Tuesday, July 23, 2013


By ..BANSI PARIMU ( 1933- 1991)..

Bansi Parimu ( 1933-1991 ) is One Artist from Kashmir, who remains under exposed inspite of his Profound creativity that not only matches with some eminent Artists of his time at National scene but also surpasses many of them.

   (Bansi Parimu with artist Sachida Nagdev  in 1970.  Photo source ... Jheeelaf Razdan)

About him ,Krishna Chaitanaya writes in his Monumental book “A HISTORY OF INDIAN PAINTING – MODERN PERIOD ( page 247-248 )”

‘ Late Bansi Parimu created more complex forms . Linear forms that straddle the frame , creating balancing directional thrusts. The areas of uniform colour have been given soft , pearly finish and isolated by contouring which often suggest the relief of cloisonné enamel but without the use of ridges of Impasto . In other areas , mottled effects and textures have been obtained in various ways : light roll ring over the ground colour with a different one , using the back of the brush for calligraphic arabesques , using the gauze overlays .’

About his work late M F Hussain wrote :

“ A dedicated painter from kashmir whom I came to know from my early Sixty visits . We became friends His work gained stature That could reflect beauty and turmoil of kashmiri People .The colour , the sound of its landscape creates an Orchestra of nature’s bounty .Parimu’s paintings keep singing the song of Creation that is kashmir on our planet.”

Let me speak a little about his later works . I have not seen much of his earlier work .

For sure , Bansi Parimu developed his personal Style on Figurative Abstraction . His colours are often Bright warm. His Geometrical forms floating in or held by his colours. I have observed that some of his Abstracts are at par with  work of  reputed Artists of  period  on National   scene  in terms of Colours and Styles that assimilate elements of cubism .

Parimu has an enormous sense of design while creating his forms and effects. For a serious lover of Art , he creates Something like energy fields .

And His work has also moved through stages of evolution and came a long way from Realistic water colours to impressionism and then figurative Abstracts and finally pure Abstracts .He uses a wide range of colour hues, including green, Blue, Red, Ochre in his compositions. This work demands a closer investigation and Multiple viewing ( Proximal and Distal ) to appreciate it in totality .

His work received wide appreciation in The festival of Art held in 2003 at Jasubhai Art Gallery, Shanmukhananda Hall Mumbai . Works of Artists like K H Ara, F N Souza, K K Hebbar and Rabindranath Tagore were also on display in this Exhibition .

 Exhibited in Many Galleries  his paintings are  also in  various Private hands .Some paintings  adorn the walls of Gallery Chankya and Lalit Kala Academy.

A self taught man, His work attracted the attention of some leading artists of his time . And I am sure he would have been one among them had he shifted to work in a bigger city like Mumbai.

Quite often I would pass through his Artistically built house known as “ TAKHLEEQ” at Sanat Nagar Barzulla. He loved flowers that he had cultivated in his lawn. This house had a huge single piece Glass window . He probably looked at clouds and changing seasons from this window only. He loved his friends that were so many. Shamim Ahmed shamim was possibly closer . He loved kashmir more than anything else . He loved its Flora , Fauna , Culture and People . He loved its valleys , seasons , culture , tradition and its heritage . When it was decided by the government to construct a Bridge near Convent crossing over river Jhelum , Bansi Parimu led the civil society in opposing the construction. He was an environmentalist as well.

I quote from Greater Kashmir News paper of 31.05.2012:

“Observers said in 1984 the then government led by Ghulam Muhammad Shah had conceived the idea to construct a bridge across Jhelum at Polo view. But as the construction would spoil –The Bund –the heritage walkway on the river banks, the move was resisted tooth-and-nail by the then civil society, particularly art lovers. Bansi Parimu had threatened to go for self immolation should the government go ahead with the plan. Parimu is believed to have started a campaign that the concrete bridge would destroy the charm of this only green walkway left in the City.”

He never wanted to leave his TAKHLEEQ or his Native Land even when Armed Militancy had knocked off everything by spreading its unending Blanket of Fear , Death and Destruction . In May 1990, painfully and Very reluctantly he had to leave the place that he loved so dearly.

Leaving Kashmir was not easy for him. It meant leaving a culture . It meant leaving its hills , flowers , Brooks , Snows, Seasons and Birds. No man is born twice . No man can live on memories. And no flowering and Fragrant plant grows in heat and dust of Alien lands should it be uprooted. “COBWEBS OF APATHY” or “SMEARED SNOWS “ OR “RED KNOWS NO CREED “are creations of this deep rooted feeling of homelessness and bloodshed in his native land .

This is what M K RAINA   leading Theatre personality of the Country told me ..

“ Sometime around fifties  of the Last century ,so many good things were happening in Kashmir on Art, Music  and Theatre Front . Then came Jashn e Kashmir and it provided a platform to   so many  talented people from the  valley .  In this gala  event , Bansi  Parimu surfaced up  with positive vibes and appreciation from all quarters   . As a Young talented artist ,  he had designed and decorated many hoardings and posters for that event and  worked relentlessly with other  Creative people .
He  graduated from Landscapes to Pure Abstracts . He also  kept   gradually emerging not only on  local scene of art but on national scene as well .In that journey ,  He created  very close association with  so many artists on national scene purely on account of his talent .I could feel that he   had come out of the cocoon to  spread and fly high  even by remaining  Kashmir based  ; By Cocoon I mean  an environment in which    so many  talented people  from the creative arena   were  forced  to live in  kashmir Valley  because of  so many factors  even when they had talent and originality  . Thanks to  Information Technology, things are far better now. You have communication , Links , Network and Continuous  interaction   with outside world through   Internet  .
 His observation was extraordinary .  He was a rebel.  As person ,he was sensitive to the core .
I believe G R Santosh and Bansi Parimu alone emerged on the national scene and represented Kashmir. I saw him at Triveni kala Sangam in 1980 exhibiting his work .A visit to him was a must as and when my wife and me visited Kashmir . He had some special love for me. He even arranged our stay free of cost once .
What a home he had designed at  Baghaat Barzulla ?  I mean Takhleeq . Many times he walked with me right from Palladium cinema to Coffee House and kept talking about his Non art concerns like Environment , Dal Pollution  or Extinction of Chinar Tree and many more.

And then , I saw him in  1990 in Delhi . I helped him to set up an exhibition. That time I found him a totally changed man. He carried a deep hurt . He felt  totally  Uprooted  like a fish taken out from water . Migration from Kashmir  had hit him deep. The scars and bruises were deep down his soul. It was visible in his work . It probably hastened the process of degeneration of the body . No coffee House , No friends  and a deep sense of rootlessness.  But yes , He carried no ill feeling against any individual  and nursed a great hope of return to his dear Kashmir  .
 I loved his abstracts with  vibrant colours .  His art was noticed and then  appreciated by men like  M F Hussain , Tayab Mehta, Ram Kumar , Satish Gujral and many more. He  represented Kashmir on national Art Scene. Any National Artist going to Kashmir was always advised to meet him and see his work. That was the word in the Art fraternity of  the country   before 1990 . Had he lived  more, He would have been one amongst the top Artists of the country.”


“ In addition to Kishori Kaul, Sant Ji Sultan and Nisar Aziz , Bansi Parimu was a regular visitor to our house. He would come to see my Uncle late Dwarka Nath Gigoo Rajkamal. My uncle was a writer , Painter and a Musician . Say all in one. I was a young boy and would see Young Bansi ji drawing sketches in presence of My Uncle . One day Bansi ji told me to make some lines on sheet of paper . I drew so many lines and handed over the paper to him. He joined all the lines randomly and quickly .To my surprise he drew sketches of a man , a woman and a building by simply joining these lines . That day I understood his Artistic originality and prowess .
And one day we went together to see “ Do Ankhein Baraah Haath “ in Amrish Talkies . By Together I mean myself , Bansi ji , My uncle and Prof. Sant ji Sultan. We walked back home on foot singing “ Aey Malik Teray Bandhe Hum “
Many times i have been to his somewhat old and small house at Habba kadal where one small room he had made for his activities like painting , Making Models or Writing . All of us are a product of these timber , Mud and brick structures. One day there was a strange purpose behind our sudden visit to his room. We went to see the Model from two Soap Bars that he had made . He had bought two slabs of home made soap and made a Crescent with a Star and a Lotus flower by careful use of a knife on two soft Soap bars . He was displaying that Models to public outside his house . So many visited his house to see these unusual Models .
Some Muslim Visitors said ,
“ Bansi ji you have made Crescent and star. May Allah Grant you good health and Luck.”
Many Pandit visitors said,
“ This is something Great . He has made Brahma’s Lotus. May he prosper.”
I have personally seen how perfect and swift his fingers moved. This was something Gifted and natural . Bansi ji always kept close association with anybody and everybody connected with Art. This appetite drew him closer to some leading artists of the state . It brought his closer to some renowned artists of the Country .His observation was sharp and he was carefree man who had incredible appetite for learning, assimilation and experimentation . He learnt by Observation and scrutiny. In a way totally self taught . Painting , tearing apart , repainting again and again till he was satisfied. He thus practiced centuries old Vedic Doctrine of NETI NETI. A process of self learning or an Appraisal of reality through self inquiry and investigation.
Ram kumar well known Artist once wrote an Article on Bansi Parimu in late fifties of the last century that was published in widely read Hindi Magazine Dharmyug . In fact Ram kumar had mentioned his visit to the Habba kadal room cum studio in particular in that article.
He had an unshakable disbelief in Religious Rituals yet a profound empathy for Every human being practicing any faith or cult. He was influenced by so many senior friends most of whom had communist leanings. It Brought him closer to Communist cadre of the Valley . Without any political ambition , he worked selflessly for DNC that was Quasi communist group led by G M Sadiq. Finally he drifted away from Politics and moved to Other more important causes like” Save Hangul “ and “Save Chinar" and many more.
I believe by 1960 , he made himself known as an artist from the valley . Last but not the least , he had a strong trait of Fearlessness in his personality .It forced him to speak the truth irrespective of personal loss. In 1986 he had an argument with S. B. Chavan - the then Union Minister for Human Resources - was in Srinagar in connection with a project for the wildlife conservation in the Valley. To the utter surprise of all, He got up from the audience and spoke directly to the minister about what he felt.
Once he even refused to accept an award from a minister . In 1984, During Ghulam Mohd Shah’s rule , he threatened to undertake self immolation if the Government went ahead with cutting of old Chinar Trees on Bund to construct a New Bridge over river jhelum near Zero Bridge.
I am certain that if he were not an artist , he would have been a Photographer and an accomplished one . He had an Imported camera when he was unmarried . I am lucky to have been photographed by him with that camera. He could have been a successful Journalist as well..".

About  Artist Bansi Parimu , Mohan Krishen Tikoo Managing Trustee  Bhagwan Gopi Nath Ji Ashram said :

 "  Bansi   remained  a close  friend  from Sapriyaar days. He was like a family member .  Just a week before his death , I was about to Board a matador at Jewel chowk that I felt some person patting me on my back. I got  down from the Matador foot rest and to my surprise , I saw Bansi . He was not so cheerful as I had always  seen him. The Migration had almost killed his soul . He held me in tight embrace and I asked him to come home . He said “NO”  as he had returned from patni top and  was leaving for Delhi. I said “ FINE “ . let me see you in Delhi . I was planning to go to Delhi after a month . He said  who knows what may happen tomorrow .  May be we don’t meet again. Today’s  meeting is the reality .  Just  after 15 or 20  Days  I  came to know about  his death. I was shocked and his words proved Prophetic .

 Bansi had tremendous  observation . He had enormous appetite to acquire knowledge by self study .He was born as Bansi lal sapru but  was adopted by his father ‘s widowed sister who was married in Parimu family .  Dawaa-khaana Alkausar lal Chowk  was owned by this parimu  family.

His eldest Brother was Mohan lal sapru who was a senior officer in Postal Department . Bansi was second child . Then was Kanhaya lal Sapru and the youngest was Rattan Lal Sapru who possibly retired as DSP in Police Department . Bansi had three sisters .
 Initially he had taken a room on rent . The room was located on the upper story of the shop of Ali Mohd and sons Booksellers Habba kadal. From that place he then shifted to his own room that he made as studio cum living room. His friends and guests would come to that room only. That room was frequented by DP Dhar , M L Misiri , Syed  Mir Qasim ,  Mr Renzu and Naadim  sahib apart from so many persons . It was an ordinary house in Habbal kadal  locality just opposite  to  Srinagar Medical store ( Prop jagan Nath ) . To tell you the truth , DNC ( Democratic National Conference ) was actually born in Bansi’s room cum studio.

  Bansi and his friends would make posters and publicity material for DNC from this room only . Bansi would distribute DNC  posters on his bicycle . DNC was against Bakshi Ghulam Mohd and had the patronage of G M sadiq.

He would visit S N Butt  and D N Wali . He was more drawn towards S N Butt  . At that place he was introduced to  new  styles in Art  . That is what he would say to me . But he then studied these forms independently as well  . Read books and mastered  these styles . I have seen him doing landscapes initially , a few portraits also and then variety of forms.

He did so many government projects .  I have also seen Many Houseboat owners coming to his living  room cum  Studio with European tourists to Buy Art. To me he would say , I don’t move to sell. Buyers come to this shabby room . “ Sau Sunaar Ki par Ek Lohaar ki “ . I was once present when a Houseboat owner brought some European Buyers for three paintings .  one he had priced at 1600 second 2000 and third 3000. The buyers asked for some concession but Bansi said No . Nothing doing  .
He had not attended College but he wrote wonderful English .

He was a real secular person  in his conviction and beliefs  though not temple going yet I for one know that he believed in some spirituality  but not in rituals . He was a  communist at Heart  .

He was a  clean man,  Silent  helper to causes dear to him  and truly compassionate human being. So many persons were helped by him without making a noise or fuss .  This help could go to a Pandit or a Muslim . He was free from that consideration. He would also sit with Prof.  N N Raina  .Almost all the Muslims of Habba kadal respected him.

He was deeply into politics of kashmir with practically no ambition for chair or money . a selfless karmyogi .I vividly remember how a message once came from  Sri Shafi Qureshi sahib  to him to join congress party but he refused , He was even offered some senior Party  post and some  financial grant . He declined .

 He had enormous contacts  and well wishers outside the state. One of the lovers of his art was Satish Gujral brother of I K  Gujral.

 Speak to Capt  S K Tikoo   . He also knew Bansi closely from Habba kadal days   ”

This is what Capt.S K Tikoo a very intimate friend of Bansi Parimu told me in Delhi:

" How much can you note down  and how much should I tell you ? I knew him from school days . He was a great friend . We were almost together when I was in Kashmir .

In National school , every year ,   junior boys  would wish farewell to 10th class students by organizing a grand event and singing ALVIDA ALVIDA . He led that event once and I remember his meticulous involvement for that event. It was 1945 or 1946.  During his School days ,  He was more drawn towards Drawing ,   Model making and other activities  than Books .

He was a non conformist since childhood. In later years of his life it became  a part of his personality . Always against the current without bothering for the consequences  or personal losses .

Before marriage , he was totally  careless  about money matters    or I should say earning from the sale of his paintings. He would spend from his pocket , put his time and energy in his work and then give paintings  free to friends . I was gifted four  paintings in that process .  They were my prized possessions . I lost them all  apart from losing Bansi ji.. Everything was burnt and lost in the blaze as my house was set on fire by miscreants post migration. I could hardly remove anything . Only memories remain in tact.

Coffee house was a place where he met his friends  almost  everyday. He had so many concerns , so many issues close to his heart and all for the welfare of the common man in Kashmir . He would put them before the concerned authorities candidly  as and when he got an opportunity .By opportunity I mean  in gatherings , Public functions or one to one meetings . Many times , he would get up in public functions and put forth his point of view brushing aside all norms or creating unpleasantness for the organizers . That was a selfless service to the common man of Kashmir , I have not seen a person in Kashmir who had such courage of conviction .

