In the worst of times, keep your mind cool and composed. After 20 years of ruling France, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Allied army. He was forced to abdicate on April 6. 1814. He was exiled to Mediterranean island of Elba. Before leaving, he addressed the remaining officers of France. His address given below gives us a strong lesson that whatever be the circumstance we must maintain our composure of mind. That speaks the strength of one’s character. His address is reproduced below.
“Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have entailed deeper misfortunes on France.
I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country.
I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart.”
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1. Bhagwan also known as Bhagwan Dada. He was born on August 1, 1913 in Mumbai. His first successful movie was Albela. it was produced & directed by him. Albela became a hit. Thereafter he was producing his movies and he was also recognized as an entertaining actor. He was particularly known for his special style of dancing.
Bhagwan’s story is the story of Rages to Riches. At one time he had a fleet of 7 cars. He was successful and entertaining actor. He was also a very generous and helpful man.
His important films are Albela 1951, Aasha 1980, Chori Chori 1956, Geet 1970 and many others. He started his career with the film called Mera Badla made in 1943.
But died as a poor man. Many of his colleagues whom he had helped during his hay days shied away during his penury.
2. Birju Maharaj was born on 4th February 1938 in Varanasi. He belongs to Banaras Gharana. His parents Acchan Maharaj and Ammaji Maharaj were also great dancers.
Whenever we think of an Indian dancer who have trained renowned classical dancers and who has also performed throughout his life, that only name that comes to mind is, Birju Maharaj. His performance was appreciated throughout the world besides, he got many awards. These included National award for classical dancer.
Birju Maharaj choreographed some of the song and dance sequences in various films. His most recent contribution is in the film Bajirao Mastani. In this film he choreograph ‘Mohe Rang do’. This has become extremely popular. The song is sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Pandit Birju Maharaj himself. It is composed by the famous director Sanajy Leela Bhansali. Even at the age of 77 Birju Maharaj is still very active.
3. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the Indian classical singer in the history of Indian music who has achieved maximum recognition and awards is, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Many of his albums have become extremely popular. These include Abhangwani, Shradhanjali, Bhakti Sangeet and many more. His awards include Bharat Ratna, Padmvibhushan and others. Without doubt, his singing talent and ability have well deserved the recognition. Commonly he most remember by his song ‘mile soor mera tumhara…..’
He was born on February 4th 1922 in Gadag- Betageri in Karnatka. However most of his time, he spent in Pune. He died on January 24, 2011 in Pune. A classical singer of his stature can only been seen once in a century.
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Yesterday the 31st January was a Sunday, my holiday. More importantly, it was Punyatithi (Death anniversary) of two very important actors of Indian cinema. They are- Suraiya and K. N. Singh. With apologies for the delay of one day, I pay homage to these two important actors.
Suraiya was born on 15th June 1929 in Gujranwala, Punjab (now in Pakistan). It was her mother who wanted that she should become an actress. In 1937 she got to perform in All India Radio. She was not formally trained in music. So she just got an opportunity to sing.
However it was in 1945 that Suraiya got the first leading lady role the film called ‘Tadbeer’. Thereafter there was no looking back. When Naushad, the famous music director got an opportunity to meet Suraiya and listen to her song, he decided that he will definitely give her opportunity to sing in his films.
Anmol Ghadi was one of the most popular films of Suraiya. She sang her songs and the music was given by the Naushad. Though Naushad gave her many opportunities, it was music director Husanlal Bhagatram for whom Suraiya sang maximum songs.
Mirza Ghalib was an another very important film. One of the very beautiful ladies of her time, Suraiya was also known for living the character she played. I take this opportunity to post some of her very popular photographs in yesteryear’s.
Suraiya died on 31st January 2004 in Krishna Mahal, the flat at Marine Drive in which she had spent most of her life. Suraiya was honored by the Indian post office on May 3, 2013.
K. N. Singh was known as a gentlemen villain. Actually, he was an advocate. His father was also an advocate. K. N. Singh was supposed to take up the profession of his father. But when we leant that as an advocate he has to prove that whatever he says is the truth even if it is not, he found it against his principle. His conscience did not allow him to do so.
K. N. Singh was also an athlete. He could have represented the country in Olympic Games when he was in 20s. But due to circumstances he could not go there. It seems he was destining to become an actor.
He met Prithviraj Kapoor in Calcutta, who in turn introduced him to son Raj Kapoor. So we find k n. singh featuring in many films of Raj Kapoor. First film was Barsaat followed by Awara. His two important films were released in 1958. These are Howrah Bridge and Chalti Ka Naam Gadi.
(Picture from Howrah Bridge)
As a villain he only played the role of boss of an illegal outfit.
Unfortunately in his last years he turned totally blind. He died on 31st January 2000 at the age of 91.