Wednesday 30 May 2018

Yaadon Ke Phool  – A Tribute to Mummyji 

        Morning of  Sunday, 12th Nov, time quarter past nine,  I along with Meena, was on drive from Borivali  to Colaba  for the weekly US Club tambola, when my mobile buzzed. I pulled the car to the road side  and as I put the instrument to my ears, my Heart sank. My brother Surinder from Ambala informed me sobbing that Mom had expired. Immediately back-tracked home. Informed Ravi bhai of the tragedy. His immediate reponse after consoling me was termination of the ongoing Fest. I said,”Bhai the show has to go on. Mom wont be happy, if you terminate the Fest”. Ravi bhai had no choice. At  3.40 pm self and Meena along with Aakash lifted off  from  Mumbai  airport  for Delhi, followed by the rest of journey by OLA to reach  destination by about  midnight the same day. Hugged younger brother Surinder, sister Anusuya, brother-in-law Rameshwar, Masi Neelam, Mausa Capt Tribhuvan Bali, Uncle Ravi Dutta, Rita Aunty, Mama PV Vaid and cousins Ashvin Dutta, Madhu Dutta, Bittu and all gathered  relatives, wept with them and spent some time with Mom, lying in the casket. I distinctly remember  her cheerful face  when I last  saw  her  off at our Defence colony Jamnagar home  on 26th Oct recently. Hugged her twice before  boarding the car, even as she slipped some 500s in my palm for Aakash and Anuj, who were back home in Mumbai. Once again I had come out of the car and hugged her yet again. She kept smiling as we drove off, bidding good-bye to Mom, Surinder and Neelam….And now she was lying absolutely still….My tear flood gates refused to shut…Through my tears I glanced up the roof, as I was sure of her presence around us.             

        God created Man or vice-versa is debatable,  albeit with  unambiguous certainty we all accept  that since  He could not be omnipresent, he created mothers.  It is difficult to define the word "Mother". She is an irreplaceable person in a child's life.... kind, compassionate, caring and wise who guides her child to become the best person he/she can be. Dosto, Kya aap jante hain ki Maa, bhagwan se badh kar kyun hai ? Kyun ki bhagwan hamare naseeb mein sukh aur dukh dono de kar bhejte hain, Lekin hamaari Maa hamein kewal Sukhi hi dekhna chahti hai……Sach dosto, is Duniya mein yadi kuchh bhi anmol hai, toh who hai Maa ki Mamta, Maa ka pyar. Maa ke Aanchal ka mahatva wohi jaan sakta hai  jisne Maa ko kho diya ho.

         Crafting an Obituary of one’s own Mother is the most horrendous, unfortunate and tragic task. Nevertheless, the best tribute that one can pay to a near and dear one is to remember their good times with moist eyes. Flashes of  the  earliest  footprints of  my  life transport  me, in a train to Hardwar  via Roorkie in company of my Mother, Daadiji and Chachaji. The next  flash is  my Chachaji  chucking me up in the air and  dipping me in the Ganges, even as I gasped for a breath. My Mom told me that I was  2 years old then, and my Daadiji reprimanded my uncle for this act.  There-after, I vividly remember  my Life as a Kid three years on in Mustafabad, that was once a sleepy little village near Jagadhari. I used to see an old man who used to walk every morning and come and feed the ant hill outside my house with wheat flour...I used to see a cow, triggered by its biological clock, come and stand in front of our house in the morning, afternoon and evening, as my mother used to make the first Roti and feed it to her...I used to see villagers feeding the fishes with tiny bits of dough and sparrows/ pigeons with grains... Now, such acts of micro generosity may seem utterly negligible, in the grand scheme of the mega universe, but  these are the acts that India could  truly be proud of. When  my Mom used to ignite up the Kerosene stove every morning, I used to sit beside and stare at the light blue flame of the stove and ask her “Doesn’t it look like the tail of the hawai jahaz”. My Dad was an airman posted in AF Ambala those days, and indeed the seeds of my later profession had been sown and flamed in my mind by my dear  Mother. Both of us used to run out to watch the jet aircrafts zooming past overhead.

     One episode that  I vividly recall : Year 1962, I was about 4. My Dad had come on leave  and handed over a Rs 100/ note to my Grandma (half his monthly salary). Grandma  handed that  note me and said, “Daman, Ja  Ma  nu  de  aa” …What  little Raj understood “Ja  Har-nam nu de aa” … He danced all the way to Harnam’s  shop,( just as he was sent often by his grandma to fetch small household items from harnam) to hand him over the note. The shopkeeper in turn gave him a small toffee. Back home when the loss of note was discovered all hell went loose. All three homed on to little Raj. Raj uttered “Harnam”….Dad took him in tow to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper  declined …Both returned home gloomy faced... Poor  Raj was shouted upon by Dad and Grandma. Mom took  Raj to Harnam’s shop once again, sure that the kid wouldn’t have lied. The shopkeeper  refused again. She pleaded  with Harnam,  and swore on his family  to come clear, to prevent  a mahabharat  at our home. Harnam’s  soul  woke up, and he handed over the 100 note to lill Raj’s  Mom….Mom, oh Mom, only you could have saved that day for me  !!

        When my Dad came on next leave he appeared to be happy and had decided to take us to AF stn Poona (now Pune), where he had then been posted ( 6 Sqn), on my Mom’s insistence, for our future’s sake ....We all (me, my younger brother and sister) were very excited…But, still the 5 yr old Chhota Raj was sad…Sad for his Mataji who would be left alone in that Big house…But she consoled us, “Don’t worry, I am going to Jammu for a few days to my Eldest son on summer vacations and shall come to Poona too” …. It was a tearful farewell to Mustafabad and my 'Mataji', who had come to see us off at the station… Sadly she breathed her last in Jammu, soon after we had left the village. 

        We kids grew up under Mom’s umbrella as Dad was a bit strict. Dad’s transfers took us to Halwara, Tambaram, Jamnagar, Jullundhar (from where I joined the Navy and got detached), Kalaikunda, Guwahati and finally Jamnagar, where my parents decided to build a home in 1990 and settle down.

       My Mom had been a very  respectful  daughter, devoted  wife and an affectionate  Mother. She was pleasant, lively, full of compassion and empathy for everyone. She maneuvered all her children onto the righteous path and was instrumental in steering   their careers and settling them. After the unfortunate and untimely demise of her husband in 1997,  She had been the sole guiding force of the family. She was a doting grand-mother of five grand children (Aakash, Anuj, Shreshtha, Bhagyashri and Muskan). Of late subsequent to the demise of her second son, Jitender (a Hydrologist in Gujarat Govt), two yrs ago, she had not been keeping good health and  last year she suffered  a  mild Heart-failure and was treated  at MH  CTC- Pune, where all her children looked after her. Recently  she had come with her younger son Surinder  for a relative’s marriage at Ambala Cantt  and was staying with her Daughter. On the morning of 12 Nov, she felt a bit uneasy due to chest congestion and was getting ready to be taken to MH, but unfortunately she breathed her last at about 0915 hrs.

     I was overwhelmed to read Ravi Bhai’s poetry titled ‘Mere Chhote ne bhi Maa ko kho diya’ The lines evolved straight  from Ravi’s heart as he too had lost his dear  Mom and YKDN’s Mataji a few days ago. The emotive poetry enabled me to drop some more tears to make me stronger.

दिल तड़प उठा फिर से, माँ की सुनके खबर,
फिर से टूट पढ़ा है प्यालासबर I
उन्हीं के आँचल में एहसास था जन्नत का,
फ़िज़ायों की ताज़गी, उन्ही का था असर I
रोतो को मुस्कराना उन्ही ने था सिखाया,
चलने का हौंसला दिया, उनकी ही थी डगर I
उनकी पकी चीज़ का स्वाद ही अलग था,
हर लम्हा उनके साथ प्यार की थी नज़र I
राज दत्ता और हमारी माँ नहीं है अलग,
उन्हीं के आँचल में था हमारा भी स्वर्ग I
ख़ाक को ख़ाक से मिल जाना है, कहते हैं,
पर फिर भी रह जाती है यादों की अगर I
राज, हम सब उदास हैं माँ के बिछड़ने से,
हमारी खुशियां और ग़म बंधे हैं ज़िन्दगी भर I
प्रभु, इस घड़ी में राज का हाथ थामे रहना,
हाथ थामने वाला उठ के चल दिया आपके शहर I

      I dropped a few more tears when I read sentimental lines by Cdr Madanlal on my FB page.
RAJ uth dekh - ek nayaa sitaara
nikalla hai aasmaan mein
Maan ke challe jaane ke baad
yeh hi to dikhaaye ga raasata tujh ko
aansu  ab yehi  ponchhe ga tere
dillaassa ab yeh de ga tujh ko
moond kar apni aankhein - jab bhi dekhe ga
sahi raasta yeh hi dikhaaye ga tujh ko
pahale to dekhati thi maan teri 
jab tu saamane aata tha
ab yeh hi dekhe ga tujhe har waqat
aur dil tera ab yeh hi behllaaye ga
Na maa na MADAN, na koyi saath ho ga tere
ab yeh hi sittaarra har jagga kaam aaye ga tere
        On the sad occasion,  I would like to present  a Ghazal by Jagjit Singh that exhibits a lot of pain, evident from the fact that he had lost his 21 yr old son in a car tragedy. This video is a tribute to my Dad, Mom and Jati bhai. Amen !
         On the sad occasion,  I would like to present a song from the movie Khalnayak, Lyricist  Anand Bakshi, Singer  Jagjit Singh,  Music composer-  LP.  even as I pray for the noble  Soul of my Mom  to rest in peace in the Heavens above and continue to bless us all. I selected this song as the Lyrics of the song hit me hard. Being a fauji and away from home for 35 long years, I could not take care of my Mom, as much as I could have, except for the intervening leave periods.
     Tributes with this emotive song by Jagjit Singh, to the humble Soul.
                          KOI  LAUTA DE  MERE  BEETE  HUYE  DIN

      5) MOTHER, ME  &  DADDY


          When our first son was born in Goa, I had just landed after my day conv on IL-38s... 9 Oct 1991.....Self and Meena's Mamaji Rajendra Bakshi went to Panjim river side shack to celebrate with Fenny, Fish and chips.....The sky looked beautiful with its evening pinkish charm....And I named him Aakash, ....everyone liked it, .unique in those days...then Bollywood got a whiff of it, and Salman named himself Aakash in Saajan... the same yr it was released and became a superhit...My son hated this name, as he came First always from I std to college(albeit in all roll call registers)...He now has started looking for names starting with 'z'...doesn't wish to make a blunder that his Pop did by choosing a name starting with double A,...You know Guys, by the time a man realises that his father was right,..He has a son who says, 'Dad you are wrong'...LOL !! This brat is now a second Officer in SCI and completed his 9 months stint in   'SS DISHA' a VLGC (Very Large Gas Carrier).....Presently he is undergoing Chief mates courses in MMTI...A selfie forwarded by him to his Mom Meena Bakhshi Dutt during his sailing(below).

Very nice poem about sons. Always read about daughters but this touched my heart...dedicated to all parents whose sons have left them for greener pastures and are being missed by them....kya khoob likha hai kisi ne...

