Sunday, November 30, 2014


( Self portrait  on display inside  Dogra Art Gallery Jammu Avtar Mota )
                                             ( With  wife and Daughter Anuradha Rishi )


Pandit Sansar Chand Baru ( 1902-1995 ), the first Modern   painter  from   jammu  ( fondly known as master ji ) shall always be remembered for his unique style ; A Grand fusion of Pahari and Modern Art  . 

                                          ( A Painting by Sansar Chand Baru )
It is believed that BARU community of Brahmins migrated from Assam and settled in Jammu and Himachal hills. They were Kul Purohits of various hilly Rajput rulers.  Pandt Dhanpat Baru ( Father of Sansar Chand Baru ) was Raj Purohit  to  Maharaja Partap singh and the family lived at Pucca Danga Jammu in Fattu Chougan locality. When Pandit Dhanpat  saw that his son was least interested in Academics , he requested Jagat Ram " *Chhuniyaa " , a noted artist during those days,  to impart some basic lessons in painting to Sansar chand .Young sansar chand was sharp in learning drawing . As time passed , this young boy matured to  a fine water colour Artist and got a permanent job as Drawing master in Government Technical Institute Kachhi Chhawni ( Presently Government Girls Higher Secondary school Kachhi Chhawani) Jammu .

     (Girl in forest by Sansar chand Baru water colour ..Photo Autar Mota )

As first  Curator of Dogra Art Gallery Jammu ( now Known as Dogra Art Museum )  , master ji is responsible for retrieving a large number of original Basholi Miniature Paintings from some influential individuals and preserving this invaluable Heritage for posterity .   For this, he repeatedly  contacted  Padha ( Upadhaya ) family  from Basholi  for  procuring  some valuable  Basholi Miniature paintings  .  The ancestors of Padha family were  Physicians to the rulers of Basholi   .  Sri Kunj Lal Padha of  Basholi  finally agreed to  present  about 70 paintings (  Rasamanjari theme  ) to Bakshi Ghulam Mohd  who  donated all this  Treasure to Dogra Art Gallery Jammu . Some paintings were also  gifted to Dr Karan Singh  by Kunj Lal Padha  .

The  Persian handwritten SHAAHNAAMA  was brought to Gogra Art Gallery through singular efforts of master ji . Credit goes to him for collecting numberless    artifacts  for  Dogra Art Gallery that include  Dogra costumes , Coins , Manuscripts , Handicrafts , Ornaments  , Terracotta Heads , sculptures  ,Metal Objects ,  intricately carved Marble  Jharokhas ,  Arms and  Stone Inscriptions in Takri   .

 In 1944 ,Alongwith Bhagwat Prasad Sathe , Deenu Bhai Pant , D C Prashant , Narayan Mishra and Prof Ram Nath Shastri , Master ji established DOGRI SANSTHA . And  Master ji was unanimously elected  to  head the SANSTHA as its first president .

In  1948, this    sanstha performed   “ Bawa Jitto Da Balidhaan “   the first Dogri Play  at Tikri . Due to his initiative , a grand exhibition of Paintings done by  Artists  from Duggar land was organized inside Technical Institute Kachhi Chhawani Jammu . In 1952    ,  Dogri Sanstha organized  another exhibition of paintings  (done by artists from Jammu ) at New Delhi   .
Master ji took personal interest for compilation  of “ JAAGO  DUGGAR  ”  the  first collection of Dogri poems published by Dogri Sanstha   . JAAGO  DUGGAR   was followed by NAMEE  CHETNA.  NAMEE  CHETNA  was  initially published from Delhi but finally DOGRI SANSTHA   started its full time publication from Jammu.

Joined by Kehri singh Madhukar , Prof M R Puri, Prof Goverdhan singh ,D C Prashant , Ram Nath shastri, Dinu Bhai Pant and many more writers and intellectuals, Master ji   would be seen going from door to door or selling copies of NAMEE CHETNA  in Pucca danga or Raghu Nath Bazar  so as to popularize it.
He  also seved as Court Painter during the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh .

He was a disciplined person and never compromised with his principles . A thorough gentleman and honest to the core , he remained a lover of nature which is evident in his water colour landscapes . When his trusted friend, noted artist and sculptor Vidya Rattan Khajuria was posted at Institute of Fine Arts in Srinagar, Master ji paid some visits to kashmir and did some memorable Kashmir landscapes .
As artist, he was comfortable in many formats and styles like Pahari Miniature , Bengal School , Portraits , Landscapes and abstract . 

  1.                (Warrior riding a Horse by Sansar chand Baru. Dogra Art Gallery.. Photo Avtar Mota)                                                          

                                                           ( Buddha by Sansar Chand Baru )

                                                          ( Sarswati by Sansar Chand Baru )

                                                      ( A   Painting by Sansar Chand Baru )

                                                       ( A   Painting by Sansar Chand Baru )

                                                            ( A   Painting by Sansar Chand Baru )
(Landscape of river Tawi by Sansar chand Baru)

(Kashmir Landscape by Sansar chand Baru ...Photo Autar Mota )
His house at Pucca Danga jammu was a meeting Hub for Artists , Poets , writers and intellectuals . Even well known Hindi writer Ageya called on him during his visit to Jammu . Prof. Neelamber Dev Sharma , Prof.Ram Nath Shastri , Kishen Smailpuri , Parmanand Almast  Narsingh Dev Jamwal , Deenu  Bhai Pant , Bhagwat Sathe  and D C Prashant were also amongst regular visitors . Master ji had close association with Comrade Dhanwantri as well.
Bakshi Ghulam Mohd and Dr karan singh were Great admirers of his work. Even Dr Rajendra Prasad appreciated his work when he visited jammu in 1954 for Inauguration of Dogra Art Gallery(  now known as Dogra Art Museum  ) .

His published essays on Pahari Art and Folk literature attracted the attention of some eminent International Art Critics . Together With Prof Lakshmi Narayan , Master ji wrote a scholarly book “ AN INTRODUCTION TO FOLK LITERATURE AND PAHARI ART “ . This work has become a reference book for Art critics and writers on Pahari Miniature Art and the Folklore associated with it.

His daughter Anuradha Rishi is also an accomplished Artist . Adds Anuradha Rishi

“. To me , he was a Friend , Guru and father .A simple man who loved his Dhoti , Kurta , churee- daar Pyjama and Sherwani. He ate simple food . He would make me to sit while he painted . That was how I learnt my best lessons in Art from him. Many people say that the feminine face in my father's work resembles mine . ”

On his Birth anniversary In 2012 , Lovers of his Art  organized  an on the  spot  children’s Painting competition  at kala Kendra jammu. The event was attended by His daughter , Sri Narsingh Dev jamwal and some prominent Artists from  Jammu.  This year ( 2014 ) Anuradha Rishi ( Baru ) , in her capacity as Chairperson of” Sansar Chand Baru Memorial Trust ” organized two  major events  in Jammu to commemorate her father.  Both were well attended .

I sincerely believe that  More needs  to be done by Government and Lovers of Art  for the man  who influenced    two generation of Artists  in this part of the country  .

I conclude this post with a couplet of Urdu poet Firaq Gorakhpuri ….

Iss Qaaynaat e Gham Ki Fusurda Fizaaon mein
Bikhraa Gaye hain Aa ke woh kuchh Muskaraahatein

( Paying a visit to the  gloomy ambience or this world   ,      
He created space for some smiles to spread.)

Peace be to his soul.

( Autar Mota )
(1 )
Jagat Ram  nicknamed  “chhuniyaa ” was a well known painter during the rule of Maharaja Partap Singh of J&K. He enjoyed royal patronage and was sanctioned a monthly stipend of Rs 25 /= . Chhuniya hailed from Baddu Kishenpur . Chhuniya used oil and water colours in his work . He was also an expert in Delhi style of Ivory carving. .Chhuniya was a disciple of well known painter Harichand of jammu.
My thanks to  J&;K Academy of Art Culture and languages , Sri Narsingh Dev Jamwal ( Author MONOGRAPH : Pandit  Sansar Chand ) and  the family of  the Artist   for Inputs and photographs  .      
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Thursday, November 20, 2014




Uptil now , I carried with me , a grossly mistaken opinion about Nawab Wajid Ali Shah ( 1827-1887) , the last Ruler of Awadh . Nothing more than a profligate ,indolent and wealthy Nawab who was also a lover of poetry, Music , Rang Mahal and Nautch Girls. I was made to believe that he was a fickle minded person who generally wavered while taking strong administrative decisions and consequently unfit to govern .

Every thing has changed after I read a wonderful Book titled “ WAJID ALI SHAH : THE TRAGIC KING ” By Ranbir Sinh . My renewed interest made me to read   more reliable work  on this unfortunate king. I now firmly believe in something otherwise .

Whatever be his fault or whatever be his presentation by various historians , Wajid Ali Shah comes out as a remarkable character in this Book. A person who never compromised with his fundamental beliefs nor sold his country . For me, at least , In the scale of honour , he stands heavier to Lord Dalhousie ( who ordered the annexation Awadh ) who wanted him sign a treaty ( Colonial conspiracy ) to give up Awadh in exchange of an annual stipend. To execute the conspiracy of forcible annexation of Awadh , Lord Dalhousie ensured that a patently biased report was prepared by General Sleeman , the then British Resident of Lucknow. Far from realities , this report highlighted maladministration and lawlessness supposed to be prevailing in Awadh so as to justify its annexation to British East India .

