Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Arati Saha Gupta,

Today is the death anniversary of Arati Saha Gupta, the Indian long distance swimmer.She was the first Asian woman to cross the English Channel in 1960.

She was also the first woman sportswoman to be awarded Padma Shri.
Our humble tributes !

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Today is the death anniversary of , the maestro who raised the level of Shehnai from a popular folk instrument to Concerts as early as 1937 when he performed on stage in Calcutta.An internationally acclaimed artiste, he had the distinction of playing Shehnai on the eve of Indian Independence in 1947 and also on the eve of Republic Day in 1950 in Lal Qila, a tradition which was carried on for years. 

He was a recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan,Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna.
Our humble tributes to the maestro and the legend !

Digambar Vishnu Paluskar

Today is the death anniversary of Digambar Vishnu Paluskar , Hindustani classical vocalist. He is credited with bringing classical music to the public domain by giving a public performance in a Concert charging nominal fee. This was a break away from the Gharana tradition, in vogue those days.He is also credited with the founding of Gandharva Sangeet Mahavidyalay, the first of its kind in Lahore. This was later shifted to Bombay.
Today we have many branches including Delhi, Ghaziabad and Pune.He also sang the original version of the popular bhajan- Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.
He died this day in 1931 aged 59 .
Our humble tributes to the maestro !

THE BET – Anton Chekov

Two friends a Banker and a Lawyer enter into a philosophical debate on the award of capital punishment and hold opposite view.While the banker is of the view that Capital punishment is better than a long term in solitary confinement , the Lawyer is of the view that even long imprisonment is the better option as even a hardened criminal can reform himself and become a better person and deserves to be given a chance.
They want to try it out practically . The Lawyer volunteers to subject himself to solitary confinement for fifteen years – totally cut off from the outside world with the stipulation that on successful completion of self imposed confinement, the Banker would pay him a sum of Two Million Rubles.The Lawyer is kept under strict observation and vigil in one of the lodges in the banker’s garden . He is allowed food, drinks,books, can listen to and play music , can write letters . He is required to jot down a written order/request for the things he needs. .He is not allowed to cross the threshold of the lodge; he cannot meet anyone , can’t hear human voice. The necessary items are passed on to him only through a small window , which is also a source of natural light. The initial phase of confinement finds the lawyer feeling lonely and dejected and he busies himself only with drinking and eating. Getting fed up with this routine, he takes to reading books and gets so much interested that he covers the entire gamut of knowledge about religion, history philosophy literature science,the Gospel and what not.He also learns many languages and reads classics.In between he writes a note to the banker in six languages challenging to find a mistake in the text. Gradually he gets evolved , becomes enlightened and is disenchanted with all things material like money, name , fame - virtually every thing that common people hanker after. As the fifteen years’ period draws near, the banker starts worrying as to from where he will arrange the huge sum of two million Rubles to the Lawyer, as during this period he has suffered a lot financially on his investments. . 
A day before the completion of the term of solitary confinement , the Banker hits upon a plan to kill the lawyer so that he does have to pay anything. To carry out his plan , as he enters the lodge of the room , he finds a person sitting motionless, with his back towards the window, visibly reduced to a skeleton . In the candle light , the banker finds a note written on a paper which speaks of the transformation that the lawyer has undergone during this period. How he has become disillusioned and disenchanted with all material things . In the last part of the note he writes of his resolve to break the term of the agreement by leaving five hours before the term expires forgoing the wager amount as he thinks nothing of million of Rubles or any amount for that matter. The Banker puts back the dagger, carries the note and comes back weeping profusely and shedding tears of repentance. 
The crux of the story is contained in the note itself . The decision of the Lawyer to break the pact unwittingly saves him from being killed by the banker and also saves the banker from the guilt and crime of committing a murder.

A masterpiece by Anton Chekov !

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Utpal Dutt

Today is the death anniversary of Utpal Dutt, a popular actor of Bengali and Hindi cinema.He started his acting career as a theatre artist Working in English and Bengali theatre , he is known to have acted in many Shakespeare and Brecht plays. Later he moved to acting in Bengali and Hindi films and in a career spanning over four decades,he worked in movies like Saptapadi, Bhuwan Shome, Shakespeare Wallah,Chowringhee, The Guru, Saat Hindustani, Bombay Talkie, Calcutta 71,Mere Jeevan Saathi,Gol Maal, Shaukeen, Ek Adhuri Kahani, Honeymoon,Julie, Amanush, Shaq,Do Anjaane, Swami,Naram Garam, Agnipath, Agni Pareeksha, Aar Paar, Aagantuk and many many others.
His large expressive eyes and dialogue delivery were his USP.

A winner of many film awards like the National Film Award for the Best Actor , Film-fare award for the Best Comedian which he won three times,he was also honoured with a Fellowship of the Sangeet Natak Academy for his lifetime achievement.
Our humble tributes to the versatile actor !

Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma

Today is the birth anniversary of Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma, the ninth President of India. An erudite person with indisputable academic credentials, he had been an alumnus of Lucknow University, Cambridge University, Lincoln's Inn and Harvard University , besides serving also as the Vice President of India ,he had tenures as a Union Cabinet Minister and also held Gubernatorial assignments in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

आचार्य हजारी प्रसाद द्विवेदी

आज हिन्दी के महान लेखक - उपन्यासकार, निबंधकार, आलोचक आचार्य हजारी प्रसाद द्विवेदी की जयन्ति है। शान्ति निकेतन सहित अनेक संस्थाओं में हिन्दी शिक्षण से सम्बद्ध रहे।
उनकी प्रमुख रचनाएँ अशोक के फूल, बाण भट्ट की आत्मकथा व अनामदास का पोथा हैं। भक्ति कालीन साहित्य का उनका अध्ययन एवं शोध अद्वितीय है। 
पद्मभूषण से सम्मानित हिन्दी साहित्य के इन पुरोधा को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !