Thursday, December 1, 2016


                                               ( SUNITA RAINAPANDIT )

                 ( WITH HER HUSBAND ASHOK PANDIT A WILD LIFE PHOTOGRAPHER   )                 

    ( With The family of Gyanpeeth Awardee Kashmiri poet Prof. Rehman Rahi )


*Larz’aa Marnu’kk Chhum Me Zeiyn’naa Broanh Kyaa Vanaai

Myaani Baapat Kaanh Thuryaa Kodrathh Badal…
( Sunita Raina Pandit )

( Listen O world ! Frightened I remain even before I am born ,

Will any person create a different world for me ? )

It is heartening to see many young Kashmiris reinventing a serious awareness and interest in their mother tongue . I found many educated and professionally qualified young faces in this field . They are technocrats , managers , corporate executives and students . Be it poetry , drama, short story or any other mode of expression , there is no dearth of some dedicated young people taking up this challenge . And I firmly believe that there needs to be an added admiration for the writers living in an alien culture yet trying to keep their roots intact . Trying to be a part of the centuries old heritage and culture even under most difficult circumstances . This group is sincerely trying to ensure that our younger generation knows their past, tradition and language. A very tough task to create a reader base and spread. Not so smooth but not unsatisfying either . Kudos to this young group. Kudos to their dedication and zeal.

Sunita Raina Pandit ( born 1967 ) happens to be one such a prominent writer in this new group. A dedicated house wife, Suneeta hails from Anantnag districtin the Kashmir valley. Married to a wildlife photographer Ashok Pandit, Suneeta Raina Pandit writes in Hindi and Kashmiri .She lives in Ghaziabad and has taken up the toughest challenge of writing Kashmiri Gazals . And that happens to be her forte . She writes on a broader cvanvas . A canvas that gives a grand feel of her clear imagination, mature feelings , soothing imagery and sacred nostalgia . Skillfully, she also brings forth ache , yearning , parting ,mysticism and exile as subjects in some poems .Her poems have been translated to English by two eminent translators ; Prof. R N Kaul and Prof. Arvind Gigoo, both accomplished writers .


While Suneeta Raina Pandit acknowledges the influence of Late Moti Lal Saqi during her formative years, I found her style unique , distinct and her own . I am given to understand that she has published 7 books till date . Except Chinar Ke Aansoon ( Tears of  the Chinar Tree ) , which is a collection of her Hindi poems , all other books are collections of her Kashmiri verses . Out of these six books , 'LIGHT AND SHADE' ( published in 2013 ) and 'A WALK THROUGH THE MIST' ( published 2016 ) represent translations of her Kashmiri Gazals done by Prof. Arvind Gigoo and Prof. R N Kaul respectively. I have both the Books with me . Worth reading and accordingly I recommend these books to all like minded friends and lovers of poetry .

About her poetry , well known poet Farooq Nazki writes this :-

" Sunita Raina Pandit is an excellent poetess - Simple in diction , expression and style.The innovation in style and clarity of expression distinguishes her from her contemporaries . She is an excellent designer and architect of the modern Kashmiri Gazal. A simple village girl was thrown into the desert of heat and dust , away from the blossom of almonds and the flowing streams of Kashmir. Sunita's poetry is full of contemporary sensibilities and sensitivities  , though deeply rooted in the traditional structural imagery, her metaphors make exile a dream of glorious return so the atmosphere of her poetry is not haunted by nostalgia .  "

 A sample of her Kashmiri Gazal is as under :


Ous ta Zun Beibi Vuhvun  Naar 
Vaav Logus  Tcho'l  tiekki   Lokchaar 
Zeiv Ditchnum Shaah Deitnum hei'nnaa
Larz'aa Dohaai Chhum Karzun Baar

( Ah  My  childhood ! You remained  hidden like a blaze within, 
And once you met the wind ,
Away you slipped from me .
He gave me tongue 
And also these breaths ,
 Now every day, 
 i   remain scared  under this heavy Debt .)


 Chashman Deitmuss Aaweil Khwaab 
Kadmunn Meeith Ta Shei'ri Gulaab 
Tuss Ma'taa Preichh'tuv Myaan Khabar 
Tuss ma'taa diy'tuvv Yuut Azaab

(  To his Eyes , I gave  the finest dreams .
 To his footsteps , kisses . 
For his headgear , i brought  rose flowers.
 Seek not my welfare from him
Put him not to so much  pain )

Sample Verses from 'Light And shade' ( Published in 2013 ) translated By Prof. Arvind Gigoo. Prof Gigoo has added a hue and aura to the original Kashmiri verses .


I want one to hold my Heart 
To feel the beat ,
To touch my pain,
To open my chest,
To Stir me 
And Mumble a song 
An **Aubade 
A serenade.


My word is not apt .
The evening of the city is not apt.
The house is empty .
The walls of the cube are not apt.
The dream is not apt.
The child of thought is not apt.
Better to crouch in the corner .
The sign is defiled .
My brow shoots nothing.

I walked songs and guesses 
And entered the city .
I said to the Bird:
“ Sing spring “ 
I wiped the blood from the flowers .
I said to the neighbourly Friend:
  'walk history thoughtfully'

( 4 )

I am the desire 
The preserver of 
The otherness of the heart.

( 5 )

I desired 
Full moon night life
Without care .
I Was unable to gulp bitterness 
And sped.
I was sleepy and he said :
“ dream is short.
Truth is peppery .” 
The spring is aflame .
I don’t Nourish the pain of the city .
Miniature shelter is my Miniature comfort in silence .
I don’t worry for home in house .
Who envies your bigness ?
I am the worry of existence .

Sample verses from' A walk through the Mist' ( Published 2016 ) translated by Prof. R N Kaul with great skill and precision. 


“ I have preserved hope
And wished myself well.
That is why 
Fragrance always hovers around me …”


Man ! A whimsical being,
As unreliable 
as the sun during monsoons.


So recent is the restlessness of my heart;
I have no time left to know your heart.
I drank By Pots ;
Had you been the cup-bearer,
It would make a difference .


I pray that my upcoming Gazals 
be sung at places as under :
…Where corn stalks will grow green and golden .
….Where fresh aspirations will sound like music.
… Where love pervades shoulder to shoulder …..

( Avtar Mota )


* The opening lines to this post are from a Kashmiri verse that Sunita Raina Pandit wrote on ' Nirbhaya Gang Rape'

** Aubade is a song that is generally addressed to a beloved in the morning. Serenade is the evening’s Love song.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.