Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Agha Jani Kashmiri

Today is the 110th birth anniversary of Agha Jani Kashmiri, the Indian screenplay/ dialogue writer.Born Syed Wajid Hussain Rizvi this day in Lucknow in 1908, he was associated with popular and hit films like Vachan, Kismat, Lal Haveli, Humain, Anmol Ghadi,Najma, Taqdeer, Chandralekha,Anokhi Ada,Aurat, Amar, Chori Chori,Love in Shimla, Junglee, Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, Mujhe Jeeney Do, Ziddi, April Fool,Love in Tokyo, Tunde Achchha Kaun Hai, Naya Zamana and many many others.

He is known for writing the dialogues in chaste literary Urdu, which later got replaced by Salim- Javed's use of colloguial language .
Agha Jani Kashmiri died on 27th March, 1998 at Toronto, Canada , aged 89.
Our humble tributes to the great film personality !

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


HUNGER IS THE BEST SAUCE, they say and truly enough. But it is a heavenly boon and a bliss when you are treated to a reasonably good food , unexpectedly right in the middle of a desolate place or a Jungle.
In ' 80s while undergoing probation and part training at Ghumarwin, I was asked to carry out a joint inspection along with I&PH department and some stake holders to identify some land for the construction of a huge water storage tank.The group walked from one place to the other surveying vacant Government land amid some tree growth.At last some land got identified and some marking was done on the copy of revenue map after taking measurements of the spot.The exercise proved tiresome and exhausting in view of the fact that I had not taken breakfast in the morning. A person accompanying us,theretofore quite unknown to me sensing that something was wrong with me , enquired about my well-being.I frankly told him that I was dead hungry.
He assured me that he had some food with him and he was looking for water nearby. Luckily we found water on the way and we sat on the ground.He took out some wrapping from his bag. There were some chapatis softened with desi ghee, and some green leafy vegetable.
He shared his food happily with me , a complete stranger. The icing on the cake was some jam he was also carrying. This made a perfect lunch.
Even today, 32 years on,the thought of the kind person and the tasty lunch he was so happy to share with me, fills me with immense joy.

Monday, October 8, 2018

राज कुमार

अपनी अनूठी संवाद अदायगी, राजसी अदाओं एवं  तौर तरीकों के लिए  विख्यात, अद्भुत अभिनय प्रतिभा का दशकों लोहा मनवाने वाले अभिनेता  राजकुमार की आज जयंती है । इनका वास्तविक नाम कुलभूषण पंडित था।
स्कूल के ज़माने में मुहम्मद रफ़ी का अपने ख़ास अंदाज़ में गाया एक गीत ' घोड़ा लाहौरी मेरा, तांगा पिशौरी मेरा...' बहुत लोकप्रिय हुआ था । अभी हाल में  यू ट्यूब पर तलाश किया तो पाया कि यह गीत राजकुमार पर फिल्माया गया था ।एक बार और उनकी अभिनय प्रतिभा के प्रति प्रशंसा का  भाव मन में उभरा ।रजत पट पर अपनी जानदार उपस्थिति से कई बार पार्श्व भूमिका निभाते हुए भी नायक पर  भारी पड़ते हुए राजकुमार ने अनेकों यादगार फिल्मों में अभिनय किया !
आज उनकी 92वीं जयंती पर हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Familiar to the words ‘manicure’ and ‘pedicure’ only to the extent that they do exist in the English dictionary, I am quite regular, rather scrupulous in cutting the nails of my hands once in a week , and of feet every two weeks.For this I need a nail cutter handy as I am not on eofthe types who can cut/pare their nails to perfection with a razor blade . 
But once I was faced with a situation when my nails became due for cutting and I had no nail cutter .
The incident relates to early ‘80s. I was away from home for a few days and had forgotten to take the nail cutter along with other paraphernalia. On a day , the nails got due for cutting . What to do ! Those were not the days of ATM or debit card and one had to bank on and make do with the cash one had in the pocket.

Even though earning at that time , I had not much of cash with me and had to live within the amount I had. Purchasing a nail cutter seemed out of the question as I needed to save till the purchase of bus ticket for the back journey. I went to a small shop the market and asked the boy to show me a nail cutter. I cut my nails on the pretext of testing the nail cutter and asked the price. When told, I asked the boy to reduce the amount of price as at my place the same was available for much less amount . He refused to oblige me saying that the price was fixed. I refused to buy it much to the annoyance of the shopkeeper boy who pointed out that I had served my purpose cleverly . I didn’t say anything as he was right.Coming back , I myself felt bad and a bit guilty about it .However, I put the matter to rest hoping that I would be home before the next nail cutting became due.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tom Alter

Today is the first death anniversary of Tom Alter, an Indian actor of American descent. Born Thomas Beach Alter at Mussourie in today's Uttrakhand on 22 June, 1950, he received his early education abroad. Coming back to India, he FTII  Pune . After passing out from there he rushed to Mumbai .He got his first break in Sahab Bahadur, in which Dev Anand was in the lead roke.His first film to be released was Ramanand Sagar 's Charas.He got to play roles in Ram Bharose, Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin, and Paravarish.He also dubbed for Jeevan in the movie Amar Akbar Anthony.
He acted in Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khiladi, and also played the memorable role of a British Officer in Kranti.His other  films include Naukri, Kudrat and Sardar, a film based on the biography of Sardar Patel in the context of partition and Indian Independence.He also acted in an Assamiya film Adajya.Turning briefly to Hollywood, he acted in Peter O Toole's One Night With The King  .
He also acted in TV series Samvidhan, Bharat Ek Khoj, Khamosh Sa Afsana,Shaktiman and Junoon.
He was also active in theatre and  acted in plays like Beckett's  ' Waiting for Godot'
He was also an author and wrote some books.
Well versed in both Hindi and Urdu and familiar with Indian culture , he was fond of Shayari .
He was awarded Padma Shri in 2008.
He died this day last year, aged 67.
Our humble tributes to the very talented and versatile Actor !

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mahendra Kapoor

Today is the death anniversary of Mahendra Kapoor , a popular ,highly talented and versatile playback singer of Indian Cinema, who strode the Film Music world for decades during the golden era of Indian Cinema and shared space with the stalwarts like Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Manna De, Talat Mahmood and Kishore Kumar, lending his voice to all known heroes of the times.Born in Amritsar, Punjab on January 9, 1934 he shifted quite early to Mumbai and learnt Classical music from the likes of Pt.Husn Lal.He came out first in the open music competition called Murphy Metro music competition which opened the doors of professional playback singing.He got the opportunity to sing in Narang and the songAdha Hai Chandrama Raat  Aadhi , a duet with Asha Bhosle and  Komal Komal Charan, Shyamal Shyamal varan, a solo became instant hits.He went on to sing beautiful melodies, both solos and duets in films like Dhool Ka Phool, Waqt,Sohni Mahiwal, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi,Gumraah, Doli, Humraaz, Sangam, Upkar, Poorab Aur Paschim,Nikaah,Fakira, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Jai Santoshi Maa, and many many others. Apart from Hindi films, he sang for Punjabi, Marathi and Bhojpuri films.
He considered and acknowledged Muhammad Rafi, the legendary play back singer and a fellow Amritsari as his mentor and paid him glowing tributes on many occasions.
The throw and range of Mahendra Kapoor's voice was amazing. He sang the title song of popular TV serial Mahabharat .
His song 'Chand chhupa aur taare doobe...' from the film Sohni Mahiwal remains my personal favorite as are the songs from Humraaz, Gumraah, Dhool Ka Phool, Navrang..... and many many others. He also sang a duet with Muhammad Rafi, 'Kitni haseen aaj ye taaron ki Raat hai... ' for the film Aadmi.
He also gave a number of stage performances.
A Star singer at the Shimla Summer Festival in the early ' 70s, he also recorded two Himachali Pahadi songs for Akashvani.
He was a recipient of Padma Shri, National Award for Best Male Playback
Singer and  the Filmfare Award for the Best Male Playback Singer.
He died this day in 2008 aged 74.
Our humble tributes to the great singer !

