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Aadab from across the border part - II

posted Jan 11, 2014, 8:24 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Jan 11, 2014, 8:28 AM ]
Continued from Part I.
For Part I - Click Here :

Old Picture - India Camel
We have received beautiful memories letter from “Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar” who is a Jalandhari but had to leave his ancestral place during horrible time of partition. He has compiled his memories in a very touching letter to us. These letters not only contain his memories, These also contain a very important piece of Jalandhar history. The good times. bad times, changed times. Please help by posting comments below or emailing admin@jalandhari.com  if you can add or help him in any other ways. We will be posting these memories in few parts. Here is first part:

My Father: Barkat Ali (age in 1947; about 38)

He worked in Sind province on a bridge project, as surveyor. He was a tracer also and could draw maps. He liked music, as I saw him attending music and qawalies and he had also a harmonium at home fitted in a folding table but I never saw him playing it. Other people from this Basti (Danishmandan), also worked on the Sind project (Sukkhur barrage?).

At time of partition, he was working as manager at Bombay Brass Works Co., Adampur, Jalandhar; manufacturing charcoal heated Irons, silver utensils for kitchen, water nozzles. Nickel plating. He walked to and from his job. He used to go to Lahore (now in Pakistan) to get import export permits. 

He used to bring some fruit for us on his return from work. Family used to have dinner together.  After dinner almost all parent would come out of their houses and sit outside; doing some gupshup, watch children play for an hour before going to bed.

My father, a very loving care taker of family, used to take us for eye/ ear problems, to a Hindu karyana storekeeper; Lala  Lal Parshad as I remember.  He took us to another Hindu shopkeeper Ram Chand running karyana store and making syrups and arqs (evaporation from herbs boiling in a pot). He gave us Jawarish Kamuni (for throat) and syrup for stomachache; other things for such minor ailments.

My father used to prepare some medicines at home; like secretion from silver – (put silver in one clay bowl and cover it with another same size clay bowl – seal both of them with doughed flour) burn about ten pounds of firewood or other fuel like: paathi. The silver would melt into powder; blow up and stick inside the upper bowl.  Scratch it; save it for use.  He used to secrete oil from almonds (Badam rogan or Almond oil) I used to help him with crushing, grinding almonds in a clay/stone large bowl (called koondi – chipped inside) with a thick wooden handle (called Dandah) – He used to spray warm water few drops after few minutes and kept grinding; finally oil will separate itself from the almonds paste. This almond oil was given us in warm milk. He always asked to take a copy of warm milk at bedtime to keep good sleep.

He made some other medicines and I don’t know what which? Published a small catalog/book named “Ramuz-i-Zindgi” – Uncle Ahmad Shah was helping him and I also helped in folding large sheets into catalog size.  As much as a child could do. I remember, he gave name as Barkat Ali Sindhu as author of this book. Sindhu – he came back from the Sindh Bridge project and due to this project word “Sindh” was then a renowned word – he took benefit of this flying popularity.

My father used take children to Eid/Dusehra/Basakhi/Devali – organized in an open space between basti danishmandan and basti sheikh. These was commonly enjoyed by all sects of society.  Sometime, during heavy rains, this open space was filled with knee high water.

He used to take me to Jalandhar city for text and exercise books; visit shrine of Imam Nasir.  Once he took me to a movie ShahJehan (before partition). I was scared when horses were seen running-towards audience.  Songs were, I believe, sung by Mohan Lal Sehgal.

Ours was a single storey house with a water well in it and a big NEEM tree. We had a swing fixed with it. There were two honey bee combs; one very large (bari makki) hanging from a stem of neem and the other small (chhoti makki) on a wall.
We kept a cow in house; as other people also had, some had buffaloes, for healthy milk, butter and lassi (butter milk). My phuphy/sister Zohra and myself helped mother to churn curds/yugard, take out butter and lassi – these were so much nourishing

Whenever we went to buy a cow from a closeby village (don’t know name) he took me with him. On way he used to recite this:

Translation: “Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us);  what an Excellent Maula (Patron, Lord) and what an Excellent Helper! “

He used to check how much milk we draw in the evening and how much in the morning. He preferred to see quantity of milk drawn in the evening; so that, if it was not drawn, quantity would be larger in the morning – giving misunderstanding about the total milk during one day.
To be Contd……..