MY STORY: I Strive To Survive. By Brijkaul

Early December day, 4TH December 1961 to be specified, was dull and dusky one.. The clouds were hovering over the Sky in abundance and threatening a bountiful of rains to be followed  by a possible snowfall anytime. It was a cold day. The cold piercing into one’s bones suggesting to have warm cups of tea to ward off the biting cold of severe winter.

The S.P.COLLEGE Srinagar was a sprawling one with beautiful college buildings built on English architecture.

Long well ventilated corridors ,having rows of  huge class rooms on  either side with seat arrangement on ascending order,  thus presenting  a beautiful look thereby , as a matter of fact.

The college lawns were thronged with boys dressed in warm winter blazers, tweeds, and colourful high neck sweaters , darting in and out of the classrooms, corridors and thus presenting a lively spectacle.

 I was soon joined by my friends , Roshan , surinder and Ali Mohammad.

we sat at our specified place in the corner of small adjacent lawn having small green hedges all along the corners.

“ Hey  Brij  looking pale.” Roshan said.

“ yes  you do not look in your upbeat mood” Surinder said briefly.

 “Today weather is dull ,he will be ok”  Ali Mohammad joined the chorus .

“I am not feeling well”  I replied . “ we need to have warm cups of tea” I snapped.

Ali Mohammad looked at his wrist watch and  said “ we can go for tea as there is  time for physics class to commence”.

We all started in the direction of Tuckshop.

Surinder was humming a song from Bollywood movie unaware of anything around him.

suddenly he declared “let us go out to a Restaurant for a small breakfast. I have not had anything in morning”

“we can make it . Still enough of time, nearly half an hour to go for class” he pleaded.

All agreed.

The restaurant was just at a stone’s throw from the side gate  and we had a nice table on the window side.

It was cold in the restaurant and we ordered for some sandwiches bread and butter ones.

we asked for warming up the oven in the fireplace and the  restaurateur asked the boy to start the fire immediately .The boy was quick to put fire in the iron oven and we felt  a little comfortable.

The restaurant boy spoke only Kashmiri  “ kya se pharav thoda wishnare “ — meaning  did you feel some warmth. he said triumphantly.

We all nodded in assent ,smiling .

 We had a hurried breakfast and quickly walked up to the classroom to attend Prof. Mamm’s physics lecture.

Prof, Mam’s class was always full to the capacity and there used to be such a silence even a pin drop could be heard.

 In the midst of lecture  I felt severe pain in my stomach ,tried to live up with this   but  could not do so. 

I stood up and said  in a feeble but quite audible voice.

“ Excuse me sir  I am ill , feeling intense pain “   

Prof  looked up from his  note book  “yes you can go , do you want me to give some one to help you.” he said cooly.

Meanwhile Roshan volunteered to accompany me ,followed by both Ali Mohammad and Surinder  all startled and shocked by unforeseen turn of  the event.

I plodded on ,helped by Roshan, to the corner of the lawn on the other side of the class room.  I lay down on the grass but was restless.  Instantly spewed out undigested rice and green saliva intermixed with  some  traces of blood .  Soon after I vomited blood profusely and the situation looked more contentious than we could have anticipated.

I could guess anxiety brewing up on the faces of my friends , Roshan was upset specially ,hurried to the first aid room and came with medicine and the compounder(semidoctor) available for primary medical aids.

The compounder made me to lie down comfortably and administered some medicine possibly to stop vomiting.

I pleaded to go home  and Roshan put me on the back seat of his bike and started pedaling  off to my home in  Karananagar; a distance of at least six kms .

There were no vehicles available except tongas, but the stands were off the college beat. One had to walk down a mile or so to catch a tonga.  So bikes were easy handy ones. 

 As we were about to move I overheard  Surinder saying  with the twang of his nose “ I will  try to get a tonga close by.”

Roshan instructed Ali Mohammad to contact and inform my father in B.ED college en-route to my home  which he did.

My father was principal ,an educationist of repute.

As soon as we reached out of college main gate  Surinder  was  waiting with a tonga for us.

I was very weak after awful vomiting and could hardly sit on the back seat of the bike. So tonga was a boon .   “ Thanks” I murmured to Surinder.

“use my bike going to your home today” Roshan yelled at Surinder who in turn nodded in affirmative.

