Welcome

Yaaree Sort of ‘Biography’ Category

Oct
20

 About Bill

Married to: Melinda French Gates
Children: Three
Career
highlights:
Microsoft,
Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation

1955—
Born
Seattle, WA.

 1973

Entered Harvard
University.

1967
Enrolled at Lakeside
School. First used computer.

1968
Began programming
with Paul Allen in the computer center.

Bill Gates is a technologist, business leader, and philanthropist. He grew up in Seattle, Washington, with an amazing and supportive family who encouraged his interest in computers at an early age. He dropped out of college to start Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. He married Melinda French in 1994 and they have three children. Today, Bill and Melinda Gates co-chair the charitable foundation bearing their names and are working together to give their wealth back to society.

Bill grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. His dad, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney and one of the co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.

1976
Changed company name to Microsoft.

Microsoft

1975–

When Bill and Paul Allen started Microsoft, their vision of “a computer on every desktop and in every home” seemed farfetched to most people. Today, thanks to Microsoft and many other companies, that vision is a reality in many parts of the world, and personal technology is an integral part of society.

Bill is passionate about Microsoft’s work and will always be involved with the company, including his present role as a member of the board and technology advisor.

1975
Started Micro-Soft with Paul Allen in Albuquerque, NM.

1979
Microsoft moved to Washington State.

1985
Windows 1.0 launched.

1995
Windows 95 launched.

2000
Assumed role of Chief Software Architect, as Steve Ballmer assumed role of Microsoft CEO.

2001
The original Xbox released.

2008
Left his daily job at Microsoft.

2014
Stepped down as chairman. Remained on the board and began serving as technology advisor.

 2000

Bill and Melinda officially
established the foundation. They also announced the first round of Gates Millennium Scholars, part of a $1 billion effort to help 20,000 young people afford college over the next two decades.

2002
The foundation completed efforts to help install 47,000 computers in 11,000 libraries in all 50 states. Ninety-five percent of libraries have computers with Internet access, up from 27 percent in 1996.

2006
Warren Buffett pledged the bulk of his wealth to the foundation.

2010
Bill and Melinda challenged the global health community to declare this the Decade of Vaccines. They pledged $10 billion over the next 10 years to help research, develop, and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries.

2013
Bill helped launch a $5.5 billion effort to eradicate polio by 2018. India was certified polio-free by the World Health Organization, leaving only three countries that have never been free of the disease.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2000–

These days Bill focuses most of his time on the work he and Melinda are doing through their foundation. People are often surprised to hear him say that this work has a lot in common with his work at Microsoft. In both cases, he gets to bring together smart people and collaborate with them to solve big, tough problems.

Bill is gratified to know that the foundation and its many partners are helping people all over the world live healthier, more productive lives.

Other Interests

“ …once you’ve found a solution that works, catalytic philanthropy can harness political and market forces to get those innovations to the people who need them most.”

In addition to the foundation’s work, Bill has separately taken on some projects to address issues that interest him personally, such as delivering clean energy to everyone who needs it.

In all his work—with the foundation and otherwise—he’s focused on what he calls catalytic philanthropy: investments in innovations that will improve life for the poorest. They’re solutions to problems where markets and governments underinvest.

2006
Bill helped launch TerraPower, a company that aims to provide the world with a more affordable, secure, and environmentally friendly form of nuclear energy.

2010
Melinda, Warren Buffett, and Bill launched the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate most of their wealth to philanthropy.

2014
Bill tried his hand at making a viral video with Jimmy Fallon. This has nothing to do with catalytic philanthropy–he just thought you might enjoy it.

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Sep
04

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Under the shadow of the Alamgiri gate constructed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb that opens towards the iconic Badshahi mosque and is now used as the principal entry into the Lahore Fort, is a small temple, a modest structure with a small dome on the top, a typical Mughal structure.

The city of Luv

Known as the temple of Lava, or Luv, the current structure is believed to have been constructed on the top of an ancient temple that was built here to honour Prince Luv, the son of Lord Ram.

Stories about the origin of Lahore state that when Sita, the wife of Ram was banished from Ayodhya after being rescued from Ravana, she found herself in the ashram of a hermit called Valmiki, where she gave birth to her twin sons Luv and Kush.

Legends narrate that Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, was living on the banks of the river Ravi, not far from the present-day city of Lahore. In fact, it is believed that Luv founded the city of Lahore, while Kush founded Lahore’s twin city, Kasur, about 50-odd km away.

Therefore it was present-day Pakistan where the first Ramayana was written and the twin sons of Ram were born.

The land of Prahlad

Prahlad Bhagat mandir near the shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam in Multan. ─ Phot by Alle Imran
Prahlad Bhagat mandir near the shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam in Multan. ─ Phot by Alle Imran

About 350 km from Lahore, is another ancient city, Multan. The city slowly developed around a mound where now lie the Sufi shrines of Bahauddin Zakariya and Shah Rukn-e-Alam, the patron saints of the city.

Next to the shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya are the remains of one of the most ancient temples in the subcontinent that once served as the focal point of the city.

The temple of Prahlad Bhagat commemorates the victory of the child saint over his tyrant father, Hiranyakashipu, who is once believed to have ruled this ancient city. Legends narrate that it was also at the city of Multan that Holi – one of the most prominent festivals of India originated.

Prahlad Bhagat deceived and managed to kill his paternal aunt Holika, who attempted to kill him at the behest of his father. Holi is the celebration of victory of righteousness over evil, of Prahlad over Holika.

The tears of Shiva

The Katasraj temple complex in Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. The lake is believed to have formed from a teardrop of Shiva. ─ Photo by Faisal Saeed
The Katasraj temple complex in Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. The lake is believed to have formed from a teardrop of Shiva. ─ Photo by Faisal Saeed

On the north-western side of the country, in the foothills of Himalayas, within the embrace of the hills, is an ancient pool around which the Katasraj temples are constructed.

It is believed that this sacred pond was created out of the teardrop of Shiva, which dropped at this location while he was flying above it carrying the dead body of his consort, Parvati.

Regarded as one of the holiest sites in ancient India, this temple complex was once the site of a major university, and visited regularly by students of Hinduism and spiritualism. The temple complex and the pond have remained sacred through the long history of this land.

Relics of the Buddha

There is a partially-excavated Buddhist stupa here dating back to the third century BCE. Next to it are temples dedicated to Shiva constructed around the seventh and eighth century CE.

It is narrated that the Pandava brothers constructed these temples during their long exile. Adjacent to it is the Ram temple constructed during the tenure of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Next to this temple is a gurdwara dedicated to the visit of Guru Nanak to this pilgrimage site.

Across the mountain, on the top of a mount, is the spot where Al-Beruni, the famed Arab scholar, spent several years studying the “religion of the Indians” and calculating the radius of the world.

Further west, on the banks of the Indus, located on the top of rugged mountains, are the ancient stone forts of Kafir Kot and Bilot, containing some of the earliest temples in this region. Like the temples in Katasraj, they too are believed to be made by the Pandava brothers during their exile.

Not far from here, in the embrace of the Margalla Hills, are the remains of the splendid Buddhist cities, temples and university dating back to the fifth and sixth century BCE.

One of the most prominent archaeological sites here is Dharmarajika, established by Emperor Ashoka in the third century BCE, as a major Buddhist monastery.

The monastery was constructed around a stupa, one of the many stupas that contain relics of Buddha. In Peshawar and Swat, other stupas were also found that contain relics of the Buddha.

Where Mahavir preached

The smadh of Jain saint Atmaramji in Gujranwala. ─ Photo by Haroon Khalid
The smadh of Jain saint Atmaramji in Gujranwala. ─ Photo by Haroon Khalid

While much has been written about Hindu and Buddhist sites of Pakistan, one of the most neglected aspects of Pakistan’s history is its connection with Jainism.

Scattered all over the country are several ancient Jain shrines constructed in the memory of several Jain acharyas.

