Thursday, July 12, 2018




Kitnay Haathon ne buun'aa  Atlas o keimkhaab magar
Meray malboos ki Taqdeer me paivand Rahay..

( Sahir Ludhianvi )

In english, i would translate it as  under ......

"So many  hands wove
Satin Silk and Brocade for me ,
Yet this fate assigned tatters
as my apparel..."

(Autar Mota)
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Sunday, July 8, 2018


                                 ( Sitara Devi with Poet Sahir Ludhianavi )
                                   ( With Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia )
                                                            ( With Dilip Kumar )
                      ( With Lata Ji And Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib )


She danced like lightning. She danced almost all forms of Classical dances and also learn Russian Ballet. She was given a shawl and citation for Rs 50 by Gurudev Tagore, who was deeply impressed with her performance at the Atiya Begum Palace and called her 'Nritya Samragini'. Sitara Devi refused to accept this gift, instead asking for Tagore's blessings. Other dignitaries who attended this show were Sarojini Naidu and Sir Cowasji Jehangir.

She lived life on her own terms and died at a ripe age of 94 . Sitara Devi was fond of chewing paan and smoking bidis . Her family did not like all this, yet she continued to indulge in these pursuits in her old age as well. A Tomboy during her youth, she would swim, ride bikes, drive cars and join parties .

. Sitara Devi believed in "never say die", dancing and enjoying life to the fullest till her last day.
Sitara Devi was a great admirer Poet Sahir Ludhianavi. I am informed that she wanted to enact some Sahir Poems through dance.

She also learned the Russian Ballet  and other dances of the western world.  She was honoured with Kalidas samaan ,Sangeet Natak Academy award and  Padamshree.She  taught Kathak to so many film actresses that include Madhubala and Rekha .

On her death Birju Maharaj said:

“Sitara Devi was a rare human being besides being a great dancer. There will not be anyone like her. What riyaaz, tapasya, practice she used to do. Today’s young generation will have to learn that from her. When she performed ‘Thumak chalat Ramachandra’ she would make us feel that mother Kaushalya was helping child Sri Rama taking baby steps! ”

( Autar Mota )
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Whenever I think of Chile , I have an opinion about a country that has Atacama desert, A country that has Argentina ,Peru and Bolivia as its Neighbors and a country where Spanish is spoken . 

 I am also  reminded about   the coup in which Democratically elected Government of Salvador Allende was captured by General Augusto Pinochet . 

Renowned poets and Nobel Laureates like Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, were from Chile
And the Chilean Academy of Arts known for its superb collection of Paintings which include a sizeable number done by great Master known as Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma ( 1856 – 1909). 

A Country with some beautiful beaches and enormous Tourist Potential , rich history and culture . Andes (Mountain range) also dominate the landscape of this beautiful country . I also know about the Volcanic eruptions and the earthquakes in chile. 

And then Chile has become one of the more urbanized Latin American societies, with a growing middle class. 

From this country , I found Quince being exported to USA . Yellow , Juicy and ripe. I purchased One lb @2.50 Dollars approximately from a Manhattan store.

( Autar Mota )

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Friday, July 6, 2018



OCULUS   AT 9/ 11  ( WTC )  SITE

( Photographs Autar Mota )

World Trade Center site is the focal point of Lower Manhattan. An impressive Hub known as Oculus has been erected at 9/11 Memorial site.  Designed by Architect Santiago Calatrava, the “Oculus” is a train station, Plaza and shopping mall adjacent to the memorial site for the September 11, 2001 Terror attacks.  Opened in March 2016,The “Oculus” serves as the  focal point of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub .With 78,000 square feet covered  area , this  multi level state-of-the-art  Architecture hub is the third largest transportation center in New York City.

The hub has been designed to serve approximately 250,000 commuters each day and  facilitate the visit of  millions of visitors from around the world each year . Inside you find so many escalators and  Train station  Card swipe entry points   .   The  American flag is gracefully  hung within the Oculus. It’s a Big plaza, A  Mall  and a   Train station; All  the three under  one  roof .  From a Distance , the Structure looks like a Giant  white  Bird with wings .

