Monday, 27 February 2012

National Science Day 28-February

Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodoyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVPSP) (National Council for Science & Technology Communication) of the Ministry of Science and Technologycelebrates National Science day (NSD) to popularise the benefits of scientific knowledge and pratical appropriation.

sircvraman.jpgVarious activities are organized on the day like debates, quiz competitions, exhibitions, lectures, etc., in which college students, school students and teachers too participate.

Every year a different theme is selected and all the forth programmes and activities are based around that theme.

The day is celebrated to honour Nobel laureate Sir C.V. Raman for his invention of the ‘Raman effect’ on 28th February 1928.

Whole nation takes the honour of thanking all the scientists for their remarkable contributions and dedication on this occasion.

The day attracts many young minds and motivates to take up science as their career.

The celebrations of this day include showcasing the country’s competence in the field of science.

Science has played very important role in transforming society. The events on this day reminds the importance of science; thus inspire people of all ages to work in the field of science, engineering andtechnology.

Sir C. V. Raman was honoured with the first prestigious Nobel Award in Physics for the country in 1930. Hence the National Science Day holds great significance for Indian Science and scientific community.

National Science Day brings an opportunity to focus on issues related to science centre stage. The activities organized on the occasion bring public face to face with the issues of great concern. People interact with the science fraternity for mutual benefit.

National Science Day is observed to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people and to accelerate the pace of development. Science has contributed a lot towards welfare of humanity.

Raman Effect

Raman effect or Raman scattering as it is popular known as is an inelastic scattering of a photon.

When light is scattered from an atom or molecule, most photons are elastically scattered with almost the same energy (frequency) and wavelength as the incident photons. But a small fraction of the photons is scattered by excitation. The frequency of scattered photons is lower than the frequency of the incident photons.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chandrashekhar Azad Martyrdom 27 - February

Born: July 23,1906

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="327" caption="Chandrashekhar Azad Martydom"]Chandrashekhar Azad [/caption]

Martyrdom: February 27, 1931
Achievements: Involved in Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore (1928) to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpatrai; formed Hindustan Socialist Republican Association with fellow compatriots Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru.

Chandrashekhar Azad was a great Indian freedom fighter. His fierce patriotism and courage inspired others of his generation to enter freedom struggle. Chandrasekhar Azad was the mentor Bhagat Singh, another great freedom fighter, and along with Bhagat Singh he is considered as one of the greatest revolutionaries that India has produced.

Chandra Shekhar Azad was born on July 23,1906 in Badarka village of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh. His parents were Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagarani Devi.Pandit Sitaram Tiwari was serving in erstwhile estate of Alirajpur (situated in present day Madhya Pradesh) and Chandra Shekhar Azad's childhood was spent in the village Bhabra . On the insistence of her mother Jagrani Devi, Chandra Shekhar Azad went to Kashi Vidyapeeth, Benaras for studying Sanskrit.

Chandrashekhar Azad was deeply troubled by the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar in 1919. In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi launched Non-Cooperation movement, Chandrasekhar Azad actively participated in revolutionary activities. He received his first punishment at the age of fifteen. Chandra Shekhar was caught while indulging in revolutionary activities. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said "Azad" (meaning free). Chandrashekhar Azad was sentenced to fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip the young Chandrasekhar shouted "Bart Mata Kid Jai". From then on Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to known as Chandrashekhar Azad. Chandrashekhar Azad vowed that he would never be arrested by the British police and would die as free man.

After the suspension of non-cooperation movement Chandrashekhar Azad was attracted towards more aggressive and revolutionary ideals. He committed himself to complete independence by any means. Chandrashekhar Azad and his compatriots would target British officials known for their oppressive actions against ordinary people and freedom fighters. Chandrashekhar Azad was involved in Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore (1928) to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpatrai.

Along with Bhagat Singh and other compatriots like Sukhdev and Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HRSA). HRSA was committed to complete Indian independence and socialist principles for India's future progress.

Chandrashekhar Azad was a terror for British police. He was on their hit list and the British police badly wanted to capture him dead or alive. On February 27, 1931 Chandrashekhar Azad met two of his comrades at the Alfred Park Allah bad. He was betrayed by an informer who had informed the British police. The police surrounded the park and ordered Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender. Chandrashekhar Azad fought alone valiantly and killed three policemen. But finding himself surrounded and seeing no route for escape, Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself. Thus he kept his pledge of not being caught alive.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 26-February

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, commonly known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar was a fearless freedom fighter, social reformer, writer, dramatist, poet, historian, political leader and philosopher. He remains largely unknown to the masses because of the vicious propaganda against him and misunderstanding around him that has been created over several decades. This website attempts to bring the life, thought, actions and relevance of Savarkar before a global audience.

Veer Savarkar - A legend

  • The first political leader to daringly set Absolute Political Independence as India's goal (1900).

  • The first Indian political leader to daringly perform a bonfire of foreign (English) clothes (1905).

  • The first Indian to organize a revolutionary movement for India's Independence on an international level (1906).

  • The first Indian law student who was not called to the English Bar despite having passed his examination and observed the necessary formalities, for his activities to seek India's freedom from the British (1909).

  • The only Indian leader whose arrest in London caused legal difficulties for British Courts and whose case is still referred to in the interpretations of the Fugitive Offenders Act and the Habeas Corpus (Rex Vs Governor of Brixton Prison, ex-parte Savarkar)

  • The first Indian historian whose book on the 1857 War of Independence was proscribed by British Authorities in India even before its publication. The Governor General had asked the Postmaster General to confiscate copies of the book six months before the book was officially banned (1909).

  • The first political prisoner whose daring escape and arrest on French soil became a cause celebre in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. This case was mentioned in many International Treaties at that time (1910).

  • The first graduate whose degree was withdrawn by an Indian University for striving for India's freedom (1911).

  • The first poet in the world who, deprived of pen and paper, composed his poems and then wrote them on the prison walls with thorns and nails, memorized ten thousand lines of his poetry for years and later transmitted them to India through his fellow-prisoners who also memorized these lines.

  • The first revolutionary leader who within less than 10 years gave a death-blow to the practice of untouchability in the remote district of Ratnagiri while being interned there.

  • The first Indian leader who successfully started -

    • A Ganeshotsava open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (1930).

    • Interdining ceremonies of all Hindus including ex-untouchables (1931).

    • "Patitpavan Mandir", open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (22 February 1931).

    • A cafe open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (01 May 1933).

  • The first political prisoner in the world who was sentenced to Transportation for Life twice, a sentence unparalleled in the history of the British Empire.

  • The first political leader to embrace death voluntarily by way of Atma Samarpan in the highest tradition of Yoga (1966).

