Tuesday, July 18, 2017

REMEMBERING RAJESH KHANNA

Today is Rajesh Khanna’s death anniversary.
No larger than life persona was he made to portray , no superhuman feats was he made to perform; he was just made to play the role of the man next door , not invincible but vulnerable ,given to emotions and weaknesses like you and me , with whom one could easily identify.That was Rajesh Khanna. In fact this ordinariness made him extraordinary , endeared him to all and made him a superstar.
In late seventies, he along with other crew members had come to Shimla to shoot for film ‘Kudrat’- a Chetan Anand movie. On a holiday, probably a Sunday, I rushed to Chhota Shimla, to a place where shooting was going on . It was a shoot for a scene from dance-chorus number- Sawan Nahin Bhadon Nahin- with Rajesh Khanna and Priya Rajwansh in the lead . Priya wore a red dress with makeup to match and Rajesh Khanna, in a combination suit with spotted yellow tie was his usual smartest self . Aruna Irani in Kameez salwar looked like a typical Punjabi Bebe , Dimple Khanna , all grace was also there.
Both Priya Rajwansh and Rajesh Khanna are no more.
Making his debut in 1966 with Ahkri Khat , Rajesh Khanna gave hit after hit for many years reaching the pinnacle of popularity and stardom . His films like Aradhana, Aap ki Kasam ,Amar Prem , Do Raaste,Anand,Kati Patang, Bawarchi, Namak Haram, Haathi Mere Saathi, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Dushman became super hits. In fact in ‘Anand ‘ both Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan shared the screen space and the limelight. Many of his films went on to become Platinum , Gold and Silver Jubilee hits. 



He paired well with all the popular heroines of the time i.e. Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, Asha Parekh, Zeenat Aman, Tanuja and Hema Malini and the movies were well received by the audiences. However he never got to work with Vaijyanti Mala, who had this regret as Rajesh Khanna according to her had perhaps arrived too late on the scene.
Rajesh Khanna acted in more than 150 films including short films.He produced three movies and co-produced four . The songs picturized on him became instant hits and won fame even for the playback singers. He was an elected Member of Lok Sabha for a term.
A recipient of Padma Bhushan, he was officially recognized as the first superstar of Hindi Cinema.
Unfortunately , the name , fame and popularity that he earned for himself was much more than he could handle and he died a loner and a recluse.
Our humble tributes to the legend !

REMEMBERING MUBARAK BEGUM :

Today is the first death anniversary of Mubarak Begum , a very talented but less talked about & discussed Bollywood playback singer who also sang Ghazals and Na’at. She started her singing career by giving recitals on All India Radio . Her playback singing started in films in 1949 with the film ‘AIye’ . Nashad, the film composer- not Naushad , the celebrity composer - gave her the first break . She was most active in the ‘50s and ‘60s and in all gave play back in more than a hundred films, most of which are now in oblivion. She was a talented singer, but did not have the networking skills or perhaps did not care much for the material and financial aspect. A kind hearted woman ,who was ever ready to help others , she did not save any money and was driven to financial difficulties during her last years .

 Of all people Salman Khan , the actor helped her financially the most followed by Lata Mangeshkar. She had a peculiar voice with unmatched clarity of diction and perfect pronunciation . Apart from songs- solos and duets-, she gave her voice to Qawwalis in films also.
The following is a random sample of her singing capabilities and versatility-
"Mujh ko Apne Gale Lagalo, Aye Mere Hamrahi",
"Kabhi Tanhaayon Mein Yun, Hamari Yaad Aayegi",
"Neend Ud Jaaye Teri, Chain se Sone Wale"
"Woh na aayenge palat kar",
"Hum haal-e-dil sunayenghe, sunyay ke na sunyay"
"Wada humse kiya, dil kisi ko diya"
"Be-murawwat bewafa begana-e dil aap hain",
"Ae dil bataa hum kahan aa gaye" (Khooni Khazana, 1965)
"Kuchh Ajnabi se aap hain"
"Ayji ayji yaad rakhna sanam"
"Shama Gul Karke Na Jao Yun"
"Sanwariya teri yaad men ro ro marenge hum"
"Humein Dum Daike, Sautan Ghar Jana"
"Yeh moonh aur masoor ki daal" with Shard:”
She died of illness this day last year aged 80.
Our humble tributes to the talented singer !

Monday, July 17, 2017

REMEMBERING KANAN DEVI


Today is the 25th death anniversary of Kanan Devi, the popular Actress and Singer of Hindi and Bengali Cinema of the bygone era. Forced to work at a very young age due to indigent circumstances, hers is a fine example of a rags-to riches story. She worked as a child artist in silent movies and debuted at the age of ten when she worked in a film ‘Jaidev’. The next year she appeared in the film ‘Shankaracharya”. Initiated in Bengali cinema,she worked in many Bengali films. In fact her journey with talkies started with Bengali Cinema. Later she worked with big names of Cinema like K.L.Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, , Ashok Kumar and Pahari Sanyal. She acted in Hindi films - Vidyapati, Street Singer,Sapera ,Lagan, Parichay, Jawaab and some others.
She started singing under the tutelage of Rai Chand Boral , who coached her in singing Hindi songs and also taught her the nuances of Western Music.Her duets with K.L.Saigal became very popular She learnt classical music from Ustad Alla Rakha and Rabindra Sangeet from Anadi Dastidar. Her hindi song- Duniya ye Duniya Toofan Mail- became a rage of the times. She turned to producing films in 1949 and made films mainly on the stories of Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay , the doyen of Bengali Literature.
She was a recipient of Padma Shri in 1968 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1978.

Our humble tributes !

