Monday, March 20, 2017



                                                      ( PROF. NEERJA MATTOO )
Dr Ali Jan’s family lived at Exchange Road Srinagar after they shifted from Rajouri Kadal in Downtown Srinagar .

Prof Neerja Mattoo writes :

” The present day Soulless Buildings of BSNL office at Exchange Road Srinagar are built on the Remains of a Heritage House , which was torn down and razed to the ground . it belonged to one Nazir Ahmed , A Punjabi speaking High official , who left for Pakistan in the wake of Partition . His house and its grounds became what is known as Evacuee Property and were rented to legendary Physician Dr Ali Jan . He and his family moved in and integrated so well with the neighbourhood that it seemed they had always lived here and not in Rajouri Kadal area of the old city downtown. The participation in each other’s festivals was taken for granted – The pundits men and children looking forward for Eid Feasts , while the Muslims waited for Shivratri with its fish and fowl with soaked walnuts .When Mrs Ali Jan came visiting , it was only fruit for her and so it was when Mrs Dhar or Mrs kaul went to visit her .But the confidence they shared would not be shared with their own Blood sisters .

People had to wait weeks for getting an opportunity to be examined by Dr Ali jan , But for this neighbourhood , his was an open house . My Father Prof. S L Dhar , who had taught Dr Ali Jan in college , was held in such affection and respect by him that he could walk into his consultation chamber with a sick patient without any prior appointment , No one daring to challenge him for ” Gate Crashing “ .

It was Mrs Ali Jan , Boba to all of us children , who came with a biggest Majma of dry fruits and Shirin to shower us with her Blessings when we passed an Examination . It was she who celebrated our success , while our own parents were subdued ! She genuinely appreciated the value of Education . The whole Mohalla Felt bereft when the Ali jan Family left to move into their own Newly built House at Magarmal Bagh . “


(Prof Neerja Mattoo is an Eminent Academician and a distinguished scholar from Kashmir. She is a noted writer and has also translated several Poetry and Prose texts from Kashmiri into English. This post has been extracted from her write up in “ Miraas “ Issue July – December 2016 Page 81 ..REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MYTH AND REALITY OF BELONGING AND TOGETHERNESS With due thanks and regards to her )

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