Punjab is a beautiful state with wonderful people. I’d planned to visit the Golden Temple and also Jallianwala Bagh, and I did, but before that visited the ninety-four-year-old Editor in Chief of the Punjab Kesari paper in Jalandhar, in which my column runs.

As I sat with the wise and learned Vijay Chopra, he told me his children had studied in a convent school, and I told him mine had done their education in an Arya Samaj School, “because religious faith,” we both echoed together at different times, ‘is a personal thing!”

So many of us go through life wondering why God didn't give us great looks, good height or more colour. We look at others who we think are prettier or more handsome and sigh with envy, "If only…" we say to ourselves and look in the mirror sadly.

To those who think such, do I address this little story about a girl who grew up with a blind mother:

The only certainty of life is death. And yet most of us continue living as if death will never visit us. We do not prepare ourselves for it and live as if we are going to live forever.

A little girl lay dying and she was afraid.

Her friend, the priest, came to see her and after a little talk she told him she was frightened. “Listen, my child,” he said, “supposing I said I wanted to take you in my arms and carry you upstairs to a beautiful room at the top of this house where you could see much farther from the windows and be more comfortable altogether, would you mind?”

Went out of the city two days ago, and as I entered the fancy hotel where I was put up, I was told by the manager,  “Sir, you have been given a super deluxe room!”

“Thank you,” I said, quite impressed by the way the ‘super’ was stressed by the manager. I followed the bell-boy to my room. He opened the door with a flourish, drew the curtains and exclaimed, “Enjoy!” and I all but expected him to give me a bow or royal courtesy, which he nearly did, and I was quite pleased, as I got myself ready for a bath to take away the ache in my bones I felt with the long journey I’d had.

Many years ago, much before the invention of the cell phone, there were many moments you could have a break. Take traveling in a local train; it was so different! You jumped into the compartment, got a seat for yourself if you were lucky, and then as the carriages rolled along you felt yourself being soothed into a different world with the gentle rhythmic movement of the train, its familiar whistle as a station approached and the quiet chatter that the rails had with the wheels.