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov is one of the most read and celebrated short story writers of the nineteenth century. His stories are set in the pre-revolution period in Russia and mainly focus on poverty, misery, unemployment , displacement and a climate of insecurity and uncertainty prevailing at the time.
He has written in a simple language and style and even complex matters are dealt with in an easy informal way.
Of late I have revisited two of his famous stories.
His story 'Misery' that also carries the title ' Grief ' in some of the collections is a timeless story.The subtitle 'To Whom Shall I Tell my Grief ' itself sets the theme.The story is about an old emaciated sledge driver Iona Potapov , who has lost his only son less than a week before succumbing to a fever and he is burdened with grief , loneliness and helplessness.In the beginning there is also mention of his little mare that pulls the sledge.This shows that the mare has some special place in the story.One snowy winter evening he is looking for passengers for his sledge . A young military officer comes and asks to be taken to some place. Thinking that the person is a potential listener, Iona Potapov in order to share his grief tries to make mention of his son's death but the officer is only interested in reaching his destination and asks him to drive the sledge fast.
At last the destination is reached and the officer departs after making the payment.
Next come three wayward young persons who board the sledge, but young revellers as they are, they too are not interested in his sad story.
After this a fellow cab driver whom he comes across proves equally insensitive.
At night, when there is time to retire for the day, in order to unburden himself, he talks to his mare and finding it a patient listener, tells about his son Kuzma Ionitch, his name being mentioned only once in the story. Iona asks the mare what it would it have felt if it had a colt and lost it.
The story is a scathing comment on human insensitivity.
The other story ' Lady With The  Dog ' is of a different tenor and is about a banker Dmitri Dmiritch Gomov who is a banker & a philanderer and a woman Anna Sergueyevna. Both are married persons . They have a chance meeting at Yalta and fall into a liaison.Soon they part company and go to their respective places.Gomov who has had a series of affairs , finds for the first time that he is in love with Anna. Not able to resist his impulse, he goes to Moscow where Anna lives and not finding her at her residence, locates and meets her at a theatre where a play The Geisha' is being staged. They have a furtive brief meeting at the interval when Anna's husband has gone out for smoking. Gomov leaves only after having a promise of meeting from Anna.
After some days, they meet at the appointed place and time and carry on with the affair. Both being married persons have their families behind and thus are destined to meet stealthily.
They haven't lost hope for the future and story ends irresolutely leaving the reader to imagine and guess !

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday musings:


A somewhat reluctant entrant to the Revenue Department /Service , having once already given up the idea to join as Excise and Taxation Inspector even after receiving the appointment letter and also not to appear for the interview after qualifying the written examination of Income Tax Inspector, it dawned upon me that perhaps all government departments having public dealing had one misgiving or the other . There are good and bad elements everywhere and one can prove one self to be a class apart much against the common perception. On joining Government service, I heard many a joke bandied about Patwaris, the backbone of Revenue Department. This class of revenue officials has over the ages, earned some notoriety, for accepting bribe.

On this analogy , an official of some other department once shared an anecdote with me albeit with a touch of humour.
A villager approached a Patwari for some land related work and as per the prevailing practice, gave him a ten rupee note.The Patwari put it inside his headgear-a turban which most of the people used to wear at that time.
Next day another person came and gave the Patwari a twenty rupee note for the similar work and the Patwari put the note inside his headgear. The genesis of bribe is the tendency of the people to gain advantage over the others so this tendency was at work here also.
After some days when the first party came to the Patwari to enquire and remind about his work, the Patwari found himself caught in a fix. Not looking at the person, he kept foraging into his papers and documents. When the person did not budge and insisted on his work being done, the Patwari, enraged and touched to the quick raised his hand and touching the side where he had put twenty rupee note had this to say , " Main Ki karaan, itthe dooni aag lagi hoyi e !"

Aruna Asaf Ali

Today is the birth anniversary of Aruna Asaf Ali, a patriot and a freedom activist.Born Aruna Ganguly this day in 1909 at Kalka to a renowned Bengali Brahmo family, she was educated in elite institutions.A rebel of sorts, in 1928, she married Asaf Ali, a barrister and an independence activist, much older in age. Obviously, there was fierce opposition from her family, and an Uncle who had brought her up reportedly performed her 'shraaddh' presuming her dead.

After marriage she joined the Indian National Congress. She actively participated in the Salt Satyagraha and other independence activities and courted arrest. Actively into the Quit India Movement of 1942, she is remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag in Bombay.After marriage she joined the Indian National Congress. She actively participated in the Salt Satyagraha and other independence activities and courted arrest. Actively into the Quit India Movement of 1942, she is remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag in Bombay.
Post Independence, she joined the Socialist Party and later left it to join the Communist Party of India and also visited Moscow.Her husband Asaf Ali died in 1953.Active in politics , she became the first elected Mayor of Delhi in 1958. She also started a publishing house which she left after a few years.She re-joined the Congress in 1964, though was not in active politics.

She remained a President of the All India Democratic Women's Association.
Blessed with a long life, she died on July 29, 1996 .
She was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997 posthumously.
Our humble tributes to the Grand Old Lady of the Indian Freedom Movement !

Saturday, July 15, 2017

K.Kamaraj


Today is the birth anniversary of K.Kamaraj , a former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and the President of Indian National Congress.A strong leader, he was responsible for elevating Lal Bahadur Shastri as Prime Minister and on Shastri's death making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister.After split of the Congress in 1969, he headed the rival Party. 

As Chief Minister of Tamilnadu (1954-1963) he introduced free education for the rural poor and the mid-day meal scheme for schools in Tamilnadu.
An epitome of integrity and simplicity he was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1978.


Our humble tributes to the great leader !

प्रभास जोशी

हिन्दी पत्रकारिता के आधार स्तंभ माने जाने वाले सुप्रसिद्ध सम्पादक एवं पत्रकार प्रभास जोशी की आज जयन्ति है। 1936 में आज ही के दिन जन्मे प्रभास जोशी ने इन्दौर से निकलने वाले दैनिक ' नई दुनिया ' से पत्रकारिता आरम्भ की व बाद में इन्डियन एक्सप्रेस समूह से जुड़े और कालांतर में अहमदाबाद,चन्डीगढ व दिल्ली में स्थानीय संपादक भी रहे ।1983 में जनसत्ता दैनिक पत्र का प्रकाशन आरंभ किया व इसे लोकप्रियता की बुलन्दियो पर पहुंचाया।
जनसत्ता के सम्पादक रहते हुए उनका रविवारीय स्तम्भ 'कागद कारे' अत्यंत लोकप्रिय हुआ। राजनीतिक विषयों एवं क्रिकेट पर उनकी पकड़ अद्भुत थी।
वर्षों मैंने भी उनके लेखों को पढा है व आनंद लिया है।
एक कर्मठ एवं जुझारू पत्रकार के रूप में अपना विशिष्ट स्थान रखने वाले प्रभास जोशी को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Memories of another day


