TRANSCRIPT OF SH D D SURI’S NOTES IN URDU , NARRATING THE EVENTS OF HIS LIFE
‘RADHSOAMI DAYAL KI DAYA RADHASOAMI SAHAY’
Today,16 Aug 1983, I Durga Das Suri on entering the 83rd year of my life, am tape recording the events of my life for my children at my residence, 37-A, East Canal Road, Dehradun.
I was born on 16 August 1901 in a famous street of a Mohalla ‘Satthaan’ of the city of Lahore, where my parents had only a few months earlier rented a residence on their return from Rangoon in Burma.
I was hardly 8 months old, when my father was transferred to Dera Ghazi Khan, which is now in Pakistan. Then a year later he was transferred to Ambala, where my younger brother, late Tirath Ram was born on 16 Dec 1903.
In 1905 our Grandmother passed away at Ambala. I remember very vividly that both of us brothers were taken on shoulders behind her “Arthi” with peacock feather fans in our hands. Then there is also a memory of a few days later, when we both brothers were being taken for an outing in a perambulator and we were passing under a railway bridge, when a train passed overhead and we both were so startled that we started crying very loudly. The servant hurried us home and on return, we clung to our mother.
In 1906, father was transferred from Ambala city to Shimla, where I was admitted to school. The school was a short distance away, below our residence, on cart road. Our school teacher used to take me on his shoulder every morning and drop me back home after the school closed in the afternoon. Sweets (Batashas) were distributed to all the children at school to mark my admission.
In 1909 father was transferred from Shimla to Rawalpindi, where both of us brothers were admitted to the Arya School. Then two years later, there was again a transfer from here to Jhelum city and there we were admitted to the Government High School. In 1911 Laddus were distributed in our school to mark King George’s coronation in Delhi and we also got a medal with King George V’s portrait on it.
In 1913, father was transferred to Khanki Headworks of lower Jhelum Canal, which is near Wazirabad and where we were admitted to the Jubillee High school and lodged in the school boarding house.
In 1915 father was transferred to Lahore and there we were admitted to Dayal Singh High school, where the headmaster was Rai Sahib Raghunath, a well known respected teacher of his time.
In 1916-17 father got his Kothi (bungalow) ‘Shanti Niwas’ built on Multan Road and had a well also dug and a garden laid out in a 4 Kanal plot.
In 1917-18 we lived there, but in 1918 father was transferred to Amritsar, where I was admitted to Govt High school in class 10. The headmaster of this school was a popular Englishman, Maj E Smith Sahib, who was an acknowledged and a famous teacher. He liked me very much and besides making me Secretary of the Science Club, entrusted the care of the school garden and a small vegetable farm to me.
Passing the Punjab university matriculation examination from here in March 1919 in the first division, I was admitted to the Government College, Lahore in May 1919. Only boys with high marks in the first division were admitted here. At that time I had intended to go to England for a degree in Agriculture and my father got my passport prepared and my application for admission sent to the England and Wales Agricultural University through the principal of the Government College Lahore. But a few months later a reply was received that admission would take quite some time and therefore I should till then join the Punjab agricultural college and study there until my admission in England. After trying, I was admitted to the Lyallpur Agricultural College in May 1920 and from there was selected for an all India research Scholarship after getting my degree in 1924 and got training for two years in very famous institutes of India, first among them being the Forest Research Institute Dehradun and after that the famous Royal botanical Garden and Herbarium at Sibpur in Calcutta. After that, following training at Madras and Ootacamund had a fairly long tour of heavily forested areas of the Himalayas, especially Kulu, Kangra, Shimla and Kohmurreee and then returned to Lyallpur in September 1926.. I was then appointed to the special post of research scholar.
We came to India in Sept 1947 after the partition and I was posted as the E.A.D.A. (Extra Asst Director of Agriculture ) At Palampur, Kangra . I was finally posted to Dharamshala as the District Agricultural Officer from where I retired in August 1956 and came to Dehradun. I purchased a builtup furnished Bungalow, 37-A E.C.Road, an earstwhile guest house of Maharaja Nabha. Adjoining this house I laid out an orchard with my own hands where I planted saplings of Lichi, Mangos, Grapes, Pomegranates, Guava, Kathhal, Nimbu, Peach, Plum, Chakotra, Gulabjamun, and Akhroat (Pecannut) which are now bearing profuse fruits.
After retiring from Punjab Service I was sent to a special post of Central Govts Ministry of Agriculture at Hyderabad Deccan for one year.. From there I returned to Dehradun in 1958. after returning to Dehradun, in the following April I along with some friends formed the Doon Gardening Society which is functioning upto this time (added by Prakash – The doon gardening society continues to function even now (2009) under the stewardship of Prem Nath suri , the eldest son of late Sh D D Suri )
I was married in February 1920 and my elder son dear Prem Nath was born in March 1924 and then in Dec 1926 was born dear Swaran Kumari. Our younger son dear Prakash was born in Dec 1943. Dear Swaran Kumari was married in 1949 at palampur. After that dear Prem was married in jan 1950. At that time I was on deputation to Central Govt at Delhi and had to tour all over India. I made a complete round from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Assam to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh , Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu,(hilly regions of) and after returning to Punjab from the Centre in Sept 1951, I was posted at Ferozpur, Ludhiana and lastly at Shimla Head Office as O.S.D and Asst Director for three years. I was then transferred toDharamshala, Distt Kangra in 1954. whence I retired on 16 Aug 1956 and came direct to Dehradun.
In Jan 1960, dear Prakash went to NDA for military commission training and from there came to IMA Dehradun in 1962,whence he was commissioned in Mar 1963 and went to Poona, CME, for basic engineering training for one year. He is is now a Lt Col, Commanding Officer of an Engineer Regiment. He was married in Feb 1970 in Dehradun.At present he has one son ,Deepak age 12, and one daughter dear Jyoti, age 8. My elder son dear Prem Nath has one son Vinay aged 30 and one daughter dear Anuradha, age 22. Both are married and dear Vinay has one son dear Varun age 3 and one daughter Tarana age 1 year. Dear Swaran Kumari’s one son is………illegible…………Her elder son capt Sandeep age 33 years has one son Amit age 5 and one daughter Arpana age 2. Her second son Sanjay age 28 has one daughter Sheeba age 6 months. Her third son dear Sajeev is yet a bachelor and lives with his parents at Bangalore.
Dear Premnath and Swaran Kumari are both grandparents now and God has given us the good fortune of having the status of great grand parents, for which any gratitude is too little.
My children, especially Deepak and Jyoti ask me about my past life and in their lovely words sometimes ask me to tell them the story of my life and they both lie down with me in my bed fall asleep while listening. I narrate my old stories and they listen very attentively and make new requests. One or two of them I am presenting here.
I had many opportunities to make long tours of all provinces of India, especially their hilly areas. First in 1924-26 and then in 1949-50 and lastly in 1957-58. In 1925-26 I made severel long treks on foot from Palampur to Kulu, Banjar, Siraj and Narkanda, Kufri and upto Shimla in the Shimla Hills. In 1949-50 I traveled a lot in the hills of Ranchi and in the South Perriar, Kodaikanal, Ooty, ………. illegible………etc. I was especially fond of swimming in the sea and whenever I was near the sea greatly enjoyed swimming in the sea. I swam a lot at Juhu in Bombay, Goa, Trivandrum, kanyakumari, Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram, and the Ellis head and marina of Madras. It was also great fun to swim at the trijunction of Indian ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea, where ships leave for Sri Lanka.
I will now narrate a major episode in my life. After the partition of India in 1947, we came over to Palampur from Lyallpur which is now in Pakistan. I had left a big steel box in the strong room of the Imperial bank at Lyallpur. It contained a good deal of precious items including some gold ornaments, silver utensils, bundles of costly silk and cotton cloth, besides many other things which we had been accumulating for the marriage of dear Swaran.
To bring this box from Lyallpur I had to go to Lyallpur in Sept 1948. With me was my elderly Father in law, Lala Faquir Chandji, who was then the Managing Director of a big Bank. He took me to Lyallpur in his car along with an armed security guard. We took charge of the box from an Englishman in charge of the strong room of the Imperial Bank. Immediately the Pakistan police stopped us to search the box, but the English manager forced them to go away by saying that he would not allow them inside the bank premises. Meanwhile Bauji ( my father in law) went to the Indian military Camp and brought with him an army vehicle with a machine Gun and 8 jawans. Without even stopping the vehicle engine, they entered the rear gate of the bank premises and loading the box and myself into the vehicle left the place. Nobody realized that we were in that vehicle and in a few minutes we were in the Indian Army camp, where the CO gave me respite in his own tent, hid my box behind a curtain, gave me tea and told me to rest on a camp cot lying there, so that no one would come to know about my being there as also the box.
Outside the bank, the local police and a crowd of other people were on the lookout for us, so as to arrest me and seize the box as soon as I emerged, but they never found out that I had escaped to the military camp.
At two O’clock in the night, I was made to lie down on a mattress at the rer of an army truck, a table was placed astride my box, with broken cots and other furniture chairs and almirahs strewn all around it in such a way that no one would suspect that I was lying hidden there. The Co told me not to speak, not to stir and he set off in that truck with all the dilapidated things to take them to Amritsar and get new stuff instead.. At 8 in the morning we reached Miannur ?, lahore Cantt, where he took the truck to the Indian Military camp, brought me out and arranged tea and breakfast. At that time another truck arrived there laden with household goods. A superintendent of the Indian Border Police emerged and met the CO. On enquiring he told us that it was his father in laws stuff which he was taking to Amritsar. He told us that he would have no problem at the Wagah Checkpost, because he had already made arrangements with the S.P. of the Pakistani Border Police. The CO sahib told him about me and requested him to take me and my box with him upto Amritsar in his truck because it would not be checked at the Wagah border.
He agreed, put my box safely in his truck and accommodated me alongside himself on the front seat. “Keep sitting here quietly “,he told me. We left Lahore Cantt around 10,O’clock and around noon crossed the Wagah border check post and reached Amritsar safely, without any let or hindrance. Rather he was given a salute at the border, nor was there any customs check. At that time I gave heartfelt thanks to Radhasoami dayal with whose grace and help, I was able to return to my home with my valuables.
I am now narrating one of the many other incidents in my life about which I have been telling my children from time to time.
In March 1952, when I was working at the Head office in Shimla, around 10 O’clock there was a telephone call from my elder son Prem Nath from kasauli that dear Prakash(who was living with him along with their mother) had developed high fever and had occasional fits. He asked me to reach Kasauli immediately. At once I telephoned the Bus stand incharge and booked my front seat on the12 o’clock bus going from shimla to kalka via Dharampur. Untill then there was no direct bus from Shimla to kasauli. I was delayed by about five minutes and when I reached the bus stand the bus had left and my front seat had been taken by an elder brother of a minister Chaudhri Lehri Singh.
Minutes later a bus came along with a board saying” Kasauli direct Service “ The service had begun that very day. I took the front seat on that bus which left immediately.. when we reached Padao Kiari bungalow, about 16 miles on, a crowd of locals stopped our bus and told us that the bus which had passed that place a few minutes earlier had fallen into the Khadd at the next turning. They wanted to take water, milk etc over there to help. We seated them in our bus and in a few minutes we were at the spot where the bus had fallen about 100 yards down from the road and turned turtle. When we climbed down into the ravine to reach the bus, we found the ministers brother dead in the front seat. Other passengers had been hurt. Seeing that horrible sight, I was greatly pained and also thanked Radhasoami dayal how his grace had given me protection. Death had come only to that man who had taken the seat on which I was to sit and I exclaimed ‘jako rakhe Sayian, mar sake na koye’- whom God protects, none can kill. We gave whatever help to the injured passengers, got onto our bus and at the next stop lodged a report at the Kandaghat police Station, then informed the local hospital incharge and proceeded to Kasauli.
By the time we got to our home, dear Prakash had improved a good deal which gave some relief and the next day I returned to Shimla.
Many similar incidents have occurred in my life from time to time which are difficult to narrate in this short time. I now conclude this series, thanking Radhasoami Dayal profusely, by whose grace and kindness I have had a happy life and who has protected and helped me at every occasion.
We have finished a good part of the journey of our life and have reached very close to the last stage. Our life is passing very peacefully and fruitfully and we bless our children and pray for their peace, progress and health.
Signed D. D. Suri
Now I will tell my wife to record the experiences and events of her life.
Transcript of Mrs Satya Vati Suri’s Notes in Hindi Narrating her Life Experiences
Now, I Satya Vati Suri will narrate a few things about my life. I was born on 6 Dec 1905, in a nearby gali of Mohalla Sathaan,in Lahore city. My husband was also born in the same area in 1901. I was only one and a half years old , when my engagement was performed, and I was only 14 years and 3 months old when my marriage was performed in Feb 1920.
I lived at many places along with my father, mother and my grandmother , like Rawalpindi, Haridwar, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Lahore Calcutta, Bombay etc. My birth name was Ram Pyari but due to my continued sickness in my childhood, it was changed to Satya Vati. I still remember a lot of events from my childhood, specially about Gangaji in Haridwar, mountain springs in Dharamshala and hills of Dalhousie. There were no motor buses to reach the hill stations in those day. We always had to travel in Dak Tongas for which two big horses had to be changed en route at intermediate stations located every 6 miles. These Dak Tongas carried the mail bags, some baggage and only 3 passengers in addition to the Kochwan.
After marriage also we used to visit hill stations every year for one month. Sometimes to Kashmir, Kohmurree,Chamba, Dalhousie, Shimla and sometimes to Kulu, Palampur, Dharamshala. I have also performed the very difficult pilgrimage to Amarnath with my husband. In the South I have visited Madras, Ooty, Wellington, Mysore, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
In 1956 we came to Dehradun my husbands retirement and have been living in Dehradun ever since. All the fruit trees we planted with our own hands are all bearing fruit now. Some of these fruits are Lichis , mangoes, Peaches, Grapes, Plums, falsa, Guava, Lemon, Chakotra (grapefruit), sweet Kamrakh, Jackfruit, Galgal and Vilayati akhrot (Pecan nut). Every year at home we prepare juices, jams, murabbas, jellys etc from these fruits for ourselves and our children. Althogh we are living alone, we are leading a very peaceful and a happy life in this place. I now convey my Radhasoami to everyone.
TRANSCRIPT OF ENGLISH NOTES DATED 21 AUG 1983 BY SH D D SURI
Now I will talk about the essentials of a happy contented and a useful life based on my own experiences and the words of wise men uttered from time to time to bring out the true values of life. I will impress on my children to imbibe these fully and try to act accordingly always to experience for themselves the joy of a fully rewarding life. These are,
No 1. Always have an optimistic and a cheerful outlook in life. There is a silver lining to every cloud.
No 2. Have active habits; keep both body and mind active and occupied usefully as an idle mind is a devils workshop and an idle body is a source of all ailments.
No 3. Develop useful hobbies like reading, writing , gardening, photography, stamp collecting and trekking etc.
No 4. Always take real interest in work entrusted to you.
No 5. Be methodical and thorough in your day to day work. Don’t look for shortcuts.
No 6. Keep all things in their proper place after use and in as clean and good condition as you would yourself like to have.
No 7. Be honest , truthful and polite in all your dealings.
No 8. Don’t ever look out for imaginary troubles.
No 9. Learn to like people you meet or have to live with.
No 10. Contentment is the greatest source of happiness.
No 11. Learn to accept adversity and reconcile to face it bravely.
No 12. Try to be cheerful and humorous always.
No 13. Never utter anything mean even when provoked and feel like doing so.
No 14. Ambition for better life is good but over ambition is not.
No 15. Trust in God implicitly always as faith gives moral strength.
No 16. Service of humanity, charity and help to needy, and to give freely to others of your experience and knowledge are the highest ideals to be always followed.
Now I will talk about the five essentials of a joyful and a happy family life in the following Punjabi verse (kabits) by an eminent Punjabi scholar and its translation in english :-
Awwal sukh Jahaan da jay hovey nirmal kaaya
Dooja sukh jahaan da jay hovey pallay maya
Teeja sukh jahaan da jay sir tay hovey apna saya
Chautha sukh jahaan da jay hovey sukh-wanti naari
Panjwaan sukh jahaan da jay hovey aulad agyakari.
Foremost joy of life is to have sound health
Second comes financial security
Next is to own a roof of your own over your head
Followed by a devoted and a faithful spouse
And obedient off spring.
I now conclude with prayer for happiness and peace to all humanity. Radhasoami.
TRANSCRIPT OF URDU NOTES ON PAGE 18 OF THE SCRIPT
Mujhay aaj apne sattarvain ? (illegible) janamdin par yaad aata hai :
Ghaafil, Ghadial yeh deta hai manaadi
Gardish-e-gardoon nay umr ki ghadi ek aur ghata di.
Ab main Kavi Rabindra Nath Tagore ki kitab Geetanjali say ek Bengali geet ka Angrezi main tarjuma pesh kar raha hoon Jo mainay apni bai diary main darj geeton say chuna hai. Is diary main meray retire honay Kay baad Kay pichhlay 25 saal Kay kuchh anubhav apni zindagi Kay baaray main bhi darj hain. Yeh diary meray chamday Kay Hath Bag Portfolio main doosray zaroori kaghzaat Kay saath rakhhi hai.
From Geetanjali in English :-
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free, where the world is not broken up into fragments by narrow national walls
Where the words come out from the depth of the true heart
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way in the desert of traditions
Where the mind is lead by thee into ever widening thoughts and action
Into that heaven of freedom my father let my country awake.
This is my prayer to thee my lord, (1)strike at the roots of penury in my heart
(2) Give me the strength to bear my joys and sorrows lightly (3) Give me the strength to make my love for service to the needy willingly (4) Give me the strength never to disown
The needy and poor or to bend my knees before insolent might (5) Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles (6) and give me the strength to surrender myself to thy will with love and faith.
CONTINUATION OF THE URDU TRANSCRIPT AFTER THE PRAYER
(Page 19 onwards of the notes in urdu)
I will now talk to my dear children about some of the treks and travels of my lifetime. Since my childhood I was fascinated with the sights of mountains, forests rivers and streams and natural springs. And I also had the opportunity to see and appreciate them.
When I was 5 years old we lived at Shimla for 2 years. There we used to go to Mashobra, Anandale, Chedwic falls etc for picnics every Sunday and often on other holidays with out Pitaji and Mataji and spend the whole day there.
Then in 1908 when we were living in Rawalpindi we used to go to Koh Murree every year and the sights of the hills and springs there still live in my eyes.
After that from time to time, we went to Dalhousie, Solan etc with my father. But when I was selected for a state scholarship in 1924 and had to work on medicinal plants growing in the hills which were used in the foreign and indigenous medications and were in great demand, I had to go to Dehradun, Calcutta, and Ooty for training and then make considerable treks in the Himalayas. I collected samples of such plants and brought them back safely with me.
Started one such long tour in May 1925 which lasted 6 weeks. I went from Pathankot to Baijnath paprola by motor bus and thence on foot. With me was an orderly who also did the cooking. For journey from there to Kulu we hired two mules, left early next morning and reached our first stop at Shanon, about 8 miles away in about 2 to 3 hours. After resting there we started the climb up the hill and reached our next stop at Jatungi forest rest house at about 4 in the evening., this too was an 8 mile trip.
All around us were thick Deodar jungles. After resting there for the night, we left next morning for the next destination, Sidhwani, with the fully laden mules.The climb was steep and the pathway risky, so we had to proceed slowly and reached the rest house there in the afternoon. Next day we had to cross the Bhubu pass (at an altitude of about 10,000 feet, about 4 miles away) early in the morning, because later in the day there would be high winds. So we left early in the morning at day-break, crossed the pass, started the journey downhill, trekked 6 miles and reached the Katraun (? ) bungalow in the afternoon.. It is at a good height about 7,500 feet in the Kulu valley.
Next day we left for the Dhalpur town of Kulu on the banks of Sarvari nadi which merges into River Beas a little further downstream. There we stayed at the Rest House for a day and then proceeded along the left bank of the Beas river upstream, to rest at katrain Rest House. Thence the next day, we reached Manali and stayed there at the Rest House, where next morning major Banon (who had an apple orchard nearby) came to see me and brought a basket of fresh vegetables and a few apples for me.
Leaving our luggage at the Manali Rest House, we left very early morning the next day for the Rohtang pass, which is at an altitude of 14,000 feet and snow laden at that time. At the next stop at Kothi, we learnt that we would not be able to reach the next stage Rehala, because the path was blocked by snow. So we returned to Manali from there. Next day we went to the Hot Springs at Vashisht, about 4 miles from manali, bathed there in the hot springs. Next day we wound our way downwards along the right bank of the Beas, crossed the Jagat Sukh stage arrived at Naggar Castle rest house in the evening after quite some time and rested there. This place is at a considerable altitude and the view from there of the entire valley was very pleasant. Descending from there, Katrain was reached along the right bank of the Beas, thence to Bhuntar where the Parbati rivulet meets the Beas. Then via Bajaura to the Aut stage. Thence we crossed the Jalauri pass of banjar at an altitude of 9000 feet, traversed the Siraj region, crossed the Satluj river, whence we were to reach Narkanda in the vicinity of Shimla and then proceed to Shimla. We traversed the stages of Banjaar, Laarjee, Khanaag and Lori, crossed the Satluj River and reched Narkanda. Saw a very beautiful clear water lake near the Jalauri pass. Leaving Narkanda, staying at Matiana, Barog, Phagoo and Kufri, reached Shimla on the fifth day, stayed there for a few days and then returned to Lyallpur.
This trek took 6 weeks on foot and many medicinal plants were collected from the jungles en route. On this long trek, besides wild fruit, flowers and leaves, there was nothing to eat except wild apricots, pears, phaphui, Lungrus etc. Shot wild birds……….. gun was always on the shoulder………..illegible……….. The whole panorama of these 6 weeks is still alive before my eyes 58 years later as if I am just returning from the trip.
I went to Kashmir for the first time in 1923 and stayed there for 6 weeks in a houseboat. My mother went with me because I had become very weak after surgery for piles and had gone there to recuperate on doctors advice. We went to Srinagar via Rawalpindi and Baramulla on motor taxi, arranged a houseboat in a few days and kept it on the Jhelum river near Lal Mandi garden. Went to boat along the river every day and to the Bazar at Amirakadal, Bund Road, where I weighed my self at lamberts English Chemists. I gained enough weight in six weeks and my health also improved a lot. Returning to Lyallpur, I joined the final year class at the College, took the degree exam in March 1924 and obtained the first position.
Thereafter all of us went to Kashmir 5 times more, 3 times on 6 weeks leave and twice on official tour. In 1949 we also undertook the difficult yatra to Sri Amarnath ( along with my wife ) which is still fresh in my memory. We also went to all the famous places in Kashmir like Gulmarg, Khillanmarg, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Chandanwadi etc, along with the children and went around in hired houseboats for rest of the time in the Jhelum River, the Dal lake, Gandharbal, and Wullar lake and also roamed about a good deal in the famous Chashmashahi, Nishat bagh, Shalimar bagh, Naseem bagh etc in the vicinity of Srinagar, where there used to be hugh mela every Sunday. We also went to see the Verinag spring, where the Jhelum River Originates.
I will now dwell at length on my official tours of many provinces in 1950-51, which I have mentioned previously also.
I had to survey and report on the hill areas and forests of all these provinces (about a special plant ‘Tung’ which had to be imported from China and grown at special places in our contry) in my capacity of O.S.D. in the Central Government, Ministry of agriculture.
First of all I started from the North Block in Delhi, where my office was located and toured the tea gardens and government jungles in the hills and plains of West Bengal and Assam. From Calcutta I went by air upto Bagdogra, which is the airport for Siliguri, thence to Darjeeling by meter gauge railway, seeing the tea gardens of Kurseong en route. The view of Himalayas highest peak of Mount Everest from Darjeeling is still fresh in my memory. Went also to Darjeeling’s famous Lloyds Botanical garden, which houses a rare collection of costly plants of Orchids and Rhododendrons of many varieties.
From Darjeeling, I went by hill roads and footpaths to Kalimpong, Keylong yang ?, whence the road goes to Bhutan and a little later onwards to Tibet. Returning from Kalimpong, came back along the banks of Teesta River to Assam’s famous city Gauhati, whence I went to Assam’s capital Shillong, which is a very beautiful place and is famous for excellent fruits, especially oranges, plums, apricots etc, which are traded wholly by the Khasi tribal women of that region.
From Shillong I went to Cheerapunji, which is famous for the heaviest rainfall in India. When I went to see the meteorological office there, clouds from the sea appeared suddenly and a heavy downpour occurred before my eyes lasting about 45 minutes. When the showers ceased, the met office people told me that it had recorded seven inches of rain.
Returning from Shillong, went first to Gauhati and then to Jorhat, where many refugee Punjabi families from Burma had settled and considerable business and property were then in their hands and they were very affluent.
Leaving Jorhat, I went to Dibrugarh (via the Indian Tea Research Institute at Tokalai) and stayed at the Circuit House there, which is right on the bank of Bramhputra River. After a three day stay there, I returned to Calcutta by Air from the Mohanbari airport. After a 2 days stay there started a tour of the hilly areas of Bihar province. Went first by rail to Ranchi. The Lac research institute is located there. Thence by Govt jeep to Manoharhat, which is the highest pointing in this region. From there, touring the entire Chhotanagpur plateau reached Sahasardhampur (?) which is in the plains. From there I returned to Delhi via Jamshedpur.
Left for another tour again after a few days, first to Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Palampur, Baijnath etc, in the Kangra hills and then to Kud, Udhampur,……….., Srinagar and Dachigam etc in the Kashmir-Jammu region. Ending this tour I went around the jungles around Kasauli, Solan, Shimla and then to Uttar Pradesh – first to Dehradun, thence to Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora. In Almora met the famous scientist Dr Boshi Sen (?) and his scientist wife who was a German lady and talked to them about my work. From the Almora rest house, where I stayed, I could see the wonderful sight of three of Himalayas famous snow laden peaks, Nanda Devi, Trishool, and Bandarpoonch.
Returning to Delhi, stayed there for a few days and then started a tour of Maharashtra province , involving Bombay, Poona, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Satara, Dhandeli (?), Belgaum, etc and thence to Karnatka province. Stayed at Mysore and and then went to Srirangapatnam, saw the Vrindaban gardens and then went to Bangalore. Thence to Shimoga, Bhadrawati, Hassan, Chak Agroha (?), balachaur (?) and returned to Hassan from where I began the tour of Coorg and went to its capital Mercara and met the Chief Commissioner, Col Bedi Sahib who also invited me to eat with him and was very pleased to meet me. There I also met my old acquaintance from Dehradun, Shri Kushalappa, Conservator of Forests, who had retired from there and come back to his native land. I went across the Cauvery river with him and saw the place where it originates.
After considerable tour of the Coorg region, I went from there to the famous Teak forests of the Western Ghats and then reached Mangalore(which is a big port by the seaside) by motor. From there I toured what is now the Kerala province by rail. First reached Ernakulam, thence to Cochin and then through the backwaters on a small seaship reached Kottayam and from there, staying at Perumade (?) and Vandepayas, reached Keamli (?), which is located o the shore of the famous Periyar game sanctuary Lake and from where had a considerable long trip by motor launch in that lake. With me was their game warden Mr Chandy who gave me a lot of information about the wild life there. From there I went to Trivandrum where arrangements had been made for my stay at the Old Ravi Verma palace as a state guest . It is now the Residency one part of which is the Guest house. Staying there for two days, left for Mannar hills. There a valley at that high altitude has been leased out to a famous Devam tea company, where they have large scale plantations at different levels for Rubber, Coffee, Tea and green small Cardamum. This valley was once a very big lake whose water had been drained out and a small settlement made there and named little England because most of its inhabitants were Englishmen and they had fashioned it in their own way.
Returning from there, going around Nagercoil and Mahindergiri Hills, reached Kanyakumari, which is the last Southern tip of India and which has a very beautiful view of the sea and where one can see sunrise and sunset from the same spot. Located there is a big temple of the Kanya Kumari Devi, whose statue studded with gold ornaments and precious stones is considered the most costly statue. Thence I went to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram and greatly enjoyed swimming in the sea at all three places. Bought colourful seashells and Shankhs at Rameshwaram. From there via Tirunelvelly, went to Sangpath hills (?) where the Indo Burma Trading corporation is cultivating rubber, coffee, tea and green cardamom on a large scale. Saw also the Papanasam dam enroute. At Tennevely railway station some local journalists came to meet me and after an interview, news of my work in that region appeared in many English newspapers the next day.
From there I went to Madurai and saw the famous Meenakshi temple, which is Indias most famous temple, within which are separate Gopurams, ie big and high temples with golden pinnacles. It is kind of a small city in itself with its own bazaars and tanks which are crowded all day long. From Madurai I reached Kodaikanal Road railway station, whence I went by road to the famous Kodaikanal hill resort. Located there is India highest Observatory and a big telescope on the mountain. Top for viewing the stars. There is also a very beautiful lake on which I had a boat ride for a considerable distance.
From Kodaikanal reached Coimbatore and from there by the metre gauge train ( which starts from Mettupallayam railway station) reached Ooty, where I stayed for a week at the famous stone house Circuit house located there, and went around the famous places in the vicinity. First Wellington , then Kotagiri, then saw the famous Nutrition Research Lab at Conoor. On the return journey, I came back to Mysore by road by motor from Ooty. On the way we passed a game sanctuary where we saw some wild elephants , bathing and spraying themselves with water in a rivulet. Saw also wild buffalos (Bison) roaming and herds of deer running around in the thick forests. A bit further on saw the Nanjangode Temple which is very famous for its ancient statuary art.
In Mysore I stayed with my old friend and Colleague of Lyallpur, Dr Girdhari Lal, Ph.D, who was then working as Assistant Director at the Central Food and Technological Research Institute and he took me around the Research Institute and gave me complete information about the work being done there. He took me in his car to Srirangapatnam, where we saw the historic mausoleum of Tipoo Sultan and also saw the army barracks on the Cauvery river bank where he had imprisoned the white sepoys of the English army, who had been captured during the war. On Sunday we went to see the Vrindaban Gardens where the electrically illuminated colourful fountains and watercourses present a very beautiful sight. This place is very near the Krishnaraja sagar Dam and this dam counts among india’s big dams. There we also saw the irrigation channels and electricity generating plants originating from this dam.
After a few days stay in Mysore, I reached Bangalore and returned to Delhi from there.. I then started writing my report which was later printed as a govt publication and was greatly appreciated.
In 1953, when I was in the Headquarter office in Shimla, Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, the Minister for agriculture, sent me for a two weeks tour of Jammu and Kashmir specially to see the forest Dept there…………………., where they were growing plants of costly medicines and also to see their Regional Drug Research laboratory which is in jammu and on return present him a report in the shape of a scheme. For this I went first to Srinagar and then to Tangmarag, Baramula and Shaltoo to see the farms there and then on returning to Jammu, the director of the research lab told me about all the work being done there and showed me all the work. This was my last tour of Kashmir.
After my retirement from the Punjab agricultural service in August 1956,and a few months after going to Dehradun and purchasing a Kothi there, the Central Govt selected me as a special officer The Central Oilseeds Committee, for one year at Hyderabad Deccan. I reached there in Jan 1957 and after being relieved there came back in March 1958.
On our return all of us stayed with dear Satwant Dutt at Bombay for one month and went around all the famous places there and nearby, swam a lot in the Juhu beach and after going in a motor launch to the famous Elephanta caves and seeing the nuclear plant at Trombay, saw the hugh statues in those ancient caves, among which was a very attractive statue portraying all three forms of Lord Shiva together.
From Bombay we returned to Dehradun in May 1958 and have been spending our lives here since then for the last 26 years. The environment here is very peaceful and there is the expance of the garden in all four directions. We are both living a very peaceful life here. The health of both of us is not very good, even so considering our age, the time is passing well enough. We pray at the lotus feet of Radhasoami dayal to take care of us.
I forgot to tell about one thing, which I am narrating now. In Sept 1942, when the Second World War was on, the Govt of India selected me for one year for the post of Special Pyrethrum officer, making Palampur my headquarter for 6 months and then Solan for the remainder of my tenure, for the cultivation of plants of this drug in the hilly regions of Punjab. Flit is manufactured from the flowers of this plant., which used to be done then by importing flowers from abroad and was in great demand for military requirements. We went from Lyallpur to Palampur and there hired a Kothi in the Bandla Tea Estate, which had been built specially a few years earlier for Mira Behn Miss Slade who was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and had lived in it for a few months.
From Palampur we went in October to Kulu, where the Dussehra festival is celebrated for a week and the statues of all Gods of all famous temples in the region are brought to the big maidan at Sultanpur, Kulu in Palanquins, where a statue of Raghunathji is put in a hugh chariot and the Raja and the Praja pull that chariot with ropes to that maidan and the palanquins of the already arrived Gods are carried on shoulders and the people who came with them dance every evening and morning every day. On the Dussehra day, buffaloes and four other animals are sacrificed on the banks of the Beas River and the statues of all the Gods and Raghunathjee are taken back to their respective stations.
We saw this whole spectacle for a week and from there went on horsebacks along the banks of Parbati River via Bhuntar to see the boiling water springs of Manikaran. Spending our first halt at Jarirat (?) Rest House we reached the Kasaul (?) Rest House the next day about 2 miles from Manikaran village. Next day in the morning we went to Manikaran by foot where the Mukhia Purohit took us to his house and first bathed us in in a specially constructed small hot water tank and then took us along to see temple and the boiling water springs. Most houses here have hot water conduits underground, which keep the rooms warm in the winters and serve as central heating. All the people of this basti cook their morning meal of rice and dal in these springs, because lighting a fire during the daytime is forbidden, because according to them it displeases the Gods. Around the big tank of hot boiling water are stone stairs in which are small compartments to accommodate vessels of rice and dal. These vessels full of rice and dal separately are placed in the compartment of the boiling water tank and covered on top. The lid remains a bit above the water and is held down by a heavy stone. The rice and dal get well cooked within half an hour.. We also cooked our meal of rice and dal here and also put potatoes in a bucket into the spring which got boiled soft soon into which we put lemon( galgal khatai) salt and pepper and ate it with rice and dal.. These springs of hot boiling water are just a few yards away from the banks of Parbati river and heir overflow falls into the cold water river.
Next day we left for Kulu and reached Palampur after bathing in the Sulphur water springs at Katrain, Manali and Vashishth, staying one night enroute in the Mandi state and next day reached Palampur.
After a few days, started tour of Koh Murreee and roamed around the nearby hill region, especially to the top of the Mokshpuri Hill which is famous in the history of Ramayana for Hanumanji fetched had fetched the Sanjeevni herb from here for the treatment of Lakshmanjis unconsciousness. I found many medicinal plants in these hills which I brought along. Six months after returning to Palampur, all of us went to solan and there we hired a kothi ‘Kamla Lodge’ which was on top of a hill. In the compound of that Kothi, there were many walnut trees. The Raja sahib Bhagat of Solan
also gave me a nearby building for my office and staff. His younger brother Kunwar Shiv Singh Ji , who was the states minister for development took me along for a tour of the small state. Thereafter I toured many such other small states of the Shimla District some of which are called Kuthar, Kunar, Arki, Beha, Mahlog, Koti etc, whose Rajas I met and told them about my work and asked them for help in this work. The Resident for these states of the Shimla Hills was Mr Cosgrave, whom I had to meet and ask for help and advice. From his office in Shimla, he used to issue necessary instructions to these states to help me fully in my work, along with my tour programme, well before my going there, so that I would have no difficulty or trouble on reaching there.
After completing all this work, we retuned from Solan to Lyallpur after 6 months and after the partition of India in August 1947, we came back to India as I have narrated already.
Now I end this tale. Lastly, I will tell all listeners, that for happiness in life, contentment is very necessary and the second thing I want to say is that one should end ones desires, decrease ones needs even to bare necessities in this time of dearness and that will give one fairly happy life. With this I conclude this series. Our Radhasoami to all.