Saturday, July 20, 2019

My book – The Bits and Pieces

My book – The Bits and Pieces
It is gratifying to write that my book, The Bits and Pieces – Reminiscences and Reflections of a Novice – was finally released and launched in Jalandhar on July 13, 2019. MLA Sushil Rinku, an upcoming young politician of the region, was the Chief Guest at the book launch which was so planned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of my marrage with my gracious wife Vidya. A galaxy of my friends from cross sections of the society; intellectuals,
professionals, academics, politicians, social activists namely; Retired IPS and ADGP Malkit Singh, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice Rajinder Kashyap, Principal Jagdish Chander Joshi, Prof. Balbir Chander, Vice President of Punjab BJP Rajesh Bagha, BSP leader Prem Shant, Akali leader Seth Sat Paul, Punjab Lok Manch Secretary General Lekh Raj Nayyar, Social activists Manohar Mahey, Baldev Raj, Ram Lal Dass, Sat Pal Mahey among others participated in the ceremonies and celebrations besides our relations and near and dear ones.

Welcoming the guests, I thanked MLA Sushil Rinku for agreeing to do the honours as the Chief Guest at the function on a short notice as the book was to be released by one of the Ministers in the Central Government at Delhi but he backed out at the eleventh hour.  I may write about this separately, if I feel like doing so. But let me quote an Urdu couplet of the last Mugal King Bahadur Shah Zafar to give you the fore-taste of my ‘would-be’ dispensation on the subject:
zafar' aadmī us ko na jāniyegā vo ho kaisā hī sāhab-e-fahm-o-zakā
jise aish meñ yād-e-ḳhudā na rahī jise taish meñ ḳhauf-e-ḳhudā na rahā

Referring to the book, I said that I did not nurture any notion of an intellectual prowess and considered the book as my spontaneous action and take on matters of interest and concern to the nation and the society at large. As regards the desired impact of the book, I quoted Allma Iqbal to drive my point home:

Dil se jo baat nikalti hai asar rakhti hai; per nahin, taakte perwaz rakhti hai

Thanking my children for organizing festivities on the 50th anniversary, I expressed my gratitude to our immediate family and added that, with God’s grace, we had no regrets in life. So far so good and again quoted Iqbal, my favourite:

Teri Bandapervari mein mere din guzar rahe hain; Na gila hai doston ka na shikayate zamana.

Thanking the dignitaries on the high-table viz. MLA Sushil Rinku, Prof. Jagdish Chander Joshi, IPS Malkit Singh, Addl. Secretary Rajinder Kashyap and Prof. Balbir Chander for their generosity in speaking high of me and my wife, I again succumbed to the poetic expression of Krishan Bihari Noor:

Intizar aaj ke din ka tha badi muddat se; aaj usne mujhe diwana kaha hai yaaro.

The above mentioned dignitaries in their brief speeches, notwithstanding a fairly longish appraisal of the book made by Prof. Jagdish Chander Joshi, not only presented thought provoking ideas but also made candid observations on the appraisal of Prof. Joshi particularly with regard to his views on Babasaheb Ambedkar. It resulted in a lively interaction for some who were interested in the book and a source of visible irritation for many
who were more inclined to enjoy their drinks and food. Ambassador Bal Anand, who also wrote the Foreword of the book, could not make it to the event but was considerate to send a special message on the occasion which was read by my daughter Vaishali Singh. I will write separately about the appraisal of Prof. Joshi, message of Ambassador Anand and comments and observations made by some of my other highly placed friends. Kindly bear with me. Prof. Balbir Chander presented the Vote of Thanks and a young scion of our family Prof. Mahesh Chander conducted the function ably as the Master of Ceremonies.

I may share here that, it seems, the book has been received well if I go by the response and reaction in the social media and the sale register with the distributors of the book – The Bits and Pieces – Reminiscences and Reflections of a Novice.