O P Sharma
Name of book: Letters from a Father to his Son
Author: Dr Sudhir S. Bloeria
Publisher: Vij Books, New Delhi
Price : Rs 650
This 235-page book in English entitled ” Letters from a Father to his Son” is a collection of letters on vast topics by Dr Sudhir S. Bloeria, ex-Army officer, top civil bureaucrat as Chief Secretary of J&K and former Vice-Chancellor of Jammu Central University, sharing his vast experiences and observations with his son Jwala Singh fondly called Druk,who is also now a high ranking executive in a company. These letters contain fatherly affection and eagerly impart knowledge and moral values from the senior citizen to the generation next- a sacred duty of parents to leave a proud legacy of vital information and rich experiences with the younger generation for their betterment and also bright future of our nation as also the entire humanity.
Dr Bloeria, with a stint in the Army, joined Indian Administrative Services rose to be Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir and in 2008 post-retirement he was appointed as Advisor to the Governor during Governor’s Rule in J&K. Subsequently, in August 2011, he became the first Vice Chancellor of Central University of Jammu.
This book, a collection of letters written by Dr Bloeria to his son Jwala Singh (Druk) has shared his vast experience of army life, historical discourses, national issues and lastly but surely the part where he discusses the matters concerning spirituality. This book is a best example of a bond between father and son which deepens with passage of time. The author has devolved into his personal experiences about his performance in the Army as well in civil service giving a glance into the life of senior bureaucrat as well as a loving father.
Each section is a treasure in itself. One may say this well-narrated book gives a first-hand experience to its readers about the happenings of that period. Also it shows how father-son bond evolved over a period of time and indicates that the author effectively shared his memories and experiences with his son. In short, each letter has lessons of life and also a key towards becoming a good human being.
The Section, Historical Happening contains 13 letters on variety of events and it opens with “On the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee”, “Mahabharta and Dharma” discussing with “Durk” philosophical contours, concept of dharma and advised his son to always walk on the path of virtue in life. This chapter is a real eye opener in the prevailing society! Besides, this section deals with variety of historical happenings with a message for leading a pious and purposeful life. Although, these letters are personal communication in nature, but subconsciously these convey definite message for personality development, engraving good habits and becoming a good human being.
Yet another significant chapter of letters that catches the eye is about Winston Churchill, charismatic British Prime Minister, who led England through World War-II but just subsequently could not win election!. Similarly, he has also made detailed mention of national matters and events which shaped the future of Jammu and Kashmir.
Second Section of the book contains 34 letters which generally deals with the military life and matters. The author discusses about military training, his first posting, his experience in the active Indo-Pak war, insight into military exercises which he had to undergo during his service in the Army. The author also gives glimpses of less known facets of modern military leaders like General Douglas, as well as his father, Gen. Arthur – MacArthur; Gen. Patton and few others. There are also instances of real-life vivid experiences of 1971 war, with reference to Fazilka sector and made special mention of gallant fight by Major Narayan Singh, Vir Chakra.
Dr Bloeria, in his letters has described the life of a soldier in a very true sense. He has made detailed discussion on famous battles of Haldighati, Saragarhi and Rezang La which really inspires everyone. He has dealt on life in Army and also devotion and dedication towards serving the nation.
Nature & Environ
This book deals with nature, environment and religious institutions depicting insight into the religious beliefs, preservation of nature and conservation of environment. There are 12 letters, ranging from concepts of happiness to establishment of Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Katra which presently has now nearly one crore pilgrims annually. He underlined need to create a balance between the nature and man. Author has also touched upon the Deodar pillars in Rangdum Gompa in Zanskar valley where now there is less forest cover, especially Deodar trees.
The last part of the book contains 39 letters which deal with variety of issues on men and matters, with some meaning, messages of wisdom to his son. A note is taken of multiple difficulties and challenges the administrators face and also narrated some anecdotes.
‘Letters from a Father to his Son’ is a well crafted collection of letters written from a father to his son “Druk”. It may be mentioned that Pt Jawarlal Nehru had written a book: ” Letters from a Father his Daughter (Indira Gandhi)” depicting the history of India and the freedom struggle. The core of both books is the loving relationship between father and siblings. There are ample lessons to be learnt by everyone to lead a pious, purpose and productive life. The book is both informative and instructive and a must read for one and all.
Letters that inspire and inform
O P Sharma