Thursday, June 22, 2017


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


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 !


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


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 !

Ramesh Krishnan

Happy birthday to Ramesh Krishnan, the Tennis star who won the Junior Wimbledon Championship and the French Open in the late seventies.He also reached the Grand Slam quarter finals thrice and was part of the Indian Team that reached the finals of the Davis Cup in 1987.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Muhammad Ali

Today is the death anniversary of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. better known as Muhammad Ali , the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. The iconic Boxer won 56 of the 61 boxing bouts, out of which 37 in knock outs.
Not given to false humility, his catch phrase was 'I Am The Greatest ', though not undeserved, seeing his illustrious boxing career.
In later years he had become a social activist.
Many honours and awards came his way.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, June 1, 2017

John Masefield

Today is the birth anniversary of John Masefield. He was Poet Laureate of England from 1930 till his death in 1967.
Our humble tributes !
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
- John Masefield

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pankaj Roy

Today is the birth anniversary of Pankaj Roy,a Right hand batsman and a Right arm Medium bowler.In his cricketing career, he played 43 Test matches and scored 2442 runs with an average of 32.56.In First class Cricket he played 185 matches and scored 11868 runs with an average of 42.38. He scored 5 Test centuries and 33 First class centuries.
He is best remembered for the highest opening partnership of 413 runs with Vinoo Mankad against New Zealand in 1956 at Madras Test, the record remaining unbeaten till 2008.
Our humble tributes to the great Cricketer !

Raj Khosla

Today is the birth anniversary of Raj Khosla, one of the top directors/screenwriters of Hindi Cinema. He is known as the Women's Director as he presented women characters in the most favourable light and the actresses playing these roles won applause and accolades.The list of the films directed by him is quite impressive and includes films like Milap, CID, Kala Pani, Solvan Saal, Bombay ka Baboo, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena,Woh Kaun Thi, Mera Saya, Do Badan, Anita,Do Raaste, Mera Gaon Mera Desh , Kachche Dhaahe & Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki.The work of heroines like Waheeda Rehman, Nutan and Sadhana in his films drew admiration and acclaim.
Excellent music was the hallmark of his films as he himself had a classical music background.
A recipient of Filmfare Award, a postal stamp was also issued in his honour.
He died on June 9, 1991 aged 66.
Our humble tributes to the outstanding Film Director !

Monday, May 29, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Prithvi Raj Kapoor, an eminent personality of Indian Theatre and Hindi Cinema. Theatre was his first love and he started acting in plays in Peshawar and Lyallpur. Later he moved to Bombay and started acting in films in the era of silent movies and acted in nine such movies , the three better known of which are Do Dhari Talwar, Sher-e-Arab and Prince Vijay Kumar. With the advent of talkies in 1931, Prithvi Raj Kapoor appeared in a supporting role in Alam Ara , the first ever talkie of Indian Cinema.Later his role in Vidyapati was much appreciated . However it was his outstanding performance in Sikander in the title role that earned him accolades and established him as a fine actor.Associated with the Indian Peoples Theatre Association , he devoted equal time to both theatre and cinema and excelled as an actor in both.
He also founded Prithvi Theatre in 1944 and  his moving troupe staged many plays giving memorable performances at many places.Some of the plays were patriotic content and flavour and inspired the young generation of the times. . However, the theatre did not remain a viable proposition in the ‘50s and ‘60s due to increasing popularity of cinema.Prithvi Raj Kapoor , meanwhile did very well in films and gave stellar performances . In a career spanning four decades , he acted in almost as many films . His films include Alam Ara, Manzil, Milap, President, Vidyapati, Dushman, Sikandar, Dahej, Awara, Ishara , Anand Math , Pardesi, Mughal-e Azam , Ghazal, Zindagi, Jaanwar, Sikandar-e-Azam, heer Ranjha and last but not the least Kal Aaj Aur Kal , featuring three generations of his clan.His role of Emperor Akbar in Mughal-e Azam remains a bench mark to this day.
As for Prithwi Theatre, later in 1978, the Kendals’ theatre company Shakespearana was merged with it and the new Prithwi Theatre was inaugurated. 
A legendary actor that Prithwi raj Kapoor was, many awards and honours came his way.
He was a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award as also its feloowship.he was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award . A commemorative stamp was also issued in his honour.

 He also remained a nominated MP of Rajya Sabha for eight years. 

Our humble tributes to the doyen of Theatre and Hindi Cinema !

Chaudhary Charan Singh

Today is the 30th death anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a former Prime Minister of India.He is also known as the champion of Peasantry.
Our humble tributes !

John F Kennedy

Today is the 100th birth anniversary of John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, during whose small tenure, India and the US enjoyed by far the best mutual relationship.
His untimely tragic death in 1963 changed the face of the world Politics and diplomacy.
Humble tributes !

Tenzing Norgay

Today is the birth anniversary of Tenzing Norgay,OSN,GM,the eminent Mountaineer who along with Edmund Hillary scaled the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, for the first time this day in 1953, incidentally his 40th birthday also.
He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan.
Our humble tributes to arguably one of the 100 most influential personalities of the twentieth century.
Our humble tributes !

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Mehboob Khan, the renowned Film Director /Producer of Hindi Cinema , best known as the Producer/ Director of Mother India, the all time great movie in the history of Hindi Cinema . His other gems include Son of India, Aan,Amar, Anokhi Adaa, Andaaz, Anmol Ghadi ,Taqdeer, Humayun and many others like Elaan,Najma, Taqdeer, Roti,Behan, Alibaba, Aurat, Ek Hi raaasta Al Hilal, Watan ,with him associated as a Director/ Producer or Writer.The film Aan was dubbed in French also.He is also called a feminist of Indian Cinema, as the women in his films come across and emerge as strong characters who hold their own against heavy odds, obstacles and conventional societal beliefs and restrictions.His choice of lead actors and actresses also leads one to his feminist stance as the heroines in his films were not allowed to be overshadowed by the male lead . His movies apart from carrying a message also kept a tab on the changing times. Active in film making for three decades, Khan introduced and helped establish the careers of many actors and actresses who went on to become big stars in the film Industry such as Surendra, Arun Kumar Ahuja, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Nargis, Nimmi and Nadira. He was a member of the jury at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival held in 1961. He remained the President of the Film Federation of India.He established a production house and a studio also , the latter Mehboob Studio is still there though bearing a deserted look, the halls and accommodation occasionally being rented out to other production houses.Mehboob’s son Iqbal Khan manages the affairs. 
A commemorative postal stamp was issued in his honour in 2007, his centenary year. 

 Our humble tributes to the great film personality who died this day in 1964 !

Shaving the beard

One of the small landmarks that I met somewhat as a challenge was to learn to shave my beard.Like it happens with every boy growing into adulthood or later into manhood, hair started appearing on the sides of my face when I was only sixteen.Not a happy proposition to see your face covered with hair 'unwanted' at that stage ! Unavoidable and inevitable as it was, my first impulse was to have the machine run over my face at the time of hair cut every month or so.This would give me some satisfaction of having a smooth face.But this could not go on for long as stubble started appearing on my chin.It was too early to go for a regular shave , so my father sensing my predicament found a way out. Every Sunday when he set about to start his ritual of shaving, he would make me sit beside and gave me a shave applying shaving cream with a brush and then smoothly running razor blade over my face. This was enough for the time being. After a year or so of continuing like this, one day I sat before the mirror and slowly and warily had my first shave with my own hands, without any cut or bruises. Later though I had a problem with a new blade as I didn't take enough care and would run the razor in a slipshod manner often eliciting the comment" Shave kar raha hai ki ghas kaat raha hai?".
I have been shaving daily for decades now and developed some reflexes to be able to have a smooth shave without a mirror in front.Of course for chin and down to throat I use twin blades as a precaution.
Practice does make you perfect, after all !

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sunil Dutt

Today is the death anniversary of Sunil Dutt, the renowned popular actor of Hindi Cinema.Starting as an announcer/presenter on Radio Ceylon as Srilanka was known then, he moved to acting in Hindi Films and acted in hit films like Sadhana, Mother India,Sujata, Mujhe Jeene do, Reshma aur Shera.
The renowned actress Nargis was his wife.
A five time Lok Sabha MP from North- West Mumbai constituency and member of the Indian National Congress, he also had a stint as a Minister in the Union Cabinet.A winner of many honours and Films Awards,
he was also a Padma Shri Awardee and also a recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Our humble tributes to the gentleman Great actor !

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Majrooh Sultanpuri, the renowned Urdu poet and lyricist. Born Asrar ul Hassan Khan,Majrooh wrote wonderful lyrics for the film industry in a career spanning six decades.He did not receive conventional education but was admitted to a madarsa where he learnt Arabic and Persian and and obained degrees in those disciplines. He learnt Unani medicine and practiced as a Hakeem also. Soon he started reciting poetry at mushayaras and gained popularity. In the beginning, unwilling to write songs for the films, on being persuaded by Jigar Muradabadi, Majrooh agreed to write lyrics.Interestingly he was put to test by the music director Naushad , who asked Majrooh to write a song for a tune already prepared and played before him . Majrooh came up with a song and immensely impressed Naushad with his creative talent. This was the start of a promising career for the poet-lyricist. The signature song of K.L.Saigal – Hum jee ke kya karenge jab dil hi toot gaya- sung for the film Shahjahan became an instant hit and a personal favourite of Saigal so much so that the actor-singer wished the song to be played at his funeral. Majrooh’s famous lines-
“Main akela hi chala tha jaanib-e-manzil
Log saath aate gaye aur carvan banta gaya”
- continue to be quoted in various contexts to this day.
After the film Shahjahan, Majrooh wrote songs for Andaaz and Arzoo which also became hits.
He was also imprisoned and served a two year term along with other Left- leaning Progressive artistes and writers for ‘anti-establishment’ activities .
Continuing the journey of his creativity Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote memorable songs for films like 
Tumsa Nahin Dekha,Dil Deke Dekho,Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon,Dosti, Teesri Manzil,Baharon Ke Sapne,Pyar Ka Mausam,Caravan ,Yaadon Ki Baraat,Hum Kisi se Kum Naheen,Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai,Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,Umrao Jaan , Pakeezah , Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and Akele Hum Akele Tum. 
He was a recipient of Filmfare Best Lyricist award and the first lyricist to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

Our humble tributes to the great poet-lyricist !

Kartar Singh Sarabha

Today is the birth anniversary of Kartar Singh Sarabha, a Sikh revolutionary. Born this day at Sarabha in Ludhiana district of Punjab in 1896, he was sent to the United States to study. He joined the Ghadar Party there and became its active member at the age of 17.He was also active in contributing to the Ghadar newspaper brought out by the Party.In the wake of the First World War, the members of the party sought an opportunity to raise a revolt against the British to achieve independence for India. With this objective in mind, Kartar Singh Sarabha returned to India in 1914 to participate in revolutionary activities.
He was caught and stood trial for a bombing incident and was sentenced to death by hanging.He kissed the noose on November 16,1915 aged 19.
He became an inspiration for Bhagat Singh,the great revolutionary, who also attained martyrdom in the same manner some years later.
Our humble tributes to the great young revolutionary !

Monday, May 22, 2017

Gama Pehalwan

Today is the birth anniversary of the Great Gama, also known as Gama Pehalwan, the legendary Wrestler of the Indian sub- continent . Born this day at Amritsar in 1878 and named Ghulam Muhammad, he stepped into the shoes of his wrestler father and defeated all great wrestlers of the time. Becoming World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion (Indian Style ) in 1910 he never looked back.Winning all major wrestling bouts, he made a benchmark for others to follow. His exercise and diet regimen leaves everyone wondering, something to marvel at. 'Gama Pehalwan' has become an epithet also jokingly and mockingly hurled at a skinny person.
Post independence he migrated to Pakistan where he died on May 23, 1960, a day after turning 82.
Our humble tributes to the legendary wrestler !

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of renowned Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi –a Rebel with a cause , as he is also called. My first introduction with his name was through beautiful unforgettable songs he penned for the 1964 movie Haqeeqat, made on 1962 Indo-China war. The songs had a mix of patriotic fervor and a bit of romantic feelings thrown in. All the songs of the movie became hits. Later he wrote beautiful lyrics for Naunihal, a movie with Nehru as the central idea and character. Who can forget “Meri Awaz Suno, Pyar ka Raaz Suno’ & ‘Tumhari Zulf ke saaye mein Shaam kar loonga’ in Rafi’s voice.
Born Sayeed Akhtar Hussain Rizvi, showed promise early as an eleven year old when he wrote his first ghazal , which made waves when in later years sung by none other than the Ghazal Queen, Begum Akhtar.He gave up his studies in the wake of Quit India Movement in 1942 and subsequently became an avowed Marxist.. He was also associated with the Progrssive Writers’ Movement.

Then on , his poetry also took a new turn and there was more of social concern and empathy with the underprivileged section of society.He was equally well versed in Romantic poetry and expressed emotions through beautiful imagery. Of the same league as stalwarts like Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Sardar Jafri, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Jaan Nisar Akhtar, he wrote noteworthy Ghazals, nazms and film songs. To him goes the credit of writing unforgettable dialogues of Heer Ranjha , the 1970 blockbuster, all in verse. He also wrote script, dialogues and lyrics for the outstanding movie Garam Hawa. He penned excellent lyrics for Kohra, Kagaz ke Phool, Anupama, Shola aur Shabnam, Bawarchi, Pakeezah, Hanste Zakham , Arth and Razia Sultan.
He was a recipient of Padma Shri and Sahitya Academy Award besides many other honours and awards that came his way .

Our humble tributes to the legendary poet and lyricist !

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lt. General K. Bahadur Singh , MBE

Today is the death anniversary of Lt. General Kanwar Bahadur Singh , MBE a distinguished soldier who saw action in the Second World War and was taken prisoner by the Japanese .He rose to be the GOC-in- C of the Central Command.He was also Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment from 1961 to 1971. Post retirement he served as Lt.Governor of Himachal Pradesh in 1967, his tenure coming to an end with the attainment of Statehood in January 1971.He died this day in 2007 aged 97.
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Bulo. C. Rani , a very talented composer and music director, almost forgotten today. Those of my generation , who are fond of film music in their growing years might have heard a Qawwali by Ismael Azad Qawwal - Hamen to loot liya mil ke husn walon ne- from the film Al Hilal and also a bhajan- Ghoonghat Ke Pat Khol Re , Tujhe Piya Milenge - sung by Geeta Dutt for the film Jogan . Both these songs bear a testimony to his calibre and standing as a music director .

Our humble tribute to the talented composer !

Moti Lal Nehru

Today is the birth anniversary of Moti Lal Nehru, a lawyer, freedom fighter and a two time President of the Indian National Congress.He is credited with drafting the famous  Nehru Report , which is considered as the first  Constitution of India. 

Our humble tributes !