बेटे भी घर छोड़ जाते हैं
दुनिया की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं
अपनी जान से ज़्यादा प्यारा desk top छोड़ कर
अलमारी के ऊपर धूल खाता गिटार छोड़ कर
Gym के dumbles, और बाकी gadgets
मेज़ पर बेतरतीब पड़ी worksheets, pens और pencils बिखेर कर
बेटे भी घर छोड़ जाते हैं
दुनिया की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं
मुझे ये colour /style पसंद नहीं
कह कर brand new शर्ट अलमारी में छोड़ कर
Graduation ceremony का सूट, जस का तस
पुराने मोज़े, बनियान , रूमाल, (ये भी कोई सहेज़ के रखने वाली चीज़ है )
सब बेकार हम समेटे हैं, उनको परवाह नहीं
बेटे भी घर छोड़ जाते हैं
दुनियां की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं
जिस तकिये के बिना नींद नहीं आती थी
वो अब कहीं भी सो जाते हैं
खाने में नखरे दिखाने वाले अब कुछ भी खा कर रह जाते हैं
अपने room के बारे में इतनेpossessive होने वाले
अब रूम share करने से नहीं हिचकिचाते
अपने career बनाने की ख्वाहिश में
बेटे भी माँ बाप से बिछड़ जाते हैं
दुनिया की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं
घर को मिस करते हैं, पर कहते नहीं
माँ बाप को 'ठीक हूँ 'कह कर झूठा दिलासा दिलाते हैं
जो हर चीज़ की ख्वाहिशमंद होते थे
अब 'कुछ नहीं चाहिए' की रट लगाये रहते हैं
जल्द से जल्द कमाऊ पूत बन जाने की हसरत में
बेटे भी घर छोड़ जाते हैं
दुनियां की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं
हमें पता है,
वोअब वापस नहीं आएंगे, आएंगे तो छुट्टी मनाने
उनके करियर की उड़ान उन्हें दूर कहीं ले जाएगी
फिर भी हम रोज़ उनका कमरा साफ़ करते हैं
दीवारों पर चिपके पोस्टर निहारते हैं
संजोते हैं यादों में उन पलों को,
जब वो नज़दीक थे, परेशान करते थे
अब चाह कर भी वो परेशानी नसीब में नहीं
बेटे भी घर छोड़ जाते हैं
दुनियां की भीड़ में खो जाते हैं

2nd Officer  Aakash  Dutta

20 Yrs Ago Aakash in a Naval Uniform
Jiving in Upper KG,  BDS  Baroda
              After absorbing Raju’s (Rajeshwari Kori) post on her visit to ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ it had been my ardent desire to give it a peep. It materialised yesterday, after me and Meena were on our transit back from Tambola at US Club, Colaba to Borivali.

            Mr Prashant Kishor 37 yrs young entrepreneur is credited with thinking up the wildly successful 'chai pe charcha' campaign for Mr Modi, turning a generic outreach programme into a branded activity, after Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar made a comment on Mr Modi's past as a tea-seller.

           Well these are small style outlets in some cities were anyone can step in for some fun…The place is asthetically done up and the table-tops are large boards of Ludo/ Snakes and ladders/ Chess to enjoy your time while you await your order ….There are 4 such outlets in Mumbai.
          When we stepped into the Fort oulet at a stones throw from VT (CST) we were greeted by young boys and girls who run these cafes. There were some young people on a couple of tables enjoying. We grabbed a table adjoining the counter and ordered two mini meals of Parathas, cheese dish and curd along with Chai and Lassi and got on to travelling back in footprints of Time to play Snakes and ladder. A game that I remember we used to cheat to escape going on to the mouth of the snake…Well I used to sum up the existing score with the number on dice to jump on to the new square…Meena reminded me to count and proceed one square at a time…She progressed fast to the nineties but was bitten twice by the 3 snakes waing for her on 92, 95 and 99….Interesting game that I eventually won after the initial lag….The food had to wait a bit for my eventual victory that she sportingly conceded…We jumped on to a game of Ludo, as we savored our meal…I was fast to get the first two coins home and got stuck on the other two as She stuck mine thrice…She won this bout….
         It was pure fun as we snapped some pic before clearing the nominal bill and thanking our hosts….The meal was delicious and the time well spent…..Any takers to join us on our next visit to our childhood. !!


                                    AB  MERI  BARI

                                       MY GAME

                                      CHAI  AAYI

Monday 28 May 2018

Year – 1972, Place –  Jamnagar

        My Dad was relocated from Tambaram to AF Jam, where I continued my IX std. I was a shy Dumbo those days, who took time to make friends. Well, there was this small little boy,Krishna popularly called KK, shortest in our class, but God had compensated him with superior cerebrum. He was a shade better in studies. We became friends and our bonding grew. We were living in close vicinity in the accommodation quarters, 300 yds from the KV. Most of our interaction used to center around our science syllabi. Evening walks inside the base, on roads rarely tread, were testimony of our walks, as the graffiti on the roads in chalk, displayed complex chemical equations, aka the reaction of Gold with Aqua-regia.

