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Legendary Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis passes away at 96

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Mikis-Theodorakis

‘Serpico’ and ‘Zorba the Greek’ music composer Mikis Theodorakis has died at 96. The beloved Greek composer’s rousing music and life of political defiance won acclaim abroad and inspired millions at home.

The Greek flag was lowered to half-staff at the Acropolis as three days of national mourning were declared. Theodorakis’ death at his home in central Athens on Thursday was announced on state television and followed multiple hospitalisations in recent years, mostly for heart treatment.

Theodorakis had a prolific career that began at the age of 17. As a composer he began in earnest, as he worked in a huge range of genres from film scores and ballet music to operas, as well as chamber music, ancient Greek tragedies and Greek folk, setting the work of leading poets to music, including Spain’s Federico Garcia Lorca and the Greek Nobel laureate Odysseas Elytis.

A music series based on poems written by Nazi concentration camp survivor Iakovos Kambanellis, ‘The Ballad of Mauthausen’, described the horrors of camp life and the Holocaust.

But it was the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ ‘Zorba the Greek’ in 1964, and the slow-to-frenetic title score by Theodorakis that made him a household name. The movie starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, and Irene Pappas picked up three Academy Awards.

Fans of his music were as varied as his work. ‘The Beatles’ sang a cover of his song and he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.

But the towering man with trademark worker suits, hoarse voice, and wavy hair also is remembered by Greeks for his stubborn opposition to post-war regimes that persecuted him and outlawed his music.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared three days of national mourning, posting a photograph with Theodorakis at his home following a recent hospitalization.

“I had the honour of knowing him for many years and his advice has always been valuable to me, especially concerning the unity of our people and overcoming divisions,” Mitsotakis wrote.”The best way to honour him, a global Greek, is to live by that message. Mikis is our history.”

Born Michail Theodorakis on the eastern Aegean island of Chios on July 29, 1925, he was exposed to music and politics from a young age.

Theodorakis began writing music and poetry in his teens, just as Greece entered World War II. During the war, he was arrested by the country’s Italian and German occupiers for his involvement in Left-wing resistance groups.

Bollywood

Bombay HC extends relief to Rakhi Sawant till February 1 in case filed by Sherlyn Chopra

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday extended relief to Rakhi Sawant till February 1 in a case registered against her by another model. 

Justice MS Karnik extended order of no coercive action Ms Sawant till February 1 as the complaint sought to file an intervention application. 

A model and actor had filed an FIR against Ms Sawant alleging that the latter circulated her obscene videos to the media and made derogatory statements against her. 

Amboli police had booked Ms Sawant and her lawyer Falguni Brahmbhatt on November 8, 2022, under sections 354A (sexual harassment), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult) and 509 (insulting modesty of woman by act, word or gesture) of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 (transmission of obscene content in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

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Bollywood

ABHM activists booked for ‘Pathaan’ protest

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A case has been registered against activists of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) who protested at a cinema hall in Agra against screening of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Pathaan’.

SHO, Rakabganj, Pradeep Kumar said that the incident occurred within the limits of Rakabganj police station of Agra where a case was registered against five or six unidentified people.

Meanwhile, a Home Department spokesperson said that the state police has been directed to maintain vigil on outfits that have given a boycott call or plan to oppose the release of the movie on Wednesday.

The police have been also directed to take action against anti-social elements as well as maintain law and order.

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Bollywood

Esha Gaur makes B’wood singing debut with ‘1920: Horrors of the Heart’

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Singer Esha Gaur, who has sung title tracks for TV shows, is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Vikram Bhatts ‘1920: Horrors of the Heart’, which stars Avika Gor in the lead role.

Sharing this information, Esha acknowledged that it was her mother who discovered her singing talent when she was very young, and credits her for the way her career has shaped up.

“My biggest work achievement till date is ‘1920’,” Esha noted.

“I am from a doctor’s family; my father, brother and grandfather are doctors,” Esha said, adding: “My mother had an inclination towards singing and she figured out the singer in me when I was four-year-old, and because of her my musical journey came out so well. I have done Master’s in music.”

Esha is well-known for singing the title tracks of TV shows such as ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhi’ as well as ‘Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega’ in ‘Lakeerien’ and ‘Rangrezz’ in ‘Apna Time Bhi Aayega’.

Talking about her first break, she said: “I performed in the Sangam Kala group in 1994, where I won the first prize. Kalyanji-Anandji called me after looking at my performance and that was the biggest achievement in my singing career.”

Asked who her favourite singer is, she shared: “Asha Bhosle, as she is so versatile which is what I like the most. Also, I think everybody should choose to be low profile as it’s the best thing you could give yourself.”

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