Wednesday, December 26, 2018

HE REMAINS THE UNKNOWN POET SHAM LAL OF MAHIND BIJBIHARA KASHMIR


                                                                              

SHAM LAL OF MAHIND BIJBIHARA KASHMIR ….

TAARAKH VAES PEIYY LATCCHI GAYYI LAAL..
( The stars fell from the skies and the Pearls got lost in the dust )


Prior to 1990, when he lived in his village Mahind Bijbihara ,he was a Brahmin who wore his Janew ( sacred thread ) and performed Sandhya every morning at the village spring . That is how Pandits of the village understood him. For them he was a Saint who recited Shlokas from Mahimnapaar ( Shiva Astuti ) extempore .

For the Muslims of the village , He was a Darvesh , A Faquir and Peer sahib . He was the faith healer and Sarparast who gave Taweez. A trusted peer to so many Muslims .

And he remained a  Mastaana ( carefree ) all along .His songs were sung in private  Mehfils . His Naats and Leelas were also sung in Private Mehfils .

And in 1990 , when he had to leave everything and move to jammu as Refugee , he was Sham lal Kashmiri Migrant of Nagorta Tented accommodation . A Homeless , Unknown , A displaced person struggling to exist . He had turned silent, pensive and a little detached when I saw him . But poetry he never abandoned.

Father of four daughters , Sham lal was a poet of a different class . The sufiana and love flavor of his poetry remained intact  even after 1990..I came to know him through my friend Tej Dhar ( son of Prof. A N Dhar ) of Safa Kadal.  Tej had more than thirty years of steady association with Sham Lal ji.


Sham Lal ji had a small shop where he practiced modern  Medicine and  Unani Hikmat , a  profession that he had learnt from some person in srinagar.

Sham Lal ji's father was a sufiana singer and sitarist who would join music Mehfills  of saint Gopi Nath ji along with Shri Ved Lal Vakil. He came to be known as Maheshwar Seytaaer in his close circles . So many Music Mehfils were organised at Mahind by Maheshwar Nath ji wherein sufiana singers participated.  Later  Gh Nabi Doolwal,  a well known singer from Kishtwar  also started coming to Mahind .  And finally Doolwal would  invariably come to Mahind as and when he was in Srinagar.

Recently , i came to know that Sham lal is no more . His daughters are married . The youngest died in tragic road accident in Jammu . Tej Does not know present whereabouts of the family .

Does any person know  the present  whereabouts of the family ???

A sample of his poetry that I remember .I have rendered these lines to simple English for friends who don't know kashmiri.......


Ba khoon e dil Lechhomus khat Khabar nah-novmut ma chhun..
Athhus kyathh Sheesha dil dyutmuss Khabar phutrovmut ma chhun.
Gayoss Saen Tsoor Laagithh Hauz e Konsar Manz Aneyom pyalla
Thhavyomuss bronthakaeni mayssar Khabr Chhakrovmut ma chhun..

(Sham Lal )


( Using my heart’s blood as ink
I scripted the letter for him,
May be he erased the entire transcript !
Has he ? I don’t know.
This glass like fragile heart too
I had put in his custody ,
May be he broke it to pieces !
Has he ? I don’t know.
For him ,
Like a thief ,
I rushed to

  • Fetch a drink from kaunser Naag lake ,

This too I kept at his disposal ,
May be he wasted it away !
Has he ? I don’t know.)
Tche vuchh ta yaarus chhu kyaah malaalai
Chhu sai me saetein hisaab kaertun
Ti poora horuss yi zun ba daarus
Me lolakuyi mataa Azaab Kaertun
Ba Thaava poorithh yi door tus kyoot
Su vaati kunni kien tamis chhu vaatun
Me raatchh roozithh ya maatchh Rotchhmus
Su Sheeritan ya kharaab kaertun

( Sham Lal )


( Could you please find it out
What grievance my love has against me ?
If he has it ,
Then let him square it up ,
I shall repay fully what falls due to him,
But in Love ,
let him not put me to this pain and agony .
For him ,
Again I shall keep this garden
blooming with flowers ,
I know he has to come and he will;
This sweetness ,
I have been guarding since long,
Now Let him come ,
Taste it or spill it away ..)



Peace be to your soul Sham Lal ji .

( Avtar Mota )

PS...
Photos....
(1) An Autumn View of Dara Shikoh Park Bijbihara kashmir ..
And
(2) Post snowfall view of village Mahind...


