Tuesday, October 1, 2013




Abdul Ahad Azad (1903–1948) was a well known Modern Kashmiri poet . He was one of the pioneers of the modernist movement in kashmiri poetry . A rebel, Progressive and revolutionary . Inspite of so many labels to his person and poetry , Azad always conveyed the core Lyrical feel of kashmiri language through his poems. He was a stalwart who never compromised with his beliefs .

Abdul Ahad Azad was a younger contemporary of Mehjoor. Mehjoor was his guru but Azad died before Mehjoor. He was a selfless writer who wrote with Missionary zeal and conviction. His poetry bears the influence of Allama Iqbal and Marxism. He was dissatisfied with the prevailing social order . The Socialist Russia gave a new hope to many writers in the world and Azad could not escape this influence . His patriotic poems , Gazals and some poems like  Daryaav, Shikwa-i Iblis, Pan Tchaadar bear the stamp of his unique and sweet style. Besides being a gifted poet, Azad is first major literary critic from kashmir who authored the book KASHMIRI ZUBAAN AUR SHAIIRI (Kashmiri language and poetry),. This major work ( in three volumes) of the poet was published after his death.


( Photo of Letter dated 26th Oct 1941 written by Abdul Ahad Azad to his friend Dr Padam Nath Ganju )

 I add something more about this unsung poet of kashmir

After getting employed as Teacher in 1918, Azad  served  at  Zohama, Tral, Gayour,Yeranwar and Sorsyar middle schools. He taught Arabic, Mathematics, Geography and History.

 Poet Abdul Ahad ( Dar ) Azad  always suffered from poor Health. He was transferred to far off places where he had  to cook his food and work till late hours at night. When his son fell ill, he could not attend him. The child died of inadequate and improper  medical care. Immediately after this tragedy, Azad turned to Marxism .

In 1948 when  Azad  was posted as teacher  in Government middle School Sorsyar , he caught fever. He also suffered  from acute  stomach ache.Azad was personally known to Dr Omkar Nath Thussu who had once treated him for Pneumonia. When he felt no relief from pain and fever, Azad told his relatives that he be taken to Ratan Rani Hospital.At Ratan Rani Hospital, Dr Thussu took no time in diagnosing his illness. It was Appendicitis. Proper treatment  was already delayed. Surgery was the only solution. Dr Thussu advised  Azad's   relations to shift him to Government Hospital for immediate Surgery. Dr Thussu accmpanied Azad to Hospital and met the surgeon. Though surgery was performed immediately, yet the patient could not be saved due to toxicity of ailment and some secondary  infections. Azad died in the Hospital on 4rth April 1948 at 7.30 in the evening. His dead body was brought  to his native village Rangar and buried beside the grave of his father Sultan Dar.

My friend Dr Ramesh Tamiri writes on my Facebook post ;

 "Dr.Thussu and poet Abdul Ahad  Azad had an association that went beyond doctor-patient relationship.They shared commonality of ideas and believed in philosophy of MN Roy, a Marxist turned humanist. Dr.K N Tiku, a relation of Dr.Thussu, poet Azad, Kanhaya Lal  Kaul, S L Yacha, Pitamber Nath   Dhar  Fani, J N Sathu,P N Bazaz, Mir Abdul Aziz, A S Yatuoo,Dr.Padam Nath  Ganjoo, Nand Lal  Wattal,  and many more  were part of a group of the group called Royists. It was Kanhaya  Lal  Kaul who introduced P N Bazaz to Roy's ideas. He himself revealed this to me in Jammu in 1991.  I was posted in poet Azad's village Rangar in 1983-85 as doctor. Gh. Mohammad Dar, Numberdar of Zoohama, was his close friend.He would often recall his association with Azad. We owe it to Dr. Ganjoo for preserving Azad's work .During Bazaz's absence Azad edited Hamdard and wrote its editorials. Unfortunately,there has been no scholarly study of Royist movement in Kashmir despite abundance of source material."

Like Albert Camus , John Keats and  Parveen Shakir, he too died very young. I quote a sample of his poetry ..

Suuli Foall Yaavun Myon Gilli Toora
Naara Vuzmalnnie Khaara Thhaavaan
Athhaa Chhuss Mooraan Baal Mastoora
Sunn Dithh Goam Sannie Tchoora Ouss ….

Yaavun Myon Ouss Sonaa Kunn-dhoora
Nazneen Paanuss Graayee Maraan
Doah Taara Kormuss Vaara Goor a Goora
Sunn Dithh Goam Sannie Tchoora Ouss ….

( Abdul Ahad Azad )

My youth visited me too early like the early flower
Even the fiery lightning envied it .
Alas ! It turned out to be a thief who stole all my possessions ;
And Having robbed this girl ,
I just grieve over my loss .

My youth was like the Golden earring
That hung gracefully over my gorgeous body .
I too played with it for a brief period ,
Alas ! It turned out to be a thief

who stole all my possessions………

Kyaa rozii pardan tchhaai tchaai soz e Jigar myon ..
Kar feiri sabzi lol baagus neiri yi shar myon..
Faulaad tchopum naar tcholum khoon- e Jigar ch'om,
Az taam Tche ro'ss kaensi kunn pyaav na ya sar myon

(Abdul Ahad Azad)

How long more tell me,
How long shall  the painful music within me
 remain concealed?
When shall the greenery finally visit this desolate  garden  of love ?
When shall the desires within reach  fulfillment ?

In pain,
 I ate steel,
Endured the blaze,
And drank my own heart's oozing blood,
And to this day,
I submitted to none
Except you and you alone

And some lines from his Poem Daryaav or river

Tsalaan chhum shar hubaaban iztaraaban valavalan andhar
Yivaan chhum zindagee hound so’z safran manzilan andhar
Kaneiyan khambryan kayan khraashan pakaan chhuss manz gaṭtan gaashan
Na chhus mȯhtaaj shaabaashan na chhus mushtak gindabaashan
Yuthuy chhus raata kruu̇lan manz tyuthuy chhus bulbulan andhar
( Abdul Ahad Azad )

Finding release in boiling bubbles, in tumultuous thundering I am
Finding my muse of life in distant destinations, in wild wandering I am
Through rocks and ravines, cracks and crevices, I run night, I run day
I neither bank on anyone’s praise, nor do I pause for passionate play
What I am among bats, among bulbuls the same thing I am.

( Translation by Sualeh Keen)

Unkind we have been to the memory of this great soul...

( Autar Mota  01.10.2013 )

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Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful blog.
    Azad Sahab has not received the recognition he deserved both by the public and the state though considered one of the best modern poet of Kashmiri literature.
    May rest in peace.


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