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    Dated : Saturday, January 05, 2013

A laser documentary to repay a debt

Ashok Easwaran

Indian American Manick Sorcar, who has devised a laser show to pay tribute to two eminent Indians, Swami Vivekananda and magician PC Sorcar, says he is only repaying his debt to them.

Manick is the son of the famous magician and combines his day job as a lighting engineer in Denver, Colorado, with a passion for art and laser shows.

The year 2013 is the the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and the birth centenary of Sorcar's father, which he considers a happy coincidence.

“Swami Vivekananda has been an inspiration all my life, particularly in teaching me to arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. My father, for whom I did all the lighting and art work backstage for his magic shows, has been the main source of inspiration in mixing art with science. Both men have played an important role in shaping my life of which what I am today,” Sorcar said in an interview.

He said he had a great interest in doing a laser documentary on Swami Vivekananda. “My research started in 2005 when I visited the Art Institute in Chicago where Swamiji gave his inspiring speech (at the parliament of the world’s religions in September 1893). I was subconsciously looking for his footprint. After searching the drawings, I could trace the exact spot where he had exactly stood to give the speech, and I found this discovery thrilling. Last year, when I received an invitation from the Ramakrishna Mission to do a laser documentary on Swami Vivekananda, my dreams came true,” Sorcar added.

The two-hour laser programme is divided into two parts. “The first hour is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda. This is preceded by a laser live prayer-dance based on a work of Swami Vivekananda. The second half is a laser show celebrating the centenary of my father, with laser applied to his magic,” Sorcar said.

He will also display his multi-media artworks on his father. They range from kaleidoscopic watercolours from his school days, acrylic paint, spice and seed-art, to laser art.

Swamiji premiered on last October 10 at the Grand Theatre of Science City in Kolkata. Sorcar said while he was deeply grateful for the critical acclaim, what touched him was the appreciation from the monks of Ramakrishna Mission.

“Vivekananda taught me no great work can be accomplished with gimmicks or publicity stunts. From my father, I learned stage art. To all that I have mixed my fine art and practical experience and educational background in electrical engineering and lighting. Laser is state-of-the-art in lighting, which I have mixed with live action on stage and tamed the dangerous light-beam to act as a harmless paint brush,” Sorcar said.

Sorcar, who has won several awards in the US for his laser art, brought the technology and helped to build a laser animation laboratory for “Laser Lighting for Art and Animation” at Jadavpur University, where it is now studying towards a degree in electrical and illumination engineering.

Bollywood fashion trends

Bollywood is one of the biggest trendsetters in the country, and in 2012, desi style hotted up the film and fashion charts alike. From some spicy Womaniya tadka, with ghetto-style attitude and flair with a dash of earthy yet sexy ethnic wear, to the somber, no-make up approach of English Vinglish — the styles reflected varied themes that took over the big screen this year.

While Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar took over roles of sometimes rowdy, sometimes Robin Hood cool, shades-adorned macho men, the tinsel town beauties like Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma and Alia Bhatt brought a young, urban vibe to the movies.

Regional flavour was also infused as the female characters went ethnic with stylish helpings of modern-day phulkari, colour-blocked, vibrant suits and bold bindis, balanced with simple yet classy ethnicity and a devil-may-care attitude. While Ranbir Kapoor’s tiny-braid and Priyanka Chopra’s messy, curly, mop in Barfi! made an easy, young statement, Kareena Kapoor’s sharara in Agent Vinod set the screens on fire.

Other fashion spottings included coloured trench coats, and checkered scarves.

Regional Spark: The super-desi oomph of actor Sonakshi Sinha in Son Of Sardaar, the Marathi quirkiness of Rani Mukerji in Aiyyaa, and the parandi-laden, spicy Punjabi energy of Huma Qureshi in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, are some of the stylish highlights of regional, neo-traditional style, that took over the screens this year.

Shade up: Quirky, fun and rustic attitude was personified by the glares sported by actors across films in 2012. From the trademark Sallu aviator look that returned with Dabangg 2, to the effortless spunk of all the shady business in Rowdy Rathore — this accessory treated with a filmy touch, was definitely a hit. From street markets across the city to high street fashion and luxury labels — glares, aviators and sunglasses have always been a favourite with the fashion conscious, and B-town added to the fashion factor.

Sharara style: The song Dil Mera Muft Ka in the film Agent Vinod saw Kareena Kapoor in a bright, deep-neck sharara. The outfit, which spelled fun and sexy at the same time, inspired many affordable replicas and young fashionistas aspired to get the hot Bebo look.

Scarves spotting: The Keffiyeh-style scarf made a comeback with Salman Khan in the Bollywood’s super-grosser, Ek Tha Tiger. Another actor seen sporting the trend was Akshay Kumar  in the film Khiladi 786, complete with checks and fabric baubles.

The mini-braid: After sporting the Rockstar look in his 2011 film Rockstar, actor Ranbir Kapoor flaunted a tiny braid in Barfi! this year. This look became an instant trend with the city youngsters.

Dared to bare: As bold women characters ruled the cinematic space, makeup went non-fussy and nude, and silhouettes became simple, adding an earthy dimension to the characters on-screen.

The youth brigade: From designer handbags to super-stylish evening dresses, and high-definition makeup, films that were youth-oriented saw the actors indulge freely in unabashed, high-trend fashion. Movies like Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Student of the Year and Cocktail personified the sexy, unfettered looks.

Trench coats: The trench coat added sophistication to the style of Bollywood ladies onscreen. While Katrina Kaif’s orange Burberry number caught the attention of many, Aditi Rao Hydari’s shade of peach in the film, London, Paris, New York, was also super fashionable.

By Snigdha Ahuja and Debasmita Ghosh. (HT)

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A risk-free life is far from being a healthy life.
— Deepak Chopra
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