Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Harry Houdini

Today is the death anniversary of Harry Houdini .He was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.Besides he performed many other unbelievable and seemingly humanly impossible feats to the wonderment of one and all.

Deservingly,he is considered one of the greatest magicians .
Unfortunately he died this day in 1926 of internal injuries caused due to repeated hitting on the abdomen by some jealous person .
Our humble tributes !

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Homi Jahangir Bhabha

Today is the birth anniversary of Homi Jahangir Bhabha,FRS, the Indian Physicist and Nuclear scientist, who is remembered as the Father of Indian Nuclear Program.The premier institute called the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is named after him.
He was a recipient of Adam's Prize and Padma Bhushan .
Our humble tributes !

Sir Walter Raleigh

Yesterday i.e. 29th October ,2018 marked the 400 years of the execution by beheading of Sir WALTER RALEIGH, a soldier, writer, poet, explorer and a colonizer , in short a polymath.
Born in 1552AD( 1554 according to some), he served as a soldier in Ireland and  France and is remembered as a ruthless suppressor of the rebellion in Ireland. Once a favourite of the 'Queen Elizabeth I, he was knighted in 1585 for his valuable services to the Crown.Falling out of favour with the Queen later, due to his courting marriage with one of the Queen's laidies-in -waiting without her permission, he along with his wife was taken prisoner and both were kept in the Tower of London where he wrote History of the World.Both were released after some time .
He was a passionate poet and wrote remarkable poetry not subscribing to the Classical style.
As an explorerer, he explored a territory in North America and named it Virginia in  honour of the Virgin Queen.
After Queen's death in 1603, the bad phase in Walter Raleigh's life started.
He was charged with the conspiracy of killing James I, and sentenced to death. He was executed by beheading on October 29th, 1618 when he was 65. At his request, before beheading he was shown the axe.His contention was that people might not think that at his age , he was afraid of death.
Many called his execution unjust , cruel , a travesty and a bad patch on the British  Judicial system .
Really tragic that a polymath like him met his end thus !

Friday, October 26, 2018


Jaspal Bhatti was  a popular Comedian, Actor and a Satirist.He was born in Amritsar, Punjab on 3rd  of March, 1955.

An Electrical Engineering Graduate from the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, for some years he was an employee with the Punjab State Electricity Board.With humour running in his veins, in College days he had started Nonsense Club.Name and fame came to him with the television series Flop Show in early '90s which was produced by his wife Savita Bhatti, who also acted and appeared as his wife.Though only ten episodes were made and telecast, the show had an immense effect on the viewers.His mini comic strip Ulta Pulta also became very popular. The reason for the extraordinary popularity of his ventures was  honest and simple humour, which touched upon the day to day problems faced by the common man, due to the corrupt and inefficient system prevailing in Governance and elsewhere.Even the public indulging in unfair and corrupt practices like theft of electricity came under his scanner. His co-actor, the late Vivek Shauq gained popularity as an actor from Bhatti's serials and became a successful film actor.
Subsequently he acted in films also and was cast in movies like Jaanam Samjha Karo, Aa Ab Laut Chalen, Kartoos,
Khauff,Yeh Hai Jalwa, Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe, Tujhe Meri Kasam, Nalayak,Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaye,Kuchh Na Kaho, Jija Ji, Fanaa, Chak De Patte, Power Cut, Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya and some others.
His Punjabi Feature Film Mahaul Theek Hai on the Punjab Police  became a chart buster.
The political system also became a target of his humour and satire and periodically he announced the formation of Hawala Party , Suitcase Party and Recession Party with a manifesto in place with party symbols like, Drugs, Opium and Liquor.
He died in a Car accident at Shahkot near Jalandhar while travelling at night on 25th October, 2012 aged 57, just a day before his film Power Cut was to be released.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan posthumously in 2013.
Our humble tributes to the great Actor and Television personality !

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Agha Jani Kashmiri

Today is the 110th birth anniversary of Agha Jani Kashmiri, the Indian screenplay/ dialogue writer.Born Syed Wajid Hussain Rizvi this day in Lucknow in 1908, he was associated with popular and hit films like Vachan, Kismat, Lal Haveli, Humain, Anmol Ghadi,Najma, Taqdeer, Chandralekha,Anokhi Ada,Aurat, Amar, Chori Chori,Love in Shimla, Junglee, Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, Mujhe Jeeney Do, Ziddi, April Fool,Love in Tokyo, Tunde Achchha Kaun Hai, Naya Zamana and many many others.

He is known for writing the dialogues in chaste literary Urdu, which later got replaced by Salim- Javed's use of colloguial language .
Agha Jani Kashmiri died on 27th March, 1998 at Toronto, Canada , aged 89.
Our humble tributes to the great film personality !

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


HUNGER IS THE BEST SAUCE, they say and truly enough. But it is a heavenly boon and a bliss when you are treated to a reasonably good food , unexpectedly right in the middle of a desolate place or a Jungle.
In ' 80s while undergoing probation and part training at Ghumarwin, I was asked to carry out a joint inspection along with I&PH department and some stake holders to identify some land for the construction of a huge water storage tank.The group walked from one place to the other surveying vacant Government land amid some tree growth.At last some land got identified and some marking was done on the copy of revenue map after taking measurements of the spot.The exercise proved tiresome and exhausting in view of the fact that I had not taken breakfast in the morning. A person accompanying us,theretofore quite unknown to me sensing that something was wrong with me , enquired about my well-being.I frankly told him that I was dead hungry.
He assured me that he had some food with him and he was looking for water nearby. Luckily we found water on the way and we sat on the ground.He took out some wrapping from his bag. There were some chapatis softened with desi ghee, and some green leafy vegetable.
He shared his food happily with me , a complete stranger. The icing on the cake was some jam he was also carrying. This made a perfect lunch.
Even today, 32 years on,the thought of the kind person and the tasty lunch he was so happy to share with me, fills me with immense joy.

Monday, October 8, 2018

राज कुमार

अपनी अनूठी संवाद अदायगी, राजसी अदाओं एवं  तौर तरीकों के लिए  विख्यात, अद्भुत अभिनय प्रतिभा का दशकों लोहा मनवाने वाले अभिनेता  राजकुमार की आज जयंती है । इनका वास्तविक नाम कुलभूषण पंडित था।
स्कूल के ज़माने में मुहम्मद रफ़ी का अपने ख़ास अंदाज़ में गाया एक गीत ' घोड़ा लाहौरी मेरा, तांगा पिशौरी मेरा...' बहुत लोकप्रिय हुआ था । अभी हाल में  यू ट्यूब पर तलाश किया तो पाया कि यह गीत राजकुमार पर फिल्माया गया था ।एक बार और उनकी अभिनय प्रतिभा के प्रति प्रशंसा का  भाव मन में उभरा ।रजत पट पर अपनी जानदार उपस्थिति से कई बार पार्श्व भूमिका निभाते हुए भी नायक पर  भारी पड़ते हुए राजकुमार ने अनेकों यादगार फिल्मों में अभिनय किया !
आज उनकी 92वीं जयंती पर हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Familiar to the words ‘manicure’ and ‘pedicure’ only to the extent that they do exist in the English dictionary, I am quite regular, rather scrupulous in cutting the nails of my hands once in a week , and of feet every two weeks.For this I need a nail cutter handy as I am not on eofthe types who can cut/pare their nails to perfection with a razor blade . 
But once I was faced with a situation when my nails became due for cutting and I had no nail cutter .
The incident relates to early ‘80s. I was away from home for a few days and had forgotten to take the nail cutter along with other paraphernalia. On a day , the nails got due for cutting . What to do ! Those were not the days of ATM or debit card and one had to bank on and make do with the cash one had in the pocket.

Even though earning at that time , I had not much of cash with me and had to live within the amount I had. Purchasing a nail cutter seemed out of the question as I needed to save till the purchase of bus ticket for the back journey. I went to a small shop the market and asked the boy to show me a nail cutter. I cut my nails on the pretext of testing the nail cutter and asked the price. When told, I asked the boy to reduce the amount of price as at my place the same was available for much less amount . He refused to oblige me saying that the price was fixed. I refused to buy it much to the annoyance of the shopkeeper boy who pointed out that I had served my purpose cleverly . I didn’t say anything as he was right.Coming back , I myself felt bad and a bit guilty about it .However, I put the matter to rest hoping that I would be home before the next nail cutting became due.