JAMMU: Speaker J&K Assembly and MLA, Gandhi Nagar, Kavinder Gupta today participated in a seminar on “Economic Growth & National Integration” organized by the India International Friendship Society at India International Center, New Delhi and was conferred with “Glory of India Award-2017”, presented to him by the former Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt. Meira Kumar here today.
The NGO is working towards establishing unity and integrity among the people of Indian origin living around the world and aims to enhance India’s broad relationship, friendship & cooperation with countries across the globe and working towards bringing oneness and real understanding among people by strengthening the bond of peace, love and brotherhood.
The Society presents awards annually to successful meritorious Indian personalities who have specialized in various fields like Science & Technology, education, industry, fine arts, politics and social work for the yeoman services rendered with excellence in their respective fields
Addressing the dignitaries, Kavinder Gupta said it is indeed an honor to receive this award from the society of such high repute and the most importantly to join the club of the personalities who have always been the source of inspiration for him, the lights of Beatified Mother Teresa, Former Vice President, B D Jatti, General Bikram Singh, General J J Singh among others who have received this award before for their selfless service towards the society.
While speaking on the occasion, he said, the state of J&K has seen a reasonable increase in its economic activities in the recent past and is working towards overcoming the memories of separatism and insurgency which somehow slowdown the economic activities of J&K by badly effecting the tourism sector which remained the front runner for decades together in the GDP of the State. He informed that the tourist inflow in J&K which was 50,000 per day in early 1980’s reduced to meager 500 per day by the onset of 21st century.
Applauding the recent move of demonetization by the Narendra Modi led NDA government, he said, "it is a surgical strike on the corruption & his step sisters which includes naxalism, separatism, counterfeit currency, militancy, human trafficking and would prove to be boon for the economic activities and strengthening the economic condition of the not only one state but for the whole country and the states like J&K, North-East, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and others being the worst sufferers of such evils would be the major beneficiaries now".
JAMMU: Quleen Kaur Bijral an alumnus of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University has successfully announced the online launch of her first novel titled “The Witch Some Witch” published by the reputed Partridge Publishing, a Penguin Company.
In the novel the author pours forth an unforgiving story of the voiceless while reaching after the suspenseful depths of a beautiful brave world. What is the message of the work – attack apathy and instill the need for awareness. As without it, anyone can turn us into a scapegoat, a victim and even a slave!
“The novel as a witty prose of memory, revenge, love and crime is a chilling story about a murder in self-defense, dishonour of a hapless girl, a town reeling from riots and a forced sacrifice for a witch,” the author tells.
An excerpt from the book:
The witch. Some witch. I wanted her to be fiery like some mighty deity. I wanted her to be evil like a sinful siren. I wanted her to titillate me, incite fear, mystery and alarm. I didn't want her to be human.
About the Author
Quleen Kaur Bijral known by the pen name Quleen O Queen is a writer, journalist, musician and an avid lawn tennis player. As an alumnus of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Quleen clinched First Position in her Masters and recently submitted her doctoral thesis. She works as a columnist at the Logical Indian. And as a musician, she is planning to release a music album on the great Urdu shayari by Iqbal, Ghalib, Meer, Dehlvi and Faiz.
JAMMU: The Pashmina Artist and the global voice for the community across Himalayas, Babar Afzal today got constituted with the Karmaveer Chakra and Karmaveer Global Fellowship in association with the United Nations. Karmaveer Puraskaar is National People's Awards for Citizen Social Justice and action in India. These awards are instituted by iCONGO. All the awardees are dubbed Noble Laureates. These awards seek to celebrate and inspire individual citizen social responsibility, justice' and action initiatives and are held every year on, the day the Indian Constitutional Pledge was signed.
Babar has been conferred with this award for his constant advocacy work for the community from past several years. He stated that the pashmina weaving in the Indian handicrafts industry used to take place through middlemen. These middlemen exploit the artisans by not paying them amounts commensurate with their art. Babar from past few years has been looking at multiple ways to change this scenario. Hence he is working on establishing a social business model of Pashmina Goat Project, connecting the poor shepherds, weavers, craftsmen and women with the global markets by building a global supply chain focused on developing human capability and skills at the grassroots level, providing steady income for rural men and women in the most depressed parts of Jammu & Kashmir and connecting them with markets in the United States. Babar is the founder of Pashmina Goat Project.
It is his story that clearly shows how determination and willpower, enables one to serve humanity. He believes that the reason behind his devotion to the cause is seeing underprivileged people empowered. He wants to identify, develop and enhance their skills, so that they could continue sustaining and lead a respectful life In order to uplift the grassroots and introduce them into the pashmina production value chain, he established KASHMIRINK Foundation, which works to enhance their artisanal skills and design sense, helping them further to become entrepreneurs. By elevating their status from mere wage earners to become business owners, it aims to providing better ways to artisans, especially women to earn more and lead a financially empowered life. It’s all about turning artisans as leaders within their occupation and to become self-employed for the future.
Babar Afzal has been nominated for the prestigious REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship (2015-16) honor and the Karmaveer Chakra award instituted with the UN. REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship is for life-changing innovators, champions of change and people striving to fulfil their passions and dreams, to network and collaborate with like-minded, ethical and socially conscious global citizens. A Hacker who quit his international corporate career to become a Pashmina Goat Shepherd in High Himalayas to save the Pashmina Goats and the Luxury Pashmina Eco-System of Himalayas.
He is a Luxury Pashmina Artist, Activist and a Shepherd. He is the inventor of Unique Luxury Pashmina Art which he discovered, developed and perfected while he was living as a Nomad in Higher Himalayas. He is the founder of the Pashmina Goat Project and is featured regularly in state, national and international media, and referred many a time as "the Most Credible Man on Luxury Pashmina in the World". Babar was profiled by TIME Magazine in its "Genius Issue" where only 10 people have been profiled so far from around the world in the past decade. Babar is a proud recipient of the Shri. Rabindranath Tagore Award, Dr.B R Ambedkar Award, Shri.Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award & Bharat Gaurav Award. He is a public speaker and he makes an attempt to talk and link the world to his real Heros "The Pashmina Shepherds and Weavers and Craftsmen and Women of Himalayas".
He also holds a rich international experience of working as a senior professional for organizations including McKinsey & Company Inc. and Computer Associates in India, USA, UK, Middle East and Saudi Arabia as a Technology Analyst, Business Consultant, Information Security Architect and A Senior Project Manager. He is a graduate in Electronics and a Post Graduate in Business and holds over 25 High End International Business and Computer Certifications and is also a Certified CISSP and PMP from PMI(USA). He said, “I dedicate this award to the real Heros of the Pashmina Eco-System of Himalayas which include the Pashmina Goats, the Weavers, Craftsmen and Women of Ladakh, Kashmir and Basholi”.
