Sunday, April 30, 2017


Today is the 25th death anniversary of C.Arjun, a very talented but lesser known Bollywood Music Director , who composed beautiful melodies. The films for which he composed music include Sushila, Punar Milan, Nawab Sahib, Jai Santoshi Maa, Karwa Chauth, Love In Kashmir, Sampoorn Mahabharat, Sati Naag Kanya.
A representative list of his compositions is -

Pas baitho tabiyat behal Jaayegi, maut bhi aa gayi ho to tal Jaayegi ( Muhammad Rafi )
Bemurawwat bewafa begaana aye dil aap hain ( Mubarak Begum )
Gham ki andheri raat mein dil ko na beqaraar kar. ( Muhammad Rafi & Talat Mehmood 
In Pyaar ki Raahon mein tera hi sahara hai ( Muhammad Rafi & Manna De )
Main to aarti utarun re, Santoshi mata ki ,Jai jai santoshi mata , jai jai maa…. ( Chorus)
Yahaan Wahaan jahaan tahaan… apni Santoshi Maa ( Mahendra Kapoor and others )
Us jaane do aalam ka jalwa (Muhammad Rafi & Asha Bhosle )
He died this day in 1992, aged 59. 
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma, the celebrated Indian painter and artist.He was born this day in 1848. He is among the greatest of painters on the Indian Art Scene , for the unique aesthetic value of his works as also for the visual documentation of Indian social life and mythology. He employed European techniques to deal with Indian subjects and gave a new meaning to art . Drawing heavily on epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata he painted mythological figures and scenes. He also took his subjects from contemporary social life. He also provided affordable lithographs of his paintings which being based on mythology evoked interest among the masses and helped his art reach far and wide , making him and his works immensely popular.
 He was closely related to the Royal family of Travancore in present day Kerala , hence the prefix Raja.

He was patronized by the Maharaja of Travancore . He learnt water color painting as well as oil painting . He learnt oil painting from Theodor Jenson, a Dutch artist and portrait maker. He established his own Lithograph Printing Press and made prints of his paintings , especially of religious and mythological figures. In 1904, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy , presented to him Kaisar-e- Hind Gold Medal on behalf of the King Emperor in recognition of his services to art.
Among his prominent works are the Village Belle, Damayanti talking to a Swan, Arjun and Subhadra, Shakuntala, Jatayu, Lord Rama conquers Varuna, Nair woman, Draupadi, Shantanu and Matsyagandha.
He died on 2nd October 1906, aged 58.
Our humble tributes to the doyen of Indian Art !


It is an irony of the filmdom that while actors and actresses and even playback singers get catapulted to fame, star and super star status , the persons who work behind the camera such as directors, music directors and lyricists hardly get the acclaim they deserve for contributing immensely to the success of a film .One such personality was Kidar Sharma or Kedar Sharma, a director, producer , screen writer and a lyricist whose death anniversary falls today.
Starting his journey in 1935 with the film Inqilab as a set painter and actor, the same year he acted in Dhoop Chhaon and was also the Assistant Manager. In 1936 he appeared in Pujarin as an actor . The same year in Krorpati, he acted as well as wrote lyrics, in Devdas he he wrote the dialogues and lyrics; in 1937 , he acted in Vidyapati and wrote the film Anant Ashram. Never looking back, he remained associated with a number of films as an actor , writer, lyricist, director, dialogue writer and producer , the prominent among these being Jawani Ki Reet, Badi Didi ,Dil Hi To hai, Zindag, Aulad, Chitralekha, Armaan, Chand Chakori, Duniya Ek Sarai ,Neel Kamal, Suhag Raat , Baware Nain, Jogan, Hamari Yaad Ayegi and Kaajal. Kedar Sharma helped launch the career of stalwarts like , Raj Kapoor , Madhubala, Geeta Bali Nargis, Mala Sinha, Bharat Bhushan , Tanuja who became the greats of Hindi Cinema . Nargis herself once acknowledged that her best performance was in the film Jogan directed by Kedar Sharma .
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 He also wrote beautiful lyrics, like 'Balam aayo baso more man mein', 'Main kya jaanu kya jaadu hai', 'So jaa raaj kumaari', 'Dukh kay ab din beetat nahi' and 'Panchhi kahye hot udas', which were sung by none other than the legendary K.L.Saigal. His other notable songs are Khayalon mein kisi ke is tarah aya nahin karte (Mukesh & Geeta Dutt) Kabhi Tanahaiyon mein hamari yaad ayegi (Mubarak Begum) ,Teri Duniya mein Dil Lagta Nahin (Mukesh).
In 1945 he toured England and Hollywood as a member of a delegation and met the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney.
Subsequently,in the late ‘50s Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru asked him to become the Director-in – Chief of Children’s Film Society of India and Kedar Sharma helped make many films for Children, contributing in various capacities as writer, director, lyricist etc. etc. One of the films, Jaldeep won international acclaim as well.
Our humble tributes to this multi faceted, multi talented personality !

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bhanu Athaiya

Happy birthday to Bhanu Athaiya ,the celebrity costume designer for films. She has designed costumes for some of Guru Dutt's classics as also for blockbusters like Lekin and Lagaan. She also designed costumes for the international flick Gandhi and she became the first Indian costume designer to win an Academy Award for the same.
Our best wishes to the veteran of a hundred films.
She turns 88 today !

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sqn. Leader ( later Wing Commander) Trevor Keelor

Today is the death anniversary of Sqn. Leader ( later Wing Commander) Trevor Keelor , the hero of the 1965 Indo-Pak war , who was awarded Vir Chakra for knocking down Sabre Jet of Pakistan Air Force. His elder brother Denzil Keelor was also awarded the Vir Chakra in the same war for a similar feat.
Our humble tributes to the brave soldier and hero of the IAF !

