Friday, May 30, 2014

PROF. GHULAM NABI FIRAQ , KASHMIRI POET, TRANSLATOR , LITERARY CRITIC AND EDUCATIONIST .


                                                                       


PROF. GHULAM NABI FIRAQ ( Born 1922 )


Noted  kashmiri  poet , Translator,  Literary Critic  and Educationist  Prof Ghulam  Nabi Firaq ( Born 1922 ) is presently unwell . He has been my English Teacher in S P College srinagar . After retirement , Prof . Firaq  focused on his literary work and  also  co founded a  Premier Education institution known as   STANDARD  PUBLIC SCHOOL .  Presently He lives with his son  at  Naushera ( Soura ) in Srinagar city.

 Firaq sahib was born and brought up in Fatehkadal  locality of downtown srinag├ór city. He joined as Librarian at S P Collge Srinag├ór and later completed his post graduation in English .He was amongst the  pioneers of progressive movement in kashmiri poetry.

Prof. Firaq has authored  numerous books that include his poetic collections, Criticisms , Translations  and  essays . He writes in almost all forms that include blank verse, free verse, sonnets, quatrains, metric poems and lyrics. When we were in college ,  Almost every morning we would hear  ( from Radio Kashmir )  noted Kashmiri Artist  Padamshri Raj Begum sing his Gazal

“ Mokh Pron  Bar Tchaav Subahaaai Subahaai .
Oundh Pokh Mushkyaav Subahaai Subahaai

( That pretty face visited me early, too early in the morning ..
The ambiance  around  is  simply perfumed early , too early in the morning ).  
                                                                      

                                  

His poems have been sung by almost all prominent   singers  from Kashmir .

Firaq’s  Poetic  collection  “Sada Ta samander” won him the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award . His translations into kashmiri include Doctor Faustus by  Christopher Marlowe and  Many Bangla  Poems of Tagore .   I remember  , Sometime in 1996 , he recovered from a Cardiac problem with the help of a  permanent Pace maker.   In 2013, Despite of his failing health , he released  his three new books  Kher-ul-Bashar, Ravan Teol, Kashir-e-Watchnuk Safar.

I join my friends and his well wishers   in Kashmir  valley and in  the plains of the country to  wish him a speedy recovery and Good health. He is a shining star on the horizon of  kashmiri literature…

 I quote some lines from his latest / Fresh  poems ..

Yettie Chhaenaa Saayil Khaalie Neraan
Aaeish Pheiir Kenh Chhiyee Hargaa Lagaa-Naai
( Ghulam Nabi Firaq )

Petitioners do not leave this place empty handed ,
I do possess some tear drops ,
Take them should these be of any use to you..

Soruuyi Vonamuss ti Chhum Pheraan
Akh Kathh Aaessum Roozim Vananaai
( Gh Nabi Firaq )

( Every thing I conveyed to him,
 But Now I regret For  the only  issue
 that needed to be told but remains untold.)

 Makaanun Daarie Burr Diethh Aaiess
Su Kyaah Vannie  he Ba Kyaah Vana Ha
( Ghulam Nabi Firaq )

Every house had its doors and windows shut ,
What would he comment ? what could I convey ?

Na Na Nataa Petchii Bunnie Laggi Naaraah
Naarah Zorawaar …
Haawaus Haawus  Soora  Pheikhaa  Akh
Tattie Kyaah Saarukh Saar……..
( Ghulam Nabi Firaq )

No ! No ! Else the dry weed stock shall be on fire,
An All engulfing Blaze !
Every desire  is  a handful of  ash otherwise also ,  
What  Gist  can you draw  over here ?



Vanhaai ba dilluk Haal beparvaai Vanaai kyaa
Jazbaat haran lafz Gatchhun Zaai Vanaai Kyaa 

( Ghulam Nabi Firaq )


To You , O Carefree ,
What woes should i put across ?
These feelings  may fall to dust ,
Words may go waste ,
What should I put across.

( Autar Mota 30.05.2014 )



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Thursday, May 29, 2014

SNOW CLAD PEAKS ,CHINAR TREES , BIRDS , DANCING FAIRIES AND SPRINGS IN POEMS OF LATE MOTI LAL SAQI


                                           
                                      
      (Moti  Lal Saqi ) 



( Above photo.. Verinaag garden of kashmir )
 Photo Autar Mota 

                                                                       

                          
 ( Pine Forest and snowy peaks near Pahalghaam kashmir )
Photo Autar Mota 

 SNOW CLAD PEAKS , DENSE FORESTS ,GUSHING BLUE WATER, CHINARS , FLOWERS, BIRDS AND THE FRESH AIR .  AND ALL PUT TOGETHER IS KASHMIR 


 A  POETIC BEAUTY HAS BEEN CREATED  TO DESCRIBE   KASHMIR  BY NOTED KASHMIRI  POET   MOTI  LAL SAQI ….




Roappal Kohunn Kalas Taaj
Karaan Yaarie Panun Raaj
Raesseull *Vehakh Turun *Maagh
Natchaan Vigienni Gyavaan Raag
“ Panun Bagh Matchhueil Bagh
Hutyein Boneiyee Yeityein Naag
Panun Bagh Matchhueil Bagh”
( Moti Lal saqi )

Snow clad silvery peaks ,
Like crowns on Mountain heads .
And over these mountains ,
Pine trees holding their own Kingdom.
A pleasurable Vaisakha !
A Cold Maagha !
Fairies Dancing singing Raagas ,
That is my Garden , My love filled Garden .
Endowed with Chinars Trees and springs ,
That is my Garden , My love filled Garden .
*Vehakh is the month of Vaisakh.It is spring time or Bahaar in kashmir.Maagh is the winter month or Magha.It is cold and snow time in kashmir.
( Autar Mota 30.05.2014 )

PS
(A)
Kashmir has six seasons, each of two months duration. . These can be summed up as

1. Spring - From March 15 to May 15. Soant
2. Summer - From May 15 to July 15. Greeshim
3. Rainy Season - From July 15 to Sept. 15. vaharaat
4. Autumn - From Sept. 15 to Nov. 15. Harud
5. Winter - From Nov. 15 to Jan 15. Vandha
6. Ice Cold - From Jan. 15 to March 15. Shishur


( B )The calendar followed by kashmiri pandits has following months

Chaitra, Vaisakh, Jyeshtha, Ashadh, Shravan, Bhadra, Ashwin, Kartik, Marg, Paush, Magh, Falgun . In kashmiri thesed months are known as …Tsitter, Vahek, Zeth, Haar, Shravun, Ba'drepeth, A'shid, Kartik, Monjhor, Poh, Maag, Fagun)

( Autar Mota 29.05.2014 )


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Monday, May 26, 2014

WHERE SHALL YOU GO SO EARLY ?


                                                                              




EARLY  MORNING SCENCE  NEAR   BANIHAAL TOWN
Photo Autar Mota


WHERE WILL. YOU GO ????????

IT WAS DARK WHEN WE LEFT. . FEAR DANGLED FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS. IT WAS THERE IN THE STREET AND THE COURTYARD.. WHO COULD WAIT FOR THE DAWN. ? NOBODY TOLD US TO RECONSIDER THAT PAINFUL DECISION OF PARTING. NOBODY TURNED UP AND TRIED TO STOP US.

YES A VOICE FROM WITHIN KEPT SEEKING REPLY TO THE ONLY QUESTION , THE TORMENTING QUESTION ; 

“ WHERE WILL YOU GO ? ”

I Add Lines from Moti Lal Saqi's ’kashmiri   poem to this thought . The lines have been rendered to simple English by me ..…..


Koa't Gatchhukh subhayee Vaeni Naai Gaash Pholl,
Naaga Joyee Pyaath vothh na vaeni Sandhyaai Kaanh,
Masheidi Mehraabus andher Katiejun Neindhar,
Dhaan Dalas Munz Geill Chha Traavithh Zeeth lar,
Kulleiy Laenjunn sosaraai Cheinna vathharun Gatchhaan,
Koa't Gatchhukh ???????


