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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Inquilab - the story... the commitment...the youth

1) Could you tell me the main theme of the song?

The intention is to give us the strength to stand up and unite against the terror.

2) Pls tell me a bit about the inception of the song. How do you conceptualise it? Tell us about the creative team behind it? Tell us a bit about Prince Ali and Raqeeb Alam? How long did you take to make this song? How do you plan to distribute the song?

We wanted to do a song on unity. And so Prince Ali was kind enough to compose the music for it and though we had recorded it in english first, brother Raqueeb Alam agreed to write it in hindi and it was very kind of him too. We have done this together, in order to help any initiative that may be out there, and as musicians, this is the first step for us. Film - makers are welcome to discuss taking it to the next level :-)
Still in the process of distribution ideas, however it is a song for the people and so it's only right that the people help distribute it.

Mr. Srinivas and Mohan, Bryan and James, all helped in getting this on the sites. Vithur and the arrahmanfans group have posted this everywhere online. Look forward to any other ideas from anybody out there on the same.

3) There seems to a very potent sense of revolution in the song, something on the likes of Lalkaar from Lagaan? Was this an intended effect?

I think the anger is evident in all of us, and we are trying to use it constructively through song, to provide strength.

4) How have the attacks in Mumbai affected you as an individual? Has it changed your perception of life?

It is very sad..and still a shock.. having lived there for several years, it deeply angers .. that there is so much hate... but again, only unity in strength and love can overcome this... so we pray.

5) You have openly spoken about bringing to task the crooked police? Tell us about that.

Whenever there is an issue that touches, we feel to write about it.. hence when the issues with policemen being in the wrong came to light, we felt the need to address it. But today, with the way the police who were there in mumbai, fighting for us, and the way in which the security services laid down their lives for us, it truly is a blessing that they 'serve to protect' even in the toughest conditions. They are true heroes and we salute them. Right now, we love the police - no doubt.

6) What do you think the youth should do in order to set things right? What do you think the government should be doing?

The youth need to unite. Need to vote. Need to study politics, actively, to be ready to join when educated about it, to serve the country and bring back respect. Government needs to be more sensitive to its people. We all need to appreciate the freedom we have today...

Q & A


1. What made you decide to choose this career?

Destiny… I wrote my first rap in 1991 for the elections in Zambia. Had written a poem and my father read it and got his colleague, Ben Chiyesu, to play the guitar on it, and we performed it Live on ZNBC, the national TV station. That same week, the president won the elections and it became news that an Indian guy had rapped! Ever since then, I knew the power of Rhythm And Poetry (RAP) in telling stories and sending messages. However, as a career, that happened only in 2002. Have been struggling throughout those years to make it a career, and when I finally gave up in ’99 and concentrated on my Film degree(BA Cinema) and started working as a Producer for a music channel, and then a radio DJ in Mumbai, India, the call from Mr. A R Rahman came. That moment defined my career’s struggle… and hence destiny decided this would work – finally – Amen.

2. When did you first realize that you were famous?

Famous? maybe when in Zambia and I wanted to perform in ’93 at my old school, Mpelembe, and the girls, who normally would have not even said, ‘hello,’ were asking me to autograph their clothes!

3. How and why did you choose the name “Blaaze” for yourself?

Firstly, my full name is Lakshmi Narasimha Vijaya Rajagopala Sheshadri Sharma Rajesh Raman:

lakshmi narasimha - from a pujari at ahobilya mutt who told my grandad lakshmi narasimha is coming
vijaya - as i was born on a vijayadasami day
rajagopal - grand fathers name
sheshadri sharma - great grandfather sheshadri as my sharma
rajesh - mum was a big rajesh khanna fan hence rajesh
raman - dad's name

and blaaze - to encompass all of the above ...

It started as MC Blaze. MC meaning Mic Controller… then the accent on the e’ for the sound, and the extra a to make sure it was pronounced right.


