Sachiniti

February 5, 2006

An uncommon love story

Filed under: marriage,opinions,personal,Relationships — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 2:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

A true Love Story

Going back into the recesses of my mind, a voice emerges. Clear and lucid. In the throes of a party. A sea of smiling faces, laughter, mirth, camaraderie, at its best. Suddenly there was silence. An announcement was made, and an expectant hush fell over. The song began. It was resonant with melody, sounded good to the ears. A little girl was watching . She froze. Shyness seemed to take over completely. But nobody noticed nor did they care. What was unfolding was a treat to watch. The lyrics were so romantic:”sau saal pehle, mujhe tumse pyaar tha… aaj bhi hai, aur kal bhi rahega…” (I have loved you for a 100 years, continue to do today and will love you tomorrow and forever).

The little girl ran out of the room. What had come over Papa? Expressing his love for mama for all to see!! She was all of five years , too young to gage the rarity of this display even after 20 years of marriage. She peeped . Mama had joined in. She was singing too. How she longed for it all to be over. She was waiting for the cake. At last they were cutting the cake. Papa and mama together, and a multitude of friends. It was December 11th, their wedding anniversary.

The little girl was me and the original of that song I heard much later.

December 4th 2005.. a year since my father passed away. We all idolize our parents, but mine were truly unique. My sadness and tears multiply tenfold on seeing my mother without the tall, stately figure of my father, by her side. She is just under 5 feet and Papa was a six footer. Mama was almost a child-bride when they were married. Only17 . She had hair that reached a little above her ankles, and beautiful doe shaped eyes. Papa was so enamoured by her that only a day before the wedding did he realize that she was so petite. She wore huge heels all her life, in reaction to Paps constant teasing. The love they shared, which I had grown up being witness to and which I had taken so much for granted, I realize today is rare and precious.

Papa had nicknamed her “Pimy”, her name being Promilla, and called her Pimy rani ji. Mama referred to him as Chand ji, his name being Chander…Dr. Chandar Oberoi.

Every evening , like a ritual at 5.00 p.m Mama waited at the balcony of our bungalow, and would not budge till Papas car came into view. Usually it was party time then. I do not recall my father ever sharing a problem with us or Mama. We had a cocooned,carefree childhood, where each talent was honed, encouraged and allowed to fructify. I learnt, singing, dancing, (kathak) was supported wholeheartedly in my shoots, as a child actor.

Subsequent to that there came a period in my adolescence when studies came last in my list of priorities. I was too enchanted with the romance of ‘Mills and Boon”, Barbara Cartland. I cannot forget the expression on Papas face on seeing my report card in the eighth grade. There was no further need for verbalisation.I was ashamed and I had to make it up to him. I topped my school in the Boards and later the Mumbai university in graduation with subjects such as Constitution Of England and India, Political Science and History of the World.

Aeons later, after the birth of my kids, on a visit , Papa asked me to locate some documents from his cupboard. I found there a huge pack of files, wrapped neatly . On opening it, my jaw dropped in utter astonishment. They were my college notes along with copies of “Eves Weekly” with me on the cover. He could not bear parting with it since I had put in so much work, he explained . I laughed it off then, too embarassed by the tears that had welled up.But recently when my daughter topped the University , I found myself stashing her notes away too. Papa, ofcourse agreed heartily. She was his favourite now since “Mool se byaj pyaara hota hai’ he said .

It is difficult to replicate dinner time as I had seen it. At 8.00p.m. sharp, we gathered in the dining room, under Papas watchful eyes . We were a handful, to say the least, the four of us. I being the youngest, was Papas pet, therefore bullied by the rest of the gang. I remember crying for a whole week after my brothers convinced me that I had been adopted. Had my parents not intervened, perhaps I would have been wholly convinced of their tales.

Post dinner was family bonding and entertainment time. Papa had a repertoire of jokes, Magic (he was a magician par excellence), riddles. He told us of the time that he asked Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar a riddle which went”what is it that is yours but is used by others?” They loved the answer so much that they went onto harass all their female friends and received glares and gasps of astonishment. The answer was an innocuous “Name”.

Papa cherished life. After retirement he refused to let life force him to retire from fruitful and productive activity.. He studied Homeopathy and went onto becoming a doctor, and never failed to tell mama that since her children had not take up the profession, he decided to fulfill her desire. Mama missed us, since we had all left Mumbai, gone abroad etc. Papa sensing her ’empty nest’ syndrome, made it a point to inculcate a social life,despite failing health. They were busy and in demand. He was President of Lions Club, and popular beyond imagination.He was the life of the party at all times, and Mama loved to see him so.

Papa, had his first heart attack at age 52.He was subsequently operated in London for 4 bypass surgeries. Being diabetic, his favorite cuisine was forbidden. So Mama refused to eat any of it. No sweets, butter, rice, parathas for Papa. So for almost 30 years she had restricted her diet as well. It pained my father immensely but she refused to relent. Doctors had been anything but encouraging in their prognosis, since his heart was functioning just about 20%.