The tonga strode  in the spluttered rains on the main road with full speed towards my home. Roshan put me in a lying down position allowing me to keep my feet in his lap while seating himself in the corner with bare minimum space available.  Although the pain did not subside. but somehow I did not bleat either. 

“Surinder did right to get this tonga,otherwise we would have been wet in the rains.” Roshan said to himself .

The Tongawala finally pulled up his tonga outside my home ,18  karan nagar.

It was a big bungalow built up on half an acre land with plenty of trees  ,both cherry and poplar, standing all along the inside boundary interspersed with flowers giving enough greenery and beauty to the whole house.

Roshan  helped  me to get upstairs on first floor into the main room . My mother anxiously asked me  “ what is matter my son. Are you alright.” she sighed heavily and my dishevelled looks sent a shiver tingling down her spine. She stood motionless for sometime.

Roshan replied softly “ he got ill suddenly needs some rest and a glass of cold water”.

 “Donot be disappointed ,he will be alright . God is great.“ Roshan said philosophically to console my mother.

The door opened  ajar and my father, a tall bespectacled man,swarthy in complexion, walked in.

“I have called for the best doctor ,he is coming soon, and if necessary  we will go to the hospital” my father said anxiously, the anxiety writ large  on his face .  “Ali Mohammad told me  about your illness. Did you vomit again” he continued.

“Dr is coming soon, no worry.” He spoke nervously pacing the room several times.

Dr G.L. Hanjura, M.D from US, entered  the room suddenly and started checking me ,asking for  intermittent questions in between .

“did you go for motion, how was it , I mean colour”

  “  black “ my father answered.

   “was it in large quantity , how many times you had motions’ ” Dr asked curiously.

  “ two times , but in moderate qtys. only.”  I answered

 The Dr advised me to be hospitalized for two days for investigations, to be admitted  now without losing further time.

He wrote something on his note book ,probably prescription with clear instructions for hospitalization.

 “ I will come to hospital by evening . Meanwhile you get him admitted soon” Dr spoke to my father and left.

I could see my worried uncles Babuji and Tathaji both with disapproving sad looks asking my father to hasten up to take me to the SMH Hospital ,luckily not far from our  house.

For two days I was put on drugs and had been under thorough investigations . The head nun with her tight wimple darting in and out continuously for conducting essential tests. to locate the ulceration .

 Dr Hanjura allowed me to be taken to home for further treatment.

Dr Hanjura  explained to my father the possible mild ulceration ,a typical sore on the lining in the stomach,or oesophagus could be cause of the blood vomiting,  did not warrant lengthy stay in the hospital assuring him that he would treat me at the home itself.  

He further alerted us to be prepared for a long treatment .  My anxious uncles peeked over the opening of the door to listen to Dr’s conversation. In fact my  uncle  Babuji  enquired from the doctor about the  actual  status  of the ulceration. Dr replied cooly “ we will do our best . There is no worry.”

 Back at home I was put on rigorous bland diet for about six months . Sips of ice cold milk at regular intervals to be taken with a  biscuit or two. slowly and steadily.

 Other diets followed like boiled vegetables, and  later on mildly spiced minced roasted mutton balls were given to me in  small quantities. at regular intervals. 

Milk was the main diet for three to four months.

I was not allowed to go to college and thus lost one academic year .

I spent time to read English authors like Thomas Hardy, Oliver Gold Smith, Charles Dickens Somerset Maughm and a host of essayists R.l.Stevenson, Thomas huxley etc.

My father insisted I should write some essays.

I learnt writing by playing sedulous ape to great writers. and thus developed my own style .

I turned to reading American authors John stein Beck, Pearl S Buck, Sinclair Lewis ,Earnest Hemmingway  and host of others to get over the fatigue and also to while away the time.

I read some Indian authors as well like R.K.Narayan, Bhabani Bhattacharjee Jab Ruthwala, Anita Desai, and so on.

Some of the books — Mayor of Caster bridge, Good Earth, The old man and the Sea, Return of the Native,  The Guide enthralled me very much.

Nearly after four  months I was allowed to take small quantity of rice with boiled cooked potatoes sprinkled with salt and a bit of spices. 

 My mother in addition put a pint of turmeric powder to make it tasty.

 After undergoing  Barium meal test ,I was allowed to take near normal diet. The Red Kashmiri  chilies were  ruled out at least for time being. Interestingly enough I avoid these chilies even now.

 My large family ,especially father ,mother, aunties and uncles were worried about my health.  

They used to huddle around me in twos  and threes to bolster my mood all the time. My aunties were very fond of me .The elder one ,Bhabhi, as all children fondly called her, would relate stories from Indian epics ,Mahabharta and Ramayana every evening religiously to all of us. The other aunty Mataji was kind affectionate beautiful lady ,always helpful.

My youngest aunty Mohanji was medical doctor at Delhi , used to send detailed precautionary notes to my father through letters. ours was a well knit family devoted to one another’s well being.

I later  leant through them that my grand father  ,Shri Shiv Kaul had died of duodenal ulcer soon after his retirement ,way back in 1940/41. I thus understood the reason of their extraordinary anxiety about my health .The disease was dreaded one those days with no or little treatment.

 Dr G. L. Hanjura  cured me fully and I did not have this trouble till date any longer. I feel  he was God in disguise of a doctor.

I am pleasantly  healthy now.

It was for many years I was kept away from the niceties of Kashmiri Wazwan.

Eventually I became a voracious eater of both vegetarian  and non-vegetarian  Kashmiri dishes.

I was invited in marriage parties by my friends only when abundance of food varieties would be  available. to eat.

Now  at  seventy  I still have taste for such niceties of dishes ,both Kashmiri or otherwise.

Chula Bathura,  Dosas , Kanti kabab, Nargis koftas  are some of the rarest of rare dishes I readily pounce upon without much hesitation.

 I did not brood over but learnt to fight against all odds with courage and conviction. I combated the disease effectively with a smile and thus strove hard  to survive to this day.

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MY STORY Sweet Sour Memories

Srinagar  the city of my birth, swathed in the morning sunshine ,crimson cool and sublime.  The brilliance of  faraway mountain sunshine was  exceedingly beautiful to look at in the early hours of the day.

 The city was always  agog with gaiety and grandeur all along especially the streets thronged with  vibrant crowds on their way to daily chores.

It was  4th july 1962  I was  just 16 ,a teenager full of promise to radiate into a  handsome lad.

My  childhood bosom friend  Roshan’s  cousin sister was to be married and I had to be there for a week to assist and attend marriage. The Kashmiri marriages last longer say for a week or so. 

Roshan my friend came very early  in the morning to my house and asked my mother, whome we fondly called Kakni  , to allow me to stay for a week with him to assist  “ in my sister’s marriage”.

Roshan was very handsome boy , of medium build with bright complexion and a cheerful disposition.

Kakni replied in affirmative while hugging him and I said to Roshan “ I will come by evening.”

I was glad that all was settled and that was it.

He left thereafter without waiting for a cup of tea  as he was distributing the invitation cards on his bike. He peddled off to the road across  and was seen dashing towards the main Chowk  onto his way home , without even waving to me.

I put my small things ,a shirt, trouser,a pair of socks  and other knick knacks  in the knapsack ,keeping my small luggage ready for the city journey to my friend’s place.

I, being the youngest among my three brothers,  more conniving of them put together.  May be due to the  pampering  of my mother and father both.

My mother ,Kakni  interrupted “ you should not take too much spicy food ,marriage food is very unhealthy over fried and cooked with too much  oil and red chillies, like Dam Alo,etc.” “ did you understand what I am talking about” she continued  angrily.

“yes yes ,I will take yellow and curd dishes more .” I replied briefly.

The   4th July afternoon was  dark laden with thick dark clouds and fog. The wind was blowing strongly and  possibly  the rains  could pour down  at any time.

I slung the knapsack on my left shoulder and started for my visit to Roshan’s place.

A  flash of lightening  followed by a roaring thunder made me to cross the square and race down the streets to cross the Habbakadal  bridge as soon as possible. For a moment the  Habbakadal Chowk  plunged into darkness and hush fell all over  until the noise of the horse driven Tongas carried over in speed , breaking the deafening silence.

The rains finally came but  not in torrents as expected but steadily and slowly ,the  rain drops slithering down my fluffy cheeks softly wetting my face and hair.

