Thursday, August 29, 2013




( It is believed that river Brengi which disappears at Dewalgaam in the limestone fissures, emerges and gushes out from the SOSANWAR hill to form Achhabal  water spring . Old name of Achhabal was Akshavala .It was founded by King Aksha who is believed to have  reigned over Kashmir from 486-326 B.C.. Kalhana  also records the name of the village  Akshavala .It was later extensively remodelled by the Mughal rulers in 1620 as a retreat for NUR JAHAN..)

The thick blanket of water laughed to its heart’s fill. Carefree and happy, it danced down the hill.Does it know who wept and for how much time? Does it know about the tear streams that keep coming down our eyes . I believe NO. And kashmiri poet Dina Nath Naadim too conveys this feeling in this couplet …

Paan Tchaadiri Gayee Aaiss Aaiss Neel
Tuss na khabar kaaem Kotaah Voadh….

( Dina Nath Naadim )

The Thick blanket of water laughed to its Heart's fill,

Never did it  know as to who other wept and for  how long…

( Autar Mota ........29.08.2013)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013



                                            ( kashmiri Folk singers in a marriage Function )
Photo Autar Mota .

To this photo  i am adding my write up on DUDDA practice of kashmir..


It was a practice in  kashmir that some persons would invariably attend a marriage feast uninvited. This skilled class  included young , middle aged and old people. Ladies rarely indulged in this adventure . Every member of this select group was individually nicknamed as DUDDA
.A popular kashmiri  Axiom goes as under ;-

“ Aukh Dudda Ta Beyi Maaji kyutt Bataa Toak. ”

“ Himself uninvited guest( Dudda ) and  then  seeking a Tiffin for his  mother from the marriage kitchen ”

A Dudda was a normal person except that he had a compulsive trait  of slipping without any invitation  into a  marriage crowd to relish the sumptuous lunch or Dinner . A Dudda would make a safe entry into a  marriage feast  by joining Baraatis  near the bride’s house . He would wait unnoticed  for the Baraat to arrive  somewhere near the  bride’s house and Once he heard the COONCH SHELL SOUND  ( Sheinkh Shabd )  blown to declare the arrival of a bridegroom  , he would  immediately slip into the Baraat crowd. No interaction . No communication. Just slip in ,enter , eat and leave .

I have personally known a school friend who was a practitioner in this field . This particular boy would also keep a track of marriages in Habba Kadal srinagar  area where his mother had her parental home (  His Matamaal ). Once away from Rainawari , he would relish marriage feasts uninvited with confidence .In Rainawari , he ran the risk of being  located and identified  as DUDDA by friends and  neighbours .This friend of ours  rose to the post of a   senior official in J&K Government  . I vividly remember my friend Kuldeep Machama  informing me   that he had personally seen this person joining a BARAT  in Zaina Kadal  as DUDDA  even after joining the Government Job .That was some wedding function of a close relation of  Kuldeep Machama.  This was  somewhere around 1977 or 1978.  In 2012 ,I  met this friend  in Delhi   and came to know that  he  had turned a Diabetic apart from  being Hypertensive. I suggested some good physicians to him . I also  wanted to ask him   whether he still went for those old adventures but  something   prevented me  from seeking reply to this  baffling  question.

                                       ( A Buffet Lunch in a Marriage function )
Once i was informed by an elderly relation from Habba kadal  that there lived a DUDDA in  his  Mohalla   known as Kashi Nath. Kashi  Nath had developed a novel way of knowing clear details about marriage dates , lunch or dinner functions and the nature of feasts ( Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian ) along with expected number of  guests joining  the marriage  feast anywhere in srinagar city  . kashi Nath  would sit in Kraal Khodd Waza Baithaks ( Place where kashmiri cooks resided ) and gossip with the cooks  over a Charminar or Passing Show cigarette  to collect his data .Kashi Nath would only attend feasts in downtown ,  Jawahar Nagar and Rainawari where he could not be easily  identified. Quite Often Kashi Nath would also take his friend Pushker  Nath  for these uninvited   adventures . Both kashi Nath and Pushker  Nath were government employees.

My friend Mukhtar Ahmed  Handoo informs me that DUDDA practice or what could be safely called as  DUDDAISM  tried to make unsuccessful entry in Muslim marriage feasts as well. Unfortunately  the nature and style of serving food to  guests broke its backbone. Muslim  DUDDAS would often get   identified and had to beat a hasty retreat . Guests  in Muslim  marriage feasts  are made to eat in  large polished  copper plates known as Traamies . Each Trammy is shared by four known persons . Everything is calculated and counted well in advance . Guests are made to sit on a  well  carpeted  floor and practically   this is the time for close  interaction  between groups of four persons who are supposed  to share  a common plate .Food is never served in a Buffet system nor to standing guests .
But contrary to what my friend Mukhtar Ahmed Handoo has said, I  have personally  observed  DUDDAS gaining some foothold in  Muslim feasts  in kashmir Latelyl. Many  friends from younger generation  often relate stories of having enjoyed sumptuous WAZAWAAN  feasts in unknown marriage functions .And I am sure if Muslims resort to Buffet system , Duddas shall swarm into marriage  feasts wherein WAZAWAAN  is served .

