Life and death
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Life and death

I wish there was a nicer sounding Hindi word than Patjhar for the spectacle of trees shedding leaves and donning new ones. In Delhi this takes place in the middle of March. Khushwant Singh writes.

columns Updated: Apr 01, 2013 00:17 IST

I wish there was a nicer sounding Hindi word than Patjhar for the spectacle of trees shedding leaves and donning new ones. In Delhi this takes place in the middle of March.

I am sure it is the reason why our Hindu forefathers believed in life after death. However, while we can see it happen to trees, there is no evidence whatsoever that the same happens to human beings.

While we can see the drama of death and rebirth of life on trees, no one has seen a dead person (or animal, bird or insect) being re-born. Periodically, our newspapers carry stories of boys recalling parents of their previous lives.

The stories are soon forgotten. In any case, they are confined to Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs, who are brought up under false legends. No one has heard of Christians and Muslim children recalling their previous lives.

Shaad Azimabadi
Not much is know of Shaad Azimabadi (1846-1927) besides the facts that he was a Bihari, who was born and died in Patna. I have translated a few of his better-known verses which I present to my readers.

i) Kahaan sey kahaan ko:
Sunee Hikaayat-e-hastee
To darmiyaan sey sunee
Na ibtidaa kee khabar hai
Na Intihaa maaloom

When I woke to the story of life
It was already the middle of the tale,
I know nothing of the beginning
I’ll know nothing of the end.

ii) Dariya-e-Mohabbat
Main hairat-i-basrat ka maaraa
Kaamosh khara hoon sahil par
Dari yaa-e-mohabbat kehta hai’Aa kuchh bhee naheen paayaab hai hum

Overcome by wonder and longing
I stand in silence by the shore
The river of love beckons and says to me.
“I am only knee-deep, fear no more.”

iii) Yeh Koocha
Hoon is koochey key har zarrey sey vaaqif
Yahaan sey muddaton aayaa gayaa hoon

Every speck of dust on this lane I know
For ages it has been my way to and fro.

iv) Tamannaayen
Tamannaaon mein uljhaayaa gayaa hoon
Khilauney dey key behlaayaa gayee hoon

In the web of desires I have been caught’
With the gift of toys have I been bought

Indo-Pak Bhai Bhaism
Two radical Pakistanis boarded a flight out of London. One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat… Just before the take off, a Sardarji sat down in the aisle seat.

After take-off, Sardarji kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Paki in the window seat said, “I need to get up and get a coke.” Don’t get up”, said the Sardarji, “I’m in the aisle seat, I’ll get it for you.”

As soon as he left, one of the Paki picked up the Sardarji’s shoe and spat in it. When the Sardarji returned with the coke, other Paki said, “That looks good, I’d really like one, too.” Again the Sardarji obligingly went to fetch it.
While he was gone, the other Paki picked up the Sardarji’s other shoe and spat in it.

When the Sardarji returned, they all sat back and enjoyed the flight. As the plane was landing, the Sardarji slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. He leaned over and asked his Paki neighbours…

“Why does it have to be this way?”
How long must this go on…?”
This fighting between the two nations?
This hatred….?
This animosity….?
..This spitting in shoes and pissing in cokes.?”

Harem Complex
God: What do you want?
Boy: A very beautiful girl.
God: If you are Muslim, I’ll give you Katrina
If you are Hindu, I’ll give you Kareena
If you are Sikh, I’ll give you Anushka
And if you are Christian, I’ll give you Genelia.

What is your name?
Boy Abdul Vijay Singh Fernandes.

Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, New Delhi

First Published: Apr 01, 2013 00:14 IST