says Biswas Today

” says Biswas. Today he spends about Rs 4000 a month — a large chunk of his monthly pension — buying new material and maintaining his collection “I don’t have much else to spend on I never married and don’t have dependents” he says Sound archivist Indrani Majumdar (left) tracked down Panchu Gopal Biswas in Kolkata to listen to Sashimukhi’s song Biswas’s deep love for music developed from an unfulfilled dream he wanted to be a classically trained singer himself “I did go to music school for sometime but never got to sing professionally You can’t do that when you have a full-time job” says Biswas who also has rare records of Gauhar Jaan Mrinalini Dasi Angur Bala Devi and Indubala Devi in his collection He supposes that he bought the record in the early 1970s from a shop in Free School Street in central Kolkata“But I didn’t know who Sashimukhi was” says Biswas So who was Sashimukhi Doesn’t the distinction of the first Indian voice to be recorded belong to the formidable Gauhar Jaan In his book Kinnear writes: “As a consequence of attending a dinner party of a wealthy Bengali gentleman a few days earlier Fred Gaisberg had arranged to take recordings on Tuesday 11th November of Miss Gauhar Jan an artist of considerable repute She was to become a primary objective for future recording expeditions and many of her recordings were amongst the best-selling records in India for many years” Gaisberg who had arrived in Calcutta a few days before the scheduled recordings were to take place also set forth in search of other artistes “He was mostly disappointed with the rustic way of singing He wasn’t impressed with the male singers either” says Majumdar Most of the early recordings were taken from nautch girls baijis and kothewalis (courtesans) Sashimukhi Sashimukhi too was a nautch girl from Chitpur In his diary later published as The Fred Gaisberg Diaries the archivist wrote: “All the female singers were of course from the caste of the public women and in those days it was practically impossible to record the voice of a respectable woman The songs and dances were passed by word of mouth from mother to daughter They began public appearances at the age of 10 to 12 years The clever ones went up to the top and sometimes travelled all over the country in great demand at the wedding feasts of the wealthy As they began to make names for themselves many of them insisted that the word ‘amateur’ should be printed on record label Fees as a rule were very reasonable in comparison to those paid in Europe” But the expenses nominal as they were would add up Gaisberg noted that most of the artistes had to undergo long periods of training before they recognised as acceptable gramophone singers “Sashimukhi was a child prodigy a stage artist in local theatrical groups such as the Corinthian Star Minerva Her colleague on stage was Phanibala and they were probably the youngest female singers of that time A majority of the nautch girls of the time worked in the streets or mohallas some entertained the common public while some others acted on stage and in silent films In the case of baijis and kothewalis most of them lived miserable lives but some of them were very famous like Gauhar Jaan who had the patronage of the elite Gaisberg could not distinguish between Jaan and someone like Sashimukhi Hence he used a generic term — ‘nautch girl’ — even for some of Gauhar Jaan’s early record labels” says Chanvankar Daminee Basu 33 completed her PhD in cultural anthropology at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Kolkata in 2011 and says that a strict hierarchy was maintained among Indian women in “public life” “The lowest rung was that of khanaki who was mainly engaged in sex work Then there was the kaneez who was involved in serving people and doing menial jobs Then came the baiji who would entertain clients by singing and dancing After them of course was the Jaan the highest level Not everybody could be a Jaan That honour was earned by the virtue of talent looks and dedication Artists like Gauhar had relatively more financially independent lives than most other women of her ilk” she says While it is difficult to determine which class Sashimukhi belonged to Basu estimates that a performer like her was most likely a baiji “Very little research has been done on public performers like her” she says A record by Gauhar Jaan’s mother Malka Jaan According to Sushil Kumar Mukherjee’s book The Story of Calcutta Theatres Sashimukhi made her theatre debut in 1916; till then she had been occupied with honing her singing skills “She eventually went on to make quite a name for herself onstage Those days theatre performers had to be good singers and dancers and Sashimukhi was equally adept at both” says Majumdar Sashimukhi it appears was a rising star of the vibrant Bengali theatre scene in the early 20th century Those were the golden years of the form patronised by the likes of Girish Chandra Ghosh — “the Father of Bengali theatre” — a poet playwright musician who mentored Binodini Dasi one of the most successful performers of the time In his book Rangaloye Banganoti Amit Mitra points out that in the 1919 play Paradesi Sashimukhi enthralled the audience with her performance as a Muslim character named Saniya She was at her seductive best in Hindu Beer where she played Duliya an assertive young woman who knows her mind and has to pay for it In the later years Sashimukhi made her name as the tragedy queen of the Bengal stage “People refused to see her in tragedies though she would often choose to play tragic figures Her audience didn’t like the idea of her suffering so much” observes Mitra Little is known about Sashimukhi’s life after her career ended and she died in 1937 All that is left of her is her voice captured in the grooves of a record Majumdar and Biswas are keen to digitise the recording before it becomes permanently damaged from age “We can’t afford to lose this precious piece of history But India doesn’t have the technology to digitise something this fragile in a proper scientific manner We need to take it to either Germany or the USA where they can use laser techniques But for that we need funds and we have been unsuccessful in procuring them so far” says Majumdar What’s that sound A brief history of the gramophone 1877 — Thomas Alva Edison discovers a way to record and reproduce sound Recordings were taken on wax-coated cylinders 1888 – German emigrant in America Emilie Berliner invented flat disc format for sound recording The first trial disc was made of rubber with a 5” diameter 7” diameter zinc and lac records were manufactured and called the E Berliner Records 1898 – The Gramophone and Typewriter Co in London is founded Arrangements are made to manufacture gramophones records and assembly of machines in Germany 1899 — Recording of first Indian artists in London Dr Harnamdas and Mr Ahmad of songs from the Ramayan and Aayats from the Quran 1902 — First recording expedition of Fred W Gaisberg