In the '80s, on completion of my two year training- cum- probation, I received posting orders to a remote tribal area like most of the fresh recruits to various services. No political connections to fall back upon, there was no option but to join. I joined and completed my tenure of close to three years. The public by and large liked me and appreciated my forthright manner of working and I must say I had a nice time doing my job and interacting with people.It was dinned into my ears a number of times that people were face to face with a young Revenue Officer after some fifteen years or so when one of my grand seniors happened to be the incumbant.This fact also amused me as somewhat flattering and morale boosting.
More than a year into my span of service, once I made a routine monthly field visit to do mutation work and some other inspection work.Times were such that apart from the official work , people came to seek solution to their personal problems.I was face to face with a young couple, the husband complaining that the wife was not living with him.I knew that the matter was not such I could do anything about, still I felt duty-bound to at least listen to both sides.When the wife's turn came, I asked her the reason for not cohabiting.
My query was answered with a query in Hindi 'Why should I and how can I live with him , a budda !' , meaning an old man !' When I asked her how old she said - thirty years.This irony awaited me as being on the wrong side of thirty myself, and feeling somewhere between taken aback and crestfallen, all I could afford was a wry smile.
Later I came to know that same age marriages was the norm there as against the desirable optimum difference in age at other places.


Even today, I am amused when I recall the incident.

MADAN MOHAN


Today is the death anniversary of Madan Mohan, the legendary composer and Bollywood music director. Born on 25 June, 1924 in a reputed family, in the beginning he joined the Royal Indian Army as a Second Lieutenant during the second World War , but left Army after two years.After Army, he joined AIR Lucknow as Programme Assistant and came in contact with many famous artistes like Ustad Faiyaz Khan , Ustad Ali Akbar Khan , Brgum Akhtar and Talat Mehmood. He also recorded a few ghazals in his own voice. Joining the film line, he acted in a few films , but soon realized that composing music, particularly ghazals was his forte. He remained active for quarter of a century between ’50s and ‘70s and gave memorable compositions. He also sang two duets with Lata Mangeshkar for 1948 film Shaheed, which however were never used in the film. Making his debut with film Aankhen in 1950, he went on to compose music for notable films like Madhosh ,Railway Platform , Bhai Bhai, Pocket Maar, Raajdhani, Dekh Kabira Roya, Adaalat , Jailor, Khzanch, Anpad, Sanjog, Ghazal, Haqeeqat, Jahan Ara, Who Kaun Thi , Neela Akash, Mera Saya , Naunihal, Chirag, Dastak, Heer Ranjha, Laila majnu, and many others .
Some tunes composed by him were used many years later in the film Veer Zara. He made optimum use of the voice of Talat Mehmood Lata Mangeshkar , Muhammad Rafi and Manna Dey and gave unforgettable melodies. A song in the voice of Mukesh- Preet laga ke maine ye phal paya- also became quite popular.The ghazals and songs sung by Talat Mehmood deserve special mention. 
He was nominated for the Filmfare A ward for Best Music director thrice, National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the film Dastak and also IIFA Award for Best Music Director. 
He died this day in 1975 aged 51 only.

Our humble tributes to the maestro !

Leela Chitnis

Today is the death anniversary of Leela Chitnis, the Bollywood heroine of the earlier times.Credited with being one of the first educated actresses of Indian Cinema, she was also the first Indian actress to endorse the Lux brand of soap in 1941, which till then was the sole reserve of Hollywood heroines. Starting as a lead in many of her earlier films, she graduated to playing character roles , typically that of a quintessential mother .
She played mother to the most famous and celebrated heroes and actors of the times including Dilip Kumar. She remained active in the film line till into her late seventies. The films in which she acted include Awaara, Sangdil, Baadbaan, Aaj ki baat, Basant bahaar, Funtoosh, Naya daur, Sadhna, Ujala, Dhool ka Phool, Kohinoor, Kala Bazar, Hum Dono. Ganga Jamuna, Aas ka Panchhi, Intqaam,Man ki Aankhen ,Aurat….. etc .etc.
Our humble tributes to the talented actress !

Roshan -Music Director


Today is the birth centenary of Roshan, the highly talented music composer of Hindi cinema . Born this day in 1917 at Gujranwala in undivided Punjab, he remained active close to two decades in music composition and gave some unforgettable, wonderful melodies.Starting his career as an assistant to music director Khwaja Khurshid Anwar, his career took off when Kidar Sharma, the producer/director gave him the opportunity to compose music for his film Neki aur Badi.Fame and name came to him with the film Baaware Nain, in which he composed lilting melodies.In the '50s Roshan worked with top singers, Muhammad Rafi, Mukesh and Talat Mehmood.
He is credited with launching the career of Anand Bakshi and Indeevar, who in due course made their mark as lyricists.He successfully blended folk music with Hindustani classical music.
The films he composed music for include Aarti, Mamta,Dewar,Naubahar,Taj Mahal,Barsat Ki Raat, Baware Nain,Chitralekha, Anokhi Raat,Dil Hi To Hai and many others.
He specialized in composing qawwalis and two of them Na to Caravan Ki Talash hai & Nigahen Milane ko jee chahta hai , stand out.
He received the Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the film Taj Mahal in 1963.
He died on 16 November,1967 aged 50.

Our humble tributes to the great music composer !

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Saying for every occasion

There is a saying/ proverb for every occasion and some people are ever ready with it and rise to the occasion to mouth the same.I am taken back in timeline to the early '80s when a failed attempt at a competitive examination drew this jibe from one of my most inventive colleagues:
गिरते हैं शहसवार ही मैदान -ए- जंग में,
वो तिफ्ल क्या गिरेंगे जो घुटनों के बल चलते हैं

I did feel bad for a moment but was able to brush this brash remark aside.
Strictly adhering to the dictum 'try try again' so popularly attributed to the story 'King Bruce and the Spider', I made another attempt and was successful, though not to the expected extent. Assigned to a job which despite the gazetted tag carried less salary than I was drawing in a Bank, I opted to join lest my efforts and preparations should come to naught.
When asked about my salary and being told that it was less than I was drawing before, again an intelligent friend came up with the saying:

सौ के सत्तर कर दे
पर नाम दारोग़ा धर दे....
However this time my position was summed up aptly .

