अतीत के पन्नों से…

अतीत के पन्नों से…

“Right now I am in train that is halting at Agra station. It is almost quiet inside. Somebody is playing a Garhwali song in the compartment. The combination (of the train and song ) reminds me of an incident that happened at Lucknow’s Charbagh station in late seventies.

One of our learned colleagues, who was also the nephew of a famous Scientist, had retired and all of us had come to see him off. He was in the habit of breaking into a song almost any time,anywhere and even in the class room. As the train was running late, somebody from us suggested that he should sing a song suiting to the occasion. Since he was a short y and could not be seen by all of us while singing, two of our colleagues arranged three trunks one above the other and then he was pushed and literally placed on top of the trunks. He was fully garlanded, almost of a weight of 5kgs., that he was still wearing although the party had taken place 3-4 hours ago. He was also chewing Paan the juices of which were dripping from both the edges of his lips. Wearing an English Victorian type of Jacket and a Tunic, he was looking very handsome that he indeed was. Surrounded by over 70-80 people, he was looking just like an actor. When everything settled, he started singing the old song ” कर  चले   हम  फ़िदा   जानो तन  साथियो , अब  तुम्हारे  हवाले  वतन  साथियो “. He sang very well. The nuances, intonation, modulation and the melody was so perfect that other passengers on the platform also started gathering around the makeshift stage. By the time he finished the song he was in tears and the small gathering, that had started swelling, became emotional. After that he sang many songs, old classics including the famous Sehgal’s number ” जब दिल  ही टूट गया हम जी कर क्या करेंगे “. Time had stopped at least for some of us. Meanwhile, the train arrived which a few of us noticed. The gentle man was bodily lifted from the trunks. He was travelling first class which had coupe with sliding doors inside the coach. With great difficulty, his entire luggage was pushed inside. He was still outside enjoying the attention and appreciation that he received at the station. The train moved and picked up the speed. Being an old and frail person, it was difficult for him to board the train. All of us got panicky as there was nobody in the train to take care of the luggage. Two of us ran and caught the last coach of the Guard. The situation was explained to the Guard and he agreed to apply brakes. The train stopped after crossing the entire platform. Since there was no way he could have walked the distance up to his coach ( Trains in those days were not vestibule d ), he was lifted by a few of us and then we ran to his coach. As we were doing this passengers were looking at us and having hearty laugh at the scene. Somehow, he was literally pushed in and then the train moved.

All of us felt relieved and sad. Sad because our learned colleague was a bachelor with nobody to give him company except the talent and treasure of old songs that he possessed in abundance. Memories do not die. . .”

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