Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SARDAR PATEL , KAIFI AZMI AND SOMNATH TEMPLE


                           


                                                                             



SARDAR PATEL  RE-ESTABLISHED THE GLORY  OF  SOMNATH..

" Wahshat-e-Buut  shikani dekh ke hairaan hoon mein,
Buut -parasti mera sheva hai ki insaan hoon mein,
Ekk na Ekk buut  to har ekk dil mein chhupa hota hai,
uskay  sau naamon mein ekk naam khuda hota hai.." 

( Kaifi Azmi)


Dumbfounded i am ,
Looking at  the cruelty of  the idol breaker ,
A human being that i am ,
My profession is to worship .
Every heart conceals
at least
one image ,
One idol within,
Among hundred names
given to this idol,
For sure,
One name happens to be
none other than  "GOD"...
This is how poet kaifi Azmi  reflects on the continuity between God and the image of God for man and also criticizes  the destruction of SOMNATH  while   concluding  his well known poem' Somnath' ...


SOMNATH...

Amitabh Bachan's voice has been used in the laser show   held everyday inside  Somnath  Temple ( 8 PM to 9PM ) . As the huge   laser images fall on the temple, the voice reverberates in the evening's silence and overpowers the roar of Arabian sea ,on the shores of which this grand Temple in located. Amitabh ,the po Grand ambassador of Gujrat Tourism  informs:
"SOMNATH  finds mention in Skand Purana. Mehmood of Gazani attacked somnath on 6/1/1026 AD.He broke the Shivlinga  and snooped down on the treasures .He carried  with him  horse loads of diamonds, gold, silver and pearls and about a  Ton of Gold and the  huge bell of gold  dangling from the shikhra  .The temple was looted , plundered and demolished seven times thereafter by Alla ud Din khilji, Mehmood Begda, Ahmed Shah ,  Jaffar  khan,  Mehmood  Tughlak ,Aurangzeb and Portugese Governor of Diu .Every person came to Somnath with an  intention of plunder.

Mehmood of Gazni remained in somnath for 18days  plundering, looting and killing . Fighting against his mighty soldiers , about 50,000 unarmed  Shaivites laid their life. So did  500 Nartakis (Female Dancers) attached to SOMNATH   sacrifice their llife. " 

And history records When  forces of Raja Bhoj of Malwa and Raja Veesal Dev Chauhan of Ajmer  reached Somnath to join the  fight against the invaders  , Mehmood of Ghazni   had left the town  with  loot and plunder .

"SOMNATH DARSHAN " ,   A book on Somnath published by Megha publication Ahmedabad and  sold at every shop in Somnath town  mentions:

" In 1788, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar  the Maratha Queen  of Indore built a temple near the old Somnath after Alla Ud Din Khilji had demolished it. She kept the shivlinga in the basement of this temple shifting some idols from the demolished temple.Somnath is first among 12 Jyotirlingas of India. Since ancient times, Somnath also known as Prabhas Pattan has been an ancient pilgrimage centre due to Triveni a confluence ( Sangam)  of rivers Hiranya, Kapila and Swarasati . The temple was in demolished state in 1947 when India became free. this a It was sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who took a solemn Pledge to reconstruct  a Grand  Somnath once again . In this task, He was helped by Sri KM Munshi, Rajmata of Jamnagar  and Sri Digvijay Singh former Raja of Saurashtra  . The Jyotirlinga stone slab or Brahm shila  was located from the debris and the temple and Jyotirlinga was put on it. On 11th May 1951,  Dr Rajendra Prasad the then President of India personally came to.  Somnath to      re-established the Holy Shivlinga . "

As you enter SOMNATH, history of which is  successive plunder cum demolition and then  reconstruction, you feel there could have been no better location for the Temple  .Located on the shores of Arbian sea,  the reconstruction of SOMNATH was started  with Gandhi Ji's  moral support (    who wanted  that  the temple  should come  up from public contributions)       by  Sardar Patel. The reconstructed SOMNATH   signifies application if some soothing Balm to thousand year old  civilisational  bruises caused by  plunder and destruction  of  Mehmood of Ghazni . After the death of SardarPatel  , KM Munshi, a minister in the Cabinet of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,  took over SOMNATH  reconstruction and completed it in 1951.

