Friday, December 30, 2016


Today is the birth anniversary of Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi or K.M.Munshi for short. He was a lawyer, independence activist, a writer and a scholar.Known primarily as the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly.
He had also served as the Home Minister of Bombay State, Agent General for the State of Hyderabad, Minister for Agriculture in the Union Government and the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. A renowned author in Gujarati and English, he wrote many books drawing his material from history and mythology.
Our humble tributes !

Rudyard Kipling

Today is the 151st birth anniversary of Rudyard Kipling, the Bombay born Nobel Laureate British Novelist , poet and short story writer. As an ardent supporter and advocate of British Imperialism he is credited or rather discredited with coining the phrase ‘white man’s burden’ which smacks of a misplaced feeling of racial superiority of the British over others. He wrote the famous, one of the most quoted lines -“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet…”
But still he had some soft corner for the native Indians, as is brought forth in his famous poem ‘Gunga Din’ which is about an Indian bhishti in the British Indian Army. His other books ‘Kim’ and ‘The Junglebook’ remain popular fiction to this day . ‘The Junglebook’ was also made into a Hindi cartoon serial for TV. His association with Shimla is brought forth beautifully in a short story ‘Monkeys at Simla’
Our tributes to the great writer !

दुश्यन्त कुमार

हिन्दी गजल के प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर दुश्यन्त कुमार की आज पुण्यतिथि है।
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Manjit Bawa

Today is the death anniversary of Manjit Bawa, the renowned Indian painter and artist. Trained at the Delhi College of Art, he had a stint in Britain as a silkscreen printer . Returning to India,he drew inspiration from and found his subjects in Hindu mythology, Sufi thought and Guru Granth Sahib.
His paintings carry an aura of the spiritual and oneness of all life in the universe.He portrayed birds and animals and the paintings of Horse drawn by him became quite famous. To some extent he was an avant garde painter, breaking new ground in the choice of colours. Distortion of form is also a unique feature of his painting style.
Our humble tributes to the great painter and artist !

Charles Macintosh

Google doodle of today tells that today is the 350th birth anniversary of Charles Mackintosh,a Scottish chemist and inventor of the Mackintosh fibre. The Mackintosh raincoat is named after him.
For this and many other inventions, he was made the Fellow of Royal Society ,London.
Humanity owes a lot to him.
Our humble tributes !

Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani

Happy birthday to Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani, a former Right hand batsman and wicket keeper of the Indian Cricket team !

Twinkle Khanna

Happy birthday to Twinkle Khanna, a former Bollywood actress, who shares her date of birth with her illustrious father Rajesh Khanna.

Rajesh Khanna

Today is the birth anniversary of Rajesh Khanna aka Kaka, the widely acknowledged and officially recognized first superstar of Hindi Cinema. He holds the record of giving maximum number of solo hits in a row.Always playing an ordinary man, his roles were easy to relate to and identify with.In fact there was this extraordinary portrayal of the ordinary, wherein lay his appeal. With traces of Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, he comes across as a veritable mix of the two, a Tragedian and a Romantic. A recipient of many honours and awards including Padma Bhushan, one saw him becoming a slave of his superstar image and as a result dying as a loner.
Our humble tributes !

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Master Madan

Today is the birth anniversary of Master Madan, the teenager prodigy Ghazal and Geet singer of pre independence era. Born this day in 1927 at village Khan Khana of present day Nawashahar of Punjab, he came to Shimla when the family shifted. At a very young age, he impressed with his singing, his fame travelling far and wide. He sang eight compositions in all - two each in the genre of Ghazal, Thumri, Punjabi Song & Shabads. However the most popular and commonly heard and played are the ghazals- ' Yun na reh reh kar hamen tarasaiye.. ..' & ' Hairat se tak raha hai jahaan-e-wafa mujhe' , both penned by Saagar Nizami.
The promising and highly talented singer could not complete 15 years of age on this planet and died due to alleged poisoning of his milk, a result perhaps of professional rivalry.
Our humble tributes !

