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Showing posts with the label celebrity deaths-2012

Tony Greig (1946-2012): Tributes To A Great Cricketer!

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We knew him those days only through the radio commentaries whenever India happened to play England. We are talking of the early seventies when television coverage was restricted to mostly New Delhi cricket Tests and there no possibility of any national telecast as there was no terrestrial network through satellites. Cricket came live to our homes only after 1982. Therefore we knew little about his towering 6.6 feet all-round field presence and much lesser about his utterances, antics and entertainment on the field. But even through radio commentaries he made his presence felt particularly in 1974 when England defeated India 3-0 in England with India getting shot out for 42 in the second innings of the Lords Test, and then again during 1976-77 England tour of India known as the John Lever ‘Vaseline’ Series when India lost again 3-1.   As a great cricketer he remained etched in our mind since then and his popularity later as a commentator, when we actually started seeing him, on

Balasaheb Thackeray Passes Away: The Tiger To Roar No More!

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The most spontaneous leader of Marathi manoos (people) fought for his people till the last moments of his life. Despite being engaged in a death defying struggle for days and months he never weakened away from the issues that concerned his people and his land. A series of most complicated medical problems that continuously eroded his body could not stop him from carrying on writing in his newspaper Saamna for his beloved Marathi people. His life has been of committed leadership, not of politics or political commitments. He never indulged in caste politics or vote bank politics as he said in an interview that only two castes existed for him—the rich and the poor. In his career of active leadership for over 45 years his party Shiv Sena ruled Maharashtra for only five years, but the Leader ruled the minds of Marathi people—always. The roaring Tiger of Maharashtra fell silent today. Balasaheb Thackeray (1926-2012) passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra loca

Accidents Horror: Tragic End To Comedy King Jaspal Bhatti!

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He was probably the most famous Sikh comedian ever in Indian Television and movies. He gave us a taste of a comedy show in the early years of National Network telecasts in Doordarshan. That time Doordarshan was the only television media and we were used to watching foreign comedy shows. But this brilliant comedian-writer-director enthralled us with indigenous doses of humor, wit, satire and fun in his comedy shows for the first time in Indian television. Jaspal Bhatti, the innocuous looking Sardar with a disarming smile whose one dialogue is enough to make you laugh out.   And his insightful storytelling was capable of making you cry too.  Jaspal Bhatti made his appearance in Doordarshan in the eighties with his TV Series Ulta Pulta and Flop Show . The shows were instant hits and he became a household name in India. His actor-wife Savita Bhatti appeared with him all the way and they were inseparable and one of the most loved couples. Later in the nineties when other channe

Yash Chopra: Iconic Filmmaker Passes Away In Mumbai!

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A career spanning over five decades from the good old days to the complex modern times. Directed 22 films and produced over 50 films. Won over 10 Filmfare awards including 4 for Best Direction, highest National honors in films-Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2005. Melodious music and exotically beautiful locations being the richest of the highlights of his films. All have been mainstream Bollywood movies, but refreshingly different from the formula entertainers with loads of sensitivity, characterization and insight of life. Almost all of his movies being hits and super duper hits. An enlivening chapter of Hindi cinema since 1959 ended today. Yash Chopra, the legendary filmmaker passed away today evening at a Mumbai hospital after a brief illness at the age of 80.  Yash Chopra  started his movie career with his elder brother legendary BR Chopra and then moved on successfully to form his own film production house, the famous Yashraj Films in 1971. Yashraj

AK Hangal: Bollywood Movie Grandfather Passes Away!

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A tremendous feature about him that always struck me was he looked the same since he made his first silver screen appearance in 1966. The reason could be that he started his acting quite late after attaining the age of fifty. He had always been the amiable, smiling, melancholic, incorrigibly pious and utterly homely uncle, father and grandfather of Bollywood movies for nearly five decades. And, he was always the balding, pale and thin man in mostly traditional costumes and surroundings. He had been like a beloved and respected member of our own family…and today we lost him. Avtar Kishen Hangal popularly known as AK Hangal , a veteran character actor of over 225 Hindi or Bolllywood movies, passed away this morning at a Mumbai hospital. He was 95. For the past week he had been on life support system and was not responding to medical treatment. The grand old actor had a fall in his bathroom on August 14, 2012 and fractured a hip bone. Old age problems combined with longstanding lun

Indian Political Leader Vilasrao Deshmukh Passes Away!

