Sunday, November 29, 2009


This post is for children of our state who have also seen pain and suffering :
Naye Daur ke Naye Khwaab Hain ,
Naye Mausamon ke Gulaab Hain,
Ye Mohabbaton ke Chiraag Hain ,
Inhein Naf-Raton Ki Hawaa Na Dhe.

Mein Gazal Ke Shabnami Aankh Se ,
Ye Dukhon Ke Phool Chunaa Karoon ,
Meri Sal-tanat Mera Fun Rahe
Mujho Taajo Takht Khudaa Na Dhe .
( Bashir Badr )


These views have been taken in November 2009 exactly behind Hotel Shangrilla in Sonawar srinagar . There is a narrow walk way on the Jhelum Bund over here . These are all morning views . You can see Chinars in the Morning haze spreading gold on the pathway.

Na Gilaa Kiyaa na Khafaa huye ,
Yun Hi Raaste Me Judaa huye ,
Na Tu Bewafa Na Mein BeWafa
Jo Guzar Gayaa So Guzar Gayaa.
Woh Vafaayein thi ke Jafaayein Thi ,
Na Yeh Sonch kis ki Khatayein thi,
Woh Tera hai Usko Galey Lagaa
Jo Guzar Gaya so Guzar Gaya .
( Bashir Badr )


These lines too for my belovd Kashmir .

Mein Tamaam Taarey Uthaa Uthaa
Ke Gareeb Logon Me Baant Dhoon,
Kabhi Ek Raat woh Aasamaan
Ka Nizaam De Mere Haath Me .
Kabhi Saat Rangon Ka Phool Hoon
Kabhi Dhoop Hoon Kabhi Dhool Hoon,
Mein Tamaam Kapdey Badal Chukaa
Tere Mausamon ki Baraat Me .
( Bashir Badr )


Those who have lived in kashmir know what Kangri is . It is a poor Man's weapon to fight terrible winter . Kangri is actually an earthen pot covered by fine willow work . Charcoal is put in it and it is held close to body to transmit heat. Kashmiris carry it underneath the pheran. Some are so experienced in handling it that they can sleep with it in their bed. None can say that he did not use it should he have stayed in kashmir during winter season.

Pheran is the long overall or apparel used in kashmir to keep body warm. kashmiris who live in plains also use it during winter season.So fashionable did it turn during seventies that even Mrs Gandhi , Pandit Ravi Shanker , V P Singh and many prominent personalities photographed themselves in Pheran.It is certaily an overall warmer.
Jejeer ( Hookah ) or the hubble Bubble is an old entertainment with Kashmiris . In olden days, even women would enjoy it ( Both Pandit and Muslim ). Having a Jejeer in the house meant keeping a kangri burning for the Chillum. Keeping a box of Tobacco. My Grandfather( Mother's side ) was used to this Jejeer .Whenever we would go to his house in ZainaKadal , i did have a puff or two from his jejeer in his absence .
Aankhon Me Rahaa Dil Me uttar Kar Nahin Dekha.
Kashti Ke musafir ne samander Nahin Dekha.
Pather Mujhe Kehtaa Hai Mera Chaahne wala,
Mein Mom Hoon Usne Mujhe Chhu Kar Nahin Dekha.
( Bashir Badr )
You just entered my eyes only ,
Alas! you ignored this heart nearby.
O traveller of a small boat in the river ,
You never experienced the ocean.
Love! call me not an insensitive stone ,
For you have never touched this wax soft heart.
( Translation from original urdu A K Mota )
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As promised i am uploding some late autumn Views of Naseem Bagh srinagar . The Chinars are spreading gold everywhere. Mrs Indira Gandhi would come to srinagar in late November every Year to enjoy these Chinars and their fascinating leaves shedding season.The photographs have been taken in November 2009.

Hamaara Dil Savera Ka sunehara Jaam Ho Jaaye .
Chiraagon ki Tarah Aankhen Jalein Jab Shaam Ho Jaaye
Ujaale Apni Yadon Ke Hamaare Saath Rahne Do
Na Jaane Kis Gali Me Zindgi Ki Shaam Ho Jaaye
( Bashir Badr )

Friday, November 27, 2009


We visited kulgam in July 2009 .The purpose was to go to Village Sepur where from the Ancestors of Allama Iqbal had migrated out to Punjab.We also visited entire Kulgam town and stayed for full day in this town.Through certain friends i had heard of the Syed Samnanai's Ziyarat in this town.I went inside and paid my respects . This highly respected sufi  saint  was a Syed from Central Asia who came to Kashmir with a group of Syeds due to persecution of Timur.He stayed in this town and preached brotherhood . 

Shamas Faquiro Kenh Na Chei
Kenh Nai Layakh Khand Haar Chei
Kenh Nai Layakh Teiti Chha Kamai
Yeti Suye Chhumai
Tati Suye Chhumi
Peeran Me Seeri Haq Bovnamai
Yeti Suye Chhumai
Tati Suye Chhumi
( Shamas Faquir )

O Shamas Faquir! You are Just Worthless ,
You are not just worth a single penny.
O then If that Murshid is with me ,
It is better to be worthless.
This Murshid has revealed
the true secret to me .
H alone  is my companion in this world
and hereafter too.
( Autar Mota  )

Shamas faquir Was the tallest Sufi Poet of kashmir .His real Name was Mohd Sidiq Bhat and lived in Chinkral Mohalla Habba Kadal. He stayed with his Murshid in Amritsar for many years.

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Swami Ram(1854-1915) was a great saint of kashmir .He carried forward Trika shaivism a deep rooted Shaiva philosophy of kashmir propounded by Abhinavgupta .I shall not say much about him since everything on him is available on net or in books sold everywhere . Yes some things i would like to add ;-

-Swami ji had a detached outlook to life and did not marry after the death of his wife. Swami ji's wife died when he was just 17 years old.
_ Swami Mahtab Kak (the celebrated guru of Swami Lakshman Joo), Swami Vidyadhar and Swami Govind Kaul were his personal devotees who received inspiration and afffection from swami Ram.
_Hindus , Muslims , men, women and children, including the then ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Pratap Singh, visited his Ashram for blessings. Swami ji had told Maharaja Partap singh that he would never have a child.
-Before leaving for Chicago to attend the parliament of world religions in 1893 , Swami Vivekananda visited swami Ram ji and sat with him for three hours.
-Once a Muslim lady visited swami ji with a basket of Potatoes . Swami Ji smiled and said " I know why have you come daughter . Can you handle this basket full?" He took three potatoes and gave it to the woman. The rest he kept in his Ashram. The woman bore three sons later .
( As  told to me by late Anupam Kaul son of late pandit janki nath Kaul Kamal .Anupam ji died young . He was a friend and a colleague )
-Pandit Narayan Dass Raina a merchant and builder of first House Boat in kashmir , became his devotee and offerred swami Ji his own small house at Fateh kadal. Swami ji Moved in and this house continues to be the Ashram of swami Ji .Narayan Dass was later known as Nav Naraan in Kashmir.He was incidentally father of Swami Lakshman Joo , the celeberated Shaiva scholar of Kashmir .

I visited the Ashram in September 2009. It is on main Fateh Kadal road just 50 metres from Old Fateh kadal bridge or about 300 metres from the Shrine of Shahe Hamdaan . It was locked . The shopkeepr nearby informed that one Mr Roshan lal has the keys . Roshan lal lives nearby . Once Roshan lal came , we went inside and entered the room where swami ji would sit . It is a small three storeyed house . A newly built kitchen and toilets were opened for us in the ground floor , Swami Ji's room with photographs and his Wooden Sandal ( KHRAAV ) is well preserved in a room on first floor . The third floor has sitting space . We could not meet Prof T N Ganju who has done excellent work in maintenance of this Ashram. Ganju Sahib still lives in kashmir and on that specific date he had reportedly gone out of valley on some private visit .I sought permission to photograph and had Prasad from roshan lal ji .
My father had not seen swami ji . But still he would relate many stories connected with this great saint. I was informed by him that Swami ji would meditate for days together .He ate very litttle and had controlled his desires. Lalla Ded calls these desires as NAFAS. So does Sheikh Nur Ud din or Nund Reshi . Maulana  Rumi the thirteenth centuary Sufi saint and poet too comments on  NAFAS.  Arabs call these desires as NAFAS -AL- AMMARA.
Nafas Myonuy Chhuyah Hostuy,
Ami Hassey Monganam Gari Gari Bal.
lachhi Manz Saas Manz Akhaa lostuy,
Naati Heutinum Saari Tull.
( Lalla Ded )
This greedy mind of mine is like an elephant
This elephant is always demanding .
This elephants has trampled hundreds under its feet
except a few who dared and challenged it .

"O son, if you want to know the form of NAFAS,
read the description of seven gates to hell! "
( Maulana Jala Ud Din Rumi page 88 The Essence of Rumi by John Baldock)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Nehru park area is the busiest location on the Boulevard . Ghats with shikaras waiting for you to enjoy the lake , rows of house Boats just 50 Yards away , Hotels , Tourists , Speed boats , Floating Markets ( commodities sold by Boats in lake ), Bathing Boats , Surf riders , Water skiers , Flower laden Boats ,GagriBal Swimming Ghats, Boats unloading vegetables for city traders on Dal Banks and Tourists relaxing on House boat Decks and many more scenes confront you when you move in this area .

This is Nehru Park of kashmir . It is not a Mughal Garden . This garden was laid out in middle of the 20th centuary.It is about 6 Kms from main city ( Lal Chowk ) and just 50 yards away from the main Boulevard. located just below the Zabarwan mountain range ,the Shiva temple on the Top of the shankaracharya hill can also be seen from this park . So can on have a commanding view of the Hari Parbat ( Fort ) or Pari Mahal built by Mughal prince Dara Shikoh. You have to cross the lake to go to this park . The Park has ideal location and one can have a splendid view of the lake from this park. A restaurant within this park serves tea , coffee and light snacks. The park finds repeated mention in the book Area of Darkness written by V S naipaul. Enjoy some summer and late Autumn views of this park and its surrounding area .

Apne Inaame husn ke badle ,
Hum Tahey Daamanon se Kya lenaa .
Aaj Furqat Zadon pe Lutf karo
Phir kabhi sabr Azmaa lenaa
( Faiz Ahmed Faiz )
In Return for thy Beauty's largesse,
what can the the empty handed like us offer ?
Just be kind to those touched by thy separation?
Test their patience some other time.
( Translation A k Mota )