URVESHI (Short Story) BY BRIJ KAUL.

The Sunday dawn was dusky as the dark clouds were hovering over the sky and the Sun was gleaming its flickering beams occasionally rather very rarely, promising a tawny day.

After having a hurried breakfast — a cup of black tea, Kashmiri typical ‘Kahwa’ with hot thick bakery breads, I walked to the main gate my residence for a stroll down the main street of our huge posh colony, Karan-Nagar.

“Hey where are you going” my mother shouted from behind.

“ just coming in a jiffy. Have to see Ratan .” I replied back without thinking.

“ Ratan; who is he?”

“my new class mate  Mumma” I replied half heartedly.

“where does he live ?. Next time bring him here”.

“ You have to study now the college course is tough. Do not waste time.” Mother retorted angrily.

“Mummy do not get panicky I am just coming back.”

I hugged my mother reassuring her that I would not roam about long.

“ wait, please do me a f a v our “ S u s h e e la my elder cousin came running after me .

“kindly give this book to S a r l a my friend. It won’t take you much time .” she pleaded.

“Sa r la D h a r ,you mean “ I confirmed.

“Yes Y e s “ my sister S u s h i la said emphatically.

“Am I looking ok?” I asked having cursory glance at my dress.

“oh my brother you are looking awesome”.

“May be I am lucky to see U r v e s hi there. K a n war my cousin, more friend than  a brother , was telling me that U r v e s h i, the fourth youngest sister of S a r la was exceedingly beautiful. I smiled to myself and pushed out on a small but important errand.

Being teenager at the threshold of sixteen years I was eager to do such errands for thrill and pleasure.

S a r l a‘s house was quite away from our house just three lanes across the C h i n a r park,   four huge C h i n a r trees encircled with barbed wire in the middle of the main street.

I strode across the broad road of K a r a n-n a g a r ,fully Ma c a d a m is e d ones, and walked briskly to reach  S a r l a’s house. in about ten minutes.

The red and white three S to r e y Bungalow was done with a decorative plaster looking shining to the eyes.

The main gate was locked but the side gate was open.

I rang the bell and the door was instantly opened by a plump lady wearing a cotton sari.“ Miss S a rl a “ I did not wait for her to question me.

“ I have to see her “ I continued.

“ come inside” she said .

The tarred pathway led to the front of the building and she moved to the right into the big drawing room   with carved wooden ceiling , a big chandelier hanging from the middle lit by co l o u red bulbs . Some large Countryside paintings hung on the either side of walls .

Large sofas were placed along the walls with large  K a s hmiri silk carpets in the middle.

I was directed to get seated in a wooden chair adjacent to the long sofa.

There was no sign of S a r l a for nearly fifteen minutes.

I got restless but soon  S a r la entered “ sorry for the delay young boy.” S a r l a said apologetically.

she was accompanied with a pretty young girl ,

” she is Ur v e s hi ,my younger sister” S arla continued.

“Hello ” I said meekly .

“This the book for you given by my sister S ushila.“ I said handing over the book.

I got up and started to leave  but S a r la held my arm softly and said smiling “ sit down we will have tea together. U r v e s hi take care of this young man. I will ask S h o b a to bring tea.”

S a r l a came immediately with a Tea kettle and some cups. she was followed by the maid with a basket of boiled eggs and cutlery she placed all the things on the center table. I pulled my chair to the edge of the table and was still undecided what to eat or not  .

U r v e s hi shouted at me “ hey Mr start taking tea . By the way what is your name ?”

“Me Briju “ I said politely.

“ Briju ; oh I do not like this name . You are R a j u for me.” she said confidently

S a r la intervened in between and said angrily to U r v e s h i

” what is this? his name is B r I j u and why are you changing it to Ra j u “

U r v e s hi furrowed her forehead in disapproval .

Meanwhile I peeled off a couple of eggs and sprinkled a bit of salt and ate these in mouthfuls .

“ A r e y   Raju eat comfortably ,why are you stuffing the eggs in hurry, eat slowly ,”

U r v e s h i spoke loudly to me.

I did not answer but continued to finish my breakfast.

I got up and   was about to take leave of  them but s a r l a stopped me by saying

“ wait B r i j u I have a request ,U r v e s h i is reading in 10th and needs some coaching in Physiology. I want you kindly guide her. she will tell you when and where “

“ Me ?” I said surprised

“Yes Yes “I mean you only.

I did not argue anyway and walked down the gravel  path to the main gate.

Both sisters saw me off and Ur v e s h i waved with a smile and said loudly “ I will meet you in a couple of days and we will plan accordingly”

I walked down the road in a joyful mood , feeling at the top of Universe having talked to Ur v e s h i the beauty queen of Kashmir.

Back at home ‘s  Gate K a n w a r l al , my cousin ,my classmate in School, and my friend a tall lanky boy was standing in the middle of the Gate watching and admiring the  Nature’s  marvels, unmindful of anything around him.

“Hello B r i j u where were you in the early morning?” K a n w a r l a l said in his flamboyant style with a m is c h e v i o u s tone.

“S u s h i l a asked me to hand over her course book to S a r l a” I replied briefly.

“Did you see the pretty U r v i s h i?” He enquired anxiously.

“ Yes I did. In fact S a r l a wants me to   teach

Physiology to her”   I clarified.

“ that is very good. You are lucky chap. U r v e s h i  is the most beautiful girl of Kashmir.”

K a n w a r l a l said with a chuckle.

“I am afraid if I can teach her. “ I replied with some concern.

“ Why not my brother? You know the subject.

And teaching is in our genes as our parents are all teachers.”

“ But I need your help.” I said a bit nervy.

“ look I can arrange the human bones skull etc. from  my friend S u b o d h,

his sister is doing M.B.B.S .You can show practical reference with theory. “

K a n w a r l a l concluded with an air of finality.

“ Hello S a r l a wants it to be done it confidentially not

e v en to tell S u s h i l a” I alerted him.

I went inside , met my M u m m a, who was busy with some guests and I slid into my room quietly.

For a week or so there was no communication from Ur v e s h i   .