Mama, however, had her own take on it . She was convinced that Papa would be by her side till her end. The fact that Papa survived 32 years after his first attack was entirely due to mama’s untiring efforts towards his every need. She knew nothing besides the timings of his medication, or supervising his food intake. One noticed that she was constantly watching him as if to fathom and read his every thought. God, for her, was right here, in Papa. She did not have the time nor the inclination to worship any other. Papa, from his side, wrote brilliant poems eulogizing her.

He wrote Urdu poetry, as one of his hobbies (couplets that I quote are often his) and Jagjit singh too has sung his compositions. Mama loved to hear him recite and would be enthralled with every composition. He insisted that she be his first audience. I consider his verses now as a gift from the divine, especially “tundiye bade mukhalif se na ghabra aye aukaab..yeh to chalti hai tujhe ooncha udane ke liye..”(Let not the ferocious adverse winds deter you oh phoenix…since they blow with the sole purpose of taking you higher).This couplet has and will continue to guide me as have his countless other verses.

Last year, on 4th Dec, at around 10.00 p.m after Mama had ensured that he had taken his medication, she decided to give him an almond oil massage , since he complained of itching on his scalp. Half a minute later, when she returned, he was gone. Without a sigh. Without a moan. Without a warning.

I find it heart wrenching to describe in words the shock, disbelief, agony, despair I saw in Mamas eyes. All she kept saying” he promised me, he blessed me, how can his blessings go wrong?”

It is extremely devastating to see that small, bent, frail, sweet frame of my mother without that tall, statuesque, noble, elegant frame of my father besides her. It seems wrong. Unfair. There was nothing else that mama ever wanted out of life, except to have Papa by her side. How could all her prayers have gone unanswered?? I have to put on a brave face, wear a bright smile, chat lightheartedly with her, while my heart cries mournfully deep within, seeing her so forlorn, so incomplete, so cheated by Destiny.

Please pray for my mother, that she discovers peace and joy within her, is content in the divinity she has forgotten she embodies, but which I see in her and have been experiencing in her , all of my years as her daughter. Please pray for me that I am able to repay in my own small way, the debt of being brought up with so much love for my heart and nourishment for my soul by my dear parents.

December 11th, last year would have marked their 60th anniversary. My mother was alone .She always complained of a weak memory, but it is astounding to hear her quote Papas poems verbatim. She is like an encyclopaedia of his works, all of a sudden. She insists that it is Papa speaking through her..self effacing as usual… She is spirited, though my little mother. She has decided to take Urdu tuitions (at age 77) to enable her to read Papas Poetry journals, which she wishes to get printed. She has to immortalize him she says.

I wish to immortalize their uniquely sublime love story.

Update February 2007: Beyond all my expectations, Mama has almost mastered Urdu. Her tuition teacher, the lovable Irfaani Saheb, cannot stop raving about her quickness in picking up a different language like Urdu. Mama, sits back silently when he and me are marvelling at her abilities.. all she says is ” I have to read his books, translate them and get the printed..How could I not have learnt it fast?”..there is no gleam in her eye, no pride ..just an acute sadness.

The only time that she actually perks up is when she is able to decipher a particulaly difficult couplet he has composed and despite the teachers failing, she has read it out , guiding him on the correct reading.

Her mornings are spent now on the terrace, with his books . She has completed translating one journal. But her eyes are under serious stress. The cataract operation although successful, is now causing pain . The opthalmologist, who has begun to love her as his own mother , is astounded as to her determination. On a visit to his clinic, although he kept reassuring her, she finally broke down and wept saying that if she cannot complete her desire of translating his books, she will be left with nothing.

What is even more amazing is the fact that perhaps Papa knew ..he knew that he would leave earlier than her. he knew she would read..or else how does one explain the letters she finds addressed to her, the ‘shairi’ he has written especially for her on their wedding anniversary, which he never recited.. or the envelopes of token money with small loving notes, sealed and kept inside his journals, which she discovers every now and then.

I am speechless and in awe of the bond..their undying love. Just yesterday, she found a small autobiographical few pages written by Papa, talking of his early life in Lahore, how he won the ‘best dressed’ student of D.A.V. College, his sharing his room for two years with I.K.Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, who was his batchmate, his love for his mother who died when she was only 38, her beauty and personality.. she was 5ft 8 in. and an astounding singer, whose talks at the Arya Samaj were a renowned affair. And then he wrote of his courtship days with Mama. And his life with her..He consideed himself the luckiest man in the universe having found a partner in Mama..he said..and felt as tall as the Himalayas, he said. Someone who was merely 4 ft 10 in had given a man enough to make him feel invincible..

The loss is unbearable, and then the reminders of his love, can be excruciatingly painful. I can sense the bereavemnt, which Mama feels..the love she felt for him and that which she received is o rare that the void it leaves is gnawingly abysmal.

What can one do except to comfort her with thoughts that he is proud of her, her achievements, her strength in carrying on.

She listens and holds on firmly to the small silken pouch she carries at all times.

I had asked her a while ago on its contents, when she had accidentally left it home and refused to move to leave till she had brought it back.