NEW DELHI: SaMaPa (Sopori Academy of Music And Performing Arts), the well known music academy of India by music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori and music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori, today announced the names of the recipients of this year’s SaMaPa awards, the exclusive national level honours pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir. The awards will be given on 2nd, 3rd & 4th of December 2016 during the 12th edition of SaMaPa Sangeet Sammelan, the topmost classical music festivals of Delhi.
SaMaPa is a cultural movement translating from a deep rooted vision of the great music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori and the tireless efforts of the members of Board in creating a unique, unbiased and empowering national level platform for presentation, propagation, and teaching of traditional music and performing arts. SaMaPa is acclaimed as a Cultural Bridge of the State of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country and to have created a new generation of music connoisseurs.
The prestigious ‘SaMaPa Kala Vardhan Samman’ is being conferred upon Sanskar Bharati, a national level cultural organization for its immense contributing towards the growth & development, and promotion & propagation of Indian art & culture. The Award will be presented to Baba Yogendra, the eminent cultural activist and Founder member of Sanskar Bharati, who will be felicitated for his lifetime contribution to Indian art and culture.
The award will also be presented to Pracheen Kala Kendra for its significant contribution to growth and propagation of Indian classical music and dance. The award will be presented to eminent Kathak Guru and founder of PKK, Dr. Shobha Koser who will be felicitated for her lifetime work and contribution. ‘SaMaPa Vitasta Award’, which carries cash honour of Rs. 50,000 is being conferred upon the veteran vocalists Pandit Venkatesh Kumar from Dharwad for his lifetime contribution to Hindustani classical music (Vocal).
‘SaMaPa Nund Rishi Samman’, which carries cash award of Rs. 25,000 will be given to Abdul Rashid Hafiz and Gulzar Ahmad Ganaie for their immense contribution to Kashmiri Folk Music. ‘SaMaPa Acharya Abhinavgupt Samman’, which carries cash award of Rs. 11,000 is being conferred upon Meena Banerjee from Kolkata for her lifetime contribution to the field of art and culture as a music critic & musicologist. ‘SaMaPa Yuva Ratan Samman’, which carries cash award of Rs. 11,000 will be conferred upon Kamal Sabri, one of the foremost Sarangi players of the younger generation for his significant achievements and works in the field of Hindustani classical music (Sarangi).
The announcement was made by the General Secretary of SaMaPa and music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori in New Delhi. He said that the awards will be presented during SaMaPa Sangeet Sammelan 2016 by music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori and many other dignitaries.
SaMaPa Sangeet Sammelan 2016 is featuring some of the eminent musicians of Indian classical music including music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori & maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori (Santoor), Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, Malini Awasthi, Bholanath Mishra (Vocal), Ustad Faiyaz Wasifudding Dagar (Dhrupad), Pt. Rajendra Gangani (Kathak Dance), Kamal Sabri (Sarangi), Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar) and many others. The festival is also a gateway for the young musicians with exceptional talent getting their first stage in a prestigious festival along with senior legendary maestros of the country. This year, again a number of young musicians will be presented and promoted in the festival. The festival is being presented in collaboration with Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, IFFCO and SCZCC. The festival will also feature the Annual edition of Painting Exhibition featuring the artists of Jammu and Kashmir presented in collaboration with J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages.
NEW DELHI: The Humanity Excellence Award (THE Award) by We Welfare Society is an attempt to acknowledge performances in the Social sector held at Sirifort Auditorium, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi on 19th November 2016. The Chairperson of the NGO Ms. Neha Kala, focuses on honouring achievers from various fields.The concept is proposed by a NGO “We Welfare Society” which aims at being serviceable to the humanity and serving mankind to the fullest. Furthermore, the NGO strives to offer its services for the betterment of human purposes and to support Community for rendering their contributions and achievements in their own field.
The Event was Guarded by Mahant Shri Aditya Krishan Giri Ji-RSS & Hindu Sena Pramukh, Sh. Vijay Jolly Ji (All India Incharge & Prabhari of Tripura State, BJP and All India Incharge & Ex. Convenor of Foreign Cell, BJP) Advocate Jaiveer Shergil-Youngest Spokesperson of Congress National Media Panelist and RJ Naved- A Well known RJ from Radio City.
The event was initiated by Lamp lighting and Ganesh Vandna by Lalit Keshav Sharma and have witnessed many power pack performances. A Cultural performance by Brahmnaad Art & Culture, Theatre Act on Human Trafficking by 4th Dimension theatre Group, EW wing Kids on the tune of Mrs. Preeti Khetan (DID Supermom Top 10 Fame) & soulful punjabi songs by Singer Channi Mastana.
The selections was based on the Social work, preciously Humanity and the Jury included Tarot fame Mrs. Jai Madaan, President-Delhi Congress Mr. Anurudh Lal, Retd .Lieu Rita Gangwani & Advocate Manish Mohan who could fix Awardees Mrs. Richaa Chutani, Mr. Rupak Mehta, Mr. Sandip Soparkarr, Mr. Gulraj S. Shahpuri, Talees J Rizvi, Mr. Himadrish Suwan, Ms. Arushi Gupta, Mr. Shri Brij Raj Singh, Mrs. Alka Kapur, Mr. Durga Dass and Mr. Mukesh Bhatnagar.
The Event was witnessed many well active as well as social personalities like Mrs. Anu Gupta, Mrs. Anu Dheer, Mrs. Ritu Talwar Sareen, Mr. Yograaj Sharma, Mr.Vansh Mehra, Mr. Ankit Sharma, Mr. JitenderAhuja, Mr. Rahul Kalra, Mr. Harish Sewal, Mr. Vipin Rajput, Mr.Naveen Vyas, Mrs. Priti Bhaskar, Mr. Aditya Nagpal and Ms. Neeleshwari Basak,
The Event received support from sponsors like F-Salon, House of Wellness by Mrs. Tamanna Singh, Gem Mines by Mr. Amit Gupta, IDFC Bank and AGES ART by Mr. Deepak Sharma. The Event is put together by Mrs. Rekha Vohra, Mr. KamalJeet Bhatti, Advocate Mr. Virender K Prabhakar and Ms. Neha Kala who is the former Founder and Chairperson for We Welfare Society.
JAMMU: A Jammu based girl Meenu Mahajan has been crowned as Mrs India Exquisite for year 2016-17 in a national annual pageant organised in New Delhi on Nov 10, 2016. It is proud moment for Jammu that a Jammu girl named Meenu Mahajan daughter of Vinod Gupta and Ramni Gupta, wife of Varun Mahajan of Trikuta Nagar has achieved a feat by being crowned as Mrs. India exquisite 2016-2017 - Queen for a cause in India Exquisite Pageant.
She has brought laurels to the state by winning the crown and now Meenu would be representing India in USA for Mrs International Exquisite. Meenu became the first ever Jammu based woman who has won such She is the first ever Jammuite, who will represent the country in USA for this title in year 2017.
