Monday, January 24, 2011

In the Service of the Cow

I was in for a momentary shock when during the course of a seminar, a veterinarian referred to COW as “cause of worry “, with justifiable reasons. The point he was trying to drive home was that the moment you tether a cow in your yard, you cannot just sit complacently . A cow requires, grass , fodder, has to be fed water at regular intervals, has to be cared for and looked after when she is to deliver, and a veterinary doctor or pharmacist brought in when it falls sick. This is all the more difficult as cattle as also other animals can not spell out their illness or pain.It is well said - gai na bachchhi , neend aye achchhi

I am reminded of the times when my Nani used to visit us at Shimla once in a year around Diwali. She used to cover a distance of 20-25 kilometers on foot and about 50 kms by bus . Her visit was always looked forward to as it meant , a lot of desi ghee and other eatables available only in the village , as this was her way of showing and showering all her love and affection on us – my mother being her only child. She would reach at about eight in the evening, stay with us the next day and on the third day would again leave for her home also giving us some money as a parting gift. . Nobody could persuade her to stay any longer, as she had to tend 4-5 cows and was so attached to them that she would not trust anyone else with feeding or giving them water , though living in a joint family.

I am all praise for a friend of mine –who loves anonymity - and with the help of 4-5 servants fends and cares for 40-50 cows in pucca structure in perfectly clean and hygienic conditions and not even a bit of dung is visible in or near the cowsheds. If a cow happens to die, it is accorded a proper burial. He does all this as Gau-sewa and gets not even a drop of milk in return.

All this is in sharp contrast to unscrupulous and unkind people who just abandon their cows when they stop yielding and leave them to vagaries of weather !

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lal Bahadur Shastri

The year was 1966, the month- January, and the date, which was to turn ominous -11th. We had winter vacations in school, and it was all fun and frolic for two long winter months as we had already been promoted to the next class after annual exams. . A maternal uncle , who happened to be a first cousin of my mother, and lived just at a stone’ s throw came early in the morning , with a drawn face and sad expression and started telling that he had had a bad dream that Shastriji , was no more. Shastri ji had become such an icon that death happening to him was not acceptable even if it were a dream. On an impulse, the radio set was switched on and there was the shocking news of Shastriji’s death in Tashkent, where he had gone to have peace talks with General Ayub Khan , then President of Pakistan , after successfully handling the 1965 war. Every one of us was virtually drawn to tears. Later it transpired that uncle had already heard the news on radio set and was too shocked to make a direct mention of the sad event. Even as a school child, I read every thing about Shastri ji from whatever source I could lay my hands upon. He was simplicity and honesty personified. Little wonder that inspired by his slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan “ , a movie “ Upkaar ” was made as a tribute and his name was added to the National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie .

Forty four years on , he remains the ideal for most of us.

In every sense he was a true son of the Bharat Mata.

Can we have another one like him !

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good Old Days

The year gone by that is 2010 has earned me the sobriquet “Budhapa”, courtesy, Kaki, my wife. I do not know how she came to use this nasty word to describe me when I have a very flattering opinion of myself despite the mirror telling otherwise and simply confirming and endorsing the above description. But then ageing is not a sin but only a natural phenomenon engulfing and enveloping all of us. Taking the words of my wife at face value even though reluctantly have made me more nostalgic and frequently I am transported to my school days, by far the best period of my life. I am particularly reminded of one Mr. Duggal, our Maths and English teacher, who came to teach us after retirement from some Govt. institution and obviously was in his sixties at that time. He had a beautiful handwriting and wrote in italics. He particularly enjoyed teaching us Tennyson’s poem “Lady Clare” and appeared his best romantic self. When in a bad mood , right at the beginning of the period he would catch hold of a ‘victim’ and on very small pretext would give him a slap and every time passing by him would repeat this , at the same time mouthing some choicest expletives. Some times when the students requested him to tell some story or recite some poem, he would recite the gems of poetry that I would like to share with the readers :

लाखों को मिटा कर जो हजारों को बना दे

इस को तो मैं दुनिया की तरक्की न कहूँगा

जिस रोशनी में लूट ही की आपको सूझे

तहजीब की मैं इसको तजल्ली न कहूँगा

नाज़ुक खयालियाँ मेरी तोड़ें अदू का दिल

मैं वो बला हूँ शीशे से पत्थर को तोड़ दूँ

एहसान नाखुदा का उठाए मेरी बला

कश्ती खुदा पे छोड़ दूँ , लंगर को तोड़ दूँ

In fact this is my tribute to him !

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adieu 2010 !

I have been off blog writing for quite some time now and am not able to decipher how ennui got the better of me during the last two months. Not that I had nothing to write about or had run out of ideas. In fact it was exactly the opposite. Some incidents rather mishaps set me thinking about our transitory life and being , in short our bubble-like existence. The year 2010 among other things has also been a year of tragedies – some personal & some though not personal but equally devastating.

Death of a man always diminishes me- wrote Mahatma Gandhi. Here I am to recall death of five young souls barely in their twenties who left all near and dear ones in tears , not to speak of the grief , their family members were plunged into . All were victims of two road accidents , death occurring just before Diwali and the New Year , when people are out to celebrate the events. Needless to say both Diwali and New Year passed off as non-events.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


A Happy New Year to all near and dear ones who have encouraged me in my journey through life and the blogosphere ! I hope to live upto their expectations and do my bit in my chosen fields of activity.