She hesitatingly revealed..”they are you Papas ashes’..

*******************************************************************************


Update 19th July’07: My mother has suddenly taken ill. The translations of Papas works was almost complete. She had laboriously sorted and sifted through the poems, labelling and listing them. While talking of it on camera she suddenly suffered a stroke. We are broken. She must recover. I cannot afford to give up on Hope. That is all I have. Please pray for her. Thank you.

Update 29th July 2007:It is Guru Purnima. I have just received the news that Mama has passed away.She had gone to Johannesburg to visit my sister.I had made plans to ensure that she recovers completely. I was sure she would. There are no tears left..just a deep emptiness.

With her passing away, something has died within me. I dont know what. All I know is I will never feel whole again.

I have just returned from Johannesburg. I had to see her one last time. Touch the soft cheeks. the small feet and tell her she was the best mother in the world. I did that. Returned home with her in a ‘small kalash’. My small sweet Mama now watching from above there with Papa at her side..probably singing ‘ Sau saal pehle mujhe tumse pyar tha aaj bhi hai aur kal bhi rahega’. ..an unending ethereal love story.

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56 Comments »

  1. Godly ….. Simply superb …

    Comment by Subash — February 9, 2006 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Subash.I guess it was the veracity of the emotion which was Godly.Your viewing it as such however is telling of your sensitivity as well.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — February 9, 2006 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  3. sublime…earnest…moving tribute

    Comment by temporal — February 11, 2006 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  4. Aaaagh…. I have no words to describe the emotions I have had for hours after reading your post. Made me go back through my memories and then to see a tear dropping onto my cheek…. sums it all up.
    Truly amazing and well put up.
    Just the fact that I am taking time out of my present very busy life to comment regarding the post. I cannot believe myself.

    Comment by ______ — February 12, 2006 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks Temporal And Anonymous,

    Kind words numb the loss for a while.I would very much like for all of you to remember my mother in your prayers.Healing ,for her, seems a long way off. You all seem kind and sensitive souls.

    God Bless

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — February 13, 2006 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  6. Tremendous loving impacts, loving parents can imprint within their children!

    Wonderful memoirs of your parents, Kaveeta!

    My most joyous contratulations upon learning, this wonderful tribute, has won this recognition..

    ‘DESICRITICS Editor Picks Of The Month’

    What a wonderful blessing, for an already blessed family!!

    My best Regards,

    North

    Comment by North — February 27, 2006 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  7. Wonderful .. very touching, and very heartwarming. I cannot see what I am typing – tears blur my vision.

    Comment by Shruthi — March 10, 2006 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  8. Worry not for you are blessed. Thank you for sharing all this. Beautiful, god bless you.

    Comment by Pareshaan — March 10, 2006 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  9. Thanks North, Shruthi,Pareshaan.

    Your kind and thoughtful words will help us through.

    Mama, to keep you all updated, has begun on her Urdu tuitions.

    Soon we hope to see Papas poems published. Mamas name will appear as editor and it will thrill me no end knowing how proud Papa would have been of his little Pimy rani determinedly having completed a daunting project.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — March 10, 2006 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  10. one of the most aamzing blogs I ever read… got the link thru desipundit….

    I hope you won’t mind if I post it on the bulletin board of my company for fellow colleagues and seniors(obviously expressing due credits).

    Comment by KT — March 10, 2006 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  11. kt,

    thanks..Go ahead and post it:)

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — March 10, 2006 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  12. This comment is by tintin, which got deleted accidentally. Since it was so touching, I am copy pasting it.

    Sorry tintin..Here it is

    “I normally don’t leave any comments for the various blogs I read, but after going through this post I had to.

    Having lost my own father a few months ago, I understand the terrible loss that you have suffered. My grief took the shape of words but somehow I never could transcribe them to my blog. Tried a few times, nay, many times, but each time I could only write a few sentences before choking up.

    Reading your blog brought a lump to my throat. No amount of comforting words can help overcome the loss of a loved one. Everybody insisted that it will get better with time, or how I should be brave and my dad’s soul wouldn’t want me to be unhappy whenever I thought of him. But somehow my heart and my eyes refuse to listen…”

    Tintin, I understand totally.
    You know what I have realised is that we should make no attempt to forget, since that is well nigh impossible.Instead make it a happy remembrance, savouring the moments spent together and feeling enriched having experienced his presence in our lives.

    I keep saying this to my mom. She still breaks down on seeing his clothes or diaries etc. I ask her to try and convert the tear into a smile instead, knowing that would make him happy.

    Please do try:)

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — March 10, 2006 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  13. Hi, Kaveeta. It was one of the most interesting reading that I had for a long time. While going through it,I felt a part of you and your family.I wonder how similar our family systems and life is. Remembering the past is sweet but brings sadness as well….However,it also gives us a sweet glimpse of hope that one day we will see them again in another world,more beautiful, long-lasting and forever.Here too, they live in our hearts.
    I also read in one of your recent posts that your papa and O P Nayyar sahib ,both were from CHAKWAL, which is located so close to my area (NWFP).
    Kaveetiji, I is my personal belief that people who love their parents so so much and remember them are te most sincere and devoted.

    Comment by Ashraft — February 25, 2007 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  14. Hi Ashraft..thank you so much.

    Its a long awaited dream for me to visit Pakistan, especially Chakwal, Lahore, places which my parents spoke so dearly about. I feel a close affinity despite never having been there.

    My father had informed me that before partition, my grandfathers ‘kothi’ in Chakwal was the only one with a ‘well’ which had been dug up by ‘Pitaji’ my grandfather, Shri Gyan Chand Oberoi, for the inhabitants, since the closest other source of water was miles away. Therefore the gates to the house were always kept open for all at all times of night and day.

    So glad to know you are from there as well.

    My father graduated from Forman College Lahore, and while there had been elected Best Dressed collegian ..he was a natty dresser, Western and Indian attire suited him to the hilt. How I miss listening to the stories he used to fondly recount to us with a smile on his face and a glint in his eye. It seems like another world, alien, yet dear.

    I wonder sometimes, dishearteningly, Has the chapter come to a close? Is it all over? Is Papas story now complete? There was so much to be told, felt, sensed, imbibed..so much that cannot be written about and yet so profound..

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — March 12, 2007 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  15. KaveetiJi, it will be a pleasure to be your host some day when I am back in Pakistan . And you must visit Chakwal to see the places where you father and his elders walked , played and spent their childhood.It is astonishing you haven’t visited ,so far.I will also take you to other significant places throught the country, specially to lake Saiful-malook and Khunjrab Pass. Lake Saiful-Malook, has a folklore that a prince named Saifulmalook fell in love with a fairy who used to come out of the lake to meet him.. When you go there, stand at the bank of the lake ,looking at it, you start believing the sotry to be true. Khunrab pass is a place where the highest road on our planet at 16500 feet above the sea level runs. While going to Khunjrab ,a portion of about 50 miles of road runs on a glacier 4000 years old. I am sure a person with your taste and knowlege-orientation,would love to be there and enjoy the beauty of nature.
    I also plan to visit India in near future and see all those historical places. I will seek your guidance before I travel.

    Comment by Ashraft — March 30, 2007 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  16. Ashraft.. this sounds truly tempting. God willing, a trip to Chakwal will turn into reality.. soon. And then will also love to visit the places you have recommended.

    To get to see first hand the place of your roots, is always a dream. I remember watching Pakistani plays, and being totally mesmerised.. the culture language and ethos seemed so close to home.. never once did I get the feeling that anything being said or emoted is not inexperienced vis a vis , personally. Being a Punjabi, the quaintness of the language, the ‘lehza’ and the ‘takhalus’ was exactly the way Papa spoke.. it so comforting to meet people who talk the same way. A bond gets established almost instantaneously. Most of Papas family, who were all from Pakistan, have passed away. There are none that speak that special Pinjabi, withe the inherent sweetness of ‘jeen aayaan no’..and other such, which one hears sometimes in pakistani plays.

    Literally ‘kaan taras jaate hain sunne ke liye’.. In Mumbai that culture is as if extinct.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — April 1, 2007 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  17. […] Meanwhile.. her story.. […]

    Pingback by A Short Gap.. « Sachiniti — July 21, 2007 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  18. Dear Kaveeta,

    What a story ….we in this generation can but read of such realtionships , never in real life…

    anyways take care of your mom … my prayers with u.

    Comment by Manoj — July 23, 2007 @ 9:11 am | Reply

  19. Very touching and well-written!

    Comment by Traveller — July 23, 2007 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

  20. Manoj..thanks so much.Prayers will be so valued now. Yes, the depth of their love is the stuff fairy tales are made of. It never fails to astonish me even today.

    Hi Traveller..Thanks.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 24, 2007 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  21. Words fail me …
    but you are in our prayers. Take care

    Comment by jidda — July 24, 2007 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  22. Very touching indeed! You have written it so beautifully. Your papa was really a chosen one and such persons never die….i believe. There is a proverb about “wearing out” grief…..if you bottle it up , you will never soften it. You did a right thing by putting it so well. Take full care of your mother.

    Comment by arun bajaj — July 25, 2007 @ 1:48 am | Reply

  23. Kavee,

    There should have been a reason, I have been wondering, that so much of `tukde hain mere dil ke …’ kept bothering me the entire day on 22nd.

    I am certain, solace is around ! May, He, the Almighty, be witness to your pain and provide remedy Himself !

    Please take care.
    sincerely – anil sharma.

    Comment by anil sharma — July 25, 2007 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  24. Jidda thanks so much.. you are kind.

    Arun ji,
    A blog sometimes transforms into a space which takes on a magical entity to who ones innermost thoughts as if gush out in an energy all their own. Only truth exists then..sometimes painful at other times sordid, yet another time passionate. It becomes easier to express here then speaking to ones near and dear who are burdened with their own grief. What provides solace, however much, is the fact that it has touched a chord in anothers heart.

