Papon’s Soulful music from MTV studio and MAD festival

Papon enthralled the audience at Fernhills Palace Ooty, at the recently concluded MAD festival. The very talented Papon, did it again in the latest episode of MTV coke studio, where his performance of Tokari, has caught on everybody’s imagination.

Tokari is a folk song from Assam. Tokari is a form of traditional folk music in Assam, which also originates from the Assamese instrument dukari. Papon has added a lot of electronic elements to the song. This form of folk music is slowly dying out in Assam & this is Papon’s attempt to give it some focus and bring it back to life.

Glimpses of the M.A.D music festival at the Queen of hill stations Ooty

It’s more than three months, since the MAD festival and we are still dizzy from the glitz and frenzy that unfolded for three days in the month of April at Ferrnhills RoyaalPalace Ooty. Three days of Music, Art and Dance, a whirlwind of activities, soulful music right from rock to folk and free spirited indulgence – all on the star-lit lawns and woods of the Ferrnhills Property.
Our 40 acre property was milling with music lovers, travelers, photographers and the like. All had come together to celebrate music that cuts across genres and countries. The ‘MAD’ culmination of music, arts and cultures against the backdrop of our Heritage Hotel, kind of transported us back in time, when Maharaja’s patronized various art and cultural activities to promote a talent or creed. It was befitting that a contemporary music festival be held in the erstwhile summer palace of Maharaja of Mysore, in the picturesque hill station of Ooty. As the likes of Raghu Dixit and Papon performed to a live audience, everybody relaxed and rejuvenated in the perfect weather of Ooty.
Our guest list included Raghu Dixit, Papon, Indian Ocean and Isha Sharvani. As they soaked in the colonial charm, we strived to ensure that all the guests and the audience got to enjoy every minute of their time spent at Ferrnhills. It was a MAD extravaganza that had continuous performances on two stages built on either side of the woods at Fernhills property. The woods doubled up as the bar and a flea market, where audience could relax and shop to their heart’s content. Big brands like Kingfisher, Blackdog and Signature had set up this bar in the nature’s lap. The jam sessions and the paintball zone added the zing factor to this vibrant festival . We look forward to hosting another M.A.D festival in near future.

Isha Sharvani’s dance video from the MAD festival Ooty

As Isha Sharvani performed at Ferrnhills RoyaalPalace to a mesmerized audience, all we could think of was capturing this great dance form into a video and treasuring it for life. Isha is an accomplished acrobat dancer, whose claim to fame were the flawless aerial moves in the movie Kisna. More recently she has become a household name for her beautiful renditions of various bollywood dance numbers on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, a popular show on Colours Television channel.

Daksha Sheth Dance Company and Isha have put together the dance show named Shiva Shakti that was performed at Ferrnhills RoyaalPalace. They will be touring this show for the year 2012. It is a Tantrik interpretation of freedom. It is a representation of a desire to unbound, and go beyond boundaries. Seeing Isha perform live against the backdrop of an erstwhile palace was magical and the vast expanses of lawns made the dance interpretation of being free come alive. The dance form, though contemporary is an improvement on various Indian dance forms and skills.

With great reviews from Madhuri Dixit, Remo and Karan Johar, along with some astounding scores, we are sure that she will emerge as one of the toughest contests to beat on this show. Here’s wishing Isha great success for her television endeavor. We hope to see many more brilliant performances on the show, just like the one that we witnessed at Ferrnhills RoyaalPalace, Ooty.

Forget the rakhi gifts, its time you went on a weekend break this monsoon

Its Raksha Bandhan today; a day to celebrate the special bond shared between a brother and sister. In childhood, this day is all about buying that special rakhi for the brother, dressing up in finery, eating a sumptuous family meal and finding that perfect gift for the sister. Then as we grow older, there are a lot of things to worry about, an office where you can’t get an off, an exam that the sister can’t miss, the increased physical distances, and the memories tend to fade in the hustle- bustle of life. But the bond is still there, it isn’t regular fights and fun but a few quick messages on chat, or a quick phone call twice a week. Does this mean that you love your brother/sister any less? We don’t think so!
This Raksha Bandhan show your brother/sister that you care. With the weekend round the corner, take your sibling and go out for a family break. A time where you can bond all over again. We have compiled a list of holiday destinations for you; that will help rejuvenate your body and soul.

Ooty hills
Ooty – Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund or Ooty is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Todas, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. Today the town’s economy is mainly based on tourism and agriculture. The town is connected to the rest of India by road and rail, and its historic sites and natural beauty attract many tourists every year. Ooty is situated in the Nilgiri hills, also known as The Blue Mountains. It is unknown whether this name comes from the blue smoky haze given off by the eucalyputus trees that cover the area, or because of the kurunji flower, which blooms every twelve years giving the slopes a bluish tinge. Ooty served as the summer capital of the Madras Presidency and other small kingdoms, much visited by British during the colonial days, and as today, a popular summer and weekend resort. It even has a summer palace of the Maharaja of Mysore which is now converted into a resort. The lofty mountains, great lakes, dense forests, sprawling grasslands, miles of tea gardens and eucalyptus trees greet the visitors en route to Ooty. The hill station itself is a land of picturesque picnic spots.
Kabini – Kabini is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka, probably because of its easy accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding a large picturesque lake, and fantastic sightings of large herds of elephants. It is 80 km (50 mi) away from Mysore and 205 km (127 mi) from Bangalore, and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. Situated on the banks of the Kabini River, this forest reserve is spread over 55 acres (22 ha) of forestland, steep valleys, and water bodies. Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life. There are a number of resorts around Kabini that offer a 2 day package with stay.
Goa – The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot. Goa has a distinct monsoon magic. As it is an off season, the hotel rates would be cheaper. It’s a different side of goa that offers lush green surroundings, a cruise down the river, wildlife and river rafting, museums, churches and the local markets!
Kerala Kerala is an important tourist destination in India; the backwaters, beaches, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery are theKerala Backwaters major attractions. National Geographic’s Traveler magazine named Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world” and “50 must see destinations of a lifetime”; Travel + Leisure listed it as “one of the 100 great trips for the 21st century”. Monsoon’s bless Kerala with astounding beauty. One can check the home stay’s available at Kerala and take the ayurvedic spa treatments, midst the coffee, coconut and spice plantations.
So what are you waiting for, its time you woo your sibling and have some crackling fun, just like the olden days!