Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Indrani Rehman

Today is the birth anniversary of Indrani Rehman, an Indian Classical dancer who was well versed in Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi and played a pioneering role in popularizing these dance forms in the West. She won the first Miss India contest in1952.

She was a recipient of Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Academy award.
Our humble tributes to the great danseuse and choreographer !

A REMEMBRANCE -II


While you are studying in an institution, the count of those whom you could consider close friends from amongst your classmates hardly gets past ten, the initial double digit . At the most , it could be just 5 or 6. But yes , you are familiar with almost all, know the names and some details of quite a few . Still we enjoy a kinship sort of with all of them as comrades. After studies, the meetings among classmates become rather rare as most of us get scattered over different places for reasons of employment etc. 
On an impulse, where ever in Himachal, my job took me, I had the desire to look for and enquire about my classmates from that area. In 1986 , when destiny took me to Pooh, in Kinnaur , I enquired about two of my classmates in college - Nihal and Daya Ram- who happened to be from Kinnaur. 
Within days, I was not only able to spot them but had a visit to my office by Nihal who in connection with his job as a Secretary of the Tehsil Cooperative Union was stationed at Pooh only. We relived the moments as we had met after more than thirteen years. We kept meeting as I was also called to the Union meetings being an ex-officio member.The Union had trucks plying to carry out commercial activities. I badly felt the need for a Hamam to warm water for bathing etc. as, due to erratic and irregular power supply despite the best efforts of the Officers and staff of the HPSEB, no other option was in sight. He got me a Hamam . Whenever I tried to make the payment, he said ‘koi baat nahin le lenge……’ perhaps as a gesture of being a comrade and a classmate. 
Our association however was not destined to last long as after a few months, Nihal met with a fatal accident, as while crossing the road at a crucial spot called Urni , he was hit by a boulder that came shooting down from the Dhank . I was shocked at his sudden demise while still in the thirties, and all I could do was visit his village home and offer my condolences. 
Returning to Pooh, I made the payment of Hamam , a little more than Rs.200/-, to unburden myself .
We had met to part so soon !

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A REMEMBRANCE -


Detailed to serve a second tenure in the tribal district of Kinnaur, , in December, 1996 albeit on a higher post , as my vehicle stopped at the gate of Deputy Commissioner’s office at Rekong Peo, the first person to greet me or rather welcome me with a smile in Kinnaur was Gopal, the driver. His words ‘Sir, dubara aa gaye Kinnaur !’ still ring in my ears. He knew me from my days at Pooh, where I had served a full tenure as Tehsildar from 1986 to 1989. Gopal was the driver of ADC Pooh and a few times ferried me too, as I did not have the facility of a Government vehicle at that time. Pleasantries over, he told me that he was attached with SDM, Nichar ( Bhabanagar ) and had come to the district HQ with him . My office being in the DC office building itself, he routinely met me whenever he came to Peo. After some more than two years , came the shocking news of his sudden death.. I felt duty bound to offer my condolences to his bereaved family . The day came too soon.. We had gone to attend the cremation of local soldier martyred in action in J & K , at a place marked for the occasion and it was a ceremonial cremation with customary military gun salute . After the ceremony was over, Sonam ji, an XEN of the PWD at that time , who still happens to be a close friend and who knew and was familiar with Gopal as much as I was, proposed that we go to offer our condolence to Gopal’s family. Off we went to his place at village Taranda , a steep climb above the Taranda Dhank, which is famous for a temple on the National Highway. It transpired that Gopal had slipped down and had hit himself while assisting the Telephone people in pulling the cables on a holiday. Misfortunes never come alone I later learnt that his brother too had expired within days. 
But then, life goes on …………

Thursday, September 14, 2017

हिन्दी दिवस

एक कार्यालय में जहां मैं वर्षों पूर्व तैनात था, एक बार दिनचर्या के दौरान मेरे पास एक नस्ती प्रस्तुत हुई जिसमे एक हिन्दी पत्र का प्रारूप भी था । प्रारूप पढ़ते पढ़ते एक शब्द ‘ उपक्रम ‘ पर मेरी दृष्टि पड़ी और ठहर गयी । कर्मचारी योग्य एवं मेहनती था और साधारणतया उसके द्वारा तयार किए प्रारूप को अधिक देखना नहीं पड़ता था पर इस बार पत्र के संदर्भ अथवा विषयवस्तु में ‘उपक्रम’ शब्द का न कोई स्थान था न औचित्य, इसलिये मैंने संबंधित कर्मचारी से पूछना उचित समझा । ज्ञात हुआ कि अंग्रेज़ी शब्द ‘undertaking’ से अभिप्राय था और प्रचलित सरकारी शब्दकोश में इस शब्द का अनुवाद ‘उपक्रम’ लिखा था, जो कि सही होते हुए भी उपयुक्त न था । अक्सर होता है कि प्रयत्न करने के बाद भी उपयुक्त शब्द नहीं मिल पाता । खैर मैंने अपनी साधारण सूझ बूझ से ‘उपक्रम’ के स्थान पर ‘वचनबद्धता’ लिख दिया जो कि संदर्भ और विषय से मेल खाता था ।अपना उदाहरण दूँ तो एक बार मेरी गाड़ी भी बजट संबंधी संदर्भ में ‘दत्तमत’ शब्द पर रुक गयी थी । संबन्धित विभाग से पूछने पर पता लगा कि इस शब्द का अर्थ ‘voted’ है । कुछ वर्षों बाद मुझे बहुत प्रसन्नता हुई जब उक्त कर्मचारी का नाम मैंने हिन्दी दिवस पर सम्मानित कर्मचारियों की समाचार पत्र में प्रकाशित सूची में पढ़ा ।यह उस कर्मचारी की योग्यता, परिश्रम और लगन का ही परिणाम था । 

हिन्दी दिवस की शुभकामनाएं !


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jatindra Nath Das

Today is the death anniversary of Jatindra Nath Das, a revolutionary and an Independence Activist , who went on a hunger strike in the jail seeking treatment and facilities for the Indian political prisoners at par with the European prisoners. His demands not being acceded to by the insensitive jail administration, he died after 63 days.He had not completed even 25 years of his age.

