Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Happy Teacher's Day !!! Presenting copy of my book "Notable Personalities" to my School Principal
Short piece I penned down and presented to my school Principal on this 5th Day of September 2015. Last few years on this special day I have been visiting my school and paying respect to all my teachers.
Our Respected Principal,
Happy Teacher's Day !!!
The 5th Day of September in INDIA commemorates the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan, 2nd President of India, a philosopher, and a teacher par excellence well known for his contribution towards Indian education system.
Teacher’s Day reminds me of an old adage and words from Julius Nyerere former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, “Education is not a way to escape poverty. It is indeed a way of fighting it”.
It warms up my heart to visit my school at least once in a year on this special day namely “Teacher’s Day”. Those days when we were in school we were too apprehensive to come inside our Principal’s cabin but today post passing out of my school many years ago it’s a different experience of paying reverence to my school, my teachers and all the staff members.
Let me take this opportunity to seek your blessings and present to you and our school library copy of my book titled, "Notable Personalities" - An Achievers Inspiration. My book is a collection of twelve personalities who are known for their commitment to the chosen craft delivered with a certain stamp of flamboyance and with whom I had the opportunity to meet and interact with them in person.
In school as a student we were given the homework of learning the meaning of new words and then constructing sentence which uses these new words. The quantum of new words to learn were many but the marks one could get in the examination for attempting these questions were minuscule.
But today, while I present to you copy of my book I realize that it is not those little marks that count but it’s those, “Great Words That Equate Great Power”.
Thank you teachers for guiding us and making us what we are today.
Our parents, our family and our teachers remain to be our true inspiration in the odyssey of our life.
Gratitude, Love, Care and Respect
Niilesh A Raje
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The Independence Day weekend might have been long weekend for many but for the whole crew of St. Xavier's College (Mumbai) for the professors and their students it marked the opening ceremony for their three day annual festival of St Xavier's College namely “Malhar”.
The theme of this year's Malhar was 'A Chronicle' and it proved to be a crowd-puller as over 67 different colleges from Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai participated in this annual festival with great enthusiasm.
'Malhar Conclave' the festival's first day which coincided with Independence Day celebrations drew people in large numbers for interactive sessions and discussions. Day one of Conclave started with keynote address from Mr. Julio Francis Riberio.
Mr. Ribeiro has been a Padma Bhushan Awardee, India's third highest civilian award for his services. He was also the former Mumbai Police Commissioner and Indian Ambassador to Romania. He led the Punjab Police during part of the Punjab insurgency periods. He held positions such as Special Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Adviser to the Governor of Punjab.
When former Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Vasant Dhoble retired he said, “If there is one person whom I always looked up as my role model during my service then it has been the retired Police Commissioner Mr. Julio Ribeiro”.
There is a Marathi phrase namely; “Jashas Tase” it means tit for tat is fair attitude which has been his credo. It's the reason Mr. Julio Ribeiro remains to be my inspiration who has also authored a book titled, “Bullet for Bullet” said Mr. Dhoble.
The first session on day one for “Malhar Conclave” the audience had the opportunity to hear keynote address from Mr. Julio Riberio titled as “A Bullet For A Bullet”. Here is the excerpt from his keynote address:
Question: Is the youth getting involved in politics a good idea?
Response: “It’s not a bad idea at all. However, not all people are meant for politics. Politics is a quest for power.”
Question: “Why do police appear to be demonized?”
Response: The policemen are required to adhere to the law. When you have the common masses on your side no one can touch you. And one can only have the masses on your side if you serve them.
On being an IPS officer “The ‘S’ in IPS stands for service. You’ve come to serve the people, not to be their masters.”
“Old social institutions like joint family and caste system are breaking down.”
“Value system has changed”
“Economic crimes like avoiding the income tax are more dangerous.”
“I have worked with the youth and can relate very easily to them.”
Question: How do we tackle corruption?
Response: “Try to influence young minds. At schools we must convey to the young that these practices are not good and ethically right”
“Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a very good campaign; but in practice we must understand it. It should be a movement and even colleges should get involved“.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Some interesting anecdotes about the film “Aandhi” and it’s songs I would like to share today with the voice of my readers
(a) The Plot - J.K. (Sanjeev Kumar) is a hotel Manager in a scenic location in India. One day he gallantly comes to the rescue of a drunk daughter, Aarti (Suchitra Sen) of a politician, and chooses to be discrete about it. When she recovers both fall in love and get married in a small marriage ceremony, have a daughter, and thereafter differences arise to such an extent that they decide to separate. Years pass J.K. and Aarti meet again when she is an established politician, both are still attracted to each other.
(b) Gulzar Saab then was involved working in two projects namely “Aandhi” and other being “Mausam”. Aandhi was first shot in Kashmir in 1974. It was producer J. Om Prakash who suggested to Gulzar Saab that “Aandhi Ke Baad Mausam Achha Hota Hai” (After the storm (Aandhi) the weather (Mausam) gets better). Gulzar Saab agreed and Aandhi was the project taken up first then came Mausam.
(c) The role of Hotel Manager J.K. in this film has been played by actor Sanjeev Kumar. Well, Gulzar Saab used to sit alone in Hotel Akbar in Delhi writing Aandhi’s script right from frame one to the end. There was an hotel employee by the name J.K. who served Gulzar Saab well day and night during his stay in the hotel. Gulzar Saab promised to name the hero of his film Sanjeev Kumar after this gentleman named J.K.
(d) The exalted success of the film musical hit “Aandhi” is pretty much evident with the number of views as seen on YouTube. The lyrics were penned down by none other than Gulzar Saab and music from the legendary music composer R D Burman.
(e) Tum Aa Gaye Ho, Noor Aa Gaya Hai . . . Nahin To Chiragon Se Lau Jaa Rahi Thee (Light has arrived with your arrival. The flames from the lamps were dying down) . The first line of this romantic duet was shot in a small garden behind the Oberoi Hotel from where the Dal Lake can be seen distinctly. The rest of the song was shot in Shalimar Baugh. Other musical numbers from this film includes, “Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi” and “Iss Mod Se Jate Hain”. While Gulzar Saab won his Filmfare Award as the Best Film (Critics) it was actor Sanjeev Kumar who won his Filmfare for being the “Best Actor” for the film Aandhi.
Gulzar Saab remains to be the “Wizard of Words”.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
On my way back home while listening to the radio station the presenter of the radio program announced, “The next song to be played now is from the film “Qurbani” and the title of the song being "Aap Jaisa Koi" music by Biddu and singer Nazia Hassan. Hearing this lovely number from 1980’s was indeed a nostalgic feeling coupled with journey down the melody lane. One just can’t forget this song and the singer which ignited the disco fever amongst the masses then.
So many interesting anecdotes came in my mind hearing the film Qurbani followed by this song "Aap Jaisa Koi” and the popular pop singer Nazia Hassan. My mind started thinking why not pen down short piece and share couple of anecdotes out here.
It was the Actor, Producer and Director of Qurbani fame namely Feroz Khan who had approached the Indian composer Biddu settled in London who was popular for the hit songs he had composed during late seventies.
Feroz Khan had two conditions set firmly for Biddu. First, the recording of this song would be done in London and not in Mumbai. Second, the playback singer would not be from India. While Feroz Khan was in look out for singer in London who could sing in Hindi. It was here that actor Zeenat Aman suggested the young singer Nazia Hassan to Feroz Khan. For the shooting of the movie Qurbani in London the producer had rented a place in Chelsea for the shooting duration.
Zeenat Aman was very close to the Hassan’s family based in Pakistan who had later moved to UK for their daughter Nazia and their son Zoheb higher education. Nazia Hassan began singing from the late 1970s when she appeared on several television shows on PTV as a child artist. She was just eight years of age then. The professional break came to her at the young age of fifteen years when she sang “Aap Jaisa Koi” for the 1980 film Qurbani. The recording of this song took place in a studio at the corner of Oxford Street.
The theme of the song “Aap Jaisa Koi” was the introduction scene for Sheela (Zeenat Aman) the gorgeous nightclub dancer in red gown whereas Rajesh (Feroz Khan) is in the club watching Sheela perform. If listened carefully one can distinctly hear the whistle like effect each time after the line “Baat Ban Jaye”.
On hearing this lovely number from the young Nazia Hassan her Mother felt either she would make it as super hit or break it as a flop. Father was bit apprehensive as he did not want their kids studies to get affected in any way. What surprises is that music just a hobby for Nazia but her achievements in this craft was something that many would aspire to achieve it in their career.
Few months post recording this song massive crowd had turned up at Mumbai airport. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was arriving in the city however the mob at the airport was actually waiting to receive the iconic pop singer with lilting voice Nazia Hassan.
“Aap Jaisa Koi” film Qurbani music album sold over ten lakh copies then. It was for the first time that a non-Indian and the youngest ever Nazia Hassan won the Filmfare Award for the Best Singer in the year 1981. The release of this movie Qurbani in June 1980 was indeed a grand affair. The Marathi Mandir theatre in Mumbai was house full for the next three months to full capacity. Not only the film but even the music was able to set the cash registers ringing at the Box Office.
With passage of time and with the growing popularity of the song Nazia Hassan was seen performing it live on the center stage. Qurbani made the word “Disco” popular in India and people raved about disco then.
The young singer from Pakistan Nazia Hassan captivated the hearts of millions across of the globe and became a popular star overnight. “Aap Jaisa Koi” changed everything then in 1980’s. The prime spot in Binaca Geetmala for the next 14 weeks had Nazia Hassan topping the charts with “Aap Jaisa Koi” leaving behind Lata Mangeshkar at number two position for the songs of her film Aasha.
Post Qurbani in 1981 Nazia released her first music album titled “Disco Deewane”. Some of her hit numbers include Disco Deewane, Boom Boom, Ao Na and Lekin Mera Dil to name a few. It was only in the year 1992 post her album release Nazia left singing career. She completed her education in the UK, got a law degree. After an enormously successful career as a singer she later worked with the United Nations in the Security Council. She continued her social work even in New York and worked for children from UN platform. The Government of Pakistan has conferred upon Nazia Hassan the highest civilian award Pride of Performance.
Nazia Hassan passed away at very young age at 35. She succumbed to lung cancer in London on 13 August 2000. She had been admitted to North London Hospice in London N12 three days earlier when her condition deteriorated.
Nazia Hassan passed away early but still continues to remain forever young and beautiful in our minds. India Today nominated her as one of the 50 people who helped change the face of India while “Aap Jaisa Koi” remains India’s first international sound as far as music goes.
Tribute to this legendary singer Nazia Hassan. Had Nazia been alive she would have been 50 years of age today.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
Hay House India
February 14th is celebrated all over the world as Valentine’s Day. A day when each lover tries to make it the most romantic with that someone special be it over cup of coffee, movie, shopping date or romantic dinner. Valentine’s Day also reminds me of the birth anniversary of someone who bewitched all the men’s heart with a serene expression on her face. She was none other than Madhubala considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses to have once graced the screen of the Indian Film Industry.
In the biography “I Want To Live” – The Story of Madhubala the author Khatija Akbar gives the reader fascinating nuggets of information that throws new light not only on the life and times of Madhubala but also on the Golden Era of Hindi Cinema. The author has done extensive research in terms of conducting interviews with many of them who interacted with Madhubala. The story of this star is covered in the book spread across eight chapters right from her first film as a child star up to the magnificent Mughal–e–Azam bringing about not only the ‘reel life’ but also the ‘real life’ human being in her.
An interesting incident I would like to share with the readers is her professionalism and commitment towards her work. It had rained steadily all night. A heavy downpour had collapsed Bombay (now Mumbai) city. There was no power supply and train services were suspended. Be it the common masses or glamorous film stars most of them preferred to stay indoors by not venturing out the next day in the morning except for one Madhubala. She had to report for the shooting that morning and she did. The studio was flooded, its furniture and equipment standing in water with no one around the studio except for the security guard. How she reached there, what route she took, how early she left, an incident not only motivating but also reflects Madhubala’s benchmark of professionalism. It was late 1948, and the star was just fifteen years of age.
Book has covered each aspect of the actress be it Madhubala’s early death, her long affair and break off with the actor Dilip Kumar or her marriage to Kishore Kumar which witnessed mental turmoil. In her late 20’s at a time when heart surgery was not widely available she was advised to undergo one for a hole in her heart. It only gives the impression that life had not been fair with her in matters of the heart. But just few days before her death, Madhubala had been murmuring I want to live . . . God, I don’t want to die. Nine days after her thirty-sixth birthday on the morning of 23 February 1969 she eventually succumbed to her serious illness.
Born on Valentine’s Day Madhubala had her Villa filled with flowers resembling it as a florist’s shop. But on her last birthday the author says there was only one bouquet for her. Such is the modality of life. But her fans still remember and miss her on her special day as the legend Madhubala lives on who performed successfully despite her illness.
Reviewed by : ~ Niilesh A Raje