Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Baba Amte

Today is the 105th birth anniversary of  Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as Baba Amte.Though a trained lawyer , he became a social worker and a social activist and dedicated himself to the rehabilitation  and empowerment of lepers and adopted Gandhian way of life and  action.He lived a Spartan life and wore Khadi spun at Anandwan.He also worked along side  Medha Patkar and spearheaded the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
He was a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.
Our humble tributes to the true Gandhian !

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Winter Solstice

Today is Winter Solstice  which signifies that today is the shortest day and by implication, the longest night of the  calendar year. From tomorrow , the duration of the day will start increasing day by day ' equal to the leap of a ram' as my late mother used to say. Notwithstanding the fact that cold climatic conditions are going to persist and continue for another more than two months, it feels nice to note the duration of the increasing. Sunny days are always welcome, as they bring cheer despite chilling cold. Cloudy days though warmer at times hardly lift the spirits. With the Christmas around the corner, tourists are expected to throng Shimla, though there is little hope of a White Christmas as the weather men have predicted a clear sky for a few days  to come. Meanwhile it is  Sun, with or without warmth during the day and nights are chilly making it necessary to cuddle up in the bed with hot water bottle.

Friday, December 20, 2019

तेज राम शर्मा

स्मृति शेष
तेज राम शर्मा
( 25.03.1943 – 20.12.2017 )
तुम को न भूल पाएंगे  !

यहीं कहीं:

मैं फिर आऊँगा लौटकर
और यहीं कहीँ समेट लूँगा
बिखरी पँखुड़ियाँ
कंटीली झाड़ियों में
गुम हुई गेंद कब से
यहीं कहीं सुबक रही होगी
मेरे विस्थापित होने पर

सुहागा फिरी खेत सीढियों पर
सुगंधित माटी में पलटियाँ खाकर
मैं ढूढ लूँगा यहीं कहीं
खोई अपनी हँसी

बान के मोटे तने पर
पींग के निशान के आस-पास
जहाँ उभर आई होगी गाँठ
यहीं कहीं दुबकी पड़ी होगी
आसमान को छूती मेरी उड़ान

हजार थिगलियों वाली
गुदड़ी की तहों में छुपी
स्मित चेहरे वाली मेरी नींद से
यहीं कहीं ईर्ष्या कर रही होगी
मेरी विपन्नता

ह्र्दय की अवरुद्ध धमनियाँ
यहीं कहीं पुआल के ढेरों बीच
ढूँढ लेंगी अपने लहू का आवेश

चोटी की समतल चरागाह में
देवदार की छाँव बीच
आकाश से उतर कर
यहीं कहीं मुझे ढूँढ रहे होंगे
मेरे सपने

धुंध से घिरे
मक्का के लहलहाते सीढ़ी खेतों बीच
तेज़ बौछार में
मकई के बालों से झरते अक्षरों को समेट कर
ढूँढ लूँगा यहीं कहीं अन्तस का स्वर

झाड़ियों में उलझे पंख
यहीं कहीं ढूँढ लूँगा
और पहन लूँगा मोर मुकुट।

-तेजराम शर्मा
(साभार- कविता कोश)

सादर नमन !

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

शैलेश मटियानी

शैलेश मटियानी मेरे प्रिय कथाकार हैं , जिनकी रचनाएं मैं बड़े शौक से पढ़ता हूँ । आजकल उनके दो कथा संग्रहों का पठन कर रहा हूँ । एक संग्रह की दो कहानियों के शीर्षकों पर नज़र गयी तो दोनों पढ़ लीं  । 'बाली- सुग्रीव' और 'दशरथ' नाम की कहानियां राम लीला प्रसंगों पर आधारित हैं ।
' बाली- सुग्रीव' कहानी में  दोनों पात्रों की प्रतिद्वंद्विता केवल मंच तक ही सीमित न रह कर किस प्रकार उनके वास्तविक जीवन में  प्रवेश कर जाती है,का सुन्दर सजीव चित्रण है । साल दर साल वही दो व्यक्ति इन दो पात्रों की भूमिका  निभा रहे हैं  । अच्छे अभिनय के बूते ख़ूब वाहवाही  लूटने वाला बाली का अभिनय करने वाला पात्र  हर बार सुग्रीव के हाथों मारा जाना पसंद  नहीं करता और अदला बदली कर सुग्रीव का रोल करना चाहता है । कारण यह भी है कि सब यश कीर्ति सुग्रीव की झोली में आते हैं जबकि कारनामा राम के बाण का है ।इसके अलावा मंच का सुग्रीव वास्तविक जीवन में भी  श्रेष्ठ होने का भ्रम पाल लेता है और डींगें मारना शुरू कर देता है । परंतु केवल एक मैडल का लालच ही है जो बाली के पात्र को बांधे हुए है । हमेशा की तरह इस बार भी बाली सुग्रीव आमने सामने हैं पर बाली  कुछ और ही ठाने हुए है । आपसी युद्ध के समय बाली  , पहचान के लिए  सुग्रीव के गले में डाली हुई पुष्प माला ज़बरदस्ती निकाल कर अपने गले में डाल लेता है और  उसकी  पीठ पर  मुगदर से वार करके विजयी मुद्रा में खड़ा हो जाता है।इतने में राम का बाण  भूमि पर लेटे  सुग्रीव को लगता है।सब गड़बड़ हुआ देख लोग राम से कहते हैं कि सुग्रीव को बाण क्यों मारा  । अब राम की दुविधा यह कि अपनी दी हुई  विजयमाला पहने हुए बाली को बाण मारते भी तो कैसे ।

'दशरथ'  कहानी में  दशरथ की भूमिका एक नए पात्र को दी गयी है, क्योंकि वर्षों से दशरथ की भूमिका निभाने वाला पात्र स्थानांतरित हो कर जा चुका है । नए चुने गए पात्र का दशरथ से साम्य इस बात का है कि उसकी भी तीन पत्नियां हैं । नया पात्र अभिनय के प्रति बहुत गंभीर है और रिहर्सल के दौरान रटाये गए  शब्दों को घर आ कर भी दोहराता रहता है , जिससे उसकी तीनों पत्नियां तंग आकर उलाहना भी दे देती हैं । खैर, मंचन का दिन आ जाता है और तीनों पत्नियां भी दर्शकों के बीच  विराजमान हैं । 
विडम्बना यह कि भूमिका निभाते समय ' हे राम ' कहते कहते पात्र  के प्राण पखेरू उड़ जाते हैं और रह जाता है तीनों पत्नियों का रूदन  और विलाप  !!

Monday, November 11, 2019

राजिंदर सिंह बेदी

आज विख्यात उर्दू लेखक राजिंदर सिंह बेदी की पुण्य तिथि है । 1 सितंबर 1915 को  अविभाजित पंजाब के स्यालकोट में जन्में राजिंदर सिंह बेदी  प्रगतिशील लेखक आंदोलन के प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर थे  , जिनने उपन्यास, कहानी और नाटक लिखे । उनकी शिक्षा लाहौर में हुई और शिक्षा उर्दू में होने के कारण उसी भाषा में  लेखन के प्रति प्रवृत्त हुए । उनने AIR जम्मू में अपनी सेवाएं दीं । शुरू के उनके दो कहानी संग्रह ' दान- ओ- दाम' और 'ग्रहण' के नाम से प्रकाशित हुए।
उनकी कहानी 'गर्म कोट ' बहुत चर्चित हुई ।बाद में उनके दो और कहानी संग्रह 'कोख जली'  और 'अपने दुःख मुझे दे दो'  नाम से  छपे  ।
एक लेखक के रूप में उन्हें अधिक ख्याति  उनके उर्दू उपन्यास ' एक चादर मैली सी' से मिली जिसमें ग्रामीण पंजाब में स्त्री शोषण, व्यथा का जीवंत चित्रण है। इस उपन्यास को पढ़ कर उनके मित्र व समकालीन लेखक कृश्न चंदर ने उनसे कहा ' कमबख्त तुम नहीं जानते , तुमने ये क्या लिख दिया है'! इस उपन्यास का हिंदी , बंगाली सहित अन्य भाषाओं में भी हुआ । अंग्रेजी में इसका अनुवाद खुशवंत सिंह ने किया जो ' I Take This Woman' नाम से छपा । 1962 में लिखे इस उपन्यास पर बेदी को 1965 का साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार भी मिला । इस उपन्यास की लोकप्रियता का अनुमान इस बात से लगाया जा सकता है कि इस पर इसी नाम से भारत में तो फिल्म बनी ही, साथ ही 1978 में ' मुट्ठी भर चावल' नाम से पाकिस्तान में भी फिल्म बनी ।

फ़िल्मी दुनिया से जुड़ जाने के बाद राजिंदर सिंह बेदी ने  बतौर निर्देशक, पटकथा लेखक और संवाद लेखक भी बहुत नाम कमाया । संवाद लेखक के रूप में उनकी पहली फिल्म ' बड़ी बहन' थी जो 1949 में बनी । इसके बाद उनने फिल्म 'दाग़' (1952) के संवाद भी लिखे । अपनी कहानी 'गर्म कोट' पर आधारित इसी  नाम की फिल्म के पट कथा लेखक व सह निर्माता भी रहे ।  फिल्म रंगोली के निर्माण से भी संबद्ध रहे ।
बतौर निर्देशक उनकी फिल्मों में दस्तक , फागुन, आँखिन देखी ,और नवाब साहिब शामिल हैं ।
संवाद लेखक के रूप में उनकी चर्चित फिल्में मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब , देवदास, मधुमती, अनुराधा , अनुपमा, सत्यकाम ,बसंत बहार , मिलाप, बम्बई का बाबू, और अभिमान हैं ।
बतौर पट कथा लेखक उनकी फिल्मों में दस्तक, मेरे हमदम मेरे दोस्त, मेरे सनम, रंगोली, आस का पंछी,मेम दीदी, गर्म कोट शामिल हैं ।फिल्म क्षेत्र में इन्हें कई पुरस्कारों से भी नवाज़ा गया 
1982 में पक्षाघात होने के बाद  1984 में आज ही के दिन इनका निधन हुआ ।
बहुमुखी प्रतिभा के धनी महान व्यक्तित्व को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Abhijeet Bannerji & Karwa Chauth

 SUNDAY MUSINGS-
Being an Indian, I felt proud when recently Abhijeet Bannerji, an Indian born American  and his wife Esther Duflo shared the coveted Nobel Prize in Economics with Michael  Kremer. This takes me back to 1903 when the couple Pierre Curie and Marie Curie shared the Nobel Prize in Physics  with Antoine Henri Becquerel. However this did not go down well with some  self righteous right wing ideologues who lost no time in pointing out that the renowned Indian Economist so honoured was Left leaning. Sadly this is not the first time that such an irrelevant and out of place statement has come from our public representatives. Mercifully  this is no takeaway from the honour bestowed on the distinguished Economist .

This gone week also saw the observance of the annual Karva Chauth  fast by married women  who stay hungry and without water for the entire day praying  for the well being and long life of their life partner. This also evoked some opposite reactions from some quarters calling it a  symbol of  subjugation of women, much against the modern concept of  empowerment and feminism. However my take on the matter is simple. This is purely a personal matter, best left to the individual , since the fast is not observed under duress or compulsion. However , the Commercial aspect needs a relook and the celebration can be as simple and sober without ostentation.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

KBC- Karamvir

SUNDAY MUSINGS -
As I sit down and set about to write, the lady of the house barges into the room and asks me to do a small chore. I tell her I am writing Sunday Musings.Pat comes the quip ,"What is so special about your Sunday ? Aapke to Sunday , Monday sab barabar hain !" Meaning I am on a perpetual holiday. She is right, I dare not disagree.Nothing to look at by way of achievements, I am the quintessential example of a person so beautifully described by the poet Akbar Allahabadi-
हम क्या कहें अहबाब क्या कार- ए- नुमायाँ कर गए
बी. ए. हुए, नौकर हुए, पेंशन मिली और मर गए ....
No wonder I envy people who achieve so much in life !

I donot watch much of TV for the obvious reason of the kind of stuff they offer, be it news , serials or other boringly  monotonous programs.I do make some exception about the KBC, telecast on Sony TV Channel as the program has much of valuable content as far as General Knowledge is concerned.This gone Friday , the Karamvir segment of the KBC featured Deepa Malik and Manasi Joshi, the two Women athletes who despite being physically challenged have done India proud by emerging as Champions in International Sports Events.  Deepa Malik, paralysed below chest is on wheelchair .She is into  short put, Javelin throw and motor sports and is a medalist in all. Her extraordinary feats in Athletics belie her being 49 years of age . She is the first Indian woman to win a medal at Para athletic meet. Manasi Joshi , a qualified engineer met with an accident and lost a leg. Undeterred by  this physical challenge, she took up sports and is a World Woman  Para Badminton Champion. Looking at their achievements, I felt  myself dwarfed , quite naturally. They're the real Karamvirs- a far cry from our bragging , lying, arrogant ,presumptuous  bhashan vir politicians.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Durga Ashtmi

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
Today is the  8th day of Navratri known as the Durga Ashtami .The Scriptures and Holy books ordain Kanjak Puja or the worship of nine Kanyas on the 8th & 9th day of Navratri.Unfortunately there is dearth of Kanyas to fulfill this religious requirement and people have to make do with whatever number is available, most of the time even one.
This time the lady of the house has chosen to observe fast on all the nine days . There has been tacit resolve to prepare food without the use of onion and garlic. An avowed vegetarian, I willingly gave in and am  taking food prepared without onion and garlic.This has not made much difference taste wise.
This gone week saw the demise of Viju Khote, the popular Actor of Hindi and Marathi films.The social Media was quick to report this by flashing pictures of the Actor even before the other media chose to chip in.It was a surprise of sorts for me to know that Viju Khote happened to be the Actor who played Kalia in the iconic film Sholay. I have seen only some parts of Sholay. The characters of Gabbar, Kalia, Thakur as also of Basanti came centre stage mainly because of the dialogues mentioning their names. 'Tera kya hoga, Kalia !' uttered by Amjad Khan playing Gabbar immortalized both Kalia & Gabbar.

Humble tributes to the departed Actor !!

Friday, October 4, 2019

धनी राम चात्रिक

दीन दुनी दे मालिक ! तूं करदे बेड़ा पार,
बरकतां वसा के, बाग़ ते ल्या बहार,
पा दे ठंढ ठार । दीन दुनी…

तारे दे अन्दर रुशनायी तेरी,
सूरज दे अन्दर गरमायी तेरी,
सागर दे अन्दर डूंघायी तेरी,
आकाशां ते तेरा खिलार ।दीन दुनी…

हाथी ते कीड़ी विच इक्को सामान,
हर कतरा लहू विच अणगिनत जान,
हर जान दे अन्दर तेरा मकान,
की करीए तेरा शुमार ? दीन दुनी…
- धनी राम 'चात्रिक'

आज  महान  पंजाबी कवि की जयंती है !
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ram Singh, IAS

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
The other day social media carried the photograph of a couple leisurely walking amidst greenery. The gentleman carrying a kilta on his back and his wife carrying their kid. But for the details appended to the picture, I would have just glossed over , thinking it a  routine click from North- East India.
As it turned out , the gentleman is Ram Singh IAS, holding the coveted post of a Deputy Commissioner in West Garo Hills  district in Meghalay. It is stated that he walks on foot 10 km to buy fresh vegetables from the village and carries them on his back as the picture shows.
It was further mentioned that he belongs to Jahalma village of district Lahaul & Spiti. He holds a degree in Engineering, and had a stint  in the  Merchant Navy prior to joining the IAS in 2008. His brothers is also in the IAS.
One gets floored with such simplicity and down to earth, polite and humble demeanour , rare to be found in persons holding high office in the Government, generally seen to be stiff necked, haughty and arrogant,  be they bureaucrats or technocrats. As a Himachali, I feel proud of him.
------------
Navratri , the nine day festival devoted to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, starts today, with some of the devotees observing fast on all the nine days.Those who donot observe fast at least become abstemious shunning non vegetarian food for these nine days. The Navratri culminate with Dassehra falling on the tenth day. Durga pooja is more prevalent among the Bengali people. The local Kali Bari temple at Shimla these

days is  full of devotees visiting and paying their obeisance to the Goddess.

Happy Navratri !!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Facebook or No Facebook

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
The other day when a learned  and revered friend put up a post spelling out his own dilemma whether or not to continue with Facebook for very cogent reasons, I faced with almost the same situation put up my comments that  I am happy to repeat and reproduce below.

My take on Facebook is simple. I find it an important and useful interactive forum to reach out to maximum number of people from all walks of life. In  my  ten years of presence on Facebook,out of which seven years post retirement, I have come across wonderful, creative , intelligent people and this otherwise could not have been possible. Being a retired person, I have no time constraints and can log on anytime of my choice.
It is neither possible nor necessary to comment on each and every post, so I have my own preferences. I rarely post or comment on posts with an insinuating political content or having political overtones or undertones . Being interested in Literature, I thoroughly enjoy poetry and other literary pieces and comment on them  if necessary. I also enjoy personal reminiscences posted by friends  and others. I consider it my  privilege to respond to Morning wishes put up by friends and also convey Birthday wishes. As for my own posts, others may judge. The best way is to have some schedule fixed in the morning / Evening to interact, so that other routine is not disturbed.
Facebook  provides liberty of every kind.
----------------------
In addition I must confess that  my reading has taken a back seat as  I have not been able to go through a few books purchased over a period  sometime back. Facebook and Internet , however do compensate to quite some extent as being windows to the outside world. Social Media is now forcing mainstream media to fall in line and not to suppress news and information in order to pursue their  own express agenda .
It is appalling to see what kind of Public Representatives we are throwing up .
The buck does not stop there. Surprisingly, such obnoxious elements continue to enjoy the tacit and often open support of their partymen who have no qualms about  expressing their solidarity.
It is also amusing to see some friends who burst into poetry at the discomfiture of a particular political entity, sitting smug and nonchalant at some other  similar situation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Anant Pai

Today is the 90th birth anniversary of Anant Pai, popularly known as Uncle Pai, a pioneer in  publishing comic books for Children. He was born this day in 1929 at Kar kala in present day Karnataka.
Having lost both his parents at the age of two, he was brought up by his maternal grandfather. He studied Physics, Chemistry, and Chemical Technology at the Bombay University , and earned Degrees .
He was interested in comics from the very beginning . He landed a job in Times of India and remained associated with comic strips like Mandrake and  Phantom that appeared in the paper.
Subsequently he left the job and created & founded Amar Chitra Katha, a comic series for children, which retold the stories of Indian Mythology, and projected great Mythological figures and other historical personalities . His other ventures included Tinkle, another comic series containing short stories, jokes and other educative material for Children. A popular figure on the Comic publishing scene, he won recognition and received many Awards & honours.
He was also called the Walt Disney of India.
He died on 24th February 2011 aged 81.
Our humble tributes !

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Brutality of Men in Khaki

SUNDAY MUSINGS:
For the last two days I have been preoccupied with the high-handedness or plain dadagiri of the Police of Siddharthnagar Distt.  of Uttar Pradesh when they nearly  killed an auto driver  in the presence of his five year old nephew on the pretext of some violation of the recently amended Motor Vehicle Act. A channel rightly compared the beating and manhandling of the victim to killing of Jarasandh by Bhim in the Mahabharat by tearing the legs apart. The visuals did suggest  this. But for the video recording of the episode going viral, this blatantly cruel and uncalled for brutal action of the men in khaki would have gone unnoticed , without them facing the consequences .Even now despite their having been placed under suspension and the assurance that they will be charged with and tried for alleged  attempt to murder, there is little hope of the Police learning to behave themselves. This is only one of the many instances of Police exceeding their brief and not getting  to pay for their actions. They seem to be under the impression that they can do any thing in the name of Law & Order. They were equally in the eye of the storm when they beat up even innocent boys and girls  and came down heavily as  ill conceived anti - Romeo squad.
Once again they seem to have been let loose on the public in the name of traffic rules violations.In any case they rough up only the apparently  weaker and vulnerable class of people and literally cower before the high and mighty. Of sadistic  nature , they seem to be always waiting for an opportunity to throw about their weight.
One can only wistfully hope for the better times !!

Friday, September 13, 2019

हिन्दी दिवस - पूर्व संध्या

कल हिन्दी दिवस है । सभी को अग्रिम शुभकामनाएं !
जब से होश संभाला है , सब कुछ हिन्दी से ही आरंभ हुआ है । राजकीय समारोह भी होंगे हर वर्ष की तरह और हिन्दी में उत्कृष्ट कार्य करने के लिए सरकारी कर्मचारियों/ अधिकारियों को सम्मानित भी किया जाएगा । उन सभी महानुभावों को भी अग्रिम बधाई। अपना तो मुझे इतना कुछ याद नहीं पर मेरी बेटी के अक्षर ज्ञान का परिचय मुझे उस समय मिला जब पहली बार उसने दीवार पर लिखे किसी विज्ञापन में अक्षर जोड़ कर 'टिकिया' शब्द पढ़ा । मुझे और मेरी पत्नी को बहुत प्रसन्नता हुई । वैसे भी जहाँ तक उत्तर भारत का सम्बन्ध है, सामान्य परिवारों में अक्षर ज्ञान हिंदी से ही आरम्भ होता है ।
भाषा को ले कर मेरी न कोई समस्या है न पूर्वाग्रह अथवा दुराग्रह । टकराव है तो सिर्फ स्नॉबरी या ओढ़े हुए आभिजात्य से , जिसका सम्बन्ध किसी भाषा से न हो कर व्यक्ति की मानसिकता से है जो किसी भी भाषा भाषी में होने की संभावना रहती है । हिंदी का दम भरने वाले जो लोग अपने बच्चों को अंग्रेजी विद्यालयों में शिक्षा दिलवा रहे हैं, शायद विरोधाभास में जी रहे हैं ।
हिन्दी के अस्तित्व को कोई खतरा नहीं , ऐसा मेरा मानना है ।

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Chandrayaan 2 & Ram Jethmalani

SUNDAY MUSINGS:
How does Sunday or Monday matter to a non- working  retired person like me  !
Perhaps not at all.  But  Sunday or any other public holiday does matter a lot  to students especially School students and employees to whom a day off means an opportunity to relax as well as to catch up with a lot. During early  days of  my employment at Shimla,  I spent Sundays having a nap after brunch, browsing through the magazines and newspapers that  I subscribed to. Newspaper had a special charm because of the extra Magazine section that made interesting reading .I also fondly remember that  my  father was also in the habit of a nap after brunch. It was a given  that either of us who got up early  would prepare two cups of tea and wake up the other to have it. My father had a fastidious taste for tea and  the fact that he approved of  tea prepared by me  made me happy that at least I could make good tea.
Coming to the Chandrayaan 2, kudos to the ISRO scientists for the enormous amount of efforts in the project despite last moment glitch.  No credit however to the  over enthusiastic visual Media that  put up  amusingly hyperbolic headlines  prior to the momentous event . Same trend was visible at the time of Cricket World Cup.
Today itself we have lost Ram Jethmalani, a  leading lawyer & a former Union Law  Minister.  A person of impeccable credentials as far as legal acumen is concerned, his remaining active till into his nineties was simply amazing .
Humble tributes to the luminary !!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

TEACHERS DAY-2019

In right earnest, we cannot be prejudiced towards any profession, job or calling as we need people from all fields to plod through life.But yes, on a  personal note, I put teaching, medical, Armed forces on top , as these are not mere jobs or professions but  much more besides as these entail  enormous social & national responsibilities . Unfortunately, in our country we already have a job crunch and most of us end up being round pegs in a square hole or vice versa . Good if one is in the profession or calling  by choice and not with the compulsions of only making both ends meet. More than anything this applies to the teaching fraternity , keeping in view the all important role that they are called upon to play.
The importance of a teacher is highlighted in films and film songs as well.
Of the  movies I happened to see, Jagriti comes to mind that shows an ideal teacher . The song 'Aao bachcho tumhen dikhayen jhanki Hindustan ki' is a case in point. Another movie is :Boond jo Ban Gayi Moti', and the song ' Hari Hari Vasundhara Pe Neela Neela ye Gagan '. Another song from Ganga Jumna ' Insaaf ki dagar pe Bachchon dikhao chal ke' has a permanent appeal .
Yes, and I forgot to mention Bachcho Tum Taqdir ho Kal ke Hindustan ki ' from film 'Asha' !
I never tire of listening to these songs  .
Happy Teachers Day !!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Happiness in Small things & Udaan

SUNDAY MUSINGS:

As I wake up in the morning , the first thing is to thank God for adding another day  (?) to an uneventful ,drab, dull life .
Going by the clock, I scrupulously abide by the routine of going to toilet, preparing morning tea for wife and me  , opening Facebook and net surfing . The timely arrival of  part-time help for mopping cleaning is assurance that the day will pass peacefully , otherwise the lady of the house , a cleanliness buff has to spend extra time besides cooking etc.The next peace quotient is the immediate response by the kids on phone as my wife sticks to calling them daily  on mobile in the Morning and Evening to know their welfare.It is time to find happiness in small things.

This last week, there was the news of sad demise of Ms.Kanchan Chaudhary, the 1973 batch IPS officer, the first woman DGP to head the Police in a state.As expected, the social Media recalled the Doordarshan serial Udaan inspired by her and made by her younger sister Kavita Chaudhary who also played Kalyani Singh, the lady super cop & the central character . Kavita Chaudhary also appeared in the iconic Surf ad, as Lalita ji, the wise housewife.
Good serials and ads like all good things stay in mind.

फादर कामिल बुल्के

बेल्जियन मूल के  भारतीय  विद्वान फादर कामिल  बुल्के (Father Camille Bulcke)की आज 110 वीं जयंती है । आज ही के  दिन 1909 में बेल्जियम के वेस्ट फ़्लैण्डर्स  राज्य के एक गाँव में जन्मे कामिल बुल्के ने आरंभ में सिविल इंजीनियरिंग में स्नातक परीक्षा उत्तीर्ण की और उसके बाद1930 में ही प्रचारक बनने का निर्णय लिया । 1932-34 में हॉलैंड से दार्शनिक प्रशिक्षण प्राप्त  करने के उपरांत भारत का रुख किया । कुछ समय दार्जिलिंग में रहे  उसके बाद  वर्तमान झारखण्ड के गुमला में   पाँच वर्ष  तक गणित का अध्यापन किया । इसी दौरान हिंदी के प्रति इनकी रूचि  जगी ।
1939-42 में धर्मशास्त्र का  प्रशिक्षण लिया  व 1941 में पुजारी के रूप में मान्यता मिली ।
1942-44 में कलकत्ता विश्वविद्यालय में संस्कृत में स्नातकोत्तर  अध्ययन उपरान्त 1945 में उपाधि प्राप्त की ।1945-49 में शोध कार्य किया व 1949 में इल्लाहबाद विश्वविद्यालय से इन्हें हिन्दी साहित्य में डॉक्टरेट  की उपाधि मिली । इनके शोध का विषय ' राम कथा का विकास' था ।
1949 में ही इन्हें सेंट ज़ेवियर कॉलेज में  संस्कृत व हिंदी  का विभागाध्यक्ष नियुक्त किया गया ।श्रवण शक्ति में बाधा के फल स्वरूप इनने अध्ययन और शोध की ओर ध्यान केंद्रित किया । 1950-51 में इन ने भारत की नागरिकता ग्रहण की ।
अंग्रेजी- हिन्दी शब्दकोष  का संकलन किया व हिन्दी में एक उपन्यास 'नील पक्षी' की भी रचना की ।
हिंदी भाषा और भारतीय संस्कृति के प्रति इनका प्रेम अद्वितीय था और कवि तुलसी के प्रति अपार श्रद्धा  ।
1974 में इन्हें पद्म भूषण से सम्मानित किया गया व हिंदी के उत्थान हेतु बनाये गए राष्ट्रीय आयोग के सदस्य भी  नियुक्त हुए ।
17 अगस्त 1982 में  दिल्ली में इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान हिन्दी प्रेमी विद्वान को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि  !

Monday, August 26, 2019

St. Mother Teresa

Today is the birth anniversary of St. Mother Teresa ,also known as the Blessed Teresa of  Calcutta, MC. A symbol of selfless service to the suffering humanity, she has held the rare distinction of being a Nobel Laureate and a Bharat Ratna.
Her canonization took place on September 4,2016.
Our humble tributes to the noble soul  !

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Arun Jaitely & Khayyam

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind....."
- John Donne
 This last week did not  go well for India as we lost Khayyam, a very talented and outstanding Composer & Music Director of Hindi Cinema and Arun Jaitley, a former Union Minister. As expected, glowing tributes were paid to the departed  celebrities/ dignitaries on mainstream Media & social Media .The contribution of Khayyam to the Indian Film music is too well known to need being repeated here as the melodies he composed are going to stay through the decades if not the ages.
Coming to Arun Jaitley, admittedly he was a prominent , popular face of the BJP. Starting as a student leader, he emerged as a prominent figure during the Emergency. He was a key figure of the BJP especially after 2004, when the late Atal Bihari Vajpai chose to withdraw from public life. We all know about the role he played in Government and the party. An intelligent, articulate person, he carved a unique place for himself in the Indian polity . It was left to  him to  justify  policies and  decisions of the  Government, some of which did not go down well with the public . Many have paid him tributes as being their mentor and guide .However , his humane aspect has also came to light. That he facilitated and funded the education of  the kids of his driver and cook speaks volumes for him as a human being.
A big loss to the BJP .
Humble tributes to the departed souls !

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

BEWARE THE FURY OF A.........

I thank  God and my stars when a Saturday passes peacefully. The days are left long behind when I could look into the oil filled saucer containing a metal image of  Shani Devata, held by  the person , sitting on the side of a busy road who would expect any passer by to put some coin in the saucer to appease and ingratiate the deity .
This gone by Saturday, my wife after doing her  pooja in the forenoon decided to go to Kalibari temple with empty stomach to mark Jetha Shanivar of the current month.  She told me to boil rice as and when I felt like having lunch.
Fine and nothing new as I am used to this practice.
Being a retired government employee, sticking to the Sarkari lunch time of 1:30 scrupulously , I boiled the rice , took my bit out of it , put the dal/ sabzi on to the plate  as per requirement and  literally enjoyed my lunch.
At  about 2:30, my better half came back all wet and drenched , the umbrella proving of little help in such a heavy spell of rain. After changing as she went into the kitchen, she saw some portion of the floor wet. Like me , at first she wondered as to from where water had fallen as there was little chance of rain water entering through the ceiling.
Sooner than later Shani started showing its effect, when my wife discovered that it was not water but refined oil that had spilled from the  freshly opened pouch, placed on the wide space in front of the window. I being the only  poor soul present when this happened, became the target of wife's ire and fury as she had to mop and clean the floor with warm water. Had it occurred to me that it was refined oil and not water, I would have myself mopped and cleaned the floor before her return. But I was destined to bear her tongue lashes  silently, thinking at the time only of Socrates, the great Greek philosopher , who was subjected to this  wifely torture day in and day out. My silence finally paid off as the storm subsided after some time .


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Neelam Sharma

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
Social Media was abuzz with the well deserved praises showered on Syed Akbaruddin , our Ambassador to the UN for the excellent way in which he answered the queries from the reporters from various countries including Pakistan. I also watched the  short video clipping  going viral on the social Media and was quite impressed by the way  he carried himself. His body language and gestures were quite in line with the behaviour, conduct and stance  that is expected  of an Ambassador and  more so  of a Career Diplomat. I have been an ardent admirer of  Syed Akbaruddin and  Navtej Sarna who have been  spokesmen for the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the past.The measured talk with the carefully chosen words  has always enamoured me. I wish our political representatives and leaders took a cue and  exercised the same restraint and  made discreet utterances and  statements.
Yesterday was also the sad and shocking demise of  Ms.Neelam Sharma, a well known , familiar and celebrated anchor of the Doordarshan News for the past more than two decades. The who's who of the Doordarshan and Prasar Bharati came up with rich tributes to her. A winner of Naari Shakti Award only this year, she herself was no less than a Tejaswini of the program she  hosted to make us familiar with the Women who made their mark in various fields of activity. She was a native of some village in tehsil Bhoranj of Himachal Pradesh, so we are told.
Our humble tributes to the wonderful Anchor and  presenter , who will be remembered for long !

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Art .370

SUNDAY MUSINGS -
I avoid writing Political posts, partly due to the fact that there are better and more knowledgeable people around to express their  views on matters Political.
Occasionally I do watch inconclusive TV debates with every thing so predictable. Name the participant and you  know what he/ she will speak. 370 has been the buzzword for the last few days . As usual there are diametrically opposite views even from the people who matter and from the people who do not matter.
To a layman like me, 370 did allow some aberrations like double citizenship and two flags- one Indian National Flag and the other Kashmir flag - to happen.  Perhaps it also meant more Central grant and other peripheral concessions.
The claim that removal of some of the provisions will mean the region, entering into a phase of development , hitherto not seen seems contrary in view of the available statistics which put J&K in better position in some of the parameters Vis-a- vis other states. What hampered the development of the other states also needs to be looked into on a comparative basis .
While it is heartening to see the ray of hope in the eyes of people who were made to leave hearth and home, to return to their homeland, it is also hoped that the changed scenario helps to meet the aspirations of a common  Kashmiri.  The blatant , unthoughtful , insensitive talk of purchasing plots and bringing Kashmiri brides  is enough to put us to shame.
Reducing Kashmir simply to a geographical entity and commodifying the people shows us in poor light .

Friday, August 9, 2019

Yusuf Meherally

Yusuf Meherally , the then  Mayor of Bombay was the person who gave the slogan 'Quit India '. The slogan was duly approved by Mahatma Gandhi and was adopted for the Quit India Movement, of
which 77th anniversary  falls today .

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ALVIDA, SUSHMA SWARAJ !

 At last , death has laid its icy hand on Sushma Swaraj, a former Union Foreign Minister  !
My memory takes me back to 1998 or 1999, when she visited Kinnaur , declared as a State guest .She had come to Kalpa,  after a halt enroute at Sangla, accompanied by her daughter.
A prominent leader of BJP, she was surrounded by local party leaders . She had her lunch. Her stay was cut short as she had to rush back on receiving a message regarding some urgent
meeting .The scheduled night stay at Kalpa, could not materialise. She came across as a sober, gentle, affable person as far as I could observe , contrary to her image as a firebrand political leader.
The Tehsildar ,Sangla,who  had attended her as protocol ,later showed me his  official Diary, bearing her autograph. She had been gracious enough to put her autograph on a Diary .He was all praise for her, and rightly so.
Her death has come as a National loss, also a blow to the Party that has lost a knowledgeable , charismatic leader and a fine orator .
Humble tributes !

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Rasoolan Bibi

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
Yesterday, there was the sad news of the passing away of Rasoolan Bibi, the widowed wife of Company Quartermaster Havaldar Abdul Hamid , the hero of the 1965 war with Pakistan, who single handed destroyed a number of Patton tanks . He was awarded Paramavir Chakra, the highest Gallantry Award . Rasoolan Bibi was 90 years of age.How she spent 54 years braving the odd situations that life offers, can only be guessed. It is heartening to note that two years back , on September 10, 2017 our Army Chief had honoured her to mark the occasion of 52 years of the martyrdom of the bravest of the brave Indian soldier.
Today is the113rd birth anniversary of  Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar, the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and rightly called 'Himachal Nirmata '.
A friend commenting on my post reminds of Dr.Parmar's words , calling himself the ' first Mundu' of Himachal Pradesh.Another friend comes with the explanation of words like Mundu & Munnu colloquially used.
 But the word  Mundu also has negative connotation too being used in a derogatory and demeaning sense , usually for a boy helper in a dhaba or teashop who takes orders, mops the tables and also cleans the utensils .We Himachalis in those times were not held in any esteem, education level was low. Dr. Parmar knew this  and  to boost the morale of the people made this remark .That shows his love for Himachal and Himachalis.
Thanks to visionary leaders like him, ,Himachal has come very far and a long way from the Mundu or Khadu days and  progress is there for anyone to see.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dr.Muthulakshmi Reddi

Today's Google doodle informs of the 133rd birth anniversary of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddi,the  first woman legislator in India. She was appointed a Member of the Madras Legislative Council in 1927. She was also the first woman student to be admitted to a men 's college. She also became the first woman to be appointed a House Surgeon in India, when she joined a  Hospital in Chennai in 1912. She was also the first  to be appointed a Chairperson of the Women Welfare Advisory Board.
A Padma Bhushan recipient, as a Women's Rights activist,she did a lot  in the field of social reforms and the upliftment of women.
She died on 22 July, 1968 aged 81 .
Our humble tributes to the remarkable woman !

Monday, July 29, 2019

जॉनी वाकर

अपने समय के अत्यंत  लोकप्रिय हास्य अभिनेता जॉनी वाकर की आज पुण्य तिथि है ।1920 में बदरुद्दीन खां जमालुद्दीन काज़ी के रूप में जन्मे जॉनी वाकर ने लगभग 300 फिल्मों में काम किया  और अपने उत्कृष्ट अभिनय से सिने दर्शकों  के बीच खूब वाह वाही लूटी ।उनने साफ सुथरे हास्य अभिनय में नये आयाम जोड़े और कभी भी फूहड़, भौंडी भावभंगिमा और सस्ते द्विअर्थी सम्वाद का सहारा नहीं लिया ।इस बात पर वो गर्व कर सकते थे कि लिखित संवाद से इतर उनके द्वारा खुद के जोड़े गए संवादों पर  भी कभी सेंसर बोर्ड की कैंची नहीं चली ।
उन्हें फ़िल्मफ़ेअर श्रेष्ठ सह अभिनेता और श्रेष्ठ हास्य अभिनेता  पुरस्कार से भी नवाज़ा गया ।
आज के दिन  2003 में इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान अभिनेता को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि ।

Sunday, July 28, 2019

YELLOW SHIRT

I have mentioned my obsession with Yellow colour a number of times in my Facebook posts . I stop by to window shop at an old but famous Showroom right on the Mall ,Shimla, where quality Gents suitings & shirts are on display. Suitings- cloth or readymade do attract me but I withdraw on seeing the price tag which being on the rather high side, seems beyond my reach. And imagine the cost of stitching these days !
However my star attraction are the 2-3 shirts on display which being plain without any design like stripes or checks look elegant. I resolve to buy the yellow one first in near future but the day never comes. Every time , though not very frequently, I accompanied by my wife end up buying different stuff from some other showroom- the particular yellow shirt still haunting me.
Two three days back, my wife on her own bought for me a shirt, a yellow one .Feeling happy that she kept in mind my choice of color, I feel contented with the color and texture, though a bit disappointed that my prospects of buying that shirt stand postponed further,by a year or two.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

महमूद

अपने समय के लोकप्रिय बॉलीवुड अभिनेता महमूद की आज पुण्यतिथि है । मूल रूप से  हास्य कलाकार के रूप में जाने गए   महमूद ने  दशकों तक सिनेमा प्रेमियों का भरपूर मनोरंजन किया व शुरू में कुछ फिल्मों में प्रमुख भूमिकाओं  में भी देखे गए । उन पर फिल्माए गए गीत भी बहुत लोकप्रिय हुए , चाहे वो सांझ और सवेरा फिल्म का ' अजहूं न आए बालमा , सावन बीता जाए....'हो  अथवा फिल्म  'पड़ोसन' का मेरे सामने वाली खिड़की में  इक चाँद का टुकड़ा रहता है....'  हो  । अभिनेता आई. एस. जौहर के साथ जुगलबंदी में फिल्म ' जौहर महमूद इन गोवा'  जैसी हास्य प्रधान फिल्म में भी कम किया । अपनी हास्य अभिनेता की छवि से हट कर गंभीर भूमिकाओं में भी नज़र आए । 'कुंवारा बाप 'और  'लाखों में एक' फ़िल्में इस बात का  प्रमाण हैं । 'कुंवारा बाप' के निर्माता स्वयं महमूद  थे ।
संवाद अदायगी की अनूठी शैली  उनकी विशेष पहचान थी ।
आज के दिन 2004 में 71 वर्ष की आयु में इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान अभिनेता को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि ।

Monday, July 22, 2019

HISTORY ON MY PLATE

HISTORY ON MY PLATE  by
Lily swarn
Publishers :Authorspress, New Delhi
ISBN 978-93-89110-39-5
Pp:        195
Price:   Rs 395/-
This is fourth book in quick succession  by Lily Swarn, 2016 Rouel Poetry Prize winner .Her first  book ‘A Trellis of Ecstasy’ which is a poetry collection;  second, a book of essays  called ‘Lilies of the Valley’;  third , ‘The Gipsy Trail ‘ an account of her memoirs and experiences as an Army wife , were well received .Primarily a poet in English, she loves to dabble in Hindi , Urdu  & Punjabi  poetry . She is an established  poet and author  and needs no introduction , having been  awarded and  honoured by many literary bodies.
HISTORY ON MY PLATE  , her present work is of a different genre and traces the origins of various dishes and food preparations  across the Globe. The beautiful  Preface states the background of this venture .It sets the tone, the author making personal  references to her grandmother , mother and her son regarding cooking  and preparations . 
Food perhaps  has been  the first and the   basic need of all life on this planet , shelter coming next. Clothing , peculiar only to the human beings comes  after these two. There are 46 chapters in the book listing as many dishes , Indian, as well as  Continental -  Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian both .
The first chapter is on Naan , a kind of roti popular in the subcontinent . The author feels it necessary to mention the origin of wheat ,the material used in the preparation . This shows us the first glimpse of her in depth study. Naan has  discussed  in detail, its origin being traced to Iran.She also tells that bread loaves that were   made In Egypt  5000 years ago  can be seen in the British Museum .The varieties of Naan like the Kashmiri Naan & the Peshawari  Naan are discussed in detail . Not surprisingly, the famous Amritsari Kulcha  also finds mention.
The chapter on Rasgulla  comes with the   hitherto unknown thesis that it originated in Odisha  and is as ancient as the  Sri Jagannath Yatra that started in the 12th century AD  and is offered as Prasad even today . Hereto before we have been believing that  Rasgulla or Roshogulla as Bengalis pronounce it is a Bengali  speciality having originated there .
 The very common Samosa too has foreign origin , so we are told. Now it is most common  and a much liked snack in the subcontinent , though stuffing and filling  may  differ  , half boiled potatoes with peas  &  meat , pandering to the  different palates. It is also a Pan Indian snack now available in all parts of the country.The common potato version has been my hot   favourite though can’t savour  it more often now,  being a comparatively heavier stuff .
 The chapter on Halva  has a good start  on a personal note , the Halva being offered in a Gurdwara as  a Prasad   and accepted with cupped hands . Many temples too follow the same practice but  kadah  stands  apart . The Turkish origin of Halva  is  knowledge to me. 
South Indian dishes like Idli & Dosa, are nicely discussed. These are my personal favourites too, being light on stomach .
Kashmiris are known for sparing little of the meat of a slaughtered  goat  and prepare   various dishes . No doubt  Gushtaba   finds a chapter devoted to the dish also  and is discussed in detail.
The discussion on Patraani Machhi  &  Machher Paturi  may go down well with our  Bengali and Parsi    friends who specialize in  these dishes.
Noodles  in both Veg  & Non Veg  versions  find favour  with all  who want a change from the other routine dishes. The chopped  vegetables  and the  sauces  immensely  add to the taste .
Momos , comparatively  late entrants  have gained popularity all over as being prepared on steam . Considered good by the health conscious people  who  want to avoid oil .
Salads form a necessary part of  a full fledged wholesome lunch or dinner and are discussed nicely. Salads come  with simple ingredients like raw onion, cucumber, radish in common parlance , but may may be an elaborate fare with many other things added, as the author tells us. Unfortunately we see little of salad leaves , the light green hued leaves resembling Palak Patta in texture, from where the term is derived. Metaphorically, days of prosperity and  well being are referred to as salad days. 
Chaat, with a tangy taste   is also a favourite street food , catering to many palates . There is Pakori Chhat , Papri Chhat , Fruit Chaat  though the necessary ingredient   is the Chaat  masala. A chapter that  leaves one salivating .
Dal Makhani is almost a staple with the  Vegetarian persons like me while  choosing to dine out . Nicely discussed too.
The uncommon belief that wine is  good for health  and may reduce many ailments  may come as a shocker to many. But arguments placed in its favour are irrefutable. Only one should know how to use it  properly .
Many other dishes or beverages or preparations  have been discussed in detail  tracing history,  origin, and changes that have  occurred and transformation that has taken place over the ages.
To cap it all, recipes have been added wherever felt necessary , for the interested readers to try at home.
I may be excused for being partial to the  Vegetarian dishes. A
   
Though named   ‘HISTORY ON MY PLATE’  , the  work is much more than that . Apart from being  History, it is also  Geography  sans  coordinates, a study of comparative  cultures, and a reference book and guide as to where to find what . As mentioned by me  earlier  and  by many others , the author has a way with the written word.  Already established as multilingual poet, she has also become an  acclaimed prose writer .  If she  pours out her heart  in Poetry , she also puts her heart and soul in whatever she writes in  prose. The book is rightly  dedicated to her daughter and  son in law, both living in the  States , whose role the author has acknowledged  sincerely.
The comments and endorsements put in by the celebrities from various fields are well deserved . 
This book is a  Gourmet’s  delight  surely !

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Baljees Closure

SUNDAY MUSINGS:
Finally it's curtains for Baljee's / Fascination, the landmark restaurants situated on the Mall ,Shimla. Deservingly there was ample newspaper coverage  regarding this as to why and how this came about and the public reaction thereupon. For decades the Restaurant had catered to  a cross section of  Shimlaites as well as visiting tourists. The Himachal Tribune , a weekly  supplement of The Tribune yesterday carried a beautiful write-up by Shamsher Chandel. One cannot but agree with him on whatever he wrote.  There maybe and are many eating joints, but apart from the food stuff , it is the ambience that counts. The courteous, smiling staff  that provided excellent service should  remain etched in memory. Some of them  would greet when they met at some place other than the restaurant , when off duty. No one felt out of place or embarrassed or self conscious,such was the ambience. Novices and uninitiated like me in handing cutlery could easily take their time to learn. Again , I feel sorry for the staff who have suffered the loss  of job and employment.The owners may get over as they have other ventures to take care of and pursue.
In my own time I have seen many changes taking place . Some shop keepers switching over to other business ,some others renting out the premises to Banks and some Brand showrooms etc. The Indian Book Depot, the Model Book Shop, Jankidas & Co , Devicos  are a thing of the past. A premier text book & Stationery shop in the  Lower Bazar going by the name of Vidya Bhawan, decades back switched over to Cloth business.
But then change is the law of life and the only constant ,as they say !

मदन मोहन

आज हिंदी सिनेमा के अपने समय के लोकप्रिय संगीतकार मदन मोहन की 44वीं पुण्य तिथि है । मदनमोहन कोहली का जन्म 25 जून 1924 को इराक में एक संभ्रान्त  परिवार में हुआ । दूसरे विश्वयुद्ध के दौरान मदन मोहन ने  ब्रिटिश भारतीय सेना में बतौर सेकंड लेफ्टिनेंट सेवाएं दी पर दो साल  बाद सेना की नौकरी छोड़ दी ।इसके बाद उनने ऑल इंडिया रेडियो  लखनऊ में बतौर  प्रोग्राम असिस्टेंट  काम  करना शुरू किया जहाँ उनका परिचय  उस्ताद फ़ैयाज़ खां, उस्ताद अली अकबर खां , बेगम अख्तर और तलत महमूद जैसे महान कलाकारों से हुआ । मदन मोहन ने अपने स्वर में भी कुछ ग़ज़लें रिकॉर्ड की । फ़िल्मी दुनिया में आने के बाद उनने शुरू में अभिनय भी किया पर बाद में फिल्म संगीत को ही अपनी रूचि के अनुरूप पाया । '50 से '70 के दशक में सक्रिय रह कर उनने  अनेक फिल्मों में यादगार संगीत दिया । 1948 की फिल्म शहीद में उनने लता मंगेशकर के साथ दो गीत भी गाये पर उनका उपयोग  फिल्म में  नहीं हुआ ।1950 में बतौर संगीतकार फिल्म  आंखें   में  पहली  बार संगीत दिया  ।इसके बाद की उनकी फिल्मों में   मदहोश, रेलवे प्लेटफार्म, भाई भाई, पॉकेट मार, राजधानी, देख कबीरा रोया, अदालत, जेलर, खजांची, अनपढ़, संजोग, ग़ज़ल, हक़ीक़त, जहाँआरा, वो कौन थी, नीला आकाश, मेरा साया, नौनिहाल, चिराग, दस्तक , हीर राँझा, लैला मजनू आदि शामिल हैं । उनको ग़ज़लों का संगीत देने में महारत हासिल थी और तलत महमूद की आवाज़ का उनसे बेहतर उपयोग शायद ही किसी अन्य संगीतकार ने किया हो ।मुहम्मद रफ़ी, लता मंगेशकर और मन्ना डे की आवाज़ में भी उनकी कई बेहतरीन  रचनाओं का शुमार है । मुकेश की आवाज़ में उनका गीत ' प्रीत लगा के मैंने ये फल पाया....' अत्यन्त लोकप्रिय हुआ ।
उन्हें तीन बार फ़िल्मफ़ेअर श्रेष्ठ संगीतकार पुरस्कार, फिल्म दस्तक के लिए श्रेष्ठ संगीतकार का राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार और IFA अवार्ड भी मिला ।
आज के दिन 1975 में मात्र 51 वर्ष की आयु में इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान संगीतकार को हमारी विनम्र  श्रद्धांजलि !

Friday, July 12, 2019

राजेंद्र कुमार

आज हिन्दी सिनेमा के अपने  समय के लोकप्रिय अभिनेता राजेंद्र कुमार की  पुण्य तिथि है।राजेंद्र कुमार का जन्म 20 जुलाई 1929 को अविभाजित पंजाब के एक कारोबारी परिवार में हुआ ।1947 में विभाजन के  फलस्वरूप इनके परिवार को अपनी संपत्ति, व कारोबार सब कुछ  छोड़ कर भारत आना पड़ा । युवा राजेंद्र कुमार ने फिल्मों में भाग्य आजमाना चाहा, पर बतौर अभिनेता नहीं ।उनने  फिल्म निर्देशक एच. एस. रवेल  के सहायक के तौर पर काम शुरू किया और दो तीन फिल्मों से संबद्ध रहे ।संयोगवश 1950 में उन्हें फिल्म जोगन में अभिनय का  अवसर मिला  । इसके बाद उन्हें फिल्म वचन में प्रमुख  भूमिका निभाने का अवसर मिला। '50 और '60 के दशक के लोकप्रिय अभिनेता रहे और बतौर नायक कई यादगार  भूमिकाएं निभायीं । उनकी कई फिल्में जुबली हिट हुई , यहां तक कि उन्हें 'जुबली कुमार'  के नाम से नवाज़ा गया । आइकॉनिक फिल्म ' मदर इंडिया' में सुनील दत्त के साथ  नर्गिस के बेटे की भूमिका की  ।1972 में राजेश खन्ना के फिल्मों में प्रवेश के बाद, राजेंद्र कुमार ने अधिकतर चरित्र  भूमिकाएं निभाई
 अपने 40 वर्ष के फिल्म करियर में लगभग 80 फिल्मों में काम किया  ।
उनके द्वारा अभिनीत फिल्मों में जोगन, वचन, तूफ़ान और दिया,मदर इंडिया, तलाक, घर संसार, संतान, गूँज उठी शहनाई, धूल का फूल, चिराग़  कहाँ रोशनी कहाँ, दिल एक मंदिर,झुक गया आसमान, आस का पंछी,घराना, ससुराल, धर्मपुत्र, कानून, पतंग, मेरे महबूब, आयी मिलन की बेला,संगम, हमराही, आरज़ू, पालकी, सूरज आदि शामिल हैं ।
उनने फिल्म लव स्टोरी, नाम  , लवर्स, जुर्रत , और फूल  का निर्माण भी किया
उन्हें पद्म श्री से भी नवाज़ा गया और तीन बार फ़िल्मफेयर श्रेष्ठ अभिनेता पुरस्कार भी मिला ।
आज के दिन 1999 में इनका निधन हुआ ।

महान अभिनेता को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

प्राण

हिन्दी सिनेमा के अद्भुत सितारा रहे  अभिनेता प्राण की आज पुण्यतिथि है । 12 फरवरी 1920 को दिल्ली के एक सम्पन्न पंजाबी परिवार में जन्मे प्राण ने शुरु के कुछ साल शिमला में भी बिताए और स्थानीय रामलीला में सीता की भूमिका निभाई । विख्यात अभिनेता अमरीश पुरी, जो संयोग से उस समय शिमला में रहते थे, राम की भूमिका निभाते थे ।  1940 में लाहौर में पंजाबी फिल्म   ‘यमला जट’ से अपनी अभिनय यात्रा शुरू करने वाले प्राण ने छ: दशकों के अपने करियर में लगभग 350 फिल्मों में  अभिनय किया व बतौर नायक, खलनायक व चरित्र अभिनेता  अपनी बहुमुखी प्रतिभा का लोहा मनवाया ।1942 में पहली हिन्दी फिल्म ‘ख़ानदान’ में नूरजहां के साथ नज़र आए । ’50 व ’60 के दशक में प्राण ने बहुत सी फिल्मों में विलेन की भूमिका निभाई और खूब प्रशंसा बटोरी । देवानन्द- कामिनी कौशल के लीड रोल वाली फिल्म जिद्दी में अभिनय के फलस्वरूप विलेन के रूप में स्थापित हुए ।  मोटे तौर पर 1942-47 की अवधि में नायक , 1942-1991 में  खलनायक, और 1948-2007 में चरित्र अभिनेता के रूप में अभिनय किया । अपनी दमदार आवाज़ और खूबसूरत चेहरे की भावभंगिमा के चलते फिल्मों की कभी कमी नहीं रही। उनके द्वारा अभिनीत फिल्मों में  खानदान, हलाकू, मधुमती, जिस देश में गंगा बहती है, उपकार ,शहीद, राम और श्याम, जौनी मेरा नाम , विक्टोरिया न.203, अमर अकबर एंथनी, दिल दिया दर्द लिया, बड़ी बहन, छलिया , कसौटी, आज़ाद, कुन्दन, मुनीम जी, चोरी चोरी, देवदास, तुम सा नहीं देखा, मेरे महबूब , ब्लफ़ मास्टर, कश्मीर की कली, मेरे सनम , पत्थर के सनम, जंजीर, बोबबी, जुगनू , दोस्तना, कर्ज़, कालिया आदि आदि शामिल हैं ।
पद्मभूषण और दादासाहेब फाल्के पुरस्कार से सम्मानित प्राण को चार बार फिल्मफ़ेयर  पुरस्कार भी मिला ।
2013 में आज के दिन 93 वर्ष की आयु में इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान अभिनेता को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nashad- music director

Today is the birth anniversary of  music director Nashad ( not to be confused with another outstanding  Bollywood music director  Naushad Ali), who was active in Bollywood in  '40s & '50s and composed music . The songs composed by him for movies 'Naghma' and 'Baradari' became very popular and  are played to this day . A song in film Naghma - Kahe Jadu kiya, mujhko itna bata jadugar balma - was beautifully sung by Ameerbai  Karanataki   & Shamshad Begum separately.Another
song from the same film - Badi mushkil se dil ki  beqarari ko qarar aya - sung by Shamshad Begum is very popular. The duet  -bhula nahin dena ji bhula nahin dena- sung by Rafi & Lata , and Tasveer Banata hun , tasveer nahin banati - sung by Talat Mahmood particularly stand out.
He migrated to Pakistan in 1964 and composed music for films there .
He died  on 14 January, 1981, aged 57.

Our humble tributes !

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Asad Bhopali

To say is the birth anniversary of Asad Bhopali a talented poet /  lyricist of Hindi Cinema, whose name has unfortunately  remained unsung. Born Asadullah Khan this day in 1921 at Bhopal in British India, he started writing and reciting poetry at a young age and became known . Fazli Brothers , the film producers on the lookout for a lyricist, spotted him at  a Mushayara in Bhopal and impressed with is poetry, made an offer to write lyrics for their film. At the age of 28, Asad moved to Mumbai and wrote two lyrics for their film Duniya, which were sung by Mohammad Rafi and Suraiya.He wrote some more songs  for some other film which were sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum. He got the big break in B. R.Chopra's   film Afsaana(1951) for which he wrote five songs. He wrote many lyrics for the composer Usha Khanna.The songs penned by him for Paramani became very popular. Incidentally, this was Laxmikant Pyarelal's first movie as composers.

In a career spanning four decades, he wrote about 400 lyrics in a 100 movies but fame and popularity wise he couldn't get anywhere near the other renowned lyricists like, Majarooh Sultanpuri,Sahir Ludhiyanavi, Shakeel Badayuni,  Anand Bakshi, Rajender Krishan, etc. ,the reason being that most of the films he got to write lyrics for, were average films.
However his talent stood out in songs like :
Abhi Kamsin ho, nadaan ho, jaane jana...
Aye mere dile nadan, tu gham se na ghabrana...
Ajnabi tum jane pehchane se lagate ho.....
Bade bewafa hain ye husn wale....
Dil diwana bin sajna ke maane na...
Dil ki Baten, dil hi jane.....
Hum kashmkashe gham se guzar kyon nahin jaate ....
Hum tere bin jee na sakenge sanam...
Gum tumse juda ho ke, mar jaayenge ro ro ke....
Hum tumse pyar karte hain.....
Hansta hua noorani chehra . ......
Kabootar ja ja ja......
Main khushnaseeb hun mujhako kisi ka pyar mila....
Pyar bantate chalo.....
Raaz- e- dil unse chhupaya na gaya....
Sau bar janam lenge.....
Aapki inayaten aapke karam, aap hi batayen kaise bhoolenge hum...
Wo jab yaad aye , bahut yaad aye.....
Tera mera pyar koi, aajkal ki to baat nahin.....
All well known singers of the time gave voice to his songs.
He also won Filmfare Best Lyricist Award.
He died on June 9, 1990 aged 68.
Our humble tributes to the talented poet/ lyricist !

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Baljee's restaurant

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
Exactly a year ago, I had written a post about the imminent closure of  the Baljee's restaurant after about a year . I had expressed my concern accordingly as  apart from being  a  popular eating joint  serving  South  Indian and  routine Veg/ Non- Veg  food and snacks,  it has  the facility of over the counter purchase of sweets for home as well as for savouring hot Gulab Jamuns , just standing there .
The other day when a friend posted a video figuring Shimla eateries like   Indian Coffee  House , Baljee's & a Tikki- Chaat shop, a localite helping the host particularly mentioned eating Gulab Jamuns at the Baljee's and pointed out to the  expected  rather apprehended closure of the Restaurant on 10th of July. Every Shimlaite is going to miss this landmark .
On a personal note, 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.Baljee's was also preferred because on demand, songs and ghazals were played on the music system.
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, any other place being a second choice.
I feel concerned for the eighty odd number of staff employed there, who will face crunch.
Alas the day has arrived  !

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

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 पुण्यतिथि है । 8 अक्टूबर 1928 को
बलूचिस्तान में जन्मे राज कुमार का 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 जिनमे मदर इंडिया, दुल्हन, पैग़ाम, अर्धांगिनी, उजाला, दिल अपना और प्रीत परायी, घराना, दिल एक मंदिर,गोदान, फूल बने अंगारे, ज़िन्दगी, वक़्त, काजल, हमराज़, मेरे हज़ूर, नील कमल, हीर रांझा, लाल पत्थर, मर्यादा, पाकीज़ा, कर्मयोगी, बुलंदी, कुदरत, राजतिलक, सौदागर, तिरंगा, जवाब आदि शामिल हैं ।

आज उनकी 21वीं पुण्य तिथि पर हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि

FOOD NOSTALGIA

Allows me to tweak  Alfred Lord Tennyson's famous lines from the poem 'The Charge Of The Light Brigade thus -

I am not  to reason why ,
I am  but to eat and cry .....
not  literally though..!
Any talk of food by me draws a jibe for my wife  who is blunt enough to point out that  I care for food and food only.
She is a self appointed  nutritionist in my case  who decides what to eat and what not to keeping in view  my advanced age. So no excess Proteins in diet which according to her do more harm than good past a certain stage.
So no Rajma will be cooked  for the two of us.However, it becomes necessary to cook  Rajma, when kids come visiting  and I get a chance to savour the delicacy.
Another  food item I like is the Baingan ka Bhartha, which she cooks from time to time , though not the way my mother used to when round shaped baingans were  put on angeethi and rotated &;turned till the pulp would start oozing out. Then those were fried with masala and left to cook. My wife , not to take any chance,cuts them into pieces and puts them on the gas burner in a kadahi to reach the pulp stage. I must say these also taste good.
I am taken back to my University days, when we 2 -3 friends were day scholars and invited to lunch by our boarder friends in the Hostel mess. In fact they knew my predilections for Rajma & Bhartha and by chance both were on offer together at the same time.
A friend from Haryana would add a liberal helping of desi Ghee brought from home.
Lip smacking delicacies indeed, the taste still fresh in memory and mouth after 45 years !

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Mohammed Aziz

Today is the  birth anniversary of Mohammed Aziz,the popular Playback singer of Hindi , Bengali and Odia cinema. Born Syed Mohammed Aziz-un- Nabi this day in 1954 at Guma in 24Pargana District of West Bengal, he started singing at a very early age. His debut came  with Bengali film 'Jyoti'.
He shifted to Mumbai in 1984, and the same year he was given his first break by Anu Malik in Amitabh Bachchan starrer film Mard  .Later he became a favorite of composers Laxmikant Pyarelal who made him sing some beautiful melodies. His career in Hindi films came to a halt when Laxmikant Pyarelal left the scene. Other composers promoted the likes of Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. Mohamned Aziz lent his voice to Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakravorty, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol.
He sang some beautiful duets with Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal & Kavita Krishnamurti.He recorded about 2000 songs in all.
A versatile singer, he dabbled in Hindustani Classical, Jazz,and Pop music also and was one of the rarest singers capable of singing in the ' saatwan sur'.
He died last year on 27th November, aged 64.
Our humble tributes to the talented versatile singer !

Monday, July 1, 2019

Doctors' Day

प्रसंगवश -
स्कूल के ज़माने में  किसी अंग्रेज़ी व्याकरण की किताब में  अनुवाद हेतु एक  पैरा  नज़र से गुज़रता था, यथा  'नीलरतन जोशी एक प्रसिद्ध डॉक्टर था.......'  । इसके आगे इन डॉक्टर महोदय  की कर्त्तव्य निष्ठा, अपने कार्य में निपुणता, मृदु स्वभाव आदि का वर्णन था । पैरा के अंत में कुछ इस आशय का लिखा मिलता था कि यदि दुर्भाग्यवश किसी रोगी की मृत्यु हो जाती थी तो वो  उसके सगे सम्बन्धियों के साथ अंतिम यात्रा में शामिल होता था...आदि आदि । कुल मिला एक आदर्श डॉक्टर की छवि उभरती थी  ।
हममें से लगभग सभी का वास्ता डॉक्टर से पड़ता है जो कि शारीरिक कष्ट और बीमारी के समय साक्षात् ईश्वर का रूप प्रतीत होते हैं ।
आज चिकित्सक दिवस है जिसे डा. विधान चंद्र रॉय के जन्मदिन के रूप में भी मनाया जाता है ।उल्लेखनीय है कि डा.विधान चंद्र रॉय एक उच्च  व्यवसायिक शिक्षा प्राप्त  चिकित्सक थे और  पश्चिमी बंगाल के प्रतिष्ठित मुख्यमंत्री भी रहे ।
सभी चिकित्सक बंधुओं को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं एवं अभिनन्दन ।
Happy Doctors' Day !!💐

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Bushehri/Kinnauri Cap

SUNDAY MUSINGS :
Some more than 55 years back, when my  father saw a visiting acquaintance wearing a Bushehri cap, he at once took a fancy to it and requested him to arrange three caps for him. Within days came a VPP from Kullu containing three caps, perhaps Rs.2/50p.  a piece , if I remember correctly.In hind sight I gather that the caps were of middle variety with Shaneel patti in maroon  colour.
In the ' 80s when I got to serve my first tenure at Pooh, I came to know about the socio- cultural significance of the Bushehri/ Kinnauri cap traditionally worn both by men and women. Invited or otherwise visiting guests are welcomed and received by putting the cap on their heads as a mark of honour and respect .
Made with three colours of patti i.e., Green, Maroon & Red, the cap has gained international popularity.The patti comes in three variants viz, Velvet, Shaneel & some coarse cloth, which also determine the price. The velvet version, the most superior of the three these days costs upwards of Rs 400/-.

Quite amusingly , the cap for many years now has also added a political dimension to it. The Green is identified with Congress party and the Maroon , with the BJP. A third political party HVC which was in existence for a few years had chosen Red colour.
Amusingly, worldlywise people, not deep into party politics  adopt the colour of the party ruling in the state .

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Razor Blade

My childhood memories of the common multipurpose device called a razor Blade or simply a Blade, are still fresh in my mind. Off and on my father would bring home a packet of BHARAT Razor Blade containing five blades, the wrapper declaring it  'A Malhotra Product'.The brand later changed to Erasmic , Topaz or some other available brands like 7-O' Clock.I call it a multipurpose device, because apart from being used for the shave, it came handy to cut paper, for sharpening a  kachchi pencil etc.

It was quite amusing when some  guest  from village  staying overnight  would in the morning ask for a Blade. To our utter amazement, he guy would  go out in the open and pare the nails with such expertise that not a cut was caused to allow blood to come out.
Some other guest, despite the shaving kit being offered would only ask for a Blade and some warm water and  shave the face smoothly, without a cut or a bruise. I ,for one, use both the simple razor blade  and the twin blade, the latter taking care of the chin down to the neck.
The barbers,  instead of the conventional Ustara , the edge of which had to be sharpened by running up and down a leather strip or on a Flint slab, now use Ustara, fitted with half blade .
The design  and size of  the blade has  remained the same, irrespective of the brand , though quality may differ.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

दान सिंह

1970 में  शशि कपूर-शर्मिला टैगोर अभिनीत फिल्म 'माय लव '  रिलीज़ हुई और  इस फिल्म के गीत  ' ज़िक्र होता है जब क़यामत का, तेरे जलवों की बात होती है...'  और ' वो तेरे प्यार का ग़म, एक बहाना था सनम.....' अत्यंत लोकप्रिय हुए । ये दोनों गीत मुकेश के स्वर में थे  , कई वर्षों तक संगीत महफिलों का हिस्सा रहे  और आज भी गुनगुनाये जाते हैं ।इन गीतों की धुन संगीतकार दान सिंह ने बनायी थी ।प्रतिभा संपन्न होते हुए भी  दान सिंह को फिल्म संगीत में अधिक काम न मिल पाया  क्योंकि वो अंदरूनी राजनीति के शिकार रहे और उनकी अनेक धुनें चुरा कर अन्य लोगों द्वारा उपयोग में लायी गयीं, कारण यह रहा कि दुनियादारी से बेखबर दान सिंह अपनी बनायी धुनों को  पहले ही सार्वजनिक कर देते थे ।आर्थिक रूप से कभी संपन्न न हो पाए। 18 जून 2011 को इनका निधन हुआ ।
महान संगीतकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Sunday, June 16, 2019

हेमन्त कुमार

आज भारतीय सिनेमा के  ख्यातनाम संगीत निर्देशक, फिल्म निर्माता एवं पार्श्व गायक हेमंत कुमार की जयंती है । शिक्षण और प्रशिक्षण से  इंजीनियर, हेमंत कुमार ने व्यवसाय के रूप में संगीत को चुना । हिंदी सिनेमा की कुछ चुनिंदा फ़िल्में जिनमे  उनने संगीत दिया , में नागिन, आनंद मठ, यहूदी की लड़की, बीस साल बाद, साहिब बीवी और ग़ुलाम, जागृति , एक ही रास्ता, बिन बादल बरसात, कोहरा, मंझली दीदी, दो दूनी चार, और ख़ामोशी शामिल हैं। इसके अलावा उनने बांग्ला फिल्मों, परिणीता, नील आकाशेर नीचे, सप्तपदी, बालिका वधू, गणदेवता और कुछ अन्य फिल्मों में भी संगीत दिया ।एक पार्श्व गायक के रूप में हेमंत कुमार ने  नागिन, बीस साल बाद, हाउस नंबर 44, जाल, कोहरा, अनुपमा, अनारकली, शर्त, मजबूर और ममता फिल्म के लिए गीत भी गाये जो बहुत लोकप्रिय रहे ।
उनने फिल्म बीस साल बाद, कोहरा, बीवी और मकान  ,फरार, और ख़ामोशी  का निर्माण किया व इनमें संगीत भी दिया ।इनमें बीस साल बाद और ख़ामोशी को ही  व्यवसायिक तौर पर सफलता मिल पायी ।
फिल्म कोहरा में गाये गीतों से लता मंगेशकर को बहुत प्रसिद्धि मिली ।
रवींद्र संगीत के सम्मानित प्रतिपादक के रूप में  पंकज मलिक के बाद हेमंत कुमार का ही नाम लिया जाता है ।
26 सितंबर, 1989 को इनका निधन हुआ ।
बहुमुखी प्रतिभा के धनी हेमंत कुमार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि ।

Saturday, June 15, 2019

सुरैया

गुज़रे ज़माने की  विख्यात अभिनेत्री व पार्श्व गायिका सुरैया की आज 90वीं जयंती है । सुरैया जमाल शेख का जन्म  आज ही के दिन 1929 में  लाहौर में हुआ । कुछ समय बाद ही सुरैया का परिवार मुम्बई आ गया और उनकी परवरिश मुम्बई में ही हुई । मात्र 7 वर्ष की आयु से बतौर बाल कलाकार फिल्मों में काम करना शुरू किया व उनकी पहली फिल्म 'मैडम फैशन' थी । बचपन के साथी और भावी अभिनेता राज कपूर और संगीतकार मदनमोहन के साथ ऑल इंडिया रेडियो पर बच्चों के कार्यक्रम में भी भाग लिया , और रेडियो पर गीत भी गाए ।1941 में बनी फिल्म ताजमहल में मुमताज महल की भूमिका निभायी । 1940, और 1950 के दशक की सबसे अधिक पारिश्रमिक पाने वाली प्रमुख़ अभिनेत्री और पार्श्व गायिका  रही । अधिकतर गीत अपनी फिल्मों के लिए ही गाए । 67 फिल्मों में अभिनय किया और 300 से अधिक गीत गाए । अभिनेता /गायक के.एल.सहगल के साथ तीन फिल्मों में कार्य किया । इनकी प्रमुख फिल्मों में प्यार की जीत, अफसर, अनमोल घड़ी, शमा, परवाना, मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब, दर्द, दिल्लगी, दास्तान, अमर कहानी, रुस्तम सोहराब आदि आदि हैं  ।अपनी फिल्म मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब में उनके द्वारा गायी ग़ालिब की ग़ज़लें  उनकी गायकी का बेजोड़ नमूना हैं  । सुरैया ने 1963 में गायन और अभिनय दोनों को छोड़ दिया ।
उल्लेखनीय है कि  देवानंद के साथ उनका प्रेम प्रसंग चर्चित रहा पर अपनी नानी के विरोध के चलते देवानंद से उनका विवाह न हो पाया । सुरैया जीवन पर्यन्त अविवाहित रहीं , ये अलग बात है कि देवानंद ने कल्पना कार्तिक से विवाह किया और घर बसाया ।
31 जनवरी 2004 को सुरैया का निधन हुआ ।
सुरैया अभिनय, गायन और सुंदरता का अनूठा संगम था ।
हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि ।

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Old Age Blues !

This last week saw me grappling with sore throat, some cough, 'cold' in the unusually hot weather and mild temperature -i.e. below100- though not so mild as per my too anxious wife  who knows my normal temperature to be 97 at the maximum.Much to my discomfort, she wakes me up a number of times , putting the thermometer in my mouth and making grimaces when the mercury  refuses to drop.
Not a big deal but past sixty, all weird feelings come to mind, when even a little can mean too much as far as the list of negatives is concerned. With a jerk, I try to collect myself and look up to the persons much older than me, with the devil- may- care attitude, leading robust, active creative lives.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Loksabha Elections 2019

I too participated in the quinquennial ritual of Loksabha Elections and contributed my bit being a citizen and voter of the largest democracy of the world .No  canvassing was visible on ground in my part of the Constituency . Perhaps the parties relied more on social , mainstream visual & print media to do the job.The candidates and the Star pracharaks, quite understandably chose to address the voters in selected pockets , as the area of a Loksabha  Constituency is pretty large and it is not physically possible to visit every nook and corner. What is worrisome is the continuously dwindling standard of the public discourse. It appeared as if a competition of sorts was there in mudslinging, casting aspersions , personal attacks on one another by the rivals which by no means is a sign of mature and healthy democracy.
Meanwhile, the fate of the contesting candidates is lying in the EVMs, while today the voting process is still continuing. Media must be ready with the Exit poll, which they may come out with,after  voting concludes.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

WOMEN ATTIRE

My respected women friends will kindly excuse me if I happen to be entering a forbidden territory of discussing Female attires.
I grew up among the female members of my family wearing only full sleeve  Kameez-salwar, cut into a standard shape or design , with a dupatta or chunni. The only variation by way of a fashion statement was the  loose or tight mohri or 'pahuncha'  of salwar. As with collar and cuff in gents' shirts , the nicely and tastefully made pahuncha  with sewing design made on it was the hall mark of salwar. Only that tailor was worth something who could make pahuncha to one's liking. Chooridars were another dress item in vogue. I remember my mother had to persuade my father to allow my sisters to wear chooridars. Such were the times.
Much has changed over the years. Society at large and parents have become more liberal with regard to what girls wear. Even the school uniforms have no standard cut or design . Uniformity is only with regard to color of the dress and design may vary person to person.The School girls may sport semi patiyali in uniform. The jeans and trousers are too common a sight as young women donot want to give that ' behen ji' look. The present generation is smarter looking too.
The aesthete in me looks for elegance and  grace  and I miss the old style, though semi- patiyali is surely an improvement over the older version .

Thursday, May 2, 2019

OF COLLARS AND CUFFS

The basic and common attire  with the most conspicuous presence for the males is the shirt  and for the men with taste, the crisp and well shaped  collars and the cuffs run the show. Hard ready-made collars came on the scene much later. Earlier  collars used to come with a thin fold or filling of the same cloth, the extra layer providing the required thickness. The collars were not crisp or stiff. Starch was applied to White shirts at the time of washing which would make the collars look crisp, especially if one was to sport a tie. Even as a school student, I used to soak the shirt collar in 'peechh' kept aside after boiling rice and afterwards, the shirt was ironed. That was my way of improvisation.
These days, there is no need for such improvisation, as even the cheapest shirts come with ready-made collars and even the shirts got stitched by tailor has readymade collar with buckram and plastic strips tucked inside. The cuffs are also made with care which adds value to the shirt. The collars come in different shapes, like the usual tie collar with drooping corners and the cut away collar with the corners drifting away.The market has the variety to pander to every taste and liking.