Tuesday, September 6, 2016



On right side of the canal lies a Tall and shady Chinar of DAV school Rainawari .You can see the old Naidyar bridge over the Canal.This canal connects Dal Lake with Nigeen Lake .There used to be lot of water transport on this canal. Tourists in Shikaras going to Nigeen Lake from Dal Lake or Vice versa and children bathing in canal waters smiling and crying at Foreign Tourists" Meemi salaam pataa pataa Ghulam". V S NAIPAUL passed through this area in a shikara . This area is clearly mentioned in his Book " An Area Of Darkness "

what is the origin of  word Naidyaar ?

Dr ShashiShekhar Toshkhani  ( Scholar , Linguist and poet ) clarifies :

"Naavid" or "Naaid". There are several words in contemporary Kashmiri speech that exist in more than one form. One such word is "Naavid". It is derived from Sanskrit "Naapita", meaning "barber", (medial 'p changing to 'v', as happens typically in Prakrit). It also occurs in the form of "Naayid". The two forms denote two different stages of development from the Sanskrit  original, It may be noted that "Naayid", which represents the later stage, is quite akin to Hindi "Naai", which is also derived from Skt. "Naapita". This makes Kashmiri an important subject for study in the Indian linguistic context, as pointed out by Georg Buhler who has also chosen to give "Naavid" and "Naaid" as one of the examples to illustrate his point."

so the name has been derived from word  Naavid meaning barber in kashmiri .

You would always see Vegetable sellers in Boats, Boats with school going children, boats with weeds brought from Dal lake and Boats with sick brought from Dal area to doctors in Rainawari.This was a common scene on the canal waters .During daytime, The canal was busy and full of life.On its Bank , we had so many temples and Mosques/ Ziarats. So many Ghaats that were used by people for bathing , Wuzu and Sandhya before these turned filthy , dirty and contaminated . Rations sold  to Public under Government PDS was stored in Big Boats ( Locally known as Bahetch )   parked along the banks of the  Canals in Rainawari  .  You could also see some film unit from Bombay shooting a movie in Rainawari Backwaters But such incidents  turned  rare after seventies of the last century as Shooting locations were  shifted to Mughal Gardens , Dal lake , Gulmarg , Aarroo , Sonamarg ,  Pahalgham and    Nigeen lake etc.  

And sometimes you would see a dead body being carried in a Boat to cremation ground located inside back waters . Sometimes you would see a Doctor sitting in the middle of a roofless Boat being carried to see some serious patient by his relatives .sometimes you would see a boat being used to collect bedding and utensils for some marriage function .Quite often a Doonga would pass by with a group of young men on a picnic . You would also hear chhakri and kashmiri sufiana music being loudly played inside by some folk singers / artists .

So many Handicrafts and kashmir Art Traders had set up their shops/Business  establishments along the canal Bank.I remember some reliable Traders/ Exporters with names such as  Ghulam Hassan And Sons wood Carvers, Arcson  Arts, AR Chaku And Sons, Mir Handicrafts and G N Chaku And Sons etc. Ajaz ,our class fellow in DAV school was from the Family of Ghulam Hassan And Sons Wood carvers. Ajaz played side Drums for  the school Band  .

Business and buyers were brought through a well established Commission system. Apart from Taxi drivers, Beneficiaries of this commission were the House Boat owners, Tourist Guides and Shikara-wallas.

There used to be stories and   Complaints as well ; Ring shawl cloth or  Semi Pashmina sold as pure Pashmina, Staple thread Carpets sold as pure  Silk Carpets, Moradabaadi wood carving sold as Kashmir walnut wood carving ,Painted Wood sold as Papier Mache and fake saffron prepared   in Nawapora locality  sold as pure Mogra Saffron to Tourists . This was generally done by roaming  Boat / Shikara vendors who sold Handicrafts to  Tourists.

                                             ( A View of Nigeen lake .. Photo  Autar Mota )
                                      ( A View of Dal  lake .. Photo  Autar Mota )

Now and then some house Boat would move on this canal.Bigger house Boats were unable to pass under not so high Naidyar bridge . There was a risk of Houseboat getting Damaged . Accordingly , The house Boat owner would come to our school and request school authorities for help. Boys from some free class would be made to walk into the houseboat so that it sank a little in canal waters .That made it to pass under the Naidyar bridge. This was the time when boys would slip into House Boat's kitchen area and look for Biscuits, Jam, Breads,and fruits while the owner and his family were busy in pulling the house boat from below the Bridge without any damage to its exterior structure.

     (Naidyar Bridge..A water Colour by DN Wali Artist)
In the topmost photo, the house that is prominently visible belonged to Dr Gh Nabi Hakim Ex Director Health J&K. He moved to posh Raj Bagh while his brothers continued to live in this house. All other houses that are distinctly or vaguely visible belonged to Pandit families. I remember Telis, Chowdhris (Dr RL Chowdry) ,Kitroos and Kauls lived across the canal opposite DAV school.Hindus and Muslims jointly celebrated annual URS of Saint Miyan Shah Sahib.His ziarat was close by .A small Shiva temple close to Naidyar bridge is also visible.

On the other side of the Canal ,close to DAV school you had Mallas, Handoos (Dr Ramjoo Handoo) ,Shairs( ex MLA Mohd Abdullah Shair) , Dalkaws, Wanis and house of Sardar Thakur Singh .Pandit Saligram Kaul, known for his Honesty and integrity, lived close by. This Gandhian Pandit fined his own family for misuse of PHE water when he saw his wife watering the family kitchen garden with a pipe that brought water from their PHE connection.

We used to row a boat right up to Nehru Park from Chowdhary Bagh Naidyar .Swim in Dal Lake, Carry our food along , enjoy fresh air, steal some ripe Tomatoes/ cucumbers grown in backwater areas of the lake while rowing our boat.Quite often, A Surprise discovery of Batakh Thools(Duck eggs) on some Demb (small land mass in lake waters) was a bonus.
Sometimes we would March to Nishat garden from Naidyar via the Dal Lake sathu ( Bund or embankment). Sometimes a bicycle was used to go to Nishat from Rainawari via this inner Dal Sathu ( embankment ).
So many memories of this school and the area.
                    ( BACKWATERS  OF DAL LAKE  NEAR  RAINAWARI  1953 )
                     ( OLD PHOTOGRAPH OF NAIDYAR BRIDGE 1940 )
                                       ( PHOTOGRAPH OF NAIDYAR BRIDGE  )
                                 ( LATEST  PHOTOGRAPH OF NAIDYAR BRIDGE  )
                         ( BACKWATERS  OF DAL LAKE  NEAR  RAINAWARI )

I did my Higher Secondary( IIIrd year ) final from this school before going to SP College.Never saw a teacher like Shri Dina Nath Hanjura in my life.Gandhian, unbiased, compassionate and disciplinarian.He could teach you Mathematics, History, Geography, political science , Philosophy, Literature, Drama and above all English Grammar . When we left the school, he was the principal.He later moved to England to live with his son.

Sh.Hanjura would also introduce Ghalib, Kabir, Wordsworth and Mehjoor to his students..

Vividly remember Shri Mohd Sidiq, Lateef (son of Mohd Sidiq who played football with us and would always cry" RUNNING "while playing with the Ball) and Gh Mohd ( peon ) fondly named as Moma by us.

Looking at this photograph , I am reminded of a Gazal of Munir Niazi… I add my Favourite lines to this photo ..

Ye ajnabi si Manzilein aur raftagaan ki yaad
Tanhaaiyon ka zahar hai aur ham hain doston

Aankhon Mein Urr rahi lutti Mehfilon ki dhool
Ibrat sarai-deher hai, aur ham hain doston

Phirte Hain Misal-E-Muaj Hawa Shehr Shehr Mein,
Aawaargi Ki Lehar Hai Aur Hum Hain Doston..

My English rendering would be …….

The present unfamiliar destinations and the memory of misplaced friends,
The poison of loneliness is what we live with now , Dear friends……

These eyes carry the hurting dust of that robbery ,
The robbed circle of friends !
This ruined Serai of existence has only repentance now , Dear friends …..

In city after city , We move like whiff of Air ,
Vagrant and Wanderer has turned our existence now , Dear Friends ...

( Autar Mota )


My special Thanks to the uploader of this Photograph on Internet. I do not know  how i can thank him.  .I really  feel obliged and grateful to him  for this beautiful click .

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


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