Never ever has he sought a favour for himself.  Sometimes , His Rebel temperament did not go well with some   haughty  Bureaucrats . I remember Mrs Parimu being transferred to Baramulla  to settle scores with Bansi ji . But he never ever approached any person to get her transferred back.

He slept very less . I would ask him when  did he paint and he would say  “At Night” . I would always suggest him to cut short his Non  Art Engagements and avoid late sleep. But Bansi was not the person to change his principles . This probably played havoc with his health. And  Migration  from his dear Homeland gave him the final shock . It killed him. I can’t tell you how bad he felt when he arrived in Delhi as a refugee leaving everything behind.

We worked together for Communist Party  Of India . He was also associated with the CPI Newspaper “KASHMIR” . Together we would hawk it in Bazaars . Then I told him to be away and remain  busy with his work. Those were the formative years of DNC in Kashmir . So many meetings in his Habba Kadal room  cum Studio. In that ordinary room he had his studio, meeting place and bed room. That  time he had not shifted to his  new house at Barzulla . He was a bachelor. M L Misri , K D Sethi , Mufti Syed and Ram Pyara saraf have also visited that room and gone up those dark and mud mixed with wood staircase .  Anybody who was somebody in State’s political Hierarchy has visited that room. Even  two former  Chief Ministers  of the state . He was always selfless. He only  thought of amelioration of the sufferings of common kashmiris .  And Communism was a Great Hope at that point of time.
There was a Magnetic Charm in his personality . One meeting and you were bowled over by the sincerity of his purpose and selflessness.

In 1957, when DNC was launched  with fanfare and  a gala event in Gole Bagh Park , he was the key organizer . It was October and  we had an  unusual snowfall that day. The shamiyana fell to ground but the organizers stayed at the venue in  with Bansi ji  persuading everybody to stay put and not get disheartened .

As Artist  ,he experimented with various forms, mediums and styles .I saw him using knife on huge soap bars. I saw him making Murals with bottles and ropes.  He used broken glass pieces to create marvelous art. He was always experimenting , reading and keenly observing  woks of some great Artists. I believe he learnt by that method.

 He had twin strategies when he dealt with people around . To elders he gave sufficient respect . To juniors he gave appropriate guidance. Help he would do without  making any noise . Quite often financial help as well irrespective of caste or religion.

I can’t recall all his coffee house friends . They were so many  from so many fields .  Sometimes during summers , Artist M F Hussain would also drop in . Yes   Shamim Ahmed Shamim,  Ali Mohd Lone , Nissar Artist , Ghulam  Rasool  Santosh,  Prof. Saproo ( Elder brother of Dr R K Saproo ) and Abdul Majeed Baba   sat with him almost regularly   . He  had  closest  rapport with Brij Bhardwaj the  then Hindustan times correspondent posted in Valley .  My friend and Senior Journalist Anil Maheshwari knew him well from Srinagar days. In fact   post 1990, Anil ji was his neighbor in Ghazibaad.

His 26th January Tableaus were always  innovative and depicting cultural panorama of our state .  Apart from  Prime minister , So many National Leaders were impressed by them.
His Write ups for  national Newspapers were  analytical and  based on Ground realities . I will not reveal all but so many National leaders read them without fail.  Peace and Welfare of the masses was the bottom line  of his writings and political commentaries .  He had no personal interest.

When Government led by  Ghulam Muhammad Shah  planned   to construct a bridge across Jhelum at Polo view   (that meant cutting of   so many Chinar Trees  and spoiling the Bund walkway ),  Bansi ji  threatened to go for self immolation should the government go ahead with the plan. He was a strong voice for preservation and protection of Heritage, Water bodies, Flora , Fauna and wild life of the state more particularly of Kashmir.

I was at his bedside when he breathed his last. I flew to Delhi to see him when I came to know about his condition. He was on bed.  Due to some Gangrene wound ,  One leg had already  been amputated and  he  was unconscious . A balloon type of thing was to be pressed and it sent air to his lungs.  His eyes were closed  yet I could see  a  Facial  glow  of this dearest friend  . The doctors told me to keep pressing the balloon and I did. I found he breathed only when I pressed . If I stopped , he gasped for ventilation or oxygen . It was all over in few minutes . That was my Bansi  . This pain I am carrying with me all along since that day. So painful end of such a loving person.

I am privy to his  help to so many persons to stand up.  A letter of introduction , a telephone call and  sometimes accompanying them  in person  . Any person from any creed  or religious background could  seek his  help .And presently I find  all  these persons  not  uttering a word of thankfulness to him. It is just painful .  It is an act of ungratefulness  for the establishment that does Not recognize  his selfless efforts in so many fields  (apart from promotion of Art in the state ) .  Personally,  quite often,   I feel bad for his early death . I feel bad for   outliving him. He had much to do and contribute.”

This is what ASKPC Leader Hriday Nath Jattu told me About Artist Bansi Parimu....

“ Bansi was our Habba Kadal Neighbour . He was self taught and self made man . He was a rebel with strong feelings for poor. I have seen him from his childhood days. He was a bird of free sky . No institution could put him in a cage . Getting tied to formal education was not his cup of tea but he mastered the art of writing English to such an extent that he could beat any highly educated Journalist or writer. His write ups had a clear perspective .I was an admirer of his analysis and political write ups. As a young boy , He was often seen around Ganpatyar area either going to the house of late S N Butt Artist or D N Wali or Raina family. He would meet father of Mohan Raina whom we called Bobu ji and who was an Artist and Model maker. These places acted as his initial training centres . Later he moved to other people and also mastered his Style by Observation and study.

Although he was not a religious man But as kashmiri and more specifically as a Pandit , he had very strong feelings . He was impartial and for him there was hardly any difference between a Pandit or a Muslim. If he could help a person ,If he could do what he was capable of doing , Bansi would never hesitate . I will not make certain things public but let me tell you that Bansi ji has helped so many person to get jobs , to get admission and guided them as to what they should learn in art and where they should go . I have personally taken many boys to him and sought his help. I believe by 1960 , he had established his name as an Artist in Kashmir valley .

Bansi ji was the soul of Coffee house . He had a communist bent of mind that I don’t disagree . But I have seen him as a man who believed in some sort of spirituality and kashmir’s sainthood . From him, I have also secured some donation for a social cause . Please don’t ask details nor shall I disclose these. He was a silent helper . Not many people know that D N Ghasi was his close friend , I don’t recollect full name of another gentleman Moza by surname as his friend . In 1957, He was very closely associated with the formation of DNC or democratic National Conference , a splinter group of J&K National Conference created by Leftists within the Party and headed by G M Sadiq. He would prepare posters and pamphlets for DNC and then distribute them on his Bicycle together with his friends right from lal Chowk to Down Town . Jammu Group of DNC was led by Ram Piara saraf. I have seen Mr saraf also inside His small one room at sapriyaar Habba kadal . That was his world and his studio cum activity room . Yes he would Move with M L Misri , Dina Nath Nadim, Prof. N N Raina, D P Dhar , Shamim Ahmed shamim , G M sadiq and many other known leftist Leaders or intellectuals or writers from Kashmir. Politics was a" SHOGUL" for him. He never sought any office of profit for himself from any political giant with whom he was closely associated.“


I spoke to him over telephone and he was kind enough to inform:

 "  After the visit of S H Raza, there was dramatic  forward movement in  the field of Modern Art in kashmir . Raza came with  new exposures hitherto unknown. I mean french impressionism, cubism , figurative abstract and so many other things. He was already exposed to all these styles and schools of Art.

 I  too was initially inclined towards Art. The progressive group comprising of Triloke kaul, S N Bhat and P N Kachru would  meet  every Friday at a restaurant on Bund near present day location of " Suffering Moses " export House. This restaurant was opened by Mr Madan an educated entrepreneur  who was also a connoisseur of Art. And one Friday possibly in 1954 , two young  boys also joined us. One was Bansi Parimu and the other was Mohan Lal Moza. Bansi had brought some Paintings alongwith him. Incidentally G R Santosh had also come that day. This young boy who later came to be known as Bansi Parimu had passion and all of saw something different. He was experimenting and  every one including S N Bhat felt happy to see his work.That is my first memory of seeing Bansi Parimu.

Later on ,  i kept watching this young boy moving  from one milestone to another. His drawing turned robust. He  attained a  fantastic style of colour application. These colours were Vibrant and attracted attention. He arrived at pure abstract  meandering his way through  Landscapes,  Impressionism, Cubism and figurative abstracts. I didn't find him doing realistic Art work. He did some  larger works also like Murals and  Tableau ;  All worth appreciation.
Bansi came from a very humble background . He did not join any college or institution after leaving his school ; But he wrote and spoke beautiful English  that some of us envied . His  contemporaries, who had spent some years in Art  Institutions to learn,  would sometimes  say " Bansi chhu  oraai Hechhith Aamut or Bansi has been trained by Almighty ". Bansi  always saw a lot of works of world renowned  Artists. He had a very sharp memory and quick  grasp. His   observation was superb. .And that helped him a lot.

He was a real Rebel  , always conscious and  awake .For him self respect had enormous value. A loveable and affectionate  man and very nice to talk to. Always updated on any issue . His argument had strength of logic and reasoning.

His political activities were never meant to achieve proximity to power.Bansi  ji was always interested in the welfare of the  common man ;  A free crusader  .

In 1975, when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah came to power, he wanted to convert Present Emporium Building and the entire premises into  "Tehzeeb Mahal " a  huge  cultural centre. Even architects were retained to design it.Bansi ji started a crusade against the idea fearing all lofty chinars would be cut  and the  heritage garden complex in the heart of the city would be converted to a concrete structure. The proposal did not move ahead .

 Initially , sadiq sahib and DP Dhar patronised him. Later, he made his own way solely on the basis of his merit. Bansi ji was involved in the production of the play Taqdeer saaz . The play was a direct hit on the regime in power at that time. He never ever compromised with his beliefs  for self interest or personal gains .And never at the cost of common man.

For Academy of Art , Culture And Languages, he drew a fantastic  portrait of  Budshaah or  sultan Zain ul Abdin making full use of his imaginative Power.

You are right he did not get a very good deal  that he deserved. People forgot him and his contribution.He died under painful circumstamces after losing everything in the valley's current turmoil."


“     Bakshi Sahib’s Jashn e Kashmir of 1956   opened many opportunity gates    for Artists , Writers and other creative people . It  brought many talented and creative people to Limelight  and Bansi  Parimu was one among them.  Post Jashn e Kashmir ,  State’s Information Department  started  engaging Artists  for   making   Posters  , Creating Murals   and  Preparing  publicity  Material  .  Local Artists were  engaged for making Tableaus for  republic  day Parade. .

As far as I recollect , Except Mohan Raina and Bansi ji , Not many  Artists were   familiar with  work relating to  Preparation of   Publicity  material  ,  making  Murals and  Poster Work during   those days. May be many had the expertise But Mohan ji and Bansi ji were visible. Mohan Raina was a Government employee while Bansi ji was a freelancer .

Because of his talent , Bansi ji   got some remunerative assignments from FIELD SURVEY ORGANIZATION ( F S O )   . FSO was meant  to propagate policies of late  G M Sadiq  . Bansi ji worked with  FSO for about 3years  and created  so many   Posters , Designs and Publicity Material  . Yes Sadiq sahib was a real connoisseur of  Art . He held Bansi Ji In High esteem.  .   Late  J N Zutshi   was also  an ardent  admirer of Bansi  ji’s work .

I have seen  Bansi ji  learning from Master Kashi Nath Bhan , Triloke  kaul , D N Wali and S N  Bhat. He was more drawn towards S . N. Bhat    . He would also read a lot of literature and Books on Art and was always in look out for such material.
Though he was very close to D P Dhar but on some principles , once  he went against him as well. And D P  sahib understood his compulsions  .  There was hardly any malice in his action.  I will not elaborate  details . I would say that DP Sahib even turned more affectionate to him once he understood  the purpose behind  his action.
Bansi ji  was a self taught man who had clarity  and grip on what he did . People say that Bansi Parimu was a painter  But  I would add that he could even be a very good Actor had he continued  in that field. Once , possibly in October 1968 , we decided to stage Ali Mohd Lone’s play Taqdeersaaz in Tagore Hall . At My insistence , Bansi JI  Performed the role of President  Thakur Durga  Dass ( Retired Judge ) . That day I understood that he had creative abilities in all fields.

Bansi ji  was an ace photographer . His Photo frames were  speaking  testimony of his  creative mind . Any event , any function any meeting , Bansi would be with his camera . He dressed well  and dressed in his own style that was not dictated by the crowd or current fashion .  He had a separate persona .He was always meant for bigger gatherings . A crowd puller and heart throb of any Group /  meeting .

I have not seen him drinking in Bars  though he would accompany friends to Bars .Practically , Bansi ji was   a teetotaler. I remember having joined   two or three  parties     with  some  friends where he was also present .  Liquor was also served in these get together functions   .  Although he always avoided liquor, But when he was cornered or pressed  repeatedly  ,   He would take  very less .i say very very less. . As   Liquor was poured  in his glass ,  He would  turn unhappy  and   cry ;

“ Buss Buss  or  Enough , stop It . Enough , Stop It . “

He   had big circle of friends both within and outside the state . These friends were    writers , artists, Politicians  and intellectuals . Prof. Riyaz Punjabi and Shamim Ahmed Shamim were  very  close to him. He  valued this friendship and loved both of them . In coffee House ,  i could see him in the company of  Abdul Majid Baba , Ali Mohd Lone and many more friends  . He was the soul of any group discussion. Sometimes he would be in coffee house for more than 6 hours.
He was a man of commitment and conviction . If at any point of time , he felt convinced that something  was inappropriate  or unprincipled ,   For him, it remained so  for all times to come. He would not agree to change his opinion even if  it meant some  personal loss to him . Never ever did he indulge in seeking personal favours  from  his friends  who occupied high seats of power .
He had a heart of gold. A reliable and trustworthy friend. A lover of nature , environment , Flora and Fauna of our state . One day we walked along the Bund and very seriously , he  revealed  his  innovative  Plan to  me as to how the city of Srinagar could be saved from fury of floods  . He talked about Plantation of  more Chinar  and Walnut trees for posterity .  He gave so many bright  ideas  as  we walked and talked  .
He was always jovial and friendly with Mohd Sultan Dandroo his neighbor . Sitting on his window , he would chat with Mohd sultan . Mohd sultan retired as Principal degree college Baramulla .

Mohan Krishen Tikoo   Managing Trustee of Bhagwan Gopi Nath Ashram was also his close friend . More like a family member . Ratinder kaul ( Police officer ) was also his close  friend .
Bansi ji  got afflicted with  Arthritis and  Diabetes   during last days of his life  .  Something very tragic and painful. Migration from kashmir valley that he loved so intensely  hit his body and soul .  He felt a deep hurt  somewhere within his Soul.

His integrity was crystal clear  .  His Heart was free from any malice .  Such sincere and loving human beings are god’s gift to this world. ”

 Shri Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo Panun Kashmir Leader  adds  :

"Bansi Parimoo will be remembered as an accomplished ARTIST who played with colours, imagination and vision. Uprootment from valley   and  pangs of Exile had given deep bruises to his psyche .He was the one who was with us in the opening Public programme of Panun Kashmir on 24 Jan 1991 at Gandhi Bhawan, Jammu. He opened with the words...."Hello Sufferers". 

Shri Ram Krishen Sadhu a family friend informs :

 “Bansi Parimu occupied a prominent position amongst the great Artists of our time . This is certainly a well recognised fact. But for those of us , who knew him closely, he was a Great  human being as well. Well read and highly knowledgeable,  It was a treat to engage in a  discussion with him on  variety of subjects, be it literature, current economic and political issues  etc.. He had his  strong views about some matters and was a true embodiment of genuine Kashmiriyat. Migration out of valley was something which he could not reconcile with. I had frequent sessions with him in Delhi those days till he went to Kud to avoid harsh summers. After his return ,we just had one meeting and next I saw him in AIIMS New Delhi  when  his daughter Jeelaf called me. In his shocking and premature exit, we  lost immensely talented Artist and a warm Human being.  I shall  always miss him .”

Mohd Sayeed Malik  A very Senior Journalist and  another family friend adds :

  “ Our close acquaintance with Bansi Parimu and  his family is over half a century old. Bansi's promising talent was cut short by his tragic premature death. Earlier his ailment prevented him from pursuing his artistic passion. Considering his potential, Bansi could have scaled far greater heights in his field, if his life were not cut short at its prime.”

Shantiveer Kaul , Poet , Writer and  Critic said
something like this ...

" See I knew Bansi ji in two ways . As a young boy of 6 years , I saw him coming to our house regularly to see Nadim sahib , My father . Later during my youth , I started interacting with Bansi ji on one to one basis. Possibly it was through Umesh kaul My close friend , that I came close to Bansi ji .My friendship with him got strengthened by various meetings and commonality of interest .

Bansi Parimu was a master in experimentation with New Techniques .He had mastered the technique of using knife and wax on canvas, a skill with which Artists in kashmir were not familiar with. Most of them , that includes even seniors , used only water colours or Oils to paint. His way was quite departure from the Traditional Art Scenario that was robust and Blossoming post formation of Progressive Artists Association in valley . S H Raza’s visit and stay in Kashmir proved a catalytic agent for a sudden impetus to Modern Art . Immediate to Raza’s visit , S N Bhat, Triloke kaul and P N Kachru piloted the movement of Modern Art in Kashmir . Subsequent Contribution of Mohan Raina can not be overlooked although he was busy in his Government Job.In fact Mohan Raina created the Emblem for the state . Bansi ji and G R Santosh led the second generation of Modern artists that had Nissar Aziz, M K Bhat , A K Raina , Gayoor Hassan and so many others . Very soon he created a space for himself and proved a guide and mentor to so many new faces .

He started from Landscapes, Moved to Figurative style , some experimentation with Impressionism and cubism and finally settled at pure Abstracts.

If he painted Kashmir, it always had a deep cultural shade or story to convey . I mean his paintings like Kathi Darwaza or  women in Grief  or Tahar (Yellow rice )distribution on a street. He had the material to impress Artists from national scene .

Bansi ji was a self taught artist who learnt mostly from observation . And his camera work was equally artistic , So was his writing . If he were not an Artist , he could have been an amazing photographer or a skilled journalist .Politics was nothing more than hobby for him . He never derived any pecuniary advantage from it.

I have watched him at work . His long fingers used to wield the brush like a Violinist and surgeon combined in one . Alas ! Those long fingers got afflicted with Arthritis once he returned from some Middle East / Gulf assignment. Post migration from valley , His last exhibition was held in Delhi . M K Raina ( well known Theatre Personality ) and i helped him to set up that Exhibition at Sridharni Art Gallery (Triveni kala sangam ). It was comparable to any Greatest exhibition in the world . I mean so many people , so many artists , so many Art Connoisseurs visited that exhibition.

He was a regular to India coffee house in Srinagar . Not for gossip but for another passion. A serious concern for environment and civil rights . His table had the largest Gathering and he was the centre of attraction. He was into so many societies and Bodies for that reason. I mean bodies like Save Chinar , Save Hangul, Parihaaspora Task Force , Urban arts Council, INTACH and so many like that .

Bansi ji was a bridge between Artists at the National scene and artists from the state . The Artists camps in Kashmir were a result of his initiative . I attended the Ganderbal camp ; What a splendid and eventful it was with so many national artists participating ? These camps could not have been possible had he not got involved .

He dressed immaculately. Many times friends would ask ; "Where from does he buy his dresses?" They were generally informal and defined his personality . A jacket , A T shirt , Sandals and something like that .

He was an ace Photographer .
He had built his house in an artistic manner . I mean the glass front , the studio, The garden , flowers beds and all that open ambiance . I would say he had put his “ Khoone Jigar ” to it . And then losing everything . Migration from Kashmir valley hastened the process of so many of his ailments overtaking him. A very Tragic end of a dear friend . He must have been 57 or 58 years old when he died. That is no age to die. It took me  sometim to reconcile to the reality of his not being around.

That is all I can tell you hurriedly at the moment ."


" Yes i knew Bansi Ji. He was senior to me . I had some  three or four close  interactions with him. He  was Srinagar based and i was always in Delhi ; Consequently , we could not meet frequently . To me,  he was a senior  like a Guru. .Long back i met him in middle East  perhaps  in Dubai as well.He was intense in everything that he did.Intense for any cause and  Intense with colours  . Always  brilliant with colours  and Conversation. . Zinda Rehtay to Kamaal Kartay  ( Had he lived , He would have done wonders ). Unfortunately he came to Delhi in a very bad shape when he had  been uprooted from his homeland .Had it been in sixties or seventies of last century , he would have been among the top names  in the world of Art .He was politically aware and  very much concerned about Kashmir that was close to his Heart.

