Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trivial Pursuit 143

Jean Renoir

Director Jean Renoir's entrancing first colour feature ‘The River’ (1951) was based on a novel by Rumer Godden and was shot entirely on location in India.

"A film about India without elephants and tiger hunts" -- This was how Jean Renoir described what drew him to 'The River'.

Which eminent Indian filmmaker was an assistant director of Jean Renoir on this project ?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Trivial Pursuit 142

Om Prakash Sharma, popularly known as ‘Janpriya Lekhak’, was one of the most famous writers of detective fiction in Hindi.

He has around 450 detective novels to his credit.

One of his novels, ‘Dhadkan’, is a satire on the Indian Caste System.

It was adapted into an Anil Kapoor starrer.

Identify the movie.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trivial Pursuit 141

                                      Paan Singh Tomar (1932-1981) with his family.

                                                       Tigmanshu Dhulia

After the extraordinarily well made and superbly acted "Paan Singh Tomar" (2012), 
Tigmanshu Dhulia has announced his upcoming project, a film on the life of 'X'.

About X :

Real Name: Farzana Zeb un-Nissa

Husband's name (First) :  Walter Reinhardt 'X'

Name Changed to Joanna Nobilis 'X' after her second marriage to a Frenchman named
Le Vassoult.

                                                            A portrait of 'X'

'X' was one of the most powerful women rulers of the 18th and 19th century India. She is regarded as the only Catholic Ruler in India, as she ruled the Principality of Sardhana (located approx. 80 km from Delhi and 20 km from Meerut).


                   The Church Basilica of Our Lady Of Graces, Sardhana, near Meerut, U.P.

In the year 1822, 'X' assigned an Italian architect called Anthony Reghelini to build the 'Basilica of Our Lady of Graces', a church dedicated to St. Mary.

Today, it is the largest church in North India and has a UNESCO World heritage site status. 


                                                       X's statue at the church.


                                  The statue of 'X' is raised on a three-tiered pedestal.


On December 13, 1961, Pope John XXIII decided to upgrade the Sardhana Church to the status of a Minor Basilica. It is said that the Pope grants the status of Basilica only to churches that are historically significant and beautiful.

'X' was a very rich and philanthropic lady. She sent the Pope at Rome Rs.1,50,000, a big sum in those days and Rs 50000 to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

She also built another church at Meerut, where the Roman Catholic Bishop was an Italian named Julius Caesar.

                                                  Shah Alam II a.k.a. Ali Gauhar

Shah Alam II a.k.a. Ali Gauhar, the predecessor and father of Akbar Shah, regarded 'X' as his daughter. He did so because she had saved Delhi from an army of 30,000 Sikh invaders who tried capturing Delhi, under Baghel Singh in 1783. 

They had encamped at Tis Hazari (the name of the place being derived from the number of those who constituted the force, estimated at 30,000). 

Thanks to the X's negotiations, the Sikhs did not enter the city and went back to Punjab after getting a generous monetary gift from Shah Alam II.

                                                 X's palace in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

                                                   Akbar Shah II (Mirza Akbar) 

The palace in Chandni Chowk was built in a garden gifted by Akbar Shah II (Mirza Akbar), to the Begum, when he ascended the throne after the death of Shah Alam II in 1806. 


X's Palace / 'X' ki Haveli is now known as Bhagirath Place which houses Central Bank of India’s main Old Delhi branch.

The palatial building still stands in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi. The palace building is now occupied by the Central Bank of India. Soon after, the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II (Bahadur Shah Zafar), was held captive here by the British.

In 1940, the palace was bought by a merchant, Lala Bhagirath Mal, thus giving the building its name.

Today, Bhagirath Place is Asia's largest market for electrical goods and has become India's wholesale medicine supply warehouse for medical equipment and allopathic medicines. 


                                               Lord William Bentinck's letter to 'X' :

Lord William Bentinck was an excellent judge of character and the following letter will show how much 'X' had impressed him :

To Her Highness, 'X'.

My esteemed Friend,

I cannot leave India without expressing the sincere esteem I entertain for your highness's character. The benevolence of disposition and extensive charity which have endeared you to thousands, have excited in my mind sentiments of the warmest admiration; and I trust that you may yet be preserved for many years, the solace of the orphan and widow, and the sure resource of your numerous dependants.

Tomorrow morning I embark for England; and my prayers and best wishes attend you, and all others who, like you, exert themselves for the benefit of the people of India. I remain, with much consideration.

Your sincere friend,



 Calcutta March 17, 1835

 Lord William Bentinck served as Governor-General of India from 1833 to 1835.


