Friday, June 11, 2021




In our Mohalla ( Rainawari) , there lived an old Kashmiri Pandit lady Rae'tch Maal ( Meaning Fair Lady ) by name . During discussions with my mother , she would often comment satirically about gossip mongers of Rainawari , who according to her , wasted their time and energy on discussions inside shops and deprived the poor shopkeepers of their business. She  used to quote this typical couplet:- 

Talla neythanon pyathaa phernaa zyooth
Akki peinjji voth taai beyii peinjji  byooth..

( Look! he is naked within but donning a long Pheran over his body ,
And there he gets up from one gossip shop and moves to another . )

Raetch Maal  lived opposite to Ram Joo Handoo's chemist shop near Jogilanker bridge whereat the gossip mongers would occupy the entire shop to discuss everything under the sun.  Everything included well known journalist,   Sham Lal's column  in the  TOI newspaper.  Pandit Nand Lal Wattal, the then editor 'Khidmat' Urdu Newspaper,  would also sit for some light gossip in this shop. There was a cloth shop owned by a Muslim from Malik family just opposite to Ram Joo's chemist shop. The gossip mongers would start arriving at 5 p.m. and by 6.30 p.m.,  the discussions would  become loud. When some family member of some  gossip monger would try to go inside the shop due to some exigency back at home , Mr Malik would cry loudly :-
" Don't go inside. Kashmir' problem is in its final stage of settlement. They are busy preparing the agreement ..Waldheim  has been waiting for this agreement   at the UNO office since last Monday.  You must understand . You are educated young man . Go back, tell your mother or the guest at your home to wait ."

Ram Joo was a Registered Medical Practitioner ( R.M.P.)  and a skilled medical expert.  He was quite a helpful person .He had worked with Dr Ali Jan ,the renowned physician of Kashmir.. However , the gossip mongers had brought total gloom to his business and rendered waste all his expertise.

( Avtar Mota )

Kurt  Waldheim was Secretary General of U.N.O. from 1972 to 1981. He was successor to U.Thant, the Burmese diplomat.

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