Monday, June 2, 2014




PUSHKAR NATH B.A. ( 1932-2005)

“ Who is this Pushkar Nath B.A. ? ” 
I asked my friend Kuldeep Machama after I listened his Urdu drama broadcast from Radio Kashmir ,Srinagar.

“ He is a Punjabi . I believe so . But his plots and story frames resemble those of Krishen Chander . Even Krishen Chander has appreciated his stories . I read this in Beeswin Sadi” , he replied .

I would infrequently purchase Beeswin Sadi from Abdullah News Agency,  Lal Chowk. This particular issue that carried critical analysis of Pushkar Nath’s Urdu stories had been missed by me.I had read his wonderful story 'Kaanch ki Duniya ( a world of glass )  . The character of Madhavi that he had created for this story impressed me . So was I impressed by the Curio dealer’s character .His short story " Pir Panchaal Ka Aakhri Kawa" ( The last crow of  Pir Panchaal)  was very well received and appreciated . Apart from other issues , Pushkar Nath had presented a wonderful  a satire on corrupt bureaucracy through this story .

I also read his other stories like' Saat Rang Sapna ' ( A Dream of seven colours ),Pull Number Siffer ke Gidh ( vultures of Zero bridge ), Rang Badaltaa hi Tha( The colour kept changing ) and many more that I do not remember this moment .

Kashmir , its social life and a profound consciousness of contemporary realities can be observed in his stories . He touched a variety of subjects and issues concerning society and the Individual through his stories .His characters are deeply involved in their struggle for existence demonstrating truthful feelings

Apart from Kashmir , his mind also moves towards almost all the live social issues of Indian society at large which are presented to the reader in his unique and crafty style. I find that Pushkar Nath had an exceptional command over Urdu language and his writing style makes him starkly different from his contemporaries . His vast experience of life also gets reflected in his stories . At times, through his stories ,Pushkar Nath also brings glimpses of history and contemporary political conditions to his readers .And his stories do not represent a class , sect or a group.

Kashmir remains his favourite subject  . Through his stories , one gets an insider’s view of Kashmir . For example, He brings Lidder stream ( Pahalghaam ) in moonlight for the readers of his story” Kaanch ki Duniya” . The opening paragraph of his story “Pull Number Siffer ke Gidh ( vultures of Zero bridge ) describes Jhelum river and Zero bridge area of Srinagar city .

I reproduce dome lines from his stories :-

“ We come across two  type of men in this world . One who see dreams and the second who live in dreams only”

( from his story Saat Rang ka sapna )

“ . To bring customers to my shop , I had become member of almost all the clubs of the city .And this club membership drove me towards playing cards . I earned money from these tricky  card games   that played in clubs . So you can call it as my side profession also .At present, every person does a side profession in this world. A school teacher does tuitions , An Artist paints sign boards  ,employees go for corruption, leaders try to become ministers  and actors go for advertisements and sell soaps and hair oils. “
  (from his story  Kaanch ki Duniya )

“  Due to continuous use of Kangri , this old Shikara Haanji had red wounds on his  dry thighs  . They looked like   engraved scratch marks  of   inhuman and black hands of time . ”

( from Pul Number  Siffer ke Gidh )

And Pushkar Nath rose on the horizon of Urdu like a shining star with following Publications

1 Andhere Ujalay ( A collection of short stories )

2 Dal Ke Bassi ( A collection of short stories )

3 Ishq Ka Chaand Andhera ( A collection of short stories )

4 Kaanch ki Duniya ( A collection of short stories )

Apart from this he also wrote more than 50 Urdu plays mostly for Radio .He was also a recipient of " All India Akashwani Radio Play Award"   for his play " Saawan Jaley Bhaadon Jaley ". The award citation read this:-

"The  best   plot with crisp  dialogues  and lively characters " 

For his short story books he earned awards from the J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages and UP Urdu Academy.

His stories were published in various widely read national magazines  that include Beeswin Sadi , Aaj Kal ( GOI ),Nigaar , Sheeraza ( Cultural Akademi ),Tameer , Shaair ,Aiwaan etc.

