Posts Under Tag: M

Read Biography of Marco Arment

Marco Arment

Read Biography of Marco Arment Marco Arment was born on June 11, 1982 in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., is an American iOS and Web developer, as well as a technology writer and former magazine editor, living in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. He is known for co-founding Tumblr and creating Instapaper.

Arment attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Arment worked as lead developer and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Tumblr microblogging platform and social networking website from its inception in February 2007 until September 2010, when he left to concentrate fully on Instapaper, a tool for saving web pages to read later. Arment announced on April 25, 2013, that he had sold the controlling interest in Instapaper to Betaworks.

Between November 2010 and December 2012, Arment hosted a podcast, Build and Analyze, with Dan Benjamin on 5by5 Studios. More recently, he has hosted two podcasts, Neutral and Accidental Tech Podcast, with John Siracusa and Casey Liss.

In October 2012, Arment released The Magazine, an electronic, biweekly publication. In May 2013, one month after the sale of Instapaper, Arment announced he was selling The Magazine to Glenn Fleishman, its editor.

In July 2014, Arment released Overcast, a podcast application for iPhone. The application had been in development since the fall of 2012, and was first publicly announced at the XOXO Festival in October 2013.

His blog, which he began in December 2006, averages over 500,000 page views per month as of July 2014.

Tags: , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 11, 2015

Read Biography of Mae Whitman

Mae Whitman

Read Biography of Mae Whitman Mae Margaret Whitman was born on June 9, 1988 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., is an American actress. She is known for her roles as blind girl Amy trapped with an escaped convict in Enemy Within, Ann Veal in the TV series Arrested Development, Amber Holt on the TV series Parenthood, and Roxy Richter in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. She is also known for her voice work as Katara in the animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Little Suzy in Johnny Bravo, Rose/Huntsgirl in American Dragon: Jake Long, April O’Neil in the 2012 iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tinker Bell in the Tinker Bell movies. Her first major studio role was as the President’s daughter in the 1996 film Independence Day. She was also in the 2012 film The Perks of Being a Wallflower as Mary-Elizabeth.

Whitman is the only child of Pat Musick, a voice artist, and Jeff Whitman, a personal manager and set construction co-ordinator. She was educated in a private school in Los Angeles. She later graduated from Whitefish Bay High School, Wisconsin. Whitman started her career with a voice over for a Tyson Chicken commercial at the age of three. She learned acting with Andrew Magarian who would help her memorize lines as she could not read.

In 1994, at the age of six, Whitman made her film debut, acting alongside Meg Ryan in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), playing Ryan’s youngest daughter, Casey. She beat 700 other girls who were interested in the part. In 1996, Whitman appeared in two films: Independence Day as the President’s daughter; and One Fine Day playing George Clooney’s character’s daughter Maggie. The same year, Whitman guest starred in the episode “The One Where Rachel Quits” of the sitcom Friends. In 1998, she was Sandra Bullock’s character’s daughter Bernice in Hope Floats.

During several guest appearances from 1998 until 2001, Whitman played the role of Chloe Madison on JAG. Chloe was Sarah ‘Mac’ Mackenzie’s (Catherine Bell) Little Sister, through the Big Sister, Little Sister program. In 2001 and 2002, Whitman starred in the Fox Family series State of Grace in which she portrayed Grace from a Catholic background who befriends Hannah, a Jewish girl (Alia Shawkat). Whitman was the voice of Navajo Wynonna “Winnie” Whitefeather for Focus on the Family’s The Last Chance Detectives audio cases (2004).

From 2004 to 2006, Whitman had a recurring role on Arrested Development, reuniting with Shawkat. Whitman appeared in the 2006 series Thief for FX Networks, playing the stepdaughter of Nick Atwater (Andre Braugher). She was also featured in several video games, lending her voice to the character Yuffie Kisaragi in the Square-Enix/Disney video game Kingdom Hearts II as well as an appearance in the third-person shooter role-playing video game Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. Whitman made several high profile guest appearances in 2006 and 2007. She also appeared on Desperate Housewives as an unscrupulous friend of Julie.

Whitman was initially cast in the 2007 series remake of The Bionic Woman, playing the deaf younger sister of the title character. On June 27, 2007, TV Guide reported that Whitman was being replaced in the role of Jaime’s sister, and Lucy Hale was cast as Whitman’s replacement the following July. An NBC spokesperson confirmed this, stating, “The decision was purely creatively driven. It is very common to change storylines, characters, actors after the initial pilot is shot.” The sister character’s hearing was restored after this recasting at the request of an NBC executive. She also appeared in the season nine episode “Streetwise” of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, as an on-the-street-mother who adopts street children forming a homeless family.

Whitman gave voice to Katara of the Water Tribe in the animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender, and previously Rose in American Dragon: Jake Long. She has appeared most recently in the HBO series In Treatment as Rosie. She is also Cynder in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night. Whitman lent her voice to the character of Tinker Bell in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Disney Tinker Bell films. As part of a deal to promote the production of the first Tinker Bell film, the UK’s speaking clock started to use her voice at 0100GMT on October 26, 2008.

In 2009, Whitman landed a regular role in NBC’s version of the Ron Howard classic Parenthood, which premiered in 2010. She plays Amber Holt, “a rebellious and willful teen whose only interest at present is her wannabe rock star boyfriend”. Whitman played evil ex Roxy Richter in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a film adaptation of the Bryan Lee O’Malley indie comic series Scott Pilgrim. The film starred her former Arrested Development co-star, Michael Cera, in the title role. Whitman appeared on Family Guy in 2010.

She had a large role in the 2012 film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, opposite Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller. In 2013, she reprised her role as Ann Veal in Arrested Development’s fourth season six years after the series was cancelled. She appeared alongside Darren Criss in three episodes of the third season of Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy, playing his girlfriend.

Whitman has recorded “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” and “You Make Christmas Feel So Good” for School’s Out! Christmas.

Whitman has also sung guest vocals on a number of tracks from indie-punk band Fake Problems’ newest album Real Ghosts Caught on Tape.

Whitman has also been featured on her show Parenthood in the song “Gardenia” on the season 2 episode “The Booth Job” along with Landon Pigg. Whitman appears in the music video “I Was a Fool” by Tegan and Sara – (from the album Heartthrob).

She cites the Pink Floyd album, The Wall as her favorite.

She performed a small speaking part in the rapper DVS’ record “Charlie Chaplin” where she plays the part of what DVS sees as the stereotypical “hipster” expressing distaste with music and television to appear special.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: June 9, 2015

Read Biography of Monet Mazur

Monet Mazur

Read Biography of Monet Mazur Monet Happy Mazur was born on April 17, 1976 in Los Angeles, California, is an American actress, model and musician.

Mazur was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of a former fashion model mother and Ruby Mazur, an illustrator who has worked in the record industry and at one time was the manager of Billy Joel. Mazur has four siblings: Nicholas, Cézanne, Matisse and Miro. Her cousin is Epic Mazur, co-frontman of the Hollywood-based band Crazy Town. Mazur is of Jewish ancestry on her father’s side.

In the summer of 2005, Mazur gave birth to son Preston Daniel de Rakoff, her first child with husband Alex de Rakoff, whom she married in April 2005.

Monet Mazur has been in the entertainment industry and acting professionally since 1993. Mazur grew up in Malibu and New York, the daughter of a record industry artist and her mother was a fashion model in the late 60’s and 70’s. After small roles in TV and film, Mazur finally earned a spate of “actress on the verge of stardom” articles when she was cast in a meatier role as one of Johnny Depp’s stoner cohorts in Blow (2001) where she first captured audiences attention. Mazur continued to register on the movie radar with a dramatic turn as Jennifer Lopez’s abused sister-in-law in Angel Eyes (2001), and a starring role as a seductive con artist in the independent crime drama The Learning Curve (2001). Returning to lighter work, Monet starred alongside Josh Hartnett in the romantic comedy 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002).

