Friday, July 31, 2009



Enjoy 9 down town views. you can see Vitasta at Chattabal. you can see the Chatta kadal ( Near Chatta Bal ). you can see my favourite spot the Batyar temple Ghats at Ali Kadal. A view of Batyar temple Ali Kadal from New Ali kadal Bridge has also been uploaded. Dastgeer sahib ziyarat at Khanyar has also been uploaded . A view of jogi Lanker bridge of Rainawari has also been uploaded. Also uploaded is the Baba Dharm Dass temple at Nawapora near Dalgate - Bar Bar shah Road crossing .This temple is on main road enroute to Rainawari from Dalgate .
A view of new Nawapora Bridge enroute Rainawari can also be seen .The old bridge at Nawapora has been dismantled to make way for two way traffic .A photograph of Dal Gate Market has also been uploaded . The chemist shop of DHAR Brothers ( a Kashmiri Pandit ) can also be seen . This shop is one of the busiest shops on account of a reputation enjoyed by the proprietors that genuine medicines are being sold by them. Till my next blog is uploaded , keep smiling and enjoy some more lines from Naadim sahib's celebrated Anti war poem "Me Chhum Aash Paghich" . How nicely Nadim sahib connects the return of a father to his family with clouds of war hovering over the heads of poor innocent people ..I remain indebted to Academy of art , culture and languages J&K for the photograph of Nadim sahib. Here goes the translation of this great poem:-

I am Hopeful of tomorrow.
How nice ! Our chlidren are going to receive their father tomorrow .
I shall rush to receive him the moment he calls me by name on arrival.
Holding him in my embrace , i shall dance around him in delight .
I shall make him to sit on flooring of New Grass mat.
How nice , our Children are going to receive their father tomorrow.
I shall wash his Feet , He must be tired
I shall also lull him to sleep .
LATER i shall open the wounds of my heart before him.
Children are going to receive their father tomorrow.
It is rumoured that war is imminent .
Oh God! It should not take place tomorrow .
it should never take place .
I am hopful of a tomorrow
Tomorrow our world is going to be SUNLIT.
( Translation A K Mota )

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Enjoy some typical kashmir views. Children coming out of the school at 3 PM photographed by me at Kunangam near Kupwara. The host asking the cook to put another GUSHTAABA piece to his friend . This is common practice with kashmiris. A police man leaves his gun aside and rushes to take NIAZ ( piece of Mutton ) from a devotee at SHAHE HAMDAAN Ziyarat. A woman devotee about to bow at the entrance of Shahe Hamdan Ziyarat. Grave stone cutter of Karan Nagar in action at his shop.Piegeons at Shahae Hamdan Ziyarat. A Kashmiri Dry Vegetable shop at Bohri Kadal . Copper utensil sellers at Maharaj Ganj sleep inside their shops due to mid day heat in kashmir . The temperature rose to 33 degrees in July this year . Very unusual.Hawan get together at Zeethyar in June 2009. School Buses Waiting for boys of CMS Tyandale Biscoe school Lal chowk .Permit me to say some words about GULZAAR Sahib.Once during a long waiting at NewDelhi Air Port Lounge , I stole the opportunity to talk to film Lyricist GULZAAR sitting nearby . His reluctance to talk melted as soon as he came to know that I was a kashmiri. His knowledge about Kashmir amazed me .Gulzaar sahib Knows HEEMAL NAAGRAI the folk lore of kashmir ..He knows where AHARBAL waterfall is . He knows ARU valley near Pahelgham.. He knows Ambri , American , Maharaji , Hazratbali and Delicious varieties of apples of kashmir . He knows about the jeep ride of Bakshi Ghulam Mohd over Frozen DAL surface . He has kept himself updated about every aspect of kashmir.What a wonderful man he is ? I may inform my readers that Lyricist GULZAAR “s real name is Sampuran Singh Kalra . Gulzar Sahib worked as assistant to BIMAL ROY the Doyen of Indian Cinema. It was during the making of Bandhini , late Shailendra requested Bimal Roy to introduce one song by this young man in the movie . Pat came reply from the Mastero :-
“ Shailendra ji Koi Kaam ka Baat Karo .”
Shailendra then Read the song to Bimal Roy who heard it with rapt attention . He immediately asked for recording of the song . So entered Sampuran singh Kalra in the film industry as Lyricist GULZAAR. The song “Mora Gora Ang Leyee le , Mohe Shyaam Rang Deye De. Chhup Jaon gi Raat hi me ,Mohe Pee kaa Sang deyee de ”continues to be all time favourite of many generations therafter.

Gulzar wrote many songs in films . He directed some films . He wrote screenplays for a number of films . He has recently been honoured with OSCAR ( Academy award ) for his song Jai Ho. For certain I can say that this is not his best song. Lyrics wise, Not a very good song altogether . Whatever people say about his man , I am touched by one of his songs for bollywood movie RUDAALI Picturised on Dimple Kapadia and sung to perfection by Lata Ji . YAARA SILI SILI . Here goes the song and its English translation :-.