Early in the morning ,probably last day of my college for the session ,to be closed for winter vacations ,I walked in my lawn and saw U r v e s h i sitting on the bench in the corner of garden in deep conversation with S u s h i l a . I walked to u r v e s hi who winked at me and I said “ Good Morning”

S u s hi l a   said “ Good morning brother. How are you. “   “ going to College sister” I answered casually.

Ur v e s h i got up saying in  chaste Kashmiri “ Bi  n a r e y   v u n  m e i  G a c h i  c h e i r

Sc h o o l k h a t e r i.”

( I will go now I will get late for the School).

U r v e s h i nudged me to wait for her outside.

I crossed over the broad foot path through intricate vehicular traffic and waited at the main gate of Char C h i n ar Park just opposite to our residence in middle of main

K aran – N a g a r road.

Four C h i n a r trees  made into a small Park with green lawns and flowers ,a center of attraction and resting place for for some on going pedestrians.

I was keeping watch on U r v e s h i so that I could wave her and she did come out of the gate and I called her out instantly .

Luckily she spotted me and walked briskly through the c r is s- cross horn blaring traffic on to my side. “Shall we sit in this park” I asked her

“oh no can we go to Regal – C h o w k sit in a restaurant and talk over a cup of tea”

she said authoritatively.

she was dressed in flowing blue dazzling K u r t a  tight blue leggings ,black hair

b u n n ed d behind into a knot. Her cheeks flushed reddish and she  looked beautiful with deep penetrating eyes.

I instantly  looked for a t o n g a , the most convenient

mode of transport available that time, the other local

buses were crowded and dirty.

I stopped one and helped U r v e s h i  first  to sit in the back seat and I sat a little away from her .

“ To Regal – C h o w k . what is the fare “ I asked.

“ Two Rupees”

“Oh no the correct fare is one and half rupees.” I said confidently.

He agreed and did not haggle for more.

He was young , handsome , well built in mid t h i r t e e s ,wearing a thin beard .

He was dressed in loose black K u r t a and white p y j a mas .

He whipped the horse lightly and the horse set off at a brisk trot down the tarred road.

He lashed the horse again but softly , shouting   in chaste  Kashmiri ‘Pakoo jaldi phanat’

( walk faster a bit ).

He touched the horse softly with the whip, the t o n g a rattled up and veered down the center of the road.

A fifteen minutes ride brought us to the Regal – C h o w k and we got down thanking the

t o n g a driver .

We sauntered around for a while in the Bazaar and walked into Lambert Lane barging into the Friend’s Restaurant .

There was no crowd as such only a few customers were folding over hot cups of tea in a

huddle.

We chose a table away from the view of the counter.

We ordered for tea , a few bakery items , pineapple pastry one of these.

“ Now tell me U r v e s h i what is plan for teaching you, when and where?” I asked   without any delay.

“You will teach me and my friend M o h i n i at her place.

Mo h i n i   lives quite opposite to my house and has very good room spacious in  the upper S t o r e y . There is separate staircase. we should start now say in a day or two.”

U r v e s h i explained.

“oh I see.” I exclaimed with a surprise.

U r v e s h i  g o b b l e d down two pieces of Pine Apple pastries.

“ Very tasty” she chuckled.

“ I will start teaching you from Friday.

Today is Monday from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm. Done ” I said .

We parted our ways I went to college and U r v e s hi to B i s co Tyndale school , just five minutes walk down the Residency road.

I went to  my college, S.P. College, on foot not far from where I stood and met friends for a chat , a farewell Chat as the college was closing for winter break, a two month long one.

we passed time in the college cafeteria nibbling at  biscuits, ordering for hot Samosas both vegetarian as well as non vegetarian ,laughing heartily ,thus whiled away a good time.

I finally whisked away from the growing student crowd, the despairing afternoon deepened into evening I walked through the noise and clutter of streets to reach my home before dusk,

There   was unusual quietness in the house.

I saw mother sleeping in the living room a n d I too went for a quick nap.

The morning was bright as the Sun was penetrating  its rays through tall poplar trees standing in an u p r i r i g h t  position .

K a n w a r l a l told me he has arranged Human Skelton bones packed in a carton for my reference as teaching aid. He quietly brought the packet into my room and we placed it in the corner of balcony in a concealed manner.

“ When are you starting the teaching sessions.”

“ On Friday “ I answered briefly.

“Good   Luck   brother” saying so he left the room.

Friday 30th Dec 1960 , the red letter day for me,was dull and dank but the sun came out filtering through the clusters of clouds and promised a fair

afternoon, clean and crisp.

The cold breeze however was biting one.

I leafed through the old physiology book to refresh my memory up about the names of bones of upper and lower limbs in a human body.

I   wrapped the bones in old newspaper and put these in a cloth bag .

At 4.45 pm I dressed up in white shirt and black trousers.

I put on a brown tweed coat covering my shoulders compelling U r v e s h i to look at me with attention.

I somehow managed to get out on my special  assignment ,slung the cloth bag over my shoulder and walked comfortably . I took a longer road so that I do not reach before time.

M o h i n i was waiting for me at the gate and we went up the stairs to the study room.

A very big airy room sparsely furnished but

spick and span.

I asked Mo h i n i to adjust the position of center table

so that it becomes easier for me to guide you easily.

she immediately did the changes and I displayed

the human bones on the table itself.

U r v e s h i   walked in in a flowing dazzling blue dress, the black hair cascading over her shoulders, she smiled and her school girl face lit up .she looked very charming.

“Hello Raj sir” she said calmly.

“ Good evening” I replied.

“ looking awesome” I continued.

“where is M ohini? ” I asked anxiously.

M o h i n i entered the room with tea kettle.

I started with lesson on human bone structure.

“ The human skull is comprised of twenty-two

bones.” I started

“ eight Cranial bones and fourteen facial s k e l t on

bones.” I continued.

“The names of   Cranial bones are   1/ Frontal bone ( forehead)

2/ Two nos Parietal bones (either side of head)

3/ Temporal bones

4/ Occipital bone

5/sphenoid

6/ E t h m o id .

and in addition 14 bones Facial ones.” I concluded

I explained there is no need to remember the name

of bones but if you mention some names you may get

more marks. I practically zeroed upon the actual skull and showed the possible location of each bone.

