About Uday Talwar
I am Uday Talwar. I study at the Vasant Valley School in grade 11. I was born on the 1st of Dec, 1995 in Delhi. I live in Delhi, Vasant Kunj. I love playing football more than anything & aspire to go pro. I also play the guitar as a hobby. I try to follow the English Premier League & La Liga as often as possible. John Mayer is my guitar “idol”. I think Cristiano Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world & to watch him play gives me great joy & a sense of excitement. As Ronaldo said “football is my life, my greatest passion, my pleasure”.
May 19th 2012
The day began with an introduction to Mr. Singh’s foundation. We spoke about a picture of Bhai Baldeep Singh and his mentor, Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar (RFD) towards the beginning. The picture is symbolic of the meeting of two traditions, i.e. Bhai Baldeep Singh’s & Ustad RFD.
There was a discussion about the two faces of knowledge at 9:50AM. One face, the face of whom get burnt my being too close to this flame that is knowledge and others, who are mere parts of this singular flame and like the fuel of the flame are used up to ensure the continuity of the flame (passing on of knowledge). I thought the first take on knowledge was interesting, as receivers of knowledge are usually enlightened but here, Bhai Baldeep said they’re “They’re exposed and consequently burnt”. Burnt, in my opinion is a negative term, somewhat descriptive of the withering away of the extremely knowledgeable. Also, we discussed “why must we document”, coming to the conclusion that we document stories, and stories make people; indirectly, documenting people. Bhai Baldeep’s composition was also spoken about. How it is written by him, but it is not HIS; he cannot call it “mine”. A rather interesting take considering the fact that in today’s world, what is composed by one, rightfully belongs to one. After lunch, around 2:15 there was a meeting schedueled with Professor Jagbir Singh. He spoke to us about how there have been efforts to reinterpret the 11th Guru, the Gurbani and use this interpretation to validate its relevance in modern times. I feel this is very important as one must not forget traditions and as we discussed today (21st May) one must hold onto the past with one hand and with the other, explore new things, as holding onto the past with both hands will only bring pain, stagnation of progress etc.
May 20th 2012
Today, my colleague Wanhee and I drafted or rather attempted to draft a letter to Mr. Davwinder Sheena regarding the requirement of equipment for the Anad Foundation’s open-air events to be held at Qila Sultanpur Lodhi. The letter was completed with the help and advice of Bhai Baldeep Singh and sent today (21st May). Later that day (20th) we met Mr. Ashok Lal, an architect. He spoke about how we must use past architecture and principals to help fine tune today’s designs. He also spoke about an assignment his firm had taken on to build 1000 affordable houses ranging from 7-15 lakh rupees in Chennai. This project seems to me, quite daunting and near impossible, as it has to be completed in a time span of around 10 months.
May 21st 2012
Today began with a rather interesting viewing of Bhai Baldeep Singh’s ancestral combat weapons, ranging long range to close hand combat. We saw the Golia, Saif, Khanda, a Japanese WW2 Samurai swords, a Sahaithi, Sirohi, Pesh-kabajs, a bichua & Kattars. A Saif is a long blade used for long range combat (not that long!) and this particular one had a hilt with golden engravings. The Khanda was from Akbar’s time of reign. It was made of Damascus steel; steel that is folded many a times. It was broader at the end to allow the wielder to break through the armor of his opponent. The Sahaithi is a curved blade that allowed swift movement with minimum wastage of energy. A very efficient defensive tool as well. The Pesh-Kabaj, Kattars and the Bichua are all for close combat. The Bichua was a particularly rare one due to the curvature of its blade. We later met with Bhagvan Singh Josh, a historian. He gave an example that interested me particularly. He spoke about how we can move down a single road in Delhi, ask questions about its connecting roads and in turn decipher, or come close to deciphering the history of India; e.g. We move down Lodhi Road and we pass Max Muller Road and Amrita Shergill Marg. Max Muller was a German scholar who studied Sanskrit. He is supposed to have put together the 1st vedic texts and publish the Rig Veda in Germany. Amrita Shergill was a Hungarian-Sikh. She was a painter and honed her talent as one in Paris after completing school in Hungary with her mother. She died at 39 and has been remembered for her fine works of art (poetry, artworks etc.) Mr. Josh also differentiated between tradition and history. Tradition becomes a part of our history and is accepted as the truth but cannot be proven nor can it been disproven hence, the acceptance. It was at 12:11 PM Mr. Josh said “Never hold the past with both hands, use 1 hand to explore and the other to hold on”. After lunch with Mr. Josh we met Sidharth, The Painter. He spoke to us about semi-precious, precious, earth and vegetable colors. They are processed either by grinding or washing constantly with water. He told us about how a color, Van Dyk (dyke?) brown was given the name by a painter who derived it from the clay in his village Van Dyk in the Netherlands. He also told us about his own colors. Basiyaan Kaleji; Basiyaan is his village and Kaleji is a Dark Maroon color. Also Basiyaan Aukar, which was, derived deep from the earth in his village. An oxidem it is yellowish. Sidharth also spoke abut how the color powders are used. They’re used to make Water based paints, Oil based paints; where the binder is either beeswax, resin from pine trees or linseed oil and Agtempera colors which use yellow egg yolk, tempera and linseed oil as binders.