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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

G. AHMED .. A BARBER FOR VIPS IN KASHMIR


                                                                          

 G. AHMED .... LADIES AND GENTS HAIR DRESSINGS/ CUTTING AND ALL KINDS OF MASSAGE EXPERT...

Kashmiri style of Hair cutting / Dressing And open Air Massage atop a Houseboat ...Not a roadside Barber.. A VIP barber wearing Neat and clean clothes with a white turban. No gossip monger like the Bazaar or Mohalla Barber . No treatment for Boils or pimples. Gentleman. and Professional .

His customers used to be Europeans and Houseboat Tourists . Would always arrive in a Shikara with Tool box.( Kheuss ) .

( Avtar Mota )





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RAQIB SHAW ...A NEW SENSATION IN THE WORLD OF MODERN ART


                                                                      









WATCH HIM....... HE IS ARTIST RAQIB SHAW( Born 1974) FROM KASHMIR...

Raqib Shaw is a new sensation in the world of Modern Art. Saw his work . It is flora ,fauna, bright colours, human images( that have partly animal features) , geometrical combinations, exquisite pillars, decorated Halls, dreamscapes and what not. He has wonderfully combined eastern and western influences . By eastern i mean entire Asian .He is inspired by crafts like silversmithing, tapestry work, and jewellery making. 

In his work , Carpet designs are mixed with industrial materials and Japanese techniques and all brought to canvas. The world has noticed his arrival. His work commands a good price in Europe and USA.

What more can be said about his talent when i found his work on display at Metropolitan museum of art New York.

Raqib Shaw is a Kashmiri artist who lives and works in London. His work is opulent and intricate.His bronze sculptures have created a buzz in the world of Art.
Shaw has had solo exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York and also at so many prominent Galleries world over.

His parents were in business of carpets, Handicrafts and jewelry.Born at Kolkata , Raqib had his upbringing and education in kashmir. The family had to shift to Delhi post 1990 due to militancy . 


Raqib has done post graduation in Art from London.


And he says:

" Art is my religion . I am a part of humanity not any sect and group."

I knew Shaw carpets, Shaw Brothers, Shaw Sons and Shaw Traders. They were educated and wealthy exporters of carpets, Handicrafts ,Curios, Rugs , Pashmina, Kani and shahtoos shawls in kashmir . One family from this clan had establishment in Nepal as well and were close to Ranas ( old Rulers) of Nepal. Is he from this Shaw clan? I don't know.

Best wishes to Raqib. He is presently a name in the world of Art in Europe and America.

(Avtar Mota)

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Monday, December 24, 2018

THE LAST LIVING MINIATURE ARTIST OF KASHMIRI QALAM.. SHAM LAL KHAAR FROM MATTAN.


                         














                                     
     

SHAM  LAL KHAAR  (Born 1937 )  ..The Last surviving  Artist Of  The Martand School of Miniature Art..

"After me  , nobody from Martand shall pick up brush. I am the last  person of a school that we call Martand School or Koshur Qalam in Miniature Art. No Govt agency or individual is interested in looking at it, leave alone its preservation or revival.

Avtar ji, Come to kashmir during summers and i shall show you more than 1000 paintings that i have done and that are in lock and key. I have mostly done work on Trika. I live for 6 months in Mattan  that is my hometown. Here in Jammu ,i have nothing, except some sketches ,old work and  photocopies. You can see or photograph these  few old  paintings.

In Mattan, We had three orginal  paintings of Narayan joo Murtchgar . The original  portrait of Mahatma Parmanand done by the great artist  , second  a picture of Shiva Bhagwati of Akingam and third Bhargshikha Bhagwati  of Martand  painted by Narayan Murchgar. All lost in the turmoil. Narayan joo Murchgar, Devi Koul  and Vasudev Gariyali were finest miniature painters kashmir ever saw. They would come to Mattan. My grand father learnt from Narayan joo  Murchgar  . Some families in Mattan and Akura  learnt from other sources .

My grand daughter  Chandsi  is a gifted Miniature Artist. I want her to get some professional training in Art  but she is pursuing B.Tech. She is equally brilliant in studies. I can't enforce my will.See her work. For me, Age is an issue now.
 

Say about 100 years back , People from Mattan would visit Punjab and copy Manuscripts .You get me. Pandulipikaars.   Many people knew Sharda and Sanskrit and drawing. Mattan has  centuries old history of close connection with Punjab and Sikh gurus .Pandit   Aru Ram Dutt from Mattan was blessed by Guru Har Rai. Pandit Kirpa Ram Dutt  became Kirpa singh and sacrificed his life in the historic battle of Chamkaur sahib when he joined  sikh  soldiers of  Guru Gobind singh ji . Sanmukh Singh ( Sanmukh Ram Dutt younger brother of Kirpa Ram ) was another shaheed  at the battle of Chamkaur Sahib. These persons find glorious mention in sikh scriptures.  And Guru Nanak Dev ji addressed a huge congregation of Brahmins from Mattan at Nagbal just below those lofty chinars.


