Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Jackie Shroff 1-February
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="216" caption="Jackie Sharoff"][/caption]
A vegetarian, Jaikishen made his Bollywood debut in a bit-role as a villain in the 1973 hit 'Heera Panna' which starred Dev Anand. He then went on to act in another Dev Anand starer, 'Swami Dada".
It was Subhash Ghai, who signed him up for the 1983 hit 'Hero' that catapulted this handsome young man to stardom, followed by yet another hit 'Andar Bahar' with Anil Kapoor as his co-star. Thus Jaikishen became the new Bollywood legend: Jackie Shroff.
Since then there has been no looking back, as he went on to star in close to 150 movies with a career that spanned from 1973 onwards. Since 2000 or thereabouts he has appeared in a variety of character-roles, villain, comedian, and even as a ghost in 'Bhoot Unkle'.
He married his longtime girlfriend, Ayesha Dutt, who is also a producer and both husband and wife run Jackie Shroff Entertainment Limited. They have two children, a son, Jai (nickname Tiger), and a daughter, Krishna.
Monday, 30 January 2012
Preity Zinta 31-January
Preity Zinta shot to fame as the refreshing, cool, wet model in the Liril commercial. She also modeled for Perk and her dimpled smile won the hearts of millions. Preity never thought she would be an actress. Kapoor saw her in the Liril commercial and liked her so much that he instantly decided that the next film he would announce would have her in the lead. However, 'Tara Rum Pum' never got made and is still pending since the director got very busy with his other projects.
But another offer soon came by, Kundan Shah's Kya Kehna (2000). Though the film was the first, Preity had actually begun shooting for her first release which was Mani Ratnam'sDil Se.. (1998). The film was a hit which won Preity accolades. Later Abbas-Mustan'sSoldier (1998/I) that too was a hit at the box-office confirmed she was here to stay. Though Kya Kehna (2000) was her first film, but it released in 2000 and was the surprise hit of 2000.
Her role in Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002) was appreciated and liked by all and that has made her an actress to reckon with in Bollywood. Her screen presence, charm and down to earth nature has made her the favorite actress of almost all the directors and producers. With banners and films like Rakesh Roshan's Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) with 'Hrithik Roshan', Nikhil Advani's Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Jaya Bhaduri, Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya (2004) with Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan, Atul Agnihotri's Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha (2004) starring Salman Khan and Bhoomika Chawla, Yash Chopra's Veer-Zaara (2004) with Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji, Siddharth Anand's Salaam Namaste (2005) with Saif Ali Khan, and Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) with Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, Preity has already made her place in the hearts of the public and also in Bollywood.
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Martyr's Day 30-January
Martyrs’ Day marks the death anniversary of the father of nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was assassinated on Jan 30, 1948, by Nathuram Godse. Godse held Gandhi responsible for the partition of India thus he shot Gandhiji. For this evil deed Godse was hanged on November 15, 1949.
Originally the martyrdom of the soldiers while defending the sovereignty of the country during the freedomstruggle was remembered on Republic Day, January 26, gave way to Jan 30.
On this day not only Prime Minister and chiefs of the armed forces salute the martyrs at India Gate but also common men show their gratitude towards them by giving up their normal activities for some time and observing silence for 2 minutes.
Sirens are blown at every government establishment around 11 am. At that time everyone, be it in industrial units or government offices even the
commoners stop their work and observe silence for two minutes as a remembrance of the martyred souls. The siren again blows after two minutes, i.e. around 11.02 am allowing resuming work.
The day sees the triumphant celebrations, showcasing the latest weapon achievement and advertising military might.
The followers of Mahatma Gandhi worship him and quote- He is the greatest human being so far appeared on this earth. Bapu is a symbol of virtues and greatness. This man lived the life of a saint.
His status of Father of the Nation cannot be challenged as the political party led by him enjoyed full monopoly after independence. He believed in antiviolent ideologies. Gandhi and his followers played a significant role in ousting British.
January, 30 is a Martyrs' day to remember the freedom fighters of our country, wheras January 25, is considered as a Martyrs' day to remember those who lost their lives in the Anti-Hindi agitations during 1937-38 and 1965.
Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - 29-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="470" caption="Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore"][/caption]
In the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, he won the Individual Gold Medal setting a new Commonwealth Games Record, 192 targets out of 200, which still stands.
I can say dat he played a gud role in the Olympics to raise our respect n honour.. I just wish he keeps up the same spirit.. n wins lots of honours for India.. All the best..
A very happy birthday..
May god bless u..!!
Friday, 27 January 2012
Vasant Panchmi 28-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Vasant Panchmi"][/caption]
As 'Diwali' – the festival of light – is to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and 'Navaratri' is to Durga, goddess of power and valor, Vasant Panchami is to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts. This festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day or ‘Panchami’ of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha, which falls during January-February, (see calendar). ‘Vasant’ comes from the word ‘spring’ as this festival heralds the beginning of the spring season.
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance."
Lala Lajpat Rai 28-January
Lala Lajpat Rai immensely contributed in attaining independence the nation. He helped in establishing few schools in the country. He also initiated the foundation of Punjab National Bank. In 1897, he founded the Hindu Orphan Relief Movement to keep the Christian missions from securing custody of these children. He died after the police lathi-charged on the activists, protesting the arrival of Simon Commission.
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865 to Munshi Radha Krishna Azad and Gulab Devi at Dhudike village in Ferozpur District. His father was a great scholar of Persian and Urdu while his mother was a strict religious lady and inculcated in her children strong morals values. His family values allowed Lajpat Rai, the freedom of having different faiths and beliefs.
Lajpatrai received his elementary education in the school where his father was posted as teacher. Lajpat Rai joined the Government College at Lahore in 1880 to study Law. While in college he came in contact with patriots and future freedom fighters like Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt. He studied law from Government College in Lahore and thereafter started his legal practice in Hissar, Haryana. Since childhood he had a desire to serve his country and therefore took a pledge to free it from foreign rule. In 1884 his father was transferred to Rohtak and Lala Lajpat Rai came along.
In 1886 the family shifted to Hissar, where he practiced law. There, Lajpat Rai helped to establish the nationalistic Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School and became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati. In 1888 and 1889 he was a delegate to the annual sessions of the National Congress. He moved to Lahore to practice before the High Court in 1892.
In 1895 Rai helped found the Punjab National Bank, demonstrating his concern for self-help and enterprise. In 1897 he founded the Hindu Orphan Relief Movement to keep the Christian missions from securing custody of these children. In the National Congress in 1900 he stressed the importance of constructive, nation-building activity and programs for self-reliance.
Gradually, Lajpat Rai had curtailed his legal practice and was concentrating all his efforts to free the nation from British. In October 1917, he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York.
In 1920, after his return from America, Lajpat Rai was invited to preside over the special session of the Congress in Calcutta, (now Kolkata). He plunged into the non-cooperation movement, which was being launched in response to the Rowlatt Act, in principle. The movement was led by Lajpat Rai's in Punjab and he soon came to be known as "Punjab Kesri" (The Lion of Punjab).
Besides, a great freedom fighter and leader, Lala Lajpat Rai was also a noted writer. The United States of America: A Hindu's impressions and a study, History of the Arya Samaj, Swaraj and social change, England's Debt to India: India, The Problems Of National Education In India were among the books, he had written.
On October 30, 1928 to boycott the arrival of the members of the Simon Commission in Lahore, a peaceful procession, headed by Lajpat Rai was launched. Intercepting the march, Superintendent of Police, Scott ordered his police force to 'lathi-charge' at the activists. The police targeted Lajpat Rai, in particular, and hit him on the chest. The confrontation left Lala Lajpat Rai with severe injuries and also led to his death. To take avenge to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and his associates plotted the assassination of Scott. But, the revolutionaries, mistaking J.P. Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, as Scott, killed him instead.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Bobby Deol 27-January
Deol has been featured mostly in thriller films, often playing wealthy but vulnerable middle class characters, affected by the corrupt establishment and women and often propelled into crime to avenge the deaths of loved ones. His films commonly involve themes of jealousy, deceit and revenge and in his more romantic thrillers often involve him caught in love triangles. Deol was awarded the Filmfare Best Debut Award for his role in the 1995 film Barsaat and was later nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Humraaz in 2002.
Bobby Deol was born into a Jat family and is the second son of Bollywood movie star Dharmendra and Prakash Kaur. He is the younger brother of Sunny Deol (born 1956). Bobby Deol was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. He has two sisters, Vijeyta and Ajita, and two half sisters – from his father's second marriage to actress Hema Malini – Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. Actor Abhay Deol is his cousin. Bobby Deol is married to Tanya Ahuja, with whom he has two sons. His eldest son Aryaman was born in June 2001. His second son was born on 5 November 2004 and was named Dharam, after his father.
Deol making his debut in Barsaat in 1995 as Badal. The role won him the Filmfare Best Debut Award, and his only Filmfare award to date. Deol first briefly appeared as a child actor in the film Dharam Veer in 1977. Just ten years old at the time, he played the younger version of the film's lead actor, his father, Dharmendra. Deol then made his adult debut with Twinkle Khanna in the 1995 Bollywood film Barsaat, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. Deol plays the character of Badal, a naive but intelligent young man who moves from a small village to the big city and gets caught up with corrupt police and criminal gangs amidst falling in love. Partly shot in Scotland, Deol broke his leg in an equestrian accident while filming and had to be flown to London to recuperate and had to call off several publicity shoots which documented his debut. The film was nonetheless a considerable success and garnered him the Filmfare Best Debut Award. In 1997, Deol starred in Gupt: The Hidden Truth, a suspense thriller directed by Rajiv Rai, considered his breakthrough role. Cast alongside Manisha Koirala, Kajol, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Raj Babbar, Deol played the role of Sahil, a young man accused of murdering his step father over an engagement proposal and wrongly imprisoned. He escapes and tracks down the real killer. Gupt: The Hidden Truth was highly acclaimed for its storyline and soundtrack and was a major commercial success. In the same year, Deol appeared in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, alongside Aishwarya Rai in her debut Bollywood role.
In 1998, Deol starred opposite Neha in the Vidhu Vinod Chopra film, Kareeb. Deol played the character of Birju, an irresponsible young man from an upper middle class family in Himachal Pradesh with a love of petty thievery and deceit. Later in 1998, he appeared in Abbas Mustan's military thriller Soldier, alongside Raakhee Gulzar and Preity Zinta. Deol played the mysterious character of Vicky, later revealed as Raju, son of Vijay Malhotra who was convicted of arms smuggling. In 1999, Deol starred in Dillagi, directed by and co-starring his brother Sunny Deol. The film is noted for being the first time Sunny Deol directed a film and also the first time he acted alongside Bobby. This pairing was repeated in 23rd March 1931: Shaheed (2002) and Apne (2007). Dillagi features the two as the brothers Ranvir and Rajvir, fighting for the affection of Shalani (Urmila Matondkar).
In 2000, Deol appeared in the action drama Badal alongside Rani Mukerji, under the director's helm of Raj Kanwar. The film is set in 1984 when riots were engulfing parts of Punjab and Delhi. Deol plays the character of Badal, a boy who witnesses the massacre of his family and villagers by a corrupt police official Police Inspector Jai Singh Rana (Ashutosh Rana) and grows up to be a dreaded terrorist, fuelled by the anger and hatred of the authorities who wrongly deprived him of his family and friends. The film is inspired by The Devil's Own (1997), starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford. Following this he starred alongside Karisma Kapoor in Hum To Mohabbat Karega (2000), and reunited with Rani Mukerji to star in Bichhoo (2000), a blatant remake of Luc Besson's 1994 film Leon, starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman. In Bichhoo, Deol plays Reno's role, Jeeva, a young man from a struggling middle-class family who has the misfortune of falling in love with the wealthy Kiran (Malaika Arora). Her cruel, disapproving father in rage at their relationship has Jeeva's mother and two sisters publicly arrested for prostitution, and eventually all three kill themselves. Jeeva becomes a professional killer and later extracts vengeance against Kiran's father and his henchmen. The film and Deol's performance was panned by the critics, with Sakanya Verna of Rediff.com citing the film as "one of the most painful of the year" and commenting, "Bobby Deol's performance is quite, well, robotic. He religiously hangs on to a brooding expression right through the film. Why o why doesn't someone insist he goes to an acting school?"
In 2001 (although filmed in 2000), Deol starred alongside Karisma Kapoor, Rahul Dev and Smita Jaykar in Aashiq. Following this, he featured in Abbas Burmawalla and Mustan Burmawalla's thriller, Ajnabee, alongside Kareena Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Bipasha Basu. The film, adapted from the 1992 American thriller film Consenting Adults, features Deol as Raj, the new husband of Priya Malhotra (Kapoor) who after moving to Switzerland and initially befriending their neighbours (Kumar and Basu), become entangled in a web of deceit and extra-marital activity. Ziya us Salaam of The Hindu was unconvinced with Deol's performance, remarking that he "only occasionally manages to transmit fear of the fugitive."
In 2002, Deol starred alongside his brother Sunny in the historic film 23rd March 1931: Shaheed. Set in British India, it depicts the events leading up to the hanging of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and his companions Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931. The film stars Bobby Deol as Bhagat Singh and Sunny Deol as another revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad. The film received a mixed reception from critics, with some good reviews. Rediff.com believed the movie had plenty of good moments, and plenty of bad ones and believed the film was superior to that of the original on Bhagat Singh, although they believed the agony of Bhagat Singh's fight was underplayed, diminishing the brutality and anguish suffered in the real life event. While Deol was praised for some scenes, he was criticized for shouting and Rediff believed he was overshadowed by Ajay Devgan remarking, "In terms of performance, Devgan is clearly the winner, with the advantage of a stronger script and a better director. Devgan, who reportedly lost weight to look the part, is today emerging as one of India's finest actors, willing to try out different roles. Deol tries his best, but it is difficult to shout and act simultaneously."
