The phones of Bijoy Thangaraj and rest of the Stunning Six band have been ringing incessantly since Monday.
Thangaraj, 23, has been declared one of the worldwide winners in the US Department of State’s online video contest “My Culture + Your Culture = ?”. His three-minute video “My Culture + Your Culture = World of Wonder” was chosen from among 170 entries by a panel of judges. The contest judges were musician, performer and author Toni Blackman; actress and Founder of the Cancer Schmancer Movement Fran Drescher; graphic artist Milton Glaser; president of the Egyptian Cultural Civic Education Organization Raafat Khalid; and founder and former co-chairman of New Line Cinema Bob Shaye.
The members of this band are not only colleagues — engineers working at Honeywell Technology Solutions’ facility in Bangalore —but share a passion for music as well. “It was a great team effort and all of us plan to celebrate over the weekend. The award has encouraged us to take part in more contests in future. I want to explore the world of contemporary gospel music a few years later,” said Thangaraj, a BTech from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Thangaraj said his colleagues Aurovind R, Gitesh Joshi, Ramesh Murugan, Deepika Gulati, Shubhapriya and he worked on the video for three weeks. “We gave it our best because we did not know anything about the competition or our competitors,” he told HT.
Along with other winners, Thangaraj will spend two weeks in the US shortly to explore his professional and creative interests and be awarded a package of multi-media software provided by the Abode Foundation.
“Bijoy’s video captures the spirit of the competition, filled with colourful images of India and cultures around the world. The soundtrack he composed is sensational, with its uplifting tune and message of peace,” said US Embassy spokesperson Elizabeth Fitzsimmons in a press release issued in New Delhi on Tuesday.