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rajendra Krishan

Today is the death anniversary of Rajendra Krishan, a highly talented poet, lyricist and Screenwriter of Hindi Cinema. Born on June 6, 1919 in undivided Punjab, British India,he became fond of writing poems while still in school.In his early life he worked as a Clerk in Shimla till 1942.A voracious reader of Indian and Western authors, he acknowledged his indebtedness to the Urdu poetry of Firaq Gorakhpuri and Ahsan Danish as well as to the Hindi poet's Pant and Nirala.
On mid 40s he shifted to Bombay , now Mumbai to work as a screenwriter.His first screenplay was Janta in 1947. His debut as a Lyricist also came in 1947 with the film Zanjeer. After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 the wrote a lyrical tribute to him,' Suno suno aye duniya walo, Bapu ki yeh amar kahani......', which sung by Mohammad Rafi and composed by Husn lal Bhagat Ram became very popular.
Fame came to him with the lyrics he wrote for the Motilal- Suraiya starrer block buster Badi Behan and another movie Lahore.
Rajendra Krishan never looked back and in the coming years wrote wonderful melodies for the films like
Albela,Aaram,Ladki, Anarkali, Nagin,Azaad, Bhai Bhai, Dekh Kabira Roya,Asha, Adalat, Patang,Barkha, Love In Shimla, Bindiya,,Nazrana, Chhaya, Shaadi, Rakhi, Bluffmaster, Bharosa,Pooja ke Phool, Jahan Ara,Khandan, Pyaar Kiye Ja,Padosan, Brahmchari, Reshma Aur Shera and many many others.He also wrote dialogues for some of the films.He worked with all the leading popular Music Directors of the time.
He was a recipient of Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for the film Khandaan.
He died this day in 1987 aged  68.
Our humble tributes to the great Lyricist !

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Jagmohan Sursagar

Today  is the birth centenary of  Jagmohan Sursagar  or simply Jagmohan, a  popular   singer who sang   wonderful  melodies in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Born  Jaganmoy mitra this day in 1918 in West Bengal, he sang  a number of film and non film songs for  Kamal Dasgupta, a Bengali  music composer. He himself is known for a song  ‘Pyar ki yeh talkhiyan ……’ which he composed for    ‘Sardar’ a 1955 movie. The song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and was an instant hit. Jagmohan  also performed on stage shows  and sang along side many contemporary singers. His soft,  soothing , soul touching voice has a class of its own and  is a far cry from the loud film music  one comes across these days. The list of some of the very popular songs  he sang  goes like this :
O varsha ke pehle baadal ……
Dil ko hai tumse pyar kyun……
Mujhe na sapnon se behlao……
Dil de lar dard liya maine …….
Sapnon mein mujhko pyar mila……..
Ye chand nahin teri aarti hai……..
Pyari tum kitni sunder ho ……..
Aankhon mein chhupa kar man mera , man mein hai chhupa kaun…….
Mat kar saaj singaar sundari…….
Tum mere samne aya na karo……..
Meri aankhen bani diwani …………
Ik baar muskara do ……
Us raag ko jo payal mein soya haijagaa do………
Ulfat ki sazaa do mujhe ulfat ki sazaa do ………
                                     He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India  in 1999.
He died on 4th September 2003 , two days short of completing 85 years .
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Prof. Bipin Chandra

Today is the death anniversary of Prof. Bipin Chandra, an eminent historian and a great scholar . He had been a member of the UGC, and chairman of the National Book Trust for many years, besides many other prestigious assignments that he had.A renowned author, his books on History of India are a recommended reading for Civil Services aspirants .A Himachali from Kangra district Prof Chandra chose never to write his surname , which gave him a pan Indian identity .

My humble tributes to Prof Chandra !

गीतकार शैलेंद्र

हिन्दी सिनेमा के लोकप्रिय गीतकार स्व. शैलेंद्र की आज 95वीं जयंती है .आरम्भ में रेल विभाग में बतौर अप्रेंटिस अपनी नौकरी के दौरान शैलेंद्र ने कविताएं 
लिखना शुरू किया।सर्वप्रथम फिल्म अभिनेता- निर्माता राज कपूर ने उनकी कविता सुन कर फिल्म के लिए गीत लिखने का अनुरोध किया परन्तु आत्म सम्मान से भरे शैलेंद्र ने अनुरोध स्वीकार नहीं किया
। बाद में जब पत्नि की गर्भावस्था के दौरान उन्हें पैसे की ज़रुरत महसूस हुई तो वो स्वयं राजकपूर के पास गए ।मात्र पांच सौ रूपए के एवज में फिल्म बरसात के लिए दो गीत लिखे जो बहुत लोकप्रिय हुए ।इसके बाद शैलेंद्र ने पीछे मुड़ के नहीं देखा और एक से एक गीत फिल्मों के लिए रचे । यदि मुकेश राज कपूर की आवाज़ थे तो शैलेन्द्र उनकी भाषा या शब्द.वास्तव में ये राजकपूर ,मुकेश, शैलेन्द्र और शंकर-जयकिशन की चौकड़ी थी जिसने वर्षों तक सिनेमा और संगीत प्रेमियों के दिलों पर राज किया।
सुनते हैं, कि शंकर- जयकिशन ने उनसे वादा किया था कि वो उन्हें अन्य संगीतकारों से भी काम दिलाएंगे पर जब शंकर जय किशन ने ऐसा कुछ न किया तो शैलेंद्र ने क्षुब्ध होकर ये पंक्तियां लिख भेजीं ' छोटी सी ये दुनिया, पहचाने रास्ते हैं , कभी तो मिलोगे तो पूछेंगे हाल....'। शंकर जयकिशन ने न केवल उनके नाम की संस्तुति अन्य संगीतकारों से की बल्कि जीवन भर मित्रता भी निभायी ।बाद में ये पंक्तियां भी एक गीत के रूप में किशोर कुमार ने गायीं । शैलेंद्र ने शंकर जयकिशन के अलावा एस.डी. बर्मन, सलिल चौधरी, जैसे अन्य सन्गीत कारों के लिए भी गीत लिखे !आवारा, गाइड, तीसरी कसम, सन्गम, अनाड़ी, मेरा नाम जोकर, सुजाता, बरसात आदि फिल्मों के लिये उनके द्वारा लिखे गीत आज भी लोकप्रिय हैं । फिल्म 'आवारा ' का गीत ' आवारा हूँ ' तो देश विदेश में अत्यन्त लोकप्रिय हुआ । नोबेल पुरस्कार विजेता रूसी लेखक Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn के विश्व प्रसिद्ध उपन्यास Gulag Archipelago में भी 'आवारा हूँ ' गीत और इसकी धुन का सन्दर्भ मिलता है ।
फ़िल्म बूट पालिश का मशहूर गीत - चली कौन से देश - उनके द्वारा लिखित ही नहीं बल्कि उन पर फिल्माया भी गया है । बूट पालिश, श्री 420 , मुसाफिर को मिला कर पांच फिल्मों में शैलेंद्र ने अभिनय किया ।
तीन बार उन्हें फ़िल्मफ़ेयर उत्कृष्ट गीतकार पुरस्कार से भी नवाजा गया । उनने फिल्म ' तीसरी कसम' का निर्माण किया पर यह फिल्म बॉक्स ऑफिस पर सफल न हुई ।
मात्र 43 वर्ष की आयु में 1966 में शैलेंद्र का निधन हुआ ।
सीधे सादे शब्दों का प्रयोग कर अनेकों कालजयी गीतों की रचना करने वाले शब्दों के इस महान जादूगर को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Today is the death anniversary of Hrishikesh Mukherjee aka Hrishi da, the renowned Film Director and Screenwriter, next in prominence only to Satyajit Ray, a fellow Bengali.
Born on September 30 , 1934 at Calcutta in Bengal Presidency ( now Kolkata in West Bengal), he directed 42 movies in a career spanning four decades.
He is considered a pioneer in ' middle cinema', as he struck a middle path between extravagant romanticism of mainstream cinema and stark realism of art Cinema. This accounts for the mass popularity and appeal of his films.

