Tuesday, August 30, 2016


हिन्दी सिनेमा के लोकप्रिय गीतकार स्व॰ शैलेंद्र की आज जयंती है .यदि गायक 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। 
सीधे सादे शब्दों का प्रयोग कर अनेकों कालजयी गीतों की रचना करने वाले शब्दों के इस महान जादूगर को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Toru Dutt

Today is the death anniversary of Toru Dutt, (1856-1877) arguably the first Indian poetess in English. She was born of Bengali parents in Calcutta –now Kolkata .Though less widely known than Sarojini Naidu, her immediate successor as far as English poetry by Indian women is concerned, her literary output , in terms of maturity and literary merit is something to marvel at keeping in view the fact that she lived on this planet only for 21 years. Her Bengali Hindu family later converted to Christianity.Toru Datt spent about four years in England and France, during which she learnt French and also honed her skills in writing . She wrote in English and French and besides poems she also wrote two Novels one each in English & French. She was well versed in Bengali too and in later stages of her short life span learnt Sanskrit also. Sometimes a parallel is drawn , comparing her with John Keats who had also died of consumption at a young age of 26 , leaving a precious treasure of English Romantic poetry. She was sharply critical of the injustice meted out to Indians by the British and did not hesitate to express her disapproval of the same. Though a convert to Christianity, her interest in Indian tradition, Hindu mythology and mythological figures remained in tact . Her poem ‘Lakshman’ is about the dilemma of Lakshman on being exhorted, taunted and scolded by Sita to compel him to go to protect Ram who had gone hunting for Golden Deer at Sita’s behest. It is common knowledge, Sita was abducted by the demon King Ravan , when she was alone and mistakenly crossed the Lakshman Rekha , drawn to form a protective ring around the hut where the three were dwelling at that time during exile.The poem itself is a fine specimen of poetic genius of Toru Dutt. All her English poems are always a pleasure to read . Her poetical collection ‘A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields’ though published 1876 brought her fame and recognition ,only after her death.

Our humble tributes to this poet prodigy !

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Firaq Gorakhpuri

Today is the birth anniversary of renowned Urdu poet Raghupati Sahay Firaq Gorakhpuri.For decades, Professor of English Literature in Allahabad University,Firaq carved a niche for himself among the stalwarts like Jigar Muradabadi, Nazeer Akbarabadi and Josh Maleehabadi and wrote excellent Nazms, Rubayis and Ghazals.
He won the coveted Gyanpeeth award for his poetic work Gul-e- Naghma .
He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan, Soviet Land Award and remained a fellow of Sangeet Natak Academy.
Our humble tributes to the great shayar !

फ़िराक़ गोरखपुरी

आज अज़ीम शाइर और दशकों तक इलाहाबाद विश्वविद्यालय में अङ्ग्रेज़ी साहित्य के प्राध्यापक रहे रघुपति सहाय फ़िराक़ गोरखपुरी की जयंती है।अपने समय के दिग्गज शायरों मसलन जिगर मुरदाबादी, जोश मलीहाबादी, नज़ीर अकबराबादी के मध्य अपना विशिष्ट स्थान बनाते हुए फ़िराक़ ने उत्कृष्ठ ग़ज़लों, नज़मों,रुबाइयों की रचना की.उनकी शायरी की किताब गुल-ए- नगमा के लिए उन्हें ज्ञानपीठ पुरस्कार से सम्मानित किया गया। इसके अतिरिक्त, उन्हें पद्मभूषण और सोवियत लैंड पुरस्कार भी मिले व संगीत नाटक एकैडमी के फैलो भी रहे।
इस महान शाइर को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !


Guy de Maupassant was a master story teller , who was a French. Almost all of his writings are available in English translation and are always a pleasure to read. THE NECKLACE is a story, I am never tired of reading again and again. 
Mathilde Loisel is a beautiful and charming lady of humble parentage and is married to Monsieur Loisel , a Clerk. Though leading a comfortable life with a caring and loving husband, she is not satisfied with her life and strongly feels that destiny has not been fair to her . She hopelessly dreams of a kind of life that riches and status afford. It is not without a lurking sense of envy that she faces her friend Madame Frostier who is rich and enjoys higher status and stature.There is an invitation to a party from the Minister of Education department , where Monsieur Loisel serves. This is reason enough to the peevish Mathilde to fret , fume and sulk that she has no proper dress to wear for he party. Her husband always ready to please her and do his bit for her offers and buys her a new dress and suggests that she wears flowers instead of jewelry which he can ill afford. At last he suggests to her to borrow a diamond necklace from her rich friend Madame Frostier. Madame Frostier gives her a diamond necklace to wear for the party. Mathilde, beautiful and charming as she is , easily becomes the cynosure of all eyes,and every young man wants to dance with her. Mathilde immensely enjoys her newfound stature and is literally on the tops, while her husband retires to a corner , to save himself from the embarrassment of being seen wearing an old coat . 
The party is over and the couple returns home hiring a cab. Unfortunately Mathilde finds that the necklace is missing .This is a bolt from the blue for the couple as all frantic efforts to locate and find the necklace fail.Since the necklace is to be returned in any case, they find a necklace resembling the lost one which costs a whopping thirty six thousand Franks , much more than the Loisels have in their savings. A loan is raised , necklace is purchased and given to the Frostiers. It requires a full decade of hard and extra work to repay the loan and all this takes its toll on the couple’s heath and appearance. Having paid up the loan , the couple feels somewhat relieved. 
Mathilde and Madame Frostier meet by chance and Mathilde relates the story of having to incur a debt to pay for the purchase replacement of the lost diamond necklace. A rude shock awaits Mathilde in the form of being told By Madame Frostier that the necklace was not real diamond but an imitation piece which cost only five hundred Franks. 
The story carries a few lessons .
-Do not crave for the things, you cannot easily have and learn to live within your means.
-All that glitters is not gold as in the case of the imitation jewelry.
-The rich donot always have genuine things, they also possess fakes and are also a pretentious lot. 

