Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chapter 5: Ushaji's Education

Krishna Bhakti

Intelligence is an inborn mental faculty. It can be acquired but is primarily granted by God. The creeper of Usaji Bahenji's life blossomed on the ground of bhakti or religious devotion and she was brought up under it's perspective. Steeped in that bhava, her persona was distinctly empowered and unfolded before everyone with the passage of time.

Shri Hanuman

We have mentioned earlier that she gathered initial knowledge of Hindi and English from her mother, Shyamaji. A maulvi (teacher esp of Arabic or Persian) who was a friend of her father would come to teach her Urdu. She became well-versed in this language as well. Being an avid reader, she browsed through several literary works and evaluated them in the process. Many a time when the maulvi saheb arrived and she was not interested in studying for some particular reason she entreated Hanumanji and remembered the divine play of handsome Krishna to relieve her of this task.

Being sharp-witted, she imbibed the context of the text very fast. I have heard that merely by reading a book she could retain its essence. Later on she began studying in the coaching centre run by Jagdish Chandra Josh in his own inimitable style. Boys were mostly enrolled as students here. The principal,Mr.Josh considered her his daughter and was like a family member. Invariably she stood first in the class.

Her short height and innocence,an innate virtue, made her the recipient of the students and teachers affection. In the absence of a teacher in the class when a fellow- student played mischief she would inevitably save him from the consequent reprimand. Often there were some naughty elements present in the class. Once a boy named Anwar wrote 'I love you,' on a piece of paper and handed it to her. She was delighted and showing it to her principal exulted innocently,' Master Saheb,have a look! Anwar Bhaiya loves me." The principal scolded the boy and hence she wept, heading home.

Her father was well-educated and famed as an upholder of justice. Patiently he explained that her mother, brother and he loved her deeply but never wrote it down to prove their point. The boy was lying that he was fond of her, which the teacher very well knew of and thus he was beaten. She grasped this fact and went to study the next day.

Lord Krishna Epitomises Truth

Her father was a very truthful person which certainly influenced her. Once she held an artefact in her hand and on being questioned somehow affirmed that she had made it. He pointed out that truth is the ideal of mankind. Ever since, she never spoke of anything other than the truth. "I detest lies!" she would often opine. God is the epitome of truth as He unveils the best and worst of acts.

Time passed by and once again the seasons changed according to their sequence. The naivety of childhood transformed into curiosity seeking answers and an ardent longing began to seek its tangible form. Essential issues forayed into her life and she turned earnestly thoughtful.

Munno's interest in studies escalated. She entered the senior classes of school and was very particular about punctuality. A conscientious student,Munno had the competence to answer a question the instant it was asked by her teacher. Having a lean physique,she often leapt from one terrace to another and jumped down from there. The feat was a symbol of her indomitable courage. She played cricket and carom. Adored by both teachers and class-fellows, Munno completed her school education.

Munno Loved Reading the Shastras & Puranas

Being under age she could not give her tenth grade examination and appeared for one in Hindi Lterature instead. She gained in-depth knowledge of Hindi, English, Urdu and Sanskrit. Browsing through several religious scriptures, periodicals-magazines, novels and plays, she even read shastras-puranas, epic poems, 'Kalyan', 'Kalptaru', 'Maya', entertaining stories and 'The Illustrated Weekly'. Her desire was to sit in a large room full of books and continue reading.

Munno Imbibed the Bhagwad Gita

At the other end she imbibed all the Shastras, Puranas, Bhagwad Gita, Upanishadas and the celebrated Shrimad Bhagwat and they became an intrinsic part of her life.


There was a change in the circumstances at home. Her father faced financial constraint in running the house and applied for a post in an insurance company. A senior company official had to visit Ambala for some reason and he considered talking to Manmohanji in this context. On dropping in he initially met Munno and was astonished to note the fluent English conversation of this short young girl who revealed that correct rendition of the language had been imbibed from her father. The Bengali official was highly impressed. In a few days time Manmohanji was appointed as an adjudicator in the company based in Lahore because of her.

University of Punjab

Along with graduation she gave the Acharya Examination in Hindi and passed with flying colours. At the other front she appeared for M. A. in the Punjab University and stood second. Merely getting a certificate was not her aim. Studying conscientiously,she garnered in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Ushaji had an inherent expertise to fabricate new designs. She had an artistic disposition with a distinct skill in the art of painting. Beauty was her innate virtue apparent in her demeanour and loving tenderness which invariably drew people to her. Above all was her absorption in Lord Krishna's lila or divine play and her array of accomplishments revolved around Radhe-Krishna or the beloved and her supreme lover. She had absolute mastery over the art of singing and could give music to the toughest of padas. After coming to Braj she became well-versed in the Braj dialect as well.

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