सुमित्रानन्दन पन्त

प्रकृति के अनुपम चितेरे सुकुमार कवि सुमित्रानन्दन पन्त की पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

आज एशिया महाद्वीप के उर्दू और फ़ारसी के अज़ीम शाइर मिर्ज़ा असदुल्ला खां बेग ‘ग़ालिब’ की जयंती है .अपनी हर दिल अज़ीज़ ग़ज़लों और हर मौके पर उद्धृत किए जाने वाले शेरों के बल पर ‘ग़ालिब’ को उर्दू अदब में बहुत ऊंचा स्थान हासिल है.ज़ाहिर है रोज़ मर्रा की ज़िंदगी में जितना इस्तेमाल के शेरों और रुबाईयों का होता है, किसी और शाइर की रचनाओं का नहीं ।
एक बानगी :
“तुम न आए तो क्या सहर न हुई
हाँ मगर चैन से बसर न हुई
मेरा नाला सुना ज़माने ने
एक तुम हो जिसे ख़बर न हुई”
“बूए-गुल, नाला-ए-दिल, दूदे चिराग़े महफ़िल
जो तेरी बज़्म से निकला सो परीशाँ निकला
चन्द तसवीरें-बुताँ चन्द हसीनों के ख़ुतूत,
बाद मरने के मेरे घर से यह सामाँ निकला”
“तेरे वादे पर जिये हम, तो यह जान, झूठ जाना,
कि ख़ुशी से मर न जाते, अगर एतबार होता”
“बाज़ीचा-ए-अतफ़ाल है दुनिया मेरे आगे होता है
शब-ओ-रोज़ तमाशा, मेरे आगे”
“उग रहा है दर-ओ-दीवार से सबज़ा ग़ालिब
हम बयाबां में हैं और घर में बहार आई है”
“बना है शह का मुसाहिब, फिरे है इतराता
वगर्ना शहर में "ग़ालिब" की आबरू क्या है”
न जाने किस रौ में बह कर ग़ालिब अपनी तारीफ इन लफ्जों में करते है-
“हैं और भी दुनिया में सुखन्वर बहुत अच्छे,
कहते हैं कि गालिब का है अन्दाज-ए-बयां और"
और इसके लिए उनके तमाम दीगर शाइर उनकी आलोचना भी करते हैं ।
पर ऐसा भी नहीं है कि किसी और शाइर को ‘ग़ालिब’ खातिर में नहीं लाते।
खुले दिलोदिमाग से वो मीर तकी ‘मीर’ की तारीफ कुछ इस तरह करते हैं-
“रेखते के तुम्हीं उस्ताद नहीं हो गालिब
कहते हैं अगले जमाने में कोई मीर भी था”
और मोमिन खाँ ‘मोमिन’ के शेर-
“तुम मेरे पास होते हो गोया,
जब कोई दूसरा नहीं होता”
पे इतना लट्टू हो जाते हैं कि इस एक शेर की एवज़ में अपना पूरा दिवान मोमिन के नाम कर देने को तैयार हो जाते हैं ।
ग़ालिब की शाइरी में रूमानियत भी है और फलसफा भी ।
कुल मिला कर ग़ालिब की शाइरी और शख्सियत को किसी खास कित्ते या कालखंड में बांधा नहीं जा सकता ।
इस महान शाइर को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Asadullah Khan Baig 'Ghalib'

Today is the birth anniversary of Asadullah Khan Baig 'Ghalib' popularly known as Mirza Ghalib.A most popular and prominent Urdu and Persian poet of the sub continent, he is the most quoted poet in Urdu.A poet of all times with universal appeal, his couplets and quartets come handy in every context and situation. 
Our humble tributes !