Friday, May 5, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Naushad Ali or Naushad for short, one of the most respected music directors of Hindi cinema. During more than five decades of his chequered career, he created many milestones in film music. Mostly known for introducing classical music in the films, he was also the first to employ western notations to Indian film music. He composed music for hit movies like Mother India, Baiju Bawara , Mughal-e Azam, Aan ,Deedar, Deewana, Amar, Kohinoor, Shahjahan, Sohni Mahiwal, Ganga Jamuna, Son of India, Mere Mehboob, Leader, Mela,…….and many others. He also got stalwarts like Amir Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan & D V Paliskar to sing for his compositions.
The trio of Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni and Muhammad Rafi wove magic together. Naushad was also a producer and produced three movies - Maalik, Udan Khatola and Babul.
He was also an acknowledged Urdu poet and shayar.
 He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Academy Award & Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Our humble tributes to the maestro !

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dr.Zakir Hussain

Today is the death anniversary of Dr.Zakir Hussain, the third President of India.He was an eminent scholar and an intellectual.
Out humble tributes !

Achala Sachdev

Today is the birth anniversary of Achala Sachdev, a popular Bollywood actress of her time.She is particularly known for her stellar role in the blockbuster Waqt as the wife of Balraj Sahni. She also had a memorable role as grandmother of Kajol in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Our humble tributes !

Nargis Dutt

Today is the death anniversary of Nargis Dutt , one of the greatest actresses of Hindi Cinema. Born of a Muslim mother and a Hindu father, she was named Fatima Rashid. She started as child artiste in 1935 but made her debut in 1942 in the movie Tamanna. She is best remembered for her grand Role in Mother India. An epitome of beauty,grace ,poise and acting talent, she teamed well with Raj Kapoor,in Aag,Andaaz & Awara. Her role in Raat aur Din was widely acclaimed.She was the first film actress to be awarded Padma Shri.She was also a nominated Rajyasabha MP.
Our humble tributes to the great actress !

Monday, May 1, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Balraj Sahni, the great Bollywood actor.He was born this day in 1913 in Rawalpindi. He was an M.A. in English Literature from Panjab University, Lahore He and his wife spent some time at Santiniketan where he taught English for some time. He also worked with Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1938 .After this, he had a four year stint with the BBC from 1939 to 1943, where he worked as a Hindi announcer.He was fond of acting and acted with many plays staged by IPTA. In fact his wife Damyanti also acted in plays and established herself as an actor even before he did.His acting career started with the 1946 movie Insaaf. The same year he worked in Dharti ke Lal, Door Chalen and Badnami.His wife made her debut in film Dharti Ke Lal and subsequently worked in 2-3 more films.Unfortunatey she died in the year 1947. He also worked in films,. Gudiya, Badnam, Rahi and others but real success and recognition came his way from the 1953 film Do Beegha Zameen.He went on to act in a number of films like Bhagyawan, Aakash, Naukari, Aulad, Seema, Garam Coat,Pardesi , Lal Batti,Kathputli, Soney ki Chiriya, Lajwanti, Ghar sansaaar, Chhoti Behan, Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere, Anuradha,Batwara, Kabuluwala, Anparh, haqiqat, Waqt, faraar, Aye Din Bahar Ke , Paraya Dhan, Humraaz, neel Kamal, Izzat, Talaash, Do Raaste, Ek Phool Do Mali,Pavitra Paapi, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, Hanste Zakhm , Garam Hawa, besides many others. 

 A highly talented and versatile actor , acting came naturally to him. In an acting career spanning more than a quarter of a century, he played memorable roles in a number of movies , most of which he carried alone on his shoulders. Who can forget Rehman, the Pathan of ‘Kabuliwala’ – the film based on Tagore’s short story of the same name , and also the dacoit- turned - gentleman of the film Paraya Dhan , in which he brings up the daughter of a victim as his own ! That all time great movie Waqt and the song -Aye Meri Zohra Zabeen, Tujhe Maloom Nahin- in which Achala Sachdev provides a perfect match to him in acting and expressions, is a treat to watch .His roles in Garam Hawa and Ek Phool Do Mali are both a landmark and a bench mark in acting. A gifted writer, he wrote his autobiography and also books in Hindi and Punjabi. Two of his books were his travelogues on Pakistan and Russia.In fact he won Soviet Land Award for ‘Meri Roos Yatra’ 
He was awarded Padma Shri in 1969.
He died on the Baisakhi day in 1973. 
Our humble tributes to the legendary actor !

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Today is the 25th death anniversary of C.Arjun, a very talented but lesser known Bollywood Music Director , who composed beautiful melodies. The films for which he composed music include Sushila, Punar Milan, Nawab Sahib, Jai Santoshi Maa, Karwa Chauth, Love In Kashmir, Sampoorn Mahabharat, Sati Naag Kanya.
A representative list of his compositions is -

