Tag Archives: Lucknow

TRIBUTE: COLVIN TALUQDARS COLLEGE, LUCKNOW

Copyright@shravancharitymission

A TRIBUTE TO COLVIN TALUQDARS COLLEGE LUCKNOW

    Sir Auckland Colvin, Lieutenant Governor of the North West Provinces, while functioning as Lieutenant Governor of Avadh and Agra in 1889, conceived the idea of a school with the object of imparting education to the children of the British administrators and the landed aristocracy who were known as Taludars. That’s how this school rooted.

    It is one of the oldest public schools of India. It was established in the year 1889, and has an enrolment of 1400 students and an academic staff of fifty. Located on the peaceful banks of river Gomti. It sprawls over a sixty acre plot. The school colour is blue that depicts tranquility. It has three hostels—Avadh, Anjuman and Hind. Five houses—Ajanta, Nalanda, Sanchi, Taxila and Ujjain.

    It compares well with Rajkumar College, Raipur; Aitchison College, Lahore; and Mayo College, Ajmer. Lord Minto visited Colvin during its grand ‘Durbar Day’ (annual day) in 1908.

COLVIN

(Motto: Noblesse Oblige)

In Lucknawi tehzeeb and fizai Avadh,

Close to the splashes of Gomti,

And … the throbbing vibrations of Lucknow University,

Lies Colvin,

In its glory and aristocracy.

*

Colvin has the glamour,

But without the clamour,

It has the sprawling complex,

But without the imposing edifice.

*

It has the magnificent drive way,

That passes by the hearty hostels,

It has the lush green tennis courts,

And the fields where cricket is played galore.

*

The enclosed swimming pool,

That keeps you cool,

Where the lush green fields,

The racing tracks,

Convey the brass tacks.

*

Colvin resounds …,

The glory of merit,

Peaks of athletics,

March past of NCC,

In all its sincerity.

*

It has the proficiency of teachers,

Alacrity of prefects,

Astuteness of students,

That drives the institution.

*

With IT college … in its territory,

Kailash Hostel … in the locality,

Lucknow University in the vicinity,

And Hanuman Setu in its periphery,

Colvin … educates Lucknow … royally.

*

Can’t forget the chemistry lab,

Adjacent to the bio lab,

Where … one had the crucibles and the beakers,

And the other … dissection trays,

Waiting for the frogs and the cockroaches,

To be waylaid.

*

There was also physics in the syllabus,

With Newton in the atmosphere,

Where mathematics was the giant,

That kept students in the frying pan.

*

And then you had,

Shakespeare’s plays,

Sohan Lal Divedi’s craze,

And British and Mughal tirade.

*

Then there was the cycle stand,

With college canteen … at its command,

With cold drinks and chai,

And samosas and deep fries.

*

The kittenish junior school,

With its knowledgeable crew,

That taught young children,

With the least of rules.

*

And the big boys,

In blue ties …

And white uniforms,

In five houses,

Flocked around,

In those majestic surrounds.

*

And every year … once a year,

Colvin celebrates,

Its ‘Durbar day,’

When old boys gather,

To rekindle their fire.

*

So thanks to Auckland,

For having created Colvin,

With noblesse oblige as the motto,

That drives Colvin … in toto.

**

(Noblesse oblige: Privelege entails responsibility)

Poem by Kamlesh Tripathi

***

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

Advertisements

BOOK TALK: MRS FUNNY BONES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read initiative–

MRS FUNNYBONES

TWINKLE KHANNA

    ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one—George R R Martin—American novelist. The book only elucidates the above quote, in content, language and even the format. As, one truly lives through Twinkle Khanna’s day-to-day chores, while reading it. I would hesitate from calling the title, a book. As that is a misnomer in itself. Truly speaking it is only a collection of Twinkle’s Sunday columns, tied into one hilarious spine.

    In all the two hundred and twenty five plus pages, one only breezes past Twinkle’s flurry of activities. Goodness! She has so much to do, so much to brood, so much to improve and above all so much to … guftagoo. Nevertheless, it is written quite vivaciously, but mostly in present tense. Where, one only gets to feel as if one is tied to a timepiece, as the narration keeps ticking episodically over the pages, seamlessly till chapters change: 8.15 a.m., 1.30 p.m., 1,45 p.m., 2 p.m., 2.30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4.15 p.m., 4.50 p.m., 5 p.m., 5.30 p.m., 7 p.m.

    It tosses out relevant day to day issues that are meticulously captured by the lady author. She tries to scoop out something out of nothing most of the times which is not easy to do. But then you also require that hilarious frame of mind to keep receiving the humour one after the other, at close intervals—a kind of deluge of some … subtle side-splitting.

