Author Archives: aaghazedosti
With an unknown traveler in London, I didn’t realize we were from different countries
During my visit to London in Feb 2016, I was very friendly with a young Sialkot native Nadeem ( Name changed) who was very close friend of my host at London Atul Jain and both were colleagues at a big mobile store at South Hall. They used to have good time together on Sundays.
I found Nadeem a very lively and emotional person, who was too attached with his family based at Sialkot and used to send most of his earnings to his native place. He was the sole bread earner of the family.
He felt happy with my company on that Sunday and desired if he can get a good Pakistani life partner at London only. He had a second wish that to get married at his village in Sialkot only. He specifically invited me to his village to attend his marriage. Those were touchy moments for me!!!
On the very next day, on South Hall railway station when I was waiting to board a local train, happened to meet a Punjabi young girl and we both start talking in Punjabi. I was with a wrong impression that all the South Hall area belongs exclusively to Punjabi Sikhs so start talking with the girl in Punjabi with an impression that she is from my country, a sikh girl. And with a similar thought, she was thinking me a Pakistani Punjabi, how funny !!
After few minutes of conversation, I asked her where from she hails in Punjab ? She simply said from Lahore and immediately countered, where are you hail from uncle ( I was 58 that time). I told him that from Bombay but once was resident of Ludhiana so speaks fluent Punjabi. She was Asifa ( Name changed). We both were full of laugh as she found me an Indian Punjabi and I found her a Pakistani Punjabi !!!
I was moving to see Windsor Palace and incidentally, our travel route was same. Obviously we sit together and during journey she shared with me that her father died leaving behind her mom and her alone at Lahore. They were 3 sisters and sadly no brother. Her two elder sisters were married at London only and by those contacts, she managed to reach London and found a job at a Petrol station. Her mother was living alone at Lahore and like Nadeem, she was the only bread earner for her aged mother.
She had a desired if she could get married with a young Paki Punjabi boy at London, then will get a chance to settle there and will call her mother too at London. She was having a very noble thought that all 3 sisters can fully take care their aged mother at London.
Immediately I was strike with a great idea that why both Nadeem and Asifa should get married as both are looking for a life partner, both are Paki Punjabis, both young and both stay at South Hall.
I frankly put that proposal of Nadeem before her and she was very much keen to have a meeting and gave me her mobile number to let have a talk with Nadeem and then a meeting.
I left London, enquired and found that both Nadeem and Asifa had two meetings but I was sad to know, their marriage could not be performed because of some personal reasons. My whole efforts went futile. But somewhere in the heart, I was satisfied that I tried my best to get united both Pakies for their whole life as was highly impressed that both were too much concern about their families at Pakistan.
I was told Nadeem is still looking for a bride, used to remember me and I am eagerly waiting for his invitation of Sialkot….
Adishwar Kumar Jain is a renowned collage artist of India who exhibited paintings in all leading art galleries in India and abroad. He holds the post of Vice President of Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India. He is also serving as the Sr. Vice President in a textile company of Mumbai.
(Picture of South Hall Station in blog is representative image from internet site Hubpages)
Announcement: Aaghaz-e-Dosti Invites Paintings for 8th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak friendship initiative launches an Indo-Pak Peace calendar every year. This calendar is a collection of selected paintings of school students from Pakistan and India and is launched along with a seminar in several cities in both countries. It also carries messages from renowned personalities working on the issue from both the countries.
This will be the 8th calendar. We have received great response for this calendar in the last 7 years. We have received paintings from students and schools in different cities of India and Pakistan and from non-resident Indians and Pakistanis. The calendars have been launched in Delhi, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nashik, Panipat and Surat in India, in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Toba Tek Singh in Pakistan, and in Kyrgyz Republic, USA and Sweden.
We invite paintings from students of India and Pakistan. Students can participate individually or through school. Indian and Pakistani students studying in other countries are also invited. Twelve paintings, six from each country, will be selected.
Rules and Guidelines:
- Theme: Indo-Pak Friendship
- Students of class VI to XII are invited to take part.
- A-4 Paper size, no spiral sheet
- Students should write their name, class, school name, email ID, mobile no. and painting description/caption on the back/reverse side of the painting
- The painting should be original
- Students whose paintings will be selected will get certificate, calendar, and a token of appreciation. All participating students and schools will get certificates. Names of participating schools will appear on the calendar.
As a preventive measure, we request you to kindly inform the students to take care of the design of the maps and flags of the two countries. The paintings which will not follow the above-mentioned guidelines will not be considered. The deadline for the submission of paintings is 15th October 2019*
*Please note that Date is extended till 17th Nov 2019
A report of last seven years of Peace Calendar: A Report Seven Years of Peace Calendar
Procedure for Submission
- Email scanned copies at email@example.com
Submission of Paintings till: 17 Nov 2019
Announcement of Selected Paintings: Before 25 Dec 2019
Calendar Launch Events: Start from January 2020
Press Release: Aaghaz-e-Dosti denounces war hysteria, welcomes Abhinandan
Aaghaz-e-Dosti denounces war hysteria, welcomes Abhinandan
At a time when the relationship between India and Pakistan are dismal and there is a fierce culture of war mongering, we, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a citizen diplomacy initiative appeals for peace and sanity. Through our work among the people, we assert that people on both sides demand and deserve peace. These recent happenings based on hostility and aggression have claimed the lives of soldiers who serve their country, protect it, affected the people living near the border and has also aggravated the hostility much beyond the border. It has become severe with a war hysteria that endangers the entire subcontinent.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti denounces any talk of war. War claims lives of the innocent, soldiers and civilians like, drains economies and only works to push back countries, their development. It is an impractical and even as ineffective step for a permanent solution. We believe that diplomatic and political engagements may not only prevent any war or war like situation, but would also bring fruitful results in terms of resolving conflicts.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti appeals with prime minister of India and prime minister of Pakistan to take immediate steps to prevent any further escalation and to take steps for peace and dialogue. In this regard, we also thank the Pakistan Government for releasing IAF pilot Abhinandan. We see it as a step of political maturity and in favor of the people of both countries.
Being an initiative that works mostly through peace education, Aaghaz-e-Dosti believe that any positive step from both sides would be welcomed wholeheartedly by people on both sides and this would not only result in to an instant step of peace, but will also be much meaningful when it will be looked in history as this step would ensure confidence of both prime ministers in a hopeful future, a future that would be safer, saner, free from violence and so a future of prosperity.
We believe that it can be done and governments on both sides are completely capable to do this. We believe that talking peace and taking actions for peace may be difficult than talking war, but would be more stable and notable.
An Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative
When Indians arranged movie tickets for three Pakistanis in Bombay..
Adishwar Kumar Jain, aged 60 years is from Mumbai. Recently, he was watching the famous bollywood film Henna and was reminded of a beautiful incident that goes back to 1991 which he is proud to have been part of. He writes,
“I was on a business trip of Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1991 from Ludhiana (Punjab) when this film Henna was released. It was super hit on the box office and I too went to see the film in Metro talkies of Bombay. Despite of heavy rush, managed to get a ticket for me in black. That time 3 young men came to me and asked for 3 tickets and told they are from Pakistan and do serve in merchant navy. Their ship was parked near Bombay and they took special permission from the captain to see the movie Heena in which Pakistani girl Jeba Bakhtiyar acted as a heroine. It was very embarrassing situation for me to listen all that and start thinking about how to arrange 3 tickets for these Pakistanis. I offered my single ticket to them but they denied as this was not going to solve their problem.
Suddenly I shouted to the huge crowd that 3 Pakistani guests are there and they specially came to see that movie so please arrange 3 tickets for them. To my pleasant surprise, with in minutes at least 20 persons gathered around those young men, shook hands with them and offered their tickets to them. Even few were with their families.
I was just stunned to see the love of common Indian nationals for the Pakistani these nationals. With in no time, 3 tickets were handed over to them and no money was even accepted.
One in the crowd said “Hum to kal dekh lenge par hamare Pakistani bhaeeyon ko aaj hi film dikhayengay….”
In addition, I found that during the interval, people were presenting them with the chips packets and sandwiches etc. They were so happy and were too emotional seeing the love from the Indian people for them.
I still remember this incident which was very touching and that day I realized that how much love the people do with each other of these “Enemy” countries. I always pray for the day when there will be no borders and that Frontier mail (Now Golden Temple Express starts from Bombay) will again run between Bombay to Frontier province and I will go to Peshawar to see the house of Dileep Kumar Sahab (Yusuf Khan).”
Adishwar Kumar Jai is a renowned collage artist of India who has exhibited paintings in all leading art galleries in India and abroad. He holds the post of Vice President of Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India. He is also serving as the Sr. Vice President in a textile company of Mumbai.
Lahore and Surat met, talked, laughed and advocated a future that belongs to peace
To cross the border and to meet a neighbor country citizen is always a difficult task when it comes between Pakistan and India; but young students of two countries are paving the way of a peaceful future and exploring the similarities and differences, learning from each other, talking, laughing, enjoying with each other and exploring bond of friendships through classroom connect programs. ICT (Information, communication, technology) is the tool of connection and video conferencing is helping them to enable and to create their peaceful future through breaking stereotypes.
When Aaghaz-e-dosti Surat chapter’s coordinator Sagar Papneja in India and Amman Pukar’s President Asifa Sheikh in Lahore, Pakistan informed their students a day before about the scheduled classroom connect program where students would get an opportunity to talk with their peers on other side, students became very enthusiastic to participate in the session. Though their initial idea about the other side was much built through the secondary sources of media and what people say, they all were much excited to talk and they never had done this before. The idea was to let students from both nations learn about culture of each other in order to promote peace and it was organised in spirit of World Cultural Day. This was 15th classroom connect program of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and around 40 students from both sides took part.
The session began with students from Amman kids club Lahore gathered in Gulberg singing a song about friendship ‘Dosti aisa naata’ for their peers across border to which Indian students presented a famous bollywood song “ye dosti hum nahi todenge” (We will not break this friendship).
Safina from Lahore recited a beautiful poem and Atishi from Surat narrated a story. Students explored their subject leanings and fear as well and one Pakistani student told that she loves Maths to which Indian student expressed she was fond of English. Students Tanya, Vihaan & Keshav from Indian side spoke about their culture, festivals and traditions and Pakistani side students Urooj, Komal and Mehreen also spoke about diverse culture, festivals, traditional attires and languages of Pakistan. They talked about Ramzan, Holi, Eid, Diwali and Basant festivals.
Himakshi from India recited “Aag jalni chahiye” a famous couplet of Dushyant Kumar. Guitar was played by Kapish to which students sang “Gulaabi Aankhein Jo Teri Dekhin” and it made the whole environment filled with much fun. The atmosphere was mesmerized when Mohsin Hashmi, one of the directors of Amman Pukar, recited a poem named “sweetheart” for students on Indian side. This was followed by Sahil from Indian side reciting his beautiful poem titled “Hamara desh ek classroom” and Sofia from Lahore singing a song in her melodious voice.
During the connect program coordinators also explored their ancestry and found that while Indian coordinator Sagar’s forefathers lived in Layalpur (Faislabad) before partition, coincidentally Asifa’s grandparents belonged from Amritsar and Jalandhar. Another inspiring moment came when Mehreen from Pakistan mentioned about Akbar and Sheeshmehel in their town as Indian students had read about Akbar in history and they knew about the Indian Sheeshmehel.
After this, students were given time to directly interact with each other where they talked much about cricket, Bollywood, TV serials etc. Sahil (India) asked if the students from Pakistan also break glasses while playing street cricket and was glad with the affirmative answer and was introduced to Murtaza who had done it a lot of times. Karan (India) enquired about the street cricket rules and asked if they also have one tip one hand out. Sunny (Pakistan) replied that they also have similar crazy rules and questioned back to Indian students if they fly huge colored *Guddis*. All the Indian students together jumped on it if guddi means Patang (Kite) and then they all cheered and explained about Makar Sakranti and Kite flying festival. They then invited each other for the same. Rashmi asked them about their favorite actor and Komal replied with Mohseen Khan (he acts in Indian serials) and asked Indian students about their favourite actor to which Shilpa replied Fawad Khan. There were many such questions asked and answered.
After these conversations, Kapish presented vote of thanks and appreciated the energy and time by Pakistani students despite fasting for Ramzan. Both the sides waved good bye with a promise to talk again.
Coordinators and students on both sides expressed that this was a beautiful event to witness. An hour filled with emotions and cultural exchange to learn about each other, the similarities and the differences. Volunteers were overwhelmed as they got messages from students and their parents thanking for doing this and making it possible for students to experience something which they never had done before.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti conducts such classroom connect sessions to connect school students of Pakistan and India. This was 15th such session. For Amman Pukar, this was first such session. Asifa, President of Amman Pukar , Lahore expressed that though Amman Pukar works for promotion of peace on local level in Pakistan, this was first such session where they realized the potential efforts of peace through such video conferencing sessions. Sagar who was coordinator of Aaghaz-e-Dosti from Indian side told that considering both countries have young population, such sessions would definitely help young minds in exploring more about peace as with these sessions, students build their own opinions which are free from media bias. Founder of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Ravi Nitesh said that we are conducting more such sessions in coming time and we are hopeful that future belongs to these young students who are advocating peace.
To contact us, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Poems: Aaghaz-e-Dosti & Kavishala presents Indo-Pak Poetry Collection Program
There are few things that cannot be restricted by any borders, these are emotions, dreams and hopes. We, at Aaghaz-e-Dosti, have always believed in promoting these free birds for spreading peace. We join hands with Kavishala to give you an opportunity to weave them in a beautiful poetry and we will help the peace bird take a greater flight.
As a joint initiative of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and Kavishala, we present an “Indo-Pak Peace and Friendship” Poetry Collection that will take the form of a book with 100 poets and poems written in 5 major languages of the subcontinent. Here are few guidelines:
- Original and Unpublished Poems
- Language – English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi or Sindhi (For punjabi and sindhi, please send a rough translation in Hindi/Urdu or English). 20 poems from each of the 4 languages will be selected.
- A maximum of two submissions per person
- Send file in word/text format and the file should have your details – name, address, contact number and a brief bio
- You can send it at email@example.com or upload it at website of Kavishala http://kavishala.in/poetry-for-peace
Poem: Suno Aee Mere Humsaye
by Osama Siddiq (Pakistan)
Hamain Tum Say Muhabbat Hay
Suno Aee Mere Humsaye
Hamain Tum Say Muhabbat Hay
Khuda Nay Tau Zameen Banai Thi
Daantoon Talay Zabaanay Hum Nay Bheechi Hain
Sub Lakeeray Yahaan Wahaan Hum Nay Kheechi Hain
Daikho Suraj Aik Hay Apna
Chaand Ki Chandni Dono Ko Mayaseer Hay
Hawa Sub Kay Liye Hi Tau Zindagi Ki Alamaat Hay
Agar Tumhain Ghum Hay Thora Sa Tau
Yahaan Bhi Malamaat Hay
Chalo Phir Aik Ho Jain
Agar Sukha Paray Wahan Tau Barish Hum Say Lai Laina
Yahaan Jo Baar Ajai Tau Tum Paani Chura Laina
Hamaray Suroon Ko Tum Apna Saaz Dai Daina
Koi Mushkil Jo Aajai Tau Bus Awaaz Dai Daina
Hamareay Sath Chalnay Walay Dosti Kay Saee
Hamain Tum Say Muhabbat Hay
Suno Aee Mere Humsaye
Hamain Tum Say Muhabbat Hay!
