Twinkle in his Eyes

It has been a very long time since I wrote an article in the Blogosphere. I have been penning down poems in Devnagrai AKA Hindi and mailing it to several of my friends. But I have not sent my poems to those, who I know, cannot read Devnagri, and they must be thinking as to why they have not received any new write up from their friend Kam. Normally I send my Blogs to about 50 or so avid readers, who I am assuming read my blogs with some interest— enjoying, without making judgments, my unique style. Sometimes, very rarely, I take the liberty of just forwarding stuff written by people I don’t know from places I do not know about. Mostly such items are sent to me by ones who regularly send me e-mails. I have had responses varying from –“stop sending me your hate filled mails” to “WOW what a lovely piece”. I just smile and can tell who  sees  hate  in things and who sees love in everything.

Writing is a very difficult art to practice if not the most difficult. Those who are readers do not look at writing as full of hate or love, just as one would not look at a painting or dance or music as full of hate or love. A good writer can write anything and engross the reader, just like a musician can make either classical or hip-hop music and enchant the listener.

Well, one reason I wanted to write today is to remember my Math teacher, when I was a freshman in college, my Mentor in Math, who suddenly left us at a young age of 83 on 12-12-12,smiling like he always did.. I lived in Simla a beautiful city in India situated about 7500 feet above sea level in the pretty and spiritual Himalayan Mountains.

Simla is located at a longitude of 77E and latitude of 32N. It is about the same latitude as Dallas Texas and if one pokes a needle into any Globe, inserting it at Dallas it will come out at Simla on the back side. The latitude of San Diego is also about 32. Simla is one of the most beautiful cities of the World, her people are the most civilized and cultured and her scenic beauty is beyond par. I am lucky I was born there. Fate is really something special –starting with where and to whom one is born, who one meets in life, where one lives , what education one gets, how much money one makes, how healthy one is and so on  to where one dies—it is all fate, luck or Karma !

Simla was established as a modern city by the British in late 1840’s. British came to India just like the Portuguese and the French as sea faring adventurists and traders. But with their cunning and subterfuge they took full advantage of the Indians fighting amongst themselves and ruled India and the World for 200 years starting in mid 1700s to the mid 1900s. They were so smart and cruel that they,  only 5000 brave men thousands of miles away from home in a very strange land , conquered and ruled 200 million Indians without using any Army; and that was before there were automobiles,tanks, aircrafts, and telephone or mail. The opulence and style and grandeur with which they lived in India cannot be imagined. There has been no empire or nation that has seen the Pomp and show and wealth as vast as that of the British Empire all derived from the looting of immense wealth of India. But they built Simla –with their mansions and gardens and malls and schools and churches and offices and courthouses, more beautiful than any where else. This was before Air Conditioning, Automobiles, Electricity; Telephones etc were at all common or available. One has to marvel at the handful of Englishmen so united and so determined and so powerful –to do all that. The best known Mall in Asia or the World established in 1890 is the Mall of Simla. The one quality the British had that made them so powerful and dominating is their Discipline, the only quality the Indians lack.

And they left India peacefully leaving just as they came in, with subterfuge and cunning – dividing the quarreling Indians into India and Pakistan. Their schemes have finally caught up with them, and the seed of terrorism that was sown at the time of that gruesome and heinous division; when millions were hacked to death by head choppers, babies were burnt alive and women raped mutilated and tortured and many more unimaginable brutal acts were performed. That seed has now resulted in the tree that is giving the fruit of rampant terrorism and mayhem. The Britsh will forever rue the day they came to India – the land of never ending fights and quarrels, the land of indiscipline,  the land of their undoing and they are, now tasting  poverty compared to India that has rediscovered WEALTH.

That much is for a bit of history – yet being written and observed. Simla the beautiful , till 1947 was the domain of only the Anglo Saxons—WASPS, browns were not allowed there and when India got independence in 1947 – the browns moved in, Oberoi was the first one to get the famous Cecil Hotel one the best five star Hotels in the World—for almost nothing-- from the fleeing British. And slowly Simla began to decay and today 70 years after the British left, Simla has lost many if not all the things the British built, yet compared to the rest of India she is still the Queen of India, it still has cultured people and a little bit of discipline and civilized behavior.

I like Simla and love India and admire the British and am proud to say I was born in Simla—the British Simla. I fondly and vividly remember the Ice Skating Rink, the Ski Slopes, the Golf Courses, the Cricket Grounds and Soccer Fields, the Badminton Courts and so on-- of my youth also my school and teachers and my Scottish Principal—Head Master as we called him. Oh Simla your Gaiety Theater established by and favorite of Sir Rudyard Kipling is Jewel of the World. Simla you are beautiful and all the dreams the Englishmen left in your bosom will sustain you forever. They built you and cared for you with love and grace and their traditions will live in your Mall forever.

All this is going through my mind as I remember my Math professor the beloved Late Mr. M. L. Sharma. He was quintessential Simla elite, loved by all whom he touched, World famous, his students are everywhere. He had a twinkle in his eyes and an approving smile a teacher’s grace and always a positive attitude, his presence engendered enthusiasm in every one. Whatever room he entered it brimmed with joy. Now he has entered the room of joy itself and I remember him with love – he like Kipling was an elite of Simla.

More By  :  Kamal (Kam) Joshi

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Comments on this Blog

Comment Thanks. I have leaned all this from you.

27-Jan-2013 09:00 AM

Comment Kamini ji, Writing is like painting. Instead of brush and paint, the artist uses pen, brush and paper. You are an expert in this art. Keep it up. Congrats for the wonderful piece.

V.K. Joshi
27-Jan-2013 01:11 AM

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