Monday, July 16, 2018

Ghanashyam Bali

Jagdish Bali's post informs of the  shocking,sad demise of  Ghanshayam Bali, a personal and Facebook dear friend.
I am taken back in timeline to the year 1986 when I was undergoing training cum probation at Ghumarwin .
One fine day a gentleman turned up in my office and introduced himself as Ghanshyam Bali, NYK coordinator.Nothing official about the meeting but he had come to know that some fellow Shimlaite was there and had decided to meet me.
As the conversation progressed,I came to know that we had more things in common than being from the same district.Like me he was also a post graduate in English.He had  taught in College as casual Lecturer.
Subsequently, I left the station on being posted to Pooh .Later, when we met, he had been selected as a Treasury Officer and was working as such.
When after spending 18 years in different parts if the state , I got posted in 2002 for a brief period in the Secretariat, I found him working as Deputy Director Small Savings on deputation.He came across as a sober honest gentleman who always talked in a low voice.We kept meeting after long intervals. It was always a pleasure to meet him.
The last we met was some 2-3 years back at Kali Bari temple and had a long rewarding conversation.
His passing away comes as a shock as I always found him active, hale and hearty.
RIP dear friend ,I have met very few like you !!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Baljee's Restaurant


The news that Baljee's restaurant at the Mall, Shimla is closing down has come as a shock.Situated in the middle of the city, that too at a vantage point on the Mall, the restaurant has attracted the locals and the tourists alike due to availability of ample sitting space and the food and beverage items on offer.
I am taken back to my college days in the early '70s when we came here , not frequently though as it seemed a bit upmarket in view of the limited amount of pocket money we received. The choice then fell alternatively to The Indian Coffee House and the Himani restaurant, which we could afford.
In the early days of my employment at Shimla, I used to alternate between Baljee's and the Indian Coffee House.
For more than a decade now , my visits to the Mall have become few and far between, but Baljee's is the only place I visit to have tea and the South Indian stuff like, Dosa, Vada or Idli.
I feel concerned for the eighty odd number of staff employed there, who will face crunch.
As per the news, the winding up may take about a year but then time passes too quickly.

Chetan Anand

Today is the 21st death anniversary of Chetan Anand, the well known Film Director, Producer, Actor and Screenplay writer.In his early years he was for some time a member of the Indian National Congress, had a stint with the BBC and also taught at the Doon School.The lure of films took him to Bombay and he remained associated with the Indian People's Theatre Association . He came to  limelight when his maiden directorial venture Neecha Nagar won the Palme d'Or Award for the Best Feature film at the Cannes  Film Festival in 1946 and became the first Indian Film to win international acclaim.This was also the debut film of Kamini Kaushal as an actress and of Pt. Ravi Shankar as a music composer.Later he established a production House called Navketan Films along with his younger brother Dev Anand and produced Afsar ,Taxi Driver and Andhiyan.As an actor he appeared in the film Humsafar and later in films Arpan and Anjali which were his directorial ventures too .The other films in which he   acted   were Kala Pani,Kinare Kinare, Aman, Kanch aur Heera and Hindustan Ki Kasam which he directed also.
Later Chetan Anand started his own  production house called Himalaya Films.Teaming up with the lyricist Kaifi Azmi, the photographer Jaal Mistri and the actress Priya Rajwansh, he produced Haqeeqat, Heer Ranjha and Hindustan Ki Kasam , incidentally all starting with the letter 'H' .
Chetan Anand is said to have discovered Rajesh Khanna and given him break with the film Aakhri Khat though this was not the first released film of the  super star.Later Rajesh Khanna also appeared in his film Kudrat.
In all Chetan Anand produced/directed 17 feature films and also a TV serial Param Vir Chakra, which was telecast by Doordarshan.

Our humble tributes to the great film personality  !

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Raja Deen Dayal

Today is the death anniversary of Lala Deen Dayal aka Raja Deen Dayal , the first Indian commissioned photographer.
He was born in 1844. He was a student of Thompson College of Civil Engineering, Roorkee and trained as a draughtsman.He took up job as such in Indore, where he came in contact with Tukoji Rao, the princely ruler of Indore, who encouraged him to take up photography. Turning passion into a profession, Deen Dayal established studios at Secunderabad, Bombay and Indore. In turns he was appointed as the Court Photographer to the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the official Photographer to the Viceroy of India and Queen Victoria. Before that he had covered the Royal visit of the Prince of Wales in 1875- 76.
He is regarded as the Chronicler of British India and also photographed ancient monuments of historical and archaeological importance.The photographs taken by him adorn the museums in England and the US.
He was given the title of Raja by the Nizam.
He died this day in 1910 aged 66.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy

Today is the birth ( and also death) anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, FRCS, MRCP . He was born this day in 1882.An alumnus of Calcutta Medical College, he is credited with qualifying both FRCS & MRCP simultaneously in a short period of two years and three months, a rare feat not equalled by anyone after him.He was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal and is remembered as the builder of West Bengal, having established many cities.

His birth day is observed as the National Doctors Day in India .
He was a recipient of Bharat Ratan, the highest civil honour in India.
He died this day in 1962 aged 80.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

Friday, June 29, 2018

Do Badan

I do have some liking for films, but film stars and their acting have always fascinated me.Whatever little  information I have about the film world has been gleaned in the past by browsing through film magazines like, Filmfare, Star & Style, Stardust and the Screen .Due to self imposed restrictions I never saw a movie in a Cinema Hall throughout my student life. I watched some very good movies like Dosti, Jagriti, Ashirwaad, Mamta, Kabuliwala, Saat Hindustani and Suhaag aur Sindoor etc.  shown by the Publicity and Public Relations Department in Mohallas and localities on 16mm projector , and the ones shown tax free for which we as kids were taken to cinema hall or the DAV Lakkar Bazar which had a projector.I remember having watched Boot Polish , Gurubhakti Eklavya, & Sampooran Ramayan thus.I saw movies in higher classes when my own School got a projector of their own.
In 1972, Do Badan, a 1965 Blockbuster was having a rerun at one of the Cinema Halls in Shimla, and some  friends decided to watch it on a Sunday,with strict instructions to me to make it to the Cinema Hall positively and on time. I knew that the movie had a star cast of my favourites like Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh, Pran and Manmohan Krishan but  somehow my resolve of not seeing a movie from home got the better of me and I decided not to go.
The next day when we met in the College, one by one all those friends gave me a bit of their mind telling inter alia that  they had a hard time selling the ticket purchased for me.
I did see a few movies in Cinema Hall after student life but none after 1986.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

संत कबीर

प्रसंगवश :
हिन्दी भक्ति साहित्य व भक्ति काल की महान विभूति संत कबीर का आज 500वां प्रयाण दिवस है । 1398 को जन्मे कबीर का पालन पोषण नीरू नाम के मुस्लिम जुलाहे और उसकी पत्नी नीमा ने किया ।
अनायास ही राम के अनन्य भक्त रामानंद से राम नाम की दीक्षा मिली व राम भक्ति में लीन हो कर पूरा जीवन बिता दिया । गृहस्थ जीवन में रहते हुए विवाह भी हुआ और संतान प्राप्ति भी । सांसारिकता का निर्वाह करते हुए भी मोह माया से दूर रहे और वैराग्य का अनूठा उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया । अनेकानेक दोहों की रचना की । ' मसि कागद छुह्यो नहीं, कलम गह्यो नहीं हाथ' की स्वीकारोक्ति के बावजूद उनके दोहों में भक्ति, दर्शन, वैराग्य, निस्पृहता, व्यवहारिकता - सभी का समावेश मिलता है । साधारण भाषा शैली में रचित दोहे शीघ्र कंठस्थ हो जाते हैं और अनेक सन्दर्भों में उद्धृत होते हैं । रूढ़ियों व अन्धविश्वास के घोर विरोधी होने के नाते कबीर एक समाज सुधारक के रूप में भी जाने जाते हैं ।
हिंदी साहित्य में उन्हें विशिष्ट स्थान प्राप्त है और उनकी रचनाओं पर बहुत अधिक शोध किया गया है । ज्ञातव्य है कि हिंदी साहित्य की प्रथम डी. लिट, डा. पीताम्बर दत्त बड़थवाल को उनके कबीर पर लिखे शोध प्रबंध पर दी गयी थी । इसके अतिरिक्त डा. नगेन्द्र का कबीर पर लिखा पी. एचडी शोध प्रबंध सीधे तौर पर डी. लिट् के लिए स्वीकृत हुआ था ।