    The story builds around her routine activities. And where, one even gets an opportunity to peek into the life of her super star husband, referred all throughout as the ‘man of the house.’ And her son, mostly and mildly reproached as, ‘the prodigal son’ together with the infant daughter as, ‘the baby girl.’ Well that is not all. There is also an interesting quick-witted Punjabi Mummyji, Twinkle’s mother-in-law. Who keeps adding enough masala to the pantomime, periodically, over the fast turning pages. But where, pages can turn for more than one reason. To be frank it is quite a bhan-mati-ka pitara if I may say so. In a nutshell, many lady readers, on quite a few pages would like to identify themselves, as the chief protagonist or at least aspire, to be one.

     Well if you’re looking for a thumping storyline or a plot this is certainly not the book. Plus you also need a particular mood to enjoy its funny occurrences and laughter filled happenings. Which in the normal context, you would get to read in the newspaper column once a week on a relaxed Sunday morning. So even the state of mind and timing are important for such titles where the plot and storyline are amiss.

    The narrative connotes to be a personal account of Twinkle Khanna—a mightily placed business woman with two children and a high profile husband. I would say she milks her day well, and also doesn’t hesitate in making a mountain out of the mole hill. At times one also wonders if it is a detailed biography of the ‘daily chores’ per se or a ‘to-do-list’ in the metaphoric sense. The book of course is an accumulation of her columns. So, laugh it out there and then. For there are no carry forwards in it.

    The book doesn’t impact you in any significant manner. But yes, floods you each moment with some interesting vignettes and needle precision sentences. The effervescence of which is not felt for long, especially when the pages are over.

    In the little room that the lady author had without a storyline or a plot she has done a good job and so have the publishers.

    A good read if you’ve not picked it up already.

*****

    This is an attempt to spark an interest in reading books. We may not get time to read all the books. But such reviews and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about. 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

THE EPIDEMIC OF LONELINESS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

 

 

 

    Things have changed, ever since, Vikram left for the US. He had promised he would return after completing his MBA. But then who returns? The opportunities out there are stupendous and galore. It stands out, living in the number one country of the world. Moreover, India couldn’t accommodate his dreams and aspirations so he had to be in the US. After MBA he was forced to take up a job. To repay the big loan that he had once taken for his studies. And by the time he finished paying it up. He was too well entrenched in the system, to return.

       I had seen this happening to others in my corporate circle. When their children went abroad for higher studies and didn’t return. But I could never visualize, one day it’ll even happen to us. With children not around life becomes one long monotonous tunnel of darkness for the parents, when they gradually start aging.

    All those peppy expressions, like qualification, opportunity, career, job, profession, aspiration, passion and many more that I once rejoiced and aligned with, are now scary words for me. In fact they have come to haunt me, at the twilight of my life. And, it is only because of those promising words he left. Perhaps, I too had left because of them when I was young. So, the circle is now complete, and about which I shouldn’t be complaining.

    The four bedroom apartment I had bought some time ago. Thinking, it will be occupied by we four and the grandchildren—the happy family. Is now, quiet and vacant. It is rather too big for the two of us. I had built some other assets too, for my child, to secure him. But I guess it’ll only have to languish now. So, I live with my assets and he lives with his career.

    Thanks to the Americans. Through their inventions we can at least stay connected on a daily basis with Vikram, Smita and the kids—so a big Jai ho to whatsapp, facebook and the rest. Rest, is all left behind. Social media now drives our lives. The other day I read a quote of Albert Schweitzer, French-German Theologian that describes our lives so very well. “We are all so much together, but we are dying of loneliness.”

    Since our housing society is new. From the very word go I have cultivated a warm friendship with our neighbours. They too happen to be our age and sail in the same boat as we do, with a son and a daughter. Son is in Bengaluru and the daughter in Mumbai. I find similar exhaustive expressions on their faces too. Perhaps, the realities of a harsh life are the same for everyone. We both are in sync with each others thoughts, future uncertainties and even the devious possibilities of life.

    Off late. I have started taking good care of my spouse. As she is the only one now, available for my immediate beck and call, just as I am for her. She still feels a day will come when we all, will be together. Where, I don’t want to ruffle her. Or maybe she’s putting up such conversations just to cheer me up. Small problems appear big now. These days, God has become my fast and frequent friend. I visit him quite regularly. Say every morning evening and at times, even during the day. For, who knows when I’ll need him? And all the gadgets at home that help us in our day-to-day appear divine.

    I’m now very particular about my fitness and even happier to see that she too, has joined the health regimen. We go for long morning walks every day. A sure shot way to feel young, fit and even positive. For, I’m convinced now, nothing will change. The life situation handed out to us has come to stay. So there is no point in telling yourself, one day we all will be together. In fact we are together by living apart. So accept this as your life and be happy.

    I now have a good routine. I have also started socializing as much as I can to ward off any negativity, seclusion, insecurity or even threats. I have made known to my well wishers about my anxieties in case of any untoward. I don’t go to office anymore but I’ve not retired either. I can’t. Because, there are always challenges at hand.  They could be day-to-day, health and even emotional. And my hobby is now flourishing. Above all, life is a journey where I’m not lowering my guard. But I don’t know what’ll be the scenario when one of us will be left alone.

*

    The epidemic of loneliness is striking almost every household. I learnt about it more intimately after speaking to many old couples who don’t stay with their children. Most parents are left alone in their lives to fend for themselves. Where, children cannot be blamed either when the world has become their oyster.

    So, look after yourself and don’t just only depend on your children. As they have their own pressures of life to handle..

**

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

U.P. THE LAND OF SUPERNORMAL ROLE MODELS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    In the complex understructure of India, UP sits like her invisible heart and spiritual voice. One can also address her as a headstrong folklore and tradition champion. Indeed the most populated state that celebrates its lineage in its diversity. It has an irrefutable matrix of society that hails, from two major communities, the Hindus and the Muslims—both passionate lovers of their native.

    Even though, the expanse of Hinduism resonates much beyond India and goes right up to the global frontiers. UP has always been its formidable pillar in the ever lengthening axis. Rather, it has been the primordial hub of religiosity since time immemorial. If we deconstruct her, she expands to a vast region much before it was converted into administrative hedges like states and districts. Which, Gods loved and nature adored. So, one can say she has been the showcase, the playground and even the reliable archives of Hinduism since grand old times.

    She doesn’t require administrate boundaries to conjoin. As, she, connects, consolidates and even identifies herself in many other ways. To begin with she is the mix of Pancha Bhoota—where the elements of Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air) and Akash (ether or the sky) combine for her cosmic creation.

    If we translate this into ground realities we find. Starting from the texture of the soil, to the pitch of the lingo it is one. It has no less than Gods and super humans, as its role models. To say, some of its role models are even better known than the land they belong to won’t be a misnomer. And they all performed their incredible leelas in this very soil. We will come to that a little later.

    UP has that enduring fix of festivals, along with bucolic handholding and even similarity in cereal crops to live and breathe in congruence. There is no life without water they say and water forms the lifeline of any society. To that effect there are vaguely a series of some six or seven imposing rivers, leaving aside many small ones that almost run parallel but certainly from the western side of the state to the eastern corner. And finally,   they all merge as tributaries with Ma Ganga. The main stem of Ganga, begins with the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the town of Devprayag in Uttara Khand. As per mythology she was brought to earth by king Bhagiratha, where, eventually she grew up to the status of Ma Janani in the vast expanse of the state. She is indeed the queen mother of all the water bodies as she carries along with her almost all the rivers. Therefore, for certain she can be called the icon of motherhood the provider—an unbeatable role model again. So blessed is the state that there is hardly a district or a town that is not within the easy catch of a river. Where, inhabitants even identify themselves with the rivers, such as ‘Sarjupari’—person living across river Sarju. There are many annual melas that connect the rural fraternity and its vendors across the sub-regions like Ballia and Nauchandi, to name a few.

    Hinduism has four ashrams when it comes to completing a lifetime—Brahamcharya, (Balkal … Birth to student like), Grihasta (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation). The holy land of UP connects you to some quintessential examples of how some incarnations or avatars of Maha Vishnu have spent their time in these defined ashrams. Hinduism doesn’t come through, without UP. And all lessons of life are available here.

    It teaches us, nothing is easy and everything needs to be fought for, whether you’re an incarnation of God or just a human form. Even, when, Lord Krishna was the 8th incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Mathura was under turmoil at least the night little Krishna was born in Dwaparyuga (the 3rd Yuga). He demonstrated the victory of good over evil when he killed his maternal uncle Kans. And by lifting the Goverdhan Parvat he proclaimed nothing is impossible if you are hell bent upon doing it. On bhakti (devotion) no one can beat Radha as a role model and it all happened in the Braj Bhoomi that is now divided into many districts. But Krishna leela has no boundaries.

