Sunday, October 11, 2009


“A Flower needs help from the wind to Spread and its Fragrance . Still it spreads in the direction of the wind only. The goodness of a person spreads in all directions without any support or help . Just be good .The world reciprocates .”So would Pandit Dina Nath Hanjura say.
    (Shri Dina Nath Hanjura)

Late Hanjura sahib was the principal of D A V Higher Secondary school Rainawari when we passed out in 1970. I have seen many teachers in my life . Much has been learnt by me from them . I can not forget our school teachers like Pandit Dina nath Handoo ,Pandit Shamboo Nath Kachroo, Sri Krishen Seeru , Ner Kaak ( Band Master ), Mohan Lal Koul Kenue , Pandit Kanth Kaul ( Urdu and Persian Teacher ) Hari Krishen Rawal ( Maths Teacher ) T N Mattoo , Shiben Ji Kaak ,Narayan joo and Reevu ji ( Hindi Teacher ) and many more .Every teacher in the school was a hard task master . All were well versed in their subjects . Dina Nath Hanjura impressed me the most .He was proficient in Hindi ,Persian , English , sciences and a lover of fine arts .Honest to the core , he left a mark in the minds of almost all the students of DAV Rainawari . He was a capable administrator . and changed the teaching methodology in the school. He engaged two professors Prof Kaw ( Physics ) and Prof Salman ( Chemistry ) for senior classes . we were asked to come to the school at 7.30 AM . He was an authority on Wordsworth . The poem Daffodils taught by him is still fresh in my memory. He was well versed with the literary works of Tagore , Allama Iqbal and our own Mehjoor. He would also relate stories from Gandhi Ji’s life .At times he would ask entire class to go for a spelling test. Hanjura sahib had a good knowledge of Bible , Quran and Upanishads . He would also tell us stories about Russia’s Czar , Ottomon Turks , Mughals , Chaks , Bahiqui Syeds , Shahe Hamdan , Kota Rani , Didda , Birbal Dhar and Sheikh Nur Ud Din ( Nund Reshi ) . Surely he remembered all the Vakhs of Lalla Ded . I am Indebted to him for shifting my mind to a direction which has remained my path till date . I could never meet him later and touch his feet in gratitude . This Post for him . Peace be to his soul.

Some Arya Samajis from Rainawari opened DAV school in 1943. Located on the bank of Canal ( Maar ) Connecting Nageen Lake with Dal lake , the school had round the clock blessings from Miyan Shah Sahib whose Ziyarat is located just on the other side of the canal. Naidyar Bridge is nearby and so are Kara Pora Khushki , Keni Mohalla, Chowdhary Bagh , and Ghat Jogi Lanker localities . Some prominent buildings around the school were those belonging to Dalkaws , Handoos ( RamJoo Handoo ), Telis , Budoos and Shairs ( Mohd Abdullah Shair Ex. M L A ). A small shiva temple near the Naidyar bridge could always be seen by the school boys .The school had two buildings . One was an auditorium with many classes and office complex within it . The other building had science laboratories and rooms for classes . The school had a small hut for Mohd sidiq the care taker. Later Gh Mohd also joined him as a peon cum care taker. Gh Mohd had come from a village and we would call him Moma .He saw many headmasters or Principals changing . From Dina Nath Handoo to Hanjura sahib and then to Triloki Nath Mattoo and so on . He served in all regimes and combinations . He continues to remain stay put. I saw him in the school when I visited it some days back.

The school students would perform Hawan every Saturday and chant Vedic Mantras. My friend Zahoor Shair who lived nearby read Hindi and would join us in the Hawan . He would also Chant “ Om Shanti _ Shanti Prithivi Shanti Rapa ”. My other friend Ashok Watt was an urdu student and he would be with Pandit kanth Koul in his urdu class and would generally not join the Hawan . Pandit Kanth Koul would not leave his students for HAWAN come what may .In fact during Hawan , he would take up his additional urdu class . He would also teach Fundamentals of Islamic Knowledge to boys . Many Hindu boys who studied urdu also joined his class during Hawan.Prior to him the school had a muslim teacher who taught urdu and religious lessons to muslim boys while the Hawan was in progress. This particular teacher got a government job and left the school .He was smart and friendly .All non Hindu students were not required to join Hawan but Zahoor could not miss the company of his Hindu friends so he would also join Hawan. The school had a liberal environment within . We would chat and discuss films or styles of Actors in the Hawan as well.

The school had a spacious playing field . we would see Football matches between our school and Zindshah Foot Ball club. Bashir Najar , Waheed Rawal and Habib Dhandh played for our school . I would always see them in the matric class .
It Took them three years each to clear matriculation . What a terrific football they played ? Bashir Najar was a dribbling centre forward. Waheed was a scorer . After leaving the school , they played for the Zindshah foot ball club near Malkhah Crossing .
The school had a fruit orchard as well . About 15 trees gave the best variety of NAAK ( Pears) to the market in Kashmir . The pears were bigger in size , green and juicy . The fruits were auctioned to contractors every year by the school management .Almost all the boys ate them with the contractor always cursing and crying . we stole them From the contractor’s tent or brought them falling with a stone .Some would fall by themselves and we would wash and relish them. The school also had some Quince trees ( BamTsoonth ). These fruit trees gave beautiful blooms in spring each year . Alas ! I could just see two pear trees .Nothing more lies of that orchard now.I still remember the canning of Ner Kaak the band master . He would use freshly cut poplar stick to beat boys who missed notes while he would be teaching music to the school band. He had composed two tunes on Popular film Songs of that time .I vividly remember the words of one tune .
“ Aaj Kal Me Dhal Gayaa
Din Huva Tamaam
Tu Bhi So Jha So Gayee
Rang Bhari Shaam

So powerful was the impact of his teaching that this tune can be played by me still on the flute even after 39 years .

We had two Physical training instructors . Ranjeet Singh and Deedar Singh from Baramulla. They brought the culture of Hockey to the school. The school team would play hockey matches with Chatti Padshahi Team . Narayan joo would also play hockey for the school.
I do not know how it came to them , but kashmiris have a serious engagement with calling Nick names .We had a drawing teacher whom every body would address and RANG DASTAAR ( Nick Name ) as he would always be with colourful Dastaars on his head. .He was perfect in drawing Potraits . Many boys would irritate him as they would play pranks with him. Prior to him Pandit Amar Chand wali Qais was the drawing teacher of the school . He was specialist of water colour landscapes . He was a kashmiri poet as well and lived in Badyar Bala area of the city .We had a classmate Tej Krishen Koul kattaal by name . He lived just opposite the school on the other side of the canal ( Maar ) near a temple . He would invent nicknames for everybody . Teachers ,fellow students and Lo ! their parents too. He had created the nick name RANG DASTAAR for the drawing teacher . He created the nick names like Ama Babur ( Ashok Koul Wafa ), Papa sipoyaa Angan Tsaav Dub Dub Dabir Vaayaan Draav ( Kuldeep Sipahi ) , Dady Chocolate ( kuldeep Mujoo ) , Six Cups of sugar ( Bushan lal Jalali ) Ingli Guitaar ( Kuldeep jalali ) and many more for some students of his own class .Every one would keep him in good humour lest he invent his nickname . One muslim friend Hamid and a class mate was seen by him taking fried fish near shiraz cinema on a Friday when both of them had deserted the class for watching Mehmood’s GUMNAAM . Next day onwards entire class would call that boy JUMM GAADA .This Tej krishen created some such nick names for elderly kashmiri Pandits in his own Mohalla that he literally made their life miserable . Entire Rainawari would call one officer in AG’s office srinagar as NATHA DHITT. This simple pandit had utterred DHITT to a stray dog instead DIRREH (move away ) . Lo! Tej Krshen heard it and spread the word like a wild fire. I personally saw this person coming late to his house and leaving early so as to save himself from all round cries of NATHA DHITT raised by boys and shopkeepers from Surra Teng to Karapora Khushki where he lived. I seek apologies from the families of the persons mentioned but I could not help relating these incidents as they are nostalgic and the story on DAV school would have been incomplete without the mention of Tej Krishen koul Kattal. Little do I intend to hurt any person .
Enjoy some views of the now devastated DAV school taken by me during my recent visit to Naidyar Rainawari Area of the city . .Both the school buildings were Gutted in a blaze 19 years back. Some temporary structures have been created in the complex. The play ground is full of wild growth . Some rooms are under construction on front side in the gutted auditorium complex. A new Boundary wall has been put around the school complex. Moma is still there . He related many stories of the past . The school is run by a gentleman from Hawal at present . Moma Came to see me off upto the main school gate . I hugged him when I left . He asked me to keep coming . I dug out a hundred rupee note from my pocket . He never wanted it .I put it in his hand . He said no . I pushed it forcefully in his pocket. Tears rolled down his Eyes .That made me pensive too. I did not know when and how I reached my residence driving the car in traffic jams all over .

( Autar Mota )
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  1. Dear Mota Sahab,
    In deed a great job , you hve taken me 35 years back ,reminiscing my school days

  2. Mota sahib,
    What a relationship there used to be between the teacher and the taught . You have conveyed it all very beautifully sharing your experienecs. Now everything is commercialised. You have brought fond memories of my teachers once again before me . Really whai i am is due to them only.

  3. i fully agree with what u say . Thanks for your comments

  4. Autar Jee,
    May Maej Sharika bless you.

    I am immensely moved by the walk down the memory lane. I recall Pt. Narayan Joo Miya playing hockey with us and beating us comprehensively with his sprint even at that age; Matto Sahib's polished methodology of teaching english language; Pt Lassa Kak's emphasis on moral eductaion; Pt. Bhushan lal's science lessons in a simplistic language.

    Seeing Momma brought tears into my eyes. He is still the same as he used to be.

    Sanjay Jalali

  5. Hello Avtarji,
    The photographs and the writeup took me back in time. Being from Rainawari myself(incidently my uncle used to teach in DAV school,Shiben kak)this is a delight. I am however, pained by the fact that I cannot recognise most of the places in the photographs. Memory fails me or I dont want to remember! Thanks a lot anyway.

  6. Miyan Shah Sahib whose Ziyarat is a few meters away from lokut Mandir, Near Ghat & the chinar tree where Miyan Shah Sahib used to sit. Earlier he was staying with KARs ie. Krihna Kar's denisty for more than a decade. Both were well renouned saints of that period. Infact a single chilim was being shared by both of them turn by turn to transform eachother.........

    ashok kumar kar from Bangalore 9341211423

  7. Thanx dear . Perhaps you lived at kara pora khushki near machama's house .

  8. It was a great journey of the past.I passed out in 1982 and could recollect the moments spent with some great teachers specially Mattoo sahib-whose son was my class mate munshi ji and narayan joo.Momma used to herd us from school to home when we were in nursery classes.Great to hear that he is still there.Thanks a lot Mr Mota for driving down the memory lane.

  9. Dear Autar Sb,my all memory is revived, these are the areas where i have spent my 19 years.destiny nobody knows.i am still rembering every moment of my life, which i spend in my own birth place ie rainawari.Namaskar & Hearth Mubarak.

  10. Finally a place to revisit my memories. I have been waiting to refresh my thoughts and feelings.
    I graduated from DAV in 1976. I wonder how many classmates can I still meet. I will post a link to my blog and start with posting a picture.

  11. Here is the link to my above post:
    Visit the site, look at the picture, see how many students did you know and leave a comment.
    Autar has done an impossible job of collecting immense amount of info here and we plan to complement it.
    You are welcome to send in your pictures, thoughts memories

  12. Dear Sir,

    I have been searching for the pics of DAV Rainawari on the internet for many years now. Thank you for putting up the same. I still remember my primary school days at DAV. The huge DAV grounds where we used to play, the gardens, our classrooms, the science laboratory, the ghats and the boonyi trees etc. I also distinctly remember the evening when it was set on fire. We could see the raging inferno from our Kitchen window in Chowdhary Bagh. Those flames are still vivid in my eyes.We wept the whole night.It was back in 1989. I was about nine then and studying in 3rd grade at DAV. . We left the city thereafter. Life has never been the same again. But thanks a lot for taking us back to where we belong.

  13. Dear
    How nice of you for remembering the school and the place . Kashmir or our birth place is unforgetable .Keep smiling . We shall overcome some day .

  14. Dear Autar Ji ,

    One of the daughters from the Teli's you mentioned in the article .. If you recall , our home was bang opposite the "maer" . They set fire to the building late in the evening on 15th January 1990 . I remember the elders trying to hose down the house so that the shooting embers would not set fire to our house . I also remember the firebrigade not being allowed to go forward to douse the fire ...

    Hoping against hope that you took a photo of my home ..

    Thank you and God Bless

  15. its very rarily that something makes one laugh and cry on the same page.....u did that sir

  16. Replies
    1. thanks a lot....

      i want to find my first grade teacher... her name is Meera Daughter of T N Matoo Last principal of DAV School Rainawari, She was a teacher there too... please post and spreasd this massage. if some one has a clue please contact seem hassan on face book or mail me at

  17. Beautiful and unfogettable childhood,
    i miss my all teachers and my principal T N Mattoo .

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Our last principal was Mohammad yousuf who took charge after gutting of building of the school . I really miss those days when we used to stole some pears from tress all around in the school. Really miss a person namely Muma peon of the school. I have spend 4 years there (1994 till 1996)but it was remarkable moments of my life over there.

  20. Very good memories ..could any ex student recall memories of DAV High School ..Magharmal Bagh..from 1947 to 1956,,Sh Gopi Nath Sadhu and Sh RK Ganjoo had been Principals during this period..

  21. It will also be an emotional reunion of students of school,during this period...

  22. Sh Som Nath Handoo, Sh Janaki Nath, Sh Shamboo Nath Kachru, Sh Nath Ji Chandra, Sh Neel Kanth, Sh Jagan Nath had been teachers during this period..


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