Saturday, July 9, 2022

ॐ साईं राम

 ॐ साईं राम !

A visit to the  Shirdi temple yesterday is the fulfilment of a cherished dream especially for my better half. The 400km or thereabout  two way journey was a bit tiresome but worth it. The mobiles and other elecronic gadgets are not allowed inside understandably so, but to our surprise the prasad and other offerings in kind are also not allowed though the shops do a good business of selling various things. We had left our shoes and mobiles in the car. Parking however was not an issue. We were lucky to be told that there was comparatively less crowd of devotees.The zigzag passage with steel railings on both sides was full of devotees and visitors but there was no need felt to sit and rest on the steel benches fixed all along on one side due to less gathering .

One more interesting thing,  along the way  on the roadside the shops display attractive  big sign boards of  'चाह ' but we the North Indian tea enthusiasts  are in for a surprise when tea  / coffee is offered in ultra small disposable cups, roughly one fourth the size of cups we are used to. But both tea & coffee are very tasty.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022


 The very beautiful and talented Bollywood actress Madhubala, who was the heart throb of millions in her life time left this world this day fifty three years ago aged 36 only.

Much has been said and written about her films, acting, initial struggles, unhappy life and her illness. Lately I came across one of the lesser known facts of her life that increased my admiration for her all the more.

It is said that though a practising Muslim, she had great respect and reverence for Guru Nanak Dev ji and Sikhism  in general. She always carried in her bag or purse a copy of the book of hymns called Gutka in Persian script.

She made sure that every year she was present at the Gurudwara  at Andheri in Mumbai on the occasion of Gurpurab. She would sit engrossed in Prayers for hours at the said Gurudwara and perhaps contributed in cash or kind out of devotion. 

She would ask her Producers and Directors to fix her shooting schedule accordingly so as not to miss the occasion.After her death, her father Ataullah Khan continued to be a part of the occasion.

It is said that every year on the occasion of Gurpurab, Ardas is done for her in the Andheri Gurudwara, Mumbai.

Such was her devotion.

Our humble tributes !!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Lata Mangeshkar

 With the passing away of Bharat Ratan Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary Playback singer today , an era of Hindi film music in female voice has come to an end. Hers has been a saga of struggles and success, with periods of highs and lows thrown in.Besides singing outstanding solos in all genres, she came up with wonderful duets sung with all the well known popular male singers of the times , with speaks volumes for the versatile singing and  quality of her voice. The void left by her death is difficult to fill. Yet, there is consolation enough in the fact that she lived till ripe old age of 92, other example being of Manna Dey. Unfortunately great male singers like Muhammad Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar couldn't reach even sixty.

Humble tributes to the legend who's voice will for ever remain with us !!

Saturday, February 5, 2022


 While this snowy season, friends are busy clicking and posting pictures of snow laden trees & snow covered roads & roofs thus indulging in an orgy of photography, and still others waxing poetic about snow and romancing about the whole thing, I am transported to my school days and the immortal Ballad 'Lucy Gray' penned so beautifully by Wordsworth. I am still moved by the sad incident of the three year old losing her way and herself in the snow, never to be found again. I am equally moved by the sad incidents of soldiers and civilians getting buried under the avalanches, caught unawares.

I am also reminded of a real life incident narrated to me by elders during my growing years about a Forest Ranger, popularly known as Mushu Miyan, who lost his life in heavy snow, and his body was found frozen,he being found in a standing posture, with a gun on the back of his shoulder and a hand holding the leash of a pet dog accompanying him.

Every time it snows I am reminded of the incident.

Snow is a mixed blessing, a life giver and a life taker.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

P.N.Sharma ji

 The  memory  flashback  takes me to the year  1986, when  on completion of my two year training in November,  I received my posting orders as Tehsildar  Pooh, District Kinnaur. I was at Ghumarwin at that time.  Much against the  well meaning advice of my seniors to approach some Minister for adjustment  at some other place, I decided  to join.  I spent the joining time at  Shimla with my parents at Shimla. As the  days for my departure for the new place  were drawing near, my  father-in-law  Sh. P.N.Sharma who we lost just three days back , sensing the difficulty that we might face on the way as also on arrival volunteered to accompany us. And difficult it was with even  minimal  household goods loaded on bus top  and a seven month old  baby in the lap. I had not gone beyond Rampur Bushehr before and Pooh was at a further distance of 149 Km from  Rampur

We boarded the Shimla–Kaza  night service bus on 26th of November which started at 8PM. The journey went on smoothly till Tapri, which was also the Regional HQ of HRTC at the time. To our utter dismay, we were told that due to blockade of road  the bus would not proceed further. To add to woes were the house hold effects loaded on bus-top. My father- in-law, unlike me of an open friendly nature struck conversation with the bus conductor who as it turned out was from the Arki area , which also is the native place of my in-laws. The good Samaritan helped us offload the household items and arranged to  keep them in HRTC shed to be transported by us later.I may add that the said conductor after some days met  with a fatal accident with many other passengers on board  at Kingal , leaving us all sad.  With some clothes and other important paraphernalia, later in the day we boarded another bus which  dropped  us at  Powari, where we had a forced  stay of  two nights  amid snow in a Federation guest house. There also a kind GREF employee invited us for breakfast. At last we made it to Pooh on 29th November, where we had to stay put in  PWD rest house for days together  as the accommodation was not vacated by my predecessor after the board examination of his son was over. Father in Law returned to Shimla after two days. This is just one instance. 

