After receiving a good response for My Other Two Daughters, a biographical novel, Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu and former chief minister of Punjab, has come up with the Urdu version of his book on Monday.
This heart-wrenching tale of two girls was first released in 2007.
A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana, released its Urdu edition "Meri Aur Do Betian" here Monday evening.
Apart from his own daughter Amrit, Barnala shared a strong emotional bond with two more women and treated them like his own daughters.
"Meri Aur Do Betian" talks about the journey of these two girls and it has been translated into Urdu by Chennai based Mukhtyar Badri.
Talking about his book, Barnala said: "My book is divided into two parts and each part talks about two different girls, whom I met at different places and how gradually they became an important part of my life."
"In 1949, I went to Kashmir for the first time and met a girl named Naseem, who was suffering from TB (tuberculosis). She was very close to me and called me 'chhotte abbi' (father)," said Barnala.
"The entire family of Naseem was suffering from TB. I arranged medicines and good doctors but could not save her. First of all, her mother died followed by her father. Then one day I got a letter from Naseem in which she had written, 'Mere chhotte abbi ko akhiri salaam' (My last regards to my father)," recalled Barnala.
Barnala did not have any photograph of Naseem. However, when he was lodged in the Patiala jail in 1976, during the Emergency, he painted a sketch of Naseem.
"Luckily, I managed to bring her on the canvas very beautifully. This photograph is also there on the cover page of the book," pointed out Barnala.
The second part of the book talks about Kiranjot, an American girl who embraced Sikhism.
"I met Kiranjot at Darbar Sahib (Golden temple in Amritsar in Punjab). She was carrying ashes of her fiance in a vessel over her head and wanted to immerse them at Kiratpur Sahib," recalled Barnala.
He added: "She expressed her desire to call me papa as her own father died in a road accident. After some reluctance, I gave this permission to her. She went back to the US and married an American but she remained in touch with me through letters."
"One day her letter comes that said that she was suffering from cancer. I brought her to Chennai and started her treatment at a leading cancer hospital there. She stayed with me at Raj Bhawan, but she could not survive. According to her will, her last rites were performed by following both Hindu and Sikh rituals," said Barnala.