Friday, May 21, 2010

HUKH , HATAB , KOSH AND STOVE


                                                                         
                                    ( Boats carrying HUKH or  drifted wood at Kraalyaar Rainawari ..Photo..1920.. )





 (KASHMIRIS ,  HUKH OR DRIFTED WOOD PIECES, STOVE  AND FIREWOOD  )


‘Bobu Ji Hukh Chhuyi Aamut. Pataa mokalee . Buthee chhuyee Krooth Vandhaa   Or ‘ Pandit Ji , Hukh is available now . It shall be sold immediately . You have to face severe winters ahead.’
said Ali Mohd Mattahaanz to my father .
.
And we went to Kraalyaar Maar (canal ) and purchased about two quintals of Hukh for the winter season. Hukh consisted of pieces of drifted wood collected from rivers by a group of boatmen and then brought to city for sale in big boats called Bahatch.Hukh Collected from Doderhaama  near Ganderbal town was marketed as special  ‘Hukh’. It was used for burning in kitchen during winters . It made the kitchen warm when burnt in Dhaan  ( kitchen  hearth ) by our womenfolk .I would sit in the kitchen to have my food when my mother burnt Hukh for cooking food . She would also burn a stick of willow or  or some other timber stick  along with Hukh  pieces . we used to get a good feeling upon  seeing the Hukh burning in the kitchen  . In extreme winters , we would come to the kitchen repeatedly to fill our Kangris . The kitchen turned cozy and warm with Hukh burning. Our ladies used to make charcoal from the burning Hukh or firewood in the kitchen. They would keep a Leijj ( earthen pot ) with a lid in the kitchen . Very skillfully , they would remove burning coal heaps from the kitchen hearth  and throw them into the Leijj and then immediately keep a lid over it. The burning charcoal would cool down and the charcoal so prepared would be used to make the afternoon or evening tea for the family.

In so far as firewood was concerned , its procurement from the government timber yards spread all over the city was a tough job. You had to get up in the morning and keep your Chendee ( timber cards supplied to each family by Government ) near the window of the Zeun Ghaat ( timber depot )   one over the other in proper order .Generally milk selling families supplied the labour force at these timber depots . A labourer would  carry 100 Kgs of timber log on his shoulders . Then he would suddenly throw the log with a bang in the courtyard making windows rattle . Thereafter  the Tabardaar ( wood cutter ) would come and cut this  log to pieces for ultimate use in the kitchen . We would then carry the pieces for storing them at a safe place .Hatab ( a variety of timber used for burning ) was a preferred stuff by kashmiris . I vividly remember kashmiris keeping a vigil on arrival of Hatab at timber depots to buy it . It produced  quality heating fuel for the Kangris .

Another fuel with kashmiris was the saw dust popularly known as Kosh. They would use it in kangris and more specifically for boiling water to wash clothes . Every Sunday we would use Kosh damchoola  ( special mobile hearth  made of iron for burning saw dust ) for boiling water to wash clothes . It produced irritating smoke . The saw dust was also used in kangris . For bathing,  we had a special galvanized iron Hamaam which used to give instant boiling water once firewood was burnt inside it . Wastage of Poplar tree wood sold by band saw mills was burnt in this Hamaam . The wood used as fuel was called Mocha or left over ( scrap ) by the band saw mills where sawing of poplar  tree logs was done.

Electric heaters were also used in kitchen as everyone stole power with active connivance of linemen and meter readers. Every kashmiri( pandit or muslim) had some skill in this field. A direct hook on main service line or bypassing the electric meter or making meters dead was a usual practice . Right from a petty trader to top bureaucrat, power theft was relentlessly practiced . The field staff in electric Department made extra income from this power theft. They facilitated this power theft and provided all types of help to consumers in this area. 

