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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, August 07, 2016

Letter To Big B On Writing His Travails

Dear Amitji,

“I can and do remember my travails .. but of what use would it be to others .. suffering, the rejoice of accomplishment, are episodes that bear personal feel .. what I shall or an individual feel shall be individual .. no one else shall have the capacity to envelop the manner in which the individual does, its attributes .. best then left to the person ..” (DAY - 3046)

Sir, while giving due respect to your thoughts on the utility of writing what you remember of your travails, to tell you the truth, I personally, and perhaps, most of us enjoy reading your Blogs best when you do include therein any incidents or anecdotes from your life, whether from your childhood days in Allahabad, or youth spent in Delhi, or interesting and heartwarming interaction with your fraternity in the film studios on or off sets while shooting with them. We love to read them and learn a lot from your life long experiences. Please, therefore, for the pleasure and good of your dear Ef, do not think of ever to discontinue sharing with us the interesting happenings in your life.

Sir, to your specific query - “.. but to what use would it be to others ..”, the true answer would be it’s a treasure of knowledge for us. We not only discover the particular moments in your life, but the meanings in those moments. The smells, and sounds from your past develop rich, evocative writing. We in turn learn more than any book or literature can teach us. In fact, I believe the best books in the world of literature are the ones written by men of eminence or celebrities as memoirs, autobiographies or diaries about themselves and whatever happened in their lives. The best example of such a writing is “The Diary of Anne Frank”:
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. The diary has since been published in more than 60 languages.
Sir, when we moved to the U.S. in early 90s after our retirement, our son introduced us to TV series, “Little House on the Prairie”, the most popular TV series ever, which are immortalised by repeat telecasting by one or the other channels ever since it was first telecast in the 70s. We found the series so absorbing that we got addicted to watching it daily and could not afford to miss a single episode till the last episode. I have mentioned about it because this most famous show too is based on diary of another young girl,  Laura Ingalls Wilder. Based on her "Little House" books, this drama series revolved around the 1870s adventures of the Ingalls family -- father Charles, mother Caroline, eldest daughter Mary, middle daughter/narrator Laura and youngest daughter Carrie. This series has much more to offer its viewers - young and old. For one, you get a much deeper sense of how generations before us struggled, toiled really, to make the U.S. what it is today. And the sense of family is amazing.
With regards and best wishes
Tilak Rishi


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