Sunday, March 28, 2010

pritam ramdaspuri

i am writing today about one of my fellow bootan mandian, pritam ramdaspuri. i don't remember his actual name. he was known as pritam ramdaspuri. i belong to bootan mandi, a suburb (earlier) of jalandhar. i vividly remember, as a child , an untoward family incident involving pritam ramdaspuri. he shot dead his own family. later, i heard so many stories about the case and his release from prison. he did not go back home and decided to live in self imposed isolation or perhaps as some sort of self-punishment. he started living at their work place, leather business. by that time, i also had become a self conscious young lad. pritam ramdaspuri impressed considerably.

pritam ramdaspuri, in spite his past and the family tragedy, was not down in spirits. he was active in social and comunity work. what impressed me most: his accessibility for any advice, he was the only educated and knowledgeable person (the only one reading english newspaper the tribune in the bootan mandi), a good player (cricket), a poet ( later i learnt he was a scholar of urdu and persian), motivated youth of the area not only in cricket but also social and community activities particularly activities related to guru ravidass and dr. ambedkar. pritam ramdaspuri was a staunch ambedkarite. his words of encouragement to me, when i set for delhi for a job in march 1970, still ring in my ears. i always remained keen to say him hello and greet him as and when i visited bootan mandi. he remained a source of inspiration to many through out.

now i have to know that a compilation of his poetry (pritam kavya) has been brought out by one harmesh jassal. it is befitting tribute to the memory of pritam ramdaspuri though, i understand, a number of poetry books have already been credited to pritam ramdaspuri, a worthy son of bootan mandi. i feel good that i knew him. god also forgives good people, as dr. iqbal has said:

मोती समज कर चुन लिए साने करीमी ने ,
कतरे जो थे मेरेअर्के इन्फिअल के.