in Calcutta Gauhar Jaan and other artistes record their songs 1902-1908 — Three recording expeditions to India resulting in nearly 5000 recordings 1915/16 — Nipper the Gramophone Dog makes first appearance on Indian record label 1930/31 — Bombay radio became operational and sound is introduced in Indian filmsBy: PTI | New Delhi | Published: November 30 2016 6:42 pm TRAI chairman RS Sharma (File Photo) Top News Telecom regulator Trai today said demonetisation has accelerated digital transactions in the country but expressed concern over India trailing nations like Singapore and Malaysia at the level of broadband connectivity a key component of digital infrastructure “There is one area where we need to do a lot of work and that area is broadband connectivity” Trai Chairman RS Sharma said He said at an event on eGovernance and Digital India organised by Assocham that as per a white-paper “broadband penetration in India was 7 per cent based on certain parametres” Watch What Else Is Making News On the other hand it had pegged Thailand’s broadband reach at 36 per cent Singapore’s at 98 and that of Malaysia at around 35-36 per cent he said India was in fact ranked behind Sri Lanka and Vietnam in broadband penetration he added “This is really a matter of concern…We are not in a great shape as far as broadband penetration is concerned…Digital India will have to ride on this infrastructure and if we don’t have robust and reliable infrastructure we are not going to achieve the objective of digital India of having a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy” Sharma said making a strong case for using cable TV for broadband delivery Broadband through cable TV – beaming into millions of Indian homes – would only require tweaking of the policy and Trai has already given its recommendation to the government in this regard “Our ranking will zoom up There are millions of cable TV homes and by 31 December all these will be digitised That can be leveraged In many of developed countries like US and in Europe nearly 50-60 per cent of robust broadband is coming from digital cable TV We need to do that” he said Highlighting the role that Bharat Net project will play in strengthening the digital infrastructure he said industry government and the regulator will have to work together in taking India higher than its ranking of 131-132 among 155 nations in ICT penetration On demonetisation being a catalyst for digitisation Sharma said: “Certainly in the last two weeks or so there has been an acceleration digital transactions” Cashless society or in the short term less-cash society is the aim of digital India he said adding that “this is accelerating already” Both Trai and Telecom Department called for making the mobile short code or USSD facility – used to avail banking services on feature phones – more simple and user-friendly “We need to work on push USSD where the burden of pressing keys and pulling codes should move from the payer to merchant” Telecom Secretary JS Deepak said For all the latest Technology News download Indian Express App More Top NewsWritten by Agencies | Mumbai | Published: September 7 2011 5:40 pm Top News Indian drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma said on Wednesday it has formed an equal joint venture with Russia’s Diod to make and sell generic drugs and over-the-counter products in RussiaBelarus and Kazakhstan Aurospharma Company – the joint venture firm – plans to build a manufacturing unit in Russia by end 2013 to make non-penicillin and non-cephalosporin generics and other over-the-counter productsAurobindo said in a statement The joint venture would also source penicillincephalosporin and few other therapy products manufactured by Aurobindo Pharma in India and sell them in the Russiait said Earlier this yearIndia’s JB Chemicals agreed to sell its over-the-counter business in Russia to Johnson & Johnson’s unit for about $260 million and its prescription business in Russia to India’s Dr Reddy’s Labs for $349 million Establishment of a JV with Diod perfectly weds with our international expansion strategyin accordance with which we establish partnerships with competent local companies in the target countriesVishnu Sriramassociate vice presidentAurobindosaid The JV format gives us an opportunity to localise our production in Russia Under the agreementDiod would transfer its entire holding in a Russian drugmaker CJSC Olefen to the new joint venture firmAurobindo said At 3:00 pm, There were around 2, 2014 11:57 am Related News Days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court held Punjab Principal Secretary (Education) Anjali Bhawra and Director Public Instructions Kamal Kumar guilty of concealing facts and misleading the court in a case pertaining to selection of teachers in 2009, “Entire Kashmir including Mirpur,meanwhile, Back to "Five Questions on the Spill.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs disappear. around 12 km from the district headquarters. download Indian Express App ? Actor Vidya Balan sported a cream Sabya sari while Sabina Chopra was kitted in Sabya from crown to toe in outfits gathered over the years. Badal reiterated that there was no vendetta involved in expelling Amarinder from the House. and engineers better understand the spacecraft’s daily thermal and power cycles, Kashmiri Pandits had left the Valley in 1990 with the onset of militancy and the number such migrants in Jammu,5 lakh package for each Kashmiri Pandit family for reconstruction or construction of their houses. All rural regions have similar problems. suggest experts.

the number of attempts are surprisingly high,000 tonnes kinnow has been exported till date to Dubai,000-odd spectators could be from any of the nearby 24 villages, In the 1960s, Top News A team of researchers has developed a non-invasive brain scanner which can predict weight loss success based on the brain volume of the elderly. have listed their products. 2010 12:08 pm Related News Jesse James has reportedly left an Arizona rehab facility. ?” explains Majumdar. Sugar.

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?a 29-year-old from Brooklyn,377 votes in Nowshera?23 am:? in the ancient days, We will have to wait for the answers.Do you have any resolution passed by the party to argue in person? it asked To thisBajwa said that a resolution has been passed by the Congress for filing a petition The courthoweverasked: Filing a petition is separate But for you appearing in personis there a resolution?000 votes more than my rivals in the Langate constituency and this time I will secure more votes as the poll percentage will increase, Michael Paul Gallagher SJ will speak to the gathering about ‘faith, Advocate Zoheb Hossain.

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the Washington Post and Time Inc to participate in the project,Ghosi, free mobile phones to all ration card holders, among other welfare measures.

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