A home called ‘Chandanwari’

Rana Preet Gill

I spent most of my childhood in a rented house on a busy street. My home was painted cherubic yellow. The street teemed with speeding bikes that honked all through the day. But once you shut the door, there was absolute silence, giving the place a sanctity of its own.

It was a two-storeyed building named ‘Chandanwari’, belonging to poet Amarjit Chandan who lived in England. For me he was a stranger who used to visit once a year. He used to roam around the house, much to my chagrin, and leave chocolates in the drawing room, much to my glee. He was my dad’s friend and had given the place to us on rent.

The house was built in a strange fashion, with numerous stairs. By the time you reached the second floor, where we lived, you would be huffing and puffing. It was spacious, nestled in the heart of the city with a peculiar name that brought me a lot of attention in the class. The name was inscribed on the front in Gurmukhi in bold letters. My classmates found it funny.

‘She lives in Chandanwari,’ they used to shout, and convulse with laughter, whenever any teacher used to ask my address. I used to come home angry. ‘Can we live someplace else? They make fun of me all the time!’

Despite everything, my home was comforting in special ways. The drawing room was adorned with books. There was a pair of cushiony sofa set and I used to pick up a book and sprawl myself on it and read. There was a window giving a view of the busy street. When I was not reading, I would be sitting on the window sill, watching the maddening rush. There was never a dull moment. Even when everything seemed so still inside, there was a world in continuous motion outside. You just had to open that window and peep outside.

When I joined college, I packed my stuff and went to Ludhiana to live in the girl’s hostel. After a few days, I got a call from home informing me that a new place had been bought on the outskirts of the city. I could sense the jubilation in my mom’s voice. The proclamation of a victory; finally, a home of her own. But I felt strangely empty of any emotion.

When I went home, I saw that my mother had started setting up the new place in her own way. It did not have any name, just a number. The books had been brought and kept in a room but there were no windows to peep out and no stairs to catch your breath. I looked around with vacant eyes to find a tinge of familiarity but there was nothing I could relate to. They failed to extricate my memories which still lay entwined with my home Chandanwari.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Postal tricks save the day

BB Pardhan

THERE was a time when post offices and postmen were intimately intertwined with peoples’ lives. As a young lad, I was fond of writing letters to my friends and relatives. Since I was also at that time looking to settle down in life, I used to send application forms for competitive examinations by post, the only means then available. Regular correspondence necessitated repeated visits to the nearby post office. Over a period, I became friendly with the postal staff there and, at times, I would help them in sorting the dak.

On one occasion, I needed to send a letter urgently. I had to ensure that it not only reached the recipient, but also that I received an acknowledgement. I went to the decrepit room that passed off as a post office in my village. I sat on an iron bench outside. Not having enough money to dispatch it, the envelope dangled helplessly from my fingers. I considered my options. Sending it by ordinary post would leave me with no evidence of having dispatched it. The other alternative was to send it by registered post. It was beyond my means at that moment. Adding an ‘acknowledgement due’ tag to it was out of the question as it would cost even more.

I had heard of the UPC (Under Certificate of Posting) facility. An article posted under UPC entitled you to get a stamped document from the post master, certifying that an article was posted to a certain addressee. However, it did not guarantee delivery. The sender also did not receive any acknowledgement.

Just then, somebody tapped my shoulder, breaking my reverie. I saw an elderly man leaning towards me expectantly. I explained my problem to him. He came up with an ingenious solution. ‘If you post the envelope with a stamp of 20 paise, instead of the prescribed 25 paise, the postal department would recover the balance of 5 paise, plus a penalty of equal amount from the addressee. Under-stamped postal articles are treated like registered articles and delivered personally to the addressee since the postman has to collect the balance of postage.’

My face lit up instantly. But I quickly realised that it would not ensure an acknowledgement from the addressee. I asked him if he had a solution for it. ‘On receiving your letter and paying for it, the addressee will be upset. You are sure to get an expostulation from him, which will serve as an acknowledgement!’ he said.

The problem had been solved. I thanked him generously and rushed to get a 20-paise stamp. I then affixed it to the envelope and dropped it in the letterbox. Sure enough, on the fourth day, I received the eagerly awaited remonstrance from the addressee in the form of a postcard, pulling me up for sending an under-stamped letter!

No wonder back then, everyone loved the postal department. Who in this age of courier services would deliver an article for which the freight has not been fully paid!

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Ghazal in its Authentic Form: Rekha Surya Performs at MIT

In today’s world of mediocre and diluted ghazal-singing, it will be a pleasure for Boston music lovers to hear Begum Akhtar’s youngest disciple Rekha Surya sing Ghazal in its authentic form at the MIT Wong Auditorium in Cambridge, MA on Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 4:30 PM. She will be accompanied by musicians from India.

Hindustani light-classical singer Rekha Surya is trained under late Ghazal Queen Padmabhushan Begum Akhtar of Lucknow Gharana and Queen of Thumri Padmavibhushan Girija Devi of Benaras Gharana. She has performed all over the world including at Smithsonian Institution Washington DC, the World Music Institute New York, Harvard University, University of Toronto, Nehru Centre London, National Centre for Performing Arts, Oslo, etc, and has received many awards and critical acclaim for her performances. She has recorded for the Archives of Sangeet Natak Academi. She represented India at the Asian Music Festival Sri Lanka in 1999 and at the International Falak Festival Tajikistan in 2006.

Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal often merge the sensuous with the sublime, linking romance with spiritual love, much like erotic sculpture adorning ancient temples. Rekha Surya’s special mark is that she treats Ghazal as an allied form of Thumri and presents it alongside Thumri and Dadra. She also sings Sufi poetry in this tradition, making her Sufiana rendering unique. Her rich voice and passionate music evokes an exotic image of a bygone era. Having studied under Begum Akhtar and followed that hypnotic inheritance with great gift. Her voice is deep and resonant and her pronunciation has the same savour as the Begum’s. At times she is sprightly, at others melancholy, but always poignant.

“Rekha Surya enthralled. Her audience was spellbound by her Hori, Kajri, Jhoola and Dadra, interspersed with Ghazal.” – The Bombay Times

“Rekha Surya is a talent to behold. Rarely does one find such confluence of restraint and abandon, discipline and playfulness, nerve-tingling sensuality and a near-sacred dedication to the Indian art of vocal exposition. Her voice has presence. It announces itself. Raw and earthy, it is powerful in the upper reaches, husky and seductive in the lower octave.” – Baltimore Sun

“The sensuous and the sublime become one when Rekha Surya sings Sufi poetry.” – The Asian Age

This is a rare opportunity to hear Rekha Surya on Sunday, October 5th at the MIT Wong Auditorium in Cambridge, MA at 4:30 PM. The Sufi concert is titled ‘Romancing the Divine’. It is organized by Sangam and International Hindi Association, and is supported by Harvard Sangeet, LearnQuest, and Sounds of India. For further information contact (786) 214-4857 or info@hindi.org. Source Link: https://www.lokvani.com/iha

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Eid from an atheist’s eye

Sumit Paul

ANY festival gives intrinsic joy and Ramzan Eid is no exception. Having lived in Islamic countries like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and North African countries, I have always felt from the recesses of my heart that this festival, like all other festivals, belongs to every individual, even to an atheist like me, who never tied himself to the apron-strings of any religion. But my most memorable occasions of Eid have been in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

I have a legion of Muslim friends across the world. I remember how eagerly I would look forward to devouring sheer-khurma and getting Eidee from elders. My professor of Urdu, Dr Tahira Naqqash, who guided my M Phil theses on Urdu poet Raghupati Sahay Firaq Gorakhpuri’s poetry at Islamabad University, Pakistan, still sends me Eidee and new clothes. Her sheer-khurma was the best I ever had anywhere in the world.

One Pakistani Muslim editor carried my first-ever piece in Urdu in his daily. It was on Eid. He kept rejecting my pieces until I got his hand-written letter in Urdu that he was carrying my piece on Eid-ul-Fitr as an Eidee to me. He also sent me a box of sweets and a T-shirt. Though I never wore a T-shirt in my whole life, I wore it on Eid in deference to his affection.

In Lucknow, I got a call from an elderly Muslim gentleman on the day of Eid. He began with ‘Eid mubarak ho’. It was all the more special to me because I did criticise his piece written a fortnight prior to Eid. My criticism was quite scathing. But he chose to forget and forgive and invited me over. I got a lovely sherwani from him which I still wear on special occasions. I realised that festivals gave magnanimity to people and diluted all ill-feelings. This is the essence of not just Eid, but of all festivals.

In London, my Muslim professor of Persian would call me home and treat me lavishly during Eid-ul-Fitr. He was originally from Baghdad but studied in Tehran like me and would correct my fractured English.