    In the same land Bhagwan Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya as the 7th incarnation of Maha Vishnu in Treta Yuga (2nd yuga). Although, he was born before Krishna I’m describing him after Krishna because he had a steady childhood, whereas, Krishna had a fighting one. But Sri Ram exemplified himself as Maryada Purshottam—the quintessential example of respecting contemporary times and fairness accentuating into super goodness. He had many mid life crises which he fought through valiantly all by himself and his devoted team. Prime was 14 years of Banvas (exile into forest) and the abduction of his wife by Ravana. Where, on the one hand he did show grief but on the other hand as a true karmyogi he found his bearings and organized himself to fight the great battle of Lanka to get his wife back. But while doing so he ensured he didn’t overstep the laid down tenets of science and its concomitants, even, when, he was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Today, Sri Ram is a household name and a role model that is not confined to any district or a religion and where his queen Sita is an epitome of devotion. His entire leela happened along the plains of river Saryu and the famous kingdom of Ayodhya where he ruled. Important to say—role models can be followed by any person from any religion or sect.

    Further, the great war of Mahabharat too, had its roots in Hastinapur near Meerut, again in UP. A well known mythological story of intensely disagreeing, blood thirsty royal cousins, that eventually escalated into a holy war. It is said, what is not seen and read in Mahabharat doesn’t exist in the world. It has again given many role models to the world while it was fought in Dwaparyug. It had many stalwarts. Some important names that one can immediately reflect upon are Krishna, Yudhistir, Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Kunti, Karan, Yudhistir, Bhimsen, Arjun, Nakul, Sahdev, Draupadi, Veer Abhimanyu to name a few.

    Krishna derives his umbilical and founding legacy from Braj Bhoomi. From where he goes on to recite those ultimate verses of Gita, that is destined to happen, only once-in-a-planet-time, to a tranced Arjun, challenging him to pick up arms and fight for righteousness. The heft of Krishna thus becomes so very onerous for any one human form to carry as a role model. Resultantly, he spends his life in the little fragments of his teachings to promote his cause.

    Post the battles of Lanka and Mahabharat you had those iconic—blazing writers and poets like Valmiki, Tulsidas and Ved Vyas capturing the vivid description of the proceedings that led to the deadly wars. Together with awesome description of the scenes of war that remain unparalleled even today.

    And going forward when it comes to Vanaprastha and Sanyas we have Varanasi to teach us how to approach retirement and death as a role model. People come to Varanasi to see live Hinduism and even to die. The pyre is ever lit in Manikarnika Ghat and they say if a person is cremated there he or she goes to heaven directly.

    It is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi. It is revered in Hindu mythology that when Mata Sati, Lord Shiva’s wife sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati, her father and one of the sons of Lord Brahma tried to humiliate her husband Shiva in the Yagya. Lord Shiva took her burning body to Himalaya. On seeing the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Vishnu sent his divine Sudershan Chakra to cut the body into 51 parts which fell on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati’s body had fallen. At Manikarnika ghat Mata Sati’s ornament had fallen. The lesson therefore is loaded with the despicable arrogance of king Daksh and the pristine relationship of Sati and Shiva—that can’t be emulated as a role model.

    In the treasured mythological scriptures such as Purans and Upanishads, battles between the Devatas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) have often been described in great detail and on many occasions. Asuras, have always troubled Devatas for some reason or the other. In fact, they were mostly stronger than the Devatas in strength, and therefore Devatas were always scared of them. Even Devraj Indra who was extremely powerful and laced with a lot of divine offence could not harm them in any manner.  Many such wars were even fought, in an around, the present day UP.   Samudra Mathan (Churning of ocean) resulting into Kumbh, has also seen the bitter war between the Devatas and the Asuras for Amrit (Divine Nectar). Where, Lord Vishnu had to intervene. Because, had Asuras drank Amrit they would have become immortal, and that would have meant destruction of the goodness in the world.

    There are innumerable stories and one can go on and on. But the moot point is, whether, the present day generation of the state is living up to the values created by these role models.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                      https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

A day with Dad

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    I knew for sure. This ever changing world around me will only change further. But I just didn’t know how much. Ever since you left us on this very day many years ago. I have stayed away from Lucknow. And after many years I’m home around this time. Thinking, I would sight the changing times myself. So, on this serene and dismal morning I went out for a morning walk. Pursuing, quite the same route. That, you once frequented. And it gave me a feel as if I was following the same trail that you had left behind.

     To be frank. I wasn’t surprised when I saw. The old surroundings had really sprung up to the hilt, leaving no niche for that stilly calm. The flow of river Gomti has receded and it isn’t what it used to be in your times. It has thinned down. Like the plait of an ageing lady. The chirping Gauraiyas are nowhere to be seen. And no one knows where they have gone. Did you see them by any chance? Did they come to you? Meanwhile some Gods have grown in stature but some remained where they were. The temple of Hanuman Setu has exalted both in pomp and spirits, just like you. But the small Shivalaya near the banks has only greyed. It still emanates of that salt and pepper looks. The overarching, Banyan tree there, has spread all around the Shivalay. As if, protecting, the God of the poor, residing in it. That reminded me of the days when you protected all of us.