His outstanding filmography includes films like Musafir, Anari, Anuradha,Chhaya, Asli Naqli,Aashiq, Anupama,Gavan, Manjhli Didi, Ashirwaad, Satyakam,Anand,Guddi, Bawarchi, Abhimaan,Chupke Chupke,Mili ,Aalaap,Golmal, Khoobsoorat and many others.
He remained a Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification and National Film Development Corporation.
A recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1999,he was also awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
He was also a winner of 8 Filmfare Awards and 7 National Awards.
He died this day in 2006 aged 83.

Our humble tributes to the legendary Film Director !

Basu Bhattacharya

Today is the death anniversary of Basu Bhattacharya, the well known film Director of Hindi Cinema.He started his career as an assistant to Bimal Roy in films Madhumati and Sujata.He shot into fame with Raj Kapoor- Waheeda Rehman starrer 1966 film Teesari Kasam, which won the National Award for the Best Feature Fillm in 1967.Ironically the film was not a success at the box office.

His another noted film that won critical acclaim was Aavishkaar, the Rajesh Khanna- Sharmila Tagore movie.Rajesh Khnna won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for this film.Another film Anubhav won the second Best Feature Fillm Award.The film Sparsh produced by him in 1979 won him the National Award for the Best Feature Fillm in Hindi and also the Filmfare Best Movie Award.
Basu Bhattacharya was also a member of the Jury at the 12th Moscow International Film Festival.
He died this day in 1997 aged 63.
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Lilies of the Valley

Collection of Essays  by
Lily Swarn
Publishers :Authorspress, New Delhi
ISBN 978-93-88008-52-5
Pp:            117
Price:   Rs 250/-
 Lily Swarn is a well known name especially in the English  language Literary circles with a  collection of poems    ‘ A Trellis of Ecstasy ‘, published last year . The poetry collection was well taken by the poetry lovers home and abroad and earned rave reviews in the printed mainstream  media as well as the social media. A formidable presence on the literary scene now, so far as poetry in English is concerned ,her poems have been translated into many Indian and Foreign languages . A winner of the 2016 Reuel  International  Prize for poetry, she has had  the honour of being invited as a distinguished  guest  at many conventions and conferences . The back page of the Cover of the book under discussion sums up her noteworthy achievements.
‘LILIES OF THE VALLEY’ has an excellent   Foreword by Ashok K. Bhargava , President Writers International  Network, Canada, followed by ’You cannot Hide Lily among the Thorns ‘  a beautiful poem by  Dr. Lanka Siva Rama Prasad, a medical  specialist , which shows us the various aspects and manifestations of the Lily flower  and which according to me could by extension mean Lily , the  writer of these essays   showing her many  shades ,  moods and views  through these nuggets . This also extends to the title of this collection. The Prologue by the author gives a peep into the background of this collection coming up ,describing  the churning ,  creative process .
  The writer has dedicated this collection to the memory of her dear mother, who departed on the Valentine Day in 2016
It  is a collection of fifty essays covering  diverse topics and written in her inimitable style .The topics chosen are of wide range and spectrum , and relate to objects, emotions, feelings , relationships, habits  and what not .While the writer seems to have a different take on  some of the  subjects, she adds a new dimension to many others    Interspersed with  lines from Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi poetry, befittingly and deftly made use of , the essays make an absorbing  reading.The references to various authors and books even  from other languages that enrich the text  also  show that the writer is well read .
 The very first essay  ‘Gossip’ sets the tone and  the writer is unsparing of the  male of the species for they also   indulge in this favourite pastime like women , who unfortunately being singled out , bear the burden of  reputation for this.Gossip may not always be a lie and could contain a grain of truth that  need not be told.  And who can deny the infectious genuine ‘Smiles’  that have the healing effect, while the artificial plastic smiles could painful to the person sporting them.  .The topic of ‘Love’  has been dealt twice with different  description and dimensions. ‘Coffee, Tea  Or Me’ deals with the subject close to my heart . While the mention of Indian Coffee House  pleases me no end, she has the last word when she sums up the brew ideally  ‘ Black as the devil, hot as hell;pure as an angel , sweet as love’ One can feel and savour the aroma throughout .
‘Dawn’ dwells on what a late riser  might miss out on, given the salubrious fresh morning breeze and the sweet cooing of the Koel that always has the magic effect of lifting the mood and the spirit.
‘Hypocrisy’ dissects the false hoods  in the expletives and hyperbolic expression of love .
‘Tree’ appears as a persona in  the beautiful essay, symbolizing objects of love . A lone tree could also mean a forlorn lover or simply a person without company.
In  ‘ Raqs’  suggestively  titled so, dance is not mere entertainment like Giddha . There is a spiritual and religious dimension to it. The terms ‘raqs-e anaa’ &  ‘ raqs-e- sharar’   are an addition to my knowledge and vocabulary .
‘The “F” Word ‘  meaning  Fat is the most abhorred  word these days , a detriment to health , looks, well being and self esteem . This has been beautifully brought out by the writer in this essay. Laced with her own wedding time experience , there is an express  longing  for the  old times , when the  painter  Peter Paul Reuben painted the perfect  woman. She quotes from a   Hindi film song  that celebrates a ‘ fat biwi’.
‘Diseases of the Soul’  presents inter alia the example of one Mr. Bajaj , a nonagenarian with extraordinary zest for life.
‘Tears’ discusses the ‘most potent weapon’ in altogether a different light . The writer does not fiorget to mention the famous  Folk song from Chamba,  ‘ Kapde dhowan nale rowan kunjua….’ to my utter delight.
‘Father’ is discussed on the expected lines, as  the writer seems to me ‘a father’s daughter’  bearing physical facial resemblance to him.
‘Moustaches’  comes with some amount of research and a touch of humour
In short , the writer treats us  with  a wide gamut of subjects, covering  objects ,  emotions , feelings….etc . Some of the essays are philosophical  and are a result of  serious introspection
The essays though short and crisp never grow terse . Further the references and quotations from various sources like lines from Urdu poetry, Hindi songs, Punjabi sayings and adages   are woven into the text with dexterity and the total impact is just amazing.
I ,for one,  am left wonderstruck like the villagers   in Oliver Goldsmith’s poem ‘ The Village Schoolmaster ‘
‘…..That one small head could carry all  (s)he  knew ….’
A reader's delight  !!
The taste of pudding is in the eating , so why wait  !

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Qurratulain Haider

Today is the death anniversary of Qurratulain Hyder, a renowned Urdu novelist and short story writer.She was born on 20th January, 1927, in Aligarh to Sajjad Haidar Yildarim and Nazar Zahra, both writers.Her Urdu novel, 'Aag Ka Dariya'  first published from Pakistan in 1959, which encompasses the period from 4th Century BC to post Partition of India, remains her most notable work.
A recipient of Sahitya Academy Award in 1967 for her collection of short stories titled 'Patjhar Ki Awaz',she also won the 1989 Jnanpith Award for Akhire Shab Ke Humsafar. She won the  prestigious Sahitya Academy Fellowship in 1994 .
She was awarded Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2005.
She brought a new sensibility , thought and imagination to the genre of Urdu novel.
She was also an academician and had teaching assignments in India and abroad.
She bears favourable comparison  with contemporary writers like Milan Kundera and Gabriel Garcia  Marquez .
She died this day in 2007 aged 80.
Our humble tributes !