"He is entirely taken up in the pursuit of his personal gratifications. He has no desire or thought to take any interest whatever in public affairs and is altogether regardless of the duties and responsibilities of his high office. He lives exclusively in the society of fiddlers, eunuchs and women: he has done so since his childhood, and is likely to do so till his last." So wrote General Sleeman in his report .

Upon refusal to sign the treaty , Wajid Ali shah was forcibly removed and Awadh annexed to British East India Company . His property and palaces were confiscated . After being compelled to move from Lucknow to Bengal in 1856, the deposed nawab was settled by the British in Garden Reach, an area south-west of Calcutta that had luxurious villas along the Hooghly river.

One of Wajid Ali Shah's wives, Begum Hazrat Mahal, remained in Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny 1857. Supported by Raja Jailal singh and Nana Sahib , she put herself at the head of those fighting for freedom from British Raj. The Begum did not surrender and died in Nepal in 1879 after being allowed Asylum by Rana Jang Bahadur.

The persecution and injured pride of the Nawab gave birth to some fine poems that he composed while he stayed in calcutta . Poems of Patriotism and loneliness. I quote a sample …

Shikwa kis se karoon yaan Dost ne maara Mujh ko,
Juz khudaa ke nahin ab Koyee sahaara Mujh Ko,
Nazar Aataa Nahin Bin Jaaey Guzaara Mujh Ko
Dar o Deewar Pe Hasrat Ki nazar kartein Hain
Rukhsat Aey Ahl e wattan Hum to safar Karein Hain…

Saare Ab Shahar Se Hotaa hai Yeh “AKHTAR “ Rukhssat,
Aagay Bas ab Nahin Kehnay ki Hai Mujh Ko Furssat ,
Ho Na barbaad Meray Mulk Ki Yaaron Khalqat,
Dar o Deewar Pe Hasrat Ki nazar kartein Hain
Rukhsat Aey Ahl e wattan Hum to safar Karein Hain…

( when he Left Awadh )

Kabhi sar pe rakhtaa thhaa mein kaj Kulaah.
Awadh ka kabhi mein bhi thhaa Baadshaah.
Koyee Ranj Zindaan Mein Aisaa Nahin
Jo iss Be sar o paa ko Pahunchaa nahin
Huve Qaid Iss tarah hum Be-Gunaah
Aseeron Mein Huun Naam Hai Baadshaah ..
( In Prison During the sepoy mutiny of 1857 )

As a patron of arts , Wajid Ali Shah sanctioned a life long pension of Rs500 Per annum to Mirza Ghalib. He spent a large amount from his annual stipend patronizing musicians, dancers and poets in Calcutta .
His interest in Architecture made him to build the Famous Quaiser Bagh complex at a cost of 80 Lakhs . To him goes the credit of revival of Kathak form of Dance in Awadh. And he himself was a skilled kathak dancer. I also came across a story about his dancing that goes as under ..

“During the Holi celebration in 1867 at the Durbar Hall of Metiabruz, near Kolkata, where the nawab built a replica of his palace in Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah sang and danced in a peshwaj In a gathering of eminent musicians and connoisseurs. He wore a long full-sleeved gown that flared from the neck to the ankles,where it measured as much as 80m in circumference.
In this gathering , the nawab began his recital with a khayal, and later moved on to the bandish ki thumri “neer bharan kaise jaaoon sakhi ri” that is sung even today in Raga Tilak Kamod.”

Thumri singing and composition received greatest support from him. He himself sang and composed Thumris. He is the composer cum first singer of the most popular Thumri of the subcontinent “ Babul Mora Naihar Chhooto Jaaye ”. “ Jab chhorr chale Lucknow nagari/Kaho hal adam par kya guzre?” is another popular Thumri composed and sung by him .

While shooting “Shataranj Ke Khilari ” Film Director Satyajit Ray once asked the Calcutta based descendants of the Nawab the reasons as to why the legendry Nawab is shown dressed in an angrakha while leaving his left bosom exposed in many Potraits /Photographs . It was gathered by Ray that the late Nawab had himself given a reasoned reply to this query in his lifetime in following words

“I deliberately keep it exposed because I believe as a poet I should keep my heart open to emotions and sensibilities.”

Wajid Ali Shah was a playwright as well. His Plays Including “Radha Kanahayya ka Qissa “ was staged for many weeks to packed audience in Qaiser Bagh Complex Lucknow. With Bells tinkling in his feet ,He himself danced as Krishna in many stage plays based on Raas-leela. Kathak was also introduced and popularized through these dance Dramas .

As ruler , he introduced reforms and dispensed justice . He was truly secular , liberal and fair to all subjects irrespective of their faiths . He himself led Holi and Deewali Celebrations .Under his personal supervision , Poor and Destitutes from all communities were given food and clothes during Idd and Muhharam . Inspite of being known as a man of pleasure , Wajid Ali Shah never touched wine nor missed his five daily prayers.

In his later life, he was carried all over on a sedan chair. He is said to have been afflicted with an anal fistula that forced him to spend many agonizing hours in the toilet.

He was a remarkable poet of romance who added AKHTAR or AKHTAR PIYA as Takhallus to his name and wrote poetry . His creative work is spread in over 40 books of poetry , prose and Thumris. Out of this, Two books "Diwan-i-Akhtar", "Husn-i-Akhtar" contain his Ghazals. I quote lines from his popular romantic Gazal ….

Ilahi koyee hawa ka jhonka, dikha de chehra-udaa ke Aanchal
Jo jhaankta hai kabhi sitamgar,to khidkiyon mein-laga ke Aanchal
Suni jo kadmon ki meri Aahat, to jaake chupke se so gaye woh
Jo mainay talwon pe gudgudaya, ulat diya-muskura ke Aanchaal
Zaroor dhayegaa koyee fitna, Zaroor mahshar bapaa karega
Ye tera at-kheliyon se chalnaa, jhukaa ke gardan-gira ke Aanchal
Zaroor hai majra yeh koyee, jo rehtay hain duur-duur hum se
Jo paas Aakay bhi baith-tay haain ,to har taraf se-dabaa ke Aanchal…

(Autar Mota ) 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014



( Photo Sandeep Mota .. November 2014)

I am tempted to add lines from Urdu Poet Ali sardar jafri's poem to this photo ...

Saheef e Qaaynaat
( The sacred Text of this Universe )

Ye do varaq hain,
Zameen aur Aasmaan jin par
Saheef e Qaaynaat Tehreer Ho Rahaa Hai
Fasaana Hasti Ka Neistee ka
Fasaana neki ka aur Badhee ka ,
Fasaana Zulmat Ka Roshini ka ,
Saheef e Qaaynaat Tehreer Ho Rahaa hai …

Jo Kal Kali Thhii
Vo Aaj Gul Hai
Jo aaj Gul Hai
Vo Kal samar hai

Har Eik shai Waqt ki hawaaon ki Zadd pe
Eik Shamm e Rehguzar hai ..
Jo Bujh Rahee hai
Jo Jal Rahee hai
Vujood par Naaz kar Rahee hai

( Ali Sardar Jafri )

My simple English rendering of these lines goes as under …

These are just two pages ,
The sky and the Earth,
Upon these two pages ,
A sacred Text of this Universe is being written.
A story of existence and non existence ,
A story of good and evil ,
A story of darkness and Illumination ,
The sacred Text of this universe is being written.

Flower Buds of yesterday have bloomed into full size flowers today ,
Today’s flowers shall be tomorrow’s Fruit .

Like a lamp kept on pathways ,
Every object is destined to face trials of the winds of time.
A lamp that keeps dimming ,
A lamp that keeps glowing ,
A lamp that feels proud of its existence …

( Autar Mota )

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(Photo Sandeep Mota  November  2014 )

I am adding some lines from a poem of  Urdu poet Ali Sardar jafri to these  photographs )

“ Tumhaaray Shahar e Jamaal Mein
Meray Dil ka Kaasa
Bhatak Rahaa hai …
Tum Apnay Hothon Ka shahad ,
Aankhon ke Phool ,
Haathhon ke chaand dhe do,
Yeh Muflissi ki Siyaah Raaatein
Vujood par Tanz kar Rahee hain.."

My english rendering of the lines is as under

"In the Grandeur of your city,
The Goblet within this Heart of mine ,
Strikes aimlessly here and there…
Grant me the sweet honey that your lips stock up,
Look at me with the flower like eyes that you possess,
And Pass on the Moons that your hands store to me as well;
Look ! These dark nights of dearth
Keep lampooning my existence …"

( Autar Mota )

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                           ( Bicycles Parked over on canal Bridge in Amsterdam , Netherlands ) 
                                             ( Bicycle Riders near Vondel Park Amsterdam )
                                                   ( A Bicycle Path in Amsterdam , Netherlands )


 Bicycle is a major mode of Transport in  Netherlands ( Holland ). It is  surprising  to see   almost 40  percent  of the road traffic  in Amsterdam  comprising of Bicycle users .  This could be  even higher in rural areas .These Bicycles  move on separate Paths  with protected Intersections . They have adequate parking facilities . The bicycle routes to  reach your destinations are shorter and direct. Almost every city and town  in Netherlands   is interconnected  through a National Network of well laid down  Bicycle Paths . These paths  are created and maintained by  Dutch  Government  as  a National Policy Task to promote Bicycle usage amongst people .

I am informed that the Dutch  Government prioritized this  mode of transport  long back , Possibly sometime around last quarter of 19th century. This mode got more acceptance in public after widespread protests broke out in Netherlands  over the  spurt in  Motor accidents during 1970 to  1975 . During these years , on an average about 500 young men and children  died  annually  due to  road accidents . The Government immediately swung into action and came out with a  comprehensive Bicycle friendly policy for the  . This policy  meant quantitative Fund allocations for Development of  Separate Paths , Roads , Intersections , Parking facilities , Accidental Insurance support  and  establishing Network of Traffic signals .