                             The 500 Million de la Begum /  The Begum's Fortune

'The Begum's Millions' is an 1879 novel by Jules Verne which has references to 'X'. 

Additional Trivia :

'X' died in 1836, at the age of 90, leaving behind a fortune of 7,00,000 Pounds and an immense army of pensioners.

Identify 'X'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye..

                       Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye..


                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 तुम एम. ए. फ़र्स्ट डिवीजन हो, मैं हुआ मैट्रिक फ़ेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 तुम फौजी अफ़्सर की बेटी, मैं तो किसान का बेटा हूँ ।
                 तुम रबडी खीर मलाई हो, मैं सत्तू सपरेटा हूँ ।
                 तुम ए. सी. घर में रहती हो, मैं पेड के नीचे लेटा हूँ ।
                 तुम नयी मारूती लगती हो, मैं स्कूटर लम्बरेटा हूँ ।
                 इस कदर अगर हम छुप-छुप कर, आपस मे प्रेम बढायेंगे ।
                 तो एक रोज़ तेरे डैडी, अमरीश पुरी बन जायेंगे ।
                 सब हड्डी पसली तोड मुझे, भिजवा देंगे वो जेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 तुम अरब देश की घोडी हो, मैं हूँ गदहे की नाल प्रिये ।
                 तुम दीवiली क बोनस हो, मैं भूखों की हडताल प्रिये ।
                 तुम हीरे जडी तश्तरी हो, मैं एल्मुनिअम का थाल प्रिये ।
                 तुम चिकेन-सूप बिरयानी हो, मैन कंकड वाली दाल प्रिये ।
                 तुम हिरन-चौकडी भरती हो, मैं हूँ कछुए की चाल प्रिये ।
                 तुम चन्दन-वन की लकडी हो, मैं हूँ बबूल की छाल प्रिये ।
                 मैं पके आम सा लटका हूँ, मत मार मुझे गुलेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 मैं शनि-देव जैसा कुरूप, तुम कोमल कन्चन काया हो ।
                 मैं तन-से मन-से कांशी राम, तुम महा चन्चला माया हो ।
                 तुम निर्मल पावन गंगा हो, मैं जलता हुआ पतंगा हूँ ।
                 तुम राज घाट का शान्ति मार्च, मैं हिन्दू-मुस्लिम दन्गा हूँ ।
                 तुम हो पूनम का ताजमहल, मैं काली गुफ़ा अजन्ता की ।
                 तुम हो वरदान विधाता का, मैं गलती हूँ भगवन्ता की ।
                 तुम जेट विमान की शोभा हो, मैं बस की ठेलम-ठेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 तुम नयी विदेशी मिक्सी हो, मैं पत्थर का सिलबट्टा हूँ ।
                 तुम ए. के. - ४७ जैसी, मैं तो इक देसी कट्टा हूँ ।
                 तुम चतुर राबडी देवी सी, मैं भोला-भाला लालू हूँ ।
                 तुम मुक्त शेरनी जंगल की, मैं चिडियाघर का भालू हूँ ।
                 तुम व्यस्त सोनिया गाँधी सी, मैं वी. पी. सिंह सा खाली हूँ ।
                 तुम हँसी माधुरी दीक्षित की, मैं पुलिसमैन की गाली हूँ ।
                 कल जेल अगर हो जाये तो, दिलवा देन तुम बेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 मैं ढाबे के ढाँचे जैसा, तुम पाँच सितारा होटल हो ।
                 मैं महुए का देसी ठर्रा, तुम रेड-लेबल की बोतल हो ।
                 तुम चित्रहार का मधुर गीत, मैं कॄषि-दर्शन की झाडी हूँ ।
                 तुम विश्व-सुन्दरी सी कमाल, मैं तेलिया छाप कबाडी हूँ ।
                 तुम सोनी का मोबाइल हो, मैं टेलीफोन वाला हूँ चोंगा ।
                 तुम मछली मानसरोवर की, मैं सागर तट का हूँ घोंघा ।
                 दस मन्ज़िल से गिर जाउँगा, मत आगे मुझे ढकेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 तुम सत्ता की महरानी हो, मैं विपक्ष की लाचारी हूँ ।
                 तुम हो ममता-जयललिता सी, मैं क्वारा अटल-बिहारी हूँ ।
                 तुम तेन्दुलकर का शतक प्रिये, मैं फ़ॉलो-ऑन की पारी हूँ ।
                 तुम गेट्ज़, मटीज़, कोरोला हो, मैं लेलैन्ड की लॉरी हूँ ।
                 मुझको रेफ़री ही रहने दो, मत खेलो मुझसे खेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये ।

                 मैं सोच रहा कि रहे हैं कब से, श्रोता मुझको झेल प्रिये ।
                 मुश्किल है अपना मेल प्रिये, ये प्यार नही है खेल प्रिये । 

                              Kavi Sunil Jogi 

                                 Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye..