In Mattan town we had some persons who did painting work  on horscopes .Men like Sri Nath Sher or Anand Sher  or Keshav Nath Jogi. In Akura, a village across lidder stream and close to Mattan town, we had Lakshman Nath.One or two persons were also doing miniature paintings for Horscopes in Bijbihara who  stopped this work after printed pictures were readily available in the market.

I painted as  a  hobby and did   sketches , illustrations and miniature work based on Trika and other religious themes.

In olden  days,  people used vegetable colours. Some colours used to come from Kashgar in  central Asia like Kashgar safeda .Later colours came from Lahore. Glue ,gum , indigo, saffron, Red lead,  Henna, turmeric, yellow ochre (Ramraj)  white zinc oxide  powder and even   dung was   used as colour .Colours were also  extracted from Marigold flowers, Carrots, Apricots and  Pomegranates . Finally synthetic  water colours and oil paints  started coming to kashmir and vegetable and fruit colours were abandoned. However, Saffron  continued to be used  for border and outline work.

Some muslims were also doing Painting in Mattan town. Two or three persons. Insha Wudoo daughter of Mr  Manzoor Ganai is a Girl from Mattan who has excelled in Painting.  She learnt from me. My blessings are for her. She has made us feel proud."


Maharaj Shah noted writer from Mattan adds 

 " We have been seeing Shyam Lal Ji working on different creative ventures but his main passion is with the brush. He used to take keen interest in dramatics and do set designing. I used his paintings in a TV serial titled Kahani Kashmir Ki. I have been knowing him since my childhood days and initially our childhood days would perceive him as a very mysterious person, who would more often remain indoors confined to his studios."


That is what he told me when alongwith poet Maharaj Krishen santoshi , i  visited him today at his Muthi residence in jammu. I found him resembling  urdu poet John Elia. And incidentally , he spoke some sentences  in that style . He is plus 80,  not well but looked after by his son and daughter in law with due care and attention. . He is a poet, painter, short story writer and a novelist. Cultural Academy has published a book authored by him on MINIATURE Paintings  . As we started to leave, he stood up ,shook his hand  firmly  and said :


"  Next time  come for Lunch . I feel happy to talk to  people who understand what i am doing.This art along with this  Artist , Both   are a  fast fading Phenomenon . No one to take up brush for this work thereafter.   "

(Avtar Mota )


                                                                    
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REMEMBERING NOTED BROADCASTER SHANTA KAUL.

                                     
                                                                 (Mrs. Shanta kaul)

( The happy days.......Shanta ji ,Pran Kishore ,their daughter and popular broadcaster uma khosla(Niki Appa) .


REMEMBERING  SHANTA KAUL..(1929-2012) ...

She was the first woman broadcaster from kashmir.A poet, writer ,actor and Singer, Shanta ji was an amazing personality .  Married to Pran Kishore, writer, Painter and a pioneer of Radio Drama in our state, Shanta ji started her Radio journey in 1950. People remember her for Aap ki Farmaaish , Bachon ka program and many other programs. Her presentation style was at Par with Mariyam Qazmi or Anzar Ahmed of AIR's Urdu service .  She would have touched newer heights in broadcasting had she moved  to AIR's National Scene.
If she was affectionate Apaa jaan of children's program, she was khatiji of pushkar Bhan's Machama series of Radio plays.

In 1950, She was the first woman actor to perform  on stage when she acted   in Prem Nath Pardesi's play Shaheed Sherwani .She was also associated with 'Shaair e kashmir Mehjoor ' the first feature film in kashmiri .

  Well Known Journalist  Mohammad Syed Malik Writes :

"She was the Radio voice of her time. Consistent in her presentation qualities,  Announcement, Stage show or drama. Together with Pranji, they made an ideal couple reflecting best of our culture." 

Shanta ji died at Pune in 2012 after a brief illness.
Peace be to her soul..

(Avtar Mota)


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Sunday, December 23, 2018

NEWSPAPER OBITURIES.

                                   

OBITUARY PAGE OF A NEWSPAPER....

 My friend  ,Dr Agni Shekhar told me ...