Later in 2002, Deol was nominated for the prestigious Filmfare Best Actor Award for his role as a suave, wealthy shipping businessman in Abbas-Mustan's romantic thriller Humraaz. The film is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder (1954) (remade in 1998 as A Perfect Murder) and features Deol in a love triangle with Akshaye Khanna and Amisha Patel. The film was generally praised by critics/ with Chitra Mahesh of The Hindu, saying "Bobby Deol spends the entire first half looking moony eyed and spaced out, but overcomes the stupor towards the end where he actually gives a good performance. Deol's final film of 2002 was David Dhawan's Chor Machaaye Shor in which he played Shyamm alongside Paresh Rawal, Shilpa Shetty, Bipasha Basu and Om Puri, a small time crook who gets his hands on some diamonds worth millions.
In 2003, Deol took a hiatus from acting and returned to the screen in 2004 in Kismat opposite Priyanka Chopra. In Bardaasht, a drama based on the screenplay written by Vikram Bhatt, Deol starred alongside Lara Dutta and Rahul Dev as Aditya Shrivastav, a deserted army officer. The film deals with themes of police brutality and corruption and justice. Deol then played another army officer, a Lieutenant Commander in Anil Sharma's Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo as Kunaljit Singh/Vikramjeet Singh. The film, which featured some prominent Bollywood actors such as Amitabh Bachchan (who played a general and Deol's father), and Akshay Kumar, it was arguably Deol's highest profile film to date but despite high box office expectations it was a commercial failure. His most famous role of all time in ab tumhare watan satio was when he wore a pugh/turban. That gave him more audience from the Punjabi crowd, and had gotten comments saying he looks better in a turban.
In 2005, Deol starred in Vikram Bhatt's thriller Jurm as the wealthy businessman Avinash Malhotra who suspects his wife Sanjana (Lara Dutt) of having an affair with Rohit (Milind Soman). Deol's performance was praised by a number of critics, with Vivek Fernandes of Rediff.com remarking, "Bobby Deol, Bhatt's schoolmate, does his alma mater proud with his controlled performance. There's a sense of maturity about his candour, which is good news." Deol then starred alongside Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty and Ajay Devgan in Mani Shankar's war movie Tango Charlie as an Indian trooper named Tarun Chauhan of the 101st BSF Battalion, operating in the northeastern Indian province of Manipur. He followed this role by featuring in Suneel Darshan's romance film Barsaat as the ambitious young Indian Arav, who, in living in the United States, becomes involved in a love triangle with beauties Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu. The film was not a critical success, with Ziya us Salaam of The Hindu concluding, " A moth-eaten love triangle with all the stereotypes Bollywood survives on - a devoted wife with her karva chauth ki thali, the other woman with her mini-skirts, a joint family, songs, festivities..... No shower of rejuvenation, this "Barsaat" is just drenched in mediocrity." She was equally unimpressed with Deol's performance, remarking, "The girls are ready with their curls and curves, the guy just appears lost, making you wonder if Bobby has grown even an inch as an actor since he made his debut in Rajkumar Santoshi's film by the same name." His final role of 2005 was as Karan in Dosti: Friends Forever, opposite Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Kareena Kapoor, and Juhi Chawla. He once again plays a wealthy businessman but is down on his luck with his finances and romancing women. The film, although performing below average in India was a major success in the United Kingdom, where it became the highest grosser of Bollywood in 2005, grossing around £888,000.
In 2006, Deol starred in the romantic musical film Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai. Deol played Raj, a character who falls in love with Durga (Amisha Patel), a beautiful blind woman with a talent for shaping pottery but faces competition from Rohit (Arjun Rampal). Deol and Patel have been labelled as the "Bollywood equivalent of Hugh Grant and Rene Zellweger". Although the film received a mixed reception, a number of critics praised Deol's performance as Raj, with Taran Adarsh commenting, "Bobby Deol is only getting better as an actor. He manages to register an impact in a film that belongs to Amisha and Arjun primarily." Later that year, he made a brief special appearance in Alag in the song Sabse Alag.
In 2007, Deol starred in 7 films. The first of them, Shakalaka Boom Boom, was shot in South Africa and is based on conflicts and the power game involved in the functioning of the music industry, addressing the themes of envy, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, manipulation and anger. The film, which featured Bobby alongside Upen Patel, Kangana Ranaut and Celina Jaitley was generally praised by critics, especially for its choreography, and Deol received some very positive reviews. Taran Adarsh of IndiaFM.com said after viewing the film, "Both Bobby and Upen get fabulous roles and the two actors make the most of it. Bobby is one of the most under-rated actors around. His work has been consistent all through, but one tends to overlook this talented actor's abilities all the while. Watch him go negative in Shakalaka Boom Boom and you'd agree that he's amongst the best in the business today. His outburst in the end is remarkable."
Deol's second film of 2007 was Jhoom Barabar Jhoom , which saw him play the character of Steve/Satvinder Singh opposite Abhishek Bachchan (who played a gypsy in London), Preity Zinta, and Lara Dutta. Directed by Shaad Ali, the film was produced by Aditya Chopra and Yash Chopra under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film was not critically acclaimed and was mostly criticized by what critics believed was a shallow screenplay. the gave the film a 1.5 out of 5 rating, saying, "the film is all gloss, no substance". He also believed that Deol was overshadowed by his co-stars, remarking that the film, "belongs to Abhishek first and Preity next". Deol next starred in the boxing drama Apne. The film was a family affair, featuring Bobby Deol alongside his father Dharmendra, a disgraced retired boxer who trains Bobby and his brother (Sunny Deol) to become champion boxers but in doing so creates a rift within the family. Apne was a major commercial success, particularly in northern India and overseas, especially in the UK, where it made £579,457 on the opening weekend, entering into the UK. Top Ten at Number 3."Acting skills cannot be taught. They can only be explained. Everybody has their own styles and techniques. I cannot ape my father nor can he ape me. So these are the things I've learnt from my father". - Deol commenting on the acting profession during the promotion of Apne in 2007. Deol next starred in the suspense thriller Naqaab, another Abbas-Mustan film which features him alongside Akshaye Khanna and Urvashi Sharma as another millionaire caught in a love triangle. Deol received a mixed reception for his performance. For instance, Raja Sen of Rediff.com praised several of his scenes, remarking, "Bobby gets a considerably meaty role, and there are a couple of moments when he genuinely works the audience", but describes his character as "sensitive to an annoying hilt".
In 2008, Deol starred opposite in Priyanka Chopra, Danny Denzongpa and Irrfan Khan in the crime drama Chamku, playing the lead character and titlesake of Chamku, a man raised by Baba (Denzongpa), a Naxal leader based in the southern interiors of Bihar, after his family was brutally murdered. He is assigned by a covert governmental program jointly conceived by RAW and Intelligence Bureau to carry out political assassinations but after falling in love with the kindergarten teacher Shubhi (Chopra), he decides to lead a reformed life but is later tempted to turn to crime again. Kabeer Kaushik, the director of the film had originally approached Deol to play the lead role in his debut film, Sehar, but despite liking the script, Deol turned it down because at the time he was not prepared to work with a debutant director. Deol next featured in Heroes as an army officer and DJ Dhananjay "DJ" Shergill alongside a strong cast which included Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Sunny Deol and Mithun Chakraborty. Although initially set to be released on 6 June 2008, it was pushed to 24 October 2008, the opening weekend of the holiday Diwali. Much of the filming took place in northern India, including Ladakh (notably Pangong Tso), Chandigarh, Punjab, and Delhi. Deol's last role in 2008 was in the film Dostana , as Abhimanyu Singh, supporting role to the films' main stars Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra under the Dharma Productions banner The film explores the story of two men who pretend to be gay but both fall in love with the same girl, their roommate. Dostana is the first Bollywood film to be filmed entirely in Miami, United States and went on to become the eighth highest grossing film at the Indian Box Office in 2008.
In 2009, Deol portrayed Nandu, an orphan turned assassin wrongly accused of a politician's murder in the movie Ek - The Power of One. Deol's next film titled, Help, was shot in Mauritius, in which he appeared opposite Mugdha Godse. The film was released on August 13, 2010. His next release Yamla Pagla Deewana is set to release on January 14, 2011.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Republic Day 26-January
Happy Republic Day
26th January 1950 is one of the most important days in Indian history as it was on this day the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state. In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.
To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, from the Rajghat, along the Vijaypath. The different regiments of the army, the Navy and the Air force march past in all their finery and official decorations even the horses of the cavalry are attractively caparisoned to suit the occasion. The crème of N.C.C cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms.
The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from the different states of the country. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. The parade and the ensuing pageantry is telecast by the National Television and is watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.
The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.
Today, the Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm all over the country and especially in the capital, New Delhi where the celebrations start with the Presidential to the nation. The beginning of the occasion is always a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defense of sovereignty of their country. Then, the President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
National Voter's Day 25-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="197" caption="National Voter's Day"][/caption]
ers' Day' (Hindi: राष्ट्रीय मतदाता दिवस).
A meeting of the Union Cabinet , chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , approved a Law Ministry proposal to this effect, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters.
Observing that new voters, who have attained the age of 18 years, were showing less interest in getting enrolled in the electoral rolls, she said the level of their enrolment was as low as 20 to 25 per cent in certain cases.
"In order to effectively deal with this problem, the Election Commission has decided to take up a vigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters attaining the age of 18 years as on January one every year in each of the 8.5 lakh polling stations across the country," she said.
Such eligible voters would be enrolled on time and handed over their Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) on January 25 every year, Sonisaid, adding this initiative is expected to give the youth a sense of empowerment, pride and inspire them to exercise their franchise.
The new voters would be provided with a badge with its logo "Proud to be a voter - Ready to vote", she said.
Monday, 23 January 2012
Subhash Ghai 24-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Subhash Ghai"][/caption]
Again musically Ghai had the genious stroke of having Pakistan's top singer Reshma sing Lambi Judaai with just 11 instruments. He hit next with _Meri Jung (1982)_ with Anil Kapoor and then he gave the term multi-starrer blockbuster its true home. Karma was released in 1986 with huge fanfare. The pre-production hype matched its pre-release hype with the rivalry of Dillip Kumar and Naseeruddin Shah. It was a superhit. Again new faces were brought in. Anupam Kher made his appearance as Dr. Dang. Ghai received a national award for making an anti-terrorism film. In his next film, one of Bollywood's legends was born, Madhuri Dixit in Ram Lakhan (1989). Another superhit for a barely text-book script. Like his track record, Saudagar (1991), his next release united two icons together. Dillip Kumar and Raj Kumar. Again Ghai launched another star, Manisha Koirala. Another film another superhit. His next film was one of the most talked about films of its time and could match any film today for column space. Sanjay as the bad guy. Jackie as the good guy. Madhuri caught in between the two. _Khalnayak (1993)_ was notorious for many things. At the same time Sanjay wound up in jail on terrorist charges. Before jail, Sanjay and Madhuri were said to be having a relationship, but when Sanjay ended up in Jail Madhuri dropped him like hot cakes and denied all knowledge of being anything more than a co-star. The main song choli ke peechay was at the top of every chart and just as controversial. This was the showman's greatest moment. From here it could only go down.
Though Trimurti wasnt directed by Subhash, it came from the same production house. The film was put on hold for ages. It was meant to be a triumphant moment for Ghai. The showman and the star, Shah Rukh Khan united. For all the time he had been in Bollywood he had never made a film with Amitabh and this was his time to show the world what he could do with the star of the moment. But the project was laid back for months as Subash waited for Sanjay Dutt to be released from prison. Eventually Dutt had a face to face meeting with Ghai and told him straight. Replace me. Anil Kapoor was drafted in. But even with Jackie Shroff, Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor the weak script was destined to fail. Its failure hit Ghai hard and Mukul Anand even harder. The later never got the chance to direct another film. His venture after Trimurti was Dus. He died towards the end of shooting. The film never saw release. With the knives that were stuck in Ghai he came back with another Shah Rukh film this time directed by himself. Pardes (1997) was launched with Ghai declaring that from now on his films would be aimed at NRIs. From that moment on Ghai lost his biggest supporter, the press. An average hit compared to the Ghai catalogue. By now he'd even changed his musical directors to Nadeem-Sharavan. Music is where the hits and flops were made. Ghai knowing this asked AR Rehman to write the music for his next film. He struck gold again. The star of the show was Aishwarya. It made phenomenal amounts of cash - not bad for a film where nothing interesting happens until the interval where one A. Kapoor makes an appearance. Ghai was back. He knew who'd been the people who'd stuck the knives in his back and isolated them, the press.
He had the last laugh. Or did he. Forward to 2001 and Ghai was planning to make history. Hrithik and Kareena together for the first time. _Yaadein (2001)_. From its announcement the press were out to hound Ghai. And it showed. The film was written off from day one. Critised from anything and everything. The coke ads, the numerous other in film adverts, too fluffy. Jackie Shroff was the only saving grace to come out of this film. Subhash has isolated the one thing that gave his film the hype and now he's feeling very left out from the Indian press who have warmed up to other directors. Ghai had a rule of releasing a film every two years yet two years after Yaadein he has not announced a single directorial venture, just two producer ventures, ek aur ek gyarah and Joggers Park. His ego and his own ability to create hype for his films could be to blame. He raises the expectations of his own films to such a level that the audience are expecting much. And if it fails to deliever even slightly, the audience and the press will hype up the faliures even more so. What the future holds for Ghai is unknown and only he can answer. Though don't expect The Showman to let any other director take his title any time soon!
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 23-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose"][/caption]
Subhashchandra Bose was the most visionary and fierce activist in the pre-independence era. Known as Netaji, he followed the path which no one even could have thought of.
An unparalleled example of the declaration of Independent Indian government with a cabinet & its own army was seen in form of the Indian National Army under the leadership of Subhash Chanda Bose. It literally had a military attack on British India & had confronted them till Imphal. With the help from Germany & active support from Japan, they shook the very foundation of the British Empire. The saga of their valor is chronicled separately, under the head Indian National Army.
While he was the president of Indian National Congress during 1937 to 1939, he founded the Indian National Congress. He was acclaimed as a god like figure, akin to the many mythological heroes like Rama or Krishna, and continued as a legend in Indian mind.
Subhas Chandra was born on January 23rd 1897 in Cuttack (in present day Orissa) as the ninth child among fourteen, of Janakinath Bose, an advocate, and Prabhavatidevi, a pious and God-fearing lady. A brilliant student, he topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. He joined the Indian Civil Services in England as per his parent's wishes. This kept him a little away from the Indian Freedom Movement. He finished those examinations also, at the top of his class (4th rank), he could not complete his apprenticeship and returned to India, being deeply disturbed by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress . Gandhiji directed him to work with Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the Bengali leader whom Bose acknowledged as his political guru.
Due to his outspoken character for the British Government, he went to jail for around 11 times between 1920 and 1941 for periods varying between six months and three years. He was the leader of the youth wing of the Congress Party, in the forefront of the trade union movement in India and organized Service League, another wing of Congress. He was admired for his great skills in organizational development .
Bose advocated complete freedom for India at the earliest, whereas the Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through a Dominion status. Other younger leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru supported Bose and finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress had to adopt Poorna Swaraj (complete freedom) as its motto. Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and the inability of the Congress leaders to save his life infuriated Bose and he started a movement opposing the Gandhi-Irvin Peace Pact. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. But defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again!
He was elected president of the Indian National Congress twice in 1937 and in 1939, the second time defeating Gandhiji's nominee. He brought a resolution to give the British six months to hand India over to the Indians, failing which there would be a revolt. There was much opposition to his rigid stand, and he resigned from the post of president and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block (1939).
During the World War 2nd he was against rendering any kind of help to the British. He warned them so. The second World War broke out in September of 1939, and just as predicted by Bose, India was declared as a warring state (on behalf of the British) by the Governor General, without consulting Indian leaders. The Congress party was in power in seven major states and all state governments resigned in protest.
Subhas Chandra Bose now started a mass movement against utilizing Indian resources and men for the great war. To him, it made no sense to further bleed poor Indians for the sake of colonial and imperial nations. There was a tremendous response to his call and the British promptly imprisoned him . He took to a hunger-strike, and after his health deteriorated on the 11th day of fasting, he was freed and was placed under house arrest. The British could do nothing except locking him in the prison.
It was in 1941, that Bose suddenly disappeared. The authorities did not come to know for many days that he was not in his Barrack ) the house in which he was being guarded) He traveled by foot, car and train and resurfaced in Kabul (now in Afghanistan), only to disappear once again. In November 1941, his broadcast from German radio sent shock waves amongst the British and electrified the Indian masses who realized that their leader was working on a master plan to free their motherland. It also gave fresh confidence to the revolutionaries in India who were challenging the British in many ways.
The Axis powers (mainly Germany) assured Bose military and other help to fight the British. Japan by this time had grown into another strong world power, occupying key colonies of Dutch, French, and British colonies in Asia. Bose had struck alliance with Germany and Japan. He rightly felt that his presence in the East would help his countrymen in freedom struggle and second phase of his saga began. It is told that he was last seen on land near Kiel canal in Germany, in the beginning of 1943. A most hazardous journey was undertaken by him under water, covering thousands of miles, crossing enemy territories. He was in the Atlantic, the Middle East, Madagascar and the Indian ocean. Battles were being fought over land, in the air and there were mines in the sea. At one stage he traveled 400 miles in a rubber dingy to reach a Japanese submarine, which took him to Tokyo. He was warmly received in Japan and was declared the head of the Indian army, which consisted of about 40,000 soldiers from Singapore and other eastern regions. Bose called it the Indian National Army (INA) and a government by the name "Azad Hind Government" was declared on the 21st of October 1943. INA freed the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the British and were renamed as Swaraj and Shaheed islands. The Government started functioning.
Bose wanted to free India from the Eastern front. He had taken care that Japanese interference was not present from any angle. Army leadership, administration and communications were managed by Indians only. Subhash Brigade, Azad Brigade and Gandhi Brigade were formed. INA marched through Burma and occupied Coxtown on the Indian Border. A touching scene ensued when the solders entered their 'free' motherland. Some lay down and kissed, some placed pieces of mother earth on their heads, others wept. They were now inside India and were determined to drive out the British! Delhi Chalo (Let's march to Delhi) was the war cry.
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the history of mankind. Japan had to surrender. Bose was in Singapore at that time and decided to go to Tokyo for his next course of action. Unfortunately, the plane he boarded crashed near Taipei and he died in the hospital of severe burns. He was just 48.
He was the man whom the Indians looked upon as their future leader. They never believed that he died in plane crash. Some believe that he is still alive.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Namrata Shirodkar 22-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Namrata Shirodkar"][/caption]
She is the grand-daughter of actress Meenakshi Shirodkar, who starred in Brahmachari (1930s), and was the first actress to wear a swimsuit and gambol in a pool, albeit to depict Lord Krishna bathing in the Holy river Yamuna with his gopis.
In addition she is a model, and has been crowned Miss India in 1993.
Namrata finished amongst the top six at Miss Universe in 1993.
She was also chosen as the 1st runner up for Miss Asia Pacific during 1993.
She is the sister of Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shirodkar. Namrata is affectionately called "Chinoo" by her family and close friends.
Her mom's name is Vanita. She has a niece, Anushka, who was born in London during 2002. She keeps in touch with Shilpa on a regular basis.
Some of her movies include Mere Do Anmol Ratan, Vaastav, Pukar, Hathyar, Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye, Aaghaaz, and Bride & Prejudice.
Namrata and Telugu speaking actor, Mahesh Babu, have been romantically linked for some time now. On February 10, 2005, both Mahesh and Namrata tied the knot at the J.W. Mariot, Bombay, India. They are expecting their first child soon.
Friday, 20 January 2012
Kim Sharma 21-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Kim Sharma"][/caption]
Of her college days, she said 'Having studied in a boarding school, where most of the girls were from aboard, living and studying in Ahmednagar came as a culture shock'. While in her twelfth standard, she decided to quit studies. Her niece used to study in Army Public School of Ahmednagar. As one of the famous faces of Ahmednagar college, she was offered many fashion shows and modeling.
In August 2011 it was revealed that Kim had secretly married a Kenyan businessman named Ali Punjani, who she had been dating for a few weeks.
On a trip to Mumbai, she auditioned for Close-Up toothpaste and was selected. She then appeared in Sunsilk, Pepsi, Tata Safari, Ponds, Fair & Lovely, Clean-n-Clear and Liril advertisements. She is also the brand ambassador of Olay in India.
Sharma caught the eye of producer Aditya Chopra who signed her for his next directorial venture titled Mohabbatein. The film also marked the launch of five other newcomers-Uday Chopra, Jugal Hansraj, Jimmy Shergill, Shamita Shetty and Preeti Jhangiani. Mohabbatein also starred superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It was a huge hit and started Kim's career in Bollywood.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) 19-January
The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was the spiritual leader of the Rajneeshee religious sect headquartered at Rancho Rajneesh in the Central Oregon desert from 1981 to 1985. He attracted hundreds of thousands of red-clad followers from around the world, known as sannyasins. These followers, mostly educated and affluent, followed Rajneesh's teachings which he argued did not reject but rather built on, other religions. Described by reporter David Sarasohn as a “combination of Eastern mysticism…and the Western human potential movement,” the Rajneesh believed that meditation and sexual exploration were essential to spiritual enlightenment.
Born Rajneesh Chandra Mohan in 1931, Rajneesh grew up in Kuchwada in central India. In 1955 he earned a masters degree in philosophy and taught at two universities until 1966. In 1974 he founded an ashram (commune) in Poona (Pune), India where his success as a spiritual leader began. On July 10, 1981, his assistant Ma Anand Sheela, the president of the Rajneesh Foundation International, purchased the 64,000 acre Big Muddy Ranch straddling Wasco and Jefferson Counties in Central Oregon. The Bhagwan renamed it Rancho Rajneesh and moved there in August 1981.
The Rajneeshee developed the city of Rajneeshpuram, whose population was estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 in 1983 and 1984. They also planned a communal farm on the property. As the population of sannyasins increased, so did local resistance. Reports surfaced that Rajneesh was exercising mind control techniques on his followers. To the suspicion of the residents of the nearby town of Antelope, he owned fleets of Rolls Royce cars and private jets, while sannyasins on the commune labored 12 hours each day without monetary compensation. A lengthy struggle between the Rajneesh and their neighbors erupted, attracting the attention of the international press. On September 13, 1985 Sheela, his assistant, fled the commune for Europe amid criminal charges.
Despite Rajneesh's attempts to distance himself from Sheela, the commune collapsed, and on October 28, 1985, he too fled. Arrested when his jet refueled in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rajneesh was tried in Portland on charges of immigration fraud. Immediately after his trial on November 14, Rajneesh left for India and changed his name to Osho. He spent the rest of his life in several countries including Greece and Uruguay. He died on January 19, 1990 in Poona, India where his followers still operate an ashram.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan 18-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan"][/caption]
He was a proud father of Shahenshah of Bollywood Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. He was born in a Kayasath family to Pratap Narayan Shrivastav and Saraswati Devvi. He did his formal schooling from a municipal school and took forward the tradition of family by going to Kayasath Paathshaala for Urdu training. He later pursued his higher studies at Allahbaad University and Banaras Hindu University. During this period he came under influence of Independence Movement, then came under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. After realizing that this is not his forte he went back to college and taught in English Department of Allahbad University, followed by doctoral thesis on W. B. Yeats at Cambridge University. His thesis got him PhD at Cambridge.
In 1926, at the age of 19, Bachchan married his first wife, Shyama, who was then 14 years old. However she died ten years later in 1936 after a long spell of tuberculosis and then married Teji Suri in 1941. They have two sons Amitabh and Ajitabh. In 1955, Harivanshrai shifted to Delhi to join the External Affairs Ministry as an officer on special duty and during the period of 10 years that he served he was also associated with the evolution of Hindi as the official language. He also enriched Hindi through his translations of major writings. As a poet he is famous for his poem Madhushala (a bar selling alcoholic drinks). Besides Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, he will also be remembered for his Hindi translations of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Othello and also the 'Bhagvad Gita'. However in Nov 1984 he wrote his last poem 'Ek November1984' on Indira Gandhi's assassination
Monday, 16 January 2012
Javed Akhtar 17-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="259" caption="Javed Akhtar"][/caption]
His grandfather is looked upon as the milestone in Urdu poetry and is the famous Muzter Khairabadi. Another famous Urdu poet, Majaz, was his mother's brother. Javed Akhtar's generation undoubtedly has an impressive lineage of poets and writers. His parents were also professors at the Hamidia College in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. As a young lad, Javed went to Cambridge School, Bhopal. He graduated from Safiya College, Bhopal in 1964. In his yesteryears, Javed was a radical kid, which is what created a distance between him and his father.
After spending some difficult time in Bhopal for some years, he arrived in Bombay (Mumbai). Popularly known as the city of dreams, every artist definitely tries his luck once in the famous Indian film industry. He got his first major break in the year 1969 in the movie "Seeta aur Geeta". It was on this set that he met Honey Irani and later married her. They had two children, Farhan and Zoya. Farhan Akhtar is a leading producer in the Indian film industry today. He divorced Honey Irani and married Shabana Azmi, the daughter of another famous poet, Kaifi Azmi.
Javed Akhtar excelles as not just a poet but also as a scriptwriter and a song lyricist. He got fame when he collaborated with the famous scriptwriter Salim Khan and they both penned down some unforgettable hits as the duo of Salim-Javed. Both of them delivered some beautiful hits like Zanjeer, Deewar, Haathi Mere Saathi, Don, etc.
The duo parted ways in the year 1981. Since then Javed has worked independently and has scripted many movies. Javed Akhtar won a national award for best lyricist for the hit movie Saaz in the year 1996. This trend carried on for two more years as he won national awards for the movies Border and Godmother in 1997 and 1998 respectively. He has scripted some very hit films like Sagar, Arjun and Betaab. But after a while, he returned back to being a lyricist.
Javed Akhtar has also won 7 Filmfare awards and the government of India has honored with the titles of Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan. He is a multi-talented personality who continues to get rave reviews and awards for his works. His first collection of Urdu poems was released in the year 1995. It was read by millions in both Hindi and Urdu. It was also released as an album and sold many CD's. The famous artist M.F. Hussain is said to have painted around 16 canvases inspired from the poems.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Kabir Bedi 16-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Kabir bedi"][/caption]
Popularly recognized in the West for his role as a villainous 'Gobinda' in the James Bond film, "Octopussy", Kabir also played a pivotal role in the Columbia Pictures' "The Beast of War", a film on the Russian war in Afghanistan. He is best known in Europe for playing a Pirate in "Sandokan", a popular TV mini- series. He also starred in "The Bold and the Beautiful", the second most watched television show in the world.
Kabir Bedi with his deep voice, rare wit and strong persona is known to have hosted a bevy of events, awards shows and corporate shows in India. Recently, he hosted an event for the Government of Madhya Pradesh to mark the thousandth year of the incarnation of the King of Bhopal Raja Bhoj.
Lately, Kabir has also been associated with corporate shows for renowned brands like Serco, Godfrey Phillips and Business India.
Currently, Kabir is working on a Tamil film titled "Aravaan", directed by Vasanthabalan.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Indian Armed Force Day 15-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="318" caption="Indian Armed Force Day"][/caption]
Immediately after India achieved independence, a need arose for the government to manage the welfare of its defence personnel. On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7. The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations. Flag Day gains more significance as it considers that it is the responsibility of the civilian population of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.
The Flag day is mainly observed to serve three basic purposes
- Rehabilitation of battle casualties
- Welfare of serving personnel and their families
- Resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
The Armed Forces Flag Day commemoration and the collection of funds through distribution of flags. It is a time for Indians to express its gratitude and appreciation to the current and veteran military personnel of India and to acknowledge those who died in service to the country.
On the Flag Day all three branches of the Indian armed forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security. Throughout the country small flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services are distributed in return for donations.
Friday, 13 January 2012
Makar Sakranti 14-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Happy Makar Sakranti"][/caption]
n and cessation of the northeast monsoon in South India. The movement of the earth from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the Sun moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makar in Hindi, this occasion is named as Makar Sankranti in the Indian context. It is one of the few Hindu Indian festivals which are celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14th January every year.
Makar Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.
All over the country, Makar Sankranti is observed with great fanfare. However, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals in different parts of the country. In the states of northern and western India, the festival is celebrated as the Sankranti day with special zeal and fervor. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also. So, apart from socio-geographical importance, this day also holds a historical and religious significance. As, it is the festival of Sun God and he is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it.
Thursday, 12 January 2012
Lohri Festival 13-January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Happy Lohri"][/caption]
The day begins with children collecting money from houses in the neighborhood. Children go from door to door singing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi version of Robin Hood who robbed the rich and helped the poor. These "visitors" are given either money or gajak, til bhuga, moong phali, gur and rewri. In the evening, a bonfire is lit, winter savories are served around the bonfire and everyone gathers around it. Munchies, collected from each house, are thrown into the fire.
The festival assumes greater significance if there has been a happy event in the family during the elapsed year, like the birth of a male child or marriage. The family then plays host to relatives and friends, wherein the eateries take a back seat and merry-making takes over. Bhangra, dhol, gidda and light-hearted flirtation rein the overall scenario. Liquor flows freely and guests are served dinner. A popular belief in this region is that if someone seeks a radish roasted in the bonfire lit by a family that has reason to celebrate, then blessings are bestowed on the family of the seeker as well.
Geographically speaking, the earth leans towards the sun along the Tropic of Capricorn (Makara Rekha) from the day following Lohri, also known as Winter Solstice. The earth, farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun along its elliptical orbit, thus heralding in the onset of spring. It is this transition which is celebrated as Lohri in Northern India, as Makara Sankranti in the central part of the country and as Pongal Sankranti in South India.
In South India, the festival is spread over three days and signifies the beginning of harvesting season. A rath yatra is taken out from the Kandaswamy temple in Chennai on Pongal. The day is celebrated as Ganga Sagara in West Bengal. According to a belief, Hindus purify their sins by taking bath in the Ganges. A big fair is also held on the Sagara Island, 64 km from the Diamond Harbor where the Ganga meets the Bay of Bengal.
Call it Lohri, Pongal or Sankranti, the festival conveys the same message that the bond of brotherhood and the spirit of oneness should prevail despite all odds!
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
National Youth Day
In 1984, the Government of India declared and decided to observe the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda (12 January, according to English calendar) as National Youth Day every year from 1985 onwards. To quote from the Government of India's Communication,
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="304" caption="Swami Vivekanand"][/caption]
''it was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.''
Swamij's Birthday according to Indian Almanac (Vishuddha Siddhanta Almanac) is onPausha Krishna Saptami tithi, which falls on different dates of English Calendar every year.
The Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission as well as their branch centres observe the birthday of Swami Vivekananda withmangalarati, special worship,homa, meditation, devotional songs, religious discourses, sandhyarati, etc. on Pausha Krishna Saptami tithi, and as National Youth Day(12 January) with processions, speeches, recitations, music, youth conventions, seminars, Yogasana presentation, competitions in essay-writing, recitations, speeches, music, sports, etc. on 12 January.
Selected Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.
Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one's own feet.
So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.
Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.
If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods, … and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need.
Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance, and with ignorance comes misery.
The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new Gospel.
Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all, love.
Religion is realization; not talk, not doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes.
Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.
Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call uon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.
They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.
This is the gist of all worship – to be pure and to do good to others.
It is love and love alone that I preach, and I base my teaching on the great Vedantic truth of the sameness and omnipresence of the Soul of the Universe.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Rahul Dravid 11 January
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Rahul Dravid"][/caption]
Rahul Sharad Dravid was born on 11th January 1973, in the Indore city of Madhya Pradesh to a Maharashtra family. He has a younger brother Vijay Dravid. His father name is Sharad Dravid and worked as Kissan a well known Jam making company. His mother name is Pushpa Dravid and she was a Professor of Architecture at Bangalore University. He did his schooling form St Joseph Boy’s High School and is a graduate in commerce from St Joseph College of Commerce.
He is married to Vijeta Pendharkar who is a surgeon from Nagpur. He has two son’s Samit and Anvay.
He started his cricket career with Ranji Trophy in which he played for Karnataka against Maharashtra in Pune. He had a good outing in the tournament as was called by South Zone in Duleep Trophy.
He made his International debut in 1996 when he played his first One Day International against Srilanka on April 3, 1996 in Singapore. He made his Test debut against England on June 20, 1996 along with Saurav Ganguly and scored 95 in his first test innings. Though he fell short by 5 runs but he sealed his place in the test squad for the future to come.
He made his maiden test century against South Africa when India toured them in 1996/97. He made his first ODI half century against Pakistan in his 10th match. He also became only the third Indian batsman to score centuries in both innings of a test match.
He was adjudged the Man of the Tournament for the 1999 Cricket World Cup accumulating 461 runs. He was awarded the captaincy of Team India for the 2007 cricket world cup where the team failed to perform. He stepped down from captaincy after that as Mahendra Singh Dhoni succeeded him in ODI and Anil Kumble in tests.
He has not played an ODI since September 2009 but is a regular in Test Cricket.
|Awards And Achievements:||Arjuna award : 1998|
Wisden Cricketer of the Year : 2000
Padma Shri: 2004
ICC Test Player of The Year : 2004
MTV Youth Icon of the Year: 2004
Captain of the ICC's Test Team : 2006
Lal Bahadur Shastri 11 January
The second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a significant figure in the Indian independence movement.
Lal Bahadur was born in Mughal Sarai, United Provinces, British India to Sharada Srivastava Prasad, a school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad, and Ramdulari Devi. When he was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherder's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The cowherder, who had no children, took the child as a gift from God and took him home. Lal Bahadur's parents lodged a complaint with the police, who traced the child, and returned him to his parents.
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His father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother took him and his two sisters to her father's house and settled down there. Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather Hazari Lal's house till he was ten. He studied up to class IV at Railway School Mughalsarai. Since there was no high school in the town, he was sent to Varanasi, where he stayed with his maternal uncle and joined the Harischandra High School. While in Varanasi, Shastri once went with his friends to see a fair on the other bank of the Ganges. On the way back he had no money for the boat fare. Instead of borrowing from his friends, he jumped into the river and swam to the other bank.
As a boy, Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak's verses. He revered Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a speech of Mahatma Gandhi at Varanasi in 1915, he dedicated his life to the service of the country. He also dropped his surname Srivastava as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system. During the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, he joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was aminor. He then enrolled at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. During his four years there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy. Upon completion of his course at Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926, he was given the title Shastri ("Scholar"). The title was a bachelor's degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth, but it stuck as part of his name. He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur. Later he became the President of the Society.
In 16 may 1928, Shastri married Lalita Devi of Mirzapur. In spite of the prevailing hefty dowry tradition, Shastri accepted only a charkha and a few yards of khadi as dowry. In 1930, he threw himself into the freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for two and a half years. Once, while he was in prison, one of his daughters fell seriously ill. He was released for fifteen days, on the condition that he not take part in the freedom movement. However, his daughter died before he reached home. After performing thefuneral rites, he voluntarily returned to prison, even before the expiration of the period. A year later, he asked for permission to go home for a week, as his son had contracted influenza. The permission was given, but his son's illness was not cured in a week. In spite of his family's pleadings, he kept his promise to the jail officers and returned to the prison.
Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha support to the freedom movement. On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech atGowalia Tank in Mumbai, demanding that the British leave India. Shastri, who had just then come out after a year in prison, travelled toAllahabad. For a week, he sent instructions to the freedom fighters from Jawaharlal Nehru's hometown, Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946. Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total. During his stays in prison, he spent time reading books and became familiar with the works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers. He also translated the autobiography of Marie Curie into Hindi.
Monday, 9 January 2012
Hrithik Roshan 10-January
Awards: 4 Filmfare Best Actor Awards, Filmfare Best Male Debut Award, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance
Trivia: Hrithik’s nickname is Duggu.
With the looks of a Greek God and an enticing combination of star quality, Hrithik Roshan comes across as a complete gentleman. He skyrocketed to fame with his acting debut, Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai. His twinkling green eyes, winsome smile, and a lean, chiselled body ensure that Hrithik has a huge fan following.
Roshan was born in Mumbai to a Punjabi Hindu family of cinema personalities. His father, actor and director Rakesh Roshan, is the son of music director Roshan; while his mother, Pinky, is the daughter of producer and director J. Om Prakash. Hrithik has an elder sister, Sunaina. His uncle Rajesh Roshan is a famous music director. As a child, Roshan attended the Bombay Scottish School. He later attended Sydenham College, where graduated in Commerce.
He got a taste of Bollywood as a child, when he appeared in the films Aasha (1980), Aapke Deewane (1980) and Bhagwan Dada (1986). But it was in the year 2000 that Hrithik made his debut as the leading man in the film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, opposite the debutante actress, Amisha Patel. The film was one of the biggest box-office successes of that year. Later that year, Roshan starred in Fiza (2000). Although the film did poorly at the box-office, Hrithik’s performance was praised. His last release that year was Mission Kashmir, where he starred with Sanjay Dutt and Preity Zinta.
Yaadein was his first release in 2001, followed by the melodrama, Kabhi K
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hushi Kabhie Gham, which did extremely well at the box office, becoming the second-highest grossing film of 2001 and the then biggest overseas hit.
Hrithik had an unsuccessful year in 2002 when all three of his releases – Mujhse Dosti Karoge!, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum and Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage – were declared flops.
In 2003, Hrithik made a comeback with the science-fiction film Koi… Mil Gaya, which saw Hrithik play a mentally challenged young man.The film was the highest grosser of the year. Lakshya was Roshan’s only release in 2004; the film did not do well at the box office.However, Hrithik’s performance was praised by critics.
Roshan took a two-year break from acting before resurfacing with the superhero film Krrish, a sequel to his 2003 film Koi… Mil Gaya which released in June 2006. The film was a major box office success. This was followed by the action flick Dhoom 2, the sequel to Dhoom, wherein he played a negative character. His pairing with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the film was liked by the audiences. He got back with Aishwarya for another film, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar (2008).
Roshan then appeared in Luck By Chance (2009), in which he made a guest appearance. The following year, he was seen in Anurag Basu’s Kites along with Mexican actress Bárbara Mori and Kangna Ranaut. The film failed to do well at the box office after taking a huge start and was eventually declared a flop. He next acted in Guzaarish opposite Aishwarya Rai. Upon release, the Hrithik’s portrayal of a quadriplegic patient, Ethan Mascarenhas, received rave reviews.
Hrithik Roshan next film is Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara opposite Katrina Kaif. The actor is also all set to commence the shooting for Karan Johar’s remake of Agneepath, where he is paired opposite Priyanka Chopra.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Farhan Akhtar 9- January
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If there is anybody in Bollywood who is truly versatile, it is Farhan Akhtar! He is not only an ace director, a writer and a producer, but also a dynamic actor. And if that wasn't enough, he is also a singer and lyricist.
Farhan Akhtar has Bollywood running in his veins. He is the son of the famous poet, lyricist, & script writer Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani. His twin sister, Zoya Akhtar, recently made her directorial debut with "Luck By Chance" in 2009, in which Farhan played the main lead.
He hosted "Oye! It's Friday!" on NDTV Imagine, and appeared as a judge on "Nach Baliye" Season 1.
He truly is Bollywood's multi-dimensional personality. This master of all trades promises to deliver much, much more.
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Saeed Jaffrey 8-January
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In the 1960s he made numerous stage appearances and participated in a number of tours. He also started his U.S. television career in these years. He was the director of publicity and advertising for the Government of India in their Tourist Office in the U.S. from 1958 to 1960. His performance in the BBC classic _Gangsters (1975) (TV)_, as "Rafiq" earned him countrywide recognition in the United Kingdom. This was even though he had acted in Theatres and appeared on television previously in the U.K. He started off his film career in the movie The Guru (1969), and since then has made numerous film appearances along with Hollywood stars such as Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan etc. He has, since then, worked with directors of high calibre such as Satyajit Ray, James Ivory, David Lean and Richard Attenborough. He is a member of the Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is known over the world for his impeccable English accent, his dapper style and his catch phrase "My dear boy". They form part of an acting persona that audiences have always found enchanting. He uses his smooth charm to good effect whether he is playing the archetypal oily, corrupt businessman or the kindly, knowing, father like figure. He is the first Asian to have received British and Canadian Academy Award nominations for acting, and is the first ever to be awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama.