Tuesday, April 17, 2018

एक कहानी , बिना शीर्षक की

एक
एक बुजुर्ग से दिखने वाले सूटेड बूटेड व्यक्ति जो, हुलिये व चाल ढाल से  रिटायर्ड अधिकारी होने का आभास देते हैं , उस बड़े दफ्तर की सीढ़ियाँ और गलियारे  कदमों से नापते हुए बड़े साहब के कमरे के ठीक बाहर पहुँचते हैं, तो नेम प्लेट पर कुछ कुछ परिचित सा नाम देख कर थोड़ा ठिठकते हैं और रुक जाते हैं । इस से पहले भी इस दफ्तर  में आ चुके हैं पर स्टाफ द्वारा यह बताने पर कि उनका काम time barred होने की वजह से सीधे तौर पर डील नहीं किया जा सकता और साहब के ज़रूरी निर्देश व सहमति वांछित है , आज आए हैं क्यों कि उम्मीद के मुताबिक साहब दौरे से वापिस आ गए हैं और अपने कमरे में तशरीफ फरमा  हैं। PA बता चुका है कि कमरे के बाहर यदि हरी बत्ती जल रही हो तो बे रोक टोक भीतर जा सकते हैं। खैर हरी बत्ती जल रही है, काम बहुत ज़रूरी है तो साहब से मिलना ही है , सोच कर आहिस्ता से दरवाजा भीतर की ओर खोलते हैं ।
दो
दरवाजा खोल कर वो रिटायर्ड अधिकारी भीतर  आते हैं तो किसी को आया देख, साहब का मित्र जो बिलकुल सामने कुर्सी पर बैठ कर बात कर रहा होता है , वहाँ से उठ कर  थोड़ी दूर रखे सोफ़े पर जा कर बैठ जाता है ,क्योंकि वो सरकारी काम में किसी प्रकार की रुकावट नहीं बनना चाहता । सामान्य शिष्टाचार के बाद वह व्यक्ति अपना संक्षिप्त सा परिचय देता है। साहब उस व्यक्ति को सामने कुर्सी पर बैठने के लिए  कहते हैं, और प्यून को बुला कर एक गिलास पानी ऑफर करते हैं । वह व्यक्ति अपने साथ लाये कुछ कागज़ पत्र उन्हें दिखाता है तो साहब उन्हें ध्यान से पढ़ते  हैं और आगंतुक से कुछ पूछते हैं ।  इंटरकाम पर किसी मातहत से बात करते हैं पत्र के आमुख पर कुछ लिखते हैं और घंटी बजा  कर प्यून बुलाते हैं और उसे फलां ब्रांच में कागज़ पत्र  देने को कहते हैं। साहब के मुख पर विनम्रता का भाव है । उस व्यक्ति को आगे दिन आ कर ब्रांच से अपने कागज  कलेक्ट करने के लिए कहते हैं । वह व्यक्ति उठता है और कृतज्ञता प्रकट करते  हुए धीरे से कमरे से बाहर निकाल जाता है । उसके जाने के बाद साहब खुद कुर्सी छोड़ कर मित्र से बातचीत करने के लिए सोफ़े पर आ जाते हैं। दोनों दोस्तों के बीच उनकी आगे की बेतकल्लुफ़ बातचीत का सिलसिला कुछ यूं चलता हैं :
एक बात पूछूं ?
पूछों ।
वैसे तुम्हारे सहज और नम्र स्वभाव से मैं भली भांति परिचित हूँ पर इन जेंटलमैन से बात करते हुए क्या तुम ज़रूरत से ज़्यादा विनम्र नहीं हो रहे थे ?
( विनम्र शब्द दोहराते हुए  साहब ज़ोर का ठहाका लगाते   है  )
यार शुकर कर मैंने इनके चरण नहीं छू लिए ।
क्यों ?
यदि वक़्त बेवफाई ना करता तो ये मेरे ससुर होते ।
आगे साहब की जुबानी -
सुनना चाहता है तो सुन । हुआ यों कि इन साहब ने अपनी लड़की के लिए मेरी बात चलाने के लिए अपने एक मित्र को मध्यस्थ  चुना जो हमारा भी परिचित था । उस समय मेरा कोई विचार शादी करने का नहीं था  क्योंकि मैं उस नौकरी से निकल कर अन्यत्र भविष्य तलाशने के लिए प्रयासरत  था जिस के लिए मुझे प्रतियोगी  परीक्षा में बैठने  की तैयारी करनी थी । पर जब वह मध्यस्थ नहीं माना तो माँ बाप के कहने पर  मैं किसी तरकीब से लड़की देख आया और बात खत्म हो गयी ।
मैं तो खैर भूल चुका था पर कुछ दिन बाद वो मध्यस्थ  मेरे पिताजी को मिला तो कुछ संकोच और कुछ शर्मिंदा हो कर उस लड़की का रिश्ता कहीं और तय होने की बात बताई । वो एक इंजीनियर था, यह मुझे कुछ वर्षों के बाद पता लगा । कौन बाप नहीं चाहेगा कि उसका दामाद एक अफसर हो , और मैं तो सिर्फ एक इंस्पेक्टर था जो इस लिहाज से कहीं निकट नहीं पड़ता था । तुम पूछोगे कि क्या मुझे दुख नहीं हुआ ? हाँ, थोड़ा बहुत वो भी इस लिए कि पहल उस ओर से हो रही थी । इतना ज़रूर पता लगा था कि लड़की कि माँ को अपने पति का यह व्यवहार अच्छा नहीं लगा था । शायद लड़की को भी मैं पसंद था और वो मेरे उसे देखने से , पहले मुझे देख चुकी थी , नहीं तो मेरे देखने की नौबत ही न आती ।
खैर समय बीता। कुछ मेहनत रंग लायी और कुछ किस्मत ने साथ दिया और मैं प्रतियोगी परीक्षा में सफल हुआ । और इस रूप में तुम्हारे सामने हूँ ।
तुम सोच रहे होगे कि मैंने इन्हें पहचाना कैसे, तो वो ऐसे कि आज  कागजों में उनका नाम पता सब दर्ज था।  परज़्यादा जान पहचान  बढ़ा कर और पुरानी याद दिला कर  मैं इन्हें  embarrass नहीं करना चाहता था ।

