It’s one of those rare living examples in today’s world, where a hundred odd souls, though sharing a common lineage, but having undergone blatant racial and communal promiscuity in the past five generations, amazingly, still continue to dwell in the same Habitat; not by force but by ‘Choice’.
‘Clan’ or the ‘Patriarchate’ has remained a significant social instrument asserting the father in command of the family reins. Grand-fathers, sons and so on, were one in spirit, traditions and matters of property, passing the legacy down the hierarchical ladder. Unlike the West, where the primordial Institution of family no more functions as a support mechanism, it still thrives to be a vulnerable part of the incredible India.
One such living example may be found in the Doon Valley, where, during the raj, a frail short statured man, Pandit Tara Chand Sharma migrated from his native Mussoorie town; unbeknown to him, for the unsung contribution he would make, one day, in the pages of History. Possessed of his characteristic English mannerisms and egalitarian principles, he maintained his pluralist identities while that of vandalizing the ecclesiastical dogma, yet, without letting his modernity mistakenly get into his heads. He carved his niches including the ‘Doon Printing Press’ (where ‘Planet Fashion’ now stands) to developing ‘Kewal Vihar’, one of the earliest thoughtful colonies of Doon vis-à-vis maintaining the family landlord ship with an equal élan.
His chastity epitomized an inherent strength of influencing and casting a permanent spell upon all those around him; his kinsmen too, could not desist from the temptation of living under the aegis of the grand old man.
The seed sown by this charismatic patriarch, a century ago, has grown into a giant Banyan. Its roots, reminiscent of the first and second generations, continue to be the élan vital, nourishing the intricate relationships with the sap of life. The grey headed third generation depicts the trunk supporting...