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pran



Today is the death anniversary of Pran, the legendary film actor. He was born Pran Kishore Sikand on 12th February 1020 in Delhi to a well to do Punjabi family . His father was an engineer and due to his transferable job , Pran had his schooling at different places. He came to Shimla also and is said to have played Sita in a Ram Lila staged locally with Amrish Puri playing Ram.
A chance meeting in Lahore with the writer Wali Mohammad Wali in 1940 resulted in a role in Punjabi film Yamla Jatt also having Noor Jahan and Durga Khote in the cast. In 1941 Pran appeared in two more films namely Chaudhari and Khazanchi . In 1942 he appeared in Khaandaan , his first Hindi film , this time also with Noor Jahan .Out of the 22 films that he had acted from 1942 till 1946, only 18 were released before independence.Two of the films were later released in Pakistan. 
Coming to Bombay, he got a role in film Ziddi starring Dev Anand abd Kamini Kaushal and got established as a villain. ‘Ziddi’ also launched the career of Dev Anand. His role in Badi Behan as a villain was also equally appreciated. In the ‘50s and ‘60s he continued to play negative roles in films featuring Deb Ananad, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in the lead. In a career spanning six decades, Pran acted in about 350 films . In most of the films , his name in the display of credits was prefixed with ‘and’ or ‘above all’ – a tribute to his acting talent.
With his sharp booming voice and large expressive eyes, he had a strong screen presence. He fitted into various roles very well .
He left a mark in all the films that he acted in, whether as a villain , a hero or a character artist. Who can forget Sher Singh alias Dilawar Singh , the dacoit in Sadhu aur Shaitan or daku Kehar Singh in Shaheed or Malang Chacha in Upkaar ! Similarly unforgettable is the song ‘Hum Bolega to bologe ki Bolta hai ……..’ picturised on him in Kasauti.
His films include Yamla jatt, khandan, Ziddi, Badi Behan, Apradhi, Chori Chori, Bahar Azaad, Kundan, Munimji, Dev das , halaku, Tumsa Nahin Dekha ,Chhaliya, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahati Hai, Dil diya Dard Liya, Upkar, Patthar Ke Sanam, An Evening In Paris, Ram Aur Shyam, Mere Mehboob, Milan, Mere Sanam , Kashmir ki Kali raj Kumar, Brahmchari, Anjaana , Do Badan, Pyar Hi Pyar , Ganwaar, Guddi, Heer Ranjha, Karz, kaalia, Tere Mere Sapne , Mrityudata and many many others.
A four time recipient of Filmfare Award, he was also a recepient of Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Besides these many other honours came his way .
He died this day in 2013 aged 93.
Our humble tributes to the legendary actor !

Dara Singh

Today is the death anniversary of Dara Singh , once the World Wrestling Champion who turned actor and acted in a number of films. In my growing years, when I was in school, three four names were always mentioned by my classmates, and among wrestlers,the names of Dara Singh , his Brother Randhawa, and a rival King Kong were mentioned most of the time. He earned worldwide fame when he defeated King Kong . He won Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in 1959 by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta and and the World Wrestling Championship in 1968 by defeating Lou Thesz at Bombay . He started his film career as early as 1952 when he acted in a film ‘Sangdil’. After doing stunts in many films, his first lead role came in ‘King Kong’, a movie made in 1962. Entering into a partnership with the actress Mumtaz in 1963, he did about 16 films with her. He acted as Bhim in the film Mahabharat and as Hanuman in the film ‘ Bajrangbali ‘ and also in the TV serial ‘Ramayan’.

In many of the lesser known films he enacted roles mostly suited to his strong body , good height and physique, as is suggested by the title of the films. These included ‘King Kong’ ,’ Rustam-E-Baghdad’ ,’Lootera’, ‘Rustam-E-Hind’, ‘Sikander-E-Azam’, ‘Daku Mangal Singh’ etc. etc. He also worked in well known films like ‘Mera Naam Joker’, ‘Anand’, ‘Aankhon Aankhon Mein’, ’ Lalkar’ , ‘Sultana Daku’, ‘Jehreela Insaaan’, ‘Dharam Karam’, ‘Dharmatma’ and last but not the least ‘Jab We Met’. He acted in Punjabi films also .
He directed films like ‘Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansaar’, ‘Rustam’, ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaoon ‘,’ Mera Desh Mera Dharam’ . He also produced ‘Bhakti Mein Shakti’ and ‘Karan’.
He was the first sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha and served his term between 2003 and 2009.
He died this day in 2012 aged 83 .
Our humble tributes !

Albert Calmette

Today is the birth anniversary of Albert Calmette, the French physician bacteriologist and immunologist, who discovered the Bacillus Calmette Guerin- BCG for short - the vaccine to prevent tuberculosis.He also discovered the antivenom serum to be used against snake bite.He for many years was associated with the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
I remember the time when as students of Class I or II we were vaccinated in school - first a test dose and then actual vaccination, the pain drawing us to tears.
Our humble tributes to the great saviour of humanity !

Rajendra Kumar

Today is the death anniversary of Rajendra Kumar, the popular Actor of Hindi cinema who also produced and directed films.Born on 20th July , 1929 at Sialkot in undivided Punjab, he started his career in 1950 and was also seen in Mother India,in which he played Nargis's son along with Sunil Dutt.A sought after hero in the '50s & '60s , he gave one hit after another, some of the films becoming jubilee hits, so much so that he earned the sobriquet Jubilee Kumar'. In popularity he was next perhaps only to the famous trio of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.
In a career spanning four decades he acted in about 80 films.
The films in which he acted include Jogan, Vachan, Toofan aur Diya, Mother India,Talaaq,Ghar Sansaar, Santaan,Goonj Uthi Shehnai,Dhool ka Phool, Chiraag Kahan Roshni Kahan,Patang, Kanoon, Dil Ek Mandir,Sasural, Gharana,Dharamputra,Aas ka Panchhi,Mere Mehboob, Hamrahi,Sangam,Arzoo,Suraj , Palki,Ayi Milan Ki Bela and many many others.
He produced Love Story,Naam, Lovers, Jurrat and Phool.
A recipient of Padam Shri in 1969, he was thrice nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award and once for Best Supporting Award.Many other honours also came his way.
He died this day in 1999, just 8 days short of completing 70 years.


Our humble tributes to the great actor !