In Kashmiri Pandit marriages , food is served in individual plates and the community has since switched over to Buffet system. The host has no control over number of expected guests . Everything works on estimates which vary grossly when guests actually arrive.  So in this guesswork and estimates , a Dudda  would  make his way and remain unidentified  .

 Tej Dhar , My  friend from  Saffa Kadal  in Srinagar city informed me that two Duddas had  once  joined  a   GAR ATCHUN  FEAST   organized by his cousin’s family . They were located   only after  they had consumed the lavish non vegetarian meal. The family had organized GAR ATCHUN FEAST  simultaneously  for two marriages which meant  guests from two newly connected families apart from their own guests . A buffet lunch was organized for about plus 250 persons under a shamiyaana  . It so happened that the host and his wife decided to give cash in envelopes to  VIP GAR ATCHUN  guests  once they were leaving. When the turn of the DUDDAS came , the host looked at his wife asking her how theses were related and whether any amount had to be given to them. The wife too could not place them. The host then asked smilingly.
“ Khyovaa kenh ?Khabar kyoothh Oussukh Roanmutt?”
“ Did you eat anything ? Had the cooks cooked well ?”
“Zabar ! Zabar!”
“Excellent ! Excellent !”
“ Me chhu Broant Huue Gatchhaan . Toahi Kaaetti Pyaathha Aayivaa. Ye chhunaa  Lifaaf  Deun…. ”
“ I could not place you correctly . Where from have come  ? Look this envelope also to be given…. ”

“ Aiss Mahraa gayee Mut-farkav Munz . Yeli Raazbaai taa toahee pachhein  hisaab aassiv karaan , toahee gandiv-naa Mutfark Daah . Aissi chhi timuvv munz siriff Zaa.”

“ Sir we are from the Miscellaneous .When you and your wife  were counting  expected guest and noting them in your diary  , you had noted  ten misc. guests   . we are just two from that Misc.lot .”
And the Duddas quickly  moved away while the host and his wife looked at each other .Dudda coming to GARATCHUN feast is  a daring act. But then the Dhar family had invited around 250 guests for the  GARATCHUN  FEAST and the DUDDAS went for the adventure only after careful ground work in advance.

A popular Kashmir story also refers to a marriage in the Mohalla where a DUDDA lived . His son  decided to cook all the marriage  dishes in the house and serve his father  who was  stopped from joining the marriage  even  when he had been invited. The marriage feast was held in the adjacent vacant plot which had been duly covered by a Shamiyaana. The son made the father to sit on a window and look at the guest below .When water was brought for washing hands ,the son too brought water in a jug for his father . He also ensured that dishes are put in his Father’s plate  as per the order and system adopted in the feast being organized  below  . The father could clearly see what was happening in the Shamiyaana below .  And then suddenly the father jumped from the window to join the guests crying

“  Ashok jiyaa . Yetti katteu chhe so  Tcheilla Tcheilla . Kun zoan chhaa saal kheivaan. Me traaviy voath  ”

“ Ashok ji ! where is the crowd in the room and where is that pull and push ? can any person  enjoy the feast single handedly ?I am jumping down  ?

During my assignment as Senior Manager in Amritsar , I had a friend  Balwinder Singh who   sang  Shiv Batalvi in a  pain filled but mellifluous voice . Balwinder was an officer in the bank . He  wore good clothes  and  liked good food. He   was also  fond of    good scotch but could hardly afford it.  During marriage  season , Balwinder  would  have  his dinner   frequently  in posh Marriage Palaces or Hotels .He could not be seen during evenings for singing Shiv Batalavi to his friends during marriage seasons . My other friends would say that he had so many invitations since he was  a very “ SOCIAL PERSON  ”.

Sometimes , Balwinder   would extend  these   invitations to me also   but I always  refused on account of the fact that  night marriages in Punjab used to be  a Mob affair. And then  as a matter of principle , I never went  to a function  where I did not know the host personally or where I had  not been invited. Add to this  I could not withstand the disorderly boozing in these functions .
I always believed that Balwinder had some family problem  as he would never join these marriage functions with his family. Sometimes , he would be joined  by his  friend who had some business  in Katra Ahluwalia Bazaar in Amritsar  .This particular friend of Balwinder  had some business interests in Kashmir also .So Balwinder had introduced him to me. This business man and Balwinder’s friend   kept visiting Kashmir quite often  during 2000 to 2002 . He  would always bring some  Green leafy Haak or Walnut  or Nadru for me from Kashmir . I was obviously obliged and grateful to him for these gestures.