Perhaps one of the most prominent priests in recent history is Acharya Vijayanandsuri, also referred to as Atmaramji of Gujranwala. His smadh still stands in the heart of Gujranwala, one of the most populous cities of Pakistan.

Ancient Jain scriptures identify that during his lifetime, Mahavir, the 24th and last Jain tirthankara, undertook an extensive tour of Punjab.

Many of the names of those ancient cites have been lost, but it is likely that the Jain heritage scattered all over Punjab in Pakistan, in the cities of Kasur, Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Bhera and Jhelum, were raised by his devotees to commemorate his visit to those places.

Any mention of the non-Muslim heritage of Pakistan would be incomplete without a mention of its Sikh heritage. There are several hundred Sikh gurdwaras all over the country, most of which are associated with the Sikh gurus.

Birthplace of Guru Nanak

One of the most prolific gurus in this regard is Guru Nanak, the first guru of Sikhism, who traveled extensively. His devotees constructed commemorative shrines at many places he visited.

Two of the most prominent ones are Gurdwara Janamasthan in Nankana Sahib, where he was born, and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, where he passed away.


Pakistan, which is today solely associated with Islam, is in fact the birthplace of several prominent religious movements that today influence a large part of the world.

It is easy to view Pakistan stripped of its historical context, which makes it easy to call it hell, as the Indian Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, recently declared.

However if Pakistan is hell, then are all these religious pilgrimage spots counted above also part of this hell?

How can followers of Ram say that Lahore is hell, given that this city is believed to be founded by his son?

How can devotees of Shiva accept this statement when one of the holiest Shiva sites is located in Pakistan?

Can readers of the Mahabharata and the Vedas also accept that Pakistan is hell given that this land features prominently in these sacred texts?

How can Buddhists accept that Pakistan is hell, a land which contains Buddha’s relics?

Would the devotees of Mahavir not be offended by anyone calling Pakistan hell, a land that was made sacred by the blessed feet of this tirthankara?

Would any Sikh ever call Pakistan hell, a land where Guru Nanak was born and preached his first message of peace and unity?

In this regard therefore Parrikar’s remarks are not only offensive to Pakistanis but also Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs living in India and other parts of the world whose religions developed in the land which is today known as Pakistan.

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Sep
02

 

Karan Johar
Karan Johar
Karan Johar is one of the most adored and loved filmmakers in the country and the news of his biography ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ releasing is probably the best news for his fans. Advance orders for the book that is set to hit shelves later this September, has reportedly already started to pour in.
The grapevine suggests that it makes sense for the book to release now as the buzz for Karan’s film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ will start picking up by then.

‘An Unsuitable Boy’ is co-authored by Karan Johar and Poonam Saxena, and is described as ‘an honest, heartwarming and personal account of Karan’s life and the business of Bollywood’.

Hints about the book being written were first given by Karan himself during the Jaipur Literature Festival. The book will have a detailed account of his childhood days, how he was mocked by bullies for being different, the love and affection that he got in these troubled times from his parents and later, his entry into Bollywood.

According to reports, Karan has poured his heart and soul into this book and has opened up like never before.

It would be really interesting to read the book and know Karan Johar beyond a filmmaker.

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Aug
10

William Shakespeare Biography describes the life of William Shakespeare. From birth to death, Shakespeare Biography describes all that is known about Shakespeare’s life from available documentation including court and church records, marriage certificates and criticisms by Shakespeare’s rivals.

Shakespeare (1564-1616): Who was he?

Though William Shakespeare is recognized as one of literature’s greatest influences, very little is actually known about him. What we do know about his life comes from registrar records, court records, wills, marriage certificates and his tombstone. Anecdotes and criticisms by his rivals also speak of the famous playwright and suggest that he was indeed a playwright, poet and an actor.

Date of Birth? (1564)

William was born in 1564. We know this from the earliest record we have of his life; his baptism which happened on Wednesday, April the 26th, 1564. We don’t actually know his birthday but from this record we assume he was born in 1564. Similarly by knowing the famous Bard’s baptism date, we can guess that he was born three days earlier on St. George’s day, though we have no conclusive proof of this.

Brothers and Sisters.

William was the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare. The first two were daughters and William was himself followed by Gilbert who died in 1612 and Richard who died in 1613. Edmund (1580-1607), sixth in the line was baptized on May the third, 1580 and William’s oldest living sister was Joan who outlived her famous playwright brother. Of William’s seven siblings, only Judith and four of his brothers survived to adulthood.

William’s Father.

From baptism records, we know William’s father was a John Shakespeare, said to be a town official of Stratford and a local businessman who dabbled in tanning, leatherwork and whittawering which is working with white leather to make items like purses and gloves. John also dealt in grain and sometimes was described as a glover by trade.

John was also a prominent man in Stratford. By 1560, he was one of fourteen burgesses which formed the town council. Interestingly, William himself is often described as a keen businessman so we can assume he got his business acumen from his father. In the Bard’s case, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree at all…

William’s mother: Mary Arden.

William’s mother was Mary Arden who married John Shakespeare in 1557. The youngest daughter in her family, she inherited much of her father’s landowning and farming estate when he died.

Early Days on Henley Street…

Since we know Stratford’s famous Bard lived with his father, John Shakespeare, we can presume that he grew up in Henley Street, some one hundred miles northwest of London.

The Bard’s Education.

Very little is known about literature’s most famous playwright. We know that the King’s New Grammar School taught boys basic reading and writing. We assume William attended this school since it existed to educate the sons of Stratford but we have no definite proof. Likewise a lack of evidence suggests that William, whose works are studied universally at Universities, never attended one himself!

William marries an older woman. (1582)

A bond certificate dated November the 28th, 1582, reveals that an eighteen year old William married the twenty-six and pregnant Anne Hathaway. Barely seven months later, they had his first daughter, Susanna. Anne never left Stratford, living there her entire life.

The Bard’s children. (1583 & 1592)

Baptism records show that William’s first child, Susanna was baptized in Stratford sometime in May, 1583. Baptism records again reveal that twins Hamnet and Judith were born in February 1592. Hamnet, William’s only son died in 1596, just eleven years old. Hamnet and Judith were named after William’s close friends, Judith and Hamnet Sadler. William’s family was unusually small in a time when families had many children to ensure parents were cared for in later years despite the very high mortality rates of children and also their life expectancy in the 1500s.

The Bard as a poet.

Evidence that the great Bard was also a poet comes from his entering his first poem Venus and Adonis in the Stationers’ Registrar on the 18th of April, 1593. The playwright registered his second poem The Rape of Lucrece by name on the 9th of May, 1594.

The Bard suffers breech of copyright. (1609)

In 1609, the Bard’s sonnets were published without the Bard’s permission. It is considered unlikely that William wanted many of his deeply personal poems to be revealed to the outside world. It was not however the first time; in 1599, in a collection entitled “The Passionate Pilgrim” , two of his poems had been printed without William’s permission.

The Bard’s lost years?

Looking for work in London, just four days ride way from Stratford, William is believed to have left his family back home for some twenty years whilst he pursued his craft. He only returned back to his family in 1609, having visited only during the forty day period of Lent when theatres though open well into the start of Lent would later close in accordance with the traditional banning of all forms of diversionary entertainment around this important Easter event.

William applies for a Coat of Arms. (1596)

Records with the College of Heralds, reveal William applied for a coat of arms. Despite a lack of proof, he was granted his request. Later in 1599 he applied for his mother’s coat of arms to be added to his own.

William buys major residential property. (1597)

At age 15, William purchased the New Place. This was one of the most prominent and desired properties in all of Stratford being the second largest house in town. Given his father’s known financial hardship from 1576, William must either have used his own money to buy this expensive property or his father had placed money in his son’s name. It is possible William might have bought this prominent property with money from his plays. It is estimated that roughly fifteen of his 37 plays would have been written and performed by 1597!

Will flats in London. (Circa 1601-1604)

Court records of a dispute between William’s landlord Christopher Mountjoy and his son-in-law Stephen Belott confirm that William was living in London around 1601. The playwright’s name is recorded in the court records when he gave testimony in 1612 concerning Mountjoy and Belott’s dispute. Interestingly, in 1601, he bought roughly 107 acres of arable land with twenty acres of pasturage for 20 pounds in Old Stratford.

The Bard strikes it rich.

William made his greatest financial gain in 1605 when he purchased leases of real estate near Stratford. This investment of some four hundred and forty pounds doubled in value and earned him 60 pounds income each year. Some academics speculate that this investment gave the Bard the time he needed to write plays uninterrupted and we know that he was indeed thought of as a businessman in the Stratford area…

A friend passes away.

Yet another record confirming the Bard’s existence was John Comb’s will which bequeathed to the Bard the princely sum of just five pounds.

The Bard’s will and death.

Records reveal that the great Bard revised his will on March the 25th, 1616. Less than a month later, he died on April the 23rd, 1616. Literature’s famous Bard is buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. He infamously left his second-best bed to his wife Anne Hathaway and little else, giving most of his estate to his eldest daughter Susanna who has married a prominent and distinguished physician named John Hall in June 1607. This was not as callous as it seems; the Bard’s best bed was for guests; his second-best bed was his marriage bed… His will also named actors Richard Burbage, Henry Condell and John Hemminges, providing proof to academics today that William was involved in theatre. The Bard’s direct line of descendants ended some 54 years later until Susanna’s daughter Elizabeth died in 1670.

The Bard’s last words…

Written upon William Shakespeare’s tombstone is an appeal that he be left to rest in peace with a curse on those who would move his bones…

Good friend, for Jesus´ sake forbeare
To digg the dust enclosed here!
Blest be ye man that spares thes stones
And curst be he that moues my bones.

Translated this reads as:

Good friend, for Jesus’ sake, forbear

To dig the dust enclosed here;

Blest be the man that spares these stones

And curst he that moves my bones.

Did Shakespeare write the 37 plays and 154 sonnets credited to him?

The evidence above proves William existed but not that he was a playwright nor an actor nor a poet. In fact recently some academics who call themselves the Oxfords argue that Stratford’s celebrated playwright did not write any of the plays attributed to him. They suggest that he was merely a businessman and propose several contenders for authorship, namely an Edward de Vere.

Evidence that the great Bard wrote his plays.

The earliest proof that William did indeed write 37 plays was Robert Greene’s criticism of the Bard in his Groatsworth of Wit, Bought with a Million of Repentance which attacked Shakespeare for having the nerve to compete with him and other playwrights in 1592 . Robert Greene made this quite clear by calling him “an upstart crow”. This criticism was placed with the Stationers’ Registrar on the 20th of September, 1592.

Proof that William was an actor comes from his own performances before Queen Elizabeth herself in 1594 and evidence of William’s interest in theatre comes from the Bard’s name being listed in 1594 and 1595 as a shareholder (part owner) of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, a theatre company.

The Bard’s reputation as a poet is again confirmed in 1598, when Francis Meres attacked him as being “mellifluous” and described his work as honey-tongued, “sugared sonnets among his private friends” in his own Palladis Tamia of 1598.

William’s theatre presence is again confirmed by his name being recorded as one of the owners of the Globe theatre in 1599 and on May the 19th, 1603, he received a patent, titling him as one of the King’s Men (previously called the Chamberlain’s men) and a Groom of the Chamber by James I, the then King of England. This honour made William a favorite for all court performances, earned each King’s man extra money (30 pounds each for a performance in 1603 alone) and made the Bard’s name one rather above reproach. Macbeth which celebrates King James I ancestor Malcolm, is considered to have been written in part as appreciation for the King’s patronage. And as a potent form of royalist propaganda (it warned of the dangers of killing a King appointed like James, by God).

The First Folio (1623): Conclusive proof that Shakespeare authored his plays.