Really a master piece by Guy de Maupassant !

Thursday, August 25, 2016

सरदार पंछी

बुज़ुर्ग शायर सरदार पंछी को सुनना अपने आप में एक सुखद अनुभव से गुज़रना है . एक बानगी देखिये :
ये ग़लत है कि मेरे दोस्त दगा देते हैं ,
वो तो मुझे मेरी खताओं की सजा देते हैं
आप को अपना बनाना तो बड़ी बात नहीं
हम तो पत्थर को भी भगवान बना देते हैं .........


गुज़रे दिनों की बात करूँ, तो जन्माष्टमी से 3-4 दिन पूर्व सनातन धर्म सभा शिमला द्वारा निकाले गए जलूस व झांकियों की याद आती है । सनातन धर्म हायर सेकंडरी स्कूल, शिमला, जहां मैंने पाँचवीं से ग्यारहवीं तक शिक्षा प्राप्त की है के द्वारा जलूस में भागीदारी होती थी जो सी. टी.ओ के सामने से हो कर लोअर बाज़ार के दूसरे छोर यानि 'नाज़'- अब शेर-ए-पंजाब रेस्तरां तक जाता था। छात्रों की ओर से पी. टी., लेज़ियम, भांगड़ा आदि में भागीदारी होती थी।
जन्माष्टमी के दिन माँ का व्रत होता था तो हमारा ध्यान सिंघाड़ेका हलवा, बत्थु की खीर, उबले आलू की सूखी सब्ज़ी और ओगले के चीलों पर रहता था ।
ज़्यादा धार्मिक प्रवृत्ति के लोग रात 12 बजे तक भजन कीर्तन करते थे और कुछ घरों में ढँक कर रखे हुए भगवान श्रीकृष्ण के फोटोफ्रेम का अनावरण किया जाता था।

Monday, August 22, 2016

हरीशंकर परसाई

हिन्दी के सुप्रसिद्ध व्यंग्यकार हरीशंकर परसाई की आज जयंती है !
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

आसा सिंह मस्ताना

आज महान पंजाबी गायक आसा सिंह मस्ताना की जयंती है।
उनके गाये गीत ' बल्ले नी पंजाब दीए शेर बच्चिए', 'मेरी खेती खिड़ी बहार कुड़े', 'जदों मेरी अरथी उठा के चलनगे', 'आयी जवानी गयी जवानी' आदि आदि आज भी कानों में गूंजते हैं !
हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Saturday, August 20, 2016

कवि त्रिलोचन

हिन्दी साहित्य की प्रगतिशील काव्यधारा के प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर कवि त्रिलोचन की आज जयंती है । हिन्दी में सॉनेट परंपरा को आगे बढ़ाने वाले जन चेतना के इस महान कवि को सादर नमन !
एक बानगी : 
“उस जनपद का कवि हूँ जो भूखा दूखा है, 
नंगा है, अनजान है, कला--नहीं जानता 
कैसी होती है क्या है, वह नहीं मानता 
कविता कुछ भी दे सकती है। कब सूखा है”
“भीख माँगते उसी त्रिलोचन को देखा कल
जिस को समझा था है तो है यह फ़ौलादी
ठेस-सी लगी मुझे, क्योंकि यह मन था आदी
नहीं; झेल जाता श्रद्धा की चोट अचंचल,
नहीं संभाल सका अपने को; जाकर पूछा
'भिक्षा से क्या मिलता है; 'जीवन' 'क्या इसको
अच्छा आप समझते हैं' 'दुनिया में जिसको
अच्छा नहीं समझते हैं करते हैं, छूछा
पेट काम तो नहीं करेगा' 'मुझे आप से
ऎसी आशा न थी' 'आप ही कहें, क्या करूँ,
खाली पेट भरूँ, कुछ काम करूं कि चुप मरूँ,
क्या अच्छा है ।' जीवन जीवन है प्रताप से,
स्वाभिमान ज्योतिष्क लोचनों में उतरा था,
यह मनुष्य था, इतने पर भी नहीं मरा था .”

