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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.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Satya - My Dearest Sister

Being the youngest among the siblings in our big family - six brothers and two sisters - after Beji, my mother, Satya sister loved me the most, right from my baby days till she breathed her last 10 years ago. When Beji was busy in kitchen or with her very numerous friends from the neighborhood, I vividly remember Satya sister giving me all the love in the world, working as my babysitter for as long as needed, without taking a single moment off me. I still remember my birthday, the earliest stored in my memory, when I was three year old and she devoted the whole day to me, right from the morning - dressing me in a new yellow colored silk suite, taking me to the terrace with many colorful balloons filled with gas in my hand, to join the fun with all others in the family - the day coincided with the kite flying big Basant festival. She remained ever attached to me and always made me her first priority, even over her serious studies in school and college till completing her M.A. in psychology and marriage immediately thereafter. Before ‘bidaai’, she saw to it that her room in the house was given to me and no one else - I was in 8th class then.
They say marriages are made in heaven, I saw it truly happening to Satya sister, the simplest girl in her age group, who had not watched even a single movie in her life till her wedding day, and still getting married to Surendra, a popular movie star of the time, who came all the way from the glamor world of Bombay films to take her with him as his bride. It remained an unsolved mystery for outsiders, including even the ever vigilant film media, except, perhaps, B. R. Chopra, the famous film producer who was then editor of a film magazine of Lahore and a great friend of my brother, who edited the only other film magazine of the city - both had mutually made up their mind not to print a single word of the story to respect privacy of our family. I remember Krishna, my sister’s best friend in college, trying her best to know how this happened and when failed to find the truth behind the strange union of simplicity at its simplest and the glamor at its greatest, she got angry with my sister to the extent that instead of wishing her happy marriage she expressed doubt on its success saying: “Satya, mark my word, this union of the opposites will end in utter failure and you will return soon repenting your decision to marry a film star.” And the same Krishna, begged my brother-in-law, when the happy couple came to Lahore a year later for the premier of his first film after marriage - “Anmol Gadi” - to look for a match for her too from his film fraternity. On their return to Bombay, they did seriously try to look for a suitable match for Krishna in their circle of cine world and one came very near to materialising. Their good friend, an upcoming film producer and director, agreed to consider the proposition and came to Lahore to meet Krishna and her family to pursue it further but for some reason, say destiny, it could not come to happy ending  in Krishna’s marriage to him.

Satya was the happiest when she came to know of me getting married to Jeet, whom she loved right from our Lahore days when Jeet was our next door neighbor and a great friend of my other sister, Toshi and mine too. They both attended the wedding very enthusiastically with their four children - Suneeta, Jeet, Kailash and Rohini. My brother-in-law not only danced in the streets along with the ‘baraties’ and the professional ‘bhangra party’ but also was the main singer along with playback and prominent  radio artist Pushpa Hans in the pre-arranged Musical Evening in our honor the next day. They also invited us to Bombay for our  extended honeymoon after our pre-booked trip to Nainital, which, of course, we were very happy to accept. We cherish for ever the week we spent with them in Bombay when they did all they could to make that the happiest time of our life. Satya sister remained in constant touch with us since then, making many trips to Delhi to be with us, most of the time with family. God rewarded her with very happy life throughout with her loving husband and children, who looked after her so lovingly in her last years as a widow. May God keep her happy as ever, now united with her husband in heaven.


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