“My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat.
It is not the defeated soldier’s drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior’s will to win.
It is not the despirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.”
Atal Bihari Vajpayee- Former Prime Minister of India.
Writing notes, letters, jottings are part of a family tradition of ours. Our family is originally from the Garhwal Himalayas, but have traveled to many parts of the world.
Think Globally, act locally concept was well illustrated while reading a school gazette of my sons
When my sons would study in St.Edward’s college-Malta, I came across a weekly gazette of the school, which served as a point of reference for the many facets of school life from the primary, secondary, to senior years, with an interesting note by the headmaster, an interview with some of the non-teaching staff who kept the system running. There were special notes on visits by dignitaries, professionals, or school trips , exchange programs or live-in experiences in the school. This interesting school magazine introduced me to facets like the stories of Sister Violet Briffa, the school through the world War II period, the origins of the school building and the background
See this video of The Chapel of St Edward’s college interiors which is part of the bastion which date back to the times of the Knights of St John. In the walls are inscribed the names of old Edwardians who fell in the World War. There is an inscription in memory of Sister Violet Briffa who served in the college for 38 years.
Our family is originally from the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
This school gazette inspired me to keep a “Family Gazette” which is one of the forms of communication between immediate and (select) extended family in which we see some of the nitty gritties of life as it has evolved in the past decades, we being originally from the Garhwal Himalayas.
Karan Prayag-the meeting of Pindar and Alaknanda
Last November, when I was visiting a camp at Gauchar, I talked to a veteran who confided how his brother is the last family member living in his town-Nandprayag, and even he is not able to sustain only from the work of that area, and has to travel to district headquarters at Gopeshwar. Most families of the hills, migrate to the plains. There are many Garhwali families in Delhi region. Ours is one of them.
We have stayed in the Delhi region from the nineteen thirties, and four generations of our family have walked at Lodhi gardens, where my elder cousin brother still does Yoga every morning, on the lawns next to Bada Gumbad.
The garden tombs of Delhi have been a hub where we have discussed and learnt many things
The Humayun tomb is one of our favorite “Reading places”.
It is on the footsteps of Bada Gumbad-Lodhi gardens, that my Uncle (Mausa-ji) explained to me many intricacies of family, community. Now through a distance, he has been sending regular short poems in instalments, and with his permission, I am posting one of his poems, handwritten in his neat writing, about the different stages of Delhi, as he has seen and experienced it. When I used to stay in Delhi, I used to go with him for morning walks to Raj Ghat-Shantivana area, or for evening walks through the Lutyens Delhi region and explore different facets of the architecture of Delhi. Who was the architect of South Block (answer-Herbert Baker)
In lieu of Translation..it is not out of laziness that I did not try to translate this poem, written in Devnagri script, but I hesitate as I am not skilful enough to bring out the essence in translation.
Other blogs-of interest –reflecting past perspective notes
2008- With the person who taught me to make notes-
My Mausa-ji-Professor Ram Prasad Nawani
1999- Lodhi..walking with my Dadaji-Shri Kali Charan Bhatt,(my father’s Chacha-ji) he remembered coming here in 1940s