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Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Science and Technology in the Government of India, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and a stalwart of Maharashtra politics, passed away today at a Chennai hospital. He had been suffering from serious liver ailments for the last fifteen days and was on life support. The end came today due to multiple organ failure, the attending doctors said. He was 67. The whole nation went into mourning at the untimely demise of worthy political leader on the eve of India ’s 66 th Independence Day tomorrow. Hailing from Babhalgaon village in Latur district of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh rose from an elected Sarpanch or village headman in 1974 to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 1999. He fought and won the state Assembly elections in 1980 and his career as a prominent Congress political leader began. He won the elections in 1985 and in 1990 too and occupied prime portfolios of cabinet ministers in the state government. He lost the polls in 1995,

Rajesh Khanna: The First Indian Superstar Passes Away!

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A small town of Assam—long time ago. The town had only one movie theatre and every Friday there was a change of movies. As small kids we were always focused on the movies being screened there. On Fridays, a cycle-rickshaw covered with huge posters and fitted with a loud speaker used to roam the town streets announcing the new movie. It came to our area too and we used to wait eagerly for the spectacle.                      On a particular Friday the spectacle arrived and it announced the release of a new film called ‘ Aradhana ’ ( Worship -1969) with a brand new hero named Rajesh Khanna. We never heard about him before. Songs of the movie were also being played and we got instantly attracted. We decided to watch the movie pretty soon. But rumors of a particular song (we came to know much later that the sexy song was captured in one camera take) prevented our parents giving the green signal. They watched it first and then fortunately for us thought it prudent to allow us to go f

Dara Singh: We Salute The Legendary Hero!

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Article first published as Tributes To Dara Singh: The Legendary Wrestler-Actor Of India! on Technorati. He had 500 professional wrestling bouts to his credit and remained undefeated in all them. His opponents included the names of the greatest international wrestlers of that time like King Kong from Australia, George Gordenko from Canada and John Desilva from New Zealand. He was the first ever sportsperson to be nominated to the upper house of the Indian Parliament. Towering over six feet with eight-pack abs and a strikingly handsome appearance he was the first he-man of Indian movies. He was also the first Indian movie hero to take off the shirt! He acted in nearly 200 Hindi and Punjabi films since the early sixties till 2007 as the main leads and character roles.  Dara Singh , born in 1928 in the state of Indian Punjab, was encouraged to take up the wrestling profession thanks to his physical assets. After achieving mastery over the art he was mostly invited by the kin

Mehdi Hassan: The Ghazal Legend Of Pakistan And India No More!

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Article first published as Mehdi Hassan: The Emperor Of Ghazals Passes Away! on Technorati.  He had always been regarded as the most original Ghazal singer. He came into fame in 1957 in Pakistan and dominated the sixties and the seventies with a career ranging five decades. Bad health started plaguing him from the eighties when the masses, particularly in India, started listening to Ghazals and began to admire and love those thanks mainly to the friendlier and popular compositions of Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh. But even now, whenever we talk of Ghazal artistes we are told to go back to Mehdi Hassan to relish the essence of pure Ghazals. Mehdi Hassan was born into a family of musicians in the Indian state of Rajasthan in 1927. Though his ancestors had been traditional singers of Dhrupad and though he had a burning passion for music Mehdi Hassan had the hardest time coming to music. Financially in trouble his family shifted to Pakistan during the Partition in 1947 and t

The Wall of Indian Cricket Retreats! Joy of Hindi Cinema Vanishes!

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Fondly called the ‘Wall’ or ‘Mr. Dependable’ Rahul Dravid retired from international and first class cricket on Friday, the 9 th March, 2012. Early morning the same day ‘Joy’ Mukherjee of Hindi Cinema (not called Bollywood in his time) passed away at a Mumbai hospital. These two events are not linked, but may impact a large mutually inclusive community to which this writer belongs. The news was doing the rounds almost the whole day on Thursday that Rahul Dravid had called a press conference at noon the next day. Almost all in media knew what it would be about and the preparations began in earnest. Rahul Dravid, the consistently No.3 batsman in India’s test matches and in one-day internationals too to a large extent, announced his retirement at a press conference in Bangalore around noon. The end of an era. For the last 16 years we had been watching him, witnessing him and adoring him in all of India’s cricket matches here or abroad. We always looked to him for guiding India—firs