Pas baitho tabiyat behal Jaayegi, maut bhi aa gayi ho to tal Jaayegi ( Muhammad Rafi )
Bemurawwat bewafa begaana aye dil aap hain ( Mubarak Begum )
Gham ki andheri raat mein dil ko na beqaraar kar. ( Muhammad Rafi & Talat Mehmood 
In Pyaar ki Raahon mein tera hi sahara hai ( Muhammad Rafi & Manna De )
Main to aarti utarun re, Santoshi mata ki ,Jai jai santoshi mata , jai jai maa…. ( Chorus)
Yahaan Wahaan jahaan tahaan… apni Santoshi Maa ( Mahendra Kapoor and others )
Us jaane do aalam ka jalwa (Muhammad Rafi & Asha Bhosle )
He died this day in 1992, aged 59. 
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma, the celebrated Indian painter and artist.He was born this day in 1848. He is among the greatest of painters on the Indian Art Scene , for the unique aesthetic value of his works as also for the visual documentation of Indian social life and mythology. He employed European techniques to deal with Indian subjects and gave a new meaning to art . Drawing heavily on epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata he painted mythological figures and scenes. He also took his subjects from contemporary social life. He also provided affordable lithographs of his paintings which being based on mythology evoked interest among the masses and helped his art reach far and wide , making him and his works immensely popular.
 He was closely related to the Royal family of Travancore in present day Kerala , hence the prefix Raja.

He was patronized by the Maharaja of Travancore . He learnt water color painting as well as oil painting . He learnt oil painting from Theodor Jenson, a Dutch artist and portrait maker. He established his own Lithograph Printing Press and made prints of his paintings , especially of religious and mythological figures. In 1904, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy , presented to him Kaisar-e- Hind Gold Medal on behalf of the King Emperor in recognition of his services to art.
Among his prominent works are the Village Belle, Damayanti talking to a Swan, Arjun and Subhadra, Shakuntala, Jatayu, Lord Rama conquers Varuna, Nair woman, Draupadi, Shantanu and Matsyagandha.
He died on 2nd October 1906, aged 58.
Our humble tributes to the doyen of Indian Art !


It is an irony of the filmdom that while actors and actresses and even playback singers get catapulted to fame, star and super star status , the persons who work behind the camera such as directors, music directors and lyricists hardly get the acclaim they deserve for contributing immensely to the success of a film .One such personality was Kidar Sharma or Kedar Sharma, a director, producer , screen writer and a lyricist whose death anniversary falls today.
Starting his journey in 1935 with the film Inqilab as a set painter and actor, the same year he acted in Dhoop Chhaon and was also the Assistant Manager. In 1936 he appeared in Pujarin as an actor . The same year in Krorpati, he acted as well as wrote lyrics, in Devdas he he wrote the dialogues and lyrics; in 1937 , he acted in Vidyapati and wrote the film Anant Ashram. Never looking back, he remained associated with a number of films as an actor , writer, lyricist, director, dialogue writer and producer , the prominent among these being Jawani Ki Reet, Badi Didi ,Dil Hi To hai, Zindag, Aulad, Chitralekha, Armaan, Chand Chakori, Duniya Ek Sarai ,Neel Kamal, Suhag Raat , Baware Nain, Jogan, Hamari Yaad Ayegi and Kaajal. Kedar Sharma helped launch the career of stalwarts like , Raj Kapoor , Madhubala, Geeta Bali Nargis, Mala Sinha, Bharat Bhushan , Tanuja who became the greats of Hindi Cinema . Nargis herself once acknowledged that her best performance was in the film Jogan directed by Kedar Sharma .
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 He also wrote beautiful lyrics, like 'Balam aayo baso more man mein', 'Main kya jaanu kya jaadu hai', 'So jaa raaj kumaari', 'Dukh kay ab din beetat nahi' and 'Panchhi kahye hot udas', which were sung by none other than the legendary K.L.Saigal. His other notable songs are Khayalon mein kisi ke is tarah aya nahin karte (Mukesh & Geeta Dutt) Kabhi Tanahaiyon mein hamari yaad ayegi (Mubarak Begum) ,Teri Duniya mein Dil Lagta Nahin (Mukesh).
In 1945 he toured England and Hollywood as a member of a delegation and met the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney.
Subsequently,in the late ‘50s Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru asked him to become the Director-in – Chief of Children’s Film Society of India and Kedar Sharma helped make many films for Children, contributing in various capacities as writer, director, lyricist etc. etc. One of the films, Jaldeep won international acclaim as well.
Our humble tributes to this multi faceted, multi talented personality !

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bhanu Athaiya

Happy birthday to Bhanu Athaiya ,the celebrity costume designer for films. She has designed costumes for some of Guru Dutt's classics as also for blockbusters like Lekin and Lagaan. She also designed costumes for the international flick Gandhi and she became the first Indian costume designer to win an Academy Award for the same.
Our best wishes to the veteran of a hundred films.
She turns 88 today !

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sqn. Leader ( later Wing Commander) Trevor Keelor

Today is the death anniversary of Sqn. Leader ( later Wing Commander) Trevor Keelor , the hero of the 1965 Indo-Pak war , who was awarded Vir Chakra for knocking down Sabre Jet of Pakistan Air Force. His elder brother Denzil Keelor was also awarded the Vir Chakra in the same war for a similar feat.
Our humble tributes to the brave soldier and hero of the IAF !