"Where shall you go so early ? It is not day break as yet.
None has yet come to perform *Sandhya with Spring Water ,
Even the swallows are fast asleep inside the *Mehraab of the Mosque ,
In paddy fields , *little sparrows are still in deep slumber
Leaves of tree branches have not turned restless as yet
Where shall you Go ????" 

( Autar Mota )

PS

*Geil ( kashmiri word not exactly a sparrow ) is a sparrow like small black bird seen in paddy fields . It lays its eggs and builds its nest in these fields only . After the Harvest ,this bird flies away.
*Sandhya is the daily religious ritual of Hindus performed at the time of two twilights or the opening and the closing of the day . It is generally performed on river Banks or Springs or any other source of fresh water or even inside their dwellings . Sandhya was a "Daily practice" with elderly kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir valley .
*Mehrab is the decorative groove in the wall of a mosque, which marks the direction of the Qiblah . The traditional Mehrab is a common element of Islamic mosque architecture throughout the world. During summer season , Swallows would make Nests inside Mosques, Temples and residential Houses in Kashmi
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Friday, May 23, 2014

SHRIDHAR JOO KOUL DULLO ( 1892-1967 ). A PIONEER WHO SPREAD LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE IN LADAKH


                                                                              

SHRIDHAR KOUL DULLOO ( 1892-1967 ): A PIONEER WHO SPREAD LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE IN LADAKH 

 

  

“ Where there is form, there is emptiness. And where there is emptiness, there is form ”

 

So said the Kashmiri Buddhist scholar Kumarjiva ( 334 -413 AD )who crossed over to China to spread Buddhism.

 

Spreading knowledge, logic, Dharna and philosophy has been the principal occupation of Kashmiri Pandits during ancient and mediaeval periods. When their land was won over by Buddhism, they dived deep into its philosophy and carried forward its message to far-off lands undertaking an arduous journey that meant crossing lofty mountain passes. Once Shaivism arrived, these very people carried its message in a philosophical form giving birth to a distinct school of thought that came to be known as Kashmir Shaiv Darshana.

 

Many present-day Buddhist scholars feel indebted to Kashmiri scholars like VAIRCONA, BUDDHYASAS, BUDDHAJIVA, GUNVARMAN, SHAKYA SHRIBADRA, RATNAVAJRA, DHARMMITRA, TYAGHBADRA, and the great KUMARJIVA for spreading Buddhism in Asia. KUMARJIVA is responsible for revolutionising Chinese Buddhist thought and shaping it in tune with the Mahayana Philosophy. He was an erudite scholar who translated various Buddhist texts into the Chinese language.KumarJiva is responsible for the spread of Mahayana Buddhism not only in China but in Central Asia as well. History tells us that a large number of Kashmiri Savants crossed the Himalayas and the Pamirs and moved to Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Japan, Philippines and present-day Korea to spread knowledge and Dharma. All of them are held in high esteem by present-day Buddhist scholars the world over. This author vividly remembers His holiness Dalai Lama saying ( after he inaugurated the photo exhibition on ancient Buddhist historical places at Kala Kendra, Jammu in November 2011 ) this:-

 

“Kashmir held a significant place in Buddhism as the religion was spread in China and Korea by monks who used the ancient “Silk Route” passing through the region, to carry the Dharma to faraway places."

