Sadar Charan Sparsh,
True, very true, for schooldays reflected and welcomed the change of dates and expectation of a change in many facets of life, almost counting the time that we would soon be going to next class, into another achievement at our ages and also expecting to grow with every passing year of school and one day get into the world to compete with the best and to contribute with the rest.
I remember one particular winter morning I was waiting at Nanakpura bus stop for DTC bus to take me to school at IIT Delhi. 43 F or some such number. My PT sir Mr. Ujagar Singh stopped his bike and asked - chal baith jaa peechhe! I was happy for that moment as such occasions as getting a ride on motorbike were far and few yet in no time I was up against the windy winter totally unprotected on the head and water flowing freely from my eyes, the ears almost pierced with the crossing breeze, not able to hold on to anything I was scared to death, I wished that I ahould ask Ujagar sir to leave me alone that I can not stand the fierce and frozing winter. Somehow, the distance was not too much and the bike came to a screeching halt at the gate of the school. meri jaan mein jaan aai, I almost decided I will never take a lift on bike in future. He was kind and helpful yet the kindness and help had put me in the most scary seven minutes of my life. I did not discuss with him what I had gone through yet I was not shivering once I got down from the bike.
I have found that there is someone else also in the midst of reading Kya Bhoolun Kya Yaad Karun, probably Gilga, she mentioned she found the account very interesting. True indeed, the days in Cambridge, that he described in Basere Se Door almost take you to Cambridge, such is the beauty of author that he takes you on a journey of thoughts of his own and let you mingle freely as if these were your own very thoughts.
I wish more and more people find time to read the four volumes of Dr. Bachchan’s autobiography. Though if someone has not yet read Madhushala he or she must begin his journey with Dr. Harivanshrai Bachchan with that. I know that many couplets are rendered by Manna De sahab and even by you in the form of audio sound tracks. I too have a video on my site andon youtube where I read some of the favourite verses from Madhushala, that my then nine year old son Amrit recorded on the digital camera.
धर्मग्रन्थ सब जला चुकी है, जिसके अंतर की ज्वाला,
मंदिर, मसजिद, गिरिजे, सब को तोड़ चुका जो मतवाला,
पंडित, मोमिन, पादिरयों के फंदों को जो काट चुका,
कर सकती है आज उसी का स्वागत मेरी मधुशाला।।१७।
These words are my favourites, they do not mean that we should burn our scriptures or destroy the places of worship or crucify the ones who preach religion it only means that we should not get crucified only into such things life is much more than that! It reflects that we should able to see light without ourselves getting tied down to fixed and rigid ideas. I may be wrong but I feel that Madhushala reflects the best of Hindi poetry that it was composed by the poet when he was still in his youth belies the fact that it is a very serious piece of writing. Dr. Bachchan was only 28 when the first edition of Madhushala came in 1935. Brother, you are indeed very fortunate for being born as his son. Not that you do not have credentials of your own, maybe you have far bigger image that has been largely carved out of your own efforts yet no one can deny that the sanskaars that you got from Dr. Bachchan are no less important in making and shaping you as the living legend.
I must now stop as my comments are getting too personal.
Abhaya Sharma, India, January 2, 2009 12:42 Hours IST