Meenu, who is born and brought up in Jammu city has done her schooling from Tiny tots, graduation from GCW,Gandhi Nagar and post-graduation in Sociology and Urban Planning. Meenu was also awarded Ms. Beautiful Skin in the India Exquisite pageant and she contested a pageant for the first time and was the only contestant among total 18 who was a fresher in this field and ever got any professional training.
"It is never late to be what you might have been as I firmly believe that the beauty of a woman is to be celebrated through out her life,” said 5.5 inches tall and beautiful, Meenu. After crossing 5 long rounds, finally she made Jammu proud after being crowned and she added that she will continue to move ahead in this field and her next target would win the International Title for India.
JAMMU: Though the Jammu, also known as city of temples across the world is a small market for online business opportunities yet Vasundhra Charak braved to take initiative and started Whatsapp and online shopping with a motive to make best quality products available to customers at their door steps at reasonable price.
Perhaps Vasundhra Charak is the first girl from Jammu who came out with this novel idea at hometown to offer quality products to customers at their doorsteps without visiting any outlet or showroom or retail shop. The customers’ just need to place order online and the product will be delivered at their door steps hassle free.
Vasundhra Charak is not an ordinary girl, she could have got a well paid job in any private company or in government department but her thinking is not just to secure a job but her inner fire always guided her to make an impact in the society by doing something different and become a role model for the girls of Jammu and Kashmir state.
She completed her B.Tech in IT and started working in an IT company where she had been drawing a good salary besides growth but after a while she realized that she is not cut out for 9 to 5 job and she decided to start something at her own.
She left the job, and as she was well aware about the high demand for garment and accessories she came out with a novel idea of providing best quality goods at low prices so she started online and whatsapp shopping in Jammu where products are directly delivered at customers’ door step.
She chose clothing, shoes and accessories over other things because first she have a knack for designing clothes and accessories and secondly there is a large untapped online and whatsapp market in Jammu and all the items which she is selling are available at very exorbitant prices so to make a differences to the people and choices they make Vasundhra chose this business.
Her online website is already under construction and it is the logical next step after the kind of response she is getting for her products in Jammu. She assures to make her site user friendly where people can shop using; ‘new try and buy feature’ and they need not to worry about exchange and return as it will be their own local online store where they can visit anytime.
Talking to JK Monitor, Vasundhra Charak said that when she started, people were quite anxious about the quality of her products but since she personally ensure that only the best quality products are delivered at their doorsteps, the problems was sorted out as soon as the deliveries started and the word started spreading.
Vasundhra Charak is very positive about the online market in Jammu and India as a whole. “Since the Internet is now reaching every household through mobiles, the online market for all the products will keep on growing. Also, the online seller can save on warehousing and logistics cost keeping the cost of the products low for the end user, so I am very positive”, Vasundhra opined.
Vasundhra has no plans of adding new products at the moment, rather than adding new products she prefer on focusing on providing the widest range of clothes and accessories to customers and expand in these segments.
According to Vasundhra for customers online stores are always better than the retail stores because first since the online stores saves on warehousing, display and logistic costs the cost of the products are lower than the retail stores and also the online store directly deals with the manufacturers, the variety they can offer is much more than the retail stores. So customers can have more variety at lower cost.
JAMMU: Though it is a tough job to be student and at the same belonging to an industry to which every girl is passionate about being among the top, but for Anjum Poonawala everything goes with ease and the hard work guides her to the success one after the other step.
Anjum Poonawala’s views about modelling industry is that is not only luck factor or hard work but networking and connection plays an important role. She believes that if one is highly influential person he or she gets modelling assignments, which is not too hard. Being a student of Management, Anjum Poonawala has worked with top brands and top designers of the industry. She was an Airtel Grid Girl model in the year 2011.
Anjum Poonawala has also worked with brands like Shoppers Stop, Bawree Sarees in association with an agency, walked a ramp for a very popular fashion institute, worked for a print campaign, catalogues for a boutique, website covering for Lakme Designer.
She also auditioned for Lakme fashion week this season in July 2016. She summed up her experience as “every time it is not a cupcake for you and I will keep trying till I am through, sometimes the struggle has to be deep and even if your hope is shaken by your loss just be satisfied and remember God and that God's immense grace on you that He will work somewhere, may be better plans in store for you and that loosing will be just a phase. Make it a proud moment that at-least you got a chance to participate which will keep you focused and will never let you loose hope and that your participation is important too”.
She told JK Monitor that her journey was not very fast but was smooth; she further added that got an opportunity to stand as an Airtel Grid Girl model for an International Buddh race held in Noida. Her advice for every girl passionate about chasing dreams in modelling industry is to have very good self control. She further said that passionate girls need to choose assignment not only as per their requirement but even as per their visibility which will show your own character portray in media.
Anjum Poonawala further added that the only thing she kept getting assignment is she accepts all the opportunities coming her way with lot of conviction without making much of a fuss which every Indian model gets into. She explained that the Indian models have tendency to make fuss about the whole show that run's in and around them so be it make up, hair, styling, clothes, designers (appearance given to you by them), other co-models and so forth.
She believes that the people working with a Model needs less of a tantrum and more of a work for their investment (time and money) and Model have to go with what investors actually would like to see in you. “They would never risk their profile by hiring you and getting you things that every Indian model feels will not suit them”, she said.
For Anjum Poonawala, her journey has been quite worthwhile for she was fortunate to get associated with big and renowned brands and designers as a beginner. She said that models need a good positive attitude and ability to network, to get stable in the industry. That is how she survived with her links and connects. Anjum Poonawala hoped that her journey continues with lot of good work showcasing her talent and ability to project as a style statement for her people.
Born and brought up in a family with moderate values in Mumbai, her father happens to be a Real Estate Consultant and mother a homemaker. Anjum said that her parents never had an issue but in the beginning when she brought up her passion in front of them and as her own choice they had some disagreements but all she could convey was that it was her passion and not her profession, an experience she should learn.
She disclosed that her parents never had a great concern but also there had been no support, no encouragement. Anjum divulge, “When it goes like all you need to do it alone struggle seems to be bit more but my desire was so strong that I was happy to use my effort and make it through the real. It is all fine when one morning they woke up seeing my picture in Times of India newspaper. My mother was so happy to see me there and there you realise you crossed one level and all charged to go to the next for that very smile on my people's face will show I achieved my bit”.
Anjum completed her Management from Rizvi Academy of Management Studies where Director was of a great inspiration. “Before stepping into modelling world nothing was pre decided but what actually enhanced my arena was the confidence that was build up during my management days. I feel, along with passion one needs to complete education to lift up confidence so much that grooming outer side is not enough but one need a strong polishing within. The inner self needs to be self motivated and guarded that even if one experience loss can strongly look up in times where you see your lows”.
“I do not carry any support but my own individual support alone. No friends, who would see and hear my success stories, be proud, cheer me, encourage me to do better and more”. “Loosing for me is a game of fortune, for I loose once but I gain double of it, is what my potential as a dreamer. Making my dream into reality is what I believe and it happens only when you are happy to accept even your small success and acknowledge it. I have always been same I am so happy to see and receive my littlest of success because I did it my way and not working through anyone else’s principles”.
“You do have idols, you do have people you see and want to become like them but for me I don’t have any particular person for me. I don’t want to live their life, learn from their stories and make a change yet having own identity and style of living that people would see all together different individual in you and learning from you just the way you did because I see everyone has different experiences and different destinations”, she concluded.
- “Innocent Kashmiris believe in what they hear, even the educated ones”.
- “I was in Kashmir in February was saddened to see it dry and a bit life less. The faces of village people looked sad. It wrung a chord in my heart”.
JAMMU: The European looks, hazel green eyes, sun kissed bronzed complexion, blessed by an Italian gene in her lineage, shaken and stirred with svelte figure, complimented with a dash of bountiful intellect, smoothed out with a sensuous and delicious crunchy voice, crooning out verses, is all you will find in Vandana Vadehra.
By profession, a playback singer, performer, award winning MC from JAI, Lyricist, composer and actress while talking to Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor , said that the biggest obstacle to peace in Kashmir is its own people and the warped up wrong politicians. According to Vandana, innocent Kashmiris believe in what they hear, even the educated ones.
She suggested that if you learn to use your own discretions and not be swayed by instigation from outsiders, then make your own judgments. She advised that they should fathom the fact that all answers lie within themselves, in their hearts if they just seek it with all honesty, then peace is not that hard to restore.
Replying to a question about her willingness to contribute to Kashmir society, she said, “I am a singer anchor actress, I also teach modulation phonetic diction communication skills, fashion, grooming, and etiquettes. One way would be taking such classes in schools and colleges and boot camps for women too. Second would be performing for the concerts and college festivals there held for a cause”.
When asked how she sees Kashmir, Vandana replied, “Well, not how I see but how I want to see Kashmir, well I want to comprehend Kashmir as an Unscathed Virgin with its splendor, as it was in the olden days gone by, as I had heard my grandparents, who hail from Peshawar, relate the tales of bountiful resources, hypnotic hills, verdant vales, lush greenery and vagrant flowers, innocent people with a beauty known world over.”
In response to another question, she suggested that Bollywood should promote oneness in their Plots based on Kashmir, just the way Bajrangi Bhaijaan did. That is the only way for people there and world over, to realize that we are one, Kashmiris are Indians, and Kashmir is NOT just an Islamic state, (“as most Kashmiris believe which I realized after being in conversation with several locals there”) it’s a part of what the world, especially Uzbekistan Afghanistan etc STILL refers to as ‘HINDUSTAN’! That is the name we were known by, for centuries.
On Kashmir tourism promotion across the globe, she said, “One way I feel is through Bollywood movies, documentaries, international film festivals and a strong marketing strategy by the Government of India at the Centre.
On shortcomings, she belive that shortcomings are there but none that cannot be overcome and suggested that attractive holiday packages with assurance of safety of tourists would help a great deal.
When asked about methodology that can divert Kashmiri youngsters towards entertainment world, she replied, “Its upon our directors and producers in Bollywood to give more and more opportunities to youngsters in Kashmir in all fields, be it music, direction, acting production, photography, cinematography etc. as it is the Kashmiri youth are very good looking and have the best of genes.
Summing-up about her recent visit of Kashmir, she recalled, “I was in Kashmir in February, was saddened to see it dry and a bit life less. The faces of village people looked sad. It wrung a chord in my heart”.
Relevant to mention here that with B.Sc Hons in Botany, LLB,[Law] , Diploma Fashion Designing NIFT, the name Vandana Vadehra is synonymous with sensual husky baritone vocals, ranging from a mellow soft key to a high pitched falsetto, traversing a plethora of musical range, emotions, modulations’ and situations, packaged in this exclusive singer’s and MC’s voice! A live-wire stage performer par excellence, she can belt out melodies in English, Hindi and Punjabi, the languages, on which she has impeccable command and occasionally chooses to have a fling with Telgu, Bangla, Marathi and Spanish too!
The wit in her anchoring shows, sense of humour, intellectual acuity makes her a favourite with all clients. Her impeccable baritone, vocals switching into a pleasant
falsetto enthral the audience in her singing events. Be it English rock Pop, Ballads, Hindi Bollywood, with a band or on tracks, she enchants the crowd with her interactive performance even in the most sombre of shows.
The events she conducts as an anchor, for classy and panache crowd, leaves the audience mesmerised by her impeccable command on the English language, while her intonations, wit, subtle humour, pensive punches draw a splatter of understated mirth! She slips into the guise of a Hindi language host with equal ease and can hold fort with her clean diction, beautiful aura, and glamorous persona sprinkled with a dash of singing abilities need to make a perfect on stage recipe!
She has conducted 2500 plus Stage shows in 5 Continents, 18 Countries, 300 plus Cities for over 2000 plus happy clients and got 5 awards besides getting impressive over 3000 press coverages.
Being the great granddaughter of Dhyan Chand Malhotra, 1st cousin of the legend Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Art and Music flow abundantly in her blood. Her mother late Mrs Meera Vadehra being her teacher of English literature language, Phonetics, art and theatre, contributed to the artist in her and her father rendered the baritone voice. She has Anchored shows/Sung and shared stage with Hollywood stars like John Travolta, Jennifer Lopez, Foo Fighters, SMOKIE etc.
International Feathers in Her CAP:
INDO-ATLANTA MUSIC FESTIVAL, IN GEORGIA ATLANTA, WITH INTERNATIONAL STARS LIKE, JENNIFER LOPEZ, JESSICA SIMPSON, FOO FIGHTERS AND THE LIKE in JULY 2004
-NEWYORK FASHION WEEK OPENING ACT-JUNE 2004
-MTV GRIND IN KATHMANDU AT HYATT…MAY 2004
-MUSCAT PERFORMING WITH SUKHBIR FOR THE SULTAN OF OMAN DEC 2005
-INDO US FESTIVAL COVERING CITIES LIKE CHICAGO, SAN DIEGO, PHILADELPHIA ETC
SHE CAME BACK FROM A ROCKING TOUR OF UK,IN APRIL 2006, AFTER ENTHRALLING AUDIENCES, WHERE SHE WAS THE ONLY PERFORMER TO BE FLOWN IN FROM INDIA TO PERFORM AT THE EASTERN EYE ASIAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2006, HONOURING THE LIKES OF LAXMI MITTAL CHAIRED BY PRINCE CHARLES AND CHERIE BLAIR-COVERED BY BBC, CNN, CNBC ETC.
-COVERED CITIES LIKE LONDON AMSTERDAM, FOR PRIVATE WEDDING DO’S IN AUGUST2006
-PERFORMED IN GREECE, ATHENS, AT THE ATHENS INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL’2006!
-SHOWS IN MALAYSIA FOR HAVELL’S IN NOV 2006!