 

In the first half of the last century, Pandit Shridhar Joo Koul Dulloo ( 1892-1967 ) also repeated what some glorious persons from Kashmir had done to spread Knowledge and light amongst the ignorant and unaware. When Maharaja Hari Singh took over the reins of the state, he focused on education, more specifically for women, as a high-priority area. For this, he appointed a highly educated English lady named Miss E Channer( Chaunner ) as in charge of women's education in Kashmir. It was in 1927 that Miss Channer ( Chaunner ) agreed to the idea of a Kashmiri theosophist namely Srikantha Toshkhani about the creation of a Women’s Welfare Trust. Many more theosophists like Miss Margaret E Cousins, Mrs L D Van Gheel, Shridhar Joo Koul Dulloo and Aftab Koul Nizamat joined this trust as its members. This group led by Srikantha Toshakhani worked tirelessly for the spread of education amongst Kashmiri women irrespective of caste or religion. Both Pandits and Muslims were reluctant to send girls to schools initially. This group started with five primary schools for girls in Kashmir and prevailed upon Miss Channer( Chaunner ) to start a separate school for Muslim Girls from poor families who needed more time and attention on account of their backwardness and total illiteracy back home. The number of exclusive schools for Muslim girls rose to three in 1929. Molvis and Purohits were also brought inside these schools to impart religious education. As time passed, a large number of educated persons entered this arena and followed in the footsteps of this dedicated team. And by 1932, there were about 70 schools exclusively for girls in the Kashmir valley.

 

In every meeting held by WOMEN WELFARE TRUST, Shridhar Joo Koul Dulloo would always say that they had kept one area of the state in total darkness. By this area he meant Ladakh. Though many students would cross the Zojilla pass and visit his Rainawari residence in the summer season for guidance and studies, he had a burning desire to move to Ladakh and do what his team had done in the Kashmir valley. A chance came his way in 1939 when Maharaja transferred him to Ladakh as Education Officer with clear directions to start the basic education module over there and pull it out of the dark jungle of illiteracy. He did this job with utmost dedication and devotion till 1948. He is responsible for sending the Ladakhis to schools and bringing them out from the morass of darkness. For this, Anybody who is somebody in Ladakh feels grateful to Shridhar Joo Koul Dulloo.

 

During the visit to Leh in 2009, this author found every senior Ladakhi grateful to him. President All Ladakh Gompa Association informed told this author that Ladakhis had sent a memorandum to Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad in 1953 to appoint Shridhar Dulloo as ‘Special Secretary For Ladakh Affairs’ when Kushok Bakula was appointed as Deputy Minister of Ladakh Affairs. Kushok Bakula had personally intervened in this but some influential members within the ruling party had opposed this move then.

 

The owner of ‘Lehling Book Store’ in Leh Bazar also informed this author that Shridhar Joo Dulloo’s book on Ladakh remains a much sought-after item by foreigners who visit the shop. Some elderly relatives of S C Phunsog ( IAS ) former Chief Secretary, J&K, whom this author met in Leh, also spoke very highly about the pioneering contribution of Shridhar Joo Dulloo in spreading education amongst Ladakhis. This selfless service in Ladakh brought him very close to the Buddhist culture and the message of Buddha that he eventually became a Buddhist. He also gained enormous knowledge about the history and culture of Ladakh which is ably recorded in his Book ‘Ladakh Trough Ages’. In an article, Late Kushok Bakula ( a prominent leader from Ladakh and India's ambassador to Mongolia ) has written this

 

“Generations of Ladakhis shall remain indebted to Pandit Shridhar Kaul Dullo for his remarkable contribution, pioneering work and legendary services to this region. He crossed the Zojilla to spread light and dispel darkness, awakening Ladakhis from their deep slumber. My gratitude shall always remain to this selfless crusader of modern education .”

 

In Motiyar Rainawari, Shridhar Joo Dullo’s house was virtually a Ladakh Sarai. Groups of boys would come from Leh and stay with him. He even adopted a girl named Dolma as his daughter. Dolma was educated and finally married off by Shridhar Joo. Due to his Buddhist beliefs, he named his two sons Budhadev and Siddhartha. He had fairly good knowledge of the Bodhi language. Many close members of his family say that he would always be seen with a Book in his hand. Reading and transferring knowledge to a large number of his pupils. And in 1967, Shridhar Joo Koul Dulloo left for his heavenly abode in peace at his Motiyar Rainawari residence.

 

 

“Har ghadi aflak par rehti hai teri guftugoo 

 Kya nahin mumkim ke tera chaak-e daaman ho rafu? ”....Allama Iqbal

 

(Well, in every part of the heavens, your mention is made.

 Can’t your torn cloth be sewn back together? )

 

( Avtar Mota )

                           
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

FROM RIVER BANKS TO DESERTS , THE EXILES SAW A JOURNEY OF PAIN AND SUFFERING.


                                                                           


GHAATHA NEERITHH SHAATHA LAAEGG JANAANA LOOKH...............................

FROM RIVER BANKS TO DESERTS , THE EXILES SAW  A JOURNEY OF PAIN AND SUFFERING.
(Photo Autar Mota Dec 2013)

I add lines from A Poem of noted kashmiri poet late Moti Lal saqi to this photo ..i have also rendered the lines to simple english for friends who do not understand kashmiri ...

Soora Phyaakh Sapadiethh ta Veithhii Munz Baavizeum
Be wattan Gatchhanuk Dinumm Yaaenii Taana Lookh.
Krooth raavun Tyol Ta yaadan hundh Alaav
Kyaa Phaban sekiliss Andher Mastaana lookh

( Moti Lal Saqi )

After I turn to a handful of Ash , consign me to River Vitasta ( Jhelum )
Lest people ridicule me as an exile from his motherland .
Bitter is their lament of loss and with this noise of memories around ,
Shall these carefree people survive in these lifeless deserts ?


( Autar Mota 21.05.2014)
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SPRING IN KASHMIR WITH LINES FROM POEMS OF MASTER ZINDA KAUL.


                                                                             

   SPRING IN KASHMIR .
I am adding some lines of kashmiri Poet Master Zinda Kaul ( 1884-1965 ) to the above photo  ...I have rendered these lines to simple english for those friends who do not know kashmiri ...

Fizaa Traavithh Me Khaeniemiett Zeiuss
Zameenuss Tal Me Pooraein Chhiemm
Seithaa Deeewar Lorien Chhiemm
Tchei Rostuyee Kyaah Karaai Lo Lo
Ba Dooreir No Zaraai Lo Lo
Ba Tchaaney Aasaraai Lo Lo

( Master Zinda Kaul )

Away from the scenic ambience ,
Life has dug its depths of despair for me.
I need to fill these underground pits .
Many a walls I need to demolish;
How can I do it in your absence ?
My love I am undone ;
I can’t withstand this separation,
I hang around with your hope alone …………


                                                                 AND
                                                 
 SPRING IN KASHMIR       


I am adding some lines of kashmiri Poet Master Zinda Kaul ( 1884-1965 ) to the above photo  ...I have rendered these lines to simple english for those friends who do not know kashmiri ...

HE IS PROBABLY TAKING THIS ROUTE , SO LET ME PUT FLOWERS IN HIS PATH.


Paadh Hridayuss Pyaath Ratithh
Dokh Daaedh Zanameikk Bhavasayee
Kochhi Kyathh Ratchhun Lokachaarukui
Smrit Tcheituss Adhaa Paavasayee
Soaruyee Panun Pusharaavasayee
Sreh Maayi Hundh Vuzanavasayee
Kosam vatann Vothharaavasayee .
AZ VAATIE BOOZOM……
( Master Zinda Kaul )

Holding those feet upon my beating heart
I shall narrate all the pains and sufferings of my life.
Shall make him to remember the love filled lap
That used to hold the baby .
What I possess , I shall hand him over .
Love’s depth I shall awaken for him.
Flowers shall I lay in his path.

I hear , he is on a visit this way ………..

( Autar Mota 20.05.2014 )


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PANDIT GOPI NATH BHAT (1920-2001 ) , A FORGOTTEN FOLK SINGER AND DANCER FROM KASHMIR ..


                                                                               




PANDIT GOPI NATH BHAT (1920-2001 ) , A FORGOTTEN FOLK SINGER AND DANCER FROM KASHMIR ..A TRIBUTE

The youngsters do not know him. And the number of elders who knew him and adored him passionately are diminishing day by day . He was a stalwart and a trendsetter in an area that did not find favour in the orthodox Kashmiri Pandit society as it existed prior to 1947 . Yes ,I mean singing and dancing which he started possibly when he was in his school .He was Pandit Gopi Nath Bhat ( 1920-2001 ), a resident of Achhabal Adda, Ananatnag in the Kashmir valley . A folk singer ,dancer, composer and an adept instrumentalist who could play the harmonium, Tumbaknaari , Rabab , Tabla , banjo , Nott ( Matka ) , Ghaagar , Chimtaa , Khasu and Thaali .He sang Leelas , Naats , Chhakri and Sufiana Kalaam . He also sang Urdu Qawalis and Gazals in his own style .

Apart from singing and playing musical instruments , Gopi Nath Ji  was a great Bacha Nagma artist from the Kashmir valley .He had profound knowledge of Hafiz Nagma  as well. Quite often , he would himself perform Bacha Nagma after wearing the traditional Jaama ( dress for dancing ) and enthrall any gathering with his superb dancing talent especially the footwork and facial expressions . 

Bacha Nagma is one of the major folk dance forms  from the Kashmir valley. Believed to have been introduced by Afghans, in this dance, generally a boy  is  dressed like a  girl to perform dance and singing . The boy  is trained in singing and  dancing including fast swirls and spins during the dance . This  dance and singing is usually performed during the wedding celebrations . It is accompanied by instruments like Rabab, Sarangi,Nott ( Matka ) and Tumbaknaari . Hafiz Nagma, is also a serious classical dance form performed by the Kashmiri women wearing traditional attire. It is performed on the basis of the Sufiana Kalam and  the classical music of Kashmir . With separate Ragas called Muqaam, the Sufiana poetry is used as a part of Sufiana music and is very popular among the music lovers.  The main dancer of Hafiz Nagma is known as Hafiza. A wide range of instruments are used that include  Santoor, Sitar, Kashmiri Saaz, Tabla and Wasool.

The connoisseurs of Gopi Nath Ji’s  art still remember his “ Thaali ( plate ) spinning ”. He would hold the Thaali on his finger tip and spin it fast during dancing and singing.  Possibly  he was the first Kashmiri Pandit who ventured in this field in an orthodox Kashmiri Pandit society.  Gopi Nath Ji sang the compositions of Ahad Zargar , Shams Faqir , Rasool Mir , Master Zinda Kaul , Parmanand , Sochha Kraal , Assad ullah Mir , Wahab Khaar, Mehjoor, Azad and Nadim and many Sufi and Bhakti poets of Kashmir. He also sang Ghalib, Iqbal and Jigar Moradabadi  . It was amazing to see him singing all these poets from his own memory .He would be seen singing in private gatherings, marriage functions, Janam Ashtami celeberations ,Eid festivity, Mal-maas Bhan-maas at Mattan Teertha and Jyeshta Ashtami Mela at Kheer Bhawani shrine ,Tulamula . He would also sing Naat and Munajaat during Urs gatherings at various Dargaahs in the  Kashmir valley .For his dancing talent , Pandit Gopi Nath Ji was known as ‘Gupa Bacha” in  the Kashmir Valley . He has the distinction of singing before many saints and sages of Kashmir that included Swami Lakshman Joo, Nand Lal Mastana (Nand Mot ), Faqir Assad ullah Sahib, Lassa Sahib , Salaam Sahib and Bhagwan Gopi Nath Ji .

Though he sang for the  Radio, TV , Song and Drama Division and Field Publicity Division , Gopi Nath Ji  had some aversion for singing at these centres and institutions. Mohan Lal Aima brought him to Radio Kashmir and recorded three compositions but Gopi Nath Ji did not show any inclination for the  radio singing . Another trait of his personality was contentment . Never did he seek any personal favour from any person though he was well known to everyone in  the bureaucracy . And not even from Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad , the then Prime Minister of J&K  who himself was a lover of his singing style. He was also somewhat averse  towards getting his singing recorded . 

