Politics, News,

Sharing some ‘nostalgic’ memories on Christmas…

Merry Christmas to all of you in advance! Just a few more hours to go when Lord Jesus will be born to Mother Merry and Father Joseph in a manger in Bethlehem. Christmas has been a very special ‘Day’ for all of us. I am sharing the photographs (taken by me from my roof) of St. Stephen’s Church situated at Church Mission Road, Fatehpuri (Old Delhi).

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This church holds very special memories rather ‘nostalgic memories’ as we used to live in this area and from my roof I used to watch the beauty of this church especially during Christmas when the church would be painted and lights fitted, it would be decked up in the festive look. I would stand till late night watching at the church and decorations (getting good scolding from my parents being cold) but I would still on some ploy or the other would go to roof.

As the clock would stuck midnight, the church bell would start ringing and I would run to the balcony or roof beating the biting cold to watch the bell. With the ringing of the bell, the king is born who had come as a savior of mankind. The King called Jesus Christ as he called himself a good shepherd who had come to protect the lives of people.

As if I can still hear the ringing of Bell at midnight. Now, part of ‘nostalgic’ memories. On this day, I always miss these ‘nostalgic’ moments…

This church holds immense significance for me which I will subsequently share…

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Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi…Shashi Kapoor dies at 79…

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Shashi Kapoor dies, an era has ended with him – era of Prithwiraj Kapoor, the doyen of Kapoor Khandan as fondly called while referring to this iconic family also called the first cine family of Bollywood. The legacy that was passed on from Prithwiraj Kapoor to their sons Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor which they had passed on subsequently to the next generation of Kapoors but I am not going into the family tree or their contributions which is immense and still the process in on.
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I recall first watching Shashi Kapoor on TV as we in our childhood was not much exposed to films like today’s generation but we had a great companion (if I may call so) and that was the television which was the ultimate platform for entertainment and many of us I am sure will agree that our schooling to cinema (whatever we have learnt or developed within) had began with this iconic “idiot box’ in early 80’s. Watching this actor on Chitrahaar, Sunday cinema and so on…I recall hearing him during the Film Festival when he had shared so many personal memories about his family, brothers and the cine industry. It was during one such interview Shashi Kapoor had said for him, the ultimate romantic hero was elder brother Shammi Kapoor with his westernized looks and acting. He had also said that “now watching my acting on screen, I feel ashamed as they look so childish” a confession from a real actor who was whimsical of his characters and perhaps this why Shashi Kapoor did not stay obsessed with the cult Commercial Cinema but acted in many parallel cinema and few experimental cinema (a wave that took cinema by its stride during early 70’s and late 80’s).
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Shashi Kapoor and English films especially in British and American films, under the iconic Merchant Ivory productions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory that had been his second family as their association had grown stronger. Shashi Kapoor acted in numerous films under the banner like The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965) (opposite his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982) in which he co-starred with his wife Jennifer Kendal, The Deceivers (1988) and Side Streets (1998). Apart from Ivory productions, he had acted in other British and American films like ‘Matter Of Innocence’ (1967)), ‘Siddhartha’ (1972), ‘Sammy and Rosie Get Laid’ (1987), and Muhafiz (1994). James Ivory directed Kapoor in the first Merchant Ivory production The Householder, then in Shakespeare-Wallah, Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust while Ismail Merchant directed him in In Custody (1993).
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It was during late 50’s Shashi Kapoor met English actress Jennifer Kendal in then Calcutta now Kolkata. in 1956 while both were working for their respective theatre groups. Shashi was both assistant stage manager as well as an actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi Theatre. Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespearean group was also present at the same time in Calcutta and Jennifer was Geoffrey’s daughter. They fell in love and after facing initial opposition from the Kendals got married to Jenifer in July 1958. Both of them had acted in a number of films together. In 1984, Jenifer Kendal died due to cancer. Shashi Kapoor loved Jenifer immensely and did not re-marry.
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Both of them were blessed with three children – Kunal Kapoor (who had acted in Vijeta), Karan Kapoor (he too had acted in a few films like Loha and Saltanat but he is most remember for his modelling with Bombay Dying in 80’s) and daughter Sanjana (she too has acted in a few films like Hero Hiralal. She took charge of the Prithvi Theatre which was established on 5 November 1978 in Mumbai.
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Being a true actor he showed guts and courage to criticize the typical Hindi cinema which had been showing things that had nothing to do with reality rather many impractical and abnormal things. It was this quest for good cinema Shashi Kapoor acted in films like – ‘Muhafiz’ (1994), ‘In Custody’ (1993), ‘Junoon’ (1978), ‘Utsav’ (1984) to name a few. Also he had produced many of these. He also produced 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) directed by Aparna Sen. His wife Jenifer Kendal had done a wonderful acting in this film which revolves around a lonely Anglo lady residing in Kolkata who teaches conversation English in a reputed convent school in the city and subsequently gets cheated by her two ex-students whom she had trusted immensely. However, Aparna Sen bagged National Award for the film but Jenifer did not receive any award which had made him upset and he had shared his feelings in one of his interview on Doordarshan.
 
Shashi Kapoor had produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which was a Indo-Russian project and starred his fequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan and nephew Rishi Kapoor in the lead. The film however could not make money on the box-office.
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Shashi Kappor shared a wonderful relationship with Great Master Satyajit Ray who had also penned a couple of scripts of Ivory films.
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It was this fondness for Shashi Kapoor, Satyajit Ray had taken him in Satyajit Ray Presents (directed by Sandip Ray for Doordarshan in 1985), “Kissa Kathmandu Ka” which was based on his Feluda adventure story – “Joto Kelenkari Kathmandu Te” and Shahsi Kapoor played Feluda.
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He was not keeping well since long and bid adieu to films in late 90’s with Side Streets being his last film. On 20 July 2012, Shashi Kapoor underwent a cataract surgery at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai. Shashi Kapoor was admitted in Kokilaben Hospital on December 3, 2017 reportedly for chest infection. On December 4, 2017, he breathed his last at around 5:30 pm.
Remembering song from his film ‘Kaala Patthar’ (1979) – “Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi Jo Tham Gaye To Kuch Nahin…”
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RC Dalal – Farewell my friend…

I had written this on the day Rc Dalal had passed away, I remember I had seen the news on one of the facebook platform of one JD Institute of Fashion Technology. I immediately wrote my tributes on the facebook and twitter…Today sharing as a blog, it was very hard to key-in these lines…

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It was very hard to believe the news since RC (as fondly called) was always a friend. I would not hesitate even a bit to call or message him whenever I required a slightest assistance from him. Another reason why the news shook me deep within is because since 1993 when I first met him at the JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Lokayata, Hauz Khas Village, never ever saw him gloom faced or depressed, he was always so full of warmth with a smile.

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I had shared many moments even after passing out from JD. There had been so many ‘special’ moments (from fashion shows to casual chat over tea at his office). In this regard, I recall a rain-dance fashion show held at GK Club. While introducing me to other journalists he said JDiiian turned media man. I can never forget him saying “perhaps the only journalist here who don’t take alcohol, a totally teetotaler…” and offered me a class of Pepsi. It was so full of warmth, there are so many ‘nostalgic’ memories that today bring tears to my eyes. Whenever I visited Hauz Khas Village, I would drop to say him hello.

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A few month back I met him at his office in Hauz Khas (the new one and I called him up to confirm the location) RC not only explained in details but had come to the staircase to welcome me. I am really loss of words. All I can say is RC was a great friend (so many moments taking me down memory lane…) We had also discussed over his new initiative – association with cinema, though he said old classics are not be included and I had difference of views on that being a cine love but not the time to talk about that at this moment.

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RC always was full of ideas of how to promote ‘fashions’, he was always open to embrace the ‘new’ since he always believed that ‘fashion’ needs a revamp for which ‘new’ will have to welcomed (we had a long chat on trends and changes), a huge loss to the fashion industry.

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Its a personal loss to me, I really have no one to look upto when I need any assistance in fashion – from trends to market and even designing. I will always miss his smile, so full of warmth. May his soul rest in peace.

 

 

 

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Mukul Roy joins BJP, says will expose TMC policies

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“CPM r birudhey Trinamool Congress r protishtha hoichilo 17 December, 1997, sedin aami prothom shakhor kori” (Trinamool Congress Party was formed to fight against the atrocities and misrule of CPM and I was the first signatory) these were the opening words of Mukul Roy on Friday evening who was given a warm welcome by senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad into the party.

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With that Mukul Roy, once the n umber two in Trinamool Congress and close confidante of party supremo Mamata Banerjee joined the Saffron Brigade.

The joining of Roy was just a formal obligation since October before Durga Puja, it was clear that Roy would join the Saffron Brigade. He had been regularly meeting BJP senior leaders in Delhi.   One saw this last year itself when Roy maintained a distance with the Trinamool high command and even did not attend crucial party parliamentary meetings in Kolkata.

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Former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy on Friday officially joined the Bhartiya Janata Party. “Happy to inform that Mukul Roy is joining BJP, we welcome him,” senior party leader an union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference. He added that Roy’s experience will be benefit the party. “His experience will benefit us surely I believe,” said Prasad.

Talking to reporters, Roy said he is priveleged to work under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Today I have Joined BJP and it’s my proud privilege to work under PM Modi,” said Roy.

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Roy had last month quit TMC and resigned from Rajya Sabha membership after fallout with party chief Mamata Banerjee. After quitting from TMC, Roy had said all members in a party “should be comrades and not servants”.

Roy was suspended for six years for “anti-party activities” by the TMC following his announcement on September 25 that he would resign from the party after Durga Puja.

Amid speculation of his joining the BJP, Roy had said in 1998 when the TMC had seat sharing arrangement with the saffron party in West Bengal, its leadership had said that BJP is not communal. He recalled that he was one of the signatories when the Election Commission had recognised the TMC as a political party.

Last year Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had removed Roy from general secretary position and placed her nephew Abhishek Banerjee as party general secretary. The last straw to break camel’s back was when Roy was again removed from Panchayat committee and entire responsibility was given to Abhishek Banerjee. It was an insult that Roy could not accept.

The party and Roy though kept saying that things were fine and it was the media which is being too much speculative.  Though he never made any objectionable remarks against Trinamool or party supremo Mamata Banerjee.  The fact is it was from that moment Mukul Roy had decided to quit the party.

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Mamata-Udhav meeting shows ‘ideology’ doesn’t matter in politics

Shall we assume a new equation is taking place between Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena. I know many will rebut by saying I am cynical and look ‘dark sides’ of every Mamata move but honestly I am stunned by today’s development. Predominantly because of two reasons –
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One, I have no objection her becoming anti-BJP (though it was she who had infused BJP in the state in late 90’s) but in doing that she has forgotten the basic structure or formation of Shiv Sena. Inspite of being staunch Hindu fundamentalist I have always had respects for Balasaheb Thakray for his other qualities especially a strong statesman. Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with Udhav and Aditya Thackeray has put Mamata Banerjee’s ‘secular’ identity in question. How could she forget the ‘Hindu’ fundamentalist facade of Shiv Sena. Can History forget Balasaheb Thakre’s famous words “if you are ashamed, then my boys have done it” when Babri Masjid was raised to ground on December 6, 1992, the dark day in Indian hostory.  LK Advani who had instigated the kar sevaks since his Rath Yatra days was taken aback, he was confused to see the outcome. Advani, did not expect this to happen and had expressed regrets.
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Two, Mamata Banerjee seems to have forgotten that her state is facing severe Dengue problem. She may not like to call it Dengue or shy away from ‘real’ numbers but the fact is till today deaths have taken place.
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Though, her government refuse to accept that the actual number is much more than what it claims and Dengue is gradually taking shape of an epidemic.
Well, coming back to Mamata meeting Shiv Sena, its more a personal crusade to gather all the anti-BJP factions.
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Trinamool Congress must take a stand and declare their ideology because if all these things are done to defeat Narendra Modi at the centre (which is Mamata’s personal crusade to take revenge for Sharadha, Narada, Rose Valley and likes) then its totally on vested interests, not a political crusade in the interest of India.
Besides, tomorrow when Shiv Sena will ask Trinamool to support them on some issue or the other, will Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress be able to stand beside them inspite of having ideological differences, Mamata Banerjee must gite a thought…
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Football frenzy Kolkata gearing up for #FifaU17WorldCup match

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“aajke khela r bikele ektai destination…seta holo Salt Lake” (today is football and the only destination today evening is Salt Lake City) this was what a friend told me few minutes back, its indeed a ‘red-letter day for people in football frenzy Kolkata which can go upto any extent for the game. Kolkata is going GaGa over  #FifaU17WorldCup match. Today is final match between Brazil vs England.

Well, I am myself not a sports buff but have immense respect for the frenzy (sheer love and admiration) for football. My interests in sports is predominatly – Martial Arts (Karate) and swimming. A bit of Badminton and Tennis.

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As a common saying goes in Bengali “shob khela r shera Bangali r tumi football” (nothing popular as football for any Bengali). Today’s match is thus a big event in the city no less than Durga Puja for sports lovers. It may not be Mohun Bagan or East Bengal match but you bet the excitement and emotions are same for the supporters of both the teams.

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The finals was to be played at Guwahati but it was transferred to Kolkata due to incessant rainfall.   

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It will be celebration time for the supporters of wining team while the supporters of losing team will have sleepless night, stay aloof and may even have no dinner…

Well, that’s the height of frenzy among football lovers in Bengal…

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150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita; Year long celebrations begins

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The year-long celebrations will begin from Saturday October 28, 2017. The main function will be held at to begin from Swami Vivekananda’s house situated at 3, Gourmohan Mukherjee Street, North Kolkata. Special function will be at Belur Math in Howrah.

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On November 12, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be visiting London to attend a ceremony in which the British Government will declare the house at Wimbledon where Sister Nivedita lived before she came to India in 1898 a Heritage one. On Monday, Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the newly renovated house of Sister Nivedita at 16 Bose Para Lane in Baghbazar area of north Kolkata.

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The renovated house at 16, Bose Para Lane…

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Sister Nivedita (Margaret Elizabeth Noble) inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech expressed her admiration for Swami Vivekananda and wanted to work with him.

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Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda gave her the name Nivedita and asked her to work for the upliftment of people especially women in India. Sister Nivedita accepted his challenge and dedicated her entire life in India…Pronaam…

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