Many families had kerosene stoves . My father had also purchased two kerosene stoves for our kitchen . Triloki Nath Pandit whom every one called  Treya Tsoor ( Treya the thief) and who reportedly had some criminal past  in plains of the country,  had opened a stove repair shop in Jogilanker Chowk . His shop was near police station Rainawari just opposite to the shop of Chuni Lal Watloo. Chuni lal Watloo had a small chemist shop where pandits would sit for gossiping . These gossiping pandits made Chuni lal Watloo lose all customers .When New chemist shops opened in Jogilanker Chowk , Chuni lal Watloo shifted his activity to a more lucrative trade and started working as an agent of the police officials in the nearby police station . Any person who had to lodge an FIR or needed police assistance, had to come to Chuni Lal Watloo's shop for direct or indirect help  .
Now coming to Treya Pandit's shop of stove repair ,every time I went with our stove to him, he would just change the burner . He did it to all stoves coming to him . For him change of burner perhaps solved all problems of a stove .He did so even for minor blockage in the kerosene passage of the burners which could be easily cleared by a stove pin. Perhaps he knew nothing else and also it made him earn instantly. His customers paid without any arguments.

 My father had also purchased a kerosene cooking stove that had thick cotton strap wick . One could adjust the flame by raising or lowering the burning wick strap. This stove produced strange bang like sound at regular intervals when put to use.
LPG  cylinders in the kitchen is a late story.



To conclude, i Add Lines from Moti Lal Saqi’s poem . The lines have been rendered to simple English by me ..…..

Koat Gatchhukh Subahaai Vaeini Naai Gaash Ph'oll
Naag Joyee Pyaath Vothh Na Vaeini Sandhyaai Kaa'nh
Masheidi Mehraabus Andher Katiejun Neindhar
Dhaan Dalas Munz Geill Chha Traavithh Zeeth Lar,
Kulleiy Laenjunn Sosaraai Cheinna Vathharun Gatchhaan
Koat Gatchhukh ?
( Moti Lal Saqi )
Where shall you go so early ? It is not day break as yet.
None has yet come to perform *Sandhya with Spring Water ,
Even the swallows are fast asleep inside the *Mehraab of the Mosque ,
In paddy fields , *Geill Birds are still in deep slumber
Leaves of tree branches have not turned restless as yet
Where shall you Go ?
( Avtar Mota )

PS
*Geil ( kashmiri word ) is a sparrow like small black bird seen in paddy fields . It lays its eggs and builds its nest in these fields only . After the harvest ,this bird flies away.
*Sandhya is the daily religious ritual of Hindus performed at the time of two twilights or the opening and the closing of the day . It is generally performed on river banks or springs or any other source of fresh water or even inside their dwellings . Sandhya was a ‘daily practice’ with elderly kashmiri pandits in Kashmir valley .
*Mehrab is the decorative groove in the wall of a mosque, which marks the direction of the Qiblah . The traditional Mehrab is a common element of Islamic mosque architecture throughout the world. During summer season , swallows would make nests inside mosques, temples and residential houses in Kashmir .
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\.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

SOME SONGS OF MY CHILDHOOD

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“Come put your feet under my Pheran. I shall rub them . Do not use Kaangri ”

Said my maternal grandfather to me . I went to him complaining sudden redness and pain in one of my toes. He said “ Ye Chhuyee Shooh Gomutt. ” Meaning this is frostbite . With his rubbing , I felt  warmth and a little comfort. The pain turned mild . I heard him singing in kashmiri

“Bisht Bisht Braaryo
Khotakho Vunn .
Torraa kyaah Voluth
Babri Punn.
Su Kamunn Chhokuth
Kottarunn.”

I do not know when I slept and where the pain went . May be the  lines of the song had played their role effectively. This and many similar songs were meant for children . I was always amused when I heard some one singing them. Whenever I played with my Maternal cousins , we would sing

“Raaja Bhaai Raaja
Kyon Kotwaal
Srinagar Me Chor Aayaa
Kiss Raaste
Iss Raaste”

A cousin sister of mine would play with us and sing

Okuss Bokuss Tillwaien Tsokuss,
Onumm Batukh Lodhum Deghee,
Shawl Kich Kich Wangno.



I am certainly talking of a period when only some families had the privilege of having the radio sets or transistors . My Father had bought this luxury for us . Radio Ceylon with Amin Sayani as the announcer was quite popular. I still remember the advertisement for LOMA hair oil. Television was totally unheard of . We did remember many hindi songs but friends in school and my cousins would frequently sing the kashmiri children songs while at play. Money was a scarce commodity. The state government clerks would be offered a special selection grade on promotion satirically  still known as Rs 70-6-130.  we had a community radio set  in Jogi Lanker chowk . Generally people would come out and listen to news over there.  I remeber some boys in our locality singing

“Kaav Butt Kaavo
Khechri Kaavo

We had a teacher in DAV school Rainawari Radha krishen By name . He was Tall and would spend some time in his class on issues not connected with studies . He would ask two boys to get up and do “GUFTGU ”. The boys were supposed to curse each other in choicest words or call nick names . Entire class and the teacher would join them with  their sadistic smiles on this  so to say one act play .One day I heard Radah Krishen  saying

“Tsrind Grindumm Te Mong Daal

Okhun sahibuss Khatan Haal ”

I did not know the meaning of these words but they some how caught my fancy . later I heard many relatives also using these lines while playing with their children. The lines actually mean that a teacher( Okhun ) is generally poor . So When he performs circumcision of his child he just cooks Daal and ordinary food. No Mutton or lavish dishes .These songs had enormous effect on young minds  . Mothers would lull their babies to sleep with these songs. These were sung by children while playing . Elders would humour them with young kids. No Kashmiri  of my age  can say that he does not know them . Some other songs which we used to sing as children are


Habba kadal loraan
Zaina Kadal Ladhaan
Bisht Mouj vadhaan


Hop Lop Chhop Kurr
Mauj Gayee Greit bal,
Torra anni Saut Pull
Audd thaav Chunduss
Su Poshee Vanduss
Audd  Thaav Aaliss
su Poshee Reit kaaliss


In DAV school ,We had a class fellow whom we called Nikka Razdaan .He would sing Ladee Shaah . Here goes what he sang



LadeeShaah Ladeeshaah  Daari  Kin  Pyaav
Pyaavanai Pyaavanai  Haaptunn  Khyaav .
Budd  Mauj  Budd  Mauj  Kenh Nai  Guvv
Tse  tulum  Trum Tai  Baa  Tulai Nai
Vataan  vataav  Naavid  Khai
Bakshi  Sahib  Naavi  Munz  Saer  Karaan
Musaafir  Aayoss  Bataah  Mendiss
Chonch  Dhubb  Loynuss  khor Tendis .

Somtimes our neighbour Ritch Maal would come to our house and gossip with my mother . Once I heard her singing smilingly


Tul Paluvv Tul Paluvv
Voth Tseluvv Voth Tseluvv
Baani Haali Buth Chhaluvv.


My sisters studied in Vishwa Bharti college Rainawari. I vividly remember them saying that a person by name Sarva Nand had a shop in the college and many girls would tell him

Sarvananduss  Kokur  Chanduss
Vanduss  Karaan  kuk Du Koon.

These lines always created a desire in me to see Sarvanand Physically . Alas I could not

On shivratri day I would wait curiously to see my mother with  a pitcher full of walnuts (soaked in water ) on her head knocking our main door and singing

Thuk Thuk
Kuss Chhuvaa.
Raam Brorr
Kyaah Heuth
Anna Heuth
Dhann Heuth
Roozi Heuth
Rozgaar Heuth .
Ghar Heuth
Gupan Heuth
Nosh Heuth
Koor heuth
Munz  Kuss Chhuv
Shiv Naath Te Paarvati


So long so much .
visit me also at  http://yemberzalkashmir.blogspot.com/

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\.