    My only regret is that I began to write this blog after Papas demise.I know however he is with me as if holding my hand and egging me on as he had always been doing. He brought me up as if I was a little Princess.. Thank God I never believed it.. or the shrapnels from the inconsiderate arsenal of life’s unpredictable twists, which we are all subject to, in some form or another, might have broken me now, in his absence.

    My mother is presently in South Africa where she had gone on a visit to relatives. The distance and my inability to talk to her has been a trying situation this last week. Time is now spent on getting second opinions from doctors and looking for alternative remedies.. waiting every minute for some heartening news from her. I speak to her everyday.. or rather get her to listen to my voice.. Yesterday for the first time in so many days I was able to detect a clear ‘ God Bless you’ from her.

    Anil ji.. thanks so much. His Grace is keeping my spirits up and my faith unshakable. I cannot believe that my little mother, in the face of bereavement, who displayed so much courage and inner strength is yet again in the eye of another storm. Perhaps a trying time to test her and show us and the world, her mettle..She will come back walking to me,says my intuition and the fact that so many here have joined me in prayers for her recovery.

    Thank you all .. I am touched..but do keep remembering her in your prayers.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 25, 2007 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  25. I sure know your feelings for ur parents knowing u so closely all these years I can understand the role they played in your upbringing as an successful individual who had the courage to face life with its up and down they were your support which now is unreachable but dont worry we are always there for u call us and we shall reach U.U are not alone ofcourse we cannot be them but we could be like them .U are lucky u have seen ur parents companionship of 60years and now our frienship of 41 years.we r alwaysthere for u.Anjal Bhamini Kavita Kausar Mala we shall alwaysbe there for each other

    Comment by kausar.feroz — August 25, 2007 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  26. Kausar that was truly wonderful..I am blessed in having friends like you all..thanks for just being the way you are.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — August 25, 2007 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  27. hi your are fine

    Comment by Furqan Hanif — November 23, 2007 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  28. […] Interested in a True Love story? Read this. […]

    Pingback by Karva Chauth Tomorrow « Sachiniti — October 16, 2008 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  29. Kaveetaa ji,

    Blessed were your parents that had you as an affectionate, caring and loving Daughter.

    Those Roots in Pakistan, DAV College Lahore, Homeopathy, Baba Ramdev, Initiation by Guru ji, Raja Mehndi Ali Khan, Madan Mohan Ji, Sahir Ludhyanvi ji, and the great song SAU SAAL , all these are ditto resemblence in my life. Please allow me if I can share.

    Comment by Anand Berry — November 5, 2008 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  30. Anand.. I hope and pray that my parents thought so. I just know that they meant everything to me.

    And please Anand you never have to ask.I will be overjoyed to read of your memories. It will indeed be a privilege. Do share.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 6, 2008 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  31. Dear Kaveetaa ji,

    Reading about the Old Golden Days, I was reminded of my Roots and glory of my ancestors. I wish to share some similarities of old memories stock.

    My Great Grandfather Lala Ganpat Rai Beri was a Zamindar in a village named DAUD under Tehsil NAROWAL District SIALKOT, PAKISTAN.

    His third and youngest son (My Late DADA ji) Lala Lal Chand Beri passed engineering from Roorkee and was a Senior Barrack Manager in M.E.S.. Grandpa established the whole family in LAHORE with three houses. First one near the house of Munshi Ram, Second house near the house of Radha Krishna Mahendra and the third a Grand Haveli Beri’s beside a mandir near the house of Seth Ralia Ram Chatrath. Being in military Grandpa moved to various places with his family. During his tenure he was at Lucknow, Patna, Bombay- Churchgate near Eros Cinema, Ambala, Panagarh, etc etc. But finally when the independence was declared on 15th August 1947 , he was then posted at Calcutta. So all the assets and properties were left behind in LAHORE. But as he was a very bold man; with his high level approach he revisited the Grand Beri’s Haveli (which had then been converted to POlice Chowki) at LAHORE. With his helpers he digged out the hidden money Rs 1,25,000 that he had stored secretly on above Parchatti. The Police people were shocked as they never imagined to have slept under the Money Stuffed roof since a fortnight.

    My Late father Shri Yash Pal Beri had just passed out from DAV LAHORE, Pre-independence. He usually Gave us some memories which I state in short as follows :-

    Dad used to proudly say that there was a time when SHAHEED-E-AZAM BHAGAT SINGH ji also used to study at DAV LAHORE.

    Later DEV ANAND son of Pishori Lal Anand a famous Lawyer of Gurudaspur also studied at DAV LAHORE. He was 2 yrs senior to Dad. I could see tears of joy in his eyes when some years ago Dev Anand Saheb with his entire TV crew visited the DAV LAHORE and showed us his staff room, Principal’s room, Liabrary, etc on Star News.

    When we spoke of Dara Singh, he would remind us about RUSTAM-E-JAHAN GAMA Pehalwan. Dad was friendly with BIJLY Pehalwan and the famous MAGICIAN GOGIA BADSHAH.(incedently his grandson Rajiv Gogia is my dear friend and was batchmate in B.Com. St Xavier’s College Calcutta). He sometimes mentioned about the famous Pancholi Studios of LAHORE and also about Billymorias.