In 2002 Mazur landed her first well known starring role in the Warner Brother action film Torque (2004) with Ice Cube. She also worked along side Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in the hit Monster-in-Law (2005) and achieved much notoriety for portraying Rolling Stone icon Anita Pallenberg in the British biopic Stoned (2005) about the life of Brian Jones. Among dozens of other films Mazur has sang and performed on many soundtracks and done guest vocals on numerous albums including Tricky, the upcoming Sneakerpunk record, and the Dust Brothers. She has performed with The Pussycat Dolls as well as fronted her own band Nancy Raygun that became Hollywood darlings in the music scene in early 2000. In 2008 the Sony studio movie produced by Adam Sandler’s production company released the highly anticipated comedy The House Bunny (2008), where Monet played the villainous playboy bunny Cassandra. Monet presently lives Los Angeles with her husband screen writer and director Alex De Rakoff and their son Marlon.

Mazur began modeling and acting in her teens. One of her most well-known ad campaigns are the three TV commercials for Gap she did with director Adam Daelay in 2008: “Everybody in Cords”, “Everybody in Leather” and “Everybody in Vests”. She has appeared in a number of widely released films in the past several years, including Dead Man Running, Monster-In-Law and Just Married. She has also appeared in several television shows, including CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Jack & Jill, Strange World, Chuck and Party of Five.

Mazur is joining the cast of NCIS: Los Angeles. She will play Natalie Buccola (name in the actual screening changed to Natalie Giordano), a confident secret service agent who’s taken with Chris O’Donnell’s character, Callen. The role is potentially recurring, and she will make her first appearance on the NCIS spinoff in episode 6. She also has appeared in three episodes of Castle as Gina, the publisher and ex-wife of Richard Castle, played by Nathan Fillion.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: April 17, 2015

Read Biography of Meryl Cassie

Meryl Cassie

Read Biography of Meryl Cassie Meryl Danielle Cassie was born on April 2, 1984 in George, Cape Province, South Africa, is a New Zealand actress and singer. She is most famous for her role as Ebony in the sci-fi series The Tribe, but has also appeared in other series, such as Revelations – The Initial Journey, Shortland Street and Hercules.

She is also a talented singer, and sung the theme song of The Tribe from season 2 to 5, including being the lead singer on Abe Messiah, an album inspired from The Tribe. Along with her sisters Megan Alatini and Monique Cassie, she formed a band called the Nubian Angels in her early teens. The band relaunched in 2007, and have made various performances for charity in co-operation with Variety, the Children’s Charity, including joining them on the 2008 Variety Bash tour, and at other charity and social events.

Meryl moved from New Zealand to Bondi Beach, Australia in 2008, where she auditioned for Australian Idol.

Meryl wanted to become an actress ever since she was 5 years old. She has trained in drama at the Young People’s Theatre and Nathan Homestead. Because she wanted to get into acting as soon as possible, she got an agent at the age of 9, as she saw this as the first and best option to achieve her goal. Meryl got her first acting job in the New Zealand kids show What Now at the age of 11, where she starred as a field presenter.

In 1998, Meryl auditioned for the show that would give her both success and acting experience: The Tribe. She auditioned for the role of the character Salene, but the producers called her and told her she had received the role of Ebony, one of the antagonistic characters on the show.

Official filming of the first season commenced in August 1998, and lasted for six months to March 1999. The fifth and last season wrapped up principal photography on March 1, 2003.

Following on on from her appearance in P-Money’s music video for “Everything” in 2008, Meryl became the lead in his music video “Angels”, where she plays the girlfriend of P-Money’s who is being haunted by supernatural beings. January 2010 saw Meryl appar in Legend of the Seeker, in the season 2 episode “Resurrection” where she played a courtesan named Bella. As well performing in several gigs in Auckland, Meryl Cassie also featured on the P-Money album Everything, doing vocals on the track Dance With You. The track also features PNC, Vince Harder and Mz J. Meryl joined them and P-Money in the music video for the track, it marked her third appearance in a P-Money music video.

In August 2010 Meryl Cassie has an appearance on New Zealand comedy series The Jono Project where she will be in a parody/homage to the international hit show Glee (TV Series).

She is a single mother to a son named Rylon and they live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Tags: , , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: April 2, 2015

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Mili Avital

Read Biography of Mili Avital Mili Avital was born on 30 March 1972 in Jerusalem, Israel, is an Israeli actress. Avital built a successful stage and film career in Israel, winning the Israeli Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 and nominated for Best Actress in 1994.

Avital was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of graphic designers Noni and Iko Avital She was raised in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana. She attended the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts in Giv’atayim. She moved to New York in 1994, and later dated David Schwimmer in the early 2000s. Avital continues to reside in New York City with her husband, screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Life of David Gale), and their son.

As one of the most highly regarded actresses in her native Israel, Avital has created international success with her diverse starring roles in film, television and theater. She began her professional career during her senior year in high school, in the play Dangerous Liaisons at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.

In 1993 she arrived in New York City to study acting at the “Circle in the Square Theater School”. The following year, discovered by an agent while working as a waitress, she was immediately cast as the female lead in Stargate, 1994, for which she received a Sci-fi Universe award. She has appeared in films such as Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man opposite Johnny Depp, Doug Ellin’s Kissing a Fool, Polish Wedding, Robert Benton’s The Human Stain and When Do We Eat? Her television work includes portraying Scheherazade in the Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries Arabian Nights to rave reviews, Jon Avnet’s Uprising and After the Storm. In 2009-2010 Avital has appeared in the FX TV show Damages, in a recurring role as the mistress to the husband of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close).

In theater, Avital played Cordelia in King Lear at the Electric Lodge (Venice, California), 2006, directed by Patsy Rodenburg.

Her directorial debut, a short documentary I Think Myself I am All the Time Younger, received its world premiere at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Avital was first introduced to Israeli audience in the title role of Yael’s Friends, a highly popular television film, to rave reviews. She won the 1992 Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her first feature film role, in Me’ever Layam (Over the Ocean). Her recent work in Israel includes the cult comedy Ahava Colombianit (Colombian Love), as well as Noodle, for which she received the 2007 Israel’s Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress, the Israeli Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, and Israel’s Person of the Year nomination. 2006. In 2010 Avital is starring in Prisoners of War (aka Chatufim), a Channel 2 prime-time Israeli TV series. Avital was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and Prisoners of War won Best Drama Series at the 2010 Israeli TV awards.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 30, 2015

Read Biography of Megyn Price

Megyn Price

Read Biography of Megyn Price Megyn Price was born on March 24, 1971 in Seattle, Washington, U.S., is an American actress, best known for her roles on television as Claudia Finnerty in the FOX Network/WB sitcom Grounded for Life (2001–2005), and Audrey Bingham on the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement (2007–2013).

While attending Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, she produced and wrote a play, Here Comes the Sun, but thought acting was “the dumbest career choice anyone could possibly make”. At Stanford University she studied economics and communication, and continued to act in school productions, as well as perform at a conservatory theater in San Francisco. After a year as an investment banker, Price decided to pursue acting as a profession.

Price began her acting career in early 1990s. She made her television debut in an episode of Quantum Leap. She also has made a number of guest appearances on television shows, including Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Renegade, The Drew Carey Show, Will & Grace, and Drop Dead Diva. Her first series regular role was in the short-lived 1996 ABC comedy series Common Law opposite Greg Giraldo. From 1998 to 1999, she was lead actress in another short-lived sitcom, called LateLine on NBC. In film, she had supporting roles of Mystery, Alaska and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

From 2001 to 2005, Price starred as Claudia Finnerty in The WB comedy series Grounded for Life opposite Donal Logue. She later starred as Audrey Bingham in CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement alongside Patrick Warburton and David Spade. She also directed one episode of season seven. The series was cancelled after seven seasons and 100 episodes on May 2013. Later in 2013, Price starred in Lifetime television movie, A Country Christmas Story, and was cast in Lifetime comedy-drama pilot Un-Real as executive producer named Julia, opposite Shiri Appleby. On February 6, 2014, Lifetime officially green-lit Un-Real with a 10-episode series order, set to premiere in the summer of 2014. On June 2, 2014, Constance Zimmer replaced Price in the show.

Price lives in Montecito, California, with her second husband, Edward Cotner, an emergency room doctor and a former high school friend. They have a daughter, Grace. Her first husband was Bill Lawrence, the creator of Scrubs and other television shows.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 24, 2015

Read Biography of Michelle Monaghan

Michelle Monaghan

Read Biography of Michelle Monaghan Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born on March 23, 1976 in Winthrop, Iowa, U.S., is an American actress known for her roles in Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Gone Baby Gone, Made of Honor, The Heartbreak Kid, Eagle Eye, and Source Code.

Her mother, Sharon, ran a day care center in the family’s home, and her father, Robert Monaghan, was a factory worker and part time farmer. She has two older brothers, Bob and John, and her family also brought up twelve foster children over a period of twelve years. Monaghan is of Irish and German descent and was raised as a Catholic. She graduated from East Buchanan High School, Class of 1994, where she was class president and acted in several plays. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to study journalism at Columbia College Chicago. While studying, she began modeling: she worked in the United States, Milan, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong. With one semester remaining in her journalism degree in 1999 she left for New York to pursue an acting career. Before her TV debut she appeared as a model in several magazines and catalogs.

Monaghan’s first notable appearances, though minor parts, were in episodes of Young Americans (in which she appeared twice), and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, came in 2001. She made her big screen debut that year in the small role of “Henrietta” in the movie Perfume. This was followed by another small role in Unfaithful in 2002.

Monaghan had a big break in 2002 when she co-starred in the television series Boston Public in the role of Kimberly Woods. After guest-starring for a season, she returned to the silver screen, appeared in It Runs in the Family in 2003, Winter Solstice in 2004, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005. Her scenes in Constantine and Syriana do not appear in the final films. However, her audition tape from Constantine earned her an audition for Mission Impossible III, which led to her role playing Julia opposite Tom Cruise. She reprised the role as a cameo appearance in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

In 2007, she starred in The Heartbreak Kid, opposite Ben Stiller, as Miranda. She also starred in Gone Baby Gone receiving excellent notices for her performance as the female protagonist, Angie Gennaro, opposite Casey Affleck. In 2008, she appeared as “Hannah” alongside Patrick Dempsey in Made of Honor, and co-starred in Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf. She also starred in the movie Trucker as Diane Ford.

Monaghan met Australian graphic artist Peter White at a party in 2000. They were married in August 2005 and live in New York. She gave birth to daughter Willow Katherine White on November 5, 2008.

In October 2011, Monaghan revealed that she had skin cancer. Her husband spotted a new mole on the back of her calf which turned out to be cancerous when she had it examined. There have been no further accounts of skin cancer since removal of the mole.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 23, 2015

Read Biography of Madan Lal

Madan Lal

Read Biography of Madan Lal Madan Lal Udhouram Sharma was born on 20 March 1951 in Amritsar, Punjab is a former Indian cricketer (1974–1987) and Indian national cricket coach. He is born in a Brahmin family. He coached Delhi Giants in the Indian Cricket League.

Madan Lal enjoyed outstanding all-round success at first-class level scoring 10,204 runs (av 42.87), including 22 hundreds, also capturing 625 wickets (av 25.50). He had a side-on bowling action.

He played 39 Test matches for India, scoring 1,042 runs at an average of 22.65, taking 71 wickets at 40.08 and holding 15 catches. He was a fairly competent lower order batsman, often extricating the Indian team from tricky situations which earned him the nickname, Maddat Lal by grateful Indian fans.

Madan Lal bowled the first ball to Dennis Amiss of England in the 1975 World Cup He made 67 One Day Internationals appearances and was also a member of the 1983 World Cup final winning team where he teamed up with Kapil Dev, Balwinder Sandhu, Roger Binny, Mohinder Amarnath and Kirti Azad to contain and destroy the opposition.In the 1983 world cup finale Kapil Dev took the extraordinary catch of Vivian Richards off the bowling of Madan Lal. Madan Lal played for Punjab but later played for Delhi.

In his retirement, Madan Lal has been actively involved in the game in various capacities. Madan Lal coached the UAE team for 1996 Cricket World Cup. Madan Lal had a stint as India’s national cricket coach between September 1996 and September 1997.

He was member of the Selection Committee from 2000 and 2001. He joined and served as the coach of the Delhi Giants (known as the Delhi Jets till 2008) in the Indian Cricket League till it became defunct. He later applied for BCCI’s amnesty offer since the ICL is not a recognized Twenty20 League.

Madan Lal run a cricket academy in Siri Fort Sports Complex, Delhi. He was ppointed as chief coach of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Academy in 2010.

In March 2009, the Indian National Congress decided to field Madan Lal as their candidate for the Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency bye elections in Himachal Pradesh. Madan Lal was chosen to contest the bye elections against Anurag Thakur, son of the Himachal Pradesh BJP leader, Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 19, 2015

Read Biography of Madeline Carroll

Madeline Carroll

Read Biography of Madeline Carroll Madeline Carroll was born on March 18, 1996 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., is an American teen actress.

Carroll was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is a homemaker and her father is a contractor. She has three brothers.

She began modeling when she was 3 years old. At 4½ years old she was discovered by her theatrical agent ‘Wendy’ in a nail shop in Sherman Oaks, she went to Wendy’s office and did a little monologue for her, and Wendy said that Carroll was really good and Wendy ended up being her agent.

She has appeared in a variety of television shows, including NCIS, Cold Case, Grey’s Anatomy, Lie to Me, Night Stalker, Wanted and Lost. In film, she has appeared in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause and Resident Evil: Extinction. Her first major role was in the 2008 movie Swing Vote, followed by The Spy Next Door in 2010 with Jackie Chan. She has also appeared as Janie in Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Also in 2010, she starred in a film adaptation of the novel Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. She has done many commercials advertising things such as Subway, Allstate, Avery NoteTabs, Mr. Clean, and Camp Rock Sweepstakes Back-to-School.

In 14 February 2013, was announced that Carroll will be the lead role of The CW’s warm, quirky, and humorous drama Blink.

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 17, 2015

Read Biography of Madhavrao Scindia

Madhavrao Scindia

Read Biography of Madhavrao Scindia Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia was born on 10 March 1945 in Mumbai, India & died on 30 September 2001 in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh, was an Indian politician and minister from the Congress Party. Earlier, in 1961, he had become the titular Maharaja of Gwalior being a descendant of the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas. However, in the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India promulgated in 1971, the Government of India abolished all official symbols of princely India, including titles, privileges, and remuneration (privy purses).

Scindia was born to the last ruling Maharaja of Gwalior, Jivajirao Scindia. He was educated at the Scindia School, endowed by his family, in Gwalior, Winchester College and then at New College, Oxford.

After Indian independence in 1947, the princely state of Gwalior acceded to the Union of India and became part of the new state of Madhya Bharat, which in 1956 was merged into Madhya Pradesh. Scindia followed the political tradition set by his mother Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia and was elected to the Lok Sabha, lower house of the Indian parliament in 1971.

A nine-term member of the Lok Sabha, Madhavrao Scindia never lost an election since 1971, when he won for the first time from Guna constituency at the age of 26. He contested the election on the ticket of Jan Sangh, a party that his family had long patronised. In the 1977 election after the emergency was lifted, he contested from Guna constituency as an Independent candidate and still won the seat a second time in spite of the wave in favour of Janata Party (Bhartiya Lok Dal-BLD). In the 1980 election, he switched allegiance to Indian National Congress and won from Guna a third time. But in 1984, he was nominated as the Congress candidate from Gwalior in a last-minute manoeuvre to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and won by a massive margin. After that Scindia contested from either Gwalior or Guna and won on each occasion.

