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Octogenarian writers whose ink has not dried

Krishna Kumar Toor was born in Lahore to Hira Lal on October 11, 1933. His words of poetry are not restricted to the boundaries of Himachal but he is read with reverence throughout India.

Octogenarian writers whose ink has not dried


Shriniwas Joshi

Krishna Kumar Toor was born in Lahore to Hira Lal on October 11, 1933. His words of poetry are not restricted to the boundaries of Himachal but he is read with reverence throughout India. After having retired from the State Tourism Department, he made Khaniara at Dharamsala as his permanent abode. He has been bestowed with so many awards that if I start mentioning all, the words will consume the column. His latest anthology of 91 poems and ghazals titled ‘Samak Samaak’ was published by Kumar Printing Press, Dharamsala and costs Rs 200. 

Samak is fish and Samaak is its plural. His Preface is small but appealing. “Kanton ko Gulaab de raha hoon/ Duniaa ko kitaab de raha hoon.” He is enchanted by the wish-cord that people tie around the girth of ‘Peeple’ tree and says, “Yeh aur baat hai ichha poori ho ki na ho lekin / Bandhe hue Peeple se dhaage ache lagte hain.” 

He defines miracle in engrossing words: “Mojiza (miracle) us ko his kehte hain jahaan mein aye Toor/ Jo yehaan hota nahin hota hua lagta hai.” 

Coleridge in ‘Frost at Midnight’ reflects upon absolute stillness of the night in the words: It is so calm “it disturbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness.” Toor uses equally good metaphor when his isolation is broken by the remembrances of the beloved: “Ghere rahti hain mere dil ko ab uski yaaden/ Main yahaan par kabhi tanhaa nahin hone paataa.” 

There is a quote: “Love without condition; Talk without bad intention; Give without any reason.” Toor picks up ‘love without condition’ and says in simple words: “Pyaar sharton pe kaun karta hai Toor/ Pyaar mein sharton ka mazaa kuchh nahin.” The world is so much with us that we remain clinged to it and that is why Toor says: “Main chahtaa to usei maar sakta tha thokar/ Thi mere pairon mein kab se padi hui Duniyaa.” 

His book in Devnaagri script is readable to a person who does not know Urdu because he has given meanings in Hindi of all difficult Persian words that he has used. A poetry lover must have this book in his shelf.

Satirical short essays but enjoyable

Yogeshwar Sharma was born on July, 13, 1936. He is from Mandi and has settled there, his home-town, after retirement from the Education Department. He has several awards to his credit and his story-books ‘Nanga Aadmi’ and ‘Aa Gaya Bhararighat’ are very popular with the readers. ‘Basaaon’ is his latest anthology of 18 stories. Published by Ayush Publishing House, Delhi, a hard-bound copy of the book costs Rs.250/-. Basaaon means a ‘short rest’. 

Yogeshwar has apt hold on the words that he uses in his stories. These appeared to me satirical short essays in the garb of stories. But so enjoyable that one does not feel like keeping the book away from one’s chest. His pain for the vanished old music in the first story is reflected in Tansen losing his value today. Tansen is being auditioned daily and failing the test because he is not a member of any group or mafia. 

The day’s slogan is, “Wahi gaao jo bheer ko pasand aaye. Isliye Tansen kahin bhi nahin hain.” Yogeshwar feels bad about the crowding of hill stations. And he asks his friend, “Kya Shimla ki paharian ab bhi vaisi hi hain? Aisa to nahin ki ab vey sab pahariaan makan ban gayin hon?” 

The metaphor of conversion of hills into houses is the might of Yogeshwar’s pen. He recollects that he, as a child, went to a baori (water pond) with a small vessel to bring water from there. Child psychology is superbly expressed in these words when he carries water to home in that small vessel: “Mujhe lagaa, main samoochi baodi ko hi apne ghar le ja raha hoon.” The anthology contains two stories on Newspaper – ‘Aaj akhbaar nahin aayega’ and ‘Aaj akhbaar phir nahinn aayaa’ – both these do not contain the elements of story but are worth reading satirical essays. Very enjoyable.

Yogeshwar is a man with mother wit and has used it fittingly in his so-called stories that have made the book really interesting. Please order for the book immediately.


TAILPIECE

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

— Anaïs Nin

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