Last night I met a few intellectuals when a debate ensued on the origin of our ancestors. It then went on and on. I found many groping in the dark while wondering who they were!
Lot of brainstorming, recalling, remembrances and … then … many of us did find them. And as I sit to write this, some are still searching…
Indeed… lucky are those who know their origins.
Hence I take this opportunity to make an entry into Prof. K.N.Kaul’s Journal, in his own words as he writes about himself and his ancestors.
I continuously searched for this man who is called my ancestor and all that I came to know was that from my father’s family, there was a man called ‘Tulan’. In the Kashmiri language ‘Tulan’ means a ‘collision’ so a man who causes a ‘collision’ is called ‘Tulan’.
He lived in Lahore at the time of Raja Ranjit Singh and was enlisted in the Army. After Ranjit Singh’s death, and the subsequent battle between the British and the Sikhs, he was killed and his son left Lahore and moved to Jaipur.
Possibly because he was a Brahmin, the Maharaja of Jaipur employed him and he began to look after all the palace work including administration and accounts. Today, in English, he would be called a ‘Comptroller’.
In India, we are known as ‘Kashmiri Pandits’. In Kashmir, not everyone is called a Pandit and, at no time, have all the people been Kashmiri Pandits. As people all over the world follow different occupations, this is so in Kashmir also. In all those occupations one is that of a Pandit. A Pandit studies and teaches and, therefore , a learned person came to be called a ‘Pandit’.
Today, a prefix of ‘Dr.’ or a suffix of ‘Ph.D.’ or ‘B.Sc.’, shows the accomplishments of a man. In the same way, ‘Pandit’ was written at the end of the name.
Therefore, in the old-fashioned way, I am called ‘Kailas Nath Kaul Pandit’.