Feroz Khan

Today is the death anniversary of Feroz Khan, the handsome, flashy, flamboyant Bollywood actor of yesteryears.
He acted in more than 50 films during '60s through '80s. Known and popular as a style icon, he is called the Clint Eastwood of Indian Cinema, for introducing a departure from the conventional image of a Bollywood hero. He is best remembered for his role in films Dharmatma, Qurbani & Khotay Sikkey.
He also acted and directed films like Janbaaz, Dayawaan and Yalgaar and won Filmfare Award for Aadmi aur Insaan, besides winning many other awards and nominations.

He died this day in 2009.
Our humble tributes to the popular actor !

Zohra Sehgal

Today is the birth anniversary of Zohra Sehgal, the noted actress, dancer and choreographer. Making her debut in Uday Shankar’s dance troupe, she was widely travelled .She was a sought after actress for character roles and also acted in TV series like “The Jewel in the Crown” . “Tandoori Nights”. She did choreography for dance sequences in a number of Bollywood movies. She acted in movies like “Dharti Ke Lal” and “Neecha Nagar” and “Afsar”.
She was awarded Padma Shri in 1988 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 . 
Blessed with a long life, she breathed her last on 10th of July , 2014 aged 102 .
Our humble tributes to this luminary !

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Today is the 30th death anniversary of Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi or Shankar of the Shankar-Jaikishan music director duo that enriched Hindi film music with wonderful memorable melodies for decades. Both had started their musical journey together in 1949. Though Jaikishan, the younger partner died in 1971 at the young age of 42, the banner Shankar-jaikishan continued till Shankar’s death in 1987. 
Shankar who belonged to Hyderabad , was initially a table player trained as such by one Baba nasir Khansahib. He had also been a disciple of Khwaja Khurshid Anwar. Shankar joined the Prithvi Theatre and by his own admission learnt a great deal and owed it much. He assisted Ram Ganguli , when he was composing music for ‘Aag ‘ in 1948 which was Raj Kapoor’s first directorial venture under the banner RK Films. Subsequently Rak Kapoor made an offer to Shankar to compose music for Barsaat . Jaikishan was also roped in at the insistence of Shankar . The film and the music became hits and thus the banner Shankar Jaikishan was born . The film was also the first of its kind to use the title song and a cabaret. Between 1949 and 1959 , the duo composed wonderful melodies for the films- Barsaat, Awara, Baadal, Poonam, Aurat, Aah,Patita , Shikast, Badshah , Seema, Shree 420, Basant Bahar, Rajhath , kathputli, Anari , Chori Chori , daag, yehudi, Boot polish, Chhoti Behan, Ujala and many others. 

For many years, Raj Kapoor, the actor;, Mukesh, the play back singer ; Shankar- Jaikishan the composers; Shailendra – Hasrat Jaipuri , the lyricists were the core group and together they produced wonders. The duo SJ however worked with many other stars like Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor, Rajinder Kumar and Biswajit . The list of movies and songs they composed music for is pretty long . They had also to face competition from music directors like S.D,Burman, O.P.Nayyar, Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh were their favourite singers. A highly talented pair, they employed successfully classical and western music , making optimum use of Raga and Beats which always had the desired effect. They composed music for all types of songs, sad, happy and romantic.
Shankar used to compose tunes for songs and Jaikishan mostly scored background music. Both had their individual preference for a particular lyricist as well .The duo were awarded Padma Shri and won FilmFare Best Music Director Award many times, including a hat trick . With the death of Jaikishan in 1971, the remaining 15-16 years did not prove lucky for Shankar, though he continued to work.
He died this day in 1987.
Our humble tributes to the great composer !

Srinivasa Ramanujan, FRS

Today is the death anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, FRS the largely self-taught Mathematical genius.Interested in the subject from a very young age he had mastered most of the existing theories and while in teens had virtually started independent research. Entering into correspondence with the Cambridge scholar G.H.Hardy, he went to Trinity College London to study and do research. Independently and in collaboration with G.H.Hardy & others, he discovered and propounded many theories, theorems and Equations which bear his name.Dwindling health brought him back to India and courting illness, he died this day in 1920, not yet 33.

Many recognitions and honours came his way  after his death and some prizes were instituted in his name.Commemorative Postage Stamp was issued in 1962 on his 75th birth anniversary and a stamp with new design was again issued in 2011.His birthday is also celebrated as the National Mathematics Day.

Our humble tributes to the genius !

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of Shyam, a tall handsome actor of Hindi Cinema of the bygone era, little known today. Born Sunder Shyam Chaddha, on 20th Febraury 1920 at Sialkot where his father was serving in an Army Cantonment, he graduated from the famous Gordon College , Rawalpindi . Making his debut in a Punjabi film ‘Gawandi’ made in Lahore, he later acted in many Hindi films . Set to fill in the void created by the death of K.L.Saigal in 1947 , Shyam , due to his handsome looks, height and appearance became a sought after hero and a rage. Between 1948 and 1951 , he acted in many films the famous ones being Majboor, Bazaar, Chaandni raat , Dillagi, Naach, Patanga, Raat ki Raani , Meena bazaar, Nirdosh, Samadhi , Sangeeta . Suraj Mukhi and Shabistan .

 In fact it was while shooting for the film Shabistaan in 1951 that he had an accidental fall from the horse and died aged 31 only. The film was later completed using a double .A promising career was brought to an abrupt end , plunging the filmdom and his innumerable fans in grief. After his death, his wife Mumtaz , a muslim went to Pakistan along with the kids, who were raised as muslims. His daughter is a famous TV personality in Pakistan and the son is a medical practitioner in U.K. The famous duet from the film ‘Dillagi’ that he sang with Suraiya on screen rings in the ears and reminds of the fine actor .
Our humble tributes !

Monday, April 24, 2017

शैलेश मटियानी

हिन्दी के महान उपन्यासकार एवं कथाकार शैलेश मटियानी की आज पुण्यतिथि है ।
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर

स्वतन्त्रता पूर्व के विद्रोही कवि और स्वातंत्र्योत्तर भारत के राष्ट्र कवि के रूप में सुविख्यात महान कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर की आज पुण्यतिथि है ।छायावादोत्तर काल के प्रमुख कवि दिनकर जी के काव्य में परस्पर विरोधी माने जाने वाले वीर रस और शृंगार रस का भरपूर समावेश मिलता है ।गद्य और पद्य में समानाधिकार रखने वाले रचनाकार स्व. दिनकर जी ने उर्वशी, हुंकार, रश्मिरथी,कुरुक्षेत्र , संस्कृति के चार अध्याय, जैसी अप्रतिम रचनाएँ हिन्दी साहित्य को दी हैं।
भारतीय ज्ञानपीठ, पद्मभूषण , साहित्य अकादमी से सम्मानित हिन्दी साहित्य के मनीषि को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !


Like all common people across the country, I should welcome the recent symbolic Government decision to do away with or to ‘ban’ the display and use of beacon lights of any color or type atop the vehicles of dignitaries, albeit with a few exceptions. It has been a status symbol for some who seemed to care , but I am sure there must be a large number of such dignitaries , especially the officer class , who still will have the satisfaction of being entitled to the facility of a Government vehicle for to and fro movement whether locally or for touring purposes. During day time , the beacon seems only a decoration as the Flag fluttering on the bonnet in front , was enough to declare the VIP/VVIP status of the occupant of the vehicle. However, it is during the night that the red beacon- revolving or static- had come handy to have the traffic cleared or sided for easy movement . 

Why I call the move symbolic is because of a feeling that not much is going to change. There must be a feeling of relief or joy for some who despite same status in Government hierarchy were not entitled for beacon light as per convention and practice and suffered from some complex and had some frustration . 

These things were devised not so much as a status symbol but to ensure that authorities attending to emergencies like natural calamities and disaster requiring immediate action or intervention may not be held up on the way due to rush of traffic. Unfortunately , these had become an instrument to flaunt and flash and for some to throw their weight about , some ‘benefits’ or privileges extending to the family. 
This symbolic gesture won’t add up to much if the said VIP/VVIPs usually drunk with perceived sense of power remain insensitive and impervious to public grievances. A man in the street does not grudge these out ward symbols nor is he concerned with the host of other perks and facilities, enjoyed by the dignitaries. All that he wants is an easy access, courteous behaviour , patient hearing and redressal of grievances. As long as the dignitaries remain stiff necked and exhibit arrogance and distance themselves from the common man , the move alone will not amount to much.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


William Shakespeare , the English poet and playwright , whose 401st death anniversary falls today occupies a special place in English Literature and being the most quoted poet and writer, holds sway in the English speaking world. Studying in a school, where I did , we had hardly 2-3 poems of Shakespeare in our syllabus , with Tennyson , R.W. Emerson. H.W.Longfellow gaining more importance and being more popular. We , as post graduate English Literature students in the early ‘70s had an entire paper devoted to William Shakespeare – seven plays and a few sonnets. Four plays - King Lear, Hamlet, Richard II , and The Winter’s Tale , if I remember correctly were for detailed study , meaning that passages were to figure in the examination paper for explanation with reference to the context. Though never a serious student , I made it a point that I should be able to mention the Act as well as the Scene while writing the answer. To ensure this, I devoted one day each for a play going through line by line, word by word. Just a fad nothing more !

I wrote the paper and as expected was able to mention the Act and the Scene and felt very happy about it. Second thing that went around was that the critic A.C. Bradley was indispensable while reading Shakespearean Tragedies . He had authored a book covering in detail Four plays – King Lear Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth – the first two being in our syllabus. A joke was told that Shakespeare himself had failed in ‘His’ paper as he had not read A.C.Bradley. Any how I did pass the paper, with or without Bradley and scored a ‘respectable’ 53, regrettably not getting due credit for being able to mention the Act as well as the Scene , as I have said above.
All said Shakespeare remains my favourite , even today , more than forty years down the line.
Humble tributes !

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sarvepalli Gopal

Today is the death anniversary of Sarvepalli Gopal , an eminent historian . Educated in England, he was an undergraduate student at Oxford and also obtained D.Phil there. The subject of his thesis was Lord Ripon and his times. He authored and co authored many books of value some of which were published in London. He wrote book on British Policy and biography of Jawaharlal Nehru and S. Radhakrishnan, his father.
He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1999. He was also for once a Chairman of the National Book Trust.
Our humble tributes to the great historian who gave a new perspective to the writing of History !

शकील बदायुनी

आज उर्दू के अज़ीम शाइर और हिन्दी सिनेमा के सुप्रसिद्ध एवं लोकप्रिय गीतकार शकील बदायुनी की पुण्यतिथि है ।अपनी मशहूर गज़लों के अलावा शकील बदायूंनी ने एक से एक बढ़ कर खूबसूरत गीत हिन्दी सिनेमा को दिये । महान संगीतकर नौशाद के साथ उनकी जुगलबंदी रही तथा नौशाद के ही निर्देशन में फ़िल्म ‘दीदार’, ‘बैजु बावरा’, ‘मदर इण्डिया’, ‘मुगल-ए-आजम’, ‘दुलारी’ , ‘शबाब’, ‘गंगा-जमुना’, और ‘मेरे महबूब’ में उनके लिखे गीतों ने लोकप्रियता की तमाम बुलंदियों को छूआ। दूसरी ओर संगीतकार रवि के निर्देशन में फ़िल्म ‘घराना’ , ‘चौदहवीं का चाँद’ में उनके लिखे गीतों ने भी धूम मचायी ।
हेमंत कुमार के संगीत निर्देशन में ‘साहब बीवी और गुलाम’ के लिए लिखे गीत भी बहुत लोकप्रिय हुए ।
उमा देवी उर्फ टुनटुन की आवाज़ में फ़िल्म ‘दर्द’ के लिए लिखा उनका गीत ‘अफसाना लिख रही हूँ , दिले बेक़रार का .......’ आज भी उतना ही लोकप्रिय है । 

गजल सम्राज्ञी बेगम अख्तर की आवाज़ में उनकी लिखी गैर फ़िल्मी ग़ज़ल ‘ऐ मुहब्बत तेरे अंजाम पे रोना आया.......’ तो मील का पत्थर है ही !
भक्ति रस और प्रेम रस से भरपूर रचनाएँ दे कर उनने अपनी बहुमुखी प्रतिभा का लोहा मनवाया ।
केवल 53 वर्ष की आयु में 1970 में आज ही के दिन इस संसार को अलविदा कहने वाले इस अज़ीम शाइर और गीतकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jim Corbett

Today is the death anniversary of Jim Corbett, the hunter turned conservationist. A Colonel, in the British Indian Army, Corbett due to his hunting expertise was called by the United Provinces Government to hunt and kill Tigers, Leopards and man eaters in the Kumaon Hills, who used to prey upon and kill local people . Later he turned a conservationist and wrote and talked about the importance of wildlife protection. His book ‘Man-eaters of Kumaon’ containing exquisite photographs of wildlife taken by him is a masterpiece of sorts.The Corbett National Park in Nainital District of Uttarakhand is named after him .

Our humble tributes !

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Lalita Pawar, the most prolific actress of Indian Cinema . In a career spanning over six decades she acted in about 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Born Amba Laxman Rao Shagun in 1916 to a rich, wealthy family , she started acting at a very young age and is said to have co produced and acted in a silent movie . She also produced a talkie as early as in 1938. In the beginning, with her good looks and acting talent, she was a fit star material of the class of Noor Jahan , Khursheed and other contemporary heroines.
In 1942 while shooting for a slapping scene in the movie Jung-e-Azadi, the new comer actor , slapped her so hard that the optic nerve of her felt eye was badly damaged and even three years of hospitalization and treatment left a permanent defect in her left eye besides affecting her facial looks. Thereafter unfortunately she was fated to play character roles only. She mostly played the vamp mostly as a wicked mother- in- law , a scheming aunt or a strict matron. She also played roles of a kind hearted and emotional woman with élan . She is remembered for her role in 1959 film ‘Anari’ as Mrs. D’ Sa , a kind hearted woman showering her care and affection on Raj Kapoor, who played the ‘Anari’ protagonist. In an equally impressive and appealing role in the film 'Professor' , she appeared as the strict guardian of two young women and two kids, herself succumbing to feelings and emotions in the end. Likewise her roles in Mr. & Mrs. 55, Shree 420 and Daag are unforgettable. 

She also acted in noteworthy films like Dahej, Parchhain, Nau Do Gyarah ,Sujata, HumDono, Sampoorna Ramayan , Sehra, Gharana, Khandaan, Mela, Aabroo, Anand, Gopi, Tapasya, Kali Ghata, Phir Wohi Raat, Naseeb , sau Din Saas Ke, Bahurani and many many others .
Who can forget ‘Manthra’ of Ramanand Sagar’s TV serial ‘Ramayan’ played so beautifully by her.
Not for nothing, is she called the mother of all vamps.
 It is to her credit that due to her extraordinary acting abilities, she held her own despite the presence and appearance of other notable vamps on the scene like Nadira, Manorama, Shashikala, Bindu, etc. etc. and remained a sought after actress.
She was awarded the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Anari .
She also won the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1961. The same year she was honoured as the First lady of Indian Cinema by the Government of India.
Our humble tributes to the great actress !

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dr.S. Radhakrishnan

Today is the death anniversary of Dr.S. Radhakrishnan, a former President of India. He was the first Vice President and second President of India.A scholar, and philosopher of international repute, he held teaching assignments at the University of Calcutta and Oxford. An author of many books on philosophy and comparative religions, he was awarded Bharat Ratna, the highest civil award in 1954.
His birthday is celebrated as Teachers' Day in India.
Our humble tributes to the great scholar, philosopher and statesman !

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nandlal Bose

Today is the death anniversary of Nandlal Bose , an eminent Indian painter and an exponent of Bengal School of Art. In 1922, he was made Principal of Kala Bhawan, Santiniketan.He is considered a doyen of Modern Indian Art and his works are deemed rare art treasures.He drew upon Indian mythology, village life and women as the dominant theme of his works.
He was the second Artist to be made a Fellow of the Lalit Kala Academy in 1956.
Earlier he was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954.
In 1957, Calcutta University conferred on him an honorary D.Litt.

Our humble tributes to the great Artist and painter !