I took the right sharp turn and entered the famous Barbuz lane ,a small alley with pucca  tile pavements on either side  with tarred metallic road to walk through. Due to rains the lane was slippery and I cautiously strode on and on  criss crossing the lanes, by- lanes till I finally arrived at  Roshan’s house decorated adequately for the wedding ceremony.

The large front door was bedecked with flowers of various  colours  and the guests were moving around the large lounge in purple ,blue green  typical Kashmiri dresses with hand embroidery at the corners or  in the middle .

Roshan’s father  Dwarkanathji announced my arrival in chaste kashmiri

“haiyey  Brij kaul hai Aave maun toth ” .  meaning  hey brij kaul has come  my dearest one.

I saw a number of  guests  in and around greeting  with   ‘Namaskar maharra’ — welcome welcome .

 After greeting all the guests  I asked for Roshan  and his sister Krishna ,a young petite girl,directed me  upstairs and I eventually landed into the  room where all our friends had gathered over a booze.  

Meanwhile the evening prepared to slip into the night and the ladies started gathering in large numbers in the adjacent hall for  celebrating  the  ‘Mehandi Rat’ the ladies Sangeet night ;

an expert Henna designer was  busy in anointing the hands and feet of ladies, children with Henna in different  patterns  designs .

The other ones dancing to the tune of Kashmiri songs

in full gusto.   

Our friends and  the  other gentlemen  in the  room  next  were still enjoying  themselves a bit noisily with the whisky punch and other  tandoori starters.

Down in the large hall  dinner was being served. The dinner was excellent , very traditionally Kashmiri in content and substance both.

It commenced with delicious vegetable broth containing cauliflower, tomatoes and prunes followed by  lavish other  Kashmiri dishes  both vegetarian as well as non -veg ones. Dam Alo, cottage cheese,  Sour Brinjal , Roganjosh, Yakhani, minced mutton balls cooked in red chillies. and many more ones

For dessert, there were jellies, Gulab Jamuns  and host of other fruit creams  etc.

The guests were darting in and out of the dinning hall finding the experience enjoyable.

 I quietly had my dinner in the farther corner of the verandha . It was 10 minutes past ten oclock  night already. Iwas feeling a bit sleepy after having a sumptuous dinner.

Outside there was some respite in the  rains  but the  thick clouds  continued hovering over the sky .

I  went upstairs to listen to ladies music for  while ,the woman in pink dress was swaying her hips to the tune of a popular Bollywood song and others singing and dancing with gaeity.

A hand on my shoulder woke me up from my reverie and saw an elderly woman an ,aunty of Roshan whispering  affectionately to me “ Brij ji will you  accompany her  pointing towards  a young  beautiful lady dressed in pink sari with brown shawl draped over her shoulders,  to her  home . She is alone and lives in Banamohalla, a nextdoor colony. please just do this favour to me.” she pleaded with finality.

  A repugnant  incident

It was mid night and we stepped out of Roshan’s  sprawling house  in the cold night for  journey to Banamohalla  a distance of 5 to 6 kms .

The wind ,a bit harsh whipped at the young lady’s brown shawl ,the sari was  worn tightly as we headed up the tiled alley ,lighted feebly by a  yellow lamp post. The alley was long  dingy one  and we crossed a maze of streets  paved with white brown tiles and the rain water flowed into the open gutters on the end of each street,

we did not talk  but walked briskly on and on.

“your name young boy” she asked me to break the silence.

“Brij” I replied briefly.

 “ yours” “

“Manorma”  she replied smilingly.

 She lifted her face towards the sky ,while  closing her eyes as she inhaled some fresh air.

“I like the starry sky but no stars today”.

“The clouds are thinning out and it should be a sunny morning tomorrow”  She spoke to me.

I simply nodded in assent.

we crossed the  lane and turned right into main road, the tall  huddled buildings  stood on either way and after  crossing the busy street  we reached the house of Manorma  my lady guest .

The house was  a gracious pile of  moderate size with  white sloping roof  and the gate  graced with ivy creepers all  along  two pillars with broad door.

“ Right  madam  you have reached your home  I should go now” I said politely.

“no no young man come inside for a cup of tea .” she dragged me  holding my hand firmly and went inside the gracious house.

I pleaded to go but of  no avail.

she seemed adamant and did not listen.

