Monday, July 30, 2018

Morning musings

As I wake up in the morning to a day with a clear weather and sky, these small birds and their sweet tweets seem to be the only sign of life besides our own. When I open the door to welcome the dawn and the day, two or three of them intuitively start flying to and fro, an indication that I give them something.
A handful of rice grains scattered for them on the ground immediately causes them to swoop down, sometimes 60-70 in number to pick up grains.It is not easy to take a shot of a large group as the slightest movement or indication thereof , makes them fly away in fright , though one or two remain there. Reassured by their presence, the other also come again to have their repast . It is a pleasure watching them .At the same time one is left wonder struck at the amazing variety of animal and plant life obtaining on this planet !

Monday, July 16, 2018

Ghanashyam Bali

Jagdish Bali's post informs of the  shocking,sad demise of  Ghanshayam Bali, a personal and Facebook dear friend.
I am taken back in timeline to the year 1986 when I was undergoing training cum probation at Ghumarwin .
One fine day a gentleman turned up in my office and introduced himself as Ghanshyam Bali, NYK coordinator.Nothing official about the meeting but he had come to know that some fellow Shimlaite was there and had decided to meet me.
As the conversation progressed,I came to know that we had more things in common than being from the same district.Like me he was also a post graduate in English.He had  taught in College as casual Lecturer.
Subsequently, I left the station on being posted to Pooh .Later, when we met, he had been selected as a Treasury Officer and was working as such.
When after spending 18 years in different parts if the state , I got posted in 2002 for a brief period in the Secretariat, I found him working as Deputy Director Small Savings on deputation.He came across as a sober honest gentleman who always talked in a low voice.We kept meeting after long intervals. It was always a pleasure to meet him.
The last we met was some 2-3 years back at Kali Bari temple and had a long rewarding conversation.
His passing away comes as a shock as I always found him active, hale and hearty.
RIP dear friend ,I have met very few like you !!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Baljee's Restaurant

The news that Baljee's restaurant at the Mall, Shimla is closing down has come as a shock.Situated in the middle of the city, that too at a vantage point on the Mall, the restaurant has attracted the locals and the tourists alike due to availability of ample sitting space and the food and beverage items on offer.
I am taken back to my college days in the early '70s when we came here , not frequently though as it seemed a bit upmarket in view of the limited amount of pocket money we received. The choice then fell alternatively to The Indian Coffee House and the Himani restaurant, which we could afford.
In the early days of my employment at Shimla, I used to alternate between Baljee's and the Indian Coffee House.
For more than a decade now , my visits to the Mall have become few and far between, but Baljee's is the only place I visit to have tea and the South Indian stuff like, Dosa, Vada or Idli.
I feel concerned for the eighty odd number of staff employed there, who will face crunch.
As per the news, the winding up may take about a year but then time passes too quickly.

Chetan Anand

Today is the 21st death anniversary of Chetan Anand, the well known Film Director, Producer, Actor and Screenplay writer.In his early years he was for some time a member of the Indian National Congress, had a stint with the BBC and also taught at the Doon School.The lure of films took him to Bombay and he remained associated with the Indian People's Theatre Association . He came to  limelight when his maiden directorial venture Neecha Nagar won the Palme d'Or Award for the Best Feature film at the Cannes  Film Festival in 1946 and became the first Indian Film to win international acclaim.This was also the debut film of Kamini Kaushal as an actress and of Pt. Ravi Shankar as a music composer.Later he established a production House called Navketan Films along with his younger brother Dev Anand and produced Afsar ,Taxi Driver and Andhiyan.As an actor he appeared in the film Humsafar and later in films Arpan and Anjali which were his directorial ventures too .The other films in which he   acted   were Kala Pani,Kinare Kinare, Aman, Kanch aur Heera and Hindustan Ki Kasam which he directed also.
Later Chetan Anand started his own  production house called Himalaya Films.Teaming up with the lyricist Kaifi Azmi, the photographer Jaal Mistri and the actress Priya Rajwansh, he produced Haqeeqat, Heer Ranjha and Hindustan Ki Kasam , incidentally all starting with the letter 'H' .
Chetan Anand is said to have discovered Rajesh Khanna and given him break with the film Aakhri Khat though this was not the first released film of the  super star.Later Rajesh Khanna also appeared in his film Kudrat.
In all Chetan Anand produced/directed 17 feature films and also a TV serial Param Vir Chakra, which was telecast by Doordarshan.

Our humble tributes to the great film personality  !

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Raja Deen Dayal

Today is the death anniversary of Lala Deen Dayal aka Raja Deen Dayal , the first Indian commissioned photographer.
He was born in 1844. He was a student of Thompson College of Civil Engineering, Roorkee and trained as a draughtsman.He took up job as such in Indore, where he came in contact with Tukoji Rao, the princely ruler of Indore, who encouraged him to take up photography. Turning passion into a profession, Deen Dayal established studios at Secunderabad, Bombay and Indore. In turns he was appointed as the Court Photographer to the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the official Photographer to the Viceroy of India and Queen Victoria. Before that he had covered the Royal visit of the Prince of Wales in 1875- 76.
He is regarded as the Chronicler of British India and also photographed ancient monuments of historical and archaeological importance.The photographs taken by him adorn the museums in England and the US.
He was given the title of Raja by the Nizam.
He died this day in 1910 aged 66.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy

Today is the birth ( and also death) anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, FRCS, MRCP . He was born this day in 1882.An alumnus of Calcutta Medical College, he is credited with qualifying both FRCS & MRCP simultaneously in a short period of two years and three months, a rare feat not equalled by anyone after him.He was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal and is remembered as the builder of West Bengal, having established many cities.

His birth day is observed as the National Doctors Day in India .
He was a recipient of Bharat Ratan, the highest civil honour in India.
He died this day in 1962 aged 80.
Our humble tributes to the luminary !