 With Bicycle ,  Roads in Netherlands have become almost  pollution Noise free. The accidental deaths have come down drastically .

As a part of its National policy to promote Bicycle usage ,Children  in Netherlands , after a certain age group, need to learn cycling . They are supposed to use this mode of transport for going to their school  later which could be as far as 8  to 10 kms . Elderly people  are trained to use  the electric Bicycle . Trains and Ferries can not refuse to carry your bicycle should you need to do so to cover longer distances. This is  as a matter of state  policy  which has due legal sanction.  Bicycle lanes are  painted red or black and  no mopeds are allowed  to be driven along these paths . One can see some cyclists   moving at a speed of about 20kms per hour on these paths .

 Almost every shop / Store   in Amsterdam  provides   Bicycle Parking facility to its customers   .  If you do not park your Bicycle properly , you may be fined  by law enforcing agencies . Every railway station , school , college , University , Hospital , Supermarket has  a Proper Bicycle   Stand. 

You find  students , Doctors , University  teachers ,ladies , Businessmen , Government employees and tourist using bicycle to cover distances . The government  also gives  annual  awards   to the  city / Town with best Bicycling paths and facilities  .

 Did we forget and   this cheap and pollution free   mode of transport in our country  ? The Bicycle that remained a part of our childhood and youth  is  facing neglect at the moment. 

Can we  Learn  a Lesson from the Netherlands  experience ? 

I conclude this post with a couplet of urdu Poet Naseer Turabi …

Kabhi  ye haal ki donon me  yukk- dili thhi bahut
Kabhi  ye marhalaa   jaisay  ki  aashnayee na thhi…….
(   Autar Mota )

(*Photo and  inputs by  Sandeep Mota )
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Monday, November 17, 2014



( Photo Sandeep Mota In Greece .. September 2014)
To this photo i add lines from a Gazal of Naseer Turabi( Born 1945 )

Na apnaa ranj , na Auron ka dukh , na teraa malaal
Shab- e -firaq kabhi hum ne yuun ganwaayi na thhi..
Woh humsafar thha , magar uss se humnawayee na thhi
Ke dhoop chhaanv ka Aalam raha , judaai na thhi.....


LOCKS on a bridge over river SEINE in Paris . A symbol  of Faith, love  and trust  . Desire something and put a lock on the bridge side -support rod. When the desire translates into reality , unlock and celebrate . Something like the “Daesh” tied in shrines of kashmir.

( Photo sandeep Mota 2014)
To this photo i add lines from a Gazal of Naseer Turabi( Born 1945 )

Aey Muqaddar koyee hisaab to rakh,
Kaun Jeeta hai kaun Haara hai…
Aankh bharnay lagi hai yado’n say,
Shor-e-darya hai chupp Kinaara hai


( Photo Autar Mota )

I am adding some lines from a Gazal of Naseer Turabi ( Born 1945 ) to this photo…

Logon mein meray log woh sachaaiyon ke log,
Bichharray to duur duur sadaakat nahin Rahee..
Raaton mein eik raat woh ghar lautnein ki raat,
Woh Zehmatein woh shauq woh ujhllat nahin Rahee….
Rangon mein eik rang teri saadagi ka rang ,
Aissi hawaa chali ki woh rangat nahin Rahee……..


( Photo Clicked by Sandeep Mota in Paris ..November 2014. )

Bichharrtay waqt unn aankhon mein thi humaari gazal

Gazal Bhi Woh Jo Kissi ko Abhi sunaayi na thhi....

 (While parting , those eyes glittered with my poetic melody only ;

A melody that had not been revealed to any one uptil now.....)


( Autar Mota 17.11.2014)

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Thursday, November 6, 2014





Sau Gile Shikwe Hain Lekin Woh Hamaare hain To Hain
Kyaa karein dariyaa Bhi Aakhir Do Kinaare hain To Hain “
Hum se jo kuchh ho sakaa hum ne kiya sab ke liye
Raaz lekin aaj Tanhaa be-sahaaray hain to hain…”

( Hari Krishen Razdan Raz )

“A Hundred Complaints , 
A Hundred grievances,
what to do ? He still is mine ,
How can the river stop it’s flow ,
even if split between two Banks ?
Whatsoever was possible , I did it for one and all,
And now today , O “Raaz “ ,
If I happen to be lonely and helpless ,
Let me be so, what to do ?”


