Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A POEM WRITTEN IN A BOAT WITH PROF. ARVIND GIGOO


                                                                                 





Ready to cross  river Chenab diagonally  at  Akhnoor with Prof Arvind Gigoo..
(  Mobile Photo Autar Mota..  Feb 2017 )

 I am reminded   of   the opening lines of a poem  of master zinda koul .."Kaanh Ma as Tarriev Apou'r.." or  "Would any person like to go across? "

For this photo I wrote...

"Paar Madhur Aawaazein hain par 
 Dil Mein hain sau Bram..
Aur Nadi ke beech hai dheemi
Lehron ki Sargam.
Samajh nahin aataa hai saathi
Duvidha mein hain hum
Yaheen rahein ya paar chalein Ab
Bolo kuchh iss dham "

( Autar Mota)

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MY MINI POEM ON CLOUDS


                                                                     




CLOUDS ....

I ADD SOME LINES THAT I WROTE FOR THIS PHOTOGRAPH...

( BAADAL )

Baadal Dhoop Mein Thandi Chhaaya
Barse hariyaali kar Jaaye ……
Nadiyaa, Saagar, Taal Talaiyaa
Sukh ke sapnon se Bhar Jaaye……
Lekin sookhe kheit Pe meray
Aaye ,Chhaye aur Mandraaye…..
 Ikk Aasha si Goongroo Pehnay
Ikk sapna Palkon par Aaye ….
Tabhi Achanak Jaldi Jaldi
Bin Barse Udd jaaye……

( Autar Mota )
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PROF NEERJA MATTOO REMEMBERS THE OLD GRANDEUR AND GLORY OF RESIDENCY ROAD SRINAGAR .


                            
                                                                       










PRESENT VIEW OF THE THEN COFFEE HOUSE BUILDING RESIDENCY ROAD SRINAGAR ..

( PHOTO AUTAR MOTA )


Prof Neerja Mattoo writes:


" The Residency Road was full of shops selling Merchandise of all kinds . A fascinating sight was the magnificent Statue of a white Horse that occupied the compound of the Pestonjee ‘s home. The house had access from the Bund , while the offices of the Insurance firm Mr Pestonjee and his son represented , were on the Residency Road below.
when we walked on the Bund for our Daily walk , we could hear strains of a Piano playing – obviously western Music .Situated as we were in our enclave , such Plurality was natural . Having woken up early with the AZAAN , rubbing one’s eyes to the sounds of the TEMPLE BELLS and Breakfasting against the background of *BAGPIPES from the practicing Band Next door , It was only proper that the evening should end with the music from a Piano. Dance Music could also be heard if one ventured near the club. Residency Road also housed three Book shops, the largest and the most popular being the KASHMIR BOOK SHOP , owned by the sweetest Book loving and Book Knowing sardarji , with his white Beard and equally spotless white Turban .You could get all the Books in the world _ if it was not in the shop , he would order it for you. And there were all the Journals from High Brow ENCOUNTER , THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC , TIME , LIFE, The Humble READER’S DIGEST to WOMAN AND HOME and WOMAN , with their knitting Patterns and other “womanly” pursuits . And then there were all the comics, the graphic Novels of those times . It was an Alladin’s cave for young readers like us. How far we had travelled from the alleys of the inner city , we had no knowledge .
A Quaint little Cubby -hole of a Book shop was run by an elderly sindhi couple. It was called" DURUPADI’S ” , perhaps the sindhi spelling of word Draupadi !
The third Book shop was lowbrow HIND BOOK SHOP , which stocked stationery and Paperback best sellers .

Opposite the Hind Book shop and facing the Bund was “ THE INDIA COFFEE HOUSE “ a daylong haunt of the ‘ Thinkers “ of Kashmir : Writers , Journalists , Small time Politicians , Artists and Leftist students .A haze of Cigarette smoke hung over the place along with coffee aroma and the loud argumentative voices of the coffee drinkers .

Walking past , a longing to be a part of that _ To us , Glamorous – world would fill us, But it was out of Bounds for Young women. ”



I conclude this post with a couplet of Urdu poet and film Lyricist Prof. Shaharyar ..
“Waqt teri yeh ada mai aaj tak samjha nahin

Meri duniya kyon badal di, mujh ko kyon badla nahin”

( Shaharyaar )
“Time, I have never ever understood this trait of yours

Why have you changed my world, but not changed me”

( Autar Mota )
PS
1
(Prof Neerja Mattoo is an Eminent Academician and a distinguished scholar from Kashmir. She is a noted writer and has also translated several Poetry and Prose texts from Kashmiri into English. This post has been extracted from her write up in “ Miraas “ Issue July – December 2016 Page 81 ..REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MYTH AND REALITY OF BELONGING AND TOGETHERNESS With due thanks and regards to her )
2

Till October 1947,The Present day Kothi Bagh school housed Maharaja’s Military Band . After Maharaja Hari singh moved out from the state , an army unit occupied the place . this unit was engaged in fighting the Tribal raiders .It was later occupied by Recruits of ‘ Peace Brigade “ set up by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad . Sometime later after this place was occupied by Kothi Bagh school.



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PROF NEERJA MATTOO REMEMBERS DR.SYED NASEER AHMED SHAH'S FAMILY AND MISS MEHMOODA AHMED ALI SHAH ..


                                                                               




DR. SYED NASEER AHMED SHAH..

( RENOWNED PHYSICIAN FROM OUR STATE AND PRINCIPAL GOVERNMENT MEDICAL COLLEGE ..1969-1981)


Prof Neerja Mattoo writes ;

" A vivid memory of the close trust between communities in Kashmir those days pertains to the scary times of Partition. In October 1947, when the Tribal Invaders had reached the outskirts of Srinagar city , the women and children of our household were sent off to Drugjan home of Mehmooda Ali Shah , whose brother , The renowned doctor of the valley Dr Syed Naseer Ahmed Shah , was ( And continues to be ) My brother Anupam Dhar’s childhood friend . It did not occur to anyone that it was a Muslim House to which family’s safety was entrusted . The only precaution taken was to send the family cook Sudershan along , as my Grandmother and her daughters In law would not eat the food offered by the Generous shahs ! For us children , the aroma of Garlic and onion _ never used in our kitchen till my grandmother was alive – lent an exotic touch to the food and sent us into Paroxysms of joy . Such was the togetherness in the midst of separation !!
Miss Mehmooda Ali Shah had been educated at Kinnaird College in Lahore and had imbibed Modern Ideas from the Vibrant Intellectual Air of the Lahore of pre-partition India interacting with likes of Faiz Ahmed Faiz . The most Remarkable thing about her , apart from her striking good looks , was her Fearlessness . She is supposed to have earned the sobriquet , HUNTERWALI ( Apropos the film of that name which was starred by Fearless Nadia ! )because according to one of many legends that grew around her , she had once snatched the whip from a Tonga driver who tried to get fresh with her .
Mehmooda Ali Shah was never afraid of offending the powers that be in the interests of the institution .Once she locked up a bureaucrat fo entering the college without permission. As principal , she stressed on the importance of Co Curricular activities to expand horizon. Plays and musicals were got specially written by Literary Luminaries like Dina Nath Nadim and Noor Mohd Roshan and staged to great acclaim.""

                                                                             
    ( Dr Naseer and Anupam Dhar  2016.. Photo source .. Tina Anjila Shah )
    
               ( Dr Naseer and Anupam Dhar  ( In chairs )  1945.. Photo source .. Tina Anjila Shah)

Dr Naseer is married to Dr Girja Dhar, another medical Luminary of our state. This loving couple has remained stuck to the cherished values of humanity in the most trying circumstances . This couple remains dedicated ,sincere and honest to the core in ameliorating pain and suffering in any manner they feel capable to do without any bias or consideration.
                                                                           

( Dr Naseer and Dr Girja Dhar ... Photo source .. Tina Anjila Shah )

Both husband and wife are connoisseurs of fine Arts.

Good Health to them...
( Autar Mota )


PS

(Prof Neerja Mattoo is an Eminent Academician and a distinguished scholar from Kashmir. She is a noted writer and has also translated several Poetry and Prose texts from Kashmiri into English. This post has been extracted from her write up in “ Miraas “ Issue July – December 2016 Page 81 ..REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MYTH AND REALITY OF BELONGING AND TOGETHERNESS With due thanks and regards to her )

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Monday, March 20, 2017

PROF NEERJA MATTOO REMEMBERS THE LEGENDARY PHYSICIAN DR ALI JAN AND HIS FAMILY


                                                                                 


                                                      ( PROF. NEERJA MATTOO )
Dr Ali Jan’s family lived at Exchange Road Srinagar after they shifted from Rajouri Kadal in Downtown Srinagar .


Prof Neerja Mattoo writes :



” The present day Soulless Buildings of BSNL office at Exchange Road Srinagar are built on the Remains of a Heritage House , which was torn down and razed to the ground . it belonged to one Nazir Ahmed , A Punjabi speaking High official , who left for Pakistan in the wake of Partition . His house and its grounds became what is known as Evacuee Property and were rented to legendary Physician Dr Ali Jan . He and his family moved in and integrated so well with the neighbourhood that it seemed they had always lived here and not in Rajouri Kadal area of the old city downtown. The participation in each other’s festivals was taken for granted – The pundits men and children looking forward for Eid Feasts , while the Muslims waited for Shivratri with its fish and fowl with soaked walnuts .When Mrs Ali Jan came visiting , it was only fruit for her and so it was when Mrs Dhar or Mrs kaul went to visit her .But the confidence they shared would not be shared with their own Blood sisters .

People had to wait weeks for getting an opportunity to be examined by Dr Ali jan , But for this neighbourhood , his was an open house . My Father Prof. S L Dhar , who had taught Dr Ali Jan in college , was held in such affection and respect by him that he could walk into his consultation chamber with a sick patient without any prior appointment , No one daring to challenge him for ” Gate Crashing “ .

It was Mrs Ali Jan , Boba to all of us children , who came with a biggest Majma of dry fruits and Shirin to shower us with her Blessings when we passed an Examination . It was she who celebrated our success , while our own parents were subdued ! She genuinely appreciated the value of Education . The whole Mohalla Felt bereft when the Ali jan Family left to move into their own Newly built House at Magarmal Bagh . “


( AUTAR MOTA )
  
 PS

(Prof Neerja Mattoo is an Eminent Academician and a distinguished scholar from Kashmir. She is a noted writer and has also translated several Poetry and Prose texts from Kashmiri into English. This post has been extracted from her write up in “ Miraas “ Issue July – December 2016 Page 81 ..REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MYTH AND REALITY OF BELONGING AND TOGETHERNESS With due thanks and regards to her )


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Saturday, March 18, 2017

ARTIST GOKUL DEMBI ( Born 1939 ) INTERPRETS SHIV SUTRAS THROUGH HIS PAINTINGS ..


                                                                    
                                                                            




                                                                             



                                           ( Autar Mota with  Shri Gokul Dembi )



 AND THE SHIV- SUTRAS ..
                                                                     






                                             ( BACK SIDE OF THE PAINTING )




ARTIST GOKUL DEMBI ( Born 1939 ) INTERPRETS SHIV SUTRAS THROUGH HIS PAINTINGS ..


Deny it , Disown it And not take the trouble of understanding it ; But the world at large knows that Kashmir’s Shaivism has played a dominant role In shaping Evolution of kashmir’s Heritage , Culture ,` Tradition , Social Behaviour , Customs , Intellectual Pursuits and Spirituality . And Vasugupta’s ( A Ninth Century Shaiva scholar ) 77 seven Shiv Sutras/ Maxims are the basis of what is known as kashmir’s Shaiv Darshana .

Vaugupta is believed to have lived somewhere near Mahadeva Mountain near Harwan in Kashmir. Shiv-Sutras with commentary of Kshemaraja have also been translated to English By Swami Lakshman Joo ( Book Shiv Sutras .The supreme Awakening) noted shaiva Scholar from kashmir ..
For my friends I quote some random Sutras /maxims interpreted by another Noted Scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma …
1


“ Consciousness is soul ” 



And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“Consciousness of immense mind, which is manifested by means of body, is the cause of feeling of being. Consciousness of the mind is soul.”

2

“Knowledge is bondage.”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means: 
“The immense mind, which is manifested by means of the body, adopts physical limitations to know the totality of its own consciousness and also the one who manifests it. Said in other words, it limits itself in a bond with the body for the sake of knowing itself.”

Swami Lakshman Joo in his Book “ Shiv Sutras .The supreme Awakening “ Interprets this sutra as under:
“ Knowing Differentiatedly is Bondage and not Knowing undifferentiatedly is also a Bondage “
3


“Visible is the body.”



And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :


“The entire visible world that lies within the realm of experiences of this body is the body of Him who manifests this all.”


4



“ Most mysterious is the mind.”


And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :
“ It is only mind that unveils the knowledge of hidden mysteries.”

5

“Mind is soul”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“A mind, which takes on a body, plants a seed of consciousness using the body as a womb, develops the foetus completely and causes the birth of infinitely developed consciousness through the medium of physical death, is the one that alone is the feeling of being.”


6


“Consciousness becomes sublime when imagination is mastered.”



And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“Imagination of a great person, who becomes time conscious is completely compliant to him. He has already realized that the most powerful force in this creation is imagination only and controlled force of imagination is called as will power. Practice also begins with imagination and it is only a process of developing confidence in one’s ability of doing something as per one’s imagination. Successful practice that takes place by applying controlled force of imagination is called as power. After becoming powerful, a yogi is established in sublime consciousness, the root of the consciousness that lies beyond sound and sight.”

7


"Effort is Achiever (Sadhak)."


And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

"Effort of the mind for knowing hidden secrets is itself called as achiever. Mind together with the seed of infinite consciousness solicits a body to know itself, as such the mind is the achiever that makes efforts to cause the birth of its own consciousness."



8

"Body is an offering."

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :



'Mind availing of a body, developing consciousness using the body as womb and then delivering consciousness through the medium of physical death – in this cycle the body is offered as a sacrifice.'



9
“ Senses become witnesses.”

And As per the Exposition of  Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma  it means :



“The great time — conscious person, on the stage of inner self of whom is this entire act of creation being played, all senses of such a great person become the witnesses of this omnipresent play and such time – conscious great person remains in bliss while witnessing everywhere this play of time.”


And here we have an artist who has interpreted all the 77 Shiv -Sutras through his paintings . Possibly the first Artist to do so. I am not very sure on this issue : But if any reader has some more to add , I shall be too pleased to know.He is Rainawari Born Gokul Dembi ( Born 1939 ). So Many things surfaced up so many doubts were cleared in my meeting with the artist some days back. Along with my friend Sudesh Raina , I dropped in at his residence SMRITI ( 196 Sector 2 Pamposh janipora ) ).  He was waiting .

“ I belong to Rainawari. The canals , Waterways ,Birds , Willows , Boats and the peaceful life that we had in that part of the valley is something that keeps haunting. In fact our house was surrounded by Water and canals on all sides . ”


“ I have been trained at Delhi Polytechnic / college of Art in various disciplines like painting , Sculpture, Graphics , Terracotta , Lithography , Etching , Soap stone etc. I have even worked on lathe machine .We had an all round training during those days . That was quite enriching . Further I spent two precious Years of my Life in Lucknow where I learnt so many things and even Furniture Designing . I did a national Diploma in Fine arts from Delhi Polytechnic / college of Art in 1963.”

“ I am an Associate member of Shilpi Chakra And Gallery -26 and have retired in 1997 as Incharge Fine arts Department Institute of Music and Fine arts J&K . I had joined this Institution in 1969. I am also connected with many Cultural Organization like SAMPRITI apart from being a member of Governing Body of Gandhi Memorial College ”


“ I don’t agree when Some writers or Art historians say that so and so person or artist Brought Modern Art to valley. Was our  valley without any Artistic Movement or Trend ? You see we had a definite school of Art that flourished over there since ancient times . It had a Continuity .See our ancient and medieval stone sculptures .We had a well defined school of stone sculpting . Yes for some reasons the Artists had to move out in different directions after 14th century . But then they did wonders wherever they went . Be it the The Pahari Miniature Art of Himachal  or the Gompa Paintings of Ladakh , contribution of kashmiris is immense , undeniable and visible. Why have we forgotten that Manaku , Nainsukh and the Great Master Shiv Raina ( All of them being prominent Pahaari artists ) are kashmiris ? Just Focus on our Thokur Kuth ( Pooja Room ). Didn’t we have the tradition of preparing paintings known as Gorra Treya? Most of our Pooja rooms had Miniature Paintings depicting Shiv- lagana , Shiva Meditating on kailasa or Shiva with Nandi , Parvati and Ganesha. And then you can also come to Papier Mache Art that came to Kashmir during the rule of Sultan Zain Ul Abdin . You can see colourful Flowers , Figures , Dragons etc done by our artisans . ”


“ I have taught so many students and I can not name any one So Many are well known names in the field of Painting and sculpting . It is a sheer happiness for a teacher to see his students flourishing .”


“ I have participated in many exhibitions In Delhi , Amritsar , Chandigarh apart from attending many LKA’s Biannual Art exhibitions in India and Abroad . So many Art camps held in our state and outside have been attended by me .”


We now relax over a cup of Tea . He takes us to the first floor of his House . Two rooms are packed with paintings . Paintings , Bronze sculptures and some wood work also confronts you as you move through the rooms of his house . And then he opens something serious. 77 Shiv sutras interpreted through paintings . He  has used  Human form in interpreting these Maxims believed to have been conveyed by Shiva Himself to Vasugupta . On the backside of every Shiv Sutra painting ,he has written the Sloka /Sutra with his own hand in Sanskrit .The Visual Impact of each sutra painting done by him is profound and out of the ordinary.
I am Informed that Noted Artists like B C Sanyal and J Apaswamy (who incidentally were his Teachers at Delhi College of art ) were of immense help to him during his early formative years .And then Manjeet Bawa and jagdish Dey were his colleagues at Delhi College of art.

His son is an engineer who works as a car designer with a leading Automobile company at Mumbai. We take permission to leave. Joined by His wife sheela ji , He comes to the gate of his house to see us off .

“ Keep coming . Next time we go to Triloke kaul sahib’s house . He lives in that house . Krishen Ji Langoo Lives over there , and that is where Jalali Sahib ( T K Jalali Musician and Vocalist ) Lives."


( Autar Mota )




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Thursday, March 16, 2017

A PHOTOGRAPH OF SHAKEEL BADAYUNI AND SAHIR LUDHAINAVI


                                                           
                          


SAHIR LUDHIANAVI WITH SHAKEEL BADAAYUNI

Shakeel was also a successful film Lyricist introduced to Bollywod by Composer Naushad .
The Naushad-Shakeel combination has been one of the finest collaboration in Bollywod.. Together they worked in 27 films.These films gave some of the finest songs and memorable melodies.These melodies were also the reason behind the commercial success of these films. Films like Aan (1952), Baiju Bawra (1952), Mother India (1957), Mughal-E-Azam (1960), Kohinoor (1960), Ganga Jamuna (1961) and Mere Mehboob (1963) come to mind at this moment. There are more films that can be added to this list..

Shakeel was equally a talented Gazal writer .

Mera Azm Itnaa Bulandh hai
Ke paraaye Sholon Ka Darr nahin .
Mujhe Khauf Aatish e Gul Se Hai
Yeh Kahin Chaman Ko Jalaa Na Dhe ..
Woh Uthay Hain le ke Khum o Suboo,
Array O “Shakeel” Kahaan Hai Tu..
Tera Jaam Lenay Ko Bazm Mein ,
Koyee Aur Haath Badaa na Dhe..
( Shakeel Badayuni )
In simple English I would say ………
Awe-inspiring is My Resolve ,
Unscarred it remains from fires
that others lit for me .
Yes ,The blaze within the flower ,
That is out to set the garden on fire ,
frightens me .
There she gets up
With the wine and the cup in her hand .
At this opportune moment ,
O “shakeel” ,
Where are you ?
In the gathering ,
someone else may put forward his hand
And take away the wine cup meant for you .

 Shakeel wote numberless GAZALS. some other popular Gazals of shakeel that come to my mind at the moment are ...

(1)Aey Mohabbat Teray Anjaam pe Rona Aaya
(2) Gham e Aashqui se keh do Raah e Aam Tak na Pahunche
(3)Meri Zindagi Hai Zaalim Teray Gham se Aashkaara
(4) Nazar Nawaaz Nazaaron Mein Jee Nahin Lagtaa
(5) Ye Aish o Tarab ke Matwaale Beqaar Ki Baatein kartay Hain

( Autar Mota )
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