    He recounted their days at DAV LAHORE started with daily Arya Samaj Yagna & chanting of GAYATRI MANTRAs.Life was strictly Diciplined.

    Those days ONE ANNA was enough for POCKETFULL of Peshawri Badams, Chaman Kishmish, Chilgozas, etc which they shared with friends.

    One DAMRI, mind it ONE DAMRI (1/3 of One Paisa) would get them few Oranges from outside trolley vendor who used to store those Oranges in a matka with beaten ice to keep them cool (that was his idea of LG fridge those days).

    Those days GOLD was Rs 50/- for 10 gms.

    Dad was a big fan of RAJA MEHNDI ALI KHAN saheb, He adored the shayaris of SAHIR LUDHYANVI and the music was all time favourite of MADAN MOHAN ji.

    His favourites included – RANG AUR NOOR KI BARAAT KISE PESH KAROON sung by Rafi ji, ZARA SI AAHAT HOTI HAI , LAG JA GALE KE PHIR YEH HASEEN RAAT HO NA HO, AAPKI NAZRON NE SAMJHA PYAR KE KABIL MUJHE, YOON HASRATON KE DAAG MOHABBAT MEIN DHO LIYE sung by Lata ji and ZAMEEN SE HUMEIN AASMAN PAR UTHA KAR GIRA TO NA DOGEY a Rafi-Asha Duet & many songs composed by Madan Mohan ji like songs of Anpadh, Adalat, Mera Saya, Woh Kaun Thi, Dastak, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, Sanjog, Ghazal, Haqeeqat, Man Mauji, Bahana, Ek Kali Muskayee, etc etc and many more.

    Dad used to refer Sunil Dutt – A Dashing Hero, Sohraab Modi – Rich voice and fine dialouge delivery, Balraj Sahini – Very Sober and Handsome.

    Later and in the last years he used to practice HOMEOPATHY and give Free medicines to needy & poor. My younger brother VIR BERI of 92, kennedy Avenue, Amritsar is also a practicing Homeopath Doctor.

    Dad was Pure Veggie and was personaly initiated by HAZUR MAHRAJ CHARAN SINGH JI of Radha Soami Satsang , Beas.

    What a Co-incedence ! My life’s first film that I saw was JAB PYAR KISI SE HOTA HAI starring Dev Anand, Asha Parekh & Pran. The Song “SAU SAAL PEHLE MUJHE TUMSE PYAR THA, AAJ BHI HAI AUR KAL BHI RAHEGA” and other hits like ‘O Jiya Ho, Jiya Ho Jiya Kuch Bol Do’ and ‘Bin Dekhe Aur Bin Pehchane Tum Par Hum Qurbaan’ still remain my top favourites.

    Kaveetaa ji, I don’t know why, but I have a hearty wish to once visit DAUD > NAROWAL > SIALKOT > LAHORE and other famous cities of Pakistan before I depart from this world.

    Comment by Anand Berry — November 8, 2008 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

    • I also belong village Daud, now district Narowal my name is Rana Alamgir Khan, contact me e-mail ranaalamgirkhan@yahoo.com

      Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — December 20, 2011 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • Dear Anand,

      I’m delighted to read your comment about my ancestors village. My family still resides there. I have heard stories about many great Indian Big names belonging to my ancestral village which includes Yash Chopra and Dev Anand.

      My grandfather was also a Zameendaar in Village Daud, District Narowal. We still have much of land of the village. The village daud was always occupied by Rajputs of area. I too am one, however, we have moved to lavish cities now. But it still takes the breath away to think about old times of which my mother narrates me the tales.

      Once again, delighted to ready our comment. If you ever come to Pakistan, be my guest.

      Comment by Rana Usman — January 28, 2014 @ 3:52 am | Reply

  32. Gosh..Anand that was so wonderful. The parity of our forefathers does bring about a certain bond. there is so much in common that it is almost baffling. One meets the stalwarts of those days less and less and the loss is indepictable. I can relate so much to what you have described. Kahaan gaye woh log? Tragic..

    There was a certain kindness, simplicity, straightforwardness, ability to revel in life, an open heartedness which is so missing. Even we being their children have not been able to inherit their traits. I know times have changed but I also feel that the generation of especially our parents and grandparents can never agin be replicated.

    When you speak of Ambala..well what can I say. My maternal grandfather was the senior Branch Manager of SBI pre partition. You can imagine what it must have been to be a class 1 Officer in the British zamaana. he built a huge haveli in Ambala Cantt.. My childhood years are memeorires of the aromas of Khas khas tattis, pomergrnate trees, mogras, and all kinds of fruit trees spread over acres and acres of land that surrounded the house. Biji and her rasoi ghar, maa ki dal and home made icecream in those huge machines filled with salt. How can we ever get to taste the kind of Ice cream again.

    Dev Ananad, Sunil Dutt who Papa knew as Balraj, from the days he was an announcer with AIR , and who lived just behind our bungalow at Pali hill, rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Balraj sahni, Motilal were all personal friends and I remember many an occasion that we spent together.