*Painting by Anubha Rawat, an Indian student studying in Goodley Public School (Delhi)
Osama Siddiq is based in Pakistan. He works as a scriptwriter at Geo Entertainment
Indian and Pakistani students sing songs, celebrate birthday and wish for a peaceful future: 14th IndoPak Classroom Connect
Indian and Pakistani students sing songs, celebrate birthday and wish for a peaceful future: 14th IndoPak Classroom Connect
Surat/Karachi: Amid the turbulent political relations between the two countries, people on both sides still looked for ways to build bridges to remove enmity and to break stereotypes as a process of peacebuilding. In its line of peacebuilding through programs of peace education in schools across Pakistan and India, Aaghaz-e-Dosti organised its 14th “Classroom to Classroom connect” program between students of Karachi city of Pakistan and Surat city of India on 5th May 2018.
This classroom connect program was conducted in collaboration with Akhil Hind Mahila Parishad, Bruhad Surat branch from the Indian side and L2L (Learn to Learn), a Karachi-based commercial alternative school from Pakistan side. This classroom connection program connected around 150 students. On the Indian side, students were participants of summer camp in the centre while in Pakistan, students were participants of an activity learning school. The session was coordinated by Sagar Papneja of Aaghaz-e-Dosti Surat Chapter and Adnan Kudiya, a Karachi-based educator and activist working with #MainBolunGa, a social cause from Pakistan.
Before the connection was initiated, students on the Indian side were asked for their opinion about the neighbor country and they voiced some of the stereotypes and misconceptions. When asked for the source of their knowledge, they said parents, movies, and news. The coordinators gave them an analogy that they choose their own best friends and that their parents never tell them whom to befriend so then why shouldn’t they apply it here, in this case? They should choose their own friends and even foes by analyzing, talking to them and then deciding. They agreed.
The session began with national anthems of both the nations. It was followed by a discussion on summer vacations. The students interacted for an hour and asked questions about favorite food, movie actors, songs, school vacations, and much more only to realize that on both the sides everything was same.
During the session, students of both sides revealed their likes and dislikes and found that both sides loved many things similar. An Indian student asked to Pakistani students ‘Who is your favorite hero?’. Pakistani students replied ‘Fawad Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Salman Khan’. Then Indian student wondered ‘Fawad Khan! Tiger Shroff! they all are our favorites as well’. Another Indian student named Jhanvi asked ‘Karachi me kya famous hai?’ for which she got reply from a Pakistani student ‘Karachi ko city of lights kehte hain’ to which all Indian students became happy and eager to know more.
Then both sides together found that they both love faluda dessert, Afridi, Dhoni and Virat so much. In the lighter mode, both sides of students expressed how they hate school uniforms.
In a surprise move, when Pakistani sides of students got to know about the birthday of a student on Indian side, they wished and sang a birthday song for the Indian student that made the whole environment very emotional. During the concluding time of the session, students of both sides requested to extend the session for more time and also sang “swag se karenge sabka swagat” and “bahubali” song for each other. By the end of the session, the kids befriended each other and realized that across border the culture is same. They were no-more enemies rather friends with some positive future ahead. Their glowing faces with this first ever experience were expressing their happiness after meeting their peers.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a collaborative peace initiative of two voluntary organisations – Mission Bhartiyam (India) & Hum Sab Aik Hain (Pakistan), believes that students are future of these countries and have all the potential to build new bridges of peace and reconciliation that would pave the way for future.
Appeal by People of India and Pakistan to stop ceasefire violations immediately and start dialogue
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of Pakistan
This is difficult time to see disturbances along Line of Control where reports are coming of frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan and India that is resulting loss of lives of soldiers on both sides and also of civilians. It is also reported that people who are living nearby border areas are fleeing from their villages to save their lives.
It is said that this is first time when artillery used after the ceasefire agreement of year 2003. Reports are coming of civilians which include even school students who got stranded in their schools due to heavy shelling. Bunkers are being provided to villages. More than 400 incidents of violations have been recorded in this year 2018 only. Many schools have been closed, walls of schools and houses are damaged, agricultural fields are destroyed and studies are hampered. These all are in contrary to fewer such incidents in earlier years.
We, who are concerned about these frequent violations see that role of diplomats and political leaders of both sides are extremely important and crucial in this time. Many think tanks and experts found that engagement through dialogues with each other always help in reducing numbers and intensity of such violations. Retired officers of security forces also claim that in the absence of any diplomatic engagement, armies of both sides are bound to answer each other in their own way.
We have example of effective engagements of both sides during the year 2003 when despite earlier present vicious atmosphere, Government of both sides together took the role for the verbally announced agreement that brought down numbers of incident sharply from 8376 incidents in 2002 to almost Nil incidents during 2004 and 2005 and then only fewer violations in years.
We, who are citizens of India and Pakistan and support peace-building hereby appeal to Government of India and Pakistan:
- To start dialogue process between diplomats and political leaders of both sides immediately
- To start frequent meetings of DGMOs of both sides immediately
- To remove heavy shelling arms , artillery from front lines immediately
- To take immediate measures to stop ceasefire violations to protect lives of soldiers and civilians on both sides
- To bring a renewed ceasefire agreement by both sides in written form and with SoPs to guide security forces for steps to be taken
- To ensure safe living for border population, including opening of schools
- To provide compensation to farmers of both sides whose crops destroyed in shelling
- To provide special provisions , weightage and concessions to students whose studies affected due to shut down of schools for the reason of these violations
We appeal you with all hope that your effective steps would not only saves lives of people including soldiers, but would also develop a confidence among people on both sides that their leaders are capable to handle situation and care for people. We must remember that if dialogues can save even a single life, we must go on with dialogue without any ego. We are well wishers of democratic values and we want to see a developed, more engaged and peaceful South Asia which is not possible without efforts by Govt. of Pakistan and India considering Indo-Pak line as one of the heaviest military deployment and volatile region.
Endorsed by people of India and Pakistan:
|Aabida Ali||Activist||Karachi, Pakistan|
|Abha Bhaiya||Activist, feminist||Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Admiral L Ramdas||Former Chief of the Naval Staff, President Emeritus PIPFPD – Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy and Patron – India-Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace||Alibagh, India|
|Ali Abbas||Social Worker||Hyderabad, India|
|Aman Gupta||Software Developer||Hyderabad, India|
|Ammara Ahmad||Writer||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Amit Ranjan||Faculty Member||National University of Singapore|
|Anil Kr Singh||Academician||Faizabad, India|
|Anuradha Bhasin||Editor- Kashmir Times||J&K, India|
|Atiqa Shahid||Hum Sab Aik Hain||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Beena Sarwar||Peace Activist, Journalist, Editor-Aman ki Asha||USA|
|Bharat Bhushan||Journalist||New Delhi, India|
|Bhargavi||PIPFPD, India||Delhi, India|
|Bhawani Shanker Kusum||Sarvodaya Worker||Jaipur, India|
|Bina Sarkar Ellias||Writer, editor, publisher, international gallerie||Mumbai, India|
|Brig (Retd) Rahul Bhonsle||Retd Brigadier||Delhi, India|
|Chaman Lal||(Retd) Professor of JNU, Former President JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) and Fellow (Senator), Panjab University, Chandigarh||Punjab, India|
|Chintan Girish Modi||Peace educator||Mumbai, India|
|Devika Mittal||Convener-India, Aaghaz-e-Dosti||New Delhi, India|
|Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi||Assistant Professor, South Asian University||New Delhi, India|
|Dr. Jagjit Singh Sandal||Retd Officer, Airport Authority of India||Hosiarpur, Punjab, India|
|Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi||ED-PVCHR||Varanasi, India|
|Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat||Activist, Columnist and Founder – Jammu Kashmir RTI Movement||Srinagar, J&K,India|
|Dr. Sandeep Pandey||Activist, Founder-Asha Parivar||Lucknow, India|
|Dr. Walter Fernandes||Senior Fellow, North Eastern Social Research Centre||Guwahati, India|
|Harsh Narayan||Filmmaker & Creative Director||New Delhi, India|
|Hasnain Ashraf||Advocate, High Court||Punjab, Pakistan|
|Hayat Amiree||Social Worker||Delhi, India|
|Jawed Naqvi||Freelance Journalist||New Delhi, India|
|Kamayani Bali Mahabal||Advocate, Activist||Mumbai, India|
|Kapil Kak||Air Vice Marshal (retd), Member-Track-2 initiatives on India-Pakistan Relations||Delhi, India|
|Lalita Ramdas||Citizen – Educator – Peace Activist||Alibagh, Raigad, India|
|Meena Menon||Journalist||Mumbai, India|
|Mohd Tahseen||Human Rights Activist||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Nadeem||Social Activist||Lucknow, India|
|Obaid||Activist, Journalist||Lucknow, India|
|Pamela Chaterjee||Activist||Almora, Uttarakhand,India|
|Prakarsh||Social Activist||Gurgaon, India|
|Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy||Former Prof, JNU||New Delhi, India|
|Prof Anuradha Chenoy||Former Prof, JNU||New Delhi,India|
|Rafat||Social Activist||Lucknow, India|
|Ravi Nitesh||Founder-Mission Bhartiyam||Delhi, India|
|Raza Rumi||Editor Daily Times/Faculty Cornell Institute for Public Affairs||Newyork, USA|
|Reema Abbasi||Journalist and writer||Karachi, Pakistan|
|Ruchhita Kazaria||Aarcee Enterprises Advertising||Kolkata,India|
|S. K Singh||Social Activist||Faizabad, India|
|S. N. Subba Rao||Veteran Gandhian||Delhi, India|
|Saeeda Diep||Peace activist and executive director- Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS)||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Salima Hashmi||Artist, Educator, Curator, Writer||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Samir Gupta||IT Professional||Ghaziabad, India|
|Sarita Kumari Ghanerao||South Asian Women’s Network , Ex VP-All India Rajput Women’s Organisation||Pali, Rajasthan, India|
|Satyapaul||Secretary General- South Asian Fraternity||New Delhi, India|
|Sehyr Mirza||Independent Journalist||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Shahnawaz Alam||Social Activist||Lucknow, India|
|Sharad Patel||Social Activist||Lucknow, India|
|Sheema Kermani||Founder-Tehreek-e-Niswan||Karachi, Pakistan|
|Sheharyar Riizwan||Journalist||Lahore, Pakistan|
|Sonya Fatah||Assistant Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism||Canada|
|Sushobha Barve||Peace Activist||Delhi, India|
|Swati Sharan||Peace activist||Hamilton, Canada|
Khushwant Singh: A Tribute: Few interesting facts to know
15 August 1915 – 20 March 2014
Khushwant Singh is one of the most celebrated author of subcontinent. His sensitive, courageous and frank writing has touched so many hearts; yet he himself was an amazing personality. People who met with him ever, remembered her forever. We are providing here few interesting facts about this legendary and loved writer:
Khushwant Singh born in Hadali, Khushab in Punjab Province. (now in Pakistan) and later moved to India during partition.
Pic: Express Tribune
Khushwant also practiced in Lahore High Court and later moved to Delhi during partition. His house in Delhi was an apartment in Sujan Singh Park. It is first apartment complex that was built by his father Sobha Singh in the year 1945 and named upon Khushwant’s grandfather Sujan Singh.
Pic source: http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2014/03/17/city-neighborhood-sujan-singh-park-central-delhi/
His punctuality for time was well known. He always felt happy meeting people, but only with prior appointment. His door bell was famous for the reason you can see in door bell pic.
Pic Source: http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2014/03/17/city-neighborhood-sujan-singh-park-central-delhi/
He did not join Foreign Service job for his passion of writing. Khushwant has served in All India Radio and later as founder-editor of Yojna. Later he also served in Illustrated Weekly, Hindustan Times and National Herald.