The 1984 election brought Scindia his first experience as a Minister. He made his mark as an excellent administrator during his stint as Railways Minister (22 October 1986 – 1 December 1989) in the Rajiv Gandhi Ministry. He is credited with the modernisation and computerisation of Indian Railways and with maintaining the most cordial and professional relationship with his managerial cadres.

Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao made him Minister for Civil Aviation. He faced a turbulent period of agitation by the staff of the domestic carrier, Indian Airlines, and as part of a strategy of disciplining the workforce he leased a number of aircraft from Russia. Early in 1992 one of these aircraft crashed, though without any loss of life, and Scindia promptly submitted his resignation. Although not known to be too finicky about such notions as ministerial accountability, the prime minister accepted his resignation. Scindia was later reinducted into the Cabinet in 1995 as Minister for Human Resource Development. Scindia is also accredited with set up of Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) at Gwalior as an institution of repute, which got renamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ABV-IIITM.

In 1996, he along with Arjun Singh and other Congress dissidents had the opportunity to be part of the United Front (U.F.) government at the Centre. Although his Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress was part of the U.F., Scindia himself opted to stay out of the Cabinet. He was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1990 to 1993.

Madhavrao Scindia was killed in a plane crash on the outskirts of Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh on 30 September 2001. All eight on board died in tragic crash: his personal secretary Rupinder Singh, journalists Sanjeev Sinha (The Indian Express), Anju Sharma (The Hindustan Times), Gopal Bisht, Ranjan Jha (Aaj Tak), pilot Ray Gautam and co-pilot Ritu.The autopsies were conducted and other legal formalities completed at AIIMS New Delhi by Professor T D Dogra. Although by then princely titles and privileges had long been abolished, his son Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia was symbolically anointed head of the family and the ‘Maharaja of Gwalior’ in a Hindu ceremony, the position carrying no legal status.

Tags: , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 9, 2015

Read Biography of Manoranjan Das

Manoranjan Das

Read Biography of Manoranjan Das Manoranjan Das was born on 1923 in Cuttack district, Odisha & died on 17 February 2013 in Cuttack district, Odisha, is an influential Indian dramatist, and pioneer of modernism in Oriya Literature. He is known for his experimentalism and deep socio-political awareness, who became most known in the 1960s with his experimental theatre.

Amongst his most known work are, Kathagodha (The Wooden Horse) and Aranya Fasal (The Wild Harvest), which won the won him the Sahitya Akademi Award (1971). In a career spanning over four decades, his plays include Janmamati (Land of Birth) written in 1943 and his latest Nandika Kesari which appeared in 1985.

He did his schooling in Kunjang near Paradip, completing his intermediate in 1942. Thereafter he joined Ravenshaw College in Cuttack.

He joined All India Radio where he rose to the level of Producer Emeritus. During his literary career, he has written 14 other plays, including Aranya Fasal (The Wild Harvest), which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award given Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters in 1971, and the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2004.

His other plays are Jauban (Youth), August Na (The Ninth August 1947), Baxi Jagabandhu (The Sacrifice of Jagabandhu), Agami (The Oncoming), Abarodha (The Seize), Kathagodha (The Wooden Horse), and Sabdalipi (The Word-script).

Tags: , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 9, 2015

Read Biography of Maite Perroni

Maite Perroni

Read Biography of Maite Perroni Maite Perroni Beorlegui was born on March 9, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico, is a Mexican actress, model and singer/songwriter, who is best known for starring in Rebelde (2004), Cuidado con el ángel (2008), Mi Pecado (2009) with Triunfo del Amor (2010), Cachito de Cielo (2012) and La Gata (2014). She gained international fame as a member of the Latin Grammy nominated pop group RBD. In 2009 Perroni was named the new queen of the telenovelas by Univision.

Maite Perroni Beorlegui was born in Mexico City but she grew up in Guadalajara, until the age of 12, when her family moved back again in Mexico City.She has two siblings, Adolfo and Francisco, who are three and nine years younger than she is.

Perroni studied acting at Televisa’s Centro de Educación Artistica (CEA) in the year 2000, completing two years of a three-year course.

Perroni made her acting debut in Rebelde, a remake of the acclaimed Argentinean novela Rebelde Way. She portrayed Guadalupe “Lupita” Fernández, a teenage girl from a lower-class family who gets the opportunity to study at the fictitious Elite Way School. Rebelde ran from 2004 to 2006, filming 440 episodes.

Following the success of Rebelde, in 2007, Televisa released RBD: La Familia, which starred the members of RBD. The characters of the sitcom were not based on the band’s characters in Rebelde, but intended to be similar to the actors’ real personalities. RBD: La Familia was the first Mexican show shot entirely in high definition and ran from March 14, 2007 to June 13, 2007, and only lasted 13 episodes.

In 2008, She starred as the lead character in Cuidado con el ángel, opposite William Levy. The show had great success around the world. She starred in her second leading role in Mi Pecado opposite Eugenio Siller. She was part of the third season of Mujeres Asesinas in the sixth episode called Las Blanco, Viudas along with Diana Bracho, Luz Maria Aguilar, and Mark Tacher Estela Blanco.

In 2009, Perroni was named the new queen of the telenovelas by Univision.

In 2010, Mai was confirmed to star with her previous co-star, William Levy, in Triunfo del Amor, a remake of the Venezuelan classic Cristal. Maite was nominated for best actress in History.

In 2012, Perroni was confirmed to star with Pedro Fernandez in Cachito de Cielo, her fifth lead role. Eventually it was pulled off the air after 110 episodes due to low ratings.

In 2014, it was confirmed that Perroni was to star in her sixth lead role in a telenovela called La Gata along with Daniel Arenas, Erika Buenfil, and Laura Zapata. It aired on May 5, 2014.

On July 12, 2014, People en Espanol named Maite Perroni & Angelique Boyer the new queens of Mexican telenovelas.

Perroni was a member of the popular band RBD, which was launched off of the success of the telenovela most seen for years Rebelde. To date, RBD has made 9 studio albums, including albums in Spanish, Portuguese and English. They have sold over 15 million albums worldwide, and have embarked on various international tours including shows throughout Latin America and Europe.

Mai composed “Tal Vez Mañana”, for RBD’s fourth Spanish language album, Empezar Desde Cero and sang solo on the title track for the album.

On August 8, 2008, RBD released a message telling fans that they had decided to split up. They went on one final tour, Gira Del Adios World Tour, which ended in early 2009. Perroni was absent part of the tour, due to her filming of Cuidado con el ángel.

For her role in Cuidado con el ángel, Perroni recorded three songs for the show called “Esta Soledad”, “Separada De Ti”, and “Contigo”.

She recorded a song with Reik, entitled “Mi Pecado”, which was used as the opening song for the telenovela, Mi Pecado.

On July 17, 2010, Mai released her new single “No Vuelvas”, which was featured on an EP she released for her Brazilian Pocket Show performances, on her website MaiteMVP.com.

She recorded a song with Marco di Mauro called “A Partir De Hoy” which forms part of the musical soundtrack of the telenovela Triunfo del Amor, her third lead role.

In late 2012, Maite announced that she will record her first solo album called Eclipse de Luna.

On July 16, 2013, Maite released a bachata song called “Tu y Yo”.

On May 2014, Maite released another bachata song called “Vas A Querer Volver” which is also the theme song for her soap opera La Gata.

On June 2014, Maite released a duet song with Alex Ubago called “Todo lo que soy” which was the couple’s theme song in the telenovela La Gata.

Mai is the Spokemodel for NYX Cosmetics. In 2007, a Barbie doll version of Perroni was released, based on her character in Rebelde.

In June 2009, Perroni announced her support for the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico.

Mai stars in commercials for Giraffas, Pepsi, Helato de Bonice, Asepxia, Teleton, Wal Mart, Ades Class, Hinds, Pantene, Coppel.

In fall 2014 Maite partnered with National Stores to introduce her Coleccion Maite Perroni, a contemporary fashion line inspired by her favorite designers reflecting her own personal taste. “Latinas who accept, love themselves… who want to look good and feel better, who maximize your qualities and analyze the defects you project onto the world…and discover that you love yourself and you are passionate… “And you know how to face life, how to live life, give life and be alive, who are who they are and don’t follow stereotypes.”