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Guru Dutt


Today is the 92 birth anniversary of Guru Dutt, the iconic film Director, Actor and Producer of Hindi Cinema. 
The larger than life persona of film actors has fascinated me since childhood-so much so that I always thought of them as above humanity- or immortal -so to say. It came as a shock when as a ten year old , the news of untimely death of Guru Dutt , was disclosed to me in the school itself , by a class pal of mine, who had heard the news on AIR during lunch break. Even his tone carried a streak of disbelief, as it was for the first time that we had heard about the death of an actor. I had not heard of Guru Dutt , but his death did cause a feeling of deep sorrow. Only a few months back, the same year the death of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister had plunged the nation into shock and grief.




When I went home and disclosed that the actor had died, my parents told me that actors were also human beings and as such were destined to die one day like others. In later years, I heard of the death of Madhubala , Meena Kumari, Smita Patil …….. also at very young age, but by then had reconciled to the bitter truth.
But , metaphorically, actors and singers or other artistes for that matter never die , as they come alive through their films, creations and compositions any time we chance upon their masterpieces. One has only to see Guru Dutt’s movies like Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool, Chaudhawin ka Chaandand Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam, Bharosa, Bahurani,Mr. & Mrs.55 ,Aar Paar, Saanjh aur Sawera to feel the magic !


Our humble tributes !

संजीव कुमार

हिन्दी सिनेमा जगत के लोकप्रिय अभिनेता संजीव कुमार की आज जयन्ती है। मुंबई की IPTA और उसके बाद इंडियन नेशनल थिएटर से अपने अभिनय जीवन की शुरुआत करने वाले संजीव कुमार ने मात्र 22 वर्ष की आयु में आर्थर मिलर के नाटक ‘ऑल माइ सन्स’ में एक बूढ़े की भूमिका निभा कर अपनी अभिनय प्रतिभा का परिचय दिया । 1960 में ‘हम हिंदुस्तानी’ से अपना फिल्मी सफर आरंभ करके उनने 1965 में पहली बार फिल्म ‘निशान’ में नायक की भूमिका निभाई । फिल्म ‘संघर्ष’ में दिलीप कुमार के साथ अभिनय किया और उसके बाद ‘ ‘खिलौना’ में एक गूंगे का सशक्त अभिनय कर अपना लोहा मनवाया। गुलजार के निर्देशन में ‘कोशिश’, ‘आँधी’ ‘मौसम’, ‘नमकीन’ और ‘अंगूर’ को मिला कर नौ फिल्मों में भी यादगार अभिनय किया । 



उनके द्वारा अभिनीत अन्य फिल्मों में, ‘सीता और गीता’, ‘आप की कसम’, ‘मनचली’, ‘पति पत्नी और वो’ ‘अनोखी रात’, ‘जानी दुश्मन’, ‘त्रिशूल’ , ‘हीरो’, ‘शोले’ , ‘शतरंज के खिलाड़ी’, ‘विधाता’, ‘नया दिन नयी रात’ और ‘राजा और रंक’ प्रमुख हैं । अनेकों बार फिल्मफेयर श्रेष्ठ अभिनेता पुरस्कार व श्रेष्ठ सपोर्टिंग अभिनेता पुरस्कार नामित होने व जीतने वाले संजीव कुमार को और भी कई सम्मान मिले, यथा, उन पर एक डाक टिकट भी जारी हुआ तथा सूरत में एक सड़क को भी उनका नाम दिया गया ।
स्टार और सुपर स्टार जैसी प्रचलित अवधारणा से हट कर हर फिल्म में अपनी अपूर्व अभिनय प्रतिभा का लोहा मनवाने वाले संजीव कुमार फिल्मी दुनिया के होते हुए भी चकाचौंध से कोसो दूर रहे और एक साधारण व्यक्ति का जीवन जीये .किराए के मकान में पूरी ज़िंदगी बिता दी और स्वयं अविवाहित रह कर, दिवंगत हो चुके अपने भाई के परिवार का भरण पोषण किया । ज्ञातव्य है कि अपना बंगला खरीद पाने का एक मात्र सपना भी पूरा न हो सका और मात्र 47 वर्ष की आयु में इस संसार को अलविदा कह गए ।
इस महान कलाकार और अद्भुत व्यक्तित्व को हमारी विनम्र श्र्द्धांजलि !

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Guy de Maupassant


Today is the 124th death anniversary of Guy de Maupassant, arguably one of the greatest short story writers on the world literary scene who influenced the other writers like O Henry, W.Somerset Maugham, Anton Chekhov and many others.He alongside Emile Zola belongs to the Naturalist School of writing and holds sway even today.
His most important short story is The Necklace which I have discussed in one of my earlier posts.The next important short story is THE PIECE OF STRING.
The story revolves round Maître Hauchecome of Breaute, an old man.He is a person who believes that nothing that can be used should go waste.
One ominous day, which is a market day at Goderville , people gather from surrounding places to sell and buy wares.Hauchecome eyes a piece of string on the road side and picks it up as a matter of habit.Becoming conscious that Maitre Malendain, inimical towards him has seen him picking the piece of string ,to hide his embarrassment , pretends looking for something on the roadside which is simply not there.During day time amid all the hustle and bustle that one associates with a market place, the loss of a leather pocket book belonging to one Maitre Houlbreque of Mannerville in the morning is announced. After sometime a person comes looking for Maître Houchecome and on finding him takes him to the Mayor who had sent for him.The Mayor rebukes and reprimands him,accusing him of the theft of the pocketbook.Houchecome,taken aback pleads innocence and offers to have his person searched but nothing is found in his possession except the piece of string. All this has happened on the basis of the false complaint made by Maître Malendaine, his enemy. Even when the next day the pocket book along with its contents is found on the roadside by one Marius Paumelle and restored to Houlbreque, people are not ready to believe Hauchecome and his plea of innocence.No explicit reason has been given by the writer as to what type of person Houchecome is that none of the persons,his friends included, trust him to absolve him of the charge, which makes him all the more pitiable.This branding of him as a thief despite his innocence, proves too much for him and soon he dies dejected and disappointed murmuring -the piece of string, Monsieur ! the piece of string. .
The underlying pathos of the story makes it amazing. 
Our humble tributes to the great storyteller !

