Monday, November 11, 2019



                                          (Painting by Dwarika Nath Gigoo Rajkamal)
                                      (Painting by Dwarika Nath Gigoo Rajkamal)



Inside  the Gulmarg sanatorium, they  were unknown to each other.  And then one evening, Rahi Masoom Raza  (1927-1992) heard him playing on his flute. He played Raag Yaman  . That day  the Gulmarg sanatorium became a different place altogether.  And two strangers became lifelong friends .The bond got cemented by commonality of interest  in poetry, music, art , astrology, palmistry and Hindi.

Both , Rahi Masoom Raza and Dwarika Nath Gigoo Rajkamal were tuberculosis patients . At that point in time, antibiotics had not been  discovered . Accordingly , both had been advised to stay for some months in the sanatorium.  Rahi Masoom Raza opted to come to Gulmarg all the way from Ghazipur , U.P. After Rahi Masoom Raza left the Gulmarg  sanatorium, he  kept visiting  Kashmir . And every time  he was in Kashmir, he never missed to pay a visit to Gigoo's house at Khankah e Sokhta , a  locality in downtown Srinagar .Rahi Masoom Raza wrote poems , novels and joined film industry . In films , he wrote  dialogues of some successful films like Go Maal, Karaz ,Lamhe , Parampara ,Judaai , Hum Paanch, Mein Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki , and Anokha Rishta . He also scripted  the popular TV serials like Neem Ka Peid  and Mahabharat .


Dwarika Nath Gigoo   had  unusual artistic  personality. He was a musician who could play  many musical instruments  including harmonium, banjo and flute. He was a modern  painter who   passed on the skills of this genre of art to  artist like  Nissar Aziz Beg and some more aspiring artists  . He acted in many plays with his friend Bansi Lal Jalali who later joined films and came to be known as Arun Kaul . He wrote short stories and poems  .  Regular visitors to  Dwarika Nath Gigoo included well known painter  Kishori Kaul,  Sahitya Akademi awardee writer Akhtar Mohi ud Din ,  well known artist  Bansi Parimu,  artist  Sant Ji Sultan and many more. He had close interaction with artist Som Nath Butt, poet  Dina Nath Nadim, artist Mohan Raina,  Master Zinda Kaul,  writer Prem Nath Pardesi and P N Pushp ( scholar ).Apart from English, Dwarika Nath Gigoo was fluent in  Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi . He had read many books  in Sanskrit including Vedas . After completing his B A from DAV College Srinagar , he  did B T followed by  post  graduation in  Hindi. He  read western literature and philosophy . He also read  Hindi and Sanskrit literature.

 It is pertinent  to mention that in 1944,  Arya Samajis from Punjab had  opened  the  D A V College in Srinagar. The college was headed by Dr Sri Ram Sharma  . The teachers at this newly opened college   included Prof R N Kaul, Prof Balraj Madhok and Dr Subramanyam. The college was housed in the 'Khidmat ' newspaper building on the Bund in Amirakadal , Srinagar. The college was closed in 1948.  Madho Ram Gigoo ,father of Dwarika Nath Gigoo  played key role in opening the  DAV College in Srinagar. Madho Ram Gigoo was also a man of  unusual  personality. At the insistence of  Dr Neve , a well known missionary doctor in Kashmir  ,  Madho Ram Gigoo had embraced Christianity . After being baptized, he was given a new name and came to be known as  Michael Bhan. The Christian missionaries sent him to  Europe, Egypt  and Turkey .In Rome ,he published a book that became quite popular. He met pope and while in Turkey , he met Mustafa Kamal Pasha. On his return to India,  Madho Ram Gigoo  met Anne Besant in Mumbai . She  suggested  him to reconsider his decision with regard to  the change of  faith.  Madho Ram Gigoo felt convinced and returned to Hinduism  but became  a staunch Arya Samaji.  And Madho Ram Gigoo happens to be the grandfather of noted English writer, Arvind Gigoo .