-NOV 3RD 2007 PERFORMED AT THE SINDHI COMMUNITY DIWALI BALL, AT MAYFAIR HOTEL, UK, MIDDLESEX, LONDON!
-4TH DECEMBER 2007, SHE WINS THE HEARTS OF THOUSANDS IN MUSCAT WITH HER CHARISMA PANACHE ELEGANCE N STYLE!
-14th FEBRUARY PERFORMED AND ANCHORED MUSCAT
SHOPPING FESTIVAL GRAND FINALE AT THE AMPHITHEATRE WITH BOLLYWOOD STARS LIKE ANNU MALIK, KIM SHARMA ETC.!
-HAMBURG-26TH 27TH APRIL 2008, 2009, 2011, SINGING AT THE DAMATOR AUDI FOR THE GERMAN PUBLIC AND THE AFGHAN HINDUS SETTLED THERE AT THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
-BERLIN 8TH AND AMSTERDAM 20TH MAY 2013, GERMAN INDO FESTIVAL
-BANGKOK FOR VIDEOCON R AND R AWARDS APRIL 2015, AND FOR ASIAN PAINTS IN 2010
-TASHKENT, SAMARKHAND AND ALMATI AND BALI FOR ASIAN PAINTS IN 2012, 2013.
- “Kids in Bandipore are sharp and keen learners who if given the right opportunities and exposure can do wonders”
JAMMU: The Education is not merely for kids to clear exams and get degrees but also to open their minds and help them form opinions to make informed choices and that's where the difference between education and excellent education comes in. This was expressed by Jigyasa Labroo, a Teach for India fellow in Delhi, where she is committed to teaching children in an under resourced low income school for two years.
Presently Jigyasa Labroo is in Kashmir Valley’s Bandipore district working with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. Shah Faesal's New Leaf Initiative (NLI) to improve educational standards in the schools in district of Bandipore by creating model schools and teacher training.
Talking to Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor, Ajmer Alam Wani, Jigyasa expressed concern about state of education in Bandipore for which she mentioned that aser survey shows dismal results, one of the lowest in Kashmir.
Jigyasa observed is that the kids are sharp and keen learners who if given the right opportunities and exposure can do wonders. She further added that Teach for India along with the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) plans to impart the correct training to teachers so that the potential of these kids is realized.
Though born in Himachal Pradesh (HP), and brought up in Himachal and Chandigarh, Jigyasa is a Kashmiri by origin.
Jigyasa had come to Kashmir with an open mind regardless of what people had told her regarding the tension here and during her a month long stay here she was glad to do that because she found everyone in Kashmir friendly.
Having really great time in Kashmir she hoped that will leave Kashmir having contributed meaningfully by executing her project ‘Slam out Loud’ which she is executing these days in Kashmir.
In Kashmir, she has done two poetry workshops till now in Army Public School Srinagar and Government Higher Secondary School for Girls in the remote district of Bandipore for free.
Jigyasa told JK Monitor, that she started the initiative called Slam Out Loud, (SOL) which is a nonprofit initiative since December last year as project which aims to organize poetry as well as story telling events for children to bring the art of Spoken Word to classrooms and beyond.
She further added, “All we are trying at SOL is to build an arts community for our kids to collaborate, come and start projects together, meet, talk, learn and appreciate art. That is all we want to do-create a beautiful afternoon bimonthly, where our kids tell their stories through art, and we've begun by poetry and storytelling. We are doing our events all over India, the last ones being in Delhi, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal”.
Jigyasa completed her education in Engineering from Delhi and have been living there since last five years. After Engineering, she decided to contribute to the society through a meaningful cause and hence joined the Teach For India fellowship.
Teaching being one of the noble professions has just become the job option for an easy going life
Teachers in J&K have an additional responsibility of bringing the state out of crunches in order to build human resources to make it a prosperous state.
I have seen a general trend of people not calling others with appropriate names rather calling them Pahadi, Ajaska, Kaji, Haji, Nicka, Thaida, Mudd, etc. which a teacher should be sensitive and conscious about.
Being respectful is the most important thing a student needs to learn during schooling.
Bringing politics into the classroom should be the most dangerous thing to do it will lead to nothing but shear waste of child’s precious learning time.
Due to lesser student participation during the lessons they have stopped using their brains and have become less expressive
When I came to Kashmir for this project I could see a stark difference between the knowledge that I had and the reality here. The way certain teachers behaved, totally theoretical no trace of practicality, no accountability, zero responsibility, less sensitized regarding choice of words and lack of willingness to work.
JAMMU: She was just 21 years old when for the first time visited Kashmir in 2009 as a tourist but eventually fell in love with the place and certainly felt like home. It was then that she could see the difference between the three provinces of Jammu and Kashmir state, and have a first-hand experience of the diversity. During her visit, she just kept observing the places as these were the ones she had been hearing the stories about. Also, she could for the first time compare her life with that of her parents. Comparing the childhood setting was another incredible experience which she would have never thought of had she not visited Kashmir. For her Kashmir was just incredibly beautiful place that she used to think about, mostly the Lidder Valley. The flowing water of Lidder still makes her feel refreshed. Jeewika Bhat, who has recently joined Teach For India, Delhi chapter as a fellow, had decided to go for a project in rural area, though she had finalized Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir but when she came across the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) by the PMRDFs in Bandipore she saw it as an opportunity to serve her homeland and have a first-hand experience of how the things work. Since, it was just a month long project; she was of the opinion that knowing the language would be helpful. Presently in Kashmir, Jeewika Bhat told Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK MONITOR, (www.jkmonitor.org) that she used to hear a lot of stories about how her mother, father and their siblings grew up in their respective villages and the way they used to go to school and how they used to climb on the trees for apples, their routines and how it was to have celebrate festivals and ceremonies, etc. Kashmir for sure was the land of her childhood stories and tales. Open sky, vast fields of rice, magnanimous mountains, Pheran, Kangri, Dariya, Sheen, etc. were the elements she used to think of all the time when she used to listen to these stories. But it was only after she visited Kashmir she realized that how beautiful this place was! Before her visit to Kashmir she had never seen someone who was a Kashmiri and not her relative. But when she went to her maternal grandfather’s place in Anantnag district, she could see the joyful and curious faces of the villagers who were part of her mother’s lifetill her marriage and they were overwhelmed with joy to see her and were awestruck at the fact that she knew the language so well. She had a little idea of the issues that the Jammu and Kashmir state was suffering from but couldn’t understand and feel much of it. The words that she constantly heard and were associated with Jammu and Kashmir were militants, Indian Army, migration, Muslim, Pandit, etc. but being a constant visitor to Jammu she could not make connections. Also, she felt bad for the Dogras and other communities as they were equally from the state and were never talked of. She spent her entire life so far in Delhi. Did her schooling from Sachdeva Public School, Rohini went to Ramjas College, DU for my Bachelors and GGSIPU, Dwarka for M.Sc. Environment Management. She stays with her parents and grandmother in Rohini, New Delhi. However, was working in Pune after her Masters in a start-up consultancy. Then she moved back to Delhi and joined Teach For India, Delhi Chapter as a fellow last year. As a professional, Jeewika Bhat has worked as a Project Analyst with a Pune based start-up consultancy on several projects dealing on Sustainability Reporting, Carbon Accounting Management Systems and Off-Grid Solar. Thereafter, in 2014, she moved back to Delhi and joined Teach For India, Delhi chapter as a fellow. Currently she teach 40, 5th graders in Walia Public School, Kashmiri Gate. As in Delhi they have a summer break in schools for the month of May and June, so the fellows go for various projects or internships.Jeewika Bhat too decided to go for a project in rural area. She had finalized Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir. Then she came across the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) by the PMRDFs in Bandipore and she could see it as an opportunity to serve my homeland and have a first-hand experience of how the things work. Since, it was just a month long project; her opinion was, for her knowing the language would be helpful.
