Monday, May 06, 2019

An Essay by Teja Singh

Principal Teja Singh (born Tej Ram) was a Punjabi scholar who lived during the first half of the twentieth century.  He wrote many scholarly works on Punjabi language and Sikh scriptures, but is also famous for his simple, charming and heartfelt essays.

His most famous essay, one often found in school textbooks in Punjab, was titled "ਘਰ ਦਾ ਪਿਆਰ".  The title is difficult to translate.  It roughly means the love and affections one experiences at home and from one's family.  "Domestic Love" is too prosaic and uninspired a translation.

One finds this essay in his compilation "ਗੁਸਲਖਾਨਾ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਲੇਖ" (The Bathhouse and Other Essays).  It was likely published in the 1940s.  Fortunately, the book has been digitized and archived by Panjab Digital Library.

I vaguely remember reading this essay during my school years but had forgotten about it.  A dear friend had created an audio version of the Punjabi essay.  I read the essay in Punjabi and listened to her audio.

But I could not find any English translation of this book, or of any of the essays.

It seemed worthwhile to me to translate at least this essay from the book.  The friend who had created the audio version reviewed my translation and offered valuable and helpful feedback, which I happily incorporated.

You can read the essay here.  A PDF version is here.

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of digitizing (by simply typing) a similarly themed short book by a Russian writer.

That book was "The Family and Society" by Leonid Zhukhovistky.  I found it a breezy, and quite a fascinating and at times touching read.  You can read the book here.


Anonymous said...

Whistle whistle. If you read the essay there is so much in it. Home, love, pain, companionship, innocence. Very beautifully narrated about sweet home. Every time when I see a fantastic writter, poet, painter an artist it makes me feel what went in making him or her the same. After delving into lot of people thoughts. It made me realise either it is through passion or pain which have made them start these activities and eventually has become there beautiful passion. Isn't this beauty of pain and hunger.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for accepting it made me feel happy.