Tribhuwan N. Bhan

Table of Contents

   Kashmiri Writers

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Not Illusions

By Tribhuwan N. Bhan

The ego of one solitary person changed the course of the land of our forefathers. It was the egoistic attitude of Maharaja Hari Singh which did not allow him accede to either India or Pakistan within the stipulated time limit of 14th August 1947. This tragic trait in the character and personality of the late Maharaja is the root cause of the catastrophic events in the Valley, which is bleeding at present. The monarch being offspring of the feudal system of those days, could not bend according to the changing times. It was the change of times that broke him. At the end, this monarch, who was only next to God in his hay-day ended his journey in life un-mourned, unknelled, unknown and unwept. Even his only child Dr. Karan Singh was not present at the funeral to pour sacred drops of ‘Ganga Jal’ in his mouth. Out of the twenty odd people for his funeral procession in Mumbai in 1961, my friend and I happened to be present. The flaw in his character transformed the ‘Paradise on Earth’ to ‘Hell on Earth’.

In comparison, all the success stories of people from rags to riches are those of people, devoid of this failing ego in their nature. While teaching Mukesh and Anil, years ago, I asked their father Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani, as to what was the secret of his success in life. He told me, “I always care for the sentiments of others. Be he my peon or a top executive. My parents have taught me to be humble, respect age and not to be egoistic. This negative aspect of anyone’s personality does not help at all, it only creates problems for everyone.” How correct he has been! He has imbibed this very principle in his two sons Anil and Mukesh who are managing a multi-crore business of various Reliance companies at present.

Once I saw Mr. J. R. D. Tata holding the door of his car for his driver to sit in the front seat of his car, as he wanted to drive home himself. This uncrowned king of an industrial empire, expanded his industry many fold through humility and not through ego. It was this humble nature and that of his ancestors too that is responsible for the bread and butter of all the lakhs of workers in various Tata enterprises. The giant international airline, Air India of today, was started by J. R. D. Tata with humble beginning of a single engine plane carrying mail from Karachi to Bombay. Had the doyen of Tata empire Sir Jamshedji Tata been suffering from this failing, whole of this industrial kingdom would have been non-existent today.

Mirza Assadullah Khan, popularly known as Mirza Ghalib was born in December 1797. Though born in the family of professional soldiers, poetry came to him naturally. He has written some of the most outstanding romantic poems in Urdu language. Not only poetry, he also excelled in writing prose which is in the form of letter he has written to his friends and relatives. An aristrocrat by temperament, he was never frugal and lived much beyond his means. Besides writing poetry, he loved exotic wines and over-rich mangoes. Though heavily in debt, he loved to be a good generous host. He was most secular in his outlook and had friends from all communities. Besides these worthy qualities, he had a failing in his character, that was ego. Due to this negative aspect in his personality, he suffered. When he needed a job very badly, Resident of Delhi, offered him one, to teach Persian at a Delhi college. Ghalib sat in a planquin and went in a royal state to meet the resident. On not finding the Resident there to receive him, his ego took the better of him and Ghalib returned to his home. So egoistic, he was by nature. He spent nearly three years at Calcutta so that his family pension was sanctioned to him, but again his ego came in his way and he refused to compromise with the Governor on certain principles, though he needed the money very badly to clear his debts. He returned empty handed from Calcutta. It was his ego that brought untold suffering, not only to him, but also to his wife Umrao Begum. He was fortunate to have a very understanding wife. When Ghalib confided to her that there was another woman in his life, she is said to have replied, "I certainly admire her choice!" When Ghalib died on 15th February 1869, his condition was indeed pathetic. Ego had acted as a catalyst to reduce the state of this tragic genius to a pitiable state.

It is for us to learn a lesson from the life story of these and many more successful lives and also from the life of the haughty Dogra ruler whose negativity in his outlook has brought untold misery to our brethren at present.

Source: Milchar



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