The Sunrise Club

THE  SUNRISE  CLUB

By- Mohinder Pal Singh

 Vikram , son  of  an  IAS officer  of Maharashtra Cadre,  had  just moved in   from  a small  town of Hingoli  where  his  father  was  the  DM  for last four years. He  was studying  in class  V  in   a  small  convent  school  run  by  the  local church. Coming  to  Delhi  was  a  big  shock for  the  little boy  who had  become so  used  to  the  small  town  living. He  could  only  communicate  in Marathi  or  English. From  friends and teachers in  his  school to friends  and  relatives  of  his  father  and  mother  all  spoke  Marathi  or  a little English.  Now  staying   in  an  IAS  officers’  colony, he  had heard  his father  tell  his  mother  to  quickly  get  familiar  with   some Hindi and  punjabi  words  as  they  were  now in  Delhi  and  this  would  be  necessary   for  her  to  mix  up  in  the  social  circles.

 

One  day  when  Vikram  was  playing  in  the  central  park of  the  colony  where he  saw  a   a  chubby  boy  playing  football  with some friends    . Vikram  desperately  wanted  to  play  football  as  he  used  to  play  in  his  school at  Hingoli.  While  he  was  gaining  courage  to  go  near the  chubby  boy, he  saw  him   gave  a hard  kick  to  the  ball and suddenly   the  ball came  very  near  to  Vikram. Vikram  took  the  opportunity  and  kicked  the  ball  well towards the  chubby boy.  It  was  indeed  a  good  professional  kick. The  chubby  boy  stopped  the  ball smartly,  stood  akimbo with one foot  on  the  ball, looked  at  Vikram and  said,“Good kick”.

 

“ Can  I  play  with you” Vikram  lost  no  opportunity  to propose.

“ Sure” . pat  came  a  reply  from  the  chubby  boy.

 

Now  there  were  four   boys  and so  they  made  two  teams  of  two  each. Chubby  boy  and  Vikram  were  in opposite  teams  and  at  the  end  of  30 minutes  of  play  both teams were locked 2-2.

 

They  shook  hands.

 

My  name is  Nischay  Singh and  I study  in  class  VI in  Modern  School. What  about  you?”.” asked the  chubby  boy  .

 

“I  am  Vikram  and  would  also  be  going  to  class  VI  but   my  father  will  enrol me  in  a  school  when   the  schools  open  after  the  summer  break.”

 

“Great, would  you  come  to my  house  now to  play  computer  games?” Asked  Nischay. Being very  friendly   by  nature Nischay  never  lost opportunity to  make new  friends.

 

“  Sure , nowdays  I  have no  friends here” said  Vikram. He  was  glad  that  Nischay  could  speak  good  English  like  him.

 

BOTH  START  WALKING  TOWARDS   NISCHAY’S  HOUSE   WHICH  IS  ACTUALLY  THE  NEXT  DOOR  FLAT IN THEIR BUILDING. VIKRAM  SEES  HIS  MOTHER  IN  THE  BALCONY  AND  SIGNALS  TO  HER  THAT  HE  IS  GOING  TO  HIS  NEW FRIEND’S  HOUSE.

 

They reach   the  playing  room of Nischay  and  both are  soon  engrossed  in computer  consols. They seemed  to  have  instantly comfortable  in  each  others  company. After  a  while  Vikram  gathers  some  courage  to  ask  Nischay  something  which  has  been intriguing  him since they  met  in  the  park.

 

“Can I ask  you  something “ said  Vikram.

 

“Sure  friend  , go  ahead” answered  Nischay. Nischay  had  a  habit  of  calling his  friends  as  ‘dost’, rather  then  their  first name. It  was  only  when three  four  friends  were  around  and  he   wanted  the  attention  on some friend  in  particular  only  then  he  would  use  his  first  name.

 

“Why  do  you  tie  a knot  of  hair  on  your  head  and  why  have   you  covered  it with  a  cloth? Though  you  look  smart  , but  don’t  you  cut  hair  like I  do ?” He  asked  innocently.

 

Nischay  thought  for  a  moment. Then  said,“because  I  belong  to  a  religion  called Sikhism. All Sikhs  have unshorn   hair  and  beard” answered Nischay. “Though I  have  no  beard  now, but  once  it grows   I  will  keep  it   and  not  shave” answered  Nischay  confidently. “We   worship  the  holy   book  called  GURU  GRANTH  SAHIB. Which  is  kept  in  a  holy  abode  called a   Gurudwara,  which  is  akin  to  your  temple  where  you  have  a  deity. My  father  has  taken me  to  a  temple  too.  And  you  know  the Guru  Granth  sahib  contains writing  of  6  Sikh  Gurus  and  15  Indian Sufi  Bhagats (who belonged  to all religions  and  castes). Have  you  heard   of  Bhagat  Kabir, Ramanand , Namdev etc?” Nischay  carried  on  non-stop  . He  loved to  talk and  he  rattled  out  whatever  his father  had  told  him  about  his  religion.

 

“ Yes , I  have  heard  of  Namdev  Ji, He  is  a  Maharashtrian and in  our  community   we  revere  him.” answered  Vikram.

 

“Great, his  contribution in  GURU GRANTH  SAHIB  is  63  verses. I have  heard  our  Gurudwara  priest  sing the  hyms  of Bhagat  Namdev  ji  and  also  once  narrated   his story about  how  the  upper  caste  Brahmins  ill-treated  him and  how the  God  came  to  the  rescue of Namdev ji.  .” Said  Nischay.

 

“ I  can’t  believe this-  You  mean  sikh   Gurus actually  honoured  the  people  of  other  communities so  much  that  they  included their  verses in  their  holy  book  along  with  their  own  verses? This  is  an  act of  unparalled reverence which  I  have  never  heard.” said  Vikram  completely awed at  this revelation.

 

“ Vikram,  my  father  told  me  when  we  bow  our  head   in front  of  Guru  GRANTH  SAHIB  in  The Gurudwara  we  are  actually  bowing  our  head   to  all the  31 apostles whose  hymns are   included in  the Holy  book” said  Nischay.

 

“Would  you like to  visit our  Gurudwara   and  see how  we  worship  and  sing  the  hyms  of  all  the  saints and gurus in  the  same chorus . Incidently  , nowdays  we  are  having  a  very  nice  preacher  who  comes  to  gurudwara   every  day  to  tell the  children   about  the  sikh  history and  heritage” added Nischay.

 

“For  the  next  one  week  I  am  totally  free so  won’t  mind at  all and  incidently  your  religion  really  intruiges  me.” said  Vikram.

 

In the  evening  when  Nischay  told  his  mother  that Vikram   will  come  with  him  for  the  morning  class  at  Gurudwara,  she  was  not  happy at all. She  said, “why  are  you  taking  him? What  will  he  understand  of  our  religion?”. Nischay was adamant, “he  will, he is  my  friend, I  will take  him”.  His mother  turned  her  face  away  not  liking  the  comment of her  son. ‘Of late  Nischay  was  becoming  very adament’ she  thought. ‘He  just  does  not understand.’

 

The  same  story was  taking  place  at  Vikram’s house  where  Vikram’s mother too  was   not  comfortable   with  her son going  to  a  Gurudwara.  But  Vikram  said, “Mom  he  is  my friend  and  he  is  taking  me  to  a  good  place. Let  me  explore”.

 

 

Inspite  of  their  mother’s reluctance  Vikram  came  to  Nischay’s house  on  time  and they  were both dropped  by  Nischay’s father   to  the  Gurudwara..

 

AT THE  GURUDWARA  NISCHAY  SHOWED   VIKRAM  AROUND  THE  GURUDWARA  BUILDING AND   THEN THE   GURU GRANTH SAHIB KEPT VERY  RESPECTFULLY  IN  THE GOLDEN PALANQUIN.