Perroni was engaged to Guido Laris, the musical director for RBD, but the pair split, in August 2008.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: March 9, 2015

Read Biography of Meher Baba

Meher Baba

Read Biography of Meher Baba Meher Baba was born on 25 February 1894 in Poona (now Pune), India & died on 31 January 1969 in Meherazad, India, born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age.

Merwan Sheriar Irani was born in 1894 and led a normal childhood, showing no particularly strong inclination toward spiritual matters. At the age of 19, a brief contact with the Muslim holy woman Hazrat Babajan began his seven-year process of spiritual transformation. Over the next months, he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called “the five Perfect Masters.” He spent seven years with Upasni Maharaj, one of the masters, before beginning his public work. The name Meher Baba means “Compassionate Father” in Persian and was given to him by his first followers.

From 10 July 1925 to the end of his life, Meher Baba maintained silence, communicating by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures. With his mandali (circle of disciples), he spent long periods in seclusion, during which time he often fasted. He also traveled widely, held public gatherings, and engaged in works of charity with lepers, the poor, and the mentally ill.

In 1931, Meher Baba made the first of many visits to the West, where he attracted many followers. Throughout most of the 1940s, Meher Baba worked with a category of spiritual aspirant called masts, whom he said are entranced or spellbound by internal spiritual experiences. Starting in 1949, along with selected mandali, he traveled incognito about India in what he called “The New Life.” On 10 February 1954, Meher Baba declared that he was the Avatar (an incarnation of God).

After being injured as a passenger in two automobile accidents, one in the United States in 1952 and one in India in 1956, his ability to walk became severely limited. In 1962, he invited his Western followers to India for a mass darshan called “The East-West Gathering.” Concerned by an increasing use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs, in 1966 Baba stated that they did not convey real benefits. Despite deteriorating health, he continued what he called his “Universal Work,” which included fasting and seclusion, until his death on 31 January 1969. His samadhi (tomb-shrine) in Meherabad, India has become a place of international pilgrimage.

Meher Baba was an Irani born in Pune, India to a Zoroastrian family. His given name was Merwan Sheriar Irani. He was the second son of Sheriar Mundegar Irani, a Persian Zoroastrian who had spent years wandering in search of spiritual experience before settling in Poona (now Pune), and Sheriar’s young wife, Shireen.

His schoolmates nicknamed him “Electricity.” As a boy he formed “The Cosmopolitan Club,” which was dedicated to remaining informed in world affairs and giving money to charity. Money was raised by donations and sometimes by gambling, e.g. betting at the horse races. He had an excellent singing voice and was a multi-instrumentalist and poet. Fluent in several languages, he was especially fond of the poetry of Hafiz, Shakespeare, and Shelley.

In his youth, he had no mystical inclinations or experiences, and was “untroubled as yet by a sense of his own destiny…” He was more interested in sports, especially cricket, and was co-captain of his high school cricket team. Baba later explained that a veil is always placed over the Avatar until the time is right for him to begin his work. At the age of 19, during his second year at Deccan College in Poona (now Pune), he met a very old Muslim woman, a spiritual master named Hazrat Babajan, who kissed him on the forehead. The event affected him profoundly; he experienced visions and mystical feelings so powerful that he gave up his normal activities. He began to beat his head against a stone to maintain, as he later put it, contact with the physical world. He also contacted other spiritual figures, who (along with Babajan) he later said were the five “Perfect Masters” of the age: Hazrat Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori.

Upasni helped him, he later said, to integrate his mystical experiences with normal consciousness, thus enabling him to function in the world without diminishing his experience of God-realization. In 1921, at the age of 27, after living for seven years with Upasni, Merwan started to attract a following of his own. His early followers gave him the name “Meher Baba,” meaning Compassionate Father.

In 1922, Meher Baba and his followers established “Manzil-e-Meem” (House of the Master) in Bombay (now Mumbai). There Baba began his practice of demanding strict discipline and obedience from his disciples. A year later, Baba and his mandali moved to an area a few miles outside Ahmednagar that he named “Meherabad” (Meher flourishing). This ashram would become the center for his work. In 1924, Meher Baba created a resident school at Meherabad that he named the “Prem Ashram” (in several languages “prem” means “love”). The school was free and open to all castes and faiths. The school drew multi-denominational students from around India and Iran.

From 10 July 1925 until his death in 1969, Meher Baba was silent. He communicated first by using an alphabet board and later by unique hand gestures which were interpreted and spoken out by one of his mandali, usually by his disciple Eruch Jessawala. Meher Baba said that his silence was not undertaken as a spiritual exercise but solely in connection with his universal work.

On many occasions Meher Baba promised to break his silence with an audible word before he died, often stating a specific time and place when this would occur, but according to all contemporary accounts, Meher Baba remained silent until his death. His failure to break his silence disappointed some of his followers, while others regarded these broken promises as a test of their faith. Some followers speculate that “the Word” will yet be “spoken,” or that Meher Baba did break his silence but in a spiritual rather than a physical way.

For many years, Baba asked his followers to undertake austerities on 10 July, the anniversary of the day his silence began, such as keeping silence, fasting, praying, and so on. In his final Silence Day request to his followers in 1968, he asked only that they keep silent. Many of Baba’s followers continue to celebrate Silence Day by keeping silence in his honor.

In the 1930s, Meher Baba began a period of extensive world travel, with several trips to Europe and the United States. It was during this period that he established contact with his first close group of Western disciples. He traveled on a Persian passport because he had given up writing as well as speaking and would not sign the forms required by the British government of India.

On his first trip to England in 1931 he traveled on the Rajputana, the same ship that was carrying Mahatma Gandhi, who was sailing to the second Round Table Conference in London. Baba and Gandhi had three meetings onboard, including one that lasted for three hours. The British press highlighted these meetings, but an aide to Gandhi said, “You may say emphatically that Gandhi never asked Meher Baba for help or for spiritual or other advice.”

On the journey he was interviewed on behalf of the Associated Press, which quoted him describing his trip as a “new crusade . . . to break down all religious barriers and destroy America’s materialism and amalgamate all creeds into a common element of love”. His intention, according to the resulting article, was to convert thousands of Americans from sin. Describing Baba as “The Messiah,” the article also claims he listed miracles he had performed, and said that a person who becomes one with the truth can accomplish anything, but that it is a weakness to perform miracles only to show spiritual power. However, another description of the interview states that when Baba was asked about the miracles attributed to him, he replied “The only miracle for the Perfect Man to perform is to make others perfect too. I want to make the Americans realize the infinite state which I myself enjoy.”

Baba was invited to the “Meherashram” retreat in Harmon, New York by Malcolm and Jean Schloss. A Time magazine article on the visit states that Schloss referred to him in uppercase as “He, Him, His, Himself” and that Baba was described by his followers variously as the “God Man,” “Messiah” or “Perfect Master.”

On 20 May 1932 Baba arrived in New York and provided the press with a 1,000-word written statement, which was described by devotee Quentin Tod as his Message to America. In the statement Baba proclaimed himself “one with the infinite source of everything,” and declared his intention to break his silence: “When I speak, my original message will be delivered to the world and it will have to be accepted”. When asked about the Indo-British political situation, he had no comment, but his followers explained that he had told Gandhi to abandon politics.

In the West, Meher Baba met with a number of celebrities and artists, including Hollywood notables Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead, Boris Karloff, Tom Mix, Maurice Chevalier, Ernst Lubitsch and others. On 1 June 1932 Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. held a reception for Baba at Pickfair where he delivered a message to Hollywood. As a result, Meher Baba emerged as “one of the enthusiasms of the ‘30s.”

In 1934, after announcing that he would break his self-imposed silence in the Hollywood Bowl, Baba suddenly changed his plans and boarded the Empress of Canada and sailed to Hong Kong without explanation. The Associated Press reported that “Baba had decided to postpone the word-fast breaking until next February because ‘conditions are not yet ripe’.” He returned to England in 1936 but did not return to the United States again until the early 1950s.