Analyses and experience about education in Kashmir: Jeewika said, the education scenario of the entire country is the same except a 1-2 states. The whole focus of this system should be on child’s learning and development while everything else being just a background picture. But sadly we do not a Child-Centric System. There is no incentive, consequence or accountability for learning. Teaching being one of the noble professions has just become the job option for an easy going life. As rightly said “Kunilagiy n Tebaniymashter”, in case of Kashmir it is the only profession the qualified ones could have.
The importance of being a teacher and feeling good about it is missing in general at all places however at administrations part there are a few changes that can be made so as to ensure accountability and focussed learning. In most of the Northern states there is a class teacher system till primary level (1-5) wherein one teacher is given the responsibility of one class and is responsible for all the admin and other requirements of that class for one academic year. In fact, we at Teach for India also follow more or less the same model, but for two years.
I think, this is one thing that can bring accountability for child’s learning. But above all being respectful and motivated is something teachers need to have within to bring that change. Though, the scenario everywhere is the same, however, the teachers in Jammu and Kashmir have an additional responsibility of bringingthe state out of crunches in order to build human resources to make it a prosperous state. As a matter of fact only ‘a teacher can make a difference’.
Basic things lacking: “I think the exposure to latest teaching practices is lacking along with the soft skills. I have seen a general trend of people not calling others with appropriate names rather calling them Pahadi, Ajaska, Kaji, Haji, Nicka, Thaida, Mudd, etc. which a teacher should be sensitive and conscious about. Being respectful is the most important thing a student needs to learn during schooling. But the brighter side is that I have come across some really dedicated and motivated teachers who are already using their B.Ed. practices in the classroom and a difference in the standard is visible. Also, putting efforts in right direction is really important i.e. towards all children getting excellent education. By saying excellent education I mean a holistic growth which enables a child to make informed decisions throughout his/her life.
The policies need to be child centric and revolve around how best a child can learn, but also keeping in mind the concerns of teachers as well. In context of teacher training and exposing them to different methods of teaching the District Administration of Bandipore along with PMRDFs started off with New Leaf Initiative (NLI) wherein people from different organizations like Teach for India, GyanSetu, Pratham, etc. have been visiting the various schools across the district and interacting with both students and teachers, doing science experiments, star gazing, teacher training, helping teacher to have differentiated learning in the classrooms and schools, introducing art and activity period in the time-table, etc.
This I feel is a great opportunity for both the teachers and students to get exposed to immense possibilities outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the opportunity to create off beat professions inside the state.
Areas that need focus: Jeewika stressed on soft skills and respectful learning, ensuring accountability, technical assistance so as to stop rote learning student participation and lesser teacher talking activity based approach. “A teacher can be a strong barrier between the turbulent and uncertain political situations prevailing in the state and the classroom full of innocent bright future. Bringing politics into the classroom should be the most dangerous thing to do it will lead to nothing but shear waste of child’s precious learning time.
The positive things in J&K Govt schools: The students are very disciplined and loving. Though due to lesser student participation during the lessons they have stopped using their brains and have become less expressive but there is a huge potential lying out there and the teachers just need to tap it. Also, I have seen some teachers working really hard to make the kids understand the concepts in such cases they just need to know the smart way of doing it by addressing to the different learning styles of children like visual, kinaesthetic, auditory and read-write.
Difference between heard about and found: Well growing up as a Kashmiri was difficult as everyone around used to say Kashmiris are intelligent and highly qualified. Their regard in terms of education was too much to handle. I was told about various dedicated teachers and how people used to consider it a matter of pride to be able to teach. But when I came to Kashmir for this project I could see a stark difference between the knowledge that I had and the reality here. I could see a lot of things that I had never imagined to be true. The way certain teachers behaved, totally theoretical no trace of practicality, no accountability, zero responsibility, less sensitized regarding choice of words and lack of willingness to work.
VISION: “I feel the quality of education has been suffering throughout the country. It is more saddening for Jammu and Kashmir in particular because this place has a history of having highly qualified men and women. But being one of the turbulent states excellent education is the only way out to uplift the society. Apart from having various teacher friendly but children centric policies sense of responsibility needs to be imparted in teachers and they should be aware of their superpower of getting this state out of a deep mess that it is into.
As per my observations there is a lot that is happening in terms of teacher training, visits by education observers, making learning fun, etc. but somewhere still we forget that children should be the centre of education system. Also, one of the major setback was that teachers need to be trained on soft skills and they need to be a little respectful to students.
There is a lot that government needs to do in terms of making the system more child centric and not just get politics into the classroom, but still there is a lot that a teacher can do in the class to make a difference as their superpower lies within.
“Muslim women can do anything and everything with Hijab. Be a moderate and highly educated woman. Be ready to work hard and competent. You can be a good homemaker and career woman all together. But it needs your courage. I want to say to the women of Kashmir that don’t lose hopes. The flood of water might have washed away your goods and assets but it should not flow over your courage, hopes and goals. Stand up again and move on. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. A life demands struggle”.
JAMMU/ JEDDEH: Marriage can be an obstacle if your spouse and his family will not support you. So career oriented women should be particularly careful if they decide to marry with anyone. This was expressed by multitalented Jeddah-based Saudi citizen Sameera Aziz during an e-interview with Ajmer Alam Wani, (Editor-in-Chief, JK Monitor).
Famous Saudi media personality, Sameera Aziz is a highly educated Saudi woman, well known for her intellect, professional competence and integrity. She is a Journalist, film maker, director, script writer, radio presenter, novelist, speaker, social worker and activist.
During the interview she cautioned that sometimes, man and his family do the fake promises before marriage and then they create the hurdles after marriage. A document should be signed by husband before marriage to approve the conditions of bride, she suggested. Moreover, after marriage, when you have children, it becomes challenging to maintain career and home together. A mother can decide the best”.
“ I don’t advise women to choose career in that time when the children are small. Children and home should be priority. Now everything is so easy by technology. So many jobs can be done and handled through technology and devices. You just need to be capable to use it wisely and perfectly. I managed and maintained my career, education, home and children. It was challenging and I killed my own rest and relaxation hours in life. However, I never compromised with the need of my children. I did it without any support and encouragement from any close relative, but I did it thanks to Allah”.
