Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FAROOQ NAZKI … A POET OF HOPE , GOODWILL AND OPTIMISM


                                                                                   


FAROOQ NAZKI … A POET OF HOPE , GOODWILL AND OPTIMISM..

FAROOQ NAZKI ( Born 1940 ) is a well known name in contemporary literary world of Kashmir. He has equally established himself amongst the front line urdu poets of the country .Essentially a romanticist , Nazki added new metaphors , Modernism and positivity to kashmiri poetry through his subtle and deft use of words and ideas .

Karaa Ba Maan tche Saaetien Chhusaa ba Tuthh Laayak
Tche Shaah savaar ba Khosh Tchaenisiyii Gubaaruss munz
( Farooq Nazki )

“ How can I compete with you ? Am i worthy to do so ?
For you ride the horse ,
so Let me be happy with the dust that you raise ”

A poet of hope , optimism and goodwill , NAZKI’S Book “NAAR HEOTUN KAZALVANUSS or KAZALVUN IS ON FIRE ” remains a milestone in KASHMIRI POETRY . Incidentally the title of the Book has been taken from poem Naar Haa ( Beware! It is Fire ) of late Master Zinda kaul or Master ji .

Naar Heutun Kazalwanas ,
Shor Woth Bahaar Ha.
Diluss Heutun Jigar Taeteoy
Kraekh Gai Zi Naar Ha.

( Kazalvun is on fire,
And the cry of arrival of spring too is here .
This heart is too is on fire
With the “FIRE ”Cry all over .)

Nazki pays due tributes to Master ji in the preface of his book.

This book won him the prestigious Sahitya Academy award in 1995 is a mixture of styles and forms in kashmiri verse .

In 2011 , When Agha Ashraf Ali organized a commemorative programme on English Poet late Agha Shahid Ali at Press Club Jammu , he read a wonderful Kashmiri poem “ Akh Berang Chith - Agha Shahid-Ni Navva ” or To Agha Shahid – From: Dead Letter Office. He also sat till the conclusion of the event inspite being awfully busy in his assignment as Media Advisor to CM J&K at that point of time. I quote some select lines from the poem that he wrote for the occasion …

“Su ous surmal gulab shaamuk
su ouss
Khushboo Tchhataan kathhan manz
su ouss Maharaaza Neindire ghamuk
su khawaab sheetal wuhaan achhun manz
ajeeb oussus khumaar Chashmunn
Ajeeb wahshat – Ajeeb taslaa
yumun andher Vaetchh Aash pagahaetch
Su khawaab vadareith thowun timan manz
______ Dohuss ta Raatas divaan wonie ouss,
So robukhanan te zael panjran
Wutar ous yewan woochan ous
su mouta moakkal natchan garan manz
su ous badlaai----------

So Gaashe Joi gae shrapieth zameenus

Su paayie hayaatuk
su khwaab lalli hundh
su Reoush khaloosuk
su Raah musaafir
Be putchh wajoodah
su naeri bayii nonn
zameen praetithh
sabz ye the kinke dar sabdan
su Tchalli Behiney Himalayan Pyaaeth
su naeri Beiyii nonn
Gulal laagithh
su naeri beiyii nonn

( Farooq Nazki )

The deepening black of an evening rose,
The fragrance of a thousand blooms
The Prince of the kingdom of sleep
Caressing the eyes with a soothing dream
Rousing the soul to a silent fire
Eyes, laden with the nameless terror, a strange content
Therein glinted a hope for tomorrow
Therein went buried many a dream
Dwelling long in dreams forbidden
Searching hard in shadows forbidden
He saw them there, the demons of the night
Their dance macabre, seared his soul
I still remember
He was so different……

………………….That ray of light was sucked in by the Earth..

Oh universe be a witness to what I say,
That harbinger of life,
Lal Ded’s dream,
The Rishi of goodwill,
The seeker,
He will rise again,
Splitting the earth,
Green like a field of wheat,
He will soar again over the Himalayas,
Draped in tulips he will appear, yet again……….

( Translated from kashmiri By Roohi Nazki )


                                         
                 ( A sketch of the Poet by G R Santosh )

The poet is clear and unambiguous in expressing the atmosphere of fear and fright in Kashmir as it existed for more than a decade beginning from 1990 . I quote him..

Chhu Khoaff Daarien Barrun Awezaan,
Chhaa Aanganuss Munz Naqaab Laagithh Balaayee Praaraan,
Chhaa Byaar Phyaangaan Bonnie Goffie Munz,
Khoakhir Gaameit Aaiss Lafaz Ta Aaluv ,
Jawaan Maswal harithh Peimutch Aaiss ,
Pashunn Foalithh Aaiss Gulaal Aamit
Magar Khamaan Ouss hawaa yithh-kaein
Poahhuss Andhar Sseahh wasaan Gaamuss Andher
Taa Tchhaaraan shikaar Boachh Hoat…………..

( Farooq Nazki )

Fear dangles from doors and windows,
While the masked devil waits in the courtyard .
The cat kept mewing in its burrow dug in the chinar tree trunk,
Stammering for words , how could we cry ,
The youthful IRIS (flower ) fell to dust ,
Tulips grew wild on mud roofed house ,
And frighteningly blew the wind like a hungry Lion
that comes down to the village in Mid January
( from the forest after the winter snowfall )
And goes wild after every prey .

( English rendering by Autar Mota )

He does not mince words when he talks about the misdeed of the New Merchants of Death and Destruction who brought untold miseries and sufferings for the people of Kashmir. I quote the poet…

“ Rataah daaev Palluv Mahaaraazun hiendh Yeiti Yaarbalan Pyaath Maaeji Tchhalaan .
Yeitti Maaharien Jaamun Naar heivaan Doadha Maaejji Bretchhaan Vyeith Rooz Pakaan….
Maikhaanan thaawikh taaer baran, astaanan husnas Pahara Thovukh,,
Chandaalav kor tahraaj shahar, yeti basaan dohli shaam diyaan….

Konga dureian manz heemali yimav gulnaar badan Tssun zaayi karith,
Baddie haetti chhi i timay khooni Qaatil reshi naama paraan lalla-vaakh gyavaan….

( Farooq Nazki )

( On river banks over here ,
Mothers wash Blood soaked clothes of their sons ( Bridegrooms ),
The expensive dress of the Brides too is on flames ,
And look how Lactating mothers starve
while river Vitasta continues its March …..
Taverns they locked ,
Shrines and Beauty they put under surveillance ,
The Chandaals ransacked the city ,
Turning daytime into Gloomy evenings …….
In saffron Fields ,
The killers put flower like Heemal’s Body to shame
And look how these assassins now sing Lal Vaakh loudly
And also recite from Reshi Naama…… )

( English rendering by Autar Mota )


The winds of intolerance , brought by the waves of Armed Militancy,resulted ultimately in the painful slicing of kashmiri soul.. Bringing wanton death and destruction apart from migration of kashmiri Pandits from the valley, these winds also tore apart the age old fabric of kashmir’s plural cultural ethos . Kashmiris , irrespective of the religious divide were put to separation , sufferings , pain and sorrow. The pain of seeing natives in Tents grieved him and he wrote …

Dapaan Tiem Aiess Khaemma Diyii Diyii,
Achhun Andher Khwaab Tsoori Thhavithh
Doahuss Valaan Taaf Posha badanuss
Magar shabus Aiess Ghulab Thaavaan Shaanda nenidhr Kaantchhaan
Soruff karaan Aiess Geer Khaemmun
Zameen shoalaan Ta Aasmaan Ouss Naar Chhakraan ,
Naa Ouss Baatie
Naa Ouss Aaluv ,
Naa Poash Pooza
Naa tsraar Boad Doah .
Me yuthh Naa Roakukh
Me Kuthh karrien Chhum.
( Farooq Nazki )

( With Dreams hidden in eyes ,
In tents they lived .
Wrapping their bodies with sunlight at day time ,
At night , With a rose flower kept on the pillow,
they wished a simple sleep.
And the snakes continued to move closer to their tents .
The earth turned a furnace ,
While the sky rained fire balls .
Not a song did we hear ,
None called them by their names ,
None worshiped the deity with flower petals,
None witnessed the celebrations at Tsraar Sharief ,
Don’t stop me ,
I need to out pour my feelings”
( English rendering by Autar Mota )

His anguish over the loss of composite culture in kashmir is DEEP. At personal level , he misses Kamla ji ( Kamli ) mother of his close friend and colleague late Som Nath Sadhu ( Radio kashmir Srinagar ). I quote him....

"A commitment once again,
My Somnath Sadhu,
for you ...
You Know?
Kamli ,
Your Mother ,
Left kashmir,
Taking her silver plate along ,
Yes the very plate ,
that you and I ate from,
the food that she offered to us ,
But now Fearing me ,
She left Kashmir,
You Know, Soma Nath Sadhu ?"
( Farooq Nazki )

Me Taapa Kraayun Andher su Tschondumm
Me sheena Tschaatie munz deutumm nabuss vonn.
Vathhie Garuss bar Taa Daarie Traavith
Su Aav Kar Tayee Su Draav Koat Kunn.

( Farooq Nazki )

I searched him under the blazing sun ,
In icy winds, I rummaged the skies to look for him..
Keeping doors and windows of the house open ,
Tell me when did he come and which destination he left for ?

( English rendering by Autar Mota )


                                                                    

Even during the dark decade ( 1990 to 2000 ) of turmoil when death and destruction was rampant , Nazki retained his HOPE and OPTIMISM. Rising above the then prevailing gloom and negativity , he kept talking about Sunshine , Goodwill , Flowers and Spring .For him the then scenario was an aberration which had to die down under the mounting thrust of time tested Ethos , Tradition and Tolerant Culture of kashmir that had evolved itself over 5000 years .I quote the poet ..

"Me Yuth Na Rokukh Me Kuth Kaerin Chhum
Golaab Sholan Sareib Vakhtas
Shinai Baaghas Pagaah Pholun gul
Timan Gulan chhum Vonun Kanas Tal
Achhun achhun manz Volur Diwaan Guthh
Timan Vonun Chhum Kunuy Chhu Aalav
Timan Vonun Chhum Zi Sonth bulbul Chhu Az ti Volaan
"Chhu Naavi Vaavai Nivaan Bathis kun "
Timan Vonun Chhum zi Pranvarun ander chhu Jismus Alaav Praraan
Me Yuth Na rokukh me Kuth karein Chhum"
(Farooq Nazki)

( Don't stop me , i have to outpour my heart.
Roses shall bloom in this desert ,
Tomorrow flowers shall also bloom in this abandoned Garden,
I need to talk gently to those flowers ,
My eyes are as turbulent as the water of WULAR lake ,
I need to convey them that common is the call for us .
I need to tell them that the spring Bulbul is still singing the melodious song.
“ It is the storm again that takes the boat to the safety of the shore. "
I need to convey them that
deep inside this body ,
a volcano is about to erupt,
Don’t stop me
I have to outpour my self ”
( English rendering by Autar Mota )

Or
Greeshmitch Garmi Haaruk Taav
Thokmut Aassukh Gumma Sheh-laav
Sangarav Paet kinn veun Gatchhi Gaaeb
Siriyus Chha Assaan Thehraav

( Farooq Nazki )

O this summer heat ! This mid June Blaze !
Come wipe your sweat , Tired you must be love .
This blazing sun has to go behind the mountains shortly!
Worry Not, when did sun remain stationary over us !

( English rendering by Autar Mota )
                                                                 


He does not understand why SOANT or the SPRING season does not bring back his friends who are presently living in Plains of the country .For him , Soant or spring season has not much to offer in absence of Pandits . I quote the poet …

Agar Dohan Aeissi Hisaab Bozuv,
Doah Yimay Aiss Yivaan Sonteik,
Shuhul Havaa Ouss Haenth Bremijin,
Vachhuss Divaan Sar Ta Daala Maaraan,
Bepuchh Bahaaruss Harud Vanaan ouss,
Kapas Vovithh Chha Badan Valaan Khaah,
Mushuk Valithh Aav Vaav Sountuk,
Dichin Bashaarat.
Yimav Qadam Kaed garav Neubar,
Tim Na Aayee Phirithh,
Na Tchhaandei Sountan ...

( Farooq Nazki )

Should we revisit our days gone by ?
Spring would visit us likewise,
This spring breeze would frolic in the same way
With the bosom of flowering buds .
And the Autumn would sardonically tell to undependable spring .

“ Earth does not Use the apparel should it grow cotton”

Bathed in Perfume ,
The spring has once again come this way,
Bringing some Good news  .
Alas! Those who stepped out of their homes,
Did neither return,
Nor did this spring seek their whereabouts .

( English rendering by Autar Mota )

To talk to him is a PLEASURE and to listen to him is no less a TREAT . In communication , he opens so many gates that take you to anywhere and everywhere . History , literature , Cinema , Philosophy and Books remain his Forte. For the quantity and quality of knowledge that he possesses about Kashmir, he can be safely called as CHALTAA  PHIRTAA  KASHMIR or a moving Encyclopedia on Kashmir .

                                                                       
 
       (  Farooq Nazki With well known  Poets  Kaifi Azmi and Ali sardar Jafri at Gulmarg  Kashmir )

The poet   has a wonderful experience to convey . We know seeing is believing  . It is quite  true that whatever  appears to the naked  eye may not be the reality . It applies to any situation .   I quote the poet ..

Me vuchh Zaal Gaadun Karaan  Raahnumaai

 Me Vuchh Zaal Haaenzun  karaan Jaalsaazi 
Me Vuchh Aab Taelli Aab Peith Kyaah Chhu Sapdaan
( Farooq Nazki )

(I saw the fishing net leading the Fish  to Freedom ,

I saw the same fishing net  misleading the  Fisherman,

I saw what happens  Below and over the water surface )

I wish he writes more in kashmiri , his mother tongue that currently needs writers of his elegance and style .

Shikwa Shikaayat Saarie Traav
Paath Kunn Gudreumut Mashraav
Cheiti Raaviy Armaanun Grendh,
Meiti Kuss Shar Az Taamath Draav
( Farooq Nazki )

“Come forgetting Your complaints and grievances !
Forget what you went through as a past story.
Alas! you too lost count of your dreams in this suffering ,
Love ! I too failed to achieve anything .

( English rendering by Autar Mota )


Some select lines from his kashmiri poem soant



Oburr Khoat Voalunn Nabh Ta Gagraayee Laajinn,
Yuthhuyee Roodh Logunn ,
Draemin Kaanijeiv Taar Vuznaavie Bomburuvv,
Satut Aav Laraan ,
Katij Tchaai Boad Kuth ,
Vuchhun Taalwuss Jild Poatt Vaeini Awezaan ,
Heutun Oull Yerrun,
Chhu Az Kaam deevuss Atchunn Dard Ghaamuss………

Draamien Tchakalaa Peith Paetch Gurreitt Aab Joii Zun
Sabz Makhmalas Tus  Magar Badh-Naseebi ,
Sabz Neiuv  Bahaaruv,
Gurreitt Aab Myaaniss Diluss Aainaa Khaanuss ,
Pushurnum Bahaarun……….

( Farooq Nazki )

Clouds suddenly emerge ,
Engulfing the sky .
Behold !Here comes thunder,
And the moment rain danced down ,
The humming bumble bees made the grassy lawns sing in unison .
The wood pecker too joined hurriedly ,
 The swallow entered the sitting room ,
Looking at the dangling board   of the room ceiling ,
it started building a nest over there ..
 And *Kaam Deva is  Knocking to enter this township of pain .

A Muddy water  torrent  swept the  Green grass patch over here ;
Unlucky is this green velvet like turf  ,
Which this  spring brushed  off  over here  ..
To this mirror that my heart is ,
this spring had nothing to offer except the muddy water.


( English rendering by Autar Mota )

 ( * Kaam Deva is a god of longing and love . Kamdeva and his consort Rati find mention in Rigveda. It can also be said that Kamdeva represents flowers , love , spring ,chirping of birds ,longing that is associated with youthfulness . Kaamdeva also appears in various other stories and becomes the object of certain devotional rituals for those seeking health, physical beauty, husbands, wives, and sons... )           



He keeps writing . He keeps thinking . I wish he keeps publishing also what he writes because as per his own admission ;

Aap ki Tasweer thhi Akhbaar mein ,
Kyaa sabab hai aap Ghar jaatay nahin
Nazki se shair kehnaa seekhiye ,
Jo gazal lkehte hain chhapwaatay Nahin.
( Farooq Nazki )


Nazki is a poet of reconciliation and reunion . A poet who believes in the philosophy of forget and forgive …..

CHALO EK BAR PHIR SAY AHD KAR LAIN MUSKURANAY KA,
NA TUM HALAAT KI BEMEHRION KA TAZKIRA KARNA,
NA MAIN POSSHEEDA ZAKHMOON KO ZAMAANE PAR AYAAN KAR LUUN……….

( Autar Mota 27.08.2014 )  

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TWO FATHERS , TWO SONS OR FOUR URDU POETS FROM TWO FAMILIES PRAISE THE BEAUTY OF KASHMIR



                                                                            



INSIDE MANASBAL LAKE GARDEN OF KASHMIR

( Photo Autar Mota )

To this photo I am adding something as under …

Amongst the lovers of Kashmir , I find two families of urdu poets where both father and son have written some finest poems on kashmir .
In this group I include Triloke Chand Mehroom ( 1887 -1966) and his illustrious son Prof Jagan Nath Azad( 1918-2004 ). I also include Pandit Labhu Ram Josh Malsiyani( 1883-1976 ) and his son Balmukand Arsh Malsiyani (1908-1979 ). All the four poets were lovers of Kashmir .I quote a sample from their Kashmir poems ..
(1 )
TRILOKE CHAND MEHROOM

“ Tu Reshmi Doshaale Duniya ko de Rahaa hai ,
Tera Jamaal rangeen Rakhshaan hai cheethhadon mein ,
Daur e Khizaan Bhi Tera hai rashq e sadh Bahaaraan,

Aey vaadi e Gul Afshaan……………..

Duniya ke Ahle imaan kehtain hain jis ko jannat ,
Sharmindaa ho ke tujh se Rooposh ho gayee hai,
Varnaa kahin to hotay Aasaar Bagh e Rizwaan,

Aey vaadi e Gul Afshaan……………..
(2)

JAGAN NATH AZAD

“Hasrat” ho ki “Mehjoor” o “Ghani “ ho ki ho “Iqbal”
Tere Qalam e Kaif ki eik shokhiye tehreer
Aey Vaadi e kashmir

“Saproo ”ki zubaan tere tammadhun ka namoona
“Mulla” ka sukhan Teri Havaaon ki hai Taseer
Aey Vaadi e kashmir

Jo dal pe chamaktaa hai Pahaadon se ubhar kar
Bun Ja ussi Khursheed e Jahaan Taab ki Tanveer
Aey Vaadi e Kashmir…….

Tehzeeb ke Chehrey pe bhi tabaan hai tera noor
Fitrat ke manaazir hi nahin hain teri Tasveer
Aey Vaadi e Kashmir…..
(3)
PANDIT LABHU RAM JOSH MALSIYAANI

Aey Tamaashaayi Bahut Kuchh tuune ki sair e jahaan ,
Ab zaraa Kashmir mein Aa ke Nayaa Kashmir dekh..
Sohbat e sheikh o Brahmin par nazar kar Gaur se ,
Aarti ko hum-navaa e Naara e Taqbeer dekh ….
Tuune har Taameer mein Takhreeb dekhi hai magar ,
Aey Tamaashaayi Yahaan Takhreeb mein Taameer dekh…..

(4)
BALMUKAND ARSH MALSIYAANI

Chashm e Shaahi ho Woh ya Bagh e shaalimaar ho ,
Khaas hai har faiz Qudrat ka mere Kashmir mein..
Ishq hai Mahv e tarranum Husn Hai Masroof e Raqs ,
Khushnumaa Kitnaa hai ye Naqshaa mere Kashmir mein..
Zindagi Bhi Hai Mohabbat bhi hai ahle dil bhi hain,
Kyaa Bataaoon Me Ke hai Kyaa Kyaa mere Kashmir mein……

( Autar Mota )




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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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Sunday, August 24, 2014

KASHMIR AND KAMAAL AHMED SIDDIQUI (POET , SCHOLAR , BROADCASTER AND LINGUIST ).


                                                                         


KAMAAL AHMED SIDDIQUI ( 1926-2013 )


Kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui ( 1926- 2013) was a poet , writer , scholar ,linguist and essentially a media personality who spent a major part of his professional life as broadcaster at Radio Kashmir Srinagar . I believe he served Radio Kashmir Srinagar for more than 30 years .

He was deeply attached to kashmir and loved its folk lore and cultural ethos . And Seema , his daughter is married to Rafi Ahmed Mir ( Born 1956 ), MLA from Sallar in south kashmir .

A serious reader and a man of scientific temper , Kamaal ( as he was popularly known among his friends ) had grasped the ancient ,medieval and modern history of Kashmir through his detailed study of Neelmat Purana ,kalhana’s Rajataringani and other books. Infact there is hardly any person in the Literary circle of kashmir who was not familiar and friendly with him. 

He wrote a poem in urdu on POSHINOOL ( Golden Oriole ), a popular bird in kashmir. I quote some lines ..

Peidon ki Chotiyon par Yuun Geet tu Suunaaye 
Dil Mein Khushi Ho Raqsaan masti fazaa pe Chhaaye 
Oonche Suron Mein Gaana Pariyon ko Rashq Aaye ..

About spring season or Soant of kashmir, he wrote a unique and beautiful poem .. I quote some lines ..

Aasmaan saaf Hai shafaaf hai neelam ki tarah 
Aaftaab Apni Shuaaon mein liye Noor e hayaat 
Nayee Poshaak mein Malboos hai har eik darakhat 
Pattiyaan Bolein Fazaaon mein Tarranum Aayaa
Aur Sosan ko haseen tarz e Taqallum Aayaa
Aab-shaaron ke khunak saaz Ravaan honey lagey
Munjmandh Dhaaron ne Angdaai lee kohsaaron mein 
Laai Uthaaney Lagaa khaamosh fazaaon ka sukoot
Yeh Fazaa Kaun churaa Laaya hai saiyaaron se 
Jis tarah noah ka Toofaan guzar jaane par 
Faakhta Aman ka Paigaam Liye aayee Thhi 
Barg e Sar Sabz ka Inaam Liye aayee Thhi 
Aaj Bhi Barf ka Toofaan Guzar Jaane Par 
Taaza Meivon Naye Mausam Nayee Hariyaali ka 
Ibn e aadam ke liye Faakhta Laayi hai Payaam...

I still remember the crisp script that he used to write for the popular Programme VAADI KI AWAAZ broadcast from Radio Kashmiri Srinagar . He wrote three books on Kashmir..

(1 ) JAWAHARAAT ( The Book relates to Pandit JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU . It is based on his Interviews with leading personalities of the state recorded by him after Pandit ji's death )

(2) KOHSAAR GAATE HAIN ( A collection of poems on kashmir published in 1968 ).

(3) KASHMIR EK MANZARNAMA (Political study of Kashmir from 1948 to 1980. This book has been published by Penguin India )

Kamaal was born and brought up in Lucknow . He worked with National Herald and Quomi Awaaz before coming to Radio Kashmir Srinagar. Post retirement ( retired as Chief Producer Urdu Service AIR New Delhi ) , he settled in Delhi and did his doctorate from JNU .kamaal was an authority on Ghalib.

I want to add something to this brief write up . I remember late kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui wrote a poem on Habba Khatoon as a dialogue between King Yusuf Shah Chak and Habba Khatoon or ZOON . I add some lines from this poem to this mini post on Kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui…….

(Habba Khatoon )
YUSUF SHAH CHAK says ..

“Yeh Kanwal Zaar Yeh Dil Tera Tamanaai hai 
Dekh Phoolon Me Tere Husn Ki Barnaai hai 
Narm Gaami Ka Yeh Aalam Tera Andaaz e Kharaam 
Teri raftaar Ka to Hans Bhi Sodaai hai 
Yasmeen teri Nazaaqat ka ek Aaiinaa hai 
Chashm e Nargis mein Tere Jalwon se beenaai hai “

AND HABBA KHAATOON Replies ..

“Inn Chinaaron Mein Tere Saaye ki Raanaai Hai 
Tujh Ko Dekha hai to phoolon ko Hansee aayi hai 
Mere Seene mein Nihaan Teri Mohabbat ka chaman 
Yeh mera dil hai ke ik Laal o Sehraai hai 
Husn Aur Ishq Ki Paaindaah Ravaayat Tera Naam 
Eik Aalam Tera Mushtaq hai shaidaai hai ….”


About  kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui   , Noted Journalist Mohammad Sayeed Malik Writes :



“ Kamal's literary attainments are highly rated. His Ghalib critique is a masterpiece acknowledged even by that stalwart Maalik Ram considered to be an authority on Ghalib. Kamal's book on the trajectory of Urdu in India is scholarly. He became a socio-cultural landmark in Kashmir where he spent nearly half a century. As a producer at Radio Kashmir Srinagar, Kamal groomed a number of upcoming professionals.”


Kamal Ahmed siddiqui was a friend of some great poets of the subcontinent that included Faiz Ahmed Faiz , Firaq Gorakhpuri , Ali sardar jafri , Ale Ahmed Suroor and Josh Malihabaadi …

Baat   kartaa   hai   Ba   zaahir  Badi  Saada  si  "kamaal" 

Jo Sukhan-var  hain   Vahi Uss  Ke  Sukhan Tak  Pahunche

So Long so much on Kamal Ahmed Siddiqui ..

( Autar Mota  )

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Friday, August 22, 2014

MY KASHMIRI POEM " ME CHHU PRAARUN OR I HAVE TO WAIT " WITH ENGLISH RENDERING.



                                                                            



THE LONELY ALMOND TREE IN SPRING INSIDE BADAAM-VAARI GARDEN OF KASHMIR.. 

(Photo Autar Mota )

WAITING FOR BIRDS AND PLAYFUL CHILDREN .

I am adding my kashmiri poem "Me chhu Praarun or I have to wait "to this photo ....

( Me Chhu Praarun )

Kochan Munz Raatus Gayee Pukk Pukk,
Kunn Diethh Daarien Tal Aiess Rooedh ,
Huutie Aav Kuss Taam Guvv Kot Taamuthh,
Burr Diethh haavus Appamrieut Mooedh ..

Subahiekk Gaasho Kuthh Oiey Raash Tche, 
Vaennie Soyee Tchheitta Tchhoppa Suyee Shithijaar,
Gallihe sheen vattan Aiess Kaantchhaan ,
Lol Chhu Isbandh Haethh Taeyaar...

Shoo Shoo Shor Ta Beyyi Gattagyoora ,
Teilli Aassi Vaavus Novv Chikkachaav.
Shireen Chhaekki Natchie Lol vattan Pyaath,
Kunni Kaanh paam Na Kunni Kaanh Graav...

Kaav patchien Pyaath Tchaarrie Tchhaandan Ann,
Daarien Tal Karrie Bulbul Pitch Pitch .
Shoer Pangathhaa vassie Aangan Gindhaney ,
Aaryo Maaryo Taaryo Titch Titch ………….

( Autar Mota 22.08.2014 )

Simple English rendering of the lines is as under ...

( I have to Wait )

( A night long bustle of footsteps in the lanes ,
A night long sitting at the window with ears in wait ,
Some one turning this side but leaving for the other direction finally ,
Within the bolted doors , desires too die an unnatural death.

O Morning’s Brightness ! Have you gone crazy ?
Isn’t the snuff out, the silence And the freeze still over here ?
Who does not desire the melt of this freeze now ?
Look how love waits with ISBANDH in its hands .

Clattering *SHOO! SHOO! The wind shall dance in merry ,
At that moment , it shall go crazy in Excitement .
And Love shall shower *SHIREEN from all direction ,
Neither any satire nor any complaint shall survive thereafter .

The sparrows shall look for grains on window shelves ,
The Bul Bul shall prattle *PITCH PITCH near the windows.
Children in groups shall play In courtyard singing 
“ AARYO MAARYO TAARYO TITCH TITCH ”



*ISBANDH ( Botanical name Aristolocchia Indica. Brownish Black Fragmented seeds of a natural herb also known as Rhe seeds) are burnt in kangris ( Firepots ) by Kashmiris ( Both Pandits and Muslims ) during festivities and also for welcoming guests . Ladies bring out some seeds or ISBANDH from a decorated pouch , touch them to the forehead of the guest and put these seeds into the burning charcoal of the kangri to welcome the guests . This tradition survives till date .

*SHIREEN or white sugar balls are showered on festive occasions on guests including Baraatis . It is an old tradition in kashmiri society that is slowly fading away .

* PITCH PITCH .. The lovely and attractive sound that Bul Bul makes early in the morning or any time. This is a welcome sound that is believed to bring happiness and Union .

* AARYO MAARYO TAARYO TITCH TITCH  ..A game that children would play in yesterdays . The game and the lines have become a thing of our past now..

( Autar Mota 22.08.2014 )


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

WHERE HAVE THE MASHQIS OR BISHTIES ( WATER CARRIERS ) GONE ?

                                                                                 
                                
A DRAWING OF MAJOR JOHN LUARD (1790-1875 ) SHOWING BHISHTIES OR MASHQIS  OF INDIA FILLING WATER FROM A WELL .1838

 WHERE HAVE THE BISHTIES or MASHQIS ( WATER CARRIERS ) GONE ? .



The BHISHTIES OR MASHKIS or the water carriers have vanished from the Indian society . We had MASHKIS  in Kashmir also . They were Nicknamed as SAKKA. The MASHAQ or the carrying bag was generally made of Goat skin with a capacity to hold about 30 litres of water. We would see them sprinkling water on roads in summers and sometimes offering it to the thirsty . They would also appear in  marriage functions to sprinkle water on path to be traversed by Baratis or Guests . We would see them in Bazaars with the MASHAQ hung across their shoulders like a GUITAR .


( Autar Mota 14.08.2014 )
                                

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EVENING VIEW OF NISHAT GARDEN OF KASHMIR AND LINES FROM A POEM OF NOTED KASHMIRI POET MOTI LAL SAQI


                                                                      


EVENING TIME NISHAT GARDEN OF KASHMIR 
( Photo Autar Mota )

Tche Roass gham choan Chhum Humdum ya Chha Kum,
Ya Gham Zakhmun Mei Chhum Marrhum Ya Chha kum,
Ba Kyaah Karra Vassal Kiss Shihliss Sharaabus,
Firaaqaetch Dugg Ta Dil Burhum Ya Chha kum.........................
( Moti Lal Saqi )


My simple English rendering of these lines is as under ..

In Your absence ,
Your sorrows turn my companion ,
Isn’t this enough for me ?
Like a relieving balm ,Your pain acts upon my wounds ,
Isn’t this enough for me ?
What shall I do with the soothing intoxication of our reunion ?
This pain of separation ,
This Desolation of my heart ,
Isn’t this enough for me ?


( Autar Mota 14.08.2014 )

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

BAKSHI GHULAM MOHAMMED : THE SILENT HELPER


                                                                        

 (Photo..  Dr Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963 ),The then President Of India  with Bakshi Ghulam Mohd in srinagar ).


BAKSHI GHULAM MOHHAMED (THE SILENT HELPER )



Kashmiri poet Gh Nabi Khayal on Bakshi Ghulam Mohd. 




“ After completing my class 10 from Islamia High School, Rajouri Kadal, I visited Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad for a job. As the prime minister of state, he would hold public durbars on every Friday where he would resolve public grievances in a jiffy. When I asked him about a job, he told me: “You are a very tall boy. You should go to police. I will give you a sub-inspector’s post right now.” But back home, I faced a protesting family who didn’t allow me to join the service, which was looked down upon those days.

I completed my graduation, learned Persian and translated Omar Khayyam’s Persian poetry into Kashmiri. I again went to Bakshi sahib…
“I have heard that you have translated Omar Khayyam’s poetry into Kashmiri. He is my favourite poet. Publish your book and give me one copy,” Bakshi Sahab told me. 
“But sir,” I replied, “ I don’t have a single penny in my pocket.” He didn’t tell me anything. As I walked out, I saw Bakshi Sahab’s private secretary, RC Raina, who enquired: “How was your meeting?” I replied that it was very positive. Raina then handed over an envelope to me, saying: “This is for you.” As I stepped back on street, I tore open the envelope and found Rs 500 inside it. I understood that Bakshi Sahab had given me the amount for publication of my book. Later I gave him a copy of my published book, which made him very happy…”
                                                         
( Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed Listening to   people inside a village  in kashmir )
                                                                              
    ( Bakshi Ghulam Mohd inspecting Creation of Embankments  along river Jhelum )
                                                                     
                                                  ( Listening to Grievances from Public )
                                                                             
                               ( Personally supervising Flood relief operations in Kashmir )
                                                                              
                                  ( Supervising Fire Fighting arrangements in srinagar city )


( This Post is Based on  Excerpts from an Interview to Bilal Handoo Published in KASHMIR LIFE.My special thanks to Sh. Bilal Handoo and KASHMIR LIFE )



( Autar Mota )




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REMEMBERING SYED SAJJAD ZAHEER OR BANNEY BHAI


                                                                        



SYED  SAJJAD ZAHEER  ( 1905-1973 )

Mein Akela hi  Chala Thhaa janib e Manzil Magar
Log aatay hi gaye Aur kaarwan Bantaa gayaa

For his various firsts, the above couplet of Majrooh sultanpuri is totally and aptly applicable to the personality of Syed Sajjad Zaheer...

 Fondly known as   Banney  Bhai  ,  Syed Sajjad Zaheer was a founder member of CPI ( Communist Party of India ), IPTA ( Indian Peoples Theatre Association ) and PWAI (Progressive writers Association of India )    .  PWAI received  unstinted support  from litterateurs namely  Munshi Prem Chand , Dr Mulk Raj Anand Faiz, Makhdoom, Ali Sardar Jafri, Majrooh Sultanputi, Kaifi Azmi, Vamiq Jaunpuri, Salam MachliShahri, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Hiren Mukherjee, Sibte Hasan, Amrit Rai, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Ehtesham Husain, Ale Ahmed Suroor, Mumtaz Hussain, Krishn Chander, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Ismat Chughtai, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Upendra Nath Ashq, Yashpal, Ahmed Nadim Kasmi, Vishnu Dey and others.

The progressive writers movement did not remain as a ’literary club’, but became a movement that stirred the soul of the ordinary man reading literature in Hindi and Urdu. It expressed the concerns of the ordinary man through literature.  

From this  platform , Syed Sajjad Zaheer    moved ahead and worked    closely With  Pablo Neruda , Nazim Hikmet  and  Faiz Ahmed Faiz  under the Banner of AAWA (Afro  Asian writers Association).


Born at Lucknow  in  an aristocratic    and educated family of  former Oudh state  , Sajjad Zaheer ‘s   father, Sir Syed Wazir Hassan  was a former chief Justice of Oudh court.And Syed Sajjad Zaheer’s  personality has many dimension that I came to know only after  reading his Biography . I   quote something  for readers .

Banney Bhai   went to Oxford in 1927 ,  studied law to become a Barrister  and returned to India in 1935 . It was only at Oxford that he was driven towards Marxism. At Oxford he once posed a question to George Bernard Shaw who had come to deliver a speech . Shaw’s speech was mainly about his impressions of the Soviet Union, which he had visited a few months earlier. When the president invited questions, Zaheer asked Shaw: “Mr Shaw, you have told us about what you saw in the Soviet Union and how you were impressed by the communist society there. If this is your belief, why don’t you work for a communist revolution in England and why don’t you join the Communist Party of Great Britain?” Shaw replied: “Young man, you ask me why I don’t join the Communist Party of Great Britain? I want the Communist Party of Great Britain to join me.”
In  India , he came under the spell of  Gandhi ji’s freedom movement  and joined Congress party and  participated in many agitations . Banney  Bhai   wore khadi clothes , stopped eating meat and slept on floor . In an interview, Sajjad  Zaheer  informs   as under .