Feroz Khan

Today is the death anniversary of Feroz Khan, the handsome, flashy, flamboyant Bollywood actor of yesteryears.
He acted in more than 50 films during '60s through '80s. Known and popular as a style icon, he is called the Clint Eastwood of Indian Cinema, for introducing a departure from the conventional image of a Bollywood hero. He is best remembered for his role in films Dharmatma, Qurbani & Khotay Sikkey.
He also acted and directed films like Janbaaz, Dayawaan and Yalgaar and won Filmfare Award for Aadmi aur Insaan, besides winning many other awards and nominations.

He died this day in 2009.
Our humble tributes to the popular actor !

Zohra Sehgal

Today is the birth anniversary of Zohra Sehgal, the noted actress, dancer and choreographer. Making her debut in Uday Shankar’s dance troupe, she was widely travelled .She was a sought after actress for character roles and also acted in TV series like “The Jewel in the Crown” . “Tandoori Nights”. She did choreography for dance sequences in a number of Bollywood movies. She acted in movies like “Dharti Ke Lal” and “Neecha Nagar” and “Afsar”.
She was awarded Padma Shri in 1988 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 . 
Blessed with a long life, she breathed her last on 10th of July , 2014 aged 102 .
Our humble tributes to this luminary !

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Today is the 30th death anniversary of Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi or Shankar of the Shankar-Jaikishan music director duo that enriched Hindi film music with wonderful memorable melodies for decades. Both had started their musical journey together in 1949. Though Jaikishan, the younger partner died in 1971 at the young age of 42, the banner Shankar-jaikishan continued till Shankar’s death in 1987. 
Shankar who belonged to Hyderabad , was initially a table player trained as such by one Baba nasir Khansahib. He had also been a disciple of Khwaja Khurshid Anwar. Shankar joined the Prithvi Theatre and by his own admission learnt a great deal and owed it much. He assisted Ram Ganguli , when he was composing music for ‘Aag ‘ in 1948 which was Raj Kapoor’s first directorial venture under the banner RK Films. Subsequently Rak Kapoor made an offer to Shankar to compose music for Barsaat . Jaikishan was also roped in at the insistence of Shankar . The film and the music became hits and thus the banner Shankar Jaikishan was born . The film was also the first of its kind to use the title song and a cabaret. Between 1949 and 1959 , the duo composed wonderful melodies for the films- Barsaat, Awara, Baadal, Poonam, Aurat, Aah,Patita , Shikast, Badshah , Seema, Shree 420, Basant Bahar, Rajhath , kathputli, Anari , Chori Chori , daag, yehudi, Boot polish, Chhoti Behan, Ujala and many others. 

For many years, Raj Kapoor, the actor;, Mukesh, the play back singer ; Shankar- Jaikishan the composers; Shailendra – Hasrat Jaipuri , the lyricists were the core group and together they produced wonders. The duo SJ however worked with many other stars like Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor, Rajinder Kumar and Biswajit . The list of movies and songs they composed music for is pretty long . They had also to face competition from music directors like S.D,Burman, O.P.Nayyar, Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh were their favourite singers. A highly talented pair, they employed successfully classical and western music , making optimum use of Raga and Beats which always had the desired effect. They composed music for all types of songs, sad, happy and romantic.
Shankar used to compose tunes for songs and Jaikishan mostly scored background music. Both had their individual preference for a particular lyricist as well .The duo were awarded Padma Shri and won FilmFare Best Music Director Award many times, including a hat trick . With the death of Jaikishan in 1971, the remaining 15-16 years did not prove lucky for Shankar, though he continued to work.
He died this day in 1987.
Our humble tributes to the great composer !

Srinivasa Ramanujan, FRS

Today is the death anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, FRS the largely self-taught Mathematical genius.Interested in the subject from a very young age he had mastered most of the existing theories and while in teens had virtually started independent research. Entering into correspondence with the Cambridge scholar G.H.Hardy, he went to Trinity College London to study and do research. Independently and in collaboration with G.H.Hardy & others, he discovered and propounded many theories, theorems and Equations which bear his name.Dwindling health brought him back to India and courting illness, he died this day in 1920, not yet 33.

Many recognitions and honours came his way  after his death and some prizes were instituted in his name.Commemorative Postage Stamp was issued in 1962 on his 75th birth anniversary and a stamp with new design was again issued in 2011.His birthday is also celebrated as the National Mathematics Day.

Our humble tributes to the genius !

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Shyam, a tall handsome actor of Hindi Cinema of the bygone era, little known today. Born Sunder Shyam Chaddha, on 20th Febraury 1920 at Sialkot where his father was serving in an Army Cantonment, he graduated from the famous Gordon College , Rawalpindi . Making his debut in a Punjabi film ‘Gawandi’ made in Lahore, he later acted in many Hindi films . Set to fill in the void created by the death of K.L.Saigal in 1947 , Shyam , due to his handsome looks, height and appearance became a sought after hero and a rage. Between 1948 and 1951 , he acted in many films the famous ones being Majboor, Bazaar, Chaandni raat , Dillagi, Naach, Patanga, Raat ki Raani , Meena bazaar, Nirdosh, Samadhi , Sangeeta . Suraj Mukhi and Shabistan .

 In fact it was while shooting for the film Shabistaan in 1951 that he had an accidental fall from the horse and died aged 31 only. The film was later completed using a double .A promising career was brought to an abrupt end , plunging the filmdom and his innumerable fans in grief. After his death, his wife Mumtaz , a muslim went to Pakistan along with the kids, who were raised as muslims. His daughter is a famous TV personality in Pakistan and the son is a medical practitioner in U.K. The famous duet from the film ‘Dillagi’ that he sang with Suraiya on screen rings in the ears and reminds of the fine actor .
Our humble tributes !

Monday, April 24, 2017

शैलेश मटियानी

हिन्दी के महान उपन्यासकार एवं कथाकार शैलेश मटियानी की आज पुण्यतिथि है ।
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर

स्वतन्त्रता पूर्व के विद्रोही कवि और स्वातंत्र्योत्तर भारत के राष्ट्र कवि के रूप में सुविख्यात महान कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर की आज पुण्यतिथि है ।छायावादोत्तर काल के प्रमुख कवि दिनकर जी के काव्य में परस्पर विरोधी माने जाने वाले वीर रस और शृंगार रस का भरपूर समावेश मिलता है ।गद्य और पद्य में समानाधिकार रखने वाले रचनाकार स्व. दिनकर जी ने उर्वशी, हुंकार, रश्मिरथी,कुरुक्षेत्र , संस्कृति के चार अध्याय, जैसी अप्रतिम रचनाएँ हिन्दी साहित्य को दी हैं।
भारतीय ज्ञानपीठ, पद्मभूषण , साहित्य अकादमी से सम्मानित हिन्दी साहित्य के मनीषि को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !


Like all common people across the country, I should welcome the recent symbolic Government decision to do away with or to ‘ban’ the display and use of beacon lights of any color or type atop the vehicles of dignitaries, albeit with a few exceptions. It has been a status symbol for some who seemed to care , but I am sure there must be a large number of such dignitaries , especially the officer class , who still will have the satisfaction of being entitled to the facility of a Government vehicle for to and fro movement whether locally or for touring purposes. During day time , the beacon seems only a decoration as the Flag fluttering on the bonnet in front , was enough to declare the VIP/VVIP status of the occupant of the vehicle. However, it is during the night that the red beacon- revolving or static- had come handy to have the traffic cleared or sided for easy movement . 

Why I call the move symbolic is because of a feeling that not much is going to change. There must be a feeling of relief or joy for some who despite same status in Government hierarchy were not entitled for beacon light as per convention and practice and suffered from some complex and had some frustration . 

These things were devised not so much as a status symbol but to ensure that authorities attending to emergencies like natural calamities and disaster requiring immediate action or intervention may not be held up on the way due to rush of traffic. Unfortunately , these had become an instrument to flaunt and flash and for some to throw their weight about , some ‘benefits’ or privileges extending to the family. 
This symbolic gesture won’t add up to much if the said VIP/VVIPs usually drunk with perceived sense of power remain insensitive and impervious to public grievances. A man in the street does not grudge these out ward symbols nor is he concerned with the host of other perks and facilities, enjoyed by the dignitaries. All that he wants is an easy access, courteous behaviour , patient hearing and redressal of grievances. As long as the dignitaries remain stiff necked and exhibit arrogance and distance themselves from the common man , the move alone will not amount to much.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


William Shakespeare , the English poet and playwright , whose 401st death anniversary falls today occupies a special place in English Literature and being the most quoted poet and writer, holds sway in the English speaking world. Studying in a school, where I did , we had hardly 2-3 poems of Shakespeare in our syllabus , with Tennyson , R.W. Emerson. H.W.Longfellow gaining more importance and being more popular. We , as post graduate English Literature students in the early ‘70s had an entire paper devoted to William Shakespeare – seven plays and a few sonnets. Four plays - King Lear, Hamlet, Richard II , and The Winter’s Tale , if I remember correctly were for detailed study , meaning that passages were to figure in the examination paper for explanation with reference to the context. Though never a serious student , I made it a point that I should be able to mention the Act as well as the Scene while writing the answer. To ensure this, I devoted one day each for a play going through line by line, word by word. Just a fad nothing more !

I wrote the paper and as expected was able to mention the Act and the Scene and felt very happy about it. Second thing that went around was that the critic A.C. Bradley was indispensable while reading Shakespearean Tragedies . He had authored a book covering in detail Four plays – King Lear Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth – the first two being in our syllabus. A joke was told that Shakespeare himself had failed in ‘His’ paper as he had not read A.C.Bradley. Any how I did pass the paper, with or without Bradley and scored a ‘respectable’ 53, regrettably not getting due credit for being able to mention the Act as well as the Scene , as I have said above.
All said Shakespeare remains my favourite , even today , more than forty years down the line.
Humble tributes !

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sarvepalli Gopal

Today is the death anniversary of Sarvepalli Gopal , an eminent historian . Educated in England, he was an undergraduate student at Oxford and also obtained D.Phil there. The subject of his thesis was Lord Ripon and his times. He authored and co authored many books of value some of which were published in London. He wrote book on British Policy and biography of Jawaharlal Nehru and S. Radhakrishnan, his father.
He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1999. He was also for once a Chairman of the National Book Trust.
Our humble tributes to the great historian who gave a new perspective to the writing of History !