    Like you I too devoutly wish to visit lahore, Chakwal, rawal Pindi and get the feel of those places, the whiff of the air my forefathers lived in..Maybe.. Inshallah..some day 🙂

    Lovely read..thank you.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 12, 2008 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  33. Kaveetaa ji,

    With a note on AMBALA CANTT.
    Once again we have touched the line of similarity.

    Since childhood I used to visit Beas & Amritsar twice a year by 6DN Amritsar Mail. It used to be very happy moment listening churning of birds at sharp 4.30 AM dawn,with having a cup of HOT coffee or tea at Ambala Cantt Railway Station.

    AMBALA CANTT is famous for Scientific Instruments and it is also called the city of Mixers & Grinders.

    After graduation I couldnot find a suitable match at Calcutta as I am 6’4″ and here girls are short heighted. So My parents got me a bride from AMBALA CANTT. My wife Rajni is daughter of a retired military personal and ex-head mistress of DAV school Ambala Cantt. Rajni is 5’8″ tall and suits me well.My children were also born at Khuranna Nursing Home, Ambala Cantt.

    So AMBALA CANTT is a second Home for me as I often visit my in laws there. Some of my favourite places there are –

    Jain Soda Water, King Fisher, Parkash Tea Stall, Puran Singh Da Dhabba, Deluxe Dhabba, Sadar Bazar, Sarrafa Bazar, Khataiyan of Gyan Bakery, Matthiyan of Sahini, Kartare di Ras Malai, etc etc and many more.

    Comment by Anand Berry — November 23, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  34. Dear Kaveetaa ji,

    My dream of visiting Daud > Narowal > Sialkot > Lahore and other famous cities of Pakistan.

    Your dream of visiting Lahore > Chakwal > Rawal Pindi and other places in Pakistan.

    With the recent terror attacks and today sucide attack in Chakwal where hundreds of innocents lost their lives..

    Aapko kya lagta hai..

    Our forefathers made a positive step to leave those places ?
    Are not we very fotunate to escape from such hell & living in the country that has Baba Ramdev ?

    With the current scenareo can we ever think or dream of visiting PAK ??

    Comment by Anand Berry — April 5, 2009 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

    • Anand ji kuchch sapne to kaayam hai. Have nurtured this dream for long but it seems to escape reality everyday. Presently its almost an impossibility. It is tragic that the birthland of our fathers is denied to us even to visit since the minds of some create boundaries even on feelings and emotions. I dont for a minute doubt the sagacity of our ancestors in leaving Pakistan. They had little or no choice and India the land of rishis and sages has given us so much. All we gain from this world eventually and which goes with us is spiritual progress. My country is overflowing with the wisdom of the ancients. I do think I am blessed having been born here.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — April 10, 2009 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  35. Dear Kavita

    Soul touching, enigmatic
    Somewhere beyond, the night sky
    Eternal energy, binds
    The little lady and her love,
    Love embodies, a power,
    The Energy from beyond,
    Blessed & content,
    They’re united forever,
    And a familiar voice tells me ….
    Tum Jeeyo Hazaaro Saal … Saal Me Din Ho Pachas Hazaar

    GOD Bless you forever…

    Firdause I

    Comment by firdause i — February 23, 2010 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

    • Wow!! This is simply awesome Firdause. You said so much in such few words..I’m spellbound by the imagery your poem conjures up. It touched my soul also in that you recognised the core of their love and wove such a magical aura around it.Thank you so much.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — February 23, 2010 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  36. Kaveetaa ji..I had to sit back in complete silence for a long time after reading this. I pray fervently that your parents are united in bliss forever.They are also blessed to have had a daughter who cared for them so deeply.

    Comment by Krishnan — February 23, 2010 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  37. hi Dolly,
    your expression is so beautiful.i enjoyed reading your life-story immensely.
    your parents are blessed to have such a loving daughter.

    Comment by annu kaul — February 25, 2010 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

    • Hi Annu..Thanks for your kind comment..it was so heartening.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — February 26, 2010 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  38. Dear Kavitha ji,
    I have by chance read your blog today. What a beautiful nostalgic moments you have shared with us. No words to describe it more. The beautiful comments followed on your memories also a wonderful piece to read and think. Really it is great to go back to your roots and experience what our forefathers enjoyed. Hope one day yours as well other friends who expressed their wishes may fulfill by the great almighty. Thank you and wish you share with us some more of your great papa’s stories with us.

    with love and respect.. R.BABU.

    Comment by r.babu — September 5, 2010 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

    • Thanks a lot R. Babu ji for your warm appreciative comments. So kind of you. Shraadh is soon approaching and I pray that if my parents are anywhere near our plane of existence they are able to fathom just how much I loved them and how sorely they are missed. Some things in life can never be replaced.The first on this list is the presence of parents in your life. I just wish people would realise this whilst their parents are yet with them them in their midst.