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bharat Vyas

Bharat Vyas was a highly talented lyricist of Hindi Cinema, who wrote wonderful songs for the films like Navrang,Do Aankhen Barah Haath, Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti, Toofan Aur Deeya,Sampoorn Ramayan, Har Har Gange , Samrat Chandragupt, Suvarna Sundari, Goonj Uthi Shehnayi, Angulimaal, Rani Roopmati and Mahabharat(1965 movie). He teamed mostly with the music director Vasant Desai.
Yesterday was his death anniversary.
Our humble tributes to the great lyricist !

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

RAM LAL – THE UNSUNG MUSIC DIRECTOR:

My late father  used to say in Hindi  , Jeewan-  Mrityu , Nafaa-  Nuksan , Yash – Apkash   apne haath mein nahin hota – and how true he was or many others  who subscribed and still  subscribe to this view.
Name ,  fame and financial well being  elude many despite  being endowed  with the best of talent  and capabilities. My source  informs me- though not confirmed  or mentioned   anywhere else  as far as my search goes – that  today is the death anniversary  of Ram Lal Chaudhary  or simply Ram Lal , a talented music director of the  bygone era of Bollywood.Starting as an assistant to music director Ram Ganguli , he played flute for the songs in  Raj Kapoor’s directorial venture Aag and  contributed to the music of the song – Zinda Hun Is Tarah ki Ghame Zindagi nahin – sung by Mukesh  and the song - Dekh Chaand ki Ore  Musafir, Dekh Chaand Ki Ore  sung by Shailesh and Shamshad Beghum .  As an independent music director ,   he composed beautiful melodies for  two movies   namely ‘Sehra’ and ‘Geet Gaya Patharon Ne’   which  are sung and hummed even today after decades. The semi classical number  ‘ Pankh Hotey  To Ud  Aatin Re’   sung by Lata Mangeshkar, ‘ Taqdeer   Ka Fasaana   Jaa Kar  Kise Sunayen ‘  sung  by Muhammad Rafi  and &  ‘ Tum to Pyar ho, o sajni…. ‘ sung by Mohammad Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar  are  simply unforgettable.  So  are the songs from  the film ‘Geet Gaya Patharon Ne’    like  ‘Tere Khayalon Main Hum’  , ‘ Saanson ke  taar Par ….Geet Gaya Patharon ne’ sung by Asha Bhosle  &  Mahendra Kapoor  as a duet and the solo version sung by Kishori Amonkar   set to  wonderful tune by Ramlal. Unfortunately he did not get any work after this , was in acute financial straits and was forcedb to  live a life of penury .

Our humble tributes to the great music director!

Monday, July 3, 2017

ILYAS

Thanks to google, I am able to find out and read short stories which decades ago I had gone through as a school going boy and which even then I felt like reading again and again.One such short story is 'ILYAS' by Leo Tolstoy.
Those of us who seek happiness through riches & wealth and consider them synonymous must go through this story.Money and wealth are not permanent and change hands as fate ordains.The protagonist Ilyas, a rich ,kind and a hospitable man whose good reputation had travelled far and wide, by some quirk of fate falls on bad days and finds it difficult to afford even two square meals a day.A kind person who has known Ilyas since his salad days out of compassion employs the couple who do odd domestic chores for him.It is when some guests turn up and the master tells them about Ilyas . Face to face with the guests, Ilyas speaks about his new found happiness and contentment, which had eluded him as a rich man.
The story carries a few lessons as all the short stories of Tolstoy do.

Raaj Kumar

Today is the death anniversary of Raaj Kumar , the popular Bollywood actor .Born as Kulbhushan Pandit , he took the name Raaj Kumar and lived up to his film name leading his life in style like a prince. Almost every film he worked in became a hit. With a strong screen presence, even in secondary or side roles, he would literally steal the show , often overshadowing the lead actor. This was primarily due to his remarkable dialogue delivery.His dialogues from the movies Waqt,Paakeejah, Neel Kamal cannot fade away from the memory of movie buffs and need no recalling here.
The word ‘hum’ uttered by him umpteen of times, always had the desired impact, hardly seeming out of sync with his persona, on or off screen.His oft repeated ‘Jaani’ became equally popular.He also played romantic roles with ease . He worked in block busters like Mother India,Dil Ek Mandir,Waqt,Dil Apna aur Preet Parayi, Mere Huzoor, Ujala, Kajal, Maryada, Neel Kamal,Heer Ranjha Paakeejah , Saudagar. Tiranga etc and acted with élan . Though not a crowd puller like the famous trio of Dev Anand , Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor , he was cast in a different mould and was a class by himself.
Our tributes to this stalwart of Hindi Cinema !


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dilip Sardesai

Today is the death anniversary of Dilip Sardesai, an Indian Cricketer.He was considered the best batsman against spin bowling.His excellent batting during the 1970-71 tour of West Indies made possible the first ever Indian victory against West Indies on their soil.He had an impressive batting average of 39.23 & 41.75 in Test and First Class cricket.He scored two double centuries and three centuries in test cricket . He also scored a double century in First class Cricket besides 24 centuries.He was also the only Goa born player to play for India.
Our humble tributes to the great cricketer !

Herman Karl Hesse


Today is the 140th birth anniversary of Herman Karl Hesse, the German born Swiss novelist, essayist,short story writer & poet . The film Siddhartha based on his novel of the same name featured Shashi Kapoor and Simi Garewal.
He was a recipient of Goethe Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature , both of which he won in 1946.
Our humble tributes !

Ernest Hemingway

Today is the death anniversary of Ernest Hemingway, the American novelist.He is a celebrated author of the twentieth century. He was economical with words but never appeared terse and always wrote a gripping narrative which had an influence on other writers also. His novel A Farewell to Arms was based on his first hand experience of the First World War when he had enlisted for Ambulance drivers.Similarly he had come up with For Whom the Bell Tolls after the Spanish Civil War which he had covered as a journalist .
He won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 for The Old Man and the Sea .
A man full of adventure during his entire life and the one who taught a message of patience and hope , it is ironical that he ended his life on this day in 1961 by committing suicide.

Our humble tributes to the great author !

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Abrar Alvi

Today is the birth anniversary of Abrar Alvi, the Indian film director,screenplay/story/ dialogue writer and actor.Born this day in 1927, he remained active in the '50s and '60 and was a regular member of Guru Dutt's team.He was associated with the all time great films like Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, Pyaasa,Kaagaz ke Phool, Aar Paar,Mr.& Mrs 55, Chaudhawin ka haand, Professor,Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi,Saathi, Suraj, Manoranjan , Bairaag,Sangharsh,Laila Majnu,Hamare Tumhare ,Guddu and many others.He acted in the film Laila Majnu and 12 O'clock.The film Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam won Persistent's Silver medal for the best feature film and Abrar Alvi was awarded The Filmfare Award for Best Director for the same film.