 

Nischay  then  took  Vikram to  a  hall  where a Preacher was   telling  the  children about  the  writings in  Guru Granth Sahib.

 

“ Guru  Granth  Sahib  was  compiled  by  the  fifth  Sikh  Guru  Sri  Guru  Arjan  Dev  Ji in  the  year 1604 and   was  given  a  reverend  place  in  the Golden  Temple on  15  Aug 1604.. And  children  do  you  know  who  laid  the  foundation  stone  of  the  first  sikh  gurudwara- The  Golden Temple?” asked  the  Preacher.

 

“Sain Mian Mir” said  Nischay raising  his arm. He  remembered  his  father  telling  him  this  name  during  their  visit  to  Golden  Temple   few  months  ago.

 

“A  muslim?” Vikram  whispered  in Nischay  ear.

 

“ Nischay ,  is  right  Saint  Mian   Mir  was  a  very renowned  Muslim Fakir of  his  time  and  had  a mass following  in  those  times. After  he  had  come  in  contact  with  the  guru  ji  he  had  developed  profound respect  for  the  Guruji’s teaching which  revolved  on respect  and  patience  towards all  religions”. Said the  Preacher.

 

“Children it  is  easier said  then  done. It  was  a  time  when  caste , creed  and  religion  had strong  beliefs.  Our  country was  torn  between  wars  fought  on  basis  of  community  , religion and   castes. Social  evils were  rampant.  Women were  looked down upon. It  was at  this  time that  the  Fifth  Guru  ji  compiled  a  HOLY BOOK   which  had  teaching  of   saints  of  all  religions  and  castes. People  could  not  believe  that  the  sikhs  would  actually  worship a  HOLY  BOOK  WHICH WAS SO  SECULAR   IN  ITS  CHARACTER”. He  added.

 

“ Uncle please  tell  us  why  people  were  surprised  at  the  character  and compositions  of Guru  Granth  Sahib?” asked  a small  girl   Jasnoor  Kaur.

 

“ Because  at  that  time  there  was deep  hatred  and  difference  among  the  Hindus  and the  Muslim rulers of  the  country.   Among  the  Hindus a  big  ravine  between  the  upper caste  and the  lower  castes.  But  GURU GRANTH  SAHIB  contained  the  verses  of  the  following  :-

  • Muslim peer and  saints-  Sheikh  Farid,  Bhagat  Bhikhan ji, Mardana ji
  • Upper caste bhramin saints- Ramanand ,ji, Trilochan ji
  • Lower caste Hindus- Namdev Ji and Ravidas Ji
  • Farmer – Bhagat Dhanna ji
  • King turned Sadhu – Bhagat Pipa Ji
  • Butcher – Bhagat Sadhna ji
  • Weaver – Kabir Ji

 

“So , children  you   see  what  more  evidence  of  secularism  do  you  want  in  today’s context. This  was  possible  because  Guru ji  felt  that  there  is  only  one almighty  GOD  , hence  if  any  body  is  a  true  muslim  or  a  true  Hindu  his  faith  would  converge toward  a  attainment  of a  common goal  with  God.” He  said.

 

“ Uncle , You  said  women  were  not  treated  properly  in  the  society. What  did  Guruji  say  about  that.” asked  Jasnoor.

 

“ Very  Good  Question  , I  am  happy  you  all  are  paying  good attention to  my  lessons. Guruji  wrote  in  so  many  places  Guru Granth  sahib about  the   equal  treatment  of  women  in  society. He  said  if  God  has  created  both  of  them   then  how  can  one gender  be  better  then  other. He  also  shunned  the  prevalent practices  of  female foeticide, Sati  and  child  marriage.”he said.

 

“I  think  I  will  finish  today’s   lesson  here.  Tomorrow  we  will  talk  about some  important  verses from  the  HOLY  BOOK  AND I  WILL  EXPLAIN  THE MEANING  OF  THEM  TO  YOU WHICH  WILL   FURTHER SUBSTANTIATE   THE  SECULAR   FORM  OF THE  GURU GRANTH  SAHIB. Anybody  wants  to  ask  anything  about  what  I  have  covered today?” He  said  closing  his talk.

 

A  hand went up   from the rear  seats. Nischay  was  surprised to   see  his   friend raise his  hand.

 

“ Sir, who  is  the  author  of  Guru  Granth  Sahib?”

 

“A very  good  question . And the  answer is  everyone whose  verses  are  there. Though  Guru  Arjan  Dev  ji  compiled  and  edited it. He  never claimed  the  authorship  of  this  HOLY   BOOK. The  36  persons  who  have contributed  the  verses  are  as follows-  Six  Gurus  , 15  contemporary  saints,  11 Bards  of Guru and  2 devoted  Sikhs  of that time.

 

 

At the end of  the  class  Nischay  took  Vikram  around  the  Gurudwara  and  they  also had   parshad  given  by  the Head Priest  who  blessed  both of  them alike  . Vikram  likes  the  parshad  and  wants  one more  helping. But Nischay  says  why  not  come tomorrow if  you  are  free. Vikram agrees.

 

 

 

 

 

II

 

Next  week  Vikram  gets  admission in  the  same  school    and  the  same  class as  Nischay  and  both are  really  upbeat about it. They  are  both  very  happy  as  they  would  be  going   in  the  same school  bus from  today.

 

After  about  a  month  in  the  school   Vikram  makes  a new  friend  by  the  name of  Gulshan  Ali who travels in their  bus.  Ali  is  from  a  very  simple  family  and carries with him rich  values. Both  his  father  and  mother  are  teachers in a  public  school. He   lives  just  across  the  road  and  boards  the  Bus  from  the  same  Bus  Stop  everyday.

 

After  they   became friends , Ali  shared  with Vikram and Nischay   that before  this  he  was  studying  in  a Vedic  School   and  he  knows  more  about  the  Hindu  religion then would  Vikram. He  challenged  him to  ask  him any  question  from  the  Ramayana or  Mahabharta.

 

“ Ok , I  accept  your  challenge, but  before that I  will ask  you  two  facts  from  your  religion too” said Vikram which  intruiged  Ali.

 

“OK go  ahead” muttered  Ali.

 

“Ali  , do  you  know  who  is Sain Mian Mir?” asked Vikram flaunting  his newly  acquired  knowledge.

 

Ali  is  taken  back  at  the  question.  He  had  heard  this  name  from  his  father  but  could  not recollect  the  context in  which  it  was mentioned.

 

“ No  I  will  ask  my  father.” He said sheepishly.

 

“ Oh, he was  a  great  muslim  Pir  who  was  revered   by  both muslims  and  Sikhs.” answered Vikram with a smile.

 

“ How  do  you  know?. Asked  Ali, feeling  belittled  by  the  knowledge  shown  by  Vikram.

 

“ I  also  know  that  a  sikh  Guru  had  given him  the  highest  honour  of  laying  the  foundation  stone  of  the  Golden Temple. The  highest  seat  of  sikh  religion.” he added

 

“ And now  my  second  question to  you  is,  who  was  Sheikh  Farid  ji?” Vikram  fired  his second  salvo at Ali .

 

Ali  rocked  his  brain, there  was  familiarity  with  this  name too  but  he  could  not  instantly recollect anything. So guiltily he declined.

 

“ Oh ,  he  was  a great  muslim scholer of  the  sufi era. His  verses  are  even recorded  in  the Holy  Book  of  the  Sikhs . –  THE  GURU GRANTH.  Imagine  Ali , the Sikh Gurus  included  his  verses  in  their  Holy  book. What  an honour. All  Sikhs  bow  their  head   to him.” Said Vikram.

 

“ Now  should  I  ask  you  questions  about  Hinduism?” asked  Vikram.

 

“ No, No”  said  Ali with  arrogance  gone  they  became  good  friends. In  the  break  they  played  together and  Vikram  also  introduced  him to  Nischay. Nischay  invited  Ali  to  come for   playing  football with  them  in  the  evening in  the park.

 

Next  day after  a   game of football in  the  evening,  Ali  Invited  both  Nischay  and  Vikram  to  his house. He  said  his  father  would  like  to  tell  more the  about   Sheikh  Farid  Ji  and   Sai Mian Mir.

 

Ali’s  father  , Mr  Nawaz Ali  was  very  renowned history  teacher and  a person who  had love for history  as  a passion.  These  questions  not  only made  him happy  but  also gave  him  a  chance  to  show  his  indepth  knowledge of  the  subject. This was  the  first  time that  his  son  had  shown  interest  in  his  subject. Till now  Ali  was  always  interested  in   his  mother’s  subject  and that was  Mathematics.  He called  his wife Nafisa  and  daughter Soha  and told  them  to  join  the  children  . He  then  began  his  discourse.

Mian Mir was a friend of God-loving people and he would shun worldly, selfish men, covetous Emirs and ambitious Nawabs who ran after faqirs to get their blessings. To stop such people from coming to see him, Mian Mir posted his disciples at the gate of his house.

Once, Jahangir, the Mughal emperor, with all his retinue came to pay homage to the great faqir. He came with all the pomp and show that befitted an emperor. Mian Mir’s sentinels however, stopped the emperor at the gate and requested him to wait until their master had given permission to enter. Jahangir felt slighted. No one had ever dared delay or question his entry to any place in his kingdom. Yet he controlled his temper and composed himself. He waited for permission. After a while, he was ushered into Mian Mir’s presence. Unable to hide his wounded vanity, Jahangir, as soon as he entered, told Mian Mir in Persian: Ba dar-e-darvis darbane naa-bayd (“On the doorstep of a faqir, there should be no sentry”).

Pir Mian Mir, whose mind and soul were one with the Lord, caring little for the emperor’s angst, replied in Persian: Babayd keh sag-e-dunia na ayad (“They are there so that the dogs of the world/selfish men may not enter”).

The emperor was ashamed and asked for forgiveness. Then, with folded hands, Jahangir requested Mian Mir to pray for the success of the campaign which he intended to launch for the conquest of the Deccan. Meanwhile, a poor man entered and, bowing his head to Mian Mir, made an offering of a rupee before him. The Pir asked the devotee to pick up the rupee and give it to the poorest, most needy person in the audience. The devotee went from one dervish to another but none accepted the rupee. The devotee returned to Mian Mir with the rupee saying: “Master, none of the dervishes will accept the rupee. None is in need, it seems.”

“Go and give this rupee to him,” said the faqir, pointing to Jahangir. “He is the poorest and most needy of the lot. Not content with a big kingdom, he covets the kingdom of the Deccan. For that, he has come all the way from Delhi to beg. His hunger is like a fire that burns all the more furiously with more wood. It has made him needy, greedy and grim. Go and give the rupee to him.”

Mian Mir, holds a pivotal legendary place in Sikhism and in Sikh history. Sikh Children and Sikh people around the world learn about him, his spiritual contribution . In 1588, The  Fifth  Sikh  Guru  invited Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of Harmandir Sahib..

In 1606, the fifth  Guru Arjan Dev was implicated in the affair of Prince  Khusraw, who had rebelled against his father, Jahangir. Guru  Arjan  was imprisoned in the Lahore fort and tortured by  Jahangir’s men. When Mian Mir heard about it, he came to see the Guru. He found Guru Arjan calm and serene, having completely resigned himself to the will of God. Mian Mir suggested to the Guru whether he should intercede with Emperor Jahangir on his behalf. The Guru forbade him saying that God’s will must have its course unchecked, as it was not proper to interfere with its working.

Mian Mir’s Mazar (Mausoleum) still attracts hundreds of devotees each day and he is revered by many Sikhs as well as Muslims.

All  were  spellbound  at  the  indepth  knowledge   of  Ali’s   father. He  continued , he  had  to  show  them  today, his  years  of  labour  had not  gone  in  vain. So without  skipping  a breath  he  continued.

And about  Sheikh  Farid  ji:- listen

Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Masood Ganjshakar commonly known as Baba Farid was a 12-th century Sufi preacher and saint of Punjab. He is recognised as the first major poet of Punjabi language. Baba Farid is considered one of the holiest and pivotal saints of Punjab. He has been honoured by the Gurus of Sikhism by his verses being collected and compiled in the Sikh holy Guru Granth Sahib .   Baba Farid died during Namaz.   His darbar is in Derh Pindi, and his name is Khwaja Sheikh Muhammad Paak Gareeb Nawaz.

 Nischay  and  Vikram  were spellbound  at  the  sea  of  knowledge shown  by  Ali’s father. Ali  too sat  alongside them feeling  proud  of  his  father.. After  his  father  had  finished  his  verses, Ali asked,“ Father, Sikhs , bow  their  head to  Guru  Granth  Sahib which  contains the  verses  of  Baba Sheikh  Farid  Ji?”

“ Yes, My  children  at  that  time  this  was  the  greatest  secular  holy  book  ever  composed. It  was  an unmatched  teachings of  Muslims, Hindus ,  Sufis  and  the  Gurus  themselves.  The  Gurus  had  culled  the good  teachings of  all  religions  and  trail blazed  a path  of :-

  • Religious tolerence.
  • God is one- almighty-invisible-invincible-omnipresent.
  • Worship of the  formless
  • Attainment by narrating the The  praises of the  guru and  the  invisible  god.

Ali’s mother  now  brought    hot  soup  for  all of  them. After  devouring  the  soup they all left.

Sunday was  always a   special day  for  the  ‘three  musketeers’ as  they  were  labelled  in  the colony as they  would  be  always  seen  together. They  would  get  up early,   go  for  a  football  game. After    sweating  out  for an hour  they  would  not  come  home. They  would  head  for  the  big   Garden  across  the  road  and  sit  on  a  bench  and  watch  the  early  morning  sun and  the chirping  of  the  birds. Here  they  would  plan  how to  spend  the  rest  of  Sunday. One day they decided  to call their  friendship ‘ The Sunrise Club’. They  would  only  leave  the  bench when  their  mobile phones would  show “Mummy Calling” .

Once  on a   Sunday  and  they  all had  a  game  of  football in  the  morning  and  then breakfast  at  Nischay’s  house. Nischay  introduced  them to  his  elder  sister  Deepjyot,  who  was  studying  in class XI.  Nischay’s  mother  who  is  from a small  town  of  Punjab  is  not  happy  as  to  why  Nischay’s  is  becoming  friendly  with  boys  from  other  faiths. “today  he  has  brought  this  muslim  boy” she  whispered  in Deepjyot’s ears. “Oh so  what  Mummy, they  are  friends” answered Deepjyot.   With  a  frown  on  her  face  she  served  breakfast  to  all the  three  boys. Nischay’s is  seeing  the  frown  on  his  mother’s face  but  enjoying  the  breakfast too .

“ Nischay  , would  you  like  to  bring  your  friends   to  the gurudwara  today ? there  is gurupurab celebrations . There  would be  recitals  about  the  gurbani  and langer(community  food).” asked  Deepjyot.

Nischay’s  face  lit  up  on  hearing langar. He  not  only liked  to do  sewa( service) in the  langer  but also  liked  the  eat  langar.

“ what  is  langer?” asked  Ali  while eating  aloo-parantha.