4. Your number in Shivaji-The Boss was a runaway hit… what was your experience working with “The boss”?

A R Rahman was ‘The Boss’… Am yet to meet Mr. Rajnikanth… for real… it’s all prayers…and I guess the blessing to get a break with Rajnikanth’s Baba, which was really well received, lead to the next song.



5. You have worked with some of the greatest music composers… who is your favorite and why is it so?

A R Rahman. The greatest. He is magical and truly knows how to get the ‘best’ from each of his artists.

6. What is the one song which you have rapped/sung that remains to be your favorite to this day?

In My Father’s Words’ – It is a song that emphasizes that all religions preach One God – ( I believe in the words of the Prophet Mohammed, never to underestimate the power of the moment / I believe in the sacrifice of Lord Jesus, with the resurrection I believe that he freed us / I believe in the teachings Om Namah Sivaya, I’m a say it again, Om Namah Sivaya / I believe in the words of the wise today, I believe in what my father had to say )

7. You are known as a “responsible rapper”… Is it a conscious decision to have clean cut lyrics?

It is a conscious effort to rap about issues which matter to me. The rest follows, I guess.

8. Who is your inspiration?

Tupac Shakur. He was the realest and most soulful rapper that ever existed. He truly is my Guardian Angel too.

9. How does it feel to be the first Indian artist to be featured on an international channel like Vh1?

Feels like a blessing. Feels like knowing that maybe I am on the right path.

10. You have always been politically vocal through your songs (In My Father's Words,Ban the Crooked Police do you think more artists should voice their opinions through their music?

Yes. Infact, Rap is known for its power of the word… and so I do believe the pen is mightier than the gun.

11. What are you’re the current projects in your pipeline?

Inquilab – Stand Up & Unite … a song for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. A song for strength and unity. Please support the song by hearing it and forwarding it to your friends. Its free and its sincere.
Slumdog Millionaire… working with Rahman and Danny Boyle was amazing
ZambeZi Funk … my album with Sagar. Due for release in March 2009.
Global One Music … an album with 20 singers from around the world. To release early next year.
The Thirukural Album … trying to bring the kurals to a new generation of listeners. The first one releases with Mr. A R Rahman this week on his forthcoming album, Connections.

12. What made you decide to come out with an all English rap album?

Zambezi funk… Its an album with Sagar Desai and its more African in style and I think it’s time our ‘funkalistic syllables’ were ready for the world.

13. What advice would you give someone who also wants to enter this field?

Pray.. keep the faith.. persevere.. don’t give up… keep it real !!

14. Good luck in all your future endeavors… Is there anything you would like to tell your fans out there?

Do something for your community. Do something for society… through whatever way you know possible. Make a difference whilst on this earth. Smile for me …

Monday, December 15, 2008

My mother's ordeal... 'open' letter to hospital



Rajesh Raman
Son Of Mrs. Sathyabhama Raman
Abhiramapuram
Chennai – 600 018
Date: 15th December, 2008

To
The Management,
Chennai Meenakshi Multispeciality Hospital Ltd.
148, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore, Chennai 600 004


Respected Sir,

It is with utmost disappointment that I am compelled to write this to bring to your notice the complete inadequacy and disrespect shown to my mother and fellow patients at your hospital.

My mother, Mrs. Sathyabhama Raman was admitted to the hospital on Friday, December 12th 2008. Having been under the care of Dr. GS Kailash, she is being discharged today, thankfully. Please note the following and do ensure the services are improved so as to help other unfortunate patients who may have to suffer the added pain of your services alongwith the illness already diagnosed. A copy of this letter is being given to all concerned departments.