Our humble tributes to the multi talented, great film personality !

Sepoy Kamal Ram Gurjar,VC

Today is the death anniversary of Sepoy Kamal Ram Gurjar, VC. He was a Sepoy in the #rd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment of the British Indian Army . He exhibited extraordinary valour and bravery on 12th May, 1944 while fighting the German Forces , somewhere in Italy during the second World War and was awarded the Victoria Cross , the highest gallantry award given to British and Commonwealth soldiers . The King George VI himself decorated him by pinning the Medal on his chest. He was the second youngest Indian soldier to achieve the distinction. He rose to be a Subedar and died this day in 1982. 
Our humble tribute to the bravest of the brave soldier !

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rahman


Today is the birth anniversary of Rahman, the popular Bollywood actor of his time.Born this day at Lahore in a Pashtun Pathan family, he received his education in Indore.After completing education he joined the Indian Air Force and trained as a Pilot.Soon he left the job and went to Bombay to try his luck in films.With his burly physique and large attractive eyes, he had a strong screen presence.In a career spanning more than three decades since 1946, he acted both as a lead and as a character actor.He gave stellar performance in films Chaudhawin ka Chaand, Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam and Waqt.As a necessary part of Guru Dutt ensemble, he also acted in Pyaasa.The films in which he acted include Shahjahan, Nargis,Tohfa, Taj Mahal, Pyar Ki Jeet, Badi Bahen, Phir Subah Hogi, Chhoti Bahen, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya,Chhalia, Ghoonghat, Mere Mehboob,Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, Ghazal,Hamsaya, Abroo, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki,Aap Ki Kasam, Aandhi and many many others.
He was nominated four times for the Filmfare Award .

Our humble tributes to the talented actor !

Jonas Edward Salk

Today is the death anniversary of Jonas Edward Salk,the American medical researcher and virologist.He discovered and developed the first successful Polio vaccine in 1955 , which has saved the mankind from this dreaded disease the world over.He also established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla,California.
Little wonder that many awards honours and worldwide recognition came his way and many institutions were named after him.
He died this day in 1995.
Our humble tributes to this saviour of mankind !

Harindranath Chattopadhyay


Today is the death anniversary of Harindranath Chattopadhyay, a multi talented personality. He was an English language poet,dramatist,actor and a musician.He was an elected MP of the first Loksabha (1952-1957) from Vijayawada Constituency of Andhra Pradesh.He was a popular character Actor of Hindi cinema and appeared in films like Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, Tere Ghar ke Samane,Gharbaar, Saanjh aur Sawera ,Teen Deviyaan, Pyar Mohabbat, Raat Aur Din,Naunihal, Ashirwad,Bawarchi,Ashiyana, Mehbooba ,Malamaal and some others besides a few Bengali films also.
The song/poem 'Railgaadi.....' presented by Ashok Kumar in the film Ashirwaad is attributed to him.
He was the younger brother of Sarojini Naidu.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1973.


Our humble tributes !

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AMRISH PURI


Today is the birth anniversary of Amrish Puri , the popular villain , character actor of Hindi cinema and a well known theatre personality.Born this day in 1932 at Nawanshahar in Punjab , he lived and studied in Shimla when the family shifted there. He received his college education in the B.M.College , Shimla . His love of theatre brought him to Bombay where he joined Prithvi Theatre and worked with the likes of Saytadev Dubey and Girish Karnad , An accomplished actor, he won the sahitya Academy Award in 1979. He was a late entrant into films , already well into his thirties. With his strong screen presence attributable to his baritone voice no less than to his impressive looks , it did not take him very long to be counted among one of the finest actors , much in demand particularly for negative villanous roles. He did equally well in positive roles.He was also active in parallel cinema. He worked in about 400 films spanning almost four decades. The films in which he acted include Prem Pujari , Reshma Aur Shera,Hulchul, salaakhen, Hindustan ki Kasam,Nishan, Manthan , Bhumika, Hamare Tumhare Jaani Dushman, Sawan Ko Aney Do, Qurbani, Dostana , Hum Paanch, Krodhi, Kalyug, Naseeb, Shakti , Vidhata, Vijeta Ardhsatya, Jhootha sach, party, Mr.India, Nagina , Tamas, Karan Arjun , Loha, Dayawaan and many many others. His dialogue ‘ Mogambo khish hua ‘ & ‘ Gulati ! Gulati khaa gaya na…’ became very popular. Attenborough’s film ‘Gandhi’ & Steve Spielberg’s ‘Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom’ gave him international exposure and he drew lavish praises from Steven Spielberg for his marvellous acting. 
He won many film awards and got nominated for many others. 
He was a highly talented and versatile actor .

Our humble tributes !

Sunday, June 11, 2017

राम प्रसाद बिस्मिल

सरफरोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाजु-ए-कातिल में है
महान क्रांतिकारी राम प्रसाद बिस्मिल को उनकी जयन्ति पर कोटिशः नमन !

Mihir Sen

Today is the death anniversary of Mihir Sen, the Indian Swimmer.He became the first Indian swimmer to cross the English Channel in 1958.He also became the first person ever to swim across oceans of five Continents in a single year in 1966.
He was a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sir Edwin Arnold


Today is the birth anniversary of Sir Edwin Arnold, KCIE, CSI, the English poet and Journalist.Educated at Oxford,he had a stint as a School Master in King's School London.He came to India in 1856 as Principal of Government Sanskrit College Poona.He returned to England in 1861 and worked for The Daily Telegraph.He is best known for Light of Asia, a book in blank verse on the life and teachings of Lord Buddha.Subsequently he wrote Pearls of Faith &The Light of the World about Islam and Christianity respectively also.He also wrote The Song Celestial, a book in verse rather a compact translation of Bhagwadgita.
However The Light of Asia remains his most popular work , which was translated in Hindi and Punjabi among perhaps other languages also.
I remember our Punjabi teacher reading out from Asia Da Chaanan , the Punjabi translation of the book , that left us spellbound.
He was influenced by the the Japanese way of life also and eventually had a Japanese wife.
Our humble tributes to the great poet and author !

Friday, June 9, 2017

Banda Singh Bahadur

Today is the death anniversary of Banda Singh Bahadur also known as Banda Bahadur & Madho Das, a brave Sikh Commander.At the age of 15 he ran away from home to become an ascetic and was given the name Madho Das.He established an ashram at Nanded on the bank of Godavari.A meeting with Guru Gobind Singh changed the course of his life.Raising an army, he became a military Commander.On his early conquests he captured Samana and established his authority.He brought about land reforms .Eventually he controlled the territory between Satluj and Yamuna.In 1715 he was caught from Gurdas Nangal fort by the Mughal forces.He was taken to Delhi and was executed in 1716.
Our humble tributes to the great warrior !

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Syed Nazir Ali


Today is the birth anniversary of Syed Nazir Ali, who together with his brother Syed Wazir Ali was a member of the Indian Cricket team that played the first Test match against England in 1932.Though he played only two Test matches,he impressed with his performance in all segments of the game in 75 First Class matches that he got to play in his career.
Our humble tributes !

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Shyama

Happy birthday to Shyama , the Bollywood actress who is known for her role in films Aar Paar, Barsaat Ki Raat, Zabak, Bhabhi, Tarana, Bhai Bhai and many others.
She turns 82 today !

E.M.Forster

Today is the death anniversary of E.M.Forster, the British novelist, essayist and short story writer.His writings beautifully bring forth the British hypocrisy and racial and class prejudices and he comes across as a liberal humanist.
A celebrated author, five of his novels namely A Passage to India, Maurice, A Room With A View, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and Howard's End have been made into films.He was also an acknowledged literary Critic 
 He was nominated for the Nobel Prize a number of times. 
He died this day in 1970 aged 91.
Our humble tributes !

Orhan Pamuk

Happy birthday to Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author who was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.
Our best wishes !

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

Today is the birth anniversary of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, the renowned novelist, film writer, director, producer and columnist . He is best known for having written, directed and produced ‘Saat Hindustani’ , the debut movie of Amitabh Bachchan. Besides, earlier he had written the screen play of Raj Kapoor blockbuster ‘Awara’ and other Bollywood hits like ‘Shri 420’, ‘Mera Naam Joker’, ‘Jagte Raho’ etc. ‘Last Page’- his weekly column in the Blitz was immensely popular. 
My humble tributes to the versatile genius !

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Harlem Tragedy


If you think that only better life style, riches, possession of valuables and a happy family life and better looks can be the cause of envy among friends, peers and neighbours, you need to think and get beyond. Here a housewife envies bruises on the face and body of a neighbour and a friend got as a result of unprovoked thrashing and beating by a maverick husband. Why this wife bears with and literally enjoys this is for the reason that this promises her either purchase of a costly dress item or some other present or she being taken out to watch a theatre performance. The envious neighbour whose husband is a thorough gentleman and back from work engrosses himself in newspaper and can’t think of anything better , leave alone ever beating her or even scolding her, one day provokes him into beating her and seeing no reaction and in afit of uncontrollable anger beats him . The result however is that the poor husband ends up washing the clothes and wife sulking . 
Unbelievable ! I too think so . But just go and read O. Henry’s short story ‘A Harlem Tragedy ‘ !

Rajinder Krishan

Today is the birth anniversary of Rajinder Krishan,the poet lyricist and screenwriter . In a career spanning almost four decades, he penned some memorable melodies for Hindi Cinema. Notable among the films he wrote lyrics for are Aaj ki Raat, Amar Kahani , Badi Behan , Albela, Aaram , Ladki, Anarkali, Nagin, aazad, Bhai Bhai, Dekh Kabira Roya, Adalalt, Patang, Love in Simla, Rakhi, Bluff Master ,Bharosa, Pooja ke Phool, Sharaabi,Khandaan, Jahaan Ara, Brahmchari, Reshma aur Shera, Ponga Pandit,Jwar Bhata, Khel Mohabbat Ka etc. etc. He also wrote dialogues for some of the films.
Our humble tributes to the talented poet and lyricist !

Allan Octavian Hume


Today is the birth anniversary of Allan Octavian Hume, CB, ICS, a British Civil Servant who is better known as the co- founder of Indian National Congress.A trained medical Doctor, he came to India in 1849 and was made a member of the Bengal Civil Service. He was later nominated to the Imperial Civil Service. Being a part of administration in the United Provinces , he was a witness to the uprising in 1857 and played his role as the call of duty demanded. He ran for cover and had to remain hidden at Agra for six months.Nevertheless, he was critical of his own Government and blamed the misgoverning and tyranny for the uprising. Rising to the position of Secretary, in charge of Revenue , Commerce and Agriculture, in 1871 , in later years, he grew critical of Lord Lytton, the Viceroy and saw his own removal from the secretariat.Sympathetic towards native Indians he co founded the Indian National Congress with a view to improving the lot of the common man.He also founded some educational institutions.
He was an accomplished ornithologist and delved in Natural History also. Known as the Father of Indian Ornithology,his residence at Shimla had a large collection of birds.He also authored some books on the subject.
Our humble tributes !

Sunil Dutt

Today is the birth anniversary of Sunil Dutt, the gentleman Bollywood Actor- Politician.
Our humble tributes !

Monday, June 5, 2017

O.Henry

Today is the death anniversary of William Sidney Porter, the great American short story writer who wrote under the pen name of O.Henry.The characters in his stories are picked up from ordinary life and surroundings and are woven so deftly that they leave a lasting impression on the reader.His stories often have surprise endings though not of the sting-in-the tail type.While his short story The Gift of the Magi' has been a prescribed text in School syllabus universally, another short story 'The Last Leaf ' has had TV adaptations in different languages.Equally impressive are his stories 'A Retrieved Reformation' ,'The Cop and the Anthem' and 'The Ransom of Red Chief'.'Witches' Loaves' is another good story.In a way he is America's answer to Guy De Maupassant, the great French short story writer.
Our humble tributes to the great writer !

Manohar Aich

Today is the first death anniversary of Manohar Aich, a former Mr.Universe. He won the Bodybuilding title in 1952 at the age of 40. Only 4 feet 10 inches in height, he was also known as 'Pocket Hercules '.Blessed with a long life, he died this day, last year aged 104.
Our humble tributes !