Then one day Balwinder came to my room at 8.30 PM absolutely uninvited. He appeared to be a little tipsy  and said in chaste  Punjabi

“ Sir ji Aaj te chalo . Aaj na Assi Tagdaa Jugaad Kitaa hai. Machhi, Chicken, kashmiri jakhni ( yakhni ), Naan te Naal Vilayati Daaru. Munde da Rishtedaar Canada thhuun Jack Daniels , Johnnie  Walker , Black Dog  Te  Cheevas Regal Laaya hegaa . Aaj te Tuut ke pe jaavaange . 800 Bandeyaan  di Roti daa intezaam hegaa. Kaun poochadaa hegaa . Vudd Jaavaangay te shuru  . ”

“ Sir ji , now come today.Today I have made a perfect jugaad  for Fish , chicken , kashmiri yakhni , Naan and I am informed that some close relative of the  bridegroom  who has come from Canada ,has made good arrangement   of liquor . They shall be serving Jack Daniels , Black Dog and Chivas Regal. Today I shall just be in gulping mode .They shall be serving food to 800 persons . Nobody shall ask "who are you?" . We  shall just enter and start ”
  As he got up to leave ,He wanted to know finally whether I was joining. Now that everything about Balwinder’s marriage invitations and SOCIAL PERSON  was clear to me , I said I had a guest from Jammu who had gone to Golden Temple .I added that  we had to eat together . That was a fact as well.

Away from my family  , i was living alone in  Amritsar   near Kashmir Avenue .  I would cook my own food . Many friends in Amritsar would relish Yakhni prepared by me occasionally . That particular day , I had  cooked   Vaarimuth (  Small sized Black Beans ) and Basmati rice . I passed on a cup of hot and brownish Black  Vaarimuth   to Balwindwer . He liked it and said that this Black  Rongi ( as he called it ) was very  tasty .Once he left , I  switched on my TV set  for News. Changing channels for  Door Darshan News , I stopped at a channel wherein a  some religious  person was  holding his discourse on   Food  .He said 

‘ Bandhuvon Aunn ki chori koyee chori nahin hai. Jahaan bahut ziyaada aunn hai agar thodaa sa kissi ne churaa bhi liyaa to paap nahin hai. Sudd janne se to achhaa hai na ki kissi Bookhay  pait mein chalaa jaaaye  ”

“ Brothers, Theft of food is no theft. Where food is in abundance and a little is stolen , no evil deed is committed by the person who steals it. It is better than allowing it to rot. More better if it goes to some empty stomach ”

 I somehow  concurred with the gist of the  religious  discourse.  I also got convinced that the DUDDA  practice  was nothing abnormal that we had witnessed in valley . It could be a universal phenomenon . Possibly we  lacked exposure and that made us to lampoon a Dudda or laugh over this behaviour  .

( Autar Mota ..27.08.2013)

GAR ATCHUN  is a get together over lunch or dinner held by kashmiri Pandits . Parents and almost all  close relations and friends of newly weds ( Both sides ) meet each other over a sumptuous meal usually a  mid day Lunch .

DUDDA means an  uninvited guest in  kashmiri language .

WAZA BAITHAK means resting place of kashmiri cooks .Hindu cooks would confine their Baithaks in Kraal Kohodd area of Habba Kadal in srinagar city  while Muslim cooks resided in Wazapora locality in downtown srinagar city .

CONCH SHELLS are blown by kashmiri pandits  to declare movement and arrival of the Baraat along with  the bridegroom into bride’s house . Conch shells are also blown on various auspicious occasions and religious ceremonies.Hindus believe that the sound  of conch shell drives away the evil spirits. The blowing of the conch or "the shankha" needs a tremendous power and respiratory capacity. They also believe that  blowing it daily helps keep the lungs healthy.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013



( Lotus Plant cultivation in Dal Lake of kashmir )

                                      ( Lotus Plant cultivation in Nigeen Lake of kashmir )

(  Fresh Lotus seeds being sold On Ashai Bagh bridge near Nigeen Lake in Kashmir )
( Fresh  lotus seeds after removal of the green shell )

                        (  Bundles of Lotus stems ( locally known as Nadroo ) being sold in a shop in kashmir ) 

 Above Photographs by Autar Mota 

The lotus  flower comes from a   fresh water plant ( Botanical Name  Nelumbo Nucifera ) that has been cultivated mainly  in southeast Asia , Mediterranean and also in some latin American countries  since ages.   In  North and north east areas of the country , it is essentially grown in lakes  and ponds . Hindus, Buddhist and Egyptians  consider Lotus  as a sacred flower. The Mahayana sect of Buddhism believes  that all souls come out from a lotus . The Buddhist Mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" refers to the "jewel in the lotus," which represents illumination or enlightenment . Budhists believe that   this mantra has great spiritual powers.
 In ancient Egypt, spiritual teachings held that the lotus represented the sun, and therefore is directly linked to creation and rebirth. This belief was reinforced    from the way a  lotus flower closes its petals at night and hides under water but   rising again at dawn  and opening its petals  .The ancient Egyptians believed that a lotus flower gave birth to sun.. The blue lotus, especially, is highly revered in Egyptian culture.

Hindus  consider the entire plant including its seeds as sacred as according to the Purāņas, Brahmā ( Creator of the universe ) is self-born in the lotus flower. In India Lotus  is known by various names like, Pundarika, Padma, Kamala, Utpala, etc.


There is a popular  saying in Kashmir “ LEMBI MUNZ PAMPOSH ” with regard to Lotus Flower which means that if one has to be in the  mud ,he must remain   above it and shine like a Lotus flower .Even its leaves were put to use in Kashmir  as saucers for eating food. The lotus stems are eaten as a favorite vegetable in Kashmir locally known as Nadroo.So popular was the lotus in Kashmir that  children were fondly named as PAMPOSH ( lotus in kashmiri ). We had many business houses  with names as Pamposh Traders , Pamposh Hotel, Pamposh Travels , Pamposh Houseboat etc.

Lotus seeds or lotus nuts locally ( in Kashmiri language ) known as PUMM-BUCHH  are abundantly grown in lakes of Kashmir . You come across this stuff  being sold by  footpath vegetable sellers  in and around Dal lake ; Quite frequently on Boulevard   Srinagar and also near Ashai Bagh Bridge , Nigeen lake Srinagar Kashmir   .. I saw this stuff being sold   near  Wular lake or along the footpaths of main Bazaar of Bandipore town which is situated on the  eastern bank  of  this Lake . I also saw PUMM BUCHH being sold near  Manasbal Lake ( Near TulaMula ) in Kashmir.The fresh variety of seeds held inside a green shell  are soft watery  white and sweet to taste . About twenty seeds are generally held on a spongy green bulb . Once exposed to heat and air , the shell of the seeds turns hard and black and the soft white seed   inside  dries up and  changes   its colour to  yellowish  brown   .

In Kashmir these lotus seeds are eaten raw . A good amount of  dried lotus seeds  are  used by  kashmiri Pandits  as Homa  Samagri ( Material for burning in sacred Homa   or Yajna  Agni  ).These seeds are also put to extensive use in North Eastern states of the country  as well. In many Asian countries the seeds are dried and  used in cuisine and medicines .The use of these seeds as medicine is quite popular in china .These seeds are also put to use in some Latin American countries . . I found them being sold in Amritsar on footpaths  just outside Ram Bagh park.

Chinese and Japanese use the paste of lotus  seeds in Bakery products especially in Pastries .It has been now established through  clinical tests that Lotus seeds act as  antioxidants  and are helpful in reducing  inflammation , fighting aging  and  in lowering hypertension. The  practitioners of Chinese system of medicine prescribe the seeds for well being of spleen, kidney and heart as well.

I end this post with some lines that depict grand imagery of kashmiri poet Dina Nath Naadim. A midnight scene has been described by Naadim in an altogether different manner that touches and moves hearts …..

Bijli Baaetti Aaendh Aaendh Maaehh Joraa
Veeegis pyaath Mahaarein Maharaaza
Guldaanus munz Doan Toorien Pyaath
Doan Sorfun hundh Aakaara Huue
Aandhei Aandhei sodraa Sheeshai Naagus
Pamposhus Thhanaa pyomutt Brahma
Bungrien Guvv Chhoinn Chhoin Ainna Aandhier
Me chhu Basaan Raatch Haenz Baah Aassun….

( Dina Nath Naadim )

Two insects dancing around the electric bulb,
Like bride and bridegroom on the marriage Rangoli ( Vyoog),
 Two flowers in the  flower pot
Looking like shadows of two serpents ,
And around these serpents the vastness of sheesh Naag lake ,
As if Brahma is just  born on a lotus flower,
 And Inside the mirror, a scene like the musical tinkling  of bangles

For sure , I believe it is midnight now.

so long so much .....

( Autar Mota 23.08.2013 )
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( Source :- Photographed by Autar Mota  from a Photo held by J&K Academy of Art Culture And Languages . As per Shri Shantiveer Kaul son of The poet  " The original portrait is   with shri  Shabir Santosh, as part of the legacy of his father.  Shri Santosh has  steadfastly refused to part with it."

A sample of Naadim's Poetry is also added to this portrait.The lines give a feeling of helplessness of an individual who is in wait till his last breath . An overwhelming feeling of imminent LOSS   but there is a cherished desire to see some one before all is over. . The final summit , a sunlit day and everything appearing crystal clear . Tears rain uncontrollably . What can one do ?The soul too has turned as restless as mercury on any surface . Why put Love to slander ?Helplessness sweating out from every pore and  drenching the body . What should be done ? Here Naadim crosses all barriers of language , religious thoughts and creeds that segregate Humanity . . A profound universalization of poetic thought……..

Wukh Voat Vizz Iyye Diyye Darshun Diyye
Layyee Hoat Moat Zeeshaan Ba Kattie Dharra
Gaashuur Saathhaa--- Noor Baraata
Num Num Srehh teilaan Me Aaechhi Dharra
Oush Chhunaa Kuunei Thahraan Ba Kyaah Karra
Paaridh Zunn Gaam Praan Ba Kyaah Karra
Loluss Ma Khassi haan Ba Kyaah Karra
Ruum Ruum Gaam Gumma Shraan Ba Kyah Karra …

( Dina Nath Naadim )

For those who do not understand kashmiri language , i have attempted to put the above  lines in simple english as under ....

The time has come ,
the moment too shall be approaching,
Shall he visit this way ?
 I believe he shall.
  He who happens to be   the  possessor of  splendor ,
Can i withstand his intense love and stature ?
A crystal clear   moment  drenched in floodlights  all over ,
Every nail in my body pains in  love
While the eyes keep  waiting.
And  tears rain  uncontrollably,
What should I do ?
This soul turning as restless as mercury on any surface .
This love may not be put to any  slander ,
What should I do ?
 And this body  drenched in sweats oozing from every pore in the skin ,
What should I do 

( Autar  Mota  22.08.2013)                 
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Monday, August 19, 2013



            While rearranging my books today ,  I came across a small booklet Titled  “Reminiscences  of Marx ” . The booklet has interesting articles on personal life of Karl Marx by Paul Lafargue (1842-1911 ) and Wilhelm Liebknecht( 1826-1900 ) .Paul was one of the founders of French socialist party while Wilhelm was a leader and  founder of German socialist party .some interesting anecdotes from the booklet are as under :-

To his friends and family karl Marx was fondly known as Moor . And Moor   was a heavy smoker who loved his Cigars .His room would always be full of  jars with  tobacco , cigars and match boxes .While he was writing DAS KAPITAL, he would tell his friends “ Look ! This book is not going to bring in any money to pay for my Cigars ” . He was quite spendthrift in use of  his match boxes . He would use three to four  match boxes per day  to light his cigars  .
In his study room he had kept photographs of his wife , daughters and Frederick Engels ( His friend and life long companion ).Frederick Engels was Marx’s Alter Ego.The room had books and papers  kept in disorderly position . The visitors were surprised as to how Marx could   locate his papers or manuscripts in this disorder .But this  disorder was apparent . And even while conversing , He would often stop to show a relevant passage or figure in the book itself. To visitors  he would often say “ These books are my slaves and must serve my will ”.He had scant respect for   format , binding and the quality of paper or printing of these books .He would turn down the corners ,underline passages and cover the margins with pencil marks .He had a habit of coming to these underlined passages and turned down pages again in order to refresh his memory which was extraordinarily vigorous and accurate .

 Marx knew almost all the European languages including Russian  .This talent he passed on to his daughters as well. He read Pushkin , Gogol and schedrin in original Russian .He  had  even started learning Arabic and Turkish . He would often say “ A foreign language is a weapon  in the struggle of life .” He  would spend good time in Reading poetry .Dante and Burns were his favourite poets . In fact he kept reading poets constantly selecting them from all the  European literature . He read Aeschylus in original Greek. He read  Novels as well and his Book shelf had books of Paul De Kock, Charles Lever ,Dumas , Walter scott , Cervantes and Balzac . All these books had passages underlined and corners folded  .He knew much of Shakespeare and Goethe  by heart .Quite often he would recite poems to his daughters .

Besides reading literature , Marx had another means of mental relaxation, Viz, Mathematics , of which he was exceedingly fond . Algebra gave him much needed relaxation . He would often immerse himself in this subject for relaxation. He would often say “ Mathematics is the soul of science ” He ALSO  wrote a scholarly and widely acclaimed paper titled  ‘INFINITESIMAL CALCULUS’
He would sleep very late often around 2 AM or 3 AM. and  would get up by 9 AM. After a cup of black coffee and reading his news paper , he would go to his study and get busy till 2 AM or 3 AM of next day breaking only for his meals and a walk .  The only physical exercise he took regularly was his walking. In the course of the day he would also sleep for just one hour on a sofa lying in his study. Sometimes he would forget even his meals and had to be summoned again and again by his daughters and wife to the dining room . He would eat his food hurriedly. He  was  a very poor eater. He would often say “ Thinking is a great food .Even the criminal thought of a scoundrel is grander and more sublime than the wonders of the heavens ”

( 6)
 Marx’s Saturdays and Sunday evenings were meant for the family. On these days Marx was a delightful companion to his friends and family. On both days , he was a loving father , a caring friend  who would be seen sparkling with wit and bubbling with humour , one who enjoyed a hearty laugh . His daughters loved him ardently and so did his wife and   Engels . To his daughters he was a playmate who  nicknamed him as MOOR .He would spend hours with his daughters making paper boats for them and  then play a sea war while burning all these paper boats .The girls would not allow him to work on Sunday and  quite often on Saturdays as well. The family would go on long walks with Tiffin and the girls would  keep listening lengthy stories from their father which he invented  with his rich imagination. He enjoyed becoming a horse   for the girls to ride on his back .
Marx demonstrated Noticeable  moral conduct in his personal life. He always encouraged and appreciated people with ideas .Envy , jealousy and vanity were unknown to him..He had a deadly hatred for meanness and artificial renown .  He expressed his opinions without any reservations and any one who came close to him was  influenced with his truthfulness. Throughout  his life ,  Frau Marx  remained his sole companion in truest and fullest sense of the word. They had known each other since childhood and had grown up together .Marx was only seventeen years old when they were betrothed .Frau had a royal lineage . Her brother was a minister to the king of Prussia and going  by these standards ,  Frau  had married a commoner .She was a woman of exceptional courage and patience and humility .Many  factory workers in their working clothes  would visit Marx family and all of them would enjoy Frau’s hospitality . She would personally serve them tea
 and food . She had a serene and cheerful temperament .

Marx and his wife were greatly attached to each other .Her beauty had been his joy and pride ;her gentleness and devotion had made it easier for him to bear the misery  inseparable from his troubled life as a  revolutionary  socialist .The suffering which brought Frau to grave also shortened the life of her husband .During her long and painful illness , Marx was worn out mentally by distress and physically by sleeplessness and lack of fresh air that he was used to during his daily walks . These were the predisposing causes of the fatal Pneumonia that he contracted. Frau faced death like a courageous woman . When she felt it was close at hand ,she said “ Karl , My strength is broken ” Frau often   called Marx as “ My Big Child .”
The family had another member named Helene who was a maid who remained a lifelong companion to Frau. Frau treated her like another daughter. Marx and Frau treated her with respect and dignity . Marx even played chess with her .The girls were very much attached to Helene and loved her immensely. The girls called her Lenchen. Helene also returned this love. Any visitor to this family was drawn to motherly love that Helene demonstrated .Quite often Marx  would obey Helene like a little child and rush down for his meals from his study.

Marx’s family grave is situated in High Gate Cemetery in North London. Not all members of the family are buried over here .
Jenny Von ( Frau Marx ), Karl Marx , Harry Longuet ( Their Grandson ) and the devoted Helene Demuth ( Lenchen )…..”

sadh kaafila pinhaa hai ,
sadh kaafila paidaa hai ,
awaaze jaras lekin
Iss dasht mein tanhaa hai ,
Sadiyon se issi soorat ,
Hai hukme safar jaari ,
Farmaane sitam jaari ,
Elaan e karam jaari .......

So Long so much………………..
( Autar Mota  )

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Sunday, August 18, 2013



Photo Autar Mota Aug.2013..

To these evening time views , I add a mini poem SHAAM ( EVENING ) written by me…

(Shaam )

Har eik Rang Ho Rahaa hai siyaah 
Ajab sukoot se lath-Pathh hai Hawaa
Daag Seenay ke Dhuul Gaye Hongay
Kaun Kehtaa hai Aadmi hai buraa

Yeh waqt Kyaa hai samajhanay ko umar lag jaaye 
Ke jaisay Maa koyee bachay ko goad mein Laaye
Yeh lo Aakaash mein har simt Parindon ka guzar 
Ab to har haal mein Doondeingay hum bhi ghar ki Dagar ………………..

( Autar Mota )
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013



 Photo Autar Mota August 2013.
I am adding  the A popular Poem of Faiz ahmed Faiz  to this photograph of mine....

Yeh dhoop kinara, shaam dhalay
Miltay  hain dono  waqt jahaan
jo raat na din,
jo aaj na kal
pal bhar ko amar,
 pal bhar mein dhuaan
iss dhoop kinare, pal do pal
honton ki lapak
baahon ki chhanak
ye mail hamaara jhoot na sach
kyon raaz karo, kyon dosh dharo
kis kaaran jhooti baat karo
jab teri samandar aankhon mein
iss shaam ka sooraj doobega
sukh so’engay  ghar dar walay
Aur raahi apni raah legaa………………………

( Faiz Ahmed Faiz )

My simple English version of this great poem  goes as under

This sunlight’s rim ,
This evening’s descend,
Where two moments convene  .
 This time , Neither day nor  night ,
Neither  present  nor the  future ,
A moment, everlastingly,
And  a moment, disappearing .
 And in this  sunlight’s rim,
For a few moments,
Our Leaping lips  ,
Our gripping  arms ,
Our  intimacy  at the moment ,
Neither true nor false .
Then  why this secrecy,
And  why blame somebody
And why utter a word of falsehood ,
 And  When in your ocean eyes,
This evening’s sun will lay down itself ,
The settled ones shall sleep peacefully ,
while  this  traveler shall move away  on his  path……..

( Autar Mota )

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Thursday, August 1, 2013




Rainawari area of Srinagar city has a Glorious Past .If it produced saints like Jeevan sahib , Miyan Shah sahib , Krishen joo kar, Zanana Zoyee and Zind Shah Peer , it was also the birth place of Taba Ram Turki ( 1776-1847 ) and Bhawani Dass kachroo ( husband or kashmiri poetess Arni- Mall ) both Renowned Persian scholars and poets of Kashmir .Taba Ram Turki was a contemporary of Gani Kashmiri .

Saiyed Mohd Madni who later came to be known ad Madin sahib in Kashmir had also settled peacefully in Rainawari before Sultan Zain ul Abdin made him to shift to his new capital Nowshera in srinagar city . Pandit keshav Bhat Jyotishi , A profound astrologer and a Sanskrit scholar who is responsible for documenting karm- kaand and various other religious texts for kashmiri Pandits also hailed from Rainawari. So did Jaffer Ali Artist (Reciepient of many awards ) the well known Papier Mache Artist belong to Hassanabaad Rainawari.

Mata Bhag Bhari an old Kashmir Pandit saintly woman also lived in Rainawari . Kashmiri Pandits used to worship Mata Bhag Bari as a saint of highest order. She has presented a Cloak to sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind ji on his visit to kashmir. Mata Bhag Bhari had worn her eyes out while weaving the white cloak for guru ji. It was presented to guru ji while he was camping at the site of present day Chhatti Paadshaahi Gurudwara in Saidakadal Rainawari. It is mentioned in so many sikh Scriptures that After receiving the Cloak ( Chola ) from Mata Bhag Bhari , Guru Ji shot an arrow into the ground and water gushed out . He took the water and sprinkled it on her eyes restoring her eyesight . Interaction between Mata Bhag Bhari of Rainawari and Guru Hargobind ji is well preserved and documented in almost every book written on Sikh History and Gurus .

History informs us that during Pathan rule in kashmir ,  Dila Ram Quli who rose to become a member of Qabul Darbaar was also from Rainawari. Not only an able administrator , he was a farsi ( Persian ) poet as well. 

Prof.PN Dhar well known Economist and the then Principal Advisor to Mrs Indira Gandhi was also from Rainawari. His father Vishen  Joo Hakim was a Headmaster in   Biscoe School in the times of the founder Tyndale Biscoe. This Hakim family lived in Sura Teng Mohalla  of Rainawari in close proximity to Mission Hospital .

T N Kaul ( ICS ) , Pandit Saligram Kaul ( Engineer known for his honesty and integrity who fined his own wife for misuse of Municipal water which was being used for irrigating kitchen garden by her . ) Pandit Prem Nath Thussoo (Eminent Educationist associated with Vishwa Bharti Institution ), Dr B K Jalali ( well known surgeon from Kashmir ), Samsar Chand kaul Ganhaar ( Noted ornithologist ), Shri Dhar Joo Dulloo ( Well known teacher who educated Ladakhis ), Ghulam Rasool Nazki ( Broadcaster and Kashmir poet ) , Farooq Nazki ( kashmiri poet and noted media personality ), Moti lal Naaz ( Kashmir Poet ) , Late Ghulam Ahmed sofi ( Amma kaandhur, well Known Sufiana and Chhakri singer of kashmir ), Eminent Artist P N Kachroo and Gokul Dembi ( Artist ) also lived in Rainawari . Noted Music Composer and Vocalist T K Jalali is also from Rainawari. Shyam Lal Saraf ( A Minister in Sheikh Abdullah's first cabinet after 1947 ) was also from Rainawari.  The illustrious kak Brothers , I mean the well known Journalist R K Kak ,  Journalist M L Kak , Bureaucrat S K Kak ( IAS ) and  B L  Kak  ( Author .. FALL OF GILGIT ) ) are also from Rainawari . Prof Amitabh Mattoo also belongs to an illustrious Mattoo Family from Rainawari .

Noted Urdu and Kashmiri scholar and  a  Sahitya academy awardee Prof. Mohd . Zaman Azurda is also from   Hassanabaad Rainawari. Nand Lal Wattal a  Renowned Urdu Journalist of J&K state and former Editor of Khidmat Newspaper was also from Rainawari. The list is endless.

Rainawari has another distinction of being home to Samuel Baqqaal. Baqqaals live in Kraalyaar Rainawari and One of their family members fondly known as Mama or Ghulam Mohd Baqqal Adopted Christianity much before partition of the country . He was a student of CMS Tyndale Biscoe School Srinagar , where probably , he came under the influence of some missionaries . He was later known as Samuel Baqqaal. 

Samuel was a brilliant student who after passing his matriculation from Punjab University went to Allahabad for further studies where from he did his BA followed by a BT degree from Lahore . In Lahore his name was published in a paper as a brave kashmiri who single handedly doused flames of a burning house and saved life and property .

After his BT degree , he joined CMS Tyandale Biscoe school as teacher . Soon the first world war broke out and Samuel was selected as Secretary YMCA to go to France and Palestine with British ( Indian ) Troops . He was the first YMCA Secretary to enter Jerusalem with lord Allenby. Due to his amazing qualities of Organization and leadership , Samuel became quite popular and was later moved to Afghan war front where he was joined by Pandit Shanker kaul ( Headmaster CMS School srinagar ), Bhagwan Das and Suraj Raina ( Both teachers in CMS school srinagar ) to work for YMCA.

Samuel Baqqaal was later selected by Maharaja of Mysore ( who was on a private visit to Kashmir ) for starting and heading a CMS school in Mysore .He did this job to the entire satisfaction of the Maharaja . In Mysore Samuel also started Mysore Boy’s scouts which earned accolades in India .

While In Mysore ,he received a letter from his CMS school friends that the world war had created enormous hardships for kashmiris from greedy and profiteering Galdhaars ( food grain sellers ), butchers , timber sellers and bakers who were backed by some government officials . The administration had actually failed to check black marketing in food grains . A food crisis had been created in Kashmir valley leading to many starvation deaths . Samuel Baqqaal rushed back to kashmir and the Maharaja of Kashmir appointed him as Executive officer State Granaries .His work to check prices and ensure smooth distribution through newly created Shalli stores ( Public Distribution System ) earned him respect and admiration. He now married a girl from Bengal . Samuel had three children from this Marriage , Two daughters and one son. The daughters were married in well off families while his son ( Poet Farooq Nazki from Rainawari informs me that Pran Nath was also known as Mathieu and Nathi ) had a pathologists shop in Maharaja Bazar Srinagar . They had cordial relations with their cousins living at Kraalyaar Rainawari.

This lone Christian family continued to live in Sura Teng Rainawari ( Near the Fire station ) in a grand building representing European architecture and style in about half an acre plot duly fenced on all sides with a tall brick wall . That made its total segregation from immediate neighbors . The family had their Christian friends visiting them from other parts of the city or from plains of the country .

My friend kuldeep Machama would visit the family and from him I came to know that Samual’s wife was living in plains . She was possibly a Bengali Christian and was fondly called Granny by the family members .His grandson Rafi sam Baqqal was also a brilliant boy and must be well settled in life. I went once to their house with my friend . The family had a very good library . I saw books of Alexender Dumas, Charles Dickens and Somerset Maugham kept neatly inside the Almirah . The family would go to church on Sundays and celebrate Idd, Deewali and Christmas happily. I have no knowledge of this family after 1990 .

Samuel Baqqal died of Pneumonia and is buried in Sheikh Bagh Cemetery Amira Kadal .

I end this post with some lines from a poem of Ali sardar Jafri ….

Me Ek Gurezaan Lamhaa Huun ,
Ayyam Ke Afsoon Khaane mein ,
Me Ek Tadapataa Qatraa Huun
Masroof e safar Jo rehtaa Hai
Maazi Ki Suraahi ke dil se ,
Mustaqbil ke paimaaney mein .
( Ali sardar jafri )

I'm a fleeting moment
in the enchanting-house of time;
I'm a restless drop
that travels
from the pitcher of the past
to the wine-cup of the future.

( Autar Mota )

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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