Print sings a song for Sunday (Part II) - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Whilst in lockdown, printers and related industry personnel have recorded their own version of an old or not-so-old classic. It may not be Bhimsen Joshi or Madan Mohan, but the second of the two-part series is guaranteed to brighten your day.

Enjoy! This fun Sunday Column - Part II

03 May 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

Ajay Joshi, vice president, supply chain, Penguin Random House India

This Penguin Random House India vice-president, supply chain, spent his childhood in Alwar, a small town in Rajasthan with rich cultural heritage and the beautiful backdrop of the Aravali Hills.

Fond of singing since his childhood, Ajay also learnt to play the harmonica so that he could hum some music whenever, wherever he couldn't sing.

On a red moon day, you may spot him singing a folk song from Rajasthan or tracing his eight-year-old daughter's Kathak steps.

He is also the company's cricket team captain and has brought home numerous trophies. He has recently completed 10 years with the company.

For all the tea lovers, he makes fantastic masala chai. Get him to make you a cup.


Amitabh Luthra, managing director of Printers Supply Co

He’s the Punjabi from Bengal. And when he wears the South India lungi, he even threatens the Corona with the Rajinikanth phrase, “Mind It”.

In that FB post, he looked like a Bangla-Punjabi anna, who is choubis ghante chaunkanna.

Luthra, the print equipment supplier, sings Kenny Roger’s You Decorated My Life, a song which coats gratification for one’s soul.

Rogers, who passed away a couple of months ago, sent a piercing message with the song, and the melody emotion.

He made the song romantic. This is Luthra’s tribute to the great singer.


Ganesan Venketaraman, deputy general manager, equipment sales at Heidelberg

This singing-salesman has not learnt music formally, but his mother, who was a Carnatic singer, was a great influence.

She taught him basics of music and they would sing together during family functions and get-togethers.

“Whenever there’s a function in Heidelberg, my colleagues insist that I sing, which I gladly do,” says Venketaraman.

When we approached him to sing a song for this Sunday Column, the ardent fan of SP Balasubramanian and Carnatic musician Sudha Raghunathan, obliged. “

It’s an opportunity to exhibit my singing skills too,” says Venketaraman, who sings Ayarpadimaligayil, a Tamil devotional song sung by SP Balasubramainan.

Lisa Milburn, managing director, Labelexpo global series at Tarsus

Labelexpo India has been one of the successful shows in India, and the driving force behind the success is Milburn, who took over the management of the Labelexpo global series in 2013.

She also manages major technology exhibitions around the world, and has become an integral part of the Tarsus growth.

But Milburn also has love for music, all kinds, from classical to Rolling Stones, Beatles, Steroephonics, Robbie Williams, Pink.

“I grew up with a father who played and listened to music in every spare moment, he still does. My partner is a bass player and we often sit together in the evening playing music.

Whenever I get the opportunity I will always sing, I love it.”

Here Milburn sings the Gladys Knight and the Pips' 1973 hit, Midnight Train to Georgia, a song that began as a country ballad and earned a Grammy in 1974. Happy listening...


Mandar Joshi, sales Director at Reproflex3

Joshi shared his track with a note of caution, saying I am not a professional singer, but I like music.

“It’s a stress-buster for me. Whenever I am tense, I prefer to listen to music and feel relieved.”

When I heard the song he has sung, it certainly did not sound like a professional voice, but it was pretty decent.

In any case, this two-part singing Sunday Column is not a competition, it’s just show, singing side of print.


S Narayan, Printex, Chennai

This Chemical Engineer from NITK, Surathkal is also known as DuPont Narayan.

It’s a quirk of fate that brought him into the graphic arts division of DuPont in the last 1980s after a stint with Godrej Soaps in Chennai.

Five years into DuPont service handling Cromalin proofing systems, film processors, and the like, the entrepreneurial bug caught him and he grabbed an opportunity to become an all India DuPont distributor in 1990.

Singing comes naturally, says Narayan, and though a lover of all the great singers, he is partial towards Kishore-da, who he considers his “guru”.

“He is a master of melancholy and grief,” quips Narayan. “The power of his bass and the built-in melody/ reverb in his voice attracted him other than his Bengali origin which in itself was a great draw.”

And that Bengali connection comes from the two decades (the '60s and '70s) he spent in Kolkata.

It ensured that he received a constant dose and appreciation of Hindi music through the radio and during the poojas on the loudspeakers everywhere.

Narayan’s favourite music directors are Madan Mohan, Salil-da, LP and both, RD and SD Burman. The rendition here though is a Kalyanji-Anandji gem from Safar.


Rajan Vyas, co-director at Nitai Press

Vyas, with his brother Nitai, runs the labels manufacturing company in Ahmedabad.

The brothers began their print journey initially as a pre-press trading house, jumped into offset printing, before firmly landing on the labels scene.

Today Nitai Press is a successful label company with a plant spread across 13,000-sqft and converts over 2.5-lakh sqm of labelstock every month.

But that’s not all. If there’s one voice which creates a buzz at the LMAI awards nights, it’s Vyas’s.

“My family, friends and relatives always told me that it was the god gift,” he said, adding, “It’s also an “ashirwaad” of my father, who also sang well.”

Vyas’s favourite composers are KL Sehgal and SD Burman, who, he says, were maestros of their time.

Among singers he likes Mohammed Rafi and Manna Dey but is a big fan of Kishore Kumar.

“I always try to meet the depth of his voice and enjoy.” Here’s Vyas singing the Kishore Kumar-RD Burman hit, Kehna hai Kehna Hai from the movie Padosan. Enjoy…


Rajat Padhi, head for strategy and product management at ThermoFisher, Mumbai

Rajat Padhi is an ex-DuPonter and is currently working with ThermoFisher, leading strategy and product management for chemicals division.

Padhi has been in business management, sales and marketing, programme management, training and coaching for 22 years now, but he takes his singing very seriously.

Tune into Rajat Roxx on YouTube, and you will know why.

He loves all kinds of music — rock, pop, rap, metal, IndiPop and Hindi film songs.

“I am especially fond of 1980s pop and rock.

My favourite singer/ bands are George Michael, Def Leppard, Collective Soul, Roxette, Amit Kumar, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam and lately Ed Sheeran,” he says.


Simadri Biswas

Biswas, formerly with Manugraph, and currently a teacher at RIPT, has a voice you can easily mistake it for the legendary singer Manna Dey.

Here, Simadri performs the popular Bengali modern song by Dey himself — Coffee Houser Sei Addata Aaj Aar Nei (Those conversation at Coffee House are gone).

Originally recorded during the 1980s, this nostalgic ditty is a tribute to Kolkata's famous intellectual hub, Coffee House, located on College Street, as the song (written by Gouriprasanna Majumdar) captures the ‘golden late afternoons' spent by seven friends at the iconic hangout joint.

According to Amitabh Luthra of Printers Supply, Biswas plays the mouthorgan and keeps students enthralled with his lectures as he includes a lot of witticisms and similes.



Sunil Kumar, sales manager, Heidelberg India

With some talent in their midst, it’s time, Heidelberg India started a music company.

Peter Rego, Ganesan Venketaraman and Sunil Kumar here, I am sure there would be more.

Kumar is a printing technologist from Guru Jambheshear University Hisar and has been with Heidelberg for the last nine years, managing North India territory.

Listening and singing songs, especially Punjabi songs, is his hobby, and his favourite singer is Gurdas Mann.

And as one would expect from a Gurdas Mann fan, here he sings Peer Tere jaan Di.


Suresh Ramakrishnan, executive director, Trinity Academy

Ramakrishnan is the ex-publisher of Haymarket Media India, and has contributed management related article in PrintWeek. He says, he was an avid listener of music since he was a kid, and it not just the song, but the music, the instrument.

“The percussion and the combination thereof fascinated me enough to devote at least two hours to listening every day.... to this day.

Ramakrishnan thanks his wife, Sheetal, for encouraging him to join her in learning formal music, a little over three years ago. I was hesitant at first but relented to visiting this music academy, Shruti Sandhaan in Chembur. It just took one meeting with its founders Umesh Bipin Khare and his wife Sangeetha Khare (who happen to be the teacher as well) for us to sign up with them and there has been no looking back.

It's been three years now and Ramakrishnan says, they feel fortunate and blessed to be trained on light music vocals, combined with understanding of ragas. “They mostly pick songs from the golden era of music — 1940s to the late 1960s.

Each one of them has intricate detailing combined with meaningful lyrics and singing each one of them feels like sheer bliss.” Ramakrishan shares one such song that he learnt at the academy. “I hope you like it,” he says.


Tushar Bhotica, director at SAPCO

You may find this weird, but Bhotica says, he shocked one of his counterparts on an outstation trip, who asked him: what is his passion. “Printing is certainly not my passion. It's more of a job that I do and yes, whatever I do take up as a job or a task, I do it with all my heart and soul.”

Bhotica, who runs a successful packaging company, says, his first love and passion has always been music and dance.

“I have been trained professionally by Shaimak Davar, and currently I am learning music from a music guru in Mumbai.”

Part of a music group called, Sangeet Kala Kendra, Bhotica has been performing music shows. “As the name suggests, it’s all about music and dance. I have about seven or eight shows with them.

Listen to Bhotica sing the number from Rajesh Khanna-starrer Do Raaste, originally sung by Mohd Rafi...


And finally, our printing teacher, Dr Rajendrakumar Anayath, vice-chancellor of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology shared this song.

Dr Anayath, who is a regular Sunday Column reader, said, “I would have loved to send you the song, if I knew the content of this week's Sunday Column earlier.”

The Printing Anthem is sung in the international circle group meeting of printing teachers and researchers, represented by 75 countries.

The song was conceived and produced by Prof Larisa Dmitrieva of the department of printing and packaging production technology, Omsk State Technical University in Russia. 

“It was shared with me some ten years ago by Prof Dmitrieva,” says Dr Anayath.

He adds, “I have sung this song with my international colleagues many times, and I want you all to listen to it.”


Print sings a song for Sunday - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column (Part I)