Celebrating Eid and Diwali with my friends from different religious backgrounds, I understood that festivals helped create bonhomie and bonds. While enjoying a festival, one is never a Muslim, Hindu or a Christian. All festivals pare us down to being just human beings without any labels.

To celebrate a festival with equanimity and equipoise is the essence of it. It brings people of all hues and shades together and demolishes man-made artificial barriers and boundaries.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Passwords & their secret hiding place

Brig Suresh Chander (retd)

The wife was her usual aggressive self when she demanded to know if I had changed the wi-fi code. Without even giving me time to respond, she thundered, ‘Why is it not working?’ My slightly nervous reply was, ‘Technical glitches of the service provider… perhaps.’ By uttering the last word I thought I had covered my vulnerable rear flank. Just as well. She responded that the neighbour’s wi-fi was working full speed and they had the same service provider. She instructed that I feed the password again. That is how the rest of the story unfolds.

She is not computer or iPhone savvy, but picks up adequate know-how from the grandkids to keep tormenting me. I had been blasted for storing all the codes, PINs, MPINs, etc. on the tablet. I was told that all this vital information would be on iCloud and thus easily accessible by intelligence agencies, or any smart operator on the prowl at call centres. Our bank balances could be easily cleaned out. The information could also be used by brain-mapping us to find out our political leanings. The last bit was provocative, but I let it pass.

Thereafter, I started noting down all PINs and codes in a note form and hiding this classified document in the obscurest of places. The passwords were regularly changed and the ‘note’ amended diligently. Hiding places, too, were changed frequently — Army style.

It was all well for a few months. Then one day, she wanted her Paytm password. For once, my confident reply was, ‘Just give me a minute, my darling!’ I frequently say silly things that I do not mean.

I went to the secret cache, but to my horror found nothing! I went into panic mode. This state seriously affects my thinking ability and ‘search the brain mode’ goes into a slow hover. A faint thought flashed across my mind that I had recently changed the hiding place. But for the love of the Lord and fear of unthinkable consequences, I could not remember the new hiding place. We turned the house upside down, but could not locate the ‘note’. Electronic, digital and part of the banking life came to a standstill. Strange, but my better half did not put me under excessive strain realising that the ageing system may fall apart.

I have however learnt my lesson and started keeping this precious document in a foolproof place: next to my will.

I was informed by my grandson that apps can be accessed from the app store to store passwords. A new gadget has also recently appeared in the market for the same purpose.

I would, however, recommend that some of us senior citizens, with a shaky technology base, continue to use the note system rather than create the possibility of handling one more technical snarl.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Real men, not of straw

Surinderjit Singh Sandhu

The Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order on fair distribution of water to all, not just the VIPs, reminded me of some fearless officers who enforced law in complete fairness and merit.

Over three decades ago, the final match of the Punjab senior football championship was being played. Since the CM was the chief guest, all officers, including the divisional commissioner, were watching the match. The divisional commissioner signalled me to come to him. It was for the fifth time that I was called for petty work by the officers. (This was generally the fate of an assistant to the DC.) I went to him and he said: ‘Tell the Superintending Engineer sitting there to ensure uninterrupted electric supply to my residence from 6 pm to 9 pm as an important meeting of the Film Society will be held there.’ I walked over to the tall and handsome officer and told him as directed. Nonchalantly, he said: ‘Yesterday my mother was serious and had to be operated upon. I did not deviate from the professed government policy. I will not be able to help.’ I conveyed it to the commissioner, who was known for his proximity to the Chief Secretary and the CM.

Another incident pertains to the early 1980s. Complaints were made to the Bathinda DC that when the entire city was subjected to powercuts, the only area that was spared was the colony of PSPCL officers (erstwhile electricity board). The officers had, on their own, installed a hotline in the area. The DC called the seniormost officer of the department and asked him for details. ‘DC saheb, we have to work round the clock to ensure power supply. What is the harm if we have allowed ourselves a little relief?’ The DC said, ‘Do you think we sit idle? The police sits idle? All of us work for the public. The government has not allowed you this facility. How can you become a law unto yourself? The powercuts have to be shared by all. From today, you will have to snap the hotline.’ The meeting ended on a bitter note. In the evening, the DC sent the SDM and the DSP to inspect the area and ensure his order had been implemented. In spite of resistance, the DC stood his ground.