      Thanks once again

      Regards
      Kaveetaa

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 17, 2010 @ 6:08 am | Reply

  39. Dear Anand Berry,

    I also belong village Daud, now district Narowal my name is Rana Alamgir Khan, contact me e-mail ranaalamgirkhan@yahoo.com

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — December 20, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  40. = Dear Kavita, It was so nice of you to send me your message to read your blog. I couldnt stop reading it till the end. I was touched and felt as if I am part of your family and that as if your parents were like mine> I lost my father when he was only 63 . Her was a Gov t servant and it is sad that I couldnt di any seva for him as I left for higher studies to London when I was only 19 and came back after 7 years and again after living 6 months I left for Germany.
    I came back for good in 1996 after burning my boat and I am lucky to mention that I could have the opportunity to be with my mother whom I cared in all respect. Unfortunately I also lost her – in coming June, it will be 4 years and since them I feel so lonely. Being the only son having 5 lovely younger sisters, despite living so long abroad I had a special bondage with her. I used to prerss her legs every night till she asked me to stop. But touchin her legs used to give me special feelings of
    closeness. I will tell you abt her other time, just to mention my sisters said after death that she had enormlous love for me.

    I can imagine how you feel and I like tyo share that grief with you as if I am part of your family and this is my inner feeling that I wish I have known your family personally.There are lots of similarities. I was born in Delhi which I miss temendously I still havce lots of memories. I can well imagine what you think about Pakistan and India partition. I wish there there were no borders/passport/visa restriction etc. etc., so that people from bkoth countries could enjoy v isiting their native places.

    Your beloved father was cousin of Raj Kumar. I admired him, He was a great actor thoiughj he didnt freach the gtop, Ashoik andx Kishore Kumars too were my favourite. I had the pleasure meetingf
    Dev Anand to have invkited him for a lunch in Brentwood Essex in 1984 in my mansion Colombe Lodge, whkich I bought in 1976 as a running hotel. He was facinated to hear my story and said he would like to make a flim in that mansion surrounded by few hundred trees.

    Coming back gto your wfrite up, after this message I am going toi read again, as it is so interesting that I cannot express on hand am so grifed and on the other hand I find so touchy and interesting. It is not easy to fiorget all those things which you had en joyed and shared with youyr family. I have to take my hat off for your dear mother who learned URDU for the saake of reading all that materials and poetry whkich your bdeloved fatherf had left for her. I am sure tghe spirits of your beloeved parrents are together in heaven.

    By the way DAV college was oiur first stay in October 1947 when we reahddx Lahore- nwe slept in verandah for a week then moved to Ramnagar Hostel for a month then we found a house in Sant Nagar which we shared wtith another family who came from Amritsar. I know a retired Genral Majeed Malik from Chakwal which province has a history of to have so many brave soldiers and generals both Hindu and Muslims.I also havde a friend from nearby Gujrat , but sadly I have never visited these beautioful places, but instead have seen half the woirld.

    I have to finish as I got a visitor, but will come back to you, You aare indeed a very interesting personality and itg seems we have so many common grounds to share.

    God bless you and May God have peace on the souls of your beloved father AND MOTHER.

    f you like I would be very grateful if you can advise me your email address as I wish tgo know you more and some day if possible would very much like to meet your family.
    my email address is = shahmirza@hotmail.com.

    EWith best fregards, Yours sincerely Iqbal Mirza

    Comment by aqbal — January 21, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  41. Dear Anad

    i belong village daud

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — February 24, 2012 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  42. village daud

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — February 24, 2012 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  43. Dear Rana Alamgir Khan Saheb…..I Felt Extremely Happy To Find Someone From Village “DAUD” that happens to be ancestarial land of my forefathers. I Had Contacted you on your email..Plz check…!!

    Comment by Anand Berry — September 30, 2012 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

    • I also happy to see your reply but unfortnately, i cannot find your mail. kindly mail again.

      Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — November 27, 2012 @ 11:13 am | Reply

    • Dr. Anad,

      i am waiting ur reply

      Rana Alamgir Khan

      Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — February 4, 2013 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  44. Dear Mr. Anand Berry Sahib
    I also happy to see your reply but unfortnately, i cannot find your mail. kindly mail again

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — November 27, 2012 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  45. 44.Dear Mr. Anand Berry Sahib
    I also happy to see your reply but unfortnately, i cannot find your mail. kindly mail again and also give ur mail here also.

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — November 27, 2012 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  46. Dear mr anand

    i am waiting for ur reply

    Comment by Rana Alamgir Khan — December 31, 2012 @ 3:05 pm | Reply

  47. Dear Rana Alamgir Khan Saheb,

    Feeling Very Happy To Know That I Found Someone From Village ‘DAUD’ The Native Place Of My Late Father , Who Always Cherished About His Childhood & Young Age Years Spent There.

    Anand Berry

    leonardovinci15@gmail.com

    Comment by Anand Berry — April 15, 2013 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  48. My other family members belong to the great land of which is Indian Punjab now. Belonging from village Machinagar, District Indian Punjab. In fact, my grandfather was elected member of assembly of united india from All Indian Muslim League.

    Comment by Rana Usman — January 28, 2014 @ 3:54 am | Reply


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