Thursday, July 11, 2013




Photo Autar Mota 2012

“ Yuthh Jenab Vanaan Kaerri . Ye Guvv Kathua Pyaath Aamut Maal. Tim Katie Sa Kaaath Tcheini Yaa Punn Tcheini . Yeti Aiss Jenaab Hukh Ta Koash Ti Tapaan . Az Jenaab Thhavaan Saarie Blower Ta Gas Bukhaaer. Yim Jenaab Zabar , Yimunn Chhu Zabardast Josh Roazaan. Vaanie Jenaab chhu soruyee neuburra Pyaathaa Ivaan. Sabzi, Nadur, Gaada , Maaz , Dawaa,Tomul, Oatt,Teel Ta Tzchoont. Me chhu basaan Yeti Iyee Jald nalkan Ti Aab vaanie Punjaab Pyaatha. ” said the Charcoal seller who refused to face the camera.

“This is called Kaerri variety of charcoal. This stuff comes from Kathua region of Jammu. You do not get that coal made from Chinar leaves or tiny branches now. Sir we have also used tiny Timber waste collected from rivers and the Band saw dust too as fuel for our kangris. Now people use Blowers and gas Bukharis .But this jammu variety of coal is excellent for the kangris . It gives good heat and stays longer in the kangri .Now sir everything comes from the plains . All vegetables , Nadroo ( Lotus stems ) , Fish, Mutton , Medicines , Rice , Atta , Mustard oil and even Apples ( Chinese ) . I feel that the day is not far off when we shall also get Tap water from Punjab.”

 Kangri is a weapon with common man in   kashmir to fight extreme cold during winter season. The charcoal  inside  the kangri keeps burning slowly beneath a layer of ash and passes on sufficient heat to the body. Kashmiris  hold the kangri inside the Pheran , Carry it along  to keep body warm and many are trained to  take it inside  their quilt while sleeping. Buying Kangri Fuel during winter season or stocking it before the onset of winter season used to be  a special  task  for every householder .  Every family stored  a minimum of  5 or 6 Gunny sacks of kangri charcoal  . Charcoal made from tiny branches known locally as Kaath Tcheinee was a preferred variety . One or two Guuny sacks of charcoal made from dry chinar leaves locally called Punn Tcheinee  was also preferred and stored.
 With the arrival of Hot water Bottles ,  Electric Blowers , Electric Blankets and  Gas Bukharees ( Room Heating  Stoves ), the role of kangri in upper and middle class families has under gone some change . But it  it continues  to remain the principal    device with the  Common man to fight severe winter season in the valley.  Kashmiri Pandits who had to migrate out from valley  have not discarded Kangri while living in the plains of the country. They  also make use of Kangri on  various occasions and ceremonies    like  festivals  , marriages and birth of a child etc. etc. Kangri and  the charcoal used for it  is also  sold in Jammu and Delhi.

According to Prof.Shashi Shekhar Tishakhani , Etymology if word Kangri is as under:

"Kaashtha + Angaarika means Ka of Kaashtha and Angri from Angaarika makes word Kangri .Both are Sanskrit words"

Both Pandits and Muslims burn the auspicious  Isbandh seeds in a kangri on  festivities .It is a part of kashmiri culture and tradition and accordingly kangri  continues to  stay with them  .  

Permit me to end this post with a  poem   by  noted Kurdish Poet Sherko Bekas..

 (Burning )
 Down the steps of fear
Darkness crept into my soul like a thief.
Upon arriving in the core of my heart
 he wanted to reach out for it.
I kindled your love,
 and in it I burnt the darkness and the fear.

( Sherko Bekas )

(Autar Mota)

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