Themes & Thoughts of the day : August
|28 August : Jhaverchand Meghani's birth anniversary|
"મોર બની થનગાટ કરે, મન મોર બની થનગાટ કરે. ઘનઘોર ઝરે ચહુ ઓર, મારું મન મોર બની થનગાટ કરે. બહુ રંગ ઉમંગનાં પીંછ પસારીને બાદલસું નિજ નેનન ધારીને મેઘમલાર ઉચારીને આકુલ પ્રાણ કોને કલ-સાદ કરે. મારું મન મોર બની થનગાટ કરે." - Poem by Jhaverchand Meghani, originally written by Rabindranath Tagore. (Click here to read full poem in Gujarati with English lyrics and translation)
Jhaverchand Meghani (b. 28 August 1896 - d. 9 March 1947) was a noted poet, writer, social reformer and freedom fighter from Gujarat. He is a well-known name in the field of Gujarati literature. He was born in the police quarters in the outskirts of Chotila village in Saurashtra. His father Kalidas Meghani used to work with the police in British Kathiawar agency police. He finished his matriculation in 1912 and completed his BA in 1917. He started his career in Kolkata and joined Jeevanlal and Co. in 1918 as Personal Assistant and fondly called Paghadee Babu by his colleagues and workers alike. He was soon promoted as the Manager of the company's factory at Belur, Crown Aluminium. In 1919 he went to England for a four-month tour. After coming back to India he continued to work in Kolkata for 2 and half-year. Later he returned to Saurashtra and joined the editorial board of the weekly Saurashtra in 1922.
In 1930, he was sentenced for 2 years in jail for writing the book 'Sindhudo' that contained songs to inspire the youth of India that was participating in the struggle for Independence against the British Raj. It is during this time that he wrote 'Kavya Triputi' based on Gandhiji's visit to London for the round table conference. During this period he also started writing short stories independently and served as editor for 'Phoolchaab' magazine. Mahatma Gandhi gave him the title of Raashtreeya Shaayar (National Poet). Besides this he received many awards like Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak (1929) and Mahida Paaritoshik (1946) in literature. He authored more than 100 books. His first book was a translation work of Rabindranath Tagore's ballad Kathaa-u-Kaahinee titled Kurbani Ni Katha (Stories of martyrdom) which was first published in 1922. He contributed widely to Gujarati folk literature. He went from village to village in search of folklores and published them in various volumes of Saurashtra Ni Rasdhar. He was also the Editor of Phulchhab Newspaper of Janmabhoomi group (which is being published till date from Rajkot).
|20 August : Gostha Paul's birth anniversary|
"Yes you truly are the Chinese wall!" - Rabindranath Tagore to Gostha Paul when he visited Shantiniketan.
Gostha Behari Paul (b. August 20, 1896 – d. April 8, 1976) was an Indian professional football player. He was born in Bhojeswar, Faridpore, Bengal Presidency (currently in Bangladesh). He moved to Kolkata when he was an infant and lived there till his very last days. Nicknamed as "Cheener Pracheer" (The Wall of China) he was one of the best defenders of contemporary Indian football. He started playing for Kumartuli A.C. aged 11, and joined Mohun Bagan at the age of 16. He used to play barefooted. In 1921, Gostha Paul was honored with the captaincy of the Mohun Bagan football team, and he remained as the club captain for next 5 years. In 1924, he was also appointed as the captain of the Indian national football team. He retired in 1935. He was the first Indian footballer to be honoured with the Padma Shri, on 27th April, 1962.
Not many know that Gostha Paul played both cricket and football with distinction for Mohun Bagan. In doing so he even orchestrated one of the earliest Satyagraha's on the sports field. The incident occurred in 1928 in a match against Calcutta Cricket Club, considered Mohun Bagan's fiercest opponent in those days. Paul was late in reaching the ground and decided to go in with his dhoti. Initially no one complained. But when Gostha picked two wickets in four balls, the stunned Calcutta Cricket Club lodged a protest with the umpires that dhoti was 'native clothing' and not proper cricketing attire. If Gostha was to continue playing he must wear a trouser, they said. Gostha and Mohun Bagan refused and the match was stopped. For the next six years the teams did not play cricket against each other.
|15 August : Sri Aurobindo's birth anniversary|
"Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges." - Sri Aurobindo.
Sri Aurobindo (b. 15 August 1872 - d. 5 December 1950), born Aurobindo Ghose, was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while became one of its influential leaders and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution. Aurobindo studied for the Indian Civil Service at King's College, Cambridge, England. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of the princely state of Baroda and began to involve himself in politics. He was imprisoned by the British for writing articles against British rule in India. He was released when no evidence was provided. During his stay in the jail he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.
During his stay in Pondicherry, Aurobindo developed a method of spiritual practice, which he called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated man but also transformed his nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa ("The Mother"), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He died on 5th December 1950 in Pondicherry.
|12 August : Dr. Vikram Sarabhai's birth anniversary|
"He who can listen to the music in the midst of noise can achieve great things." - Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai (b. 12 August 1919 - d. 30 December 1971) was an Indian physicist. He is considered the father of India's space programme. He was born in Ahmedabad, in an important and rich Jain business family. His father Ambalal Sarabhai was an affluent industrialist and owned many textiles mills in Gujarat. Vikram Sarabhai matriculated from the Gujarat College in Ahmedabad after passing the Intermediate Science examination. After that, he moved to England and joined the St. John's College, University of Cambridge. He received the Tripos in Natural Sciences from Cambridge in 1940. He then returned to India to become a research scholar under Sir C. V. Raman in Bangalore. He began to research cosmic rays, taking field measurements across India. He returned to Cambridge in 1945 and received his doctorate there in 1947 for researching photo-fission.
Sarabhai returned to an independent India in 1947. Looking at the needs of the country, he persuaded charitable trusts controlled by his family and friends to endow a research institution near his home in Ahmedabad. This led to the creation of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad on 11th November, 1947. The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India after the Russian Sputnik launch. He was honored as an innovator, an industrialist and a visionary. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was awarded with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962 and Padma Bhushan in 1966. Asteroid 2987 Sarabhai is named in his honor, as is the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, (VSSC), a research institute specialising in solid and liquid propellants for rockets in Trivandrum. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai died on 30th December 1971 at Halcyon Castle, Kovalam, Kerala. He was visiting Thiruvananthapuram to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Thumba railway station being built to service the newly created Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station.
|04 August : Kishore Kumar's birth anniversary|
"I have three best friends in this world. What's surprising is that they also happen to be your (audience) three best friends. They are Bachpan (childhood), Jawani (Youth) and Budhapa (old age)." - Kishore Kumar in an interview with Ameen Sayani on All India Radio.
Kishore Kumar (born Abhas Kumar Ganguly) (b. 4 August 1929 - d. 13 October 1987), was a popular film playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenplay writer and scriptwriter. Kishore Kumar was born in a small place known as Khandwa located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. He was born in a typical Bengali family and was the youngest among his siblings. He had two elder brothers (Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar) and a sister (Sati Devi). His father Kunjilal Ganguly was a lawyer by profession and his mother Gauri Devi was from a well-to-do family. When his eldest brother Ashok Kumar became an actor, Kishore Kumar was still quite young. Later on, his second brother also ventured into movies to become an actor. Kishore Kumar also started to show interest in music and often mimicked the great K.L. Saigal. Though he did not have any formal training in music, he decided to pursue it and followed his brothers to Mumbai. It was his dream to become a famous playback singer and be counted among legends.
Kishore Kumar is considered the most successful Indian playback singer of the Hindi film industry of all time. He sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Oriya, and Urdu. He won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in that category. He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government and from that year onwards, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated a new award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" for contributions to Hindi cinema.