He also kept visiting my parents when they fell sick by turns  keeping me posted with the developments  through letters as there was no other way of communication available. He was quick enough to accompany me and my wife to   hospital when I had severe jaundice attack in 2007 and also kept visiting as I was recovering. 

A gentleman always immaculately dressed in neatly ironed suit and a tie , always sporting shining shoes, he was a regular on the Mall and at the Indian Coffee House accompanied by two-three  friends. 

A sociable , friendly and generous soul, he had no dearth of friends. Honest to a pie,  I never saw him haggling over price with any shopkeeper . The carpenter, electrician , plumber whom he engaged  from  time to time for work always went satisfied as he would always pay them over and above the amount initially agreed upon.  

Now only memories remain !!

Monday, November 8, 2021

नोट बन्दी के पाँच वर्ष


आज से पाँच वर्ष पूर्व 8 नवम्बर 2016 को एक तुग्लकी फ़रमान के द्वारा 500रु के प्रचलित नोट को व्यवहार में लाने से प्रतिबंधित कर दिया गया था, जिसका उद्देश्य तथाकथित कालेधन के प्रचलन को रोकना और आतंकवाद की रीढ़ को तोड़ना बताया गया था । यह निर्णय कितना कारगर साबित हुआ, रिज़र्व बैंक द्वारा जारी आँकड़ों से कोई पुष्टि न हो पायी और न ही आतंकवाद को कोई लगाम लगी । इस निर्णय के दो दिन बाद ही  फेसबुक पर पोस्ट्स की भरमार देखने को लगी  जिनके द्वारा कुछ महानुभाव इस बात पर गर्व करते दिखे कि उनके पास जमा कराने के लिए 500रु का कोई नोट  था ही नहीं। इस प्रकार मानो सरकार के साथ साथ वो भी  यह साबित करना चाह रहे थे कि 500रु का नोट पास में होना गुनाह हो । खैर मैं सपत्नीक इस गुनाह में शामिल था क्योंकि हम दोनों के पास  बदलवाने के लिए 500रु के नोट थे और हम न केवल कतार में खड़े हुए बल्कि अपने ही जमा खाते से 4000/- रु प्रति के हिसाब से भीख/ दान भी प्राप्त किया ।नोटबंदी के परिणाम स्वरूप अर्थ व्यवस्था पर जो दूरगामी असर पड़ा वो पड़ा पर सबसे दुखदायी बात यह रही कि नोट जमा कराने के लिए लंबी कतारों में खड़े लोग जिनमे अधिकतर मजदूर, कर्मचारी वर्ग, छोटे व्यापारी, दुकानदार आदि ही  शामिल थे, उनका सार्वजनिक तौर पर भाषणों में भी मज़ाक उड़ाया गया, मानो वे ही काले धन वाले हों । बड़े लोगों ने इस काम के लिए proxy में और लोगों को लाइन मे लगा दिया होगा या और हथकंडे अपना लिए होंगे । इन्ही लंबी कतारों में खड़े असंख्य लोगों मे से एक सौ से अधिक लोगों की विभिन्न कारणों से हुई मौत पर आँसू केवल परिजनों ने ही बहाए । अन्य किसी ओर से संवेदना प्रकट किए जाने का तो कोई प्रश्न ही नहीं उठता , न उठा । अढ़ाई वर्ष बाद दुबारा सत्ता में आयी पार्टी की सरकार को अपनी तरफ से जनता ने ही legitimacy प्रदान कर दी । सत्ता को और क्या चाहिए !!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

हेमन्त कुमार

 हिन्दी और बंगाली सिनेमा के महान गायक,संगीत निर्देशक हेमंत कुमार की आज जयंती है । अपने करियर में हेमंत कुमार ने न केवल एक गायक के रूप में नाम कमाया बल्कि  कुछ यादगार फ़िल्मों में संगीत भी दिया । एक गायक के रूप में उन्होंने गुरु दत्त, देवानंद, सुनील दत्त, बिस्वजीत,प्रेमनाथ, राजेश खन्ना जैसे अभिनेताओं के लिए गीत गाये । उनकी एक विशेषता यह भी रही कि गीत एकाध अपवाद को छोड़ कर दूसरे संगीतकारों के निर्देशन में गाए । 

तीन फ़िल्मों नामत:  बीस साल बाद, कोहरा , और  ख़ामोशी का निर्माण भी किया । फिल्मों से हट कर रवींद्र संगीत में भी खूब नाम कमाया और एक अन्य गायक पंकज मलिक के समान लोकप्रियता प्राप्त की । 

26 सितम्बर1989 को कोलकाता में इनका निधन हुआ ।

महान  गायक/ संगीतकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !!