Monday, October 27, 2014

REMEMBERING HINDI CINEMA'S VERSATILE ACTOR RAAJ KUMAR OR " JAANI "


                                                                  


“KAUN AAYA KI NIGAAHON MEIN CHAMAK JAAG UTHI ? ”
AND WE FORGOT “JAANI ”( 1926-1996 ) ALSO .

October is waning fast now . I kept waiting for someone to write or publish something on Raaj Kumar Born Kulbushan Pandit( 6th October 1926 -3rd July 1996 ).Nothing appeared . No one remembers his inimitable dialogue delivery style with stylish emphasis on words “HUM “ and “ JAANI “.
Some of his most memorable dialogues that come to my mind are …..
( 1 )“Chinai Seth, chhuri bachchon ke khelnay kee cheez nahin hoti hai , haath kat jaye to khoon nikal Aata hai. ”
And
(2) “ Chinai Seth , jin ke apnay ghar sheeshay ke hon, Woh doosaron ke gharon pe pather nahin pheinktay
( FILM ..WAQT )
(3) “Aapke paon dekhay . Bahut Haseen hain. Inhay zameen pe mat utariyegaa. Mailay ho jaayengay “
( FILM …PAKEEZAH)
(4 ) “Na Talwaar ki dhaar se, na goliyon ki Bauchaar se… banda darta hai to sirf Parvardigaar se”
And 
( 5) “ Hamari zubaan bhi hamari goli ki tarah dushmanon se seedhe baat karti hai “
( FILM …TIRANGA )
( 6 ) “Jaani… Hum Tumhein maarenge, aur zaroor maarenge, par Bandook bhi hamari hogi, goli bhi hamari hogi, aur Waqt bhi H amara hoga!”
And 
( 7) “ Kaash ke tumnay hummein aawaaz di hoti ... to hum maut ki neend se uth kar chale Aatay “
(FIL M..SAUDAGAR )

( 8 ) “Bootiyan nochnay waala geedarr ... gala phadnay se sher nahin ban jaata “
( FILM … MARTAY DUM TAK )
( 9 ) “ Doctor, jis baat ka faisla ho chuka us sey ghabrana kya aur darna kya. Such sunanay ki Taaqat mujh mein hai. Mera dil itna kamzor nahin...”
( FILM … DIL EIK MANDIR )
( 10 )“Tumhaaray prem mein main mar kar bhee na mar saka aur Neel Kamal, tum zinda ho kar bhee mere prem ko bhool Gayee”
( FILM ….. NEEL KAMAL )
( 11 )“Jab hum dushmanon ka khayal kartay huve apne paaon neeche rakhtay hain , to hamaaray dushman maut ka tassawur kartay huve zameen se Oupper uthanay lagtay hain “
( FILM … BETAAJ BAADSHAH )

(12 ) “ Hum ko Mita sakay yeh zamaanay mein Dum Nahin 
Hum se zamaana khud hai zamaanay se hum nahin “
( FILM … BULANDI )

Undoubtedly , he was the emperor of a style in dialogue delivery that became quite popular and caught the fancy of cinegoers of his age.
He was not the usual handsome hero , Not tall either and totally ignorant of the present day much needed foot tapping or dancing skills. Inspite of all these drawbacks , he had a unique style of presenting himself in his films. In WAQT he makes an impressive appearance ; walking confident steps while playing with his key ring , picturized superbly with Sahir’s song “Kaun Aaya Ki Nigaahon Mein chamak Jaag Uthi “ in background. Songs like “ Chhu leinay do naazuk honthon ko “ totally matched with the aura of his style when picturized . I vividly remember how remarkably he presented himself in picturization of the song “Kiss tarah jeetein hain yeh log Bataa do Yaaron “ penned by Rajindra Krishen for NAI ROSHINI .

During my recent visit to Mumbai ,I was shown the house at WORLI SEAFACE where he and his family lived . I saw the police station at MAHIM in Mumbai where he had served as Sub inspector sometime in 1950. I also came to know that he had sought senior actor D K SAPRU’s help to locate some kashmiri Pandit who could prepare the Horoscope and then suggest some good name for his Anglo Indian Wife Jennifer ( former Air Hostess whom he married in 1960 ) whom he Finally named “GAYATRI “. I also learnt that apart from various books in his personal library , he would proudly display Kalhana’s “ Rajataringini ”.

A lover of Ghalib’s poetry , Raj Kumar had a mastery over written and spoken Urdu . He equally loved reading Hindi and English writers . He Was a regular subscriber to READERS DIGEST and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE which habit he passed on to his children as well..

A KASHMIRI AT HEART

Raj Kumar belonged to a kashmiri Pandit family that had moved to Balochistan many years before partition of the country on account of employment of his father .He had his initial schooling at Loralai in Balochistan.
He was fond of KASHMIRI KAHWA TEA , ROGAN JOSH , DUM ALLU , PANEER COOKED IN TURMERIC AND MILK , and KHEER.
In Mumbai , I also came to know that he Would speak a good number of kashmiri words like CHAAMAN ( Paneer ), ORZU ( Good Health ), VAARAI CHHIVA ( Are you fine ) and would often make an attempt to speak complete sentences in somewhat broken kashmiri .
Kashmir always remained close to his heart . He would often send his family to kashmir during summer holidays (every year upto 1987 ) joining them as and when he could be free from his shooting schedules. The family was seen many times at Gulmarg and Pahalgham staying in huts and enjoying Horse riding , trekking and evening strolls . Once he visited his ancestral village in kashmir and traced his distant relatives . He maintained contact with a few amongst his ancestral clan even at the high point of his film career though he himself never grew up in kashmir valley.
Raj kumar was first cousin to writer Surendra Kaul and consequently uncle to Director Pawan kaul ( Surendra’s son )
He loved his GOLF, CARS ( He owned Chevrolet, Mercedes, Volkswagen and a Willy’s Jeep) , HORSE RIDING , SMOKING PIPES ,TRENDY SHOES , FASHIONABLE CLOTHES ( shirts and Kurta Pyjamas ) and PAANS ( from a particular shop located at Pedder Road in Mumbai ). 
He is reported to have taken keen interest in 
selecting the names of his children. He selected these names from some epics and ancient texts. For example PURU ( his son ) is named after the great Puranic King PURU who is believed to be the ancestor of PANDAVAS. PURU also finds mention in Mahabharata and RigVeda . His another son is named after the Great sanskrit Grammarian and ancient scholar from GANDHARA known as PANINI. Panini is reported to have visited kashmir , a place that finds mention in his master work “ASHTADHYAYI “ . 
He also named his daughter VASTAVIKTA ( originality ). 


FILMS


From RANGEELI ( 1952 ) to GOD AND GUN ( 1995 ) , Raaj Kumar acted in about 95 films . During this journey , he performed some memorable charcaters that had long and lasting impression on his admirers His unforgetable roles include CHITRASEN OF NEEL KAMAL , CAPT. RAJESH OF HUMRAAZ, A PERVERTED ZAMINDAAR OF LAAL PATHER , PRAKASH OF ARDHANGINI ,HORI of GODAAN (Based on Munshi Prem Chand’s Novel ) , THE CANCER PATIENT OF DIL EK MANDIR , RAJA OF WAQT , NAWAB SALIM OF MERE HUZOOR , INSPECTOR SHREEKANT OF OONCHE LOG ,THE MILL WORKER OF PAIGHAAM , DR SUSHIL VERMA OF DIL APNA AUR PREET PARAAI , SHAMU THE POOR FARMER OF MOTHER INDIA and BRIGADIER SURYADEV SINGH OF TIRANGA .
Other films wherein he played some impressive roles include HEER RANJHA , KUDARAT , EK NAI PAHELI , DULHAN, JAILOR , NEELMANI , AAJ AUR KAL , KAAJAL, UJAALA, VASAANA , NAI ROSHINI , CHAMBAL KI KASAM, HINDUSTAN KI KASAM , and -ITIHAAS .
Never before him and never after him have cinegoers witnessed the exceptional poise , exclusive acting style and unique dialogue delivery that “JAANI “brought to Indian films . Battling cancer ,he finally breathed his last on 3rd July 1996 at a not so advanced age of 69 years .
I conclude this brief post with a couplet of Faiz Ahmed Faiz…

Yeh sukhan jo hum ne raqam kiye 
Yeh hain sab varaq teri yaad ke ,
Koyee lamhaa subh e Visaal ka 
Kayee Shaam e Hijr Ki Muddatein….


( Autar Mota )


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

THREE VIEWS OF SANTORINI ( GREECE ) IN MOONLIGHT


                                                                        

  
                                                                              


SANTORINI (GREECE ) IN MOONLIGHT...
( Photo sandeep Mota )

Santorini is one of Greece’s most beautiful islands. It is known for its exceptionally dramatic views and the old-fashioned town of Thira. Not only the exceptional sunset views, Moonlight is also  a special attraction for Tourists going to Santorini. For its dazzling moonlight, santorini is also known as Moon land.


To these  photographs , i add lines from a long poem of Urdu poet Ali sardar jafri...


Hai Raat Ki Raahon Mein
Taaron Ka safar Jaari..
Aur Baad e Biyabaani
Sarmast o gazal Khwaan hai
Har Zarre ke seene mein
Ek Sham e Farozaan hai
Har Khaar Ke naize pe
Khwaabon ka Gulistaan hai ….

Sadh kaafila Pinhaa Hai
Sadh Kaafila Paidaa hai
Awaaz e jaras lekin
Iss Dasht mein Tanhaa hai
Sadiyon se issi Surat
Hai Hukme safar Jaari
Farmaan e Sitam jaari
Elaan e karam Jaari……….

Kal Subah ke daaman mein
Tum Hogay na hum hongay
Buss Reit Ke seene par
Kuchh Naqshe Qadam hongay
Saaye mein darakhton ke
Phir log baham Hongay
Kiss Des se Aaye ho
Kis Des ko jaana hai
Aey waqt Ke mehmaanon
Aey shamm e Tamanna par
Jaltay huve Parwaanon
Aey Sokhta Samaanon…
( Autar Mota )

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REMEMBERING PRAKASH TANDON (1911-2004)



                                                                      


PRAKASH TANDON (1911-2004 )


Surely  you may not be familiar with this name. Those who are, may not have adequate knowledge about his contribution and background.

He was Chairman cum Managing Director the first Swadeshi Bank known presently as Punjab National Bank. Before that he was chairman of State Trading Corporation and First Indian Chairman of Unilever ( Hindustan Lever Ltd. ). He made HLL truly Indian not only in name but also in spirit. There was a genuine realisation in London, and a sense of pride in Bombay that Indians could manage the company. He was also on the Board of Directors of Food Corporation of India ,Hindustan Steel , Hindustan Aeronautics and Reserve Bank Of India .

He also taught at universities in Berkeley , Boston, California , Chandigarh , Delhi and Ahmedabad. He happened to be a founding Director of IIM Ahemdabad . Once while addressing the IIM faculty he said

“The essence of management is the ability to sort out the relevant from the irrelevant. If you have to plough through reams of case material and exhibits for tomorrow's classes, you must train yourself to read selectively and fast - take what is strictly worth remembering, and discard the rest.”

Wherever he served , he left his imprints . He brought freshness, efficiency and unique organizational culture in many organizations which he entered in any capacity . As individual , he lived a simple life and lived  in  his own  DDA  flat at Vasant Kunj.  He would be  often seen  driving  his own Fiat Car .

I need to say something more about this Gem of a man ..

Born in 1911 to a wealthy Punjabi family , Prakash Tandon graduated from Govt college Lahore as science student but suddenly shifted to Commerce, went to UK and returned as qualified Chartered accountant in 1937.


While Prakash Tandon was proud of his Punjabi heritage, he never promoted  Punjabis.  His closest associates in the Hindustan Lever Ltd. were Maurice Zinkin, a Britisher, and R. Ramaswamy, a Tamil Brahmin. His preferred successor was Vasant Rajadhyakshya, a Maharashtrian. He applied this principle to all other organizations that he headed. The success  story of of DALDA ( Hydrogenated vegetable oil which became a cheap substitute for Ghee in the Indian Kitchen )    was solely scripted  by Parakash Tandon  due to  his innovative marketing  skills infused in Hundustan Lever Limited .  

He revolutionized the Financial sector In India especially Banking by his Guidelines that came to be known as Tandon Norms . These fundamental Guidelines on Working Capital finance together with a scientific Methodology for working out credit requirements of Industrial enterprises have been put to use by every Financial institution in the country . Most of my friends in the Banking sector must be familiar with his Methods of lending based on Current Assets , Margin and well defined Holding Norms for Raw material , Stocks in process , Finished goods and receivables . Industries and Banking sector in India remain indebted to this genius for these basic Guidelines on Working Capital Finance . He was a pioneer in management education in India.


A lover of fine Arts , Prakash Tandon was a connoisseur of Urdu Poetry , Ancient History , Music and classical Literature . It was always a real treat to listen to him on any subject under the sun. His ideas were original and innovative and he would speak for hours extempore . The three books authored by him which comprise his autobiography – Punjabi Century , Beyond Punjab and return to Punjab – are regarded as Modern Classics . These Books have been published by Penguins as Punjabi Saga .


His admirers were to be seen in all segments of the society . Some names that come to my mind at the moment are Playwright Balwant Gargi , Punjabi writer Kartar Singh Duggal, Dr Mulk Raj Ananad , Actor Devanand , Ram Nath Goenka , J R D Tata , Shreyans Prasad jain , Dr Manmohan Singh and Dr. A M Khusro.


His book BANKING CENTURY , published by Penguins in 1989 is an interesting story about a Public sector Giant known as Punjab National Bank . A story about how the idea to start a swadeshi Bank at Anarkali lahore was conceived and given practical shape in 1895 by three Gentlemen ( Sardar Dayal Singh MajIthia , Babu Kali Prasun Roy and E C Jesswala . A sikh , A Hindu and a Parsi ; All the three were followers of Bengal’s Brahmo Samaj ) highly motivated by a Nationalist leader lala Lajpat Rai.  It is a grand story of three dreamers  who could have little realized that a two room office at Anarkali Lahore would  finally  grow  into a National Bank with more than 6500 branches spreading from Leh to Kanyakumari and Kohima to Kathiawar . He worked as Chairman cum Managing director of the bank for three years and inducted more than 1000 young Management Trainees who rose to become Executive Directors and Managing Directors of various Banks in the country.

Half of this Book takes the reader on a journey through Babylonian , Roman, Greek , Chinese , Egyptian , Persian , Arab and Indian Civilization examining the evolution of finance and Trade in these cultures .The Book also explains interestingly how Finance and trade evolved itself in Ancient and medieval india through Hundis and traditional sahukaars . The story of Seths , Multanis , Marwaris , Banias , Nattukottai Chettis , Chettiars , Nagar Seths ( City Bankers ) finally settles down at Birlas , Tatas , Goenkas , Jains etc. In between You also come to know that founding families of Levers , Krupps , Duponts, Dunlops , Bayers , Lavals , Thomsons and Marellis have disappeared while much of the Indian Industry is still managed and controlled by families who , often owning a fraction of equity wield total power and control.


You are also updated about the Arya samaj movement of Punjab , Brahmo Samaj Movement of Bengal ,Tribune Newspaper in its formative years , Lahore The Grand city of Punjab , Darshani ( Payable on demand ) and Dekhanhar ( payable at sight ) Hundi syetem in indian Trade and commerce , The East India company , Mughals , Maharaja Ranjit singh’s rule , The sikh Misels ,Zamindari and Jagirdari system in India ,Indian Railways , Irrigation canals in Punjab , Barter system in Indian Trade , Journey of Currency from Metal Coins to paper Notes in india , Post War Economic Recessions in the world , Arrival of Post offices in India , Partition of the country with rebirth of Indian economy , Nehruvian Industrial and economic policies , Social control and Nationalization and the final phase known as financial Sector reforms.