As per a report :

"The World Trade Center Transportation Hub's concourse will finally  connect visitors to 11 different subway lines; The PATH rail system; the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal; the National September 11 Memorial & Museum; World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, 3, and 4; and Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center), which houses the Winter Garden. It represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections in New York City."

Oculus was widely used in the architecture of the Byzantine Empire.The circular opening in the domes or ceilings used in Oculus architecture is designed to bring in maximum natural sunlight . The circular opening in the centre of the dome or ceiling wall also allows rain to pour in and make inside cool . Rain water is carried away through special drainage system. Greeks and Romans used this architecture liberally in Pantheons.
(Autar Mota)

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Friday, June 22, 2018


                                                        ( BAGELS )
                                                         ( BAGELS )
                                                            ( KASHMIRI TELVOR )
                                                   ( KASHMIRI TELVOR )


This is Bagel ;A variation of traditional kashmiri bakery item called Telvor. Very popular in USA. It has arrived in America with the Jewish immigrants . Believed to have been a breakfast item of Jewish community in Poland (Boiled and Baked Krakow Bagel) , it is made from yeasted wheat dough. Bagel must have a ring shape. 

Now you have Bagels with cinnamon ,sesame  seeds ( Til)  on top, Poppy  seeds (khas khaas) on top, dough mixed with all grains, dough mixed with eggs, Raisins, Dry garlic or onion pieces, and nuts . Common salt is also mixed with the dough to make Bagel taste salty.

I found everything Bagel the best variety. Slice it into two, fill up with cheese or salads or non veg and relish it with coffee or juices. It is complete breakfast over here. A Bagel costs something around two dollars in a Deli or restaurant. It could be a little cheaper if you buy direct from bakery shops . You have so many shops selling only Bagels. Shops with "Kosher" word written boldly on outer signboard indicates that Bagel is prepared by them strictly as per jewish food standards.

A Bagel seller in Manhattan told me :

"Bagel has survived many centuries because of many reason and primarily because of the boiling before Baking . Boiling gives it an external sheen and protective cover and it can last longer than any Bread . My Grand father has told me that Bagel has been in new York even prior to 1925 A.D . So many Bakeries at that point of time sold Bagels. The addition of cream cheese spread over Bagel is something that we innovated over here .Now Bagels are everywhere . Even Coffee outlets like Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks and many others sell Bagels . Here bagel is loved as a Bun ; Cheap and Nutritious. "

Kashmiri Telvor is also made from Yeasted wheat flour and has a sprinkling of sesame seeds over it. It is not boiled but baked only . It has a whole at its centre , which , quite often, gets filled up in the baking Process. It is consumed with Tea . and topped with Butter .

For those who believe in Jewish and kashmiri link , Bagel ( Believed to have been eaten by ancient Egyptians and Romans as well ) could be another tool for them since kashmiri Bakery Telvor and Bagel are almost identical.

 I don't believe that there is any verifiable , historical or other evidence for this theory even if some writers also  believe so . 

According to Dr Shashi Shekhar Toshkhani Linguist and Scholar:

“Joo” is an honorific word used throughout the Hindi-speaking belt to express regard or affection for a person the same as Ji. Braj Bhasha poetry is replete with its use. In Kashmiri also, it was used for the same purpose. It has nothing to do with the word “Jew”. The word Kosher means food prepared according to the rules of the Jewish law. It has no relation with “Koshur”. Koshur means a person belonging to Kashmir and the etymology of the Hebrew word Kosher is in no way linked to it. Phonetically too the words “Kosher” and “Koshur” are quite different— the basic word in the latter case being “Kashir”. Kashmiri, it must be emphasized, has descended from vedic sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha . It has no links with Hebrew . Chance Resemblances of sounds of some stray Vocables belonging to totally Unrelated word stocks do not in any way indicate affiliation with any Language or Linguistic Group "

So Long so Much..

