Archive for May, 2012

ND Tiwari ‘Sower’ ? or a Vicky ‘Donor’? ………By Rashmi Talwar


Naughty Tiwari !

Days have turned hot in Capital Delhi, and clammy hot for a veteran congress leader, having nightmarish dreams, breaking out in cold sweat, for having being strained to part with a single phial of his precious blood or face its forceful parting !

It is by the order of Delhi High Court that the grand old man with a ‘glad’ eye is feeling the heat of the needle, readied for his DNA blood sample, in a widely publicized paternity suit filed by one Rohit Shekhar.
The court ruled that if N D Tiwari did not willing give, police personnel would force him to provide the requisite blood sample for DNA-testing.

Come May-26 and it will be a catch- 22/ D-(Daddy)Day , situation for the 86-year old congress leader Tiwari, facing this legal paternity suit.

After all, it could be that crucial moment that maybe nothing less than being proved as an ‘un’-proud and reluctant father of Shekhar.

Complying to the terms of the HC order, Tiwari could be persuaded to turn his face and let the DNA needle ‘shoot-and-scoot’ in record 2–seconds, but that would be a lame or tame way for a politician !

Another choice is, being bodily lifted, with wild flailing arms, kicking legs and body twists, being pinned on a bed, face turned away and the blood-sucking needle to do the needful, in the presence of an audience of police personnel watchful of the unfolding drama.

Of course ‘Drama’ is the favorite recourse of a sagging politician, a sure-shot strategy for a meteoric rise in TRP standing on TV channels, that could tilt the scale in its favor and maybe a few years later a best-seller book crafted to that effect, may bring in more ‘moolah’ albeit in this case -due to age-factor, only for his progeny.

No! this is not the story of the latest Bollywood flick ‘Vicky Donor’, having sired 53 kids, only of one Rohit Shekhar who has arisen to make the claim of being the wild-oat phenomena by ‘one’ Tiwari, that infected his biological mother, Ujjwala Sharma, once the General Secretary of the All-India Young Women Congress, a charge denied vociferously and evaded consistently by the veteran Tiwari in legal tangle by prodigal Rohit baba, in 2007.

Going back to history , veteranTiwari is known to have had a fabulous three-time stint as a chief minister of the highest populated state of the country –‘Uttar Pradesh’ between the 70s and 80s- However, the population graph is not his doing ! O Please reign in your horses of speculation!

Tiwari’s rise has been owing to his singular quality of not only being brilliant but being a secularist. Hence, he has never differentiated between peoples of north, south, east or west polarizations.

However, he is known to have averred in the case of sexes, but that is tag passé as many in the political circles are known for their ‘amorous escapades’ and age ‘should’ never been a cause for discrimination, has been the veteran’s favorite slogan over the years.

‘Actions speak louder than words’ is one way to prove the age adage and ‘he has done marvelously well for his age’, whisper his gleeful friends on the sly.

Hence, to his credit, goes the fact, that many a speculative wild sowing both domestic and foreign, have so far preferred to remain anonymous and under wraps and only one ‘wretched weed’ has emerged to make a ‘Teewr’- sharp-, attack and claim on his paternity, amongst the progeny emerging out of what his close watchers call, his colorful and lively ‘donor’ status.

Deepak Garg the HC joint registrar while asking the leader to appear in person at noon for the litmus test ..oops ! – the DNA test, has strongly added that “the court shouldn’t rush to take police assistance” and that “Veteran Tiwari should be given an opportunity to willingly comply with the court orders”. Clearly, his belief and compassion has won over, after all a man over 80, too has a right to throw tantrums or play hide-n-seek !

Tiwari’s sketchered graph shows his inglorious ouster as Andhra Pradesh Governor, for being the sole architect of Raj Bhawan’s ‘night of fantasy’- A three is to one- thereafter many of his friends rang him to find the secret of their friend’s eternal youth and vitality.

A seasoned journalist once had a host of tales about Tiwari’s covert anonymous flights during his ruling stints. But Tiwari, a sharp politician, has promptly tossed the blame of these and of the infamous MMS clip showing someone who looks like him in the sex scandal video, onto the ‘wicked’ Telangana lobby.

However, his detractors firmly believe it could only be his chequered ‘fly’-ing trousers that land him in a sweet-n- sour soup, everytime, sometimes as a ‘Donor’ or ‘Sower’ of wild-oat spice variety…eom

Jammu & Kashmir Interlocator’s Report in the Open ! By Saanjh



Interlocutor’s report on Jammu and Kashmir !!

A tireless crusader /Courage & conviction/ by Rashmi Talwar

Courage & conviction
A tireless crusader

As a young girl of barely twenty years in 1946, Kunti Paul set out to do social service and remained committed to the AIWC as member of the standing committee for nearly 40 years. That however did not deter her from lending her expertise and enthusiasm to other prominent associations at the time, says Rashmi Talwar

KUNTI Paul begged, cajoled, persuaded and performed an almost impossible task — that of convincing women (young and old to part with their jewellery and money.

As an exemplary gesture, Kunti first donated the gold bangles which her father had lovingly given her at the time of her marriage. She helped to collect gold and money equal to the weight of Jawaharlal Nehru who made a fervent appeal after the 1962 Chinese aggression, to help tide over the financial emergency. Since the rupee did not find many takers in the international markets at that time, gold was valued in exchange in order to help buy weapons and stabilise economy of a newly independent nation. At the forefront of the freedom movement, Kunti had laboured before the country faced gruelling events of Partition.

“It wasn’t an easy task,” she recalls, But it meant “freedom” call the word a magic potion or adrenaline that sustained the very existence of Indians at the time. Nehru had selected her for the daunting task, as she had proved her dedication and worth as the national president of the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC), a national body for women’s empowerment since pre-Partition years.

Thereafter, she went on to represent the country at the United Nations and spoke passionately on the plight of Indian women. Kunti has specifically focused on a woman’s predicament after her circumstantial or deliberate abandonment and her subsequent rehabilitation. She elucidated her viewpoint on the law and legal system to ensure shelter to women in cases of divorce settlements, widowhood, maltreatment and that of physical and mental abuse. Frail in health at the age of 77, as she presided over the local unit of AIWC’s annual function recently and surveyed its progress, she has lost none of her formidable spirit. She insists on walking without the support of a walking stick.

Not untouched by tragedy, Kunti had lost both her sons. While one of them had died in 1990, after fighting a prolonged battle with cancer, the other one Narbhir Paul an MLA in UP was killed by assassins in 2000. She immersed herself with the work of women’s uplift and empowerment and went on to complete her Masters in history at 60.

The AIWC has nearly 500 branches all over India, many of them were established with her help in north India. As a young girl of barely twenty years in 1946, she set out to do social service and remained committed to the AIWC as member of the standing committee for nearly 40 years. That however did not deter her from lending her expertise and enthusiasm to other prominent associations at the time.

She was a member of the habitat and environment quarter of a century since 1976. Having spoken at national and international seminars, she wrote several papers on environment and women’s problems. She remained an executive member of the Red Cross society, child welfare, blood bank society, cancer society, citizen’s peace committee. Having travelled all over major countries of the world she says: “Women’s problems remain the same throughout the world.” A member of the Punjab State Family Planning Board, the small savings scheme board, state social welfare advisory board Kunti guided the activities of grameen mahila sangh in villages. She helped to collect funds and amenities for defence forces during both the Pak aggressions and also helped in military hospital and organising women’s defence councils then the most threatening problem faced by India is “population explosion” and we should borrow the blue-print of family planning programme from China, with some valid modifications, to take a strong steps to stem the burgeoning population, she contends.

However, amazingly, her only dream which still remains to be fulfilled is to do her doctorate (Ph.D) in history.

First carried in The Tribune in 2003

Honeymoon again, Tulips again —-By Rashmi Talwar

In Year 2012
Honeymoon again, Tulips again!
Rashmi Talwar

It wasn’t a joke. Advertisements offering honeymoon packages to Kashmir have started to pop on our virtual windows. Charles Darwin had once said ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

It has taken nearly a quarter of a century for Kashmir to be mapped once again as a honeymoon destination and it could not have happened without an almost aggressive and aggrieved population’s fervent desire for change. The demands of the people too is witness to a shift from protests to demands for basic amnesties of -power, roads, water supply, gaining ground daily, relegating the flarings, stone-pelting to the back burner.

Once again, the scenario has emerged craving for normalcy of honeymooner’s dream of a water-stay at the dancing houseboats on the languorous Dal/ Nagin lake with Shikara’s playful rides thrown in for romantic rendezvous on unhurried waters, rippling off and on by paddles, amidst a surreal view of mighty Himalayan ranges.

Floating shops of flowers and fresh fruit to enrapture and steer moods to fulfil longings. With beauteous nature drawing in the rainbow trails, romance would indeed be as natural as a winged creature taking a zig-zag glide in the bluest skies.

Kashmir’s emerged as a natural sprint to win the march; as the choicest destination– to sow the seed for a progeny ; when the concept of honeymoon was conceived amongst couples married in 60s and 70s.

Interestingly and invariably one found photos on mantel pieces of couples in postures of  hugging, in Kashmiri outfits holding a flower basket or a baby goat or gaily decorated pitcher, kangri, samovar, looking deep into eyes or finger pointing to a Chinar grove or a flowing river, clicked by roadside photo studios along Pahalgam’s Lidder river. And one guessed that the immediate first child of the couple came from there, to the delight of parents who pushed, coaxed and hurried newly-weds to graduate them to be grandparents.

I, am not shy to say and delighted to discover that I too am one of those products conceived in these romantic locales, after surreptitiously investigating whereabouts of my parents post wedding and the count of months therein. Some fragrances are haunting never peacefully evaporating, just lingering, lying and awaiting a sliver of coincidence to trail a flashback. Perhaps they are the ones that a child absorbs in the womb. My father was so much in love with Kashmir that he would often travel to Kashmir with his friends in college albeit secretly, as parents those days were too protective and demarcating for their ‘only’ sons or for sons in general and daughters were of course held captive in homes.

After 24 years, after the last in 1987, when I stepped into Kashmir last year in year 2011,  it was to cover the ‘First Comedy-Fest’ in Srinagar, held after bitter turmoil for years since 1989. It felt like time stood still, traces of turmoil had vanished and mirth filled the once-tensed air. It was as if realms of media had faked Kashmir’s turmoil. Stories about bloodshed sounded hollow, concocted and the familiar lilt of music from whooshing winds- whistling in trees, flip-flapping waters and an air of spring filled the merciful air.

I started my lines for Comedy-Fest thus “-Myon Shoosh–My Love, whisper the majestic Kashmir mountains to me, opening their tessellated imposing arms, in a bear hug. I immerse into their beauty. The prickly needles of emerald hued conifers outlining their conical bodies, hurt me no more, they bring tickles at first, a smile and then a rolling laugh. It has been a quarter of a century since I last set foot in this wondrous land. ‘Maayi Barut Istaqbaal’ – Warm Welcome, ‘Khush Aamdeed’ – Happy Tidings, they murmur softly in my ear.”

I am convinced that this year too would be no joke and the undulating mountains, punchy clouds and swooshing waters known for their fabulous hospitality would be ‘Ashiqana’ lover-like, wondrous , inviting, embracing and enveloping .

Honeymooners would once again traipse on flower bedecked meadows of Gulmarg, watch the Gold topped peaks of Sonmarg,  touch waters of emerging Jhelum in Verinag or could lazily stroll or float along the Dal lake just like me, past midnight, listening to Bollywood number “Bol na halke Halke ..” on their mobile, and many a ‘tulip’ would be conceived, thus. Maybe, one ‘litlu’ one, under the mighty shade of a Chinar. And parents would be too embarrassed to divulge the secrets of the one, from a river bank or the from behind the ferns and bushes, still another may have a story to tell about the deadly strike of ‘Bichchu booti’ during a coiteus .

Saffron would break into blooms, slopes be emblazoned with wildflowers, Snow-laden mountains inviting and amidst them, honeymoon Houseboats ‘Nishat’ or ‘Kushdi’ – touted as the best for Honeymooners in the package- would boast housefuls ! And many a new love would retrace their footsteps to ‘shikaras’ under the stars and moon, oozing that truest promise of love, maybe on a night of Shab-e-Miraj, the night when the Koran is sung only in Kashmir.


Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: