All posts by azimmayadas

About azimmayadas

I am a professional musician who creates unique ringtones on demand. You Name It! We tune it!!

Gobbledegook about OK

I WAS SURPRISED TO READ TODAY, March the 23rd, that according to the website On this Day in History  “the man responsible for unraveling the mystery behind “OK” was an American linguist named Allen Walker Read. An English professor at Columbia University, Read dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the origins of “OK,” ranging from the name of a popular Army biscuit (Orrin Kendall) to the name of a Haitian port famed for its rum (Aux Cayes) to the signature of a Choctaw chief named Old Keokuk. Whatever its origins, “OK” has become one of the most ubiquitous terms in the world, and certainly one of America’s greatest lingual exports.”

The fact of the matter is that one has to betake oneself to West Africa and visit Senegal – its capital is Dakar, where Wolof is spoken, and that’s the language which inspired a slew of “American” slang words. To clarify, Arabic is the language of the educated people there;  French, the “tourist” language, and Wolof the language of the villages, which happen to be inhabited by the most creative – linguistically speaking – of the lot!

I first became aware of Wolof when I visited Dakar for a few days in 1957 en route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from New Delhi, India, for an international Piano Competition. One of the first things I learned was the Wolof word for “yes” – waaw and more emphatically waaw kay, the origin according to  David Dalby (Reader in West African Languages, SOAS, University of London) of today’s ubiquitous Okay and O.K.  Subsequently, when I got home to India, I dug deeper and became aware of several other Americanisms that may once have been Africanisms.

Decades later, when my family moved to Englewood, New Jersey, US, I wrote the following piece for The Messenger, the monthly newsletter of September 2010 of St. Paul’s Church:

‘DEGGA’ —Americanisms Rooted in Africa!
by Azim L. Mayadas
Published: August 27, 1995 by
The New York Times

IN HER ESSAY “Performing Art Is Always Theater” [ August 6, 1995] Margo
Jefferson translates the *Wolof word “degga”—which was used as the title
for the collaborative piece by Toni Morrison, Max Roach and Bill T. Jones—
as “to understand.” It brings to my mind several Americanisms that may
once have been Africanisms. For example, “jive” had the original meaning
among African-Americans of “misleading talk;” it can be compared to the
Wolof “jev,” meaning “to talk disparagingly.”
The slang words “hep,” “hip” and “hippie” have a basic sense of “aware”
or “alert to what is going on.” In Wolof, the verb “hipi” means “to open
one’s eyes.” The use of “cat” to mean “person,” as in “hep-cat” or “cool
cat,” can be likened to the Wolof “kat,” used as an agent-suffix after verbs.
“Hipi-kat” in Wolof means “a person who has opened his eyes.”
It would be rash to suggest that all such Americanisms can be attributed
with certainty to Wolof, but the frequency of correlations is unlikely to be
the result of mere chance.

One of our parishioners at St. Paul’s Church, Johanne Gambrill, happened to read that article of mine in  The Messenger about Wolof  and responded by e-mail with great enthusiasm as follows:
IN 1961, I WAS A PARTICIPANT in Operation Crossroads-Africa. Two hundred college students and other young post-university students were chosen to work in countries in Africa in groups of about 12. My group, which was the United States in microcosm, representing many religions and races, male and female, was located in Senegal.
Forty kilometers south of Dakar is a village called Popenguine where we built a school. Our 12 African counterparts spoke French, Arabic and Wolof and some English. We communicated in French with the African students. With the villagers we used words from many languages. We learned some Wolof.
The children were generally puzzled, so we drew pictures in the dirt to explain what we wanted to say, and they drew pictures for us. In the evenings after work, we had lectures. One night we would speak in English and it was translated into French. The Africans spoke French and it was translated into English, even though we had all become fluent in both languages!
Dakar looked a lot like DC. We landed in Dakar and spent a week there. The government had just had a change of ministers and didn’t know who we were! After a week we were kicked out of the country and went to the next door neighbor, Mali.
We were taken in by some Catholic nuns who fed us and arranged trips (I use the term loosely) to places around the capital, Bamako. Two weeks later, we were invited back to Senegal and sent to the village of Popenguine to build a school. Popenguine is in the middle of nowhere, as are most of the villages.
We had a spectacular experience, one that has allowed me to see the world through different eyes and has allowed me to head projects in the school where I last taught for 11 years, including running an Africa Day.

References: David Dalby (Reader in West African Languages, SOAS, U of London); My Diary

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about people and things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

 

Paderewski and Piano Practice

I begin this brief post by remembering a Polish giant of the concert stage, Ignace Paderewski, not for his memorable and supremely musical performances, but for his famous epigram about diligence:

“If I don’t practice for one day, I know it; if I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it; if I don’t practice for three days, the audience knows it.”

Indeed, a telling quasi-penitential piece he wrote in The Paderewski Memoirs 1939 states unequivocally that for the pianist practice is constant torture and privation. “It prevents you from reading, from thinking, from developing your intellect – this practicing every day the indispensable hours.” He goes on to pen, “I still need four or five hours a day of practicing with the concentration of mind that does not admit any intrusion. It is a slavery from which there is no escape.”

When Paderewski entered politics in the service of his country, he stopped playing altogether. He didn’t touch the piano for over four years. Admittedly his fingers became strong again. But when he got back on to the concert circuit in Europe and America, the strain was unending and the pressure of work terrible.

On technique, he offered some words of wisdom on tempo rubato (robbed, or stolen time.) It is, he averred, the irreconcilable foe of the metronome, and one of music’s oldest friends – older than Mozart, older than Bach. Chopin made very ample use of it, and Liszt also. Paderewski goes a little further and states it is necessary, but should not be abused – it should not become a license. Yes, it is a fascinating subject for most musicians – both supporters and critics alike!

Postscript:
Here are three examples of early piano recordings made of his playing works of Chopin:

The nocturne was recorded on July 12, 1911 at A. Chalet Riond-Bosson, Morges, Switzerland. The first etude above was recorded on April 5, 1923, and the second etude  was an Electrola recording ca. 1930.

References: Wikipedia; The Music Lover’s Companion 1971 edited by Gervase Hughes & Herbert Van Thal.

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

 

 

Maurice Ravel – Maven of Recording

MAURICE RAVEL in 1925
b. March 7, 1875 – d. December 28, 1937

One aspect of the French composer’s life – who was born 143 years ago on March the 7th. – tends to be relegated to a minor category of his musical achievements, namely, that he was veritably a maven during his last 25 years on this earth when it came to exploiting the comparatively new invention of recording in advertising his own compositions. Thus,

His own interpretations of some of his piano works were captured on piano roll between 1914 and 1928, although some rolls supposedly played by him may have been made under his supervision by Robert Casadesus, a better pianist. Transfers of the rolls have been released on compact disc. In 1913 there was a gramophone recording of Jeux d’eau played by Mark Hambourg, and by the early 1920s there were discs featuring the Pavane pour une infante défunte and Ondine, and movements from the String Quartet, Le tombeau de Couperin and Ma mère l’Oye. Ravel was among the first composers who recognized the potential of recording to bring their music to a wider public, and throughout the 1920s there was a steady stream of recordings of his works, some of which featured the composer as pianist or conductor. A 1932 recording of the G major Piano Concerto was advertised as “Conducted by the composer”, although he had in fact supervised the sessions while a more proficient conductor took the baton. Recordings for which Ravel actually was the conductor included  Boléro in 1930, and a sound film of a 1933 performance of the D major piano concerto with Wittgenstein as soloist.

I’ve particularly enjoyed playing Ravel’s piano compositions as part of my regular recital programs of the late 1990’s. His Sonatine (1905) – a veritable jewel – has been a favorite of mine all along.

Afterword:  Ravel  is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France’s greatest living composer.

Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France’s premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire, Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz.

Ravel liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known 1928 work, Boléro.
In that 1928 work performed in Maastricht by André Rieu & the Johann Strauss Orchestra,  repetition takes the place of development.

He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers’ music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.

As a slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than did many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas (each less than an hour long), and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies and only one religious work (“Kaddish”). Many of his works exist in two versions: first, a piano score and later an orchestration. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé (1912) require skillful balance in performance.

Postscript: This very week I happened to come across a 90-year-old recording by the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris of Ravel’s La Valse. It was introduced in Paris on December 12, 1920, Camille Chevillard conducting. Stimulated by the waltzes of Johann Strauss II, Ravel here planned an “apotheosis of the waltz” to provide a picture of old Vienna.

The background ‘noise’ is inescapable, but the sample here is the last section of a 4-part recording in which the finale grows ever more restless and turbulent: The gaiety of Vienna in 1855 becomes grim and tragic in the dire post-war year of 1919.

References: Wikipedia; Encyclopedia of Concert Music by David Ewen;  My Diary

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

Joy to the World

It was at my family’s place of worship, Church of Redemption in New Delhi, that as a child I first joined in the singing of the carol Joy to the World and it was also when I first learned of the name of its composer, George Frideric Handel. Thereafter, I was at Christmas time regaled by his majestic Messiah, sung by our well-rehearsed Church choir with brio and full-voiced jubilation.

Let’s then start with the composer’s background:


b. February 23, 1685 in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, Germany

d. April 14, 1759 (aged 74)

As a young man the German-born Handel travelled and lived in Italy, its operatic tradition becoming very influential on his work.

In 1712 Handel decided to settle in London, becoming a naturalized British citizen in 1727. He enjoyed early royal patronage and wrote his famous Water Music in 1717 for King George I on the River Thames and in 1727 was commissioned to compose works for the coronation of George II. One of these, Zadok the Priest has been played at every British coronation since.

Handel began to move away from Italian-style operas towards oratorios before later in life embracing a more English choral tradition. His most famous work Messiah was composed in 1742 and its Hallelujah chorus has been a Christmas favorite ever since.

Later in life I learnt that Joy to the World wasn’t actually written by Handel, but arranged from certain passages of his famous Messiah by Lowell Mason (born in Medfield, Massachusetts, 1792/ died in Orange, New Jersey, 1872).

Thus, Mason had selected two passages from Messiah, as the basis for his own arrangement, as follows:

Part One of Handel’s Messiah –

  • The first passage is from the Chorus which sings:                                                                   Glory to God in the highest
  • This corresponds to the opening line of Mason’s carol:                                                             Joy to the world the Lord is come
  • The second passage is from the accompaniment to the opening Tenor solo recitative on the words:                                                                                                                                     Comfort ye my people
  • That accompaniment is similar to the second part of Mason’s carol on the words:       And heav’n and nature sing

Here are the complete four verses of this carol penned by Isaacs Watts in 1719:

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
Andt heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and hea’n and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love.

And here’s a YouTube clip featuring a young people’s choir singing Joy to the World.

Afterword:
I can’t leave one of my favorite composers without mentioning the opening aria of his 1738 opera SerseOmbra mai fu. The opera itself was a commercial failure, but in the 19th century the aria was rediscovered and became one of Handel’s best-known pieces. Handel adapted it from the setting by Giovanni Bononcini who, in turn, adapted it from the setting by Francesco Cavalli. All three composers had produced settings of the same opera libretto by Nicolò Minato.

Originally composed to be sung by a soprano castrato (and sung in modern performances of Serse by a countertenor, contralto or a mezzo-soprano), it has often been arranged for other voice types and instruments, including solo organ, solo piano, violin and piano, and string ensembles, often under the title Largo from Xerxes, although the original tempo is marked larghetto. Listen now on YouTube to the incomparable Cecilia Bartoli singing Ombra mai fu.

References: Wikipedia;  My Diary

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

 

Ghostess with the Mostest

Margaret Nixon McEathron was born on February the 22nd, in 1930 – so today is her 88th birth anniversary!

Known professionally as Marni Nixon, she was an American soprano and ghost singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is now well-known as the real singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and IWest Side Story, and My Fair Lady, although this was concealed at the time from audiences.

Besides her voice work in films, Nixon’s varied
career included some film roles of her own with appearances on television, and in opera, musicals on Broadway and elsewhere throughout the United States, as well as in concerts with symphony orchestras, including my own in 1976 – Florida Philharmonic!

Indeed, Marni turned out to be the highlight of one of the Philharmonic’s annual Miami summer concert series held at the outdoor Marine Stadium (pictured below) with a large and enthusiastic audience in attendance.

Marni’s career included Opera, (Seattle, San Francisco, Ford Foundation TV Opera Cameos), Chamber and Symphony, Oratorio soloist and Grammy Nominated recordings both popular and classical (Boulez, Villa-Lobos, Ives, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland) including conductors Wallenstein, Previn, Mehta, Stravinksy, Stokowski, Slatkin and Bernstein.

Latterly a frequent guest and sidekick for Liberace and Victor Borge, her national tours included her own show Marni Nixon: The Voice of Hollywood.

I’ll close this brief tribute to an inspiring figure, who was dubbed the “Ghostess with the Mostest” in the annals of popular music, with a rare version of her singing on YouTube the classic song “Climb Every Mountain.” 