Saturday December 13th 2008 - Room 211

9.27 pm – 10.00 pm

3 times was attended for medication / reports / drips
Nurse left patient on all three occasions half way…

(hospital excuse) – shortage of sisters

9.00 pm – previous 48 hours (since admission)

Patient has acute bronchitis alongwith other illness, and had been administered nebulisation – ON A BROKEN MACHINE !
Complaint in the form of a doubt was raised by the patient’s daughter-in-law, Nandini Raman, on first nebulisation, as it seemed to not work.(i.e. no trace of smoke from machine mask during nebulisation). No positive response from nurse who was attending and mentioned it is ..as is.
Second day of nebulisation, I, Rajesh Raman, was present in the evening, and being a severe asthmatic patient myself, knew the nuisances of the nebuliser, and this time when complaint was raised by myself, to the sister on duty, she AGREED that the unit being used since her admission to the hospital, was and still is…BROKEN.

(hospital excuse) – as a patient, you should have complained earlier, says the nurse!

Emergency Bell kept at bedside – response time - 7 minutes - after three rings and patient walking to desk to ask for attendance !

(hospital excuse) – there was nobody at the desk to attend to bell call.

10.12 pm

3 injections through intra-veinous (IV) was administered to patient in 21 seconds. Am curious as to whether this is common practice as my mother was in tremendous pain.

(hospital excuse) – this is the way it is done.

07.15 am Monday, December 15, 2008

After being in room 211 since Saturday, 13th December, the bedsheets of the patient have been changed only now, and that too after polite requests to do so by myself. 3 days later? A bedsheet change?

(hospital excuse-overheard) – lack of sheets

09.15 am

Dustbin changed and replaced WITHOUT removal of the bin liner inside, with cotton swabs and tea stains etc still in the new change. Complained to head nurse about some basic sense of responsibility required and prompt replacement was made.

09.30 am

Had to request for toilet to be cleaned … as it has not been cleaned since admission.

(hospital excuse) – not sure …


Am truly appalled by the further stress and pain an admission to your hospital may bring to fellow patients like my mother. Please do take action.
For God’s sake, if not for humanity.



Regards

Rajesh Raman
(15-12-08)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Light A Candle at www.blaaze.in

thanks to srini, mohan and the team at knack... vithur and the brothers for spreading the word.. and all of you for the strength... the track is being taken up by MTV to work on for a video, and is currently on my official site, blaaze.in , wherein you can 'light' a candle for the victims too whilst hearing the song... also officially on radio nri too...thank u bryan, james, david and the team... to mukul, blogeswari, kirthi and arun ..thanks... peace... Jai Hind !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The sound of my soul




For the first time in an indian studio, there was a gentleman who came up and spoke to me about RAP... real rap music history.. to the legends... to the way it worked.. and that he loved the Baba Rap! To me, he was the ultimate man of musical knowledge unlike anybody i have ever known.

Mr. H Shridar.

Wisdom personified.

Ever since my first meeting with him at Panchathan studios, to every single song i have ever done with A R Rahman, he has been the man behind the sound. He taught me, ' how to hold a mic - correctly.' yes - he taught me how to monitor myself. He taught me how not to get caught up in this hustle of an industry, and he has patiently made sure that everytime my voice is on a song, it would sound 'just right' because he made sure it did.

When we toured the US, he was so amazing ! He was a man who would do so much work, and still be smiling. His smile was infectious, and i long to see that smile again. A longing which is not allowing me to think or write in clear ways. ..

During one of the tours in the US, we were at a huge basketball stadium, and he was engineering the sound for our concert from the centre on his console... on the walls around were jerseys of famous basketball stars, and as i shot that on my vdo cam, he mentioned that i should give him a copy... it still is with me... i need to give it to his sons, though my guilt is killing me for my laziness to act then.

In Atlanta, during our last tour, he came with me to the music store and he told me to buy my current 'in-ear monitors.' He was very busy, but took the time out to get me that set and taught me how to use it too. I joked that one day, i would use it a concert where only he would do my sound...

recently when the credit lists for yuvvraaj were out and my name was missing, i had been told that he wrote the credits and yet they printed wrongly... due to all the mess, it finaly came through that he had Indeed written it correctly, yet they* messed up.. he was truthful, sincere and a gem of a human being. I miss him a lot.

About 2 weeks earlier, on the last few days of slumdog millionaire mixing, i spent some nice nights with him in studio. He was smiling, working and puffing along... he reminded me not to smoke! He spoke about so many things that nobody else knew about rap. who will i talk to now?

He then mentioned how he had made my voice sound so smooth on the Dating song, for its hindi release and he had enjoyed it. He was there to make sure we sounded good, always.

He spoke to me about the thirukural song, 'Respect,' which i dedicate to him, as he loved the way he had mixed the voices so precisely... When you guys out there hear the song, you will know what i mean. Respect to you, Sir.. Respect for your life's dedication to music... Respect to your loved ones... Respect to Sound... ... for your sound lingers in my heart always and forever... in all i do... and all i hear... With Love... and prayers... ... ... though i may never have told you straight up - I love you man ...

Inquilab

we all need strength... to go thru the terror ordeal and the following weeks' actions are crucial to our resilience... (a word getting more familiar as we pretend all is ok time and again)... it is not.. and as a citizen of this world we all need to do something in our own ways to help create change!

we have a song called Inquilab, Stand Up - Unite, to give to the world... the hindi lyrics are by Raqueeb Alam and music is by Prince Ali. Have started by mailing it to all on my list.. trying to get it on radio and sincerely would appreciate ideas on getting it out there more... 

Do let me know how... am trying through the networks, but to no avail, as yet... maybe you should hear the song first... tell me how..?

May God Be Kind... 

Peace
BlaaZe


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MTV YOUTH ICON NOMINATIONS

two weeks back, i got a call from Vaibhav Vishal at MTV Networks... 

this was to inform me that my name had come up in the final 30 candidates out of 8000, to be a nominee for this year's PEPSI MTV YOUTH ICON AWARDS 2008 ! Thought it was a 'bakra' at first, but then realised the blessing was truly heaven sent. Have never received an award nor nomination before, and honestly, the work is done because it has to be done... however it is a nice feeling to know the work is making a difference somewhere - sometime. So i'm honoured that the songs on issues and problems in our society, that we try to address through rhythm and poetry, and which have been a struggle in every step of the way, (as there is no record label support for 'real issues'), is being acknowledged. 

They have put together a few of my messages etc and it will be on air from tomorrow on MTV, and is already online at the site. The next blessing was that Mr. A R Rahman has also been interviewed and mentions his good wishes... wow.. i am so thankful, that i have not only mentioned it to him immediately, but have seen the clip about a million times already !

Would be great if you could check out the video, and enjoy the contest too...

It's all good... 

And oh yes, as president-elect Obama said, 'your vote counts...yes we can !' 

If you got a moment, do vote.. 

'SMS Icon  BL to 56882 to vote'




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Radio NRI - Bollywood & Beyond

Radio NRI - Bollywood & Beyond

Did an interview up here for diwali... sounds interesting.. check it out... have a great diwali guys !!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roxygen Rox !

Been a while... thank u for all the comments earlier and your patience...

Guitarist Christy Samuel (of moksha and roxygen) was in town since his earlier move to australia, and it was good to catch up. Incidentally, he was the one who introduced me to Sagar desai, together with whom my band is formed, ZambeZi funK, and we await the debut album release, soon, godwilling. 

They had a jam session, organised by Mr. Pramod, featuring the band Mother Jane and others. It had always been a fascination for me to perform live, and with a tight band like the one Roxygen put up, it was a blessing. So we had timmy doing his magic on vocals, keith on bass, jim on keys, ... ... and christy. Sound star Sean Bout made sure the decibel level was loud enough!! They were kind enough to invite me up to jam on, ' come together,' and it was truly kickin' !! 

As a band, their vocalist, Leon, had passed on - young by age and extremely talented - and though i had not met him before, there is a feeling of restlessness within me when i think of his dreams and his unfinished work, which i always feel when i am around these amazing musicians of moksha... the band which i believe, gives chennai a true sense of rock fame. As the rock genre seems to be on an upswing again here, it would be great for moksha to release the unreleased material they have and to grace the big stage again... with the spirit of Leon to guide... 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Praying for forgiveness

Well its been a busy June... hoping things materialise in July. Jaane Tu released and is doing well. Happy for the entire team ! Our track, Pappu can't dance is bangin' in the clubs which is great...had worked with Genelia during the shooting of Boys and she has surely grown into a 'Star' with perseverance...god bless - "when ah me ah see you at the dance in di hall and ah when ah me ah see you at the dance - say!"

Tomorrow, Sakkarakatti releases... the trailer for the first song is ready, and the launch should be a grand affair. Had great fun working on the track, Taxi-Taxi, and i guess having done the 'autorickshaw' theme song from Oram Po, to having the title song from 'New' being used for the 'motorbike' ads, and now to 'taxi', my transportation is steadily progressing !

However, i wanna take it back to the bicycle!! Been on my mind for a long time, not just since the fuel price hike, but in general, even for staying fit. So i had made up my mind to keep the 'chevy' in the garage, and go find a BSA or HERCULES or whatever is gonna suit my cycling dreams...

Asked a few friends, no clue. So got online and googled for shops selling cycles in chennai. Got a whole list. My GPS on the HTC phone isn't too helpful at these times and resorted to trying to discover the place myself. Bad idea. Found the shop after 45 mins, cause of the construction work going on etc. Finally got there, and was pleasantly surprised to see cycles with 21-speed and 6-speed gears, all shining like my bling ! Wow, i thought !

The only thing i didn't realise was that i hadn't sat on a cycle in maybe 18 years !!

And as i started to circle the pavement around the shop, i slowly started to realise the fact that not only was it a bit uncomfortable, but also the weather was blazing hot! And with my skin condition, which is an added extra i received with my asthma, the heat was burning through and starting to penetrate. The baggy pants i wore had to be tied with a band as the they were flying everywhere, including getting stuck between the pedals/shoes/seat.... it was a funny sight indeed!

With that, i waved bye-bye to the shop, stepped into my car, started the ignition, turned on the a/c, added my share of carbon to the ozone to help speed its depletion, and .... ... ... prayed for forgiveness...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bonus Time

(on March 24th, 2005 - R.I.P. Rajesh BlaaZe Raman)

Bonus Time


About a month ago, we had planned a trip to visit Nandini's parents on the Holi weekend... by train. We had the tickets booked and the trip was scheduled for thursday 23rd march, 8.50 pm train till Abu Road from Bandra Kurla station, and from Abu Road to their house by road, to the top of the mountain. We were to be picked up by Nandini's brother, Bobby.

Incidents Not Allowing Us To Leave

5pm - thursday march 23rd

Mum, Nandini, Mrishti had all packed their bags and were sorting out the other last minute stuff. I had just completed packing by bag - and was in the process of packing my laptop. My trolley bag was packed with everything that was BlaaZe...my whole life work actually - my cv from 1991 till date with all the works completed. 5 videos of my new songs. my discman. my best clothes. video camera, lyrics note book, unreleased music collection and some photos.

As i started to pack my laptop bag, i found a sealed envelope, in my grandfather's name...V.Gopalan, with our old house address in Chennai. This has been in the laptop bag since the time of my fathers demise i assume, and though i had seen it earlier, i never had the inclination to open it. However, when i showed it to mum, she asked me to open it, and as i did, we were surprised to see a silver pendant inside...Guru bhagavans. Mum placed it on my chain and as i wore it, i thought to myself that thatha has now wanted to me to wear this...Now.

Just then, nandini came in and said, there has been a problem with tickets..they are still waitlisted and the travel agent says it will be impossible to get it confirmed. After a few moments of thinking, we thought it best to actually go to the station and try to hustle to get on the train, as is vey common here through the railway authorities. Plus we had packed 7 pieces of baggage and 2 hand bags, including the baby pram for mt. abu and a walking chair for another baby.

As we went downstairs, i went to get a cab. For over ten minutes i was on the road looking for a cab...NOT EVEN ONE...in mumbai city 8pm??? Very strange ! Nevertheless after a long wonder as to what is goin on, a cab arrived. We rushed to the station and had a close miss with a bus...almost banged into the side of the cab...though rough reckless drivers are common in mumbai.

At the station, we tried all possible means to get the ticket, which was now waitlisted at numbers 3,4 and 5, to be confirmed. The TT said..not possible at all. Another uniformed officer said in good clear english...Do not board this train. Even the offer of money to another TT did not work. As we were moving back from the platform, a lady dressed in all-white, came upto only me in the whole station and asked for something. i usually would oblige, but knowing that i would be sleeping in the train, i carried no change in my pockets, and hence refused the lady. But as i saw her again, i thought it was a widow in white...with a passing thought of Nandini...... still i walked away. As mum and Nandini followed, they assumed that since i usually wear bright clothes/bandana etc, hence the lady approached only me...and we walked away.

We came home and were extremely upset that our planned trip was not going to happen. We still tried to get the tickets for the next day. And also decided that mum would go straight to baroda in the afternoon train.

Friday, March 24th

We woke up and the discussions about how to leave were still on. Mum's train was at 14.50pm to Baroda. I was ready to go and drop her at the station, and as we stepped out of the house, i tripped and fell down the stairs. Seemed like a bad sign. Mum said a prayer, and we continued though.Nandini and Mrishti were leaving the house to come down, and just then, Mrishti vomitted all over nandini, hence forcing them to go back in the house and clean up. As we sat in the car to leave, just as i started to reverse after packing the bags in the back of the car, i suddenly noticed an unseen Maruti right behind the tail bumper..parked all this while! Hence the car was unable to reverse.

We decided not to pursue this trip or any trip at that moment and came home.

As we sat around gloom faced, i mentioned that we would never know why we were stopped from going, but we all agreed everything happens for a reason, so no need to sulk. Just then, akka had called to tell us that today, march 24th, 2005, our thatha was to attain Moksha * We then explained how i had found the silver pendant in thathas sealed envelope and after that our trip kept getting blocked etc...and felt he made me wear that now, after all this while to protect me.

As we spoke that we would never know the truth, Neelkandan ** called and asked if we were all fine. We said yes. He said he just felt like speaking to us and the rest will be told later.

We waited till almost midnight to hear from … ... then, he called.

He mentioned that in his prayers he was told to tell us that today morning, from Abu Road station to Mt. Abu there was to be a major accident...and...One of us would not be alive anymore.

As for the pendant from my thatha, his attaining moksha this day, my bag full of my life's work, the lady at the station in white, the delays, the hindrance with the cab and so many other trivial signs which led us away from the disaster....these are the works of my angels. All around us - every day - everywhere. Thank You All for my BONUS TIME.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quick Thank You'z

Gotta say, as i woke up this morning, the ever-so-increasingly-addictive blogworld called out to me, and what a pleasant surprise... Mizz Chinmayee (whose blog is just so inspiring!!), had the 'kindness' to link me up... thank you... and from around 7 readers on day one, to over 200 and still counting, on day two, she's really got me going...
To all of you who left a comment, will reply in detail to each question, in time, godwilling.
Just to let you know, i will get back to you... timmy, ram ramamurthy,nandini, anantha, narayanan venkitu, padmasani, maha, madhav, vishesh, sheetal ambar, visves iyer, kirthii, aravind, bit rocks and also mr/miss anonymous... thanks for taking the time to comment... god bless...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Food & Shelter

food... yes its truly a choice and in india, we are blessed with the inumerable options we have... taste/spice/price !!

(shel*ter n. 1.a. something that provides cover or protection, as from the weather. b. a refuge, a haven. c. an establishment that provides temporary housing for the homeless)

shelter... !! used to be taken for granted that this would always be provided for magically as a kid... never heard about 'rent' and always thought the process of shifting houses was only for different job moves. Ofcourse, this is because having grown up in zambia, my dad had a great contract in terms of lifestyle, where accomodation, fuel and education were all taken care of by the company he worked for...
Today, it's the single most sought after thought by people in all demographics of society... 'where is home'
It seems that, a 'home' of your own, is getting constructed further and further away from the cities, in the hope of newer cities beginning and older ones expanding... even though it still seems like a few lifetimes worth of work in order to own the place you 'really' want.
We saw another place today morning, and yes it was nice, yes it was far, yes it was independent, but... it was still too damn expensive !! Is real estate ever gonna get reasonable? Are there people who complete their EMI payments whilst still working and fit? Will we still be searching for a house at the end of the year? Will i simply start charging 'a lot more' for my concerts?
hmmm... there's a thought...
Well well well... finaly here at blogworld... decided today was a good (auspicious)day to start ! Ama Vasya day, did 'tharpanam' for my dad and ancestors. Feelin like goin down memory lane ... here's a little something i posted to the Zambian Newspapers about him, after we moved back here for good... makes me think how time flies...



CHIEF IN DISGUISE...

Sunday Nov.9th 2003

Dear editor,

hi..this is Rajesh Raman, better known in Zambia as BlaaZe' - the rapper from Kitwe.
Well, i am now based in India and rappin is always goin strong. However i write this to you, because for 25 years, my parents had been in Zambia, until a few months ago, when my father passed away...

Mr. R V Raman is my dad's name. Ours was not a typical Indian household living in a foreign land. The main reason i think is because my father worked as an architect, originally in the copper mines, and then with other organisations, helping to lay a foundation of structures in Zambia that will last even after his time. The Sathya Sai School, various offices for the mines, the fencing around hospitals, pipelines and so many numerous things that still benefit thousands if not more. I had never been too keen on exactly what he was doing and why... but it's too late now. I realise that his constructions and his visits all over zambia, from the copperbelt to southern province, northern province, north-western province etc kept him working hard ( too hard sometimes ), but he always was happy when fellow Zambian colleagues smiled. This time when i came to Zambia to perform the last rites for my father, ( as i was not present when he passed away ), i was amazed by the people and the stories his colleagues and ex-colleagues had to tell me. This is when i realised that though we all go in search of fame and fortune, my father silently had cared for and served the country which gave him a home, and his family an identity. I am a Zambian with Indian Genes...proudly!
On the night my dad had a first heart attack, my mother had called her neighbours at Lubambe centre who were there with my dad in his last moments. They rushed him to Wusakile hospital, right opposite the copper mines, and there he had a second attack. His last vision was the copper mines and his last breath was the Zambian air. By the following night my wife, my sister, brother in law and niece were in Zambia, only to see him as a body without a soul.
Even though Zambia had been a home away from home for us for so long, we knew that this time when we had to leave, it would be for good. So, within two weeks, we cleared all the formalities and were ready to bring our mother back with us to India. When arranging to leave, my mother had kept two sets of trousers-shirts and all my father's belongings to just give away to every colleague, every worker, every friend my father had been with during his time in Zambia. They were very thankful and told me this...Only in the villages of Zambia, whenever a chief passes away, he gives his things to his tribesmen and people. Your father was a true Chief. Our chief.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank everyone in Zambia, for your kindness and friendship. Thank you.

As for me, the rapper, well am busy working with musicians from Asia and am touring too. Always maintain and remain real. A Zambian with Indian genes is who I am and Zambia is where my career began and is still continuing...

Peace
BlaaZe