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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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Teji Bachchan's Lahore Days

Dear Amitji,

“It is past the hour .. it is now with Mother and her birth ; 12th August !” (DAY - 3055)

Sir, allow me to pay my respects to Maaji, though belated due to time difference between India and the U.S.:

“Maa Tujhe Salaam
Yahan vahan saara jahan dekh liya
Ab tak bhi tere jaisa koi nahin
Main assi nahin, sau din duniya ghooma hai
Naahi kaahe tere jaisa koi nahin
Main gaya jahan bhi, bas teri yaad thi
Jo mere saath thi mujhko tadpaati rulaati
Sab se pyaari teri soorat
Maa tujhe salaam, maa tujhe salaam
Amma tujhe salaam
Vande maataram, vande maataram
Vande maataram, vande maataram
Vande maataram, vande maataram
Janam janam tera hoon deewana main
Jhoomoon naachoon gaaoon tere pyaar ka taraana
Main jeena nahin soch nahin duniya ki daulat nahin
Bas lootunga tere pyaar ka khazaana
Ek nazar jab teri hoti hai pyaar ki
Duniya tab to meri chamke damke maheke re
Tera chehra sooraj jaisa chaand si thand hai pyaar mein
Vande maataram, vande maataram
Vande maataram, vande maataram
Vande…” - A. R. Rahman

Sir, throughout my life I have always been proud of my beloved city of birth - LAHORE - as all our dear Ef know, but never so much as after knowing that Maaji spent most part of her life in Lahore before marriage to Babuji in the 1940s:

“Teji was the youngest of the four daughters of Sardar Khazan Singh Suri. He had no sons. After three girls the parents had put all hopes on the coming fourth child being a boy, and when it turned out to be another girl, she was looked on as an honorary male. The ancestral home of this Sikh family was Kallar, Rawalpindi - a place famous for the beauty of its girls. Sardar Khazan Singh had studied Law in England and practised as a barrister in Lyallpur, which is where Teji was born. Later he became Revenue Minister for the princely state of Patiala, before settling in Lahore in retirement. Up to Matriculation, Teji was educated at the Sacred Hearts Convent in Lahore where she started at such a young age that the Sisters used to carry her around in their arms; she did her Inter and B.A. the Lahore College for Women, and her Teacher Training at the Lady MacLagan College in the same city. When she was qualified she taught at Fatehchand College for a little over a year.”
  • Hari Vansh Rai Bachchan - IN THE AFTERNOON OF TIME - An Autobiography - Edited and Translated from the Hindi by Rupert Snell.

Interestingly, Lahore College for Women where Maaji did her Inter and B.A. was very familiar name in our family when living in Lahore before the Partition, because my elder sister Satya Behn had been a student of  the college for studying up to M.A. in Psychology. Since they were both around the same age when studying, may be Maaji senior to my sister by a couple of years, there is every possibility that they knew each other, at least my sister must have known her well because Maaji was a very popular student, participating prominently in all the extra curricular activities, especially staging plays and concerts. And what a coincident, both had Bollywood connection after their marriage - my sister getting married to singer-actor Surendra in the 1940s and Maaji being the proud mother of Megastar of the Century.


With regards and best wishes

Tilak Rishi


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