Coming to his Art, i will say that he  was perfect in his experimentation with the Visual Language . His application of colours was innovative and matchless .

 I repeat , had he lived more he would have added a new Horizon to Art.

Convey my best wishes to his family . I met his daughter in Mumbai . She had come to see my Exhibition "

Well known Theatre ,Radio and TV personality  Bihari Kak told me:

" It was 1991 possibly ; And one day i saw Bansi Parimu visiting us at Coffee House Jammu  ( Now Jammu Press Club) . He had a camera with him. He sat with us and had a  long  discussion on prevailing situation .He took so many group photos of idle  Migrant  Artists that day.  He clicked some Individial photographs as well. From his body  language, i could feel as if he was in  some great hurry. It looked as if  photographing us  on that day  was a mission for him .  And he accomplished  it in an hour or so.  He   developed all these photographs same day and met me at Raghunath Bazar next day.
" Bihari  ji,  Take these photographs and ensure every person gets a copy. I have retained my copies. I wanted to deliver everybody his copy but i don't know where all of you  live . I  cant delay it. I have to leave for Delhi and then you don't know what may happen tomorrow. I feel pained to see you here in altogether different circumstances.   For you Artists,  i  say please Don't get disheartened.    A great misfortune has visited us. This won't remain  with us forever.  It is a cyclone and its nature is to cause death and destruction . Its job is to uproot life and scatter it."
 I received the photographs and  did as per his wishes.  After about ten days, i went to Delhi for some work. I wanted to meet Prof Riyaz Punjabi after a long time. He was Delhi based during those days. We didn't have mobile phones at that time so i went to a nearby private  PCO  to speak  to   Prof. Riyaz Punjabi .And he said:
" Bihari  ji , you are welcome any time but today i am sad and disturbed . Bansi Parimu is no more. He is being cremated today. "
 It was very painful news for me. Somehow i managed to Join his cremation that day  ." .  "

 Well known Businesssman Abdul Majid Baba Adds  :

I got to know him during my University days and the association lasted till he left Srinagar in early 90's.We being neighbours would often meet at his house. Such a gentleman and such a friend... we would meet almost every morning.How much I miss him , Santosh Sahab..Lone Sahab, Shamim Sahab ,  Shyamji  and My childhood buddy Amin Andrabi Sahab ?How much we have lost in these years ? The more i think of him the more I realise about his varied interests. He was a multidimensional personality in true sense of the word and above all an extremely good quality human being .I saw him last a night before he migrated. My eyes would search for him in that abandoned house till it was purchased by some one else. How painful it is to recollect the trauma  we all have gone through ?”

With an unhealed wound of exile , he fell victim to many secondary health problems that cut short his creative life.

His life and work can be summed up by a couplet of Poet Faiz....

“Jo rukay to koh-e-garan thay hum,
jo chalay to jaan se guzar gaye
Rah-e-yaar hum ne qadam qadam,
tujhay yadgaar Banaa dia........"
( Faiz Ahmed Faiz )

{For when we stayed, we rose like massifs,
and when we strayed, we left life far behind;
fellow-traveller, every step that we ever took
became a memorial to your life.)

                                  (   "The Grief within".. wailing women   By Bansi Parimu 1991)                                                                          

                                                ( Untitled Oil On canvas 1964  Bansi Parimu )

                                             ( Oil On Canvas  Bansi Parimu )



                                                      ( Spring Time Source .... Prof B L Kaul )
                                            ( oil on Canvas  1972 Bansi Parimu )
                                                      ( Oil on Canvas 1964 Bansi Parmu  )

                              (An Abstract by Parimu )                                        

                                                    ( Oil on Canvas 1983 ..Bansi Parimu  )


                                                               ( Bansi Parimu , Sufi Ghulam Mohd ( Editor Srinagar Times), Ved Bhasin( Editor Kashmiri Times ), Shamim Ahmed Shamin( MLA , Editor Aaina and then MP ) and a Gentleman .. 1965 ,All India Tour )
                                            (Bansi Parimu and Shamim Ahmed Shamin ) 

 (Eminent artist M F Hussain wrote on 01.01.2001 as his tribute to the Artist.My special Thanks to Mrs Jaya Parimu for allowing me to use this letter  )
                              ( Bansi Parimu standing on Frozen surface of Dal lake )
     ( Bansi Parimu with Nehru ...Photo source Jheelaf Razdan )

 ( Bansi Parimu with satish Gujral ...Photo source Jheelaf Razdan )
              (A Hand Driven Rickshaw puller taking rest in shade. Calcutta 1960s ..      )                                             

                                           ( Cobwebs of Apathy 1991  Bansi Parimu )

                                           ( Bansi Parimu  Exhibiting his work In Delhi December 1990 )
( Yellow  Rice Distribution in Kashmir..
 An early work of Bansi Parimu)
(A painting of Bansi Parimu along with photo and signature of the buyer in Calcutta Exhibition 1966)

(A post 1990 Painting of Bansi Parimu titled 'Flying Kangri' hanging in the room of his Daughter Jheelaf Razdan )
                   (1956 Tableau of J&k state)
         ( Tableau of J&K State  created by  Bansi Parimu for Republic day Parade . This was possibly the first Tableau of J&K State )

(Autar Mota)

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