In the late 1930s, Meher Baba invited a group of Western women to join him in India, where he arranged a series of trips throughout India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) that became known as the Blue Bus Tours. When they returned home, many newspapers treated their journey as an occasion for scandal. Time Magazine’s 1936 review of God is my Adventure describes the US’s fascination with the “long-haired, silky-mustached Parsee named Shri Sadgaru Meher Baba” four years earlier.

During the course of early gatherings of his close circle and followers, Meher Baba gave discourses on various spiritual subjects. Between 1938 and 1943, at the request of Princess Norina Matchabelli, one of his earliest Western devotees, Meher Baba dictated a series of discourses on his alphabet board for the Meher Baba Journal. These discourses, transcribed or worked up by close disciples from points given by Baba, address many aspects of the spiritual life and provide practical and simple direction for the spiritual aspirant. During those years, at least one discourse appeared each month in the journal. Chakradhar Dharnidhar Deshmukh, a close disciple of Meher Baba, compiled and edited the discourses.

Between 1939 and 1954 in India, a five-volume compilation titled Discourses of Meher Baba was printed several times. In 1967 Baba personally supervised the editing and publication of a new three-volume version of the Discourses, which became known as the sixth edition. A widely-available seventh edition of the Discourses, first published in 1987 (after Baba’s death), contains numerous editorial changes not specifically authorized by Baba.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Meher Baba did extensive work with a category of people he termed masts, who are persons “intoxicated with God.” According to Baba these individuals are essentially disabled by their enchanting experience of the higher spiritual planes. Although outwardly masts may appear irrational or even insane, Baba indicated that their spiritual status was actually quite elevated, and that by meeting with them he helped them to move forward spiritually while enlisting their aid in his spiritual work. One of the best known of these masts, known as Mohammed Mast, lived at Meher Baba’s encampment at Meherabad until his death in 2003.

In the 1950s Baba established two centers outside of India: the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the United States and Avatar’s Abode near Brisbane, Australia. He inaugurated the Meher Spiritual Center in April 1952. On 24 May 1952, en route from the Meher Spiritual Center to Meher Mount in Ojai, California, the car in which he was a passenger was struck head-on near Prague, Oklahoma. He and his companions were thrown from the vehicle and suffered many injuries. Baba’s leg was severely broken and he sustained facial injuries, including a broken nose. The injured were treated at Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, after which they returned to Myrtle Beach to recuperate. While recuperating at Youpon Dunes, a home owned by Elizabeth Patterson, in Myrtle Beach, he worked on the charter for a group of Sufis, which he named Sufism Reoriented.

Meher Baba began dictating his major book about the purpose of creation, God Speaks, in Dehradun, August 1953. In it he explained the difference between the Avatar and the Sadgurus. In September 1953, at Dehradun, Meher Baba declared that he was “The Highest of the High.” On 10 February 1954 in Meherastana U.P., India, Meher Baba publicly and explicitly declared his Avatarhood for the first time, spelling out on his alphabet board “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai.”

In September of that year, Meher Baba gave a “men-only” sahavas at Meherabad that later became known as the “Three Incredible Weeks.” During this time Baba issued a declaration, “Meher Baba’s Call,” wherein he affirmed his Avatarhood “irrespective of the doubts and convictions” of others. At the end of this sahavas Meher Baba gave the completed manuscript of his book God Speaks to two attending American Sufis, Lud Dimpfl and Don E. Stevens, for editing and publication in America. The book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. On 30 September 1954 Meher Baba gave his “Final Declaration” message, in which he made various enigmatic predictions.

In October 1954, Meher Baba discarded his alphabet board and began using a unique set of hand gestures to communicate.

On 2 December 1956, outside Satara, India, the car in which Baba was being driven went out of control and a second serious automobile accident occurred. Baba suffered a fractured pelvis and other severe injuries. Dr. Nilu, one of Baba’s mandali, was killed. This collision seriously incapacitated Baba. Despite his physicians’ predictions to the contrary, after great effort Baba managed to walk again, but from that point on he was in constant pain and was severely limited in his ability to move. In fact, during his trip to the West in 1958 he often needed to be carried from venue to venue. Baba indicated that his automobile accidents and the suffering that attended them were, like his silence, purposeful and brought about by his will.

In 1956, during his fifth visit to the US, Baba stayed at New York’s Hotel Delmonico before traveling to the Meher Center at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In July he traveled to Washington, D.C. and received friends and disciples at the home of Mrs. James Terry (Ivy) Duce, wife of the vice-president of the Arabian American Oil Co. He then traveled to Meher Mount at Ojai, California before continuing on to Australia. His final visits to the United States and Australia were made in 1958.

Baba returned to India and began more periods of fasting and seclusion. He conveyed that although the work was draining and exhausting, it was done on behalf of the spiritual welfare of all humanity.

In 1962, Baba gave one of his last public functions, a series of meetings he called The East-West Gathering. At these meetings, in which his western followers were invited to meet his Indian disciples, Baba gave darshan to many thousands of people despite the physical strain this caused.

In the mid-1960s Baba became concerned with the increasingly prevalent drug culture in the West and began a correspondence with several Western academics, including Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, in which he strongly discouraged the use of all hallucinogenic drugs for spiritual purposes. In 1966 Baba’s responses to questions on drugs were published in a pamphlet titled God in a Pill? Meher Baba stated that drug use was spiritually damaging and that if enlightenment were possible through drugs then “God is not worthy of being God.” Meher Baba instructed some of his young Western disciples to spread this message; in doing so, they increased awareness of Meher Baba’s teachings among the young during this period. In an interview with Frederick Chapman, a Harvard graduate and Fulbright scholar who met Baba during a year of study in India, Baba stated that LSD is “harmful physically, mentally and spiritually”, and warned that “the continued use of LSD leads to madness or death.”

On this basis, an anti-drug campaign was initiated by Baba lovers in the United States, Europe and Australia. Although the campaign was largely unsuccessful, it created a wave of new followers, and some of Baba’s views found their way into academic debate on the merits and dangers of hallucinogens.

From the East-West Gathering onward, Baba’s health steadily deteriorated. Despite the physical toll it took on his body, he continued to undergo long periods of seclusion and fasting. In late July 1968, Baba completed a particularly taxing period of seclusion and stated that his work was “completed 100% to my satisfaction.” By this point he was using a wheelchair. Within a few months his condition worsened and he was bed ridden. His body was wracked by intense muscular spasms that had no clear origin. Despite the care of several doctors, the spasms grew progressively worse.

On 31 January 1969, Meher Baba died, conveying by his last gestures, “Do not forget that I am God.” In time his devotees called this day Amartithi (deathless day). Meher Baba’s body was laid out for public viewing at his samadhi (tomb-shrine) at Meherabad. Covered with roses, and cooled by ice, his body was kept available to the public for one week before its final burial. Before his death, Meher Baba had made extensive preparations for a public darshan program to be held in Poona (now Pune), India. His mandali decided to proceed with the arrangements despite the physical absence of the host. Several thousand attended this “Last Darshan,” including many hundreds of people from the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Meher Baba’s metaphysical views are most notably described in God Speaks. His cosmology incorporates concepts and terms from Vedanta, Sufism, and Christianity. Baba upheld the concept of nonduality, the view that diverse creation, or duality, is an illusion and that the goal of life is conscious realization of the absolute Oneness of God inherent in all animate and inanimate beings and things. Meher Baba compares God’s original state to an infinite, shoreless ocean that has only unconscious divinity — unaware of itself because this original unconscious state has no means for any self-knowledge. From this state, God had the “whim” to know Himself, and asked “Who am I?” In response to this question, creation came into existence. In this analogy, what was previously a still, shoreless Ocean now stirred, forming innumerable “drops” of itself or souls. Baba often remarked “You will find all the answers to your questions in God Speaks. Study the book thoroughly and absorb it.”.

