Is   away from me

Caught up in the storm

of pandemic virus

with no means to travel

Waging a war of attrition


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


‘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


is away from me

strutting in the room

huffing puffing like a

fluttering bird across

vast limitless blue sky


of what when where why

         separation anxiety whittling

down b’cause of

worldwide Corona Cry.

afflicting the people to die.


is away from me

waging a war of attrition

praying just praying


to be with me.






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.


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.
























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



                                                   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.



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.


























Won’t let you into my nestling

to torment my fleshy castle


my sacred sanctified soul

 Oh: Wicked Carona Virus

on the rampage the world across

   inconceivable inscrutable invincible

formless, odourless, colourless

angry hungry

wiping out the humanity from

Wuhan to Madrid

Rome to New York

California to Ottawa

Frankfurt to Paris

Hongkong to Bombay

Kochi to Delhi

        unprecedented anomalous abstruse

engulfing every nook and corner


the spree of annihilation .

world reeling under lockdown

to combat the fear of

oblivious clueless tireless.

wicked Corona Virus

Won’t let you into my nestling

to torment my fleshy castle


my sacred sanctified soul

oh: wicked Corona Virus

no more of any bouts

wrestling bustling trestling


your fretful gnawing glance


by Social Distance

  Lockdown lockdown


option to avoid


deadly breakdown.


A moment just to cherish today

intoxicating under her sway

with fragrance filled aura


rhythmic lissome fleshy corridors

swaying with coquettish grace

luring me for caressing

impassioned lovely face.

A drew drop kiss effused

radiating my love


blissful ecstasy.

A moment just to cherish

the ephemeral moments

scurrying through purring waters

pungent shadows of long trees


in the joyful gentle breeze

laying entwined in her arms


browsing through glistening

expansive treasure trove

pervading her passionate love.

under the bonnet blue sky.

in a moment of exaltation we

barrelled across the lush glades

absorbing flavour of blossoming


So enchanting engrossing

uniting soul mates to the

fanciful dreams of romanticism..

A moment just to cherish today

intoxicating under her sway

oh my gosh

love is revitalizing

And is fantasizing


desires emotions

of two hearts

sewn into one

and only one,

MY STORY. by Brijkaul


Living for 44 years in wedlock has been sweet sour relationship, though arduous at times, but definitely a joyous journey a milestone to cross and be proud of.

It is love begets love situation and never ending story of anger , arguments , but nevertheless ceaseless memorable moments of courtship with resonance of love romance and passion.

Way back in early ’70’S I worked in Pune , obviously a difficult predicament I was in to travel to Srinagar every now and then for selecting the right girl to be my wife.

On the face of it ,looked stupid even those days to come from such a far distance simply to say yes or no.

But my father, being an astute resolute person, was in fact keen to seek my consent to the selection of the girl in waiting before proceeding ahead.

I undertook this uncomfortable voyage twice and finally gave in. I told my father to handle the job on his own.

“ Dad “, I said ”you are fully competent to do this for me and my consent is always there. I trust you and mum.” “All Kashmiri girls are good gracious and educated .so there is no problem as such” I continued emphatically.

“ ok my boy ,so nice of you to say so. But the task for me is more difficult now” He laughed heartily.

My father , a tall , be spectacled six footer of swarthy complexion was endowed with great sense of humour.

An educationist of repute, being in touch with young students , he was very much young at heart too.

Moreover he had love marriage with my beautiful small sized angel mother.

My mother was my grandfather’s bosom friend’s daughter . My father loved my mother very much and eventually married her.

Soon after I received a photograph ,exceedingly beautiful one of my wife.

The chiselled features with deep set dove eyes , demurely innocence made me simply to fall in love with the photograph who  eventually  became the queen of my tender heart.

Interestingly the photograph framed in exclusively silvery designed frame adores my working desk in my home office.

I just conveyed my consent in a jiffy through trunk call to my father .

I could imagine my consent might have done wonders for my father by relieving him from the stress that had compressed his mind for a long time.

My father recounted me the girl’s family background and I would say “ok ok” least interested in knowing that and hung the phone instantly.

I and my younger sister were yet to be married.

Father was keen to see me married so that he could relax with responsibilities taken off his shoulders.

My two elder sisters and two brothers were married already.

The eldest sister ,whom we fondly called Bengashi was great inspiration and help to my father. She was very upright ,modern woman and had full authority to take decisions regarding home affairs without any hitch.

Elder daughters were always a center of power and authority in a Kashmiri Pandit family to negate or accept any decision to be taken. So my sister, with affable magnetic personality ,was the most loved one of all the children.

I travelled down to Delhi in a train and flew to Srinagar by plane , very unusual at that time, to see my heartthrob.

As the plane descended on to Srinagar airport ,the resplendent nature with snow capped mountains glittering through the bluebonnet skies, opened up a breathtaking view of the Paradise on earth ,my beautiful Kashmir.


The marriage date was fixed as 19th October 1975.

My father ,a social reformer and ardent activist forebade any money spinning Celebrations like “Gandhun”– engagement and “Durbati”— a special lunch organised by maternal side .

Marriage was an elaborate saga , as expected of   typical Kashmiri marriages those days with great fanfare.

Ceremony Groom’s house

The ladies invited dressed in  co lo u rf u l  attires , sang Kashmiri songs ,to the tunes of Kashmiri music with the twang of their noses , ‘ Wanvun’— a melodious refrain sung by a group of ladies. The guests were served with pink salted tea (sheer chai) in the midst and at intervals  of the singing throughout day and night ,

Finally on the D-day I was center of attraction , being decorated as Groom by my uncle ,  fondly called ‘Babuji’,who helped me to tie the turban with specially stitched ACCHKAN for the occasion. ‘Babuji’ was connoisseur  of our family loved and respected by one and all.

Before the marriage procession I stood on the ‘Vyoog’  —Rangoli , a decent decorative designed pattern of dry colours and the eldest Aunty gave nabbad a sweet hard dessert to nibble at . I and the Guests (Baraat) proceeded for bride’s house in several cars .

Those days the craze for marriages was at high pitch.. The guests and all others enjoyed to one’s fill.The participation used to be with  great zeal and fervour.

Reception at Bride’s place

 As soon as I and my Baraat (marriage procession) reached Bride’s place ,just at stone’s throw from our house, the relatives of bride greeted us by blowing a conch shell.

Here again as per ritual I was to stand on the ‘Vyoog ‘and the maternal uncle of the bride brought the bride out on to the Vyoog where I was made to stand.

The mother of the bride performed puja with lamps made of wheat flour and fed us both with the Nabad – the hard sweet dessert , and the purohit performed the Dwar pooja   before leading us to the Lagan (marriage ) mandhap – the auspicious place .

One more typical tradition of Kashmiri Pandit marriage is the performance of POSH PUZA , not performed in Hindu Indian marriages .

We were made to sit in comfortable posture , a red cloth was put on our heads and all relatives of both families offer flowers to the chanting of Vedic hymns .

The newly weds are regarded as Shiva and Pa r v a t i and worshipped as such .

Now I could see my bride dressed in beautiful sari and bedecked with ‘Dejaharu’   an ear ornament with golden tussels that pass through the the middle cartilage of the ear. The holes are pierced in Kashmiri Pandit girls at very early age of 4 or 5 years .

The ‘Dehjaru’ is having same sanctity as ‘Mangal sutra’ for Indian brides.

 At this late stage of life the myriads of memories trickle down the mind and heart and I gleefully watch my wife Sharika for hours together ,still beautiful and glittering like Summer’s Sunny morning,thus enjoying every bit of the fleeting moments .



The acrimonious somersault of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Congress party smelt of his betrayal to both, the Party that chiselled him to be an astute politician and to the peoples’ trust of Guna his home constituency in Madhya Pradesh.

A politician nurtured for 18 years with coveted union Ministry for many years, should choose to ditch the party to be in the opponent lap for an immediate political gains at a time when Congress Party needed him the most.

Mr Scindia’s actions have therefore established the fact that these so called ‘young political crop’ treat politics as a career and not essentially as ‘service to people ‘.

His short cryptic resignation letter amply signifies the above fact in the lines mentioned ” I move on “ in   the most casual manner despite the Party holding him in high esteem always.

The attitude of Mr Scindia is deplorable, too ambitious and also atrocious hence not good for him or the country as such in the long run.

He cannot inflict any harm on the Himalayan Congress Party.

No doubt The Kamal Nath government is in tizzy and scurrying for survival but the veteran leader like him would not lay down arms without a fight true to his temperament.

Grave Situation.

The Congress party is no doubt in grave situation as BJP is in process of destabilizing its elected governments through defections. It should worry the right thinking people of this country that such back door entrance could have far reaching implications on the Politics of India.

The situation has come to such a pass due to dithering of decisions to select/elect a new president in place of Rahul Gandhi, who resigned some eight months ago. the Congress is drifting in and unable to drag itself from its  vacillating whirlpool.

Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that the Party should elect President out of the bond of Gandhi family to reinforce sense of belonging for one and all and thereby ensuring a fair chance for the right person to demonstrate his or her ability to rejuvenate the party.

But unfortunately most of the talented leaders have little or no connection with grass roots. Being in power for long such leaders have lost their mass appeal and hence not either confident or not willing to take responsibility as prominent one of the President of the Congress .

Sonia Gandhi is still most authoritative leader with great appeal to steer the party to its rightful place.

Again Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia exit should be an alarm to rope in leaders available and new ones from diverse background who are wedded to the core ideology and willing to rise to the political call from time to time to uphold and afloat the congress party as the party of peoples’ aspirations.

Moreover Congress should sincerely address to the crises of organization ,leadership, ideology and decentralize some of its vital decision making bodies so that a strong feeling of belonging is infused in each and every cadre of the organization to propel it as a strong opposition in the present scenario.


 It is not going to be easy for Mr Scindia   to get into ideological foot prints of BJP as being its virulent opponent till recently both in Parliament and outside and needs to slog on for a considerable time to earn saffron kudos.

Secondly being a sub regional leader in his home state he will be not accepted in his new role easily to sail him off to his rightful destination.

The Congress needs to keep its flock together at a time when its ideological polarization is at loggerheads.





I have now nothing else to do

just to love you


only just to love you.

with those modestly downcast eyes

of beautiful almond size

penetrating and piercing ones

the sparkling countenance with

winsome smile triggering

sensuous desires down

the corridors of my heart

                 reverberating raw emotional thought.


into a pragmatic romance.

I have now nothing else to do

just to love you

and only just to love you.

The glimmering glittering starry night

through the moon light

beckons me to its delight

I ascend the boulevard road


through the blossomy boughs

laden with apples .

listening to the cooing amorously.

The Whole prospectus pungent

with earthy romance.

And your one glance would

entice me to the ecstasy of

your pure love.

I have now nothing else to do

just to love you


only just to love you.


C h a n d a m a a l, fondly called by  me , my brothers, sisters children, elders , one and all other relatives as K a k n i , was my pretty mother.

The elders would address her with respect as Kakinjigri — ‘jigri’ complimenting for madam.

My mother and I had strong special bond being youngest among brothers , I had somehow grown up hankering with such bright idea about my mother’s fondness for me was more than any one else.

But soon after ,this bright idea of mine about my mother’s special fondness came to abrupt end when I saw mother hugging my two elder brothers pressed against her bosom showering a rain of kisses on their ruddy cheeks.

In anger I blurted out in chaste Kashmiri    ‘ accha   yeh aus sori apuzu che chuk moin saraney khute toth” meaning “it was all a lie you were telling me that I am your most loved one of all.”

‘ hata phetir bata kata, mauj che aasan sarai bacchai taeth’.

literary meaning “you stupid Pandit boy mother loves all her children alike”, my mother continued sarcastically explaining her love for all of us pulling me with her arms and smooched me warmly.

All of us laughed loudly and dispersed.

 Kakni was brightly complexioned petite beautiful woman with deep-set eyes, long brilliant dark hair worn in two plaits like a school girl. In contrast to her  my father, Baigash as we called him lovingly , was tall around six feet with dusky complexion and was eldest of all his three brothers  Shyam lal, Premnath, and Dawarka nath.

All were bonded by love and great affection for one another.

Dawarkanath lived in Delhi with his doctor wife, Mohanji and two fondly children son Bupesh and daughter Naina .

My youngest aunt Dr Mohanji was attractive ,reflective and looked pretty when she  smiled.

Ours was a joint family and all lived in a beautiful bungalow in  karan-nagar Srinagar Kashmir.

The drawing room was the most attractive room in the house. we had ten willow chairs and a big Kashmiri wall to wall carpet . The ceiling was carved and walls were painted in light golden hue. A long wicker sofa was covered with embroidered  Namda, a maetris of pure wool.

A large glass paneled cabinet Crockery almirah stood in the corner of the room.

It had  Chinese crockery of cups, saucers, and beautiful bone china dinner plates .

A lot of other decorative knick -knacks to make it look  more gorgeous.

Large Family portraits  hung from the side of the window wall.

A large garden with beautiful flowers of roses, hyacinth, Amaranth, marigold adored our house.Seven huge cherry plants, apricots and mulberry trees stood at the back of our house all along the brick wall of the courtyard and thus enhanced the charm of totality.

My mother Kakni wore sari draped over her broad shoulders leaving head uncovered.

She preferred to have big round vermilion spot in the middle of her broad forehead.

She had forsaken longtime back wearing typical Kashmiri Pa n d i t a n i costume ‘Pheran’ —- A loose c o l o u r f u l gown   with ‘Tarang’ – headgear , Loong – a c o l o u r f u l belt and puuch – long white scarf touching the back of feet. and finally Zari embroidered hem line.

The neck collar of gown was brightly embroidered as well.

All such bright attires of yesteryears were forbidden now. Sari wearing was less complicated , much easier to drape on one’s body and obviously a preferred dress by women all over the country.

She had more of a demure shy personality ,usually taciturn but highly conscious of her gait and possessed a commanding voice to instill a fear among all children to adhere to the discipline in the house.

she would shout with stern looks at the scurrying , shouting rowdy children .

Children and younger ones were naturally afraid of her, although she never rebuked or spanked anyone for that matter.

But I  remember once she spanked me severely when I spilled the ink on the carpet in the living room.

I and my cousin Kanwarji were very close friends , young and frisky, just eleven years old, studying in same class same school in the close vicinity of our home.

We decided to feign illness to bunk the school to spend a nice time gossiping and eating cherries.

Kanwar was a tall lanky one ,I was short hefty but thrifty enough to climb the top of the trees to nimble at the fruits.

It was a pleasant morning ,the sun rays gleaming through our windows in the early March of 1956.

I succeeded in coaxing and cajoling my mother to bunk school feigning stomach ache as planned.

Kanwarji on his part had also managed to pleasantly hoodwink her mother Bhabi for bunking the classes.

All was carried on meticulously.

 Gossip hour.

By 10 am all family members young old had left for schools colleges ,offices and all was silent in the house.

Kakni with her two young ‘Dirkaknis’ –sisters in law , Bhabi and Mataji pulled out three wicker chairs from living room into large Verandah for a possible gossip hour over steaming cups of tea.

Bhabi ,my aunty, wife of my uncle Babuji, was fair with slightly heavy features but had curly dark hair ,and Mataji ,my second aunt, wife of my uncle Pitaji was very beautiful much younger having somewhat chiselled features with golden hair cascading over her shoulders.

Kakni seated herself on her favourite chair with fluffy back,   flanked both sides by Bhabi and Mataji. as on a dais of a conference hall.

Kakni asked with authority Mataji to make ‘sheer chai’   pink tea , tea with salt instead of sugar , commonly taken those days.  Even now we Kashmiris drink this tea with great pleasure.

Soon they were taking tea and enjoying their jokes amidst peals of laughter.

we did not understand the jokes they were cutting on . But all had good chemistry amongst themselves and respected one another immensely.

As they were busy in their glorious gossip picnic, Kanwar and I went to climb the trees for an appreciable hunt of fruits ,the juicy cherries and apricots . After having our fill we tumbled down calmly and found the gossiping trio rounding off the joyful time for more pending kitchen works.

Women had to do lot of domestic daily chores, like cleaning of utensils, cooking , sweeping scrubbing floors and all related works as no maids were available in Kashmir .

Hence no respite for a second  even for all womenfolk.  Ah our Poor mothers.

Kakni used to light the kitchen fire the breakfast activity started stirring up and Bhabi and Mataji joined her in the kitchen works. every morning right in the nick of time.

The house was soon agog by the shouting children jostling along to eat, bathe, and find school satchels .

Mataji would send me for bringing at least two dozens of tandoori Rotis from Hindu Kashmiri bakery for the breakfast.

I would gladly go with a big cloth bag for this errand in particular because the bakery owner Raja would give me one hot ‘katlam’ a thick pancake to eat. This bakery item is round crisp one laced with ghee.

Ghee is clarified butter made from the milk of cow used commonly in cooking delicious dishes.

All would sit cross-legged and barefooted on floor to eat the breakfast.

My second aunt Bhabi was quite adept in making hot stuffed Parathas and all older girls boys would gulp down a few  such nice ones  before finally getting up for going to schools or colleges.

Days, months and years passed by. The Joint Kitchen had split into three and we had grown up completing graduations some in engineering ,some few in medicine and others in sciences or arts.

All of us were heading for different destinations to eke out our living .

Kakni and her other two companions Bhabi and Mataji had grown up somewhat older but were connected with great affection and bond of love . They passed time filled with moments of great emotions in a very affable manner .

They all had steely energy to move forward and would never encourage domestic squabbles. amongst themselves.

My elder brother Bhaipyare was more divinely person and would love his parents more than any one of us , thus would be reluctant to serve away from the home. After completing higher education in the field of Agriculture ,he got good job in the valley itself .My eldest brother Baitote as I fondly called him was in Delhi serving as an Architect.My Delhi uncle Baiji as we called him and his wife Dr Mohanji was instrumental in making Baitote to settle down in Delhi comfortably. He lived with them for  a considerable time before moving to an independent apartment in the same vicinity.

My other brothers sisters .including cousins found jobs near home and everybody seemed happily settled at least for the time being.

I got job in Pune . and my younger sister Anita got upset as she would not like me to travel so far away . I consoled her “ look I could not find a job here for last one year ,so I got some opening in Pune. . Baipyara, Kakni Baigash are all here with you, more over your all cousins, so lovely ones , to care of you.” “I need to do something worthwhile. Don’t you want I should be earning my livelihood.”  I continued placating her softly, stressing my point with a prideful smile curving my mouth. My sister looked convinced.  she was alike her mother to a T except for her swarthy complexion.

My mother Kakni was very upset practically dumbfound dispirited too but apparently wearing a brave face with a forced smile .

She joined me in comforting Anita by declaring in emphatic manner “ your brother needs to be a great man so do not worry he needs to go.”

My enthusiasm to join my job at Pune was high and now possibly off the chart.

My Father Baigash was firm to his fingertips and announced in unmistakable terms that my going to Pune was final and irrevocable.

I began my journey way back in early 1970   to Pune.

I can recall very well Kakni was a magnificient lady both in looks and thoughts. She was kind-hearted and always helped people with whatever she could.

I knew her benevolent nature would guide me to right path and I would emerge finally successful in my all endeavours of life.

And years after I solemnly realize the power behind such prophecies – the inspiring blessings from parents ,elders. take one to great unbelievable heights in life.

And Kakni’s blessings also speak for me.