I   had intense desire to impress U r v e s h i with my knowledge about the subject I was teaching.

Both M o h i n i and U r v e s h i noted down the names of the bones n their note books with interest.

“So my dear girls how do you rate me as a Teacher” I said with an air of superiority.

“ F u n t a s t i c R a j u Sir ” both cried in unison.

“ you are awesome.” U r v e s h i said again.

“ Thank you both for your compliment”

I asked U r v e s h i to keep the skull bones aside nicely for further lessons., which she did.

I called it a day and I got up combed my hair and put

on my coat on my shoulders and walked towards the door.

“Wait R a j u ; I am also coming” U r v e s h i said in a

low tone.

Saying “Good bye “ to M o h i n i we moved out.

The staircase dropped down in circular manner into

backyard lawn.

I went down   step by step followed by U r v e s h i

holding on to my elbow.

The dusk was a little dark one , Ur v e s hi hooked her

arm around my neck and kissed my cheeks.

I was surprised amused also to see her bold and

flirtatious be h a v io u r.

“ kiss B a n t a h a i — Kiss is due” she said waving to me

softly.

She crossed the road and soon was at her gate, I slouched on listlessly towards my home.

“A great day” I said to myself.

Days passed by. I was teaching   U r v e s h i now for last twenty days. I taught with intense dedication

The bone structure of human body with reference to the practical side by displaying ,explaining every bone as such ,completed other topics too in time.

Now last week or ten days were for revising the topics only.

The afternoon was cold, I was wearing a thick brown jacket with long pockets, and ready to go to teach U r v e s h i and M o h i n i   as usual.

I tried to avoid the intricate horn blaring traffic of the main road and took to quieter side lane to reach in time.

I went up the circular stairs into the room on the top.

The room was littered with papers and other k n i c k- knacks.

M o h i n i got up quickly and started cleaning up the clatter and soon it was cleaner one.

I s e a t e d myself on the   wicker chair .“where is U r v e s h i”   I asked

“ she is coming” M o h i n i replied briefly.

“ I am going downstairs to bring tea and hot Pa k oras to eat.” M o h in i said slamming the door shut behind her.

After a while the door opened ajar and entered U r v e s h i  “ hello Raj . Looking handsome .”

she nudged closer to me as much as could and her floating white dress looked elegant.

“you look beautiful .you smell like a rose .” I said

She unbuttoned my shirt buttons and slithered her soft   fingers   into my fleshy contours. I felt mildly excited. I touched her flushed cheeks.

“ kiss me” she whispered.

M o h i n i   walked in  and I got up to help her keeping tea cups and hot Pa k o r a s on the table.

I , meanwhile , asked both my loving pupils to revise the chapters already done.

U r v e s h i did have doubts about lower limb bones.

I explained her the thigh bone called in medical terms as Femur is the biggest bone in Human being. There are thirty bones in the lower limb.

Femur, Patella, Tibia , Fibula ,Tarsals bones ,Meta tarsal, and phalanges.

The thigh bone (Femur) is longest beautiful bone fitted into hip socket making the H i p joint.

I   i n a d v e r t e n t l y gave reference of Hollywood actress Raquel  Welch whose thigh legs were most ‘beautiful’ and ‘kissable’ ones.

U r v e s h i as expected got excited , pulled me by the lapel of my Jacket towards her, whispering “ My legs are also kissable. Will you have a look”

“Naughty girl” I laughed it away as a joke.

“So girls we will have a great party on Saturday here only because I know M o h i n i cannot leave her ailing mother alone.” I declared emphatically.

“ So that is settled” I continued.

“ what  is settled?” Ur v e s h i asked

“Farewell Party. Today is Wednesday and just

three days after.”

“ we thank you R a j u sir for teaching us so well”

“ Really” U r v e s h i said politely.

“ U r v e s h i you will sing and dance as well”

“ only if you R a j u sir will also sing ,dance”

“ Why not .I will definitely sing.”

Now it was dusk . I looked out  of window .

Small clouds strayed across the sky. And it started

raining, a winter rain eventually could change into

a snowfall overnight.

Let us call it a day I announced.

I Picked up my Jacket from the chair ,wore it buttoned it up to my neck and went in the

spluttered rain saying ‘Good bye’ to U r v e s h i who in return waved to me shouting

”love you R a j u”.

“Gosh,” really what did she say ?

I reminisced for a while about U r v e s h i‘s f i l i r t a t i o u s advances.

Inserting those soft fingers into my shirt and  stroking my expansive young nude

boyish  body, arising my desire to touch her cheeks.

I got engrossed in my reverie , still thinking about the priceless luster of her young

innocent face, felt charmed by her kiss rather inebriated, her mouth had tasted

sweet,

I stumbled against an old man who fell down helped him to get up asking for apology

which he granted, I raced down the road to reach my home.

Early in the following morning I saw K a n w a r l a l    and my elder brother

M a k h a n in deep conversation with  guests, our n e i g h b ours

G i r d h a r i and A s h t o u s h reclining on the  bench placed under the poplar trees .

G i r d h a r i , a tall young man with w h e a t i s h complexion and A s h t o u s h of

medium build ,fair looking with ruddy cheeks seemed to be very restless concerned about their future, I heard my brother M a k h a n saying “ you must move from here and see the great country vast and diverse in culture”

G i r d h a r i   replied “ yes I want to go anywhere but move from here”.

I took K a n w a r l a l out of the group and said“hello brother I have just almost

completed my assignment only a few days left. I have to throw f a r e well party. Need some money.”

“ I have just thirty rupees only. will give you

but give me back by month end.”  K a w a r l a l

said quietly.

“Done’ I replied.

On Saturday I dressed up meticulously , wearing

black suit and polishing my shoes I met

my mother who was gossiping with her sister-in-laws

“ o h very smart” all said in one voice.

“ M u m ma I have to go for party with friends ,you

know it , give me some money.” I said as humbly a I could .

she took one note of rupees fifty from a shuffle of notes stacked in silver box.

