Monthly Archives: January 2014

Underground Authority wins India’s biggest rock competition

Hornbill International Music Festival puts Nagaland on global music map


 Curtains fell down on India’s biggest rock competition in Kohima on December 10 as Kolkata-based rockers ‘Underground Authority’ were adjudged the winners of the Hornbill International Rock competition. The alternative rap rockers from Kolkata outshone the best of the best of 150 bands that entered the competition to walk home with the winners prize bouquet of Rs 1 million – the largest prize money for any rock competition in India – and a host of other gifts and packages.  

The spectacular finale of the rock competition at the Solitary Park in Kohima saw the Nagaland Government’s Music Task Force – organizers of the competition – dole out prize money totalling up to a whooping Rs. 17.2 lakhs besides other gift items.  ‘We The Giants’ from Nagaland and ‘The F16s’ from Chennai were placed first and second runners up. Both bands went home Rs.3.5 lakhs and Rs.2.5 lakhs richer respectively.  

The Hornbill rock competition, an integral part of the annual Hornbill festival, had evolved from a local beat contest about ten years back to a national level contest from 2008. This year the festival was launched globally under the title of Hornbill International Music Festival. Bands from USA, UK, UAE and other countries had taken part in the music festival this year.  Herein it is imperative to state that Nagaland is the only State in the country to have a special government cell, Music Task Force, for promotion of music.


The rock competition is part of the Music Task Force’s Hornbill International music festival which continues for the entire duration of the Hornbill festival.  “Besides the completion, other events in the music festival included a special performance of Biuret Band, Republic of Korea to commemorate the achieving musicians of Nagaland, performance by Semper Souls (USA), a country and blues concert besides a choral music competition. The Hornbill music festival also saw the staging of the Queen musical play, ‘We will rock you’, directed by Ate Kevichusa,” Gugs Chishi, Director of Music Task Force, Nagaland Government informed.  

The Hornbill International rock competition marked the conclusion of the 10-day Hornbill cultural extravaganza. According to Nagaland Chief Minister Nephiu Rio, the State witnessed an inflow of more than 1.6 lakhs tourists during the ten-day carnival.  The rock competition also saw prizes being awarded in the individual category. While S. Serivasagar (Underground Authority) won the Best Vocalist, the Best Bass Guitarist award went to Aren Longkumer (Infuse, Nagaland). Best Bassist went to Soumyadeep Batthacharya (Underground Authority), Best Drummer prize was awarded to Sourish Kumar (Underground Authority) and Best Keyboardist was awarded to Harshan Radhakhrishnan (F16s). All the individual winners were awarded Rs.30,000 each.  Besides the prize money, sponsored gifts were also given to the winners. True School of Music, Mumbai also sponsored various special category prizes worth Rs. 30 lakhs.

Popular Naga band and winners of MTV Rock On, Divine Connection, made a special appearance at the show on Tuesday.  The Hornbill International Rock contest was divided into two segments: the first part involved submission of compositions by rock outfits of the country. The second segment saw the selected bands battling it out for three days of competition at the venue. As many as 150 bands had applied for the competition and after gruelling rounds of auditions, nine bands were selected for the grand finale.  

Assamese Sufi sensation enthrals Delhi


 Making the entire State of Assam and Northeast proud, Mumbai-based Assamese singer Chitralee Goswami recently gave a scintillating Sufi performance during the prestigious India International Trade Fair which concluded last week. The concert, held at Lal Chowk Theatre in Pragati Maidan, left the audience spellbound and also marked the emergence of a new Sufi sensation.

 On the 24th of last month, the Lal Chowk open theatre gallery was jam packed from afternoon itself to listen to new sensation from Assamese who has managed to carve a place among the very few Sufi singers of the country.

 Chitralee’s 3-hour long performance, which received an overwhelming response from the audience, included a number of original Sufi compositions of her Guru Pandit Rakesh Sharma of Dill Gosain Gharana. Chitralee in her renditions included lyrics of Baba Farid and Bulle Shah besides, her own composition “Dum Ali Dum-Uski Khudai” and Amir Khusro’s compositions.

 Earlier in an interview, Chitralee mentioned that besides pursuing traditional and contemporary Sufi music prevalent in various part of the country, she also took inspiration from Assam’s traditional music Jikir, Jari and Tokari Geet from her childhood which have a Sufi element both in lyrics, renditions & philosophy.

 Chitralee Goswami, over the last couple of years, has made her mark as a Sufi singer. Apart from eastern, western and northern parts of the country, she is invited on a regular basis for live concerts in places like, Mysore, Bangalore, Chennai, Srirangapattan, Vijaywada. Her performance in Kerala has met with appreciate reviews in the Southern press and media.

  A leading female vocalist of the country, Chitralee is an acclaimed stage performer and a vocalist of the National Radio and Television. At the initiative of her late parents, Prabhat Narayan Goswami and Biva Goswami, she was exposed at a very young age to lot of folk music (lokgeets), bhajans, Ravindra Sangeet as well as borgeets which she started performing right from the tender age of 8. She received talim for advanced khayal & ghazal gayaki from internationally renowned music director and Commonwealth award winner Guru Pandit Rakesh Kumar Sharma of New Delhi.

  A trained classical performing artist, she later veered into semi-classical and light forms of Hindustani as well as Karnatic music. Besides music, she has also achieved a number of milestones in her professional life. “I live music,” says Chitralee who is a Cost Accountant, Post Graduate in Finance, Batchelor of Law, Master of Music and a Doctoral Scholar in Economics. She has served some of the premier Institutions of the country in responsible positions such as Deputy Registrar and Head – Finance, Head-Internal Audit & Head-Academic Affairs of Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), Head- Corporate Communication, North East for ONGC, Finance Controller of AMTRON, Deputy General Manager, Finance at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd & Visiting Faculty to Guru Goving Singh Indra Prastha University, New Delhi.

 A perfectionist in all her endeavours, she is presently serving ONGC’s Western Offshore Basin at Mumbai.

 (Published in The Sentinel (Symphony) on December 7, 2013)

Want to become a millionaire? GP Baroowah shows the way!

The book launch

The book launch


Well-know economist and writer Gautam Prasad Baroowah recently released his new book, Be a Millionaire, at the Guwahati Press Club. The press meet was attended by a number of well-known writers, officials, bankers and corporate personalities.

Be a Millionaire is a book on empowerment for planning personal finance, especially for Indian middle class with a stress on the investors from North East, the publishers informed.

“Nobody can live decently without making provisions for food, shelter, and cloth. For human beings to provide for above provisions, wealth creation is necessary. Even monks need money for sustenance. The great prophet like Swami Vivekananda once said that no proper worship would be possible with empty stomach. People nowadays enjoy a much longer life than before,” the website for the book states.

According to Baroowah, this necessitated the emergence of Personal Finance for security of family members, for continued better health, and for better livelihood.

“This book attempts to make our young citizens much more investment savvy. It is not an effort for spoon-feeding. This would ultimately inspire one to be a millionaire. This is not just a copy book or handbook of notes that would make investors a millionaire automatically,” he said.

The essays of the book would only empower the mind and inspire one to take his/her decisions honestly and truthfully.

Gautam Prasad Baroowah is a business economist and a human resource management expert. Baroowah was the corporate vice president of Williamson Magor and Banking Ombudsman of RBI besides being in board of many companies.

An award-winning writer, he now writes regular columns and author’s books.

(Published in The Sentinel (Symphony) on December 7, 2013)