Happy Birthay Kishore Kumar


Singer, actor, lyricist, filmmaker and a complete eccentric, Kumar managed to both frustrate and delight those who worked with him. His songs were so melodious with so much heart in them that it’s little wonder that he remains one of Bollywood’s most beloved legends. Out of the innumerable songs that Kumar has to his credit, filtering few songs is a Herculean task. But we tried to put together a list on his 86th birthday.

  1. Hawa Ke Saath Saath – Seeta Aur Geeta.
  1. Musafir Hoon Yaaron – Parichay.
  1. Mere Sapno Ki Rani – Aradhana.
  1. Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana – Andaz.
  1. Chala Jaata Hoon – Mere Jeevan Saathi.
  1. Aa Chal Ke Tujhe Leke Chaloon – Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein.

Kishore Kumar’s reputation remains unabated after his death.  There are endless streams of commemorative works, remixes and repackaging of earlier recordings. India is proud of its musical son who is idolized by many for his melodious voice and enchanting personality. We at zophop wish him a very happy 86th birthday.

People Chennai is proud of

A melting pot of many cultures, Chennai is a well known city in India. But this fast paced metropolitan city apart from anything else is known for its people. The warmth & hospitality of the Chennaites is known to the one who visits this culturally rich place. Chennaites are devoted to their culture & tradition and are very particular in following the age old rituals daily.

There is a popular saying in Tamil called as “Vandharai Vazavaikkum Chennai”, which literally means that Chennai gives life to all those who seeks refuge in it. These fine aspects of Chennai attributed towards the birth of the many legends who have etched their name forever in the history.

1. R.K.Narayan (Creator of Malgudi Days)

He is widely considered to be one of the greatest English language novelists known for his simple & unpretentious writing style. His stories were grounded in a comparison in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of the ordinary life. He is best known as for his works set in the fictional South India town of Malgudi. He is considered to be one of the best novelist India has ever produced as he brought small-town India to his audience in a manner that was both believable.

In a writing career that spanned over 60 years, R.K.Narayan received many awards & honors which includes the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award along with the nomination at the Rajyasabha, the upper house of India’s Parliament.In 2014, Google commemorated R.K.Narayan’s 108th birthday by featuring a doodle showing him behind a copy of Malgudi’s Days.

His Famous works included:-
The Bachelor Of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938), The English Teacher (1945), The Guide (1958) which has also been adapted to a full-fledged movie in 1965 starring Dev Anand , Malgudi Days (1982) and The Grandmother’s Tale (1993).

2. C.V.Raman (Indian Physicist)

Sri Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman’s ground breaking work in the field of light scattering earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. His phenomenon now known as ‘Raman Scattering”, is the result of his Raman Effect Project. The “Raman Effect” is now considered a very significant in analyzing the molecular structure of chemical compounds & his inventions has proved boon to the scientists. Sir C.V.Raman became the ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1924’. His sincere advice to aspiring scientists was that, “scientific research needed independent thinking and hard work, not equipment.” In 1954, he was awarded with the highest civilian award in India, The Bharat Ratna.

3. Dr.A.P. J.Abdul Kalam (11th President of India)

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher”

Little did Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma know that their son would grow up to be the first citizen of India. An Indian scientist and administrator, known as ‘Missile Man’, Dr. Kalam (15th October 1931) served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. One amongst the respected people of the country, Dr. Kalam has contributed immensely both as a president and scientist. His contribution at the Indian Space Research Org. (ISRO) has been immense. Dr. Kalam has authored numerous influential and inspirational books, amongst them ‘India 2020’ was widely appreciated as it forcasted an action plan about advocating India as one of the developed nations of the world by 2020. In 2011, he launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the ‘What Can I Give Movement’ with the main aim to defeat corruption in India. Currently, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam serves as a visiting professor in various esteemed institutes and universities of India. This incredible story of a boat maker’s son who from a newspaper boy went on to become the 1st citizen of India is truly an inspiring in its truest term and strengthen the fact that hard work indeed never fails.

4. M.S. Subbulakshmi (Vocalist)


It would be difficult to overstate the impact made by Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi (16th September 1996 – 11th December 2004) not just in the field of Carnatic music but also as a philanthropist and a person who placed her life at the service of her country and its people. Introduced to the carnatic music at the very early age, she successfully released her first album at the mere age of 10. This flawless singer whose voice had a divine power was the first Indian singer to be presented with Bharat Ratna.

5. Rajnikanth (Charismatic Actor)

Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (Born 12th December 1949) in an impoverished Maharashtrian family, Rajnikanth went on to become one of the highest earning actor by his sheer grit, hard work and down to earth persona. We need not say any more right?

6. Kamal Haasan (Acclaimed Film Maker & Actor)

Kamal-Hassan-Pardaphash-108073 Kamal Haasan (7th November 1954) is a widely recognize film actor, producer, screen writer, songwriter, director, playback singer and choreographer. He is also a leading method actor having experimented with different kinds of roles.

He has won four National Film Awards and several southern Filmfare awards. He also holds the distinction of appearing in most of films that are submitted for the Academy Award for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’. He was awarded Padma Shri for his amazing contribution to the Indian Cinema. His daughter  Shruti Hassan and Akshara has already took on a step forward in the industry to carry their father’s legacy.