“ come by 7pm “ she commanded.

“Yes”  I promised knowing I could get late.

I went onto the main road and the road squirmed with traffic, I made my way through the great hustle and bustle and strode off the corner to reach the  Quality Re s t u a rant . I opened the main door and went to the counter.

The gentleman behind the counter was a middle aged

with streaks of grey hair and I said

“ N a m a s k a r  sir  M r K h u d b a li”

Mr K h u d a b a li   was probably the owner of the R e stuarant.

“I need five plates of mutton kebabs duly packed”

I said politely.

“ Yes young boy sit down . I will get the same packed”

he replied.

The packet arrived nicely packed .

I made the payment and crossed the

A m i r a K a dal bridge the , oldest well maintained one.

I turned to left walked a  few yards and reached N i s h a t Sweets ,City’s best sweet cum Restaurant.

I got 12 nos of Sam o s a s and S a l t i s h ‘Dal M o n g r a ‘. plus some finest bakery items.

I   hurried back through the  maze of  traffic pattern wriggling out to find my way

through and managed to reach H a r i Singh High street,  people jostling their

ways through the bustling market ,I spotted a mini bus driver calling out for

Karan-n a g a r passengers , I boarded the bus and  it drove down the

Ne e l a m C h o w k into main K aran-Nagar square .

In two strides I reached M o h i n i ‘s residence.

The gate was opened by a young woman with dark eyebrows but a beautiful

countenance.

she smiled and I ascended the circular stairs  to the upper study room.

I entered the room with a bang and found the two young girls in a delightful mood,

particularly u r v e s h i .

she took the packets from me and kept them on the table decorated with a red table

cover and a big   bouquet of rose flowers.

The room looked crystal clear and the furniture well

arranged.

“Nicely done “ I congratulated both holding them in my young arms like

‘Professor R a j u.’

we all laughed and the peals of laughter could resound for a long time.

U r v e s h i and M o h i n I had made hot soup and we started with soup and kebabs.

U r v e s h i  had worn glittering yellow K u r ta  partly   unbuttoned and black leggings . she looked radiant and full of youthful exuberance.

she pressed up as close as she could get to me and hooked her arms around my neck that astounded me.

I was amused as well , encouraged to smooch her possibly. I did smooch her and she smiled her beatific smile ,resting her beautiful face close to my bosom.

I got up and asked U r v e s h i to sing a song as

promised.

“ you R a j u sir sing first and I will dance”

“okay as you please no problem”

I sang the song from Love Marriage , the Bollywood

one — Mo o n h Se To P a s i n a   p o o n c h ye ho Gaya h a i p y a r.( Just wipe out the sweat from your face we have come to know you have fallen in love ,you

may not agree ).

U r v e s h i   danced swaying her hips to the rhythmic tune of the song.

She held my hands and made me to dance .

I politely  held hands of M o h i n i and made her to dance around to be part of the ongoing party. Surprisingly she danced beautifully. “ you are fabulous” I complimented her but I noticed a quizzical frown on the face of U r v e s h i.

“ now U r v e s h i start singing “ I said

politely drawing her close to me and gave her a peck

on her lovely cheek.

She was   charged instantly and sang the beautiful song ;

Ra j a k i a y e e g i b a r a a t — M a g a n m a i

n a c h u n g i ( The groom will come and I as bride will   sing ).

The Party  went on well and I thanked these two glamorous girls who presented me with a beautiful rose bouquet for the services I rendered in teaching to them.

I thanked both profusely and said “ I will miss you both “

“ Me too” U r v e s hi said

Just to placate her feelings   I said  firmly

“I will meet you”

“ we are friends now”

Saying so I got up to rush to home.

U r v e s h i followed me.

“ when can we meet “ she pleaded.

“ Very soon” I answered vaguely

I saw her crossing the road waving her hand softly

I took to the main road gleefully ,humming a happy tune dancing down the crowded foot path, feeling at the top of my spirits.

The road side stands were piled with H a m d a r d Juices and baskets of red apples , sweet and soft to nibble at between the teeth.

I bought one kg of apples to please my mother.

I took to side lane ascended a few steps into green patch walked the long stretch, descended again quite a number of steps on to the tarred road leading directly to my home.

“ Ah ; A great day” I exclaimed .

For a long time I did not hear from Ur v e s h i . I got a bit restless. It was nearly two months now we haven’t met or communicated.

I was not in love with her but having been closely associated for a while it was natural to be drawn into a   relationship ,just teenager’s attraction surely nothing more than that.

I walked down to M o h i n i ‘ s house and knocked at her ground floor door. The door was opened by a woman, probably mother of M o h i n i ,a tall one ,clad in yellow cotton Sari .

“Namaskar , M o h i n i” I fumbled.

“come in “ she said and I followed her into a spacious room.

“Hello R a j u sir “ she broke down

“U r v e s h i is no more “ she sobbed bitterly

“ What?” I asked loudly

“how did it happen ? tell me “

The earth quaked beneath my feet.

“ She had gone to Delhi to stay with her M a a s i— mother’s sister ,she died in an accident there a week ago.” she cried the tears running down her

cheeks uncontrollably.

I slumped into the sofa seat bewildered and shocked.

M o h in i   got up brought a glass of water for me.

I drank the water feeling quite distraught at the

unfolded tragic event.

M o h i n i   noticed my disturbed condition and opted to accompany me to my home.

she held my hand and we walked quietly on the foot path , shocked and completely broken.

M o h i n i saw me off at my gate and I waved

with a sad look.

U r v e s h i ‘s vivacious elegant poise , a blond of 16 years with flirtatious brashness

b e h a v i o u r of youth compelled me to call her my friend for

many years down the memory lane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESIRABLE BY BRIJ KAUL

It is desirable to be in love always

Yesterday

      I did gladly ascend and hop

  to the Table top

placing arms around you

we would linger on

I

kept fawning adoration all

 through

the shimmering dawn

It is desirable to be in love

always

with you a classy girl

coquettishly flashing a smile

in

that stunning girlish poise

engrossing me with your perky

teenager noise.

strutting staggering swaggering

we

stumble down the crooked

hilly descent struggling

hugging

you close to my chest

as if to win a racing

test.

Today

I admire your glory glitter

but

from a distance of one meter.

alas I cannot roll you round

to the rhythmic Bollywood

song.

Cannot walk holding your hand

in the park or compound

somewhere something really

wrong.

Just damn the present

throwing caution to the winds

let us mingle in the intense

sensuous moments

reverently pressing your

soft contours

we

delve deep in the flight of

love fantasy.

THE LONG WAIT by Brij Kaul

Whence

Comes the end of long wait

ambling around the corridor

in anguish and despair

looking at the stars galore

in search of my dear

soul mate.

The morning dawns

in the midst of

chirpings of birds .

Cuckoo sings mellifluous

tunes

to upbeat my sullen mood.

what did the cuckoo sing ?

come on my dude

A silvery sude

the gift of God.

Be ebullient exeburant

she will come oh my Lord.

Whence

Comes the end of long wait.

torn apart with my soul mate

                                                                        now

months of separation

suffering with burning hope

like the legendary

Odysseus and Penelope.

yearning for re-union

after

longish time slope.

I

Await the end of long wait

praying prancing for re-union.

with my soul mate

LOVE AGAIN by Brij Kaul

Love   again love again

Again Again

Fight with full

might

To drive away Corona Pain.

Everyone seething smouldering

in its agonising fury.

The preponderance of Corona

persisting relentlessly

marauding millions

with

enormous whimper whine.

The deserted roads, shut bazaars

men women children

peering

behind the window panes

to be free again.

fun and frolicking in the parks

and street lanes.

Only the Potion of love

be its antidote ,

like Prince Paris eloping

with Helen of Troy,

Love again love again

Again Again

Fight with full

might

To drive away the Corona Pain.

The nefarious Pandemic.

moving at a lightening speed

making more and more its prey

in its engulfing sway.

Only Potion of Love be its

Antidote

Love again love again

Again Again

Fight with full

might

To drive away

the Corona Pain.

RISHI KAPOOR A CHARMING ACTOR BY BRIJ KAUL

 

20200503_182420

RISHIKAPOOR /DIMPLE IN BOBBY.

Rishi Kapoor , 67, a charming handsome matinee idol passed away on Thursday 30th April 2020 after relentlessly fighting Cancer over a period of two years.

The news came as a bolt from the blue, received as a big shock not only to Bollywood but to millions of his fans and admirers irrespective of age .

The young and old were simply transfixed by his mesmerized perennial smile that illuminated his chubby countenance and the stunning earthy roles he performed in his films.

The shock was doubly  felt by Bollywood as it lost another versatile actor Irrfan khan just on 29th April a day earlier.

Rishi kapoor starred in dozens of films (126) in 1970’s and 80’s to the very hilt of romanticism. Later he transitioned to character roles from 2000 on wards and successfully carried the day by doing exemplary roles in films like AGNIPATH , MULIK, KAPOOR AND SONS ,102 NOT OUT and many more .

A bubbling youth with legendary Kapoor Clan acting genes stood good stead in his acting career.

He literally carried the family torch to the end and created his own niche in Bollywood.

He was no more a shadow of his illustrated legendary father Raj Kapoor “showman of Indian cinema”.

My Chance meeting with Rishi Kapoor.

I was transferred to Rishikesh glass plant from Pune main plant in mid 1974 as chief quality controller . Our glass plant was mainly to produce injection vials to be supplied to IDPL( INDIANDRUGS PHARMECEUTICALS LTD) a Govt of India undertaking and be as good as its Ancilliary Unit at least in the initial years.

This was time Rishikesh had no hotels but Ashrams only.

The General Manager of IDPL Mr Chawla was kind enough to offer three suites of their Guest house to our plant to accommodate myself and other two heads of Plant operation to have uninterrupted supply of glass vials to the tune of 300,000 nos everyday to IDPL.

To cut the long story short I was residing in the Guest house of IDPL for nearly two years plodding on quietly,   discreetly, modestly till a strange pleasure sequence of an event which I am going to relate, took place .

It was most probably late 1975 almost close to dead of night when a knock on my door of Guest house woke me up. I hurriedly opened the door ,   pleasantly surprised to see Dr Anand “ kaul sahib Come to my place, Rishi kapoor and Nitu Singh have come for dinner” .

I was perplexed but followed him without questioning  to his suite just on the opposite side of my suite in the Guest house itself. At second thought I just started retracing my steps, Dr Anand hollered back a little angrily “What happened not interested”. “oh no I will change my clothes” I blurted out.

“ Kaul Sahib you are fantastically handsome ,come on man” he said assertively holding me by his hand and pulling me hurriedly along side.

Dr Anand, a delightful handsome tall man was senior Doctor in the IDPL Hospital, a very agile affable person but also an important and influential one in the IDPL arena of higher echelons.

There were a few more familiar Couples ,Mr and mrs Goswamy, Mr and mrs Vijay Phadke, and one more couple not familiar to me. already in the living room.

“He is Kaul sahib ,still a bachelor and a fantastic gentleman” Dr Anand introduced me to both Rishi kapoor and Neetu singh and I said “hello” to both extending my hand for warm greetings.

Rishi kapoor held my hand warmly in his both hands and Neetu singh smiled back with just quite an audible ‘hello”.

I had seen Neetu singh as a child artist in her double role in film “ DO KALIYAN” and now a grown up Neetu singh ji was very attractive and exhibiting exuberance of beauty and radiance.

Mrs Anand a graceful gentle lady was all smiling and greeting every guest with great fervour and Dr Anand making sure the main guests Rishi and Neetu enjoyed the carefully cooked niceties to their fill.

Dr Anand insisted me for having something to nibble on and I obliged instantly without much ado.

“so you both are here in the midst of the Himalayan range with a dip in the Ganges for some film shooting.” I asked Rishikapoor to break the silence.

“ yes precisely “ Rishi kapoorji replied briefly.

“you were exemplary in Bobby, especially in the song sequence of ‘hum Tum ek kamre main band ho” I continued.

“It was in Pahalgham Kashmir, I suppose” I said confidentially.

“ yes true’ he replied “ but how do you know it.” he asked nonchalantly.

“He is a Kashmiri”   Mr Phadke said sitting close by.

“Oh I see” Rishikapoor said a bit surprised.

The pleasant surprised get- together came  finally to an end and both of these young actors left for Delhi by about 2 am and we waved our hands kindly.

We thanked Dr Anand and Mrs Anand profusely for such an unforgettable eventful gathering.

Back in my room my young mind journeyed around Bollywood corridors of Mumbai for a while but finally I dozed off to a deep slumber in the warm lap of Holy Ganges. 

 

 

I AND MY LOCKDOWN BY BRIJ KAUL

I am strolling rather prowling around my own apartment alone observing the ‘ STAY –AT- HOME’ order strictly though reluctantly .

Zitni my young grand daughter had a nasty fall in her apartment in Bangalore on 7th March,2020 and was put in hospital instantly.

My wife S h a r i k a was anxious to go and render help to our daughter B h a v n a and she flew down 0n 10th March, leaving me to fend for myself.

She was bound to return by 25th March 2020 . The sudden but inevitable lockdown announced by our PM Modiji on 23rd March to fight the Corona virus left every one more so myself high and dry.

Modiji addressed the Nation as usual at 8PM and announced lockdown from 12oclock the same night, leaving just four hours for people to catch up with any travel mode to reach one’s homes and be in the arms of their near and dear ones .

S h a r i k a ji thus got stranded at Bangalore and I realized that I have to row the boat of life alone to my destination safely.

Hush fell on the city rather the whole Country as a matter of sudden announcement .

The world was already reeling under lockdown for many weeks now, Wuhan in china, Italy ,Spain , London , New York ,California were blistering under the fatal spell of Corona virus Tsunami, killing thousands of people with no pittance or restrain.

I am now alone for last 39 days managing my lockdown a self quarantine on my own .I am an early riser from the age of early adolescence.

So likewise I wake up very early say 4.30 am to complete my morning ablutions and am well up dressed and done for the day by 7am.

First day in a bizarre situation like this one that too in absence of my dear wife was doggedly difficult.

More so e v e r the Society rightfully ordered domestic maids out of Society arena during the lock down period.

Planning.

So I gathered my corporate wits to whittle down the survival plan to bare minimum at least initially to start up cooking operations.

So here I was .

Breakfast

I turned the gas stove on to make my breakfast.

I baked sandwich toasts with two boiled eggs and half kettle tea to start with ,put on the music on low tune to ward off the loneliness around.

I seemed to hear voices as though a small crowd gathered on the main road muttering loudly something but being warned off by the passing police jeeps to stay away from roads and soon the road was desolate and I returned to my table to finish my hot sandwiches.

I gobbled down my boiled eggs and nibbled at the remaining toasts ,sipping tea at leisure . Frankly telling you the toasts were over baked but never mind first day at making breakfast. I smiled to myself for a moderately success story.

Luncheon;

Being a corporate man all my life ,having served for 47 years in industry in various capacities, I liked to have a fairly good Lunch comprising both veg and non-veg Culinary.

But currently a predicament I was in demanded a sound Lunch akin to bare minimum survival plan to pass away the torrid times.

I decided on a bowl of rice with lentils – dal and green vegetable , chutney or salad. Yes curd is very essential. A  Kashmiri  Pandit cannot survive without curds.

Dinner was on identical menu but occasionally egg curry is being added to garnish the tongue .

Simplification and Standisation

I use this tool of management for washing of Utensils and Cleaning , housekeeping operations.

For instance ,A big 6.50 litre cooker is used for cooking both lentils and vegetables and rice to minimise the use of utensils ,so on and so forth.

Similarly the principle is extended for house keeping operations.

Time Management

 All the facets of above operations are being completed from 8am to 12.30 pm., just four hours time bound programme.

Later on I devote my time to reading writing and some entertainment blues on TV.

These days the sun is up early say by 6.20am and the sky is remade shining ,the beams trickle down from the balcony windows and awash my mind and body .The night fears and loneliness gone far away .and I could hardly remember them.

CONCLUSION    

I am on the wrong side of seventy two but with God’s grace healthy enough to carry the day peacefully progressively without vociferous cries of outrage and anger.

with experience at hand I have now become a good chef to tide over the adversities.

I Pray to Almighty to end the dark days world over and be kind to one and all.

 

 

AWAY FROM ME BY BRIJ KAUL

She

Is   away from me

Caught up in the storm

of pandemic virus

with no means to travel

Waging a war of attrition

to

Come in close vicinity

In fact into the rhythm

of my balmy lap

I am drifting alone

in titanic deluge

of my love

bemoaning bewailing the

order

‘to stay- in- Home.’

rattling my mind by browsing

through pages of tome

watching waiting in vain

tingling the nerves of my brain

  in a state of intense strife

          Standing lonely on the square of

daedal paths jostling for life

She

is away from me

strutting in the room

huffing puffing like a

fluttering bird across

vast limitless blue sky

unawares

of what when where why

         separation anxiety whittling

down b’cause of

worldwide Corona Cry.

afflicting the people to die.

she

is away from me

waging a war of attrition

praying just praying

longing

to be with me.

 

 

CHINA LIMPS BACK BY BRIJKAUL

20200410_141412

 

While world is battling with Corona Virus ,China is limping back to near normalcy though shaky staggering one.

Yes a different normal but definitely to a normalcy.

After nearly ten weeks lockdown being confined to their apartments ,Wuhan ,the city of 11 million is back on its wheels into broad day light.

The trains both subway and intercity are back on the run. The shopping malls, and other trading centers are slowly coming into its own.

The city is agog with hustle and bustle but with difference, the masks being made mandatory to be worn every time without fail.

The business companies and their manufacturing units are back into top gear leaving nothing to any chance whatsoever in order to re-start the economy.

The Wuhan airport is buzzing with passengers moving in and out of the city on business and other purposes.