I got my hand free and followed her quietly. The corrider was long dimly lit with a yellow lamp dangling from the farther corner .There was one  servant sleeping  in the  far end of the corridor ,who got up saying something to the lady and slept again.

 The lady went upstairs nodding me to follow. I hesitated briefly but followed her right in to room and closed the door behind me and walked into a big sitting area.

A small  wooden lamp burning on the  small table threw shadow on to the side space possibly for changing dress etc.

she threw her shawl on to the chair ,removed her sari and put on night gown partly unbuttoned. she went to a side room  and in trice came with   two cups of tea.

“just drink that you will feel a bit comfortable” she said handing over the tea cup. I readily accepted that without discerning anything sinister . I stared at her elbows moving and revealing her part of bodice in her loose sleeves.

she nudged me a bit and sat close to me taking the cup from my hand and  held me close to her breasts.I felt awkward and tried to get up but she firmly pushed me to her bosom in a firm clasp sealing my  lips with a kiss.

 She  pushed her peachy fruits  into my mouth and held me entrapped in her hug, revealing  her radiant  enormous nudity  beyond my imagination.

 I tried  to wriggle out and run away but being more powerful she assumed woman superior position and pinned me down.

 kneeling down she lapped up my male part  adjusting it to her magical pigeon hole.

 She lusted for the thrusts  and indulged in such sinful acts with ecstasy. 

I felt the pain and agony .

 There tears welled up in my eyes, my heart  pounding in my chest fiercely . The room looked claustrophobic and Iwanted to throw her aside to seek freedom into the open world outside.

In a flash I felt power in my arms and threw her away to extricate from her clutches.

Picking up my clothes and buttoning my pants I zipped down  and ran way  from the back door of the corridor into the garden skidding over a wicker  door into the  open street. I explored the maze of strees ,narrow winding of the quaint old city  .

 I reached Roshan’s  house,  spotted  Roshan in the  Langar (cooking) area  and related the repugnant incident to him.

His initial reaction was anger “who the hell she was, who told you to accompany her” he blurted out angrily.

The  head cook  noticed something amiss and came with cups of Kashmiri Kahwa . we drank the tea and Roshan calmed down  .

“ we should not tell about this incident to anyone.” he  declared “ nobody will trust us that she was maniac and seduced you , instead  people might raise fingers at you.so keep it buried in your thoughts for ever.”He said with an air of finality.

 Roshan ,though one year older to me, but was endowed with much more wisdom and maturity of thoughts.

 Roshan, my dearest one, a thorough gentleman ,  passed away in 2005 at the young age of 59 never to return. I pray to God every moment for his peace in the heaven.

I am hopping around with some more  tales to tell in  the coming years.

THE WORLD WIDE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW

Canada

While the world is busy in building walls and concrete parapets to keep the immigrants at bay and out of reach, Canada brazenly announces to welcome I million permanent residents over the next three years, just one percent of the total population yearly.

This is in addition to the 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 and could reach 350,ooo this year.

The Canadian Parliament has confirmed its plans to

add 360,000 in 2020.

And 370,000 in 2021.

Ahmed Hussen ,Canada’s minister of Immigration ,Refugees and Citizenship(IRCC) said

“Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy,”

Hussen, himself an immigrant from Somalia, clarified that the influx will help Canada to offset ageing population and reducing birth rate while growing its labour force

Canada’s friendly stance towards new residents comes in contrast to other Western nations, including the United States, adopting more restrictive immigration policies to bar the immigrants coming and settling permanently.

Canada is dedicated to offering protection to refugees. IRCC has pledged $5.6 million to support global resettlement initiatives.

 

Japan

The recent revision to the immigration law in Japan opens a gateway for as many as 345,000 migrant workers to enter Japan in the next five years.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, has vehementally clarified amply that this new visa system does not constitute an immigration policy.

“This system is needed for talented foreign personnel to play bigger roles in Japan amid the nationwide labor shortage,” Abe said in justifying the revision at a Dec. 10 2018 news conference.

“We will clearly present a cap for the numbers and time frame for acceptance. This is not an immigration policy.”

He said further to the question of a reporter. Of Japan Times.

Experts ,however, differ with the Abe administration and admit that this new visa system epitomizes the contradictory realities surrounding it. They rather say that Japan has already brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants and the number will go on rising.

Akihiro Koido, a sociology professor who studies immigration policies at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, said “the law is an immigration policy regardless of Abe’s staunch denial.”

So get ready and pack up your bags off to Toronto or Tokyo.

SYRIA

Following Trump’s announcement last month to pull out American troops from the war ravaged Syria in about 30 days,

the American military has begun to withdraw some equipment, but not yet troops, from Syria to wind down the troops from the battle ground against the Islamic state.

There are about 2,000 troops — mostly Army soldiers and Marines in Syria currently.

Mr Trump has made no secrets of his desire to bring troops back home stating the mission of fighting the Islamic state has been accomplished.

The United States had intervened in Syria to work with local, Kurdish-led militias to fight the Islamic State, which had occupied the border between Syria and Iraq.

Before Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw the troops, American air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria were accelerated . According to American Air Force data released , American bombers conducted 1,424 strikes in November, a more than 60 percent increase from the month before.

Additionally, American Force reported that 221 civilians killed by the American-led air campaign in November — an increase in casualties similar to the number of civilians killed in the bloody culmination of the battle of the northern Syria city of Raqqa in October 2017.

Syria is now a balkanized version after pushing itself in a calamitous civil war since eight years .

Tehran is also celebrating the exit of American troops, as it may give Iran “solid control over the entire arc of the Levant from Baghdad to Beirut,” said Nicholas Heras, Middle East expert .in an interview with NBC NEWS.

Let us pray wisdom finally dawns on the world leaders of America and Russia to bring peace and tranquility to the people at large.

 

I love to loiter

I love to loiter and lounge

around

the emerald mountains and

prance

the long beautiful pastures

in bleary trance.

Loving the ephemeral moments

to my fill

I love to loiter and lounge

around

the dense bushes

unknown unbound

the stillness broken occasionally

,by

the cacophony of the

 animals

and

 the shrill of a strong wind.

I love to mingle in the crowds

of the hustling bustling

bazaars.

throbbing with cries of

Vendors men and women

displaying

myriad wares on the

pavements

of the huge macadamized

roads.

Haggling over the prices

With

The women vendors for a good meal of

fishes

my pleasant pastime

enjoying

their fury and frown

Smiles and serenity

 Amazing selling skills of

theirs

enthral me the most.

I love to loiter and lounge

around

the delightful Dal

lake

pedalling on the rippling waters

in a colourful shikara

sipping ‘Kahwa’

looking at the bewitching

marvels

of scintillating beauty of the

Surroundings..

THE CITY OF THE SUN.

Srinagar

 Dal  lake  in  Morning Sun rays      THE CITY OF THE SUN                                                    

 I love my city immensely

The city of the Sun.

Swathed

In the morning Sunshine

Crimson cool but sublime

Sprakling the snow capped cliffs

of the faraway mountains

The river

Refracts the sunrays falling

on to the shimmering placid

waters.

The quietness is broken by the leap splash

Of the roaming frisking birds

A growling leopard

The village folks singing songs

While

rowing rickety boats

With their daily wares.

To sell..

I love my city so adorable

The city of the Sun.

adorned by the Natural beauty

Of

Turquoise waterfalls ,lakes with

Green pastures carpeted

all over with glorious

Fruit, flora and fauna

I love my city so immensely

The city of the Sun

Waking up

To the agog of its early risers

Leaping up on to their regular

chores.

Peddling off their bike

 listening

to the Tongas’ honking horns

Cars fleeting with a screech

And the scores of peddlers humming

Melodies of  the taste

getting

melted into the city crowds.

for the love of their

Lovables

I love my city immensely

The city of the Sun.

NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND .

GREEN BHUTAN

 

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THE GREEN BEAUTIFUL BHUTAN

Carpeted in forest nestled high up in the eastern Himalayas BHUTAN is one of the the greenest countries in the world.

Amazing Facts;

The forests cover 70 percent of the kingdom and

absorb around three times more carbon dioxide than the country of around 750,000 people emits.

Consequently Bhutan charges tourists $250 per day to avoid mass tourism in order to sustain green environment.

Bhutan is also called as Shangri-La for its magnificent mountainous beauty.

Bhutan , encircled by china one side and India on the other , a tiny kingdom of 14,800 square miles just the size of Maryland.

Bhutan is carbon negative because its work force  is largely engaged in Forestry or agriculture.

By 2020Agriculture is slated to be entirely organic .

By 2030, the country hopes to recycle all of its waste. Bhutan’s constitution stipulates for Gross National Happiness and not bound by economic growth alone.

 

Taking a cue

 China and India jostling, both ,with climate change pollution and what not, can take cue from tiny wise Bhutan and thus increase the forest land following as an compulsory administrative measure with lucrative financial incentives to start with.

Pollution is largely man made problem and needs adequate solutions to wriggle it out to a great extent.

Bhutan’s commendable leadership is laudable as they refuse to budge from the commitment of keeping the kingdom Carbon negative.

The people of this so called Utopian country want democracy for the welfare of society.

The country held ist round of voting in September 2018 and final on 18th October 2018.

The first round results have shocked voters by voting out the party in power and regulating the unknown DRUK NYAMRUP TSHONGE Party  to the forefront runners status.

The youth unemployment ,corruption, abysmal poverty dampened the spirits of people and want  Monarch  to cede power to Prime Minister and Parliament.

The women are battling for the menace of sexism rampant in Bhutanese society.

Women Representation

Out of 188 candidates who fought the primary round of third democratic elections only 18 in September 2018 ,only 18 are women candidates. Women want more of its representatives to be in the Parliament to vouchsafe for their problems of leading safe and respectable lives in sex driven society.

The Bhutanese government through a consultative process, tried to push for 20 percent quota for women but failed to muster support.

 India Bhutan Relations

India ,unfortunately , in july 2013 resorted to withdraw all subsidies on the cooking gas and Kerosene to Bhutan, arguably the unquestioned ally

among the neighbours, thus creating huge crisis in the kingdom and impinging upon the bilateral relations severely.

The cut was seen as a result of Bhutan’s cosying up to Beijing.

However following the visit of the king Jigme Wanchuk, to New Delhi recently, the Govt of India has extended credit facilities to the tune of Rs 1000 crores .

The bilateral relations, since, then has been once again excellent one.

 

AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT

 Nearly 170 Afghans killed  and many more injured in poll-related violence on Saturday ,20th October 2018.

Most of the killings were in Kabul in multiple explosions , as per acting health Ministry spokesman Mohibullah Zeer.

Amidst the threat from Taliban the voting has been extended to Sunday in 360 polling centres across the country.

Despite the threat of violence large number of voters turned up at the polling centres to caste their votes.

Seventeen years ago, President George W. Bush sent American troops to fight out permanently the Islamic Jehadis.

US diplomats are currently holding high level talks with Taliban to end the bitter long fighting .

America desires to keep its hold on Afghanistan .

Taliban wants America and other allies to quit the country so that they could rule the country accordingly.

Afghans would like to have full say in running the country affairs without any hindrance from outside either from Washington or elsewhere.

But US argues that American presence is needed to ensure that Taliban doesnot fail to follow through the deal provisions clause by clause after negotiating a deal with American negotiators.

American point of view is valid as lookingto the deadly attack carried out by Taliban on Provincial governor’s compound in Kandhar on Thursday. This deadly attack killed   not only Kandhar police chief Abdul Raziq but also tried to target the US Army. General chief Austin Miller who escaped unhurt by the providence of nature.

 

Conclusion

But peace seems inevitable as both sides are tired of fighting the unending long war.

The UN disclosed in its survey that atleast 8000 Afghan

Civilians have been killed fighting through September this year alone.

Let us hope sanity rules the warring groups finally and both work assiduously for much awaited  indestructible durable peace bringing tranquility to the Afghans at last.

 

MY STORY Journey Of challenges:

 

We live to die. A fact one cannot deny or decry.

Life moves on ineluctably thus cannot be arrested or released at will. Life is a journey of strife beset with challenges every now and then.

you need to cross over the boulders , overcome the hurdles and make it smoother by actions ,right ones, correct decisions ,and right attitude . Once faced boldly it becomes harbinger of happiness and prosperity.

A concerted effort making things to happen the way you would love to see your life moving with pleasure than pain.

Way back in early 1970’s I happened to work as Quality assurance Manager in a Glass company in Pimpri Pune .

One fine morning our M.D. Mr Agarwal called me in his office ,and after making me to sit comfortably, said softly

“ Kaul being my best man I need your help to straighten things in our glass plant at Rishikesh .”

After a pause for a second he continued “we are not getting good production there both quantity as well as quality .

Due to bad quality the consignments get rejected. With your expertise and experience I want you to proceed to Rishikesh immediately to set the things right.”

“ there is my Manager Mr Thadani he will give you all assistance .” He said with an air of finality.

“ I have some questions sir ” I said a bit nervously.

“Yes tell me” Mr Agarwal said firmly.

“Sir I have heard Mr Thadani is not a good man. Will he cooperate with me.” I asked timidly.

 

“He is my Manager .I have directed him to listen to you and your expertise.” He retorted angrily. “You will report to me directly and send me production quality reports daily through telegrams . I am giving you a letter and give it to Thadani. Do not worry. I trust you and God will guide you .”

“Meet Kane , Plant Manager in his office, he will do the needful for your travel etc” He concluded the meeting affectionately reassuring me about his support to me.

In a huff I went straight to see my friend Tapkir , Mould Manager and we discussed at length the pros and cons of my conversation with M.D MR Agarwal.

“ you cannot do much than to proceed quietly. It may open new vistas for your future. Who knows.” Mr Tapkir said confidently.

So mentally prepared I decided to move to Rishikesh .

On 16th july 1974 Pune looked gorgeous with drizzling all along and the green verdure on the hills surrounding the city, was really a delight to watch. I developed a strange close association with this beautiful city .Ipromised with myself if God wishes I would like to come again to reside in this city of love and compassion.

I boarded a Taxi for Mumbai with other three passengers from Taxi stand and we zoomed on in the wet rainy weather. The downpour was incessant since last night and the sky overcast with dark clouds. The Sun was seen nowhere .

The taxi driver was tall burly sikh , very affable but talkative. He was casting furtive glances intermittently, talking consistently .one of my fellow passenger warned him to drive carefully in this inclement weather.” Hello sardarji drive carefully as the roads are slippery” he said sounding scared and anxious.

“ no worry sir keep cool .” the sikh driver retorted back.

He drove off without caring a hoot for the aggrieved passenger.

The rains were profusely pouring and pouring ,the hill tops covered with green carpets exhibiting a bewitching spectacle all around. There were a number of waterfalls gushing water into deep ravines down.

No sooner we crossed the plains and moved into Ghat area the driver took a sharp turn to negotiate the bend ,lost control of the stirring wheels and inched down the ravine close by . The door flung open I somersaulted out on to the green patch some two three feet down from the highway.

I watched the taxi going down the ravine into the gorge deeper in a great awe.

As providence would have it I escaped unhurt not even a bruise anywhere.

The crowd came in twos threes ,helped me to safety on   the main road . one of them offered me water,the other a cup of tea, and said “ Thank God you are safe. Do you want to go to Mumbai.”

“ Yes I have to go to Mumbai to catch a train for Rishikesh”

I replied gasping for breath.

 

“My suitcase with clothes , bag etc gone . The ticket for onward journey was in my upper pocket ,lost somewhere ” I replied in a state of delirium.

I rummaged into my inner small pocket of my Pantaloon and found my money safe. “God is great” I murmurred to myself.

The good men arranged a lift for me to Mumbai in a private car and I reached safely Mumbai.

“ will you sir drop me near Railway station so that I could board the onward train.” I pleaded to the car owner.

“yes no problem. You also buy some new shirt as the one you are wearing is torn and dirty .” He said nonchalantly.

 

I went to the railway Manager explained the predicament I was in and he managed to issue me ticket to Hardwar , the nearest station to Rishikesh.

I boarded the Train finally for onward journey to my destination.

I had nightmares about the horrible accident ,woke up twice during the night ,crying. The other passengers looking surprised.

I closed my eyes determined to empty my mind of everything and went into a deep slumber at last.

Next morning the train chugged on to the Hardwar Railway station and I thanked God to be alive to live up to the expectations of my M.D Mr Agarwal.

Interestingly later on after a month or so  to my  surprise I received  an envelop containing letter from the Taxi driver  followed by M.O for Rs  65 / towards the  encashment of my ticket he managed to collect from the accident scene.

His  exemplary sincerity and honesty stunned me  but also felt proud to see India living  and thriving on due to the good deeds of  such noble unknown souls.