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Hasrat Jaipuri, a well known, popular and acclaimed Urdu poet and a lyricist for Hindi Cinema. Making his debut as a lyricist with Raj Kapoor’s famous film ‘Barsaat’, he gave many memorable songs to Hindi Cinema. His first recorded song was Jiya Beqaraar Hai( Lata Mangeshkar) and first duet , Chhod Gaye Baalam (Mukesh & Lata)- both from the film ‘Barsaat’ .Both these songs are popular even today. His other notable songs among numerous others are Pankh Hote to Ud Jati re (Sehra), Tere Khayalon Mein Hum (Geet Gaya Patharon Ne) Duniya Banane Wale (Teesri Kasam),Ajhoon Na Aye Baalma( Saanjh aur Sawera ),Sun Sahiba Sun (Ram Teri Ganga Maili),Yeh mera Prem Patra Parh Kar (Sangam) & Tere man ki Ganga(Sangam) .
These two songs from film ‘Sangam’ were actually penned by him for his Hindu ladylove quite a few years back.It seems he enjoyed some wavelength with Shailendra, another lyricist of note, and together they wrote lyrics for the same films also. He won Filmfare’s best lyricist award for the songs Zindagi Ik safar Hai Suhana & Baharo Phool Barsao, Mera Mehboob Aya hai. He was also awarded Dr. Ambedkar Award for the semi classical number Jhanak Jhanak Tori Baaje Payaliya. 

He wrote all types of songs- romantic, semi classic, sad, serious etc. etc.
A specimen of his versatile talent is reflected in the following lyrics he wrote for films –
Jiya Beqaraar Hai……
Chhod Gaye Baalam…….
Zindagi ek safar hai suhana….
Teri pyari pyari soorat ko……
Pankh hote to ud aati re……
Tere khayalon mein hum…….
Ehsan tera hoga mujh par……..
Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paaoge…..
Sayonara sayonara……..
Aao twist Karen…….
Ajhoon na aaye baalma…….
Bol Radha Bol Sangam Hoga Ke Nahin……
Duniya bananewale kya tere man mein samayi……
Sun Sahiba Sun………
Unke Khayal Aaye To…….
Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Hue……
Yeh Mera Prem Patra Padh Kar……
The list is going to be very long.
Our humble to the great poet and lyricist.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Shamshad Begum , the popular playback singer of the bygone era of Hindi Cinema. Born this day in 1919 at Lahore , exactly a day after the infamous Jallianwalla massacre that happened in nearby Amritsar, she had a humble beginning and was one of the eight children – five brothers and three sisters. Her singing talent was spotted at a very young age while she was still in School by the Principal and due to this talent , she was made head singer for the morning prayer. In 1931, when she was just twelve , her uncle took her to music director Ghulam Haider, who greatly impressed with her singing offered her a contract for twelve songs in a row. She was paid Rs15/- per song- not a small amount those days- by the Xenophone Company that recorded the songs . 
At the tender age of fifteen , in 1934 she married one Ganpat Lal Bhatto, a Hindu much older than her . Eventually they had a daughter- their only child . Her singing skill were honed by Ghulam Haidar and Husssain Bakshwale Sahab . She started singing on on AIR Lahore and Peshawar . Established as asinger, she was offered role in films also but on strong opposition from her father, she shunned the proposal and never faced the camera. In the beginning of ‘40s director- producer Mehboob Khan brought her to Bombay and her singing career was formally launched. She sang for film Khazanchi and Khandan . Her Punjabi songs in the film Yamla Jatt became instant hits. She had a distinct voice , very different from Noor jahan,Suraiya , Mubarak Begum. Sudha Malhotra and Geeta Dutt.

Clarity of voice and flawless diction were the hallmark of her singing. She sang for composers like Naushad, O.P.Nayyar , S.D.Burman and C.Ramchandra and gave many memorable melodies. The most celebrated music director of the time Naushad, acknowledged his debt to Shamshad Begum , as according to him his success as a music director came due to his compositions sung by her, which were all hits. In fact the three decades – ‘40s, ‘50s and ’60s belonged to Shamshad Begum , in no less measure than to other celebrated female singers. Naushad made her sing four out of the twelve songs in Mother India. 
Apart from solos, she sang beautiful duets with male singers Mohamad rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood as also Lata Mangeshkar. She sang qawwalis and bhajans also. The Punjabi songs sung by her stand as a class apart. 
Her songs and duets :
Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar…..
Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana……
Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re…… 
Milte Hi Aankhen Dil Hua…. 
Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laga Teer-e-nazar……

O Gadiwale Gadi Dheere Haank Re…… 
Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon…….
Ek Tera Sahara……
Holi Aayee Re Kanhaai…….
Nazar Phero Na Humse Hum hain Tum Par Marne Walon Mein…….
Chod Babul Ka Ghar…….
Badi mushkil se dil ki bekarari ko……
Kajra Mohabbatwala Ankhiyon mein Aisa dala…… 
Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat………
Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jaali Da……
Kisike Dil Mein Rehna Tha…..
Dharti Ko Aakash Pukare…….
Ek Do Teen Aaja Mausam Hai Rangeen………
Door koi gaye Dhun Ye Sunaye……
Chaman mein reheke veerana……
- and many many others echo and resonate in the ears even after decades today. 
She was a recipient of Padma Bhushan .

Our humble tributes to the great singer !

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


This year also two day State level birth anniversary function is being held at Shimla in memory of Manohar Singh, a highly talented theatre and film actor.Starting as an artiste in village folk theatre called Karyala ,he joined the Song and Drama Division, Shimla and also participated in plays staged at Amateur Dramatic Club, Gaiety Theatre in Shimla before moving to National School of Drama, Delhi. He also had some training in Theatre at the Royal Society, London.He is known for his memorable performance in plays - Tughlaq, Himmat Mai and Madam Berve.Before switching to cinema, he was Chief of Repertory at National School of Drama for twelve years.He is known for his role in films , Party and Daddy.He also appeared in a TV serial Mulla Nasruddin. 

The late Balwant Gargi, the famous theatre personality in his autobiography 'The Naked Triangle ' also praised Manohar Singh recounting his first meeting with him . The other theatre and film personalities who worked with him have always spoken highly of him.
He was a recipient of the coveted Sangeet Natak Academy Award .
Our humble tributes to the great artist and Actor !

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Kundan Lal Saigal - K.L.Saigal for short- the singer- actor without mentioning whom any annals of Indian Films and Film music would be incomplete. He is arguably the first super star of Hindi Cinema. Born this day in 1904 at Jammu , Saigal developed interest in music at an early age. His mother , an extremely religious lady would take the young boy to Kirtans as well as Sufi saints .As a boy Saigal used to act in Ramlila and play Sita .Once he had an opportunity to sing a bhajan in presence of the Ruler of Jammu in whose Court, his father was a Tehsildar .The Ruler was so much impressed with his singing that he predicted a bright future for the boy in music. Later, leaving his formal education midway , Saigal took up job first as a time keeper with the Railways and later as a sales person with Remington Typewriter Company. He lived and stayed in Shimla during his employment with the said Typewriter Company . Amateur singing went side by side with Saigal singing in private gatherings. The job involved touring and he had to visit many places all over India. During one of such visits he chanced upon one Mehar Chand Jain, who sensing his musical talent encouraged and aided him in his pursuits.Saigal acknowledged his debt to Mehar Chand Jain and always remained grateful to him. . Both went to Calcutta and Saigal participated in many a mehfil-e mushaira. Saigal recorded some songs with the Indian gramophone Company under the music direction of one Harishchandra Bali. Calcutta was the centre of Hindi Cinema those days and there were many stalwarts like R.C.Boral. K.C.Dey, Pankaj Mullick and Pahadi Sanyal. As Saigal’s reputation as a singer spread, he was employed by New Theatres on contract on a monthly salary of Rs.200/- .
The talkies had just started and there was a demand for actors who could sing as well . Obviously, Saigal fitted the bill. He worked in three films in 1932 , the first one being Mohabbat ke Aansoo, followed by Subah Ka Sitara and Zinda Laash. In the titles, his name had appeared as Saigal Kashmiri. The films did not do well but Saigal had launched a career. His first film with his original name in the titles was Yehudi Ki Ladki , released in 1933 . He also worked in Chandidas, Rooplekha and Karwan-e-Hayaat . The bhajans he sang for Puran Bhagat became a rage of the times. However the defining moment came in Saigal’s career when he played the title role in Devdas, based on Sharat Chandra’s Bengali novel of the same name. The film was directed by P.C. Barua and became an instant hit. Saigal’s name catapulted to fame. Living in Calcutta, Saigal had picked up Bengali and also acted in seven Bengali Films. 
He became the first non- Bengali singer to sing and record Rabindra Sangeet after formal approval from Tagore himself. This speaks for his extraordinary talent. With New Thatres, Saigal worked in both Hindi and Bengali films , titled Didi, President , Desher Mati, Dharti Mata , Saathi, Street Singer, Dushman ,Jiban Maran , and Zindagi ,in the lead role. 
Towards the end of 1941 , Saigal moved to Bombay and worked with Ranjit Movietones. He acted in successful movies like Bhakt Surdas, Tansen , Shahjehan and Parwana. The movies and the songs became hits . A song Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya from the movie became Saigal’s favourite and he wished it to be played at the time of his funeral procession.In singing and acting both he teamed well with Khursheed , another shining star of Hindi Cinema at that time .
Saigal sang 185 songs in all – 142 film songs and 43 non film songs . Amongst the film songs 110 were in Hindi, and two in Bengali . He acted in 36 films – 28 in Hindi, 7 in Bengali and one in Tamil.
Among his songs the following stand out in my list :
Jab dil hi toot gaya…..
Gham diye mustakil ….
Aye dil-e- beqarar jhoom….
Babul mora naihar chooto ri jaye….
Ik bangala bane nyara…. 
More balapan ke saathi chhalia….( duet with Khursheed )
Aye kaatib-e taqdeer…..
So jaa rajkumari sojaa…..
Karun kya aas niraas bhayi …….
Premnagar main banaugi ghar mein……( duet )
Madhukar Shyam hamare chor…..
Main kya janoo, kya jadoo hai…..
Suno suno a Krishna kala……
Ruhi ruhi ruhi mere sapnon ki rani….( Muhammad Rafi also sang a line at the end )
Jag mag jagmag diya jalao …
He also rendered Ghazals 0f Ghalib like Nukta chin hai gham-e dil... etc .
Of course there are many other gems in his repertoire.

A gifted singer that he was, many budding singers of the time were influenced tried to emulate him and it them took quite some time to get out of his shadow and evolve their own style.
His popularity as a singer can be gauged from the fact that for many years a slot was reserved for a song in his voice in the old film songs’ program broadcast from Radio Ceylon every morning. 
Given to alcohol in a big way, his health deteriorated and he breathed his last on 18th January , 1947 at his native place Jalandhar. 
Our humble tributes to the legendary star of Hindi Cinema !!

Kasturba Gandhi

Today is the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, a political activist and a freedom fighter in her own right, who stood firm like a rock behind Mahatma Gandhi to help and lend support in all his pursuits !
Our humble tributes to the great lady !

Monday, April 10, 2017

Prof. Birbal Sahni FRS,

Today is the death anniversary of Prof. Birbal Sahni FRS, an eminent scientist.A paleobotanist ,he made a pioneering study and research on Fossils in India.Prime Minister Nehru complimented him as the most handsome FRS.
Our humble tributes !

Omar Sharif

Today is the birth anniversary of Omar Sharif- real name Michel Dimitri Chalhoub - the Egyptian actor who appeared in British and American Productions.He is best known for his performances in 'Lawrence of Arabia' , 'Doctor Zhivago' and 'Funny Girl' . Nominated once for the Academy Award, he was a three time winner of Golden Globe Award and a César Award . His estranged wife Faten Ahmed Hamama, who predeceased him by about six months was also a renowned Egyptian actress. A linguist of sorts, he was also a horse racing enthusiast and a bridge player .
Our humble tributes !

