Thursday, December 29, 2016





 (Photo Source .. Kamal Kishen Ganjoo )..

Saw " MOOL " or ROOTS, a play written and directed by Makhan lal Saraf. Saraf sahib himself performed the Lead role of Aasaar e kadeem Niranjan Nath Bamzai .

This Kashmiri play was staged on 26th December 2016 (At Abhinav Thatre Jammu) by Makhan lal Saraf’s BHOORANG FOUNDATION in the ongoing 10th drama Festival organized by Jammu And Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and languages .

Abhinav Theatre Auditorium was almost packed today .Wonderful play .Superb background music . Saraf sahib was in his elements inspite of his age. Agile , active , swift and distinctly audible . Kusum Tikoo ( As Old lady and Haar Maal ) also appeared versatile.


Other actors also deserve kudos .I was impressed by acting skills of Ashok Bhat and Rohita Razdan in their roles as Kidar Nath Badaam ( Kida ) and his wife Kusum Ji . These two actors changed the initial tempo of the presentation .

This Aasaar e kadeem Niranjan Nath Bamzai lives in a Government Building ( Temporary accommodation ) outside a crematorium. He is an Ex employee of the Department of Archives ; Hence the Aasaar e Kadeem Tag with his name .  A widower ,  Aasaar e Kadeem  Niranjan Nath Bamzai is from the  crowd of hapless  people who had to leave their homeland or birth place and  run for safety after  Armed militancy arrived in kashmir . 

In an alien  land , Aasaar e kadeem Niranjan Nath Bamzai discovers his childhood love Heemaal. A  widow and childless, Heemal lives in a temporary accommodation near in his neighbour hood. Their relationship revives and they become companions .

 And then suddenly ,  In a museum in srinagar city , two statues are stolen. These statues depicted a kashmiri Pandit and a Panditiani in a pheran.

In the meantime , Aasaar e Kadeem  Niranjan Nath Bamzai and Heeemal decide to go back to kashmir and join their roots . The Museum authorities  and people are surprised to see  walking statues in changed dress . They carry a book in their hands that details the story of their uprootedness from the land of their ancestors.

The final scene when Aasaar e kadeem Niranjan Nath Bamzai and Haar Maal turn into a stone after bleeding to death ( caught in stone pelting and gunfire ) was superbly conceptualized and presented on stage . I was reminded of Frenz Kafka's Metamorphosis and the transformation of Gregor Samsa into an insect .”

A story woven in a warp and weft of comedy and tragic ordeals undergone by the characters .



                                                         ( Poet Shaharyaar )                                                                                

In an Interview to Rakhshanda Jalil , Urdu Poet Sharahyaar ( 1936-2012 ) said :

“Communication is all. A poet must reach the greatest number of people. Some of his words may be clothed in myth and metaphor, but they must eventually be realised by his readers. If his images are too oblique, if his symbols too dense, then, no matter how exquisitely beautiful his words or how well-crafted his syntax, he is failing as a poet.”

“ Poetry, must necessarily have an element of music. Without music there can be no poetry and like music, poetry too must follow some rules and principles. Above all, like music, poetry must have rigour. While it is easy to say that poetry, and music, come naturally to those who are gifted, even the gifted must follow certain rules and regulations if they are to be true to their gift.”

”Good poetry can indeed make the reader feel that ‘I could have said this’ or ‘This is exactly how I feel’. And when that threshold is reached, Shahryar believed, the real aesthetic experience happens, which is essentially a mystical communication between the writer and the reader or the reciter and the listener.”

“Waqt teri yeh ada mai aaj tak samjha nahin
Meri duniya kyon badal di, mujh ko kyon badla nahin”
( Shaharyaar )

“Time, I have never ever understood this trait of yours
Why have you changed my world, but not changed me”
( Autar Mota )


In another Interview to some other person , Shaharyaar said :
" I can not write Mushaiara specific Poetry though many people consider this type of poetry as very good poetry . I can’t somehow compromise with films where a poet is made to write something that is unwanted or looks like a thrust . That is why I did not live in Mumbai. “
Umeed se kam chashm e Khareedar mein aaye 
Hum Log Zaraa Deir se bazaar mein Aaye..

“ Poets must say only what they feel . Not more not less. If they understand this fundamental logic , their verses shall always be newer and newer . And newer things are well received by world .“
Shaharyaar taught Urdu fiction in AMU , from where he retired as Head of the Urdu Department . He never taught poetry in the university as he believed poetry could never be taught...


