I am 67 years old now and retired from the service 7 years ago. In the ample time at my disposal, the mind harks back and reel of memory rewinds on the spool of time and this time it stops at the days of my childhood. Our childhood was spent in the village called Manimajra. Nowadays it is in the Union territory of Chandigarh though at that time it was along with Chandigarh a part of Punjab. We were like most others in the village poor peasants with small landholdings. Parents were totally illiterate. In those days, nobody was serious… Read More »Some snippets from childhood
Dulla Bhatti is a famous folklore hero of Punjab. Punjab means here the erstwhile Punjab of undivided India. His ballad called Dulle Di Vaar (Ballad of Dulla) is very popular in the rural area of Punjab. It extols the deeds of his extraordinary bravery in the form of songs. I still remember in our younger days, the ballad sung by folk singer Kuldeep Manak was a craze in whole of Punjab. He is seen like Robinhood, who was savior of the poor and helpless, rescuer of the young girls abducted by Mogul soldiers during their raids. Dulla was a contemporary… Read More »Dulla Bhatti: More than a Robinhood
Tricity-meaning three cities combined. One such tricity consists of 3 cities namely: Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Chandigarh was planned a new city as the capital of Punjab when Lahore was lost to Pakistan. It was matter of prestige for Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India who wanted to assuage the sufferings of the Punjab which befell it due to partition. Everyone is aware of the beautifully planned city. As the years went by, States of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were separated from the Punjab. There was a demand by Punjab to hand over the Chandigarh city… Read More »Where to Tricity???
At the starting point of human evolution timeline, the progress was very slow and full of dangers. Learning was at the cost of many human lives. In the beginning, man was a hunter and did not have a stable life. He was always on the move because animals which he hunted were also capable of running. Life of hunting was not easy.They were on lookout for more stable life. To be able to stay put at one place. For this, humans had to enable themselves replace their diet with grains and cereals which could be grown near their abodes. As… Read More »Is Collective Wisdom always Correct?
When someone asked the humorist writer Mark Twain which investment shall bring in the maximum profit, he had said “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”. As always how true he was. The demand for land is rising and rising relentlessly. Our health quotient is improved day by day resulting in increased life expectancy. More people, more wealth they generate and with more wealth, everybody wants to live a life of comfort. Three basic needs: house, food and clothing are putting extreme pressure on our planet. Even though Sun is helping us in the synthesis of food, the area under… Read More »What is Happening?
Prayag in Allahabad is the place of confluence of Ganges, Yamuna & Saraswati rivers. The place is revered by Hindus and is one of the four places where a great fair called “Kumbh Mela” is held which is attended by many hundred thousand pilgrims. It is believed that a holy dip in the confluence waters purifies a person washing all his sins. These are beliefs and metaphors because the sins and good deeds do not cling to the body like grime or clothes which even a good scrubbing and soap bath washes away. These are the things which depend upon… Read More »Panjnad, Satnad and Triveni
Just like many Marathi families settled in Tanjore during the time of rule of Marathas at this place, many Sikhs opted not to return to their native land but to settle in the Assam itself. These Sikhs trace their genealogies to few hundred Sikh soldiers which arrived in Assam to help the Ahom rulers in the year 1820. These Sikhs were sent by Ranjit Singh as a friendly gesture. Many of them perished but many among those who survived chose to settle down there. Many of them married the local girls. Most of the descendants are mostly concentrated in Nagaon… Read More »Forgotten Cousins of Punjabi Sikhs
Punjab is called the bread basket of India. A state in Northern Indian plains formed and irrigated by five perennial rivers originating from Himalayas. The land surface is deposited by the alluvial brought up by the rivers. The land is flat, devoid of any geographical features. Standing out in the open in a field you can feel the unending flatness meeting the horizon. The farmers of the area are known for their hard working nature. Earlier the farming was largely non-mechanized. Bullocks and manual labor was used. Slowly to keep with the times machines like tractors, tubewells and other implements… Read More »Punjab Villages during winters
They were so common that we hardly noticed them. They were the part of Punjabi folklore. For example, the unmarried girls were compared with them, saying that these girls are like sparrows chirping all day in the verandahs of their parents and will also fly away when married. Whole day, they will dart inside and out bringing semi dry grass stubble for construction of the nest. There was chirping all day. There was a mulberry tree in our courtyard where in the evening these birds rested in its cool and secure boughs. The cacophony in the evening would be ear… Read More »Rediscovering the house sparrows
Everyday while sitting in the balcony of my flat, I see these birds in the playground below. They don’t sit idle for long at one place. They suddenly dive to ground, catch some insect and fly to roost on the top of poles, basketball board or on the wire net along the boundary. While sitting, they usually lift their head and wag their tails. Sometimes they sit in the bushes from where they swoop to grass to catch the insects. The common name of this bird is Brown Rock Chat and the scientific is Cercomela fusca. It belongs to the… Read More »Brown Rock Chat