तीन:
उधर बुज़ुर्ग महोदय कुछ खुशी खुशी और और कुछ अन्यमनसक से अपने घर पहुंचे तो  कोट पैंट उतार कर और कुर्ता पाजामा पहन कर बैठक में आ गए तो पत्नी चाय बना कर ले आयी ।
पत्नी ने पूछा-
 काम  हो गया ?
हाँ, हो गया , कल कागज़ पत्र हाथ में होंगे ।
फिर आपको तो खुश होना चाहिए , और आप कुछ सोच में लग रहे हैं ।
हाँ मैं ये सोच रहा हूँ कि ये अफसर कहीं वो लड़का तो नहीं जिसकी बात हम गुड्डी के लिए चला रहे थे !
और जिसे आपने अपनी बेटी के लायक नहीं समझा ! पत्नी ने ताना दिया ।
अपने उस दोस्त को क्यों नहीं पूछते  जिसे आपने मध्यस्थ बनाया हुआ था  ?
हाँ, यह ठीक है- कह कर उनने उस मित्र को फोन मिलाया तो पूछने पर उनकी बात सही निकली ।
पत्नी को यह बताया तो चाय की चुस्की  के बीच उन दोनों के बीच एक मौन पसर गया ।








Monday, April 16, 2018

THE LOOKING GLASS

THE  LOOKING GLASS is a famous story by Anton Chekhov.
The main character of the story is Nellie, the daughter of a landowner and General.She is young and pretty and is of marriageable age.
One fine day, as per description by the story teller, she with motionless eyes and parted lips is neither asleep nor awake but is seeing.Out of the looking glass emerges the vague image of a man with face , eyes, beard .... who has a soft touch and bearing ,in short her Prince Charming, with whom she is to spend her life. Days ,months and years trickle by.The frame in the mirror changes and one fateful night, she is travelling in a  horse driven coach over a distance of thirty miles to request one Stepan Lukitch to examine her husband who is suffering from typhus. She reaches the doctor's home, who tired after seeing some patients at far off places himself needs rest and advises Nellie to go to Zemostvo doctor . Nellie expresses her inability to do so as this doctor lives twenty miles still farther and the condition of her husband does not warrant any delay.In desperation, she gets harsh too but somehow is able to persuade the doctor to go with her. Travelling through the night, they reach Nellie's home at five in the morning.Nellie enters the house with the doctor, makes him sit in a sofa in the drawing room and herself goes inside to see how her husband is feeling.As she returns to the drawing room,she finds the doctor  uttering something incoherent, virtually in a delirium.
Suddenly another frame emerges, and she thinks of her husband being in financial straits, unable to pay mortgage money to the bank.Next she is face to face with a situation in which she finds her kids afflicted with illness,and fever and not doing well in the school etc.She also see the shadow of death lurking with the attendant images of candles , deacon and the undertaker. All of a sudden something falls from her hand and she is awake only to find that a mirror has fallen to the ground.
'I must have fallen asleep !' she thinks with a sigh of relief.
The story is a complex one, having only two active and existing characters- Nellie and Stepan Lukitch. Even the husband in the story is without a name and only a blurred image of his is described.
The Zemostvo doctor exists only in name and plays no active role.
It is natural for a young and pretty girl of marriageable age to dream of marriage and find love, companionship and security in marriage.At the same time, factually so and the writer would have us believe , that marriage and married life is much more than a Mills & Boon romance,with harsh realities staring in the face.
A wonderful story indeed !

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Gulshan Bawra

Today is the birth anniversary of Gulshan Kumar Mehta , popularly known as Gulshan Bawra the lyricist who also acted in some films.
Born this day in 1937 at Shekhupura( now in Pakistan ), his father and his Uncle both became victims of riots during the Partition.Gulshan and his elder brother somehow managed to cross over to India and were brought up by their elder sister at Jaipur. When the elder brother got a job in Delhi, both the brothers shifted there. Gulshan did his graduation from Delhi University .He wrote poetry even while in College.
As luck would have it, he landed a Clerk's job in Mumbai.He came in contact with Kalyanji and Anand ji.His first song was for the film  Chandrasena which was sung by Lata Mangeshkar.The same year, Kalyanji- Anandji duo used his lyrics for the film Satta Bazar, also their maiden  joint venture as composers. The songs Tumhen Yaad Hoga Kabhi Hum Mile The ( Hemant-Lata) & Chandi ke Chand Tukdon  Ke Liye (Hemant) became instant hits.It was during the making of this film that  ' Bawra' got suffixed to his name.The music for half of his songs was composed by R.D.Burman.
The films for which he wrote lyrics include  Upkar, Zanjeer, Khel Khel Mein, Kasme Vaade, Satte Pe Satta, Agar Tum Na Hote and Awaaz.
Besides, as an actor, he wrote character roles in the films Vishwas, Pavitra Paapi, Pyaar Ki Kahani, Jaane Anjaane,Zanjeer, Shahzada, Lafange, Ye Waada Raha, Boxer, and  Basera.
The popular songs written by him include Chandi ki deewar na todi, Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Yaari hai imaan mera, Sanam teri kasam, Agar tum na hote, Aati Rahengi Baharen, Kasme Vaade Nibhayenge Hum, Pyar Hamen Kis Mod pe le aya and some others.
He won Filmfare Best Lyricist Award twice- in 1968 & 1974.
He died on 7 August, 2009 aged 72.
Our humble tributes !

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

BY THE WAY


We as kids were served  tea and milk in enamel  coated  metal  mugs that we used to call tumblers. These mugs  came with a handle and were therefore easy to hold and grip and being made of metal were  unbreakable. These were  coated with  different  colours  from outside , with or without some design  but the inside was invariably white. These remained in use for a long time  till the enamel would wear way and metal would start showing.These were ordinary stuff, that came  cheap, a far cry from the fancy and costly mugs that are marketed online  nowadays.   But it is for some  unpleasant reason that  these linger in my memory.

I was a 5-6 year old  school going kid when one fateful day, I fell from the bed  the bed  and  the edge  of a tumbler hit me  hard  on the left side  just below the neckline. With  this started my two months’ long ordeal.  Apart from the  pain, the  portion  got swollen and developed into a lump,  much to the  worry  of my parents. I  was taken to the  hospital and the doctor prescribed  injections. On alternate days , I was taken to the hospital, was first given steam   and  afterwards given an injection. This went on for quite some days but was  of no avail . Someone  suggested applying poultice to the  affected portion . Poultice – hot halwa made in alsi oil was  applied  to the  affected portion and it seemed to work . After a  few days, probably on a Sunday, the lump  burst and  a lot of pus came out, which was wiped and removed  with  cotton  . At last my ordeal came to an end , much to the  great relief of my parents.

REMEMBERING BIRBAL SAHNI

Today is the death anniversary of Prof. Birbal Sahni  FRS, an eminent scientist.He was born on 14 November 1891 in an illustrious family of Undivided Punjab that laid great premium on Education. He and his four siblings were sent to England for studies. His grandfather was an amateur researcher in Chemistry and his father Ruchi Ram Sahni was a Professor of Chemistry and also an Archaeologist.
Initially educated at University College ,Lahore and the Punjab University, Birbal Sahni studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and subsequently obtained was awarded a Doctor of Science degree from the London Universty in 1919. Returning to India, he taught at the Benaras Hindu University, Punjab University and Lucknow University.
Birbal Sahni who was a paleobotanist ,made a pioneering study and research on Fossils in India.In 1936,he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rare honour those days.
He was hailed as the most handsome FRS.His other interests included Geology and Archaeology.
Many honours and recognition came his way. He was the President of  National Academy of Sciences, India and the Honorary President of International. Congress of Botany, Stockholm .
He died this day in 1949 aged 58.
The Institute of Palaeobotany  that he founded at Lucknow in 1946 was named after him after his death.

Our humble tributes to the great scientist   !

Monday, April 9, 2018

REMEMBERING SHAKTI SAMANTA

Today is the death anniversary of Shakti Samanta the renowned Director and Producer of Indian cinema. He was born on 13thJanuary 1926 at Burdwan, Bengal Presidency of British India.
Making his debut as a film director with the film Bahu in 1955,he founded Shakti Films in1957.A highly talented film director, his filmography includes films like  Howrah Bridge, Insaan Jaag Utha, Jaali Note, Singapore, China Town, Kashmir ki Kali, Saawan ki Ghata, An Evening In Paris,Aradhana, Kati Patang, Pagla Kahin Ka, Amar Prem, Anurag, Charitraheen, Amanush, Mehbooba, Anurodh, The Great Gambler and many others.Starting from big names like
 Ashok Kumar, and Madhubala, down the line he directed actors like Sunil Dutt , Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore.  To him goes the credit of making a superstar out of Rajesh Khanna.The films Aradhana, Anuraag, and Amanush won Filmfare Award.Some of his films made their way to international Film Festivals.He remained the President of Indian Motion Pictures Association for five years, Chairman of the Central Board of Fiim Certfication for seven years, and Chairman of Satyajit Ray Institute of Films & Television, Kolkata for two years.

He died this day in 2009,aged  83.

Our humble tributes !

Saturday, March 31, 2018

MARCH 31 BLUES

Decades ago while serving in a tribal area, during  a get-together ,a friend who unfortunately is no more, related an interesting anecdote. As a new recruit to Government service, he was given the diary and  despatch work as is the practice in case of ministerial staff.Pitted against the august company of  officers, in a party, he introduced himself as DDO, meaning ' Diary Despatch Officer'- the full form not disclosed.
After some years while serving another department on deputation, I was saddled with the responsibility of   the Head of Office and the Drawing and Disbursing Officer for the first time. During the fag end of the financial year, the office came up with the idea of making some purchases which to me appeared quite unnecessary and outlandish. In my wisdom ,I decided not to go for purchases and surrender the amount of  some thousands of Rupees , which almost amounted to my annual salary at that time.In the process, while  surrendering the surplus budget, a small amount was still left due to wrong calculation. I gave the nod to purchase a huge trunk to keep files and a fawwara for watering flower plants that grew in the office premises.The offices go for panic purchases and invite Audit observations.  I was able to avoid this.
While some members of the supervisory staff, consider it as an honour to be bestowed with DDO powers which gives them a false sense of importance and superiority, I have always considered it as a headache especially in the month of March, as due to release of additional funds at the last moments, there is pressure of clearing official bills especially the M.R.Bills of staff. The DDO at this time becomes a signing machine. Running to and fro between the treasury and the office  is quite taxing for the official entrusted with the job.Needless to say, many a time I have returned home in the wee hours in the morning.
It is also quite cumbersome for the departments carrying out development activities if they are not able to spend the allotted budget. I have seen many officers getting rebuked and reprimanded for this purported ' lapse'. This financial wisdom has always been beyond me, as I feel the emphasis should be on wise spending rather than on haphazard spending to exhaust the earmarked budget.
On the 31st of March, the boozers have a field day as the liquor gets cheaper with the licensee vendors being under a compulsion to exhaust the stock.
On one occasion, on 31 March, while going upstairs on a short cut from the Mall ,Shimla to the ridge, I was face to face with a person, visibility drunk.Per chance in trying to make way for each, we came running to the same side.Pat came the remark from this drunken friend " Lagta hai bhai sahib, hum dono ki haalat ek si hai !"☺️
So much for 31st March !

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Gharat

A casual visitor to the village during school vacation or some other occasion, a visit to the Gharat was a must. Accompanied by some elder, who would carry on his back a bag made of goat skin called Khalta, filled with maize grain weighing not less than 2O kg, I would carry a small empty Khalta with a capacity of not more than 2- 2.5 kg and a small rope. The village had two gharats on opposite sides but I went to only the one preferred by the elders. A makeshift structure strategically made in the midst of a flowing Khad, with a roof overhead, with the sound of gushing water mixed with that of the grinding noise, was scary to a small kid that I was at that time.The owner of the Gharat, also known as Gharati would take the grains out of the bag and put them in a funnel above and open the channel of water supply. The grinding would be done with the grain being put on a rough and rugged stationary platform on which would rotate a stone disc , with a rough lower surface.The flour would collect on the surface.
The grinding having been done, the Gharati would keep aside soe flour as the grinding charges in kind.The flour would be put in the two Khalta. The smaller Khalta was carried by me on my back tied with the rope in a typical manner, with a protective cover of cloth on the back lest it should hurt.
It was quite an adventure at that time.The maize or corn flour tasted damn good, though we were not much used to wheat flour grounded at the Gharat.
Now with electricity available in the villages, people keep domestic chakki at home. The grinding though much more convenient ,the taste of the flour is not as good as used to be of the flour ground at the Gharat.
(Picture courtesy: Google)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

