Tuesday, April 30, 2013




(Children playing sazaaloang or Hopscotch in a village in kashmir .A photograph of 1911 AD.)

To poor , Mother earth appears indifferent . This is not so . This indifference is always benign. She comes forward with everything .The birds , dancing Brooks, Shady trees , Green valleys and above all her own surface . She appears to say
“ Come child! Draw your dreams on my Body and play your games. Here am I . ”

This game is played world over . In India, hopscotch is also known as Stapu, or Ekhat-Dukhat (meaning one two houses) and in Kashmir children used to call it SAZAALOANG . The game has a similar principle all over that player must hop on one foot and must throw the marker in the right square. This mostly is a girls' game in India, though some boys also play it in many areas . It was a favourite game of children in kashmir . All of us have played it at some point of time during our childhood. 
It is widely believed that ancient Romans started this game wherefrom it travelled world over. To this photo i add a quatrain ( 4 Lines ) composed by me in kashmiri..

Prabhaatan Voal me Beyi Atlaas Zakhman
Ta Shaaman Burr mitchier Gham Koothireiv Zunn
Ba Tchaas Baagus Ta Poashuv Be-Rukhi kar
Dohay kar Graav Hardunn ’ Chhukh Ta Katie Chhukh’
( Autar Mota )

These mornings , Clad my wounds in silk .
And the evenings , Just opened storehouses of sadness .
I stepped into the garden and flowers turned indifferent ,
While this Autumn, at all times looked for and hunted me .

( Autar Mota   11 PM , 30.04.2013...  GOOD NIGHT .)

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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Monday, April 22, 2013





Though Dr Bernier ( 1625-1688 )  Physician to Mughal  King  Aurangzeb had   visited Kashmir  ,  it was only  Dr William Elmslie (1832-1872)  who established the first Allopathic dispensary in Kashmir.In fact he was the first Medical missionary in Kashmir . He was followed by two   dedicated brothers Dr Arthur Neve and Dr Earnest Neve  who stayed in Kashmir for about 3 decades during later half of 19th centaury .These doctors  and their Allopathic Medicines  brought much needed  relief and happiness  to  the local population as a result of which   Local Hakims lost their brisk practice and earnings  .A group  Hakims went to Maharaja and impressed upon him the superiority of Ancient Unani system of Medicines  over what they called as Firangi Dawaasaazi .They asked Maharaja not to grant any favours to  outsiders.The Maharaja just gave a patient hearing but encouraged the Allopathic doctors to expand their practice .

In 1882 ,Dr Arthur Neve arrived in kashmir  and thereafter in 1886 , he  was joined by his brother Dr Earnest Neve    . These  doctors  travelled extensively across entire length and breadth of Kashmir   and  Ladakh. Besides writing several medical papers published in The Lancet, Dr Arthur Neve (1859-1919 ) authored following Books
1 "Kashmir Ladakh and Tibet" (1899),
 2 "Picturesque Kashmir" (1900),
3 "Thirty Years in Kashmir" (1913),
4  "The Tourist's Guide to Kashmir, Ladakh, Skardo &c" (1923).

Dr Ernest  Neve (1861-1946 )also  wrote some  Books such as ..
1          "Beyond the Pir Panjal. Life Among the Mountains and Valleys of Kashmir" (1912)
2          "A Crusader in Kashmir" (1928)This book covers  the story of his brother's life and work.
3          "Things Seen in Kashmir" (1931).

  Dr Arthur  Neve  and his brother  performed 30000 surgeries in kashmir  which included 3651 Eye operations , 864 operations for Tumors and 579 Bone operations apart from treating patients of Kangri cancers  , Syphilis , leprosy and small pox. DR ARTHUR  NEVE  fought the terrible outbreak of cholera and famine  in Kashmir during 1883.