Farooq Shaikh

Today is the death anniversary of Farooq Shaikh, a popular Bollywood actor and a TV show host and presenter.Making his debut in 1973 with the film Gram Hawa, he also acted in films Mere Saath Chal , Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Gaman before the blockbuster Noorie in which he worked with Poonam Dhillon.The film catapulted the lead pair to fame. Farooq Sheikh went on to act in films like Umrao Jaan, Saath Saath, Chashm-e-Baddoor, Bazaar, Katha, Salma, Faasle,Toofan, Maya Memsaab and many others .He had a pleasing personality and was a very successful host. He presented the famous TV show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.He was a prominent contributor to the genre called parallel or New Cinema.
Our humble tributes to the great actor !

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hiuen Tsang's ( Zuanzang or Xuanzang) memorial , Nalanda

In front of the Hiuen Tsang's ( Zuanzang or Xuanzang) memorial , Nalanda. The Chinese Buddhist scholar lived in the 7th century AD and visited & lived in India for about thirteen years .

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nalini Jaywant ,

Today is the death anniversary of Nalini Jaywant , the leading actress of Hindi Cinema during 1940s and '50s.She made her debut as a teenager with Mehboob Khan's film Behan in 1941. Her childlike innocent face also contributed to her success and popularity.Though she acted in a few more films after Bahen, success came to her with the films Samadhi and Sangram, in which she appeared opposite Ashok Kumar.She went on to do more films with Ashok Kumar,like 
Jalpari, Kafila, Nau Bahar,Saloni, Lakewren, , Naaz. etc.In '50s she appeared in films like Shikast, Munim ji, Rahi,Railway Platform, and Hum Sab Chor Hain. Her last successful movie was 1958 film Kala Pani for which she also won the Best Supporting Actress award.Her last movie was Nastik in which she appeared in 1983, after a gap of 18 years.
She died a recluse this day in 2010 in Mumbai.
Our humble tributes to the popular actress !

80 Feet High Statue of Buddha at Bodhgaya

The 25 metre (80 feet) high Statue of Buddha commisioned by the Daijokyo Buddhist organization of Japan. The statue was erected by a Jaipur firm. It was unveiled on 18th November 1989.A landmark of Bodhgaya.The Buddha image is 64 feet in height, the lotus 6 feet and the pedestal 10 feet in height.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya

Once you are at Gaya, it is a must to visit Bodhgaya , the place with historical religious significance, and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world .The place is associated with Prince Siddharth attaining enlightenment and becoming Buddha after meditating for years under a tree known as the Bodhi Tree. On reaching there we headed for the Mahabodhi Temple , an ancient 55 metre high structure . Ignorance is not always a bliss . We had not taken camera with us hoping to click some pictures with the mobile phones.But alas, we were not allowed to carry mobile inside the premises and had to put them back in the vehicle. However inside we did see some foreigners with cameras and mobile lookalike gadgets as well .It can’t be that there were two sets of rules for the Indians and the foreigners, or that the foreigners acted smart and dodged the functionaries at the entrance, as they seem more law abiding than us. . However , Cameras- still, video and movie are allowed on payment of Rs. 100/-, 300/- & 500/- each. No photographs could be taken by us. The Mahabodhi temple is a sight to marvel at – the 180 feet high structure is simply amazing . The shrine is at the base and has a regular entrance. Inside is placed a magnificent idol of Buddha. A huge number of tourists and Buddha followers were paying obeisance to lord Buddha.The place started developing as a pilgrimage during abour 250BC, coinciding with the rule of Asoka the Great, who had turned a Buddhist after the Kalinga War. However, the construction of the present temple dates back to 5th-6th Century AD .
The place is characterized by serene and calm environs, cleanliness being its hallmark.The spread out well maintained lawns, beautiful marble flooring , and neatly spruced up hedges on which one finds the offerings made by pilgrims, of flowers put on paper plates, present an amazing sight. I saw some followers prostrating every few feet to cover the distance. Such is the level of devotion of the people.There are followers from Tibet, Nepal,SriLanka , Korea , Japan and Thailand visible all around, almost in 50 – 50 ratio vis a vis the Indian visitors .
Photos : Courtesy Google .


