Monthly Archives: December 2015

Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe      Edgar Allan Poe

 United States:  American writer, editor, and literary critic.

Edgar Allan Poe born Edgar January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849 was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. Widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, he was one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story. Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Born in Boston, Poe was the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. Although they never formally adopted him, Poe was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of secondary education for the young man. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems credited only to “a Bostonian”. With the death of Frances Allan in 1829, Poe and Allan reached a temporary rapprochement. Later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, Poe parted ways with John Allan.

Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven”, to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn later renamed The Stylus though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre.

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Jane Austen

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Jane Austen       Jane Austen

United Kingdom: English novelist whose works of romantic fiction

Jane Austen 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817 was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry.She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. From her teenage years into her thirties she experimented with various literary forms, including an epistolary novel which she then abandoned, wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. the release of Sense and Sensibility Pride and Prejudice Mansfield Park and Emma she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen’s works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her works, though usually popular, were first published anonymously and brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

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William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare     William Shakespeare

United Kingdom: English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616 was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.He is often called England’s national poet, and the “Bard of Avon”. His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 38 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith.  he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive, which has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, and religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.His early plays were primarily comedies and histories, and these are regarded as some of the best work ever produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language.In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, however, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s.It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as “not of an age, but for all time”. In the 20th and 21st centuries, his works have been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular, and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

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Stephen King

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Stephen King      Stephen King

Portland, Maine, United States: American author of contemporary horror

Stephen Edwin King born September 21, 1947 is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television shows, and comic books. King has published 54 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and six non-fiction books. He has written nearly 200 short stories, most of which have been collected in book collections. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.

King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards. His novella The Way Station  was a Nebula Award novelette nominee. In 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. His short story “The Man in the Black Suit” received the O. Henry Award. He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire oeuvre, such as the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement the Canadian Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2015, King was awarded with a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts for his contributions to literature.

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Khushwant Singh

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Khushwant Singh       Khushwant Singh

Hadali, Pakistan:  Indian novelist,lawyer, journalist and politician.

Khushwant Singh born Khushal Singh, 2 February 1915 – 20 March 2014 was an Indian novelist, lawyer, journalist and politician. Born and raised in Hadali, Punjab now in Pakistan, he studied law at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and King’s College London. After working as a lawyer in Lahore Court for eight years, he joined the Indian Foreign Service upon the Independence of India from British Empire in 1947. He was appointed journalist in the All India Radio in 1951, and then moved to the Department of Mass Communications of Paris in 1956. These last two careers encouraged him to pursue a literary career. As a writer, he was best known for his trenchant secularism, humour, sarcasm and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behavioural characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as the editor of several literary and news magazines, as well as two newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s. Between 1980-1986 he served as Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.

Khushwant Singh was decorated with the Padma Bhushan in 1974. But he returned the award in 1984 in protest against Operation Blue Star in which the Indian Army raided Amritsar. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India.

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Milkha Singh

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Milkha Singh         Milkha Singh

Chandigarh: Retired; formerly of the Indian Army and Government of Punjab, India

Milkha Singh born around the 1930 also known as The Flying Sikh, is a former Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army. He was the only Indian male athlete to win an individual athletics gold medal at a Commonwealth Games until Vikas Gowda won the discus gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements.

The race for which Singh is best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games, which he had entered as one of the favourites. He led the race till the 200m mark before easing off, allowing others to pass him. Various records were broken in the race, which required a photo-finish and saw American Otis Davis being declared the winner by one-hundredth of a second over German Carl Kaufmann. Singh’s fourth-place time of 45.73 became the Indian national record and held for almost 41 years.

From beginnings that saw him orphaned and displaced during the Partition of India, Singh has become a sporting icon in his country. In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”. In July 2012, The Independent said that “India’s most revered Olympian is a gallant loser” and noted the paucity of success  20 medals achieved by Indian competitors in the Olympic Games despite the country having a population in excess of one billion.

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Mallika Srinivasan

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Mallika Srinivasan     Mallika Srinivasan

Chennai:  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited,

Mallika Srinivasan is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, an INR 96 billion tractor major incorporated in 1960 at Chennai, India. TAFE is today, the third largest tractor manufacturer in the world and the second largest in India, by volumes, with presence in over 75 countries, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas.

She is on the Board of AGCO Corporation – USA, Tata Steel Limited and Tata Global Beverages Limited. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, the Governing Board (Rural Technology And Business Incubator of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and the Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy.

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Gautam Adani

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Gautam Adani      Gautam Adani

 Ahmedabad:Adani GroupAdani Ports & Special Economic Zone LtdAdani Power

Gautam Adani Gujarati:born 24 June 1962 is an Indian business tycoon who is the chairman and founder of Adani Group. According to Forbes, his personal wealth is estimated to be $7.1 billion as of September 2014. He founded The Adani Group in 1988 and today it is a globally integrated infrastructure player with businesses spanning coal trading, coal mining, oil & gas exploration, ports, multi-modal logistics, power generation, Agri Infrastructure, edible oil & transmission and gas distribution. With business experience of more than 33 years, Gautam Adani is an Indian entrepreneur who has led the Adani group from a modest background to create a $10.4 billion professionally managed empire in a relatively short period of time. He is a first generation entrepreneur. The Adani Group’s business strategy has revolved heavily around excessive leverage and political patronage. As of 2015, they are one of India’s most indebted business groups.

He has also been recognized for establishing the modern Mundra port which was selected as the best port in 2006 by Lloyds. Mundra Port is now India’s largest commercial port to have achieved a new landmark of handling 100 million metric tonnes in FY 13-14.

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Venugopal Dhoot

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Venugopal Dhoot Forbes magazine

    Mumbai: Indian businessman. According to Forbes magazine

Venugopal Dhoot born 30 September 1951 in Bombay, India now Mumbai is an Indian businessman. According to Forbes magazine, his wealth in 2013 is $1.25 billion. He is said to be the thirty eighth richest man in India.

He is an alumnus of the College of Engineering, Pune, India. He is married to Rama Dhoot and has two children, Anirudh and Surbhi.

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Chanda Kochhar

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Chanda Kochhar     Chanda Kochhar

Jodhpur: She also heads the Corporate Centre of ICICI Bank.

Chanda Kochhar born 17 November 1961  is the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank. ICICI Bank is India’s largest private bank and overall second largest bank in the country. She also heads the Corporate Centre of ICICI Bank.

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