   Just outside SOMNATH complex ,   Hamirji gohil's cenotaph  greets you. Hamirji Gohil, The 16 year old  brave newly married chieftain of Lathi,  sacrificed his life in 1299 defending  SOMNATH from the attack of Alauddin Khillji . Inside  the  temple complex , an impressive  statue of Sardar Patal facing Somnath greets you . Presently , No camera or electronic devices are allowed inside the complex.

And from books and people ,  i came to know  that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was neither happy with Sardar Patel's initial  initiative   nor with KM Munshi's subsequent efforts  towards   reconstruction of   SOMNATH. Through an official communication, he had  even  suggested to Dr Rajendra Prasad  the then President of  India to dissociate himself with inauguration of   Shivalinga installation ceremony at SOMNATH. None paid  any heed to Nehru. 

On 11 May 1951, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, while presiding over the opening ceremony of reconstructed SOMNATH  gave a stirring speech . He said:

" The physical symbols of our civilisation may be destroyed, but no Arms, Army or King could destroy the bond that the people had with their culture and faith. Till that bond remained, the civilisation would survive. ......... Somnath was the symbol of economic and spiritual prosperity of Ancient India . "

Probably  association of    President of the Republic  and his own  cabinet ministers  leading the reconstruction of Somnath clashed with  Pa dit Jawaharlal Nehru's  Secularism . Pandit Jawaharlal   Nehru never visited SOMNATH.


(Avtar Mota)

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I AM ALWAYS LATE

                         
 
AS USUAL , I AM ALWAYS LATE........

Hamesha der kar deta huun main

Zaruri baat kehani ho Koyee  vaada nibhaana ho
Ussay  avaaz deni ho Ussay vaapas bulaana ho
 .........................Hamesha deir kar deta huun mein

Badalatay  mausamon ki sair mein Dil ko lagaana ho
Kissi ko yaad rakhnaa ho Kissi ko bhool ja ana ho
 ……………………………..Hamesha deir kar deta huun mein

(  Poet....Munir Niazi )

As usual , I am always late ..

To convey something urgent ,
To uphold my promise   ,
To call you and ask you to  return ,
........................................As usual , I am always Late…

To enjoy a pleasant  walk during season’s change
To remember someone  or keep  someone  else out of mind ,
………….. As usual , I am always late…

I love this poem.I have taken the liberty  of adding two lines from my side to this great poem.Need to be excused.
 Here is my addition.

:Galat thaa mein'  ye  chhoti baat  ja uss ko sunaana ho
Jo bigadi hai na kehne se ussay keh kar banaana ho.....

...........Hamesha deir kar deta huun mein

( Avtar Mota )


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Monday, March 18, 2019

AMRITSAR AND SUPER TALENTED ACTRESS DEEPTI NAVAL

                       

AMRITSAR   AND  DEEPTI  NAVAL


 Call it Guru ki Nagri or simply Ambarsar , You can not remain untouched by its charm , should you visit the city even for a brief period. Founded by Guru Ram Das ji,  Chandradhar Sharma Guleri’s story  “Ussne Kaha Thaa ” makes a  striking mention of its inner lanes and the language of  Cart or Tonga Drivers as they  move through city's  pedestrian traffic. And as a matter of fact, this story starts with  this description only . I must have read that opening paragraph more than hundred times.

  Apart from Golden Temple , Durgiana Mandir ,  Mata ka Mandir, Jalianwala Bagh, Wagha Border ,  Partition Museum  and many more historical places  , You need to visit the busy Lawrence Road , Hathi Gate , Hall Bazaar , Shastri Market , Katra Sher Singh , Katra Ahluwalia , Ram Bagh  ,  Company Bagh , Queens Road ,Landa or Chor  Bazar  ( Opposite railway Station ) and many more places to have a real feel of the city . A visit to Khalsa College could be satisfying . The main building of the college is an Architectural Marvel.

