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“Why be biased to complexions?” Aranya Johar Questions the Society



Aranya Johar

Aranya Johar’s latest spoken-word performance, titled A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty, has taken the internet by a storm. The 18-year-old young and bold poet, has been a popular name in poetry circles for a while now after her poetic performance titled ‘A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender’, had gone viral.

India is a nation that is obsessed with skin colour. In almost every Indian household, young girls and boys are taught to believe that fair or light skin is better. It’s a problem that has been discussed at large, and many men and women have spoken up about how this skin color bias affected them growing up.

Aranya Johar

In Aranya’s latest poem titled “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty” she talks about how beauty brands and the people around humiliated her for being brown.

She emphasized on how young girls and boys have become conscious to their body image and colour primarily because magazines have images of glossy and flawless men and women on their covers.

She rounds up her poem by explaining that before we expect people to love us for who we are and how we look, we have to love ourselves.

Aranya Johar

The poem is important at a time when we’re teaching kids to embrace their identities and not be ashamed of themselves. Young parents could take a leaf out of her poem, so that they don’t end up body shaming their kids like our parents and scores of uncles and aunties did to us.

Click here to watch the video yourself.



Hiren Bhattacharya: The Most Loved Assamese Poet

Remembering Hiren Bhattacharya on his birth anniversary, the modern poet who changed the course of Assamese poetry forever



Hiren Bhattacharya

You know

This poet has nothing more

Just this one shirt

Coming apart at the seams

Love also is perhaps like this

Unclothing itself to state the heart!

The most meaningful and beautiful things in life are sometimes the most simple ones; after all, what life is? A loved one, the smell of the hometown, the memories, the childhood, family, the fallen yellow leaves, water, the cosmos? So simple yet so simply profound. This is what the poetry of Hiren Bhattacharya is like, using local words and the local dialect to describe the simple life, the simple fields, the simple patriotism, the simple agony, and above all, the simple love,  and create an effect that hits right at the depths of the reader’s expansive heart.

What is it that burns in me

That swells

The agony and ecstasy my heart.

In all my senses

Hums the tune of your love

Burns intensely that

Saturates with ash!

Known as the poet of Aromatic Butterflies in the Assamese literary world, the poems of Hiren Bhattacharya are shorter, economical and reflect a strong attachment to rural life. Some of his poems also mirror the political reflection around him, but it is his poems on art, paintings, love, agony, and fear that resonate with the mass of Assam the most. His poems are still used by lovers, and his two nursery poems, “Lora Dhemali” and “Akou Dhemali”, are famous among the Assamese households.

Famously known as Hiruda, Hiren Bhattacharya was born in Jorhat, eastern Assam, in 1932. Majorly a poet, he scarcely wrote in other genres. His first poem was released in 1957, and his first anthology  Mur Desh Mur Premor Kobita, was published in 1972. His published anthologies of poetry include Roudro Kamona (1972), Kobitar Rod (1976), Tomar Bahi, Xugondhi Pokhilaa (1981), Mor Desh Aru Mor Premor Kobita 1972, Bibhinno Dinor Kobita, Shoichor Pothar Manuh, Mur Prio Bornomala, Bhalpuwar Buka Mati, Bhalpuwar Dikchou Batere.

Inside and out of my heart.

Maybe the colloquialism of your love,

Will incinerate me in a slow pace!

Hiren’s exceptional contribution to Assamese poetry earned him many awards, such as the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, Bishnu Rabha Award, Rajaji Puroskar, Soviet Desh Neheru Award, Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992 for his anthology of poems ‘Saichor Pathar Manuh’, Assam Valley Literary Award, (Asom Upotyoka Sahitya Bota) 2000. 

Hiren Bhattacharya, the poet who engraved the name of the Assamese language even deeper and darker on the Indian landscape of languages, left us on July 4, 2012. However, he will always be alive in the letters of the lovers, in the speeches of the politicians, in the humming of the bees, and in the voice of the lullaby-singing mother.

These my words.

In these my words that have caressed

The orchards of my dream

Is the grace of a lifestyle,

The intimate warmth of time.

I have no inventions of my own.

I am like a farmer,

I roll words on my tongue;

To see how each one tastes;

Hold them in my palms to see how warm.

I know words are the lusty offsprings of man’s noble creation;

A mere poet am I

In these words that I have relayed

From other shoulders

Is man’s cruel experience,

And the maulings of history

(English Translation by Pradip Acharya)
Credit: The Talented Indian
Credit: Youtube Jashn-e-Rekhta

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On A Journey To Venture Beyond Limits While Finding Home Within

These poetry performances speak about the daring journey to dream and venture beyond limits while perceiving the essence of home within us.




Family is a lovable poetry within which the art of gathering relationships and blending the right rhythm holds into a beautiful song. Parents and children are the verses to it. The bond needs space to grow and strength to support. Without both, love becomes just a word and the poem becomes already boring. The freedom and affection bind the characters together within the family. Here are some beautiful poetries that reiterate the relationships within a family.

Mujhe Ghar Jaana Hai by Mallika Dua

Fumbling and looking for her specs, Mallika found it tucked in her kurta close to her. Mallika ushers the crowd in to give a glimpse of the soul-wrenching and beautiful process of inching close to her parents by remembering moments brick by brick to create a path ultimately allowing her to grieve and proceed in life with her parents’ aura still with her as she calls them her home. 

‘Mujhe Ghar Jana He’, a sentence, Dua claims to use often also serves as a title in a poetry session on UnErase Poetry, where she recollects and cherishes her memories with her ‘Papa Ji’(Vinod Dua) and ‘Mummy Aunty’(Padmavati Dua). Dua lost her parents last year in June and her father in December within a consecutive short span of time leaving her hopeless and with a sense of no safe haven. 

Through the session, she navigates to find a home (ghar) that she can return back to going back. Beginning from the roots that build the foundation of home. She finds the courage to rebuild the shattered broken remains by engaging herself in the same childhood home her parents built with delicacy.

Amidst her dad’s bookshelf, collection of poetry and mom’s healing hands that engaged all around the house working, she musters the strength to heal and grieve. Going back to her mom’s intricate detailed posts and dad’s poetry book of poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz is where she finds her answers to helplessness, phrase- Khoon mein gham bhi beh jayega , hum bhi na rehenge , gham bhi na rahega’. A line of survival as she interprets it for herself ‘Not to take myself and human life seriously and that I will see him again’ 

The performance beautifully captivates and shelters the purpose. It is a motivational driving force within that encourages and generates the strength to move forward as one encounters challenges in their life to move forward because the ultimate goal has to be fulfilled and the sky is the limit. 

Credits: YouTube (UnErase Poetry)

The Good Kid by Helly Shah

Societal expectation to adhere to certain rules and images often provide layers to an individual or strip off their individuality. Amidst the sense of finding yourself, this piece encourages to gather the courage to emerge as a person who still believes and hopes to defy the boundaries that hold them back and live life to the fullest while making mistakes but with no regrets. 

The Good Kid, a sentence often appears as an example that a child has to mold themselves into. This serves as the title of a poem performed and written by Helly Shah poem featuring Samuel where she sheds light on a child growing up with set goals to be fulfilled and tames urges to contain themselves to behave some way. Instead, she asserts to latch on to ‘the sheet of hope’ and live life with accountability and learning and discovering in the process to accept and be proud of the person you become. 

Helly starts the poem by revealing a secret between a twenty-one-year-old and the mother, who acknowledges the person ‘you were a good kid.’ The lines tumble back in time to age 7 ‘aging backward’ reminiscing the memory of past, a child who puts maximum effort and accepts fate without a question. Proceeding to age 12, a veil of assurance to conceal harsh realities is drawn to provide comfort, ‘you make facade into fantasies.’ Episodes of negligence and ignorance is projected where the person makes a promise to be better at what they do’ 

A sense of alienation is brought in this coming of age poem, where teaches asserts ‘your mind is the spaceship, lost in the void of galaxies. You search for constellation between words and call it poetry.’ Helly sheds light on certain failures, mistakes and disappointments made while moving forward to fulfill expectations.

Helly’s delivery and poetry performance leave a remarkable long-lasting impact. A sense of assurance as well as questioning the life you’ve lived and the potential to alter it. Her words hold the gravity to provoke and generate a new set of ideas and beliefs about life.