Saturday, April 8, 2017


बात 1995 की गर्मियों की है, मैं ज़िला कांगड़ा के पालमपुर में प्रतिनियुक्ति पर वन विभाग में तैनात था। शिमला मुख्यालय में एक ज़रूरी बैठक में भाग लेने के बाद मैं और मेरा एक सहकर्मी वापिस पालमपुर जा रहे थे । गाड़ी की गति बहुत तेज़ थी और रास्ते में एक स्थान पर शायद घुमारवीं और हमीरपुर के बीच किसी स्थान पर पीली चोंच वाली चिड़िया जिसे हम पहाड़ी भाषा में करईं कहते हैं, विंडस्क्रीन से टकरा कर मर गयी और एक ओर को जा गिरी । मेरे साथी सहकर्मी ने अपनी काँगड़ी बोली में ड्राईवर को गाड़ी रोकने के लिए कहा तो मेरे पूछने पर बताया कि ये चिड़िया ले जानी है। उसका अभिप्राय समझ कर मैंने गाड़ी रोकने से मना कर दिया और कहा कि हम इसे ब्राह्मणी कहते हैं और आप कुछ और ही करना चाहते हैं ।

 खैर, चिड़िया वहाँ की वहाँ रह गयी । कुछ और आगे गए तो सहकर्मी ने ड्राईवर को अपनी बोली में कहीं आम का पेड़ नज़र आने पर गाड़ी रोकने की हिदायत की । उसने कहा कि उसे घर पर पूजा करवानी है जिसके लिए आम की लकड़ी चाहिए । आम का पेड़ भी मिल गया और ड्राईवर एक टहनी तोड़ कर भी ले आया । फिर मैंने हल्के फुल्के अंदाज़ में सहकर्मी से कहा कि एक ओर तो आप पूजा करवाने जा रहे हैं, दूसरी ओर चिड़िया ले जाने वाले थे । कुछ दिनों तक कार्यालय में भी इस बात की चर्चा रही । जब भी चिड़िया नज़र आती तो सहकर्मी बोल उठता कि साहब इसे ब्राह्मणी बता रहे थे । अपने अपने स्थान पर प्रचलित विश्वास और मान्यता की बात थी पर तात्कालिक तौर पर मुझे कुछ विरोधाभास नज़र आया। यों विरोधाभास तो हम सब में ही होते हैं । 22 साल पुरानी यह घटना कभी कभी याद आ जाती है !
( चित्र गूगल से साभार )

बन्किमचन्द्र चट्टोपाध्याय

महान देशभक्त, लेखक, उपन्यासकार, राष्ट्रगीत ‘वंदे मातरम’ के रचयिता एवं बंगाल के साहित्यिक पुनर्जागरण की एक अग्रणी विभूति बन्किमचन्द्र चट्टोपाध्याय की आज पुण्यतिथि है ! प्रेसीडेंसी कॉलेज, कलकत्ता के प्रथम भारतीय स्नातकों में से एक , बंकिम चन्द्र ने अंग्रेज़ सरकार के अधीन शासकीय सेवा में रह कर भी देश भक्ति से ओतप्रोत रचनाएँ लिख कर स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में योगदान करने वाले क्रांतिकारियों का मनोबल बढ़ाया .’आनंद मठ’ , ‘दुर्गेशनंदिनी’, ‘कपाल कुंडला’ और ‘मृणालिनी’ जैसे उपन्यासों की रचना करके न केवल बंगला साहित्य को समृद्ध किया , बल्कि बंगला भाषा को भी गौरवान्वित किया, क्योंकि उनके पूर्ववर्ती बांग्ला लेखक अधिकतर अँग्रेजी अथवा संस्कृत भाषा में ही लिखते थे . 

 उन जैसे महान लेखक व देशभक्त को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Friday, April 7, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Ravi Shankar , the great Hindustani Classical music exponent.He was born to Bengali parents in Varanasi and was named Rabindra Shankar Chaudhary. A Sitarist , he popularized Indian Classical Music in Europe and America , through performances, teaching and training . He started as a Classical dancer by becoming a member of the dance troupe of world famous Uday Shankar , who happened to be his elder brother. He left dancing in late ‘30s and started learning Sitar from Allaudin Khan. He became a composer and gave music to Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy.He also worked as a music director with the All India radio for some years.In the ‘60s he collaborated with Yehudi Menuhin, the world famed Violinist and George Harrison, the Guitarist of the Beetle’s group.

 This also helped popularize the use of Indian musical instruments in Western especially Pop music. He toured Europe in the next two decades writing and composing music. 
Many honours and awards came his way .He has had the distinction of being awarded Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna, besides Sangeet Natak Academy award and Fellowship. He also received the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the UNESCO award. He also served a term as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.
He was also made the honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire ( KBE ) by the UK Govt. in recognition of his services in the field of music.
He died on 11 December, 2012 in the US, aged 92.
Our humble tributes to the Maestro !

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Suchitra Sen, the renowned actress of Bengali and Hindi cinema.Born Roma Dasgupta this 
day in 1931 at Pabna in undivided Bengal,she was a leading actress for close to three decades, during '50s through '70s.

Predominantly associated with Bengali cinema, her movies in which she paired with Uttam Kumar went down well with the public and became instant hits.It is worth mentioning that 30 of her 60 films were with Uttam Kumar.
In Hindi cinema she is remembered most for her role in films Bombay ka Babu, Devdas, Mamta and Aandhi in which her performance was stellar.She was the first Indian actress to be Internationally acclaimed and awarded in the 1963 Moscow International Festival, where she won a Silver Medal for her outstanding performance in a movie titled Saptapadi.

