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

REMEMBERING PRITHVI RAJ KAPOOR


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

REMEMBERING MEHBOOB KHAN

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

REMEMBERING MAJROOH SULTANPURI

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

REMEMBERING KAIFI AZMI

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

BULO.C. RANI


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

Naushad


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

REMEMBERING BALRAJ SAHNI

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 !