Sunday, March 31, 2013

MARTANDA SUN TEMPLE OR ACROPOLIS OF KASHMIR

                       
                                                                   
















                                                                   



                                                                 


 “ The Munificent *(1) king built the Marvelous Temple of Martanda with Massive stone walls inside encircling Ramparts and a Township which rejoiced in Grapevines .”

( Rajatarangani of kalhana canto 192 Taranga IV )

 This is how  KALHANA  mentions the Grandeur  of this temple and attributes its construction to King Lalitaditya Muktapida .

Adds  Francis Younghusband in his Book  'KASHMIR'

“Martand has a very high place in the world's great architecutral designs. It is an example of not only the Kashmiri architectural skill but it has pride of having been set up at a fine spot which is prettier than the spots where Parthinan, Taj Mahal, St. Peters have been built. It can be considered either a representative of all such great buildings and monuments or a combination and sum total af all the qualities. It gives an insight into the greatness of the people of Kashmir……. In terms of beauty and strength and in grandeur it is next to Egypt and Greece. This temple has been built with strong and square limestones. The temple has received grandeur and beauty through the pillars of Greek pattern. It is now in ruins and there are many such ruins scattered in Kashmir. The very existence of this temple encourages man to carry out study of the skill and art of Kashmiris. Anyone bereft of the love of nature could not select such a special spot for the construction of the temple.. ”

About king Lalitaditya Muktapida  , Eminent historian  R C Majumdar writes in his book ANCIENT  INDIIA

“Lalitaditya  moved, with his victorious army, from Dardistan to Turkey. The entire area was rich in Kashmiri traditions and education because of the efforts of unlimited number of monks and Kashmiri people in towns of central Asia. It is not difficult to understand that Lalitaditya achieved an easy victory in this region. Kashmir, at that time, was the most powerful state. During the time of Lalitaditya its boundaries had extended from Tibet in the east to Iran and Turkey in the west and from Central Asia in the north to Orrisa and the seashores of Dwarika in the south.”



 To locate this Site one needs  to go  Google EARTH and zoom in on the site of The Martanda temple (coordinates Lat 33°44′44″N Long 75°13′13″E)  nine kilometres east-north-east of Anantnag District Headquarters.It is about 78 Kms from srinagar city on srinagar Pahalgham road . Infact Mattan village is situated on the main road but to reach MARTAND  temple ruins , one has to go 2 kms up from Mattan village to reach Ranbirpora village on the Mattan Karewa ( Plateau ) where the Monument is exactly located .One can travel from srinagar by a bus or taxi direct to MATTAN village.



 Built with 84 columns ,MARTAND  SUN TEMPLE  is a listed national monument protected by Archeological survey of India.

                                                         





The Ancient  Temple Architecture of Kashmir  undoubtedly  bears  **(2)Greek  influence. This influence is starkly visible  in  the use of stone Pillars , Columns , Trefoiled  Doorways , Ornamental  fritters  , Geometrical designs especially the rectangle and  Triangles  , Images of Gods  Carved on stones and  Pediments . Kashmiri  Stone Architects made some amendments to suit Intense winters . This influence is clearly visible in Martanda  and  Awantipora  stone Temple Architecture   .The  majestic SUN TEMPLE of  Martand perched amidst the jungles in the plateau ( KAREWA ) of Mattan  in Anantnag District of Kashmir is also known as dream of stones. The temple is made of Devri stones carried possibly by elephants  . Elephants were seen in abundance in Kashmir till 11th centaury which fact is substantiated in some cantos of  Kalhana’s Rajatarangini.

This temple is  enclosed in a courtyard  of columns and Arches  forming covered passage all round it. .Like Chandrapida Vajraditya , illustrious king  Lalitaditya was a sun worshipper and   a Follower of Vaishnava cult  devoted to the worship of Keshva Vishnu.. Accordingly Many three faced Vishnu and some Chaturbhuja Vishnu  figures have been prominently carved on the walls of  this  Temple . A central Water Tank with narrow  water channels  are  existing to this day . In the right panel of the eastern wall of the   Ante chamber of this Temple , an   image of Aruna  carved discerningly is still visible . . Aruna , the charioteer of surya is  holding the reins of his seven horses.

.The outer dimension of this temple is approximately about 200 feet by 170 feet rising upto a height of 75 feet (approximate Measurements done by this writer  ). The inner MANDAPA measures roughly 18 feet by 18 feet . About 84 stone pillars Ten to twelve feet long in single piece have been used in the construction. Some of them are still erect and the remaining are broken and scattered inside the complex.
                                                   

Unfortunately this 8th centaury Marvel  faced ***(3) Demolition   during the rule of Sultan Sikander (  1394-1417 AD ) of  Kashmir  . The Temple structure would have been  as imposing  as the Pyramids of GIZA or   ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS  had human hands not joined in its destruction.

                                                                         
( My special thanks  to the up loader of this photograph on the NET . I do not know the person but my due acknowledgements  to him for this grand upload. This photograph drawn by some unknown person/ Artist gives an idea as to how graceful  this majestic  Heritage Temple  would have been prior to its demolition.)

The temple offers a Panoramic view of Anantnag Area below the hill and the serpentine Lidder stream  flowing down below near BUMZOO village. The BHARG SHAKHA Goddess Temple overlooks this monument from a nearby Hillock. Close to the monument are two villages with PATHAN and SIKH settlements. The PATHANS live in WANTRAG village near this monument and speak Pushto besides Kashmiri . So do Sikhs speak PUNJABI ( Multani Type ) and live in a nearby villages called  RANBIRPORA  and CHITHI SINGH PORA .A pucca road from this monument goes to Achhabal or village BRAH and HARD  TUROO . The old MARTAND CANAL ( wherein the water from the lidder stream is lifted through Gravity system to irrigate this KAREWA or PLATEAU ) passes near this Monument and goes up to ACHHABAL ..............

        (THE RUINED TEMPLE OF MARTAND )
 
On slope of vast and undulating plain 
 In solemn solitude, of noble art, 
The ancient ruins of Martand remain 
 Built for Sun worship on^e. Has the true 
part Of thy prone columns faded like a dream? 
 Engirdled by the everlasting hills 
Temple of the Sun! High radiant beam 
 Illumes this broken altar, and still fills 
These shattered halls at dawn with his clear 
light Though human hands may no more lovingly  
tend. 
The Sun's pure glory is God's symbol bright. 
 Thus thy great destiny can never end: 
 Still eloquent of prayers, though stones decay 
And forms of ancient creeds have passed 
away. 
 
( *Muriel Talbot )
 
  • Muriel Talbot also known as Catherine or Mrs Percy Brown.   Muriel was the daughter of  Col.Adelberl Cecil Talbot  resident of Kashmir from 1896 to 1900. Catherine was a poetess who had lived in Kashmir with her father  four more than four years .She wrote many poems on the life of kashmiris and beauty of Kashmir which she published in 1921 in a book Titled  CHENAR  LEAVES       from Cacutta after her marriage to Dr Percy Brown.
  • Dr Percy Brown ( 1872-1955 ) was a British scholar , painter and Art Historian and writer who came to India and joined Royal Indian Education Service ( 1899-1927 )  as principal of Government  School of  Arts and Crafts  Calcutta . He wrote some  monumental  books on Indian architecture especially The Budhist style of construction . . After his retirement  , he   settled in kashmir and   moved to  live in  a houseboat named Catherine  parked  near Jhelum Bund  close to  the then srinagar Club . Dr Percy Brown  lies buried inside sheikh Bagh cemetery Amira  Kadal Srinagar .Percy Brown was  also the curator of Lahore Museum and principal of Well known Mayo College of Art Lahore (1899-1909..  
            (This s how Muriel Talbot or Mrs Percy Brown describes Martanda Sun Temple ruins of kashmir in her poem )                                                             

About two Kms Below the Martand Sun Temple ruins  lies the sleepy village of  MATTAN or BHAWAN where another small temple also known as Surya  Temple exists with a spring having gushing water full of Fish .This lower Surya  Temple  in Mattan village ( About 5 Kms from Anantnaag Town in south of Kashmir  ) is presently a TEERTHA for Hindus and often confused with the Majestic National Monument  uphill. This lower Surya  Temple is just 5 kms away from Ananatnaag town and falls on   Anantnaag  -Pahalghaam  road . The Surya  Temple in village MATTAN finds mention in NILMATA PURANA as a place for performing SHRADAAS (ceremony for the Dead ) by Hindus from northern part of the  country .

                                                        

                                                                 
Apart from living in this area for about 3 complete years , I have also visited this site at least 7 times during 2008 to 2012 and have felt  that the structure needs immediate attention to save  it from Cracks , Erosion and Weathering .  A beautiful garden is maintained by ASI near the  Monument  but the main structure needs  extensive restoration and repairs. Any further neglect may deprive  posterity of this Grand Heritage  .

The photographs of  Martanda Sun Temple  have been clicked by me during my various  visits  . I have also uploaded three photographs of  the lower Spring temple known as Mattan or Bhawan Teertha. I conclude the post with lines from the celebrated  poem  “History ” by Bulgarian Poet  Nikola Vaptsarov  ( 1909-1942 AD )

“ For the hardship and affliction
We do not seek rewards,
Nor do we want our pictures
In the calendar of years.

Just tell our story simply
To those we shall not see,
Tell those who will replace us –
We fought courageously. ”

  *(1)
King lalitadittya Muktapida  ( Rule period 693 to 729AD ).Some Historians believe that the Temple structure was actually started around 370-350AD while a good number of Historians  believe that the structure was started by King Ranaditya  . Ranaditya is also known for building some VIHARAS in Kashmir.Walter Lawrence is of the view that the temple structure must have been started somewhere between 370 to 500 AD and completed during the reign of Lalitaditya Muktapida .

**(2)
Presence of people of Greek origin  in kashmir during the rule of Ancient  Hindu kings  is confirmed from some  direct and indirect references in various books covering history of Ancient Kashmir . Well known Scholar and historian Dr Sunil Chandra Ray in his Book “ EARLY  HISTORY AND CULTURE OF KASHMIR ” writes

Kashmir came under  the occupation of the  Greek King MENADER . He was a devotee of Budha but afterwards left the throne and joined the SANGHA and at last became an ARHANT . He built a Vihara which came to be known as MILINDVIHARA  after the name of its founder ”
   
***(3)
This Vandalism of  Martanda Sun Temple  during the rule of  Sultan Sikander of kashmir  is also  confirmed by various  Historians / Chroniclers  including    Jonaraja, Ferishta , Author Of  Baharistan e Shahi , Prof.Mohibul Hassan , Kashmir Historian Peer Hassan Shah ( Died 1898 ) , Walter Lawrence and many more . Adds  kashmir Historian  Peer Hassan Shah in his Book "Taarikh e Hassan"........

“In the first instance he turned his attention towards the Martanda temple built by Ramadeva (it was actually Lalitaditya who had built it) on Mattan Karewa. For one full year he tried to demolish it but failed. At last in sheer dismay he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place set fire to it. Gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished. Its ruins even now strike wonder in men's minds. ”


References   
1        Rajtaringani of Jonaraja,
2        Rajtaringani of Kalhana translated by R S  Pandit
3          Baharistani - Shahi ( Translated from Persian by Sh K N Pandita ) .
4         “ Kashmir Under Sultans ” by Mohib ul Hassan
5        Valley of Kashmir ” by Walter Lawrence
6 “Tawarikh Farishta ” written by Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah Ferishta ( 1560-1620) Translated by John Briggs .
7 “Tawarikh e Kashmir ” by Haider Malik Chadura Edited and translated by Razia Bano .
8   “Eminent Personalities of Kashmir ” by Krishan Lal Kalia .
9  “Ancient Greeks In Kashmir Evidences Of Ancient Greeks Found In Jammu Kashmir , Ladakh And In Its Frontier District by Iqbal Ahmed ( Dilpreet Publishing House (2011) Price Rs995.

( Autar Mota 31.03.2013 ... Time 11.15PM ... Good Night )


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GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE''S VISIT TO KASHMIR


                                                                              

RIVER JHELUM AND GURUDEV  RABINDRA NATH TAGORE

Jodi Tor daak shune keu naa se tobe ekla cholo re
Tobe ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo Re
Tobe poraan khule o tui mukh phute tor moner kothaa, eklaa Bolo
( Tagore )

If they answer not to thy call walk alone
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone

Tagore received Nobel Prize in 1914 .This was a hectic year for the poet . He visited many places lecturing and meeting students , writers and people in general . In early 1915 he wrote his famous play Phalguni (The Cycle of Spring) and one of his major novels Ghare- Bahire (The Home and The World) . He was knighted in 1915( he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India.).He had hectic sessions at Shantiniketan where his play Phalguni was staged and he himself played the role of Blind Baul. He also wrote about 100 songs in 1915. His suggested that he should take a break and move to some Hill station.. Tagore decided to go to kashmir .

In October 1915 Rabinder Nath Tagore visited Kashmir for a fortnight’s holiday . He was also accompanied by Bengali Poet Satyendra Nath Datta , His son Rathinder Nath and Pratima Devi. He was simply captivated by the Beauty of the valley especially the Autumn season. Quite Often he would sit on the banks of river Jhelum in thoughtful silence . To friend he wrote that Jhelum was like his native Padma river. He composed the Famous BALAKA ( Flight of Cranes )series of poems IN KASHMIR only.
This invitation to Gurudev was extended by a senior Bengali officer Sri Jagdish Chander Chatterji who worked as Superintendent of State Research Department also Known as VIDYAPEETH  during Maharaja's rule in the state .All arrangements were made by the said  official and his dedicated team.

 Gurudev ‘s party arrived via Rawalpindi and    stayed in   House Boat  "PARISTAAN"  Moored on the Banks of Dal Lake  in Srinagar  . Later Gurudev and his family   shifted  to another House Boat  located on the banks of Jhelum river .

 Gurudev also  visited  King lalitaditya 's Martand sun Temple during his stay in Kashmir . Shri Dina  Nath Hanjura  Principal DAV school Rainawari once told us in our class that Gurudev Tagore had praised the intellectual Loftiness of king Lalitaditya of Kashmir by looking at Martand Sun temple ruins in kashmir  . And again Mr Badri Nath sidda a learned Purohit from Mattan had informed me in 1988 that his Yejmaan record register had  signatures of a Mahatma from Bengal named Rabinder Nath Tagore who had visited Martand  Teertha of kashmir  in 1915 . Mahatama Tagore could be no other person except Gurudev.

While in kashmir , his literary work was disrupted by people coming to meet . He also accepted an invitation from Pandit Anand Kaul for a Dinner . Anand Kaul worked as Sheriff in the office of Raja Amar Singh's Council of Regency. And later President of Srinagar Municipality from 1914 to 1917 apart from being a writer , scholar and historian who had published some books through Asiatic Society of Bengal.
                                                                      

Apart from enjoying a kashmiri Dinner at Pandit Anand kaul’s residence in Srinagar city sometime in October 1915, Tagore also requested for some books on Kashmir’s Shaivism from the learned Pandit.

A poetic gathering was also held in the house of Pandit Anand Koul .Many young poets joined this gathering and Gurudev was amused to listen kashmiri poems. These poems were translated to English by Pandit Anand Koul and copies of English translation was provided in advance to Gurudev. Master Zinda Kaul participated in this poetic gathering.

                                                                       

(The house of Pandit Anand Koul Bamzai ( Writer , Historian and administrator )in downtown Zainakadal Srinagar Kashmir where Gurudev Tagore met Kashmiri poets and  sometime in October 1915..)

Gurudev and other poets had their dinner in this house at the invitation of Pandit Anand Koul Bamzai..

Master Zinda Kaul and Pandit Anand Koul brought Gurudev in a Tonga to this house. 
Many people say that  Kashmiri poet Mehjoor was also present in this gathering but this needs some authentic confirmation.In his interview to *Prof. V S Naravane, Master ji has not said anything about Mehjoor's presence. In this poetic gathering, Tagore had advised kashmiri poets to be careful about choice of their themes.

Gurudev  also helped his  nephew  Abanindranath Tagore who accompanied him to paint some views especially two paintings depicting Ashoka sitting atop Shankaracharya and looking at Hariparbat and Shahjajan in famous Mughal garden Shalimar. With These paintings and the Balaka series of poems , Kashmir was showcased to Bengali elite for the first time.

Gurudev also addressed students and intellectuals inside SP College Auditorium. Here he read some poems from his book Geetanjali . It is believed that Sh I K Sharga ( A kashmiri pandit from Lucknow and the then Principal of S P College Srinagar ) had called upon Gurudev twice and requested him to address the faculty and students of his college.

Pandit Samsar Chand Koul Ganhar ( Well known Bird watcher , writer and a teacher in Mission school Fateh Kadal )  also  visited  Gurudev while he stayed in houseboat Paristan. Pandit samsar Chand   requested Gurudev for a visit to Mission school Fateh kadal to address students. Gurudev expressed his inability and told him that he had a hectic and busy schedule . He invited Pandit Samsar chand Koul and boys of Fateh Kadal Mission school to SP College . In SP College Gurudev Addressed a gathering of students, teachers and intellectuals and also  sang verses from his Book  Geetanjali .

                                                                 



Artist fraternity of kashmir joined hands to name the cultural complex built in 1958 at srinagar (During Bakshi Ghulam Mohd stewardship ) as TAGORE HALL. This was possibly a humble tribute to Gurudev who had many admirers in J&K state .

Adds Tagore

"I was in Kashmir. One evening, I sat by the River Jhelum. There was stillness all around. I felt I was sitting besides the Padma. Of course, when I lived on the Padma I was a young man, now I am old. Yet that difference seemed to have been wiped out by some link transcending time. A flock of geese flew over my head across Jhelum...I seemed to hear some ineffable call, and be led by its impulse to some far journey."



Balaka/“The Flying Geese”, The title word usually means a heron; but the poet points out that it refers to a flock of flying geese. I add two poems from Balaka series . The poet writes:
(1)
( PIONEERS )
Could you not be patient a little more ?
Winter is not yet over.
What flair very close to the trail
Drives you to sing in choir?
Oh distraught Champakas and intoxicated Bakuls,
Whom do you rush to welcome, all maddened in glee ?
Trackers of death, you are the first flock,
You didn't heed for the Moment to come,
From branch to branch your rumours ring
Enlivening and perfuming the undergrowths.
Jostling and laughing aloud before all others,
You blossomed in bounty, you fell in heaps.
The spring that was expected in April,
That would come afloat on the zephyr's high tide,
You no more waited for its hour,
You set piping your flute before term.
How could you reach the goal before the night-fall ?
You scattered all your treasures with your laughter and tears.
Forgetful of calculations, O my crazy souls,
On listening to His footfalls from far,
To cover the dust and bedeck His path
You laid down your own death.
Before you could see or hear Him, your chalices set you free,
You could no more wait for contemplating His face.
[Balaka, No.21, 1916]

(2)
O flying geese,
 Your wings are maddened by the tempest’s wine:
 With the resounding laughter of piled-up joy,
 Rising waves of wonder, they beat along sky.
 The rush of wings rose round,
 A dancing nymph composed of sound,
 Breaking the meditation of the silence.
 The mountains sunk in gloom
 Suddenly shuddered, and the deodar woods.
  felt the message of those beating wings
 For an instant bring
 Impulse of motion to the enraptured depths
 Of all that’s immobile.
 …Of mountains, and this forest, fly from strange
 To strange realm, isle to isle
 The pulse of the stars’ flight
 Starlets the dark with the sound of weeping light.
 I heard the words of men flying in the flocks
 Along invisible tracks
 From the dim past to some new unformed age.
 Night and day in my heart have I heard
 With countless other birds, this
 Relinquishing its nest, through light and darkness go –
 From what shore to what shore?
 The infinite’s wings send out their song through the space:
 Not here but elsewhere, elsewhere– in some other place.’

 (Autar Mota )    

 PS

Dr.Vishwanath S. Naravane was a reputed teacher at Allahabad University and taught there for twenty years. In 1965, he joined the Department of Philosophy, Pune University. He was a visiting professor at several universities in the U.S. In addition to philosophy and religion, Dr. Naravane taught courses in Indian history, art and literature. He was an admirer of Master Zinda Koul's poetry that he had read through translation. He came to srinagar and did an extensive interview of Master ji in his house. This interview was published in some national magazines at that point of time.            

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PAUL HORN RECORDED HIS LP COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS IN KASHMIR



                                                                                       





Photographs 
(1) Paul Horn with George Harrison (2)Paul Horn (3) Back side of the LP (4) Front side of the LP.


Someday’s back  THE HINDU ( Newspaper )   carried a story  “FIFTY YEARS OF THE  BEATLES ”.  I read ever line of the   crisp write up   by Indrajit  Dutta . This legendry singing sensation of Yesteryears brought many more names to my mind . Yes   Ravi Shanker ,  Mahairishi Mahesh Yogi and surely Paul Horn. Mahesh Yogi played a spiritual Guru not only  to the BEATLES But also to Paul Horn.
Every person in the group called  “BEATLES ”   was a Genius of sorts . Paul McCartney , Ringo Starr/ Pete Best ( Drummers ), John Lennon (singer-songwriter, ) and my favorite   George Harrison  ( Guitarist ).  I have grown up listening to their music  . Yes the timeless classic  NOWHERE MAN  still makes me happy . Both John Lenon and George Harrison were deeply attracted  to India and its  spirituality. They were  also attracted by the saints , sages and Yoga . So is Paul Horn. While in Kashmir ,Harrison in particular was fascinated  by the magical  silence of Dal Lake during early morning hours .

 “ Pandit ji , This is the Morning Raaga Time . This lake weaves  the music of silence for us  . I  am sure I was born in this land in my previous birth.  ”   George   Harrison once told this to  Pandit Ravi Shanker  during one of  his  Sitar lesson days  in Kashmir .     

And one day  my Elder  sister suddenly  told me that she was a part of welcome troupe to a swami  known as Mahesh Yogi who was coming to their college ( Vishwa Bharati women’s college Rainawari  ) on a specific   invitation from  Pandit  Prem Nath Thussu  , a Dedicated Educationist and Secretary of the college .  Lo ! Mahesh Yogi in Rainawari.  And subla  the vegetable cum fruit seller in Jogilanker  Rainawari  had already  told my mother that he would not be selling any vegetable or fruit for two days   as some GREAT  DERVAISH  is coming to Vishwa Bharti  college and he  needs  to set up a fruit Reddi /kiosk  outside the college for visitors   .
As far as I remember , swami ji came in a Decorated small houseboat with some shikaras .
Later I came to know that  Paul Horn the  Jazz Flautist ( Flute ) from USA was   also staying with Mahirishi Mahesh Yogi in Kashmir at that point of time.   Paul Horn in Kashmir !.

Paul Horn  was exposed the Transcendental Meditation technique in USA  and consequently  travelled to India to learn more  from  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Who is Paul Horn ?

Paul  Horn  or  the  founding father of THE NEW AGE MUSIC had  five  Grammy nominations and two Grammy Awards apart from having performed with  likes of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Chick Corea, Paul McCartney, Donovan, Quincy Jones, and Ravi Shankar. Mahirishi ji was a Kashmir lover . He visited Kashmir in 1951 or 1952 first time  on for his Amarnath  Pilgrimage .He also visited Kashmir in 1967, 1968 and 1969 .May be later on as well but I do not know.
  
During later years in my college ,  I came to know that   Paul Horn  had recorded a beautiful  LP /Album in kashmir .The album was  later sold as …..

PAUL HORN -IN KASHMIR – COSMIC  CONSCIOUSNESS.

This album he dedicated to Maharishi Mahesh yogi . And the album had Vocal , Dilruba and  Tambura credits to shri Chuni lal Kaul . It also had sitar played by Pandit J . N Shivpuri while the Tabla was played by Rajinder Raina . The track list included Aarti ( Prayer) , Raaga Ahir Bhairov,Tabla solo Teen Taal and Raga kerwani . About his music and meditation ,Paul  informs us :-
“We are traveling in historical time, from the present to the distant past. We are traveling inwardly as well, through the music of meditation.”
Paul is a magician when  he plays the Piano, Saxophone or the clarinet . And in flute , he comes matchless .Be it Potala Palace in Tibbet, or Taj In India or Pyramids of Giza   or With Beatles in Rishikesh,  he  was always   with his recording system .
So Long so much ……Let me sleep now and  keep dreaming . Let me dream again and again  those beautiful stories and events of  bygone era .
I conclude with the  poem  “ Khwaab Martay Nahin  or Dreams Never Die“ by urdu poet  Ahmed Faraaz..

(Khwaab  Maratay  Nahin )

Khwaab  Maratay  Nahin
Khwaab  Dil  hain na Aankhein  Na Saansein  ki Jo
Rezaa  rezaa huvey To Bikhar Jaayeingay,
Jism Ki Maut se yeh Bhi Mar jaayeingay,
Khwaab Martay Nahin  …
Khwaab To Roshini hain Navaa hain Hawaa hain ,
Jo  kaalay Pahaadon se Ruktay Nahin ,
Zulm Ke Doazakhon se bhi Funktay Nahin,
Roshini  Aur  Navaa Aur Hawaa ke Allum
Maqtalon Mein Pahunch kar Bhi Jhuktay Nahin ..
Khwaab To Harf hain ,
Khwaab  To Noor hain ,
Khwaab Sukraat Hain
Khwaab Mansoor hain..

In simple English the lines can be translated  as …….

Dreams never die.
Dreams are not like the heart , the eyes or the breath
That  will scatter  if broken .
Nor does the Body’s demise   bring death to the  Dreams.
Dreams are like Light ,Sound or the Breeze
No  Black mountain can impede their path .
No hell blaze  can destroy them .
The ensigns  of Light , sound and Air
 Never bend   even in  abattoirs .
Dreams are like  words .
Dreams are like  illumination.
Dreams are like  Socrates and
Dreams are like  *Mansoor……………………………
(*The great sufi saint Mansoor Al-Hallaj lived around 900 AD. He was cut into many pieces just because in a  state of ecstasy he exclaimed  “Ana al Haq "I am the Truth". People  thought that he was  saying  that” I am  God “. They  cut him into pieces and killed him .)

( Autar Mota ….27.03.2013 time 11.35 PM.. Good Night  )



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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

SHYAMA ZUTSHI : FIRST KASHMIRI GIRL TO ACT IN HINDI FILMS


                                                                                      


SHYAMA ZUTSHI ( Born 1910-1953  )

Shyama Zutshi was the first kashmiri  Girl who joined films in 1934. She acted in many films some of which are :- 

1 Shiv Bhakti in 1934

2 Majnu 1935

3 Khooni Jadugar in 1939.

4 *Kaarwaan e Hayaat ( 1935 ). 

(*A song from this movie ‘ DIL SE TERI NIGAAH “ sung by K L Sehgal became Quite Popular . Another song “KOYEE PREET KI REET BATAA DE ” sung by K L sehgal and Pahaari Sanyaal also became popular .)

Shyama Zutshi belonged to a well to do family of Lahore . Her father Ladli Prasad Zutshi   was a Barrister. She was quite a successful and sought after  actress  but  suddenly she  moved out from films and focused on Politics and freedom struggle . 
Shyama was a congress leader and a Front line freedom fighter along with her mother and sisters . The family   was influenced by Gandhi ji's Non Violent struggle    .


                                                                          



( Manmohini , Shyama , Janak with their mother Lado Rani . All four women were front line Freedom Fighters from Punjab ) 
Shyama had three  more  sisters  Chandra Kumari , Manmohini ( Born 1909 ) and Janak .Hailing from Affluent Kashmiri Pandit family of Lahore , these three sisters were Modern , Educated and enterprising . Ladli Prasad Zushi , their Father was a  was a nephew of Moti Lal Nehru. Shyama did her BA and joined Hindi Cinema . She was the first Kashmiri Pandit Girl to join films . She finally left the cinema and plunged herself into the freedom struggle of the country .And Manmohini is reported to be the most Rebellious child in the Zutshi family.She was born In Anand Bhawan Alahabad. She happened to be a favourite niece of Moti Lal Nehru .
The three sisters usually visited posh Mall Road ( Lahore ) for shopping along with their Mother Lado Rani .There used to be a Hotel known as “ ARAB HOTEL “ in Lahore before 1947 . It was just Opposite Islamia College .This Hotel was Frequented by elite of the city including prominent Artists,writers, poets and intellectuals. Zutshi sisters would be seen in this Hotel along with their Mother . Janak Zutshi was a Post Graduate in English and taught at Govt college for women Lahore ( Joined in 1930 and later resigned ) . These sisters knew Horse Riding , dancing , Bicycling and also took lesson in Music .Manmohini was a post Graduate in History . 

Chandra Kumari ( Born 1903 ) was married in Handoo Family at a very young Age. janak Kumari fell in love with Dr Jalil Asghar and married him. She was later known as janak Kumari Asghar . Dr jalil Asghar Moved to Pakistan in 1952 and Janak also moved to  lahore where at she died in 1997.  Shyma and Manmohini were married  in well off  Chopra and sehgal   families respectively. They were later known as Shyma Chopra and Manmohini Sehgal .
Another reason for Shyama zutshi  to quit films was the presence of a fellow kashmiri Actor Chander Mohan Wattal. Chander Mohan would always tell her to quit as according to him acting in films was not meant for girls from good families . Chander Mohan Wattal opposed the entry of kashmiri girls to films .

Once Shyama zutshi was out , another girl namely Yashodhara Kathju (niece of Pandit Nehru) was next in line of Kashmiri Pandit girls to join the Indian Film Industry. Chander Mohan Wattal  tried to ensure that Yashodara also leaves the films but this girl was tough . She ignored all requests from Chander Mohan .Yashodhara Kathju acted in many films from 1942 to 1960. Chnderlekha (1948 ) and Talaaq ( 1958 )were her milestone films. She married a Navy officer Suraj Prakash Chopra and lived a totally unnoticed /
quiet life.She died in 1953

The couple had a daughter  fondly  know as Bittoni .Bittoni was born in 1947 and died in 2009.

                                                                                          
                                                           ( Handwriting of Shyama Zutshi )
Shyama Zutshi is not to be confused with popular actress of 50s -- Shyama ( Khurshid Akhtar of Lahore ).

To conclude this mini post about these  creative and nationalist kashmiri   girls , I add the poem  ‘ BIRDS ‘ written by noted Kurdish Journalist cum poet Kajal Ahmed (Born 1967at Kirkuk in Iraq).  Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Norwegian and English. She is also well known in the world of Journalism writing essentially on issues concerning women , War, suffering humanity ,displacement of people across the countries and refugees . In her popular poem Birds , Kajal refers to the Kurds world over as Birds who had to leave their homeland in Iraq under most tragic circumstances and who are always building new nests and flying from country to country. 

( Birds )
by Kajal Ahmad

According to the latest classification,
Kurds now belong to a species of bird
which is why, across the torn, yellowing pages of history, 
they are nomads spotted by their caravans. 
Yes, Kurds are birds! And even when 
there’s nowhere left, no refuge for their pain, 
they turn to the illusion of travelling 
between the warm and the cold climes 
of their homeland. So naturally,
I don’t think it strange that Kurds can fly. 
They go from country to country 
and still never realise their dreams of settling, 
of forming a colony. 
They build no nests 
and not even on their final landing 
do they visit Mewlana to enquire of his health, 
or bow down to the dust in the gentle wind, like Nali……

(Translation from Sorani Kurdish was done by Dr Choman Hardi )

Autar Mota ..)

  

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

KASHMIRIS AND BAKERY PRODUCTS


            
Photo Autar Mota 


  
I have observed that  Kashmiris  now eat a lot of Bakery stuff .  Though they have their own indigenous Bakery known as KANDHAR- WAAN , yet the consumption of cakes , Patties , Biscuits , Pastries  and other bakery products is on a steady rise in Kashmir valley. There used to be   three or four  good Bakery shops in the city  some two decades back and the same have now increased to more than 150 at the moment . I  vividly remember only  Ahdoo’s Bakery  shop  serving  to city’s elite . Then came Gee Enn Bakery shop, followed by John Bakers Dalgate  Mughal Darbar  and many more . lately we have one more Bakery outlet  Chain  known as HAT TRICK  in  Srinagar city . This unit has several outlets in the city . The Bakery , Wazwaan, fast foods , Harissa, sweets,Tandoori and Non vegetarian snacks sold by this unit are certainly mouth watering . I have visited this outlet at Rajbagh Srinagar and the Chicken Tikka , Cakes and Pine Apple pastries sold over there is a class in itself.



There is a clear division amongst Bakery buyers in kashmir which is  based essentially on purchasing power. A good number of people still visit the traditional and cheaper  KANDHAR- WAAN or  indigenous Bakery   shop  for purchase of Kulchaa, Bread , Tseoch Vorr and Lawass every day . 
                                                     





You can find them  waiting outside the traditional Kandhar -Waan ( kashmiri Bakery )for their turn  for fresh Bread ( Tseot or Lawaas ) for the morning tea. This is the time for gossip as well. The traditional Baker ( Kandhur ) and his waiting  buyers keep wiping tears from their eyes . Tears brought by smoke in the shop created by burning of timber in the baker’s furnace or Tandoor.Not only the smoke  that keeps coming from the Tandoor  of the baker , You face discrimination as well. I have many times heard impatient buyers  complaining :-
“ Yemiss Tche Deututhh Su Aav  vienn . Mei Guvv Akh Gantaa Praaraan . Mei  Chhha  beyi  Praarun . ”
“ You have given the bread to a person who came just now . I have been waiting for the last one hour . Have I to wait still ?”
“ Hey mei Guvv Tcheir . Mei  Pyaan Garrie shalakh  ”
 “I am late . I shall get a good beating at my place .”
“ Kyaa sa Assi kar iyaa Vaarie . Mei  oussuyee bag Troavmut . Tche kattie Paiyee Oarr nazar ”
“ when shall my turn come ? I had kept the bag with you . You have not seen that .”
“ Mei chhu Basaan Ammi Khoataa Chhu jaan Double  Tcheott Kheiunn . Yeti Chhu sirf Daehh Ivaan achhhunn ” “
“ I think it is better to go for a Sliced bread than wait over here under smoke ”
“ Kyaa sa Zeuinn Anizihay Hoakh . Tche Maarithh Ammi Daehh saaet ”
“ You should have bought Dry Timber . You have just made us sick with this smoke . ”

 Modern bakery buyers need not shed tears . They happily buy   Bakery for functions and daily consumption in Bag loads . Oh yes the modern bakery buyer  has to  keep his  Lipid profile and  Blood sugar level  under observation ' Permit me to  conclude with some couplets of Urdu Poet Juan Elia ......



 kis se izhaar-e-muddaa keejiye.
 Aap milte nahin hain, kyaa keejiye.
 Aap thhay  jiske chaaraagar vo javaan,
 Sakht beemaar hain, du’aa kieejiye.
  Mujh ko aadat hai Ruuth jaane ki,
 Aap mujh ko manaa liyaa Keejiye.

( Autar Mota ...20th March 2013 .... Time 00.15 AM. Good Night . )                                                                           
                                                


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\.