I was not the only communist who joined the Congress at that time. With me were Dr Mohammed Ashraf, Dr Z.A. Ahmed, Mahmuduzzafar Khan and some other people. All these people had taken their degrees in England and had come back. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was very proud of our group and he introduced us to Gandhiji and to Sardar Patel saying, " People say that Muslims are not coming in the Congress. Here is this brilliant group of young Muslims which went to England and took degrees there and had come back and joined the Congress." Anyhow, I was saying that this was the time when Panditji started his Mass Contact Movement and from the communist side, we too, were trying to develop the Congress as a sort of united national front of all the anti-imperialist elements in this country. The socialist band inside the Congress, apart from the communists, Jayaprakash Narayan, Minoo Masani, Rammanohar Lohia and others, were also in the same category of people who were thinking of new ways and means of achieving our independence ”

Sajjad Zaheer married a budding urdu writer Razia in 1938. Razia was also from an educated and progressive family of UP. Imprisoned in 1939  for two years  ,  Sajjad Zaheer   Co- founded  of CPI immediately after his release . After the Partition of the country , CPI advised him to move to Pakistan to organize communist Party of Pakistan  along with Faiz  Ahmed Faiz .Remaining underground for three long years, he travelled to the different cities meeting trade unionists, intellectuals, students and workers. But ultimately was arrested and implicated in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case along with poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  He was   tried  for sedition and awarded Life imprisonment .It was only through Pandit Nehru’s intervention and  international pressure that he was released on parole .His family faced many odds  and financial difficulties  in India during his absence . He returned  to India in 1955 , settled with his family  and never went to Pakistan thereafter . From 1956 to 1973, he worked intensely for IPTA, PWAI and for the creation of a forum for Asian and African writers against imperialism. He revived the PWAI  and was elected secretary of the India chapter of AAWA (Afro-Asian Writers Association ). He also edited   party Newspaper Quami Jung and weekly Awami Daur (People’s Era) that was to later become Hayat (Life). His popularity soon grew all around and writers of various countries invited him. He was among the key figures who mobilised writers against US atrocities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In collaboration with Mulk Raj Anand, he organized the first Asian writers conference .He died of a heart attack in kazakhastan  while attending Afro Asian writers conference.
                                                                                     
                                               ( With Faiz Ahmed Faiz )

His short stories collection Angaaray  was banned by British Government in 1932 immediately after it was published. He wrote Gazals , poems and plays .His prominent woks include London Ki Ek Raat- a novel, Roshnai  a collection of essays on progressive writing and the progressive writers movement, Zikre Hafiz- A  research based book on Persian poet Hafiz and Pighla Nilam-A collection of his poetry. He also translated OTHELLO , GORA and  PROPHET  to urdu.
Najma , Noor , Nadira and Naseem are his four brilliant and talented daughters  .Najma  married   Prof. Ali Baquer  ( Died 2007 )  from Hyderbad  .Najma  was   a   professor of Biochemistry at JNU  New Delhi. Ali Baquer had worked at the universities of Oxford and London .He has been member of various high-level committees set up by the Planning Commission of India, Doordarshan, IGNOU and other national and international agencies dealing with education, health, mental health, management and disability issues.
Noor is a well known  Researcher , journalist, kathak dancer  and Writer . Her Hindi Novel “Mere Hissey ki Roshnaai” is a treat to read .  Her other Books are Surkh Karwan ke Humsafar, a travelogue of Pakistan, Bad Uraiyya, a novel, and My God is a Woman. She married Amitava Dasgupta (1947-2010) – a Marxist  and a Theatre personality (founder-director of Brechtian Mirror).

Nadira, A graduate from NSD is  a well known name in Indian   theatre ( EKJUTE )  and  is married  to Actor Raj Babbar.  Naseem  now Dr Naseem Bhatia ( Married  Historian  Prof. Vinod Bhatia  ) worked as joint secretary of UGC and later Vice Chancellor of Jodhpur University.
Adds Dr Naseem Bhatia ,
"The family income was paltry. Father received Rs 45 as remuneration for being the editor. Grandfather used to send Rs 200 every month and that’s the way the family expenses were met which included the hospitality of the guests, mostly poets  who often stayed overnight in our tiny flat." 
Adds Nadira Babbar

“Not even once, did my parents talk to us about religion. The first time that someone told us we were Muslims was at school.   Writers, activists, theatre persons were walking in and out of  our house all through the day, with the atmosphere abuzz with art and literature. From anti-nuclear protests to peace marches, to poets' meets and seminars, our  house was the rehearsal room for a range of things. We were fortunate to have parents like them. They gave us such a rich legacy of values and ideals, and without ever making us conscious of it. It was a natural part of our upbringing; much later in our lives, when we were on our own, slowly these things moved up to the surface ”

Banney Bhai’s  wife Razia Sajjad Zaheer ( 1917-1979 ) was also from a  Nationalist Muslim family . She has written many novels and short stories . Razia made name as one who perfected her craft in the language of tension and her stories, namely "Amar Jyot", "Ravan Jal Gaya", "Mojja" and "Allah De Banda Lo" were much read in the 60s and 70s. Her short story NEECH ( lowborn ) comes to my mind at the moment especially the Characters of   Shyamali and Ramavtar  she created for this story. She taught at Karamat Hussain college and wrote Novels and short stories . She was also associated with   PWAI .

Till the end Banney Bhai  remained a dedicated comrade always at the call of the party and rose to the rank of being an external member of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union).

I end this brief post on Syed Sajjad Zaheer with  lines from  a   poem of   Kurdish poet Sherko Bekas …

We were millions
An old tree
A young tree
We were seeds
The helmet of Ankara
In a bloody night came
To uproot us
They did,
They took us away long away!
On the way many old trees bent
In the cold many young trees died
They froze
Many seeds were trampled
They were lost and forgotten
Like a river in the summer we had little water
Like birds in the autumn, we became fewer
We ended up in thousands of homes
There were still seeds among us, the wind took them
The wind returned them
They reached the thirsty mountains
They hid among the rocks
The first rain
The second rain
The third rain
They grew again
We are now a forest again
We are millions

( Autar Mota 06.08.2014 )



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