His mortal remains were taken by train from Lahore to Calcutta by Durga Bhabhi, another freedom activist.His body was received at Calcutta by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.His popularity can be gauged from the fact that a two kilometre procession followed his body to the cremation ground.
Our humble tributes to the revolutionary !

हिन्दी दिवस

कल हिन्दी दिवस है । सभी को अग्रिम शुभकामनाएं !
जब से होश संभाला है , सब कुछ हिन्दी से ही आरंभ हुआ है । राजकीय समारोह भी होंगे हर वर्ष की तरह और हिन्दी में उत्कृष्ट कार्य करने के लिए सरकारी कर्मचारियों/ अधिकारियों को सम्मानित भी किया जाएगा । उन सभी महानुभावों को भी अग्रिम बधाई। अपना तो मुझे इतना कुछ याद नहीं पर मेरी बेटी के अक्षर ज्ञान का परिचय मुझे उस समय मिला जब पहली बार उसने दीवार पर लिखे किसी विज्ञापन में अक्षर जोड़ कर 'टिकिया' शब्द पढ़ा । मुझे और मेरी पत्नी को बहुत प्रसन्नता हुई ।हिन्दी के अस्तित्व को कोई खतरा नहीं , ऐसा मेरा मानना है ।

J.B.Priestley

Today is the death anniversary of J.B.Priestley, the English novelist, playwright, screenwriter , social commentator and broadcaster. 
Two of his plays, Mother's Day and An Inspector Calls became very famous and were made into films.
Our humble tributes !

THE REQUIEM


THE REQUIEM is a much discussed short story by Anton Chekov. 

Andrey Andreyitch is a former domestic servant , running errands for people, with his earnings opens a shop and becomes a shopkeeper. He visits a local church and make a written request for a Requiem service for his daughter Mariya , who has recently died. Most of the people having left the church after the Mass, except two- three people, the priest calls out to him. Angry and peeved that Andrey Andreyitch in his request note that mentioned his deceased daughter as ‘Mariya , the harlot’ , the priest Father Grigory takes him to task for using such an ‘unseemly’ word for his own daughter. It transpires that Mariya the late daughter of Andrey Andreyitch was an actress and a famous one . The priest himself that he has found her name mentioned in newspapers. The priest cautions him against using this outrageous word , more so since he is at a holy and sacred place like the church. But we find that the word is so much entrenched in his psyche that it escapes his mouth once again. 
Mariya who had visited her father about three years back had longed for a peaceful life and serene surroundings in which she finds her father. There is a somewhat hidden streak of sympathy in her also for her father . Given, that theatre and acting were not held in esteem in a conservative society, it is beyond any logic or explanation that a father should use such a nasty word for  his own daughter , without any provocation, even while requesting the church for a prayer for her soul to rest in peace.Even the priest who represents the church that inter alia vouches for very high standards of propriety and morality , takes exception to the objectionable word. 
The story leaves the reader baffled .

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lala Amarnath

Today is the birth anniversary of Lala Amarnath, a former Indian cricketer.
He was the first Captain of independent India's Cricket team . He was also the first Indian batsman to score a century, that too on his debut.

He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan.
Our humble tributes !

महादेवी वर्मा

आज हिन्दी की महान कवयित्री महादेवी वर्मा की पुण्यतिथि है। बहुमुखी प्रतिभा की धनी होने के साथ साथ वे हिन्दी साहित्य में छायावादी युग के प्रमुख स्तंभो में से एक होने के नाते अपना विशेष स्थान रखती हैं । किसी ने उन्हें आधुनिक मीरा के नाम से नवाज़ा तो बक़ौल ‘निराला’ वे “हिन्दी के विशाल मन्दिर की सरस्वती” हैं। अध्यापन से अपने कार्यजीवन की शुरूआत करने के उपरांत अंतिम पड़ाव में वे प्रयाग महिला विद्यापीठ की प्रधानाचार्या रहीं। प्रतिभावान कवयित्री और गद्य लेखिका होने के साथ साथ महादेवी वर्मा ने संगीत और चित्रकारिता के क्षेत्र में भी अपने कौशल का परिचय दिया । पद्म भूषण, पद्म विभूषण के अलावा उन्हें हिन्दी साहित्य के सभी महत्वपूर्ण पुरस्कार, जैसे मंगला प्रसाद पुरस्कार, भारत भारती , ज्ञान पीठ पुरस्कार प्राप्त करने का गौरव प्राप्त है। वे साहित्य अकादमी की फैलो भी रहीं। स्वंत्रता से पहले और बाद के दोनों कालखंडो की साक्षी महादेवी जी ने विपुल साहित्य रचा। ‘नीहार’, ‘रश्मि’, ‘दीपशिखा’, ‘यामा’ उनके प्रमुख काव्य संग्रह हैं।
उनकी अनेक कविताओं में ‘दीप’ और ‘दीपक’ शीर्षक और विषय वस्तु के रूप में उपस्थित हैं ।
उनकी काव्य रचना की एक झलक :
मेरा पग पग संगीत भरा,
श्वांसों में स्वप्न पराग झरा,
नभ के नव रंग बुनते दुकूल,
छाया में मलय बयार पली !
मैं नीर भरी दुःख की बदली !
---------------------------------
विस्तृत नभ का कोई कोना
मेरा न कभी अपना होना
परिचय इतना इतिहास यही
उमटी कल थी मिट आज चली !
मैं नीर भरी दुःख की बदली !
----------------चाहा था तुझमें मिटना भर
दे डाला बनना मिट-मिटकर
यह अभिशाप दिया है या वर;
पहली मिलन कथा हूँ या मैं
चिर-विरह कहानी!
बताता जा रे अभिमानी!
-------------------------
सघन घन का चल तुरंगम चक्र झंझा के बनाये,
रश्मि विद्युत ले प्रलय-रथ पर भले तुम श्रान्त आये,
पंथ में मृदु स्वेद-कण चुन,
छांह से भर प्राण उन्मन,
तम-जलधि में नेह का मोती
रचूंगी सीप सी मैं!
धूप-सा तन दीप सी मैं !
-------------
महान कवयित्री को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !!