7. Ilaiyaraaja (Music Maestro)

Born and raised in a normal middle-class family in Pannaipuram, Tamil Nadu, Ilaiyaraaja (Born 2nd June 1943) Ilaiyaraaja became the first Asian to compose a symphony for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Since the late 1970s, working predominantly in South Indian Cinema he has composed over 5000 songs and background songs for more than 1000 films. Being acclaimed as ‘The Maestro’ of the Indian Music Industry, he has won several popular and critics’ awards and has thrice won the Indian National Film Award for best Background Score. He is the gold medallist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London. Popular world cinema portal ‘Taste of Cinema’ placed Ilaiyaraaja at the 9th position in its list of 25 greatest film composers in the history of cinema.

8. A.R.Rahman (Music Director)

Born as A.S.Dileep Kumar, Allah-Rakha Rahman (6th January 1966) is now the man who is credited with over hauling the tone and the style of Indian music industry. He is a composer, singer, songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, a notable humanitarian and philanthropist. His extensive body of work for the film and the stage has earned him the nickname ‘The Mozart of Madras’ from his fans and critics alike. Working in Indian & International cinema has garnered him the praise of representing Indian music around the world through his works. Rahman is currently one of the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. He has won 2 Academy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, 4 National Film Award & 28 Filmfare Award in addition to numerous other awards and nominations. The nation is proud of A.R.Rahman’s success. Jai Ho!

9. Vishwanathan Anand (Chess Player)

Vishy Anand (Born 11th December 1969) went from 6 year old curious boy wanting to learn chess from his aunt to conquer the world through his spectacular game of Chess, thereby winninng FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000-02 and again from 2007-13. He became India’s first grandmaster in 1988 and the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92, India’s highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan award making him the first sports to receive the award. In March 2015, a minor planet was named ‘4538 Vishyanand’ after him.  Vishwanathan Anand was the only sports person to have been invited for the dinner hosted by Indian PM Narendra Modi for US President Barack Obama on 7th November 2010.





Bollywood songs shot on moving trains

When Shahrukh Khan danced with Malika Arora Khan on top of a moving train in the movie Dil se, he had the entire country doing Chaiyya Chaiyya. But that is not the only song which was shot on a moving trains. Train songs have been an integral part of Bollywood movies, or were at least till some time ago. Here is taking a look at some Bollywood train songs –

1. Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se: Famous for more reasons than one- it is not just the most popular train song in Bollywood but also one of the most iconic Bollywood songs ever.

2. Meri Sapnon Ki Rani from Aradhana: The love affair between Bollywood and trains started with this legendary song.

3. Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai from Dost: Sometimes words have a meaning deeper than their literal meaning. This song proves that.

4. Dhadak Dhadak from Bunty Aur Babli: Anybody who has ever travelled from a small town to a big city in pursuit of opportunities and success can relate with this peppy number.

5. Kasto Mazaa from Parineeti: One of those feel-good love songs with a picturesque setting, happy, smiling faces and romantic lyrics. The fact that it was shot entirely in a steam engine train takes this song to another level.

6. Lucky Lips from Lucky – This is not exactly a train song, well part of it is, but it is so cute isn’t it?

Know of a great train song? Do let us know in the comments below

5th International Jazz festival – An exhilarating experience

The atmosphere at Nehru park was nothing short of magical.  As you entered the garden you noticed, among the dim colorful lights hidden in the green grassy bushes, people of varied nationalities had turned up for the event. 

I was getting bored over the weekend when a push notification on this app I use told me about the Jazz festival being held in Delhi. I was perplexed because this event wasn’t publicized all that well. I did a little research and found out that this is an event organised by the Government of India, more specifically the Indian Council for Cultural relations.

11072122_10206088754959212_794981576_n The crowd in the rear was a very laid back one.  People had brought their picnic baskets and coolers with their blankets and also pillows in a few cases. From family outings to wine bottles being uncorked over candlelit dinners to people swaying to the music, all that jazz was the background score for their evening.


As I moved towards the stage I encountered the more serious crowd. Chairs had been put up in the front section. The stage, the on-stage lights, the sound system were surprisingly very good.

Musicians from so many countries like France to Italy to Spain to Israel to our own India performed over the 3 day festival. For a person who is used to metal concerts a jazz concert was refreshingly different. The beautiful soulful music was one to lose yourself in.

There was this instance where two people from a trio of musicians from Hungary didn’t turn up because of commute issues. Undeterred, the single performer from the trio first performed solo and then called upon the drummer from the Israeli group to jam with. What followed next was the bliss of creation on music. To top it all off this festival did not have any kind of an entry fee.

This jazz festival was a very pleasant introduction to the finer things in life, best enjoyed with a glass of fine wine.

Prashant Tambey was kind enough to spare us a few words for this incredible experience he had.  Mr Tambey is a Mechanical engineer by profession and a traveler – guitarist otherwise.  He also designs and sketches  – here is a very beautiful sketch of Scarlett Johansson. If you are keen to discuss about travel in the southern, western and northern parts of India you can connect with him here.

Did you visit the Jazz Festival? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below –

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