Langer  is  food cooked in  the  community kitchen of  the  gurudwara” answered   Nischay.

“It  is  cooked  with  cleaned  hands  and  clean  mind. While  you are  cooking  the langar (food  for community) everyone  is  reciting hymns. Like  this  the food  is  cooked  with  purity of  mind  and  soul. It  is then eaten   by sitting  together on  the floor. And  let  me  tell  you it  is  so  yummy  that  everytime  I  end  up over-eating” Added Nischay.

“Really” said  Ali  and  Vikram their  tongues   already  salivating  while  they  were  hearing  the  description .  They  were  both  tired  of  their  mothers  humdrum menu at  home .

“Will they serve  ice cream too?” inquired  Vikram.

“Saiwaya?” Asked Ali

“ In  our  Gurudwara   they  always  serve  hot  rice Kheer  which  is  laden  with  dry  fruits   as  pudding” said  Nischay.

“Nischay  , So are  you  coming  “shouted  Deepjyot from  the   other  room.

Nischay  looked  at  his friends. They  both  nodded  their  heads  in an   affirmative gesture.  On their  way  to  Gurudwara  both  the  boys  informed their  mothers  that they  are  going  for  a  feast   with  Nischay.

Once  they  reached  the  Gurudwara,  deepjyot  took  them to  where  the  Langer  was  being  cooked.  The  priest  incharge  of  the  cooking  section  stopped  the  kids. He  told  Deepjyot, “these  boys  are  very  small,  they  may  burn  their  fingers  etc”.

“Uncle  , they  will  only do the  ferrying  service. i.e  shifting  the  cooked   food  to  the  storage  space  or  they  will  knead   the  floor” Deepjyot  said.

After doing  some  service ,  that  they  all sit  to   eat  langar   and  the  rice  kheer laden with dry fruits. After  that they preferred  to  walk  home as  they  have all over-eaten.

The  friendship  of  this sunrise club  continued  unabated for  years  and  they  learned  to participate  in  various  festivals . Its   Id  celebrations  at  Ali’s  house  and  visiting  the  local  Id  mela  with  Ali parents. When  Dusherra and  Diwali  came  there  was   Ramlila  to  be  watched   by all of  them .  Every Dusherra Vikram’s  father  takes  them  to  the  Ground  where  the  effigies  of  Rawan , Kumkaran and Meghnath were burnt, where he  reminded them that   good  wins  over  evil . For  all   festivals  the    children  always  roped  in their  parents  too  in the  celebrations. Their  mother’s  too had  become  good  friends and     used to be   busy   admiring  new  suits  and  saris  and finding reasons  to  go  for  shopping together.  The  father’s  too started to share the   common  cribs   about their offices. After  the  office/ boss issues  were  exhausted they often shared some  national  and  international issues  and  lament about the state  of  affairs. The sunrise  club had  changed  the outlook of  their  parents  too.

Like this the  three  children  continued  to  grow into  good secular  citizens  the  nation  needed.

Vikram  became  a  Senior  Bureaucrat like his father, Nischay served in Foreign service  and  Ali  became an effluent  businessman. They  continued  to travel  across  the  globe  but  would  often meet  whenever  they were home .

After  fifty   years  of leading  their fast-paced lives  they all settled  back in Delhi in a Senior  Citizens Society near Lodhi Road. Every day  they  would  go  for  a  morning  walk and  not  go  home after  they  finished  walking. They would  sit   on the same old  bench at Lodhi  Gardens where  they used  to  sit and  had  formed  the ‘Sunrise  Club’.  They  still  love  to  chat  and  watch the rising   sun till  their mobiles  shriek  “Wife Calling”. They would  stop their nattering and  rush homes  in their  chauffer  driven  cars before  their  wives  could  ring  up  their chauffeurs  to drive home without  the  Sahab.

(this story is  an outcome of  inspiration  drawn from the  book  ‘ The Sunset Club’ by Khushwant Singh)

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