Thursday, 27 September 2007

Dev Anand's tragic love life: Suraiya and Zeenat Aman

Dev Anand twice fell in love, once with Suraiya and later with Zeenat Aman. Suraiya's mother threatened that she would commit suicide if her daughter married Dev Anand. And Suraiya threw the ring given by the actor, into the ocean.

It was after this failed love affair that Dev Anand went into depression and even thought of ending his life. He also fell in love with Zeenat Aman.

Once Raj Kapoor kissed Zeenat in a party and later in another gathering he publicly hugged her. It was Zeenat's passion in the hug which again broke Dev's heart.

A jilted lover, Devanand turned an alcoholic. His recently published autobiography Romancing With Life throws light on his views about love and sex. In another autobiography sometime back, Vyjyanthimala rejects the stories about her love affair with Raj Kapoor.

Only three women came in Raj Kapoor's life--Nargis, Vyjyanthimala and his wife Krishna Kapoor. Had Raj Kapoor loved Zeenat Aman, he would never have revealed her cleavage in a movie like Satyam Shivam Sundram. Raj Kapoor was culturally feudal and in his movies Nargis was never shown scantily dressed or depicted obscenely.

Raj Kapoor's penchant for directing movies, prompted him to also fell in love with the physical attributes of the heroin in every movie. However, Dew Anand remains like Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image and got drowned in the pond while looking at his own reflection.

Jai Prakash Chaukse

(This article first appeared in a Hindi daily)

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Criminal act to reward cricketers

Cricketers are earning enough money and nobody can belittle the achievement of the young team that won the Twenty20 world cup in South Africa but the way Indian politicians and chief ministers (apart from the Board) are showering them with huge cash rewards, is disgusting to say the least.

Is it justified in this poor nation where a majority of Indians don't earn more than Rs 20 a day, to gift lakhs and crores. After all, the politicians are rewarding these cricketers with our money and more than the cricketers it is the ordinary, poor Indian that needs it.

There are hundreds of lives lost in this country for want of medicines. People die of starvation. This is not just a joke. And Indian politicians must understand that the lakhs they give away is people's money, the poor also have right on them and it can't be gifted away so easily. It's criminal to give money to the wealthy cricketers.

Compare it to the Indian hockey team, which recently won Asia Cup and though there were congratulatory messages from the same politicians, was there any such cash reward! If Yuvraj hit six sixes, Indian hockey team also hit 57 goals in the entire Asia Cup including a 20-0 win against Sri Lanka. In the final South Korea was beaten convincingly 7-2.

Even the kind of money Cricket Board (BCCI) gives away in terms of cash, which justified by many, is no less filthy display of wealth. Until recently great cricketers of yesteryears died for lack of treatment and poor financial condition in old age.

The Board perhaps wants to lure the cricketers and teach Zee group's fledgling ICL a lesson. Perhaps for once I can close my eyes to BCCI giving away money to cricketers but not to the politicians squandering away the cash, as if it is their personal property.

And let the criminals who have given us immense joy, earn money through their game, advertisements, endorsements and other ways but I find it sad that not only politicians are giving away the money, but we are all mute witness to this act, as if cricketers have the right to be pampered and treated this way, all the time.

These Chief Ministers, from Maharahstra to Jharkhand and Karnataka, don't pay attention when farmers commit suicides. But have the time to felicitate cricketers in public functions. What a pity that we are engaged in meaningless debates that whether politicians should have sat in the front row or cricketers in the stadium in Mumbai, rather than stopping these politicians from their irresponsible acts.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Muslim girl scripts Hanuman Chalisa in Urdu: Photo

Even as the debate over Rama Sethu continues in the entire country, a Muslim girl has written Hanuman Chalisa in Urdu script.

She is a student of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth. Naznin, who hails from Varanasi (Benares) plans to write Goswami Tulsidas' Ramcharit Manas in Urdu as well.

Though it is not an astonishing feat as she has mere written it in Perso-Arabic script though there are translations of almost all the Hindu texts in Urdu.

In undivided India, in UP and Punjab, Hindu literature was sold much more in numbers in Urdu script than in Hindi. For centuries Hindus and Muslims have lived in this country together and there is a long history of shared composite culture. This is not rare for Hindus and Muslims to celebrate each others' festivals and respect the culture of the other community.

The channels often make too much of such initiatives and give an impression as if Hindus and Muslims are absolutely different groups of people who won't keep aloof from each other. Still, the effort is laudable on the girl's part.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Hindu, Hindustan and Hyderabad

The photograph on the left shows an idol of Lord Ganesha, which is installed on a road side in Hyderabad, during the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

The photo shows a labourer pusheing a cart carrying eggs past the wall which has a huge national flag painted on the wall.

The idols of Lord Ganesh will be immersed in the next couple of days. Mahesh Kumar has taken this photogaph.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Yuvraj's Sixes: Can anything else lift spirit of nation?

Euphoria swept across the country as Yuvraj hit six sixers in one over in the Twenty-20 World Cup match against England at Durban.

As Yuvie hit sixes after sixes, the spirit of the nation suddenly got lifted. Everybody was calling friends and even informing passers-by about Yuvaraj's scintillating performance.

India may have won the Asia Cup in hockey recently or achieved success in any other field ranging from science and technology to education and commerce but nothing turns Indians as delighted as just an Indian batsman slaughtering a bower in cricket.

It is simply MASS HYSTERIA. And what triggers it in almost everyone of us is a mystery!

Once could see people congratulating unknown passers-by and hugging them, sending sms to friends and calling people to watch the match.

As the news spread, almost everybody looked ecstatic. Once again it proves how cricket binds this nation and boosts us. Yuvraj launched the attack in Stuart Broad's over that read an astonishing 6-6-6-6-6-6-6.

The 50 came just over 12 balls and is the fastest half century in this form of game and also any other form of cricket including tests, one days and first class cricket. Yuvraj sets Kingsmead ground afire with his blitz of sixes. Long back Gary Sobers hit sixes on Malcolm Nash's over and later Ravi Shankar Shastri hit Tilak Raj on all six balls of over in First Class Matches.

Let's celebrate the victory and this great record.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Girls, swings and the month of Sawan

Girls enjoy swinging in a village near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh during Saawan as seen in the photograph on the left.

Saawan is celebrated with swings (jhoolas) and traditional songs are sung. In the past girls married off to faraway places would return to their village in this month.

It would be reunion time in villages and meeting the childhood 'sahelis'. There are some popular songs of girls longing to meet their parents and siblings in the month of saavan like as in Bandini:

ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko baabul
saavan ne lijo bulaay re
lauTengi jab mere bachpan ki sakhiyaan
dejo sandesha bhijay re...

Savan doesn't bring that sort of nostalgia anymore in the modern era when cell phones have reached the remotest villages and cash cards of Rs 5-10 are sold on general merchants shops and tea/pan kiosks. Still, the photo on the left celebrates the spirit of Saavan.

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