Friday, 24 February 2012

Divya Bharti 25-February

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="207" caption="Divya Bharti"]Divya Bharti[/caption]

Divya Bharti, (born Divya Om Prakash Bharti, February 25, 1974 - April 5, 1993) was a popular Indian film actress in the early 1990s. Divya Bharti was born to parents Meeta and Om Prakash. She left studies to start acting at the age of 16. She made her debut at the age of 16 in a Telugu film called Bobbili Raja (1990) which starred Venkatesh. This movie was dubbed in Hindi as Rampur Ka Raja. Then she starred in Dharma Kshetram, Tholi Madhu and Rowdy Alludu which were also Telugu films and featured superstars Chiranjeevi and Prashanth respectively. She made her Hindi film debut in the 1992 film Vishwatma. The film did not do well at the box office but showcased Divya's talents as an actress. She was most notable for the song used in the film Saat Samundar which was a hit. 1992 saw more of her Hindi films being released including Dil Hi To Hai, Deewana, Shola Aur Shabnam, Dil Aashna Hai, Kshatriya, Jaan Se Pyaara, and Geet. Some of these films were hits and some flopped but her fanbase grew and she was the leading actress of 1992 having received the Filmfare Lux New Face Award that same year. She secretly married Bollywood film producer Sajid Nadiadwala in May 1992 but kept the marriage a secret due to family problems because of her being a Hindu and him being a Muslim and also to safeguard her promising movie career. After marriage she converted into Islam with her new name being Sana Nadiadwala. On April 5, 1993, she fell to her death off a 5-storey apartment building in Mumbai tragically ending a potentially successful career. The circumstances behind her death were considered suspicious by the media; however, despite an investigation, police found nothing. To this day her death remains a mystery. Some sources believe she was pushed, others say she accidentally fell off and some say she was drunk and this caused her to fall. Her two final films Rang and Shatranj were released after her death and dedicated to her memory. Her husband Sajid Nadiadwala continues to dedicate all his produced films in her memory to this day.

Shahid Kapoor 25-February

Shahid's rise to stardom reads like a bollywood script: from a struggler to a winner. With his hard work, perseverance and sincerity, he has written his own destiny.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="304" caption="Shahid Kapoor"]Shahid Kapoor[/caption]

Shahid is a mine of unabashed talent and spark, beneath his calm and innocent veneer. Shahid Kapoor is young and vibrant, with a magnetic charm and easy going candour that sets him apart from the rest. His debut performance as the young and carefree boy-next-door in "Ishk Vishk" was not only applauded but also awarded the Filmfare Best MaleDebut. Shahid does justice to his characters each time, be it the sensitive 'Aditya' in "Jab We Met" or the two diametric opposite characters of 'Charlie' and 'Guddu' in "Kaminey" - he stops at nothing short of perfection! Shahid's unique style and the ease with which he can handle a range of characters, from the dramatic to the emotional, leave nothing to be wished for! His ability to switch modes from young and restless, to mature and responsible, bespeaks the confidence of a veteran. In fact, he can boast of having delivered 4 super hits: "Vivah", "Jab We Met", "Kaminey" and "Badmaash Company".

Shahid's prowess as an artist does not end here; his talent is multi-dimensional. Not only is he an ace actor and entertainer, but also, his energy and spontaneity as a dancer holds you in a spell.

Shahid is young, yet dependable, with a genuine sincerity about him. He has just the right amount of boyish charisma and dynamism! Being a popular youth-icon and opinion-maker, he holds the baton of marquee brands like Clear Shampoo, Vaseline Men's Skincare range, Pioneer car stereos and Elf Moto.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

J. Jayalalithaa 24-February

Jayalalithaa Jayaram (born 24 February 1948, and commonly referred to as J. Jayalalitha), is

J. Jayalalithaa


the Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. She was a popular film star in Indian cinema before her entry into politics, having appeared in many Tamil and Telugu films, as well as several produced in Hindi and Kannada. She is the incumbent general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(AIADMK). She is called Amma ('Mother') and Puratchi Thalaivi ('Revolutionary Leader') by her followers.

Although there have been claims that Jayalalithaa was introduced to politics by Ramachandran, she has denied this. She was a member of the Rajya Sabha elected from Tamil Nadu during the period of 1984–89. Soon after the death of Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa proclaimed herself as his political heir.[2][3] She is the first elected female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa was born into a Tamil Iyengar family on 24 February 1948 at Melukote, in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, Karnataka. In accordance with Iyengar custom[citation needed] she was given two names, thus her other name is Komalavalli. Her grandfather was in the service of the then Mysore kingdom as a surgeon, and the prefix Jaya (the victorious) was added to the names of various of her family members to reflect their association with Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar of Mysore.

Jayalalithaa’s father died at her age of two. Her mother then moved to Bangalore, where her parents lived, with Jayalalithaa. Her mother eventually began to work as an actress in Tamil cinema, based in Chennai, having taken the screen name of Sandhya. While in Bangalore, Jayalalithaa attended Bishop Cotton Girls' High School. She completed her childhood education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School (popularly known as Church Park Presentation Convent or Presentation Church Park Convent) in Chennai. She excelled at school and was offered a government scholarship to pursue further education. She appears not to have accepted the admission offered to her at Stella Maris College, Chennai.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bhaagyashree 23-February

Bhagysshree was born in a royal, though very conservative Marathi-speaking, Patwardhan family on February 23, 1969. Her father is the former Maharaja of Sangli, whose qualifications include MBA and LLB. Since her childhood she was taught Sanskrit, as her dad recites Slokas.

She was contemplating going overseas to pursue her studies in Management, when Sheela, the former wife of actor/film-maker, Amol Palekar, approached her to act in a television serial 'Kaachi Dhoop', which she accepted. The TV serial proved to be very popular, and as a result she also ended up appearing in 'Honi Anhonee', and 'Kisse Miya Biwi Ke'.

The popularity of this charming, beautiful Piscean with an innocent fresh face got her the lead in Sooraj Barjatya's 'Maine Pyar Kiya', opposite Salman Khan, which went on to be a blockbuster. She also ended up starring in a total of 6 movies: 2 from Bangladesh, 2 in Kannada, and 2 in Telugu. The change in language did not prove to be a challenge as languages in India are based in Sanskrit and this is where her childhood education came to her aid.

'Maine Pyar Kiya' could have been an ideal step to popularity, but shortly after its release, Bhagyashree decided to get married to her boyfriend, Himalay Dassani.

She conditionally offered to act in movies provided a lead role was provided to Himalay. She did star with him in three movies 'Qaid Main Hai Bulbul', 'Tyaagi', and 'Paayal', but all three failed at the box office.

She then turned her attention to her family, and soon became the mother of two children. She gives priority to her family and will only work 15 days a month.

She did a come-back to the small screen with with a TV serial in which she played the role of a mature politician. She also appeared in a TV commercial for Parag Sarees.

She made a special appearance in 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye', and 'Janani'.

This suave and gentle young woman is also involved in 'Kagaz Ki Kashti' which is being produced by her husband for the small screen, and is to be aired on Sahara One.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sooraj R. Barjatya 22-February

Barjatya was born in Mumbai. He attended The Scindia School in Gwalior. Encouraged by his paternal grandfather Tarachand Barjatya, he directed his first film Maine Pyar Kiya for Rajshri at the young age of 24. He is married to Vineeta. He has three children Devaansh, Avnish and Eesha.
He made his directorial debut with Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) starring Salman Khan which was a huge box office hit and launched both his and Salman's careers. He teamed up with Salman again for Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) which became one of the highest all-time blockbusters and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999) which was a huge hit as well.