She was awarded Padma Shri in 1972.She withdrew from public life 1979 onwards and is said to have refused Dadasaheb Phalke Award to avoid public gaze and adulation.
She had a strong screen presence and believed in giving her best.
It is said that she took lessons in Hindi diction for her role in Aandhi .
She died on 17 January 2014 .

Our humble tributes to the great actress !

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी

आज ख्यातनाम कवि , लेखक , पत्रकार व स्वतन्त्रता सेनानी स्व. माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी की जयंती है । चतुर्वेदी जी ने असहयोग आंदोलन और सविनय अवज्ञा आंदोलन में सक्रिय भूमिका निभाई और जेल भी गए । अपनी कविताओं के माध्यम से भी देश भक्ति की भावना को बढ़ाने में महत्वपूर्ण योगदान दिया । उनके काव्य में देश-प्रेम , प्रकृति एवं प्रेम के प्रचलित स्वरूप का समावेश मिलता है । अपनी काव्य कृति हिमतरंगिनीके लिए 1955 में प्रथम साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार से सम्मानित होने का गौरव भी उन्हें प्राप्त है। 1963 में उन्हें पद्मभूषण से भी सम्मानित किया जिसे उन्होने बाद में राष्ट्रभाषा पर आघात करने वाले किसी विधेयक के विरोध स्वरूप लौटा दिया ।उनकी कविता पुष्प की अभिलाषाअत्यंत लोकप्रिय हुई और देश भर के हिन्दी पाठ्यक्रम में शामिल रही ।स्कूल में पढ़ी ये कविता आज भी ज़ेहन में उभरती है :
चाह नहीं मैं सुरबाला के,
गहनों में गूँथा जाऊँ,
चाह नहीं प्रेमी-माला में,
बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ,
चाह नहीं, सम्राटों के शव,
पर, हे हरि, डाला जाऊँ
चाह नहीं, देवों के शिर पर,
चढ़ूँ भाग्य पर इठलाऊँ!
मुझे तोड़ लेना वनमाली!
उस पथ पर देना तुम फेंक,
मातृभूमि पर शीश चढ़ाने
जिस पथ जाएँ वीर अनेक

इस महान देशभक्त, कवि, साहित्यकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Monday, April 3, 2017

निर्मल वर्मा

शिमला के लोअर कैथू क्षेत्र में 1929 में आज ही के दिन जन्मे तथा हिन्दी साहित्य में नई कहानीके प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर निर्मल वर्मा की आज जयंती है । अपनी कहानियों के कारण साहित्य में विशेष स्थान तो पाया ही , इसके अतिरिक्त, ‘लाल टीन की छत’,’एक चिथड़ा सुखऔर अंतिम आरण्यजैसे उपन्यासों के कारण भी चर्चा में रहे। अपनी कहानी परिंदेसे सर्वप्रथम पहचान में आए तथा उसके बाद अनेक अप्रतिम कहानियाँ रचीं.

ज्ञानपीठ पुरस्कार , मूर्तिदेवी पुरस्कार, पद्मभूषण एवं साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार से सम्मानित इस महान रचनाकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Field Marshal S.H. F. J. Manekshaw

Today is the birth anniversary ofField Marshal S.H. F. J. Manekshaw  fondly remembered as the Hero of the 1971 war with Pakistan.A distinguished soldier, he saw action during the Second World War, 1962 Indo-Chinese War, 1965 Indo-Pakistan War & of course 1971 Indo Pakistan War fought under his command.
A highly decorated soldier, he was awarded Military Cross, Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan. Also known as Sam Manekshaw and highly popular with Gurkha troops, he was also nicknamed Sam Bahadur
Our humble tributes to this outstanding soldier !

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Today is the death anniversary of  K.S. Ranjitsinhji , GCSI, GBE ( full name - H.H. Jam Saheb Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanaga r)  also known as Ranji , was a ruler of the Princely State of  Nawanagar .  He is also addressed as  Maharaj   Jamsaheb . He was educated  at Rajkumar College Rajkot and Trinity College , Cambridge .  He was a noted Test  Cricket and played  First Class Cricket . Introduced to the game of  Cricket  at the age of 10 or  11, while in School  , he was also the captain of School  Cricket team , though at that time he preferred  Tennis over Cricket . Later, while a student at the Cambridge University, he was exposed   to quality  Cricket. Between 1893 and  1920 he played County Cricket for  Cambridge University, London County  and  Sussex , alongside Test  Cricket for  the English Team. He ahd earned   reputation as a  batsman  of note      in  County Cricket. An obvious victim of racism , he was not included in the English Team for the  first match in the series against  Australia,  but was included  for the second Test  match .    A  right- handed batsman ,  he played his debut match  from the English side  against Australia in 1896 and scored 62 & 154*  runs   in the match.

In his career , he played  15  Test Matches and  scored  989 runs withan impressive average of  44.95.HE scored two centuries and 6 half centuries  , his highest score being 175. In First Class Cricket, he played  307 matches  and scored   24,692 runs with an average of  56.37. He scored  72 centuries and  109 hlf Centuries, his highest score being  285*. He was a right arm slow bowler and took  133 wickets  in First Class cricket.
Apart from this , he is most remembered as a batting style  called Leg Glance, invented by him after lot of  hard work  and practice. Most of his strokes were played on  back foot  over  which he had  attained mastery. He was also an author and wrote a book  titled  The Jubilee  Book Of Cricket.
He died this day in 1933 at Jamnagar. To  commemorate  his achievements as a great Cricketer  , Ranji Trophy  matches were  introduced by BCCI   in 1934 and  the  Trophy was   donated  by  Maharaja Bhupinder Singh  of Patiala  , who also inaugurated  it in 1935.

Our humble tributes to the legendary  Cricketer !