Friday, July 31, 2009

‘Linguistic Minorities’

3M is amused that Colleges built by non-Marathi communities are allowed to have 50% reservations for students from their community… But colleges built by Marathi Community can’t have reservations for Maharashtrian! Surprisingly many of these colleges have been built on land given by the Maharashtra Government.

Now that MNS has taken up this issue… will Shiv Sena be far behind?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shirdi goes green

World’s Largest Solar Cooking System will be inaugurated today at the Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi. This unique project can feed 5000 devotees at any given point of time!

3M hopes that alternate energy will be actively promoted by the government in coming years.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Maharani Gayatridevi is no more!

Maharani Gayatridevi of Jaipur (1919-2009)

Gayatridevi, the famed Maharani of Jaipur, passed away at the ripe old age of 90… She was the true representative of ‘Royal India Beauty’ and was voted amongst the 10 most beautiful women in the world by Vogue Magazine. But her contribution to Indian Society runs much deeper… from women’s education and sports to taking on Indira Gandhi’s might during the emergency she has done it all. What most people don’t know is that she was Half-Maratha! Her mother Maharani Indiradevi of Cooch Behar (seen wearing a Nauwari Saree in the background portrait in the photo above) was the Gaekwad Princess from Baroda.

3M with MGD @ Jaipur Polo Grounds in 2003

3M had the pleasure of interacting with this gracious lady in the year 2003 during an event called ‘Ad Asia’. On the same table as MGD was Lara Dutta, the reigning Miss World... but the queue for meeting the former was 3 times in length as compared to the one for the later!

May her soul rest in peace!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marathi Girls School in 1860s!

School of Mahratta Brahmin Girls in Bombay by William Simpson
Circa 1865
(Courtesy Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

This amazing painting show that Maharashtra was a pioneer when it came to women's education... such efforts by Jyotiba & Savitri Phule, Maharshi Karve and Shakutala Paranjpe paved way for the women's empowerment in Western India.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

When the Marathas defeated the USA army…

Did you know of a war when the Marathas defeated the American army…

… Well, 3M is not ‘creating history’… this war happens in a computer game called ‘Empire Total War’

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gangubai Hangal passes away

Closely following Shantaram Nandgaonkar and Nilu Phule, the Marathi World lost another eminent artistGangubai Hangal, the doyen of Kirana Gharana.

3M Trivia – at the age of 12, Gangubai sang at the 1924 Indian National Congress session in Belgaum with Gandhiji and Pandit Nehru as audience!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Standardising Marathi

The Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad (MSP) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) are working on standardising the Marathi language script across the world. 3M hopes that this makes the online Marathi world easier to browse!

Monday, July 20, 2009

ढग दाटून येतात Dhag Datun Yetat

Hope the clouds spare 3M as he leaves for Bhopal to watch the eclipse (खग्रास सूर्यग्रहण)!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Flashing Marathi Origins

Quite a lot of celebrities have been flashing their Marathi origins in the recent past… now Cory Walia (the celebrated makeup artist) teaches us how to make Mutton Sagoti… something his ‘Saraswat Brahmin grandmother married to Maratha Royalty’ taught him!

Marathi Manoos gets the first Nano

Ashok Raghunath Vichare, a quintessential middle class Indian, is the proud owner of the first Tata Nano… a car that will change the world! And like any good ol' Madhyamvargiya Marathi Manoos, he rushed to the Siddhivinayak Temple for the Lord's blessings.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Competition is good, no?

3M recently decided to revert to good old landline (MTNL types) because the Reliance signal was weak in his area… so off he went to the local telephone exchange expecting long queues and arrogant staff. Much to his astonishment, there was very little crowd… and the person at the desk apologised as he was in the toilet when I came there! Is this the same MTNL where you had to plead and beg for a phone connection? Well… competition changes every thing!

Till now a certain Sena assumed that Marathi Manoos was a ‘captive voter’… until the other Sena whisked away half the votes! Now the Original Sena is trying out a gamut of tricks to woo back its voters… from making Sena Bhavan high tech and responsive… to organising a ‘Long March’ to the MHADA office. But will the Marathi Manoos come back? Let’s wait for the assembly elections!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Aksharmaitra completes 2 years

Sanjeevani Bokil, a renowned poet, initiated a unique experiment that has blossomed into an institution! ‘Aksharmaitra’ is often dubbed as a ‘reading library’… but that would be a misnomer. Eminent personalities read out passages from great literary works for students. Certainly a great way to inculcate the reading habit in young students.

3M salutes this effort… and hopes that it will be replicated in Mumbai!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Quintessential Marathi Villain is no more!

Neelkanth Krushnaji Phule… popularly known as ‘Nilu Phule’ was the epitome of evil in Marathi Cinema… almost a male version of Lalita Pawar… or so thought 3M as a kid, till he saw ‘Sinhasan’!

.Nilubhau passed away after a long fight against cancer… May his soul rest in peace!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maratha Regiment leads Bastille Day parade

More than 6 decades after the Second World War, Maratha Light Infantry is back in Europe… this time to lead the Bastille Day Parade in France. This is the first time a non-French army regiment is leading the parade… a rare honour indeed!

Image Courtesy Times of India

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Savita Bhabhi’s ‘Deshmukh’ is an Agarwal!

3M always wondered as to how come a Marathi Manoos had the guts to create ‘Savita Bhabhi’? Now it seems the ‘Deshmukh’ is actually is a guy from UK – Puneet Agarwal… and he had to reveal his true identity to Save Savita Bhabhi!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Solapuri ‘Haute Couture’

3M has a weakness for fabrics... especially for handloom. So he was trawling the net for something interesting from Maharashtra - Mashru, Himroo, Paithani, Narayan Peth, Solapuri Chadar... सोलापुरी चादर??? has 3M gone crazy? How can such a lowly fabric be included in the list of fine fabrics? Care to check out this snap below?

Well... even 3M was amused to see this innovative use of our humble chadar by James Ferreira @ Lakme Fashion Week! But sadly due to Government apathy this unique heritage is dying out...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Marathi Melava @ Philadelphia

Every two years, Brihan Maharashtra Mandal arranges a convention for the American Marathi Manoos (AMM) to network… and the current one at Philadelphia has just come to an end. A lot was written in the Marathi Newspapers about how the AMM is trying to connect with his roots… and also of Uddhav’s much publicised appearance at the meet.
But check out that the GenNext of AMMs is up to in this convention… This article by Anjali Athavaley in Wall Street Journal is truely hilarious! AMM parents are hoping "मराठा (सून/ जावई) तितुका मेळवावा... महाराष्ट्र धर्म वाढवावा !"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rare Manuscripts to be digitised

VL Manjul (Former Librarian of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute) has started ‘Marathi Manuscripts Centre’ which plans to put 2200 rare manuscripts online… and some of them are over 5 centuries old! On the other hand, University of Mumbai has launched ‘Comprehensive Preservation Programme' with financial support from TCS, under which over 300 manuscripts and maps will be available on a CD... for researchers and enthusiasts.

3M lauds both the initiatives as they do not only preserve our heritage but also make it accessible to a large section of people!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shahrukh refuses to play ‘Raj’

In umpteen movies, Shahrukh Khan has played ‘Raj’… but when he was asked to play the real life ‘Raj’ (Thackeray types)… he refused! 3M wonders if he was ‘scared’ like rest of the film industry… or finds it ‘below his dignity’?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Elusive Sealink


Yesterday, MMW prodded a very very lazy 3M for a visit to the Lucknowi Chikkan Exhibition by SEWA at Nariman Point… With all the Bandra-Worli Sealink (Should it not be Wandre-Warali Setu for Thackerays?) talk, 3M decided to go to Nariman Point via Bandra… mind you he stays @ Wadala! Lo and behold… half of Mumbai wanted to see the Sealink on the last ‘free day’! After an hour and half, we could only reach Kalanagar… So we took an U-turn… No SEWA… No Sealink! Just had some coffee @ Matunga on the way back!