Dr Arthur Neve and later Dr Earnest Neve  would  start  his  day at 8 AM and  was   at the Mission Hospital till 10 PM attending to patients , performing surgeries and moving in wards . Never had kashmiris seen such care, attention , compassion and dedication from their own local Hakims or Vaids . Their Hospital at Dal gate srinagar   was later converted to Chest disease Hospital. They would also frequently visit Baramulla , Anantnaag and other towns  to see patients .Dr Earnest Neve spoke fluent kashmiri and worked during the rule of Maharaja Partap Singh and Maharaja Hari Singh.To his patients ,this god sent doctor would say "zuvv vandaai...Balaai lagaai..." Every kashmiri owes a debt to him.He would operate free and carry  sick patients from Dal lake Ghaat to hospital on his shoulders. Most of the patients would come in small Boats though some used to come on Tongas during those days .Dr Earnest Neve was a vegetarian .

Dr Arthur Neve writes in his Book ,

Post 1885 earthquake , as I moved through villages , the stench was awful , and might be smelt half a mile away from the putrefying bodies of animals  . I found men and women with dislocations and fractures unreduced and unset ; the few survivors had been so stunned by the calamity that they thought little of minor injuries .People gave special offerings in shrines . For us , it was a time for deeds rather than for words , for sympathy than sermons . The boat that carried me , was converted to hospital.”

DR ARTHUR NEVE fought the terrible outbreak of cholera and famine in Kashmir during 1883 that killed 11700 persons .

Kudos to him for bringing injectable cholera Vaccine to Kashmir that came to be known as TROMBUN in Kashmiri..

( Vaccination in kashmir was started by Neve Brothers )

Walter Lawrence ( who spent more than six years in Valley  when Neve brothers were deeply entrenched in  serving kashmiris )  also  makes a mention of their work in his Book  “valley of Kashmir” published in 1895

“If I had had   the privilege of listening to Dr Neve before attempted to write my poor chapter on Physical History in The Valley of Kashmir, I should have been able to write with much greater effect. From what I have seen myself, I can testify to the great accuracy of Dr Neve’s account. I think this is a good opportunity, before this great audience, for letting you know what the work of the Medical Mission in Kashmir is doing. I lived six years in that country and know the road from Kashmir to Gilgit and Ladak. Wherever I went there was only one question. The people did not want to see me but they wanted to know when Neve Sahib was coming – Neve Sahib who brought comfort and healing wherever he went. Working with very little help, working in a very small way against every hindrance, against the Brahman influence, the two Neves (Arthur Neve and Ernest Neve) have won everything to them and now they have a grand hospital in Srinagar and when the Neves are not going into the villages, the villagers are coming in to the Neves.”

Prof.  Rais Akhtar , Emeritus Scientist and recipient of Leverhulme Overseas and Henry Chapman Fellowships  has also documented work done by Neve brothers in Kashmir . I quote Prof. Rais Akhtar

 “ In many countries hospitals were established within colonial motives but in Kashmir first a dispensary and later a Mission Hospital were established by the Medical Missionary Society in order to provide modern medical care to the population without much disturbing the availability of the indigenous system of medicine. In many countries hospitals were established within colonial motives but in Kashmir first a dispensary and later a Mission Hospital were established by the Medical Missionary Society in order to provide modern medical care to the population without much disturbing the availability of the indigenous system of medicine. Despite the practice of the Unani system of medicine, allopathic medicine when first introduced into Kashmir became extremely popular among the people. The missionary doctors who worked in the dispensary and hospital, and particularly Arthur Neve, were committed to serving the population and were devoted researchers who published their results in internationally reputable journals – The Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the Indian Medical Gazette. Arthur Neve also wrote Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet (1899), Picturesque Kashmir (1900) and Thirty Years in Kashmir (1913). Arthur Neve died suddenly in Srinagar of a fever 5th  September 1919. The Maharaja of Kashmir ordered a  State Funeral. The mourners included people from all  classes, races and religions who united to pay tribute to  their well-beloved and disinterested friend who had done so much for Kashmir and its people. The Obituary in the Geographical Journal in 1919 noted: ‘He probably did more than any one who ever lived towards the amelioration of suffering for various native races of that country among whom his reputation was extraordinary.’

Dr Arthur Neve also finds mention at Page 24  in the  Book …  “ Trans-Himalaya: Discoveries and Adventures in Tibet ’ By Sven Hedin.
“ Dr Arthur Neve is one of  the man I most admire . he has devoted his life to the Christian mission in Kashmir and his hospital ..... There he works indefatigably day and night and his only reward is the  satisfaction of relieving  the suffering of others . ”

Again Chapter " FIRE ,FLOOD AND CHOLERA " from the book TYNDALE BISCOE OF KASHMIR ..An Autobiography makes mention of Dr Arthur Neve as under 

"In 1892 ,500 to 700 persons died of cholera per day in Kashmir valley.The mullahs and the Brahmin priest won't allow people to take western medicine .The mullah and the brahmin priest wrote Allah and Shiva on local paper and asked people to swallow it with Jhelum water that was already full of cholera germs.Later people started visiting Mission Hospital and lives of so many could be saved....... He was in third stage of cholera. The only option was blood transfusion. Dr Arthur  Neve did it by opening a vein in his own Arm and transferring it with a rubber tube into his vein.Neve and I spent a night at the hospital and hoped for the best,but it was not to be."


       ( Dr Arthur Neve surrounded by patients at Mission Hospital , Kashmir )
The service rendered by Dr Arthur Neve  to ameliorate the pain and suffering of local population  after the terrible earthquake of may 1885 has no parallel anywhere .

And kashmiris forgot these noble souls  altogether  . No memorial . No Hospital in their   name .  And I believe  No one knows these names in Kashmir . Dr  Arthur Neve died  in 1919 in  Kashmir after being  suddenly   struck down by fever.I end this post with lines from an  Gazal of urdu  poet Ahmed Faraz .

Shola  Ba Dil Aatish Ba Jaan Phirtaa Rahaa  Woh Be amaan
Varnaa  Saba  Zulfon Mein Thi Varna ghataa kaajal mein thi ..
Kyaa  Kyaa hawa chalti  Rahi  Yeh  Lau Magar Jalti Rahi
Kyaa zoar uss Aandhi mein Thaa Kyaa Baat iss Mashal Mein Thi….

 ( Autar Mota )
22.04.2013 TIME 11.45 PM  ... GOOD NIGHT 

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Sunday, April 14, 2013






 Once  you leave Kokernaag ( District Anantnaag , Kashmir , J&K )and move towards the mountains   , you come to a place called VAILOO .  In case you take the right turn from Vailoo , you reach Ahlam  , the last habitation in this area. It is also known as Ahlam  Gadole .  Gadole is a main village near Ahlam.  Gadole has some kashmiri speaking population. Thereafter you confront    Gujjars and Bakerwals only . They may speak broken kashmiri but they are not kashmiris.  They were nomadic tribes  and  lately these groups have  constructed small houses in this area.  
                        ( A Thatched   Roof House In sagaam Near Kokkernaag )
Ahlam is now  a settlement of nomadic people just 6 kms away from Gadole. After Ahlam , the mountain  passes traversed on foot , lead you to Kishtwar district. We were informed that now a Tunnel is being dug Near Ahlam that shall keep all weather connectivity of Anantnaag town with Kishtwar .  So no more to use Simthen pass if the Tunnel comes up .Smithen  top   remains snow bound in extreme winters.


And if you take a left turn near Vailoo , you come to the NH1B leading  to Simthen Pass .
.I remember having come to this place with our college excursion in early seventies . Nothing has changed except  linking of this area throuh NH1B leading to Kishtwar. Daksum lies on this NH1B.

DAKSUM ( Altitude 2438 Metres )  is a scenic spot located in the dense forests. This scenic spot falls on the Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road. A gushing stream flows through Daksum which is rich in trout fish. It is a forest retreat girdled by mountains.  If you Travel on NH1B that connects Anantnaag Town of Kashmir with Kishtwar Via Simthen Top ( Altitude 3748 Metres) ,  You pass through Daksum ( just 36 Kms away from Anantnaag ). One can call it  a sleepy forest  resort with some houses and a Government Rest House . The rest house is not properly maintained at the moment . When we visited the area on  9th April 2013 , there was no caretaker  . The  path and the steps leading to the rest House from main road was broken and the Garden around it was not maintained at all. Some villagers had put clothes for drying on the rest house fencing. Narcissus or yemberzal had grown unattended in the garden.
We went  close to  Simthen Top which is 31 kms from Daksum. It was spring time . Snow had not vanished from the mountains . A lady at Daksum had  suggested us to proceed . She added that regular bus service shall  also be started shortly to kishtwar as the snow at Smithen Top was being cleared.
 The road from Kokernnag to Simthen  is blacktopped and in good shape . Gushing water stream   , Majestic pine trees , silence with occasional chirping of  some birds on  pine tree tops makes you feel in the lap of mother nature .

It was cold in April . We needed woolens. We kept the car windows open to let fresh cold air enter in . Where is the pollution ? Where is the sweltering heat of the plains ? Where is the noise of the city roads ?Life had dropped all its demands of existence  that it usually  makes in cities and towns .

I end this post with  lines from a Gazal of renowned urdu poet  Firaq Gorakhpuri

Jee mein Aataa Hai Tujh Ko Pukaraa karuun
Rehguzar Rehguzar Aastaan Aastaan..
Boo Zameen se Mujhe Aa Rahi hai teri
Tujh Ko kyon Doondiye Aasmaan Aasmaan
( Firaq)

( I feel like calling you and you alone
At Every path and inside  every shrine .
 I smell your fragrance from the land underneath  ,
Then why search  you in the sky above )

( Autar Mota  5 PM.. 14.04.2013 ... Sunday... Good Evening ..)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013





I do not know why am i coming to the movie 27 Down again and again. I wish the talented director had lived to add his part of creative output to the Parallel Cinema that emerged during seventies and early eighties .

I am informed that Avtar kaul was not only the director of this movie , he had also arranged Finances from NFDC .He wrote the script and dialogues. Personally selected the talented cast comprising of M K Raina ( 1970 Batch NSD Graduate and a man from Theatre) , Rakhee Gulzar , Sadhu Mehar ( He shifted to Oriya cinema) , Om shivpuri, Rekha sabnis and Sudhir Dalvi. He arranged the music from Bhuban Hari ( Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Bubaneshwar Misra ). I saw this Black and White movie again recently from the rescued version put on DVDs by NFDC.

The film came out at a time when Amitabh Bachan had begun his rise to stardom .Shyam Benegal had set free his ANKUR on us. Amol Palekar's Rajnigandha had created a demand for new cinema .And Manoj Kumar had come with Roti kapda Aur Makaan , a new variant  of entertaining cinema .  

I liked the storyline ,screenplay and the dialogues .I am informed that Avtar Kaul made it a point to shoot inside Bombay local trains and crowded Railway stations to give the movie a realistic feel. The frames shot at Bombay’s VT station and inside the crowded Local train give a sense of kinetics to the shots. Such shots give you a feeling of commotion within and outside .


You confront silence also . I believe this silence is corollary to settlement in a relation.. In a relation if attitudes are identified and reflexes established to deal with them , not much needs to be actually talked about . Silence then engulfs togetherness . This phenomenon one observes in this movie . I confess being guilty of not having seen this grand movie seriously on a previous occasion.

No character in this movie makes the usual filmi or impressive gestures .


“ Phir koyee pull hai Kya ? Shayad Pull hi hai ”     
“ Has another bridge Come ? Looks like a bridge only “
( A dialogue from the movie )

A routine traveller seeks to confirm his assessment by the thud and sound of the train that he is used to.. This traveler has been crossing bridges daily without reaching Anywhere .

“Loag Ek Din ya ek raat ke baad Kahin pahunchtay hain , par mein to ek khayal ke baad Duusray khayal pe pahunch jaata huun ” from the movie .

“People reach some destination after a day’s or night’s journey . But I continue to leave one dream to enter another .”

Fathers generally choose their own profession for their children ignoring the preferences and likes of the child. In a sense it is forced upon the child. Here in this movie the hero Sanjay faces this from his Father.
Anna ( Sanjay’s father ) is a train-driver and works for the Railways. One day his train meets with an accident and his right leg gets paralyzed. When Sanjay grows up, Anna wants his son to join the Railways as a Ticket Checker.  Sanjay on the other hand wants to carry forward his artistic career but his father, decisively wants him to join Railways .His father believes that such a job shall give security and a handsome salary . And a good salary with a secured job would mean an ideal life for his son. Put to passionate pressure from his father ,Sanjay takes up the railway job. Annoyed and discontented with a monotonous life he feels, he is heading nowhere until he meets Shalini.

“ Din Raat Bhi Agar meri duty Lagaa dein To Mujhey Koyee Eiteraaz nahin ”
( If they put me on round the clock duty , i have no objection to it . )

 Sanjay ( M K Raina ) measures life in train sounds and distances .The demands of conformity affect his relation with a young woman Shalini ( Rakhee ).

Sanjay befriends the commuting typist Shalini.They meet often and explore having a relationship. Thinking that Shalini wants to marry him, he accompanies her to meet her grandfather and two children. He is shocked when Shalini introduces him as a married man, working as her co-worker. Sanjay, in disbelief  wants to know   why Shalini lied about his martial status and employment with the Railways.
 Sanjay's father  comes to know about this relationship.He  puts pressure on  Sanjay to marry a village girl  chosen by him. When sanjay faces his father Ana ( Om shivpuri ) who tells him what future holds for him,  Just two words slip from his tongue..
“Par Ana ( Then Ana ) "
  This village girl  resembles the buffaloes she brings as her dowry. Sanjay escapes in yet another train journey but when he  meets Shalini again, he finds they have nothing in common any more.

“ Loag hain ki ek jagah se doosri jagah tak jaatein hain . Mein hoon ki kahin se chal kar kahin bhi chalaa jaa Rahaa huun ”
( People start from one destination and reach the other . Look at me . I start from any place and go anywhere )

The unexpected Zoom Ins , Zoom Outs and freeze frames give a moving visual sense to this film. Avtar Kaul learnt this technique possibly  during his apprenticeship with Ivory Merchant production BOMBAY TALKIE ( Sashi kapoor , Jennifer Kendal , Aparna Sen and Utpal Dutt ) . Avtar kaul  also worked as Assistant to James Ivory .Had he lived , he would have certainly made films that would have been middle of commercial and Art cinema.

The film won National Awards for Best Film  and  Cinematography in 1974...

I am adding some lines from  a poem HISTORY  by noted Bulgarian  Poet Nikola Vaptsarovto this write up. ...


History, will you mention us
In your faded scroll?
We worked in factories, offices –
Our names were not well known.
We worked in fields.
For the hardship and affliction
We do not seek rewards,
Nor do we want our pictures
In the calendar of years.
Just tell our story simply
To those we shall not see,
Tell those who will replace us –
We fought courageously.
( HISTORY is a famous poem composed by noted Bulgarian  Poet Nikola Vaptsarov 1909-1942 )

( Autar Mota ) 13.04.2013 .. GOOD  DAY..

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Thursday, April 11, 2013




( Bach Ke Rehnaa )

Shahar jungle hain Ab ….
Lag Rahaa hai Ki Ab Aa gaye Bhediye ,
Chhoad jungle ,Andheron ko Aur Gaar ko ,,
Har Jagah Pe hain aur har shehar mein hain Yeh .
Raah mein Moad pe Yeh Milangay tujhay ,
Inn schoolon ko jaati dagar pe hain yeh ,
Tere Daftar mein aur har safar mein Hain Yeh,
Tere Aangan mein aur tere Ghar Mein hain yeh,
Bach ke Rehnaa Meri laadli tu sadaa,
Shehar Jungle hain Ab……
( Autar Mota )

( Be careful )

Our cities have become a jungle now.
It looks as if the wolves have come down,
Leaving the forests ,caves and darkness .
You find them at every place ,
You find them in every city now ,
You  find them at the turn of every road  ,
You  see them at paths that lead to schools.
They are in offices and in every journey you may undertake,
Look ! They are in your courtyard and inside your home as well.
Be careful  my darling Girl,
Protect yourself.
For Our cities have become a jungle now……


(Sab Gunahgaar Hain )

Bhediye jab sadak se uthaa le gaye
Adhmari ho ke phainki gayee raah mein.
Khoon Behtaa Rahaa Shehar Bedard Thhaa
Laash Ban ke sadak se uthaayi gayee.
Yeh samaaj jis mein bastay hazaaron khudaa
Aaj kyon kar rahaa marsiyaan marsiyaan.
Kuchh siyaasi Madaari bhi Hain Bheed mein
Vote lenay chalay dekh Jalti Chitaa .
Hum Ko Iss Soag Kaa Koyee Haq Hi Nahin
Sab Gunahgaar hain

( Autar Mota )

 ( we  are all culprits )
The  wolves dragged  you from the road ,
And  threw you back  bleeding , and almost dead on the highway.
Blood kept oozing  ,
The city dwellers turned indifferent
Till you turned  like  a corpse to be removed .
Pity this society !
Pity the  gods that live in this world !
Why beat your chests in sorrow now  ?
And  now some political jugglers joining the mourners ,
seeking votes from a burning pyre .
None of us deserves to join your mourning  Girl,
We are all the culprits......


(Chaahti Hai Madad )

Har Baday shehar mein Betiyaan Bachiyaan 
Sehmi Sehmi Hai Kyon Kyon Pareshaan hain
Hotelon, Daftaron aur dukaanon mein Yeh 
Apnaa daaman Chhupaati bachaati Huyee 
Kahin *Strauss Kahn hai Ya hai **Kanda Kahin
Bhediyon se Yeh Khud ko Chhupaati Huyee
Devdassi , kaneez aur Nun Bhi Bani 
Bhediye Aa Gaye har Panaah-Gaah mein 
Aaj Phir Ro Rahi Haath Uthaaye Huve 
Chaahti Hai Madad………………………….

( Autar Mota )

(She Looks for Help )

In every city or metropolis ,
Why are our daughters and girls,
Frightened to live and unhappy to move around .
 Working in hotels ,  offices ,and Business centres ,
Why have they always to protect themselves  ,
Somewhere they come across a *strauss Kahn,
And somewhere else  a **Kanda ,
Always worried in saving herself from wolves .
What  if she turned a Devdassi , a maid or a Nun,
the wolves entered   every refuge.
And again today ,
This daughter  ,
Raisies her hands towards sky now
And weeps for Help..

• Dominique Strauss kahn former head of IMF was charged with allegedly Molesting a Hotel employee in New York in 2011.
**Gopal Kanda a former Minister from Haryana faces complicity and serious charges of  Exploitation of women in Geetika Sharma suicide  case.

( 4)

(Haq Milegaa Tujhay )

Kyaa wajah Aajkal Maa, Behan Betiyaan
Shafakhaanon mein hain ya kachahari mein hain
Ho koyee mulk ya ho koyee bhi samaaj
Haq o Insaaf Paanay ko tarsay hai yeh.
Naam inn ke to laakhon hain kyaa kyaa kahoon
Kal *Malala thi aur Aaj Hai *Damini
*Ashley Judd ho ya ho *Mackenzie Phillips
Zehar peeti Rahi Zulm Sehtee Rahi
Aasmaan Bhar Gayaa Dard se Tere Ab
Haq Milegaa tujhay……

(Autar Mota )

( You Shall Get Your Due)

Nowadays  ,Why do we come across our Mothers , daughters and sisters
Either in Hospitals or in courts .
Be it any country or any society,
Why are they  harassed for their rights and justice ?
How Many names should I count and put forth ?
If She is Malala over there  ,
She is   Damini over here .
She may be Ashley Judd or Mackenzie Phillips
She gulped the poison and went through suffering.
Your pain  is tearing apart the silence of the sky Now . .
Girl you shall get your due ..

1 Malaala Yusufzai faced bullets to speak for education of girls.
2 Damini is the assumed name of Delhi Gang Rape victim
3 Ashley Judd is a Hollywood actress who has  survived Brutal Rape. .Mackenzie Phillips has also been a victim


(Tuu Akeli Nahin )

Gham o Gussa hai Mumbai Mein Banglore mein
Delhi mein bhi Hai Aur hai Lahore mein
Asia kaa har eik Shehar hai Ghamzadaa
Hai pareshann Europe bhi Aur Africa
Baazuvein Uth gayeen sarhadein Mitt gayeen
Dard Teraa Deewaron ko Bhi daa Gayaa
Cheekh Teri se ab Ro padaa U N O..
Ladli Tere Gham mein karodon hain Ab
Tu Akeli nahin…….
( Autar Mota )

( You are Not alone now )

Anger and grief sweeps  Mumbai and Banglore
It also looms large  in Delhi and  Lahore
Every city in Asia is  mournful ,
Europe and Africa are equally   under  distress .
Behold ! The arms that rise in togetherness  ,
Behold !The Borders  melting now
Your suffering demolished all segregating Human walls  ,
Your cry brought tears in U N O  .
Darling  Girl  ! Now millions are in  lamentation  from your   pain.
 you are not alone  Now …

( Autar Mota ... 11.04.2013 ..10.45 PM Good Night )

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                                         ( spring visits a cherry tree in kashmir )

                                       ( Spring visits Tulip Garden of kashmir )

                             ( Spring brings Yemberzal or Narcisus flowers to kashmir )

                                      ( Majestic Tulips in kashmir 's spring season )

         ( A navreh Plate filled for THAAL BHARUN Ritual  in a kashmiri Pandit family )



Photographs  Autar Mota

Sethaa Pathhaa kaalie akh vassie samandhar
Sati Hundh ouss Athh Nakhaa Loall Maaleun
Tavaai assis vanaan saari satisar
Kohuss pyath Baal Teintalein Thhoangein Pyaath
Basaan Tappa Reish Soaraan Dayya Naav Har Dham

( Lines from Opera Vitasta By Dina Nath Naadim )

This land of ours , A vast lake in ancient times,
With sati’s adorable homeland nearby .
And for this reason also known as SATISAR,
On peaks and mountain tops around the lake ,
Lived venerating Rishis meditating day and night …

Navreh is a welcome to soanth or the spring season of Kashmir. You have a blooming Kashmir in SOANTH. The Almonds ,Apricots and the Mustard fields. Mountain peaks reflecting snow.. Kashmiris would say goodbye to winter and welcome life with flowers everywhere .

For kashmiri Pandits , it is celebrated as the first day of 5000 year old SAPT RISHI LUNAR Calendar . Kashmiri Pandit children would generally put on new clothes. Apart from this, the day would begin with BUTHH VUCHHUN Ritual. Once you got up from the bed in the morning , Mothers or elders would ask you to first see a plateful of rice with a photograph of family deity ,Almanac ( Jantri ), coin ,pen , Yemberzal or narcissus flowers , walnuts , curd , milk and a herb ( Vaai Gandir ) . Looking at this THAALI or PLATE was a must immediately after getting up in the morning . It is considered auspicious for the family . The Plate or Thaali is kept at a central place in the house . The ritual of filling the thaali or plate with so many items is called THAAL BHARUN.

A somewhat similar festival called NAVROAZ is also celebrated since ancient times in
IRAN and parts of Central Asia, Caucasus and Northwestern China. Novroaz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Iranian calendar. Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Navroaz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. The ritual of Thaal Bharun or filling of the plate by kashmiri Pandits is somewhat similar to the Iranian ritual of Haft Sin.

Gates of Akbar’s Hari Parbat fort in srinagar, kashmir were opened today and accordingly people would go inside the Qila( Fort ) apart from visiting Badaam Vaari , Sharika Temple, Makhdoom sahib’s Ziyarat and Gurudwara Chhati Paadshaahi. Is it so now?

Agar Doahan Assi Hisaab Bozuv,
Doah Yimay Aiss Evaan Sonteik,
Shuhul Havaa Ous Hanth Bremijin,
Vachhuss Divaan Sar Te Daal Maraan,
Bepuchh Bahaaruss Harud Vanaan Aous,
‘Kapas Vovithh Chha Badan Valaan Khaah’ ,
Mushuk Valith Aav Vaav Sountuk,
Ditchin Bashaarat.
Yimav Qadam Kaed garav Neubar,
Tim Na Aayee Phirithh,
Na Tchhaend Soantan .

( Farooq Nazki lines from Poem Naad laayeiy or I shall call you back )

Should we revisit our days gone by ?
Spring would visit us similarly.
This spring breeze would frolic similarly
With the bosom of flowering buds .
As usual Autumn would envy
and satirically tell to unreliable spring .
“ Earth does not Use the apparel should it grow cotton”
Bathed in Perfume ,
The spring has once again come this way ,
To spread its colours .
Alas! Those who stepped out of their homes and hearths ,
Did neither return,
Nor did this spring seek their whereabouts .

( Autar Mota )
11.04.2013...Good Day 

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.