From this book I came to know that Mahmud of Gazni , who invaded India 14 times had issued gold coins in 1007 AD each weighing 180 grains and bearing Kalima and the name of Khalifa Al Qadir B’Illah , on whose behalf he conducted the wars and invasions . In india , he did something unique in history ; he issued coins with sanskratized Kalima ; “ Ayyaktamekam Muhammad Avatara samvati 418 Mahmudpur “ followed by the name of the issuer , Nripati Mahmud with a motif of Hindu Deity . He had renamed Lahore as Mahmudpur .

From this book I also came to know that from Kings to common man , every person would borrow from Nagar Seths and discharge Hundis . Prakash Tandon informs that during the Sepoy uprising of 1857, Seth Amirchand of Bikaner and Seth Mool Chand of of Ajmer financed British Government .Bhama Shah , the oswal Banker , financed the maintenance of 25000 men of Rana Partap for many years to enable him to carry on his wars against Akbar .
The house of Jagat Seth were hereditary Bankers to Nawabs of Bengal. Jagat seth was instrumental in the overthrow of Nawab Siraj Ud Daula and setting up of Mir jaffar as Nawab . When Mir Kasim became the New Nawab of Bengal , he ordered Jagat Seth to be thrown into Ganga from the Bastions of Monghyr Fort.

About this book Prof A M khusro adds

“ In the history of Money and Finane , there are few works which claim greater depth , erudition and elegance than ( this ) fascinating Book “

About Parakash Tandon , Dr Ashok Ganguli Former Chairman HLL adds ..

"He established standards and norms for corporate conduct, governance and social conduct that have now become popular and fashionable around the world."

Some quotes of Prakash Tandon that come to my mind are ..


“ Room at the top is always Vacant ”

“ Recruitment , training and cadres must be built on continuous basis in any organization . Overlooking this may land any organization into Managerial Crisis. ”

“ Greatest tasks have been performed by men using simple Common sense “

“Managers are functional entities and not Bureaucrats . They have to keep their doors open .”

“ Age plays a key role in the process of taking a decision .Beyond a certain age, managers tend to tread the safe and secured path. Quite often , their movement along these paths may prove disastrous for the organization.”


I conclude this post with some lines from “Naya Aahang “ a beautiful poem composed by well known modern urdu Nazm poet late Akhtar Ul Imaan …


Loghaat Alfaaz ka ek dher hai Lafzon pe Mat jaana ,
Naya Aahang Hota hai Murratab Lafz o Maani Ka,
Meray haq mein Abhi Kuchh Faisala saadir Na Farmaana
Me Jis Din Aaoonga Taaza Loghaat Hamraah Laaoonga…...........
( Akhtar Ul Imaan )

The dictionary is nothing but a heap of words ,
Be cautious and discreet ,
A fresh design is in the offing to define everything anew,
Pray, Don’t pass any judgement at the instant .
The day I come my lord ,
I shall bring along with me the NEW LEXICON…
So long so much……


( Autar Mota )


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MUSIC DIRECTOR NAUSHAD ALI WAS ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED URDU POET.



                                                                   

Not many people know that   Naushad Ali ( popularly known as NAUSHAD in Hindi film World) was also an accomplished urdu poet.He published a book of Urdu poetry titled " Aathwaan Sur "("The Eighth Note").I quote his couplets........
(1)
Aabadiyon mein Dasht Ka Manzar Bhi aayegaa,
Guzrogay shahar se To Mera ghar Bhi aayegaa
Achhi Nahin Nazaakat e Ahsaas Iss Qadar ,
Sheesha agar Banogay to Pather bhi Aayegaa...
(2)
Abhi Saaz e Dil Mein Taraane bahut Hain
Abhi Zindagi ke Bahaane Bahut hain
Teray Dhar Se Baahar Bhi Duniya Parri hai,
Kahin Ja Raheigay Thikaane Bahut Hain.
Hain Din Bad- Mazaaqi ke Naushad Lekin ,
Abhi Teray Funn Ke Deewane Bahut Hain


(3)
Hum Doston ke Lutf o Karam Dekhtay Rahe.. 
Hotay Rahe Jo Dil Pe sitam Dekhtay Rahe ..
Har shaam Ek Khwaab Sehar mein Guzar gayee ,
Har subh ek Shaam e alam Dekhte Rahe ..
Khaamosh Qahqahon mein Bhi Gham Dekhtay Rahe.. 
Duniya na dekh Paaayi Jo Hum Dekhtay Rahe .
(4) 
sab Kuchh Sare Bazaar e Jahaan chorr Gayaa hai ..
Yeh Kaun Khuli Apni Dukaan Chorr gaya Hai ..
Sau Qaafile Iss Raah se aaye Bhi gaye Bhi ,
Ab Tak Me Vahin Huun Vo Jahaan Chorr gayaa hai 
(5)
Eik Be Qaraar dil se Mulaqaat Keejiye 
Jab Mil Gaye Hain Aap To Phir Baat Keejiye .
Nazron se guftagu Ki Hadein Khatm Ho Chukeen
Jo Dil Mein Hai Zubaan se Vohee Baat Keejiye 
(6)
Na Mandir Mein sanam Hotay na Masjid Mein Khudaa hota 
Hameeen Se Ye tamaasha Hai Na Hum Hotay To Kyaa Hota 
Zamaane Ko to Bus Mashq e sitam se Lutf lena hai ,
Nishaane par na hum Hotay to koyee doosara hota...

( Autar Mota ) 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

JEEVAN : INIMITABLE STALWART VILLAIN OF INDIAN CINEMA .


                                                                                             



JEEVAN ( 1915-1987)


His father died when he was barely three years old. He had twenty two brothers and a sister . His mother died when he was born. So Omkar Nath Dhar ( 24th October 1915 -- 10th June 1987 ) who came to be known as Jeevan in films , was brought up by uncles and Aunts. He had his early education in Srinagar and Lahore. 
Jeevan's father was Wazir e Wazarat of Gilgit during Maharaja Partap Singh's rule and the family had Business interests in Srinagar  and Lahore .

Fascinated by films , he ran away from his home when he was 18 . With just twenty six rupees in his pocket , he landed in Bombay. Failing in his efforts to get some role in films , he joined a film studio ( Owned by Mohan Sinha ) as Reflector Boy . His job was to carry the light reflectors and focus them as per the directions of the cameraman / Director. He saw Diwaker Divecha( Highly skilled cameraman of Sholay fame ) also working as Reflector boy. And then sometime in 1935 , Mohan Sinha offered him a role in his film “Fashionable India “ and thereafter there was no looking back for this talented artist. Offers kept pouring in from many reputed film makers. Some of his memorable films are Kanoon, Mela , Taraana , Ghar Ki Izzat , Sab se Bada Rupaiyaa , Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya ,Roti, Jeet , Laawaris , Do Phool , Phool Aur Pather , Gambler , Shareef Badmaash , Aaj Ka Mahatma ,Deewar,Amar Akbar Anthony,Johny Mera Naam,Kohinoor,Dharmatma, Taj and Bulundi etc. He acted in more than 350 films and as NARAD MUNI in more than 60 films .

Jeevan played villain in a large number of  Hindi films during the 60s and 70s. His unique nasal twang  , Body language and dialogue delivery placed him in the category of elite artists of Hindi cinema . Almost all his negative roles ( performed in his inimitable style ) as Cunning Munim or Lala , Deewan sahib ,Mamaji , Village Sarpanch, Landlord etc. were widely appreciated by cinegoers . 
As artist , he was extremely Punctual and discplined . Essentially a family man , he was a close relation of another kashmiri artists D. K Sapru or Sapru. Infact for quite some time , both families lived as neighbours at Bandra . 

He was devoted to his family , a loving husband and an affectionate and liberal father . His children studied in Boarding schools . His son Kiran Kumar graduated from FTII Pune and joined films . Kiran married Noted Gujrati Actress Sushma Verma . His second son Bushan kumar ( Jeevan Bushan ) also joined films .
                                                                               
Jeevan liked good food and enjoyed his quota of two pegs of whiskey ( One large and another small ) everyday. He Liked kashmiri Kahwa which he would prepare for his wife and children as well. 

He loved cooking his own food and going on picnics and hunting expeditions with his family and friends . Kashmir remained his first love  though his engagements in Bombay left little time for him to make desired trips to the place of his birth. 


 Dilip Kumar , Cinematographer Diwakar Divecha , B R Chopra and Manmohan Desai were  his close friends .



Dividing  his time between family and studio , he  rarely attended film parties . He was an avid radio listener and would never miss listening to BBC News and Chhaya Geet from AIR. 

This October , jeevan would have been 99 . He died a contended man . Peace be to his soul...


( Autar Mota 13.10.2014 )

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CHIKKI IS A POPULAR SWEET IN MAHARASHTRA


                                                                                   





A CHIKKI SHOP AT LONAWALA ( MAHARASHTRA )

Chikki is a popular Indian sweet made basically from jaggery Syrup ( having Minimum water content ) and Ground nut . In Punjab , ordinary Chikki is known as PATTI. Chikkis are popular in many Asian countries including Pakistan , Bangal Desh and Nepal. It is also a popular sweet or tradittional candy of some latin American countries especially Brazil. 


A variety of chikkis are made in Maharashtra especially Lonawala, Khandala , Mahabaleshwar and Pune using almonds , cashewnuts , coconut, Dried Rose petals , Pistachios and flavours .I was informed that MAGAN LAL (A Gujrati Trader )introduced innovated form of Chikkis in Khandala and Lonawala area . This is precisely the reason that most Chikki shops in Lonawala bear his name .I tried Chikki in Mumbai, Khandala and Lonawala. To me Lonawala Chikki is perhaps the best . My choice would be the crispy Rose Kaju chikki sold @ Rs600 per kg.


Next time you plan a visit to Lonawala or Mahabaleshewar , just taste a piece of Rose kaju chikki …..
( Autar Mota )
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WHEN URDU POET LATE MAKHDOOM MOHI UD DIN WROTE A TOUCHING POEM ON KASHMIR


                                                                                    




A SMILING PHOTOGRAPH OF LATE MAKHDOOM MOHI UD DIN

( NOTED URDU POET AND A TELENGANA /  COMMUNIST  LEADER )

In their poetic compositions, Almost all Urdu poets have focused on the natural beauty of kashmir . They have written about its Water falls , rivers , seasons , gardens , flowers , Lakes , fruits , Tress and other objets that please the naked eye. A few of them were also moved by the poverty and living conditions of the inhabitants of this beautiful valley . And Makhdoom is one such poet .

 Makhdoom visited kashmir possibly thrice .  His last visit was  during the summer season of 1969 . After his  first visit to kashmir , Makhdoom Mohi Ud Din wrote a matchless Blank verse ..I add the poem to his photograph…..

Raah mein Sarv Milay,
Raah mein Shamshaad milay ,
Sab Giriftaar e Chaman ..

Shaam e Gulmarg Millli,
Subh e Pahalghaam Mili ..
Raah Mein Hanstay Rahay Laal o Nasreen o saman ,
Gungunaatay huve phoolon ke Badan Miltay Rahay ..
Dil Ki afsurdaa kali,
Aaissi Vaadi Mein aa kar Bhi Na khilli ..
Dil Ke Khush Honay Ka samaan ,
Gul O Laal o Nasreen o Saman …

Jhaadiyaan Dard Ki ,
Dukh ke jungle ,
Nadiyaan,
Jin Mein Bahaa kartay hain dil ke Naasoor ,
Koh e Gham,
Naag Ki Maanind Siyaah Phunn Kholay
Har Guzargaah ko Jaatay hain….

Raat Hi Raat hai Sanaata Hi Sanaata hai ,
Koyee saahil Bhi Nahin ,
Koyee kinaara Bhi Nahin,
Koyee Jugnoo Bhi Nahin ,
Koyee sitara Bhi Nahin …..

Meri Iss Vaadiy e Farda ke Khush Par taayir,
Yeh Andhera Hi Teri Raahguzar ,
Iss Faza mein koyee darwazaa Na Dehleez na dhar ,
Teri Parwaaz hi Ban Jaati hai samaan e safar ,
Daaman e koh mein soyee Nazar Aati hai ,
Teray Khwaab ki Zareen sahar ……..

( Autar Mota )

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