Sunday, August 19, 2018

हज़ारी प्रसाद द्विवेदी

आज हिन्दी के महान लेखक - उपन्यासकार, निबंधकार, आलोचक आचार्य हजारी प्रसाद द्विवेदी की जयन्ति है। शान्ति निकेतन  सहित अनेक संस्थाओं में हिन्दी शिक्षण से सम्बद्ध रहे।
उनकी प्रमुख रचनाएँ अशोक के फूल, बाण भट्ट की आत्मकथा व अनामदास का पोथा हैं। भक्ति कालीन साहित्य का उनका अध्ययन एवं शोध  अद्वितीय है।
पद्मभूषण से सम्मानित  हिन्दी साहित्य के इन पुरोधा को हमारी विनम्र  श्रद्धांजलि  !

Jan Nisar Akhtar

Today is the  42nd death anniversary of  Jaan Nisar Akhtar, a noted Urdu poet who penned Ghazals and Nazms. He remained associated with the Progressive Writers Movement  and also wrote memorable lyrics for Hindi films.T he lyrics of songs written by him for the film Yasmeen, CID, Prem Parbat, Noori, Razia Sultan as also the nazm "Ash'ar  mere yun to zamane ke liye hain.... ...." deserve special mention.
His son, Javed Akhtar is a noted Urdu poetry, lyricist, dialogue writer and a social activist.
Jan Nisar Akhtar was a recipient of  Sahitya Academy Award.
Our humble tributes  !

Sunday, August 12, 2018


Being a Shimlaite, I have been a compulsive walker especially in my young age. In my twenties  during early years of my employment, I was a frequent visitor to Chandigarh on one pretext or the other.I could not resist having a long walk even there without caring to be an odd man out as people there move about in car, scooter, mobike or even plain bicycle. Many others have the option of a cycle rickshaw.
Once during one of my sojourns,I took a walk from Sector 35- where I was staying- to  Sector 17 along the main road through Sector 22. As I reached the Parade Ground, I was face to face with a roadside vendor selling hair oil of some kind.As our eyes met , in his typical manner, he asked me to go for some oil.
Not concerned or conscious about my looks,I said my hair was Okay.
Seeing a potential customer slipping out of his hands, he started a verbal salvo in Hindi- Urdu mix - kya khaak  theek hain, rookhe sookhe betarteeb baal hain..etc.
Not taken in by his persuasion, I moved on , did my usual loitering and window- shopping and returned to my place again walking.
His words  rang in my ears and on an impulse I had a look at myself in the mirror.My hair did appear dry  and unkempt as he had suggested.
But soon, I brushed aside the matter but was simply impressed by his salesmanship and  marketing strategy.
This was not a big deal anyways, but don't we get duped time and again by many people including politicians who by their all too well known  false promises are able to garner our votes !

Saturday, August 11, 2018

गोपाल सिंह नेपाली

"अफ़सोस नहीं इसका हमको, जीवन में हम कुछ कर न सके,
झोलियाँ किसी की भर न सके, संताप किसी का हर न सके,
अपने प्रति सच्चा रहने का, जीवन भर हमने काम किया,
देखा-देखी हम जी न सके, देखा-देखी हम मर न सके ।"
- गोपाल सिंह नेपाली
आज इनकी जयंती है ।
हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Morning musings

As I wake up in the morning to a day with a clear weather and sky, these small birds and their sweet tweets seem to be the only sign of life besides our own. When I open the door to welcome the dawn and the day, two or three of them intuitively start flying to and fro, an indication that I give them something.
A handful of rice grains scattered for them on the ground immediately causes them to swoop down, sometimes 60-70 in number to pick up grains.It is not easy to take a shot of a large group as the slightest movement or indication thereof , makes them fly away in fright , though one or two remain there. Reassured by their presence, the other also come again to have their repast . It is a pleasure watching them .At the same time one is left wonder struck at the amazing variety of animal and plant life obtaining on this planet !

Monday, July 16, 2018

Ghanashyam Bali

Jagdish Bali's post informs of the  shocking,sad demise of  Ghanshayam Bali, a personal and Facebook dear friend.
I am taken back in timeline to the year 1986 when I was undergoing training cum probation at Ghumarwin .
One fine day a gentleman turned up in my office and introduced himself as Ghanshyam Bali, NYK coordinator.Nothing official about the meeting but he had come to know that some fellow Shimlaite was there and had decided to meet me.
As the conversation progressed,I came to know that we had more things in common than being from the same district.Like me he was also a post graduate in English.He had  taught in College as casual Lecturer.
Subsequently, I left the station on being posted to Pooh .Later, when we met, he had been selected as a Treasury Officer and was working as such.
When after spending 18 years in different parts if the state , I got posted in 2002 for a brief period in the Secretariat, I found him working as Deputy Director Small Savings on deputation.He came across as a sober honest gentleman who always talked in a low voice.We kept meeting after long intervals. It was always a pleasure to meet him.
The last we met was some 2-3 years back at Kali Bari temple and had a long rewarding conversation.
His passing away comes as a shock as I always found him active, hale and hearty.
RIP dear friend ,I have met very few like you !!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Baljee's Restaurant

The news that Baljee's restaurant at the Mall, Shimla is closing down has come as a shock.Situated in the middle of the city, that too at a vantage point on the Mall, the restaurant has attracted the locals and the tourists alike due to availability of ample sitting space and the food and beverage items on offer.
I am taken back to my college days in the early '70s when we came here , not frequently though as it seemed a bit upmarket in view of the limited amount of pocket money we received. The choice then fell alternatively to The Indian Coffee House and the Himani restaurant, which we could afford.
In the early days of my employment at Shimla, I used to alternate between Baljee's and the Indian Coffee House.
For more than a decade now , my visits to the Mall have become few and far between, but Baljee's is the only place I visit to have tea and the South Indian stuff like, Dosa, Vada or Idli.
I feel concerned for the eighty odd number of staff employed there, who will face crunch.
As per the news, the winding up may take about a year but then time passes too quickly.

Chetan Anand

Today is the 21st death anniversary of Chetan Anand, the well known Film Director, Producer, Actor and Screenplay writer.In his early years he was for some time a member of the Indian National Congress, had a stint with the BBC and also taught at the Doon School.The lure of films took him to Bombay and he remained associated with the Indian People's Theatre Association . He came to  limelight when his maiden directorial venture Neecha Nagar won the Palme d'Or Award for the Best Feature film at the Cannes  Film Festival in 1946 and became the first Indian Film to win international acclaim.This was also the debut film of Kamini Kaushal as an actress and of Pt. Ravi Shankar as a music composer.Later he established a production House called Navketan Films along with his younger brother Dev Anand and produced Afsar ,Taxi Driver and Andhiyan.As an actor he appeared in the film Humsafar and later in films Arpan and Anjali which were his directorial ventures too .The other films in which he   acted   were Kala Pani,Kinare Kinare, Aman, Kanch aur Heera and Hindustan Ki Kasam which he directed also.
Later Chetan Anand started his own  production house called Himalaya Films.Teaming up with the lyricist Kaifi Azmi, the photographer Jaal Mistri and the actress Priya Rajwansh, he produced Haqeeqat, Heer Ranjha and Hindustan Ki Kasam , incidentally all starting with the letter 'H' .
Chetan Anand is said to have discovered Rajesh Khanna and given him break with the film Aakhri Khat though this was not the first released film of the  super star.Later Rajesh Khanna also appeared in his film Kudrat.
In all Chetan Anand produced/directed 17 feature films and also a TV serial Param Vir Chakra, which was telecast by Doordarshan.

Our humble tributes to the great film personality  !

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Raja Deen Dayal

Today is the death anniversary of Lala Deen Dayal aka Raja Deen Dayal , the first Indian commissioned photographer.
He was born in 1844. He was a student of Thompson College of Civil Engineering, Roorkee and trained as a draughtsman.He took up job as such in Indore, where he came in contact with Tukoji Rao, the princely ruler of Indore, who encouraged him to take up photography. Turning passion into a profession, Deen Dayal established studios at Secunderabad, Bombay and Indore. In turns he was appointed as the Court Photographer to the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the official Photographer to the Viceroy of India and Queen Victoria. Before that he had covered the Royal visit of the Prince of Wales in 1875- 76.
He is regarded as the Chronicler of British India and also photographed ancient monuments of historical and archaeological importance.The photographs taken by him adorn the museums in England and the US.
He was given the title of Raja by the Nizam.
He died this day in 1910 aged 66.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy

Today is the birth ( and also death) anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, FRCS, MRCP . He was born this day in 1882.An alumnus of Calcutta Medical College, he is credited with qualifying both FRCS & MRCP simultaneously in a short period of two years and three months, a rare feat not equalled by anyone after him.He was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal and is remembered as the builder of West Bengal, having established many cities.

His birth day is observed as the National Doctors Day in India .
He was a recipient of Bharat Ratan, the highest civil honour in India.
He died this day in 1962 aged 80.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

Friday, June 29, 2018

Do Badan

I do have some liking for films, but film stars and their acting have always fascinated me.Whatever little  information I have about the film world has been gleaned in the past by browsing through film magazines like, Filmfare, Star & Style, Stardust and the Screen .Due to self imposed restrictions I never saw a movie in a Cinema Hall throughout my student life. I watched some very good movies like Dosti, Jagriti, Ashirwaad, Mamta, Kabuliwala, Saat Hindustani and Suhaag aur Sindoor etc.  shown by the Publicity and Public Relations Department in Mohallas and localities on 16mm projector , and the ones shown tax free for which we as kids were taken to cinema hall or the DAV Lakkar Bazar which had a projector.I remember having watched Boot Polish , Gurubhakti Eklavya, & Sampooran Ramayan thus.I saw movies in higher classes when my own School got a projector of their own.
In 1972, Do Badan, a 1965 Blockbuster was having a rerun at one of the Cinema Halls in Shimla, and some  friends decided to watch it on a Sunday,with strict instructions to me to make it to the Cinema Hall positively and on time. I knew that the movie had a star cast of my favourites like Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh, Pran and Manmohan Krishan but  somehow my resolve of not seeing a movie from home got the better of me and I decided not to go.
The next day when we met in the College, one by one all those friends gave me a bit of their mind telling inter alia that  they had a hard time selling the ticket purchased for me.
I did see a few movies in Cinema Hall after student life but none after 1986.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

संत कबीर

प्रसंगवश :
हिन्दी भक्ति साहित्य व भक्ति काल की महान विभूति संत कबीर का आज 500वां प्रयाण दिवस है । 1398 को जन्मे कबीर का पालन पोषण नीरू नाम के मुस्लिम जुलाहे और उसकी पत्नी नीमा ने किया ।
अनायास ही राम के अनन्य भक्त रामानंद से राम नाम की दीक्षा मिली व राम भक्ति में लीन हो कर पूरा जीवन बिता दिया । गृहस्थ जीवन में रहते हुए विवाह भी हुआ और संतान प्राप्ति भी । सांसारिकता का निर्वाह करते हुए भी मोह माया से दूर रहे और वैराग्य का अनूठा उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया । अनेकानेक दोहों की रचना की । ' मसि कागद छुह्यो नहीं, कलम गह्यो नहीं हाथ' की स्वीकारोक्ति के बावजूद उनके दोहों में भक्ति, दर्शन, वैराग्य, निस्पृहता, व्यवहारिकता - सभी का समावेश मिलता है । साधारण भाषा शैली में रचित दोहे शीघ्र कंठस्थ हो जाते हैं और अनेक सन्दर्भों में उद्धृत होते हैं । रूढ़ियों व अन्धविश्वास के घोर विरोधी होने के नाते कबीर एक समाज सुधारक के रूप में भी जाने जाते हैं ।
हिंदी साहित्य में उन्हें विशिष्ट स्थान प्राप्त है और उनकी रचनाओं पर बहुत अधिक शोध किया गया है । ज्ञातव्य है कि हिंदी साहित्य की प्रथम डी. लिट, डा. पीताम्बर दत्त बड़थवाल को उनके कबीर पर लिखे शोध प्रबंध पर दी गयी थी । इसके अतिरिक्त डा. नगेन्द्र का कबीर पर लिखा पी. एचडी शोध प्रबंध सीधे तौर पर डी. लिट् के लिए स्वीकृत हुआ था ।

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

SHFJ Manekshaw

Today is the 10th death anniversary of Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, a former Chief of Staff of the Indian Army. A highly decorated officer and an outstanding soldier, he saw action in the Second World War and was awarded Military Cross by the British Government. Post independence, he actively participated in 1962, 1965, and 1971 wars and is befittingly called the Hero of 1971 War. A recipient also of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, besides many military honours, he was first officer of the Indian Army to be conferred the rank of Field Marshal .
No other Commander of the Indian Army enjoyed such a rapport with the troops as he did. He was endearingly called Sam Bahadur. I have heard one of his speeches concluded with the words- Shaabash Jawan, Ram Ram. A unique personality indeed. 

Our humble tributes to this great and outstanding soldier !

राहुल देव बर्मन

अपनी आकर्षक एवं कर्णप्रिय धुनों से फिल्मी गीतों को सुसज्जित करने वाले विख्यात संगीतकार राहुल देव बर्मन उर्फ पंचम दा की आज 79वीं जयंती है ।पंचम दा ने अपने पिता महान संगीतकार सचिन देव बर्मन के पदचिन्हों पर चलते हुए फिल्म संगीत के क्षेत्र में अपना लोहा मनवाया ।जहाँ एक ओर लता मंगेशकर, मुहम्मद रफ़ी और किशोर कुमार जैसे दिग्गजों ने उनके द्वारा तैयार धुनों पर गीत गाये, वहीँ दूसरी ओर नवोदित गायकों से भी गीत गवा कर, उन ने उनका उत्साह बढ़ाया व इस क्षेत्र में उन्हें अपना स्थान बनाने में भरपूर योगदान दिया । 

एक प्रयोगधर्मी संगीतकार के नाते अपने संगीत में न केवल Disco और Rock संगीत का समावेश किया अपितु कुछ गीतों में पाश्चात्य धुनों को भी सफलता पूर्वक अपनाया । यही नहीं, उनने विशेष ध्वनि उत्पन्न करने के लिए कप प्लेट आदि के साथ भी प्रयोग किये ।कुछ नामचीन शास्त्रीय संगीतज्ञों ने भी उनके लिए वाद्य यंत्र बजाए ।
तीन बार उन्हें फ़िल्मफ़ेअर पुरस्कार से नवाज़ा गया व कई बार नामित भी हुए ।
इस लोकप्रिय एवं प्रतिभावान संगीतकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Daan Singh

Yesterday was the death anniversary of Daan Singh, the talented music composer who composed timeless melodies like 'Zikr hota hai jab qayamat ka......' & ' Wo tere pyar ka gham, ik bahana tha sanam......' both sung by Mukesh for 'My Love', a 1970 film.A victim of dirty politics prevailing in the film music industry, he never got enough work to do and died a frustrated man on 18th June, 2011.

Our humble tributes !