The proof most often cited that Shakespeare authored his plays however, was the First Folio (1623) where Henry Condell and John Hemminges who were actors in the Bard’s theatre company, claim in a dedicatory verse within the Folio that they recorded and collected his plays as a memorial to the late actor and playwright. In terms of value, the First Folio originally was sold for just 1 Pound in 1623. Today as one of just 250 still in existence, it would fetch nearly 3 million dollars (US).

Ben Jonson criticizes and then praises William by name.

Further proof of authorship comes in the form of a poem by Ben Jonson, one of the Bard’s more friendly rivals, which criticizes the playwrights dramatic plays. It is contained within a work entitled Discoveries (also known as Timber) dated 1641. Despite his criticism, Ben Johnson paradoxically also said that Stratford’s famous Bard’s works were timeless, describing them as “not of an age, but for all time”.

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Jul
25

Biography  of Madhuri  Dixit

 

Madhuri Dixit was born on the 15th of May, 1967. Madhuri grew to become the heart throb of a nation because of her beauty, her smile that charmed millions, amazing dancing skills and of course, because of her natural acting talent. Madhuri was the ultimate Queen Bee of the 80s and 90s along with another charmer, Sridevi. Madhuri is a part of some of the biggest Bollywood hit movies in its history.

The Diva

The Diva

Personal Life:

Madhuri Dixit was born in Mumbai and was named Madhuri Shankar Dixit by her parents, Shankar and Snehlata Dixit. The Dixits are  Koknastha Brahmins. Madhuri was a student of the  Divine Child High School in Mumbai and studied to be a microbiologist in Parle College, Mumbai. She trained as a kathak dancer and received many awards regarding the same during her school days. Madhuri has two sisters; Rupa and Bharati and brother, Ajit.

As a schoolgirl

As a schoolgirl

As a young Kathak dancer

As a young Kathak dancer

Madhuri’s Parents, Husband and Sons

Madhuri's Parents, Husband and Sons

 

Madhuri Dixit married Dr. Shriram Madhav Nene, a Maharashtrian and cardiocascular surgeon from Denver, US in 1999. She shifted to US to raise a family and lived there for almost a decade in quiet obscurity, but now she is back with her family to live and work in India. The couple has two sons, Arin and Raayan.

With Husband

With Husband

With Sons

With Sons

Career:

Madhuri was a slender young girl when she made her film debut in the Rajashri Productions’ Abodh in 1984, which didn’t make much of an impact on the movie audience. The role of a ‘gharelu’ girl plus the wider non- recognition of her hero, didn’t help to get people into the movie theaters.

In Abodh

In Abodh

It was only in 1988 that Madhuri Dixit created a buzz with her acting and uninhibited dance moves in the famous ‘ek do teen’ song in N.Chandra’s super hit film Tezaab. This movie with co-star Anil Kapoor established her firmly on the path to stardom. Madhuri was noticed by all and she even received a Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination for her take on Mohini’s character in the movie. After this movie, most directors preferred to introduce a dance song in the movie just to exhibit her dancing skills that seemed to make everyone sway.

In Tezaab

In Tezaab

1989 saw the release of another of her successful movies; Subhash Ghai’s super hit film Ram Lakhan in which she starred opposite Anil Kapoor. This movie too, was one of the highest grossing films of that year. Prem Pratigyawas also released this year and had Mithun Chakraborty playing her lead man. Her performance was appreciated by everyone. This year also saw the release of Rajiv Rai’s multi-starrer film Tridev which had Madhuri paired with Sunny Deol. This movie too, managed to capture the movie goers’ attention and Madhuri was noticed even among the galaxy of stars present in the movie.Parinda was another film in which she acted opposite Anil Kapoor, which had the fans wowed by her performance.

In Ram Lakhan

In Ram Lakhan

In Tridev

In Tridev

In Parinda

In Parinda

 

The 90s firmly established Madhuri’s stature as the top rated Bollywood female actress, starting with the release of another super successful film Dil in 1990, which had Madhuri playing the love interest of Aamir Khan. This love story had it all; a fresh pairing, great songs and a love story, which gelled together to make it the biggest hit of that year. She received her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role in this movie.

In Dil

In Dil

The next year, 1991 belonged to the romantic film Saajan, which had Madhuri playing the love interest of Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan. This movie again, had some memorable songs which helped the movie to become that year’s biggest blockbuster film. Her performance was also much appreciated.

In Saajan

In Saajan

1992 saw the release of the Anil Kapoor and Madhuri starrer Beta. Even though Anil Kapoor played the title role, it was Madhuri who stole the show and had the more author backed role. This movie also had Madhuri swaying sexily and heaving her bosom to the Saroj Khan choreographed “Dhak Dhak’ song which gave her the nickname of the ‘Dhak-Dhak girl’. Her character’s underplayed fight against her scheming mother-in-law fetched her a second Filmfare Best Actress Award.

In Beta

In Beta

Subhash Ghai’s hit film Khalnayak released in 1993 stirred up a huge controversy with the ‘Choli ke Peechay’ song picturised on Madhuri. She was criticized for performing to a song that was filled with sexual innuendos and double meanings. Despite criticism, this song was on everyone’s lips that year and her performance of a cop was appreciated by movie goers.

 In Khalnayak

In Khalnayak

 

1994 had Madhuri starring in the morbid revenge saga Anjaam with Shahrukh Khan. Her acting was appreciated, though the movie itself didn’t create any excitement. It was this year that the Rajashri Productions’ super hit film Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!  was released which had her starring opposite a dashing Salman Khan. This squeaky clean family entertainer had the family audiences coming in droves to the movie theaters. The movie set many trends and Madhuri had local tailors copying her blouse that she wore in one of the songs! This movie is one of the highest grossing films in film history.

In Anjaam

In Anjaam

 

In Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

In Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

It was obvious by this time that movies were being sold on the strength of Madhuri’s presence in the film during this time; Raja was one such film that had Sanjay Kapoor co-starring with her, but it was Madhuri who had the better and stronger role; this film too, was a roaring success. David Dhawan’s filmYaarana with Rishi Kapoor playing the male lead was released this year and again, even though the movie itself was a washout, her performance was hailed by critics.

In Raja

In Raja

The next couple of years were not so fortunate for Madhuri with movies likeRajkumar and Mohabbat flopping at the box office. But, just when critics were writing her off, she came back with a bang in the super hit film Yash Chopra directed Dil To Pagal Hai in 1997. Though she was put under the microscope regarding any possible weight gain or age showing; she went on to win another Filmfare Best Actress Award. She held her own against another young and capable actress, Karisma Kapoor, in this romantic movie and looked beautiful, as ever. She also starred in the social drama film Mrityudand and was appreciated by critics.

In Dil To Pagal Hai 

In Dil To Pagal Hai

In Mrityudand

In Mrityudand

After marriage in 1999, her first film release was Pukar in 2000. Though this movie did not do too well at the box office, her performance as an obsessive lover was hailed and she also got her chance to match steps with ace dancer Prabhu Deva in one of the songs. Lajja was a strong woman oriented movie that was released during this time and had a positive buzz.

In Pukar

In Pukar

 

In Lajja

In Lajja

2002 had Madhuri playing the role of the courtesan with a heart of gold in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lavish production and reprisal of the tragic and doomed love story Devdas. She matched steps with the beauteous Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan in the title role and earned herself the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her take on of Chandramukhi.

In Devdas

In Devdas

She went into hibernation after Devdas to raise her two sons till 2007, when she was back with Yashraj Productions’ Aaja Nachle’. The movie did not live up to the excitement of a Madhuri comeback film because probably the 80s and 90s generation had moved on.

In Aaja Nachle

In Aaja Nachle

Madhuri read the writing on the wall and reinvented herself as a judge on a dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ in its fourth season, in 2011. Her presence was appreciated so much that she got an extension as a judge in its fifth season too, in 2012.

In Jhalak Dikhla Ja-5

In Jhalak Dikhla Ja-5

Madhuri is probably the only actress in Bollywood who has a movie named after her; Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, was a film directed by Ram Gopal Verma and the lead role was played by Antara Mali and was about a girl who wants to become another Madhuri Dixit.

Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon

Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon

Achievements:

Madhuri holds the record for the highest number of Filmfare best actress nominations; an astounding 13 times. She has been given the Filmfare Special Award for her 25 years in Bollywood. She has topped many polls to emerge as one of the greatest Bollywood actresses, ever. She has also been awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian Government for her contribution to the Indian Film Industry.

Receiving the Padma Shri

Receiving the Padma Shri

Madhuri Dixit has been fortunate to be the muse of the famous painter, late M.F.Hussain. He made a series of paintings on her and made the not-so-successful film Gaja Gamini, as a tribute to her and in which she herself starred.

With M.F.Hussain

With M.F.Hussain

Madhuri Dixit is one of the few international celebrities whose wax statues have been made and stand in the famous Madame Tussauds museum, in London.

At Madame Tussauds

At Madame Tussauds

Madhuri Dixit seems to be going the right way and doing the right things to make her second innings in the fickle world of cinema and entertainment as a more mature woman, an equally memorable one if not better, as compared to her first innings when she was a young woman.

 

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Jul
25

(Credit: Danté Fenolio/UT Austin)

FISH

Fish with no eyes spotted in Texas cave

Scientists thought this rare eyeless catfish only lived in Mexico. Now they’ve spotted one in Texas.

They found it in a deep limestone cave at Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, Texas, and identified it as the endangered Mexican blindcat (Prietella phreatophila).

“Since the 1960s there have been rumors of sightings of blind, white catfishes in that area, but this is the first confirmation.”

The Mexican blindcat, a species that grows to no more than 3 inches in length, is known to dwell only in areas supported by the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer that underlies the Rio Grande basin in Texas and Coahuila.

Discovery of the fish in Texas adds weight to the theory that water-filled caves below the Rio Grande may connect the Texas and Mexico portions of the aquifer.

“Since the 1960s there have been rumors of sightings of blind, white catfishes in that area, but this is the first confirmation,” says Dean Hendrickson, curator of ichthyology at the University of Texas at Austin. “I’ve seen more of these things than anybody, and these specimens look just like the ones from Mexico.”

Life in total darkness

Jack Johnson, a caver and National Park Service resource manager at Amistad, first spotted some of the slow-moving, pinkish-white fish with no eyes in April 2015. After several attempts to relocate the species, he and biologist Peter Sprouse of Zara Environmental LLC found the fish again last month.

Mexican blindcats are a pale pink color because their blood can be seen through their translucent skin and they dwell exclusively in groundwater.

How life in the dark changed crustacean brains

“Cave-dwelling animals are fascinating in that they have lost many of the characteristics we are familiar with in surface animals, such as eyes, pigmentation for camouflage, and speed,” Sprouse says. “They have found an ecological niche where none of those things are needed, and in there they have evolved extra-sensory abilities to succeed in total darkness.”

The Mexican blindcat was originally described in 1954 when found in wells and springs near Melchor Múzquiz in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. It was subsequently listed as an endangered species by the Mexican government, and as a foreign endangered species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Hendrickson led efforts to locate additional blindcat sites in Mexico and Texas for years but only located them in Mexico on previous expeditions.

“Aquifer systems like the one that supports this rare fish are also the lifeblood of human populations and face threats from contamination and over-pumping of groundwater,” Johnson says. “The health of rare and endangered species like this fish at Amistad can help indicate the overall health of the aquifer and water resources upon which many people depend.”

The finding brings the number of blind catfish species within the US to three, all found only in Texas. The two other species of blind catfish in Texas, the toothless blindcat (Trogloglanis pattersoni) and the widemouth blindcat (Satan eurystomus), live in part of the Edwards Aquifer complex, the deep Edwards pool below the city of San Antonio.

 

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Apr
25

 

 

 

Start the Countdowntreasures-sea-1

Rising temperatures + melting glaciers = higher seas levels. With those surging waters comes the potential for lower-lying land areas around the globe to be washed out, according to climate scientists. Continue Reading…

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