                             Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                             Tum M.A. 1st Division Ho, Main Hua Matric Fail Priye
                             Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                             Tum Fauji Afsar Ki Beti, Main To Kisaan Ka Beta Hoon
                             Tum Rabadi Kheer Malai Ho, Main To Sattu Sapreta Hoon
                             Tum A.C. Ghar Mein Rehti Ho, Main Ped Ke Neeche Leta Hoon
                             Tum Nai Maruti Lagti Ho, Main Scooter Lambretta Hoon
                             Is Kadar Agar Hum Chup-Chup Kar Aapas Mein Prem Badhayenge
                             To Ek Roz Tere Daddy, Amrish Puri Ban Jayenge
                             Sab Haddi Pasli Tod Mujhe Bhijwaa Denge Vo Jail Priye
                             Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                             Tum Arab Desh Ki Ghodi Ho, Main Hoon Gadhe Ki Naal Priye
                             Tum Diwali Ka Bonus Ho, Main Bhookhon Ki Hadtaal Priye
                             Tum Heere Jadi Tashtari Ho, Main Aluminium Ka Thaal Priye
                             Tum Chicken-Soup Biryani Ho, Main Kankad Wali Daal Priye
                             Tum Hiran-Chaokadi Bharti Ho, Main Hoon Kachchue Ki Chaal Priye
                             Tum Chandan-Wan Ki Lakdi Ho, Main Hoon Babool Ki Chhaal Priye
                             Main Pake Aam Sa Latka Hoon, Mat Maaro Mujhe Gulel Priye
                             Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                             Main Shani-Dev Jaisa Kuroop, Tum Komal Kanchan Kaaya Ho
                             Main Tan-Se Man-Se Kanshi Ram, Tum Maha Chanchala Maaya Ho
                             Tum Nirmal Paawan Ganga Ho, Main Jalta Hua Patanga Hoon
                             Tum Raj Ghaat Ka Shanti March, Main Hindu-Muslim Danga Hoon
                             Tum Ho Poonam Ka Taj Mahal, Main Kaali Gufaa Ajanta Ki
                             Tum Ho Vardaan Vidhaata Ka, Main Galti Hoon Bhagvanta Ki
                             Tum Jet Vimaan Ki Shobha Ho, Main Bus Ki Thhelam-Thhel Priye
                              Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                              Tum Nai Videshi Mixie Ho, Main Patthar Ka Silbatta Hoon
                              Tum A.K-Saintaalis Jaisi, Main To Ik Desi Katta Hoon
                              Tum Chatur Rabadi Devi Si, Main Bhola-Bhaala Laloo Hoon
                              Tum Mukt Sherni Jungle Ki, Main Chidiyaghar Ka Bhaalu Hoon
                              Tum Vyast Sonia Gandhi Si, Main V.P.Singh Sa Khaali Hoon
                              Tum Hansi Madhuri Dixit Ki, Main Policeman Ki Gaali Hoon
                              Kal Jel Agar Ho Jaaye To, Dilwaa Dena Tum Bail Priye
                              Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                              Main Dhaabe Ke Dhaanche Jaisa, Tum Paanch Sitaara Hotel Ho
                              Main Mahue Ka Desi Thharra, Tum Red-Label Ki Botal Ho
                              Tum Chitrahaar Ka Madhur Geet, Main Krishi-Darshan Ki Jhaadi Hoon
                              Tum Vishva-Sundari Si Kamaal, Main Teliya Chaap Kabadi Hoon
                              Tum Sony Ka Mobile Ho, Main Telephone Wala Hoon Chonga
                              Tum Machchli Maansarovar Ki, Main Saagar Tat Ka Hoon Ghongha
                              Dus Manzil Se Gir Jaaooga, Mat Aage Mujhe Dhhakel Priye
                              Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                               Tum Satta Ki Maharani Ho, Main Vipaksha Ki Lachaari Hoon
                               Tum Ho Mamta-Jailalita Si, Main Kunwara Atal Bihari Hoon
                               Tum Tendulkar Ka Shatak Priye, Main Follow On Ki Paari Hoon
                               Tum Getz, Matiz, Corolla Ho, Main Leyland Ki Lorry Hoon
                                Mujhko Referee Hi Rehne Do, Mat Khelo Mujhse Khel Priye
                                Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye, Yeh Pyaar Nahin Hai Khel Priye

                                 Poet Sunil Jogi 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Trivial Pursuit 140

The script of 'X' was bought over by Actor 'A' from the writers. 

