Mehfil

The pot containing my ego, broke.

My heart melted like butter!

Source unknown.

What did the fragrance get;

separating from the flower?

The home of wind was empty;

Was  just carried away!

BY  ANKIT TRIVEDI……slightly modified.

O sculptor,

I can understand your excitement,

but still think,

many a chisels were broken,

giving us shape!

BY  BHAVESH BHATT.

 

Jest A Minute

The team of doctors in the hospital had advised a patient to undergo an urgent Bye-pass surgery for a blocked artery. The patient

became nervous upon hearing this, but pulled himself together and started preparing himself for the operation. All the necessary tests required prior to the operation were conducted and the patient informed about the cost of the operation, which he found to be very high. After giving some thought to the matter, he started to fill up the consent form. Against the question, “PROFESSION?” he wrote,” OFFICER, C.B.I.”

Suddenly, the atmosphere in the hospital changed. Another team of doctors came to give a second opinion and , after further tests, opined that no operation was necessary and the patient could be cured by giving him medication only!

The patient was a Gujarati {But Obviously!!!}  and was an officer of the CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA!!!

 

Mehfil

Come, have a look at your insights.

Explain the color of tears to me.

Let me remain silent,

Do not force me to speak,

Lest your reputation be revealed!

Not I, but you will be deceived,

Should you try deceiving me!

Am not bothered,

About the risk of death,

Do not try to scare me,

In the name of death!

Poison I have already digested,

Try offering me the fire of tears!

Not me, but the roads are tired!

Enough, do not make me run anymore.

BY  KHALIL  DHANTEJAWI.         CONDENSED.

 

Quit India…..The Final Thrust

9th August 1942, the day of the final thrust for independence of India, a struggle that had started in 1857. For patriotic Indians, what happened in 1857 was a fight for freedom, while the then rulers called it the sepoy mutiny. On the 67th anniversary of that historic day in August, I would like to go back in time and share my experience with you.

I was just a boy of eleven then, hardly understanding the true meaning of Independence, but nevertheless carried away by the charged atmosphere prevailing then. I was very fortunate in having two considerably older siblings and a whole lot of their friends….all true nationalists ,raring to join the struggle.

I recollect going to Gowalia Tank , now called the August Kranti Maidan, the previous day with my father, to see the session of the congress party pass the resolution on “Quit India”. The message given by the Mahatma was:”Do or Die”. All the senior leaders of the party were present there…thousands of Indians in attendance.

The movement was to be launched the following day, starting with the salutation of our national flag.

9th August dawned. I started with my older brother, Markand, six years my senior, for Gowalia Tank, just ten minutes away by foot from our residence, to attend the flag salutation. But half way down the road, he sensed trouble and asked me to return home.

Sure enough, there was trouble at Gowalia Tank. The police disrupted the meeting, charging the crowd with lathis, and bursting tear gas shells. In the prevailing commotion, one brave woman, Aruna Asaf Ali, managed to hoist the national flag.

The FINAL THRUST had begun!

The government, in a midnight swoop, had arrested most of the senor leaders. Some juniors, went underground. While Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and some others were lodged in Ahmednagar jail, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned in Agakhan Palace in Poona.

The struggle continued. It was not entirely non violent.  The first martyr to go to gallows as far as I remember, was young Hemu Kalani, who had removed the railway tracks. The trial was summary and the judgement quick, as was to be expected. It is a pity that I have never ever heard his name since. One of the thousands of unsung heroes of the struggle,though his ways were different. Then there was the young collegian, VINOD KINARIWALA, who was shot dead at point blank range on the premises of Gujarat College in Ahmedabad. His crime: Trying to hoist the national flag!  How could the mighty British Empire tolerate that?!

As I said earlier, I was too young to take an active part in the movement then. There was one gentleman in our building we called “Navnitkaka”. A very successful businessman.

He called us kids together  and taught us to make badges from drawing paper, showing India in tricolor, with “Quit India” written across it. We would proudly wear it and also distribute it to passersby in the street. He of course bore all the expenses. That was his humble and thoughtful contribution towards the national struggle and that was his was way of instilling national pride in us kids. How can I not remember him on this day?

I salute you,NAVNITKAKA.  I am pretty sure there must have been many more like him across the country.

Coming back to my older siblings and their group, all of them were actively involved in the struggle and went to jail for one reason or other. The senior most among them,CHANDRAKANTBHAI, was actively running the “Congress Radio”, when he was betrayed, caught and sentenced. I had the good fortune to witness his trial in the court,being taken along by some elders! Damn! I didn’t understand anything!!!

The other members of this group were: Damubhai, who later became the heart and soul of Indian National Theater, Pravinbhai Jariwala,who migrated to U.S.A. before independence and settled down there,Gulabben Shah…my eldest sister’s school friend who studied to become a doctor and later married DR. Vishnu Kinariwala, the brother of the martyr Vinod Kinariwalla, mentioned earlier. Mangalaben, G.G.Parikh, Veenaben and Markandbhai were the other members of the group, the last two being my siblings. Out of the original group of eight members who I knew very closely, only two are surviving to-day, my brother Markand, now 94, and DR. G.G.Parikh who at 95 is still very active and is the driving force behind Yusuf Meherally Center, doing great work for rural folks.

It might interest you to know that this very gentleman, who gave his everything fighting for India’s freedom, was imprisoned in independent India by Indira Gandhi, falsely implicating him in what is known as BARODA DYNAMITE CASE.I do not wish to comment any more on this.

Ah, by the way, people were also arrested during the freedom struggle for attending public meetings lest they get brain washed, listening to the fiery speeches and turn into revolutionaries!!!  My mother and aunt were also the guests of the government for this very grave crime.!!!

And just what were we, the little rascals doing?  Our Vanar Sena, or The Monkey Brigade, used to distribute  handbills or pamphlets that were printed secretly in some press and that gave news about the progress of the movement across India. The owners of these presses were risking confiscation of their properties and also facing imprisonment.

In the absence of the leaders and without any guidance, the movement gradually died down. But it certainly had left behind its impact. The message was loud and clear: QUIT INDIA.

Then, in 1944 the Mahatma was released unconditionally and in 1945 all the detainees were released from Ahmednagar jail. The reception that these heroes received across India was overwhelming.

World war was over and the Tory government, led by Winston Churchill,having done its job, was defeated at the hustings and  the Labour government, led by Clement Atlee,took charge.  They saw the futility of hanging on to India any longer and at last, after 190 years of slavery, independence dawned on India on the 15th August 1947.

Perhaps two other factors hastened India’s independence. The first one was Subhashchandra Bose, Netaji, to us, and his AZAD HIND FAUJ or the INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY. He had caught the nations imagination though his ways differed from those of the Mahatma. The second was the Naval Mutiny in February 1946. Though this was suppressed pretty quickly and it was also not supported by the leaders, the signs were ominous.

After some 73 years of freedom all is not well in India. Corrupt politicians are ruling the roost. The dream of those countless thousand Indians who sacrificed everything to see a great India emerge, is yet to be fulfilled. But I am an optimist. I have full faith in the present generation, which will correct the mistakes made by their elders some day and lift India out of the rut. They will surely make India GREAT.

 

On this, the 77th anniversary of that unforgettable day, I pay my humble tribute to all those martyrs and unsung heroes and hope that peace and sanity prevails on this earth.

May God shower his blessings on my dearest INDIA.

JAI   HIND.