He also mentioned the charcoal he used to make his sketch was from grape vine twigs.
May 22nd 2012
We departed for Sulatanpur Lodhi at 7:45AM from Nizamuddin East, C-26. I reached C-26 around 7AM. Soon after exiting Delhi we stopped at a Café Coffee Day a little ahead of Sonipat outlet to eat some breakfast as the girls, Wanhee & Kavya were hungry. We then pushed on towards Chandigarh via the expressway. I was asleep mostly through the journey but was woken up at around 12PM when we reached Savoy Greens, a facility that included eating joints, restrooms, commercial shops etc. Himmat, Wanhee and I bought a burger each from McDonalds, as we were extremely hungry. We arrived in Chandigarh around 1PM or so and ate lunch at Bhai Baldeep Singh’s sister’s residence, Satinder AuntiJi (?). We were treated to Kadi, rice, Dal, raita, salad, paneer and icecream. I remember Bhai Baldeep quoting (speaking to his sister) “I do not mind the effort you have put into making us this food, please continue the hard work and treating us as such” (in Punjabi, [Hindi too]). We then left for Sultanpur Lodhi at around 4PM. We arrived here at 7PM and at 8:30 departed for dinner in the nearby village of Mancchi Jowa to Ravinder Rocky’s house. We met Ravinder Rocky yesterday. He was a first grade athlete of his time and now owns a fitness center in the Sultanpur Lodhi. The “sweet noodles” or saeviya were delicious. We had a group photo session at the end. Extremely tired we went back to our respective places of sleep. The guys were sleeping at Dr. Harjit Singh’s house. We were given 2 rooms with a common bathroom. However it was too hot in the rooms so we decided to take our mattresses upstairs, lay them under the fan on the roof, and go to bed. It was truly amazing to wake up to the sun the next morning (today).
May 23rd 2012
We woke up to the sun on top of the roof at around 7AM. All of us bathed and left for the Fort at 8:10AM. From the fort we left for the Sainik School at 8:30. We reached the school around 10:30. Near the entrance we saw Pechora missiles. They are Surface-To-Air missiles, that is, Anti-Air (used to take down enemy air crafts). There are also known as the “SA-2”. The palace of Kapurthala now houses this school. The palace was sold to the Punjab Govt. by Maharaja JagarJeet and later leased to the Ministry of Defense by the Punjab Govt. The 2nd Sainik school to be set up in India, it is 200acres large and was established in 1962. The construction of the palace began in 1901 and was completed in 1908. Pre-independence there were no Joint Services schools, i.e. the military, the navy, the air force. The defense services were initially dominated by Punjab (jats, Sikhs etc). To be free of this domination, 18 such joint force schools were setup in order to incorporate all Indians in the Defense Services. Kapurthala was also independent state pre independence but decided to join the Indian Union at the end of 1947. Colonel Sudhanshu Arya was the provider of the above information and also the Principal of the Sainik School. He also said, the schools being a factory to produce many Honorary Officers, Admirals, Lieutenants etc. has great emphasis on outdoor activities. It has 6 basketball courts, 3 football fields, 2 hockey fields and 4 volleyball courts. We were also fortunate to receive a brilliant tour from Colonel Arya and his associates. The palace is rather extravagant and it is rather upsetting to see it in its current, decaying state. We later met Senior Superintendent Sukhminder Singh Mann (PPL). The meeting with Mr. Sukhminder Singh was brief. We went to Kiranjeet Singh Bawa’s house for lunch today, a businessman & and an active trustee of the Anad Foundation. He has helped the foundation in numerous ways. There was chicken for a change! And it I savored every bit of it. Later we also met the District Commissioner, Mrs. Alaknanda Dayal. The meeting with Mrs. Dayal was extremely objective. She asked us questions about what this internship has provided for us and what we have learnt; jokingly, Bhai Baldeep Singh called it “torture”. While coming back, we were witnessed to around 3 acres of slums that were burnt to the ground by a supposed flash fire. We proposed the cause for the fire was today’s immense heat. It was ironic that, out of a completely burnt slum came out a perfectly green Kaddu, not harmed by the fire, where as nearly the whole slum was burnt down. After this meeting we headed back to Sultanpur Lodhi to write a report about our day. Some interesting quotes from Bhai Baldeep Singh (BBS) which I thought were worth mentioning
1) “A child can never learn, only disciples & students” this was told to him by his ancestors who were also his teachers
2) “To recreate a place where knowledge is earned, not bought” in context to speaking about places where knowledge is bought and relating that to the Anad Foundation
3) “Learn together, earn together” summing up team spirit and ethics.