Pic source: Wikipedia Commons
Once during his talk with Asim Awan who was a Pakistan and met with Khushwant during his India travel : He said he had been to Pakistan many times that he could not recount them all adding “Whenever I planned a trip to Pakistan my mother would say don’t go there… these Muslims are very cruel… they will kill you and I would reply Mother, until now they have been killing me by feeding me very delicious meals and lots of Scotch! But in the same breath she would say please give my salaams to sister Asghari, do go to the house of so and so and give them my regards and don’t forget to take some gifts for them.” (Source: Express Tribune )
Pic: Express Tribune (https://tribune.com.pk/story/720360/khushwant-singh-the-final-homecoming/ )
He has been Member of Parliament (Upper House)in India during 1980 to 1986.
His famous novel ‘Train to Pakistan’ (written in 1956) was based upon his own experiences during partition 1947.
Khushwant Singh has written many books. Few are listed here:
- The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1950
- The History of Sikhs, 1953
- Train to Pakistan, (Novel) 1956
- The Voice of God and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1957
- I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, (Novel) 1959
- The Sikhs Today, 1959
- The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab, 1962
- A History of the Sikhs, 1963
- Ranjit Singh: The Maharaja of the Punjab, 1963
- Ghadar 1915: India’s first armed revolution, 1966
- A History of the Sikhs, 1966 (2nd edition)
- A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1967
- Black Jasmine, (Short Story) 1971
- Tragedy of Punjab, 1984
- The Collected Stories of Khushwant Singh, N.p., Ravi Dayal Publisher, 1989
- Delhi: A Novel, (Novel) 1990
- Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh, 1993
- We Indians, 1993
- Women and Men in My Life, 1995
- Declaring Love in Four Languages,by Khushwant Singh and Sharda Kaushik, 1997
- India: An Introduction,by Khushwant Singh
- The Company of Women, (Novel) 1999
- Truth, Love and a Little Malice(an autobiography), 2002
- With Malice towards One and All
- The End of India, 2003
- Burial at the Sea, 2004
- Paradise and Other Stories, 2004
- A History of the Sikhs: 1469–1838, 2004
- Death at My Doorstep, 2005
- A History of the Sikhs: 1839–2004, 2005
- The Illustrated History of the Sikhs, 2006
- Why I Supported the Emergency: Essays and Profiles, 2009
- The Sunset Club, (Novel) 2010
- Gods and Godmen of India, 2012 ISBN 978-9-350-29244-0
- Agnostic Khushwant: There is no God, 2012 ISBN 978-9-381-43111-5
- The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous, 2013 (Co-authored with Humra Qureshi)
- More Malicious Gossip1989 – Collection of Writings
- Sex, Scotch & Scholarship,1992 Collection of Writings
- Big Book of Malice,2000, Collection of Writings
- Khushwantnama, The Lessons Of My Life,2013
- The Freethinker’s Prayer Book and Some Words To Live By,2012
Khushwant left this world at the age of 99 on 20 March 2014. He was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium.
Pic Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/blog/story/khushwant-singh-tributes-on-twitter/3205
During his lifetime, Khushwant Singh was keen on burial because he believed that with a burial we give back to the earth what we have taken. He had requested the management of the Bahá’í Faith if he could be buried in their cemetery. After initial agreement, they had proposed some conditions which were unacceptable to Singh, and hence the idea was later abandoned.He was born in Hadali, Khushab District in the Punjab Province of modern Pakistan, in 1915. According to his wishes, some of his ashes were brought and scattered in Hadali. One may see the memorial plate in Hdali:
Pic source: Express Tribune (https://tribune.com.pk/story/720360/khushwant-singh-the-final-homecoming/)
He also prepared an epitaph for himself, which runs:
Here lies one who spared neither man nor God;
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod;
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun;
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun
Pic source : https://www.inmemoryglobal.com/remembrance/2015/03/khushwant-singh/
A famous quote from ‘Train to Pakistan’
“Not forever does the bulbul sing
In balmy shades of bowers,
Not forever lasts the spring
Nor ever blossom the flowers.
Not forever reigneth joy,
Sets the sun on days of bliss,
Friendships not forever last,
They know not life, who know not this.”
— Train to Pakistan