Here are the questions which were asked to Sameera and read what she replied to each one.
Q: How you differentiate women life style in India, Pakistan, Jeddah and other European countries?
A: The lifestyle of Saudi women, especially the women which belong to a developed city like Jeddah, is clearly different than Indian, Pakistani and European women. Since I have been travelling around the world and I am a journalist as well, I have been observing it very closely. Saudi women in Jeddah are very glamorous. They are shopaholic, restaurant goers and love cosmetic surgeries. They are very cautious about their looks and since usually they are prosperous as well, they generously spend their wealth in their grooming. They are very fond of education and career similar to the other women of the world, but what makes Saudi women different and appreciable is that, they are carving a niche in male dominated society and in limited resources. However, it should be mentioned that situation is going to be better and better for the women living in Saudi Arabia regarding the work, career, life and laws.
Q: Being Muslim, what difficulties you faced and privileges you enjoyed in your long professional journey?
A: Being Muslim, I enjoyed the respect and honor in my professional life. However, the narrow minded, bad character and evil minded people tried to discourage me. Bad character men do not like to be called ‘brother in Islam’ and they start making a Muslim woman victim with their feelings of rejection. They made the false stories and rumors which never surprised me, nor bother me. Many evil people made the false excuse of Islam just to let me down. While, we all know that the first wife of Prophet Muhammad’s Khadija bint Khuwaylid ran a very wealthy and powerful business. In much of the world, like Malaysia, Indonesia, or the first world nations, Muslim women are very self reliant and are often just as wealthy and skilled as men.
Those negative minded and evil people who tried made my path difficult, were mostly belonged to South Asian countries rather than Arab world. But I did not stop and made my place as a winner. No doubt, there has been thousands and thousands of supporters and well wishers of mine, and many of them belong to the same South Asian countries.
Moreover, those ultra narrow minded Muslim people also try to bother me, who do not realize the requirement of 21st century’s media. This is an age of visible media and entertainment. They don’t like me for using an entertainment medium for my goal to remove misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. They try to abuse me in different ways through social media, gossiping and rumors.
Since I am a social worker too, so if I help any victim, the opposite evil party starts making me their victim as well. However, the fact that makes me feeling sorry is that, many women do not support me out of jealousy. I have been mostly working for the support of women and I think women should support and encourage me than men. But I experienced that women tend to be jealous over everything. Overall, if you are a woman, you have to face the challenges and difficulties. It’s OK, I don’t care and nothing can stop me.
Q: Does marriage help or becomes an obstacle in achieving goals and success in any field?
A: Yes marriage can be an obstacle if your spouse and his family will not support you. So career oriented women should be particularly careful if they decide to marry with anyone. Sometimes, man and his family do the fake promises before marriage and then they create the hurdles after marriage. A document should be signed by husband before marriage to approve the conditions of bride. Moreover, after marriage, when you have children, it becomes challenging to maintain career and home together. A mother can decide the best. I don’t advise women to choose career in that time when the children are small. Children and home should be priority. Now everything is so easy by technology. So many jobs can be done and handled through technology and devices. You just need to be capable to use it wisely and perfectly. I managed and maintained my career, education, home and children. It was challenging and I killed my own rest and relaxation hours in life. However, I never compromised with the need of my children. I did it without any support and encouragement from any close relative, but I did it thanks to Allah.
Q: Having been successful in a number of fields, what you suggest a better among these for aspiring women?
A. Yes, this is right I have been doing lots of work but most of my works belong to Media field. Rest of the work is also somehow connected to my Media work. So I would suggest women to choose the Media path or Journalism field, then work hard and be creative. You will get the rest of the success ultimately because Media and Journalism will make you powerful, well connected and prestigious. This will eventually make you a successful woman.
Q: In Bollywood, what things you observed are not good for females and also point out good ones?
A. In Bollywood, I found people so professional, workaholic and realistic. It lacks sincerity. People are selfish and materialistic which is common in every field of present world. We cannot generalize Bollywood industry. Females have been working everywhere, not just in Bollywood. Every woman is mature and she has full right to work and live according to her own wishes. So I will not like to say anything to suggest Bollywood women to do this and to do that….!
Q: What is the core difference between production houses in Islamic nation, India and Pakistan?
A: Production houses of Islamic nations are careful about their strict censor policies. Islamic teachings and argument have been used to censor. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's second largest intergovernmental organization, has actively lobbied for a global ban on what it perceives as anti-Islamic blasphemy. Censorship in India involves the suppression of speech or other public communication, raises issues of freedom of speech, which is nominally protected by the Indian constitution. The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression but places certain restrictions on content, with a view towards maintaining communal and religious harmony, given the history of communal tension and it makes sense to me. Pakistan censor board is little stricter than India. The Pakistani Constitution limits censorship, but allows reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan or public order or morality. Production houses of all those parts of the world have been obeying the policy of their countries otherwise; obviously they will not be able to work in their country.
Q: If you have to serve long years militancy hit Kashmir valley, what will be your priorities for women?
A: I would like to see the highly educated and very wealthy Kashmiri woman, same like Saudi women.
Q: Your message for Muslim women and the women in Kashmir recently hit badly by floods?
A: Muslim women can do anything and everything with Hijab. Be a moderate and highly educated woman. Be ready to work hard and competent. You can be a good homemaker and career woman all together. But it needs your courage.
I want to say to the women of Kashmir that don’t lose hopes. The flood of water might have washed away your goods and assets but it should not flow over your courage, hopes and goals. Stand up again and move on. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. A life demands struggle.
PROFILE OF SAMEERA AZIZ
Sameera Aziz is a famous Saudi media personality. A highly educated Saudi woman, she’s well known for her intellect, professional competence and integrity. She is a Journalist, film maker, director, script writer, radio presenter, novelist, speaker, social worker and activist. She is a Jeddah-based Saudi citizen. She is most notable as a radio presenter of her weekly show ‘Marhaba with Sameera Aziz’ in Asian Radio Live, which is based in the United Kingdom. She is the Country Head of ‘South Asian Regional Information Agency’ (SARIA), an international news agency with voice of SAARC countries.
Sameera Aziz is also an owner of the production house ‘Sana Solkar production’ in Bollywood which is the first Saudi production house in India. She has been involved in film making in Saudi Arabia on women issues as an assistant director and production team member. She studied film making from Hollywood directors. She is a director, producer and writer of a Bollywood movie REEM, the first Saudi-Indo venture in Bollywood. She is recognized as a first Saudi female Bollywood director and writer.
Sameera Aziz is also recognized as the first Saudi novelist of Urdu language in Saudi Arabia. She is active in humanitarian work. She has written thousands of articles and fictions in politics, social and woman issues. She is a speaker regarding international, social, expatriate, animal, and women’s issues. She aims to give positive message through her media activities and to bridge the gap between the Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.