Marni was the recipient of the George Peabody Award 2012 for “Outstanding Contributions to American Music”. She passed away on July 24, 2016.

References: Wikipedia; Marni Nixon Website; My Diary

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

Adagietto for String Quartet

“The long and the short of it” sums up the background of a work I first penned in ink for solo piano at the beginning of spring on April 23, 1966 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. It began with a slow tempo marked Adagio on my manuscript, but that sounded too sad to my ears and to my way of thinking. I purposefully changed it to Adagietto, a ‘lighter’ and less plodding way of marking the passage of time I had in mind. I completed the piece, but left the score to gather dust as there was still something missing – something intangible that I couldn’t quite lay my finger on.

Page 1Page 2
Page 3

Fast forward six years: It was midwinter in Eastern India, and on February 20, 1972 I felt the need to retrieve that nagging bundle of notes and update it. This time I introduced a cadenza in the nature of a recitativo after the animated, resolute, martial second subject.  Also, I had become quite involved with the Calcutta Symphony Orchestra, and I was happy when I was approached by its Concertmaster to recast the Adagietto as a string quartet for members of his orchestra. I got down to work and it was performed in its present form on February 2, 1974.

I moved with my family to the United States in 1975 to take up my new job as Assistant Manager of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, New York. Ten years later, via Miami, Florida as General Manager of the Florida Philharmonic, I am happily ensconced with Lolita in Englewood, New Jersey,  where I am a congregant at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

And so it was, that on Sunday, February 18, 2018, Adagietto was performed at that Church – as programmed by its Director of Music, Mark Trautman, and as part of its Music at St. Paul’s Series – by members of the Verismo Opera Orchestra, New Jersey. Their dress rehearsal of the work was recorded that day and uploaded to YouTube. You are welcome to listen to their beautiful performance right here with –

Catherine Yang (violin), Benjamin Hellman (violin), Tina Chang-Chien (viola),
and James Mark Pedersen (cello):

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 just over three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

Titanic Wagner’s Total Work of Art

Wilhelm Richard Wagner, who was born on May  22, 1813 and died on this day, February 13 in 1883, was an opera composer, theater director, polemicist, and conductor, who came from an ethnic German family in Leipzig.

His family lived there at No. 3, the Brühl (The House of the Red and White Lions) in the Jewish quarter of the city (pictured below.)

Wagner revolutionized opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesize the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realized these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

Wagner’s compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centers, greatly influenced the development of classical music. Indeed, what is sometimes described by musicologists as marking the start of modern music is his Tristan und Isolde (sung here on YouTube by Maria Callas.)

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Until his final years, Wagner’s life was characterized by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment, notably, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theater.

Afterword: More than 50 years ago I had the opportunity of visiting Leipzig, then in East Germany, and apart from visiting a number of must-see places connected with famous musicians, I dropped in at The House of the Red and White Lions to savor the history of the young Wagner and learn about his eventual marriage to Cosima, the daughter of the famous Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt.References: Wikipedia; On This Day Website

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

 

 

 

Northeast Blizzard of 1983

Thumbing through my company office diary of 1983, I was struck by the fact that
weather forecasts can be, at times, unpredictable at the height of winter –
especially in the Northeast of the US of A! Witness the photo above captioned
 Winter in New York City, 1983
The blizzard of 1983, which hit from Feb. 10-12, dumped so much snow
on
New York City that cars were stranded on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
____________________________________________________________

After meticulous planning of international meetings in late December through early January, whereby Government officials from India’s SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) and Canada would be forgathering in Toronto mid-February with my company officials, drawn from Pittsburgh and New Jersey, all was going pretty smoothly until Mother Nature put a spanner in the works as recorded in caps in my diary on February the 11th:

“NORTHEAST GRINDS TO A HALT.
FLIGHT 109 (AIR-INDIA) DIVERTED TO MONTREAL.
JFK CLOSED DOWN.”

Suffice it to say that in those days there were no instant means of communication except long-distance telephone calls and Telexes. I called in quick succession J.F. Kennedy International Airport, Air-India, Airport Authority, Montreal, Pittsburgh, and New Delhi.

On February the 12th I wrote pithily:

“DIGGING OUT”

Further calls to Newark International Airport and Air-India revealed there were further delays and flight Air-India 109 was not expected until early Sunday a.m. with no particular ETA offered. I suggested to my colleagues in Pittsburgh and New York that they go directly to Toronto come what may.  In essence, February the 13th was, as I penned:

“A LOST DAY”

Eventually, the Indian team got a flight on Air Canada 781 and my team and theirs reached Toronto almost together for the first of several fruitful meetings in the USA and India.

Reference: My Daily Reminder 1983

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

Handsome Score by Hanumant Singh

Hanumant Singh
Prince of Banswara
(b. March 29, 1939 – d. November 29, 2006)

Today is a day to remember in the annals of Indian cricket:

On February the 9th back in 1964, Hanumant Singh, born on March 29, 1939 in the then British-Raj province of Rajputana (now the state of Rajasthan) made his debut as a 25-year-old cricketer in Delhi in an India v. England Test Match when he scored over a century – 105 no less!

Thus, he became the fifth Indian to make a Test century on his debut, emulating the likes of Lala Amarnath, Deepak Shodhan, A. G. Kripal Singh and Abbas Ali Baig. Later that year, he reached 94 in his first Test against Australia, out of a total of 193.

Hanumant was initially educated at Welham Boys’ School in Dehradun. Later he completed his education at Daly College, Indore. He also has a Cricket Ground named after him at Daly College by the name Hanumant Oval.He was a team member of the Madhya Bharat cricket team. He was the second son of Chandraveer Singh, Maharawal of Banswara from 1944 to 1985, making him Maharajkumar (Prince) of Banswara. His mother was the sister of Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji, making him the grandnephew of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji. His older brother, Suryaveer Singh, also played first-class cricket, as did his son, Sangram Singh. A cousin, K.S. Indrajitsinhji, also played in 4 Tests for India.

He served as an International Cricket Council match referee in 9 Tests and 54 ODI’s (One-Day Internationals) from March 1995 to February 2002. He was also chairman of the National Cricket Academy, based in Bangalore, and a coach for Rajasthan. Outside of cricket, he was an executive for State Bank of India.

Hanumant Singh died on November 29, 2006 at the age of 67 in Mumbai of lung and kidney failure, after contracting earlier on dengue fever and hepatitis B.

References: Wikipedia; On This Day Website

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
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Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas

 

Ranchi Rambo to Retired Rancher

YOU HAVE TO VISIT INDIA with no preconceived notions when it comes to the clash of civilizations during your travels, especially by road. The contrasts are vivid from hour to hour, day to day, as you try to come to terms with the sheer vibrancy of color in the villages contrasted with the depressing drabness of diurnal encounters of third-world poverty.

And so it was when Lolita and I spent a few days leading up to April Fools Day in 2003 touring Ranchi with my elder brother Misbah followed by a brief stay at his newly established ranch 40 miles away nestled in an out-of-the way village called McCluskieganj – once touted as “Little England” by its retirees of Anglo-Indian heritage.

As a retired General of the Indian Army, Misbah insisted that we first repair to the Officers Mess, all very spruce, spic and span, and adorned with pictures on the wall of past commandants – including his! There, all the officers on duty – senior and junior – welcomed us with due deference both before and after a right royal lunch:

Lolita (right) being shown around the Mess         Gallery Portrait of Misbah on the Right

Relaxing in The Comfortable Mess Lounge for a Cup of Tea

After taking in the local sights, the three of us took to the road and headed for Misbah’s ranch 40 miles away. The hilly countryside was a joy to traverse and along the way we came across a variety of scenes that I can recall all these years later:

 

En Route from Ranchi to McCluskieganj

The Ranch was a game-changer – a place in the wild that only an outdoors-man could or would relish with enthusiasm. But the ranch house itself was warm and comforting.

                    

References: Wikipedia; My Photo Album

Dear Readers,
You number over 70,000 since January 2015 three years ago, when I first began to put “some of my thoughts, written down” and posted them in the blogosphere. Since that time, many of you have urged me to seek support of my site and my writings by way of donations.

 My blog is about my life. It’s about what I’ve learned through the span of my life. It’s about things I love, and things I know and things I have experienced. I am humbled that so many of you want to join with me in my reflections. If you like what you find here, if it inspires or informs or amuses you, then I am content.  
It would mean a lot to me if you would please consider making a donation of US $1.00, $5.00, $10.00, or whatever amount you deem fit to sustain my work.
And thank you for being a regular reader of the Azim Mayadas Blog!
Copyright © 2018 Azim Lewis Mayadas