100 Years of Government Inter College , Deoria


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           November 29, 2018           01.45 P.M. 

 

KING EDWARD GOVERNMENT INTER COLLEGE , DEORIA

Now

GOVERNMENT INTER COLLEGE , DEORIA

1912 – 2012

Government Inter College , Deoria

 

In hot and scorching month of April 2013, I visited my native place Deoria . I was passing through Kotwali road. Whenever I go to Deoria and walk through Kotwali road, I always watch my college KING EDWARD GOVERNMENT INTER COLLEGE, now known as GOVERNMENT INTER COLLEGE , DEORIA. A board on the main building of the college reminded me that my alma mater is 100 years old . In fact it is 106 years old now. It was established in 1912.

Apart from being alma mater of mine, it is alma mater of my father , my two brothers and my sons also .

When I saw the board announcing Centenary Year celebration of the college , a floodgate of memories got opened and various asinine incidents of my schooling days suddenly flashed on the faded firmament of my memory. Some obfuscated incidents started shinning and gushed into my memory lane . From July 1962 to March 1967 , it was my home away from my home . For 5 long years it was my world away from the outer world . Sitting on the staircase or roaming aimlessly in the long corridors or sprinting in the vast lawns of the college , I used to dream some beautiful dreams of my future. I have many sweet and sour memories of this opulent and grand building.

Eastern entrance of the college

Apart from me and my memories, this college also reminds me about my father Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi. During freedom struggle, while he was in High School , he climbed the top of the building , removed Union Jack and hoisted National Flag on the mast and proudly unfurled it. British Superintendent of police wanted a shoot at sight order from the then magistrate Raghubar Dayal. But he refused and said that this is not treason. This is childish prank, act of a small enthusiastic boy. So it should be overlooked. He ordered that Indian national flag should be removed and Union Jack should be hoisted again.

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi
[ 16 May 1908 – 27 February 1974 ]

British SP was furious and complained about the magistrate Raghubar Dayal. Raghubar Dayal, who later on became Justice Raghubar Dayal, paid the price and his subsequent promotion was cancelled.

This incident , which happened around 1922 , became folklore of Chaturvedi clan. It was narrated to me by the elders of the family. When I took admission in 6th standard and entered into the main building and saw the flag mast, I was filled with pride for my father. After 4 years , in 2022 , this incident will complete 100 years. May be future generations of my family will not remember it. But for me it is still fresh in my memory.

My father never ever boasted about his heroic act . He never claimed or demanded TAMRA PATRA , which so many freedom fighters took and flaunted it with pride. My father never claimed the monthly pension , which was given to every freedom fighter during Indira Gandhi’s regime. For him it was his national duty. He did it as his contribution to the freedom struggle and forgot it. Though like Raghubar Dayal, he also paid the price for this incident. He got selected for judicial services. But CID reported that he has nationalistic leanings and quoted this flag incident. Thus he was not selected. Later on he became immensely successful advocate in Deoria.

Life moves on. My father died in 1974. Now I am also an old man . But my college building , though older than both of us , still stands magnificently.

I think it will remain like that when I am also gone. And my future generation may walk past the same Kotwali road . But they will be oblivious of the glorious incident of my father, which once upon a time , was the talking point of my clan in the long wintry nights and hot and dull summer afternoons in my family home , the KRISHNA KUNJ.

 

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Father’s Day & My Brothers-In-Law


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 21, 2015           11.55 P.M.

 

For me Sunday is the day of reading and writing. As I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and watching rain water caressing window panes of my study, I started pondering about the subject of my blog. As it is the 1st International Yoga Day today, the obvious choice seems to be the 1st International Yoga Day.

But I suddenly realise that it is FATHER’S DAY also and today youngsters are celebrating it with gusto. So I think it is better to write about it.

In India is there any need for a day like this? A country which since time immemorial pronounced :

पिता स्वर्ग , पिता धर्म , पिता ही परमंतपो ,
पितोरि प्रीतिमापन्ने , प्रीयन्ते सर्व देवता ॥

[ Father is like heaven, father is like religion, father is like supreme penance / meditation. If your father is pleased with you, all the Gods are pleased with you automatically. ]

यः प्रीणयेत् सुचरितैः पितरं स पुत्रो ॥

[ They are the worthy sons, who please their fathers with their good conducts. ]

So where is the need for this obnoxious FATHER’S DAY?

But these days youngsters celebrate just one day as FATHER’S DAY, because their father and mother don’t exist for them for the rest of 364 days.

Today as I write this blog about FATHER’S DAY, I remember my two brothers-in-law, Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi. I have never seen such devout father worshippers in my life. They never criticise their respective fathers. They never crib about some imaginary short-comings of their fathers. Their fathers must have made few mistakes in their lives. But I have never heard them complaining about that. They belong to rich and respectable families. Still their fathers were unable to provide them fancy cars, private jet planes and a personal / private islands for vacation. But they don’t complain. They were not sent to foreign countries for so-called better education but they don’t accuse their fathers for that.

They are always full of gratitude because they know that their fathers had made supreme sacrifices for their education and upbringing. Their fathers did everything which they could. And which they couldn’t do, they are not blamed, insulted or cursed for that.

For such people every day is FATHER’S DAY. Because gratitude and respect is in their DNA. I always respect Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi from the bottom of my heart. I know that my sisters are married to good human beings and that they will live a secure and satisfied life till their end. Whenever death will knock at my door, I will die a satisfied death fully knowing that after I am gone my sisters won’t face any difficulties in their marital lives because they have such good-hearted men as their spouses.

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

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With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

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I don’t know I am a good son or not. But whenever I think about my father, I feel that I never betrayed him. I may not be a good son but he was a good father. He took extremely good care of me. He did everything what he could do for my well-being. He supported me with the kind of money which was genuinely required. He bought me a Herculis Cycle. I still cherish the gift. And I don’t blame him that he was unable to provide me fancy cars, sport bikes and that he never send me abroad for holidaying. I wore normal clothes and Bata shoes. We had no fridge, cooler or radiograme at home, which were common in those days. But I have no grudge against him for these things. He sent me to Allahabad for higher studies. I still feel indebted for that. I don’t blame him that he couldn’t dole out money for me to get admitted in Oxford or Cambridge.

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

 

He did everything which he could do. I am happy that I never pestered him with unnecessary requests. I never forced him to take loan to give me a life of so-called luxury. In fact my two other brothers and two sister have the same feelings for him. We don’t blame our father for anything.

He died on February 27, 1974 due to heart failure. I was 22 and studying at Allahabad. I was not there at the time of his death. I have a regret. I was not able to help him in his old age. I couldn’t do anything for him, though he did everything for me. My younger brother Atul was more fortunate. He was always at his side. He was there when he died. He served him well and I couldn’t. I still regret it but …………………

 

इस जीवन की चादर में , साँसों के ताने – बाने हैं ,
दुःख की थोड़ी सी सलवट है , सुख के कुछ फूल सुहाने हैं ,
क्यों सोचें आगे क्या होगा , अब कल के कौन ठिकाने हैं ,
ऊपर बैठा वो बाज़ीगर , जाने क्या मन में ठाने है ,
चाहे जितना भी जतन करें , भरने का दामन तारों से ,
झोली  में वो ही आएंगे , जो तेरे नाम के दाने हैं ……

 

As I ponder on my life this night, I don’t find any reason to blame my father for anything. I am myself responsible for my failures, short-comings and misfortunes, if there are any. I don’t need my father as a scapegoat for my wretched life.

A new day of my life starts tomorrow. When all my friends, even my younger brother Devesh, have retired, I am preparing for a 18-hour-working-schedule at the age of 63. Death will knock at my door any day. Though I regret that I wasn’t able to serve my father but I will leave this world with extreme satisfaction that I have no complaint against my father. I don’t blame him for anything.

For this simple reason I don’t need a FATHER’S DAY. My father is always with me. He will remain there till my last day on earth, till my last breath.

 

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In Search Of My Roots In Bihar


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA                 JUNE 17 , 2011                      11.55 P. M.

This blog is personal in nature , definitely very personal . People who generally visit my blog space , are not going to find it very interesting. But I am writing it for the posterity , for the future generations of my family. Youngsters of my family should know about our roots and traditions and should get familiar with the family history and the place of our ancestors, even if it is through the photos.

Map of Sultanpur District of U.P.showing Amethi

Map of Sultanpur District of U.P.showing Amethi

We originally hail from Amethi, Sultanpur , a district in Uttar Pradesh. then known as United Provinces of Agra & Awadh. We were Raj Guru of a particular clan of Thakur chieftains of Amethi, known as Amethiya Rajputs. Few centuries ago during British era , a branch of Amethiya Rajputs , in search of greener pastures , left their native place Amethi and came and settled in Sohagara village in the erstwhile Saran district of Bihar. This district is now known as Siwan and is situated on the banks of Ghaghara river a.k.a. Chhoti Gandak.

Map of Siwan District of Bihar showing Sohagara Village

Map of Siwan District of Bihar showing Guthani Block of Sohagara Village

[ On the South-Western corner of the map is Guthani Block. Sohagara and Bishunpura villages come under the jurisdiction of Guthani Block  and are situated on the banks of Ghaghara ( Chhoti Gandak ) , where borders of Bihar end and borders of Uttar Pradesh begin. ]

Amethiya Rajputs bought land in Sohagara and settled there. Later on , a branch of their Raj Gurus also followed them and came and settled in Sohagara. They also bought large swath of land and properties and made Sohagara their home , completely forgetting Amethi of Sultanpur district.

Main Road of Sohagara

Main Road of Sohagara Village , still pristine

Another Road of Sohagara Village

Another Road of Sohagara Village

[ I clicked these two photographs when I visited Sohagara recently .  These two village roads are still pristine and primitive .]

Chhoti Gandak River- Sohagara is on the right of the river

Chhoti Gandak River- Sohagara is on the right of the river

[ My wife is partly seen in this photo in yellow sari , taking water from the river before worshipping our family deity ]

I don’t know how many centuries had gone since my forefathers came and settled in Sohagara. How many wet monsoons came and drenched them , how many thunder and lightning frightened them in dark nights, how many grey , dreary and dull winters came , tormented them and then went away , how many scorching summer greeted my forefathers with all the furies …. I don’t know but I know for sure that they survived in their new adopted land. Far away from Amethi , my ancestors made Sohagara their home and gradually prospered.

This Brich House is being made , Where my Ancestral House used to be before1875

This Brick House is being made , Where my Ancestral House used to be before1873

This Brich House is being made , Where my Ancestral House used to be before1875

This Brick House is being made , Where my Ancestral House used to be before 1873

[ Two photographs , which are given here , show a house under construction . This house is being constructed on the plot of land , where my ancestral house stood once. My forefathers lived in that house , which was made of mud and tiles. ]

We trace our known family history from Ram Charitra Chaturvedi. He was my great-great-grandfather. He was the person who left Sohagara with his two grown up sons, Shrikrishna Chaturvedi and Raghunandan Chaturvedi , came to Sonbarasa in the erstwhile Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh and settled there. This part of Gorakhpur district is now known as Deoria. Of his two sons , the elder one , Shrikrishna Chaturvedi was my great-grandfather.

This incident of leaving Sohagara happened in 1873. So once again my family came to Uttar Pradesh. From Amethi of Uttar Pradesh to Sohagara of Bihar and then again to Deoria of Uttar Pradesh, it was like completing a full circle. But leaving one’s place is not an easy thing for anyone. So what was the cause of this migration ?

Our family tradition says that Sohagara was frequently attacked and plundered by some nomadic tribes. Those aggressive and barbarous nomads used to burn crops and loot the valuables. My forefathers , to eliminate the tyranny once and forever, fought them once and in the ensuing battle which was fought with lathis , spears and trident , a pregnant tribal woman got killed. Before her death, she cursed our forefathers that the clan of Chaturvedis would never prosper in Sohagara. After that fight and their subsequent defeat , nomadic tribes left Sohagara . They never returned. But King of Majhauli , who was the tax-collector and owner of the village , wanted to punish my forefathers for the killing of the tribal woman. So my great-great-grandfather , after consulting his well-wishers and after giving due consideration to all the pros and cons, left Sohagara in 1875 for good and made Sonbarasa his new home in Deoria district.

