drawn to contemporary art and design exhibitions while family groups prefer workshops,” says Mehta about the diverse age demographic.  Their focus on trilingual programming is an attempt at reaching even wider audiences, “We have made a concerted effort to reach all segments of society through our programming which is not just in English but in Marathi and Hindi as well,” shares Mehta. The museum also has a special programme called ‘Museum Katta’ which sees well known personalities to speak on different subjects to a Marathi speaking audience. Family groups, young students, senior citizens and even the vendors in the next door Byculla vegetable market are among their regular audiences. When presenting heritage to such audiences, how does the museum prevent itself from commodification of living heritage, Mehta poses, “The Museum is a space for education and conversation. As a not-for-profit organisation, the focus is on encouraging discussions on the relevance or the need to preserve heritage, both tangible or intangible. To celebrate and raise awareness about these issues, the Museum hosts diverse online and in-person programming. This World Heritage Day the Museum will host a heritage quiz exploring Mumbai's history and culture, a workshop to understand why and how we can preserve heritage, and a storytelling session about how traditional weaves create the famous Paithani sari.” Also Read: AI skills for better career prospects: Experts share key tips The working adult is trying to find new ways of spending their weekend, other than dining out, clubbing, or watching a movie “Our mission is ‘meaningful experiences for everyone, everywhere’ and we always aim to achieve the meaningfulness aspect in every experience we curate,” says Shannon Fernandes, co-founder and head of sales and marketing at Vagabond Experiences. Rooted in empathy and community, Vagabond Experiences aims to infuse significance into the subtleties by offering a wide range of experiences from nature safaris, spotting flamingos to coffee brewing workshops.  Elaborating on their curatorial process, Fernandes tells us, “We try and curate our experiences based on what we think would be a unique and meaningful way for our audience to spend their time. We bring an aspect of what we believe is the quintessential Vagabond experience, so as to make sure that we're not just 'middlemen' in the whole affair. We attend a walk, workshop or any experience ourselves, and tweak it before deciding if it's a good fit for our audience.”She poses, “The working adult is trying to find new ways of spending their weekend, other than dining out, clubbing, or watching a movie. We've noticed that nature walks and workshops are highly desired by our Mumbai audience.”Intangible cultural heritage, like traditional ecological knowledge, often holds the secrets to sustainable living. Passed down through generations, these practices can help conserve biodiversity by teaching communities to respect and utilise natural resources wisely. When it comes to tourism activities, engaging with delicate ecosystems in a way that does not harm them is also equally important. A popular experience offered by Vagabond is the Flamingo safari through the beautiful Bhandup mangroves in Mumbai. The hour-long journey is guided by a knowledgeable naturalist who helps guests spot the vibrant flora and fauna, and emphasises the significance of the complex ecosystem. The key is to channel the knowledge certain communities possess, and arm them with additional in order to achieve a holistic end goal that is sustainable.  How does Vagabond approach sustainable preservation of living heritage while offering experiences like the flamingo safari? “We do our research on the collaborators we're working with. In case of the flamingo safari, boats are driven by the same local fishermen who used to hunt the flamingos for food. But now they've been hired as boat guides and trained to preserve the area because it's a bigger source of income for them. The boat guides are trained to understand the tide and the ecosystem. They know how deep into the creek they can take the boat and make less noise around the flamingos. Even though they're not the naturalist who is the subject expert on the matter, they have also been taught the names and features of the migratory birds dwelling here,” answers Fernandes.

18 April,2024 10:18 AM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
Photo Courtesy: PTI

Grand celebration at Ram Janambhoomi Mandir, 56 types of bhog, prasad offered

After the magnificent ceremony of Pran Pratishtha, the Ram Janmabhoomi for the second time is witnessing a grand celebration amid the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami. Ram Navami is being celebrated with great pomp at Ram Mandir with offerings of 56 types of bhog, prasad and panjiri. Acharya Satyendra Das, Chief Priest of Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, said that all the arrangements for the celebration are being managed by the Trust and the occasion of Ram Navami is being celebrated with great enthusiasm. "All the arrangements are being made by the trust. The trust is also managing the decorations. Ram Navami will be celebrated with great enthusiasm," he said. The Chief Priest further informed that everything has been decorated and the idol of Lord Ram has been specially dressed for the day, "He is dressed in yellow clothes, and after this he is bathed with Panchamrit. Four-five types of panjiris are made and along with that, 56 types of offerings are made to the Lord." Acharya Satyendra Das also said that the day of Ram Navami is beautiful as one will witness the sun rays on Lord Rama's forehead. He also hailed the day as special as the Ram Mandir has been built. "Today is very beautiful for Ram Navami, as sun will be seen on the forehead of Lord Rama... Today there is a fair of Ramnavami, people are going for the darshan of Ramlala and all the arrangements are being done very divinely in the court of Ramlala. It is very special because the temple has been built, Ramlala's life has been consecrated in the temple, it is very special." Shyama Yadav, a prasad maker, while speaking to ANI informed that they have been involved in the process of making the prasad for 10 days. "We have been making prasad for almost 10 days. We have prepared at least 50 quintals of prasad and more are being prepared... Panjiri is also being prepared... And I feel very blessed for preparing the prasad for the Ram Mandir." The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, a trust constituted to look after the management of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya on its official X handle posted pictures of priests performing Divya Abhisheka of Ramlalla Sarkar at the temple. The trust also posted pictures of the Divya Shringar of Lord Rama on the occasion. Earlier, Prime minister Narendra Modi took to his official X handle and extended his greetings for the festival. The PM said, "Infinite best wishes to my family members across the country on the occasion of Lord Shri Ram's birth anniversary, Ram Navami! On this auspicious occasion, my heart is overwhelmed and fulfilled. It is the supreme grace of Shri Ram that this year, along with millions of my countrymen, I became a witness to the Pran-Pratishtha in Ayodhya. The memories of that moment of Avadhpuri still pulsate in my mind with the same energy." "This is the first Ram Navami when our Ram Lalla has been enthroned in the grand and divine Ram temple of Ayodhya. Today, Ayodhya is in unparalleled joy in this celebration of Ram Navami. After waiting for five centuries, today we have got the privilege of celebrating this Ram Navami in Ayodhya in this manner. This is the fruit of so many years of hard penance, sacrifice and sacrifice of the countrymen," PM Modi tweeted. In another tweet, the PM said, "I have full faith that the life of Maryada Purushottam Lord Shri Ram and his ideals will become a strong basis for the creation of a developed India. His blessings will provide new energy to the resolve of a self-reliant India. Millions of salutations and salutations at the feet of Lord Shri Ram!" A large number of devotees thronged Ram Mandir on Wednesday morning in a vibrant display of faith and celebration. Before visiting the temple, devotees took a dip in the holy waters of the Saryu River. The darshan at the temple had started at 3:30 am. The celebration will be broadcast on about 100 LED screens throughout the city. There will also be broadcast on the trust's social media accounts.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

17 April,2024 11:00 AM IST | Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) | ANI
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