Sadar Charan Sparsh,
First thing first, our (My, Amrit and Savita) heartiest best wishes for dear Aishwarya on her birthday tday! I do not know which birthday it is and I would not dare ask a lady and that too a beautiful lady and bride to Abhishek of her age! May sun always shine upon her provide brightness in all her acts and provide her with long eventful and prosperous life that is filled with joy for her, Abhishek, you and Jaya ji and her parents!
Now, I did not get my chance to visit Sopan, I am finding that I fail in my attempts to interact with you on a personal level, though it does not matter yet I feel little dejected over my own inabilities!
Here I tell you of some achievement! I finished the second part of the autobiography of Dr. Harivanshrai Bachchan - Need ka nirmaan phir today morning before landing in Mumbai. I can now concentrate on the other three volumes that have been a Diwali gift to me from my Beena bhabhiji, I have picked all the four volumes for completeness despite the fact that I had already taken the second part form BRIT library and have just completed it.
Dear fellow bloggers, I will share some of my thoughts over the second part of autobiography which I completed today morning. I now wish to start with the first volume kya bhoolun kya yaad karun and preferably try to finish the rest of the three volumes before 27th November on Dr. Bachchan’s 101st birthday.
Some major excerpts-
1. Dr. Bachchan lost his first wife on 17th November 1936 and lived in depressed state for a long time, he very nearly did not want to live any further, we know in India that Wives surrender to death at the death of their husbands as per sati pratha. But Dr. Bachchan was the husband who lost interest in life at the loss of her first wife! We are fortunate that destiny did not listen to his call and we were blessed with even more beautiful poetry by the creator of Madhushala.
2. Dr. Bachchan lost his father soon after he moved him to a new house alongwith him. Now we know that old people are always more attached to their orginal places and it took only 12 hours for his father to leave for heavenly abode on being shifted to new house.
3. That Dr. Bachchan did have a strong affair and liking for Iris and it did not work our well despite his readiness for acceptance to christinaity. Certain things are predestined. Miss Iris did not have simlar attachment to Dr. Bachchan inspite of being a very good friend!
4. It was in Bareilly that our great poet met her natural life partner in Teji Bachchan ji at one of his friends house where both were guests, Dr. Bachchan came from Allahabad and Miss Teji from Lahore. The first meeting was full of tears and that Teji Bachchan had decided to forgo her enegagement to some Rawalpindi scion to marry Dr. Bachchan. The account was the most touching part of the second volume of his autobiography!
5. After the death of Shyama ji Dr. Bachchan had lost interest in everything including poetry, it was only in Bareilly College where he came back to his poetic frame in some Kavi Sammelan organised there by Shankar sahay Saxena and Gyan Prakash Jauhari, latter became a very good friend of Dr. Bachchan and was instumental in poets marriage to Teji Suri. Importantly my late father was a student of BA in those days at Bareilly college, and my unlce shri Kamlakar Sharma told me that one of his best friend Nirankar Dev Sevak was himself a poet. More interestingly, Nirankardev ji has compiled letter of Dr. Bachchan and the poet has also mentioned him in this second part of his autobiography.
6. That Dr. Bachchan had taken a break of six to seven years between his MA Prev. and Final and was quite hesitant to attend University alone, he took another close friend Shamsher Bahdaur Singh alongwith him to University, he was quite philanthropic as he borne all his expediture there!
7. That Dr. Bachchan and Teji Bachchan were very open minded and had to suffer for that sometimes! The society of those days did not subscribe to freedom to women which Teji Bachchan enjoyed being wife of Dr. Bachchan.
8. Dr. Bachchan did not take up to writing for films despite some strong motivations like some of his friends did make quite a good living. Probably he wrote for his conscience and never wanted to write what others might have wanted him to write.
9. Dr. Bachchan was not true lover of alcohol but he gave up his habit as a sacrificial act for improvement of the health of Amitabh, when he was not recovering from his fever for long times. Though he mentioned that he did not beleive in the coincidence of Amit’s recovery and his denial of alocohol yet he did not give up his word.Similarly on another occasion he gave up non-vegetarian food for the rashes on Ajitabh’s body which were not responding to any treatment, coincidence again worked and Dr. Bachchan again said he did not believe that the two events had any correltion but he he was happy for the result. He had earlier expressed that his father took lot of sufferings for his sake and he wanted to repay that notion to his sons if situation ever demanded. These two events clearly earmark his love for his both the son - Amitabh and Ajitabh.
10. Dr. Bachchan wrote wonderful Nisha Nimnatran and Ekant Geet amongst several other poetic works during this period. Someday, if I have enough money I would enact the Madhushala which I had years back requested brother to create. Rach do ab nai madhushala.. I have particularly liked his style in prose, maybe in some ways he was equally brilliant in the two forms of writing, more importantly he wrote from his heart and God has been kind to him that his narration is so wonderful and frank that one can only salute him for his achievements. Oh! I wish I had met him before he died on 18th Januray some five years back.
I would request all the readers of Hindi literature to try and read the four epic autobiography volumes of a great human poet! There is a lot to learn from the man who gave us Amitabh Bachchan.
Brother, I have found a very few minor errors in the second part of the autobiography, I forgot to note them down yet I know if I give it a second rapid reading, I would know where to look for them so that they could be eradicated in the newer editions! (with your permission!)
Once again my best wishes to Aishwarys Rai Bachchan on her birthday. Amrit was asking can’t you come to skype and chat with him like he chats with his cousins in America, Australia and England and even India! I know the answer yet I do not want to discourage and dishearten him, so I told him I will ask you!
Abhaya Sharma, India, November 1 2008, 12:38 Hrs IST