Dwarika Nath Gigoo was a fine artist who had  learnt painting   from observation. He had many books on art in his library that had paintings of Van Gogh and  some French impressionists .  Though most of his paintings were lost in the turmoil of 1990s , yet some paintings are in the possession of his nephew , Arvind Gigoo. Dwarika Nath Gigoo  gave  two solo exhibitions of his paintings ; one at CMS Tyndale Biscoe School, Srinagar  and the other at  the Nedous hotel in Srinagar. As Hindi poet, Dwarika Nath Gigoo   wrote  many poems using  Rajkamal as his pen name. His poems were published in Martand . Some poems were also published in some Hindi magazines of the country. The influence of Nirala and Jaishankar Prasad is visible  in his Hindi poetry.  A sample of his Hindi poetry is as under:-

(1) Mein maati ka ranga khilona
Kheil kheil me torr  na dena

 Inn ke priy  mahiwaal
Aaj  pardes gaye hain bookh mitaane,
Rickshaw, tonga,  buggy chalaane,
Aur milon ki barri barri
Nirdayi masheenon ki rapton mein
Giss  piss jaane aur kho jaane .

Laakh daraaye aandhi  toofan
Ye sagar ya  vo majhdaar
Thhaam le chapoo khol de naiyaa
Himmat kar lag ja uss paar..

Khoj kar ke haar mein
Kaise nihaaroon jeet
Mook hai veena parri
Me kaun gaaoon geet
Uth lagaakar aag jag mein
Alakh ka  abhishek kar
Hans  zara tu niyati ki
Vyangmayi  muskaan re kavi
Likh de ur ke gaan re kavi
Likh de ur ke gaan
Khoob sunane de jagat mein
Mahapralai ki taan re kavi
Likh de ur ke gaan .

On Gandhi Ji's death ,he wrote:-                                                                            


'Ye kaun chalaa dagmag pag mein,

Koti koti armaan liye                                                   

Daliton, nangon, bhikhmangon ki,                                              

Aahon ka shamshaan liye,                                     

  .......Ye kaun chala’                                                  '

                                     ( Dwarika Nath Gigoo Rajkamal with his wife )
Prof Arvind Gigoo tells me this:-

' Dawarika  Nath Gigoo Rajkamal was my uncle. He called me Nikka and I called him Gaasha. He read a lot ,ate very little , suffered from poor health and tuberculosis. He was a painter, musician, linguist , writer, poet , palmist ,astrologer, teacher and singer. Except mathematics, he could teach any subject to  the college level students . Philosophy was his favourite subject. I have his paintings with me. I have many poems in his handwriting. I am working on publishing a book of his Hindi   poems. He loved cinema. He introduced me to the world of art and literature. He was known to many established writers of the country .  My uncle was a friend of Dr Rahi Masoom Raza , the man who wrote the  script  and dialogues of  B R Chopra's mega TV serial Mahabharata .”

Dwarika Nath Gigoo  changed many jobs from teaching in the  Kashmir University to joining Gandhi Memorial College  , Srinagar as lecturer  .For sometime he also taught at Vasanta Girls , School , Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth and  Khalsa High  School, Srinagar   At  Gandhi Memorial  College, he fell in love with his student Savita Mathur and married her. Savita hailed from Alwar , Rajasthan. They had no children. Savita is an aged woman now and leads a lonely life  . She lives at Bantalab in Jammu. He died untimely at a young age of 52 years.                   


I conclude this write up with  two  couplet  from a Gazal of Dr Rahi Masoom Raza.


“ Zakham jab bhi koyi Zahn o dil pe laga

Zindagi ki taraf ikk Dareecha khula,

Hum bhi goya kissi saaz ke taar hai

Chott khaate rahe gungunaate rahe


Zahar milta raha zahar peete rahe

Roz marte rahe roz  jeete rahe

Zindagi bhi hamein aazmaati rahi

Aur hum bhi usse aazmaate rahe ……..” ( Rahi Masoom Raza )


(  Whenever  the mind or the heart received an injury ,

 One more life’s window opened for me .

Like the  cord  of a stringed  instrument ,

I kept resonating  with every strike .


The poison was available everyday

And every day I kept drinking it.

Life kept on testing me everyday   

And I too tested life each day )


(Avtar Mota)                                      


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