Actor 'A' came to know that Director 'D' was planning to make two films called 'Samadhi' (written by Pandit Mukhram Sharma) and 'Kahani Kismat Ki'. 

Actor 'A' liked the story idea of both films and asked Director 'D' to exchange both the scripts ('Samadhi' and 'Kahani Kismat Ki') with that of 'X'.

Director 'D' agreed as he did not mind sacrificing the two films for 'X'. 

After some time, Actor 'A', who was the first choice for the main lead in 'X', could not work in the film because of his busy schedule.

Actor 'B' was then offered the role, but he refused to work with Director 'D', on the grounds that he could not stand the smell of the latter's hair oil.

The role was then offered to Actor 'C', who refused it by saying, "your hero is too dry, at least give him a few songs".

Pran Saab, who was playing a pivotal role in the film, suggested Director 'D', to consider Actor 'Z' for the main lead.

Director 'D' was impressed by Actor 'Z' and selected him to play the main lead, but he was in for another shock when the heroine, Mumtaz, decided against doing the film.

Actor 'Z' then told Actress 'Y' that no heroine was willing to work with him.

Actress 'Y' agreed to play the heroine in the film and as they say.. "The Rest Is History" !!

Identify A, B, C, D, X, Y & Z.

Additional Trivia :

'X' was inspired by the Spaghetti Western Classic "Death Rides A Horse". 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trivial Pursuit 139

                                                            Hasrat Mohani

                                                       Maulana Hasrat Mohani with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar 

Maulana Hasrat Mohani (1875–1951) is famous for coining 'Inquilab Zindabad'; the famous slogan of Indian freedom fighters.

Popularized by revolutionaries such as Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Ashfaqulla Khan, this phrase was used by Hasrat Mohani at a labour strike in Kolkata for the first time.

Hasrat Mohani's real name was Syed Fazl ul Hasan. He was a freedom fighter by nature, a journalist by profession, and a poet by heart. 

He once wrote a poem 'X' which is immensely popular; but unfortunately, not many people know that it is Hasrat Mohani's creation.

Hasrat Mohani wrote this beautiful poem remembering his beloved wife. He was imprisoned for fighting against the British rule and was facing torture for supporting the 'Khilafat movement'. With all the hardships, instead of penning down his sorrows, he wrote 'X'. 

The lovely creation 'X' was in hibernation since 1928, until it was made famous by another singer 'Y' who got a lot of fame because of 'X'. 

Till date, many singers have sung their own version of 'X', but the most popular is the one sung by 'Y'. 

'Y' also recorded a version of Hasrat Mohani's poem 'X' for a famous Hindi film released in 1982.

'Y' belongs to the 'Patiala Gharana' and is a world renowned singer. He is addressed by prefixes like 'Legendary' and 'Maestro', but sadly, no one remembers Maulana Hasrat Mohani any more.

Identify 'X' and 'Y'.

Additional Trivia : 

** Another version of how Hasrat Mohani wrote 'X', is by Rahul Pandita, who adds in his memoir of Balli Maran : 

'X' was written on a terrace in Balli Maran by a youthful Hasrat Mohani who had fallen in love with a girl living in the next house. She would often come to the terrace on the pretext of drying clothes. 

** 'Hai mashq-e-sukhan jaari
Chakki ki mashaqqat bhi
Ik turfa tamasha hai
Hasrat ki tabiyat mein..' 

- Hasrat Mohani

Hasrat Mohani wrote this famous couplet in his jail diary 'Mushahidatezindan'.

** 'Kahkashan' is an Indian Television series about six great masters of modern Urdu poetry : 

Hasrat Mohani, Jigar Moradabadi, Josh Malihabadi, Majaz Lucknawi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, and Makhdoom Mohiuddin. 

The serial was Researched, Scripted and Produced by Ali Sardar Jafri.
It was Directed by Jalal Agha and Music was scored by Jagjit Singh.
The serial was telecast on 'Doordarshan' in 1991- 1992. 

In the Television series, Mr. Farooq Sheikh played the role of Hasrat Mohani and Deepti Naval played the role of Hasrat Mohani's wife Nishat Unnisa Begum.