Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jagjit Singh’s death marks the end of an era

Jagjit Singh by Heritage Arts & Events
Jagjit Singh, a photo by Heritage Arts & Events on Flickr.

Jagjit Singh, considered one of the most popular Ghazal singers of all times, passed away on 10 October 2011 at the age of 70 in Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital. He was suffering from brain hemorrhage.

Though Singh underwent an emergency surgery to remove clots in his brain, he was breathing with the aid of a ventilator and his condition was critical. He was hospitalized in October 2007, following blood circulation problems.

Almost until the last days of his death, he loved to sing on stage and just before being hospitalized, on 20 September 2011 he performed in his last concert held at The Indian Public School, Dehradun, and on 16 September 2011, he performed at the Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai.

Singh’s music knew no borders. He was not only very popular in India, but also in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many other Asian countries and all over the world where there was the presence of Indian Diaspora, Indian culture and even Asian influences.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vasuki Sunkavalli at Miss Universe 2011

Vasuki Sunkavalli, Miss India 2011 (height: 5'8.5”, Vital Stats: 30”- 25.5”-36.5”), poses in swimwear on arrival in São Paulo, Brazil, competing for the Miss Universe title in August/ September 2011 – photo by Bruce Casanova Photography©

Vasuki was born in Secunderabad, India, on 17 August 1984 in a Hindu family, originally from Unguturu village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Her father, Venkat Ramana Sunkavalli, is in real estate business and her mother, Surya Prabha, runs her own boutique in Hyderabad, India.

Vasuki had her schooling at St. Ann's High School, Secunderabad, and later she joined Villa Marie Degree College in Hyderabad. In 2002, she joined the Symbiosis International University in Pune, India, for studying law and obtained her degree (LL.B). In 2007, she moved to New Delhi to pursue a Diploma course in Intellectual Property Rights from Global Institute of Intellectual Property. In 2009, she was granted the Dean’s Scholarship to study International Law and Human Rights and enrolled for it at the New York University School of Law (NYU Law) from where she graduated with a Master of Law (LL.M).

In 2007, Vasuki started her modeling career by walking the ramp at Wills India Fashion Week, and later she participated in various fashion shows for top fashion designers from India and modeled for several popular brands including Kitkat, Nike, World Gold Council, etc.

On 15 July 2011, Vasuki competed against 19 other contestants from India, and won the crown and title ‘I Am She - Miss Universe India 2011’, a national beauty pageant (organized by Tantra Entertainment Private Limited and former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen), which is authorized to send participants to the Miss Universe pageants, after Femina Miss India relinquished its patent in 2010 to send India’s representative to the event.

However, Vasuki failed to make it even to the final 16 at the Miss Universe 2011 pageant in São Paulo, Brazil, possibly because, she could not pose in her national costume which was not delivered to her in time.

It may be noted that the last time India won the crown was in 2000 when Lara Dutta, now a popular actress, had won the Miss Universe crown for India.