Dilawar Singh

Graduate Student, NCBS Bangalore

Being Dilawar

Hello fellow Humans! I like to be called Dilawar ( दिलावर ) which I now find quite nice and bit romantic too if spoken by a pretty girl. In my childhood, I did not like my name. It was way too _ heavy _ to carry around.

Though my life speaks for itself but most of the time it has poor grammar. Following are most of my accomplishments and deeds I've done.

The only video game I have ever completed is IGI-2. I have never played Mario-2 but loved Need for Speed - Hot Pursuit. I have never ever been accused of Grand Theft Auto. I have lived in 3 states of India and never been abroad. I contend that I am not running away from anyone. My current mobile number has 7 prime factors and I once wrote a love-letter to a girl and waited for an answer for at least 6 months, therefore, I proved that love-letters do not always work. I never rode an elephant, donkey or a horse, although in my childhood I did ride buffaloes, cows and street dogs. I do not know how to swim but dream of swimming across Indian Ocean. I was bitten by a bitch once on my butt when I was looking at her puppies and by Gangaram's horse on my back for no obvious reason reason. I really hate Gangaram.

I do not have a profile on any social network site and I never got sunburns. I can do farming and love walking in campus on Then Thinking Road which connects my hostel and my department.

Since my childhood, I have consumed more than 8659 liters of cow's milk. I have never played any musical instruments and have stopped singing after hearing my own recordings. I just love Indian Ocean, especially Sushmit Sen's guitar playing. I have trouble with English grammar and during my pursuit of English, somewhere I lost my grip over Hindi. I'd love to be emotionally bilingual.

If by any chance you are a Historian or Anthropologist, here is my brief history.

A brief history of Dilawar

My ancestor were so happy living in Iran. Avestan was their mother tongue. It was written right to left and have a strong emphasis on minute phonological differences.

One day I don't know what happened, a group of dissidents broke away. They were literally pissed off. Why? Hard to say! May be because they were dissidents and did not like others hushing them up. Or may be, they were just pissed off. They decided that they must leave and start their own. It could well had been a case of 'get lost you ass*****". But whatever was the case, they did not like the status-quo..

So they took their horses and came to settle in North India. Few of them migrated to Europe and now known as German. They called themselves 'aryan' which was derived from Avestan. They might have displaced a large number of 'Dravidian' over there who are claimed to be the native of this land. Dravidians now live in South India and are proud of their longest surviving 'culture' despite of this colossal plundering (if happened).

My ancestors must have been a ruthless tribe when it came to its own benefits. Aryans, as they called themselves, were fond of horses. In fact, old Indus-Valley civilisation never knew of horses. All they knew were bulls and cows.

So pissed of my ancesstors was with their Aventan brothers that they came up their own language and gave it name Sanskrit (the perfect one). They must have liked to make things perfect. I like that. They did not like to write the way their Avestan brothers did. They wrote  left to right. In addition, I don't know why, they did not like the sound of 'h'. They replace 'h' with 's'. So Hapta-Hindu became Sapta-Sindhu, Ahura is now Asura, Harxvati is Sarasvati and so on. But this did not stop here, often the meaning of gods were also reserved, . Not surprisingly, Ahura were gods in Avestan, Asura is the demon in Sanskrit. Indira is king of god for the Sanskrit, He was demon for the Avestan. Seriously something really bad must have haveened among them. In fact old Avestan is similar to the oldest Sanskrit. You can translate text in one language to another by anotherlying few phonological changes. Like so:

Blue is Avestan, Black is Sanskrit. The ə symbol represents the mid central vowel (schwa) like the "e"s in "taken". First line is Aventan, second is in Sanskrit.

təm amavantəm yazatəm

tam amavantam yajatam

surəm damohu scvistəm

suram dhamasu savistham

miθrəm yazai zaoθrabyo

mitram yajai hotrabhyah

Initially, 'arya' meant 'to till'. In those agrarian societies, it was considered a noble profession. This, still, is considered noble by some if not by many. Then  they decided that there should be the the division of labour and came out with caste-system. Arya in this age came to mean 'the noble'. Why? Elites were not in 'agriculture' so they changed the meaning to reclaim this title. So few of my ancestor became noble, and those who did farming were considered mlichcha (the lower one, not-pure). The Sanskrit was refined in this period and the best grammar in the world was written by Panini. Indian intellectual traditon in those days was too exclusive in nature. Learning of Sanskrit was the prerogative of few. Needless to say, a new language was evolved which is called Prakrit. Prakrit was spoken by the masses and Sanskrit was reserved as the language of learning and scholarship. Pratrik was considered a language of Malichcha (the lower ones). In fact, even these days, Sanskrit is replaced by English in letter and spirit. The language which evolved from Prakrit (e.g. Hindi and its relatives) is now spokes by masses and considered the language of malichcha by English-speaking elites (never mind the lip-services to their mother tounge which largely comes from the slight embarrassment for not being able to honour their mother-tongue.)

My ancestors were curious about universe. Their knowledge was centered around the universe. Astrology and Mathematics were intertwined. Whatever they knew, they put it in Vedas which literally meant 'to know'. This was their science. I feel proud of them. When 'Vedas' came to end, they called it Vedanta : 'the end of knowing'. Why would they do that? I can not say! Perhaps they stopped appreciating the changes. Perhaps that was the worst thing to happen in our intellectual life.

Since then my ancestor lost sight of the way they were going. Hinduism was never a religion; it was considered a way of life. Now it has been downgraded to a religion and people fight over it everyday almost all the time - in fact there was a time in which the most narrowed version of Hinduism (so called Hindutva) came to fore. Perhaps the strongest quality of Hinduism lies in its chaotic nature for allowing every kind of infusion into it, that is why it survived (to quote Ashish Nandy).

Living in a rich and fertile land is not without any danger. Lot of people vie for such lands. Han Chinese attacked these lands. Few stayed, married here, and settled down in the places called Haryana, Punjab and near by  areas. Few of them are known as Jats. Alexander came to India and few of his soldiers stayed here. They married local princess. They now belong to a much wider idea of 'Rajputs'. A clan of them in known as Chauhans. They have a rich tradition and not to mention larger than life Chauhan king, the Prithviraj Chauhan who is fondly remember for his valour among old and for his love affair with princess Sanyogitika among the teens. My forefathers belongs to this clan. Chauhans are generally considered soft in nature, quite a painful insinuation in the land which is surrounded by more feudal clans of_Jats, Vishnoi, Thakurs, Chaudhiry_ etc. This is perhaps due to the fact that domestic violence is the lowest among them. So the childhood is passed without witnessing much violence and that mellowed them down. They had a long tradition of treating women with utmost pride and dignity. I am proud to own that heritage. The relative sanity of my village is due to the lack of interest in alcohol and other manly stuff.

So I stand here in front of you. My first name is like a Muslim as to prove my Iranian links. There is symbol of 'OM' permanently tattooed on my right hand as to symbolize my 'Vedic roots'. My clan shares their genes with Greeks who are quite famous for their Mathematics, Philosophy and system of governance. And of course not to mention the educational exposure which I have been through is mostly Western. I am a product of such a long and rich history. This feeling makes me warm again and again.

END NOTES: [1] On Rajputs, See John Keay, "India". In fact he devoted a full chapter on them. [2] Avenstan and Sanskrit links see "Early India" Romilla Thapar; Thapar 8, 112, 232.(See index page of this book for more details). [3] I did a internet sortie for various information (I plead guilty).

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