Yaara Sili Sili
Dola sili Sili
Birha ki Raat Ka Jalna

Yeh Bhi koi Jeena ?
Yeh Bhi koi Marna ?

Tooti Huyee Chudiyon se ,
Jodoon mein Kalai re.
Pichhali gali Me Jaane,
Kya Chhod aayee Mein .
Beeti Hui Galiyon Se
Phir Se Guzarnaa .

Yaara Sili Sili
Dola sili Dola Sili

Pairon Me na Saaya ,
Sar pe na sain re .
Mere saath Jaaye na ,
Meri Parchhayee re.
Bahar Ujaala hai ,
Ander Veeraana.
Yaara sili Sili
Birha Ki Raat Ka Jalna
( Gulzaar )

Love ! this separation from thee
Is like night long smouldering of my being
Pity this living !
Pity this type of Dying !
I decorate my arms with broken bangles ,
I know nothing about what I left behind in
The lanes and paths of my old existence.
Don’t make me to tread the lanes left behind
Love this separation from thee
Is like night long smouldering of my being .
My feet are shoeless
No godly hand touches my head
My own shadow
Refuses to accompany me .
Love Don’t go by the external glitter of my being
A desert lies within this heart!.

Love ! this separation from thee
Is like night long smouldering of my being
(Translation A K Mota )

You deserved much more from life Gulzaar Sahib. Long life and good health to you.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009



The 364 kms Rail link project between UDHAMPUR and BARAMULLA ((Srinagar) is being jointly executed by IRCON and KONKAN Railways at an estimated cost of 5700 crores. The alignment of this link is different from the existing National Highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar. From Udhampur this track shall move to Reasi and then to Sangaldhan and Gool Gulab Garh area wherefrom it shall come to Lawla. From Lawla the track is aligned to Banihal Town . A new tunnel, almost completed at Banihal, shall take the track to Valley. Jammu Udhampur link is since operational and so is the Anantnag Baramulla link. Udhampur- Katra link is slated to be made functional wef March 2010.Katra- Qazigund link is perhaps the toughest in terms of track creation on high mountains , Valleys and rivers and is being executed by KONKAN Railways. This track involves construction of 109 Tunnels , 164 major and 620 minor bridges including one over river CHENAB 380 metres high possibly the highest in the world . The final link is the 12.5 Kms Tunnel penetrating Pir Panchal range and connecting valley with rest of the country. Just 2 kms of the Tunnel is incomplete at the moment .Under all probabilities ,the link from Banihal to Baramulla shall be complete in July 2010 .The project in itself is an engineering MARVEL.•

Srinagar Railway station  is perhaps the best railway station in the country in terms of lay out and Architecture.The five-storey building of Nowgam (name of Srinagar’s railway station), is 8 km from the main city. The station looks like a royal court. The extensive use of wood, a hallmark of Kashmiri architecture, can be seen at this station. The Walnut wood panels and the tastefully carved wooden pillars present a royal ambience at the station. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is planning to build a hotel around here in the next three years. Though main building of the station has since been constructed , yet many other buildings like the staff quarters , office complexes are under construction. The Railway station has Exquisite Chandeliers , walnut wood carving and neat and clean ambience . one can approach the station through the Srinagar - Baramulla Bye pass branching out at Athwajan or via Natiora or Rawal Pora as well.You can see a huge SAMAVAR carved on a walnut wood panel in exquisite kashmiri syle. In our school days one of my class fellows Mr Zahoor Ahmed Shair would sing LADISHAH based on arrival of first Aeroplane in Kashmir :

HAWAI JAHAAZ Aav Mulke Kashmir
Yimav Vuchh timav Kor Tobah Takseer .

The arrival of the train is different as almost all Kashmiris are already used to train Travel. The Bogies of these train were brought by road to Kashmir and the travel in this train is comfortable . One can reach Baramulla from Anantnag in just one and a half hour . People have started to commute distances through this fast link.

(Avtar Mota)

All The Photographs bear copyrights of the blogwriter and may not be downloaded for reproduction or reuse without the specific permission of the blog writer.

Monday, July 27, 2009



i am uploading 10 views of Reshi Peer's abode at Ali Kadal. The door of this saint's abode is usually locked . As and when any devotee wants to go inside , Ramesh ji ,who lives nearby rushes with keys and opens the doors of this historic shrine . As already conveyed ,local residents take complete care of this shrine and also help Ramesh ji in doing so. Enjoy some inside views of the shrine .This great saint also happens to be a tall saint of Reshi order of Kashmir . He lived in later part of 17th centuary and was a trusted disciple of another saint Pandit Krishen Joo kar of Rainawari. Miyan Shah sahib, a muslim worked in the house of Kars at rainawari and so much was the influence of the personality of Krishen joo Kar upon him that he too became a saint and was reverred equally by hindus and muslims. A Ziyarat of this saint still exists in Naidyar area of Rainawari.