गजानन माधव मुक्तिबोध

आज हिन्दी के महान कवि, सुविख्यात आलोचक, निबंधकार एवं चिन्तक गजानन माधव मुक्तिबोध की पुण्यतिथि है ।आधुनिक कविता के एक प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर माने जाने वाले मुक्तिबोध तार सप्तक में स्थान पाने वाले कवियों में से एक हैं । उन्हें उनकी लम्बी कविताओं 'चाँद का मुँह टेढ़ा है ' 'ब्रह्मराक्षस', 'अन्धेरे में ' के लिये अधिक जाना जाता है।
छायावाद के बाद आरंभ हुए प्रयोगवाद के प्रणेता के रुप में भी उन्हें जाना जाता है।
अपने जीवन काल के 47 वर्ष भी पूरे न कर पाने वाले साहित्य शिरोमणि को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

विनोबा भावे

स्वतंत्र भारत में भूदान आंदोलन के प्रणेता व 'सर्वोदय' के संस्थापक , गांधीवादी विचारधारा के समर्थक व पोषक भारत रत्न विनोबा भावे की आज जयंती है। भूदान आंदोलन के अंतर्गत गाँव गाँव घूम कर लाखों एकड़ भूमि दान में प्राप्त कर भूमिहीन लोगों में वितरित करके भू-सुधार की ओर पहला कदम बढ़ाने वाले इस महापुरुष को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

O' Henry


Today is the 155th birth anniversary of William Sydney Porter, better known by his pen name O' Henry.He was a short story writer and was America's answer to the French writer Guy De Maupassant. Both wrote stories with surprise ending.
Gift of the Magi, The Last Leaf,The Ransom of Red Chief are some of the masterpieces by O' Henry.
Our humble tributes to the great writer !

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Havaldar Abdul Hamid, PVC

Today is the death anniversary of Company Quartermaster Havaldar Abdul Hamid, PVC, who laid down his life in the Khemkaran sector during the 1965 war only after destroying a number of enemy tanks single handed.
He was awarded Param Vir Chakra , the highest gallantry Award , posthumously for this rare act of valour .
Our humble tributes to the brave soldier !

RETURN OF ‘TIGER'


I never tire of writing about dog as a pet, even though I have never had one. I have been quite fortunate that I have had the company of pets in my neighbourhood, showering my love on them and receiving love in turn. 
Today I am writing about a pet called Tiger that came as a replacement for a female of the species when it died immediately after delivering a pup, which also could not survive. I am talking of late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when we were living at Lower Kaithu, a suburb of Shimla. . Tiger, a tiny pup became a darling of us kids . As time passed Tiger grew into a pretty strong Mongrel , partly Alsatian with ears standing erect. Though it belonged to our Landlord, most of the time it was with us as if it were a member of our family and was duly taken care of by us. Surprising on one week end Tiger went missing , unknown to us all. We all became worried when all loud calls made to him went unresponded. The area beyond being almost a jungle , we feared the worst- that Tiger having ventured out into the jungle must have been taken by some leopard . Naturally we all were sad. The next day was Sunday and being a holiday, all elders and kids were at home , some playing and some simply basking the sun . 
A surprise , however awaited us . At about 2:00 hrs in the afternoon, my mother just called out to us . Tiger, all drenched and dripping appeared, and what a hero’s welcome he was given - bread and a liberal quantity of milk. Persons who have grown with me or of an older generation who have been Government employees at Shimla, are familiar with the term ‘Mahasu Day’ coined for a Saturday as most of the employees who belonged to villages surrounding Shimla made weekly visits to their village. This incident had occurred on a Mahasu day.As it transpired later, Tiger had followed one of the neighbours , an employee, to his village a good ten Kilometers or thereabout , all on foot. It remained a pleasant surprise as to how Tiger, made his way back home through some Khad or Nallah . We parted company in 1973, when we shifted our residence elsewhere. Tiger lived on for some more years and would welcome us whenever we visited the place.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jennifer Kendal

Today is the death anniversary of Jennifer Kapoor - maiden name Jennifer Kendal , who was a British actress. She was the wife of Shashi Kapoor, the renowned Bollywood Actor. Born of parents who ran the theatre Company named Shakespeareana, acting was in her blood . She was the founder of Prithvi Theatre .

She acted in films - Ghare Baire, The Far Pavilions, Junoon, 36 Chowringhee Lane,Heat and Dust, Shakespeare Wallah,and Bombay Talkie and won critical acclaim for her acting.
She won the BAFTA Award for her role in 36, Chowringhee Lane.
Our humble tributes to the great actress and theatre personality !

Neerja Bhanot

Today is the birth anniversary of Neerja Bhanot, a Flight purser with the Pan Am Airlines who was shot and killed while saving passengers on board when the plane was hijacked to Karachi on September 5,1986.

She was the youngest person to be awarded Ashok Chakra the highest bravery Award given during peace time.
She was also awarded Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat by the Government of Pakistan . A host of other awards also came her way. 
She fell short of celebrating her 24th birthday on September 7.
A biopic on her life and bravery was released in February this year.

Our humble tributes to the brave heart !

…AND THE SILENCE WHISPERED -Book Review



…AND THE SILENCE WHISPERED 
poetic musings
Wani Nazir 
Global Fraternity of Poets
Gurugram - 122 002 (Haryana)
www.globalfraternityofpoets.com
ISBN : 978-93-83755-36-3
Pp: 148
Price : Rs. 340/-
Wani Nazir is a lecturer in English, in Srinagar . He is a Gold Medalist in M.A.English and for quite some time now a known name in today’s poetry in English , who keeps posting his poems on Facebook , a launching pad these days for aspiring authors, writers and poets.I became familiar with him through Facebook only and am amazed at some of the wonderful aspects and featutres of his poetry. . This is his first poetry collection and holds out more promise from him in his future pursuits also. 
There is a Foreword by Dr. Santosh Bakaya, an educationist and an acclaimed English language author / poet in her own right , an Introduction by Lopa Bannerjee, an author, poet and a translator of note herself , and an Acknowledgemet by the poet himself. The blurbs speak highly of his merits as a poet . The collection is dedicated to his two kids, whom he calls Haikus. I sincerely pray that his wish of seeing them grow into Epics is fulfilled !
“ …And the Silence Whispered” is a collection or more appropriately a bouquet of 103 flowers of different hues and description that makes a wonderful ensemble . The oxymoronic title of the collection is quite suggestive . It points out to the internal conflict and turmoil of seething emotions , not ready for a forced eruption. Expressed in more or less a gentle manner are his disillusion, self doubt, self discovery.He speaks of death, rebirth, despondency and sometimes of hope and promise. His sensitive heart bleeds at the violence, misery and strife and prevailing in today’s world, no less in the Valley he belongs to and lives in. His poetry seems an extension to what he calls Yeats’s lament and his hope for ‘the second coming’ and also Matthew Arnold’s longing for a new order devoid of all chaos and confusion. I also find in his poems, traces of Walt Whitman, albeit without celebration of ‘body electric’ as his poetry is about the Soul’s journey towards redemption through introspection . His poetry is also about piecing together of his fragmented existence and being reborn as a poet. Being a product of the times and the milieu, like all creative minds,he draws upon what he sees around and colours it with his observation. , stray incidents of all kinds move him no end. He vacillates between hope and despair depending on the mood. 
Here is a sample of the variegated shades of his poetry:
The poet’s heart bleeds at the plight of a young woman who is subjected to widowhood and his anguish gushes forth like this:
No more is she full of life.
She has lost her dear hubby
In some fake orchestrated encounter
Leaving behind his wife and a kid;
Ferried to some unknown realm
From whose bourn none returns! (LAMENT )

The poet is disappointed that much as he wants to be optimistic like Robert Browning and write about joy, hope and happiness, his muse as if rising in rebellion, turns him in the other direction and he can write only of pain , grief,and suffering
"God is in His heaven
And all's right with the world"
This I wished but didn't come true
My waiting did not bear any fruit,
The Muse came but whispered in
The verses painful and elegiac,
I held my pen in my hand,
And wrote a chain of doleful tales
That you read with weeping heart,
And my soul joins in too
To groan and moan with you! 
(MY MUSE )
Again there is a poignant irony when the poet imagines village urchins surrounding a toy seller, and a woman , who is a widow has to hold out false promise to her little child that his father on coming back home would bring toys for him. The visit of the toy seller is thus most unwelcome to her. 
Would that the toy seller knew!
Although he has brought smiles
On the umpteen pretty lips,
He made a poor child wail
And a widow to tell a lie,
To coax her child to fall asleep!
(A Widow and Her Coaxing Tale)
Sometimes, the poet is self assured of immortality as he shall continue to live through his children .
Don't I still have leftovers of all of them
Always there in my codified memory?
I have no premonitions of the end
My mortal frame will ever meet;
Because I will always be I
Enlivened in my progeny
( Never Shall I Die! )
Musing about the clock and the calendar hanging on the wall, he bemoans that they limit his existence in a time frame and he rather indulges himself with the fallacy that but for these two things ( contraptions ) he would be timeless. 
I surmise and muse upon
what my life would have been,
Sans these two methodical things!
Would it not be like eternity,
in my space bound cozy room,
Had there not been these two,
Time bound things hung over the wall 
(The Time-Bound )
Drawing an analogy between Carom Board and the discs, the poet seems to carry forward Shakespeare’s philosophy of destiny albeit with some qualifications .
Those small circular
Black and white discs
"As flies to the wanton boys
Are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport."
( Carom: Fait Accompli)
Some specimens of his poetry are self explanatory and do not need further enunciation like :
A wish…
Pops up in my heart;
Would that I could do away with
Weaving poems!
Because…
The ink of my quill fills my canvas
With only ugly thoughts;
Miseries, penury, unrequited love,
And the ilk. (The BLOODIED QUILL)
Again , and yet again, I am in a quandary,
As I don't die despite my desire,
Nor does the wish I harbour
Consistently deep inside my bosom.
( Between the Devil and Deep Sea)
Puzzled I stand with my fingers crossed,
In the midst of chaos and confusion;
Vacillating between light and darkness,
Torn between fact and falsehood;
( Dilemma )
O' my Muse! I think, and think it true
The unseen threads that tie you and me
Are somewhere bewielded all
By some power so supreme
That rains thoughts pure
On the undying treasure trove!
(To My Muse )
What can a blood-drenched pen write
Save pain, pangs, and elegies for the oppressed?
How can he eulogize the spring
When it too gushes out blood?
But! A poet can hold a mirror to all,
To show the concealed real interior
And make us see our beastly being
Under the thick human fleshly skin;
( Poet: The Redeemer )
Many more lines and stanzas stand out from other poems also, that hold the reader captivated and transfixed. 
An excellent wordsmith that the poet is, the images and metaphors are all superbly interwoven.The allusions are just amazing. 
The outpourings of a sensitive heart !
One would like to visit the poems again and again. 
A prize collection to have !

Monday, September 4, 2017

TEACHERS DAY


With TEACHERS DAY around the corner , it is time to remember my school teachers who shaped me and to some extent helped make me what I am. Why only school teachers one may ask ! With due respect to College and University teachers, it is because in school the teachers feel as much concerned with the studies of the students as the parents at home. Instilling and enforcing discipline, checking and ensuring that the home work is done are some of the regular features enjoined as the part of their duty which they scrupulously perform . It is not possible to discuss and write about all the teachers in one go .From time to time I take this opportunity to talk about one or two or perhaps three at a time.

I am taken back to April , 1963 in time line when I got admitted to S.D.Higher Secondary School, Shimla in Class V as the school where I had studied earlier was mainly a Girls’ school with boys admitted up to Class IV only. 
A Sardarji , a very young man , perhaps only in his late teens or early twenties , Gyani Balkar Singh was my Class teacher. The prefix Gyani as I learnt later referred to an academic qualification equivalent to Shastri in Sanskrit and Prabhakar in Hindi . He was a Punjabi language teacher and taught Punjabi right upto XI class and needless to say I was his student for six more years to come. 
A simple man who would alternate between pants and a white Latha pyjama , appeared elegant in both. He had a loose flowing beard. It was a pleasant surprise for us when after some years he got married and we saw him wearing a suit and a tie. A story teller par excellence , he narrated the interesting story of his marriage ceremony that we all listened to with rapt attention. Apart from teaching he would also prepare students for Punjabi plays to be staged in the School Annual Prize Distribution function , year after year and the Punjabi Drama used to be the best. He taught much beyond books and once told us an anecdote how Bhai Mardana, a Muslim boy came to be named Mardana by Guru Nanak himself and he became his permanent companion and disciple. I once harboured the dream of becoming a Punjabi language teacher myself but due to later developments, Punjabi was no longer a second language . 
Another teacher whom was blessed to meet only the last year is Mr. Gurinder Singh Bhalla,again a Sardar ji who taught us Science and taught very well. While teaching us the difference between Living and Non living , he gave us a simple formula to remember MERRING ,a contrived abbreviation for the characteristics of a living organism. About the constituents of Protoplasm, he had again an abbreviation ready- CHONSP .
Another teacher , I remember fondly,was, Mr. K.R.Jindal a Mathematics teacher who would award Very Good for homework neatly done and we we would vie with one another to get ‘Very Good ‘ in our notebooks. Any student uttering the word ‘hum’ would invite his wrath as the word was an anathema to him . 
Another teacher, Mr. O.C. Bharti again a Maths teacher when entering the class room for the first time wrote his full name on the Black Board with his left hand and in whispers was mentioned as a ‘Khabchu ‘, but he was ambidexterous and his handwriting was marvellous. 
I salute them from the core of my heart !

सियारामशरण गुप्त

हिन्दी साहित्य जगत के प्रमुख हस्ताक्षर रहे विख्यात कवि , उपन्यासकार, नाटककार एवं अनुवादक सियारामशरण गुप्त की आज जयंती है । उनके द्वारा रचित कविता ' एक फूल की चाह ' जिसमे एक दलित परिवार की रुग्णावस्था में पड़ी बच्ची व पिता की असहायता का मार्मिक प्रसंग वर्णित है । ....' मुझको देवी के प्रसाद का एक फूल ही दो ला कर ' पंक्ति में बच्ची की एक मात्र इच्छा, जो पूरी नहीं हो पाती का प्रकटीकरण है । पिता मंदिर में प्रवेश करने का साहस करता है और फूल भी ले लेता है पर कुछ लोगों द्वारा पकड़ लिया जाता है और निष्ठुर रूढ़िवादी तन्त्र उसे एक सप्ताह के कारावास का दण्ड देता है । एक सप्ताह बाद जब वो कारावास से बाहर आता है तो पाता है कि उसकी बेटी का देहांत हो चुका है और उसका अन्तिम संस्कार भी कर दिया गया है । अपने प्रकार की यह एक अनूठी रचना है !
बहुमुखी प्रतिभा के धनी साहित्यकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

डा. धर्मवीर भारती

'अगर डोला इस राह से गुजरे कुवेला
यहां अम्बवा तरे रुक एक पल विश्राम लेना
मिलो जब गाँव भर से बात कहना बात सुनना
भूल कर हरगिज न मेरा नाम लेना ...........'
हिन्दी साहित्य जगत के एक महत्वपूर्ण हस्ताक्षर व सुप्रसिद्ध कवि, उपन्यासकार , नाटककार डा. धर्मवीर भारती की आज पुण्य तिथि है. 'गुनाहों का देवता' और 'सूरज का सातवाँ घोड़ा ' जैसे उपन्यास व 'अंधा युग ' जैसे नाटक के रचयिता डा. भारती अनेक वर्षों तक प्रतिष्ठित साप्ताहिक पत्रिका 'धर्मयुग ' के भी संपादक रहे।
इस महान रचनाकार को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Dadabhoy Naoroji

Today is the birth anniversary of Dadabhoy Naoroji, the Grand Old Man of India. A multi dimensional personality, he was the first Indian to be elected to the British Parliament .He is also known as the father of Indian politics being a cofounder of the Indian National Congress along with A.O.Hume.
He was also the first to write about the British plundering of Indian resources and called British rule the Un- British rule. One of the books authored by him bears the title Poverty and the Un-British Rule' . His another book us is 'Poverty of India'. He was an educator and a social worker also.
Our humble tributes to this great son of India !

Friday, September 1, 2017

डा. राही मासूम रज़ा

गंगा- जमनी तहजीब के वाहक, हिन्दी उर्दू के महान शाइर, प्रसिद्ध फिल्म ' मैं तुलसी तेरे आँगन की' समेत अनेक फिल्मों व दूरदर्शन से प्रसारित होने वाले अत्यंत लोकप्रिय धारावाहिक 'महाभारत' के संवाद लेखक , एक अन्य धारावाहिक ' नीम का पेड़ ' के लेखक डा. राही मासूम रज़ा की आज 90वीं जयंती है ।
हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

दुष्यंत कुमार

"कहाँ तो तय था चराग़ाँ हर एक घर के लिये
कहाँ चराग़ मयस्सर नहीं शहर के लिये
यहाँ दरख़्तों के साये में धूप लगती है
चलो यहाँ से चले और उम्र भर के लिये
न हो क़मीज़ तो घुटनों से पेट ढक लेंगे
ये लोग कितने मुनासिब हैं इस सफ़र के लिये............."
- दुष्यंत कुमार
हिन्दी ग़ज़ल को प्रसिद्धि और लोकप्रियता की ऊंचाइयों पर ले जाने वाले ग़ज़लकार दुष्यंत कुमार की आज जयंती है !
विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

K.N.Singh

Today is the birth anniversary of K.N.Singh, the popular villain / character actor of Hindi Cinema.He worked in about 200 films in a career that started in 1936 and stretched over to 1994 when he appeared in film Lootera.Initially tipped to step into his father's shoes to become a lawyer, his father's defence of a criminal turned him away from pursuing a career as a lawyer. A keen sportsman, who excelled in Javelin Throw, he was set to represent India in the Berlin Olympics but circumstances prevented him from doing so.Turning to films, he made his debut in film Sunehra Sansaar in 1936. He was a popular villain till late '60s and later appeared in character roles of course with a streak of villainy.
He played some memorable roles in films like Baghban, Aap Ki Marzi, Taqdeer, Humayun, Awara Funtoosh, Chalti Ka Naam Ghadi,Howrah Bridge, Singapore, Manzil, Woh Kaun Thi , Mere Hazoor, Pagla Kahin Ka,Dushman, Mere Jeewan Sathi,Hathi Mere Saathi,Do Chor, Majboor,Dostana,Kaalia etc etc.
Having no child of his own ,he adopted a nephew.
Turning totally blind in his later years he died on January 31, 2000 aged 91.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Amrita Pritam

Today is the birth anniversary of Amrita Pritam,the first poetess of Punjabi.Her poetry is one of longing and desire and has an underlying streak of spirituality to it.She broke new ground in a departure from the conventional love poetry and lived an unconventional life proving herself to be quite a rebel.Her autobiographical work 'Raseedi Ticket' is candid and honest to the point of being a tell all and hide nothing account.
She has written wistfully of her affair with Sahir Ludhianvi expressed more through letters that they exchanged with each other.The second to come in her life was a painter Imroz, with whom she shared her life till her death.
Her Hindi novel "Band Darwaza" is one of its kind.
A recipient of Sahitya Academy Award,Gyanpeeth Award,Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan, she has inspired many a woman poet.
Our humble tributes !

Maria Montessori

Today is the birth anniversary of Dr. Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori, the Italian physician and educator who devised the Montesssori method of education in different stages for children between the age of 2.5 and 12. The Montessori method is universally accepted and is practiced in most of the Public and Private Schools. 
Our humble tributes !

Keeping pace with times


I am an old fashioned person and it takes me quite some time to adopt and adapt myself to new things, be it new technology or dress designs.I got for myself a mobile phone as late as 2010, while my wife and kids had it much before. Same with dress design. In the '70s when bell bottoms were the rage, I remained stuck with the out of vogue medium width pants. We used to have buttons to fasten the fly in front of the pants. In 70s only the more convenient zippers came. Quite later I had pants stitched which had zippers.
Ignorance is not always a bliss. I thought it was enough to pull the zipper up. Much to my embarrassment, once on returning from the bazaar, when I began to change, I found the zippers had betrayed me. Mercifully no one had pointed this out to me. Perhaps it went unnoticed or the persons meeting me ignored it to save me from embarrassment.When I talked about this to a close friend, he told me that after pulling up it had to be locked by pressing the strip down.
Since then I have been careful enough not to be subjected to wardrobe malfunction !

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

शैलेंद्र

हिन्दी सिनेमा के लोकप्रिय गीतकार स्व॰ शैलेंद्र की आज जयंती है .यदि गायक मुकेश राज कपूर की आवाज़ थे तो शैलेन्द्र उनकी भाषा या शब्द.वास्तव में ये राजकपूर ,मुकेश, शैलेन्द्र और शंकर-जयकिशन की चौकड़ी थी जिसने वर्षों तक सिनेमा और संगीत प्रेमियों के दिलों पर राज किया। उनने शन्कर जयकिशन के अलावा एस.डी. बर्मन, सलिल चौधरी, जैसे अन्य सन्गीत कारों के लिए भी गीत लिखे !
आवारा, गाइड, तीसरी कसम, सन्गम, अनाड़ी, मेरा नाम जोकर, सुजाता, बरसात आदि फिल्मों के लिये उनके द्वारा लिखे गीत आज भी लोकप्रिय हैं ।
फ़िल्म बूट पालिश का मशहूर गीत - चली कौन से देश - उनके द्वारा लिखित ही नहीं बल्कि उन पर फिल्माया भी गया है ।
सीधे सादे शब्दों का प्रयोग कर अनेकों कालजयी गीतों की रचना करने वाले शब्दों के इस महान जादूगर को हमारी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि !

Toru Dutt


Today is the 140th death anniversary of Toru Dutt, (1856-1877) arguably the first Indian poetess in English. She was born of Bengali parents in Calcutta –now Kolkata .Though less widely known than Sarojini Naidu, her immediate successor as far as English poetry by Indian women is concerned, her literary output , in terms of maturity and literary merit is something to marvel at keeping in view the fact that she lived on this planet only for 21 years. Her Bengali Hindu family later converted to Christianity.Toru Datt spent about four years in England and France, during which she learnt French and also honed her skills in writing . She wrote in English and French and besides poems she also wrote two Novels one each in English & French. She was well versed in Bengali too and in later stages of her short life span learnt Sanskrit also. Sometimes a parallel is drawn , comparing her with John Keats who had also died of consumption at a young age of 26 , leaving a precious treasure of English Romantic poetry. She was sharply critical of the injustice meted out to Indians by the British and did not hesitate to express her disapproval of the same.
Though a convert to Christianity, her interest in Indian tradition, Hindu mythology and mythological figures remained in tact . Her poem ‘Lakshman’ is about the dilemma of Lakshman on being exhorted, taunted and scolded by Sita to compel him to go to protect Ram who had gone hunting for Golden Deer at Sita’s behest. It is common knowledge, Sita was abducted by the demon King Ravan , when she was alone and mistakenly crossed the Lakshman Rekha , drawn to form a protective ring around the hut where the three were dwelling at that time during exile.The poem itself is a fine specimen of poetic genius of Toru Dutt. All her English poems are always a pleasure to read . Her poetical collection ‘A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields’ though published 1876 brought her fame and recognition ,only after her death.
Our humble tributes to this poet prodigy !

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

INGRID BERGMAN


Today is the birth as well as death anniversary of Ingrid Bergman , one of the most celebrated actresses who worked in European and American Cinema. Born this day in Stockholm in 1915, she started with Swedish films and became a leading actress . Her stint in the American cinema started with a film Intermezzo- A Love Story (1939), a remake of the Swedish film Intermezzo (1936) in which she had worked before. Despite her inability to speak English, she went on to work in movies like Adam Had Four Sons, Rage In heaven, Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in 1941. She is best known for her role in the classic film Casablanca (1942), in which she appeared opposite Humphry Bogart . She also worked in For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943) a film based on the novel of Ernest Hemingway, bearing the same name. Even Hemingway felt that Bergman was best suited for the role. She also worked in Gaslight ( 1944 ) which won her the Academy Award for the Best Actress. The Bells of St. Mary’s, a 1945 film won her nomination for the best Actress Award.

She also starred in Alfred Hitchcock films , Spellbound, Notorious and Under Capricorn. She also received the Best Actress nomination for her role in Joan of Arc. She worked in five Italian films also. 
In her acting career she won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe awards , one BAFTA award and the Tony Award for Best Actress. 
She died of breast cancer this day in London, in 1982 aged 67. 
Our humble tributes !

Major Dhyan Chand


Today is the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, the legendary hockey player.An army man, he started playing hockey in regimental tournaments and graduated to being a member of the Indian Army team and in 1926,was selected as a member of the Indian Hockey team. Apart from other extraordinary feats in the field, he is mostly remembered for winning India three consecutive Hockey Gold medals in 1928, 1932and 1936 Olympics held in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and Berlin respectively.
His goal scoring skills were legendary and in all he scored 1000 goals in his career. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in the year 1956 and remains the only Hockey player to have been awarded so.
Our humble tributes to this greatest Hockey player of all times !

Dr. Jivraj Narayan Mehta

Today is the birth anniversary of Dr. Jivraj Narayan Mehta – Jivraj Mehta for short- a renowned medical practitioner educated home and abroad. He later turned a freedom fighter also remained for sometime a private physician to Mahatma Gandhi. Founder of many medical institutions of repute in India, he made immense contribution to medical research in India . Thrice elected President of the All India Medical Congress, he was also a President of the Indian Medical Association.
He was the first Chief Minister of newly carved state of Gujarat from 1960 to 1963. He served as the Indian High Commissioner to the U.K. from 1963 to 1966.
Lately an award has been instituted in his name which is awarded to outstanding medical practitioners. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1972.


Our humble tributes !

Monday, August 28, 2017

A TRELLIS OF ECSTASY


A TRELLIS OF ECSTASY 
Poems by 
Lily Swarn 
Publishers :Authorspress, New Delhi 
ISBN 978-93-86722-45-4
Pp: 236
Price: Rs 395/-
Lily Swarn‘s name became known to me only about a year and a half ago. It was perhaps in the month of February, 2016 that I chanced upon a poem posted by her on her Facebook Page . The poem caught my fancy being about the mental state of a young college girl making her way to/from an eating joint serving Chinese food , just alongside the stairs that lead from Baljee’s , the Mall Shimla down to Lower bazaar through Middle Bazaar. My hometown, Shimla being in the backdrop , the poem struck an instant chord with me. Facebook friendship followed and since then I have been a regular reader of her poems as also her wonderful posts in lyrical prose. She also introduced me to Facebook Page being operated by her in the name of her late son Gobind Shahzaad Singh- a victim to a terminal diseasein his early twenties - which also has an enormous following . This maiden published poetry collection by her is rightly dedicated to him . 
Lily Swarn has been an all rounder , excellent in academics & a Gold Medalist, who dabbled in dramatics, acting in English plays and was also student Editor of the English section of the magazine . To cap it all, she has recently won The Reuel International Prize for Poetry,-2016 .
Her poetry conforms not only to the simple and popular definition of poetry given by Worsworth as being ‘ spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings , taking its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility ‘ but also to the more subtle purpose of poetry given by T.S.Eliot who calls poetry ‘ not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion , not an expression of personality but an escape from personality ‘ . Eliot further emphasizes the presence of both emotions and personality for making an escape from these possible. I think this also explains the background of Lily Swarn proverbially ‘wielding the pen again’ , though literally she presses the alphabets on the key board of her I phone and with what ease !
Apart from the statement of the fact that the collection is dedicated to her Late son, the Foreword by Dr. Ampat Koshy, the Preface and Acknowledgements by the poet , the tributes to the poet recorded by some well known names in Modern Indian Poetry in English, form an integral part of the collection .
A Trellis Of Ecstasy is a collection or rather a bouquet of about 140 and odd poems divided into sections like ‘ The Prize Winning Poems’, ‘ Conversations with my soul’, ‘Nature Poetry’, ‘Love’, ‘ Spontaneous Ponderings’ , ‘ Portraits’ and ‘Alliterations’ . This division is perhaps to facilitate the reader in marking his/her first preference to start reading , though I am sure that no one would leave the other sections unread or untouched, such is the magic hold. 
The poet comes across as a keen observer of persons and phenomenon. She is also well read . In her Nature poems, all sights , sounds , pictures and smells come alive as she spews out the names of scores if not hundreds of flowers attributing to them rare characteristics which are spelt out poetically and have a mesmerizing effect. She talks of Spring as well as Autumn and tells how they affect us in various ways. Though an urbanite, hills and mountains not only fascinate her but also seem to beckon her.She mentions Yogis, and Derveshis in her poetry and that speaks of her mental make up and predilections . Religion in a general way forms a theme of some of her poems. Her religious bent of mind is reflected in the poem Guru Govind Singh, the Tenth Guru or the Dashmesh . Her late son was named after him . A quote from the holy Guru Granth Saheb is a daily feature that she posts regularly . She can also write convincingly and with authority on Kali or Durga. She is steeped in mythology too and a poem is about Aphrodite, the Greek mythological entity. 
The images she builds are just amazing . 
She is quite at ease with astronomical , architectural terms . Geographical phenomena. She talks about veins, arteries and other medico- physiological terms with authority and is quite convincing. 
In ‘Love’ poems she does talk of emotions , the demands that love makes upon a person, the prerequisites for entitlements to love . Passion mostly runs as an undercurrent with nuanced expression unlike in her Nature poems where she is more explicit and forth coming . 
Since poetry is a reflection of life and life experiences , it is not goody goody all the time. Her poetry at times becomes sad and morbid , and she speaks of death , gore, bloodshed , poverty , deprivation, exploitation also. A realist and a down to earth person ,she finds false sense of grandeur , ego, condescension rather repulsive. 
In the very first poem ‘ Guava Tree’ we find a little school girl’s adventure of ‘stealing’ from a guava tree. ‘ Double Diva ‘ heralds the arrival of a younger substitute , stealing the thunder from a senior much to the latter’s discomfort and discomfiture. 
‘ Meena’ is about a woman whose glamorous world comes shattering down with the new found fact that she is suffering from AIDS.
‘ Jalebi Amidst Poverty’ relates a poor girl’s adventure of stealing and savouring a piece of Jalebi , a delicacy promised her many a time but never given, and the vendor chasing to hit her. 
‘Sunaina’ is about a girl, only fourteen and a domestic help , becoming a rape victim . 
‘ Guru Gobind Singh ‘ about the Great Guru ,the saint Soldier riding his blue steed .
‘Sohni Mahiwal’ about the saga of love and separation . 
‘ Why Fret ‘ gives a new sociological- psychological perspective to Draupadi of the Mahabharat. 
There are poems for every mood and temperament . Some contain deep philosophy . 
Apart from other literary merits, the outstanding features of this collection are her excellent vocabulary , her felicity with the language and her way with the written word. 
A poetry lover’s delight !

