MY Respected Bhabhi ji

My respected Bhabhi ji left us to day ( 9.AM; June 1, 2017 ) for ever; feeling very sad and sorry; However, she completed the mission of her life and left for a better one.

She was a  very lucky and great person . She filled the house of mamaji with a wonderful Home ,  a big family with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and prosperity all around. When she joined the family, the house was very much empty only with mamaji, mamiji and Bhaiya;

She was a great lady as daughter of her parents, sister to her sisters, a wife to her husband, and mother to her children. She never failed in fulfilling her duty with responsibility in any way ,  any time. She enjoyed wonderful married life , caring for Bhaiya and Bhaiya caring for her ( they were really made for each other; it was a love marriage in those days though arranged by parents ) . She was beautiful in all respect, simple, sober and always smiling.

In the end, she stopped taking the food and medicines, she was trying to purify ( शुद्धिक्र्ण )  before departing from this world to HIS world. She was fortunate dying as Suhagin ( सुहागिन )  leaving behind her healthy husband to take care of the rest.

I had wonderful time living with her, enjoyed her full affection, love , care and confidence. She will ever remain in my memory.


Our experience of living and working in LESOTHO, the kingdom in the sky:

LESOTHO is a landlocked country completely surrounded by another country, the Republic Of South Africa..A land of mountains, Lesotho is the only country in the world which has all its land lying at the altitudes in the excess of 1500 meters above sea-level; land of heights and extremes.Following site illustrates with several beautiful photographs of the country showing its topography.


You may read about ROMA- the university town of University of Lesotho, and the capital of Lesotho, Maseru , elsewhere in detail. Both are just very small towns.

Sushma got an opportunity to work as Documentalist with ISAS ( Institute of Southern African Studies ), a research Unit of the University of Lesotho. After a lot of consideration, we took a bold and bad decision for her to go all alone to a far and a very unknown place. She lived there all alone in an isolated and last house on that street  on campus which was certainly not a safe place to live for a lady to live alone. How she managed all her day to day affairs over there, she may know better but I was scared when I visited her there once.She worked there  February 1992 to March 1993. Later , after living for a short while in Addis Ababa, She went to Join her MLIS program with Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


My grandson , Satvik ,s quick response to GRAHAST Ashram

SATVIK2015His grandmother, Sushma was trying to explain him about the four ashrams ; she explained to him the concept of four ashrams as how the life is divided into four parts of 25 years each; the Bramhamcharya, Grahast, Vanprasat and Sanyas  ashrams and the purpose of each ashram , the duties and responsibilities of an individual in each ashram etc. At the end, his response was:

” Amma, Grahast Ashram is the most important and the hardest one of all; An individual has to take care of his CHILDREN, his PARENTS and other elders and relatives and also for HIMSELF ( his own family); He can do that  properly and successfully if he has done well in the Brahmacharya ashram “.

True; success of one Ashram leads success to next . One could lead a successful life in sanyas only  if he has fulfilled his duties and responsibilities of the previous ashrams. Unfortunately, most of us are not doing well in Vanprast Ashram ( obligation for the society by giving it back its due share ) hence the sanyas has disappeared.

Regret: My family should have taken care of uncle Om Prakash”OMI”

My uncle, my father,s first cousin , Om Prakash (=OMI) was left alone after the death of his mother. In another blog, I have written about his family’s unfortunate affair that how the family lost all the members of the family , no body to remain at the end.

Uncle had no resources , income or means to survive as every thing else was sold to survive up to a point. He was in critical condition of survival, loosing health every day.My grandfather was very caring , he took care of the family through out his life though could not improve their situation in any way. Our family should have taken care of the uncle but could not take, perhaps our own financial condition was not very good during this period. He roamed around and did right or wrong , whatever, he could do for his srvival. Finally, he could not fight the circumstances surrounding him and he died young in mysterious circumstances in the District Hospital, Bijnor. No body claimed his dead body, so the Government disposed off his body according its own procedure. Thus came his end and the end of the family and everything of the family. How unfortunate was the end.

I feel sorry and sad about the family and especially the uncle. My family , at least should have taken the responsibility of his last rites of funeral etc. It is regrettable thing for us. Of my own, some time back, I did the sharaddh for him and his mother ( my grandmother). I wish that their souls remain in peace wherever, they are.