तेज राम शर्मा


तेज राम शर्मा
(25 मार्च 1943-  20 दिसम्बर 2017)
 आदतन , हर सुबह जिन मित्रों, प्रियजनों व परिजनों  का जन्मदिन मुझे याद रहता है , उन्हें मैं   शुभकामना संदेश अवश्य भेजता हूँ । आज का दिन मेरे लिए विशेष होने वाला था क्योंकि आज  WhatsApp    उसके बाद दूरभाष पर  आपको 75 के  लैंडमार्क  पर पहुँचने की बधाई देनी थी पर नियति को यह स्वीकार नहीं था।  आप तीन महीने पूर्व ही अनंत यात्रा पर  निकल पड़े, बहुत कुछ पीछे छोड़ कर ! आज केवल आपको याद ही कर सकता हूँ,  अनेक कारणों से । जब भी आपके घर जाना हुआ, संयोगवश आप पूजा-ध्यान में पाये गए । ज़्यादा प्रतीक्षा नहीं करनी पड़ती थी ।
पूजा के बाद बैठक में आते तो  चिरपरिचित सौम्य सहज मुस्कान  के साथ, प्रसाद के  तौर पर किशमिश के कुछ दाने हाथ पर रख देते, यों आपसे मिलना अपने आप में ही प्रसाद से क्या कम था !  भोजन व  चाय आदि के साथ साथ ही बात चीत का सिलसिला भी चलता । बात चीत ज़्यादा लेखन- पठन के इर्द गिर्द  ही होती । आपका धीमी आवाज़ में बात करना बहुत शांति देता था । आपके मुंह से कभी किसी की बुराई नहीं सुनी । विनम्रता आपके व्यवहार का स्वाभाविक गुण था । सादगी और गहराई आपके व्यक्तित्व  और कवित्व  दोनों की विशेषता रही ।
ज़्यादा कुछ लिखने की स्थिति में नहीं हूँ ।
आपकी ही कविता से समाप्त कर रहा हूँ -

चला जाऊंगा दूर तक

वसंत ऋतु है और 
अवकाश का दिन 
आज मैं बहुत कुछ बनना चाहता हूँ 

सबसे पहले 
सूरजमुखी बनूँगा 
  
हवा के संग हिलाता रहूँगा सिर
सहस्र मुखों से पीऊँगा धूप 
टहनियों पर सुनूँगा नई कोंपलों की कुलबुलाहट 
फूल चूही की चोंच बनूँगा 
अमृतरस पी जाऊँगा 
मंजनू के पेड़ पर
गौरैया के संग खूब झूलूँगा
अखबार बनूँगा आज 
पन्ने-पन्ने पढ़ा जाऊँगा
तुम भी पुराना ट्रंक खोल दो 
वर्षों में ऐसा कोई दिन नहीं था 
कि बंद पड़े प्रेम-पत्रों को धूप दिखाना 
दूब की तरह बिछा रहूँगा 
निश्चिंत सुनूँगा सभी स्वर
डिश ऐंटीना की तरह 
ऊपर के सभी संकेतों को 
पकड़ लूँगा 
निर्वाण के स्मित-आ कोई मुखौटा 
आज पहन लूँगा 
पीपल के सूखे पत्ते की तरह 
बड़बड़ाऊँगा कुछ 
और हवा के साथ नृत्य करते हुए 
खिंचा चला जाऊँगा दूर तक ।
सादर स्मरण !
नमन !


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Surya Kumar Sen

Today is the 124th birth anniversary of  Surya Kumar Sen , a revolutionary and  Indian Independence activist.Born in  Bengal Presidency in British India, this day in 1894, he was drawn to the Indian Independence Movement.He was a member of the Indian National Congress Anushilan Samiti, Chittagong. He spearheaded the 1930 Chittagong Armoury Raid , was caught, convicted and hanged by the British on 12 January, 1934.
Our humble tributes to the great martyr !

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Iqbal Qureshi

Today is the 20th death anniversary of  Iqbal Qureshi, a very talented but  much less discussed  composer and music director of  Hindi Cinema. He composed music for  20 or thereabout films. His filmography includes  Umar Qaid, Cha Cha Cha, Banarsi Thug, Bindiya, Love In Simla, Ye Dil kisko Doon etc. etc.
Some of the popular songs are :
Mujhe raat din ye khayal hai...
Wo  tum na the wo hum na the ...
Ek Baat Poochhta hun 'gar tum bura na mano ...
Main apne aap se ghabra gaya hun....
Ik chameli ke mandve tale....
Khuli khuli zulfon ko baandh bhi lo.....
Ta thaiyya karte aana ....
Phir aane lagaa yaad wohi Pyaar ka aalam
Subaha na ayee, shaam na aayee ....

Our humble tributes   !

Monday, March 19, 2018

Navin Nischol

Today is the death anniversary of  Navin  Nischol, the good looking  film and  TV actor. Born on 11 April, 1946, he received  school education  in Bangalore . Later he passed out  from   the  Film and Television Institute  of  India with a Gold Medal . Making his debut with the 1970 film Sawan Bhadon, he also starred in films like Victoria No. 203 and Dhund.  His most successful film however was, Hanste Zakhm . His filmography includes films likeParwana, Nadaan, Sansaar,  Ganga Tera Pani Amrit, Budha Mil Gaya , Dharma, Main Wo Nahin, Mere Sajna, Ek Se Barh Kar Ek ,Do ladke Dono Kadke,The Burning Train, Desh premi , Raju  Ban Gaya Gentleman, Lahoo ke Do Rang, Aakrosh, Mahaul Theek Hai, Hindustan Ki Kasam, Aashiq  Banaya Aap Ne , Khosla Ka Ghosla, and many many others.
His most successful TV serial was Dekh Bhai Dekh.
His  Punjabi   films  were Aasra Pyaar Da  & Mahaul Theek Hai.
He died this day in 2011 aged 64.
  • Our humble tributes !