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day

The year was 1966, the month December. I was to appear in  Board’s examination of Class VIII.The exam was conducted   under the aegis and control of  the District Education Officer and was external in nature,  hence the importance attached to it . There was a competition among Schools to show  good results as  a comparison was  always made after the results were out. To ensure that the students were  well prepared and did well,  an hour’s extra class each  in the morning  and the evening was  the norm  for about two months, meaning  we had a grueling  routine  from 8:45 AM to  5: 30 PM . As ill luck would have it , I fell  sick with high fever  in the first week of December,  the ailment diagnosed as Typhoid.In normal ordinary times, this would have been taken in the stride , but the matter was serious and of immense concern as the Exams were to start on 21st  December. Not being able to appear in the exam would straightway mean loss of one year . A serious student that I was, I wanted to appear in the exam , come what may. Resultantly a crash course of  treatment and medication was followed . The extraordinary  care that   my parents took got me out of the fever but I was too weak  to move on my own. I prepared for the exam in my own way, sitting in the bed covered with quilts and a folded quilt behind my back to recline against. Frequent , periodic hot water bottle was in place to keep me warm . I was on liquid diet, supplemented with some fruit . 
The  day of the start of examination arrived. We lived in Lower Kaithu area, and the center of Examination was Govermnent Higher Secondary School, Lal Pani , down below the Bus stand.
All covered up with normal warm clothings and a blanket, accompanied and supported my father, I had to walk slowly  the entire distance on foot in that condition .
Leaving me at the Examination  Hall, my father would go and wait , sitting at a Halwai shop at a distance above . After the  paper, I would find him waiting for me outside the Hall , in the playground . He would hold me by the arm, take me to the Halwai shop , and I would have a glass of milk before starting on back journey on foot again.On reaching home , a hot water bottle was  already there in the bed . After some light food and some rest I would  brush up for the next day .  We had seven papers in all, and this was the routine .
Why I am writing this today ? 
Well, isn’t this time for me  to remember my father for this and many other things he did for me   !

Happy Father’s Day !

Thursday, June 14, 2018


 Prem Dhawan was a highly talented and versatile but less discussed  lyricist of Hindi Cinema.To a lesser degree, he was also a composer and a choreographer.  Born on 13 June, 1923 at Ambala in present day  state of Haryana, he received his college education in Lahore and at that time was actively associated with the activities of the Communist  Party Of India.
He started his film career in 1946 as an assistant to the composer  Khursheed  Anwar, in  K.A. Abbas’s film aaj Aur kal . He later moved to Bombay and joined  the  Indian Peoples Theatre Association .This association helped him to learn Classical music under the Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar . His debut as a lyricist came with the film Dharti  Ke  Lal , the journey continuing for more than four decades  till 1989 .
He wrote lyrics for a number of films like Aaram, taran, Aasman, Shola Aur Shabnam ,Kabuli wala, Ek Phool  Do Mali , Purab Aur Paschim, Zabak, Guest House, Saawan, Pardesui, Nayee Raahen, Pavitra Paapi, Vachan, Taangewali, Raat Ke Andhere Mein , Ek Saal Pyar Ka Saagar, Jaagte Raho, Dus Lakh, Nanak Dukhia Sab Sansar  and many many others. However, real  acclaim came to him from Manoj Kumar starrer movie Shaheed .
He wrote all kinds of songs-romantic, patriotic, pathetic, sad , humorous- and excelled in all .He also acted in two films, namely Lajawaab and Goonj  Uthi  Shehnai.
Some of the beautiful  lyrics that he wrote can be listed thus:
Aye mere pyaare watan, aye mere bichhde chaman….
Chhodo kal ki baaten, kal ki baat purani ……
Ye parada hata do , zara mukhda dikha do ……
Teri Duniya se door, chale hoke majboor……
Halke halke chalo saanware
Mera  Rang de basanti chola….
Jogi   hum to lut gaye tere pyar mein….
Aye watan aye watan humko teri kasam…….
Pagdi sambaal jatta…..
Tujhe Sooraj kahun ya chanda….
Agar Bewafa tujhko pehchan jaate….
Sab kuchh luta ke hosh mein aaye to kya kiya….
Nain mile nain hue baaware…..
Mujhe pyar k i zindagi dene wale…..
Awen dunia dewe duhaai , jhootha  paaondi  shor……
O nanhe se farishte’……….
Chandamama door ke….
Garibon ki suno who tumhari sunega…..
Kaun Rang Mungwa, kaun rang motiya….
Sadaa khush rahe tu jafa karne wale……
Wafa jinse ki, bewafa ho gaye…….
Dil ko lakh sambhala ji , phir bhi dil matwala ji…..
Tum se kuchh kehna hai, agar tum kuchh kehne do….
Rasiya  re man basiya re….
Zindagi bhar gham judai ka mujhe tadpayega…..
Bheega  bheega  pyar  ka  samaa……
Nain dwar se man mein  wo aa ke……
Allah hi allah kar pyare bhai …….
 He was awarded  Padma Shri  in 1970 and was also a recipient of National Film Award for the best Lyricist .
He died on May 7, 2001, aged 77.
Our humble tributes  !

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


June 6 is the birth anniversary of Shyama, the popular, versatile actress of Hindi Cinema. Born Khurshid Akhtar this day in 1935 at Lahore in undivided Punjab, she came to Mumbai in the '40s . She made her acting debut in the 1945 film Zeenat .In an acting career spanning three decades and a half, she acted in about 140 films in lead and character roles.A talented and versatile Actor, she appeared in a number of well known films in the '50s and '60s.Her filmography includes films like Aar Paar, Tarana, Bhai Bhai, Barsaat ki Raat, Shayar, Shabnam, Patanga,Mirza Sahi baan, Sazaa,Bhabhi, Chhoo Mantar, Milan,Ajnabee, Sharda,Thokar,
Dil-e-Nadaan, Suhag Sindoor,Shart, Taqdeer, Chhoti Behan, Sabak, Jaanwar, Naya Din Nayi Raat and many many others.
The songs picturized on her very popular as her rhythmic movements synchronized well with the lyrics and the music.
The song ' Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed ka','Ae lo main hari piya hui teri jeet re', ' Na yeh chaand hoga na  taare rahenge', & 'Aye dil mujhe bataa de tu kis pe aa gaya hai'  bear testimony to this.She was a natural actor and a confident one.
She was married to Fali Mistry, a Gujrati Parsi cinematographer, from whom she had two sons and a daughter.
She died on November 14, 2017 aged 82.
Our humble tributes to the versatile actress !

Birthday !

12 June1954, तदानुसार 30 ज्येष्ठ 2012 विक्रमी.
I was born this day in a rented accommodation at Annadale ,Shimla.It was a Saturday and and I was born at about 10PM.
An interesting anecdote which was recounted and retold later many times in different contexts.
My grandfather, into his seventies at that time who had come visiting us in Summer as usual had gone to bed. My father, playing a joke told him that a daughter was birn. Grandfather did not utter a word and covered his face with quilt.
Mercifully no gender bias but a genuine concern of a parent finding the balance tilting on one side as two daughters were already there.
In the morning,when my birth was  disclosed, he immediately got up, had a bath and after light refreshment, waled up to Lower Bazar. It was something pleasant for all to see him back with a metal bath tub or a 'tasla' as it is called in common colloquial language .It was some metal, yellow in color, though not brass.The bath tub remained with us for many years as a memento of sorts.
In these six decades plus,I have seen a lot , happening and changing. As a toddler I have been ' witness' to a plane , trial landing at Annandale, but taking off with much difficulty !

Enough for today !

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Clocks & Watches

Time has gone ticking by since the beginning of the Universe, whether or not one had the ways ,means and devices to measure it . In ancient times  perhaps man started marking time with the movement of the Sun.
Living in these times, we have had clocks and watches of varios types from the simple hand wound alarm clocks, wrist watches to automatic,
Cell operated, stop watches and analog watches, the ones measuring even the fraction of a second, proverbially the split second meaning and mattering a lot in today's fast moving world.

My childhood memories are of a Germany made Kienzle time piece, kept in a wooden case, the English numerals on the dial filled with radium, which would shine in the night darkness. Occasionally, a morning alarm would be set which even at low pitch was no music to the ears.I was equally fascinating by a ' Jeb Ghadi' or a pocket watch of my grandfather,that had Roman numerals on its dial and appeared a perfect replica of the big clock that even today adorns the CTO building at,the  Mall Shimla.I buses to tinker with it whenever we went to the village or our grandfather came visiting at Shimla.
My father had a GAMA wrist watch with English numerals and a dial with red border, that he would graciously give to me during exams to keep track of time while writing .
I had my prize wrist watch in 1972, an HMT Janata hand wound one which though a sturdy one would go 2 minutes faster every day.
This got replaced in 1984 by a Citizen automatic that I got at the time of marriage.
This further got replaced in 2001 by aTitan watch gifed by a dear friend , which I sport even now , notwithstanding the fact that  some considerable amount goes into purchasing a branded strap and the cell, every alternate year.
I do have another Titan watch, which my superstitious wife does not allow me to put on my wrist.
My kids have never felt the need for a wrist watch as the mobile takes care of everything.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Suneel Dutt

Today is the birth anniversary of Suneel Dutt, the highly popular Actor of Hindi Cinema. He was also a Producer and Director.
Born Balraj Dutt this day in 1929, he started with  the Radio Broadcasts and became  very popular while working for the Hindi Service of Radio Ceylon, now known as Radio Srilanka.
He made his acting debut in 1955 film Railway  Platform. With large impressive eyes , 6 ft 2 inch height with a physique to match, he was a natural choice for dacoit centric and Thakur type roles . He became equally popular in lead romantic roles.Fame came to him early with a role in the iconic film Mother India, he playing the son of Nargis, his future wife.
It is said that  love happened between the two actors in the same film when Suneel Dutt saved Nargis's life in a fire accident during the shooting.
Another film for which Suneel Dutt is also remembered is his own  production- directorial venture  Yaadein, the 1964 movie in which he was the only Actor, with Nargis appearing only in a silhouette in the  starting scene.The film won the best Hindi  Feature film Award .
Suneel Dutt appeared opposite all leading heroines of the time viz. Asha Parekh, Sadhana, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan etc. etc.
The films in which he acted include Kundan, Ek Hi Raasta,Kismat Ka Khel,Mother India, Sadhana, Sujata,Insaan Jaag Utha,Ek Phool Char Kaante,Hum Hindustani, Chhaya,Gumrah, Mujhe Jeeney Do,Nartaki, Yeh Raastey Hain Pyar Ke,Beti Bete,Ghazal, Khandaan, Waqt, Mera Saya, Humraaz, Milan, Padosan,Chirag, Reshma Aur Shera,Geeta Mera Naam, Jaani Dushman, Dard Ka Rishta, Raj tilak, Munnabhai MBBS, Rocky... and many many others.
As an Actor turned Politician, he was five time elected MP from Bombay North West constituency and also had a stint as the Union Minister for Youth affairs and Sports.
A recipient of Padmashri, he also received many other honours and Awards.
He died on May 25, 2005, aged 76.
Our humble tributes to the gentleman Actor  !

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

World Environment Day

My late father always used to carry a thick cloth 'thaila' to bring vegetables from the bazar where he happened to go after office hours . Needless to say that the bag used to be quite heavy being laden with vegetables for a brood of four besides my mother and himself. In a way, the bag or the thaila had become his trademark . Even after retirement he bought vegetables himself and carry them home.
For the persons who hesitated to carry thaila, the polythene bags , when they appeared on the scene , were considered a boon. No need to carry a thaila or a jhola, as the shopkeeper would himself provide a polythene bag of the required size.This went on for decades together before the environmentalists realised that polythene and plastic were not a boon but a bane- toxic and therefore dangerous for the living beings. Many a cattle got choked to death on swallowing polythene bags.
The oft quoted shlok from the Holy Bhagwad Gita
नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः ।
 न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥.
is as much applicable to plastic and polythene as to the 'atman'.
It is heartening to see that this year the theme of World Environment Day is ' Beat Plastic Use'.
Happy Environment Day !

Monday, June 4, 2018


खूबसूरती, सादगी, और अभूतपूर्व अभिनय प्रतिभा की प्रतिमूर्ति , अपने समय की लोकप्रिय फिल्म अदाकारा नूतन की आज जयंती है। मराठी सिनेमा की अभिनेत्री शोभना समर्थ की बड़ी संतान नूतन को अभिनय विरासत में मिला था।मिस इंडिया के रूप में सम्मान प्राप्त नूतन ने अभिनय के क्षेत्र में भी कामयाबी और शोहरत की बुलंदियों को छुआ और अपनी अभिनय यात्रा में हिंदी सिनेमा की यादगार फिल्मों में उपस्थिति दर्ज की। चाहे सुजाता फिल्म में दलित लड़की का किरदार हो, चाहे मैं तुलसी तेरे आँगन की में ठकुराइन का, नूतन ने अपनी प्रतिभा का लोहा मनवाया
। दिल  ही तो है,लैला मजनूँ, सरस्वतीचंद्र, अनाड़ी, बंदिनी,आखिरी दाव, तेरे घर के सामने,दिल ने फिर याद किया, कर्मा, सौदागर, मिलन,छैला, सीमा, कन्हैया,यादगार आदि फिल्में उनकी नायाब अदाकारी की मिसाल हैं।
एक बेहतरीन इन्सान के रूप में भी नूतन को याद किया जाता है ।
पद्मश्री समेत अन्य कई पुरस्कारों से सम्मानित
महान अभिनेत्री को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Monday, May 28, 2018

Shevan Rizvi

Sixty years down memory lane, the iconic Qawwali, ' Hamen toh loot liya milke husn walon ne' from the 1958 film Al Hilal sung beautifully by Ismail Azad Qawwal and the group rings a bell in the ears.The Qawwali was written by the lyricist Shevan Rizvi.Unfortunately not much seems to have been written and discussed about him, though he being a very talented lyricist wrote memorable lyrics for Hindi Cinema .The films he wrote lyrics for include Al Hilal, Humsaya, Dil Aur Mohabbat, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Gawayya,and Qawwali ki Raat.
The songs that can be listed among his best , besides the qawwali mentioned above are
Dil ki awaaz bhi sun mere fasane pe na ja,
Hath aya hai jab se tere hath mein,
Woh haseen dard de do, jise main gale laga loon,
Husn wale husn ka anjaam dekh, doobte sooraj ko waqt-e-sham dekh,
Aisey toote tar ki mera geet adhoora reh gaya,
Mujhe mera pyar de do,
Humko tumhaare ishq ne kya kya bana diya,jab kuchh na ban sake to tamasha bana diya....
Our humble tributes to the great lyricist !

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Great Gama

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 !

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hans Raj Behl

Today is the death anniversary of Hans Raj Behl, a very talented but less celebrated composer and music director of Hindi and Punjabi films.He made his debut in the 1946 film Pujari. The celebrated  singer, Asha Bhosle, made her singing debut in Hindi films with a song in the film Chunariya in 1948, in which music was composed by Hans Raj Behl. The 500 and odd songs set to tune by him include 'Jahan dal dal par soney ki chiriya  karti hai basera..." , ' Nain dwar se man mein woh aa ke, tan mein aag lagaye', ' Bhiga bhiga pyar ka samaa batade tujhe jana hai kahan' & ' Sab kuchh lutaya hamne, aa kar teri gali mein'
He also composed music for Punjabi films like Lachhi , Satluj de' Kande  and Pind di Kudi.
Our humble tributes to the great composer !

Friday, May 18, 2018


Politics is not party politics only, rather anything nefarious,opportunistic and reeking of favouritism involves some kind of politics.I have had the bitter taste of this early in my life as a nine year old.I was in fifth class and won monitorship through open voting by a good margin.