“  Dekhiye meray Daada  srinagar shahar chhorr kar Punjab chaley Aaye thhay. Meray Vaalid Pandit Mohan Lal Razdan ki shaadi bil-khasoosan kashmiri zubaan bolnay waali larrki se huyee thi .Pandit Lal Ji Dhar ki Beti . Meray Nana Khaas shahar srinagar ke Amira kadal Ilaaqay ke rehnay waale thhay . Meri Paidaaish Gujrat ( Jo Ab Pakistan mein hai ) Huye thhi . Me ab Business kartaa huun . . Mumbai mein rehtaa huun. Seema Anil Sehgal jo bahut hi achha Gaatii hai aur meray ajdaadon ki wattan se hai , meri Beti Hi Samahjh Leejiye.Telephone karne ke liye jiye   Shukriya ”

“. My grandfather left Srinagar city and moved to Punjab . My father’s name was Mohan Lal Razdan and he was married to a kashmiri speaking girl from Srinagar . My mother was daughter of Lal Ji Dhar of Amira Kadal srinagar . I was born in Gujrat ( Punjab ) and Currently I am in Business .We live in Mumbai .Seema Anil Sehgal , who is a noted singer from the land of my ancestors , is like a Daughter to me. Thanks for your call ”
That is what Razdaan sahib conveyed to me (in a typical Lucknvai acccent ) when I spoke to him over telephone .

Born in 1930 ( 18th November ) to Mohan Lal Razdan and Mohini Razdan, Hari Krishen Razdaan “ Raaz “ is an urdu poet well known outside kashmir but unknown in the land of his ancestors.. He belongs to a kashmiri Pandit family from Habba Kadal area of srinagar that migrated to Punjab in early twentieth century . He was born and brought up in Punjab and had his schooling at Lyallpur and Sargodha.The family kept moving to different places on account of employment of Pandit Mohan Lal Razdan. After partition of the country , he moved to Mumbai with his parents .

As usual with Kashmiri Pandits , he too joined a government job but resigned from it at a young age to set up his own business venture . He is presently CEO a  company established by him that does  trading in Apparel , Handicrafts , Footwear, Leather goods and Machinery.
In 1978, RAZDAN GROUP  started the activity of manufacturing cutting dies of a special kind for the very first time in india and presently this group has business interests at  17  locations in the country. 

For expansion of his High Fashion Garment Business,    Shri Hari Krishen  Razdan Raaz  has also  lived  in Milano, Italy for some period .  For this activity, he was awarded a golden Oscar in a fashion show in Padova, Italy during 1970.  In Italy , he developed his  automobile parts import Business  through his company  HARMAN SALES UNION( later converted to HARMAN SALES PVT. LTD) . This Company  was awarded a gold medal in 1975 by the Milan Chamber of Commerce. HARMAN FOOTWEAR COMPONENTS ACCESSORIES was established in 1995 for  producing insoles which immediately made a mark in the Market.  HARMAN SOLES was established in 2005 in order to make high fashion soles for  ladies  Footwear   . 

He happens to be the uncle of Karan Razdaan ,well known film personality ( Actor , writer and director) . karan married Priya Tendulkar ( Daughter of well known Marathi Playwright Vijay Tendulkar ) .

His friends included Majrooh sultanpuri , Mumtaz Rashid ,Naqsh Lyallpuri and Ibrahinm Ashq .

His two poetic collections DIL SE UTHAA DHUAAN and HAR LAMHAA AUR have been well received . His language is simple and direct. GAZAL is his forte .
I quote some lines/ couplets from these books.
(1 )
Umr Bhar Ye Waqt Guzra Hai, Par Ab
Waqt Thahrega, Guzar Jaayenge Hum
Hum se jo kuchh ho sakaa hum ne kiya sab ke liye
Raaz lekin aaj Tanhaa be-sahaaray hain to hain…
Kyon dartay ho kal kyaa hogaa
Hogaa buss , jo honaa hogaa
Kya Apnaa hai ? Kya Kho Deingay ?
Jo Bhi Hogaa Achhaa Hogaa
Kyon Hai Khaamosh Maiqadaa saaqi
Kuchh kahi Jaaye Kuchh Suuni Jaaye .
Ho Chukay Ab Takkalufaat Bahut
Baat kuchh Dil Ki Bhi Kahii Jaaye
Din Ke Chehray pe Lagaa Detein hain khushrang Naqaab
Shaam Hotii Hai to Har shaam Vahii Hotaa hai..
Jitnay qissay Bhi Mohhabat ke suno Duniyaa mein
Jo Bhi aagaaz ho Anjaam Vahii Hotaa hai ….


Aik umr se tanhaayi mere paas rahi hai
Kya hoga, sochta huN maiN, ab iss ka mere baad
Tanhaayi, kisi aur ka daaman na pakadnaa

Ahsaan jo legi bhi to kis, kis ka mere baad..

Kya yeh duniya hai, aur ab iss ki kahaani kya hai
Yeh zameeN, aag, hawaa aur yeh paani kya hai
Iss kahaani ka shuru hai, na koi aNt kahiN
Jab adhoori hai kahaani, to sunaani kya hai


Pataa hi lagta nahiN ab, kahaaN, kahaaN hai dard
Zakhm dikhte bhi nahiN haiN, jahaaN, jahaaN hai dard
Puraane zakhm to ab bhar gaye haiN, par ab tak

Girey the ashk jo, ab bhi wahaaN , wahaaN hai dard

“RAAZ KI BAATEIN “…HARI KRISHEN RAZDAN “RAAZ” is a compact disc of 8 beautiful Gazals of the poet sung  by  Gaurav Chopra in his  soulful  voice.  ….This album can be bought from digital stores such as iTunes, Amazon etc. SOME  GAZALS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE ON



( 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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Wednesday, November 5, 2014


                              (Amin Kamil with Modern Artist Bimal Dasgupta  at Bansi Parimu's  Art Exhibition in Srinagar)
                                            ( Amin Kamil with his friend Pran Kishore ) 
Raavaaii Ta Tche Nieshi Zaanie Khudaa Neab Me Neiryaa,
Raavukh Ta Gatchhukh Myaanie Be Putchh Seena Baraamadh…
( Amin Kamil )

" If I am lost , God knows,
if some clue at all shall emerge from you
To know My Whereabouts .
But for sure , If you are misplaced ,
You shall be recovered close to this mistrusted heart of mine…:"

What more can i add  about late Amin Kamil ( 1924-2014 ) when   too much is already  available on Internet  ?  More  and more is being added  by his admirers and his   talented  son Muneeb ur Rehman  . Muneeb is also associated with   NEAB , a literary  magazine in kashmiri  that the late poet started  in 1968 . One needs to see the literary standard of NEAB to believe  me when I say that the Magazine is exceptional .

Yes  I would say something  from my own observations  based on two or three interactions with late Kamil sahib .  Whenever  I saw him  ,following lines of Naadim would immediately come to my mind ..

Aadunuk Badaam Hue,
Maaji Hundh Momm Daam Hue
Gaam Pyethaa Yetchkaael Vothhumut *Treil Hyaathh  Zunn Maam Hue,
Assi wattan Rut Gaam Hue.
( Dina Nath Naadim )

Like the  fresh Almond fruit of the season ,
Or a  mouthful of  milk  from mother’s breast  for a child,
Like the maternal uncle , After long time ,bringing Treil fruit
from his village Orchard ,
Our country is like a beautiful Village .
( *Treil is Small late  Autumn fruit  in Kashmir resembling an Apple. It is very small in size , juicy and tastes like an apple. )

By  appearance  and communication , Kamil gave you the  strong    feeling of  the traditional warmth of a  Kashmiri host .   He was a  man of culture , tradition and  sharp wit . Affable , Educated   and well read  , he  had a heart that was   full of something like  rustic  cheerfulness  and sincerity . Something Typical , unique   and impressive  trait of his personality .

He was simple , down to earth ,sharp , kind  and resourceful. He had  very sharp memory coupled with a deep quest for knowledge and a sharp insight that could observe anything around  and put the same in his writings in such a manner that it ripped apart the hypocrisy that existed in the society wherefrom he had picked up the issue.
                                           ( With  urdu writer Krishen chander )
                                  ( With kashmiri writer  prof. Hari Krishen Kaul  )
                           ( With Dina Nath Naadim and Ghulam Rasool Nazki )
                                  ( With Ghulam Nabi Firaq and Margoob Banihaali )

                                    ( Receiving Padamshri  from Dr A P J Abul Kalam )

He was a poet , translator , Essayist , Short story writer , Novelist and  a researcher . Kamil  belonged to the group of  pioneers  who brought  short story and Novel  to Kashmiri Literature. 

Along with Naadim , Firaq and  Rahi , he  brought  new content , thought  and sensibilities to kashmiri Poetry .  He remained a little exceptional  in this  regard  as his poems and  Gazals were lyrically satirical but full of  inherent music and feel of the land  of his birth. To him goes the credit of writing a very informative book on Bahai Faith “ Baha Ullaah Ta  Asar I Jadeed “. To him goes the credit of  beautifully Translating Tagore’s Post office and Raja O Rani.  He has  his proud place amongst the pioneers of NEW  GAZAL in kashmiri poetry .
His novel  “Gatti Munz Gaash “  was perhaps  the second novel in kashmiri  literature that he published in 1959 .  Prior to that Akhtar Mohi Ud Din had published first Kashmiri novel  “Doad Dugg “ in 1958. In respect of short stoies ,  he immediately arrived on the scene after   Dina Nath Naadim and Som Nath Zutshi  , Paving way for many more to follow.  “Jawaabee Card  “and  “Yeli phol Gaash “ , were  first  kashmiri Short stories of Naadim and Zutshi  respectively  that were published in Kwong Posh in its  March 1950 issue .  
His short story collection  “ Kathi Manz Kath  “shows his understanding of nature and  his  serious  observation of  kashmiri society. Cock fight is his widely apprecited and  translated story .About this story Khushwant singh once commented ..

“ I do not know who is Kamil. But after reading this story , I feel like knowing the man and reading him more . This writer  has a  keen  observation  of what is happeing around and then conveying it  with light  send-up and rustic realism and a style. ”  

 This story ( In English translation done by Prof.Neerja Mattoo ) has  been included in Volume II of Contemporary Indian short stories published by Sahitya Academy in 1967 . This volume has 22 short stories, representing a panorama of Indian life  written during the period 1930-1950 and selected by Sahitya Academy Advisory Board  .COCK FIGHT  finds a place in this volume along with   stories of  some Great masters like Rajinder Singh Bedi ( Lajwanti ), Jainendra Kumar ( jahanavi ) , Vaikom Muhammad Basheer ( Birthday ), Mlk Raj Anand ( The Golden Watch ), R K Narayan (Another community ),Tarashanker Banerjee ( Boatman Tarini ), Sant Sing Sekhon ( The Whirlwind )and Thakazhi Shivasankara Pillai ( The flood ).  

As a story writer he  uses light satire  and sarcasm to rip apart  the two-facedness  of the society . He used this technique in poetry as well ( TAAY-NAAMA   and  SAWAAL  CHHU KALLUK poems ).

I am informed that his play PAGAAH CHHU GAASHDAAR  became quite popular when it was staged  in 1955. Same year he brought out a collection of his progressive  NAZMS book titled  MUSS MULLER . In his secod poetic collection LAVA TA PRAVA  (  The book won him sahitya Academy award of  1967 ) , he used  references from Hindu mythology to  put forth his new  poetic Sensibilites  .
He must have edited more than 100 issues of SHEERAZA . His critically edited collection of Sufi poetry (Sufi Shair, 3 vols., 1964-6.5) has been widely  commended  in Literary circles .He has also edited the collected verse of Nund Reshi and   Habba Khatun  for the Cultural Academy .
I have with me  another book of this master titled “ Zatchie Hallum “ This book  is full of kashmiri translation of Allama Iqbal’s poetry.
His  poetic  technique gets more polished  in his  later collections of  namely, Beyi Suy Paan (Again the Same Self, 1967), Padis Pod Tshay (One Foot Shadowing the Other, 1972) and Yim Myan Sokhan (These, My Words, 2007).

Born At Kapran shopian in south kashmir , kamil was LLB and practiced Law initially. Later he joined as college Lecurer. He finally joined J&K state cultural Academy in 1958  where he edited SHEEARZA and SOAN ADAB  for many years .

                                                  ( With well known painter  G R Santosh)


                ( Amin Kamil with Rehman Rahi, Sardar jafri, Ali Mohd Lone, Dina Nath Nadim and Akhtar Mohiuddin)              

The   recent Flood devastation  in kashmir  did play some emotional turmoil  for him. He  had to remain cut off from his family for some days  in an overall environment of chaos and confusion.. Due to poor health , he  moved to Jammu in october 2014  to  stay with his son Anees Ur Rehman .The end came  early   on 30th October 2014.

For ages to come , kashmiris shall remain indebted to this great son of the soil for enriching their  Language literature .. He was  decorated with Padamshri as well  . 

I  conclude this post with  some  couplets from his Gazals with my english rendering…
Dil Maag Rooh Maag taa Soaruuy Zamaana maag
Vushnaavi Kuss ya sheen Kamiss vanizee jaam di…

( Amin kamil)

This heart ,This soul and this world around is like the cold “Maagha ”
.O Heart ! Who shall warm up this ice ?
To whom should we look for a glassful of wine ?
( Maagha or Maagh is a month of Bikrami calender and corresponds to Mid January to Mid February )
Haawas Kaanchhaan Tchaanie shoob
Paanus Taamuthh Chhuyee Atii Aur
( Amin Kamil )
( My yearnings are for your magnificence alone ,
Beyond that , everything lies in your hands )
Ticket laagithh Bandh Lifaafun Munz
Be pataa Khat Chha Daak-Khaaneik Aiess..
( Amin Kamil )
( Duly stamped and sealed ,
We are like postal envelopes with no address )
Agar me Jaani Manuss Aav zaanh Khuda Ratchhienum
Ye qaaynaat Karan Chaak Paninie Naaleikk Paaeth
( Amin Kamil )
( God forbid , if I am driven to desperation ,
This universe, I shall tear apart like my shirt’s collor )
Bekhabar Paaeth Baag Traavithh Tcholhamo
Haai Tanhaa Daag Traavithh Tcholhamo
( Amin Kamil )
( Without my Knowledge , You left this garden ,
Now a wound of loneliness for me in your absence )

……………………………………………….May his soul rest in peace..

( Autar Mota )
Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.