( Autar Mota )

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Sunday, June 17, 2018



                                                                     ( Qateel Shifai )

                                                        ( Sahir )

Milkar Juda huye to na soya karenge hum
Ek doosre ke yaad mein roya karenge hum......
( Qateel Shifai )


Qateel Shifai ( 1919-2001} was a very successful Lyricist of Pakistan Film industry . Born at Haripur ( District , Hazara Khyber Pakhtoonwala ) , he moved to Lahore where he worked as assistant to some Well known film Lyricists . As song writer , He was associated with " Teri Yaad " a film produced by Dewan Sardari lal from Lahore in 1947. The film was released in 1948  and Premiered at Prabhat Talkies Lahore. As song writer , he was immensely successful. Some call him sahir of Pakistan Film Industry . He wrote about 2500 film songs. Apart from film songs , He also wrote Gazals and Nazms in urdu . Qateel is a  very  respectable name in Urdu poetry / Literature .His poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Hindi, Gujarati, English, Russian and Chinese. 

"Qateel Shifai" penned the lyrics of some of the most heard songs of the subcontinent. These songs have been sung by Mehdi Hasan, Jagjit Singh, Sabri Brothers, Pankaj Udhas and more. And he is one of the rare lyricist from across the border who wrote songs for some Hindi films like Painter Babu ( 1983 ), Sir ( 1993), Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayi (1993)and Hum Hain Bemisaal ( 1994 ) etc.

He was liberal and broadminded in his beliefs and convictions . So many friends he had across the border who loved him as a man and also as a poet. Sahir Ludhianavi remained his lifelong friend . Qateel's close friends included Poet Jagan Nath Azad, Sunil Dutt , Manoj Kumar, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Khushwant Singh , Raj khosla , Lyricist Aanad Bakshi and many more..
                               ( With K A Abbas and Rajinder Singh Bedi )
                                                                 ( With Khushwant Singh )
                                                     ( With Raj Khosla )
                               ( With Manoj Kumar in a Marriage function )

                                                       ( With Suni Dutt And Nargis )
            ( With Jagan Nath Azad and  Poet syed Zameer jafri )
"Ulfat ki nai manzil ko chalaa, Vo baanhein daal ke baanhon mein
Dil torrne waale dekh ke chal, hum bhi to parre hein raahon mein...""

I continue to love this gazal penned by Qateel and sung beautifully by Great Iqbal Bano..
Now ending this Mini Post on Qateel with some couplets from his another Gazal ......

Aey deeda-e-giryaan kyaa kahiye iss pyar-bhare afsaane ko
Ek shamaa Jali bujhne ke liye Ek phool khilaa murjhaane ko
Me apne pyaar ka deep liye Afaaq mein har-su ghoom gayaa
Tum duur kah─źn ja pahunche thhay Akaash pe jee bahlaane ko 

( Autar Mota )

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And finally located Cranberry Beans or Farash Beans or Thoola Razmaah in New york. In kashmir, This fleshy , good looking and delicious variety of beans would arrive in markets during late summers.Every family loved to cook this stuff.

  • I am not sure when and how these beans have come to kashmir. Possibly like Potato , some European brought them to India and finally to kashmir. Climatically , kashmir proved ideal place . Kashmiris too accepted these beans wholeheartedly .They named them THOOLA RAZMAAH or the beans that look like Eggs . Post 1990, these beans traveled to Jammu for consumption of displaced kashmiri Pandit population. Presently these are grown in many hilly areas of Jammu including Batote Kud, and many villages adjoining Bhaderwah ,Kishtwar and Doda towns  of J&K State .

Today , In New york, we Bought this stuff for something around $3 per pound or roughly half kg. They were farm fresh. You get cooked and tin packed as well. You get raw fresh frozen as well. They come in variety . Mexican restaurants serve this delicacy. At Mexican restaurants, Cranberry beans are simmered with onion, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Simply mouth watering.

I was informed that these beans were first grown in Colombia. I was also informed that these beans
arrive in market sometime during  late summers and can be seen till  Fall or Autumn season.

Americans also love these  beans. Also known as Borlotti, Americans make tasty soups or stews of these beans . They also cook these beans with olive oil and herbs preparing a  dish for Lunch or Dinner. So does every kashmiri relish cranberry beans dish prepared in mustard oil with tomatoes, potatoes and other Indian spices.

(Autar Mota)

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