Monday, September 7, 2009



Anybody who had been listening to Radio in  late sixties , seventies or  early eighties  of the last century, can not be oblivious of the absorbing Plays Broadcast from Radio Kashmir srinagar during those years . Men , women , students and by other classification Traders , Salaried and Self Employed people would remain bonded  to the radio sets to listen to Dramas scripted by Ali Mohd lone , Akhtar Mohi Ud Din , Som Nath Sadhu , Bansi Nirdosh ,Pushkar Bhan , Hari Krishen Kaul, Sajood Sailani , and many other Playwrights  . These Plays evolved from stories tied to the soil of Kashmir or one can easily say in simpler terms from our own households.

. Out of above , One name  which did not get its due share of recognition in kashmiri society  is Sajood Sailani.

Sajood sailani  scripted some  very good  Dramas for  Radio in  and later  for the Television too . What a prolific writer he was at that point of his creative life ?

I can’t explain to present younger generation  how  women would finish serving food to their families before 9 PM and wait for the Drama to be relayed from Radio Station. No exaggeration but  simple truth that after listening to a play  Yeli vattan Chhu Khur Iwaan ( When paths are confusing ) by Prof. Hari Krishen koul , my friend’s mother wept bitterly and had to be consoled .The pathos woven by the Playwright had touched her nerves . The story had evolved  from middle class kashmirian society .What a powerful   impact  this  script   had on an ordinary and  illiterate household woman?

Some plays of  Sajood sailani also fell in this category .  

This write up is based on my personal meeting with Sajood Sailani. I visited TAKHLEEQ ( Residence of sajood sahib ) at Pandrethan on 05.09.2009 and had the feel of the man and his work. Even to this day and inspite of many health hazards , he  is still devoted  to Art and culture of Kashmir .

Born in 1936 in a middle class kashmiri family , sajood sailani  has been a painter , poet , short story writer and creator of some  very good and popular plays for the radio and Television  in Kashmir.  He is the lone script writer in Kashmir to have written THEEKRI , a play in Chaste Bhojpuri. His Plays Wokir Baaneh ( Unusable utensils ) , Vaad ( argument ) and Daar Darshun ( Glimpse of the Door ) had to be played again and again on public demand by Srinagar Doordarshan .

He informs

*“  I learnt many  Radio  Drama writing skills  from my  Guru Pran kishore . My first radio drama had to be rewritten four times on specific instruction of  Pran ji. Every time something worth learning emerged and finally Pran ji Okayed and  produced it himself for Radio Kashmir Srinagar . As young boy , I would visit radio Kashmir during Moharram days for recording Nohakhwaani programs  . There I would  watch Pran ji carefully while he was recording his dramas or conducting rehearsals  . That was my first inspiration as well . later  he directed my three popular radio plays namely SHUHUL NAAR , KAAEJJ RAAT  and TAAENT KOR “.

 Sajood sahib fondly remembers Trilok Dass and S N Sumb li and Nabla ji as versatile artist of kashmir who too remained unsung and have been erased from memory by people .

 To me he affectionately presented his two  plays namely  Kaejj Raath and the Taaent kor duly autographed. It appeared to me that fine art runs in blood veins of this family as  late Gayoor Hassan ,a  noted painter from valley is his real brother . His own son Dr Manzoor ( a practicing doctor ) is a painter and writer while his other son Showkat Shehri ,who works in Agriculture Department is an established writer in valley. An impressive painting  done by Dr Manzoor ,decorating the Gallery wall near his study room,  greets you when you enter the house from other side.

Sajood sailani  is actually a trained artist who later shifted to writing Dramas and poetry  . He finally  focused more on Theatre Radio plays . It also transpired during  our conversation  that late Ghulam Rasool Santosh was amongst his close relatives  .
 His book of poems in Kashmiri titled SHEHJAAR ( Coolness ) bears forward by  Poet Dina Nath Naadim . Sajood sahib  conveyed in emphatic terms that he considered Naadim sahib as  torch bearer  of Modernism in kashmiri Poetry . His Book Kaej Raath that is based on  three plays namely Ropai Roodh ( Money falling like Rain ),Kaejj Raath ( Stammering night ) and Gaashi Taarukh ( Shining star ) won him the prestigious Sahitya Academy award in 1994. He also remained a member advisory board of sahitya academy for 4 years ( 1973 to 1977 ) and in 1990. In all Sajood Sahib must have scripted 150 plays / dramas for radio , TV and theatre.

I could see his eyes moistening  when I started mentioning names like
 Som Nath Sadhu , Mariam ji and K K Nayyar to him. I accordingly decided to wrap up the subject .What an emotional lot we kashmiris are?

 It pains him to see a vacuum created by the absence of Pandits in kashmiri society . At the moment he has only painful and fond memories to keep close to his heart though  he is optimistic of a bright future for  kashmiris whom he calls as progeny of Rishis and Saints .
 I ask
“ Any message for the younger generation ?”

“ Why Not ? Our  younger generation should  also know about  Kashmir’s illustrious personalities like king LalitaDitya , king Zain Ul Abdin ( Budshah ), Sheikh Ul Alam ( Nund Reshi )and  Lal Ded

 He replied .

As I get up to leave ,  he gives me  an affectionate hug and asks to me come again after the Month of Ramadhaan. L I conclude this  brief write up with some lines of Baba Bulle shah in chaste Punjabi …

Mein Neeva Mere Murshid Uchchey,
Ve Mein Uchchiyaan De sang Laayee.
Mein Sadke Jaavaan Unn Uchchiyaan de ,
Ve Jinna Neeviyaan Sang Nibhaayee.

( Baba Bulle Shah )

Beggar am i , My master the most affluent one,
Behold ! i have befriended the tallest.
Why should not I die for such tall men ,
For befriending a beggar like me ?

( Autar Mota  )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. Based on a work at http:\\\.

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