According to Baba, each soul pursues conscious divinity by evolving: that is, experiencing form in seven “kingdoms” — stone/metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal, and human. The soul gathers sanskaras (impressions) in each form, and these impressions lead to further evolution expressed by taking new, more complex forms. With each new form, increasing consciousness is gained until the soul experiences and discards forms from all the evolutionary kingdoms. The final form of the soul’s evolution is the human form. Only in the human form can the soul experience its own divinity by entering into involution, through which it gradually eliminates all impressions that cause the appearance of separateness from God.

Baba explained that at all times on Earth there are fifty-six incarnate God-realized souls and that of these souls there are always five who constitute the five Perfect Masters of their era. When one of the five Perfect Masters dies, Baba asserted that another God-realized soul among the fifty-six immediately replaces him or her by taking up that office.

The Avatar, according to Baba, is a special Perfect Master, the first soul to achieve God-realization. This soul, the original Perfect Master, or the “Ancient One,” never ceases to incarnate. Baba indicated that this particular soul personifies the state of God which in Hinduism is named Vishnu and in Sufism is named Parvardigar, i.e. the sustainer or preserver state of God. According to Meher Baba the Avatar appears on Earth every 700–1400 years and is ‘brought down’ into human form by the five Perfect Masters of the time to aid in the process of moving creation in its never-ending journey toward Godhood. Baba asserted that in other ages this role was fulfilled by Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad.

Baba described the Avatar as “a gauge against which man can measure what he is and what he may become. He trues the standard of human values by interpreting them in terms of divinely human life.”

Most of Meher Baba’s followers accept his claim of avatarhood and he is said to be “revered by millions around the world as the Avatar of the age and a God realized being.”

Baba’s travels and teachings left a legacy of followers and devotees worldwide. Although Baba participated in large public gatherings, he discouraged evangelizing, stating, “I need no propaganda or publicity.” Rather, he encouraged his followers to “let your life itself be my message of love and truth to others” and to “spread my message of Love and Truth as far and wide as possible.”

The Avatar Meher Baba Trust, established by Meher Baba, maintains his tomb and pilgrimage facilities, provides support for aging mandali, and engages in other activities. The Trust, however, does not act as a central spiritual authority.

Followers of Meher Baba have no obligatory rites, rituals or duties, as in most religions. Many followers do undertake certain rituals and prayers, but the choice is personal. The primary focus for followers is living a life Meher Baba would approve of, for example, refraining from the use of psychedelic drugs, including marijuana, and trying to remember God with love.

Gatherings of Baba followers are highly informal and social in nature. Special effort is often made to gather together on Amartithi, the anniversary of Baba’s death, and on his birthday. Most Baba followers keep silent on 10 July (Silence Day), observing the request Baba frequently made of his followers during his lifetime.

Three prayers written by Meher Baba, “O Parvardigar”, the “Prayer of Repentance” and the “Beloved God Prayer,” are recited morning and evening at his samadhi in India and are often recited at gatherings. Many followers personally repeat these prayers daily. At Meherabad, his followers maintain Baba’s practice of lighting a dhuni fire on the 12th of each month. After dhuni prayers, participants throw sandalwood twigs dipped in ghee into the flame as physical representations of limitations and desires they wish to relinquish.

Although Baba had initially begun gaining public attention in the West as early as 1932 as the result of contacts with some celebrities of the time (such as Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead, Boris Karloff and others) and from the rather disillusioned account of Paul Brunton (A Search in Secret India, 1934), he achieved additional attention over three decades later through the work of Pete Townshend of The Who. Parts of the rock-opera Tommy (May 1969) were inspired by Townshend’s study of Baba, to whom the album was dedicated. The Who’s 1971 song “Baba O’Riley” was named in part after Meher Baba, and on his first solo album, Who Came First, Townshend recorded the Jim Reeves song “There’s A Heartache Following Me,” saying that it was Meher Baba’s favorite song. Melanie Safka mentioned Baba in the song Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) with the lyrics “Meher Baba lives again/candles in the rain.”

Concepts of Meher Baba’s philosophy, often including characters resembling Baba, have frequently appeared in works of comic book writer J. M. DeMatteis, including Dr. Fate, Seekers Into The Mystery, The Last One and Batman: Absolution.

Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 Grammy Award-winning song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was inspired by a popular quote of Baba seen in numerous Baba posters and inspirational cards.

Tags: , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: February 24, 2015

Read Biography of Mohammad Sami

Mohammad Sami

Read Biography of Mohammad Sami Mohammad Sami was born on 24 February 1981 in Karachi, Pakistan, is a Pakistani right arm fast bowler in cricket who is currently representing the Pakistan cricket team in Test cricket, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket matches.

Sami made his Test cricket debut against New Zealand in 2001 by taking 8 wickets for 106 runs in the match. During his third Test match he achieved a hat-trick against Sri Lanka and in 2002 he took his second hat-trick in his career, against the West Indies during a One Day International match. This led to him becoming one of only a few bowlers in cricket to achieved this mark in both forms of the game. He also became one of two Pakistan bowlers to have taken a hat-trick in both Test cricket and One Day International matches, the other being fast bowler Wasim Akram. He also displayed excellent performances against Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 2003.

On 1 December 2003, he achieved his best bowling figures in One Day International cricket by taking 5 wickets for 10 runs during a match. Earlier in April during that year in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, he had taken 4 wickets for 25 runs against Kenya during the match. Sami played his 50th One Day International match against India at Lahore in Pakistan on 24 March in 2004. He has also taken over 100 wickets in First-class cricket and in List A cricket.

Sami is regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in cricket and has the ability to swing the cricket ball at high pace. He has unofficially bowled the fastest delivery in cricket when he clocked at 164 km/ph (101.9 mph) during a One Day International match. However, it was revoked by cricket officials after it found faulty speed measurements on the speed metre. But despite his talent, he has been in and out of the national side for several times. However he has received support from former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, who sees Sami’s speed and wicket taking ability as an important skill for the Pakistan team.

Sami also earned the ignominy of bowling the longest over in One Day International cricket during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in 2004, when he bowled 17 balls in one over which consisted of seven wides and four no balls. He is also the only bowler in Test cricket history to have over 50 wickets and a bowling average of 50.

After losing form and failing to achieved success for the Pakistan cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board and its national selectors replaced Sami for the One Day International series against England with fast bowler Mohammad Asif, however he was recalled for the series against South Africa in January and February in 2007. He was selected in the 15 man Pakistan squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, although he was named as one of five reserves.

After team mates Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were dropped from the World Cup squad ,since neither of the two had been declared fit and they had not undergone official doping tests, Sami and Yasir Arafat were called up as replacements.

Sami joined the Indian Cricket League following the tour of India in December 2007. He played for the Lahore Badshahs, a team composed entirely of Pakistani cricketers, during the Indian Premier League’s second Twenty20 tournament. His participation in the league meant that he, like many other Pakistan players, he was banned from representing his country at both international level and domestic cricket in Pakistan.

In 2009-2010, he was recalled back to the Pakistan team and on the 3 January 2010, during Pakistan’s Test match series against Australia, he played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia and took 3 wickets for 27 runs in the first innings of the second Test match. On the 19 April he was selected in the Pakistan squad as a replacement for the injured fast bowler Umar Gul, in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held in the West Indies.

In July 2010 it was rumoured that he would join Essex as replacement overseas player for Danish Kanaria who joined the Pakistan touring party for tests against Australia and England.The ultimate comeback happened when Mohammad Sami was recalled and played against South Africa in the middle east in November 2010.

Tags: , , , , , , Filled Under: Biographies Posted on: February 24, 2015

Read Biography of Merle Oberon

Merle Oberon

Read Biography of Merle Oberon Merle Oberon was born on 19 February 1911 in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India & died on 23 November 1979 in Malibu, California, United States, was an Anglo-Indian actress. She began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). After her success in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), she travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel Goldwyn. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Dark Angel (1935). A traffic collision in 1937 caused facial injuries that could have ended her career, but she soon followed this with her most renowned performance in Wuthering Heights (1939).

Throughout her adult life, in order to conceal her Indian heritage she maintained the fiction that she was born in Tasmania, Australia; she concocted a story that all her school records had been destroyed in a fire, which meant it could be neither proven nor disproven. She maintained these fictions throughout her professional life. The year before she died she finally admitted this story was not true, and records located since her death have confirmed her true origin.

Estelle Merle Thompson was born in Bombay, British India on 19 February 1911. According to some sources, her birth name was Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson. Merle was given “Queenie” as a nickname, in honour of Queen Mary, who visited India along with King George V in 1911.

Over the years, Oberon obscured her parentage. Some sources claim Merle’s parents to have been Arthur Terrence O’Brien Thompson, a British mechanical engineer from Darlington, who worked in Indian Railways, and Charlotte Selby, a Eurasian from Ceylon with partial M?ori heritage.

However, at the age of fourteen, Charlotte had in Ceylon given birth to her first child Constance, the result of a relationship with Henry Alfred Selby, an Irish foreman of a tea planter, and some sources have claimed that Constance, twelve at the time of Merle’s birth, and not Charlotte, was Merle’s biological mother. Whatever the true relationship, Charlotte raised Merle as her own child and as Constance’s sister. Charlotte’s partner, Arthur Thompson, was listed as the father in Merle’s birth certificate, with the forename misspelled as “Arther”.

Constance eventually married and had four other children, Edna, Douglas, Harry and Stanislaus (Stan) with her husband Alexander Soares. Edna and Douglas moved at an early age to the UK and Harry later in life moved to Toronto, Canada and retained Constance’s maiden name, Selby. Stanislaus was the only child to keep his father’s last name of Soares and he currently resides in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. All the siblings reportedly believed Merle to be their aunt (the sister of their mother Constance), when in fact she was their half-sister.

When Harry Selby tracked down Merle’s birth certificate in Indian government records in Bombay (Mumbai), he was surprised to discover he was in fact Merle’s brother and not her nephew. He attempted to visit her in Los Angeles, but she refused to see him. Harry withheld this information from Oberon’s biographer Charles Higham, only eventually revealing it to Maree Delofski, the creator of The Trouble with Merle, a 2002 documentary produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which investigated the various conflicting versions of Merle’s origin.

In 1914, Arthur Thompson joined the British Army and later died of pneumonia on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme. Merle, with her “mother” (really her grandmother), led an impoverished existence in shabby Bombay flats for a few years. Then, in 1917, they moved to better circumstances in Calcutta. Oberon received a foundation scholarship to attend La Martiniere Calcutta for Girls, one of the best private schools in Calcutta. There, she was constantly taunted for her unconventional parentage and eventually quit school and received her lessons at home.

Oberon first performed with the Calcutta Amateur Dramatic Society. She was also completely enamored of the films and enjoyed going out to nightclubs. Indian journalist Sunanda K. Datta-Ray claimed that Merle worked as a telephone operator in Calcutta under the name Queenie Thomson, and won a contest at Firpo’s Restaurant there, before the outset of her film career.

In 1929, Merle met a former actor named Colonel Ben Finney at Firpo’s, and dated him. However, when he saw Oberon’s dark-skinned mother one night at her flat, and realised Oberon was mixed-race, he decided to end the relationship. However, Finney promised to introduce her to Rex Ingram of Victorine Studios, if she was prepared to travel to France. which she readily did. After packing all their belongings and moving to France, Oberon and her mother found that their supposed benefactor avoided them, although he had left a good word for Oberon with Ingram at the studios in Nice. Ingram liked Oberon’s exotic appearance and quickly hired her to be an extra in a party scene in a film named The Three Passions.

Oberon arrived in England for the first time in 1928, aged 17. Initially she worked as a club hostess under the name Queenie O’Brien and played in minor and unbilled roles in various films. “I couldn’t dance or sing or write or paint. The only possible opening seemed to be in some line in which I could use my face. This was, in fact, no better than a hundred other faces, but it did possess a fortunately photogenic quality,” she modestly told a journalist at Film Weekly in 1939. In view of the information discovered since this 1939 article (see preceding section) this should be seen as part of a myth perpetrated by Oberon, since apparently she did not reach Europe until 1929.

Her film career received a major boost when the director Alexander Korda took an interest and gave her a small but prominent role, under the name Merle Oberon, as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) opposite Charles Laughton. The film became a major success and she was then given leading roles, such as Lady Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) with Leslie Howard, who became her lover for a while.

Oberon’s career benefited from her relationship, and later marriage, to Korda. He sold “shares” of her contract to producer Samuel Goldwyn, who gave her good vehicles in Hollywood. Her “mother” stayed behind in England. Oberon earned her sole Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for The Dark Angel (1935) produced by Goldwyn. Around this time she had a serious romance with David Niven, and according to his authorized biography, even wanted to marry him, but he wasn’t faithful to her.

She was selected to star in Korda’s film I, Claudius (1937) as Messalina, but a serious car accident resulted in filming being abandoned. Oberon was scarred for life, but skilled lighting technicians were able to hide her injuries from cinema audiences. She went on to appear as Cathy in her most famous film, Wuthering Heights (opposite Laurence Olivier; 1939), as George Sand in A Song to Remember (1945) and as the Empress Josephine in Désirée (1954).

According to Princess Merle, the biography written by Charles Higham with Roy Moseley, Oberon suffered even further damage to her complexion in 1940 from a combination of cosmetic poisoning and an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs. Alexander Korda sent her to a skin specialist in New York City, where she underwent several dermabrasion procedures. The results, however, were only partially successful; without makeup, one could see noticeable pitting and indentation of her skin.

Charlotte died in 1937. In 1949 Oberon commissioned paintings of her mother from an old photograph. The paintings hung in all her homes until Oberon’s own death in 1979.

Merle Oberon had a brief affair in 1941 with Richard Hillary, an RAF fighter pilot who had been badly burned in the Battle of Britain. They met while he was on a good-will tour of the United States. He later became well known as the author of a best-selling book, The Last Enemy.

Merle Oberon became Lady Korda when her husband was knighted in 1942. At the time, the couple were based at Hills House in Denham, England. She divorced him in 1945, to marry cinematographer Lucien Ballard. Ballard devised a special camera light for her to eliminate her facial scars on film. The light became known as the “Obie”.

She married twice more, to Italian-born industrialist, Bruno Pagliai (with whom she adopted two children; they lived in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico) and Dutch actor Robert Wolders – later companion to actresses Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron – before her retirement in Malibu, California, where she died, aged 68, after suffering a stroke. She was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Merle Oberon has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard) for her contributions to Motion Pictures.

Michael Korda, nephew of Alexander Korda, wrote a roman à clef about Oberon after her death entitled Queenie. This was also turned into a television miniseries starring Mia Sara.

Oberon claimed that she was born and raised in Tasmania, Australia. The story of her alleged Tasmanian connections was comprehensively debunked after her death.

Oberon is known to have been to Australia only twice. Her first visit was in 1965, on a film promotion. Although a visit to Hobart was scheduled, she became ill after journalists in Sydney pressed her for details of her early life, and she left for Mexico shortly afterwards. In 1978, the year before her death, she agreed to visit Hobart for a Lord Mayoral reception. The Lord Mayor of Hobart became aware shortly before the reception that there was no proof she had been born in Tasmania, but went ahead with the reception to save face. However, shortly after arriving at the reception, Oberon denied she had been born in Tasmania, to the disappointment of many. She then excused herself, claiming illness; whether ill or not, this meant she was unavailable to answer any more questions about her background. On the way to the reception, she had told her driver that as a child she was on a ship with her father, who became ill when it was passing Hobart. They were taken ashore so he could be treated, and as a result she spent some of her early years on the island. This story, too, seems to have been a fabrication. During her Hobart stay, she remained in her hotel, gave no other interviews, and did not visit the theatre named in her honour.

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