शकील बदायुनी

आज उर्दू के अज़ीम शाइर और हिन्दी सिनेमा के सुप्रसिद्ध एवं लोकप्रिय गीतकार शकील बदायुनी की पुण्यतिथि है ।अपनी मशहूर गज़लों के अलावा शकील बदायूंनी ने एक से एक बढ़ कर खूबसूरत गीत हिन्दी सिनेमा को दिये । महान संगीतकर नौशाद के साथ उनकी जुगलबंदी रही तथा नौशाद के ही निर्देशन में फ़िल्म ‘दीदार’, ‘बैजु बावरा’, ‘मदर इण्डिया’, ‘मुगल-ए-आजम’, ‘दुलारी’ , ‘शबाब’, ‘गंगा-जमुना’, और ‘मेरे महबूब’ में उनके लिखे गीतों ने लोकप्रियता की तमाम बुलंदियों को छूआ। दूसरी ओर संगीतकार रवि के निर्देशन में फ़िल्म ‘घराना’ , ‘चौदहवीं का चाँद’ में उनके लिखे गीतों ने भी धूम मचायी ।
हेमंत कुमार के संगीत निर्देशन में ‘साहब बीवी और गुलाम’ के लिए लिखे गीत भी बहुत लोकप्रिय हुए ।
उमा देवी उर्फ टुनटुन की आवाज़ में फ़िल्म ‘दर्द’ के लिए लिखा उनका गीत ‘अफसाना लिख रही हूँ , दिले बेक़रार का .......’ आज भी उतना ही लोकप्रिय है । 

गजल सम्राज्ञी बेगम अख्तर की आवाज़ में उनकी लिखी गैर फ़िल्मी ग़ज़ल ‘ऐ मुहब्बत तेरे अंजाम पे रोना आया.......’ तो मील का पत्थर है ही !
भक्ति रस और प्रेम रस से भरपूर रचनाएँ दे कर उनने अपनी बहुमुखी प्रतिभा का लोहा मनवाया ।
केवल 53 वर्ष की आयु में 1970 में आज ही के दिन इस संसार को अलविदा कहने वाले इस अज़ीम शाइर और गीतकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jim Corbett

Today is the death anniversary of Jim Corbett, the hunter turned conservationist. A Colonel, in the British Indian Army, Corbett due to his hunting expertise was called by the United Provinces Government to hunt and kill Tigers, Leopards and man eaters in the Kumaon Hills, who used to prey upon and kill local people . Later he turned a conservationist and wrote and talked about the importance of wildlife protection. His book ‘Man-eaters of Kumaon’ containing exquisite photographs of wildlife taken by him is a masterpiece of sorts.The Corbett National Park in Nainital District of Uttarakhand is named after him .

Our humble tributes !

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Lalita Pawar, the most prolific actress of Indian Cinema . In a career spanning over six decades she acted in about 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Born Amba Laxman Rao Shagun in 1916 to a rich, wealthy family , she started acting at a very young age and is said to have co produced and acted in a silent movie . She also produced a talkie as early as in 1938. In the beginning, with her good looks and acting talent, she was a fit star material of the class of Noor Jahan , Khursheed and other contemporary heroines.
In 1942 while shooting for a slapping scene in the movie Jung-e-Azadi, the new comer actor , slapped her so hard that the optic nerve of her felt eye was badly damaged and even three years of hospitalization and treatment left a permanent defect in her left eye besides affecting her facial looks. Thereafter unfortunately she was fated to play character roles only. She mostly played the vamp mostly as a wicked mother- in- law , a scheming aunt or a strict matron. She also played roles of a kind hearted and emotional woman with élan . She is remembered for her role in 1959 film ‘Anari’ as Mrs. D’ Sa , a kind hearted woman showering her care and affection on Raj Kapoor, who played the ‘Anari’ protagonist. In an equally impressive and appealing role in the film 'Professor' , she appeared as the strict guardian of two young women and two kids, herself succumbing to feelings and emotions in the end. Likewise her roles in Mr. & Mrs. 55, Shree 420 and Daag are unforgettable. 

She also acted in noteworthy films like Dahej, Parchhain, Nau Do Gyarah ,Sujata, HumDono, Sampoorna Ramayan , Sehra, Gharana, Khandaan, Mela, Aabroo, Anand, Gopi, Tapasya, Kali Ghata, Phir Wohi Raat, Naseeb , sau Din Saas Ke, Bahurani and many many others .
Who can forget ‘Manthra’ of Ramanand Sagar’s TV serial ‘Ramayan’ played so beautifully by her.
Not for nothing, is she called the mother of all vamps.
 It is to her credit that due to her extraordinary acting abilities, she held her own despite the presence and appearance of other notable vamps on the scene like Nadira, Manorama, Shashikala, Bindu, etc. etc. and remained a sought after actress.
She was awarded the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Anari .
She also won the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1961. The same year she was honoured as the First lady of Indian Cinema by the Government of India.
Our humble tributes to the great actress !