His fourth film, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, and Abhishek Bachchan, was the first film directed by him to fail at the box office. He bounced back with his latest film Vivah (2006) starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao, which has proved to be one of the biggest blockbusters in his career. He has named the lead actor of all his movies 'Prem'.

He is a trendsetter and ushered in an era of family based themes in Indian Cinema. Many successful young directors incorporated aspects from his vision into their films. At a time when video piracy and satellite TV channels threatened the survival of the Indian film industry, his films instilled a new lease of life by bringing viewers back to cinema halls.

Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Sooraj Barjatya's two consecutive blockbusters are still placed among the top ten most successful films of the last 80 years.

Vivah, Sooraj Barjatya's latest film proved to be one of the biggest grossers of 2006, having celebrated a silver jubilee run at 25 centers across the country. The film was nominated for more than 15 awards.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Maha Shivratri 20-February

Mahashivratri (also known as Shivaratri) is a Hindu festival dedicated to Shiva, who destroys the universe, one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Maha Shivratri"]Maha Shivratri[/caption]

Night and day

While most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, Mahashivratri is celebrated during the night and day that come just before the new moon.

Each new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but Mahashivratri is especially important because it is the night when he danced the 'Tandav', his cosmic dance.

It also celebrates the wedding of Shiva and Sati, the mother divine. Night represents evil, injustice, ignorance, sin, violence, and misfortune.

Tradition says that Shiva, like his symbol the new moon, appeared in order to save the world from darkness and ignorance, before the world entered complete darkness.

The festival

Devotees of Shiva observe a fast during Mahashivratri and stay up all night at a place of worship.

Shiva is offered special food made from the fruits of the season, root vegetables, and coconuts, during ritual worship.

Those who observe the Mahashivratri fast only break their fast the next morning, and eat the prasad (food offerings) offered to Shiva.
 Devotees at the templeDevotees at the temple©

Young girls observe the fast and worship Shiva so that he may bless them with good husbands. They sing devotional songs in praise of the lord, and holy texts are chanted throughout the night.

The pandits in the temples perform thepuja (religious worship) according to the scriptures. This is done four times during the night.

In temples, Shiva linga - the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva - is worshipped. Devotees flock to the temples to perform the ritual of bathing the Shiva linga.

It is bathed with milk, water and honey, and then anointed with sandalwood paste, and decorated with flowers and garlands.

The legend of Lubdhaka

The legend surrounding the festival of Mahashivratri says that Lubdhaka, a poor tribal man and a devotee of Shiva, once went into the deep forests to collect firewood.

At nightfall, he became lost and could not find his way home.
Shiva sitting in the lotus positionShiva ©

In the darkness, Lubdhaka climbed a bel tree, and sought safety and shelter in its branches until dawn.

All night, he could hear the growls of tigers and wild animals, and was too frightened to leave the tree.

In order to keep himself awake, he plucked one leaf at a time from the tree and then dropped it, while chanting the name of Shiva.

By sunrise, he had dropped thousands of leaves on to a Shiva lingam, which he had not seen in the darkness. Lubdhaka's all-night worship pleased Shiva.

By the grace of Shiva the tigers and wild animals went away, and Lubdhaka not only survived but was rewarded with 'divine bliss'.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Shivaji Jayanti 19-February

Shivaji Jayanti or the birthday of Shivaji Maharaj is celebrated on a majestic scale in Maharashtra. Shivaji was born on 19th February, 1627. His parents Jijabai and Shahaji Bhonsle named him Shivaji after local Goddess Shivai. Shivaji was the creator of the Maratha nation. He was instrumental in uniting the Maratha chiefs of Mayal, Konkan and Desh regions. His military and civil administration was of greatest importance. He was successful in carving out a small kingdom by defeating the alien powers.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="217" caption="Shivaji Jayanti"]Shivaji Jayanti[/caption]

Chatrapati Shivaji is a hero not only for the people of Maharashtra but for those of India as well.
On the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti several processions are taken out and people dress up like Shivaji and his associates. The birthday is celebrated on a huge scale and various programmes remembering the achievements of the great ruler are organized.

History of Shivaji

Early days

Shivaji was born on 19th Februray, 1627, in Shivneri Fort, 60 kms north of Pune. He was named after the local Goddess Shivai, to whom his mother prayed for a son. His father Shahaji Bhosle was the chief of the kingdom of Bijapur. He was however, not allowed to take charge of any fort. His mother had a great influence on him as he was introduced to Indian epics of Mahabharata, Ramayana and other holy books by her. Shivaji also gained a lot of knowledge from his father’s unsuccessful attempts to gain power. He was inspired by his father military tactics, peacetime diplomacy and also possessed knowledge of Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures.


His administration

Shivaji grew into a fearless military leader with trainings from commanders like Gomaji Naik and Baji Pasalkar. Young Shivaji was motivated, enthusiastic and energetic. In his early days he was successful in inspiring local youths to follow his idealistic pursuits.  At the age of 17, he attacked and captured Torna Fort of Bijapur and by 1647 he took control of Kondana and Raigad Forts. The Western Ghats along the Konkan Coast were also under his control by 1654.

His achievements

In order to sabotage Shivaji’s rise to power, Adilshah arrested Shahji, his father by deceitful means and had armies sent against Shivaji and his elder brother Sambaji. To suppress Shivaji’s control of the Bijapur kingdom, Afzal Khan was sent to destroy Shivaji.  However, with his cunning means, Shivaji successfully stabbed Afzal Khan. Eventually Bijapur’s armies were routed in the famous Battle of Pratapgarh in 1659 and Shivaji turned into a hero of the Marathas. Now, under the confident leadership of Shivaji, the Marthas successfully pushed back the Mughals and the Sultanate kingdowms from his homeland.

The Mughals also fought against Shivaji led by Shaista Khan under Aurangazeb. However, Shivaji lost many men against a well trained and disciplined Mughal army.  Shivaji felt the need of finance to maintain an army and decided to loot the Mughal city of Surat. The Mughal emperor then sent Jai Singh to defeat Shivaji. After a few skirmishes, he thought it wise to accept the emperor’s soverignity. But he was soon placed under house arrest in Agra. Using tact and intelligence, Shivaji successfully escaped from Agra and hid in his homeland and kept a low profile for some time. Shivaji gradually rebuild his empire and within six months was able to recover much of his lost ground.

Shivaji extended his empire further south to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In order to regain one of his forts, Kondana, he appointed his most trusted general Tanaji Malusare. The battle that followed between the Marathas and the Mughals came to be known as the Maratha war of Independence where the Marathas were successful in regaining the control of the fort.

