Wednesday, September 27, 2017


As a student I was made familiar with the terms Intrinsic or Face Value & Local value.As an example a digit say 7 is taken.Its face value is 7.But local value is altogether a different matter. Placed in the ten's place , it becomes 70; in the hundred's place it becomes on and so forth ad infinitum.
In a hierarchical structure and system as it prevails in Government offices, this phenomenon is more manifest.Talking of district administration of which I have been a part for pretty long time, the D.C., ADC, ADM ,SDM have vehicles allotted to them against some monthly deduction made from the salary .
Now a driver is a driver but the local value or importance of the driver varies with the rank of the officer with whom the driver happens to be attached.So the Deputy Commissioner's driver appropriates to himself more importance than those attached with junior officers down the line.
Another thing that I have observed is that no driver willingly drives a very old vehicle and whenever a new vehicle arrives, everyone wants to be at the wheel and the driver who drives a new vehicle rouses some envy in others.
An old Ambassador car fell to my lot when I was holding a desk job in a district.I had the bare minimum repairs carried out to make it roadworthy and it worked fine for plying locally.
One day the driver came with the report that the vehicle won't start.The mechanic was taken to the parking and after much ado ,it was found that the passage between the fuel tank and the engine had been blocked by inserting a piece of cloth.However, the 'gag' was removed and the vehicle was fine again. A clear mischief and a silent protest ! 
On another occasion right in the middle of a flash flood that rocked the district and threw everything out of gear and damaged the roads so badly that the necessary commodities had to be brought through helicopter sorties. the wind screen of the car developed cracks and it was not possible to look through and drive.A forced rest to the driver ? No. Within two days the new windscreen was transported by helicopter and got fixed.
In retrospect, I find the incidents quite amusing.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Random Musings

I was more than happy when on completion of tenure in a hard Tribal area, I received orders of my transfer to a ' soft' area, though not to one of the three stations I had given my option for, as per the existing and much touted Government policy that station of choice would be given after a tenure in a hard area.Further, I had to wait for about two months before another 'scape goat' arrived to take over from me.
I got relieved , packed the stuff and left
the station bag and baggage taking all nice memories of the place with me.I had arranged for my household effects to be transported in advance so as to be able to spend my joining time at Shimla.
After exhausting joining time , I travelled to my new place of posting and reached there at 9:30 PM.A member of staff was there to receive us at the bus stop who also accompanied us to the PWD rest house.We had some dinner and settled for the night.
We just had the tea in the morning the next day when the Chowkidar came and announced that someone had come and wanted to see me. A strange thing at a new place and that too early in the morning.Anyway, I sent for him. He was a middle aged person. We exchanged greetings and I asked the reason of his coming.He said that he had brought some 'gift' for me.Taken aback, I asked him what made him think that I would accept a gift from him or anyone for that matter . My wife joined me and said in chaste Hindi that we were not the ones who accepted gifts.Somewhat peeved that tables had been turned, he was quick to add that he was a Nambardar.Unmoved, I didn't ask him his name and politely told him that I expected to see him more often. The person left but I also felt compelled to think that I was to deal with a clever lot. Soon I was able to identify the person and was given to think that he was deliberately sent to enquire and gauge, what type of a person I was.So I was being put to a test !The Nambardar did not show up again during my entire tenure of close to three years.
Nevertheless I had a reasonably good time.

Friday, September 22, 2017


A star that shone on the firmament of the Indian cinema as an actor and a singer in the beginning and later became an iconic singer/ actor of Pakistan , Noor Jehan, born Allah Rakhi Wasai started singing at the age of five. Pushed into singing to continue the family tradition ,she learnt Hindustani Classical Music of the Patiala Ghrana from Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and was trained in Thumri, Khayal and Dhrupad. Initiated into singing by G.A. Chishti, her singing talent was recognized she started giving public performances . Endowed with good looks and sharp features,in due course she was offered role in films, thus fulfilling her cherished dream . Making her debut in 1935 as a child artiste , between 1935 and 1942 she acted in a number of films, probably 15 or 16. It was in 1942 that she was offered a role in film Khandan opposite Pran . The film became a hit and Noor Jehan got launched on an acting career. Between 1942 and 1947, she acted in films like Duhai, Naukar, Lal Haveli , Dost, Zeenat , Gaon Ki Gori , Badi Maa, Bhai jaan and some others but the films that catapulted her to fame as an actor and a singer were Anmol Ghadi, Jugnu and Mirza sahibaan. With the duet - Yahan Badla Wafa Ka Bewafai Ke Siwa Kya Hai – in film Jugnu Mohammad Rafi also got established as a full fledged playback singer. 

In India almost all her songs and many of the films became hits . Her songs are remembered & hummed even today. Both Noor Jehan and Suraiya virtually ruled the film world doubling as actors and singers . On the formation of Pakistan in 1947, she and her husband Shaukat Hussain Rizvi left India and settled in Karachi. In Pakistan Noor Jehan became a leading female actor and singer and was duly honoured by the Government there by awarding her Tamagha-e-Imtiyaz Sitara-e- Imtiyaz . She also received the Life Time Achievement Award twice. Besides, she is known by the honorific Malika –e Tarannum – Queen Of Melody .
Some of her most popular songs are _
Awaz De Kahan hai – duet 
Aja Tujhe Afsana Judai Ka Sunayen
Hamen to Sham-e Gham Mein Katni hai Zindagi Apni 
Kis Tarah Bhoole ga Dil
Diya Jala Kar Aap Bijhaya
Baithi Hun teri yaad Ksa Le Kar Ke Sahara 
Kya Mil Gaya Bhagwan Tumhen Dil Ko Dukha Ke 
Mere Bachpan Ke Sathi Mujhe Bhool Na Jana 
Haath Seene Pae Jo rakh Do To Qaraar Aa Jaye - Duet 
Yahan Badla Wafa Ka Bewafai Ke Siwa Kya Hai - Duet 
Hamari Saanson Mei Aaj Tak Wo Hina Ki Khushbu Mehak Rahi Hai 
Jawan Hai Muhabbat, Haseen Hai Zamana 
Nigahen Mila Kar Badal Jane Wale 
Chaandni Raaten O Chaandni Raaten 
Mujhse Pehli Si Muhabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang 
Le Ayi Phir Kahan Par Kismat Hamen Kahan Se 
Kya Yahi Tera Pyar Tha
Latt Uljhi Suljha Ja Baalam …..
There must be many many others as she has a rich repertory of about eighteen thousand songs to her credit. 
Our humble tributes to the great singer / actor.

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 !


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


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 ।


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 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 !


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 !


poetic musings
Wani Nazir 
Global Fraternity of Poets
Gurugram - 122 002 (Haryana)
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! 
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!
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


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 !


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 !