Sunday, February 24, 2019

MY SHORT STORY " BANK LOAN GUARANTOR"


                                       

HABBA KADAL SRINAGAR ...

TO THIS PHOTO , I ADD  MY SHORT STORY " BANK LOAN GUARANTOR"



         ( BANK  LOAN  GUARANTOR  )

“Sir! Question does not arise ; Perhaps,     You don’t know Dhar family . Dhar family  is known for  commitment   ,  Zabaan or   word  sir   ;  So are Dhar  children . After all  ,   Safa Kadal  Dhar family Sir  . Great  Pandit Birbal Dhar 's  clan Sir ;    Birbal Dhar Sir ,   Who  saved kashmir from ruthless Pathans by inviting Maharaja Ranjit Singh's forces  to  the valley .   Did you get  it Sir ?  Then , Bal Kak Dhar , D P Dhar  and many such names Sir.  And Manager Sahib,  Atul  Ji shall complete his  MBA  2007 and the loan shall be cleared  by December  2009 or at the most by June 2010 from his earnings . He will get a good salary  after completing MBA.  Hundred percent campus selection sir,  hundred percent”  Said Roop  Krishen .


Roop  krishen had come to the Bank along with his brother in law seeking an Education loan of 4.30 Lakhs for MBA degree of his nephew Atul Dhar . He had actually been made to accompany Father and son duo by his own sister . He had casually gone to his sister’s house where he came to know about the selection of Atul   in  a Mumbai College . His sister had said  :

  Roop ji   , Tomorrow Accompany  your brother in law and Atul   to the bank please. Some loan  issue is to be discussed  .  Atul may be needing  Education Loan .  You have to do all the  speaking   with bankers  .  Your brother in law  is good for nothing  person . He has just wasted  his life. He can not even speak for himself  or watch his family's interests  .   I am sure he will say something that will spoil  Atul’s  case.  You can only  convince Bankers   for this Education  loan.   

As suggested   by his sister ,  Roop  Krishen did all the talking in the Bank  . Listening to this conversation , Atul’s father Bushan lal Dhar   kept silent yet nodded approvingly to the commitment demonstrated by Roop  Krishen with regard to total repayment of the loan by Atul  from his future earnings  . After listening  to what Roop Krishen had  said  ,I handed over the list of formalities required to be completed for sanction of the loan. Roop  Krishen  received  the list and started reading the formalities.



“ This is done . This is also done . All  this is done . This  is nothing , Just one hour job sir. Sir who can be the Guarantor ?Father can also give the Guarantee of his son. No problem from our side .  ” said Roop  Krishen .

“ Let me make things clear . Father can not be a Guarantor . Father has to be a co borrower or Co- Obligant in this type of loan. Guarantor has to be a different person . “ I clarified .


“ No problem sir . Why you worry ? I have signed many papers as Witness in Banks. As many as 50 Savings Bank Accounts have been opened under my signatures in your Bank. If I can sign for strangers why not for our own child. We come tomorrow with complete formalities . We should be made free in two hours .” he continued .

“ No! No! It is not a witness that you are supposed to sign . It is an Agreement of Guarantee. By virtue of signing this deed , the Guarantor undertakes to bind himself for repayment of the loan and interest thereupon should there be any default from Principal Borrower . Legally the liability of a guarantor is co extensive with the principal Borrower . Things should be clear to you . Witness is nothing but seeing some document being executed . There is no pecuniary liability of a witness .The guarantor remains financially liable and tied to a loan till it is fully repaid by the principal borrower. ” I clarified .

Roop  Krishen nodded in agreement , moved his right hand fingers through his hair and rubbed his hands .I felt as if he wanted to smoke  at that moment . But then he never smoked in presence of his elder sister’s husband.  Bushan Lal Dhar and Atul looked expectantly towards Roop  Krishen .

“Sir , Why you worry ? We are there for Atul ji . What is this 4.30 lakhs ? For this boy I can sign Blank papers and give guarantee for one Crore .” Roop  Krishen added  . He gave the list of formalities to Bushan lal Dhar , got up from his chair ,shook hands with me and came out of the room along with his nephew and brother in law.

Next day at about 10 AM i found Roop Krishen inside the bank premises   .  The moment I entered my cabin,  he   came straight to see me .This time he was alone .

“ So fast in completing the formalities . What is the last date of the admission in the college ? ” I asked.

“ What formalities sir ? Can I make some personal request ?  ”He said.

“ Sure ! What is the request . ” I replied .

“ Sir  You are a great man .  Sitting on this seat , You have helped  so many people . But then you also  know all about our community .  You also know Chuni Lal Pandita’s son Aditya  Pandita and his Education Loan story .   They availed an Education Loan from this branch . The boy married a girl from  Maharashtra  and forgot the Education loan . Chuni Lal is now coming to your Bank every month depositing the loan instalment . Sir, Do you know that he is repaying from his pension and his tuition Income. Poor old man is doing tuitions in this age . This Bushan Lal ji,  my brother in law  can not even do tuitions . He is still not understanding that managing a Grocery shop in Kashmir was one story and living on Government relief cheques and some bank interest in Jammu is another story. What has he for the rainy day? Just rupees 4 lakhs that he received as sale proceeds of his Natipora colony Plot . See he has to marry his daughter Sonia yet .  Sonia ji I mean my niece . The family has no house. What is Mumbai MBA? I do not understand . MBA from Jammu or Punjab university is also MBA . See every Kashmiri Pandit boy now wants to go to Pune, Mumbai or Banglore for studies . Go if you can afford . What is so great about going by putting  your family and relation  in trouble? I should not have said it but then I care for my sister. And time has also changed. ”Roop  krishen said in a non stop voice.

“ There is a world of  difference in terms of Employment potential for degrees procured in Jammu and Mumbai.  We are dealing with these issues through various Education Loans disbursed by the Bank . We know all this difference ” I clarified .


“Sir sixteen boys from Government College of Engineering Jammu have been  approved  by TCS and WIPRO in Campus selection   this year . It is all luck whether you study in Jammu , Pune or Overseas . Don’t misunderstand me . Atul is my son but then this Guarantee you are asking from me has turned to be   the real trouble  for me  .  Can this not be changed ? Ask for Guarantee of Atul’s uncle Ashok Kumar Dhar. He is a  Government Lecturer . Whenever  there  is some feast or function in the DHAR family , Ashok kumar is the chief guest and when there is any problem , they catch hold of me. Please do not misunderstand . I have highest respect and regard for my brother in law and his family.  Sir , I am not that rich to become guarantor for 4.30 lacs. And if he does not pay for say 3 years , the loan amount can go upto 7 lakhs with interest application. I know all Interest calculation methods of the Bank .Even if I sell all my property, I can not clear the debt. Why You want my children to get ruined with this guarantee? I just beg you  to save me from impending misfortune .  And sir , Please , Neither Atul nor his father should know what for I came here in their absence . ” Roop  Krishen continued .


“ If you are so sure about the intentions and sincerity of the boy , there is hardly any worry in being a surety for the  Education loan. “ I clarified .

“ Manager Sahib , I am also a father . I have two school going  children . And then if my wife comes to know about all this Guarantee  issue , there shall be a Mahabharat in my family.  I have  to keep  myself  free  for  execution of any future  guarantee that my children may need  .  Sir , I request you to tell my brother in law that I have already given Guarantee to  some other person who has become  a defaulter and I can not give another guarantee. If you don’t  say it then I am finished . I am gone . Nobody can save me . Your words can only save this poor man. ” He added.

I said nothing . Roop  Krishen sank into the chair opposite  to my table. I wanted him to leave the room as I had many other things to do. . I observed that he kept looking towards the floor and the ceiling of the room and also kept biting his finger nails . I pressed the bell and sought two glasses of water. Offering one to Roop  krishen I said : 

“ Shall You have tea? ”

“ My tea is only your help for this guarantee issue.  Sir , make me free  from this  tension.  ” he replied.

He was in no mood to leave my room. Suddenly he received a call on his mobile phone and I heard him saying:

“ Don’t  wait for me . I don’t  feel like having food today.  You  do what you want to do. Leave me alone . You are only worried about   food ,  Nonsense  !  . ”

At that time ,  Mr  Anoop  Singh  loan officer of the branch entered  my cabin  and noticing Roop Krishen , He said:

“Pandit ji ! What happened ! Was my solution not acceptable to you? ”

Roop  Krishen looked in such a way so as to give me  an impression as if Anoop Singh  was not addressing him. I asked  Anoop  singh  how he knew Roop Krishen .