A visit to Nalanda during my sojourn at Gaya was a rewarding and learning experience.We have heard of and read about Nalanda Mahavihar during our school days when we were taught about the illustrious and golden era of the Guptas and King Harshwardhan of Kannauj. The ruins of the ancient seat of learning speak of and bear ample testimony to our rich and glorious heritage of learning and scholarship . Nalanda enjoyed a pride of place along with other two seats of learning - Taxila and Vikramshila- and is considered the most prominent of the three. Taxila is now a part of Pakistan. Students from countries like Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea came to Nalanda and received education and training at Nalanda, which could boast of eminent scholars like Silbhadra or Sheel Bhadra as faculty and the Vice Chancellor, who also taught the Chinese scholar and Monk Xuanzang or Hiuen Tsang. . The Nalanda Mahavihar was established during the reign of Kumaragupta- I and continued to enjoy Royal patronage during the reign of Harshvardhan of Kannauj and Dev Pala of Pala dynasty. However a decline set in during the rule of Pala dynasty and the end to all the glory and honour was caused with an attack by Bakhtiyar Khilji around 1200AD.

One of the interesting things that the Guide told us was the origin of the word ‘Nalanda’. According to him and convincingly so,’ Nalanda’ is a combination of two Sanskrit words ‘Naalam’ & ‘Da’ . Naalam stands for Lotus which is considered the source of all knowledge and learning or Knowledge itself and ‘Da’ in Sanskrit means ‘to give ‘. Nalanda thus means a Giver of Knowledge.

The excavations took place in 1917 and between 1974 and 1982 and some important relics were also found which are kept in a museum. 
The ruins are spread over hundreds of acresof area, only a part of which stands excavated. The walls and structures are all made of red brick not very different from our present day bricks , though of less thickness. Some special binding material, much stronger than cement was prepared and used to fix the bricks in place.There were raised platforms, rectangular or square in shape to seat the teachers and the students. The guide, Yadunandan Singh, who took us around the Monastery No. 1, arguably the most important one, and explained certain things to us. Nalanda University was known as Mahavihar which had many Vihars or faculties, teaching many disciplines.Each faculty or department had thirty five rooms or cells housing a student each , equivalent to the cubicles we find in University hostels these days. The rooms were of sufficient dimension to be occupied by a single person. On one side was an alcove in the wall to place the lamp that burnt day and night to give light . There was an opening on the top in the roof to allow passage of air and also some natural light. 
There is also a lay out plan of excavations done .

A nice and educative experience it was, indeed !

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Abu Abraham

Today is the death anniversary of Abu Abraham, the noted cartoonist and author.Born Attupurathu Mathew Abraham, he started drawing cartoons at the age of three . Starting as a journalist with the Bombay Chronicler, at the behest of K Shankar Pillai he moved to Delhi and joined the Shankar's Weekly.Moving to London to work for 'Star' , his cartoons started appearing in Punch magazine and the Daily Sketch.He worked for The Guardian also .Returning to India, he served a full tenure as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1972 to 1978.During this period Emergency happened and Abu Abraham fell out of favour with the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The result was a book Games of the Emergency ' that came out in 1977.Noted for his one-line punches, he attacked corruption in political circles.
He died this day in 2002 aged 78 and was cremated with full State honours.
Our humble tributes !

Sucheta Kriplani

Today is the death anniversary of Sucheta Kriplani, the well known freedom fighter. Born in 1908 in a Bengali Brahmo family at Ambala, she was educated at Indraprastha College,Delhi and Punjab University . Later she taught at the Banaras Hindu University.She joined the freedom movement and actively participated in the Quit India Movement.She accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to Noakhali in the wake of partition riots.
Post independence she was one of the very few members of the Constituent Assembly.
In 1952 she was elected member of Lok Sabha from New Delhi. She again became a Lok Sabha M.P. from New Delhi. For the third time she was elected as an M.P.from Uttar Pradesh.Around the same time she was elected as an MLA also and became a minister. Subsequently she became India's first woman Chief Minister of a state. Serving as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh she proved an able administrator and handled employees' strike firmly and effectively.
She died this day in 1974 aged 66.
Our humble tributes. !