Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Zohrabai Ambalewali

Today is the death anniversary of Zohrabai Ambalewali, an Indian Classical and playback 0 Ki Ladki, her first success came with the 1944 film Rattan, in which her songs like 'Akhiyan Mila ke Jiya Bharana ke Chale Nahin Jana..' & ' Diwali Ayi Hai ....' catapulted her to fame.She also sang in films Anmol Ghadi,Mela and Jadoo.She was a part of the group that sang ' Aahen Na Bharin, Shikwe Na Kiye Kuchh Bhi Na Zubaan see Kaam liya' for the 1945 film Zeenat, which was the first ever Qawwali recorded entirely in female voices.A contemporary of Amirbai Karnataki and Raj Kumari, between 1933 and 1952, she also sang for films like Geet, Sohni Mahiwal, Mahal, Kashmir, Usha Kiran & Parbat Par Apna Dera Hai and left a treasure of wonderful melodies.
She died this day in 1990, aged 71.
Our humble tributes !

Sunday, February 11, 2018


A far cry from the much celebrated ‘Saawan Ke Jhoole’ and the ‘Peengh’ , the pictures of which showing young damsels,singing and smiling while swinging to and fro evoke romantic feelings, the Jhoola in Kinnaur and some other interior areas of Himachal Pradesh is altogether bereft of such romance and can at best be called a crude predecessor of the chic power driven Cable Car found at some places as a tourist attraction for those who cannot negotiate the long distances to go to the places uphill. A Jhoola is a narrow metal structure or a trolly for sitting or keeping goods to be transported across the river , where the road facility or bridges have not been available. The Jhoola is fixed with hooks and ring to a thick metal rope fixed at the both ends to the platforms made for the purpose. A long rope, strategically made to pass through a numder of metal rings runs parallel to the metal rope and is pulled by the occupant/passenger to move the trolly forward. The extra precaution is to be exercised at the either of the platforms not to get entangled with the may folds rope falling on the ground lest one should get carried away and eventually fall in the river or the khad as the case may be. 

I had heard of these Jhoolas and swings but not come face to face with a situation when I would be forced to use one. However I did not have to wait long to be a part of the ‘adventure’. I was posted at Pooh in the ‘80s .Once returning to Pooh from Shimla where had gone on official tour, we were held up at Tapri more than 80 km short of Pooh, as due to excessive rains, there were landslides at many places and buses or vehicles would not go beyond Tapri . The small PWD Rest House , being already packed , we were in a fix where to go and stay for the night. Fortunately, Narbir, an employee also stationed at Pooh, had become my co- passenger and companion from Shimla . He told me that he had some friends staying at Sholtu across the Satluj river but we had to go in a Jhoola, a there were no other means of getting there. Not an easy option for me as I was scared of sitting in a Jhoola lest some mishap should happen. We went to the starting point of the Jhoola, where a platform was there to board and disembark from the Jhoola. It was amusing to be told by some local person, ”Janaab hum to gai bakri bhi is par le jaate hain”. Was I not a better being than a gai or a bakri – I suggested to myself. However after seeing a living demo of how people went to and fro, I mustered up courage to get into the Jhoola and with closed eyes ferried across safely. Our hosts at Sholtu extended us warm hospitality and all anxiety of adventure was forgotten .We spent two nights at Sholtu in between coming to Tapri about restoration of traffic. However the third day we proceeded on further journey part on foot, part by bus and part in a Jeep that we came across just by chance .How we travelled from Tapri and reached Pooh will make the subject matter of another post.
Hard areas are called so not without reason !

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pigeons rendered homeless

Animals and birds are in love with their home, abode or place as much as we human beings are.Lately I became more confirmed in this view . A house in my locality of which the upper storey is occupied by an elderly couple used to be a regular and permanent haunt of a number of pigeons and during daytime the roof would be full of them cooing and fluttering about.
A few months back, sensing in their wisdom that they were a source of nuisance, the owners decided to close all openings between the roof and the false ceiling thereby dislodging the poor birds. Even now the pigeons can be seen during daytime though less in number. With the new types of houses coming up,very few places are left for the pigeons to nestle in.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kavi Pradeep

Today is the birth anniversary of Kavi Pradeep,the poet and lyricist known for penning wonderful songs filled with patriotic fervour. Born Ramachandra Dwivedi this day in 1915, he made his debut in 1940 with film Bandhan when his song ' Door hato aye duniya walon hindustan hamara hai' became so popular that he had to go underground to avoid being caught and prosecuted by the British Indian Government.Another of his popular songs was ' Chal chal re naujawan'.
He wrote lyrics for films like Kismat, Jagriti, Nastik and many many others and became renowned. The songs ' De di hamen azadi bina khadag vina dhaal' , 'Ao bachcho tumhen dikhayen jhanki hindustan ki', 'Chalo chalen maa sapnon ke gaaon mein' in film Jagriti catapulted him to renown and popularity. The song 'Dekh tere sansar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwan is popular even to this day.The song' Aye mere watan ke logon, zara aankh mein bhar lo pani...' penned by him after the 1962 war with China drew the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears and made Pardeep immortal.
He also lent his voice to his songs ' Dekh tere sansaar ki haalat.. ' , 'Pinjare je panchhi re tera dard na jaane koi', & ' Ao bachcho tumhen dikhayen jhanki hindustan ki'.
In a career spanning five decades, he wrote about 1700 lyrics for 72 films.
He died on 11December, 1998: aged 83.
Our humble tributes to the great poet and lyricist !

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Makhdoom Mohiuddin

Today is the 110th birth anniversary of Makhdoom Mohiuddin, a noted Urdu poet and an avowed socialist with Marxist leanings.
He taught Urdu literature at the City College in Hyderabad and founded the Progressive Writers' Union. A freedom fighter of sorts, he was in the forefront of the Telangana movement against the monarchical rule of Nizam but somehow managed to escape being prosecuted by him.
He is best known for his poetry collection that bears the title ' Bisat-e-Raks' which won him the Sahitya Academy Award for Urdu Literature in 1969.
His other earlier two poetry collections are ' Surkh Savera' & 'Gul-e-Tar' which later became a part of 'Bisat-e-Raqs'.He was a versatile poet.He wrote sn essay ' Tagore and his Poetry', a play titled 'Hosh Ke Nakhoon' - which was an adaptation of Shaw's 'Widowers' Houses' and some other essays.
Some of his notable ghazals are 'Ek Chameli ke Mandave Tale', 'Aap ki Yaad Aati Rahi' & 'Phir Chhidi Baat Baat Phoolon ki'.
An active member of the Communist Party of India, he was a member of the Legislative Council in Andhra Pradesh for many years.
On a visit to Russia he met Yuri Gagarin, the first man to go in Space and also wrote a poem about him. 
He died on 25th August,l969 aged 61.
Our humble tributes to the great poet who is also known as ' Shayar-e-Inqalaab' !

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Leela Mishra

Today is the death anniversary of Leela Mishra, a Bollywood actress of bygone era.In a career spanning five decades, she appeared in about 200 films playing mainly character roles.
She is also known as the quintessential Mausi or aunt of Hindi Cinema.
Our humble tributes !

Muhammad Ali

Today is the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest sports figures of the 20th Century .Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. this day in 1942. He was World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and virtually a 'lord of the ring'. Post boxing career he became an activist fighting apartheid and discrimination.
I Am The Greatest ' is the title of his autobiography.
He died on June 3, 2016 aged 74.
Our humble tributes !