At another time, I was present in the office of that very DC, when two MLAs and office-bearers of a political party entered. The middle-aged president of the party said, ‘DC saheb, aap nu pata e hona a ke Sanjay Gandhiji Mansa aa rahe ne, aapan sara programme vadhiya karna hai’ (Sanjay Gandhi will be visiting Mansa, so we will have to make elaborate arrangements). Some people began suggesting that a huge pandal would have to be built and roads would have to be repaired. Without showing any sign of exasperation, the DC remarked, ‘Karenge, zaroor karenge, pehle protocol guidelines dekh loon ke Pradhan Mantri ke bete ko kya-kya allowed hai’ (Sure, but let me first check what all is officially allowed to the PM’s son). Alarmed, all started speaking in unison, ‘Nahinji, prabhand tan karne painge.’ He again replied, ‘Dekhenge, dekhenge.’ He did not budge till the state’s political department issued the programme of the VIP.

Sadly, such officers are now rare.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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ਬਿਰਧ ਆਸ਼ਰਮਾਂ ‘ਚੋਂ ਉੱਠਦੀ ਹੂਕ’

ਪਤਝੜ !!! ਬੇਜਾਨ, ਬੇਰੰਗੇ ਪੀਲੇ ਪੱਤਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਟਾਹਣੀਆਂ ਨਾਲੋਂ ਵਿਛੜਨ ਦਾ ਮੌਸਮ; ਆਪਣਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ‘ਤੇ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਜੜ੍ਹਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਦੂਰ ਹੋਣ ਦੇ ਦਰਦ ਦਾ ਮੌਸਮ. ਕਿੰਨੀ ਟੀਸ ਉੱਠਦੀ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਸੇ ਤੋਂ ਵਿਛੜਨ ਵੇਲੇ. ਇਸ ਪੀੜ ਦਾ, ਇਸ ਤੜਪ ਦਾ ਅਹਿਸਾਸ ਤਾਂ ਟਾਹਣੀੳਂ ਵੱਖ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਪੱਤਾ ਹੀ ਦੱਸ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ.

ਅਜਿਹੀ ਹੀ ਇੱਕ ਪਤਝੜ ਮਨੁੱਖੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਆਉਂਦੀ ਹੈ. ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਬਸੰਤ ਹੰਢਾਉਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਪਤਝੜ ਦੇ ਇਸ ਮੌਸਮ ਦੀ ਦਸਤਕ ਭਾਵੇਂ ਕੁਝ ਚੰਗੇ ਲੇਖਾਂ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਲਈ ਸੁਖਦਾਈ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਹੋਵੇ ਪਰ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੇ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਵੀ ਨੇ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਝੋਲੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਪਤਝੜ ਨੇ ਸਿਵਾਏ ਦਰਦ ਦੇ, ਹੰਝੂਆਂ ਦੇ ‘ਤੇ ਕਦੇ ਨਾ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਉਮੀਦ ਦੇ ਹੋਰ ਕੁਝ ਵੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਾਇਆ.

ਪਿਛਲੇ ਦਿਨੀਂ ਇੱਕ ਬਿਰਧ ਘਰ ਜਾਣ ਦਾ ਮੌਕਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ. ਜਾਂ ਫਿਰ ਇੳਂ ਕਹੋ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਮੌਕਾ ਸਾਡੀ ਬੇਟੀ ਨੇ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਤਾ . ਦਾਦੀ ਦਾਦੇ ਦੇ ਪਿਆਰ ਤੋਂ ਵਾਂਝੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੇਟੀ ਇਸ ਸੁੱਖ ਦੀ ਕਾਮਨਾ ਅਕਸਰ ਕਰਦੀ. ਇਸ ਫਾਨੀ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਅਲਵਿਦਾ ਕਹਿ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਉਸਦੇ ਦਾਦਾ ਦਾਦੀ ਅਤੇ ਨਾਨਾ ਨਾਨੀ ਦੀ ਘਾਟ ਨੂੰ ਪੂਰਾ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਅਤੇ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਉਹਨਾ ਦੇ ਨਿਰਛਲ ਪਿਆਰ ਦੇ ਅਹਿਸਾਸ ਤੋਂ ਜਾਣੂ ਕਰਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਨੇੜੇ ਹੀ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਇੱਕ ‘ਬਿਰਧ ਘਰ ਲੈ ਗਏ.

