thinking and feeling aloud on issues personal, universal
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Mother!..this one word echoes all that i should have been ..!
In Chandigarh, the sky is overcast and its perfectly still but cool..May be, an occasional mild whiff of breeze..but other than that, all around, the city is so quiet and peaceful. There is the occasional chirp of birds, just about audible to me, thanks to a genetic poor hearing, a bliss for which I have to thank my ancestors who ensured that I would have ears for music, birds and love only. All abrasive sounds are generally filtered out, a boon that has kept me smiling while the whole world is swearing at me, and I only lip-read admiration there !. On mornings like these,my mother used to be walking quietly on her way back from the Gurdwara and then quietly into then kitchen to make tea for her son who had to cycle about 45 kilometers to his job early morning to be able to take the first period with students in a rural college. While mother would still be humming from Asa di Var, I would be listening to Beghum Akhtar's "Kabhi hum main tum main qaraar tha." Mother would walk in quietly, cup of team in hand, ltaking care that my romance with the song was not interrupted. She would ook at the ramshackle tape recorder and smile at the words and then go out out without a word. One day, later in the afternoon when I had just come back from college and was changing into my sports gear for my customary evening with tennis ( yes, we have a hard court in our village !!), she asked me, "Enna sohna kaun likhda." When I told her, she was quiet for a while and then, placing her palm gently on my cheek, softly spoke, "Kaka , tu bhi likhiya kar. Guru Sahib bhi shayar si. Bohat uchchiaan gallaan karde a eh lok. Ehna ton sikhia kar."...Unfortunately, I drifted away from her words and led a life which she would only half-approve, and that because I was her son and , more importantly, because she believed I would at some stage come back to the meaning of her words. Mother !
I am from Mahilpur, a village in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab in India and famous as the country’s soccer nursery. I graduated from there and did my Masters in English from the Govt. College, Hoshiarpur . Later, I taught English as lecturer at several colleges, including famous Baring Union Christian College, Batala, which was then run by American academicians . I later taught English and journalism at the Punjab Agricultural University, which had an amazingly popular and successful Department of Languages and Journalism. The Department had cradled the literary genius of Professor Mohan Singh and Surjit Patar. While in the University, I wrote extensively in newspapers and magazines on art, literature and social, educational and political issues. Also, some humour of the romantic variety.
In 1985, I was picked as Advisor (the post was then designated as Press Secretary) to the Chief Minister of Punjab. I am curently working with Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Advisor on National Affairs and Media to the Chief Minister, Punjab. This is my fourth tenure to the post, which has been upgraded to the present status.