Prof Mohan Singh

FIVE GOLDEN RULES By PROF MOHAN SINGH

A Tribute to Prof Mohan Singh (1905-78)

 FIVE GOLDEN RULES FOR WRITERS

  If you would not be forgotten

As soon as you are dead and rotten

Either write something worth reading

 Or do something worth the writing

                                                                                       By Benjamin Franklin

 

 A Prelude

 1956. I had turned fifteen, and the first signs of manhood had just appeared. As if I was in a hurry to do things ahead of time, I fell in love with a girl two years older than me. Her father wrote poems as a hobby and so I began to compose verse on her and for her. She was kind enough to respond, and we exchanged a few letters. And then disaster struck. A message from her to me was intercepted by our ‘no nonsense’ father and I received a sound thrashing. He told me that if I thought I was that good, I should rather send my work to a magazine. I did just that.

I sent it to Mohan Singh, who edited “Panj Darya” (Five Rivers) Lo and behold! I received a reply from the poet whose poems were often recited in social functions. His letter was on a printed letterhead, and I kept looking at that with awe. I made a mental picture of the man and his desk, and wondered if he would find time to speak to me. I mustered courage to seek an audience with him, and you can imagine my delight when my request was accepted. This piece is all about my first meeting with him during the summer of 1956. But if you are pressed for time skip, the next two paragraphs, which describe my journey to his house in Jallandhar and a pen sketch of his house. The pearls of wisdom follow in the paragraph under the heading “Five Golden rules” However, I must hasten to add that if it had not been for what all I saw on the way to his house, I might never have dared to write this piece.

The Road to the House of the Great Poet

The address was printed on the letterhead. The magazine, “Panj Dariya” was published form the same location, and so I imagined that I would not need to remember the name of the street and the number of the house. I was wrong. No one in the area had heard of either the poet or his magazine. It took me a great deal of time to locate the rather non- descript house in a squalid neighbourhood, in which even the nearest tea shop owner was unaware of the genius whose poems people recited with so much passion. At long last, when I was able to spot a badly painted sign board of the magazine, I was relieved. When I entered the house, I was prepared for the sight. It was an evacuee property, with a courtyard in the center of which, there was a hand pump for water. I did not notice any staff member of the ‘editorial’ staff. In fact the only person other than the poet himself was a boy, about my age. I asked him if Mohan Singh ji was at home. He went in and called him out. And the man I saw in front of me was like the environs. A turban loosely tied around, and the clothes, that needed an urgent wash. My disappointment notwithstanding, I bowed to touch his feet. After confirming that I was the boy who had been writing letters to him, he led me to his ‘study’.

It emerged that he was a ‘one man’ army who did all the work; writing, editing, proof reading and dispatching the copies of his magazine. The printing was done by some one in the town. The table fan was noisy and fixed in his direction and the chair on which I sat was rickety. He sensed my discomfort and suggested that we go out and sit under the tree in the courtyard. He asked the boy whom I had met to make some lime juice for me, but the boy said there was no ‘nimboo’ in the house. So we settled for some highly diluted and tasteless butter milk. And after the hospitality related formalities were over, we sat down to talk about literature and poetry. The poet asked me if I remembered any of his poems. I rattled out several titles and headings. A glow came on his face, and when I recited the first lines of his all time great, “Ik boota ambi da…” he was a transformed man. He had apparently risen above those humble surroundings. He asked me to read out my poems. I had taken all sixteen which I had written until then. He murmured some thing which I could not understand, and then he became coherent. He was not a great speaker, and what he said was not in any specific sequence, but I later divided his advice to me under five heads. I first wrote them a couple of years after our meeting as a dictum for myself, and have now organized them in the way the current management books are structured. The rules which he enunciated can be grouped under five headings. And here they are.

*

 THE FIVE GOLDEN RULES

 One: Speak, only if you can improve upon silence; and write only when you are reasonably sure that you have something new to tell.

And when you write, do so without fear or favour The master said, words are like arrows, once they are gone, you can never retrieve them. But spoken words die down. Written words, especially when they are printed, get embedded on the sands of time, and you can never retract from what is written in your name. I later read about the ‘tyranny of the printed word’ and saw how much they can influence thinking. We have also heard about how the process of writing forces us to be precise and exact. The second part of this ‘sermon’ is about fear and favor. Mohan Singh told me that writing can cause controversy. In fact, a writer is not worth his salt if his words do not arouse strong passions. He himself had been in the middle of a storm in the journalistic circles for his praise of communism. He told me that even when you praise some one, you can come under fire; by those who dislike the man you praise. And so my guru said, “Be not concerned if you are criticized or rebuked or even punished. You should get worried, if your writings are not noticed. And that will happen if you fail to arouse the interest of the reader.” Contained within this rule is the need for originality and sticking to the truth. Mark Twain observed that “An advantage of speaking the truth is that you never have to remember what you said last time!”

 Two: If you wish to write a poem or a story, begin your piece with an ending in mind; and if you have no end in view, do not begin.

The poet told me that every piece which is of any value, has a message which the author wishes to convey to the reader. And that message is always at the end; be it a story or a novel or a ballad. In fiction, this is known as the climax. Mohan Singh drove this message home in a different way. He asked me if I remembered any of his long poems. I recited the first lines of one, but faltered half way. He asked me if I remembered the end, which I blurted out at once. He then asked me if I knew one of his favourite poems. Here also I knew the first lines and then the end. The master had made his point. And he moved on.

 Three : Money, Fame and the Power to influence society are shadows.

Only the most mindless writers try to chase them He need not have said that. My journey to his house and his life style were an ample proof of how much money or fame he had gained in return for thirty years of writing and editing. But the manner in which he expressed his views was brilliant, as I later saw it. He told me that name and fame are like shadows. If the light is behind you and you try to chase the shadow, it runs ahead of you, and if you are facing the sun the shadow is behind you, and so you can not see it. And, indeed, if the light fades, the shadow disappears! While we were still on this subject, he told me that he had met many writers, and not even on was satisfied with the acclaim he had received. The analogy he gave was, “just as the fire is never satiated by the wood you throw in to it and the fish needs more water even when it is in the ocean, so is the author. He wants more people to praise him and forever more profoundly. As a conclusion, he said very categorically, “And therefore I suggest that you never ever ask your friends, relatives or readers to tell you how much they liked your work. If they say some thing on their own, listen to it with equanimity; or else leave it at that. Your job ends after you have offered your work to the editor” As for influence, he was more than convinced that it is not the job of the writers to change the ways of the world. “We sell dreams” he said, and then added some thing more profound, “I dream. And I share my dreams with others. But only when, and if, my dreams become the dreams of every one else, they come true!”

 Four: Your work can travel only as far as the strength of its own legs

You can not carry it all the way to the hearts of your readers By far, this was the most profound of the five rules he enunciated. He told me that each of his poems was like his child. He had given birth to them, nursed them and when they were strong enough sent them to the world outside to find a place for themselves. And then even though he knew that I was a mere fifteen year-old lad he said, “A poem begins in the mind of the poet like the process of conceiving a baby. It is an ecstatic moment, which gives as much pleasure as orgasm. But that is only the beginning. The poem takes time to gestate. After that it is delivered on paper. The labor pains can be excruciating. But the process does not end there. The new-born has to be nursed, and then brought then disciplined to conform to the ways of the world. And only when you are sure that your ‘baby’ will be able to face the vagaries of the cruel world outside your study that you offer it to the readers” He said what I already knew : writing is easy, correcting and polishing the draft is tough, very tough and tortuous. And my guru said, “You may some times be under the illusion that if your poem is written on superior paper and the book is bound in the best possible way with a colorful jacket, it will sell well, you are mistaken” He told me that a poem or a story has to have legs of its own to cover the long distance to the hearts of the readers. A recent song says,

                       Pyar ka pehla khat likhne mein waqt to lagta hai

                       Naye parindon ko udne mein waqt to lagta hai

                       Jism ki baat nahin thi;   unke dil taq jaana tha

                       Lambi doori tai karne mein waqt to lagta hai!

I asked him how long he took to write his poems. His answer was elusive. He said, some of them come quickly; others take months and even years to form. While on this subject, he told me, “If you think that your work will be better read if you occupy a position of power and influence, you are mistaken. Emperor Babur was a poet of sorts. But no one remembers his poems. He is known for soldiering and leadership, not poetry” I now have further proof of this assertion. The redoubtable Atal Behari Vajpayee is known to have composed poems and even songs. When he was the Prime Minister he had them sung by the most renowned singers in the country and they were recorded and distributed by the best professionals. And if they did not go far was because they had no legs! On the other hand a tramp called Sahir Ludhianvi and a middle class Delhi lad known as Gulzar have made it to the hearts of the people. The poet says,

                            “Jo saaz se nikli hai who dhun sab ne suni hai

                              Jo taar pe guzri hai, woh kis dil ko pataa hai?”

Five: Restrain your emotions. Tears should be in the eyes of the reader; not the author.

If I was honest and truthful, I should have started with this rule. Because in the actual ‘guru-chela’ session, this lesson was covered in the beginning, and not the end. I do not know why I changed the sequence, but you must grant me the credit for having admitted that I have tinkered with this detail. After all, there was no one else present there, and if I had not told you, you would have never known the truth! It all started like this. After I had recited his poems, the guru asked me read mine. My compositions were heavily based on his style and they ended on tragic notes. Every time I reached the end there were tears in my eyes. I could barely recite the last lines. My only listener, sat unmoved. And then very calmly, and in a professional manner, he said, “You need to control your emotions. Tears should be in the eyes of the reader” And here his analogy was even more profound, Widhwa tan kai hundiyan ne par vain kise kise de banade nen (vain: sad song) I am impelled to use his exact words, for the benefit of those who understand Punjabi. In English, it means that “Several young women get widowed in the prime of their youth, but people in their towns create sad songs only in rare cases. These young ladies do not weep them selves, but pain and anguish shows on their face, and tears come rolling down the eyes of any one who meets them. I saw the truth of his observation when I recollected the movies of the immortal tragedienne, Meena Kumari. She never cried herself, but caused every one else to do so!

*

 The ‘interview’ ended, when the guru had told me all that he wanted to say. My story should end here, but it is some what incomplete, yet. Before leaving, I sought his advice on how I should proceed. He thought over it for a while, and then told me as politely as he could, that he saw no poet in me. “You are a story teller. You will be able to appreciate poetry, but I doubt that you have it in you to compose a poem of any value” I bowed to touch his feet and he waived a silent good bye. The return journey was easier, since the rikshaw puller knew the way to the railway station. On our way back, I saw a flagstaff house, with a car embellished with a star plate and a flag coming out of it. Something happened deep within me. At the station, there was a book stall. It had some recent compilations in devnagri script of Mir Taqi Mir, Kaifi Azmi and Sahir Ludhianvi. But I did not buy them. I had money enough to purchase only one book. I picked up Khanna’s Guide for the National Defence Academy Examination.

 Epilogue

It is necessary to write a few more lines about Prof Mohan Singh, since I owe so much to him. The internet savvy are advise to merely key in his name and they can access all that there is to know about his life and times. A few years after I met him in 1956, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademy award and many other honors came his way. His economic fortunes changed when he was given the assignment of an Emeritus Professor in the PA University in Ludhiana. I met him once more, in 1973. By that time, I had published two novels in Punjabi, one of which had been re-printed twice. He was no longer an unknown person and though age was catching up on him, he was active and agile. His poems had been recited in films by Balraj Sahni and he was a celebrity in his own right. A professed communist, he maintained a simple life style, though his house was decent and elegant. After his death, the citizens erected his statue on the Ferozepur road, and a Mohan Singh festival is held annually to commemorate his contribution to Punjabi. As for me, he saved me the perils of composing worthless poems, and there is no way by which I will ever be able to repay the debt of gratitude which I owe to him. Now, since we must end where I began, I must also talk about the girl who made me a poet.

Well, she got married to someone ten years older than me when I was still in the academy, and has been happy ever since I stopped writing poems on and for her.

  1. colls says:

    Sir
    While clearing my junk I came across the INTELLIGENCE
    5 GOLDEN RULES
    I APPLY AND SHARE

    ADD ONE MORE KINDLY

    NEVER INVEST IN ANYONE
    POETRY LITERATURE OR HUMAN
    who and what is of no INTEREST
    OR WORTHY OF INVESTMENT

    Hence I too have short listed
    my Intelligene

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear CSM,
      The fact of the matter is that you have been my Guru, just as much as Prof Mohan Singh.
      I have learnt a lot from you.
      Surjit

  2. colls says:

    Sirji,
    am forwarding this one to friends

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear CSM,
      Thanks.
      Some of my well wishers believe that this is my best piece. It was first written in Punjabi and Hindi more than fifty years ago.
      Incidentally, it changed the course of my life. But for my visit to this great man I may not have joined the Army!
      Surjit

  3. Sandeep Unnithan says:

    sir,

    superb! missed replying to this earlier. I am going to preserve Prof Mohan Singh’s sayings and remember them each time i write

    best

    sandeep

  4. Surinder Singh says:

    Dear Surjit,

    ” Oh kithe gaye dihade, jad chhato de pichware…”
    That was Mohan Singhs masterpiece. This post is your masterpiece.

    Surinder

    • Surjit Singh says:

      The correct line is”

      “Oh kiddhar gaye dihade…”

      My personal favourite is “Ambi da boota”

      Thanks for the kind words.
      Surjit
      PS
      Sandeep Unnithan (see above) is the associate editor of India Today.

  5. Surinder Singh says:

    Dear Surjit,

    ” Oh kithe gaye dihade, jad chhato de pichware…”
    That was Mohan Singhs masterpiece. This post is your masterpiece.

    Surinder

  6. Kujad Jani says:

    Resp Dear General, Sir,

    First: WISH YOU AND ALL FAMILY

    A GREAT 2017 !

    This piece (5 golden rules……) is ABSOLUTELY SUPERB ! I don’t have words to describe the ingenuity of your writing style.

    Your ‘nostalgic description’ transported me to the time and place where you met Prof Mohan Singh saheb !!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Salutations.

    Sincerely;

    KP

    Cdr. K.P. Jani I.N. (Retd.)

    at Ahmedabad

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Kujad,
      The credit for this must go where it belongs. Prof Mohan Singh was a genius, and even when he was in economic penury when I met him, he was true, sincere and forthright when he gave me the advice which was of immense value to me!
      And if his piece can be of use to some one, I would have repaid a debt which I owe to my mentor.
      Happy New Year
      SS

  7. Ghansham Singh Ahluwalia says:

    Dear Gen Surjit,
    Wonderful write up and great memories,it was my pleasure to read your mail and learn those wonderful days and your flair in writing novels etc. and about S. Mohan Singh ,a famous novelist.

    With regards and love ,and wishing you all a very happy New Year.
    Ghansham Singh

  8. Anil Sunita says:

    Very Good.

  9. Samay Ram says:

    Very sound advice. Thanks for sharing the same.

    Regards.
    Maj Gen Samay Ram

  10. kulbir singh says:

    Thanks for sharing Sir

  11. Anuraj Dua says:

    Thank you Surjit uncle. It was a pleasure reading the article. Hope you and aunty are keeping well.
    With love,
    Anuraj

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Anuraj,
      Great hearing from you.
      Do stay in touch, and send us some pictures.
      You remind us of Rajesh…and he was a GEM!
      Surjit

  12. Tony Rekhi says:

    Dear General,
    I was admitted in Command hospital Poona and 1964 with multiple fractures.
    If I remember correctly,I think you were also admitted there at that time.
    I used to write for Poona Herald and CME news letter while I was doing degree course 1967-69.
    That was the last time i tried writing. Later I moved on to technical writing while studying for MTech at IIT Kanpur. (Incidentally I was the first Dapodi degree holder who secured a competitive seat at IITK. while posted to IITk in NCC)
    Thus I opened the gates and Army giving my example got Dapodi degree approved for admission to IITs for masters courses.
    I published 6 research papers while at IIT in my field of specialization “Use of Explosives in Manufacturing” Some of these papers I presented in international meetings.
    But all that is in past. I resigned my commission in 1984 after operation Blue star.
    I have in USA for the last 26 years
    I will try to meet you next time I visit Chandigarh.
    Best wishes

    • colls says:

      very nice reading you Mr Dhapodi Sir
      i too am one called ”colls poet” not techy enough
      Charlie ..STAMPED ALL OVER MY BODY SKIN INDELIBLE

      SO I became a Poet
      Now in Canada mostly

      Nice reading you
      colls
      1959commisione Retd 1991.. EME 15TH NDA 16TH DEGREE

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Sir,
      Glad to hear from you, and it shall be my pleasure to meet you in Chandigarh.
      However, I was not in Poona in 1964, so you are mixing up. I was commissioned into EME in Dec 1961. I did go to IIT (in Delhi) thanks to your opening of the gate!
      Surjit

  13. Anupinder Kaur says:

    Loved it

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks Anu.
      I think that you and Ripi must join hands and tell us something about your lives.
      And I think you are old enough, now, to recount anecdotes!
      Surjit

  14. Kapil Aggarwal says:

    Wah Sir, Enjoyed reading your tryst with Poetry and also your love story

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Kapil,
      Thanks.
      When you get to the MCEME, start a campus magazine on-line. Or, better still convert “Happenings” of the MCEME in an online version. You can do it on the secure intranet without needing the permission of anyone.
      Surjit

  15. satish kumar bhandari says:

    Thanks – excellent reading.

    ASFIC
    MAY GOD BE WITH YOU
    SATISH

  16. jonahjones says:

    Surjit,

    I enjoyed reading the entire story.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    All the best & with our warmest good wishes for the season.

    Satish Khanna

  17. Vinod Bahl says:

    Hats off to your lucid, brilliant & heart warming writing, Surjit ji.

  18. Neena Singh says:

    Wow what a piece dear Surjit Veerji…loved it and it is indeed worthwhile for anyone who writes or wishes to write…
    I know I will read it again and again to improve my writing…grateful for the wisdom.

    Hope both of you are in good health and the winter is not treating you unkindly.

    Am in US with Prakarsh, Isha and Tripat and the joys of being a full time granny are being experienced fully. Will write about it sometime. Prithpal has returned to Chandigarh and I will be back in Feb. The children are well and Tripat is now 6 months old and has started crawling…sending pics taken on his half-birthday!

    Season’s Greetings to all family members. Warm regards to you and Surinder ji.

    Yours affectionately
    Neena

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Neena ji,
      Thanks for the kind words. The credit goes to Prof Mohan Singh.
      The pictures are lovely! Your grand child will improve on Prakarsh, when he grows up!
      Surjit

  19. S S Cheema says:

    Sir,

    I have been reading your blogs and really appreciate the write ups.

    I too would like to share my two blogs with you. One is on ‘Politically Incorrect Me’ and second on Birds and bird watching. The links are as pasted below.

    http://commonpoliticallyincorrectindian.blogspot.in

    http://cheemablog.blogspot.in

    Hope you like them.

    Regards,

    Col S S Cheema (Retd)

  20. Col M B Jauhari says:

    Loved the piece sir.

    Regards

  21. Dhiraj says:

    Sir,

    Really nice to read the Golden rules by Prof Mohan Singh.

    All put togethor in a very enjoyable manner and truly encompassing all the learning you got from him – incl the last sentence!

    Regards
    Dhiraj

  22. JK Bajaj says:

    We have been listening to your golden words, when my STRIDES were long and fast. How lucky me n my family to be your neighbour, to have learnt to keep a check on these, so that these last till we last!
    Yes; these have now slowed down hell of a lot! But, trust me; it still has a stride for an extra reseved mile till the end to last. Thanks ever for the early cautions and advise

    Your remembrance of late Prof Mahan Singh ji is a true tribute to the noble soul.

    May God be with you all the time, my dear Sir.
    Half a century, very well marked. We still have long way to go. Cheers
    With love to you and all the members of the family from Down Under. Jk-Lalit n girls

    Lest We Forget ! Obituary ; Prof Mohan Singh ji

    He is dead and gone! But; surly now he is living in the Heaven above us.
    I can only steal this poem and say to my self…..

    If Tears Could Build A Stairway”

    If tears could build a stairway
    and memories were a lane
    We would walk right up to heaven
    And bring you back again.
    No farewell words were spoken
    No time to say goodbye
    You were gone before we knew it
    And only God knows why
    Our hearts still ache in sadness
    and secret tears still flow
    What it meant to lose you
    No one will ever know
    But now we know you want us
    To mourn for you no more
    To remember all the happy times
    Life still has much in store
    Since you’ll never be forgotten
    We pledge to you today
    A cherished place within our heart
    Is where you’ll always stay

    Lest We Forget

    • colls says:

      Sir I am stealing this for my next poetry ANALYSIS
      I HOPE you will permit it
      I read this often in Canadians obituaries
      who is the author>

    • Surjit Singh says:

      JK,
      Lovely poem!
      Why don’t you send us a piece for the blog?
      Regards for Lalit ji, and love to the young ladies.
      Surjit

  23. Lt Col Mohammed Ali( Retd) says:

    Very well written article Sir. I still remember when you visited us at HQTG for some research work on an article , I asked you as to how you end up writing on diverse topics with equal ease. I still follow the advice which you gave me on that day and use it in my work. Though I have not yet started writing but I must say you are the inspiration behind the thought.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Ali,
      Thanks.
      I remember working with you. I think we were writing a paper for the Seminar…and Jain was your boss. Right?
      Surjit

      • Lt Col Mohammed Ali( Retd) says:

        Dear Surjit Sir,

        You are right Sir , Gen Jain was my boss at that time. Thanks for remembering me .

        Regards
        Ali

  24. col vrk prasad says:

    wonderful write up and very useful to all those who want to write something as yours truly also often indulges in scribbling. I enjoyed your trip down the memory lane of pre uniform days.Keep going Sir,we love it.

  25. ajay says:

    Enjoyed reading sir!
    I suppose, at that age in life, everyone is an aspiring poet…’Main kavi nahin hun par kavita se pyar kiya karta hun’!

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Ajay,
      It always feels very good to hear from you.
      Why are you so silent? Absorbed in something? Do share your experiences with us.
      Surjit

  26. RASHMI OBEROI says:

    Beautifully written Uncle. And those rules are indeed precious and to be followed. You had sent me these a long time back and I keep referring to them all the time. Thank you.

  27. Prem Hejmadi says:

    Nicely conveyed tribute to your guide and guru. These five pointers will surely help many an aspirant to bloom and follow in your footsteps. Enjoyed your writings.

  28. colls says:

    Meri ankhon mein
    abhe aanssoo hain

    phir kabhee mouka mille toe
    Aap kay pairr chueyengay
    galey lagayengay
    Aap koe shukriya
    Kahengay….

    Aapne hummaree poetry book
    RIVER OF ROMANCE by Colls …unsung poet
    ka wazan bada diya

    dust, dhool ka dher
    uss par jamadiya….

    Kaash
    hummhe bhee kisse nay
    kaha hota

    Eh Colls!
    Bhaag, Colls bhaag….

    Poetry ka kyaa dosh
    Tuu raheh khamosh…

    Aap ne humay rula diya….

    Agar apne unhein na sunna hota
    toe aaj

    ARMY KA KHUSHWANT SINGHJI
    KAISE PAIDA HOTA….

    Waqt ka khel Khuda bhi na jane
    Hum toe still rahe
    English poetry kay parwane
    jane na pehchaney……..

    Eh Bade Bhai Surjit
    Aap maane ya na maane
    Colls toe rahega
    aap kay divane…

    Bahoo Raaani ji
    Khush naseeb
    Aaaaaj

    50 Th saal kee
    ANNIVERSARY
    rahe hazzarronnnnnn saaal tulak
    missaaal

    Subhan ALLAH
    WAHE GURU
    SAT SRI AKAL
    Fauji ka
    JAI HIND!
    15 Dec 2016

    ”Pyar ka pehla khat likhne mein waqt to lagta hai, Naye parindon ko udne mein waqt to lagta hai,
    Jism ki baat nahin thi
    unke dil taq jaana tha
    Lambi doori tai karne mein
    waqt to lagta hai!”
    Jeeeeeeeeeeee….

    Five: Restrain your emotions. Tears should be in the eyes of the reader; not the author.

    This Guidance you gave me
    and
    I always quote it, to those who ask me
    how I became a poet……

    Sad you do not acknowledge.

    Best of our REGARDS
    From
    Canada

    Colls
    15 Dec 2016

  29. Brigadier(Retd) K Harikumar says:

    A very beutiful tribute to a great poet ! Enjoyed reading it.

  30. Mirza Yawar Baig says:

    Wonderful writing Sir. As a writer I can appreciate these Golden Rules very much. Must say though that perhaps if he hadn’t stopped you from writing poetry you may have done so very well. I for one, would never dream of telling a young person that they don’t have it in them to do something. After all wo tho Rabb hi jaanta hai Sir. What can a mortal say about anyone’s future?

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Mirza ji,
      Prof MS was a bit unkind to me…and I was deeply hurt.
      But on my journey back I realized that I was really not enjoying the process of writing poems. In effect, I was a ‘rhymester’. I used to make a list of rhythmic words and then try to fit them in my theme.
      On the other hand, I liked telling stories.
      SS

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