            Although I had scored better in Bio compared to Maths, I opted for Maths in X, purely due to my hate for frog dissection. Krishna and the beauties of our class allied into Biology. Once our Maths master was away and we rowdies obtained Bio Ma’am’s permission to observe the dissection by our contemporaries. I stood next to KK, and the fingeritis that Iam endowed with, I pulled out a few pins and out popped the half dead frog from the tray. ‘Shattack’ was heard by the entire class, as KK’s right palm landed on my left cheek. You could have heard a pin drop for about 30 secs….I did not  react, even as classmates wanted me to retaliate…. We did not speak for two days, reflecting on our individual follies…the third day, as we stepped out of our homes for the School, we uttered ‘Sorry’ in unision. The entire class was stunned at our making up. Our friendship intensified, until his Dad’s transfer to AF Delhi. We kept in touch through post cards. He joined IIT Delhi post XI-th boards, an irony indeed for a boy of Bio mains, cracking the IIT, while I proceeded to Baroda for my BSc, before joining the Indian Navy. During my training days I lost touch with him.  

       Fifteen years ago, through another contact I relocated him living in Hauz Khas. I happened to proceed to NHQ from Kolkata for an official meeting. I called him up from Varuna Naval offrs’ Mess and invited him on a Sunday afternoon. As he drove inside the gate and parked his car, I was flabbergasted to see a huge 6’2” frame emerging out….The shortest boy of our class had outgrown all of us….We  rediscovered  each others elapsed life years over Beer and Biryani Lunch….He invited me next day to his palatial Hauz Khas home, where he had invited a few of his professional colleagues too. KK after his IIT excelled in MBA from Bangalore before joining a renowned software company, lat he didn’t relish, so he went for his own start-up.  It was a pleasure to meet  his wife and kids…Now, Kishna and his family had been melodious singers since the good ol’ days….So a Karoke session was in order that went past midnight, with everyone chipping in, until all of us were high…Next  morning he dropped me off to the Airport,. We departed with a bear hug, after having drowned ourselves in Beer the previous evening.

Present Status of Krishna- CEO, Vidyatech Software company, Bellevue, Washington

A Few friendship quips that have some relevance here.

 Nabz meri dekhi aur beemar likh diya
rog mera usne 'dosto ka pyar' likh diya
karzdaar rahenge hum to us hakeem ke
jisne dawa me 'dosto ka sath' likh diya...!
Koun kisi se chah kar dur hota hai,
har koi apne halato se majbur hota hai,
hum to bas itna jante hai ,
har rishta MOTI aur har dost KOHINOOR hota hai..
Dosti .......
Na kabhi imtihan leti hai,
Na kabhi imtihan deti hai,
Dosti ...... to wo hai jo,
barish me bhigte chehre pe bhi,
Aansuo ko pehchan leti hai .
Har karz dosti ka ada kaun karega,
jub hum hi na rahe toh dosti kaun karega,
Aye khuda, mere yaron ko rakhna salaamat,
varna mere jeene ki dua, kaun karega!
koi aarzo hamari adhuri nahi hoti,
doston me kabhi doori nhi hoti
jinke dil me rhte ho Dost aap jaise,
unhe dhadkan ki bhi jaroorat nahi hoti.
Zindagi dosto me mila karti hai...
Aur ye dost bhi ajeeb hote hai...
Dene pe aaye to jaan dede, Lene pe aaye to hasi tak chhin le... Kehne pe aaye to dil ke tamam raaz tak keh de, Chhupane pe aaye toh yeh tak na bataye k khafa kyu hai...
Naraaz hone pe aaye to sans tak na lene de, Manane pe aaye to apni sanso ko vaar de...
Dosto, dost zindgi me nahi mila karte, balki zindagi "dosto" me mila karti hai...

Krishna Bhardwaj, Lets enjoy your Karoke song that you crooned so well flawlessly.