Chatrapati Shivaji

Shivaji was formally coronated Chatrapati in 1674 in Raigad fort and henceforth came to be known as Chatrapati Shivaji. Shivaji died in 1680 but not before leaving an indelible mark on the history pages. He laid the foundation of a Hindu empire which lasted for over two centuries. Shivaji has been a source of inspiration and pride for generations for his courage and military acumen.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Sri Ramakrishna 18-February

 Sri Ramakrishna, who was born in 1836 and passed away in 1886, represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. He reached a depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="298" caption="Shri Ramakrishna"]Shri Ramakrishna[/caption]

Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Sri Ramakrishna, as a silent force, influences the spiritual thought currents of our time. He is a figure of recent history and his life and teachings have not yet been obscured by loving legends and doubtful myths. Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. In him, deepest spirituality and broadest catholicity stood side by side. The God-man of nineteenth-century India did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation. His message was his God-consciousness. When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power. At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and skepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honored teachings of all the prophets and saviors of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation. Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine personality, people flocked to him from far and near -- men and women, young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest manifestation of his own ideal. By coming near him the impure became pure, the pure became purer, and the sinner was transformed into a saint. The greatest contribution of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world is his message of the harmony of religions. To Sri Ramakrishna all religions are the revelation of God in His diverse aspects to satisfy the manifold demands of human minds. Like different photographs of a building taken from different angles, different religions give us the pictures of one truth from different standpoints. They are not contradictory but complementary. Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths." The paths vary, but the goal remains the same. Harmony of religions is not uniformity; it is unity in diversity. It is not a fusion of religions, but a fellowship of religions based on their common goal -- communion with God. This harmony is to be realized by deepening our individual God-consciousness. In the present-day world, threatened by nuclear war and torn by religious intolerance, Sri Ramakrishna's message of harmony gives us hope and shows the way. May his life and teachings ever inspire us.








Swami Adiswarananda


Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Vasudev Balwant Phadke 17-February

Vasudev Balwant Phadke is a personality whose name struck fear in the hearts of the British as well as unfair moneylenders at the beginning of the 19th century. As a leading revolutionary, he led the raid on the houses of the moneylenders who grabbed the hard earned meagre earnings of the poor during the famine, and utilised the loot in shaping an armed revolution.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Vasudev Balvant Phadke"]Vasudev Balvant Phadke[/caption]

He was the grandson of Anant Ramchandra Phadke, a sentinel of the Karnala Fort in Shirdhon. In the absence of schooling facilities in Shirdhon at that time, Vasudevrao completed his schooling in Kalyan and later came to Mumbai and Pune for his higher studies. Here, he achieved a command over the English language. But since he wasn’t interested in working, he left high school without appearing for the final examination. Around this time, the mutiny of 1857 began. A number of incidents of this period were to influence Vasudevrao deeply.

Vasudevrao was married in February 1860. He was forced to work due to adverse financial circumstances. He first worked in the Military Accounts department, and later in Grant Medical College. He fell ill during this period and was notified by the doctor that the weather in Mumbai did not suit his constitution. He thus shifted to Pune for work. While here, on learning of his mother’s illness, he applied for leave to visit his mother. In spite of the refusal, he left Pune to visit his mother in Shirdhon only to find that she had passed away. This was the first flint of dissatisfaction that was etched in his mind. The next year too, his leave application to visit his village for his mother’s Shraddha, was refused. Morosely, he decided to seek retribution.

Speeches by Justice Ranade on Swadeshi made a lasting impression on Vasudevrao, kindling the flames of patriotism even more in him. He began travelling to give speeches to promote theSwadeshi movement. At around the same time he also started his spiritual practice. He had the good fortune to be amidst Akalkot Swami for a while.

After realizing that mere speeches were not sufficient media for achieving freedom and that it was necessary to influence students from a tender age, he established the Pune Native Institute in 1874. Later he established the Bhave School in Pune through this and thus set the foundation for the nation’s education.

Meanwhile, famine had struck Maharashtra. All water sources had dried up; villages emptied out; carcasses were simply left behind for the dogs and the vultures for there was no money for the final rites of the dead. To add to this natural calamity was an epidemic of small pox and an endless harassment by the British. All this made Vasudevrao resolve to fight against the existing British government. During the period, he picked up skills like Danpatta, use of arms, wrestling and horse riding from Lahuji Vastad.

He brought together the Ramoshi community around this time. The community was mostly in charge of guarding the forts. But since the British had destroyed the forts, this community had become nomadic. By organising the Ramoshi and the Bhil community (another tribe), he began preparing for an armed assault. He would raid the houses of the moneylenders who became rich by fleecing the poor. As a source of funds for the freedom movement, he would initially request them for the money, promising to return it; but on being refused, he would just loot them. On this basis he unfurled the flag of his crusade for the first time on 23 February 1879, in the village of Dhamari. He continued his crusade systematically for the next four-five years mostly in the districts of Pune and Satara. This crusade made Phadke notorious in London too. During this crusade he also published an anti-British manifesto.

The British Government appointed Major Daniel to handle him. The Major traversed almost half of Maharashtra in his attempt to capture Phadke. Later, he went underground for sometime in the village Ganagapur and worked under the alias KashikarBua. He had continued his spiritual practice. Here he brought together the Rohila tribe, and using their leased army, he tried to continue his fight against the British. The British made many attempts to capture Phadke using every means at hand, taking the help of betrayers or the local police at times. He was finally captured in Kadalgi, between Belgaum and Kolhapur. He was imprisoned in Eden in January 1880 for life.

While in prison, he was given water in a leather container. He raised his voice against this too, as his religion prohibited him to consume anything associated with animals. As punishment, he was given the hard work of pushing the oil mill to filter out 25 pounds of oil. Even in all of this, he attempted to escape. On 12 October 1880, he managed to break free and escape, only to be caught again soon. He was now sent into solitary confinement. Here, he was ravaged by tuberculosis, which finally took his life.

Through the means of armed revolution, and by bringing the social masses together, taking the fight to the British, Vasudevrao’s feats in the freedom struggle seemed almost akin to those ofChhatrapati Shivaji. Innumerable revolutionaries and freedom fighters, inspired by his work and sacrifice, took the freedom struggle ahead in their own right.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Randhir Kapoor 15-February

Randhir Kapoor is one of the most influential men in Bollywood apart being the head of RK Studios in Chembur, Bombay - a studio that was started by his legendary father - the showman Raj Kapoor.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Randhir Kapoor"]Randhir Kapoor[/caption]

He was born in Bombay on February 15, 1947, in this Punjabi-speaking family, to be the first son to Raj and mom, Krishna. His nickname is Daboo.

He first made an appearance on the silver screen and was credited as 'Master Daboo' in 'Do Ustad (1959)' which starred his father and Madhubala in the lead roles.

Subsequently, he made his rather dramatic entry into Bollywood in 'Kal Aaj Aur Kal' - a movie that was released in 1971 and starred three generations of the Kapoor family, namely his grand-dad, Prithviraj, a legend unto himself, his dad, Raj, as well as his college sweetheart and to-be wife, Babita, an actress in her own right, the daughter of actor, Hari Shivdasani, and cousin of popular actress Sadhana Shivdasani.

This movie went on to be hit, followed closely by two more subsequent hits 'Raampur Ka Lakshman' and 'Jawani Diwani'. His other well-known movies include 'Mama Bhanja', 'Chacha Bhatija', 'Khalifa', 'Haath Ki Safai', 'Biwi O Biwi'. His career spanned from 1971 through to 1986 with 'Khazana'. He made a come-back in 'Mother' in 1999; in 2003 with 'Armaan'; and 'Housefull' which was released during the year 2010.

As he achieved moderate success as an actor, he turned to producing and directing movies, which included 'Henna' in 1991 which starred his younger brother, Rishi, and Pakistani actress, Zeba Bakhtiar. This resulted in a trip to Pakistan, where he was treated royally by the then Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif, who turned out to be a fan of his dad. He also directed 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili', which introduced Mandakini to Bollywood.

Randhir belongs to a well-known Bollywood family, with most of it's members being famous stars of the silver screen, including his paternal uncles, Shammi, Shashi, Shashi's wife, Jennifer Kendall; his brother, Rishi and his wife Neetu Singh; and another brother, Rajiv. He has two sisters, Ritu and Reema. Ritu is married to the Nanda family and is the mother-in-law of Shweta, the daughter Bollywood mega-star Amitabh Bachchan; his cousins, Shashi's sons, have also achieved considerable recognition and success in Bollywood, while his nephew, Ranbir', is also an actor in his own right.

Randhir married Sindhi-speaking Babita during the year 1971 and their first daughter, Karisma, was born on 25th June 1974. Their second and last child, Kareena, was born on 21st September 1980. As Babita wanted her daughters to follow in her footsteps, leading to considerable strife in their relationship, and ultimately leading to a separation, with both his daughters moving out with their mother.

Randhir had arranged Karisma's marriage with Amitabh Bachchan's son, Abhishek, followed by an engagement, which was unfortunately broken. Karisma went on to get married to Delhi-based Sanjay Kapur in 2003.

During 2007, the couple patched-up their differences especially in the light of the fact that both their daughters had achieved considerable fame and success.

It was also during the year 2007 that he appeared on a popular TV show 'Koffee With Karan' along with his sister, Rima; his brothers, as well as sister-in-law, Neetu Singh.

He became a grandfather on 11 March 2005 and 12 March 2010 when Karishma gave birth to Samaira and Kiaan respectively.

While not being overly active in neither film-making nor acting, Randhir is still the head of RK Studios, a part of which has been converted into a museum with mementos of his family's movies.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Madhubala 14-February

Arguably the most beautiful artiste to ever grace the Indian screen, Madhubala rose from humble beginnings to become the most captivating star India has ever produced. Madhubala was born Mumtaz Jehan Begum on Valentine's Day 1933, in a poor, conservative family of Pathan Muslims in Delhi, a part of a prolific brood of sisters, and entered the world of films at the tender age of eight. After about five years of playing child roles, Madhubala got her first break in a lead role in Neel Kamal (1947), produced anddirected by her mentor, veteran filmmaker Kidar Sharma. At the age of 14, she played a romantic lead against another fledgling star, Raj Kapoor, and Madhubala had finally arrived on the Indian screen. Over the next two years she had blossomed into a truly rapturous beauty (which earned her the sobriquet of the Venus Of the Indian Screen) and with the movie Mahal (1949), literally overnight, she was a superstar.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Madhubala"]Madhubala[/caption]

It has been often said that her beauty overshadowed her acting talents, which to an extent is true; however this was more due to poor judgement than lack of talent. Being encumbered by a large family to support, and forever living under the domination of an imperious father who, she made several poor choices in movies which seriously undermined her credibility as a serious performer, to the extent of being labelled "box-office poison". However, her more or less dismal repertoire in the 50s was marked by spots of true brilliance - movies like Tarana (1951), Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955) and of course her swansong Mughal-E-Azam (1960) showcased her remarkable talents as a serious artiste across several genres and revealed what this ethereal beauty was truly capable of.

Sadly, she was plagued by a persistent heart disease that confined her to a bed for almost nine torturous years, and eventually claimed her life on February 23 1969, nine days after her 36th birthday. In this short life, she had made over 70 movies, and to this day remains one of the most enduring legends of Indian cinema.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sarojini Naidu 13-February

She was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="153" caption="Sarojini Naidu"]Sarojini Naidu[/caption]

Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time. She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879. Her father Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist and philosopher. He was the founder of the Nizam College, Hyderabad. Sarojini Naidu's mother Barada Sundari Devi was a poetess and used to write poetry in Bengali. Sarojini Naidu was the eldest among the eight siblings. One of her brothers Birendranath was a revolutionary and her other brother Harindranath was a poet, dramatist, and actor.

Sarojini Naidu was a brilliant student. She was proficient in Urdu, Telugu, English, Bengali, and Persian. At the age of twelve, Sarojini Naidu attained national fame when she topped the matriculation examination at Madras University. Her father wanted her to become a mathematician or scientist but Sarojini Naidu was interested in poetry. She started writing poems in English. Impressed by her poetry, Nizam of Hyderabad, gave her scholarship to study abroad. At the age of 16, she traveled to England to study first at King's College London and later at Girton College, Cambridge. There she met famous laureates of her time such as Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse. It was Gausse who convinced Sarojini to stick to Indian themes-India's great mountains, rivers, temples, social milieu, to express her poetry. She depicted contemporary Indian life and events. Her collections "The golden threshold (1905)", "The bird of time (1912)", and "The broken wing (1912)" attracted huge Indian and English readership.

At the age of 15, she met Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu and fell in love with him. a non-brahmin, and a doctor by profession. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she married him during the time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed. It was a revolutionary step but Sarojini's father fully supported her in her endeavour. Sarojini Naidu had a happy married life and had four children: Jayasurya, Padmaj, Randheer, and Leilamani.

Sarojini Naidu joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She came into contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, C.P.Rama Swami Iyer, Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru. She awakened the women of India. She brought them out of the kitchen. She traveled from state to state, city after city and asked for the rights of the women. She re-established self-esteem within the women of India.

In 1925, Sarojini Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Kanpur. Sarojini Naidu played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhiji and other leaders. In 1942, Sarojini Naidu was arrested during the "Quit India" movement and was jailed for 21 months with Gandhiji. She shared a very warm relationship with Gandhiji and used to call him "Mickey Mouse".

After Independence, Sarojini Naidu became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She was India's first woman governor. Sarojini Naidu died in office on March 2 ,1949.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Pran 12-February

Pran was born in a very wealthy Delhi-based Sikand family on February 12, 1920. His dad, Kewal Krishan Sikand was a renowned civil contractor, Kalsi bridge in Dehra Dun was just one of his projects.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="310" caption="Pran"]Pran[/caption]

As a child he had studied in Meerut, Kapurthala, Unao, Dehra Dun, & Rampur. He is very fond of dogs, and has always had a dog for a pet since his childhood to date.

He wanted to become a professional photographer and joined A. Das & Co. as an apprentice, for which he re-located to Simla.

It was in Simla that he landed his very first role as an actor, albeit on stage with Madan Puri, and played the role of Sita in 'Ramleela'. He went to star in a Punjabi movie 'Yamla Jat' as a villain. Ironically his foray into Hindi movies started as a hero in 'Khandaan' opposite actress Noor Jehan.

After 1948 he re-located to Bombay and launched his career in Bollywood with 'Ziddi'. In this manner 'villainous Pran' was born and went on to star in over 270 films, often as a villain, then in character roles, and is now unofficially called 'Villain of the Millenium'.