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Eknath D Solkar

Today is the  70th birth anniversary of Eknath D. Solkar, the Indian Cricket all-rounder. A left hand batsman and a left arm bowler, he was also a wicket keeper for team India. Acknowledged as the best short forward leg fielder, the catches taken by him  resulted in the first Test win against England at Oval.
He played in all formats of the game  viz Test, First Class and  ODI. He also played County cricket in England.
He died in 2005 aged 57.
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ghulam Mohammed

Today is the 50th death anniversary of Ghulam Mohammed,the highly talented composer of Hindi Cinema.He born in 1903 at Bikaner in Rajasthan. He started as a child actor in local theatre.Later turning to music, he shifted to Mumbai and initially  worked as an assistant to Naushad and Anil Biswas.His debut as an independent composer came in 1947 with the film Tiger Queen.Later he composed timeless melodies for films like Mirza Ghalib, Pakeezah , Shana, Anmol Ghadi. In fact for Mirza Ghalib, he was awarded the National Award for the Best Music Director and deservingly so because  it was no less due to his compostiion than the wonderful voices of Suraiya, Talat Mehmood and Muhammad Rafi that all the  ghazals  that figure in the movie are all time favourites .
This is equally true of Pakeezah , the songs ofwhich  ring in the ear, even today after fifty years down the line when these were recorded .The film was released in 1972, four years after  Ghulam Mohammed's death in 1968.
It is on record that the actor Pran refused to receive the award in 1972 for his role in Beimaan, as he strongly felt that Ghulam Mohammed deserved it more for the music he composed for Pakeezah.
He also composed music for films like Grihasthi,Kaajal, Shayar, Pardes,Ambar, Dil-e-Nadaan, Anmol Ghadi, Kundan, Do Gunde and Laila Majnu.
He died this day in 1968, aged 65.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, March 15, 2018

By the way :

I  was amused to read a joke somewhere  wherein  a conversation  went on   between  a  Police Officer and his subordinate  a la  the  popular TV serial  CID- Daya , kuchh  pata  chala  ?
“Did you gather some information about the incident ?”
“Yes, Sir !   The woman shot her husband in the foot  for walking on wet floor.”
“Why didn’t you arrest her ?”
“ Sir, the floor has not dried  as yet  !”
I am more or less also sailing in the same boat except that   mercifully we do.not possess  any such weapon. The lady of the house, a cleanliness buff  or a freak  also gets angry  if  such  an incident comes to pass. I play it safe by stepping out  and having a walk outside till she  is done with all cleaning and mopping. In fact, she herself calls me out to   prepare  a second cup of morning tea for both of us.
Often she laments and complains  about  heavy  domestic  chores taking toll   in the form of tiredness. But then habits die hard. No budging from the daily routine, come what may !
A caring, dutiful, and well meaning  husband , that I can safely claim myself to be, I want to do my little bit  but  I  avoid being confronted with the verbal tirades lke   ‘ ye kya  kar diya , sarey mein pani  gira diya ….’
But  do help her in my own way  as  when she is out for a short while, in her absence  I do dishes and utensils like  kadahi, pressure cooker , plates and bowls , not leaving anything in the sink. By the time she  comes, everything  is spick &  span and   in  apple pie  order and she cannot complain  about anything.


Monday, March 12, 2018

B.M.Vyas

One of the finest actors who with the passage of time was relegated to oblivion was Brij Mohan Vyas aka B.M.Vyas.Born on 22 October, 1920 at Churu,Rajasthan,he was the younger brother of Bharat Vyas, the  well known lyricist.
Also a screenwriter, he acted in or was associated with many hit films and block busters of the time like Barsaat, Akbar, Awaara, Aladin & the  Wonderful Lamp, Baiju Bawra, Rani Roopmati,   Janam Janam Ke  Phere , Do Aankhen Barah Haath, Sampooran Ramayan,Samrat Chandragupt, Kahin Din Kahin Raat, Saranga, Yeh Raat Phir Na Ayegi and many many others.
His most memorable role was  that of  Raavan that he played in Sampooran Ramayan, the ten faces of Raavan showing different expressions or mudras.
He is equally remembered for the role of  barber in Do Aankhen Barah Haath,who makes a failed attempt to  kill the Jailor (played by V.Shantaram).
Blessed with a long life he died on 11th March, 2013, aged 92.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, March 8, 2018

शहर की शराफ़त

शहर की शराफ़त
( कहानी संग्रह )
लेखक :शेर सिंह
ISBN: 978-81-7667-347-1
भावना प्रकाशन ,
109-ए,  पटपड़ गंज , दिल्ली- 110091
पृष्ठ संख्या:144
मूल्य: रु॰ 350/-
प्रस्तुत कहानी संग्रह श्री शेर सिंह का दूसरा  कहानी संग्रह है ।इससे पूर्व उनका एक कहानी संग्रह ‘आस का पंछी’ व काव्य संग्रह ‘ मन देश है, तन प्रदेश’  प्रकाशित हो चुके हैं । उनकी कहानियाँ व कविताएं नियमित रूप से पत्र- पत्रिकाओं में भी प्रकाशित होती रहती हैं ।
इस संग्रह का शीर्षक  ‘शहर की शराफ़त’ अपने आप में व्यंग्य , विद्रूपता समेटे हुए है जो लेखक के मन्तव्य  को उद्घाटित करता है। लेखक का संबंध हिमाचल प्रदेश के कुल्लू ज़िला से है । अपने गृह राज्य हिमाचल प्रदेश से कहीं अधिक इनका कार्य स्थल   बाहर के राज्यों के विभिन्न स्थानों में रहा है, जिनमें कुछ महानगर भी शामिल हैं। परिणाम स्वरूप लेखक का दृष्टिकोण व्यापक और दृष्टि पैनी है । इस संग्रह में कुल ग्यारह कहानियाँ हैं, जिनकी विषय वस्तु अलग अलग है।
शुरू की कहानी  ‘अभिशप्त’ के केंद्र में कभी दबंग रही पर अब अस्सी को पहुँच चुकी बुजुर्ग महिला देवयानी शर्मा  है । जवानी में बेमेल विवाह के चलते उसकी पति से बिलकुल नहीं पटी और अपने कर्कश स्वभाव के चलते अपनी बहुओं के भी उसका व्यवहार ठीक नहीं रहा । चार बेटों की माँ बनी पर  आधे से अधिक परिवार को गंवा चुकी देवयानी को इस अवस्था में अपने पोते की दवा- दारू व सेवा सुश्रुषा करनी पड़ रही है, जिसकी बीमारी  किसी भी श्रेणी में नहीं कही जा सकती  और अपरिभाषित है । कहानी का शीर्षक  ‘अभिशप्त’ उचित जान पड़ता है, पर इसमे नैसर्गिक न्याय की भी बात आती है । अँग्रेजी में कहें तो life has come full circle for her.

दूसरी कहानी ‘सफर में’  में रेल यात्रा के दौरान एक पूर्व मंत्री व उसके साथी सहयोगियों से मुलाकात , घटना क्रम आदि का जीवंत अनुभव दर्शाया गया है । किस प्रकार पद में न रहने की कुंठा व निराशा, चाहने वालों की भीड़ देख कर काफूर हो जाती है, देखते ही बनता है।राजनेताओं व जन प्रतिनिधियों की मनोवैज्ञानिक स्थिति का सुंदर चित्रण इस कहानी में मिलता है ।
तीसरी कहानी ‘अतृप्ति’ के केंद्र में 70-72 साल के एक सेवा निवृत्त  अधिकारी  मि. गर्ग  है जो कि भूलने की बीमारी से ग्रसित हैं । परिवार वालों ने उनकी देख भाल के लिए रानी नाम की एक युवती  रखी  है। कहानी मोड़ तब लेती है जब मि.गर्ग अपनी पोती की उम्र की उस युवती से प्यार की मांग कर बैठते हैं।कहानी में यहाँ तक पहुँचते ही ग़ालिब का शेर जेहन में आता है-“गो हाथ में जुंबिश नहीं, आँखों में तो दम है...”। निश्चित रूप से  70-72 साल के एक बुजुर्ग का यह व्यवहार अप्रत्याशित है पर इसमे केवल निवेदन भर है, ज़ोर ज़बरदस्ती नहीं ।रानी इस बात का ज़िक्र मिसेज गर्ग से करती है, पर मिसेज गर्ग ज़्यादा सङ्ग्यान नहीं लेती और रानी को थोड़ा समझाने की कोशिश करती है ।पर रानी को  तब तक चैन नहीं पड़ता जब तक कि वो पड़ोसिनों पर इस बात का खुलासा नहीं करती । परिणाम स्वरूप, मि. गर्ग उपहास का पात्र बनते हैं ।मेरी दृष्टि में यह एक mitigating  circumstance  है, जो मि. गर्ग के प्रति कुछ सहानुभूति जगाती है और साथ ही घरेलू नौकरों की मानसिकता की ओर भी संकेत करती है।
‘शिकारी’ कहानी में येन केन प्रकारेण शहर में व्यवसायिक लाभ के दृष्टिगत ज़मीन हड़पने की कोशिश में रहने वाले लोगों का वर्णन है , जो इस प्रयोजन हेतु -साम दाम दंड भेद - कोई भी नीति अपनाने में नहीं चूकते ।कहानी प्रथम पुरुष में लिखी गयी है। लेखक एक ऐसे ही व्यक्ति के जाल में नहीं फँसता और अपना बचाव कर लेता है । ‘शिकारी’ सदा शिकार की तलाश में रहते हैं । मेरी राय में   poetic justice  का कुछ ध्यान रखते हुए यदि ऐसे चाल बाज़ लोगों को किसी अंजाम तक पहुंचाया जाता तो कहानी का प्रभाव कुछ अधिक हो सकता था।

‘माँ’ कहानी में लगभग अपंग हो चुकी  एक बुजुर्ग महिला का वर्णन है, जिसकी कर्तव्यपरायण एवं ममतालु पुत्री  प्रिया उसे अपने घर ले आती है   पर अपनी सास के दिन रात के  तानों  और लड़ाई झगड़े के चलते अपने आप को असहाय पाती है  और अपने भाई से माँ को ले जाने का आग्रह करने पर मजबूर हो जाती है । बुजुर्ग महिला की हालत द्रवित करती है और कहानी रिशतेदारों और बेटों की  संवेदन हीनता की ओर संकेत करती है ।
‘अजनबी हमसफर’ भी सहयात्री जोड़े  के मनोविज्ञान का अच्छा विश्लेषण करती है और उनकी जुगाड़ू प्रवृत्ति से रूबरू  करवाती है। एयर पोर्ट और विमान यात्रा का जीवंत विस्तृत विवरण अपने आप में अद्भुत है और पाठक को हवाई यात्रा का पूरा आस्वाद कराने में सक्षम है। विमान यात्रा करने वाले अथवा कर चुके  पाठक सहज ही कहानी से जुड़ाव महसूस कर सकते हैं ।‘अनुशासन का कीड़ा’ में एक खब्ती उच्चाधिकारी के मातहत कार्य कर रहे कनिष्ठ अधिकारी  के उत्पीड़न और प्रताड़णा का  अनूठा चित्रण है, जिस से जुड़ाव सहज और संभव है । हम में से अधिकतर नौकरी पेशा लोग कभी न कभी ऐसे पर पीड़क तथा  maverick  अधिकारियों के पल्ले जरूर पड़ते हैं ।

‘बड़े अधिकारी का निरीक्षण दौरा’  में मंत्रालय  से निरीक्षण पर आने वाले अधिकारी के लिए मेजबान अधिकारियों को कितना ताम झाम करना पड़ता है  और किस तरह मिजाजपुर्सी के साथ साथ नखरों को झेलना पड़ता है, इसका बहुत विस्तार और रोचक शैली में खुलासा किया गया है । तथाकथित निरीक्षण वास्तव में अधिकारी द्वारा सैर सपाटे का ही जुगाड़ लगता है । भुक्त भोगी इस कहानी से जुड़ाव महसूस कर सकते हैं ।
‘दरकते रिश्ते’ कहानी दो परिवारों के बीच आत्मीय रिश्तों से शुरू हो केआर, इनमें से एक परिवार पर, नव ब्याहता दुल्हन द्वारा उत्पीड़न  का झूठा आरोप लगाया जाना  IPC की धारा 498ए  के दुरुपयोग पर प्रकाश डालती है है , जैसा की आम देखने में आ रहा है ।
‘सुबह का उजाला’  में एक गरीब सहयात्री महिला व उसके बच्चों का बस किराया एक महिला की पहल पर अन्य यात्री जुटाते हैं , इससे  आत्मिक संतोष की जो भावना उभरती है वह   मानवता के अभी ज़िंदा होने का भी सबूत देती है ।
शीर्षक कहानी ‘शहर की शराफ़त’ बदलते समय, generation gap, की ओर संकेत करती है, जिसमें लोगों के आत्मकेन्द्रित होने के साथ साथ सम्बन्धों की ऊष्मा के लुप्तप्राय: होने की ओर संकेत है । अलबत्ता ऐसा अब केवल बड़े शहरों मे  सीमित न हो कर  अन्य स्थानों पर भी  देखने में आ रहा है ।
जाने माने कथाकार सूरज प्रकाश द्वारा दिये गए आमुख  से पूर्ण सहमति है । कहानियाँ निश्चित तौर पर ईमानदारी से लिखी गयी रचनाएं हैं , जो आस पास के परिवेश , व्यक्तियों, घटनाओं  व  अनुभवों पर आधारित हैं, जो कि अपने आप में जीवन की विसंगतियों और विद्रूपताओं को समेटे हुए हैं  कहानी संग्रह  सहज व सादा भाषा शैली में होने के कारण पठनीय  है और बहुत कुछ सोचने पर भी मजबूर करता है ।
 लेखक से भविष्य में भी बहुत कुछ की आशा की जाती है ।

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Govind Ballabh Pant

Today is the death anniversay of Govind Ballabh Pant,one of the foremast leaders during the Indian Independence movement.
He was the second Chief Minister  of United Provinces during the pre independence period. Post independence,he served as the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He also served as the Home Minister in Nehru's cabinet.
He died this day in 1961 aged 73.
Our humble tributes !

अज्ञेय

हिंदी साहित्य जगत के  प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर रहे सुविख्यात उपन्यासकार, कथाकार, कवि, एवं आलोचक  सच्चिदानंद  हीरानंद वात्स्यायन 'अज्ञेय'  की आज जयंती  है । जहाँ एक  ओर ' नदी के द्वीप' एवं ' शेखर, एक जीवनी'उनके  लोकप्रिय  उपन्यास है, वहीँ  उनके उपन्यास 'कितनी नावों में कितनी बार' के लिए उन्हें  ज्ञानपीठ पुरस्कार से सम्मानित किया गया था । एक कवि के तौर पर उन्हें  नयी कविता  के प्रणेता  व एक प्रयोगधर्मी कवि के रूप में जाना जाता है।एक अवधि तक उनने हिंदी पत्रिका  ' दिनमान' का  संपादन किया  है  व  प्रतिनिधि  काव्य संकलनों 'सप्तक'  के संपादक के रूप  में भी उन्हें जाना  जाता है ।स्वतंत्रतापूर्व, एक सैन्य अधिकारी के रूप में भी उनने सेवाएं दी हैं ।
4 अप्रैल 1987  को  76 वर्ष की आयु में उनका निधन हुआ था ।
बहुमुखी प्रतिभा के धनी इस महान साहित्यकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि  !

Ravi- Music Director

Today is the death annive
rsary of Ravi, the popular and highly talented composer and music director of Hindi & Malayalam Cinema.
Born Ravi Shankar Sharma on 3 March,1926 in Delhi, he had no formal training in music  and he used to practice the songs  and bhajans sung by his father.He learnt to play harmonium and worked as an electrician to support the family. His interest in music took him to Bombay, where he was homeless for quite long and spent nights at a railway station. For the first time, he was spotted by composer Hemant Kumar, who made him sing in the famous Vande Mataram song in the 1952 film Anand Math.
Once his career took off, he scored wonderful music and melodies for hits like Chaudahavin Ka Chaand, Do Badan, Humraaz, Waqt, Khandan, Neel Kamal, Aankhen Gumraah and many many others.
He helped boost the singing career of Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor.
His filmography also includes films like Ghoonghat, Gharana, Grihasthi, Aurat, Samaaj Ko Badal Dalo, Bharosa,Albeli, Vachan,Ek Saal, Barsi Bhagat, DillicJa Thug,Dulhan , Ghar Sansar , Mehandi, Rakhi, Do kaliyan,Gumraah, Anmol Moti & Ek Phool Do Mali.Taking a break from film music for 12 years between 1970 and 1982, he scored  music for the film Nikaah in 1982 and the Salma Agha song 'Dekh Ke Armaan Ansuon Mein Beh Gaye' hit popularity charts.
He won the National Award for the Best Music Director twice for Malayalam Films and Filmfare Award for two Hindi films.He paired well with Hari haran, the Malayalam film director and together they gave many hits.
He died this day in 2012,aged 86.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bura Na Mano Holi Hai

Decades back when I was a  District  officer in one of the outlying  offices, my ' bossy' boss at the Headquarters for  reasons best known  to him was not kindly disposed towards me and used to give us tough time   whenever he came visiting on tour.We were supposed to give progress for some extra work not directly related to our line of duty and expectations of superiors ran very high, despite the constraints one was face to face with in the field. One more reason , as now I can guess in retrospect was myself being the male version of a ' plain Jane', , not a glib talker and quite unlike the' do chavanni and tell rupaiya' types.The vernacular news papers  of the day, on the occasion of Holi would carry a special supplement  giving some special ' fake' news.
That year  when the' news' of the transfer of my said boss among others appeared as a  headline, I heaved a sigh of relief . But  this sense of relief on my part was short lived as at the end of the news was inserted the line' Bura Na Mano Holi Hai'.
All said, my said boss, the tongue lashes hurled at us by him notwithstanding, was not bad at heart . I was happy to be among the chosen few to receive a  thanksgiving communication from him when in due course he  got transferred.

March 1

By the way....
Except that it means the official  closure of winter season,March 1 holds no significance for me as it appears to be just another day of a laid back ordinary  retired life that I am leading.
But not so when I was  a school student.March 1 meant the end of two month winter vacation, starting the usual routine of early rising, getting prepared for  school, having a quick repast and  carrying the heavy school bag, usually a pitthu.
New unform, new pair of black leather shoes with white crepe soles held no attraction the first day as one simply felt compelled to  go to school  most unwillingly and reluctantly after two months of merry making, carefree  life and devil may care attitude.
But one did get used to the new routine after the first day .

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Talat Mahmood

Today is the birth anniversary of Talat Mahmood, the legendary playback singer with the silken voice.He was born this day in Lucknow in 1924 in a conservative Muslim family.At s very young age he started singing ghazals at AIR . Later he shifted to Calcutta . He cut his first disc for HMV in 1941.He went to Bombay and  tried his luck with acting .

He acted in a dozen films  with heroines like Shyama, Suraiya, Mala Sinha ... but soon realized that he was not  cut for a career in acting.Singing and singing ghazals was his forte though romantic film songs - solo and duets- sung by him also became immensely popular.Apart from Hindi film songs, he also sang Bengali songs and became equally popular a singer in both. Apart from the timeless romantic and sad melodies that he sang for films in his lilting silken voice, his non film songs like ' Tasveer Teri Dil Mera Behla Na Sakegi ' became and are still a rage.
He had a class following of his own among the literary Urdu speaking gentry.Only Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh besides him enjoyed such fan following among serious music lovers.
He was a  recipient of  Padma Bhushan.
He died on May 9,1998 aged 74.
 Our humble tributes  !

Friday, February 23, 2018

माँ

स्कूल के ज़माने में रूसी लेखक पौस्तोवस्की का उपन्यास
समय के  पंख' पढ़ा था और  Time has wings एक प्रचलित कहावत है। पच्चीस वर्ष  का अरसा कम नहीं पर  इतना ज्यादा भी नहीं कि बहुत कुछ भुलाया जा सके ।
माँ को गए 25 वर्ष  हुए । 1993 में 23-24  फरवरी की रात को  हम सब को  छोड़ कर अनंत यात्रा पर निकल गयी।यों उनका जाना न  अचानक था न अप्रत्याशित क्यों कि माँ  food pipe के कैंसर जैसे असाध्य रोग से ग्रसित थी और कुछ महीनों से बहुत  कष्ट में थी। ज़ाहिर है, food pipe का कैंसर था खाने व निगलने में कठिनाई थी। माँ को  कष्ट से मुक्ति तो मिली  पर हमारे  लिए तो  असहनीय दुःख था।
वैसे माँ का स्वास्थ्य कभी अच्छा नहीं रहा पर  थोड़े बहुत  कष्ट या तकलीफ की कभी परवाह न  की और पारिवारिक दायित्वों को भली प्रकार निभाया।माँ का प्यार हम सब को बिना किसी  भेदभाव के  समान रूप से मिला।
थोड़ा और पीछे  जाऊं तो याद आता है कि  बात चीत में माँ अक्सर अपनी उम्र 40 वर्ष होना बताती थी और मुझे चिन्ता
हो जाती थी क्योंकि पास पड़ोस में स्कूल में पढ़ रहे बच्चों को मातृ सुख से  वंचित होते देख चुका था । एक बार तो  एक  पड़ोसन ने माँ की बात काटते  हुए  62 वर्ष  आयु  होने की भविष्यवाणी कर दी थी। खैर  जब माँ 41 की हुई  तो  मानो चिंता का  एक बोझ  मेरे मनमस्तिष्क से उतरा ।
हमारी  पढ़ाई लिखाई का ध्यान  रखना, कॉपी किताब से  ले कर स्कूल की वर्दी,  अन्य  वस्त्रादि  आवश्यकताओं  का ध्यान माँ बखूबी रखती  थी । पिता जी  का काम केवल धन उपलब्ध कराना था। हाँ, हम में से कोई बीमार होता तो  माँ  और पिता जी दोनों दिन रात एक कर देते।
1991 की  गर्मियों के आस पास जब मेरी  पत्नी दुबारा उम्मीद से हुईं तो प्रत्याशित प्रसव से 4-5 मास   पूर्व माँ  हमारे साथ रहने को सराहां आयी  जहां उन दिनों  मैं सेवारत था ।
 यद्यपि इस दौरान  माँ   को गले में  तकलीफ शुरू हो चुकी थी पर उसे  दरकिनार करते हुए  उन ने मेरी पत्नी का हर प्रकार से ध्यान रखा । जनवरी 1992 में  हमें पुत्र की प्राप्ति हुईं।अप्रैल मई में  माँ वापिस शिमला आयी तो परीक्षण के उपरान्त कैंसर होने की पुष्टि हुई। उसके बाद radio therapy आदि  इलाज का सिलसिला  जिससे कोई लाभ  नहीं ।अंततः 62 वर्ष पूरे  करने से   लगभग  दो  मास पूर्व ही माँ चल बसी । यों माँ की यह इच्छा थी कि मेरे पुत्र को बड़ा होते देख लेती ।
उस समय मुझे उस पड़ोस की  आंटी  की  at  random की गयी  भविष्यवाणी याद आयी ।
आज जबकि उम्र के उस पड़ाव को   मैं स्वयं पार कर चुका हूँ तो लगता  है कि माँ  वक़्त से  कुछ पहले ही चली गयी ।

Madhubala

Today is the death anniversary of  Madhubala, the very beautiful and highly talented actress  of Hindi Cinema.Born  Mumtaz  Jehan Begum Dehalavi on 14th February 1933, to a Pushtun family in Delhi, the family later shifted to Bombay. A fire accident in 1944 destroyed everything in their household though fortunately the family was saved as they had gone out to watch a movie.
At an early age , Madhubala started making the rounds of film studios  in search of work.
In 1942,when she was just nine, Kidar Sharma cast her in the film Basant which was a huge success.Thus she was launched on a film career and she became a sought after actress.
Initially she was cast with Mumtaz as her name. It was Devika Rani who gave her the name Madhubala that eventually stuck.She went on to act in films like Mahal, Amar, Mr.& Mrs.55, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Dulari, Tarana,  and Badal.Her fame as a beautiful and talented actress having travelled worldwide, the noted director Frank Capra offered  to take her to Hollywood but  her father Ataullah Khan declined, thus putting the lid on what could have been an International film career for Madhubala.
Madhubala co-starred with all  known male and female actors/ actresses of her time namely Ashok Kumar, Rehman, Rak Kapoor,Pradeep Kumar,Sunil Dutt,DilpKumar,Dev Anand as also Kamini Kaushal, Suraiya, Geeta Bali, Nalini jayant, Shyama and Nimmi .
She worked for producers/ directors like Mehboob Khan, Guru Dutt,Kamal Amroha and K. Asif.
Her filmography also includes films like  Shirin Farhad, Howrah Bridge,Faagun, Kala Pani, Barsat Ki Raat, Neel Kamal ,Beqasoor,Raj Hath, Yahudi Ki Ladki, Do Ustaad,Mughal-eAzam, Half Ticket and many many  others.
Having reached the pinnacle of fame and popularity as an actress, Madhubala was not as lucky on the personal front.
Her romantic relationship with Dilp Kumar  could not mature into matrimony due to objection fro her father. Next, tipped to marry Shammi Kapoor, the plan failed as Madhubala's father eyed it more as a business venture. Finally she married Kishore Kumar in 1960 but with disastrous results. Kishore Kumar treated her badly often giving her beating.Towards the end of 1950s her health had started declining as she had a hole in her heart. Unfortunately, the gravity of situation was not realized either by her directors or her family. Subjected to gruelling acting schedules further worsened the situation and she died  this day in 1969 aged 36.
This was a tragic end of Madhubala, who was feted as 'The Venus Of Indian Cinema'.
Our humble tributes !

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Zohrabai Ambalewali

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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

MY ADVENTURE WITH THE JHOOLA:

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

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pigeons rendered homeless



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