Pranab Mukherjee (1935-2020)
Pranab Mukherjee is an Indian politician and a former President of India. He assumed the office of the President on July 25, 2012, and continued till July 25, 2017. A veteran in Indian politics, he has the rare distinction of having served as foreign, defense, commerce, and finance minister at different times over his long and illustrious political career spanning several decades. He was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and served as a member of the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of the Party, for a period of 23 years. Born as the son of freedom fighters, Shri Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi, he grew up watching his father play an active role in the Indian independence movement. His father was also a longtime member of the Indian National Congress. Pranab Mukherjee went on to earn an advanced degree in history and political science as well as a law degree from the department of law of the University of Calcutta. He embarked on a career as a college teacher and journalist. Eventually, he followed in his father’s footsteps and ventured into politics. He got a big break when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi helped him get elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, on a Congress ticket. This marked the beginning of a fruitful career that culminated in his election as the 13th President of India in 2012. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019.
Hailee Steinfeld (1996-)
Hailee Steinfeld is an American actress, model, and singer, who in her short career so far has given many memorable performances. She first became famous for her portrayal of Mattie Ross in the movie ‘True Grit’. She was 13 years old at the time of the making of the movie, and little Hailee blew audiences away with her performance. Her strong and confident performance earned her numerous critical awards and many people already got a glimpse of the star she was about to become. There was no stopping Hailee from there on as she now has a successful acting and singing career for herself and has starred in major movies like ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ alongside huge Hollywood stars like Anna Kendrick. Hailee also has a successful singing career and has double-platinum hits in Australia and Triple Platinum hits in Canada as well.
Dilip Kumar (1922-)
Dilip Kumar, popularly called the Tragedy King, is credited to be among the greatest actors ever to have graced Indian cinema. Born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan, he adopted the screen name Dilip Kumar in keeping up with the traditions of early Hindi filmdom. The iconic actor has had a long and illustrious career spanning over five decades and is considered one of the foremost figures of the ‘Golden Era of Indian Cinema’. He entered the world of Hindi cinema during the 1940s when Bollywood was still in its infancy. His foray into acting was by chance—he actually started out as a canteen owner when a chance encounter with the actress Devika Rani resulted in a film offer. Even though his debut film did not do well, he soon established himself as an emotive character actor by the end of the decade. In spite of his being a versatile actor who has played several different characters with the same intensity and effectiveness, he is best known for portraying tragic roles in films like ‘Jogan’, ‘Deedar’ and ‘Devdas’ which earned him the title Tragedy King. Dilip Kumar has the distinction of being the first actor to receive a Filmfare Best Actor Award, an award which he won eight times throughout his career.
Viswanathan Anand (1969-)
Five-time winner of the World Chess Championship, Indian chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand dominated the world of chess for six years from 2007 to 2013. The former World Chess Champion is among the only two persons to have won the Classical, Rapid, and Blitz world championships and the only one to have won the world championship playing in Match, Tournament, and Knockout formats. Anand was first introduced to chess by his mother who was a big chess aficionado. She was a good player but was never associated with any club. The young boy inherited his mother’s love for chess and started playing the game as a six-year-old. His mother’s motivation and encouragement went a long way in shaping him up into the great player he eventually became. He turned professional early on and became the National Sub-Junior Chess Champion at the age of 14. More success followed when at the age of 15 he won the title of International Master and became the youngest Indian to do so. At the age of 18, Anand became India’s first Grandmaster. He won his first World Championship in 2000; he would win the championship four more times. He is known to be an unassuming and simple person who is liked by all, including his former rivals.
Marco Pierre White (1961-)
Marco Pierre White is an influential British chef and restaurateur who is dubbed as the first celebrity chef of the UK restaurant scene. Popularly known as the Godfather of modern-day cooking, White became the youngest chef to win three Michelin stars and holds the record till date. Also, he was the first British chef to win the prestigious honor. A torchbearer, White changed the landscape of British cooking. Before him, no one talked about food from the British Isle. He not just changed that concept but also made British food take the main stage. He became an icon of British cooking and is looked upon by a whole new generation of budding chefs and restaurateurs who take inspiration from him and consider White as their ‘countertop muse’. He has mentored numerous famed and popular chefs of the present day including Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone, and Shannon Bennett. However, after pursuing a seventeen-year long career in cooking, White realized that his career did not provide him with adequate returns. As such, he gave up being a chef and cooked his final meal like a professional chef on December 23, 1999. Ever since then, White continues to serve as a restaurateur. He has also made several appearances on cookery shows and cooking-related reality competitions.
Rider Strong (1979-)
Rider Strong is an American actor best known for his role as Shawn Hunter in the super hit television series ‘Boy Meets World’. A prodigious child, Strong’s acting career took off much early in life. Even before turning nine, Strong had his hands full with work in television. Though he appeared in several television shows and sitcoms, it was the film ‘Benefit of Doubt’ that brought him attention. However, the biggest breakthrough came when he starred as Shawn Hunter in ABC’s ‘Boy Meets World’. The sitcom gave him widespread recognition and appreciation. Following the success of ‘Boy Meets World’, Strong had a steady flow of guest roles in a number of television series. The film offers also came rolling in for him. Just when his acting career looked steady, Rider Strong tried his hand behind the camera. He wore the cap of a writer cum director for the short film, ‘Irish Twin’, together with his brother. The film was largely appreciated thus opening a new career avenue for Strong. For the spinoff of ‘Boy Meets World’ titled ‘Girl Meets World’, Rider Strong not just reprised his character of Shawn Hunter but also served as its director. He is definitely turning out to be an all-rounder of the current generation of entertainers.