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, Prof Jay Lal Kaul, Dina Nath Nadim, Durga Prasad Dhar, Agha Ashraf Ali and Dr Ali Jan were amongst his numerous admirers . No function was complete unless he sang  poet Rahim Sahib Sopori’s ‘jaan vandhyo ha ba paan vandhayo’  poet Rasul Mir’s ‘valaai kastoori’ ,poet Nadim’s ‘vothi baagitch kukli and poet Mehjoor’s ‘sahibo sath chham me tchaani’. He also sang Jigar moradabaadi and Ghalib in his own style. His team included Prem Nath , Sudershan Ji , Balji , Mohammad Ismail Dar , Abdul Aziz , Ghulam Rasool , Muhammed Ramzan and Abdul Samad .A devout Hindu who believed in Sadhna and Bhakti , Pandit Gopi Nath Ji was also a follower of Dervish Rahim Sahib of Kashmir. He was known for singing Lal Vaakh and Shrukh of Nund Reshi in such a passionate style that turned eyes of most of the listeners moist. After displacement from  the Kashmir valley ,this great son of Kashmir died unknown and unsung in Nagrota Jammu . Any person visiting him in his refugee shelter at Nagrota , would be smilingly welcomed and he would personally ensure that the guest did not leave without  food although he and his family had to struggle hard for survival post 1990s .

About Gopi Nath Bhat, Padama-Shri Moti Lal Kemu has said  this :-

“As a child I watched the Bhacha Nagma performances of Pandit Gopi Nath (Gupa Bacha) in Mehndiraat function in my own house. The house had a big hall in the top floor and people in the neighbourhood often made use of it for Mehndiraat purposes. Gopi Nath impressed me by his acting and dancing. He performed Gor, Krishen, Gosain, Batni and Moat in one character Paathers. Gupa Bacha was a superb performer, master of expressions, comic as well as tragic. “

 
Exile was a great setback for him. He could not reconcile to it . Till his last day , he kept  hoping for return to his Kashmir . 


"Hum andhiyon ke bunn me kissi Carwaan ke thay
Jaane kahaan pe aaye hain jaane kahaan ke thay .
Ae jaane dastaan tujhe aayaa kabhi khayaal,
Woh log kyaa huve jo teri dastaan ke thay …….(.Juan Elia )


( In the  stormy jungle  , we belonged a passing  Caravan ,
We don’t know where  have we landed  and
 Wherefrom  did  we arrive over here.
O ,  you , the beloved of my tale of woes, 
Did you ever think about 
 those who
 vanished  suddenly ,
and who were a part of your story .) 
 
( Avtar Mota  )



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Saturday, May 17, 2014

MASTER ZINDA KAUL AND A PHOTO OF TULIP GARDEN OF KASHMIR


                                                                            

Tulip Garden of kashmir
Photo Autar Mota ..

I am adding some lines of Master Zinda Kaul ( 1884 -1965..Fondly known as Master Ji ) to this photo . Master ji's poetry reflects the deep influence of Lal Ded , Parmanand, Shamas Tabrez , Maulana Rumi , Surdas ,kabir and Vedanta upon his mind .
                                 

Master ji was  a mystic poet. He was also   respected as  a Spiritual Guru by   a large number  of his friends and admirers . He struggled all along his life with so many odds of existence . Master ji composed poems in kashmiri , Urdu , Persian and Hindi language.
Some say that his kashmiri poetic collection "Sumran " was born after the death of his young son. That book won him the prestigious  Sahitya Academy Award. What a punishment is it for a father to outlive his son ? Composed in 1944,the below mentioned  poetic  lines  are from his  collection " Sumran ". I have tried to render the lines to simple English....... .

Yuchh Puchh Ma Haar Byaakhaa Hyaathh Yooer Vaati kaanchhaa
Tuss Chhaa kammi Nishaanun Bhaer Bhaer Khazaan Vessiye
Dolaan Kohan vanan Munz Sholaan Chhi Gulshanan Munz
Zotaan Chhu Taarakun Munz kaaetyaah Nishaan Vessiye ..