" The obituary page is a must visit . It is a  reassurance of my physical existence .  Every day  ,when i  look at page 2 of "The  Daily Excelsior " Newspaper that is full of  obituaries ,  I am  also reminded of  Dina Nath Nadim's poem that begins with " Tche ti vaati akki vizzi vaer tche pukh halla paer lagaai".or 'your Turn shall also come some day, Keep Moving .."

(Avtar Mota)

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

SO SAID ALBERT CAMUS



                              


ALBERT CAMUS ........(1913-1960)

"Man is not entirely guilty:  He has not started the story; Nor is he entirely innocent, since he continues it ".


( Albert Camus)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

MY DOHA (Two Line Poem) ..THE PUREST BONDAGE...



                                


MOTHER  AND CHILD.......  ..THE PUREST  BONDAGE ON THIS EARTH....

I wrote a Doha (two line poem) on this thought..

Maa  ki mamtaa beech nahin
Dhan daulat ki dor
Jo dhan maa ka virsaa hai
So kyaa loote chor ..

(Autar Mota)

Free from any monetary bondage ,
That Alone is  Mother's love.
What wealth we inherit from a mother
No thief is capable to rob or plunder.


(Avtar Mota)

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Monday, December 10, 2018

MY DOHA( Two line Poem). A SURFACE VIEW AND THE INSIDE TRUTH...

                                   

A SURFACE VIEW AND THE INSIDE  TRUTH...

I add a Doha (two line poem ) written on this thought..

Behtii nadiya ko paaya
Iss sansaar  samaan
Ooper sundar neela jal
Neeche reit ki khaan....

Like the flowing river ,
Is the story of  this world;
Beautiful blue water on its surface
Yet  only sand and sand  on its  bed.

(Avtar Mota)
                       
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Sunday, December 9, 2018

MY DOHA (TWO LINE POEM)..THE CIYCLE OF LIFE


                          

THE  CYCLE  OF  LIFE

To this photo, i add a Doha (Two line poem )written by me...

Sookhe taal talaiya tab
Baadal sang ho mail
Phir barseingay dharti par
Aavagaman ka khail

(Autar Mota)

When  the ponds and lakes go dry,
Up goes the water then
To join clouds.
With Rain ,
Comes back   to  this earth ,
 So goes the continuity of
Life.

(Avtar Mota)

                  
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Saturday, December 8, 2018

ZARGAR ZAHOOR.. A NEO IMPRESSIONIST PAINTER FROM VALLEY


                                                                              



                                       (  SANDHYA  ....OIL ON CANVAS  )

                                       ( FIRST SNOW FALL...OIL ON CANVAS  )


                                                (  MY VILLAGE   ....OIL ON CANVAS  )

                                                 ( STILL LIFE...OIL ON CANVAS  )
                                     
    (Portrait of Noted Sculptor Gayoor Hassan by  Zargar  Zahoor )

ZARGAR ZAHOOR...ARTIST..


I thought i was looking at Claude Monet's work when i saw his paintings. His Landscape bring memories of Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro , Paul Cezanne and Auguste Renoir .These splendid landscape done with perfect artistic technique and individual style bring memories of so many Great masters of French impressionism.. These paintings look like musical Ragaas echoing from misty hills at sunset. or rain drenched dawn. They make you to walk through flower laden garden in twilight . 
                                                           



Zargar Zahoor has added his own unique style to impressionism. His work demonstrates a technique for handling effects of light and Texture and a fascination for painting landscapes in diffused light and Fog . In some Landscapes, you find Bright sunlight dispersing on Large objects and entire  surroundings Creating Serene illusions .

About his work , noted Art critic Uma Nair writes:


“Each work comes with distinct and piquant illumination and yet no general light falls in any particular direction approaching the landscape in a spirit of tenderness and humility, he is the poet of ephemeral transience.” 

Landscape his principal output. His  landscapes depict the  serene post snow fall silence in valleys and mountains . You also find  , silent clouds  engulfing  hills, dusky sunsets, illuminated dawns  and feeble  murmer of brooks  from  his native land  kashmir.


Zargar zahoor is a kashmiri who's love for the valley is amply reflected in his landscapes. His work has buyers.

His mother Padamshri Maryam Begum (1974 awardee) was a Radio Artist from Kashmir known for the popular Radio program Zoon Dub. And it was Artist Bushan Koul who noticed talent in him and suggested that he be sent to Baroda. 

An alumnus ( Post Graduation in Graphic Designing ) of prestigious M S University Baroda and trained by masters like Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, Jeram Patel and K.G. Subramanyan, Zargar has held many shows and exhibitions (Solos and Group) .He is Delhi based and was Dean of the Arts Faculty at Jamia Milia Islamia New Delhi.

(Avtar Mota )


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