She also acts as a consultant to various international organizations for social development and human rights like National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), We – The Youth and Society for International Peace, which is a think tank initiated to serve the humanity. She is also the special adviser of ‘International Affairs and Women’s Rights’ in Journalist Foundation, a professional federation of global journalists. She is also a business woman. She is married with two children.
Sameera Aziz has won many awards like The woman of today, humanity award, pride of the nation, first Urdu novelist, youth ambassador, Best Ind-o-Pak Friendship Icon award etc. She is recently nominated for the Best Saudi Female Journalist & Media Person Award in “Women Leaders in Saudi Arabia & Awards 2015″ taking place soon first time in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
Sameera Aziz is directing her movie ‘Reem’ under the banner of her own first Saudi production house in Bollywood ‘Sana Solkar Production’. Her film Reem is the first Saudi-Bollywood venture in India.
ABOUT FILM REEM
(The first Indo-Saudi venture in Bollywood)
Saudi Writer/director: Sameera Aziz
Sana Solkar Productions
Story of film REEM:
This story is based on the issues and effects of cross-cultural marriage. This is a story of a Saudi girl, Reem; whose mother is an Indian woman. After getting the divorce from Reem’s Saudi father, she returned to Mumbai, India – leaving her 8-month-old daughter Reem with her Saudi father and Saudi step mother in Jeddah. Reem has been living a happy life with her agnate siblings. In fact, one of her younger brothers is her good friend and she shares every secret with him. He supports the right of Reem to make her own choices.
One day, after her graduation, it coincidently revealed to Reem that her real mother was an Indian woman. Reem gets surprised and mystified. Now she wants to know her genuine identity. She becomes curious to know about her real mother. Postponing her marriage, Reem goes to India with the excuse of taking further education. She then starts searching her actual mother there with the help of the information she has gathered in Jeddah. Her father did not know her real motive of her stay in Mumbai until the last.
Will she find her mother? How? What kind of struggle she will do in India to reach to her mother? She has a maternal half-sister as well in India and she is the 2nd heroine of the film. She will also find her ‘Mr. Right’ in India who is an ‘angry young man’. Both ignore each other. He realizes his deep feelings for Reem only after her departure to Saudi Arabia. She returns to Jeddah just to obey her father’s order.
Now in this situation, Reem’s marriage with her love will be possible?
You will see it in the film.
The twist and turns in the film makes it an interesting entertaining family drama with the exposure of modern days developed Saudi culture and tourism. The lively Indian youth and their adventures will add the spice in the film. There are fighting scenes, melodious songs and comedy scenes in the film to entertain the audience.
• Reem will have a decent stay in Mumbai. The character of Reem will be presented as a ‘Mohajjaba” (head-covered) Saudi girl. However, she will not wear Abaya in India. She is very beautiful, humble, confident and educated girl. She will be wearing the trousers and long shirts, same as our modest Saudi-Arabian girls usually do when they travel abroad. Her expensive Saudi-Arabian costume will be the unique thing for audience.
• The other heroine, an Indian step-sister of Reem, belongs to a modern generation of Mumbai. She is a glamorous singer, and she is a member of a band group ‘HEARTBEATS’. There will be another hero in the film who is a ‘HEARTBEATS’ member as well. The hero of the film is a rock star and a leading singer of ‘HEARTBEATS’.
This is a family drama and an entertaining film with the melodious and lyrical music – which is a soul of Bollywood films. Hindi Film Reem will be dubbed in Arabic and English languages and it will be released worldwide including Pakistan. The script and storyline are very powerful and communicative.
Promoting Saudi Tourism:
Some 30 minutes’ shooting of this film will be done in Jeddah as per as the storyline. I will take a good advantage to present the beautiful and positive things, happening and amazing locations of my city of lights ‘Jeddah’. My Jeddah is full with landmark locations, historical places and best infrastructure.
My goal and reason to write and direct this film:
Film is an animation of person’s imagination. The ‘writer’ can powerfully convey his ideas to his viewers by directing his film. For developing the better understanding, we should interact with the world and reach to the people by communicating with them in their language. Therefore, with the mission of peace and love, and to present myself as a bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, I aimed to enter in the Bollywood industry with a new, decent and powerful story.
My target is to present a modern and educated Saudi youth to show the world that – we, the new generation of Saudis, are not harsh and ignorant. We are not among those people who have spread the hatred by their terrorism acts. We are not abusers; we do love others; we do care others…. Our young Saudi generation is decent, confident, humble and highly educated. They have a sense to be socialized and to protect their values and identity at the same time. Each object in the camera frame and dialogue in the script will ultimately give some positive message to the viewers about Saudis. Lots of brains storming and communication technique is being used for this purpose. Being an experienced writer/novelist, I am confident for my job.
I have studied and learnt film making from the Hollywood directors and I have already assisted many directors of Saudi movies and plays such as Lamar and Hayath to name a few. I am into Journalism since 15-yrs and I know very well how to present the scenarios according to a Saudi policy. I have been presenting the news in an agreeable way. I know a Saudi way, and I have become enough confident about my professional expertise of ‘mind-building’ ability being a trained Saudi Journalist. My 15-yrs experience in practical journalism will be a back-bone in this film. I will strategically, usefully and wisely present the Saudi characters as a director and writer. I am a first Saudi novelist in Saudi Arabia in Urdu language.
Saudi woman at focus:
People want to know about the Saudi woman. Their curiosity will be useful for this film. Saudi women are always being portrayed as a victim of social norms. Let the world know that our heroine ‘Reem’ – a Saudi woman of today – gets the liberty to find her identity. Let the world know about the real life style of today’s Saudi women.
· Bollywood has explored Dubai, Egypt as well as many other Arab countries. It is only Saudi Arabia, which is not being explored yet.
· It’s first time that Saudi actors are acting in a Bollywood movie and they will deliver the dialogues in ‘Hindi’ without dubbing.
· After 9/11 arena, Saudi-Arabian women get lots of attention of the world. Whatever the Saudi-Arabian women do; it becomes the talk of the town.
· Being a Saudi lady journalist, radio presenter and film maker, I too have been getting lots of attention. I am sure that people will like to see that what I am going to present them in an entertaining film.
Sana Solkar Production:
Sana Solkar Production is the first ‘Saudi Production House’ in Bollywood owned by Sameera Aziz in Mumbai with the partnership of Mr. Aslam Solkar (an Indian producer). The creative team of this production house is very experienced, qualified, hardworking and professional from Bollywood film industry.
Cast from Saudi Arabia: Hamza Eskander (Saudi model and host of Coke studio), Muhammad Bakhsh (Saudi veteran and famous actor), Salem Bawazeer (Saudi actor)
Cast from Bollywood: under process
Expected heroine for the main role: Wiam Dahmani (Moroccan actress from UAE)
Music director: Toshi-Sharib, Aslam Keyi
Singers: KK (and others)
Background music: Sanjoy Chowdhary