“ Sir he came to my residence yesterday and explained everything to me . I gave him a solution . Let them raise a loan of 4 Lacs only and in that event the father shall be a co-borrower and the Bank does not need a Guarantor as per  guidelines for collateral security in Education Loan Scheme .” Annop Singh  clarified and left the room taking my signatures on some papers ..

“Manager Sahib  you can only  save this  poor man. As I already said,  Please tell them that  I have already given guarantee in one loan case which is now in defaulter category .Tell them that  I have no credit worthiness. Tell them anything but save me.” Added Roop  Krishen .

“ But yesterday you volunteered to be a guarantor . And then the boy is your close relation , if you also run away who else shall come to their rescue at this critical juncture. You should not panic so much .And then it is your own decision. Tell your brother in law plainly that you do not want to be a guarantor and he shall immediately find some one else suitable to the bank or decide what he has to do . ”I clarified .

Roop Krishen kept silent and started reading HINDU Newspaper lying on my table.
Then to my surprise,  I found  Bushan Lal Dhar , his brother in law   entering the cabin  in a  great hurry with another person possibly a Kashmiri.


“ Manager Sahib i have a cheque for 2.47 Lakhs in my name but the cheque is drawn on Punjab National Bank Lal Chowk   srinagar . It  relates to  your bank only  but a different branch.  This cheque has been issued by an Insurance company. This is the fire claim of my gutted house in kashmir. My sister’s husband is serving in kashmir valley on deputation.  He was following up this claim case in kashmir .   He  took  pains and brought the cheque today only .  He came straight to my residence in Tata Sumo from Srinagar. The cheque was delivered to him only yesterday.  He also knew about  Atul’s selection and  our financial   problems  .  In case I get just 40 thousand within three or  four days to enable me to Pay admission fee of Atul  ,  I need  a loan of 2 Lakhs  only. I may need the  loan next year .  Sir  you  complete  our loan  file and keep the loan amount sanctioned .  Sir , Bank managers are now  transferred after short  stay    and may  be you are at some other branch when we   need the money Next year  . We shall be grateful if you keep the sanction note in the file  so that there is no problem  for us to avail  the amount at the time of need .  Sir , God comes to rescue but man has to go through the torture also. ”


“Let me see the cheque” I said . And Bushan Lal Delivered the cheque to me .  I  looked for the   Drawer’s account  in the CBS System . The cheque book serial number was in  order and it was signed by authorized signatories . The account had sufficient balance . 

“ No issue . You can take the entire amount of 2.47 Lakhs right now. You have to  open a Savings Bank account. Now that you need Loan of 2 Lakhs only, no guarantor is needed.” I clarified.

Roop  krishen was listening carefully  to this  sudden development  and I could feel that my words had brought a refreshing smile on his face. Throwing  the news paper aside  and looking towards his brother in law he said :


  • “Namaskar  ! I was just discussing the Loan case Only . Have you bought the Non Judicial stamp papers for my Guarantee ?"

 And Turning to me Roop  krishen said :

“ Now Manager Sahib please release our loan in hassle free manner . I may have to go to Jaipur for Marriage of my wife’s sister . If you desire I can sign in advance on any paper I have to sign. Atul   must get the loan. I have already given my consent to sign any paper anywhere in any capacity .”

He got up and went to Bank’s canteen room and paid the waiter  thirty rupees  ordering four  cups of tea and biscuits for all guests in the room.  Then coming close to my table he said :

“ Baa Gouss Nokraa Manager Saahb  or Manager sahib , treat me as your  humble servant .”
 
From his breath I could feel that he had smoked a cigarette in the canteen room .He then went to “ May I Help You Counter” and brought a New Account Opening Form . He now asked his brother in law to immediately go back to his residence and bring 3 photographs  , photo copy of his ration card and copy of the scooter driving license . He ensured that his brother in law  leaves  immediately for  completion of formalities for opening   a  Bank account  .  After that  ,   he turned towards me and said:

“ Sir do you believe in God ? 

Now he picked up the land line telephone lying on my table and dialed some number . Once the call matured , He said to the other party :

“I am coming for the Lunch . Has Pinkoo Ji come back from his school ? We have to go to Bagh e Bahu Garden in the evening . I shall be bringing one  Kg of mutton for Rogan Josh and ask Pinkoo ji to collect ten special  Bread ( Ghee Roti  ) from Roshan lal ’s kashmiri Bakery shop . ”

I looked at Roop  Krishen and kept noticing the sudden change in his behaviour .                                             

(Avtar Mota ….Jammu 2005)

 


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Friday, February 22, 2019

ALBERT CAMUS AND THE ANCIENT WISDOM OF UPNISHADS ......


                   
ALBERT   CAMUS   AND   THE ANCIENT WISDOM OF  UPNISHADS ......


Even to this day, Albert Camus(1913-1960) remains a  widely read writer   world over . His Novels ,Plays, Short stories, Essays and  editorials ( for THE COMBAT a  Newspaper that Camus   edited  ) that he wrote in french   stand translated into English and many other Languages by so many  eminent translators like    Stuart Gilbert (The Plague)  and Joseph Laredo ( The Outsider).


In 1957, Camus was awarded Nobel prize for literature.  He established international reputation  with books like Le Peste (The Plague written in 1947) , Les Justes (1949) and La Chute (1956). Two books L'Etranger  and Le Mythe de Sisyphe  brought  him world wide fame. In 1957, he was awarded Nobel prize for Literature and in 1969, he was killed in a road accident.On his death,  Anthony Hartley   wrote in 'The Guardian'  ,
" His death is a terrible blow to French Literature  and to those who admire the limpid upright mind which is reflected in his work."

Every year more than  160,000 copies of his most impressive  novel “ OUTSIDER” are  sold by his publishers . I do not know the pirated versions and all other versions.
Catherine Camus ,His daughter  says:

" My father  never forgot his origins and the extreme poverty he experienced.  The one who loves the power, can’t love Camus.My father not only wrote with his head, but also wrote with his heart and his flesh. He’s a hundred percent human. He never refuses contradictions, because contradictions are part of our life.
As far as I know about my father ,  Emile Senart had translated  some  Upnishads    to French   that my father not only read but also recommended to  Claude’ De Ferminvelle in 1935.”

Noted  french writer and    Scholar Dr.  Sharad Chandra writes :

"Albert Camus had read '  Bhagwat Gita' and Upnishads . He  had  attended the lectures given by Swami Shraddhananda of the Ramakrishna Mission in Paris."
Dr. Sarvapalli  Radhakrishnan writes :


"  Western  Existentialism is the  new name for an ancient Indian  method  detailed  in   Upnishads . "

And  when  i read   some Upnishads in English translation ,  Camus's philosophy started  becoming  unambiguously  clearer and clearer.   

Through his work, Camus  tried to  understand the time he lived in. Not only time,  he tried  to  understand the  nature of human  Joy and sorrow . And  the  Chhandogya Upnishad  says  :

"Where there is the infinite, there is joy.The finite holds no joy. Understand  the nature of Joy.  The infinite is the whole universe ."


Camus believed that peace was paramount and fundamental to human existence.
“Peace is the only battle worth waging.”

Says Camus .

And prayer for universal peace  is contained in Upnishads/ Veda .
The Hymn to peace in Atharva veda  says:
" Peaceful be the heavens, May the earth be calm, And the spacious atmosphere gentle. May the flowing waters ,rich in moisture ,be soothing ;May all the plants and herbs be beneficial to us.May all signs of coming events be free from Turmoil; And may happiness lie in that , which has been done and that ,which has not been done. May our past and future be peaceful and may all be gracious unto us .

Mundaka Upnishad says:

"  May our ears hear what is auspicious.May we become efficient to worship and see with our eyes what is auspicious. May we , who sing your praise,live our allotted span of life sound of body and strong of limbs"

The spirit  of detachment is the essence of Vedanta or Upnishads. It is the message of Bhagwat Gita . The real Nishkam Karma arises from  spirit of detachment only. "Nishkam Karma" means "action  without desire" or "work without motive".Detachment never seeks   motive  or reward for action. Consequently it is a step towards individual happiness.
And Albert Camus writes :

"To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others."

In his novel 'THE OUTSIDER' , Camus creates a truthful character ( Meursault )who is  somewhat detached in his dealings with others . Meursault is in  a detached  mode   even when his girlfriend (Mary )  puts up a proposal of Marriage . Does a truthful man appear detached ? I quote from the novel:

"She came that evening and asked me if I’d marry her. I said I didn’t mind; if she was keen on it, we’d get married. I explained that it had no importance really, but, if it would give her pleasure, we could get married right away. Then she remarked that marriage was a serious matter. To which I answered: “No.” "

Camus believed in  BENIGN   nature of this physical world  that confronts an individual . According to him, Even if this physical world appeared indifferent to the  sorrows of an individual, it  was profoundly benign.The universe behaved like  a silent  and watchful  Sympathizer.  The profoundly  benign nature of the Cosmos is the message of some Upnishads. I quote Maha-Upnishad:

" The Cosmos  is only the manifestation  of that being (Supreme ) ;There is nothing other than that ; The difference in the Universe are also his manifestation. He does not exist as there is nowhere (Substratum) to exist, Yet exists because he is existence by nature."

In his work, Camus  deals with fundamental issues of  humanity ; Issues like individual liberty, War,  freedom of choice,, death   Existence, Absurdity, God, Religion, Love, suffering, sorrow, human dignity, peace and happiness etc. For him, all human beings are just  one race. He is a strong votary of peace, harmony and brotherhood. So is the core  message  of Upnishads.

Isha Upnishad says:


"When a man realises that all beings are but the Self, what delusion is there, what grief, to that perceiver of oneness?"

Athar veda says:

" Common be your store of water, common your share of food . i knit you together to a common bond -,United , gather round the sacrificial fire like spokes of a chariot wheel."

SATYA  or   TRUTH is another issue that is the Core message  of  many Upnishads. The Upnishads say that  TRUTHFULNESS   is  primordial for  triumph over this worldly BHAV-SAGARA   or this Ocean of Worldly Existence . And in a afterword to his novel' THE OUTSIDER '    ,  Camus says:

" A truth born of living and feeling may be a negative one , But without truth  no triumph over the self or over the world will ever be possible. So one wouldn't be far wrong in seeing"  THE OUTSIDER" as the story of a man who, without any heroic pretensions , agrees to die for the Truth. I also once said , and again paradoxically , that i tried to make my character represent the only Christ that we deserve ."


Camus believed 'Everything that exalts life at the same time increases its absurdity' .  And Absurdity of  existence  is a major issue that Camus deals in his work. It is reflected in his plays and short stories also. And this thought has  also been dealt  in  many   Upnishads  .In his work "Myth of Sisyphus " , Camus has presented Sisyphus as the symbol of humankind and his task as the symbol of absurd human existence.

  I quote  Maha-upnishad :

" The world is born only to die and dies only to be born . Life is unsteady like a drop of water  hanging on the top of a tender leaf.Whatever  in this moving and un-moving world is enjoyed by Ego - All that is Unreal ." 

Camus's idea of freedom of Choice is very close to concept of liberated soul  or Purity of Spirit as mentioned in Upnishads. Upnishads say that   Attachment, Anger ,Ego , Greed  limit or curtail  the freedom of choice of an individual  resulting in suffering or Sorrow. Camus believes that human suffering is a result of denial of  freedom of choice. For Camus, man suffers beause he doesn't have Freedom of Choice.
In addition to absurdity  , another subject that  ancient  Upanishads insistently deal with is ethics, the purity of human conduct. Exactly like the Existentialists, the Upanishads, hold man himself responsible for his actions . Isn't this another way of interpreting the DOCTRINE OF KARMA?

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says:

“Act he must . As he acts so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of sinful actions become sinful. By virtuous actions, he becomes virtuous; and by evil actions evil.”

Before Camus arrived on the scene, Andre Malraux,  Jean Paul Sartre, and many  others had already developed the Existential  line of thought. It had started percolating down to western Society    through Theatre and literature . Camus was not the pioneer of this thought ;  He did something  new in this field.   Firstly , he clarified that this  world’s absurdity  should not  be a  cause for despair, but on the contrary, a spur to happiness. And secondly, that , mortality and suffering actually enhance the value of life: they invite men to live more intensely.
More next time ..Reading Isha Upnishad..

(Avtar Mota)

PS


Upnishads are a part of Vedas  . Upnishads contain the loftiest  message of the Veda. That is why  Upanishads are generally referred to as Vedānta or  as the  last chapters of the Veda.




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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

RAFIQ RAAZ A SENSITIVE KAHMIRI POET WITH NEW DICTION AND STYLE.


                                



RAFIQ  RAAZ..( Born 1950)

He retired as Station Director  Akashvani (AIR) Srinagar kendra .

Apolitical and a thorough gentleman  , Rafiq Raaz  has a command over kashmiri  and  urdu  especially when he writes GAZALS  in both languages

Is he Munir Niyazi of kashmiri poetry?  I am inclined to say 'YES'.  His   published poetry  books  whether in urdu or in  kashmiri have been well received.

Rafiq Raaz belongs to the New Generation of kashmiri poets . He is modern in style and diction.  Gazal is his Forte.A sensitive poet who is conscious of contemporary realities and brings them in his writings in perfect Rhyme and Rhythm

Matured  emotions / experiences are evident in his poems. He writes about  human pain, suffering, loneliness and  helplessness of an individual  facing benign indifference of this  universe.

Shubb Chhu Siyaah Tasveer Ta Baa
 Naar Tchhataan Chhatgeer Ta Baa
Tanhaaye Munz Jeiffi Milvaan
Praaen Ya akh Tahreer Ta Baa
( Rafiq Raaz )

In English, i would say:

( None except me and this Image stays awake  in this dark night.
 Look Who Burns ? None except this ceiling lamp and my heart.
 And In this desolate  loneliness  who are  in   passionate hug ,
None, Except me and  Some old script  of Mine ...................)

From his  poetry, one gets a feeling that humanity at large is engaged in a perpetual search for something that it finds missing inspite of   great leaps on material front .

Poash Faeil Baagus Chhavanaai Rooedh
Daag Laeig Jigruss Haavanaai Rooedh
Kumm sokhan yaarus Baavanaai Rooedh

Haal Akki Saal Itaa Laalo …
Gul e Laalo …
Bozanaavuthh Ba Zaar ….
Kaal kaaja Praa-yo…
Baal Paan Maar-Yo..
Yaar Iyaa Na Tche Aar….
Myaani Laalo…

( Rafiq Raaz ).

In English, i would say:

The garden was all flowers But we were not there
This heart had its wounds that couldn't be shown,
So many love laced conversations missed us Friend !

Now just come once for the feast
My Tulip !
And I shall open my heart ,
In Waiting I remain,
I may not live to see you ,
Pity !

My Love!

Published in 1995 ,  his kashmiri  poetic collection "Nai Chhi Naalan'"  (The Flute is wailing), won him prestigious Sahitya Academy Award .

Yesterday only read his poem  Hijratas Manz ( In Migration) . I quote some lines ..

Yaad pheer pheer pyvaan chhum path-kaal
Az ti shaahmaar Hue valith chhum naal
Az ti kaatyaah nafar achhan tal chhim
Krishen , Pyari, Ashok, Razaak draal
Kya yi chha poz batan kahaai ghar rooedh
Az batav ross chhu  kyaah kashiri haal..

In English ,i would say:

"Time and again,
I remember,
Those good old days.
That good time spent,
Still hangs like a serpent
around my neck  .
So many memories,
So many people,
Come alive before my eyes ,
Krishena,
Pyare,
Ashok,
Razaaq the broker.
Hey ,
Tell me,
Is it true that only  eleven Pandit households are now  left  ?
Tell me how is kashmir today
Without  Pandits."

A sample of his urdu  poetry ..

Patay laraz  rahay thhay khatraa thaa  aandhiyon kaa
Ghar ho rahay thhay khaali mausam tha hijraton ka

( Rafiq Raaz  )

In English, i would say:

(The leaves kept trembling and  the hurricane was about to unleash itself,
The houses were being emptied and  the season of migration had set in.)


(Avtar Mota)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

RUPA DEVI SHARDA PEETH .. AN INSTUTION OF EXCELLENCE THAT VANISHED FROM THE LANDSCAPE.

                                                                                      




THE STORY OF SRI RUPA DEVI SHARDA PEETH FOR GIRLS , RAGHU NATH MANDIR SRINAGAR KASHMIR……. YEAR 2009 ..

( Photo Avtar Mota 2009 )

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ; The big Building near Raghu Nath Mandir ? “

“ I don’t know. We have come from Baramulla District . We are New to this area .”

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ? “

“ I don’t know . I am New to this locality . There is one private school in newly built rooms in that old temple . Some Petha or Peetha school ? Ask some old shopkeeper . There that man is old resident of this locality . Please , Just go and ask him. Only he can tell you correct location . ”

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ? “

“ Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School for Girls was here in this Raghunath Mandir premises. That big Old white school building , which you may be looking for , got completely destroyed in a devastating fire during peak armed  militancy . So you can't find it anymore.
Many Pandit women come and weep here as they don’t find their old school building anymore . Dr S N Dhar and his wife Dr Bimla ji helped in reconstruction of some rooms that you see currently. They gave money from their pocket for everything that you see at the spot . They wanted that the name of this grand old Pandit Institution should not die . A school for children is being run here now.There is no pandit teacher or student in the school now. "

" Thank you . No body could guide me properly over here ."

"After buying property left by pandits, Unknown People have come to live in this locality now .These people know nothing about Rupa Devi sharda Peeth School ? What can they tell you ? “

And in 1953, Late *Parmanand who retired as Accountant General , used his GP Fund and other terminal dues amounting to Rs60000/= for construction of the school building that is nowhere to be seen now . It was named after his daughter Rupa Devi. He was very much interested in imparting Sharda and Sanskrit knowledge to girls apart from creating a centre for research in ancient texts . The school was a premier institution for learning Sanskrit Language . Sri Daya Ram Shastri , A Sanskrit scholar from Udhampur was the first Incharge of this Peeth . Shri Jagan Nath Braroo Shastri , Shri Badri Nath Kala , Prof Kashi Nath Dhar and many more scholars were also associated with this institution. Some Muslim Girls also read Sanskrit in this school . For many years , degrees were awarded to students through Examinations conducted by “Bharatiya Vidhya Bhawan “ . The school also awarded Degrees of Praagya, Visharadh and Shastri to its students .

Parmanand Research Institute headed by Prof. kashi Nath Dhar was an affiliate institution. So many research papers and translations have been undertaken by Parmanand Research Institute under the stewardship of Prof Kashmir Nath Dhar .This institution had a rich library with many rare sanskirt and Sharda manuscripts.

Well known Hindi writer Smt. Kshama Kaul commented  on my face book  as under   :

“This is my school. Great school. It flows in my veins . The very name of the post caught me and couldn't resist myself from writing these words. In Dardpur I have made heartiest mention of my school. I am in tears. Hey  Ram!”

 Shri.Mohammad Sidiq wani commented on my Face book post as under  

“ One amongst alumni is my spouse (Prof/Dr) Mahbooba who studied in the institution and learned Devanagari script (Hindi) to proceed for career and gaining fame as a classical artist . We intend to volunteer in any genuine initiative taken for restoration of the bruised image of this institution.”

Prof. Sanjay kaul ( USA )  commented on my Face book Post as under :

   Avtar Ji , Dr. Vimla Dhar is still running this school from her personal funds and you understand how difficult it gets ! The old school building got completely burnt and no government help was provided !”

Shri Ram Krishen sadhu commented on my Face book Post as under :

“Pandit Parmanand was a noble character, an extraordinarily brilliant student who topped M,A. Mathematics  in those times, a brilliant and honest civil servant, an academician, an outstanding Sanskrit scholar who initiated and guided Dr Karan Singh into the study of Sanskrit and scriptures. This is what Dr Singh has told me. The death of his daughter Roopa Devi was a great shock to him. He invested all his savings in this Institution which he wanted to develop into an outstanding research center. All that got destroyed in the flames of terrorist fire and Raghunath Temple which was a heritage area is almost non existent today. More than the money which was spent by him, the loss of the rich Library including rare books and manuscripts which he transferred to the Peeth were also  lost .”


After the death of Parmanand ji ( The founder ), it was converted into a regular Girls school . I can name so many well known names who have studied in this school .  Alas !  Some miscreants  set this old  Centre of learning and research   on fire and removed it from the landscape . Present status of the  new school set up in some rooms  is not known to me . I didn’t visit the school after 2009.

 Dr Bimla Dhar (Actual name  Dr  Vimla Dhar W/O Dr. S.N.Dhar. ) happens to be the daughter of  Parmanand ji the founder of the institution.  And her husband , Dr S N Dhar  spent 83 days  in the captivity of armed  Militants   when he was  kidnapped . He wrote a book “The Story of a Frozen River” on this  torturous experience .


( Avtar Mota )

 PS

* Sri Parmanand ji has also been a teacher of Dr Karan singh. He taught Samskrata to yuvraj Dr Karan singh. Dr  karan singh pays glowing tributes to Sri Parmanand ji in his Autobiography.

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