He married Shukla in 1945, and both became parents of Arvind, who was born on August 11, 1946. Subsequently they also gave birth to Sunil and Pinky. All three are now married, while Arvind, married to Chitra, is doing business in London, and is the father of two; Sunil is married to Jyoti & has a son; Pinky is married to Vivek Bhalla, and has two children. The names of Pran's grandchildren are Yuvraj Bhalla, Siddharth Sikand, Arjun Sikand, Swati Bijlani, and Sunaina Anand.

He states that he is satisfied with his life so much so that if he were re-born he would like to be Pran all over again.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tina Munim 11-February

Tina was born in a Gujarati-speaking family in Bombay on February 11, 1955. The Munim family used to live in Bhuleshwar.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="254" caption="Tina Munim"]Tina Munim[/caption]

Tina shot into fame during the year 1978 when she represented India at the International Teen Contest in Aruba. She won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Bikini awards.Pretty, very photogenic, she was discovered by Dev Anand who cast her as his leading lady in Des Pardes and gave two more back to back super-hits opposite Tina. These 3 films went on to become blockbusters, making Tina a household name. Tina then got opportunity to work with Superstar Rajesh Khanna in 7 released films opposite him of which six are super-hits and plus 3 more hits, where Tina was not paired opposite him. She fell in love with him and their affair lasted from 1980-87.

As her career was going nowhere fast after her breakup with Rajesh Khanna in 1987, she re-located to California for completing her studies, then returned back home in 1991, got married to multi-billionaire industrialist, Anil Ambani. She has two sons, Anmol and Anshul.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dr. Kumar Vishwas 10-February

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="384" caption="Dr. Kumar Vishwas"]Dr. Kumar Vishwas[/caption]

Kumar Vishwas is a famous Hindi poet. He was born on 10th February 1970 in Pikhuwa, Gaziabad in Uttar Pradesh state. His parents are Dr. Chandra Pal Sharma and Rama Sharma. His father worked as a lecturer at R. S. S. Degree College at Pikhuwa which is affiliated to the Chaudhary Charan Singh University at Meerut. He is the youngest of four brothers and a sister. He did his schooling at Lala Ganga Sahay School and completed his intermediate from Rajputana Regiment Inter College and finished his post graduation in Hindustan Literature.

His father wanted him to be an engineer. But he loved poetry from his childhood days. He started his career as a professor in the year 1994 from Rajasthan and has been teaching Hindi Literature for higher class students for last sixteen years. He has participated in a number of Kavi Sammelan and has number of fans in his social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and Twitter. His videos are published in YouTube and are viewed by millions of people all over the world. He is very popular among the youths.

He has written the University Anthem of Chaudhary Charan Singh University which is called as Kul-Geet. He has an active participation in the India against corruption mission of Social Leader Anna Hazare. He had performed Kavi Sammelan in IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi, B. J. Medical College Ahmadabad, Sri Ram Murti Smarak College of Engineering and Technology, Bareilly, NSIT Delhi, Jawaharlal University, Delhi, IIM Lucknow, NIT Trichy, BITS Pilani, IET Lucknow and many other institutions across India.

He has also performed in many other countries like USA, Dubai, Muscat, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Nepal, etc. He received Sahitya Shree Award in 2006 by Hindi-Punjabi Award Academy, Kavya-Kumar award by Dr. Kunwar Baichain Kavya Samman Avam Puruskaar Samiti, etc.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Rahul Roy 9-February

Rahul Roy was born on 9 Feb 1968 in New Delhi, India. He has a twin, Rohit, who is 26 minutes older than Rahul.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Rahul Roy"]Rahul Roy[/caption]

Rahul dated some gorgeous women like Pooja Bhatt, Manisha Koirala, and Kamal Sidhu. He is now wed to a model, Rajalaxmi.
Rahul Roy met overnight success when he landed the lead role in Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui (1990) opposite another newbie, Anu Agarwal. He received many offers and had a successful run with the release of films like Sapne Sajan Ke (1992), Janam (1992), and Junoon (1992). The latter saw him morphing into a vicious tiger. He seen as Rahul in the made-for-television film, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi (1993). The film saw him in love with a disturbed woman, played by Pooja Bhatt. It was based on Mahesh Bhatt’s own life. Many of the films he acted in were never completed and the ones which were released didn’t do well at the box office. He acted in films like: Megha (1996), Achanak (1998), Tune Mera Dil Le Liya (2000), and Naughty Boy (2006). He even tried his hand at directing with Mera Juta Hai Japani but the film was shelved when its producer passed away. Rahul was appeared on television in the reality show Bigg Boss (2006), which he won. His adjacent film is Tanvir Ahmad’s Ada (2009)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Jagjit Singh 8-February

Jagjit Singh is one of the most famous Ghazal singers of the modern times. In an era where the current generation is headed towards rock and hip hop music, it is refreshing to see them cherish Jagjit Singh ghazals as well. Born in Ganganagar located in Rajasthan on 8th February, 1941, the name Jagjit means the one who triumphs over the world. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a Government official and his mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur had a religious family background. He has four sisters and two brothers and is fondly addressed as "Jeet" by his family. Check out this biography of Jagjit Singh, which captures his intriguing life history.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="267" caption="Jagjit Singh"]Jagjit Singh[/caption]

Jagjit Singh studied at Khalsa High School located in Ganganagar. After completing his matriculation, he took up science. He graduated in Arts from DAV College located in Jalandhar and has a post graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University, Haryana. His father wanted him to join the Indian Administrative Services. But when he saw his son achieving accolades in the world of music, he was more than happy. Jagjit learnt classical music under Pundit Chaganlal Sharma and achieved expertise in classical forms like Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad.

He moved to Bombay in the year 1965 searching for better luck in the field of music. Any budding artist faces initial struggles and tribulations before finally making an indelible mark in the industry. He got assignments that were limited to performing at wedding functions and singing jingles for advertisements. Around 1970's, the world of ghazals was dominated by renowned names like Noor Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan. Jagjit Singh made the efforts to come with his first album titled "The Unforgettables", which was a collection of semi-classical Indian music. The different melody and freshness in Jagjit's voice appealed to all and he was recognized by the industry. Though he was scorned by many critics, it did not deter him from carving a nice for himself. The album sold numerous copies and was a hit with listeners.

While Jagjit Singh was still doing jingles for advertisements during the initial years, he met another singer named Chitra. They got married after a two year long courtship in the year 1969. Together, they exemplified the first successful husband-wife singing team. They both produced numerous soulful and melodic Ghazals which were enjoyed by a wider audience. Some of the popular albums of the couple were Ecstasies, A Sound Affair and Passions.

During the early 90's, they released an album named Beyond Time, which was an experimentation with different sounds and music. It conveyed a feeling that was beyond space and time and logical explanation. Sadly, around this time, their only son Vivek met with an accident and died at the young age of twenty one. It was a huge jolt for the couple and also all their fans and well wishers all over the world. After the album "Someone Somewhere", Chitra quit singing. The songs are emotionally very powerful and moving since they connect with the personal loss of the couple.

However, Jagjit Singh continued to sing and his songs have only gained more popularity with each passing day. His later albums named Hope, In Search, Insight, Mirage, Visions, Kahkashan (Galaxy), Love Is Blind, Chirag (Lamp), etc. have made him the top Ghazal singer in the country and a favorite among fans. An album with Lata Mangeshkar named "Sajda" (Offering) was a hit and sold innumerable copies. It was a classic Ghazal album. Jagjit Singh did not limit himself to just Hindi songs and has also sung many Punjabi songs. His bubbly and vibrant Punjabi songs are very popular and are very pleasant to hear.

Jagjit Singh has also sung many songs for Hindi movies. Popular films include Arth, Saath Saath, Premgeet, Tum Bin, Sarfarosh, Dushman and Tarkeeb. Jagjit Singh has proved himself as a genius as he brings out the true meaning of Mirza Ghalib's poetry by singing them as melodious Ghazals. The album can be easily called as a masterpiece. His transition from the 90's till date has been absolutely marvelous as he has moved towards much more melodious and meaningful Ghazals. The quality of his voice has only become better. Besides movies, he has sung many devotional songs also that are very peaceful to hear. Jagjit Singh is any day the undisputed Ghazal artist in the modern times.

Monday, 6 February 2012

S. Ramachandran Pillai 7-February

S. Ramachandran Pillai (born February 7, 1938) is a communist politician

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="191" caption="S. Ramachandran Pillai"]S. Ramachandran Pillai[/caption]

from Kerala, India, Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) since 1992 and General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (Peasants Union). He has been imprisoned on many occasions, such as during the Emergency 1975-1976.

Having joined the party in 1956, he was elevated to General Secretary of the Kerala Socialist Youth Federation (the youth wing of CPI(M) in Kerala at that time) from 1968 to 1974. He was the Chief Editor of the Malayalam daily organ of CPI(M), Deshabhimani, from 1987 to 1991. SRP has represented CPI(M) in the Rajya Sabha twice, elected in 1991 and 1997.

He married Rethnamma in 1966 and has three children.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sreesanth 6-February

Sreesanth was born to Shanthakumaran Nair and Savithri Devi. He has one elder brother and a sister.His brother Dipu Santhan owns a music company in Kochi and his sister Nivedita is a television actress in Kerala. His brother in law, Madhu Balakrishnan is a famous South Indian playback singer. Sreesanth is Hindu Brahmin.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="356" caption="Sreesanth"]Sreesanth[/caption]

Sreesanth initially was a leg-spinner in his childhood, modelling his action on India's leading Test wicket-taker Anil Kumble, who was to become his Test captain. However, his habit of bowling yorkers led him to convert to fast bowling, after being encouraged by his elder brother. Following in the footsteps of fellow Kerala fast bowler Tinu Yohannan, who earned selection to the National Cricket Academyin 2000, Sreesanth was selected for the MRF Pace foundation in Chennai. He then made his first-class debut against Goa in the 2002-03 domestic season, claiming 22 wickets in seven matches in the Ranji Trophy and winning selection for South Zone in the Duleep Trophy squad in the same season.

He was selected for India-A side in a tour match against the visiting New Zealand side at Rajkot. He claimed one wicket in twelve overs after being restricted with a hamstring injury. He also missed five Ranji Trophy games in that season, although he still travelled with the side for away games. This led to rumours that an astrologer convinced him to take a break from competition to preserve his longevity in the sport, which Sreesanth categorically denied, maintaining that he was training only to regain his fitness.

In November 2004, Sreesanth entered the record books when he took a hat-trick against Himachal Pradesh in a Ranji trophy game.[citation needed] He was selected to represent India B in the Challenger Trophy in October 2005, a domestic limited-overs tournament. He performed impressively in that tournament, earning the Man of the Series award and being the leading wicket taker (7) with the third best bowling average. This led to his selection to Indian team for the home ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Abhishek Bachchan - 5 February

Aquarian Abhishek Srivastav was born in February 5, 1976, son of Bollywood mega-stars, Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan, brother to Shweta, uncle to her two children (Navya Naveli & Agastye), and the grandson of Harivansh Rai Srivastav, Hindu and Urdu poet, who wrote under the pen-name of Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="304" caption="Abhishek Bachchan"]Abhishek Bachchan[/caption]

He was enrolled in the prestigious Jamnabai Narsee School and Bombay Scottish School, both in Bombay as well as Modern School in Vasant Vihar in Delhi. After completing school he went to further his studies in Aiglon College. He also studied Business in the United States, but changed his mind and decided to try his luck in Bollywood.

Starting in 2000 with 'Refugee', he went on to star in many other films.

He has also been a playback singer in 'Bluffmaster', and 'Dhoom'.

Success did elude Abhishek at first, but the public starting appreciating him, especially for his role in 'Yuva', Bunty Aur Babli', 'Sarkar', and 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kahena' for which he has won a total of 6 awards. He also has two non-film awards, and has been the recipient of 'Yash Bharatiya Sammam' from the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

As far as his personal love life, he was engaged to Bollywood hottie, Karishma Kapoor, but the engagement was broken. Then he met Aishwarya Rai, who was his co-star in several movies, they got engaged, and were married on April 20, 2007 in Juhu, Mumbai. Festivities started as early as April 17, and continued with firecrackers and lights at the Srivastav residences at Pratiskha and Jalsa, as well as the Rai's flat in Bandra.

Confirming their pregnancy during the month of June, 2011, Aishwarya was admitted to Mumbai Hospital on Monday November 14, and gave birth to a daughter on 16 November, 2011.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Urmila Matondkar 4-February

The daughter of a lecturer, actress Urmila Matondkar began her celluloid career as a child artiste with the film _Kalyug (1980)_. Although an average film at the box-office, her next film, Masoom (1983), about a family coping with an illegitimate member, showed her acting talents blossom and she received critical acclaim from both her fans and the film fraternity. She subsequently appeared in a number of films including Dacait (1987), where she plays Sunny Deol's under-aged sister who gets brutally raped.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="256" caption="Urmila Matondkar"]Urmila Matondkar[/caption]

Years later, Urmila then made her debut as an adult actress in N. Chandra's Narasimha(1991) opposite Sunny Deol . She then did the fantasy Chamatkar (1992/I) with the then-d├ębutant Shahrukh Khan and Shreemaan Aashique (1993), a comedy on male chauvinism opposite Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor and a crime movie Drohi (1992), But no matter what films she did, while her fellow actresses Manisha Koirala and Raveena Tandon reached the peak of their popularity with blockbuster after blockbuster, success seemed to elude her.

Then she did Ram Gopal Varma's Bollywood Dreams (1995), a tale of a girl's journey in the film industry. The movie came as a refreshing surprise and Urmila gave a magnificent performance, which is no small feet alongside actors Aamir Khan and Jackie Shroff, but what gave the film classic status was A.R. Rahman's music, Asha Bhosle's songs and designer Manish Malhotra, who transformed Urmila from a Maharashtrian middle-class girl into a sexy and glamorous actress. With this movie Urmila revolutionized sensuality on the Indian screen. What most actresses hadn't managed even after a dozen hits, Urmila had achieved with only one film. And ever since, she has been associated with Asha Bhosle's sensual voice and of course the image of the sizzling seductress - in fact, she is still known for her sizzling sensuality and her stunning looks.

However, Urmila is not to be judged only for her looks. She is also an actress of great talent and skill - her performance in Satya (1998) as a modest girl whose boyfriend, the titular character, gets sucked into the Bombay underworld is one of her best ever performances to date. And since 2000, she began to play roles of depth and substance, making an impact most notably in the films Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya... (2001), Om Jai Jagadish (2002), Pinjar: Beyond Boundaries... (2003), a drama based on India's partition, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), about a man accused of Gandhi's murder and Banaras (2006).

As of 2006, she has acquired several assignments, both using her talents as an actress and as a seductress - she is doing Onir's Bas Ek Pal (2006) and Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay (2006), the latter of which audiences are eagerly waiting for with bated breath...

Today Urmila is known as one of Bollywood's most versatile actresses. After Sridevi, she is known to have the played the most varied characters next to fellow actresses Tabu and Mahima Chaudhry.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Waheeda Rehman 3-February

Waheeda was born in a Urdu-speaking family in Chengalpattu-Tamil Nadu, India, on May 14, 1936. Her father was the District Magistrate which led him to be posted in several places. Tragedy visited her in 1948 when her dad passed away. Her mom passed away in 1955.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Waheeda Rehman"]Waheeda Rehman[/caption]

A year after her dad's death she appeared in a Telegu movie 'Rojulu Marayi'. Her role was as an dancing child artiste. She is proficient in Bharat Natyam. It was here that she was spotted by noted Bollywood actor and film-maker, Guru Dutt, who gave her a lead role in C.I.D.. She went on to appear in 'Pyaasa', 'Kagaz Ke Phool', 'Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam', 'Chaudvi Ka Chand', 'Bees Saal Baad', 'Teesri Kasam' just to name a few, in a career that spanned from 1949 through to 2006. She has acted as a child artiste, a leading lady, then switched to character appearances. She has procured the Best Film Actress Award in 1965 for her role in 'Guide', and then again in 1968 for 'Neel Kamal'.

She had co-starred with Kamaljit Singh in 'Shagun', and later married him on April 27, 1974, and moved to his farmhouse in Bangalore. She subsequently gave birth to a son, Sohail, and then to a daughter, Kashvi. When Kamaljit became ill, she considerably reduced her commitments in Bollywood, and the family re-located to 'Sahil', located near Bandra Bandstand, Bombay. Kamaljit passed away on November 21, 2000. Sohail has achieved his M.B.A. and is working in a Private Limited Company, while Kashvi is a Jewelery Designer.

She is very friendly with former actress Nanda and both spend a lot of time together, and often go out to eat out, including Dahi, Bhel, and Pani Puri right outside Elco Arcade in Bandra, West.

A Taurus, Waheeda went on to produce her very own film 'Om Jai Jagadish' which met with considerable success. She went on to act in 'Water', 'Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara', '15 Park Avenue', and 'Rang De Basanti'.

No less a personality than Amitabh Bachchan himself has claimed Waheeda Rehman to be his favorite actress. She combined the classic Islamic beauty with an extraordinary grace, talent and a truly transcendent appeal that ranked her among the pantheon of Bollywood's elite actresses. And few could dance better than she could!
She was born into a traditional Muslim family on 14 May 1936, in Chengalpattu,Tamil Nadu. Growing up, she was trained in dancing, especially the Bharatnatyam dance. Her first films were Jayasimha (1955) and Rojulu Marayi (1955), both in Telegu. Both films became a huge success and established her as a hit-heroine, but it was a song in the latter film that got Rehman the attention of Guru Dutt, one of the greatest directors in Bollywood history. He took her to Bombay and cast her as a vamp in his crime thriller C.I.D. (1956) - and the result was one of the most stunning debuts ever made in a Hindi film. As a mysterious woman named Kamini, she added a thrill to the whole film and it remains one of the most seductive and memorable roles of her career.

Amazed (and enraptured) by her beauty and talent, Guru Dutt cast her in all of his films. Thus, Rehman gave a mesmerizing performance inPyaasa (1957) as Gulab, the prostitute with a heart of gold, and she stole the hearts of audiences as Jameela, a shy Muslim girl in the romanceChaudhvin Ka Chand (1961). But by then she was involved in an affair with Guru Dutt and this affair led to the disintegration of Dutt's marriage - and soon the two of them broke apart after their last collaboration, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) (which was in fact done under some strain on Rehman's part). Their ill-fated romance was portrayed in the semi-autobiographical _Kaagaz Ke Phool (1960)_. Guru Dutt, unable to completely forget her, committed suicide in 1964.

Moving on after Guru Dutt, Rehman worked with the acclaimed director Satyajit Ray in The Expedition (1962) and consolidated her position as a top Bollywood star with her commercial successes Bees Saal Baad (1962) and _Kohra (1964)_. Then she did _Guide (1965/I)_ - a film that took her to the peak of her career. In the conservative 1960s, it was a daring role for her to play, and yet the gamble paid off - her performance as Rosie, a woman who leaves her husband for her lover, is ranked as her best ever! And to think that when she did the film, she was certain she would never, ever be able to do another film again!

Unfortunately, after _Guide (1965/I)_, matters didn't really work out. While commercial films like Ram Aur Shyam (1967) and Patthar Ke Sanam(1967) proved to be huge successes, her offbeat films Teesri Kasam (1967) and Reshma and Shera (1972) bombed, in spite of her critically acclaimed performances in those films. She had achieved too much too soon in her professional life, and so she began to make achievements in her personal life as well. In 1974, Rehman married Kamaljit, a businessman who had tried (in vain) to make it in films and moved to Bangalore.

She later cut down on her acting assignments, preferring to market her own brand of breakfast cereal and lead a contented life in a Bangalore farmhouse. She turned to supporting roles, often playing Amitabh Bachchan's mother (although there was one notable performance as his wife in _ Kabhi Kabhie - Love Is Life (1976)_), and gave a memorable curtain call as a female guardian in Lamhe (1991). However, of late she has gone back to playing maternal roles, most notably in Rang De Basanti (2006).

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Shamita Shetty 2-February

Shamita Shetty  (born 2 February 1979) is an Indian actress. She is the younger sister of Bollywoodactress Shilpa Shetty.
Shamita ShettyShamita Shetty

Shamita is the second and youngest daughter of Surendra and Sunanda Shetty. She was born in a traditional close-knit family that hails from the Bunt community of Udupi. Her parents are manufacturers of tamper-proof caps for the pharmaceutical industry and her native language is Tulu. Shamita Shetty attended St Anthony's Girls High School in Chembur, Mumbai. She graduated from Sydenham College.

Shetty made her debut in 2000 with the Yash Raj Films blockbuster Mohabbatein, which was directed by Aditya Chopra. Since Mohabbatein, she mostly found success in item numbers, including "Sharara Sharara" in Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2001) and "Chori Pe Chori" in Saathiya (2002). Later Shetty found success as an actress with her first solo-hit Zeher. She worked once with her sister Shilpa Shetty in Fareb in that same year. She was a guest on Bigg Boss (Season 3)  on Colors TV. She opted out of the show for her sisterShilpa's wedding. She was out of the show on 14 November 2009 after staying for 7 weeks in the show on day 41.

On 14 June 2011, Shamita announced her retirement from acting to start a career in interior design.