Credits: YouTube (Helly Shah)

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Gerimalla Satyanarayana: An Indian Freedom Fighter Poet

This throwback Thursday, we are remembering the Telugu poet and writer Gerimalla Satyanarayana on his 129th birth anniversary.



Gerimalla Satyanarayana

Literature played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle; it inspired the movement and directed people. Many freedom fighters wrote poems, essays, and stories in regional languages to drive the feeling of patriotism and swarajya among Indians. Be it songs like “Vandemantaram” by Bankim Chandra or Jana Gana Mana by Rabindranath Tagore created a sense of unity among Indian people from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They filled their hearts with patriotism while preparing them to jump on the battlefield of swarajya and sacrifice everything they have for the motherland. 

Another such dedicated freedom fighter and nationalist poet remembered for his freedom songs is Garimella Satyanarayana. He lived to realise the dream of the independence of India. His song ‘Maakoddi Tella Doratnam” (we don’t want this white man to rule) was cyclostyled a thousand times, and it was sung equally by everyone. The song, as praised by Mahatma Gandhi, was an inspiration for other poets of the time.

Born on 14 July 1893 in Gonepadu village in Narasannapeta taluq of Srikakulam district, Andra Pradesh, Garimella wrote songs in folk tunes since his school days. Still, his songs took a new dimension when he met with freedom fighters in Rajahmudry (1920). His music Maakodi Tella Doratnam fully blossomed this year and got published the following year. The song resonated with the rural and urban mass suffering under the British raj and thoroughly demonstrated the national movement theme. It perfectly depicted the country’s social, economic and political scenario at the time. Whenever Garimella encountered a new social or political problem, he would add a stanza to the song. Slowly, the song grew to be 162 lines long. 

“The white man’s rule

Outright we reject;

They prey on our lives

And Rob, our Honor”

Every stanza in the poems reflects a problem people faced under the British raj. The poem talks about starvation, hard labour, burden taxes, the serf system, untouchability, harassment by the police, the arrest of leaders, and a sinister divide and rule policy. The main aim of the poem was to inspire people to join the freedom struggle.

“A dozen bumper harvest we reap;

Not a morsel of food we obtain

Salt-to-touch is a crime

And we touch the salt

Into our mouth mud does he throw;

Alas for food with dogs we fought”

Gerimalla was jailed twice for his participation in the freedom struggle, but nothing could stop him from helping his country achieve poorna swarajya. On an individual level, he talked about freedom of a deeper kind, the space beyond any materialistic boundary.

Apart from the song Maakoddee Telladoratanamu, He wrote another famous English poem, “The heart of the nation”. His songs and poems are published in the books Swaraajya Geetamulu (1921), Harijana Paatalu (1923), Khandakaavyalu, Baalageetaalu (1923).

Unfortunately, once India gained independence, one of the greatest political poets of India was pushed to the blurred background and he died in poverty five years later. Today only a few remember his name. However, to keep his heritage alive, in 2020, the training college in Rajahmundry was named after him.

Credit: The Talented Indian
Credit: Youtube Redfrost Motivation
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Kedarnath Singh: An eminent humanist and nature writer

Remembering Jananpith(2013) and Sahitya Academy awardee(1989) writer and poet Kedarnath Singh on his birth anniversary.



Kedarnath Singh

Do you remember the last time you talked about a Bagh(Tiger) or a Neel Gaye(blue bull) or Bhediya(wolf) or Sarso k Khet(mustard field) or jungle(forest) in a way that you talk about the latest cafe in your neighbourhood or the latest movie? As a city kid, probably the only time you must have discussed about a tiger is when you read the news in the newspaper concerning the man-animal conflict. The natural elements that we talked about so much during the 90s and before have become almost equal to a myth; they seem so distant from us. I mean, don’t we go on those long weekends or trips to be with nature as if it is something that can only be found on trips or blogs of our favourite travellers. When did we become so distant from nature? All we see is concrete; all we smell is the dust? Where is the wind that refreshed the mind? Where is the smell of the farmland? The scent of the farmer’s sweat that tills the land?

वहां लोगों का ख़याल था 

कि बुद्ध समझते हैं 

बाघ की भाषा 

पर बेचारे बाघ के लिए 

बुद्ध की पाली 

घास की तरह सुन्दर थी 

और एकदम अखाद्य 

इस तरह दोनों के बीच 

एक अजब- सा रिश्ता था 

जहां एक ओर भूख ही भूख थी 

दूसरी ओर करुणा ही करुणा

For a millennial kid raised in a city, reading writer and poet Kedarnath Singh is like breathing fresh air. He wrote poems on common man problems using natural elements surrounding us like animals, mud, rivers, water, farmland, forest, trees, clouds, afternoons, rain, honey bee, crane etc. He describes life using nature as if in every poem of his he is describing a still painting or a photograph hidden in an old novel. So simple, so static, yet so captivating, This is evident by the titles of his poems as well – Chote Sheher Ki Ek Dopahar, Bagh, Fasal, Basant, Nadi, Badal Oo, Akal me Saras, Sristi Par Pehra, etc. It feels so alive to read him.

काली मिट्टी काले घर

दिनभर बैठे-ठाले घर

काली नदिया काला धन

सूख रहे हैं सारे बन

काली मिट्टी / केदारनाथ सिंह

Born on 7 July 1934, in a small village Chakia in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Kedarnath Singh was a Hindi scholar who taught for more than two decades at Jawahar Lal Nehru University. Initially, he started with writing songs and then, later on, moved to poems. His first collection of poems, Abhi Bilkul Abhi, was published in 1960. His writing is a scarce combination of modernisation set in the background of village life, bringing to light many thought-proving themes through simple poetry, moving minds and emotions at the same time.

Kedarnath Singh was also an essayist, and his writings have been published in books named Mere Samay Ke Shabd, Kalpana our chayavad and Hindi Kavitha ke bimb vidhan. Along with being a writer, he was also a translator, and his books have also been translated into many languages, a testament to his wide range of readers. 

और बसन्त फिर आ रहा है

शाकुन्तल का एक पन्ना

मेरी अलमारी से निकलकर

हवा में फरफरा रहा है

बसन्त / केदारनाथ सिंह

He has been awarded the prestigious Jnanpith award (2013) and the Sahitya Academy award (1989) for his exemplary work. Among other awards, he has also been awarded the Maithili Sharan Gupta Puraskaar, Kumaran Asan Puraskaar, Jeevan Bharathy Puraskaar, Dinkar Puraskaar, Sahitya Akademi Puraskaar and Vyas Samman.

Sadly Kedarnath Singh left us in 2018, but he will always be remembered as a poet who wrote on simple yet pivotal themes, and be cherished as a significant contemporary Hindi poet, writer and essayist. Check out his poems now if you are in for a good poem hunting day. To give you a cue, – start with Bagh.

जाऊंगा कहाँ 

रहूँगा यहीं 

किसी किवाड़ पर 

हाथ के निशान की तरह 

पड़ा रहूँगा

किसी पुराने ताखे

या सन्दूक की गंध में 

छिपा रहूँगा मैं

दबा रहूँगा किसी रजिस्टर में 

अपने स्थायी पते के 

अक्षरों के नीचे 

Credit: Youtube Lallantop
Credit: The Talented Indian
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Read About Nayab Midha’s Khubsoorat Story Of Chasing Her Dreams

“If you want to bring your dream come true, then tell your mad heart to be brave” says Nayab Midha, in an open talk with the slam poet.



Nayab Midha

Born in the beautiful town of Sri Ganga Nagar in Rajasthan at the boundary of India and Pakistan to a middle-class family, Nayab Midha is a compassionate and dedicated youngster who now embraces slam poetry, performing before a huge audience in different locations across India. From missing a train to finding her passion, Nayab Midha has a unique story to tell. The renowned slam poet who embraced words to influence people across the globe- Nayab Midha opens up to The Talented Indian.

The past that dreamt of this present.

Nayab’s grandparents had settled at the Sri Ganga Nagar during the partition of India. She was born while her parents were struggling to set up their careers and stabilize themselves. Her parents are postgraduates. She was moulded to believe in education and its abominable scope of progress as a human being. Thus she started reading extensively at 10 years of age. She feels that is where she belongs and wants to move forward with it.

Nayab loved Mathematics but her father wanted her to be a doctor. Then she landed on being a Software engineer by profession. Back in her college life, she had thought becoming a poet can only be done by being an author. She is used to writing poems from the early days. But only when she went to Delhi for graduation, that she participated in slam poetry competitions in the College. But when she came across people performing slam poetry on stages in malls, she found this new door to execute her ever dreamt desire.

Later, she chose to leave her 2 years of Infoscion life to pursue what her passion demanded- to be an influencing poet. College life gave her opportunities to contest in various competitions to perform her poem. She took the 2 years at Infosys to stabilize her independent life and used weekends to embrace slam poetry at stages in various places like Delhi.

Nayab started taking reading and writing seriously when she was reading the fresh arrival of  Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat while she missed a train and was waiting at the railway station. Nayab says she is so grateful that she missed her train which literally made her take another in her career. She continued exploring books written by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens. But she is more fascinated by Indian authors, especially Hindi writers like Amrita Pritam.

Credits: YouTube (Tape A Tale)

Passion overrides pressures

Nayab believes that whenever she shifted from a particular position it took much courage for her to do so. The first and most risky thing was to leave her job at Infosys. But she strongly believes in and loves storytelling and wants to pursue it as much as she can. To the question regarding societal pressures and pre-established parameters that hinder such unconventional careers, Nayab says she did not randomly take the bag and left the place. She worked for 2 years at the MNC and ensured that she paid her bills and simultaneously chased her slam poetry interests. She made her parents believe in her. Nayab affirms that it is only to the parents and the loved ones that we need to justify our actions and not anyone else. Because one can’t always convince the cent percent people. Nayab proudly says her parents are now absolutely happy with her decision to take the current path. For her, the constant motivation has always been her mother. Also, the catchy themes of any project can make her curious to work ecstatically on it. She playfully adds that paying her bills and feeding her stomach is yet another motivation.

A poem to cherish

Nayab feels that every part of the journey has been special for her. But something to be so genuinely touching was an incident, she recollected. This happened while she was at Chandigarh and was struggling to establish her name. She worked at Infosys in Chandigarh on weekdays and organized events in the city related to poetry and music during weekends. This helped her grab the train from Chandigarh to Delhi to perform once a weekend every month. Then she would go to her favorite place and eat her favourite food as she was so in love with Delhi food. Then she goes to Chandigarh late at night on the same days. During one of the dull days where she couldn’t write well due to lack of time and had to give a mediocre kind of performance. Later a program was around the corner, she asked for a slot and they reminded her not to be like the last time. Relying on the promise. Nayab was given a slot and thus the poem Khubsoorat was born. The organizers decided to release it and informed her. While she went out to have some Dosa at Sharavana Bhavan, she dreamt of getting 100 K views since her previous ones got less than that. Her phone got switched off in the midst of the travel. By the evening when she switched on the phone, the views were 300k and by 9 pm, it got 1 million views. Later it went to like 15 million.

Credits: YouTube (13) STAGE – YouTube

Social media is for all people

Social media has given an egalitarian platform for people from all walks of life to showcase their talents in any art form. The economic, social, or geographic inequalities are overridden by merit and creativity. Equal opportunities are established and auditions don’t matter now if one has the ability to take up chances and uses it effectively. Every person is talented in a unique manner. But there are often cases where works are plagiarised and copied, which degrades the quality of the art.

Risks, Failures, and Success

She reminds us that if you stay there in the pit of not taking risks and following what you want, you will remain there all your life. So it’s better to jump from the pit and get the best out there. Nayab exhorts to climb up the pit even if you fall off. Have the courage to jump, that’s it! Believe that you can grow and mould yourself. Nayab acknowledges failures but never wanted to pursue success without deserving it. She wants to achieve victories when she is prepared and fully ready to receive them. Learning and accepting others’ work is also significant for her. Nayab admires poets like by Rohit Sharma whose amazing poem Mein Ravan Hoon is trending on YouTube. She is so much enchanted with the poems of Pallavi  Mahajan, Nithi Narwal especially Andhera.

Nayab Midha is an inspiration to many. She sets the flame to the cult of upcoming artists or any dreamer to dream big, start small, and finally get their careers built.

Credits: YouTube (STAGE)
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Interior Cafe Night
Short Films5 months ago

Love, Loss, and Reunion: Watch Short Film Interior Cafe Night

Queer Theatre
Humara Spectrum4 months ago

5 Plays that Impacted Queer Theatre History

Janam Aur Jeevan
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Health of Women in Rural India: Watch Documentary Janam Aur Jeevan

Ankit Kawatra
Business Corner3 years ago

The Inspiring Journey Of Feeding India’s Ankit Kawatra

The Untold
Short Films3 years ago

“The Untold” Words In A Love Story Of Two Best Friends

Whistling Woods International, Doliyaan, Preksha Agarwal, Trimala Adhikari, Seema Azmi
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Raat Baaki Baat Baaki, Jackie Shroff, Divyansh Pandit, Wild Buffaloes Entertainment, Filmfare
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Ami Mishra, Mohammed Rafi, Ehsaan Tera, Unplugged Cover, Anchal Singh
Entertainment4 years ago

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Plus Minus, Baba Harbajan Singh, Bhuvan Bam, Divya Dutta, Sikhya Entertainment
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Plus Minus: A Tribute To The Unsung Hero Major Harbhajan Singh

Mashaal, The Forgotten Soldiers,The Jokers' Project, Manisha Swarnkar, Independence Day
Music4 years ago

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Bhuvan Bam, Safar, Single, Original, Bhuvan Bam Safar, Artist, BB Ki Vines
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Navaldeep Singh, The Red Typewriter, Short Film, Love Story, Touching Story
Short Films4 years ago

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Dilbaro, Saloni Rai, Cover, Raazi, Alia Bhatt
Music4 years ago

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Meri Maa, Musical, Short Film, Tarannum Mallik, Abhinay, Mother's Day
Short Films4 years ago

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Meri Maa ki Beti, Niharika Mishra, Poetry, Maa
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Call Center Ke Call Boy Ki Kahani, Rakesh Tiwari, Tafreeh Peshkash, Poetry
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Kajender Srivastava, Jawaab, Poetry, Poem
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Tribute to Avicii, Indian Dancers, Avicii, Amit K Samania, Prakrati Kushwaha
Dance4 years ago

Tribute to Avicii By Indian Dancers Amit K Samania & Prakrati Kushwaha

Varun Agarwal, Million Dollar Company, Anu Aunty
Business Corner4 years ago

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Dum Dum Dumroo, Sanaya Irani, Anil Charanjeett, Akash Goila
Short Films4 years ago

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Manpreet Toor's Laung Laachi
Dance4 years ago

Manpreet Toor’s Magnificent Dance on “Laung Laachi” is Mesmerizing

Music5 years ago

Mashup of ‘Treat You Better’ & ‘Mann Bharrya’ in Melodious Voice of Semal and Bharti

Aksh Baghla
Music5 years ago

Dil Diyan Gallan in Euphonious Voice of Akash Baghla

Ankit Kholia
Entertainment5 years ago

Reminiscing Classics In Ankit Kholia’s Mellifluous Voice

Sang Hoon Tere
Entertainment5 years ago

Sang Hoon Tere : Bhuvan Bam’s Original Single

Aranya Johar
Poetry5 years ago

“Why be biased to complexions?” Aranya Johar Questions the Society

Music5 years ago

Acoustic Version of Tere Mere Song by Dhvani Bhanushali

Short Films5 years ago

Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan : A Tale of Two Best Friends

Music5 years ago

“Naino Se”: An Orginal Composition by Pushpendra Barman

Tere Mere by Saloni Rai
Music5 years ago

‘Tere Mere’ Female Cover by a Young Singer from Haryana, Saloni Rai

Every Skin Glows : Sejal Kumar
Editor's Pick5 years ago

Don’t Judge People on Skin Colour, Every Skin Glows : Sejal Kumar

Knox Artiste
Music5 years ago

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Editor's Pick5 years ago

De Taali Nehraji Ft Ashish Nehra: Breakfast With Champions

Poetry5 years ago

To India: With Love by Aranya Johar

Entertainment5 years ago

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