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Sahibs’ love for India

This refers to Sahibs who loved India by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, March 29). No doubt, the English as rulers of India, were immoral monsters who mauled the country like fierce brutes. Nevertheless some of them were imbued with reference for the Vedic culture and sublime treatises on philosophy, religion and spirituality. And a few others had innate love for the great land or had taken fancy to its wide geographical spectrum, wide range of colourful customs. The very same All India Congress Committee that initiated war on the British raiders was founded by a man from the British Isles, i.e. A. O. Hume. Mathew Arnold another English genius was in love with the country. Madam Annie Besant was one of the many English people who commiserated with the Indians fighting for justice.

In Punjab we still miss inter alia two English I.C.S. officers. A. L. Fletcher as Financial Commissioner had refused to obey the orders of “the wife of Chief Minister,” saying that he knew of no such rank in the administrative hierarchy. G. D. Falshaw rose to be judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Incidentally, he was a member of the High Court bench comprising Mr Justice G. D. Khosla, Mr Justice Dulat that turned down the appeal filed by the government of the Chief Minister mentioned above, against the acquittal of D. S. Grewal IPS. (then SP of Karnal) who had antoganised the C.M. In Amritsar, an English merchant ran a chemist shop till recently. He bequeathed his entire property worth lakhs to his Indian assistant. He always wore a kurta and pyjama.



Ghalib’s poetry

This refers to the itemPatience” in “The power of free expression by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, April 5). The writer has wrongly quoted the lines from Mirza Ghalib’s poetry as “Gashi jabr talbi/Tamanna beytaab”. The correct lines are:-

“Aashqi sabr talb/tamanna beytab/dil ka kya rang karun/khoon-e-jigar hone tak.”

Love demands patience, while desire symbolises impatience. Ghalib laments that his heart knows not whether to side with sabr (patience) or to follow tamanna, which is boundless in nature, and due to this indecision whether to go this or that way, he is so much traumatised that his heart has started bleeding.

In these lines, Ghalib highlights the tug-of-war between love and desire, former requiring patience and the latter being inherently impatient.



It is a matter of great pity that human beings are always in a hurry. No one has the time to wait. They want things to be settled in a jiffy. It has been explained beautifully that patience is a virtue, however it is seldom found in a woman and never in a man.

There are very few persons who show equanimity and patience. One must keep in mind that slow and steady wins the race.


Way with English

Jaspal Bhatti’s article Way with words (Spectrum, March 30) was entertaining. It was a dig at those who want to show off how to speak English. People often speak one sentence in English and the next in Hindi. Then half a sentence in English and the other half in Hindi. So they end up speaking Hinglish. Similarly, others speak one sentence in English and the next in Punjabi. They continue in (Pinglish) to impress the listener.

There is no doubt that English, with its universal appeal, occupies pride of place among all languages of the world. However, converting it into Hinglish, Pinglish or ‘Gulabi English’ is a sign of ignorance, not of erudition.n



Roses all the way

This refers to Roses all the way by R.K. Luna (Spectrum, March 9). Ancient Greek poetess Sappho was so charmed by the rose’s perfect beauty that she named it “Queen of Flowers” in her Ode to Rose, crowning it for all times to come. Old Sanskrit literature mentions roses as Taruni Pushpa, Atimanjula and Semantika. A fifth century Chinese library contained 600 books on them. Symbolic of purity, it is associated with Virgin Mary, also called Mystical Rose. Interestingly, a rosary implies a rose garland, even a rose garden.

Cleopatra recieved Mark Antony in her palace in a sea of knee-deep roses. Nero paid one ton gold for a shipment of Egyptian rose petals. Roman brides wore rosette crowns in honour of Flora, the Goddess of Love.

Babar was so fascinated by roses that he named his daughters Gulbadan, Gulchihra and Gulrang, one of his wives being Gulrukh. Noor Jehan was the originator of rose water, Atat Jehangiri.

Roses scented the air of Persian gulistaans too, Firdausi describing one as ‘delightful to heart where roses bloom.’ Saadi’s most famous work is Rose Garden. Omar Khayyam lamented, “Alas spring should vanish with the rose.” The rose continues to enchant us, since centuries.




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