Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kalpana to roll out the green carpet for North East India in her latest Hindi music video album Maa-e-Ri – a lyrical conversation with Mother Nature.



 The thrills of North east India.      

The North-eastern region is yet an unexplored area of India, exotic and richly diverse. Each particular state of the Seven Sisters of the Northeast and Sikkim are varied in their own special way, with their unique culture, tradition, lifestyle, dances, food and more. The entire region has immense potential for tourism as it is one of the most exotic regions in the entire world. There can be seen a steady rise in the flow of tourists to this area over the last few decades, more so now that there is a serene sense of security.
The word “Nature” leaves us so spellbound that we automatically get rejuvenated in its vigour and grace. The air that we breathe has every element of Nature that holds our very existence together. The plethora of its abundant love and care is showered on us in different forms and shape. Mother Nature reminds us of our roots so that we remain grounded. Just like Wordsworth’s “Lyrical Ballads" in which the return of men to the original state of nature is emphasized; because he believed that, people then, led a purer and more innocent existence.
Nature has spread its magnificent cloak all over the Northeast, making it look like a green carpet, with rivers flowing through it like veins, from a view as far as the satellite. A bounteous region of flowers, orchids, birds and animals, this place mesmerizes a first time visitor, making sure there are frequent escapades to soak in its striking resplendence.
And then, there comes a time when the people living in the region enrich it further with their actions and contributions, making one wonder, “Can there be a better calling anywhere in the world than Northeast India?” We can surely be at one with this.
The Northeast has always been in the news for its people, who has made it proud and Kalpana Patowary has been one of them. A true daughter of the soil, she has no left no stone unturned to make her dream come true to become the nation’s foremost singer. The millennium brought a slew of singing projects for Kalpana, when she shifted base from Guwahati to Mumbai. She broke all records when she came to be revered as a top-notch Bhojpuri singer, more aptly known as the Queen of Bhojpuri music world.
One successful album led to the other and that is when she decided to work on something really close to her heart – a project which would bring her nearer to home.
Maa-e-ri is all about celebrating the beauty of Mother Nature and tuned for the ears of not only music buffs of the Northeast but the world. With six highly melodious songs, the music videos have been shot blending the singer with the verdant hues of nature at its best.
The locations for Kalpana’s album are befitting for the album as they take the viewers on a journey through some of the minimally visited locales of the Northeast.
Dawki is an oft visited place in Meghalaya, more so for tourists who regale at the sight of the plains of Bangladesh as they stand at a vantage point amongst the green rolling hills at the Indo-Bangladesh border. And Kalpana was more than exuberant to have been there during her music video shoot.
MUSIC BOX, as is their forte, has done some of the best videos for Kalpana’s album, Maa-e-Ri. The director’s team in MUSIC BOX has gone to every extent possible effort to present to people videos par excellence in terms of location, picturisation and finesse. Nonetheless, this album has universal appeal in terms of its close assimilation with nature.
Another exotic location where the videos have been shot is Mawlynong, which BBC has flashed in its chronicles as the Cleanest Village in Asia. The rich sites of this village have been captured in frame, which obviously will whet the senses of an adventurous traveller. The tiny village, otherwise unknown to most people of the world, will now be featured in this video, which will get an edge in the tourism map. The Living Root Bridge, a phenomenon to be seen to be believed is something that tourism buffs will be attracted to after seeing the video, which will be a class apart in its league. A part of the video has also been shot in Cherrapunjee, once the wettest place on earth.
Mae-e-Ri, apart from portraying the rich tapestry of some of the places of the Northeast has also laid ample emphasis on the costumes, which is an array of attractive colours from the looms of the Northeast. The first costume that Kalpana has worn for her video is an ensemble inspired from one of the tribes of Nagaland, a state known for its mesmerizing topography, its unique ethnic culture, language, food and of course, its courteous and humble people. The video also captures traditionally garbed Naga tribesmen performing to the beat of Kalpana’s song. A true feast for the eyes indeed!
Kalpana’s second costume is from Assam, a dress unique to the Darrang District. This costume is mostly worn by the women during the performance of the Deodhani Nritya on the auspicious day of Ma Manasha Puja.
The Deodhani dance is performed either solo or in a group of three to four women essentially on the occasion of the worship of Godesses Manasha. As per myth, Behula had to dance before Goddess Manasha in order to get back her husband’s life. The dancers wear Mekhela-Sador, the unique and traditional attire of the women of Assam. This ethnic ensemble is a two piece dress, with the mekhela being the lower part or the skirt from waist down, which is pleated in two to three folds. This is topped up by a blouse. The Sador is a longish piece of cloth, which is again wrapped very gracefully over the blouse and right across the front of the torso to be folded delicately into the mekhela. The motifs woven into the mekhela-sador are usually inspired by objects from nature, like birds, flowers, trees, etc. As Kalpana’s song Maaeri is a lyrical celebration of Mother Nature, she thought it best by using the beautiful dresses of the North East.
 For Kalpana, this video has been a journey of some of the most coveted moments of her life. It’s a journey of her soul and spirit through which she is trying to capitulate herself to the arms of Mother Nature. Says Kalpana, “I am launching my first International Hindi music album in order to reach out to the maximum music lovers around the globe. I am on a journey of evolution through this album. As I went deeper into music, I had to deal with musical mathematics. A tribute to Mother Earth, I will say this has been one of the strongest concepts ever. Let us return to nature because only in nature can the spirit of mankind be found meaningful.”


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