50 Years of Hotel Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 28 , 2012           00.16 A.M.

Iconic Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai completes 50 years of its existence and is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year .

The first Sun-n-Sand was built at Mumbai in 1962 by Mr. Gul Advani and his friend Mr. John Voyantzis, giving Mumbai its first 5 star hotel and India, its first beachfront 5 star hotel. There is now a Sun-n-Sand at Pune, Shirdi and Nagpur as well. The Sun-n-Sand Group of Hotels also runs a fine-dining restaurant, Jewel of India, and the Jade Garden banquet halls at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai.

English: Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels - Mumbai

Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels – Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jade Garden

I have vivid memories of Sun – n – Sand hotel . I first came to know about it during my Allahabad days . I had detailed knowledge of the hotel through the film magazines . All the big film land parties , film muhurats and jubilee functions were invariably held and celebrated here during those days . Since it was in Juhu , it was very convenient for the film land bigwigs .

I also got to know through magazines that legendary Dev Anand had booked a permanent suite on the first floor of this hotel and he kept it for 15 long years . That particular suite became almost his second home .

My curiosity for this hotel grew with the passage of time . When I landed in Mumbai in 1989 [ it was known as Bombay then ] , I went to see Sun – n – Sand . In the beginning of my struggling days it was my cherished dream to attend at least one party in the hotel . Luckily I got the opportunity soon . I don’t remember the occasion but I do remember the moment when I entered into the hotel for the first time .

I have attended several functions and parties since then . My last party was for the muhurat of ” Bheema “ , a film which I wrote few years back .

I have gone there several times since my first visit . But every time I am as excited as I was for the first time . Apart from Taj Mahal , Sun – n – Sand was the only hotel of Mumbai which caught my attention during my formative years . So the attraction remains undiminished even after so many decades .

I , on behalf of myself and my acting school , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , congratulate everyone associated with the hotel and wish them many more such jubilees .








Homage To Sathya Sai Baba

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA               APRIL 25, 2011                        09.00P.M.  

Let me state that I am neither a devotee nor a disciple of Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. I do respect him as a devout Hindu and I am deeply pained to hear about his sad demise.

According to Hindu tradition, a saint never dies. His soul simply leaves this world and gets NIRVANA. He attains MOKSHA and becomes one with the supreme power whom we call God. So Poojaneeya Sathya Sai Baba is not dead. He left us and this ephemeral world for his eternal journey. He completed his assigned duties in this world and finally attained NIRVANA. On this occasion I am reminded of a line written as epitaph on the samadhi of OSHO ; ” NEVER BORN , NEVER DEAD ; JUST VISITED THIS PLANET EARTH “. It was true about OSHO and it is true about Sathya Sai Baba also.

Entrance to Puttaparthi : The Birth Place of Sai Baba

Entrance to Puttaparthi : The Birth Place of Sai Baba

Everyone knows that he was born in 1926 as Sathyanarayana Raju in the Puttaparthi village of Andhra Pradesh , India. In his childhood he showed exceptional talent in drama, music, dance and writing. At the age of 14, he proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. He retained first half of his name Sathya and the illustrious journey of Sathya Sai Baba began. It is to be known that Sai Baba of Shirdi had died 8 years before the birth of Sathya Sai Baba.

In 1963 he suffered 4 severe heart attacks but survived and claimed that he will live till 2022 and then will take rebirth again after 8 years in 2030 in Mysore as Prema Sai Baba.

In 1972 he stablished Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust [ SSSCT ] to run schools and other institutions. Today SSSCT owns assets worth Rs. 45.000 crore and several social works are being carried out in 166 countries of the world.

On March 28, 2011 he was admitted to the super – speciality hospital in Puttaparthi and on April 24, 2011 passed away at 07.40 A.M. Today on April 27, 2011 he was buried as per the ascetic traditions of Hinduism.

Puttaparthi and Prashanti Nilayam ; His Abode

Puttaparthi and Prashanthi Nilayam ; His Abode

I was deeply pained when Sathya Sai Baba was in the hospital and doctors were fighting a losing battle to save him, some known intellectuals, atheists and TV anchors were making fun of him. It was said that if he was capable of so many miracles, why can’t he save his own life? Some one pointed out that Sathya Sai Baba announced that he will live untill the year 2022, so how can he be on deathbed? Indian atheists, intellectuals and rationalists never question faiths and believes of other religions but when it comes to Hinduism , they start questioning. If they keep mum on other religions then they have no right to question Hindu believes also.

These rationalists did not stop even after the demise of Sathya Sai Baba. You can visit twitter accounts of following people to know how venomous these atheists could be :

1 – Sumon K Chakrabarti @SumonCNNIBN

2 – Taslima Nasreen @taslimanasreen

Taslima Nasreen, writer from Bangladesh.

Taslima Nasreen, writer from Bangladesh.

3 – Aditya Raj Kaul @AdityaRajKaul

4 – Joy D @ Joydas

These people are entitled not to believe in miracles but at least show respect to a departed saint. He didn’t only perform miracles. He did some extremely praiseworthy social works also. What would you say about this hospital ?

Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital in Bangaluru

Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital in Bengaluru

And what about the university of such magnitude ?

Sri Sathya Sai University, Puttaparthi, A.P. India

Sri Sathya Sai University, Puttaparthi, A.P. India

And what about such sports stadiums ?

Sathya Sai Sports Stadium

Sathya Sai Sports Stadium

What will these atheists say about water project , which provides drinking water to 1.2 million people in about 750 villages in the drought – prone Rayalaseema region in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh?

In his life also Sathya Sai Baba was challenged by many atheists and so – called rationalists who doubted his miracles. Abraham Kovoor of Sri Lanka, H. Narasimhaiah of Bengaluru, Basava Premanand of Tamil Nadu and magician P. C. Sorcar Jr. of West Bengal challenged Sathya Sai Baba but to no avail. Baba rightly said that the scientific approach that ” nothing could be created out of nothing ” is appropriate to the limited field and dimension of science . It doesn’t apply to the transcendental field and dimensions of spirituality.

Any of the above mentioned rationalists and atheists , as per my limited knowledge, have no record of any social work. Can magician P. C. Sorcar Jr. tell us about any work he has done in public domain? Sathya Sai Baba performed miracles , so does Jesus Christ and other saints. Even if you don’t believe in miracles , please remember that they were noble souls and they should be respected for that.

Atheists , you have right to remain an atheist. We don’t want to convert you. But for Gos sake don’t try to convert believers also. India has long tradition of tolerance. Known atheist CHARVAKA of ancient India used to criticize Hinduism while standing on the staircase of the famous Mahakaleshwar temple of Ujjain. None harmed him. He is known as RISHI CHARVAKA even today. So we appreciate your views and accept your right to air them. But accept our rights also. We have every right to be a believer and believe in Sathya Sai Baba.

I pay my humble obeisance to the noble soul , whom we know and revere as Sathya Sai Baba. It is very unfortunate that I could not go fto Puttaparthi or his Darshan.








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