Indian one-man band blows, strums and sings against smoking

This picture shows Indian singer and songwriter Gladson Peter waiting for his transportation to a performance in Mumbai on May 5, 2017. (File photo by AFP)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Indian one-man band blows, strums and sings against smoking

MUMBAI: Indian musician Gladson Peter strums the ukulele while blowing into a harmonica and smashing a cymbal using his foot as children from one of Asia’s biggest slums clap and cheer.
Peter, who can play 45 instruments, claims to be India’s only one-man band and enjoys something of a fan following for his renditions of popular songs, including Ed Sheeran hits.
The 24-year-old, a keen musician since the age of three, performs to raise awareness about the dangers of passive smoking after he lost part of a lung as a teenager.
“My shows are the hook through which I share my messages that can change someone’s life. Many people have come up to me and apologized for tobacco consumption and have quit smoking,” Peter told AFP.
At college in his late teens, two holes caused by tuberculosis were found in one of his lungs.
Peter feared that he would never play wind instruments again.
Doctors said the disease could be exacerbated by passive smoking. So last year he decided he would form a one man band, playing 11 instruments, as part of his own anti-smoking awareness campaign.
“We built the equipment in a week, rather miraculously, and I kickstarted my performances,” said Peter, who has since played around 200 concerts across India.
The instruments in his repertoire include guitar, melodica, bass drum, slide whistle and tambourine.
He now plays 13 at once using a kit that weighs around 25 kilograms, no mean feat given his weakened lungs.
“Though I cannot even run half a mile, my faith keeps me going and when I wear all the instruments and become the one-man band I feel empowered,” he said.


Hawaii shark bite victim previously attacked by bear, snake

Updated 22 April 2018
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Hawaii shark bite victim previously attacked by bear, snake

  • Dylan McWilliams, 20, is either the luckiest or unluckiest man alive, depending on how you look at this
  • The bear dragged him in its teeth by the back of his head

WASHINGTON: It was third time unlucky for a Colorado man attacked by a shark in Hawaii — as he had already been mauled by a bear and bitten by a rattlesnake, all in less than four years, local media reported.
Dylan McWilliams, 20, was bodyboarding in the ocean off Kauai on Thursday, when what he believed to be a tiger shark between six and eight feet (around two meters) long chomped him on the leg, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
The outdoorsman — who said he has worked as a survival training instructor — was able to swim around 30 yards (meters) back to shore, where a bystander called paramedics.
“I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what,” he said.
McWilliams, of Grand Junction, western Colorado, received seven stitches in hospital — just months after he was given nine staples in his scalp following an altercation with a black bear at a Colorado summer camp last July.
As he slept outdoors, McWilliams said he was awoken by the bear biting the back of his head. It then dragged him, only dropping its grip as he punched it and poked it in the eye.
“I guess I was just in the wrong spot at the wrong time,” he said of the attack, which caught the attention of media outlets worldwide.
The two attacks followed his first run-in with a rattlesnake during a Utah hiking trip. However, he told the Star Advertiser, the bite was not severe, and he was only ill for a couple of days.
“My parents are grateful I’m still alive,” he added.