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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

"What a wonderful world!"

An old friend of mine calls me only when he has a bad news to give. He tries to cut short the conversation if I want to give him some good news. When unable to get sleep at night, he starts counting scams instead of the proverbial sheep crossing the fence. You may also be having someone in your circle like him- quite a common trait amongst true friends! They are like the Opposition in a democracy- all their statistics are Satanic, all prophecies pronounce arrival of Doomsday, whatever the business of the House for the day, they would insist on the Speaker to first let them have their say on the depressing news, they were able to dig out of the day's newspapers. And if Members from the ruling party are ready with some really good news to share, they are sure to manuplate a Walkout under some pretext or another. If they can, they would just jam all those channels that carry cheering news and would rather request media Moguls to come up with new 24-hour TV channels that will only cover the worst news from world over. Print media is already very supportive of them to specialize in hiding all the inspiring happenings behind the bad news printed prominently under bold headlines.

For my friend and alike, nothing works in this world, not even the marriages, which they would like to be solemnized with a slightly amended vow, "...till divorce do us apart!" All their love stories end with-"and they lived miserably thereafter". It is beyond them to believe that family pride is still a first priority with most of the people, and old family bonds are back, like the old fashions in clothes, old classics in movies and old hits in music. The youth, experimenting with 'live-in' arrangements are out-numbered by couples committed to make marriage a lifelong experience in sharing and nurturing love and affection. Indeed, all old values are still alive, except for those who choose to be blind to their existence and believe them to be dead and buried long back. In democracy we have learnt to live in the House with an Opposition, depressed as my friend. I wish and pray that he will one day open his eyes to perceive the other side and exclaim-" What a wonderful world!"

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