Hyderabad: On December 21, Ram Pall Joshi, one of our top IPS agents and former Director General of the Punjab Police, was in Lamkaan, a popular cultural space in Hyderabad, reading his book.
Bazmi Sukhan and CDPP launched this autobiography written by one of our most respected officials. RP Joshi started his career in the Indian Army and retired as the Director General of Police in the Punjab. Illustrious officer, he nurtured and nurtured all his life his love for poetry and his respect for poets. This walk in the past entitled AATA HAI YAAD MUJHKO GUZRA HUA ZAMANA (Come to my memory the times which have passed) is an ode to Urdu poetry as to a life well lived.
The book deals with his experiences mixed with his love of Urdu poetry. The title of the book itself is taken from Allama Iqbal’s poem Parinde ki faryaad (The Plea of a Bird). Written in a style that is both lucid and beautifully aesthetic, Joshi combines the simplicity of English prose with the complexity of Urdu poetry. It is common knowledge that Urdu poetry in itself is quite difficult and takes years of study to fully grasp the meaning and significance of the poet and his writing. However, the author does it wonderfully well by first telling an interesting anecdote from his life and then presenting a couplet in Urdu that manages to capture the sentiment of the tale perfectly. An example can help illustrate the point.
Joshi begins by describing his encounters with Sikh politician Jiwan Singh Umranangal, whom Joshi considers to be one of the perfect human beings he has ever met. Joshi first made contact with Umranangal while Joshi was assigned to Amritsar as an additional superintendent during a phone call. Umranangal had called Joshi to discuss police matters. Joshi himself, however, was struck by the appellant’s simplicity and frankness. From years gone by, Joshi got to know Umranangal well and was remarkably impressed with her sublimity, her simplicity of attitude and demeanor, her clean and pure lifestyle and liberal heart, her incredible capacity for hard work and lastly, her sympathy. generous and its perception of identification. the problems faced by urban and rustic workers, who themselves could not speak coherently about their problems.
Anyway, despite Umranangal’s amazing ability as a human being, the thing that struck Joshi the most was the incident in which Umranangal wept bitterly in the shrine of Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib, poignantly calling on God and sobbing pitifully and begging God to forgive him for the murder of a young Muslim boy, which he committed in his frenzied youth during a quarrel as a teenager. His bitter tears had saddened all the devotees present in the Gurudwara, so much so that they too had wet eyes. Joshi thinks that was when Umranangal reached the form of the perfect human being; It was at this time that the Umranangal was born again, and all his sins were washed away, and he was forgiven by the all-merciful God.
Joshi ends the story by placing the verse of Allama Iqbal judiciously
Motī samajhke shān-e-karīmī ne chunliye
Qatre jo the quagmire araq-e-infi.ālke
(The merciful Lord in His glory has collected all my tears; considering them to be so many pearls.)
The book offers many more examples of Urdu poetry manifested in one of Joshi’s personal anecdotes. The mixture of prose and poetry produces a beautiful harmony, in which prose is embellished by poetry, and poetry is simplified by prose. However, the book is not all gloomy. Some of his anecdotes are also exceptionally funny. For example, Joshi tells a story he heard from his teacher when Joshi was still an undergraduate student in Persian. A student had asked his teacher: “How do you understand Persian poetry? The professor half-joked that since most of Persian poetry is about love, to understand you have to fall in love. The student left, and some time later came to give the professor an invitation card to his wedding.
Joshi’s book is exemplary and a large collection of personal and professional anecdotes. Just like your Persian teacher, to appreciate this book, you have to love Urdu the same way Joshi loves it. The book was started by Professor Syed Ainul Hasan, Vice Chancellor of MANUU, Professor Ashraf Rafi, who retired as Head of the Urdu Department at Osmania University, Humera Ahmed, co- founder of Lamkaan and Professor Majid Bedaar who is an illustrious scholar and was in the panel of speakers.