Thursday, May 18, 2017


                                                             ( NOOR NOHD KITAB )

                                            ( TAREEKH E KASHMIRI KI ROZANA DIARY )


Those among us who were living in Downtown (Maharaj Ganj) or had to pass through this area of srinagar city , never failed to notice a spacious shop at Maharaj Ganj (  Banday Kochha  Near Budshaw’s Tomb )  selling Books .This shop had huge Board that read something like this ..


Rooted to the soil  of kashmir  , This shop sold Books In kashmiri , Urdu , Persian and Arabic . They sold books relating to literature , Religion , Philosophy , Poetry and so many other subjects . About forty years back , from this very shop , I purchased” Dast e Tah e Sang “ , a poetic collection by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.The Book remains with me till date .

Established by Kh Gh Mohd Bhat , Resident of Pandhaan ( Nowhatta Srinagar city  ) sometime at the fag end of 19th century ( 1890) ,It was his son late Noor Mohd ( 1905-1965 ) who turned this small shop into an enterprise of excellence with his diverse interests and initiatives . He was educated . He could read and write Engish , Urdu , Persian and kashmiri. And Before 1947, he regularly travelled to Lahore for procuring Books , Magazines , Novels and other Texts that he sold from this shop .In Lahore, he would often be buying Books from Taj Company , A reputed Book House during pre Partition days. Later he shifted to Delhi and UP for procuring Books.
As person  , Noor Mohd a simple man who loved   poetry and Literature .  He remained a guide to many upcoming writers and Poets and an affectionate and helpful Human Being.

Noor Mohd had cordial relationship with almost all local writers , poets , Leaders and Intellectuals more particularly to those who resided in Downtown .In this category I would include Poet Rehman Rahi , Fazil Kashmiri , Ghulam Nabi Firaq , Ghulam Nabi Khayal and many more.

For more than 50 years, his publishing House brought books in Kashmiri .From this shop, You could get a copy of Holy Quran in Kashmiri , A book on Verses (Shrukhs) of Nund Reshi and a book on Verses( Vaakhs) of Lal Ded . You could also get Poetry books that had poems of Mehjoor, Dina Nath Naadim, Rehman Raahi, Gh Nabi Firaq, Amin Kamil, Gh Nabi Khayaal, Pitamber Nath Dhar Faani, Fazil Kashmiri, Moti Lal Saqi, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki, Rasa Javidani and many more.  By all accounts , Noor Mohd  could be aptly called as  Munshi Nawal Kishore of Kashmir.
He published some high quality books that dealt with criticism of works of various kashmiri poets and writers.

                                          ( LIST OF SOME BOOKS  PUBLISHED )

I have been told that he would give Books free to people who could not afford. This shop and the connected publishing House provided immense support for promotion of kashmiri Literature .
This shop had some rare Books on History ,Poetry , Literature and Islamic Theology /Jurisprudence . The shop also sold stationery items . You could also get Novels , short story books and poetic collections of almost all Urdu writers of the subcontinent.
In Kashmir , He also remained an active member of the core group that started a movement against Maharaja’s rule in the state. It appears that later he got disillusioned and focused on his Business only.

A prolific writer himself, I am informed that Noor Mohd has also  written some  Books in Kashmiri on varied subjects .People started calling him Noor Mohd Kitab , a nickname that he loved personally as it reflected his contribution .

In view of his immense contribution in promoting kashmiri Language , The J&K Academy of Art ,Culture and languages brought out a special issue of sheeraza in his honour.
Presently, the shop and allied Business activity is being efficiently managed by Zaffar Mohd Iqbal son of Noor Mohd with a zeal and Passion that is no less by any standards.

Gyanpeeth Awardee Kashmiri Poet Rehman Rahi Informs us :

Well known kashmiri Poet Rehman Rahi further adds  Adds :
“ I would  take   books  on rent from this shop and read them. . This is the shop from which I took my first book on rent .That first Book was authored by Tirath Ram Ferozpuri. When I went to return this book , I was confronted by  Noor Mohd himself who sought to know as to what I had learnt from the Book. I started narrating a long tale.  Not satisfied with my reply ,  he put me a straight question as to what was the author’s point of view in the book. This question made me speechless. I had nothing to say in  reply to this  serious query. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was advised  by somebody to  dive deep into the contents of the book  to read it . I felt i was advised so  as all  these Books were  seriously linked with  our existence / living  .  Till that time, I was a perfunctory reader  of Books . His advice changed my outlook towards books . It was a lovely suggestion , advice and a turning point for me. From that day onwards , I started treating late Noor Mohd as my Guide and teacher .  I started borrowing new and newer books from the shop and he kept asking me new and newer question each time I went to return these Books . This way he made me an excellent lover of Books and literature .

 Noor Mohd was a product of Renaissance in kashmiri Language .An intellectual , with whom I remained quite close for abut 15 Years . Some times during early days of our friendship , I was always eager to meet him. Later , he would always seek me . If I did not see him for three or four days , he would come to my house to know my welfare. He was an intellectual who could discuss Literature , Politics and Social issues with clarity . We would also discuss some intimate family issues . He would always keep himself updated on so many issues that were close to him. Even when he could afford to live a rich life style, He loved simplicity . "

( Autar Mota )


I have been told by some elderly Pandits that Khwaja  Gh Mohd Bhat father of Noor Mohd Kitab was a simple and  god fearing man. He was a follower  of a Faquir named Sona Mout who lived in the house of Shridhar Joo ( Conservator of Forests) at Rehbab Sahib Nawa Kadal  in down town Srinagar .Later Noor Mohd also became a follower of Sona Mout. Sona Mout had many Pandit followers . 

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  1. Thanks a lot avtar jee for such a great article about my father and grandfather... looking forward to read more such blogs about different personalities and our rich culture. Bless you


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