Wednesday, April 18, 2018

EMINENT PERSIAN SCHOLAR PADAMSHRI DR KASHI NATH PANDITA FELICITATED

                                                                                
                                                    ( The Listeners )
                                                               ( The Gathering )



                                       ( Dr K L Pandita  ( Right )with M L Saraf )
                                             ( Dr K N Pandita ( Left ) With Prof R L Shant )
                                                                               


                                                                               











PADAMSHRI  DR. KASHI NATH   PANDITA ….


HAMCHOO SABZA BAARHAA ROED IMM
( Rumi )

(Like Green Turf  , we keep coming Again and Again )

When some Jammu based   Social / Cultural Organizations decided to Honour Dr K N Pandita on 15.04.2018 , Sh Ramesh Hangloo from Radio Sharda, Shri I B Zutshi Convener PAAN-NYAAR and Shri Narinder Safaya Convener Dialogue also joined . My thanks to all the organizations for inviting me .

Dr K N Pandita Former Director Department of Central Asian studies , university of Kashmir needs no Introduction. He is a post graduate in Persian from Punjab university and Ph.D. in Iranian / Central Asian Studies from Teheran university . He is Author of many books and innumerable papers . Awarded Padamshri recently for his academic attainments , Dr. Pandita is a widely travelled man.
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.He has also been awarded Padamshgri by Govt of  India for his academics attainments .

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 .)


His conceptual clarity and Knowledge of Persian, Tajik and some other foreign languages is amazing. It was a treat to listen to so many things including troubled history of kashmir from him. He was erudite , scholarly and brilliant when he spoke .

While giving a detailed account of his travels in Central Asia, Dr Pandita presented some beautiful anecdotes relating to his stay in Iran, Brussels , Germany , Geneva , Uzbekistan , Tajkistan and other member Republics of erstwhile USSR .

Speaking about the Sun worship culture In ancient Iran and Central Asia , He said ;

“ In Tajik and Persian , Mithra means Sun. Tajik and Persian are closely connected languages and so is Pahalvi . Mithra is ancient Indo -Iranian God of the sun or Light . From India and Iran, this sun worship cult spread to ancient Rome and Spain in west. In Pahalvi, Mehr means sun. That is why the Shah of Iran would be called as Arya- Mehr or sun of the Aryans . You have so many remains of ancient Sun worship Places in Central Asia and some parts of Iran.”

At The end of his speech , I put him a straight question:

“ I have read that you were a favourite student of Renowned Iranian scholar Prof. Zabihollah Safa . Can you please elaborate something on this issue ?"

My question brought a smile on his face and he said:

“ When I went to Teheran for my doctorate , I was Lucky that Shri T N Kaul was our ambassador in Iran at that point of time. I met Shri kaul and that simplified so many things for me .I was entrusted to Prof. Safa . I had heard his name . Never in my wild dreams could I imagine him to be my Teacher for more than two years . He was highly respected scholar world over at that time. The VC of Teheran university opened the door of his car as a mark of respect. He was very serious , talked very less and a man of one word : But when he spoke , he was like cool , attractive and delightful flowing Niagara fall . When I met him,
He asked me to do my doctorate in “ Islamic Tassavuf and poet Bedil “. Surprised at being awarded such a tough subject , I said ,
“ Sir , This is difficult . I Have Not studied “Bedil” fully and tassvuf means very tough assignment . “
He felt angry and said in a louder tone ,
“ What do you mean ? If you Indians will not do it then who shall do it ? You must know that the contribution of Indians in development of Persian Literature is more than the Persians . You have to do it. "

There was no choice left. I knew Bedil was an ocean with no banks .There is absolute unanimity in Iran and central Asia that there has been no greater poet in Persian than Bedil.
I had to do the impossible . As time passed , Prof.Safa turned out to be the most Humane and helpful person. He arranged every help for me . He even extended my scholarship Tenure . He treated me like his own child. He was liberal in real sense of the term. He was an outstanding scholar of Iranian literature ,Islamic History and culture . Prof. Safa was a dispassionate critic of so many subjects. His usual audience at Teheran University included ambassadors of Arab countries apart from European scholars. . He had written a series of Books ( 5 volumes ) on Iranian Culture and civilization . This series was treated as reference book by many Farsi scholars . Rumi was his favourite . He would write one line from Farsi couplet on Board and then discuss it for full day. He would break the line into words and then discuss etymology of each word and then trace the origin of the word in latin , German and Greek . Amazing Scholarship .Whatever I am , it is all due to Dr Safa . I owe him everything. My Guru , My Teacher and my Guide in Life , learning and so many other fields. After the fall of Shah and the Islamic Revolution , he left Iran and moved to Germany . I always wanted to see him . Some years back, I was in Germany and went to see him and I got a shock of my life. He was bed ridden and had memory loss due to Alzheimer disease . So painful for me. The debt remained unpaid. What could be done .I have dedicated My Book Tahfatul Ahbab ( Translation from Persian to English) to him. "



( Autar Mota )


PS
(1)
Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil had Uzbek ancestry .His ancestors came to India and settled over here. He was a renowned Persian poet from Indian Subcontinent..He lies buried in Delhi.
(2)
Prof. Zabihollah Safa (1911 -1999 ) was a scholar and professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at the University of Tehran.He was a man of clear thinking and profound scholarship. He wrote countless articles and authored several books apart from translating many books into Persian. His contribution to the field of Iranian studies and his seminal and comprehensive works on the history of Persian literature remains unmatched to this day. He was also a regular contributor to the Encyclopaedia Iranica. He was a master of several languages including french. He died as an Exile in Germany.
(3)
Avicenna was a Persian polymath who is held in high respect in Iran and Central Asia. He was one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, mathematicians, thinkers and writers from Islamic world. He was influenced by Greek philosophy , medicine and logic .He has influenced many scholars and medicine practitioners of Arab world that include Ibn Batuta and Al Biruni.He died in early 11th century.




CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

NISAR AZIZ AN UNKNOWN ARTIST FROM KASHMIR

                                                                              
                                                           ( Oil On Canvas  By Nisar Aziz )
                                                                       ( Nisar Aziz )

NISAR AZIZ ( Nisar Aziz Beg )
Chinkral Mohalla Habba kadal ( Srinagar ) has produced two bright Artists . One being G R Santosh ( who rose to eminence on National Scene ) and another Nisar Aziz Beg popularly known as Nisar Aziz.
Though Nisar Aziz was a self taught man , Yet he contributed in his own way towards development of Modern Art Scenario of our state.
Nisar Sahib passed away recently ( Feb 2018 ) in USA . I believe many people have not heard his name . Media too left him unnoticed . Not much came up on his death in News Papers .
Padamshri Pran Kishore kaul Informed me :
“History of Modern Art In Kashmir is incomplete if we don’t make mention of NIsar Aziz and Ghulam Mohd shad .They have also contributed in their own way . They were part of the carwaan that emerged post 1947 on the horizon of Art in kashmir valley. Nisar was a neighbour of G R Santosh . He learnt by observation alone . He would visit drawing Masters or Artists during his youth to learn and pick up basics . He would observe , watch and then try himself.”
Prof .Arvind Gigoo Informed me:
“ He would come to our house frequently . I remember my Grandmother had a special love for him. Whenever she cooked fish , She would first set aside two pieces for Nisar Aziz. He would come to learn Art from my uncle Dwarka Nath Gigoo . My Uncle was a poet, artist and a musician . So many people from the field of Art , Literature and music would come to him. Nisar Aziz was like a family member for us. He probably would also go to D N Wali to learn. My uncle had a special affection for Nisar as he was soft spoken , gentle and highly obedient . He was very serious towards learning. In fact we had one huge painting of Nisar Aziz that he had gifted to us and that was prominently hung in the corridor . Alas ! we lost that in the turmoil.
My uncle was a university teacher but later he moved to Gandhi College. Those were the days when appointments could be made on the basis of talent alone and not Certificates  And he had not to offer as he  a was not a matriculate .My uncle requested Pandit Shiv Narain Fotedar ( Secretary or president of the Managing committee ) and got him appointed as Art Instructor in Gandhi Memorial college . He was required to assist B.Ed. students in preparation of Charts and Models . Looking at his Talent in Drawing and ignoring his requisite Educational qualifications, Shiv Narain Fotedar sanctioned him a Professor’s pay . That was certainly something unusual .Since that day he came to be known as Professor Nisar Aziz. He was a thorough gentleman and a humble person . He was also connected with some local Drama club / Theatre . I don't remember. He once told me about his plans to go to Bombay for exhibiting his work at Jahangir Art Gallery. I am not sure if he visited Bombay later."

Shri Bansi Raina informs :

" Nisar Aziz  was a close friend of mine and a member of my theatre club Rangmanch.We have attended idd lunches at his house so many times that i do not have a count.Nisar worked in Field survey Organisation once along with Lassa Koul of DD... Akhtar Mohiddidin..Mohan Charagi and others .He was a self taught painter and we attended his exhibition in Bombay in early eighties.I did not know he had passed away. His house at Chinkral Mohalla Srinagar  was in the vicinity of  G R Santosh's house.MK Swaminetri and  Theatre Personality ML Saraf were also his neighbours."





Nisar Aziz held many solo Exhibitions in srinagar . One such Exhibition held inside Hotel Broadway was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohd Abdullah . He also held an Exhibition  of his paintings at Lalit kala Academy New Delhi.


He passed away in California on 12the Feb 2018. He was living with his son in USA.
.

Peace be to his soul.
( Autar Mota )


 Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Friday, April 13, 2018

REMEMBERING ARTIST SOM NATH KHOSA

                                                                            
                                                                                   
 (LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI JI INAUGURATING PAINTING EXHIBITION OF SOM NATH KHOSA IN NEW DELHI.1958.....LEFT TO RIGHT .. INDIRA JI, SHASTRI JI , PREM NATH DAR AND S N KHOSA ...... SH DAR IS EXPLAINING SOMETHING TO SHASTRI JI WHILE SOM NATH KHOSA STANDS CLOSE BY. PHOTO SOURCE JAG PRAKASH )
                                   
                                    (sardar Patel painted by som Nath khosa)
             (GANDHI JI VISITING CALCUTTA JAIL BY SOM NATH KHOSA)

        (GANDHI JI WITH KHAN ABDUL GAFFAR KHAN BY SOM NATH KHOSA)
                    ( GANDHI JI IN CONVERSATION BY SOM NATH KHOSA)


                                                ( GANDHI JI  BY SOM NATH KHOSA )


 SOM NATH  KHOSA ( 1912-1983)

Som Nath khosa was a Lahore based kashmiri speaking Commercial Artist who had come to valley to collect material for writing a book during the troublesome period of partition of the country. This assignment was entrusted to him by the then Punjab University Lahore. His studio cum house was looted and burnt by rioters when he was in srinagar. He stayed in kashmir for a few years . In Kashmir, He got associated with Cultural Congress and headed its Art desk. He was senior to all artists that were visible on the scene at that time. When Gandhi ji died , he prepared a massive portrait of Mahatma that was displayed near Palladium cinema in Lal chowk.The  portrait was drawn by him  hurriedly at night under candle light as the power supply from Mohra power house had not been restored to srinagar city. The power house was damaged by Tribal raiders in October 1947.  Palladium chowk was the centre of all political and cultural activities during those days. Crowds came to pay homage to Gandhi ji at that chowk . He also did a huge painting depicting Sheikh Mohd Abdullah riding a horse and arriving to dispel pain and suffering.


Pandit Som Nath Khosa learnt the te unique of realist oil pIntibg from some British Artists .For about 25 years, he continued to paint Gandhi ji and events associated with Mahatama .

Prior to 1947, Som Nath Khosa was a successful commercial Artist of Lahore. Staying in kashmir for about 3 or 4 years, khosa finally moved to Delhi . He is best known for drawing portraits of Gandhi ji and other National leaders and most of his work is on display in Institutions connected with Mahatama either in India or abroad.He was highly impressed by Gandhi ji as a person as also with his mission.
A highly respected Artist , khosa. Passed on his Artistic legacy to his Brilliant son Kashmiri khosa
..Kashmiri khosa lives in Delhi and is an artist of National stature .

(Autar Mota)


PS

For inputs .My special thanks to Padamshri Pran Kishore Kaul. Padamshri Pran Kiahore Kaul is a store house of knowledge relating to development of Music, Art , Theatre and Drama in kashmir post 1947. Any story about Development of Drama ,Theatre and Progressive Writers movement in kashmir is incomplete if it does not make clear mention of his contribution.

 Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Monday, April 9, 2018

KAIFI AZMI REPAID THE DEBT TO HIS BIRTH PLACE ..MIJWAN....

                                                                            





 KAIFI AZMI WITH HIS FAMILY..A DEBT REPAID TO HIS BIRTH PLACE ..MIJWAN....
A brain hemorrhage on 8th February 1973 paralysed kaifi sahib. It rendered his left hand and left leg incapacitated for life. He did not give up. Sometime around 1993 , Leaving the comforts of Mumbai , He decided to move to his native village Mijwan in Azamgarh Eastern UP. It was an unknown village with no development or even roads . Mijwan is now known because of Kaifi sahib’s untiring efforts to uplift the village. He set up an NGO for the Development of the village with focus on empowerment of women and girl child ,

Shabana Azmi Informs us :

" Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS) is an NGO founded by my father in 1993 that works for the empowerment of villagers in a small village, Mijwan in Azamgarh UP where he was born. My father believed that India's remarkable economic progress can only be meaningful if it reaches out to rural India, where 80 percent of the population lives but is denied access to opportunity.

After he passed away on 10th May 2002, I have, along with my godchild Namrata Goyal, taken on the task of carrying my father's dream forward by steering MWS which runs:

Kaifi Azmi High School for girls
Kaifi Azmi Inter College for girls
Kaifi Azmi Computer Training Center
Kaifi Azmi Sewing and Tailoring Center

Last year, Our NGO constructed a bridge over river Kunwar in Mijwan to connect about 40 villages

.Mijwan is so small – with a population of just 540 people – they didn’t know what a pressure cooker was . Then Kaifi saheb came , The first thing he thought of was providing education to the children here and that’s how the school came up. My mother Shaukat, she used to sit around with the women of the village and ask them their problems. And then they would perform skits to educate the people. That’s how slowly she conditioned their minds to send their children to school. Later on, when the sewing school came up, I literally went from house to house to ask people to send their daughters-in-law to learn sewing and embroidery. And when they started getting money in return, others followed suit. So in a way it’s funny to see how money changes perceptions. The women are also happy because their position in the families has changed so much. They are treated at par with their brothers and husbands. And for me, it’s heartening to see that.

Kaifi Azmi established a Computer Training Centre, inaugurated by H.E. Suraj Bhan, the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh, and Member of Parliament Amar Singh who had contributed to the centre through his MPLAD funds.

We are affiliated with NCPUL (M/o Human Resource Development Govt. of India) & DOEACC Society, Chandigarh (An autonomous body of Dept. of Information & Technology, M/o Communication & Information Technology, Govt. of India) and are conducting courses like CABA MDTP and CCC for both, girls and boys."

About his Brain Hemorrhage , Kaifi sahib wrote in his poem "Zindagi"..

“Phat gayi nas koyee shiryanon mein ḳhuun jam sa gaya
Ho Gaya zaḳhmi dimaaġh
Aisa lagta tha ki bujh jaayega jalta hai jo sadiyon se chiraaġh
Aaj Andhera Meri nas nas mein utar jaayega
ye samundar jo badi der se tufaani tha
aissa tadpa ki meray kamre ke andhar Aaya
Aatay aatay vo meray vastay amrit laaya
Aur lehra ke kaha
shiv ne ye bhejvaaya hai lo piyo aur
Aaj shiv ilm hai Amrit hai amal
ab vo asaan hai jo dushvaar tha kal
Raat jo maut ka paiġhaam liye aati thi
Beevi bachchon ne meray
us ko khidki se paray pheink diyaa
Aur jo vo zahr ka ik jaam liye aati thi
us ne vo ḳhud hi piyaa
subah utri jo samandar mein nahaane ke liye
Raat ki laash mili paani mein......”

( Autar Mota )

PS

Kaifi sahib is the only poet who has used a shloka on ""Agni " from Rigveda in his poem Zindagi.i quote..

'Agni Mata meri agni Mata

sookhi lakdi ke ye bhari kunde

jo teri bhent ko Le Aaya huun

un ko sweekar kar aur aise dhadhak

ki machalte sholay kheench lein josh mein

suraj ki sunehri zulfein

aag mein aag mile

jo amar kar de mujhe

aissa koyi raag mile''

He also narrates Siddhartha's ( Buddha 's) renunciation of the world in this poem.




Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SHIV SUTRAS OF RISHI VASUGUPTA OF KASHMIR

                                                                                

                        


KNOWLEDGE IS A BONDAGE ...
 ( Photo Autar Mota ...A painting depicting Shiv Sutra no 2 by Artist Gokul Dembi )

SHIV-SUTRAS OF RISHI VASUGUPTA OF KASHMIR

So much discussion. So many Scholars . So many Books . A Proud Cultural Heritage of kashmiris in General and Pandits in Particular. I tried to know it. Tried to read some Books . Read Articles and heard discourses . Could not Grasp Much as no person could present it in a simple and Layman’s language ; A language that a beginner could grasp.

And then of my own efforts, i came to Rishi Vasugupta’s Shiv Sutras .

Generations of kashmiris shall remain indebted to Rishi Vasugupta for presenting something Great , Simple , Philosophical and mind Boggling through his 77 Shiv-sutras ( aphorisms). I Read them one and all. It took me three days to understand the enormous Philosophical dimensions of some Sutras that come in just one line. Most of us have not come to kashmir’s Shaiva-Darshana from this way. At least I can say for myself.

I quote Ten Sutras …

(a)

Knowledge is bondage.
(b)

Origin is the basis of knowledge.
(c)

Only awakening is knowledge.

(d)

Most mysterious is the mind.
(e)

There is a feeling of one being like Shiva.

(f)

Body is an Offering .

( g)

Mind is the soul.

(h)

Consciousness becomes sublime when imagination is mastered.

(j)

Existence is eternal but life has end.

(j)
— Concentration into the origin of creation causes knowledge of why it is destroyed and created again.

I leave it to readers to think about various dimensions of these simple one line sutras ..
Enter the world of kashmir’s Shaiv Darshana through these Sutras .

( Autar Mota )

PS

Sage Vasugupta (~ 800 – 850 CE) was the author of the Shiva Sutras, an important text of the Advaita tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, also called Trika..It is believed that these Sutras were revealed to the sage somewhere near Present day Harwan garden .

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

S C SHARMA AND SONS..AN OLD TAILORING SHOP IN JAMMU

                                                                                     







S C SHARMA AND SONS Tailors
Link Road / Shastri Nagar Jammu
( Established 1952)

I have been visiting this shop since last 30 Years. I have seen the tidy senior Sharma ji ( at the Link Road shop ) in a Tweed Coat and Raymond's  (Grey woolen ) Trousers with a Tie and cap on his head guiding his two sons . Talking to him was always enriching. He knew anybody and every body in politics, Trade and Bureaucracy . During Darbar Move, he had many Bureaucrats as his customers. If Ghulam Rasool And Sons (Residency Road Jammu ) specialized in stitching Coats and three piece suits , Sharma ji had mastery over Shirt, Night suit, Trousers, Safari suits , Kurta Pyjama stitching in Jammu. For Night suit, Trousers and Shirt stitching ,this shop still enjoys a good reputation in Jammu city. 

Senior Sharma ji is no more now. The brothers have separated . Apart from Link Road , they have set up a shop at Shastri Nagar Just opposite to Dudhadhari Temple. At both the shops, they have maintained their stitching Standard.Both the brothers stitch Men's suits and trendy Fashion apparel. Link road shop is more into Fashion and trendy apparel stitching and business .

  Although both brothers are equally  skillful  and trained,  I prefer Shastri Nagar shop. I find more compatibility with the owner of this shop. 

No match for the shirt ,Kurta Pyjama, Trousers and Night suit ( Rs600/= Current charges with Piping) that he stitches  .  Not in the entire state. He stitches  Men's suits and    Sherwanis as well. Try once and you will come to him again and again.

Both the brothers are authorized stockists and sellers of Reid And Taylor Unstitched Fabric / clothing.
(Autar Mota)






 Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

DR. RAHI MASOOM RAZA , MAHABHARATA AND KASHMIR

                                                                                  




Dr RAHI MASOOM RAZA ( 1927-1992)


THE STORY BEHIND HIS WRITING MEGA SERIAL MAHABHARATA FOR DOORDARSHAN...



"I am the son of three mothers.Nafisa Begum  ( Biological Mother) , AMU and River Ganga.i gift this book "Scene 75 " to them. Nafisa Begum is dead.I can't remember her very clearly. But the other two mothers are alive and I remember them well."


Dr Rahi Masoom Raza.



Kunwarpal Singh, Dr Rahi 's friend and colleague at Aligarh Muslim university informs :


" His Decision to move to Mumbai was triggered by his marriage to Nayyar Jahan in 1965. Nayyar Jahan was already married and despite opposition , he went ahead with his decision to marry her. A full blown scandal erupted at AMU by this marriage and Dr Rahi lost his job. His rivals at AMU got a big excuse. They were opposed to his attempts of introducing Hindi courses in the Urdu Department and Vice Versa.


In Bombay , life was tough. His friends Kamleshwar and Dharamvir Bharati did support him initially. They published his work in the Hindi Magazines that they edited and ensured advance payments to him. Raj khosla was impressed by his style and work.He engaged him for his films as script cum dialogue writer. 

Rahi  had a  mastery over urdu and Hindi .That proved of immense help. Soon BR Chopra brought him in his camp . When BR Chopra requested Rahi sahib to write TV Script and dialogues for Mahabharata, he refused as he had no time. Chopra sahib went ahead with a press conference wherein he declared that Dr Rahi Masoom Raza shall be writing dialogues and script for his Mega TV Serial Mahabharata. Rahi Sahib felt surprised and Chopra sahib was flooded with letters that said:
"Were All hindus dead that you had to give this task to a Muslim? "


Chopra sahib forwarded all these letters to Rahi sahib.


Rahi sahib was a real Ganga Putra or a Ganga kinare wala born at Ghazipur. Next day , he went to Chopra sahib's Bungalow and said to him:


"Chopra Sahib ! I will write the Mahabharata. I am a son of the Ganga . Who knows the civilization and culture of India better than i do? "


His son Nadeem Khan (Cinematographer) informs:


" Writing Mahabharata took it's toll in his health.He aged fifteen years in that time. He read a lot of scriptures and was always stressful. He could not afford to go one step wrong. He was a Shiva-Bhakt.After Mahabharata ,he wanted to script " Om Namah Shivaye" ; But that was not to be.He died at 65 . Looking at the grand success of Mahabharata, I urged him to charge higher fee for his work but he always refused . Everyday we had ten or fifteen people at the Dastarkhwaan. He was known to write films free and sometimes just for a Paan."



Dr Rahi belonged to an aristocratic family from Ghazipur. His brother Dr Moonis Raza was among the founder chairman of JNU and VC of Delhi University . Another brother Prof. Mehndi Raza headed Geography Department in AMU. His fourth brother was Ahmed Raza , an Economist who worked with IMG in Washington. Dr Rahi's sister Suraiya did her Doctorate in History.


It was Rahi sahib's idea to use SAMAY (Time) as narrator of the epic Mahabharata on TV. He coined new words like Pitashri and Matashri that became so popular as if the ancient characters had actually spoken them.


He was a poet, playwright, Novelist , Film Script and Dialogue writer, linguist who had command over Hindi, Urdu,Sanskrit and English .His TV Serial " Neem Ka peid" was also quite popular in entire length and breadth of the country . His book Aadha Gaon is his finest contribution to the corpus of Indian Literature.So are his other works like Topi Shukla, Ous ki boond and Katra Bi Aarzo.He also wrote Himmat Jaunpuri(1969) ,Dil Ek Saada Kagaz(1973) and Chhote Aadmi ki Badi kahaani (on the life and sacrifice of PVC Havalidar Abdul Hamid ). He also compiled a book of his Nonfiction writings under title"Lagtaa Hai Bekaar Give Hum".


He wrote scripts and Dialogues for many films. Dialogues for "Me Tulsi teray Aangan ki "and "Mili" won him prestigious Filmfare awards.


As young boy ,he fell victim to Tuberclousis and had to spend about 6 years in Nainital and kashmir.


Although , he never joined communist Party of India, he had all his sympathies for the left and underprivileged. He was a liberal and open minded person.Due to attack of polio in childhood , he had a little limp.



KASHMIR  CONNECTION



Both brothers   Dr Moonis Raza and  Dr Rahi Masoom  Raza  had strong links with Kashmir . Dr Moonis Raza was in Kashmir for more than a decade . He served as Principal Regional Engineering College Srinagar  and also as VC Kashmir university . So many students and Teachers  remember him well. Dr Rahi  Masoom  Raza was also in Kashmir when he Contracted Tuberculosis. He made so many friends from amongst the literary and Medical Fraternity . Dr Tahir Mirza from Chest Diseases Hospital was his closest Friend.  So were many writers , Leaders , artists , Theatre Artists from kashmir became his close Friends  . He kept coming to Kashmir repeatedly. Infact his wife Nayyar Jahan had also lived in Kashmir  for more than two years .


I quote from comments of some  friends to a Facebook  post that I wrote on Dr Rahi Masoom Raza yesterday .



Noted English writer and Translator Prof. Arvind Gigoo writes :


“He has come to our place a number of times. My uncle-cum-brother Dwarka Nath Gigoo Rajkamal, Kishori Kaul and Dr Rahi Masoom Raza were patients of  tuberculosis. Rajkamal Gigoo and Rahi Masoom Raza spent some time in Tangamarg. Sanatorium. Raza stayed with us for many days. Raza and Rajkamal Gigoo were same age. In Kashmir , He met all Hindi writers. Toshkhani, Pushp, etc. I mean father of Dr Shashi Shekhar Toshakhani. Dr Tahir Mirza was his closest friend in Kashmir. Dr Mirza of CD Hospital was an agnostic. He never charged fees from any patient. Treated all patients free. We used to meet often. He was married to one Sujata Mirza. She was a Shaivite. She had worked for BBC. I still remember her radio talk On Growing Old Gracefully written in Queen's English. She read it like an English lady. Deeply religious. A remarkable conversationalist.”


Shri Basi Raina from Radio Kashmir  Informs :


“ In 1978 ,while on Rangmanch  Theatre tour to Bombay,i had the privilege of calling on Dr Masoom Raza with late Ali Mohd. Lone at his residence .Lone sahib  knew him well and i wanted Rahi sahib's help for procuring adds for my souvenir. To my surprise he knew every one connected with literature in Kashmir and enquired about M Y Teng...Kamal Ahmad Siddique ..Dr  Tahir Mirza of CD Hospital and others. He also gave me letter for Salim of Salim Javed team for help.He had a limp and was a fantastic conversationalist.”



Prof. Nusrat Andrabi  Ex. Principal Women ‘s college Srinagar informs :


“ I know the family very well. Nayar Jahan or Nayar  Apa was the grand daughter of Sir Aftab Ahmad of Aligarh. She was married to Col Yunus khan of Rampur, brother in law of  Nawab of Rampur. Col. Yunus Khan was posted  to Kashmir and he took up  his private family residence at   Magharmal  Bagh , near my parental house. I was a daily visitor to their house .  This is 1963-65. A great pleasant couple, very loving and cultured. Then after a few years they went to Aligarh.I was in touch  with them .  Later  Nayar Apa left Col. Saheb and married Rahi Masoom Raza. His poem 1857 was very popular those days.”


Well Known Journalist Rahul Jalali son  of  late  P N jalali ( Journalist ) and freedom fighter  Informs  :


“ Moonis Raza and my father were both interned in jail in Delhi before 47, subsequently, they spend two years in Eastern Europe together. My father met my mother in Europe and they married. When I was two years old my mother spend six months in Raza household completing her MA in Library Science in Aligarh. During this period I was looked after by Moonis and Rahi's sister's. I also remember some of the "great escapades" of Rahi. During my growing up years, Rahi often used to visit Srinagar and stay with Jalali and Sumitra Behen  as the Raza brothers used to call my mother. Lost touch with Rahi when he shifted to Mumbai (then Bombay). But Moonis I kept in touch with till his last days. “




   I end this post with his poetic will ....

 
(Will And Testament)


My art is dead,

My friends

My skin has turned blue,

My friends

Take me to the Ganga in Ghazipur,

Let me sleep in her lap.

But it could be that I die far from my homeland

So this is my will

If a little river flows in that foreign city ,

Take me there

Let me sleep in her lap

And tell her

That this son of Ganga is now Hers.

(Rahi Masoom Raza)

So long so much.


(Autar Mota)



PS



Source Books for this post ..


(1)



"Scene 75" ..by Dr Rahi Masoom Raza translated to English by Poonam Saxena. Poonam Saxena is the National Weekend Editor of The Hindustan Times. She has also translated Dr Dharamvir Bharati's 1949 Novel" Gunahon Ka Devta" to English.

A Short , crisp and fascinating novel  and equally perfect Translation  .Set in Bombay of 1970 , The novel contains Stories of stragglers , sleazy producers and film obsessed social climbers. Raza gives a kaleidoscopic view of film world and the hypocrisy as he rips off  many curtains . The central Character of "Scene 75" is Ali Amjad,a struggling film script writer from Benaras surrounded by the distrustful and scheming Characters, crooked producers, narrow-minded middle class social Climbers and pushy clerks. You sympathize with Ali Amjad ( who is possibly Dr Rahi Masoom Raza himself) .


(2)

Rahi Masoom Raza by Kunwarpal singh ( Sahitya Academy 2005)..


Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.