Regret; What was the compulsion for the family the way it behaved

I very vividly remember that the younger sister of my grandmother came to live with her and us after her only son, Shri Mangoo Lal disappeared from home in mysterious circumstances. The family waited for some time but how long they could have waited to support the family without any resources or hope getting any help. His wife, my aunt with her children went to live with her parents in Chandpur and my grandmother,s sister came to live with us. It was really very pathetic situation
Time passed, then , our family , the reasons best known to them asked grandmother,s sister to go to Chandpur and live with her daughter-in-law. She went and lived there for the rest of her life. According to our social system this was very awkward and humiliating situation for any one to live with the parents or family of daughter-in-law especially when there are other people and relatives to support her. I can not imagine her agony and humiliation with which that poor lady would have passed her days and at the same time tolerating the unbearable loss of her only young son.
I really feel so sorry and sad about it and regret on the decision and action of my family in this regard.

Renting a bicycle because unable to own a bicycle


Bicycle was the common and very popular means of transport in India during 1960s and before. See the pictures above as bicycle is being used for different purposes.

It was late 1961 when me and my friends joined their first job with ONGC in DehraDun. We were all fresh graduates from the university, having no money with us. Parents were already burdened by paying the cost of education in the university.
Not all the towns have a suitable public transport system to take individuals from point to point. DehraDun was one of the town with a poor public transport system, hence there was no option except to arrange some kind of your own means of commuting to the office. Bicycle was the only affordable and cheapest and most commonly means of commuting. Owning bicycle was also difficult to buy a it with an initial cost of Rs.120/- out of the salary of Rs.325/- after meeting the expenses for accommodation , water and electricity and other living expenses. The bank or the employer will not provide the loan to buy our means of transport like now ilavle to buy a car.,

Most of my colleagues rented the bicycles for commuting to office. I was living in Karanpur very near to the crossing of Survey of India, East Canal Road, Karanpur Road and Raipur Road; Survey of India crossing (सर्वे ऑफ़ इंडिया चौराहा ) was, perhaps still is a prime location. There, Hans Raj a Bicycle shop for selling old and new bicycles, giving bicycles on rent, repairing the bicycles ( most common repair was the repair of punctures ; and the broken chain ); most of us were the customer of Hans Raj. Once, some one asked that why should pay Rs.12/- per month the rent of the bicycle- total cost of the new bicycle paid  by way of rent in ten months. yes, very true but who had the total amount of Rs.120/- to be paid all at a time; Even the interest rate in the market or with Hans Raj for borrowing Rs.120/- was Rs. 12/- per month.; it was a difficult situation for the beginners at that time, not believable now when every body is having a decent car.

I had my own bicycle which was shared among three of us, myself and two of my younger brothers. Bicycle was used extensively not only for commuting the office by me but my brothers for several other purposes. I used the bicycle up to 1970 when I got my first Lambretta Scooter with the loan from ONGC and on priority basis from Government quota as the scooter was not freely available in the market. Even with booking with Government quota, it tookme  more than a year to get it. It was a luxury.

There are so many people who do not have minimum and initial investment resources / seeding money to start even a very small business of their own. Only the rich with resources take advantage of their helplessness  and become richer. Rickshaw pullers pay heavy rent to hire a rickshaw for their daily earning ;  they almost pay the cost of the rickshaw for hiring it just within a year.

Lakhhi was not only the name of the person but he was really Lakhhapati


Popular Ghantaghar of DehraDun


Famous Astley Hall, Rajpur Road ,DehraDun

Paan shops are all over in almost every city of India though more dominantly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Varanasi is most famous for its supari, maghai paan and surti.

Here, I am describing about a shop owned by Lakhhapati , popularly known as Lakhhi among his large number of customers in DehraDun . Shop means here a small Kiosk of probably of the size of 4x4x6 feet , made of wood- a very temporary kind of structure, could be moved easily from one place to another.Lakhhi,s kiosk was located at the corner of St. Joseph School on Rajpur Road ( around 16, Rajpur Road ) across famous Astley Hall of DehraDun. It was a prime location, at least in 1960s.Lakhhapai was the most popular and famous name for paan eaters in DehraDun. His kiosk was always crowded with the customers. He was busy from early morning until late in the night.No wedding party would be over without serving  Lakhhi’s paan.

I used to stop by almost every day at his kiosk while going to office. Interesting things about him and his shop:

1.My friend , Mr Mathur, once asked him some questions which he replied  very honestly and humorously; He asked ” Lakhhi , is it your name Lakhhi or you are Lakhhapati also ? He replied ” certainly Sir, with the Grace of God and your well wishes , I am ” ” you see the number of customers at my KHOKA (kiosk) , No rent to pay for the khoka, no maintenance , no electricity or water bills, no assistance required, small investment on my ingredients( paan, kathha, chuna, supari surti etc.),  on SALES TAX, No INCOME TAX to be paid;  simple living , no show offs; so over the years, I have certainly become Lakhhapati” How interesting was his answer and his state-of-affair;

2.Another time , Mr. Mathur said him jokingly, that ” Lakhhi, I like your name ” He very promptly and smilingly replied ” Sir you take this name, I will find some other one ” (  आप यह ले लीजिये, में कोई दूसरा ले लूँगा  ).

3. I told him once that Lakhhi your paan is really special, it gives very pleasant feeling while chewing it, that is what perhaps most of your customers appreciate and praise your paan. Then I asked him if he has not been using any tobacco or kimam etc. in my paan. He very smilingly replied ” Sir, there is no paan without these things and no one would like it without them.  I have been using them for everyone for all these years and now all of you are so accustomed and addicted that you will like only Lakhhi,s paan ” (सुरती , किमाम के बिना भी कोई पान होता है ? आप सभी बरसों से येही खा रहें हें ).

Interesting episode of Lakhhi paanwala. I still remember his smiling and simple face and humorous style of dealing and behaving with his customers. He was the best in DehraDun for his paan.


Some strange kind of observation; the Eldest in our Family loses Everything on In-laws side


Since last three generations, I noticed that the eldest in our family looses every thing in his in-laws’s side. In  In-laws’ family, property and wealth etc. everything is lost. Nothing remains for the future in their name. it is really very sad situation. Here, I will be dealing with the situation of my grandfather, my father and my own;bijnorbijnor

My Grandfather,s Case:

My grandfather was the eldest of all his brothers.He was married in Bijnor ,. His in-law’s family was well known and well-to-do family in those days.But no body or any property etc exists now  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 aunt 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 Avtar ji and Prem Avtar ). 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 ji had one son , Rishi, very handsome personality died very young  in 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; Thus nothing remains in my grandmother,s paternal family. How sad it is!!!!

My Father,s Case:


My father was the eldest of all his brothers and sisters.My father was married in a rich family of Chandpur. My Nanaji was a land having property , house and shops etc. in Chandpur and agricultural land locally and in khadar area of Sheikhpuri , near Narnore and Senadwar. Sohan Singh took care of Chandpur agricultural land even after the death of Nana ji and till his own death. My Nana ji, shri Ram Swaroop Mal was popularly known as Chobdar. My mother was the only child of her mother, the second wife of my nana ji. My maternal uncle, Shri Raja Ram ( son from his first wife) and his son , Raj Bahadur did not enjoy the benefit of agricultural land and had very little and limited benefit in shops though they had the house with them. In spite of sincere and several attempts and efforts  by mother, they did not maintain any relationship with her and with us. Agricultural land was lost because of Zamindari abolition; Shops were sold later by mutual consent. In this process, nothing is left in their name or with us. After the death of Nani ji, there is even no place for us to go; Whole land, property and belongings just vanished.

I do remember some of the books of Nanaji- GULBAKAWALI,s story- a folktale in URDU about the mysterious flower. I read the whole book of several volumes. Another, I was fascinated about was a Wall-hanging in a frame, saying in Urdu ::”AGAHA APNI MOUT SE KOI BASHAR NAHI, SAMAAN SAU BARAS KA PAL KEE KHABAR NAHI ” I feel too much about the loss of these two things and of course many other things as I was associated with them thoroughly during my stay  from 1950-1955 ) with my Nani ji.


