Wednesday, January 31, 2018



( Photo Pushkar Bhan with Raj Kapoor )


After Actor Playwright Padamshri Pushkar Bhan ( 1926 - 2008) Popularized Word MACHAAMA through his Radio Plays ( Comedy), It has come to be a part of kashmiri Psyche . And here is a single word that brings Nostalgic smile on every kashmiri’s face. Most of us are familiar with Characters of these MACHAAMA series Radio Plays ; I mean Machaama , kaak, Kaaken ,khadiji ( wife of Machama ) , Sula Gotta , Rehman Dadda and many more. Most of us also remember Tuvaan Bacha , Zingari , Singari, Djinn , Rakh ( Huge Bird ) and some more characters from Pushker Bhan’s Radio Play "Sindbaad Machama "

I vividly remember how food was served to us at 8.30 PM and my mother would finish everything by 9.15 PM. Thereafter Every one in our family kept glued to the Radio in Hush Hush silence waiting till 9.30 PM when we would hear something like this ..

“ Ye chhu Radio Kashmir Srinagar . Raaetch haenz Saad’a Nuvv Baajeiye . Booziv Drama "Sindbaad Machaama ". Tehreer Pusker Bhan Peishkush Pran kishore “
"This is Radio Kashmir Srinagar . It is 9.30 PM now. Tune in to our Drama “ Sindbaad Machaama" Scripted by Puhker Bhan and produced by Pran Kishore."

To be at home at Dot Drama time , Many Shopkeepers would close their shops early . Children , Elders , ladies and Middle aged persons would wait eagerly for the Machaama Radio Drama. 

Machaama had touched the soul every kashmiri who somehow wanted a break from Monotony of Gossip, Scheming and Ignorance. Those days , every Young Boy would be nicknamed as " Tuvaan Bacha" . Girls would be Nicknamed Zingaari and Singaari and many times Police had to be called near Women's College Maulana Azad Road as Boys from S P College would come to the gate at Closing hours and cry;

" Hataai Zingaari ! Hataai Singaari !"

In kashmir , Idlers and Gossip mongers sitting on shops (during those days) were nicknamed Sulla Gotta and Rehman Dadda and Idle Day Dreamers were satirically called as "Machaama Sahib" ..
MACHAAMA’s character has tragic glimpses of unemployment and ignorance that prevailed in kashmiri society. MACHAAMA always dreams to be adventurous and rich . MACHAAMA , a dreamy entrepreneur who desires to fly Air-Crafts , travel to distant lands, meet different people and try his luck to become rich and well known. And this poor MACHAAMA is equally burdened with social / family responsibilities. These responsibilities always trigger a negative momentum in his journey towards realization of his dreams . 

Fed up with Consumption of Cheap Green leafy Haak ( Collard greens ) in his native land , Machama wants to relish Chicken , Mutton Wazwaan, Seeka Tujji ( Fire Roasted Mutton Pieces ), Kebabs and Pilaf in His Dreamy Sojourns . And a cigarette is the first thing that he demands during this dream journey. 

And then Machaama wants to do something so that his name is written in Golden pages of history . In his Dreams , Machaama becomes a Pilot , a Hero, a leader, a Colonizer ( Colony for Djinns ) , a Trader, a Mechanic, a Traveler , a sailor, a singer ,an Orator and a king maker . He desires to unfold secrets of Treasures hidden at untraveled places . After assuming Power in Dreams , He orders his wife Khadiji to be made a minister of social welfare . I tend to believe that a MACHAAMA lies hidden in all of us. 

Machaama is a surname of kashmiris.Many Machaama families lived at Karapora khushki Rainawari in Srinagar city . Kuldeep Machaama is my close friend from Machaama family of Rainawari and one day his father informed me as under :

“ Machaama is a kashmiri surname . You can see Pandit and Muslim Machamas .It means sweetened rice .Pushker Bhan made us popular though many persons  started making fun of our surname. Bhan sahib later spoke in an interview that Machama came to his mind just for the fun of the word . He never knew that it was a surname with some kashmiri families . "

In kashmir we had a renowned saint Ahmed Sahib Machaama who’s Ziyarat is located at HAWAL near Firdaus Cinema or Shribhat kocha . He was a sufi poet as well.and a great believer of peaceful Coexistence. He was Murshid to many Sufi poets of his time including Wahaab Khaar and Prakash Ram.

Ahmed sahib Machaama is credited with bringing the Sirhindi or Naqashbandhi silsila of sufiism to Kashmir valley once he returned from Punjab. 

In Hebrew Lexicon ,Machama’ah means something that is “curd-like ”. It also means words of flattery.
( Autar Mota )

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