Sunday, December 4, 2016




( Photo Autar Mota )

Loneliness and separation is the accepted internal set up while staying under one roof .And for the external world , smiles and display of togetherness could be a compulsion. Not all are courageous to break this monotony. Silence... Millions live with this contradiction.

My take is a Dohaa ( Two Line poem ) that I wrote on this subject..

Chhat ke neeche alagh alagh
Baahar eikum eik...
Aissay Jeevit Laakhon hain
Baat na Baahar Pheink...................................

(Autar Mota )

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( Photo reported to be clicked sometime in first quarter of 20th century)

Here under I reproduce what I have been told by two elderly Kashmiris residing in Srinagâr city (conveyed to me in confidence much before 1990...)

" Aissi ouss na du waqt Vaai Aasaan vaariyaa phiri. Myaan Maaej aa'ess subhaai vothaan ta daanuss tchhenaan livith. Kaanh agar ghar iyaahe ta tamiss baasihe asii Ronn ta pyov kar taam"

" Quite often , we had nothing to cook twice a day. That time my mother would get up early and give a mud wash to the chulhaa ( Cooking hearth) in the kitchen.Any person coming to the house would get an impression that we had burnt timber in the hearth and cooked our food"

"Kya kya Vanaai me kyaa kyaa chhu kormut. Su kaeti ouss du waqt reezik Aasaan. Kahwa ta s'ott gayo subhan.Buss shaaman raneiov Orr yorr Kenchha ya buthi pyaav.Magar myaan Maaej aa'ess bael yarbal baana ta thaal Hyaathh Dohaai vasaan. Chhalaan . Zunn ta Ronn ta vaetarovv."

" How much shall I narrate ? We have faced many odds .We never had sufficient grains to cook twice a day. Morning lunch we would have only kahwa and sattu ( roasted powder of grains ).Yes at evenings we would cook whatever was available . But everyday , my mother would go to river bank to wash the plates and utensils as if we cooked enough and ate it as well "

Be it abject poverty or present  turmoil, A kashmiri woman( Both Pandit and Muslim) suffered the most. Yet she proved herself to be strongest manager of situations , held the family values intact and made sincere efforts to carry forward the family in whatever best possible way she could do.

( Autar Mota)
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Saturday, December 3, 2016



Scholar Extraordinary..Dr K N Pandita. ( Born 1929 ).

( Mobile Photo.. Autar Mota )

Authority on Central Asian Culture, linguistics and History. Dr Pandita is a renowned Persian Scholar , Author , Translator and Historian.

Dr. Pandita hails from Baramulla , a town completely devastated in 1947 by Tribal raiders from across the Border . His family was also killed by the marauding raiders in gruesome violence.

The footnotes to the pages of " Baharistaan e Shashi" that he translated from Persian to English , are an ample proof of his knowledge, scholarship and study.

He lived in Iran for 4 years to complete his Ph.D. from University of Teheran. He remained Director of Centre of Central Asian Studies in University of Kashmir where from he retired in 1987. He is held in highest esteem by various Central Asian Academies / Universities. .

He has closely worked with so many scholars from Central Asia more specifically from Tajikistan.
His travelogue titled "My Tajik Friends" earned him the coveted Soviet land Nehru Award 1987.

Some prominent works of Dr. Pandita are:

1. Baharistan-i-Shahi, A Chronicle of Mediaeval Kashmir (translated from Farsi) 
2. Avicenna – An Introduction
3. Iran and Central Asia
4. Ladakh, life and culture (edited)
5. Hafiz of Shiraz (Urdu)
6. Tohfatul Ahbab, ( English translation of a 17th century history of Kashmir .)

Dr. Pandita has authored innumerable research articles that have been published in many foreign journals . He has also attended so many  international seminars and conferences  at different places in the world.
Saw him after many years at a marriage function today. My Best wishes for his long life and good health .
(Autar Mota)                         

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Friday, December 2, 2016



Like a snake charmer , we keep the dragon of existence busy. Play Music and the dragon is engaged . Music silences the snake . Should you stop the music , the snake  is immediately reminded of the  bite . And the bite destroys life's Music. So keep playing music to the Dragon..

For this photo and the thought , I  have written  a DOHAA ( Two liner poem ).

"Jeevan Kheil  Sa'peiray   Kaa
Been se chupp Hai Naag ,
Been Ruuki to Dank Lagaa 
Chaupat Jeevan Raag"

"This Living  ,  
 Nothing But a snake Charmer’s  amusement   ,
 Silencing the serpent  with the Musical  Pipe.
And discontinue  the Musical Pipe  ,
The snake leaps    to  sting ,
Spoiling the entire game show ."

( Autar Mota )

Photo source .. Wikimedia Commons / Jaipur Snake charmers .

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Thursday, December 1, 2016


                                               ( SUNITA RAINAPANDIT )

                 ( WITH HER HUSBAND ASHOK PANDIT A WILD LIFE PHOTOGRAPHER   )                 

    ( With The family of Gyanpeeth Awardee Kashmiri poet Prof. Rehman Rahi )


*Larz’aa Marnu’kk Chhum Me Zeiyn’naa Broanh Kyaa Vanaai

Myaani Baapat Kaanh Thuryaa Kodrathh Badal…
( Sunita Raina pandit )

( Listen O world ! Frightened I remain even before I am born ,

Will any person create a Different World for me ? )

It is heartening to see many young kashmiris reinventing a serious awareness and interest in their Mother tongue . I found many Educated and professionally qualified young faces in this field . They are Technocrats , Managers , Corporate Executives and students . Be it Poetry , Drama, Short story or any other mode of expression , there is no dearth of some dedicated Young people taking up this challenge . And I firmly believe that there needs to be an added admiration for the writers living in an alien culture yet trying to keep their roots intact . Trying to be a part of the centuries old heritage and culture even under most difficult circumstances . This group is sincerely trying to ensure that our Younger generation knows their past, Tradition and Language. A very tough task to create a reader base and spread. Not so smooth but not unsatisfying either . Kudos to this Young group. Kudos to their dedication and Zeal.

Sunita Raina Pandit ( Born 1967 ) happens to be one such a prominent writer in this new group. A dedicated house wife, Suneeta hails from Anantnaag District . Married to a wildlife photographer Ashok Pandit, Suneeta Raina Pandit writes in Hindi and kashmiri .She lives In Ghaziabad and has taken up the toughest challenge of writing Kashmiri Gazals . And that happens t be her forte . She writes on a Broader Canvas . A canvas that gives a Grand feel of her clear imagination, Mature feelings , soothing imagery and Sacred Nostalgia . Skillfully, She also brings forth Ache , yearning , parting ,Mysticism and Exile as subjects in some Poems .Her poems have been translated to English By two Eminent Translators ; Prof. R N kaul and Prof. Arvind Gigoo, Both accomplished writers .

While Suneeta Raina Pandit acknowledges the influence of Late Moti lal Saqi during her formative years, I found her style unique , distinct and her own . I am given to understand that she has Published 7 Books till date . Except Chinar Ke Aansoon ( Tears of Chinar Tree ) , which is a collection of her Hindi Poems , all other Books are collections of her Kashmiri Verses . Out of these six Books , “ LIGHT AND SHADE “ ( Published in 2013 ) and “ A WALK THROUGH THE MIST “ ( Published 2016 ) represent Translations of her kashmiri Gazals done by Prof. Arvind Gigoo and Prof. R N kaul respectively. I have both the Books with me . Worth reading and accordingly I recommend these books to all like minded friends and lovers of poetry .

About her Poetry , Well known poet Farooq Nazki writes;

" Sunita Rainapandit is an excellent Poetess - Simple in Diction , expression and style.The Innovation in style and Clarity of expression distinguishes her from her contemporaries . She is an excellent designer and architect of the modern kashmiri Gazal.A simple village Girl was thrown into the desert of Heat and Dust , away from the blossom of almonds and the flowing streams of kashmir.Sunita's poetry is full of contemporary sensibilities and sensitivities  , though deeply rooted in the traditional structural imagery. Her Metaphors make Exile a dream of glorious return so the atmosphere of her poetry is not haunted by Nostalgia   "

 A sample of her kashmiri Gazal is as under :


Ous ta Zun Beibi Vuhvun  Naar 
Vaav Logus  Tcho'l  tiekki   Lokchaar 
Zeiv Ditchnum Shaah Deitnum hei'nnaa
Larz'aa Dohaai Chhum Karzun Baar

( Ah  My  Childhood ! You remained  Hidden like a blaze within, 
And once you met the wind ,
Away you slipped from me .
He gave me tongue 
And also these Breaths ,
 Now Every day, 
 i   remain scared  under this heavy Debt .)


 Chashman Deitmuss Aaweil Khwaab 
Kadmunn Meeith Ta Shei'ri Gulaab 
Tuss Ma'taa Preichh'tuv Myaan Khabar 
Tuss ma'taa diy'tuvv Yuut Azaab

(  To his Eyes , I gave  the Finest Dreams .
 To his footsteps , Kisses . 
For his Headgear , i brought  Rose flowers.
 Seek Not My welfare from him
Put him not to so much  pain )

Sample Verses from Light And shade ( Published in 2013 ) Translated By Prof. Arvind Gigoo. Prof Gigoo has added a hue and aura to the original kashmiri verses .


I want one to hold my Heart 
To feel the beat ,
To touch my pain,
To open my chest,
To Stir me 
And Mumble a song 
An **Aubade 
A serenade.


My word is not apt .
The evening of the city is not apt.
The house is empty .
The walls of the cube are not apt.
The dream is not apt.
The child of thought is not apt.
Better to crouch in the corner .
The sign is defiled .
My brow shoots nothing.

I walked songs and guesses 

And entered the city .
I said to the Bird:
“ Sing spring “ 
I wiped the blood from the flowers .
I said to the neighbourly Friend:
“ walk History Thoughtfully “

( 4 )

I am the desire 
The preserver of 
The otherness of the heart

( 5 )

I desired 
Full moon night life
Without care .
I Was unable to gulp bitterness 
And sped.
I was sleepy and he said :
“ Dream is short.
Truth is peppery .” 
The spring is aflame .
I don’t Nourish the pain of the city .
Miniature shelter is my Miniature comfort in silence .
I don’t worry for Home in house .
Who Envies your Bigness ?
I am the worry of existence .

Sample Verses from A walk through the Mist ( Published 2016 ) translated by Prof. R N Kaul with great skill and precision. 


“ I have preserved hope
And wished myself well.
That is why 
Fragrance always hovers around me …”


Man ! A whimsical being,
As unreliable 
as the sun during monsoons.


So recent is the restlessness of my heart;
I have no time left to know your heart.
I drank By Pots ;
Had you been the cup-bearer,
It would make a difference .


I pray that my Upcoming Gazals 
be sung at places as under :
…Where corn stalks will Grow Green and golden .
….Where Fresh Aspirations will sound like music.
… Where Love pervades shoulder to shoulder …..

( Autar Mota )


* The opening lines to this post are from a kashmiri verse that Sunita Rainapandit wrote on “ Nirbhaya Gang Rape “

** Aubade is a song that is generally addressed to a beloved in the Morning. Serenade is the evening’s Love song.

Friday, November 25, 2016




(Photo Autar Mota )


 Kashmiri Poet  Rasool Mir  is extremely  skillful   when he touches Love and romance in his poetry  . He adds Kashmiri hue to it. By Hue I mean the  colour  of native springs ,  Gushing  streams , Flower filed  Gardens  , Meadows , Birds  and  friendly  animals  seen around hills and meadows of Kashmir  .  His Lovers do not live in isolation . They are   a part of   overwhelming nature  around them. I quote Rasool Mir  …

“Vaerinaag  i Nearaai Ba  Aa-ga’yey
Achhawal ke Posh Shaeri Laa-ga’yey
Vuchh Manzliss Munz Rachhuth Duchha Moori’yey
Valaai Kastoori’yey
Poe’r Maai Traav Neeri-yey    ..”

( Rasool Mir )

My simple english rendering would  be as under ......

At Verinaag Spring     ,
I will  go  to usher you in ,
Your  Forehead ,
 I  will  decorate with flowers from Achhabal Garden ,
In the cradle of My Bosom,
I will  hold you,
 My tender  Vine,  My Love !
Come over !
Come this way  You Kastoori ( Musk Deer ) ,
Put not your carefree feet in these meadows ..

( Avtar Mota )

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016




JAGDISH SWAMINATHAN ( 1928-1994) AND OCTAVIO PAZ  ( 1914-1998) ..

I feel privileged to have seen J. Swaminathan and heard him speak once . He looked like a Sadhu or Baba .No one could imagine him to be a painter .Long Unkempt hair, Chain smoker , Carefree lifestyle yet a fine conversationalist. He had enormous knowledge of world literature and Art. Later I came to know that he was among India's foremost modern artists. I was told that he was also associated with communists for some time but soon felt disillusioned and moved away.

He  went to The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland to study Modern Art .

Apart from painting ,Swaminathan wrote Poetry and established himself as a serious art Critic and a  writer.

Influenced by Rich Tradition of Tribal Art ,Swaminathan incorporated many  symbols such as the snake, the lingam, lotus, Trident (Trishula,), sun, Wild , Birds , Animals , Alphabets  ( Ka ), and the swastika, in his paintings. Quite often , he applied the pigment on to the canvas directly with his Fingers to achieve the desired effect. He also used Beeswax, sand, linseed oil and Natural Dyes  as the Mediums to Express his Creativity.

I vividly remember a news item that appeared in some leading National News papers in 2006.This news created sensation in the world of Art. At that time, Swaminathan's work 'Bird and Mountain Series' went for a whopping Rs.25 million at an Art Auction by Triveda.

J. Swaminathan as he was known world over, was a close friend of Mexican Poet and Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz ( 1914-1998 ) . Paz was an anthropologist , Art Critic and Philosopher apart from being an Influential Poet.

Most of us do not know that Paz was posted as Mexican Ambassador to India sometime in 1962 ( 1962-1968 ). Here in India ,he developed a deep and serious Interest in Indian Art , Literature , Buddhism and ancient Scriptures . All this influenced his Poetry later. Read it and you shall come to know what I say.
And Among various friends that Paz cultivated in India , J Swaminathan remained closest . Paz even wrote a poem dedicated to Swaminathan. Under the influence and encouragement of Octavio-Paz , Swaminathan started a journal on art called Contra 66.
Another person who became closest friend of Paz was Sham lal from Times of India.
 In an Interview , Swaminathan once said  : …

“ It would be a misguided belief to expect that an artist could change the whole society within his lifetime. In that case he should give up his work and devote himself solely to bringing about social transformation. Other than the marketplace where else does the artist have a dialogue with society? The easel and the painting will remain an artist's personal property and not the people's and that's the truth.”

“I had very strong romantic inclinations within me. I kept Jigar [Moradabadi] Saheb in high esteem. I even set out to write his biography....”

Sometime later a story on his Art and work at Bharat Bhawan Bhopal where he brought the Tribal art of Central India into contemporary focus .
From 1981 to 1990 , He was Director Roopankar ( Art Museum ) At Bharat Bhawan Bhopal .

( Autar Mota )

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