Tonight the night presented me
With a new dilemma
It emptied the basin of my eye
Of all sleep
And filled it with tears
Then, it whispered in my ear:
‘I have absolved you of all sin
And set you free, forever.
‘Go, wherever you wish
Sleep, or stay awake
The doorway of dreams is closed for you.’
( Shaharyaar .. Translation from Urdu by Rakhshanda Jalil )

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Reading Dr Dr A G Krishna Warrior’s English Translation of “Maha Upnishad” ..Superb gift from a friend. I share some verses as these appear in the Book …

. ‘The mind of the wise, I deem, is a loving spouse as it pleases; a protective parent as it guards and a friend as it marshals the best (arguments)” 
(V 80)

‘The marks of a man of discrimination are spontaneous indifference to experiences that do not come of their own accord and hearty acceptance of those that do.”
(V 171)

“Those men who know this world as well as what is beyond conform to all things. They neither shun nor seek the ways of the world.”
(V 171 )

‘If you depend on this objective (world), you have a mind and are in bondage. If you reject the objective (world), you have no mind; you are liberated.”
(V I 35)

“Beyond (worldly) perception, the limit of one’s hope (horizon) extensive, there is no existence of any thing other than pure cognition.”

(V 47)
“All the miseries, hankerings, unbearable mental pain are lost in people with a calm mind, like darkness in the sun. All creatures subside (attain calmness) in a serene person like children mischievous or soft, in their mother.”

(IV 28-29 )

( Autar Mota )

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016


                                    ( SHASHI KAPOOR  AND KRISHNA JI  )

Actor Shashi kapoor and Mrs Krishna Raj kapoor …At Prithvi Theatres Mumbai 2013…..

Adds Kunal kapoor…

"My dad was a very good actor who did not look at acting in terms of stardom. And then came the 70s when cinema was commercialised and it was all about stardom and money then. That is why my father turned producer. He was dissatisfied with the work he was doing and decided to make better films."

"My mom and dad were very close. He was 18 when he first met her. There are few people who experience genuine love and those who do, don't recover. It's been 28 years since she died but I don't think dad ever completely recovered after her death. She died when she was 50 and he was 46. He could have remarried but for him that was not an option. They were soulmates. Every relationship has its share of problems but their connection was rare and unusually strong."

“ Dad ( Shashi kapoor )  had a lot of medical complications. He had a bypass, a couple of strokes, he is on dialysis, he has been through a lot . We have a good nursing staff. He is being well looked after." He is a recluse and warms up only when he sees his family and grand kids. He has difficulty speaking and so, does not talk much.”

 I am informed that Shashi ji   talks very little and meets fewer people now. He is being moved on a wheel chair and his children take close ,  keen and continuous interest in his medical treatment and welfare .

 Shashi kaoor’s   hand impression  was needed  at a function inside Prithvi Theatre and  his   family   decided to give this honour to  Krishna ji ( Wife of late Raj kapoor ) . Though herself  unwell, krishna ji  was too pleased to do the needful.   Looking at her mother like Aunt , Tradition bound Shashi  Kapoor   wanted to touch her feet but could not do so from his wheel chair . He repeatedly tried to get up and do it and finally Krishna Ji had to stop him and console him .  That brought tears in his eyes .  Krishna ji  too  turned sad  . 

                              ( KRISHNA JI CONSOLING SHASHI KAPOOR )

 Shashi Kapoor  had always treated Krishna ji  as his mother. And  and Krishna ji never differentiated between her own children  and Shashi  .


Prithvi Raj kapoor had named this handsome young child as "Balbir Raj Prithviraj  Kapoor ".

To conclude , I add a couplet of Jigar Moradabaadi....

"vahii hai Zindagi lekin "Jigar" yeh Haal hai apnaa
ke jaissay Zindagi se Zindagi Kam Hotii Jaati Hai
........Meray Hissay Ki Goya har Khushi Kam Hotii Jaati hai..."


“O Jigar “  Same is    your Existence ,
Unchanged  yet on a   different stage ,
As if , Life moves away from  Life ,
more and more   gradually..
 As if , My share to receive  happiness,   becomes lesser and lesser  Gradually ."

( Autar Mota )


Shashi Kapoor acted in about 160 movies  out of which  12 were  in English and 148  in Hindi . He learnt acting skills  from his father Prithvi Raj Kapoor with who’s Theatre Group  he kept  travelling as a member (  as Child artist )  across the length and Breadth of the country .

 At the age of 18,  he  met his wife Jennifer Kendal   when Geoffrey Kendal ( Jennifer 's father ) brought  “Shakespeareana “ ,  a  Traveling Theatre Group  to Calcutta . Incidentally “ Prithvi Theatres “ had also to perform at the same venue . When Shashi saw Jennifer for the first time , she  was playing “ Miranda “ in “ The Tempest “  produced by  her father's troupe . It was a love at first sight .Shashi started touring with  Geoffrey’s troupe. They met in  1956 and in 1958, this romance blossomed into a marriage . 
They proved a made for each other pair; Attached and committed to each other  . Kunal , Sanjana and Karan Kapoor , their children are well settled in life . Presently Shashi kapoor's  children take  keen interest in  managing   “Prithvi Theatres”.  Out of sheer passion and fierce commitment , Shashi kapoor’s children have ensured the survival of   the loss-making  “Prithvi Theatre”.

In films , Shashi kapoor  carried the reputation of a  perfect Gentleman. He won two Filmfare Best Movie Awards for his work as producer and star of Junoon (1979) and Kalyug (1981).  

In films ,He remained second highest paid actor for quite sometime .

 After Prithivi Raj  kapoor and Raj kapoor , He is  the third member from kapoor Clan to win Coveted Dada Saheb Phalke Award (  2014 ) . He has also been honoured with prestigious  Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2011.

. After his wife Jennifer died of cancer in 1984, Shashi started taking fewer roles in  films  and  began getting Health problems .

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Monday, December 26, 2016



                          ( MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS)

Didi delā, ke yār nayāmad
Gard āmad o savār nayāmad
Bogdāt šamʿ o sut sarāpāy
Vān ob-e zarnegār nayāmad
(Original in Persian)

O heart, you saw that the loved one did not come
The dust came and the rider did not come
The candle burnt to the end
But the golden dawn did not come.
( Mehdi Akhavan Saless )


What Noon Meem Rashid is to urdu poetry or Nirala is to Hindi Poetry, Mehdi Akhavan Saless is on similar footing to Persian Poetry . He is considered as pioneer of Blank verse In Persian Poetry .

Mehdi Akhavan Saless was born  in 1928 in Mashhad, Iran. He completed his elementary education in Mashad and entered the city's Technical School  in 1941 to study Metallurgy .   He graduated in 1947.

 Apart from writing poetry , Saless worked as school Teacher ,college Lecturer , Film Editor ( Ebrahim Golestan’s film Production ) , Radio And TV Program Presenter and University Teacher .

He was a friend and contemporary of Forugh Farrokhzad, Ahmed Shamlou and Sohrab Sepehri.

He was a primary influence in developing what came to be known as "New Poetry" ( Sher e Nau ) in Persian Poetry .

His poems are intense in feelings , simple in language and laced with symbolic Metaphors drawn from ancient Iranian civilization .Many critics say that his poems bring forth a silent sadness that possibly originated from his lonely soul.  From my study , I  need to add that  the annoyance and disillusionment appearing in  Akhavan’s work    represents  an orderly disagreement with political-social events. It  also reflects solitude and seclusion of a man set against overpowering   circumstances .

He remained an admirer of Gurudev Tagore and Buddha .

In 1990,  he visited Germany,  England, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and France .  In every country , He received  an Icon’s  reception and welcome during this trip.


                         (A SKETCH OF MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS)

Akhavan died of a heart attack in Tehran .  His tomb is close to  FIrdausi’s  Mausoleum in Tus (Mashhad,  Iran ).

He used  OMID ( Hope ) as his pen name .Saless Published about 15 poetic collections .

I post some poems of Saless …

you are that which the heart desires.
It is a long time since that bloody pigeon,
the searcher of the lost enchanted tower, has flown.

The moment of meeting is near
Once again, I am mad, intoxicated;
Once again trembles my heart, my hand,
As if I am in a different world;
Ah! razor, cut not my face in neglect;
Ah! wind, disturb not my hair’s delight,
Heart, embarrass me not,
The moment of meeting is near.

