Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EESHA GUPTA - ईशा गुप्ता

Esha Gupta (born 28 November 1985) is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films. A model, she came 3rd in Femina Miss India in 2007 and went to compete in the Miss India International contest and was not placed. Gupta appeared in Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar in 2010. In 2012, she was signed by Mahesh Bhatt for a three-film contract with Vishesh Films and made her screen debut in Kunal Deshmukh's Jannat 2 which was commercially successful, and followed it with Vikram Bhatt's Raaz 3D (also financially successful) and Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh.

Gupta was born in Delhi. Her father is a retired air-force officer and her mother is a homemaker. she has a sister named Neha. She was studying Mass Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal University, Karnataka prior to auditioning for Femina Miss India, and got a law scholarship at Newcastle University, but she pursued a career in Bollywood instead.

Gupta participated in Femina Miss India in 2007, where she won Miss Photogenic and came 3rd to go on to compete in Miss India International. She featured in the Kingfisher Calendar in 2010.

Gupta made her Bollywood debut with Mahesh Bhatt's Jannat 2 opposite Emraan Hashmi in the lead role.

 For her debut performance, Taran Adarsh of Boollywood Hungama said, "Debutante Esha Gupta enchants you with her captivating charm. She appears a tad unrefined at places, nonetheless she handles her part assertively." Martin D'Souza of Glam Sham wrote, "As for the debutante, Esha Gupta, I guess she may have to enroll herself into an acting school." Gaurav Malani stated, "Esha Gupta, who looks a mix between Lara Dutta and Isha Koppikar, is merely there for the glam quotient." Asha Mahadevan of Bollywoodlife said, "Even Esha Gupta manages to cry somewhat convincingly but then there is hardly anything for her to do. Her role is limited to looking sexy and she does it well." The film was a success at the box office, earning 430 million (US$7.1 million) domestically and thus brought in more recognition for Gupta. Later, Gupta signed Vikram Bhatt's Raaz 3D alongside her Jannat 2 co-star, Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu, Gupta received mixed reviews from critics for her acting prowess, film critic Taran Adarsh commented, "Esha Gupta appears awkward and self-conscious in the initial portions, but holds a few sequences graciously in the subsequent hour. I'd like to single out a scene when she has delusions of cockroaches attacking her. Her act in that particular scene is super".

Film critic Komal Nahta noted, "Esha Gupta is stiff as Sanjana but does much better towards the end (when she almost goes berserk)" India Today wrote, "Both Bipasha and Esha get liberal scope to show off booty. A Bhatt film where the heroines don't get to flaunt it is unimaginable, after all, Bipasha looks hot in her starring role but Esha reveals a few raw edges". 'Raaz 3' performed well at box office within first three days of its release with collections in the vicinity of 360 million. Raaz 3 was declared a blockbuster, earning 730 million (US$12 million) domestically.

Gupta has also appeared in her third film, which is her first film outside of the Vishesh Films banner, Chakravyuh alongside Arjun Rampaland Abhay Deol directed by Prakash Jha. She received positive reviews for her performance in the film which was acommercial failure. She ranked No. 13 at Times' 50 Most Desirable Women of 2012.

Gupta has recently signed Sajid Khan's next film, in which she will star alongside Saif Ali Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu and Tamannaah.

Gupta will also be appearing in one more film under the Vishesh Films banner, as she has a three-film deal with them.

साभार : विकिपीडिया 

Monday, September 22, 2014

ASHA PAREKH - आशा पारेख

Asha Parekh (born 2 October 1942) is a Bollywood actress, director, and producer. She was one of the top stars in Hindi films from 1959 to 1973. In 1992, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Parekh is regarded as one of the most successful and influential Hindi movie actresses of all time.

Asha Parekh was born into a middle-class Gujarati Vaishya  family on 2 October 1942 in Mumbai, to a father (who was from Paldi near Pirana, Ahmedabad .Parekh's religious upbringing involved worshipping Sai Baba. Her mother enrolled her in Indian classical dance classes at an early age and she learned from many teachers including Pandit Bansilal Bharati.


Parekh started her career as a child artist under the screen name Baby Asha Parekh in the film Aasmaan (1952). Famed film director Bimal Roy saw her dance at a stage function and cast her at the age of twelve in Baap Beti (1954). The film's failure disappointed her and even though she did a couple more child roles, she quit to resume her schooling. At sixteen she decided to try acting again and make her debut as a heroine, but she was rejected from Vijay Bhatt's Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) in favour of actress Ameeta, because the filmmaker claimed she was not star material. The very next day, film producer Subodh Mukherjee and writer-director Nasir Hussain cast her as the heroine in Dil Deke Dekho (1959) opposite Shammi Kapoor, which made her a huge star.

The film also led to a long and fruitful association with Hussain. He went on to cast Parekh as the heroine in six more of his films: Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Teesri Manzil (1966), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969), and Caravan (1971). She also did a cameo in his film Manzil Manzil (1984). Hussain also got her involved in distribution of films for 21 years, starting with Baharon Ke Sapne (1967). Parekh was primarily known as a glamour girl/excellent dancer/tomboy in most of her films, until director Raj Khosla gave her a serious image by casting her in tragedienne roles in three of her favourite films: Do Badan (1966), Chirag (1969), andMain Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). Director Shakti Samanta gave her more dramatic roles in her other favourite films, Pagla Kahin Ka (1970) and Kati Patang (1970); the latter earned her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Many important directors cast her in several of their films, including Vijay Anand, Mohan Segal and J.P. Dutta.

Parekh acted in her mother tongue by starring in three Gujarati films at the height of her fame in Hindi films, the first being Akhand Saubhagyavati (1963), which became a huge hit. She also acted in some Punjabi films, such as Kankan De Ohle (1971) opposite Dharmendra and Lambhardarni (1976) with Dara Singh, as well as the hit Kannada film Sharavegada Saradara (1989).

After her days as a leading lady ended, Parekh took on supporting roles as bhabhi (sister-in-law) and mother, but she called this the "awkward phase" of her career. So she stopped acting in films, and her friends recommended that she become a television director. She took their advice and became a television director in the early 1990s with the Gujarati serial Jyoti. She formed a production company, Akruti, and produced serials like Palash ke Phool, Baaje Payal, Kora Kagaz and a comedy, Dal Mein Kaala. She was the president of the Cine Artistes' Association from 1994 to 2000. Parekh was the first female chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) of India. She held the post from 1998 to 2001 for which she received no salary but plenty of controversy for censoring films and for not giving clearance to Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth. Later, she became the treasurer of the Cine and Television Artists Association (CINTAA) and was later elected to be one of its officebearers.

Parekh received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.  She has continued to receive other Lifetime Achievement Awards: the Kalakar Award in 2004;  theInternational Indian Film Academy Awards in 2006; the Pune International Film Festival Award in 2007; and the Ninth Annual Bollywood Award in Long Island, New York in 2007. She received the Living Legend Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

In 2008, she was a judge on the reality show Tyohaar Dhamaaka on the Indian entertainment channel 9X.

Personal life

Parekh has remained unmarried, claiming that her reputation of being unapproachable made people hesitate in asking for her hand in marriage. There were rumours that she was romantically involved with her married director Nasir Hussain. In her later years, Parekh said that she had a longtime boyfriend but declined to elaborate on the relationship, only stating that "it was nice while it lasted." She said she had not seen Nasir Hussain during the last year of his life, as he became reclusive because of his wife's death, but she did speak to him the day before he died in 2002.

साभार : विकिपीडिया 

Friday, September 19, 2014

IAS topper Gaurav Agrawal - गौरव अग्रवाल

 The challenges of public service and an opportunity to serve people drove Gaurav Agrawal, the 2013 IAS topper, to aspire a career in civil services shunning a lucrative investment banking job with a top MNC in Hong Kong.

This was the second attempt of the 29-year-old Jaipur boy, who is currently under training at National Police Academy after he was selected for the IPS with 244th rank in the UPSC exams in 2012.

"After finishing my studies in IIT and IIM, I worked in a top MNC in Hong Kong for four years. It was a highly paid and comfortable job in the investment banking sector but I decided to go for civil services due to its distinguished elements," he told PTI over phone from Hyderabad.

"I found that the job of a civil servant is more challenging and very distinguished. The civil servant understands the issues and problems of people and has a chance to serve the people, so I finally decided to quit the job and returned to India for the preparations in 2011," he said.

Agrawal said he attended coaching classes for six months in Delhi to prepare History and then returned to Jaipur and did almost 10-12 hours self studies daily.

"I was motivated by my father, mother, elder sister and other family members, who guided me in my studies," he said.

Agrawal holds a Bachelor of Technology (computer science) degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and MBA (Finance) from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.

He went for the IPS training in December last year after writing the Mains exam in his second attempt.

"I was happy when I was selected as IPS. When I passed the mains exams in second attempt this year, I spared some time and prepared for the interview during the training schedule and today I am very much happy on having topped the exams," he said.

Agrawal thinks that the scope to serve people is higher in administrative service as compared to the police service.

His interview was held only a few days before his marriage on June 4. His wife Preeti said she was speechless when she got the information about her husband's achievement.

"I am very happy and speechless," she said in Jaipur. His father S C Gupta, who is a manager in Jaipur dairy, and housewife mother Suman Gupta said their son was now the 'gaurav' (pride) of the nation

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kesharwani's History - केशरवानी वैश्यों का इतिहास

Kashmir, Kesar & kesharwani – these words are being used from Vedic era. kesharwani i.e. Kesar (Saffron) + Vani. The world ‘Vani’ is from Arabic language & mean – person who sells the things. In Kashmir still they have the same concept & call Doodhvani to milkman, Sabjivani to vegetable seller, Gheevani, Gudvani etc. By this it’s clear that the kesharwanies were the Saffron (Kesar) producer & trader.

Our ancestors were “Arya” & were living at the bank of river “Vatistha” (Known as “Jhelam” at present) in Kashmir at Pampur, Unnipur, Neeva, Shivpur (Nr. Baramula), Srinagar area. There were around 1200 families and were involved in Kesar production & trade. They were supplying the ‘Kesar’ to China, Afganistan, Mishr, Tibet & other Arab countries also. They had remarkable contribution in Harappa & Mohanjodro civilizations. The saffron was mainly harvested at Pampur (Padampur or Pampam) village in Anantnag District in Kashmir. Great poet Kalhar had also written the same in his famous historical book “Rajtarangini”. Lot of Hindu Temple’s ‘Bhagnavashes’ are still available in this village. Pampur village is still famous for producing best quality Kesar (saffron).

Saffron Harvesting & trading was very important to Kashmir. It was a respected trade & was the main source of revenue. kesharwanies where having good reputation with King Harshdev to King Jaysingh in Kashmir, for around 200 years from year 943 to 1149.

Upto 10th century the Kashmir was more secure than other Indian kingdoms. In 11thCentury Mahmood Gazanavi started invading India. After defeating King Jaypal in Punjab in 1001 AD, Capturing Kannauj in year 1018, he looted Somnath Temple in Gujarat in 1025-26AD. While returning-back to Gazani, he appointed his secretary in Punjab, who ruled Punjab for 150 years.

As per “Rajtarngini”, regarded as one of the most ancient and famous historical texts of the sub-continent, Mahmood Gazanvi Secretary, with the help of his minister ‘Bhoj’ had attacked on Kashmir in year 1133. By 12th Century, during Maharaja Jay Singh’s tenure (1128 AD to 1149 AD), kesharwanies were having expertise in using weapons also. They helped the king Jaysingh & fought bravely to Gazjanavi men on behalf of the King. Thousands of kesharwanies were also killed in this war and could push back to muslim invaders for time being. Resulting to that, they became the main targets for the un-human torture of Mahmood Gazanavi & his army. Many kesharwanies forced to adopt Islam religion. To save their identity, existence, other kesharwanies with their families, secretly left Shivpur in night & departed towards Delhi During Maharaj Pruthviraj Chauhan. As the Punjab also was ruled by Gazanvi & they were still targeting these kesharwanies, they forced to leave the Delhi also. In the year 1133 around 100 families of these kesharwanies (Including 196 men) reached to Kade-Manikpur in Allahabad (U.P.) and camped at the bank of Ganga. Kade-Manikpur was a business center & was prosperous region by then. Kaurvanshi Gaudh Brahmin Pt. Shronidhar had helped them a lot to get settled there.

The above incident is clear with following reference from a historical text:

It is said that, as per a carved-engraved stone, found from Kashmir & presently available at Pakistan Museum, a group of people belonging to “Kansal-Gotra” of Agrawal community from Punjab were gone to Kashmir in regard to Kesar trade & were settled there. Gradually there population increased in the region & after the aforesaid incident they migrated to Delhi & to other places from Delhi. Considering this, kesharwanies are nothing but Kansal-Gotri Agrawal Vaishy, who became kesharwani because of their Kesar Business in Kashmir.

