Thursday, March 25, 2021

तेज राम शर्मा


 स्मृति शेष-

तेजराम शर्मा

(25/03/1943- 20/12/2017) 


अनबुझे सत्य :

 

लम्बी अंधेरी सर्द

रातों के बाद

कितनी ही बार मैं

धीर आश्वस्त हो

चूल्हे के पास जाता

और राख के ढेर में

छुपे अँगारों को

ढूँढ लेता था


अनबुझे सत्य की तरह

छोटे-छोटे अंगारे

सूखी घास का

संपर्क पाते ही

स्लेट की छत के बीचों-बीच

धुएं की पताका

फहरा देते थे


माँ ने कहा था

अँधेरी रातों में

अँगारों को राख में

छुपाकर रखना

ताकि सुबह होते ही

आश्वस्त हो

बार-बार ढूँढ सको

तुम जलते अँगारे


पर कितनी ही बार

गर्म राखे के बीच

मेरे हाथ कोई भी

अँगारा नहीं लगता था


हताशा

निराशा

कितनी ही बार

गर्म राख़

मुझे धोख़ा दे जाती थी।


-तेज राम शर्मा

Thursday, March 11, 2021

महाशिवरात्रि

 हिमाचल प्रदेश के ज़िला मण्डी का अंतर्राष्ट्रीय शिवरात्रि मेला तो जगत प्रसिद्ध है ही पर अन्य स्थानों पर भी शिवरात्रि का अपना महत्व है ।गनीमत है कि इस त्यौहार पर अभी बाजार का साया नहीं पड़ा इसलिए व्यापारीकरण से बिलकुल हट कर इसका केवल सांस्कृतिक और धार्मिक महत्व है । आस्थावान लोगों में व्रत करने का भी चलन है । बबरु, भल्ले, सणसे, आदि न केवल हर घर में बनाये जाते हैं बल्कि शिवजी को अर्पण करने के उपरांत प्रसाद रूप में ग्रहण किया जाता है बल्कि पड़ौस या परिजनों के बीच इनका आदान प्रदान भी किया जाता है । ब्याही हुई  बहिन- बेटियों को 'बाँटा' देने और भिजवाने का भी रिवाज रहा है पर पकैन का स्थान अब शायद नकदी ने भी ले लिया है ।

खानपान के अलावा हम रेडियो पर शिवजी के भजन सुन कर बड़े हुए हैं । फ़िल्मी भजन ' शिवजी बिहाने चले, पालकी सजा के भभूति लगा के ' आज भी कानों में गूंजता है । इसके अतिरिक्त  ' शिव भोला भंडारी साधु भोला भंडारी' में भी शिव का स्तुति गान है । ' शिव कैलाशों के वासी, धौलीधारों के राजा, शंकर संकट हरणा ...'भी बहुत लोकप्रिय है ।

प्रचलित है कि देवों के देव महादेव थोड़ी सी भक्ति से भी  प्रसन्न हो जाते हैं । दानवों और असुरों तक को इनसे वरदान मिल चुका है , बाद में जिनका संहार देवी के शक्ति रूप को करना पड़ा ।

सत्य ही शिव है, शिव ही सुन्दर है !

सत्यं शिवं सुन्दरं !!

ॐ नमः शिवाय !!

Monday, March 8, 2021

अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय महिला दिवस

 ईद का दिन है गले आज तो मिल ले ज़ालिम 

रस्म-ए-दुनिया भी है मौक़ा भी है दस्तूर भी है 


- क़मर बदायुनी

कुछ ऐसी ही अनुभूति आज ' अंतर्राष्ट्रीय महिला दिवस' के अवसर पर हो रही है ।

समाचार पत्र लबरेज़ हैं उन युवतियों व महिलाओं के चित्रों और  उनकी उपलब्धियों के वर्णन से जिन्होंने अपनी मेहनत और लगन के बलबूते विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में उपलब्धियां प्राप्त की और अपने माता-पिता व परिजनों का नाम रौशन किया । इनमें से अधिकतर को पढ़ने और बढ़ने के अवसर प्राप्त हुए और उन्होंने इनका भरपूर लाभ उठाया । कुछ ने साधन संपन्न न होते हुए भी बाधाएं  पार की और अपने लिए अवसर जुटाए ।ये सभी महिलाएं बधाई की पात्र हैं ।

पर तस्वीर का दूसरा पहलू भी है जो क्षुब्ध और विचलित करता है । आए दिन महिलाओं , यहाँ तक कि कमउम्र  बच्चियों के बलात्कार और हत्या की घटनाओं में हो रही वृद्धि  चिंता का विषय है ।शिक्षित/ अशिक्षित महिलाएं घर पर और अपने कार्य स्थल पर प्रताड़ना का शिकार होती हैं । गाँव और शहरों में कमज़ोर वर्ग की महिलाएं पुलिस की ज़्यादतियों को सहने पर मजबूर हैं ।

अज़ीम शाइर साहिर लुधियानवी ने अपनी ख़ूब सूरत शायरी के माध्यम से  मज़लूम महिलाओं के पक्ष में सदा आवाज़ उठाई है। संयोग से आज उनकी जन्म शताब्दी भी है

वो लिखते हैं


मदद चाहती है ये हव्वा की बेटी

यशोदा की हमजिन्स राधा की बेटी ,

पयम्बर की उम्मत ज़ुलेखा की बेटी,

जिन्हे नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं.....

एक अन्य गीतकार के शब्द भी गूंजते हैं-

'अंधेरे  में जो बैठे हैं, नज़र उन पर भी कुछ डालो अरे  ओ रौशनी वालो...

गरज़ ये  कि अभी तक सब कुछ  अधूरा और  खोखला है ।

अभी और मंज़िलें तय करना बाक़ी है , नारों और वादों से ऊपर उठ कर ।

शुभकामनाएं !!

Friday, March 5, 2021

REMEMBERING AN ACE MOUNTAINEER AND AN OUTSTANDING SOLDIER:

 In


late Sixties, one fine day, in the  Morning assembly  of  our S.D.Higher Secondary School, Shimla, we were face to face with a smartly turned out gentleman in Suit & Tie, who was introduced by the Principal as Lt.Col. N.Kumar , an old alumnus of our school who had scaled  Mount Everest in 1965. He made an inspiring  speech which was listened to with rapt attention, the eyes glued to him throughout.

As it happens , the matter remained embedded in our psyche , only to surface again when we read about him in newspapers on various occasions.

Col. Narendra 'Bull' Kumar , PVSM ,AVSM, Kirti Chakra, Padmashri, was born on 8th December, 1933 at Rawalpindi in undivided Punjab. He attended a Scouts Jambori in 1947 at Russia and returned to a partitioning India, the ship dropping him at Bombay ( today's Mumbai ).

He was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1954 and got Kumaon Regiment. Developing an interest in the mountains and mountaineering, he completed a course in Mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. Subsequently he became the deputy  chief of the Expedition that scaled Mount Everest in 1965. Besides, he was a part of the Expeditions to Karakoram and Saltoro Mountains.

He is also known and remembered for the Operation Meghadoot, in which due to his reconnaissance operations in Siachen , Indian Army was able to reclaim the Glacier territory. This earned him the sobriquet 'Hero of the Siachen'.

As for the sobriquet 'Bull' attached to his name, the same was earned by him during a Boxing bout with a  fellow soldier S.F.Rodrigues, the future Army Chief.

He authored a few books also.Col.Narendra Kumar was also an Arjuna Awardee .

The Wikipedia makes no reference to his education etc, and only has a passing reference to the fact of his family shifting to Shimla after partition.

Col . Narendra Kumar left for his heavenly abode at Delhi on 31st. December, 2020  aged 87.

Our humble tributes to the distinguished  soldier and mountaineer !

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

COVID BLUES

 Today marks the completion of one year of my ' Home Stay'. The last I step out of home to venture out was  on March 4, last year. Though the presence and menace of Covid 19 Pandemic was officially recognised in the last week of March, I had stayed put, as if by intuition, much before.With no social life worth the name, this has not been much of a deal. The Lady of the House, has been taking care of bringing and arranging grocery and vegetables. All the periodic bills of water, electricity, telephone and recharging of prepaid mobile etc are done on-line, so there is no need to step out for these small chores. 

 The last twelve months have been of upheaval,disturbances,economic slowdown, loss of employment for a very large number of people, being underpaid  for work done personal tragedies for many 

due to near and dears falling fatal victim to Covid and last but not the least , a kind of totally uncalled for stigma of testing positive, and resultantly being subjected to quarantine.

Many of the people have put up a brave front , some creative people seeing an opportunity to come out with poetry collections and the like. 

Some god sent good Samaritans rendered yeoman's service in the shape of free food, rations to the needy. Many of the Corona warriors succumbed to the Virus while doing their assigned duties. The students have suffered badly in absence of regular classes , the online lessons and teaching being a poor substitute with many not having access to the facility for whatever reason. 

The light at the end of dark tunnel had seemingly appeared in the shape of Vaccines being developed and administered , but now we see mutated forms of Virus coming from various quarters adding to the woes of humanity and rendering all efforts made in this behalf inadequate if not infructuous.

There is no complete respite in view, and the precautions are to be taken to stay safe .

Good luck to all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

BEING A VEGETARIAN

 Since childhood I have had  aversion to meat and other non - veg  food items so much so that the sight of raw meat and smell of even  cooked stuff is enough to put me off.  We in our  family  except my late father have been strict vegetarians. This  is due inter alia to belief in astrology that showed a marked presence of Jupiter in the horoscope , which doesn't agree to non-veg food items being taken. 

Amusingly in my early days as a student of Class IV in  Lady Irwin School, a classmate named Rajinder would  literally bully me into asking my mother to cook meat . This perhaps  had something to do with

his Rajput blood and genes or liking for non -veg in his family. Anyways his bid never happened for obvious reasons. As a kid, I remember once  accompanying my father to the meat market on a Sunday, but I was too young to register anything in my mind , mercifully . He too took meat only once in blue moon as all others were averse to it and he had to cook himself.

In later years also whenever he cooked meat, other got 'compensated' with matar paneer.

 At other places, it was either our landlord  or an uncle- a first cousin of my mother,  who would either send him some stuff or invite him over for dinner.

As I grew up, the aversion became stronger inasmuch as the second half of Sabzi Mandi became and still is a forbidden place for me. Even otherwise no other charm exists for me except a rare visit to the Bengal Crockery shop .

I remember once accompanying a friend who wanted to buy chicken as his father was visiting from his native place. I stayed at a distance.  After sometime he came all smiles, saying that he got it because of me . The reason was that the shop owner had studied with me and after initial refusal, recognizing me chose to oblige.

Last but not the least , due to my aversion,  I could not study for and enter the medical profession .

It was destined that way !

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

MY TRYST WITH THE NEWSPAPER :

 

 THE TRIBUNE, a prominent daily of Northern India completed 140 years yesterday . Befitting the occasion, the Paper carried 2-3 articles , one of which I also shared on my Facebook wall.

The occasion made me somewhat nostalgic too.

My tryst with the English Newspaper started  more than fifty years back in the  mid- sixties. In the beginning THE TRIBUNE was subscribed to occasionally, during the days when University Examination results were expected, as these were published in the Newspaper. The Newspaper during that period was something to wait for eagerly and anxiously. These days offered an opportunity to glance through the paper though we had no nose for the news whatever.

I became a regular reader of The Tribune in 1970 when I went to college. Back from college , I would read the paper back to back daily and underline the difficult words to look up the meaning in the dictionary. The language appeared somewhat difficult at that time.  The Editorials written by R. Madhavan Nair were not easy to understand and follow. There was a change  in the format when  Prem Bhatia took over as the Editor. The English language became easier and simpler and the style was quite appealing.

Post studies I wrote a few letters to the Editor that got published . Apart from this , my desire to see my name in print remained an unfulfilled dream , even though, my name did appear for not good enough reason as it would be there when I got transferred to some remote place.

Anyways, I learnt to write English from browsing through the Newspaper , particularly The Tribune. The initial preference for the TRIBUNE  was also the reason that this was the only paper that had a City Edition, being published from Ambala and subsequently  from Chandigarh.Other papers like Times of India &. The Hindustan Times , being published from Delhi those days were late with the news, besides coverage of Himachal news was not enough. It is amusing to be told that post independence, The Tribune was published for sometime from Shimla too.

My preference for The Tribune continues to this day as the paper does not profess any political ideology.