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A legend lives on

My Babuji! I grope for words, especially adjectives, to draw his pen portrait. Innocent, unassuming, intelligent, brave, pious, suave, simple, benevolent and farsighted are some of the words that rolled into one to make my Babuji, Kamind Kumar Pandey. Even his anguish would have a veneer of disarming smile. Click to continue reading…

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The Spring season is losing its sheen. The Autumn is making forays of surreptitious entries. The village chaupal is in session. The farmers discuss changing mood of the nature. Wheat plants are withering. They need water every fourth day. Earth is thirsty. The water table is falling fast. Click to continue reading …

It It was a memorable Sunday (September 6). An unexpected union, rather fusion, of old and new bloods that nourished Hindustan Times to grow from strength to strength! I felt elated in the company my ‘boys’ and ‘girls, almost all of them are now proud parents of grown-up children. In office also they have grown in stature. Click to continue reading …

Whenever I visit my village Munshi Premchand’s famous story comes vivid in my mind. The immortal novelist had lost his ‘paradise’, when he revisited the holiest of holy cities, Varanashi. To relive the olden days, the hero of his short story had a wee hour jaunt in the city, believed to be resting on the trident of Lord Shiva. There were few early hour bathers in the Ganga. Nor was the sky renting with devotional chorus sung by hordes of Ganga bathers, ‘hamare prabhu awagun jeet na dharo’ (O Lord! don’t take my follies into your heart). Click to continue reading …

The return of a prodigal to his native village in faraway Rohtas district of Bihar has not been that smooth. It is something like a heart transplant. Love-hate scenario is pronounced. The village has a unique feature as it enjoys the cultural heritage of states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Hedged in a remote corner of resurgent India, the village ‘prides’ in poverty and squalor. The rain-god has not been kind to the area; more often than not he plays truant and farmers scan the sky endlessly as clouds hover above and go off without shedding a single drop of rains even during the Monsoon season. Click to continue reading …

Itis harvesting time. Villagers all over Bihar are up on the nine clouds. The occasion has special significance for my village. Bandu has have bumper paddy crops after almost five years of drought or semi-famine. My co-villagers are going gaga. The biting winter winds come as cosy as the autumn fragrance. Heavy dew-drops fail to deter them from start early morning harvesting. Click to continue reading …