The city was on lock down since 23rd january2020to wage battle and control the spread of Corona virus at an alarming speed. The corona virus originated from this city itself. So the Chinese authorities isolated the city from rest of he country by ceiling all borders in coming to the city and out going as well, to arrest spreading of the contagious disease to other cities with alar c r i t y.

The Chinese political leaders claim to have won the war of Corona Virus and thus back on the job of resurrection of economic growth.

The task cut out to be no doubt a tough one but definitely conquerable.

Although The Hubei Vice Governor Cao Guangjin said while alerting ”we are acutely aware that we must not relax as we have not claimed final victory.” “we need to remain calm, and be just as cautious at the end as the beginning”, he further added.

courtesy. Reuters

In combating the Corona Virus in Wuhan ,the strict measures were taken immediately by way of lock-down, social distances, and other restrictions have finally paid off and probably the world is learning ,though hard way ,to annihilate the pandemic through their own modified curbs.

The USA has become the latest pandemic epicenter with New York bearing the major brunt of this epicenter at the moment.

 

Normal with Difference

The normal in china is different now. Workers used to work in china by sitting in close comity literary shoulder to shoulder in Beijing and other E-Commerce centers .

But now after Corona Virus the workers work in staggered shifts , maintaining social distances, wearing masks permanently for the present till a Vaccine is developed to conquer this Virus finally.

Every worker is supposed to fill in the health questionnaire every day compulsorily.

The combination of safety measures and the bouncing back of people from lock-downs of cities getting adjusted to the new norms enunciated by the Authorities.

For instance the people in quarantine must show green – coloured phone scans to confirm they have obtained certificate to the effect of Corona Virus free.

When the Corona Virus pandemic was raging in Wuhan , according to Mother Jones Magazine ,Chinese authorities did an exemplary job in containing and taming the onslaught of the Corona Virus by deploying thousands of staff in tracing the origin of Virus in Wuhan apart from manufacturing about one million kits a day, and building hospitals in days to isolate the virus afflicting patients from the normal ones.

Despite having a near victory over the Corona Virus there is still need to keep hawk eyed alert all the time.

Recently China reported nearly 108 new cases driven by rise of infected travellers arriving from different countries ,a new challenge to be faced by Beijing in containing second possible wave of COVID -19.

Conclusions

Unless the Vaccine is found not  only China but  the world could witness lock-downs for month together.

It is first time nearly 200 countries are fighting the Corona Virus .

97% of the US population is under lock down or shelter in place as the death toll of Corona Virus surges past 21000—the highest in the world.

India is fighting its own relentless battle against The deadly Virus.

The 21 –day lock -down is likely to end on14th April 2020, the Modi Govt is set to extend the Shelter In Homes for at least for a fortnight more.

With positive cases reaching past 9,220 ,the death toll at 332, the need to curb the on going surge of Virus India’s galloping race is being put to halt by all means by the Center and State Govts  .

However the Center is contemplating to reopen some of the businesses partially to put some daily wage earners to work.

But all are awaiting the much needed announcement any time from now onwards.

China is facing criticism that the Chinese Authorities did not let the world know about the Virulency of the deadly Corona Virus in time so that timely measures taken would have saved thousands of lives the world across. This covertly act on part of Chinese has been condemned by the comity of Nations in harsh words.

 China ,however, has unfastened its belts to surge ahead on its path to its reinvention after mitigating the problem of Corona Virus to a great extent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY STORY ;LOVE BEGETS LOVE ( PART 2) by Brijkaul

On strong demand of my followers both from India and abroad I continue the Story of love begets love.

 

SrinagarS

                                                   SRINAGAR  DAL LAKE

 

Adieu of the Bride

The arduous night marriage ceremony lasting six hours finally came to end at about 4am and all preparations for the adieu of the bride started instantly.

I sauntered out from the “Lagan Mandhap” into the fresh air. My brother and my friends accompanied me to the corner of a beautifully laid out lawn for a much needed rest.

The starry moonlight was bright one as if greeting with pleasure and promise for a better tomorrow.

Soon after a couple of young ladies voluptuous and buxom ones brought tea and a few sweets for us.

“ Will you stay here to drink tea or come inside” one of the ladies asked me in a low tone.

“ no no it is fine here only “ I answered abruptly.

“ in case if it is convenient to you that way” I continued.

“ yes, yes , no issue” the other lady said politely.

In a relaxed mood we had a few cups of tea .

There was nip in the air and gentle breeze blew. Only small white fluffs of clouds were littered on the sky but the dazzling moon overshadowed these clouds to reduce them to a mere cluster of specks.

While studying the nature closely I dozed off to sleep but only for a while as my uncle— Babuji, woke me up for redoing my crumpled turban and a bit of facial makeup to look a smarty groom after night’s tiresome ceremony.

The “ Bidai” — farewell of the bride , a tearful one ,the tears rolling down the cheeks of both mother father of the bride made the occasion very emotional one ,and all the more the situation took a compassionate turn when the bride’s younger sister started weeping bitterly but was placated to reconcile to the situation with great difficulty.

Somehow the bride managed to get into the Groom’s –Maharaz’s specially decorated car and I subsequently sneaked in ,the driver, my friend zoomed off to the main road towards my home.

We lived in the same locality of Karan-nagar ,a posh colony sprawled over nearly five to six acres—a thousand odd Bungalows ,predominately belonging to Kashmiri Pandits spanned all across the colony.

We took a longer route and finally reached home,18 karan-nagar amidst the fanfare of Kashmiri music and singing finally to a sizable gathering of my family members.

The children were more vociferous dancing with gaiety and gusto.

An impressive welcome to my heart’s fill.

All the eyes were on the Bride and she was escorted by my elder sister along with bunch of young ebullient family girls lifting the frill of the sari occasionally to have a glimpse of the bride .

“ oh my God she is beautiful ” said one of the guests nudging me with a smile.

“ A good find, treasure trove of beauty” said my other younger cousin .

“ keep quiet” my sister Bengashi commanded and all calmed down allowing the bride to have a ritual ceremony of ‘Dawar-Puja’ at the very   entrance of the house .

The ‘Dawar-Puja’ is performed to seek benediction for the new couple.

