Friday, July 30, 2010

Sikkim's Roshan Prasad designs Mohun Bagan's Special Cover

“I am happy I made my state “Sikkim” proud- -- Roshan Prasad”

Roshan Prasad, 24 year old local guy from Singtam is pursuing his study at Institute of Chartered Accountant of India, Kolkata. He came into limelight when he became the first person from the North East India to design the Special Cover for India Post. His design was released in a mega event on July 29, 2010. He is also the winner of a National Award at the National Philately Exhibition at Vadodra last December. Roshan Prasad is also the Team Manager of Hills Boy’s United FC, a football team for the boys of the Hills based in Kolkata.
1. How do you feel of your achievement of becoming the first from the North-East to design a Special Cover for India Post?
Roshan Prasad: It’s an honor for me to become the first from the North East to design a Special Cover for India Post and that too of The National Club of India “Mohun Bagan AC”. I am happy I made my state “Sikkim” proud. For this I specially would like to thank Mr. Prince Rufas, Operation Manger of Mohun Bagan and Mr. Anjan Kr. Mitra, the Honorary General Secretary for accepting my design and forwarding the proposal for approval to India Post. I would also like to thank Mr. Saurabh R. Rai who introduced me to the officials of Mohun Bagan for this purpose.
2. What was so special about the design you have made?
Roshan Prasad: This Special Cover will be issued on 29th July, 2010 by Mohun Bagan AC (The National Club of India) to commemorate 100 years of its victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the IFA Shied Final. This was the first time in the history of Indian Football, a core Bengali team, Mohun Bagan, won IFA Shield by defeating a competent White team 2-1. 
3. How did you start philately?
Roshan Prasad:  It all started when I went with my brother on a visit to The Stamp Show held at Kolkata in December 2005. That was the first time that I saw stamps on different themes and it also was the moment when with the help and the guidance of my brother I put my foot into the “King of the Hobbies” i.e. the Philately.

4. You had last December won a National Award in Philately, how was it?
Roshan Prasad: At first I was quite nervous because it was the first major philatelic exhibition that I have participated in and I was representing our state Sikkim for the very first time. To win a National Award is a great achievement for me, which would not be possible without the help of my seniors in this field. Especially I would like to thank my brother Mr. Shital Pradhan, without whom I would had not been able to win this National Award and it was he who introduced me to the world of beautiful stamps. 
 5. How do you see the future of philately in Sikkim?
Roshan Prasad: It is very difficult to get philatelic materials in Sikkim whereas in any other state it is easily available. But with the initiatives that are taken by the members of “Sikkim Philatelic Society” by organizing workshops at different schools in Sikkim, I think in future our state will be able to produce more philatelists who will make the State proud by winning more awards in this field.
6. Philately is known as king of hobbies, what is your say?
Roshan Prasad: Yes, I do believe that it is the king of hobbies and the hobbies of kings because it requires a lot of studies, dedication and knowledge, not only about the materials but also we should know the reasons for the issue of those stamps and other philatelic material. The most difficult thing about this hobby is to make a difference between the genuine and duplicate materials. 
7. How many philatelic exhibition you have participated?
Roshan Prasad: It has been almost 15 months that I have become the member of Russian Center for Science and Culture in Kolkata and formed a club named “Forum for Philately” with the help of Program officer of Russian Consulate and our Secretary. So every month we use to organize an exhibition and also use to display our collections. I have also participated in an exhibition with the request of Director of India Post in Kolkata to commemorate the Stamp releasing ceremony of the legend of India Cinema Mr. Uttam Kumar. In future if possible I would be participating in all the major philatelic exhibitions including the international one too.
8. What thematic collection do you collect?
Roshan Prasad: Basically, I have started my collection on philatelic materials and other documents related to the game of Cricket, but now I also have started to make a collection on Indian Football. This was also one of the reasons that I have designed the special cover related to Indian football as it is very difficult to get materials related to Indian football.
9.    Which is your precious possession from your collection?
Roshan Prasad: The most precious material from my collection is “The Press Telegram of India – Pakistan Test Match Series 1954-55”. This was the first time when India went to Pakistan to play Test Match under the Captaincy of Vinoo Mankad and Polly Ulmigar. The telegram contains the match report in 6 pages which was send to Amrita Bazar Patrika of Kolkata for publication and to the best of my knowledge is the only copy left as in the 80’s the office of Amrita Bazar Patrika was totally destroyed by fire.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yishey D comes with Legends of the Lepchas

I am very happy to learn that my very good friend, my colleague of Weekend Review days Yishey D has come up with a book on Lepcha folk tales “Legends of the Lepchas”. Illustrated by noted cartoonist Pankaj Thapa, the book is a collection of 22 folk tales woven from the lepcha legends. 

I would like to congratulate the team of Legends of the Lepchas.

pic: Rachna Books

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pooja Sharma feliciated at Singtam Basibiyalo

Singtam completes 27th round of Basibiyalo

Monthly literary forum Basibiyalo that has been a huge success among the crowds in and around Singtam completed its 27th monthly meets today at East Point SSS. The highlight of the day was the felicitation of Miss Pooja Sharma from Rangpo in presence of noted Nepali cine actor Uttam Pradhan and Bishal Chamling.  The other guests present on the occasion were Maha Kavi Chakrapani Bhattarai, SK Pakhrin, noted folk song singer from Sikkim and Pradip Subba, President Singtam Motor Vehicle Association. Also present on the occasion were members of Spark NGO represented by Praveen Pradhan, President, Nangshel Sherpa, Vice President and Rajni Pradhan, the General Secretary. The cultural activities were hugely applauded by the huge assembled crowds and drew immense attention at the day long program.
Mohan Pradhan “Niraj” talking to this reporter told that Basibiyalo has succeeded in making its mark among its followers. This literary forum for over a period has provided platform for inspiring performers in different fields of dancing, singing and Nepali literary works. We would love to provide opportunity to anyone who wants to perform in our monthly forum. The Basibiyalo forum had started felicitating persons with extraordinary talents and since the last five meets they had been honouring one personality every month, added Pradhan. Pradhan went on to announce the initiating of lifetime achievement awards at Basibiyalo.
The 27th Basibiyalo marked the felicitating of Pooja Sharma, a student from Rangpo who had recently won the Tilottamma Jury Special and the Statesman Photogenic Face Awards 2010. The competition was organised by Uttar Annanda Bazar Patrika and The Statesman at Uttar Banga Marwari Bhawan at Siliguri. She was presented khada and felicitation memento by the duo of Uttam Pradhan and Bishal Chamling. In her speech, Pooja Sharma thanked the team of Basibiyalo for instituting such felicitation that would encourage people like her to do better in days to come.
Speaking on the occasion every distinguished guest congratulated the team of Basibiyalo and wished them much success. Indian Idol 5 participant Prakash Sundas from Gangtok enthralled the gathered crowds with Hindi and Nepali songs. Yankee Tamang from Singtam, Tripti Diyali from Namchi, Sandhya Lamichaney and groups from Khamdong, Chambrung dance and    Subba dance from Lower Reshep (South Sikkim) and Banshika Rai (6 year old) from Singtam were the other dance performers of the day that were highly enjoyed by the audience. Pahlad Poudyal, Radha Pradhan, Anirudh Sharma Kaushik and Dev Narayan Sharma read their Nepali poems before the forum.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sanga Choling, lamas and khadas….the confusion continues

There has always been a debate about the oldest monastery in Sikkim and I come across certain general knowledge books based on Sikkim depicting Dubdi as the oldest.  I do not know how far I am correct but the mother of all books on Sikkim History, The Gazetteer of Sikhim written by HH Rishley and published from Calcutta in 1894 writes Sanga Chelling (meaning The place of secret spells) Monastery near Pelling was build in 1697. While Dubdi (meaning The Hermit's cell) Monastery near Yuksom was build in 1701.

I believe in case of Sanga Choling and Dubdi issue, it was in later years that the original Sanga Choling monastery got burned and was reconstructed in 1965. The confusion started here when most of the writers wrote their work as Dubdi was the first monastery of Sikkim. When an actual building is removed (here burned) as in case of Sanga Choling how correct are we to replace its original construction years. The State Government of Sikkim is trying their best to preserve the cultural heritage of Sikkim in protecting and preserving the ancient Sikkim but are we thinking about the Chumbi Palace that was once part of Sikkim but now in Tibet.

Interesting narration finds place inside the book written by Rishley more than a century back that defines the differences of what we call it gompas or mere a monastery.  HH Rishley writes there are three types of so-called monasteries in and around Sikkim, that includes the rock caves hermitage, the gompa are found in remote and solitary places while the latter so-called gompas are merely temples with one or more priests engaged in ministering to the religious wants of the villagers. To a layman every person wearing a red and yellow robe is a “lama” which is entirely wrong. I too did the same mistake. It was later on I was told that in a monastic compounds three different types of people resides. They include students and scholars that are usually referred as monks or the ‘trapas’ and their teachers the “Lamas”.  Similarly head lama or the senior lama is called the “Rinpopche”.

There is another confusion among us I do like to have a small talk. I have often witnessed the mistake we usually do when we use the khadas. It was during my Weekend Review days we used to have long discussions on different topics related to culture and traditions of Sikkim. In one of the sessions we talked about the khadas. The khadas are usually of two types the printed one and the non printed one. We were than told that the printed khadas were offered on happy festive occasion i.e. on marriage, birthday, greetings and others while the non printed khadas on non festive. I do not know how correct I am but I do believe that offering of the khadas does vary from places to places, peoples to peoples and customs to customs.  

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maharani Brings Home The Baby



Full title reads: "New York. Maharani Brings Home The Baby".

New York, United States of America (USA).

LV The Maharani of Sikkim (Miss Hope Cooke) comes down from aircraft with the Crown Prince and her six month old baby Prince. CU The Maharani. CU The six month old baby.

GV Palace in Sikkim. SV The Maharani and Maharaja just before their marriage. CU The Maharani. CU The Maharaja. GV Crowds gathered for the wedding. SV The Maharani and the Maharaja seated for the ceremony. LV The scarf is put round the Maharani's neck. CU The Maharani.

LV The Maharani carrying her baby comes from the airport building. CU SV The Maharani and baby.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gangtok boy celebrates Kailash Kher’s Birthday

Singtam: In one of the rare instance to have been witnessed at Sikkim, Prakash Sundas an upcoming local singer from Gangtok celebrated the 38th birthday of famed Bollyhood Singer Kailash Kher at Spark NGO office at Singtam on July 7. A cake with the name of Kailash Kher beautifully written was distributed among the members of Spark NGO along with other sweet items. A gorkhay khada was placed at the photo frame of Kailash Kher. Later Prakash Sundas went on to sing more than half a dozen songs of his singing idol.

Prakash Sundas is a rising singer from Gangtok who had been to Indian Idol 5 auditions this year and had succeeded in reaching the third round at Mumbai audition. He was the only Sikkimese among more than 20 participants to have cleared the Kolkata auditions. In recent times he had been doing stage shows in different part of the state. I have never met my idol but have listen to his voice, I do wish to god that someday I get a chance to meet him and I shall surely sing for him, added Prakash. Rajani Pradhan, General Secretary of Spark NGO told that we should appreciate such sincerity and dedication and we as the family of Spark NGO wish him much success in days to come.  

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tashiding Monastery: A sacred Guru Rimpoche blessed –IV

Without doubt the land of Sikkim is full of mystery; more you believe you get closer to understand the mystery hidden inside it, the legend that guides this mystic land smiles back. I have often heard stories about mysterious magical tales that relives the world of that fantasy learned people still accept as true once Sikkim to be part off.  Some enveloped in the forms of footprints of learned men, some strange symbols said to be the foot prints of animals, statues that pour tears or even those that sweats. There are many more such examples to follow but I believe these mysterious happenings are beyond common man’s understandings. Only the time immortal has the secrets to these mysteries.  


Tashiding is one of the mysterious places and here also lies few mysterious materials that these materialistic worlds find it difficult to consider. As I have said earlier on my first article, this was my first visit to this mystic place and as I feel I missed out few other things which shall be dealt some other day. We were three at this Tashiding tour, myself, Saila Kaka (my father’s younger brother) and Praveen Daju, my cousin brother. Through this article I would like to talk about four strange looking rocks around the vicinity of Tashiding Monastery, the local people still reason to have some mystical relations. All these rocks are in a half a dozen step distance from one another. 

The first of the four rock has a small hole on it and the legends goes as if a person’s finger go through that hole with a closed eyes from 10-12 footstep walk for three successive times, it is believed his wished are fulfilled. Kaka tried many times but each time he came closer to it but did not succeed, even Praveen Daju made a valiant effort without success. But for me lady luck was on my side I succeeded in my first instance but did not try to attempt it later on. I was simply not confident on the other occasion. 

Next to it was a small rock where it is believed that resting down knee at that rock for three times could heal the pain of joints! Hard to judge but a faith is all that can do, I tried it out and I was followed by rest of my tour mates. I do sometimes feel pain on my joints but I do not know whether there was some hitch on my faith that I did not have any difference on the pain I am still continuing with. 

To its left lied a rock where our local tour guide whom we had found at the monastery informed us to have healing power if we rub our back against it. As to our local guide’s instructions we all did it. 

The last of the mysterious rocks that we came across that day was the one in which there was a crack in the middle and it is believed that on an auspicious day one can hear sound of mantras being chanted or sometimes even strange sounds of river water flowing are heard, our guide told us. 

We were told about other strange healing rocks that were found at that vicinity but due to poor light we had to hurry back to our vehicle. There was hope that some other day we might return back just to take glimpse of those mysterious rocks that has been the guardian deity to this mystic Tashiding.  

Thursday, July 01, 2010

10th Death Anniversary of Capt. Ganju Lama VC MM PD

In Memorium

On 10th Death Anniversary

Capt. Ganju Lama VC MM PD
(7 July 1922 - 1 July 2000)

Time takes away the edge of grief
But memory turns back every leaf
Gone from our lives one so dear
But in our hearts forever near.

Time changes many things but not the
Memory this day brings
Till now you are still in our minds and hearts
for the love and lessons of life that u gave us

Memories are like leaves of gold
They never tarnish or grow old
Locked in our hearts, You will always be
Loved and remembered , For all eternity
It isn't what we write, It isn't what we say
Its how we feel deep inside
As we think of you today... ten years on..


Deeply remembered and missed by all

Pema Chuki Kazini (Wife) &
All Family Members & Relatives