Friday, August 25, 2017

Antoine Henri Becquerel

Today is the death anniversary of Antoine Henri Becquerel, the French physicist who is credited with the discovery of the presence of Radioactivity. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 along with Marie Curie and Pierre Curie.The Becquerel family has produced four generations of outstanding scientists.
Becquerel , the unit to measure radioactivity is named after him.
Our humble tributes !

Thursday, August 24, 2017

ROBERT HERRICK

ROBERT HERRICK whose 426th birth anniversary falls today was a seventeenth century poet . He was one of the Cavalier poets and belonged to a group that prided itself in being called Ben’s sons , so enamoured were they of the genius and poetry of Ben Jonson , a classical poet. A prolific poet he wrote about 2500 poems , some of which are included in his collection known as ‘Hesperides' . Not acknowledged as a great poet in his own time and the eighteenth century, his poetic genius came to be discovered in the nineteenth century and he is now
counted amongst the greats of English poetry till today. His poetry is romantic and sensual, sometimes alleged to be bordering on the obscene .Though he wrote of love , he never married and died a bachelor. The following two specimens of his poetry seem contradictory inas much as while in one he exhorts young maidens to marry while there is still time, in the other he reiterates his resolve not to marry .
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry”.
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“A Bachelor I will
Live as I have liv’d still,
And never take a wife
To crucify my life”
Our humble tributes !

Rajguru

Today is the birth anniversary of Shivaram Hari Rajguru the Indian Independence activist. Born this day in 1908 at Khed near Pune , Maharashtra in a family that held strong nationalistic and anti British feelings, in his late teens he joined the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army and became an associate of revolutionaries Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev.He was co accused of killing the British police officer J.P.Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai in a lathi charge ordered by him.He along with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and others stood trial, was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.

He along with Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev kissed the noose on March 23, 1931 in the 23rd year of his life.Post independence,his birth place was named as Rajgurunagar in his memory and honour.
Our humble tributes to the young martyr !

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Arati Saha Gupta,

Today is the death anniversary of Arati Saha Gupta, the Indian long distance swimmer.She was the first Asian woman to cross the English Channel in 1960.

She was also the first woman sportswoman to be awarded Padma Shri.
Our humble tributes !

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Today is the death anniversary of , the maestro who raised the level of Shehnai from a popular folk instrument to Concerts as early as 1937 when he performed on stage in Calcutta.An internationally acclaimed artiste, he had the distinction of playing Shehnai on the eve of Indian Independence in 1947 and also on the eve of Republic Day in 1950 in Lal Qila, a tradition which was carried on for years. 

He was a recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan,Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna.
Our humble tributes to the maestro and the legend !

Digambar Vishnu Paluskar


Today is the death anniversary of Digambar Vishnu Paluskar , Hindustani classical vocalist. He is credited with bringing classical music to the public domain by giving a public performance in a Concert charging nominal fee. This was a break away from the Gharana tradition, in vogue those days.He is also credited with the founding of Gandharva Sangeet Mahavidyalay, the first of its kind in Lahore. This was later shifted to Bombay.
Today we have many branches including Delhi, Ghaziabad and Pune.He also sang the original version of the popular bhajan- Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.
He died this day in 1931 aged 59 .
Our humble tributes to the maestro !

THE BET – Anton Chekov

Two friends a Banker and a Lawyer enter into a philosophical debate on the award of capital punishment and hold opposite view.While the banker is of the view that Capital punishment is better than a long term in solitary confinement , the Lawyer is of the view that even long imprisonment is the better option as even a hardened criminal can reform himself and become a better person and deserves to be given a chance.
They want to try it out practically . The Lawyer volunteers to subject himself to solitary confinement for fifteen years – totally cut off from the outside world with the stipulation that on successful completion of self imposed confinement, the Banker would pay him a sum of Two Million Rubles.The Lawyer is kept under strict observation and vigil in one of the lodges in the banker’s garden . He is allowed food, drinks,books, can listen to and play music , can write letters . He is required to jot down a written order/request for the things he needs. .He is not allowed to cross the threshold of the lodge; he cannot meet anyone , can’t hear human voice. The necessary items are passed on to him only through a small window , which is also a source of natural light. The initial phase of confinement finds the lawyer feeling lonely and dejected and he busies himself only with drinking and eating. Getting fed up with this routine, he takes to reading books and gets so much interested that he covers the entire gamut of knowledge about religion, history philosophy literature science,the Gospel and what not.He also learns many languages and reads classics.In between he writes a note to the banker in six languages challenging to find a mistake in the text. Gradually he gets evolved , becomes enlightened and is disenchanted with all things material like money, name , fame - virtually every thing that common people hanker after. As the fifteen years’ period draws near, the banker starts worrying as to from where he will arrange the huge sum of two million Rubles to the Lawyer, as during this period he has suffered a lot financially on his investments. . 
A day before the completion of the term of solitary confinement , the Banker hits upon a plan to kill the lawyer so that he does have to pay anything. To carry out his plan , as he enters the lodge of the room , he finds a person sitting motionless, with his back towards the window, visibly reduced to a skeleton . In the candle light , the banker finds a note written on a paper which speaks of the transformation that the lawyer has undergone during this period. How he has become disillusioned and disenchanted with all material things . In the last part of the note he writes of his resolve to break the term of the agreement by leaving five hours before the term expires forgoing the wager amount as he thinks nothing of million of Rubles or any amount for that matter. The Banker puts back the dagger, carries the note and comes back weeping profusely and shedding tears of repentance. 
The crux of the story is contained in the note itself . The decision of the Lawyer to break the pact unwittingly saves him from being killed by the banker and also saves the banker from the guilt and crime of committing a murder.

A masterpiece by Anton Chekov !