At present also, in spite of following Islam religion, people at Kashmir, involved in ‘Kesar’ production & trade use “kesharwani” word with their name & business firm. They consider themselves superior than other Muslims and use ‘Seikh’ as their title. They write their name as Muhammad Sheikh kesharwani & Their firm name be as M/s. Muhammad Seikh Usman Seikh kesharwani. Hope, now it is clear that our roots are from Padmpur (Pampur), Kashmir.

Later 96 groups of these kesharwanies migrated towards eastern provinces i.e. upto Calcutta, Nepal, Bihar, Bengal & Called as “Purbia”. Balance groups called “Pashimia” & spread in Delhi, UP, MP &; Maharastra. 

साभार :

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IAS TOPPER SHENA AGRAWAL - वैश्य गौरव - शेना अग्रवाल

Shena AggarwalStart talking about her future as an IAS officer and the change in Shena Aggarwal is instantaneous. Her eyes gleam, her soft voice rises a decibel, and her short measured sentences become longer and more passionate. Aggarwal topped this year's prestigious civil services exam. "I can't wait to get on the field and start working," she says, visibly excited.

A MBBS doctor from India's top ranking All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), it had been Aggarwal's dream since school to appear for the IAS exam. But the 25-year-old became serious about it only during the last year of college when she interned in rural India. 

It was when she saw first hand what life was like in the countryside, that she became aware of the basic problems such as a lack of education and understood the need for preventive healthcare. "I realised such problems could be solved by an administrative officer. I thought if I passed the civil services exam I could have a wider influence," she says.

Her first shot at the exam was in 2009 while completing her internship. "It was just for practice. I didn't even clear the first round," she laughs. The second time was a year later when she was working as junior resident doctor at AIIMS. She cleared the exam and got into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In her third attempt, she hit the jackpot. 

"I had a feeling I would clear the exam but topping it was something I never anticipated," she says. It's no small feat. The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination in 2011 was taken by about two lakh students while the main written exam saw around 12,000 candidates. Out of this only 2,400 students made it to the final personality interview.

Aggarwal has been a topper right through school. Receiving accolades and media attention is nothing new for her. She topped CBSE's Pre-Medical Test in 2004 and held the 19th rank for the AIIMS admission test, a college that admits only around 75 students in total. So when her grandmother heard of her latest triumph, she was happy but not really surprised. 

"Shena is such a hard worker I knew she would do well. She deserves this," says Sarladevi Aggarwal who came all the way from Patiala to meet her granddaughter in Delhi. What makes Shena's achievement especially noteworthy is the fact that she hails from a small town in Haryana, a state notorious for female foeticide. 

"I hope it will send a message to all parents that girls and boys are equal. Girls can achieve whatever boys can. So girls should be provided with equal opportunities and be given an equal chance to develop," she says.

Luckily for her, her father, Dr CK Aggarwal who has his own clinic and her mother have been extremely supportive. "They have never imposed their thoughts and encouraged me to do whatever I wanted," she says. She recounts her days of preparation when she would often be wracked with self-doubt. 

"But my mother always had faith and reassured me that my MBBS degree was a great back-up," she says with a smile. Inspired by his sister, her brother Shivin who is currently pursuing engineering from BITS Pilani is also contemplating appearing for the IAS exam.

In September Aggarwal will head to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie where she will be groomed to become an IAS officer. This means she will leave her IRS training midway. But she has no regrets and in fact, is already planning ahead. "I want to be accessible to all and want to make sure I understand everyone's problems," she says.

During her rural posting, Aggarwal met a frail woman who was pregnant with her fifth baby. She told the woman how dangerous it was to have a baby after having two girls and then two abortions in quick succession. The woman had been pressurised by her family and was left with no choice. "I realise this situation has to change. If a woman is independent, she can stand up for herself," she says. Hence relying on her experience as a doctor, Aggarwal plans to initially focus on education, preventive healthcare and sanitation.

Her biggest source of inspiration is her maternal uncle S K Goel, an IPS officer. "He is my role model," she says, narrating with pride how he dealt with a difficult posting in Punjab when terrorism in the state was at its peak. She also looks up to former President APJ Abdul Kalam. 

"He comes from a middleclass background and yet has risen so high," she says, admiration evident in her tone. Aggarwal is not approaching her future with rose-tinted glasses. Speaking to women IAS officers, she realised that being a woman makes it doubly challenging.

"Although times have changed, I will have to constantly prove myself because I'm a woman. But I can hardly wait," she signs off.

साभार : इंडिया टुडे