The Bride- ‘Maharin’ was seated in the corner of living room at an elevated place specially designed and decorated with carpets and flowers for her comfortable stay.

The flow of ladies guests was continuous ,each lady would sit for a moment, after having a glimpse of the bride move on to the adjacent room for a tete-a-tete .

Most of the charming ladies would kiss the forehead of the bride and move ahead offering verbal blessings but for some of the old ladies who would glare with frowns and suspicion and move ahead reluctantly after kissing the bride .

The ladies would gather in groups over a cup of tea ,being served at a stretch ,and thus discuss the Bride of the day mostly in whispers , occasionally breaking the silence to ask for something special to eat .

“hatbi Leelavati ati chuna katlam ya bagharkani” the young lady hollered in chaste Kashmiri, meaning literally “ Hi leelavati, is there any Katlam or Bagarkhani” the special Kashmiri bakery items much relished and sought after by the women on marriage occasions.

Leelavati , a middle aged woman, tall and with bushy eyebrows, black thick hair done up in a silkily looped ponytail, responded with the requested bakery items without any ado.

At 11.30PM I moved to the room on the first floor ,a charming one done with carved wooden ceiling ,the walls painted with light yellow ,a large portrait of Lord Shiva adorned the side wall . The main wall lit by modern sconce lights.

The big double bed draped with brightly colored bed covers and decorated with wreaths of marigold flowers interspersed with green small leaves .

. I changed into night dress to sleep in ,a checked shirt and a matching pair of Pyjamas.

A group of girls along with my younger sister Anita escorted sharika “hello brother take care of your lovely wife” Anita said leaving soon after while closing the door behind her.

Sharika still in bride’s dress walked in listlessly wearing tired looks but smiling though coyly.

she just sat beside me on the wicker sofa and started taking off her bridal attire to get into more comfortable formal one.

I moved to the corner of the room looking out of the window deliberately to give her a moment of privacy.

The night was cold and crisp. As the night deepened , the moon was still brightly dazzling on the sky . As I was reflecting on the vagaries of Nature,  Sharka’s feeble but audible voice reached into darker recesses of my ears .

I turned to find her lying back in a recumbent position on the edge of the bed.

Her dark tresses sloping down on to her bosom with radiating serene countenance ,luscious lips and searching eyes , a rare moment for a pleasure embracement.

The sun was up in the sky and its rays glanced through the windows directly on to my eyes.

I woke up to the much announced dawn , and found sharika ready to slip down the stairs to the living room perhaps following the rituals of being an ideal traditional daughter in law to greet the family members. at the very break of dawn.

However a gentle knock made sharika to get up and open the door instantly.

To her surprise  she saw my elder sister Bengashi standing in the doorway with a tray of three cups of tea. greeting us with a smile and a pleasant “ good morning” .

“ why did you bring the tea ?I was coming down on my own” sharika said feeling quite embarrassed.

Bengashi asked me to get up for having bed tea.

we found the tea good one and it gave opportunity to bring sharika more closely into the family ambit.

“ I am here in Srinagar for last one month helping to cover up this marriage. I am going back to my husband ,your jeejaji – brother-in law on 26th October” Bengashi said addressing to us both.

“ When are you going back? “ she asked me brusquely .

“ I am going on 29th October” I replied briefly.

“ Will Sharika accompany you as well. ?”    Bengashi continued her conversation.

“ Yes I think so. Baigash( father) and Kakni( mother) have given their consent” I replied without hesitation.

“Ok Fine. That is good.”

Bengashi ,followed by Sharika, went downstairs to the living room leaving me to fend for myself for the moment atleast.

In a trice I got ready closing the door firmly behind me and walked into narrow small passageway which led to my younger cousin Ravinder ‘s room.

“Hello brother how are you feeling after marriage. “ Ravinder a tall young man asked me in a casual tone.

“ Hello I was thinking to spend a few nights in Gulmarg,Can you arrange my stay there.” I pleaded.

Ravinderji, my brother, whome we call kakaji fondly, was a scientist working at High Altitude Research Laboratory ,Gulmarg .

“No problem brother you can come and we make your stay  as comfortable as can be, in our guest house.” He confirmed . “only confirm me the date,infact we will go together .” Kakaji continued.

The week was hectic we did go to Gulmarg and stayed for three days ,enjoying the snow capped Alpine Mountaineous range at an altitude of 800 ft from sea level.

A meadow of green verdure in summer and a white snow in winter, Gulmarg stands out outstanding with mesmerising Nature’s beauty.

we loitered in the Srinagar city with shikara drives on the shimmering waters of Dal lake and long drives on the boulevard road encircling the lake to our heart’s fill.

Finally on 29th October 1975 we flew out to Delhi and went to my operational headquarters Rishikesh , a town sacred one beautifully nestled in the foothills of Himalayan range of hills in Uttarkhand State of northern India ,the Holy Ganges running through the town inexplicably.The flow of gurgling waters of the river was exceedingly beautiful.

Known popularly as the pilgrimage town ,holiest of holy places Rishikesh is home to the sages from ancient times who lead ascetic lives in search of spiritual knowledge and truth behind the existence of this universe.

I had been lately transferred and promoted as Quality head of JG glass plant Rishikesh from the main plant in Pune.

Ashrams_on_the_banks_of_Ganges_Rishikesh

         BEAUTIFUL RISHIKESH ONTHE BANK OF GANGES

Rishikesh ,a town agog with ringing of temple bells both in the morning and evenings at MUNI KI RETI Ganga Ghat , and the devotees thronging the famous Laxman Jhoola for offering prayers in the temples of Gita Bhavan ,Parmarth Niketan presented a captivating view.

we saw the female devotees ,unmindful of surroundings around , taking off the clothes surged across the gushing waters of holy Ganges exposing their expansive nudity to the romanticism of the nature .Just being overwhelmed with the thought of seeking salvation following a sacred dip in the holy Ganga waters.

With the passage of time Sharika and myself , mingled with the gaiety and galore of the sacred town to be its part and parcel, thus enjoying the peaceful life for a decade or so .

The memories galore and we recount each one fondly.