May 24th 2012
Today, I was awake on time thanks to the wake up call. Though some of us were a little delayed. Hot puris and aloos (potatoes) greeted us for breakfast. After eating far too much, we went to the office. However, there was not much work for me. I, a little bored, went to the workshop adjacent to the office. There I met Parminder. He asked me about how long I’ve been playing and why and I taught him some basics to open up his hands. I later took interest in a particular piece of Sal wood and decided to carve it into a wooden blade. It is about 1 foot and a half long. I sharpened it from 1 age and Luigi shared with me that such blades are called a “Dao” in China. I used the “Randha” to even out the wood and make it a little thinner from one side. Later, I wedged the wood using a device so it would not move and proceeded to sharpening the edge with the help of an array of files. I worked from around 11 to 4 but there was an hour’s lunch break in-between. Later, however Bhai Baldeep Singh assigned us with some written work, and I was to document some application forms to Anad Khand (Anad Conservatory in Punjabi). In the evening I took a keen interest in learning how to ride a MotorBike and Himmat was able to teach me to do so. It is however, still difficult to coordinate the release of the clutch and the increase in acceleration. I hope to be able to better myself tomorrow (J). At 8:05 we left for dinner at a farm nearby. They were kind enough to allow Himmat and I drive their tractor . The food was great and we headed home t 11:30. Himmat and I sat on the doors of the car to enjoy the cool breeze that the countryside had to offer on the way back. We are now in the office, waiting to celebrate Anmol’s BIRTHDAY!!
May 25th 2012 (written 11:08PM)
Today is Anmol’s birthday. We had stayed at the Qila late last night in order to cut the cake for Anmol. We reached the Qila at around 8:20 or so. Bhai Baldeep Singh does not seem too well, or is in deep need of sleep, hence was a little late out of bed. Himmat, Anmol and I went out of the fort, down the road straight in front to the “Ras Vala” on the left. “Ras” for those of you who do not know, is sugarcane juice with some lemon and mint, and it is indeed, quite a treat! As there was not much work pending I lazed around driving the bicycle and the motorbike around the Qila. We were duly called for lunch at 1:20 and i ate Dal, Chawal and raita. Post lunch, around 2:30 we depart for Jalandar. Around 2:50 the car in which Anmol, Leonardo and the others were travelling in broke down. Attempts are made to push start the vehicle, but inadvertent failure leads to the depositing of the car in a nearby farm house/ storage area. The car is however, later driven back by Jitender. On the way to Jalandar we stopped at the “Raj Duree Factory”. It was “hell-hot” and I really did not have the patience for it. Bhai Baldeep Singh allowed us to cool down a little in his car. After about an hour of doing so, I came back to the factory. Fortunately the sun was holding back its wrath allowing for a cooler, more bearable environment. While in the factory we saw how, workers using a rather simple looking yet intricate machine to create “Durees”. There is a “Shuttle” or as I call it a “rabbit” that moves across wielding a roll of thread which is then pressed against more threads to create a knitted “Duree”. The women help transfer the thread from big balls onto “Saknis” which are inserted in the rabbit/shuttle. The men usually are in charge of working these machines. We created our own Duree too, using Vasant Valley School’s house colors; Red, Blue, Green & Yellow. It is a beautiful piece. We then went on to Jalandar to watch Men In Black 3 at around 6; the show was at 8. We reached there fairly early and ate at Gigabite, an eating joint. To our surprise, the movie was dubbed in Hindi, making it a little harder to grasp what was being said. After the movie we headed back for Kapurthala. We stopped by Dr. Harjit’s house as I was to pick up and pack my stuff for tomorrow morning when I leave for Delhi on the Amritsar Shatabdi along with Wanhee. I said m goodbyes to Himmat and Anmol and am now, writing my last report, about my last day in this period, in Qila Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala.