A little background about our family as I knew from my grandparents and other elders; It comes from a small rural background, small town, JHALU, (Bijnor, UP). Our ancestors lived here for long time, but the earliest story is known that they were land lords and their rivals, pathans-a muslim community also had farm lands over there. On one occasion of RAKSHABANDAN day, those pathans killed all our male ancestors and then according to the custom of that time, ladies committed SATTI (Satti was the rituals those days that after the death of husband, widow used to self immolate). We still have that old Satti House in the town. In fact, our Grah Devta also lives there.In earlier days, we used to go there and bring our Grah Devta home for important ceremonies like marriage, naming and yagopaveet etc. It was only one pregnant lady living with her parents away from Jhalu, survived. Later, she gave birth to a baby boy who when grew adult , thought seriously to find out his roots. In fact, a deep feeling of revenge for that carnage happened to his ancestors. Having this in mind and determination , with all opposition from his mother and other parental relatives, he walked to JHALU. He came up to our garden ( where we had a well and a small room for shelter) near KHARI , he faced a lion. The lion was chased by the ruler (Nawab) of Ruhelkhand for hunting. He had no option except to face the lion. He took out his turban and inserted in the mouth of the lion and thus lion was suffocated and died. Nawab chasing the lion , found the young boy holding the lion dead. He appreciated his courage and awarded him the title of ” SHER MAAR PANJU” ( meaning the person who killed the lion by his Punja-hands ) for his bravery. He was so pleased that he further on asking his welfare etc. awarded him back the land of his ancestors and asked the pathan to go away from the town to a new town established for their resettlement- NAWADA KALAN ( New village/settlement ) and warned them not to look back for any revenge or atrocities to the young person. He then, resettled in his ancestors town , JHALU with all his property and land given back to him. I could not get his real name but SHER MAAR PANJU. He is the most recent historical ancestor of our GARG family which is now quite big and wide spread all over, ( broadly known Mahalwals,kothiwalasand us ) , now only a few are left in the town.
My own immediate family: There are no details available in between Sher Maar Panju and our ancestors- Shri Banwari Das; Banwari Das were two brothers: Perhaps, he was the younger one.The elder brother had two sons. One son died early and left a widow the other son had two sons and two daughters; Shri Babu Ram ( with no family ) and Sita Ram who later settled in Najibabad with his paternal family. one daughter , Ram Katorie was married to Shri Babu Ram ji ( from Chandpur ) who finally settled in DehraDun. We had very good relationship with that family ( Bhai saheb, Shri Ram Gopal ji was wonderful person, most caring and loving even more than our real ones; his wife was equally great person; we always enjoyed their association and relationship ) . They lived long time at 5, Cement Road, later in Kali Mandir Enclave.Ram Kali, another daughter was widowed and lived with her brothers Babu Ram Ji and Sita Ram ji.
Shri Banwari Das had five sons and one daughter; Shri Ram Swarup Mal, Shri Bihari Lal Gupta, Shri Chhangi Mal, Shri Jagan Nath ji and Har Prashad Vaish, and daughter smt. Katoria Devi.
Katoria Devi was married in Nehtaur ; who had two sons,Shri Musaddi Lal ji and I knew only shri Damodar Das ji ( known as Munder ) who used to live with her sister Parvati Devi who was married to ……( Tehsildar ) in Chandpur. Dadi ji used to come quite often to live with us in Jhalu. She was a nice and a simple person and I remember her very well as she used to cook Bajre ki roti very well. Parvati Buwa ji had two sons-Dr. Rameshwar Prasad Mittal ( my local guardian in Chandpur; very popular, successful and perhaps, only doctor – a medical professional – during those days in Chandpur; He was also a classmate of my father in Agra Medical College) ; Dr. Ram Niwas who was a Dentist and setlled in Bijnor. Buwaji,s daughter, Vidya Devi was married in our Kothiwala,s family in Jhalu; she had two sons, Sushil Kumar and Krishna Kumar; ( They used to live with Dr. Rameshwar Prasad Mittal in Chandpur after the early premature death of their father ). well, I lost contact after I left Chandpur from that family of Dadi ji;
Shri Har Prasad Vaish , the youngest of his brthers lived in Muzaffarnagar as his wife, Dadi ji from Dadri was the only child of her parents and she inherited property in Muzaffarnagar. Baba ji was educated, high school , used to speak good English ( how and where was he educated ????); He was a civil contractor; both Dadi ji and Babaji were excellent persons and very social , affectionate and helping people. They were quite visible all over during all the occasions of family.They had three daughters=Indira ji, Kamla ji and Ramla ji; Indira Buwa ji was married to an engineer, Shri Jai Prakash Agrawal , son of shri (Master) Ram Nivas ji in Bijnor, later settled in Jabalpur.Ramla ji and Kamla ji also settled in Muzaffarnagar after the death of Babaji. He was great man and we have yet to see a person of his style in our family. I have several memories of my own experience with him. I will write them somewhere else.
Shri Jagan Nath: was the second youngest brother among his five brothers. I never saw him, he died very young and his family met a very tragic end.He was not very active person, had no means of earning. Family gave him responsibility of attending social obilgations on behalf of the family. He was not very capable or able person, perhaps poorest of all his brothers in all respects. He was married in village Tajpur, and Dadi ji was known as Tajpurni. They had two sons, Krishan Kumar and Om Prakash ( commonly known as OMI ); all their uncles, especially baba Bihari Laj ji tried to educate them but of no avail. They did not do any thing in their lives except loafing around and living on the little income they had from their property and support from the family members ( it used to be very strongly bound collective and united family, impossible now to imagine that kind of cooperation and feelings for each other in the family); They lived really in poverty and very miserable conditions; They had very little intelligence, common sense or understanding. They really had very poor destiny and prarabhadh. Dadi ji were two sisters, one was married in a very rich family of Bijnor. Shri Ajit Prasad , her husband was the top most lawyer of those days in Bijnor while the other sister was married here in Jhalu in very poor conditions. She had, perhaps the worst fate of her life, never saw any thing good in her life, very pathetic. In her young age, she lost her husband whatever he was with the responsibility to look after two sons who troubled her through out her life as they were born with a specific purpose to trouble her and maker her life more miserable.Dadi lived in other house of the family though used to come our house on daily basis for some thing or the other. She was never free from problems/troubles.She was very nice person by her nature , very loving and affectionate person. I had special consideration for her and great sympathy for her. I always had a desire in my heart if I could help her in any way.I always visited her and asking for her welfare.Her sons used to beat her to extract even the smallest thing she had and used to ask her to come us and ask for the money etc.My own family helped her in all possible way, all the time.The last part of her life is really pathetic and worth mentioning here.Baba, Har Prasad ji, once came from Muzaffarnagar and scolded Dadi ji that she is the only one who has given her sons undue shelter and support and spoilt them. Let her go with him to live in Muzaffarnagar and leave them behind on their fate. This way they will learn their lesson and will do something to live with out depending on her. She went away with him to Muzaffarnagar. It worked to some extent as both started working some thing here and there having no other options left. Krishna Kumar who was working in watermelon farm as watchman was caught by LOO ( very hot air during the month of May, causing dehydration and many other ailments ) and ultimately by severe Cholera suffered a terminating situation and died in a very short time , all of a sudden. Poor transportation and medication facilities in the town, he could not be given proper treatment Perhaps, he could have been saved if timely taken to District Hospital, Bijnor. Unfortunate and helpless situation . ( Perhaps, he was not alone, in those days, how many would have died in the town with out proper or adequate medical facilities ). Dadi ji was called back from Muzaffarnagar , for what, just to mourn her elder son. She was terribly shocked and saddened and was broken from this event. She was very much unhappy, angry, frustrated and disappointed with every one in the family.
My grandfather, assessing the situation and to change it, arranged the marriage of the younger one with a girl, our family arranged ( rather bought by paying Rupees 5000/-, which was very common practice in those days for the rich people ) from a hilly village in Garhwal. Anandi Chachi was one of the most beautiful girl in our family. She was quite young and certainly no match with Om Prakash uncle who later never cared for her, rather never treated her as his wife, had no love, attraction or association with her. It was his incapability to give any importance to any relationship , not only to his wife. However, it gave some consolation to dadi ji in her grieved situation. She got busy in looking after her. The burden of expenses, directly and indirectly came to my grandfather.
Time passed and Dadi got a grandson, very handsome. She forgot all the previous sufferings and got busy in the child. She was very happy, satisfied and contended with this changed situation. I used to go very often to meet Dadi ji as I had great sympathy with her and she was also very affectionate to me. She used to be very glad whenever I visited her. Once, she asked me that I must look after this boy and develop him. I promised her to do and she had a trust in me. I also decided that I will do my best to bring up the boy . After a few years, when the boy was about five years old, he got very severe attack of smallpox and died with its complications ( again a case of poor medical care and facilities at home and in the town ). Dadi was shattered and I think completely exhausted with the calamities and miseries of life; tolerated the loss of her husband at her young age; tolerated the death of his adult and fully grown son and now the last hope of the grandson is also gone. Chachi ji went back her home in the hills and Dadi ji was left alone to bear all the sorrows and loneliness. She died soon after that. No one cared for her son , Omi after her death. He wandered here and there and survived perhaps a few years with bare minimum resources and died in mysterious circumstances. Government did all the last rites. During his last years of life for his survival, he sold out whatever property ( a small house, some shops etc.) .
This is the end of the family and the property. I do not understand as why GOD punished Dadi ji and that family so much that they never saw any thing good in their life except the troubles, miseries and sorrows all the time. VERY TRAGIC END. I do not understand the purpose of their coming to this world and their existence.
Shri CHHANGI MAL :
The third brother of my grandfather lived in the town as a businessman; calm and quiet person; never saw two brothers talking to each other except only occasionally on the festivals. It is not because that they had any differences but just like that of the tradition or whatever during those days. .He had four sons, Raja Ram, Rameshwar Prasad, Jagdish Prasad and Ishwar Chandra and one daughter , Sumerni Devi. Raja Ram ji lived in Kanpur working in a cotton mill, was not associated with the family. I saw him, perhaps only once or twice. He married a tribal girl, had a daughter and a son. Son, Adesh Kumar settled in Jhansi, I met them only once, but my sister, Rajo met him while her husband was posted in Jhansi. Lost contact with them, rather with all the family members after the death of Dadi ji and Baba ji. Rameshwar Prasad worked as Store Keeper with MES and settled with his family in Agra . He had five daughters. After a long time while I was in DehraDun working with ONGC, I got the first and last letter from about the matrimonial alliance negotiations he had with a family in DehraDun. No news after that. It was a nice family. I used to visit chachi ji very often when chacha ji was working with his father in Jhalu. She was a very nice and loving person.Jagdish Prasad got his eduction in Lucknow and obtained his MSW and worked as Social Welfare Officer with government of UP. I remember going in his wedding party to Kandhla. Lost contact with him and the family for last 60 years or so now ( 2010); Ishwar Chandra, the youngest one though elder to me in age but was very much in our play group. I used to be his partner in the game of playing cards and it used to be difficult to defeat us as we could know the cards of each other. I very often remember him and wish I must meet him some time. I have so many sweet memories of him. I lost my contact with him also now for long time. I heard of him from my younger brother, Gultoo when he was working in Bhilai that he was working as chartered accountant in a very good position in Bilaspur. Buwa ji, Sumerni was married in Anwla ( Distt. Shahjanpur ), met last time in 1974 or so. No idea about her family.
We all used to live as very close family, but now all are lost in the wilderness of this world.
To day , no body from our family lives in Jhalu and none of us have any thing left over there, our house, land or whatsoever- only memories- haunting memories. In this old age , I very often, almost every day, visit my home town in my dream or even before going to sleep, remember so many people and so many things. WHY? WHY?
Shri Bihari Lal Gupta; He was next to my own grandfather. I never knew as how could he get his eduction to be an Executive Engineer , Department of Irrigation, Government of UP. It is only when I got retired, have been thinking about my family and family tree etc. I thought about him as having only a small primary school in Jhalu, how could he get his education in those days without any guidance and counseling etc. and not coming from the background of any educated family. I asked my uncle, Shri Ved Prakash , then only surviving eldest person in our family ( 2004 ) about him. He told then not only about him but all others in the family as how they got educated. Shri Bihari Lal Gupta retired as Executive Engineer ( a very prestigious post in those days as only very few Indians used to get such posts ) construction of famous SHARDA Canal near Khatima to his credit. With all his rich resources, he settled in DELHI, 10 Subzi Mandi, Delhi 6; It is a big house, visited only once with no memory now about it. He had one daughter from his first wife from Ludhiana , PRASANDI DEVI GUPTA, lived at 10 Darya Ganj, Delhi. I met her only once when she came Jhalu in 1961 to attend my wedding.; 5 sons and five daughter from the second wife ; Dr. Dharmendra Gupta, Daya Inder Gupta, Dr. Rajendra Gupta and Mahendra Gupta; one daughter married in Kanpur ( her husband used to be the Principal , BNSD College, one of the best performing Intermdiate College in those days ); one married in DehraDun, died very early; I met her son, Anand who used to work with Chugh,s Company in 1960s; visited their house once when Phophaji, who used live some where in Africa, came to DehraDun.;one married in Etawah; I visited her in 1961 for the first and last time. when went there to attend a wedding of Sushma,s cousin. The youngest one ( Gyan Buwaji ) was married to Shri Hori Lal ji in Bijnor. As she was very near to Jhalu, she and we used to visit each other very often especially on special occasions like marriage etc. She was very lively and affectionate person. Babaji used to visit to us quite often and I remember he used to stay in the our other house in the first floor, he especially designed and constructed with two doors and six windows. He used to bring lot of gifts for me. He loved me very much.
Dr. Dharmendra Gupta, I met only once when he was posted in Meerut District Hospital; met once, Dr. Rajendra ( married to Madalsa, daughter of Shri Girvar Charan Lal, District Judge, Bijnor , 1961; developed the project of renovating Vidur Kuti at a grand scale ) came to attend my wedding in Aligarh from Bulandshar where he was posted in District Hospital. He was an ophthalmologist. Now living in Bareilly with his son, having their own clinic.No idea about Mahendra uncle ji.
We had a good contact with Gyan Buwaji who used to live in Bijnor; Parsandi Buwaji lived 10 Darya ganj, Delhi, came to attend my wedding;Ved buwaji, I met her first time and last time, only once ;They lived in Etawah who invited me and Sushma for lunch when we visited Etawah in 1961.
Well, we lost contact with his family later on and do not know much about them.
Shri Ram Swaup Mal , my own grand father was popularly known in the town as Bhgat ji. He was very simple, disciplined and religious person, kind hearted and generous person. He did not know much about vedic scriptures but perhaps, even unknowingly, he was following them. He was not educated, he was not even literate; hardly travelled out of town, knew nothing about the external world; his needs and desires were bare minimum; he was very healthy person, I never saw him sick and asking any help for his personal matters. He was land lord, managing small farm lands in various places and earned good money by doing some petty business also; He was married in Bijnor , but no body or any property etc exist in their name in Bijnor; my grand mother had one brother and one sister ( married in Kiratpur, had one son, Shri Mangoo Lal ji who had his small nice family; uncle Mangoo lal ji disappeared in mysterious circumstances, never returned back and his family was shattered; Dadi ji, his mother, my grand mother,s sister came to live with us and aunte with her children went to her parents in Chandpur). My grandmother,s brother had one son and one daughter; daughter was married in Mandawar to Shri Mahasheya Raghubir Saran ji ( had two sons, Ram Awtar ji and Prem Awtar ). We used to visit them occasionally on various occasions, very affectionate family, now lost contact with them since long, may be fifty years or so ); My grandmother,s nephew Shri Krishan Lal had one son , Rishi, very handsome personality died very young a very tragic death with brain cancer ( thus the last of their family was gone to end the family line); two daughters, one married in Hasanpur and the other married in Roorkee ( unfortunately, I never met them); Grandmother,s nephew, Tau ji used to come to live with us in Jhalu at time to time, a nice but sad person for obvious reasons- loosing every thing, he had, very unfortunate situation);
My grandfather though very much living in the world but with least attachments, interests and concerns but very responsible and duty bound; most conteded person. He had three sons , Brij Bhushan Saran Gupta, Shri Kanhaiya Lal Garg and Ved Prakash Garg and a daughter, Chameli Devi.I am the most lucky person among all my brothers and cousins having all the love and affection from my grandfather. In fact, I received maximum love from all my relatives and people in the town. My grandfather died without any ailment through out his life, at the age of 85 or so , within a few minutes by heart attack, on July 1, 1953 . It was a great shock for me as I lost the person who loved and cared for me the most. He told me so many things of practical life and importance of our religious and cultural rituals, though his conversation with his family members was bare minimum. I never saw him talking to his sister or daughter but just casually.
He built a water well and a small shelter near the village of Redhwa, Gandaspur and Sikandarpur; planted two pipal trees; incidently , it was June, 1, 1936 , the day I was born. In those days , it was a great help to the people traveling or working in that area as there was no water source or shed near by. There is small platform of our family deity ( grah devta) . We worship them ( a pair of white snakes , locally known as Bhure Singh Devta )on special occasions like some one,s marriage in the family; a son born in the family etc.It is supposed that they take care of our family. We give them full honour. In 2008, when I visited the place, I found that the geography and topography of that place has completely changed; It is now all green with lot of water sources around .
My grandfather and grandmother used to go for Ganges bath at Ganj every year on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. I always accompanied them and enjoyed the trip; two incidents to mention here :
(1) one time, I was watching that young boys and people were taking dives into the ganga which used to flow in very turbulent and floody state during this month and at this time. I thought if they could do that diving and swimming , why not I can do that. It was only the direction of GOD that at the last moment I got scared and did not do that deadly diving, otherwise, in those high currents of Ganga, I would have just gone;
(2) I do remember visiting with my Baba ji an ashram of Brahamchari ji in Nizamatpura/Islamabad about 2 miles south of Ganj. This place strangely and spiritually recognized by the local people for many miracles and mysterious happenings . No doubt, Brahamchari ji had great devine powers to help really needy people with out any self interest and greed . ( 2008; when, I visited Ganj and the place where Ganga ji used to flow, there was no sign of Ganga,s flow even during the flood time in rainy season. It was all dry for a far distance place. One could see some kind of garden and farming at a long distance in the middle of Ganga ji. It was very shocking to look at this devastating change. Only the old ghats, temples were lying on the bank side of Ganga and waiting perhaps, for their further destructions in future.
My Uncle: Shri Ved Prakash Garg 😦 3rd. April,1917 )
The youngest of his brothers and sister got his Engineering education from Roorkee University and joined MES- Military Engineering Services; married to Savitri Devi, daughter of Lala Hannu Mal of Najibabad. They did not have any child of their own. They adopted a daughter, Santosh, daughter of one of the sister of my auntie. In fact, my uncle tried his best to adopt me but my mother never agreed fot it. I lived with uncle in Meerut, Lucknow and DehraDun for some time as he wanted to attract me but of no use. After his retirement in 1976, he lived in DehraDun for the rest of his life. I arranged that nice house at Rajpur Road of Mr. Poddar who sold his house to my uncle and left for Calcutta. I must mention a short story in this context. When I was going to join my new job in Nigeria, my uncle was little sad and mentioned that he settled in DehraDun so that I could do his funeral and last rights after his death. I replied to him ” uncle, it hardly matters as what happens to one after the death, some one may through his body in the gutter or take it to Ganges, however, one should care and love while alive. ” In fact , he did not do any thing for his family members, cousins, brothers and sister etc For a short time, under the influence of Rama Krishna Mission , he served the patients in the hospital with fruits and medicines etc. I certainly wrote him a few letters during last five years of his life after the death of my auntie as he was living alone in that big house; that he must donate his money and property through a trust possibly naming the trust in the name of auntie for the good cause of the society like education or health; his cousins are well to do, do not need his money; Santosh , her children or other relatives in his in-laws family are also well to do , do not need his money. But unfortunately, reasons best known to him, he did not do that and left every thing for Santosh and her children. They can never enjoy this unearned , undeserved money and property. Unfortunately, he did not leave any thing for Ramesh who served him very sincerly for almost for a quarter century; also nothing to his brother in law, Rishi who had been taking his personal care ( Rishi, himself is also well to do, retired from MES and nicely settled in DehraDun, did not need his money or any thing ); Died in December 2008.
My uncle, Shri Kanhaiya Lal Garg: ( 3rd August, 1913 )
Very intelligent person, a science graduate of DAV College, Kanpur, joined State Civil Service. He could have gone up in the heirarchy of his cadre but for his greed and short term benefits. He was basically a literary man but lost his talent in other worldly affairs. He has written very interesting poems. His memory was excellent, remembered most the RAMAYAN and will recite very relevant dhohas/chopai etc. to the occasion; He lost his eldest and very handsome son, Vinod and was shattered. He left two sons, Dinesh Kumar Garg and Rakesh Kumar Garg, four daughters, Sharda, Asha, Bimla and Madhu; all of them nicely settled with their families except poor Rakesh who struggled through out his life, married twice still lived alone.Dinesh retired from UP Electricity Board as Executive Engineer and settled in DehraDun. He has two sons. I used to visit my uncle and his family during my vacation .I very vividly remember my visit to them in Shahajanpur.A wonderful family of intellectuals.
( visited an ashram on the bank of the river, );
My father: Shri BRIJ BHUSHAN SARAN GUPTA:
My father, the eldest of his brothers and sister was a professional Medical Doctor- a student of Agra Medical School, one of the two schools then in UP; the other one in Lucknow. A very simple , social and responsible person. Would be remembered in our town for his dedicated community services.He was a very popular doctors not only in our town but around several villages nearby; only professional doctor in that locality rendering A-Z medical services. He was never a greedy person , only service oriented; He could have been a rich person but he died as a poor person only with some debts on him. At times, he had no money, borrowed from here and there for day to day survival
My brother: Lakshmi Narain Gupta ( )
My brother Santosh Kumar Gupta (1st March, 1946 )
My brother Virendra Kumar Gupta ( )
My brother Krishan Mohal Lal Garg ( 16th December, 1955 )
My Sister Lakshmi Devi Mehta
My Sister Raj Bansal