Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chavanni- out of circulation !

"हलवाई खुश कि दाम ज़्यादा किए वसूल

मैं खुश कि रेवड़ियों में चवन्नी भी आ गयी "

-so went a famous couplet quoted by a noted author in his novel. Chavanni must have had good value in terms of purchasing power in those times that is why there is a sense of satisfaction derived from getting even with the overcharging Halwai. That the same chavanni has lost its value so much that it had to be put out of circulation , does not require any explanation. In our childhood, getting a chavanni as pocket money would mean a bonanza. But for quite some years now , terms like chavanni chhap and jhola chhap are almost uttered in the same breath for something below standard or leaving much to desire. Chavanni also came handy as it added “sawaya” to any amount to make an offering to God in some temple, like “ sawa rupaya” and “sawa paanch rupay ka prasad .

It seems almost an end of an era to us who have seen pre- metric system of rupaya, anna and paisa in circulation !

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Proud Moment !

It must have been a proud moment for the faculty and staff of the Government Senior Secondary School , Lal Pani, Shimla, when one of its old students, Justice D.P.Wadhwa, former Judge, Supreme Court Of India who is presently heading the Central Vigilance Committee on Public Distribution System , paid a visit to his Alma mater where he had studied from 1948 to 1951 . Such moments fill the present students with inspiration and they feel motivated to do better in life.

Decades back, it was a proud moment for us studying in S.D. Higher Secondary School ( now Sr. Secondary School ) Shimla, when one of its old students, Col. N. Kumar , PVSM, KC,AVSM , FRGS , - an Everester & a name to reckon with in mountaineering came visiting and delivered a lecture in the morning assembly.

It is again heartening to learn that, Anupam Kher , the noted Bollywood actor, always fondly remembers his Alma mater, DAV Sr. Secondary School Lakkar Bazar, Shimla and his student days there.

On the flip side , the other day, I was shocked to find in the Face Book that a class pal of mine in the S.D. School above had mentioned some exotic sounding institution as his school. I do not know what credit it does to him notwithstanding the fact that being a genius of sorts he occupies an enviable position in the corporate world !

Monday, June 20, 2011

Can love lead one to kill !

Having been a student of English literature, I am quite familiar with the poet Robert Browning and his dramatic monologues. But it is in a different context that I was drawn to his poem .“ Porphyria’s Lover” , which is about a lover , who after reclaiming his lost love kills his beloved- in a fit of uncontrollable euphoric frenzy - by strangulating her with her tresses . As per the poet’s explanation, he does this to perpetuate the feeling of love for him that he sees in the eyes of his beloved. This, to me and perhaps to many like me may only appear to be a case of abnormal psychology.The lover in this case is clearly a psychopath There are instances when a possessive husband like Othello, kills his beloved wife Desdemona on baseless suspicion of infidelity, the seeds of which are sown in his mind by Iago , the villain of the piece. There are also instances galore of jilted lovers killing the beloved , their professed love being one sided and unrequited , but this instance appears to be unique . This also puts to question the tag of “ incorrigible optimist “ attached to the poet Browning as this action of the lover stems from the uncertainty and insecurity that the future may hold as far as love life is concerned. This is also contrary to his popular belief :

“God is in his heaven and everything is right with the world ” , as how does one explain the killing of a young , innocent , unsuspecting woman at the hands of a person in whose company she seeks bliss of eternal love !

The link for the poem is :

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Remembering Nutan

Today is Nutan’s birthday . Nutan , an actress par excellence was an equally nice human being. Very few could match her grace and poise. I am taken back to my childhood days, 1963 to be exact , when my sister a good 5-6 years older to me , back from school announced- Dev Anand aur Nutan , ( Shimla) aaye huey hain , Tere Ghar ke Samne picture ki shooting ke liye . I was just nine year old then , had heard of Dev Anand , but the name Nutan was ‘ new’ and unfamiliar to me. I did not ask further about the film or the actors , but however thought that Nutan was also a male actor like Dev Anand . It was much later that I saw the movie Sujata - with Sunil Dutt and Nutan in the lead roles and came to know that Nutan was an actress and not a male actor as I had figured in my mind. Later on I also happened to see movies like Bandini, Tere Ghar ke Samne,Anari , Paying Guest , Milan, Karma , Main tulsi tere Aangan ki , Seema , etc. etc . virtually with every leading hero of the times All movies are a living testimony to her acting abilities and strong screen presence. She could get easily and effortlessly into the skin of the role she was enacting , and it looked as if only she could have played that role. It is twenty years now since she left this world and particularly the film world, poorer by her absence .