Rich Man Behaving like a Pauper but there is reason Behind

Aminaway, UIIbadan university

It is a strange kind of behavior for an academician and a rich person. It was 1977 when I recently joined University of Ibadan, Nigeria for an academic position , I was given a two bed rooms  accommodation on the University Campus ( An apartment on Amina Way).Incidently my immediate neighbor was Dr Goriawala, an Indian , an Associate Professor in the University . He has been there in the University for a considerable period and living in an independent Chalet . He was alone, had a small car which he seldomely used; he only used to walk most of the time for his work . He was more than simple in his life style with only very simple few sets of his dress; not very social.He certainly appeared to be a poor man for all standards.
One day he came to out apartment requested for fifty Naira ( local currency unit) to borrow, I happily landed the support. He returned the money after 15 days but he continued this practice of borrowing some times fifty, some time sixty etc and reurning after some time.

We were four members in the family, two of them going to secondary school; myself and my wife joined the postgraduate programs of the University, so I was paying tution fees for all of us , junior in rank with less salary than my friend; being new to the place, still trying to establish myself . I was curious to know if my friend has to borrow money from me then considering my own situation, I should be begging for my survival. After a few years, he stopped this borrowing and returning practice. I was also well established in the new place. I dared to ask him if he was borrowing money from me than I should be begging with the size of my family and responsibilities. He laughed and told very frankly that yes, he knew this situation, he thought that this was the best way to stop me from borrowing from if the situation arises which he thought was very likely. This was the good reason, cunning and clever way of dealing with the neighbors to keep them away.

For the rest of our stay, we found him the same kind of person, miser, caring too much for money and for himself. What happened to him and his money after his retirement??? Some people are born and die poor.

Getting a Residence on Rent is an experience in Baroda


khandera2khanderao1After the camp and field work was over, I have to come back to Head Quarters in Baroda. I started searching for an accommodation  in Baroda.  I normally like to live in central place of the town where most of the things are easily accessible , so my main effort of search was around Khanderao market, Sur Sagar, Palace Road,  Siddhanath Road area. There were many new colonies and lot of apartments were vacant. I roamed around whole day but all in vain. My idea was that Indians are discriminated In UK but I found that Baroda was even more difficult place to rent an accommodation. .The main reason was that I was from North India and the people did not trust me not to be non-vegetarian. I tried to convince them that I am a strict vegetarian but they wont accept it, saying that in North , even Brahamins are non-vegetarian. Tired of whole day this search exercise, exhausted I was going back to camp. On the way, I saw a name plate on the Gate of a house with ” SHAH ” as the last name , it reminded me the hospitality and cooperative spirit of shah families during my stay in Anjar, Kutch , I stopped at the gate, knocked the door. Gentleman came out asked me ” KEM CHHE  ” , introduced myself  as Gupta , a Banya Bhai Chhe; Without any further question, taken into the house with good faith. He introduced me to his family as Gupta Banya Bhai. As expected normal hospitality with tea and snacks started, asked my welfare then I explained my problem of the day of searching the house in vain and with disappoints. Mr Shah immediately told me ” Banda nathi”  worry not by tomorrow , I will get settled a place for you; Leave your address , I will inform you, just relax “. All my tiredness vanished, I was relaxed. I wanted to pay him money for the rent advance which he refused saying that nothing to worry about it.

I got the information just after two days that every thing has been settled in Patel Colony near Krishna Talkies/ Khanderao market and near to them. To my surprise, it was a better accommodation with cheaper rent and best of the location for my choice. When , I reached Baroda, my Landlord , Mr Mistri and his family warned me that  we will not only cook non-vegetarian food but will not be bringing it to the house from the market. If found breaking this promise, they will throw me out of the house. They have given me the house only on the assurance of Mr. Shah- a respected person of the locality. Once, I started living in the house which was a portion of their big house, they watched me and when satisfied, they became very friendly, courteous and  hospitable . I enjoyed my stay with them and in that place.and In Baroda.

After some time, I got the same environment as of Anjar. Most of the Shah families  from nearby area visited us , introduced themselves , invited us to their house. We continued enjoying in their group with the same spirit of community; dinners, parties, picnics etc. Among them was also the Registrar of  Sayajirao Gaekwad University of Baroda , Mr Shah who insisted my wife to seek admission in one of the prestigious course of the University though the admissions were closed but he will find a place for her.

Great experience of living in a decent , clean and very friendly town of Gujarat.