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Madame Cama

Today is the death anniversary of Madame Bhikaji Rustom Cama, a Parsi Indian lady who was a prominent figure in the Indian Independence Movement. A patriot and a nationalist to the core , she started with social service at Bombay and later actively participated in the freedom movement from London and Paris. She among other things is credited with unfurling the Indian National Flag as early as 1907 during a conference at Stuttgart, Germany.
Our humble tributes to this wonderful daughter of India !

Friday, August 12, 2016

Vikram Sarabhai

Today is the birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai, the eminent Physicist who is rightly considered and acknowledged as the Father of Indian Space Research Program. He founded the ISRO and the Physical Research Laboratory.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan for his valuable contributions.
Our humble tributes to the great Scientist !

Being helpful how fulfilling !

Nature , God or the Providence have strange ways to help you when time comes.This fact has manifested itself before me not once but quite a number of times, whether it concerned me or others. 
I would like to share an incident that occurred some eighteen years back. 
Some months after his marriage, my brother in law- Saala sahib- had gone with his wife to Chandigarh to have her Ph.D. thesis typed and bound . As the conversation started , my brother in law told him that he had come from Shimla. It was revealed that the person had lost his brother some time back in a road accident somewhere in Kinnaur and he was in urgent need of the copy of FIR or Police report in the matter , which despite efforts made was not forthcoming. As I happened to be posted in Kinnaur at that time, my brother in law talked to me on telephone and. gave him my name and official address to enable him to write a letter. After 4-5 days, I received a letter from the person giving particulars of his late brother and date and place of the incident. He had tucked in a hundred rupee note in the envelope also. Sitting in the District HQ , it apparently was not difficult to get the work done. I rang up the concerned Police station , requesting them to do the needful. Without loss of time , the copy of Police report was made available to me . I sent it to the concerned person along with amount that he had sent. After three-four days , the person rang me up expressing his sincere thanks, for the purported ‘favour’ done, also saying “Sir,apne to paise bhi waapis bhej diye” .I told him it had not cost anything. If he was happy , I too felt satisfaction of having been of some help to him.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


उर्दू है जिसका नाम , हमीं जानते हैं ‘दाग़’
सारे जहां में धूम हमारी ज़बां की है
These words of ‘Daagh’ Dehalvi ring true in my ears.. The language has fascinated me since my growing up years. While in school, once during vacation, on my request my father bought for me an Urdu Qaida but unfortunately I could not go beyond learning and writing the alphabet.I found it pretty difficult to join alphabets to form words However, I did pick up sufficient vocabulary, listening regularly to the Urdu service of AIR and BBC. This came handy in my day to day working when later, I was assigned to the Revenue Service of the State, where there was proliferation of Urdu terminology in use since Todar Mall’s time , even in writing some orders though script was Hindi or Devnagari. Though much of Urdu shayari and literature is available in transcription, I feel handicapped , not being able to read and write Urdu.
In short, Urdu is Greek to me !

In the line of Duty

It was the winter of 1987 or perhaps 1988 . The state was going through a critical phase of severe drought conditions.I was posted at Pooh in Kinnaur District . The Government of the day in its wisdom decided , as a relief measure , to provide fodder ( Tudi ) for the cattle at a subsidy of Rs. 20/- per Quintal . The transportation costs were also to be met by the Government.It was decided to bring Tudi from Chandigarh or adjoining places. As per orders of the superiors, I accompanied by a Veterinary Doctor and another official proceeded towards Chandigarh with requisite amount in cash . The situation in Punjab and Chandigarh was not normal those days , so some risk was also involved.It was a gruelling exercise , moving from one place to the other in search of Tudi of good quality , as the Veterinary Doctor , who was an expert in the matter, would not compromise on quality and rightly so. Daily we would land at a different place for night stay in some improvised private guest house with minimum of facilities. After three four days, we found the right stuff - shining white – in an adjoining village called Dhanas . The rate appeared reasonable at Rs 95/- per quintal. Now, transportation was to be arranged. We hired four trucks from the Transport Area belonging to Himachal State, each carrying on a average 25 quintals only keeping in view the hill area where Tudi was to be taken .We journeyed back in trucks only as Tudi, being Govt. purchase could not be left to the mercy of Driver and helper.
Starting from Chandigarh at odd hours, we had to stay for the night at Shimla. Proceeding for the destination the next morning, night fell 40 km short of Pooh at a place called Akpa. It was the month of December , and the weather and climate chilly. There was no way except to sleep in the Truck , to ensure safety of truck and the stuff it was carrying. I particularly want to make mention of the driver, who did not allow me to spend a penny on the way on tea or lunch/dinner insisting that the owner of the truck allowed him food expenses on daily basis. Not only this, he gave me blanket etc to cover myself during the night, it’s another matter, that I could not get a wink of sleep. For a while I cursed myself for having left a comfortable sedentary Bank job – the tag of a G.O sneering at me. 
Starting again the next morning, The truck was unloaded at a suitable place on the road side , from where it would be easy for the needy people to carry Tudi to their respective places.
The further task of distributing also fell to me. All is well that ends well .The effort was worth it as the result was good. The stuff was so good that there was more demand from various quarters. Since it was not possible for me to go and fetch it time and again, I gave the address of the seller to the concerned representative of the people and they brought it on their own.
It was a first experience of the kind for me.