Map of Deoria District of U.P. showing Salempur where our Village Sonbarsa is located

Map of Deoria District of U.P. showing Salempur where our Village Sonbarsa is located

Thought they left the Sohagara village and started living in Sonbarsa, they still kept their agricultural land in Sohagara and even bought agricultural land in another nearby village Bishunpura. Our family members used to go there and used to manage the agricultural property. This happened till my time , precisely till 1989 , before I left Deoria and came and settled in Mumbai. There after my visits dwindled.

My land in Bishunpura Village of Bihar , village is being seen in the foreground

My land in Bishunpura Village of Bihar , village is being seen in the foreground

My land in Bishunpura village in Bihar, village is seen in the foreground

My land in Bishunpura village in Bihar, village is seen in the foreground

I visited Sohagara this year , in June 2011 after a gap of almost 15 years. Vast swath of agricultural land , which was maintained and held by us till 2000 , have been sold. Sohagara and Bishunpura , both the villages , were managed by my family even after Ran Charitra Chaturvedi’s migration from the village in 1873 , But alas ! everything was disposed off during my tenure . I am not blaming anyone . I was also part of the sin and crime. We started selling the property at the time of my younger sister Neelima’s marriage in 1993 and within 7 years everything was sold off.

Ancestral property is like heritage and we are supposed to be only the trustees and not the owners of that property. As our forefathers bequeathed the property to us , it is one’s pious duty to maintain that property and bequeath it to their progeny. From 1873 to 2000 , these villages were maintained for almost 127 years and now they are gone and gone forever. My great-grandfather Shrikrishna Chaturvedi , my grandfather Kunj Bihari Chaturvedi and my father Lakshmi Kant Chatuevedi took every care to maintain these villages. But today , after 138 years of the migration of my great-great-grandfather, as I write this blog after visiting Sohagara , I am sorry to say that I was unable to maintain and take care of this heritage. I betrayed my ancestor’s trust and faith . I don’t know what would I say to them when I will face them after my death ? How would I face them , when I will meet them after my death ?

The house in the photo , is the residence of Ram Nageena Singh , a burly scion of Amethiya Rajputs who came and settled here. For four generations of my ancestors this house served as the residence cum administrative headquarters. After almost a century , it still stands there calmly and bears silent testimony of my forefather’s toil , strife and difficulties , which they faced while maintaining these lands. I have spent many days and nights in this house , when I used to visit these villages during Summer. Some times my stay was for a week or even for a fortnight at a stretch.

House of Ram Nageena Singh at Sohagara , Purab Patti

House of Ram Nageena Singh at Sohagara , Purab Patti

Sohagara is a beautiful village. It is still quite primitive and pristine . It has grand Shiva temple , believed to have been built by demon king Banasur.

Shiva Temple of Sohagara built by Demon King Banasur

Shiva Temple of Sohagara built by Demon King Banasur

The Lingam in Sanctum Sanctorum , My Wife & Sister paying Obeisance

The Lingam in Sanctum Sanctorum , My Wife & Sister paying Obeisance

Apart from this Shiva temple , Sohagara also has a ramshackle temple of my family deity. Family tradition says that a lady of my family committed Sati after the death of her husband. Later on in her memory a temple was built on the same spot where funeral pyre was lit . I don’t know who will visit these temples after my death. May be my family deity will wait endlessly and that too in vain for my future generations to come and pay obeisance. Who knows what will happen ? May be her temple will be forgotten in future . May be none from my family will visit her . May be this dilapidated place will succumb to the vagaries of nature’s fury and in some distant future will completely vanish from the earth. Or may be rampaging waters of Ghaghara will change its course and engulf the place during some monsoons and there will be no trace of even the very place. No one knows .

Loss of Sohagara is painful . It is not only loss of property but it is loss of a whole tradition , loss of our clan’s history and family folklore .

Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity , My Wife & Sister at the left

Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity , My Wife & Sister at the left

Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity Kul Devi , my wife is inside

Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity Kul Devi , my wife is inside

Me & My Wife in front of Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity , Kul Devi

Me & My Wife in front of Ramshackle Temple of my Family Deity , Kul Devi

I started writing this blog after my Sohagara visit , when I was still in Deoria. I could not complete it because of my hectic schedules. Then I returned to Mumbai. As I was returning to Mumbai after 15 days , my schedules went haywire and I couldn’t complete the blog . I am finally completing it today and posting it on my blog space.

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