‘ਬਿਰਧ ਘਰ ‘. .ਆਸਾਂ ਤੇ ਉਮੀਦਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਪਰ੍ਹੇ ਇੱਕ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ. ਇੱਥੇ ਜਿਉਣ ਲਈ ਨਾ ਕੋਈ ਸ਼ਰਤ ‘ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਪਿਆਰ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ ਲਈ ਫਜ਼ੂਲ ਦੇ ਬਣੇ ਕਾਇਦੇ ਕਾਨੂੰਨ. ਇੱਥੇ ਸੁਫਨੇ ‘ਤੇ ਖਾਹਿਸ਼ਾਂ ਜਨਮ ਨਹੀਂ ਲੈਂਦੀਆਂ. ਇੱਥੇ ਰਹਿਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਹਰ ਬਾਸ਼ਿੰਦਾ ਉਮੀਦਾਂ ਦੇ ਟੁੱਟਣ ਦਾ ਦੁੱਖ, ਰਿਸ਼ਤਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਨਿੱਘ ‘ਤੇ ਮਨ ਦੀ ਘੁਟਨ ਨੂੰ ਭੁਲਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਨਾਕਾਮ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਵਿੱਚ ਰੁੱਝਿਆ ਨਜਰ ਆਉਂਦਾ ਹੈ.ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਜਿੰਮੇਵਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਜਿੱਠਣ ‘ਤੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਫਰਜਾਂ ਦੀ ਭੱਠੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਸਮ ਕਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਜੋ ਬਾਕੀ ਬਚਿਆ ਬਸ ਉਹੀ ਹੈ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਜੀਵਨ.

ਇੱਥੇ ਵੱਸਦੇ ਹਰ ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗ ਦੀਆਂ ਅੱਥਰੂ ਭਿੱਜੀਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਹੀ ਉਸਦਾ ਭਰਿਆ ਪੁਰਿਆ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਦਿਸਣ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ. ਬਹੁਤ ਔਖਾ ਹੈ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਦਿਲ ਦੇ ਦਰਦ ਨੂੰ ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹਾਂ ਤੱਕ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਆਉਣਾ. ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਔਖਾ ਹੈ ਉਸ ਦਰਦ ਨੂੰ ਸਹਿਣਾ ਜੋ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਮੁਰਝਾਈਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਭਰਦਾ ਹੈ ਆਪਣੇ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਯਾਦ ਕਰਕੇ . ਚਿਪਕੀਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਿਸਦੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਪੋਤਰੇ ਪੋਤਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਗੋਦੀ ‘ਚ ਖਿਡਾਉਣ ਦੇ ‘ਤੇ ਰਾਜੇ ਰਾਣੀਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਹਾਣੀਆਂ ਸੁਣਾ ਕੇ ਸੁਆਉਣ ਦੇ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਦਿਲ ਨੂੰ ਟੁੰਭਦੇ ਨੇ. ਰੋਟੀ ਪਾਣੀ ਢਿੱਡ ਤਾਂ ਭਰ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਨੇ ਪਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਢਿੱਡੋਂ ਜੰਮਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਪਿਆਰ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ ਨੂੰ ਕੌਣ ਪੂਰਾ ਕਰੇਗਾ?

ਆਪਣਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਦੂਰ ਜਾਣਾ ਸੌਖਾ ਨਹੀਂ ‘ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਸੌਖਾ ਹੈ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭੁੱਲ ਜਾਣਾ.ਔਲਾਦ ਮਾਪਿਆਂ ਲਈ ਵਰਦਾਨ ਹੈ.ਕਈਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਾਂ ਸੌ ਸੁੱਖਣਾ ਸੁੱਖ ਕੇ ਮਿਲਦਾ ਹੈ ਇਹ ਅਸੀਮ ਸੁੱਖ ਔਲਾਦ ਦੇ ਸੁੱਖ ਅਤੇ ਉੱਜਲੇ ਭਵਿੱਖ ਲਈ ਆਪਣਾ ਵਰਤਮਾਨ ਤੇ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਰੀਝਾਂ ਕੁਰਬਾਨ ਕਰ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਮਾਪਿਆਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਐਸੀ ਕਿਹੜੀ ਖੁਨਾਮੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਰੜਕਣ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਨੇ.

ਬਿਰਧ ਆਸ਼ਰਮਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਧ ਰਹੀ ਰਹੀ ਭੀੜ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਦਾ ਵਿਸ਼ਾ ਹੈ. ਕਾਰਣ ਕਈ ਨੇ. ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਟੁੱਟ ਰਹੇ ਨੇ. ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਘਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਕਾਰਤ ਦੀ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਨਾਲ ਵੇਖਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਅਣਦੇਖੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਰਹੀ ਹੈ.ਤਾਨੇ, ਮਿਹਣੇ..ਘਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੁੰਦਿਆਂ ਹੋਇਆਂ ਵੀ ਇਕੱਲਾਪਣ. ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ਾਂ ‘ਚ ਜਾ ਵੱਸਣਾਂ ਆਦਿ. ਬਾਕੀ ਕਾਰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਨਾਲ ਇੱਕ ਹੋਰ ਮੁੱਖ ਕਾਰਣ ਜੋ ਉੱਭਰ ਕੇ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ ਉਹ ਹੈ ‘ਪੀੜ੍ਹੀ ਪਾੜਾ’ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਅਸੀ ‘ਜਨਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਗੈਪ’ ਕਰਕੇ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਜਾਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ. ਪੱਛਮੀ ਸੱਭਿਅਤਾ ਵੱਲ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਰੁਝਾਨ ਰੱਖਦੀ ਅਜੋਕੀ ਪੀੜ੍ਹੀ ਨੂੰ ਬਜੁਰਗ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਅਜਾਦ ਤਬੀਅਤੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਹ ਦਾ ਰੋੜਾ ਸਮਝਦੇ ਨੇ..

ਕਾਰਣ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਹੋਵੇ ਪਰ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇ ਇਸ ਅੰਤਿਮ ਪੜਾਅ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਨਸਾਨ ਜਿਸ ਸੁੱਖ ਦੀ ਲਾਲਸਾ ਨੂੰ ਮਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਔਲਾਦ ਨੂੰ ਜਨਮ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ, ਪਾਲਣ ਪੋਸ਼ਣ ਕਰਕੇ ਵੱਡਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ‘ਤੇ ਸੁਚੱਜੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਲਈ ਤਿਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹੀ ਔਲਾਦ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਕਿੰਨੇ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਹੀ ‘ਬਿਰਧ ਘਰਾਂ’ ਦੇ ਦਰਵਾਜ਼ੇ ‘ਤੇ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਆਪ ਸੁਰਖਰੂ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ. ਬਿਲਕੁਲ ਉਵੇਂ ਹੀ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਮਾਲੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਬੀਜੇ ਗਏ ਪੌਦੇ ਜਦੋਂ ਦਰਖਤ ਬਣ ਜਾਣ ਤਾਂ ਉਹ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਮਾਲੀ ਨੂੰ ਕਹਿ ਦੇਣ ਕਿ ਜਾਹ, ਹੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ਇਸ ਬਾਗ ਨੂੰ ਤੇਰੀ ਕੋਈ ਲੋੜ ਨਹੀਂ.

ਪਰ ਭੌਤਿਕ ਸੁੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਦਲਦਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਗਲੇ ਤੱਕ ਡੁੱਬੀ ਆਧੁਨਿਕ ਪੀੜ੍ਹੀ ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦੇ ਨੇਮਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਅਣਜਾਣ ਹੈ..ਸਮਾਂ ਆਪਣੀ ਗਤੀ ਨਾਲ ਚੱਲਦਾ ਹੈ.ਜੋ ਅੱਜ ਹੈ ਉਹ ਕੱਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋਣਾ. ਅੱਜ ਦੇ ਜਵਾਨ ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਕੱਲ ਦੇ ਬਜੁਰਗ ਹੋਣਗੇ.ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਮਹਾਵਾਕ ‘ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੇ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੇ ਕਰਮਾਂ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤ’ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਅੱਜ ਜਿੱਥੇ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਮਾਂ ਬਾਪ ਹਨ ਉੱਥੇ ਕੱਲ ਇਹ ਹੋਣਗੇ. ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਰੂਪੀ ਦਰਖਤ ਦੀਆਂ ਜੜ੍ਹਾਂ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਨੇ. ਜੜ੍ਹਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਹੀ ਕਰੂੰਬਲਾਂ, ਟਾਹਣੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਘਣੀ ਛਾਂ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ. ਜਿੰਦਗੀ ‘ਚ ਆਏ ਝੱਖੜਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਹਨੇਰੀਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਬਚਾਅ ਵੀ ਇਹ ਜੜ੍ਹਾਂ ਰੂਪੀ ਬਜੁਰਗ ਹੀ ਕਰਦੇ ਨੇ.

ਇੱਥੇ ਗਈ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਇਸ ਮੰਸ਼ਾ ਨਾਲ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੇਟੀ ਨੂੰ ਦਾਦਾ ਦਾਦੀ ‘ਤੇ ਨਾਨਾ ਨਾਨੀ ਦੀ ਗੋਦ ਦੇ ਨਿੱਘ ਤੋਂ ਜਾਣੂ ਕਰਵਾ ਸਕਾਂਗੀ ਪਰ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਬਜੁਰਗਾਂ ਦੇ ਗਲੇ ਲੱਗਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਖੁਦ ਦਾ ਵਜੂਦ ਬੌਣਾ ਲੱਗਣ ਲੱਗ ਪਿਆ.ਮੇਰੀ ਬੇਟੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਪੋਤਰੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਝਲਕ ਵੇਖਦੀਆਂ ਬਜੁਰਗ ਔਰਤਾਂ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਉਸਨੁੰ ਆਪਣੀ ਛਾਤੀ ਨਾਲ ਲਾਕੇ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਆਪਣਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਨੇੜਤਾ ਭਾਲ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਸਨ . ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਵਗਦੀ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਦਰਦ ਕਹਾਣੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਦਿਲ ਨੂੰ ਵਲੂੰਧਰ ਰਹੀ ਸੀ. ਮਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਖਿਆਲ ਉੱਠਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਆਪਣਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਦੂਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਐਸਾ ਸੁੱਖ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦੀ ਕਾਮਨਾ ਔਲਾਦ ਕਰਦੀ ਹੈ.

ਮੇਰੇ ਕਦਮ ਵਾਪਸ ਆਉਣ ਲਈ ਤਾਂ ਉੱਠ ਪਏ ਪਰ ਮਨ ਕਿਤੇ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਰਹਿ ਗਿਆ . ਇਹਨਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਸਿਰ ਉੱਤੇ ਛੱਤ ਹੈ, ਦੋ ਵਕਤ ਦੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਵੀ ਹੈ .ਪਰ ਉਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਜੋ ਲੋੜੀਂਦਾ ਹੈ. ਇੱਕ ਦਰਦ ਹੈ, ਆਸ ਹੈ ‘ਤੇ ਉਡੀਕ ਹੈ . ਮੁੱਖ ਦਰਵਾਜ਼ੇ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਅੰਦਰ ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਹਰ ਸ਼ਖਸ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਦਾ ਚਿਹਰਾ ਲੱਭਦੇ ਨੇ ਪਰ ਨਾ ਦਿੱਸਣ ਦੀ ਸੂਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਮਾਯੂਸੀ ਦੀ ਘੁੰਮਣਘੇਰੀ ਨਾਲ ਜੱਦੋ ਜਹਿਦ ਕਰਨ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਨੇ. ਇੱਕ ਨਿੰਮੋਝੂਣੀ ਨਿਗਾਹ ਗਾਏ ਬਗਾਹੇ ਆਸ਼ਰਮ ਦੇ ਦਰਵਾਜ਼ੇ ਵੱਲ ਉੱਠਦੀ ਹੈ . ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹਾਂ ਉੱਤੇ ਦਿਲ ਦੀ ਅਵਾਜ਼ ਮਚਲਦੀ ਹੈ. ਅੱਖਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਨੀਰ ਵਗਣ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਤੇ ਝੁਰੜੀਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਆੜਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਵਗਦੇ ਹੰਝੂ ਦਿਲ ਦਾ ਦਰਦ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਹੀ ਬਿਆਨ ਕਰ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਨੇ. ਜਿਵੇਂ ਕਹਿਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦੇ ਹੋਣ ਕਿ ਥੱਕ ਗਏ ਹਾਂ ਰਾਹ ਵੇਖ ਵੇਖ..

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