The boy who lost to me and still wanted to become the monitor approached the class teacher.The boy's family enjoyed some clout in the school management, so obviously the teacher was also under some pressure. A docile student that I was, I gave in, rather gave up and let that boy be the monitor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Purse or Batua

माँ पे पूत,बाप पे घोड़ा
बहुत नहीं तो थोड़ा थोड़ा
Living up to the adage, like my  late father, I have never carried a purse.It well nigh means that both of us have had hand to mouth existence,with nothing left for the purse. Even my friends who carry purse or batua in the pocket, do  so more out of compulsion to carry Credit/ debit/ ATM card or some stray identify proof as there's hardly much need to carry cash.
Mercifully , a gents purse comes for anything between Rs. 200/- and Rs.2000/- including the fancy stuff, a far cry from the ladies' designer and high-end purses and handbags amazingly costing millions of rupees, meant to make a fashion statement or as a status symbol.

Monday, May 14, 2018

‘परमवीर गाथा’

परमवीर गाथा
सेकंड लेफ़्टिनेंट अरुण खेतरपाल – परमवीर चक्र विजेता
हिन्दी काव्य रचना
भगत  राम मंडोत्रा
प्रकाशक: भगत  राम मंडोत्रा( 98163 68385 ) 
कमला प्रकाशन, कमला कुटीर, गांव चम्बी
डाकघर  संघोल, ज़िला कांगड़ा ( हि.प्र. )
पिन: 176091
ISBN: 978-93-5300-307-4  
मूल्य:  रू. 250/-
प्रस्तुत  काव्य रचना परमवीर गाथा  कवि मित्र श्री  भगत राम मंडोत्रा की तीसरी प्रकाशित  काव्य पुस्तक है । जैसा कि नाम से स्पष्ट है  यह 1971 के भारत- पाक युद्ध में मात्र 21 वर्ष की आयु में  वीर गति को प्राप्त सेकंड लेफ़्टिनेंट अरुण खेतरपाल, परमवीर चक्र विजेता को दी गयी काव्यात्मक श्रद्धांजलि है । श्री भगत राम मंडोत्रा सेवा निवृत भूतपूर्व सैन्य अधिकारी हैं । यह रचना 1971 युद्ध के महानायक रहे सेकंड लेफ़्टिनेंट अरुण खेतरपाल को अभूतपूर्व श्रंद्धांजलि तो है ही , पर इसके अलावा  एक काल खंड को भी चित्रित करने में समर्थ रही है ।धर्म के आधार पर भारत का विभाजन, दोनों पड़ोसी देशों के बीच निरंतर बढ़ती नफरत का वातावरण और बिगड़ते सम्बन्ध , 1965 की लड़ाई, तत्पश्चात, पाकिस्तान सरकार की अपने ही लोगों के प्रति गलत, पक्षपातपूर्ण और दमनकारी नीतियों के कारण पूर्वी पाकिस्तान में विद्रोह की स्थिति, सीमा पर से भारत में शरणार्थियों का प्रवेश, और इन सब  परिस्थितियों में  मुक्ति वाहिनी की रचना और उद्भव व बांग्ला देश का जन्म – इन सब का उल्लेख इस रचना में मिलता है ।
मेरी पीढ़ी, मेजर सोमनाथ शर्मा, मेजर शैतान सिंह, मेजर धन सिंह थापा , कैप्टन जी.एस.सलारिया, मेजर होशियार सिंह , ले.कर्नल ए.बी. तारापोर जैसे  परमवीरों का नाम सुन कर ही बड़ी हुई है , इस रचना को पढ़ कर उनका भी स्मरण हो आता है । कुछ का वर्णन तो इस रचना में भी मिलता है ।
इस रचना में 1971 के निर्णायक युद्ध में सेकंड लेफ़्टिनेंट अरुण खेतरपाल की शौर्यपूर्ण भूमिका का विस्तृत वर्णन मिलता है । बसंतर नदी पर पुल का निर्माण और उस पर से भारतीय टैंकों का गुजरना, उस वीर सैन्य अधिकारी द्वारा प्रशिक्षण पर जाने की बजाय , युद्ध में भाग लेने का निर्णय , मोर्चा पर कमान संभालते हुए शत्रु के अनेक  पैटन   टैंक ध्ववस्त करके  पलायन के लिए मजबूर करना और फिर बहादुरी से आगे बढ़ते हुए, शत्रु की गोली खा कर वीरगति को प्राप्त होना, यह सब आश्चर्य चकित करने वाला है । 
101 खूबसूरत छंदों में वर्णित यह गाथा , सुभद्रा कुमारी चौहान रचित झाँसी की रानी की याद दिलाती है । फुटनोट के माध्यम से कवि ने संबन्धित यूनिट- रेजीमेन्ट, ड्राईवर, गनर आदि का उल्लेख करके आम पाठक की जानकारी में भी वृद्धि की है ।  यह केवल कवि के मनोद्गारों की अभिव्यक्ति नहीं, अपितु उसके अध्ययन , मनन, शोध का भी परिणाम है। न जाने कहाँ कहाँ से सूचना एकत्र करके कवि ने यह रचना की है ।
एक विडम्बना यह भी है  कि इस परमवीर की शहादत के एक दिन बाद ही युद्धविराम की घोषणा हो गयी थी ।
वीर गति को प्राप्त हुए इस युवा सैन्याधिकारी के मातापिता की मानसिक स्थिति का भी वर्णन मिलता है। इसके पिता एम.एल. खेतरपाल भी उस समय सेवारत कर्नल थे ।
कई वर्षों बाद  ब्रिगेडियर पद से सेवा निवृत हुए पिता का अपने पैतृक स्थान सरगोधा जाना होता है तो उनकी मुलाक़ात अपने मेजबान पाकिस्तानी सेना के ब्रिगेडियर ख्वाजा मोहम्मद नासिर से होती है ।काफी संकोच के बाद मेजबान  ब्रिगडियर यह बताता है कि उसी की गोली से सेकंड लेफ्टिनेंट अरुण खेतरपाल शहादत को प्राप्त हुआ था ।इस प्रकार मेजबान ब्रिगडियर अपने मन का बोझ तो हल्का कर लेता है पर ब्रिगडियर खेतरपाल की जो मन:sथिति होती है, वह कल्पना से भी परे है । यह घटना इस गाथा का सबसे मार्मिक मोड़ है जिसे पढ़ कर द्रवित होना स्वाभाविक है। यह घटना  बरबस ही Thomas Hardy की कविता ‘The Man He Killed’ की याद आती है कि किस प्रकार व्यक्तिगत शत्रुता न होते हुए भी दोनों तरफ के सैनिक देश-भक्ति और कर्तव्यबोध के कारण एक दूसरे की मृत्यु का कारण बनते हैं।

देश की आन की खातिर, मर मिटने वाले,
सदा ही चिर-यौवन चिर जीवी हुआ करते हैं ।
भुला देती हैं जब उन्हें अगली पीढ़ियां,
वास्तविक मृत्यु तो वह तभी मरते हैं ।
आओ प्राण करें सदैव जीवित उन्हें रखेंगे,
जिन्होंने देश जिये इसलिए जान लुटाई थी ।
                           इस संकल्प से आरंभ हो कर यह रचना आद्योपांत पाठक को बांधे रखती है ।
इससे अधिक पंक्तियाँ मैं उद्धरित नहीं कर रहा, क्योंकि पाठक स्वयं इस रचना को पढ़ कर कवि के प्रति प्रशंसा और कृतज्ञता के भाव से भर उठेंगे, ऐसा मेरा विश्वास है
कवि ने एक परमवीर के माध्यम से अनेक परमवीरों को श्रद्धांजलि दी है, जिन पर हमें सदा से गर्व है