This bilingual compilation of couplets by a philosopher-businessman provides some glimpses of the varied and rich Indian culture in all its diverse forms. Each couplet in the book carries a sublime message worthy of putting into practice.
The book begins with prayers to God revealing the author'sreligious belief.
In the second part, he gives the translation of verses and couplets recited by eminent Hindi poets like Kabir, Rahim, Tulsidas, Meerabai and other saints, while offering his own interpretations in both English and Hindi. He eulogises Kabir for being a bitter critic of sectarian and narrow beliefs and uses simple, terse and pithy language to convey his message. He quotes Kabir for the following verse:
?To the potter, clay has this to say, tread not upon me so ruthlessly today.
For there would be a day, when you?ll be under my feet,
And I will have my way.?
Another one of Kabir'sverse very pertinent for lazy bones is,
?Postpone not till tomorrow, what you can do today,
For who knows, tomorrow may be doomsday.?
One or two of Rahim'svery beautiful verses run thus:
Rahiman dhaga prem ka, mat todo chatkaye,
Toote se phir na jude,
Jude ganth pari jaaye.
The author'stranslation of it as follows:
(Break not the thread of love that binds the heart,
For once broken, none can join its parts.
Its broken ends can be tied only with a knot,
That constantly irritates and leaves an unsightly blot.)
The author quotes a verse by Tulsidas and explains it as follows:
?Wisdom dawns only in the company of the saints, which one gets by the grace of God,
wherein does lie the salvation of us all.
To get such divine company is one'ssuperb achievement
All other means pale into insignificance.?
The author seems equally taken in by Urdu poets as by Hindi ones. He quotes Mirza Ghalib'sverse:
Rahiye ab aisi jagah chalkar jahan koi na ho,
Hum sukhan koi na ho aur hum navan koi na ho.
The author translates it thus:
(I long to live in such a solitary uninhabited tract,
Where there in none to hear my tales of woes,
And none to recite his own.)
He quotes Sahir Ludhianvi for this following verse:
Umr bhar jalta raha dil khamoshi ke saath
Shaman ko ek raat ki soze-dili par naaz hai.
(The heart continued to burn all life ungrudgingly,
The flame prides itself for burning for just a night only.)
In the third part, the author quotes some well-known verses on patriotism, like:
Mera rang de basanti chola, maan
Rang de basanti chola.
(Oh my dearest Mother, dye my apron in saffron,
Dye my apron in saffron.)
Another very popular but interesting one is:
Ham ko mitade zamane mein dum nahin
Khud zamana hum se, zamane se hum nahin.
(The world is not potent enough to raze me to the ground,
It is I who can mould the world, not the other way round.)
In the fourth part, the author quotes and explains verses from the Bhagwat Gita.
The fifth part talks of Chanakya niti in verse form while Part seven is devoted to eminent warriors like Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Nanak, Guru Govind Singh, Dr Hedgewar and Shri Guruji.
(S.R.D. Publication, 133-134 Deepali Enclave, Pitampura, Delhi-110034.)