While in the city, You need to have special Lassi at  Ahuja’s lassi shop or Maah Ki Daal  or Makki ki roti with sarson ka saag at  "Bharaon Da Dhaba"   inside Hall gate . Come some day to relish fried fish at Makhan's Fish shop. Why not a lachha Parantha with  Palak Paneer at Kesari Dhaba? Try genuine Butter chicken at  Chawla chicken ( Original ) or so many other places  . Buy Papad Wadiyaan in old city or visit Shastri Market to buy Raffal or Pashmina shawls.Try Special jalebis at Sharma sweet shop. I would  carry home  Jalebis  from kanahaiya sweet shop on Lawrence road.  Taste that  delicious Gajjar ka Halwa at Novelty on Lawrence Road.   Try Pinni and  Besan ladoos of kanha sweets shop Lawrence Road . You will love the Mango Lassi sold at this shop.

  Through its many wholesale markets, the city continues to supply  Wool, Blankets, cloth, Tea, Tweeds  to adjoining States.

I don't know if home made Desi Ghee is still sold near Longawali Mata temple. I don't know if Deva Singh Sham Singh (a company) still exports Elephant brand Basmati rice. This basmati would release special fragrance in the house when cooked. I don't know if special Methi Mathi is still sold by the subsidised Sweets shop at Mata ka Mandir ( a replica of Vaishno Devi shrine) .I don't know if  Brijwasi shop  still sells tastiest Chaat Paapdi. I don't know if the reddi wala  opposite Railway Station  still sells delicious Chhole Bhature . I need to know whether famous Amritsari kulcha continues to be sold at Basant Avenue. I don't  know whether  my favourite "Jwala Jean store  ( Tailors ) on Malviya Road continues to stitch Finest shirts and Trousers . I don't know if finest surat Cotton cut pieces are still sold by shops  at Farid chowk. I don't know whether ' KOULA  SEED STORE '  in  Hall Bazaar still  sells seeds and Nursery plants ? The shop was owned by a kashmiri Pandit family .

Thanks to my friends from Amritsar  especially Puran Chand  ( Ex Chief Manager  PNB ) for introducing me to some really fantastic  non Vegetarian restaurants of the city  .  Chicken preparations,  Mutton  Seekh Kebabs , Mutton Chaamp , Mutton Tikka , Paya ( Kharode or Paachi Russ in kashmiri  ) ,  Keema Naan and so many other delicacies from the city are a real treat for those who like Non-Veg  food.,

I would buy old issues of TIME Magazine  for Ten Rupees from a shop adjacent to Haathi Gate . Quite often these magazines were not opened by the people who had paid annual subscription   and   were  supposed to read  these .  The shop owner  would always keep these unopened issues for me .

In Amritsar , Nobody  sleeps without food . More than 50000 people eat daily  inside the   free Langar  of Golden temple. A free Langar is also run by Durgiana temple Trust  . You find  a free Langar every day inside Ram Bagh Park . People  Eat   ,  Donate, Drink ,  help and smile .
I lived  near Kashmir Avenue  and always  wanted  to  walk  to my Bank branch located on   Lawrence road . I was never allowed to  do so. As I would  step out  to walk to my office , a scooter rider  or a man from the car window would  look at me and say:

“ Veer ji Kithe ja rahe ho. Be jaao  . Or  ..Brother where are you going ? Come  and sit .”

For some years, Two well known kashmiri poets Shamas Faquir and  Gh Ahmed Mehjoor lived in this city. Before 1947 , the city had sizeable kashmiri population. I came to know about a  kashmiri  graveyard  , a kashmiri mosque  and a kashmiri Pandit shivala.  This Shivala at Farid Chowk  is located at  city's commercial Hub.   And in 1947,  Mian Nawaz Sharif's   family also moved to Lahore from a village near  Amritsar city.

This great city has been  home to  or  birth place of so many talented people of the subcontinent . Sadat  Hassan Manto , Faiz Ahmed Faiz , Saif Ud din Kichloo ( eminent freedom fighter ), Madan lal Dhingra ( Freedom Fighter ), Gama Pehlwan , Bijli Pehalwan , Hassan Tariq  ( Well known  Film Director and Producer  from Pakistan ), Shakur Rana ( Well known Pakistani cricketer), Sam Manekshaw ,Mohan Rakesh ( Hindi Writer ) M D Taseer ( writer and father of Salman Taseer ), Sufi  Tabassum (  well known Poet and film Lyricist  of Pakistan ) ,Bollywood actor  Jeetendra,  Rajesh khanna , Wadali Brothers , Singer Mohd Rafi ,  fashion Designer Ritu Kumar ,Actor Akshay Kumar , wrestler Dara Singh , Wrestler Randhawa , Singer Shamshaad Begum , Geeta Bali , Film producer  Deepa Mehta ,Kiran Bedi ( IPS ) , Comedian Jaspal Bhatti , Cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi ,  Cricketer Madan lal , Singer Mahendra kapoor ,  Dancer cum actress  Mukhtar Begum ( Wife of Agha Hashr kashmiri ), Singer Narendra Chanchal, Zubaida Khanum ( Film Singer Pakistan ) , Dr Daljit Singh ( Eminent Ophthalmologist ) , Veeru Devgun , Stand up comedian  Kapil Sharma , Bharti singh ,Singer sukhvinder , Navjot Singh Sidhu , Abdul Hameed  ( Well known Urdu writer of the subcontinent ) , Vikas Khanna  (   Renowned  USA based Chef ), Bhai Veer Singh ( Poet and scholar ) ,  Singer Bhupinder   and so many people . The list  can have   more additions  . One name that I want to mention specially and  separately is  DEEPTI  NAVAL.



DEEPTI  NAVAL ( Born 1952 )

Deepti is  an actress , Painter , Poet , Trekker and a fine  Photographer . Born at Amritsar .  she moved to study  Arts in New York where her father had a teaching job . Graduating in Arts from reputed Hunter  College  , She returned to India in 1975  on an American  Passport to act in Films and started her career  from  Doordarshan .

Deepti is plus 67 yet as stunning as she was when she arrived in Mumbai. And in Sarees,  she carries herself with elegance, dignity and  poise . Her   western up bringing has added  a crystal clear sincerity and truthfulness to her personality. Her  smile represent her genuineness as a human being. Her silence is her strength.And she lived likes  to tread  paths even if none accompanies her. She believes in  journey . For her , it is the real secret of existence. About this belief , she writes in a poem :

"Bantay jaate nishaan
Mitatay jaate nishaan
Do Akele qadam
Na koyi rahnumaa
Na koyi humsafar "

Deepti has acted in more than 75 films and many TV serials.  'Thoda sa Aasmaan',  A TV Serial wherein she played a lead role ,  remains my favourite. Written and directed  by Deepti , the  TV serial  explored  the patriarchal Indian society and how it affects happiness of men and women . about this serial Deepti wrote :

 " Our motive was  not to encourage rejection of tradition and convention, but to create a balance between independence and established social norms, for a harmonious  living in today’s modern world."

I read some of her poems ; intense outpourings of a sensitive human being. I also saw her work as painter. Her painting      " Pregnant Nun"   was widely commented upon in many magazines. Saw her stunning Ladakh photography . Her sensibilities are reflected in all the mediums she is using for her creative work,

I believe   that the  magic of Deepti  lies  in her simplicity and warm  smile  that  makes her  instantly   relatable.

Inspite of amazing talent  ,   Unfortunately,  she   remains one of Indian cinema's underrated actors.  Why  so ?  I don't understand  .

Good health to you Deepti. Your  talent bubbles  in so many fields . You can contribute enough to bring smiles on human faces .

(Avtar Mota )

PS
Like Maulana Azad ,  Dr. Saif Ud din Kitchlu  was a natiinalist leader who opposed the Two Nation Theory and the partition of the country.He remained steadfast in his commitment to secularism and shifted to Delhi after independence .He was son of a rich  kashmiri shawl Trader  settled in  Amritsar .


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Sunday, March 17, 2019

MY POEM. 'NEW LESSON' OR NOV SABAK

                                     



(Nov Sabak)

Hey  thhuv se vaen
Tche ye pozz  ta seyzar
Yi chha raatietch kathh
Az  kathh chha alagh
Az vathh chha alagh
Az sathh chha alagh
Yena pazaruss heykh yeti
Moa'l  tchhaarun ,
Yena yeti vaen seyzaritch
Kath tche karakh
Heyss kar yeti vananaai
Bekal  choa'r
Hanga Manga Volla'bor
Tchhota derrus loa'r.

( Avtar Mota)

In simple English , i would say this poem as under:


(New Lesson)

Now keep away
From this truthfulness  And Simplicity,
All this ,
yesterday's story,
Today ,
Some New  values,
Today,
Some a Newer Path,
Today,
Some Newer satisfaction.
Beware !
Seek not  attention   for this   truth,
Speak not anything of that simplicity.
Take care,
You may get  branded
   Unwise ,
A Fool,
A    Burden
  unnecessary,
Or someone
who sits
closer  to a heap of   filth.


(Avtar Mota)


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Friday, March 15, 2019

' HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE " JEAN PAUL SARTRE

                                                                           

' HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE "

This is the most misunderstood or used out of context quote spoken by Joseph Garcin (a character ) in Jean Paul Sartre's one act play NO EXIT ( Huis Clos. ). Sartre wrote this play in 1943 and it was staged for the first time in 1944.

Let me try to  Simplify this quote as under:

Through his books and  essays , Sartre laid great emphasis on predominance of individual liberty  . Essentially ,  Sartre is a strong supporter of a genuine return to the self. A return that is free from the gaze of ‘ OTHERS’. Sartre believes that If others are always around to look and watch , an individual lands into something known as BAD FAITH. So , according to him , other 's scrutiny or gaze or look is the primary cause for someone falling into bad faith. Hence, the “Hell” - or the place where the vice is  thrust upon  or  practiced against the will of the people.

Sartre believed that in this world ,  Man is  never in full control of himself as long as someone else is present. He can never escape being influenced by what he thinks of ‘ others’ thinking of him.  This thinking makes him to act in a way that is neither  natural nor the way  would have acted  if he were not  under the gaze and scrutiny of 'OTHERS'.    And then  a Man   lives in   a  social set up ,  where ,  at every step ,   he can’t  escape  confronting     ‘ OTHERS ‘ .  

And by bad faith, Sartre means ' refusal to confront facts or choices.' To a greater extent , it also means 'SELF DECEPTION.'

Any other clarification is welcome.

(Avtar Mota)


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SOMETHING FROM ADI SHANKARA'S VIVEK CHUDAMANI ..

                                                                    


                                                                                   
 READING  VIVEK CHUDAMANI ....By ... ADI SHANKARA ..


Mural painting at the entrance of Temple of Adi Shankara ( Adi Shancharachaya ) at Sringeri Mutt, Kalady…

(1)

“ The way clouds , created by the heat of the sun , spread and hide the creator or the radiant sun ; Human Mind too gets engulfed by the darkness of the ego that spreads after emanating from the mind ..”

(2)

" O Traveler ! you are welcome at the door of the palace called Yoga . Have you learnt to practice silence ? Have you stopped collecting Wealth ? Have you abandoned your desires to possess material goods ?Have you practiced detachment? If yes , then enter ."

(3)

"The one who is free from caste , dogma, clan and Gotra ; The one who is free from Name , Form, Attributes and Imperfection ; the one who does not belong to a particular kingdom , Time and Material ;That entity you are . Always feel like that ."

(4)

" When the activity increases , the cause responsible for it also grows. Should the activity die , the cause too vanishes. Hence always deal activities to uproot the cause."

(5)

" Never remembering time that has moved past, never worrying about future and remaining indifferent to pain and pleasure in present time is what constitutes a liberated existence."

( Adi Shankara ... source  Book … Vivek Chudamani )

( Avtar Mota )
                                                                     
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

REMEMBERING VIJAY SURI : JOURNALIST , WRITER , DIRECTOR AND ACTOR .





                                                                        
VIJAY SURI (1942-2004)... Journalist , Writer, Director and Actor ..


"O pad dhi gid gid ,Dhi Ankessi dhi be dhyaana dhi , Moong Di Daal of the Pakistan and Hindustan of the dhuur phitey munh "

Many actors told me that they had difficulty in remembering these particular lines while they acted as Bishan Singh in the play "Toba Tek Singh "based on Manto's short story .
'Dhuur Phitey Munh' is Manto's style of disagreeing with Two Nation Theory. And in  2018 , BBC listed " Toba Tek Singh " as one among top 100 stories that shaped the world. This list of 100 had stories of Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf , Franz Kafka and many other well known writers the world.

Late Vijay Suri had memorized these lines and would speak them in single breath and in one go. He was a versatile actor , director and writer who left an imprint of his style wherever he worked and whatever he did .

He acted in about 12 Bollywood films ( like Unchi Udaan, Heer Rahnja, Kalka, Bhed Bhaav, Agni, Mitti Mange Khoon etc. ) and Numerous TV serials apart from writing and directing plays/ . He was an approved Radio Artist (AIR) . He wrote short stories and novels in Urdu . For sometime he edited Urdu Newspaper Ujala published from Jammu .

Finally he joined Song And Drama Division and was posted at Srinagar where he served  till his retirement.  In early seventies of the last century ,  when Doordarshan opened a Kendra at Srinagar , he was there  to lend his full support .He remained the most sought after Artist for so many TV serials and  films  produced by Srinagar DDK. He  also became a  Guru  to so many aspiring artists in valley . He also played a key role in reviving Ram leela in Srinagar . His baritone voice created a spell on stage and screen .

 Born in  Mirpur ( Now in Pakistan ) , his family  settled at  Jammu post 1947 . In  1965 ,  he married co-stage actor Ratna Rani Razdan  . Being  married to a kashmiri girl and also living in kashmir  for some decades , Vijay Suri could speak kashmiri with ease . He was fluent in  Dogri , Punjabi , Urdu and English  

 About him , noted  Theatre and Art   critic  Lalit Gupta writes :

 “ Vijay Suri was one such talented individual, who fighting against all odds succeeded to leave an indelible mark on the cultural horizon of Jammu and Kashmir from 1950 till time of his death in 2004. A multifaceted personality, he was an accomplished stage, television and film actor, director and writer of repute who along with writing short stories, novels also wrote number of scripts for TV serials and documentaries.”

Syed Zeeshan Fazil  Ex.Senior Executive Doordarshan  writes :

“ Vijay Suri was a versatile actor. I saw him for the first time on the sets of   “ EXTRA NAHIN ”  by D N Goswami for Srinagar  Doordarshan  in 1973.  He also used to participate in our Dogri programs .He did a memorable role in Mir Mushtaq's Tv film WAPSI  produced  in 1976.He also worked in some of the plays done by me at DDK srinagar. In 1989 we visited his house at jammu during the shooting of a serial  “ Dhund Aur Dhoop”  by H K Bharti in which  talented daughter Kajal Suri was doing the  lead role. The crew was nicely  treated by Suri  family and we felt as if we were in our home .He was a professional actor who  never compromised with any situation and always tried to deliver his best. He had a commanding voice and an appealing personality. His untimely death was a great loss.”

Theatre Personality Bansi Raina: 

“ He was versatile....an actor...a writer and a journalist.  He  married  a Kashmiri girl .I remember when DDK become operational in early seventies we did act in number  of plays together. A great soul and a good friend ...He just could not resist smoking.”

A  four-day Theatre Festival  was organized  by Academy of Art Culture And languages in collaboration with Vijay Suri foundation   in 2016  to commemorate late Vijay Suri and remember his contribution  to Theatre, Television and Cinema .

He was fond good food and  loved kashmiri dishes especially Roganjosh and Yakhni .  And he played a wonderful host to his friends .To his friends , he was always affectionate and helpful.

Peace be to his soul.
(Avtar Mota)



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