Reshi Peer was a contemporory of Makhdoom Sahib. The persian line "BARGE SABZ TOFAI DERVISH" ( Meaning that the gift of a Dervish is only a green Leaf. A dervish does not bring any material presents ) is attributed to Reshi peer and reported to have been said by him to another reverred saint of kahmir Maqdoom sahib who is reported to have invited Reshi peer to dinner in his abode. The NIRVANA day of this saint is celebrated in spring each year and kashmiri Pandits from across various places take part in this annual Event. A hawan is also performed . I have personally seen many old muslims bowing to the shrine during my third visit to the area in July 2009.This great saint is also called as PERR PANDIT PADSHAH. The parents of this saint were actually from Sopore and were called KHUSHOOS . Khushoos lived near the shrine. I have also taken up a photograph of Vitasta from the nearby Batyar temple window . You can also see the New Ali Kadal Bridge . Ramesh Ji lives exactly opposite to the Batyar temple door. The key of this temple door also lies wih him.A Black stone Shiva lingam inside the temple has also been photographed by me. Raffal and and Pashmina shawl lwashers can always be seen at the Vitasta Ghat near the Batyar temple . Whenever i met them they were humble and emotional . Once i joined them in their SHEER CHAAY poured out of the tinned copper SAMAVAR. I have also uploaded photo scan of some lines from a poem of late Shri Moti Lal Saqi .I am Thankful to Sh.Piaray Krishen ji brother in law of late Saqi Sahib for providing me his photograph .Permit me to conclude this blog with my translation of these lines as under:-

"They Left the river banks but the wise civilization
got trapped in wilderness ,
On the shelf of this existence
those who lived together turned into spears ,.
Immerse me in VITASTA when i turn into a fistful of ash
Else my country men shall always curse
and pass satire on me for being a countryless.
To me , terrible is the loss of my land and its memories
we are like a poor man 's bundle of the lidless utensils ."
(Moti Lal Saqi )


WALIMA  is what we used to call a WATHAL in kashmiri. It is almost equivalent to the post marriage Reception function in the rest of the country . The other functions of the marriage held prior to WALIMA or WATHAL over here are the MEHNDIRAAT, MASNANDNISHINI followed by BARAAT . NIKKAH is held before these functions.

As per Al Hadith :-

“ Marriage is heavenly consent to become lawfully one , every adoration is for “ALLAH “ who is unparallel and unmatched . Nikkah is my Sunnah , who so ever denies it , goes away from me”

The core eating style and the dishes have remained unchanged in Kashmir . Now the Shamiyaanas are made from exequisite CREWAL EMBROIDERIED CLOTH with carpets spread for sitting of guests .Some families are also serving Buffets but they are being rolled back in view of Various constraints in serving WAZWAAN . There are a few marriage halls as well but Most of the Walima Functions are held in open grounds or big rooms .

The guests take their food sitting comfortably. Young boys join as workers for serving to guests. It is a Full day affair .ladies are served separately . The Bride and the bridegroom sit separately with ladies and gent invitees. Guests are made to Wash Hands while they sit . For this purpose Tinned copper containers with lids are used to carry water . The waste is also collected in Tinned copper pots . This hand washing set is Called TASHNAAR. It is followed by serving of food in large sized deep copper plates covered by a lid known locally as TRAAM . Each TRAAM is shared by Four guests. Guests can ask for separate plates as well for eating .Vegetarian food is also available on demand . The mouth watering dishes like the chicken , Kabab, TabakMaaz, Rogan Josh , Yakhani , March wangan Korma, Ristaa , Mushroom , Cheese prepared with Tomatoes and some other vegetables are always there to relish. GUSHTAABA is served last of all. Gushtaaba is meat balls prepared in curd . Traditional kashmiri cooking with all these dishes is Called WAZWAAN . This is rich in flavour and aroma as special spices and condiments are used in its preparation. Cooks with fresh white apparel Keep coming and filling your plates or TRAAMEE.The function is a display of lavish Kashmiri hospitality . Curd is something which every kashmiri must have often and every time . Curd is served in this function also . Biryaani is also served in small containers . Now an arrangement has also been made to carry surplus dishes in polythene bags or food packs to avoid wastage . But still the wastage is unavoidable when dishes are lavishly served . Once the eating is over , a collective thanks giving to God is done through what is known as Recitation of HAMD An Arabic word “ HAMMUD “ in kashmiri . One can not get up before this concluding Thanks giving . A  wonderful practice...

I end up with two lines from a long poem KASHMIR written by Ali Sardar Jafri :-


( Ali Sardar Jafri

A land endowed with lovely and affectionate people ,
Human beings with rich culture and hospitality .
The poet is sure that this shall surface up one day for all to see
The beauty that lies covered under a veil of poverty.
(Autar Mota  )
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