The cloud with its cold and damp skin
Has embraced the heaven tightly;
The leafless orchard
Is alone day and night
With his pure and sad silence.
His lyre is rain and his song is wind,
His garment is of nudity cloak,
And if another garment it must wear,
Let his Warf and woof be woven by golden ray.
It can grow or not grow, wherever he wants or doesn’t want;
There is neither a gardener nor a passer by.
The depressed orchard
Expects no spring.
If his eye sheds no warm luster
And on his face no leaf of smile grows,
Who says the leafless orchard is not beautiful?
It relates the tale of fruits raising their heads to the heaven,
and now lying in the base coffin in earth.
The leafless orchard,
His laughter is tearful blood,
Mounted for ever on his wild yellow stallion,
It roams in autumn, the king of seasons.

Like two windows across from each other
We were aware of every quibbles of another
Everyday greetings, questions and laughters
Everyday an appointment for the next day.
It was not the act of the sun,
Or the magic of the moon
Curse the voyage which has done this:
Now I am heart-broken and silent
' Because one of the windows is closed.

From all meaningless earthly possessions, if I acclaim
Thee oh ancient land, I adore
Thee oh ancient eternal great
If I adore any, thee I adore
Thee oh priceless ancient Iran
Thee oh valuable jewel, I adore
Thee ancient birthplace of the great nobles
Thee famous creator of the greats, I adore
Thine art and thoughts shines through the world
Both thine art and thine thoughts I adore
May it be legend or history
Critics and ancient stories, all I adore
Thine fantasy, I worship as truth
Thine reality, as news I adore
Thine Ahuramazda and Yazatas, I revere
Thine glory and Faravahar, I adore
To thine ancient prophet, I take an oath
Who is a bright and wise sage, I adore
The noble Zarathustra, more so than
All other sages and prophets, I adore
Humanity better than him has not seen and will not see
This noblest of humanity I adore
His trios are the greatest guide for the world
This impactful yet brief guide, I adore
This great Iranian was a leader
This Iranian leader I adore
He Never killed, nor asked others to kill
This noble path I adore
This truthful ancient sage
Who went beyond the legend, I adore
The eternal intellect of the glorious Mazdak
From all angles and aspects, I adore
He died bravely in the war with injustice
That just lion-heart I adore
Global and just thoughts he had
More of his thoughts in our path I adore
Praising thine great Mani
The artist and messenger I adore.

Zemestan or WINTER remains his master Piece . I add select lines from Zemestan ..
“And if you ever greet them
they will not pause one instant
to greet you back.
The air is heavy, the doors are closed,
Heads hang lowly, and hands are cloaked.
Your breath turns to a dark shadow,
Hearts are fading away under the sway of sorrow.
The trees are naked, like frozen, forsaken bones,
Earth is desolate, Sky is falling down.
Moon and Sun are lost behind Loads of Litter:
It is, indeed,
The Reign of Winter.”
“O My Honest Saviour!
O My Old Virtuous Companion!
I hail you with reverence and respect!
Welcome me back!
Open me your door!
It is me, it’s me: Your visitor of all nights!
It is me, it’s me: The sorrowful errant!
It is me: The discarded, The beaten stone!
It is me: The injury to Creation; The song out of tune!
Recall? Not the black, not the white: The colourless buffoon!
Come and open me the door!
I am freezing; open the door before!”
“Tonight I am here to reimburse you in mass!
I am here to go clear in front of a wine-glass!
Do not say “It’s late; it’s almost the crack of dawn!”
The sky is deceitful with its blushed fawn!
This red is not from the rays of light;
The red is the imprint of this cold’s shameless clout!
The pendant of the bosom of the heavens, Sun,-dead or afoot-
is buried, obscured, beneath the weight of a nine-storey vault!
O Counterpart! O Generous Host!
Pour wine into the glass to light up this bitter exile:
You see? In this winter days and nights are equal."

Some select lines from his poem Dandelion.

Dandelion ! Say, from where you are coming,
From where and what news you have brought?
May you bring good tidings!, but
In vain you roam
Around my roof and door.
I don’t expect any news,
Neither from a friend, nor from a native district;
Go to such a place where ears and eyes watch you;
Go to such a place where they expect you.
Everything is blind and deaf in my heart,
Stop lurking here where the self is a stranger to its soul "
So Long so much ...

( Autar Mota )

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