His admirers and friends included noted painter G. R. Santosh , Dr Brij Premi , Prof Hamidi Kashmiri , Prof Abdul Qadir Sarwari ,Noor Shah , Prof Makhmoor Hussain Badakshi , Tahir Muztar , Khalid Hussain ,Hakim Manzoor ,  Shamim Ahmed Shamim ,Kamal Ahmed Siddiqui,Dr Rahi Masoom Raza, Mohd Yusuf Teng, Deepak Budki , Jan Mohd Azad , Prof.Zahoor ud din and many more .

About well known Urdu writer Prof Brij Premi , He once said:-

“Brij Premi was my childhood friend . Both of us shared a love for urdu literature. We almost grew together . We could not afford to buy Urdu literary magazines published during those days .Brij would buy one and I would buy some other . We would then exchange them.” 

About his literary journey , Pushkar Nath has written this:-

“ We used to hold Story  reading sessions in  the house  of  Shri Baha Ud Din Zahid  at Khanyar ,Srinagar  . Shri  Baha Ud Din Zahid was connected with the Communist Party of Kashmir. He along with his  friend Shri Badar ud Din had started a group called Halqa e ilmo Adab. Thereafter  , I joined   well known urdu poet Hakim Manzoor , story writer  Makhmoor Hussain Badakshi  and Mohi ud Din Shawl in forming  a literary  group that we named  “Anjw e Arbaab e Zauq”.  This was an active and  dedicated group of young  Urdu writers from Kashmir . Many more writers joined this group later .Through this group, I   met some senior and dedicated  Kashmiri writers , poets and painters that included  Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki ,Dina Nath Nadim,  Rehman Rahi , Ghulam Nabi Firaq , Amin Kamil, Som Nath Zutshi , Akhtar Mohi ud Din,  Trilok Kaul,Ghulam Rasool Santosh and Bansi Parimu  .  "

Padamshri Pran Kishore Kaul told me this:-

"Pusker Nath BA  mostly  stayed in Jammu and when in Srinagar made it a point to meet his friends in Coffee House , Lala Sheikh's restaurant and some times even at Laba Koul's bar,  the favourite  joints of all.  He had written  many plays for me and most of the plays were produced by Radio Kashmir, Jammu. Pushker  Nath was a thorough gentleman. I was an admirer of his short stories."

And this Pushkar Nath B.A. was actually Pushkar Nath Tickoo , a resident of Ali Kadal in down town Srinagar city. Apart from being a prolific Urdu writer, Pushkar Nath also served as Private Secretary to the  Accountant General , J&K. He corresponded with almost all the leading Urdu writers of the subcontinent that included Krishen Chander as well.

Noted  Urdu writer, Veerinder Patwari informs me this :-

 “Pushkar Nath B.A. was a  great writer who wrote the  forward of my first book Fareshte Khamosh hain . He and  Jenab.
Noor Shah were Khoshtar Grami's favourites. 'Beeswen Sadi' had been always an internationally applauded Urdu magazine and  both the Kashmiri writers were regular contributors to it. All  ALll the special issues of the magazine had writers like Krishen Chander, K A Abbas , Noor Shah and  Pushkar Nath B.A. He wrote dramas for more than three decades. Won many awards.Miss him .  ”

                                                 ( Pushkar Nath with his Family )
                                                     ( Young Pushkar Nath )                  
                                     ( Well known Urdu Writer Krishen Chander's letter to Pushkar Nath )

I end this brief post on Pushkar Nath B.A.  with lines from a poem of African American poet Maya Angelou …..

“ I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let's leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.
The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.
And still we rise.

( Avtar Mota )


For these Photographs , I remain Indebted to Sh Anil Tickoo son of Sh Pushkar Nath .  Associated with Natrang theatre of Balwant Thakur ,Anil Ji is a well known theatre artist from  J&K .He  has the credit of having participated  in more than  150 national and international theatre festivals including Frankfurt International Theatre Festival, Frankfurt (Germany), Days of India in Russia and National Day Celebrations of Bhutan. He  has won National awards including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 2017  .He  works as Cultural Officer in  the J&K Academy  of Art Culture and Languages .

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