Vaaleinj Munz thhavunn Gotchh haavunn Thhovum Athhuss Pyaaeth
Raah kas chhu kor me paanus nokhsaan paana vessiye,
Haavun chhu Raavaraavun Chaavukk samar chhu Khaaemi
Thhaavaan Chhi Chhaava Baapat Baanun Ti Thaana Vessiye

 ( Master Zinda Kaul )

Lose not your faith and Trust Friend ,
Someone may drop in with another token of love .
His tokens are abundant and
So are his treasures always full .
Unnoticed lie these tokens in hills and jungles .
In flower beds they bloom dazzlingly .
Among stars these tokens keep sparkling
And so many other signs stand for them .

Should have been Hidden inside the heart ;
But I Put him on display on my hands .
None to blame now , I put myself to this loss Friend .
To make a show of the fortune is to lose it,
And this Eagerness within to show off leads to imperfection only,
For this reason  Friend, 
While cooking ,
Food is brought to perfection

by putting a lid over the cooking pot............
                                                                              

   ( A sketch of Master Zinda kaul By Prabhakar Maachvey Photo Source .Prof Arvind Gigoo )                                                                    

                                                                 ( Master Zinda Kaul )


                                                                                    

                                  (   Master Ji's wife Photo source .Prof. Arvind Gigoo )
                                                                                
        ( Master ji with his Grand Daughter outside his residence  Source .Prof. Arvind Gigoo)
                                ( Master Ji's handwriting ... Soruce Prof. Arvind Gigoo )
              ( Family Tree Of master Ji .. Balkrishen  Grandson  of Master ji was son of Janki Nath .. Photo source Prof. Arvind Gigoo )..

          ( Master ji's Handwriting in Kashmiri ..Source Prof. Arvind Gigoo ) 

 I add  some more lines of Master ji ..............

Kaansie Praraan Daari Pyaath Yuss
Vaansi  Haarey  Dhaari  oush
Aabshaaruk   Tuss   Hawas   Kyaah
Shalmaarus Kyaah  Karrey.
( Master Zinda Kaul )

He who has been waiting for some one at the window,
And waiting With Tears running down his eyes since an age , .
For what should he cultivate a  desire to see the beautiful  Waterfall !
What joy shall a visit to the Shalamar garden bring him ?



I have fond memories of master ji's poems and my  mother. She would keep singing some poems in kitchen while cooking food for us. I mean poems like:

Az vaaite boozum mol myon 
Kossam vatan vatha-raavaessiyi

( I heard,  He will arrive Today
My father, My teacher, My Guide, My Guru, 
Let me   cover his path with flowers..)
        Or
Sumran pannien Ditcheinum
Premuk nishaana vessiye

(Some memories he passed on to me,
Some symbols of his Love and affection..)
       Or
Tarvaen Tchhe karra Naav 
Kaanh massa taariv Apour
(The ferry is about to move,
Should any one like to move across the river?)

 These lines would move her to tears. She kept wiping them  with the border of  her saree. And helplessly, i watched her from a distance . 

Late Mohan Krishen Tikoo (Mohinder Nagar , Canal Road,  Jammu ) writes..

" In 1958, Nilla-Cram Cook, alongwith Prof PN Pushp and BP Sharma came to see this great soul of Kashmir. I too was in the room present at that time. Masterji ex­plained some of his poems.

Tears were in her eyes. Later she wrote a book. “The way of the Swan” Po­ems of Kashmir”. This work contains six poems of Masterji translated by her. Before taking leave, she enjoyed Kashmiri-tea with Kulcha."


In October 1915, when Gurudev Tagore visited Kashmir, Master ji had a close interaction with him. A poetic meet was held in the house of Pandit Anand koul and Gurudev appreciated master ji's poems . These poems were  translated into English and given to Gurudev in his house boat by Pandit Anand koul.


( Avtar Mota 17.05.2014 )


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