     The chauraha has become quite psychedelic as everything out there has changed. The famous samosawalla—Phullu who had his makeshift shop in the middle of it is nowhere to be seen—the samosas are there but the walla has changed. No one knows where he has gone. Some say he is no more. One, Good Samaritan has converted her home into an institution. I wish. Many were like her.

     The chauraha gossips are no more vociferous. The morning newspapers have swapped positions and with that even the feel. From Swatantra Bharat it is now Dainik Jagran and some others. What has grossly depleted over the years is ‘time.’ People don’t have time but enough to whine. Where, morals have declined.

    Even in the faint trickle and rustle of the holy river. I could hardly hear the serenading calls of those joyous koel in the colourful months of spring. That used to be so piercing earlier. It has now been overtaken by the roar of the swarming vehicles thriving on the embankment. That sadly pollutes the vicinity, all along the scorching day. Lots of people walk up to the newly resurrected Mandirs, Ashrams and even a Masjid nearby for peace of mind. Perhaps, someday, their temples within, shall also kindle to the call of the Almighty.

    Most bright children in and around have left for good. I now only find their parents whiling away their time in obsolescence. Is when, I wonder what I got from you and what I gave to my child. If the equations are not comforting peace shall always elude me.

    So much has changed over the years. Yet a few things haven’t changed. Just as, the day and night take their turn. The sun still rises and the rain comes when it has to come. Seasons too, alternate when they have to. But more importantly the chord we struck during our lives will never ever change.

    What I continue to learn from you is, pillars should not change. But they should allow  the change.

    May, you rest in peace.

    By Kamlesh Tripathi: Homage to Babuji (K.P. Tripathi). He left us this day in 1984.

*****

        

  

NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI HAS EVERY RIGHT TO ACT IN RAMLILA

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

 

By stopping Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Muzaffarnagar, from playing the role of Maaricha, uncle of Ravan, in the local Ramlila, after 20 years, Shiv Sena has stood out like a thorn in the society. Ramlila is a famous play enacted each year, all over India and even abroad. Let me for a moment juxtapose Muzaffarnagar with Lucknow on Ramlila. Both have been holding it since ages. Where, Lucknow is even more famous. For a lot of Muslim actors take part in the local Ramlila, and at times they even go on and on with their acting, even when they are keeping Rozas during Ramzan, if it happens to fall in the same month. This intermingling is the ultimate beauty, of one and only one—India. We are no deep state, but the biggest democracy of the world. Where, Ramlila, Dushera, Durga Puja and Diwali are our tall, widespread, cultural and festive totem-poles. Ramlila is therefore our Indian-ness. That belongs, to we Indians, and not Hindus alone. Nawazuddin is our own son. Rather the worthy son of Muzaffarnagar, and now even of India, who entertains us through his movies. He was born and brought up in Muzaffarnagar. So, Shiv Sena cannot just snatch away the colourful memories of his childhood by not allowing him to act in his home theatre 20 years later. He is free to visit his childhood the way he wants in his own city. Muzaffarnagar is amassed in him, so you just can’t dig it out like that. Shiv Sena needs to understand this. And, last but not the least, you just can’t seize hold of any Indian’s Indian-ness, by just citing his religion, because there is a fine distinction between Religion and Culture.

*****

TRIBUTE TO RAM ADVANI THE ICONIC BOOKSELLER OF LUCKNOW

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

ram advani

RAM ADVANI THE ICONIC BOOKSELLER OF LUCKNOW PASSES AWAY AT 95

On 9th of March, books wept, pens cried, writers sobbed and readers absorbed to the sad news of the passing of the doyen, of the world of literature—Mr Ram Advani.

He walked into Lucknow from Karachi via Shimla during partition and started his long career in book selling in 1947. I came in touch with him much later in life when I was writing ‘Aadab Lucknow … fond memories’ launched in 2014. ‘Ram Advani Booksellers’ was the name of his iconic bookstore in the middle of Hazratganj, the heart of Lucknow.

He was a friend philosopher and guide to me, even when I had not known him for a long period of time and won’t ever forget those fruitful interactions that I had with him about Lucknow that will always caper in me as long as I live.

My heartfelt condolences to his family. And, may he rest in peace even when Lucknow will be restless without him.

In grief

Kamlesh