घारापुरीची शिरा पुरी!

ऊठ पंढरीच्या राजा Utha Pandharichya Raja

From the movie 'Sant Gora Kumbhar'

Sunday, July 5, 2009

‘Tambu Talkies’ in Europe!

For decades, rural Maharashtra has been enthralled by ‘Tambu Talkies’, a make shift tent theatre, till the VCD-Cable TV wave swept it into oblivion. Amit Madhesia’s photo exhibition of this dying phenomenon has hit 12 European countries this summer.

3M hopes that a coffee table book on ‘Tambu Talkies’ will follow!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

26/11... The true story

Check out this series of 5 videos that shows what actually happened on 26/11!

If this does not make your blood boil... nothing can!

DSK goes green

As the Green Building Movement gains momentum in the country, DSK Group from Pune decides to take the plunge… better than feeding the BSP elephant!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Medha Patkar: from Activism to Acting?

For years we were used to actors turning into politicians… but recently some politicians have exposed their artistic side! So can activists be far behind… Medha Patkar agrees to play herself in a forthcoming Marathi movie.

3M wonders if Anna Hazare will follow suit?

Santa Tukaram in Lithuanian

Even as Warkaris let their petty egos spoil the legacy of Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra… The thoughts of Sant Tukaram are spreading across the seven seas, thanks to this online wonder!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


click on the image to see larger version

The complete list of 25 most powerful politicians is as follows -

1. Bal Thackeray (82) SS +1
2. Sharad Pawar (68) NCP -1
3. Ashok Chavan (50) INC 0
4. Raj Thackeray (39) MNS 0
5. Chhagan Bhujbal (60) NCP 0
6. Gopinath Munde (59) BJP 0
7. Uddhav Thackeray (48) SS 0
8. Vilasrao Deshmukh (63) INC 0
9. Narayan Rane (56) INC 0
10. Nitin Gadkari (60) BJP 0
11. Ajitdada Pawar (49) NCP 0
12. R R Patil (52) NCP 0
13. Murli Deora (71) INC +1
14. Gurudas Kamat (51) INC +1
15. Praful Patel (53) NCP -2
16. Prakash Ambedkar (51) RPI 0
17. Ramdas Athavale (55) RPI 0
18. Vinay Kore (37) JSP 0
19. Sushilkumar Shinde (66) INC 0
20. Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil (76) INC 0
21. Manohar Joshi (71) SS 0
22. Vijaysingh Mohite Patil (64) NCP 0
23. Vinod Tawde (45) BJP 0
24. Sadashiv Mandlik (76) IND 0
25. Supriya Sule (39) NCP 0

Party Code
– Bharatiya Janata Party
INC – Indian National Congress
IND – Independent
JSS – Jana Surajya Shakti
MNS – Maharashtra Navanirman Sena
NCP – Nationalist Congress Party
PWP – Peasants & Workers Party (Shetkari Kamgar Paksha)
RPI – Republican Party of India (any faction)SS – Shiv Sena

Movement on the MahaPol ladder –
0 : Zero indicates that there has been no change in the ranking over the previous month.
+X : Plus indicates improvement in ranking over last month and ‘x’ indicates how many ranks he/ she has moved upwards.
-X : Minus indicates degradation in ranking over last month and ‘x’ indicates how many ranks he/ she has moved downwards.

To understand the methodology used for the ranking click here. The figure in bracket indicates the age of the politician.

  • Padmasinh Episode and open defiance of NCP MP Udayanraje Bhonsale has lowered the image of Sharad Pawar. This leaves the top slot open for the Hinduhrudaysamrat!
  • Mishandling of Air India by Praful Patel has demolished his image as the most efficient minister. So he has been pulled down two ranks.

MahaPol can be directly contacted on



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