Thursday, May 11, 2017





In Rainawari , we had a cloth shop in Jogi Lanker chowk just opposite the shop of Chemist Shamboo Nath Kalpushu. Shamboo Nath Kalpiushu’s shop had turned into a gossip shop where idle Pandits would occupy the space and gossip about any and every issue under the sun with active participation of the shop owner. Once this shop had flourishing business with Dr Khashu being engaged by the owner . The entire business activity came to halt when Dr Khashu left and the gossip mongers moved in . They occupied the sitting space and also the sole wooden bench inside that was used by patients to sit . As this gossip activity flourished , the shelves turned empty and full of dust.

This virus of gossip also travelled across the road and entered the shop of Radhey Nath Masarat . Radhey Nath Masarat was a cloth trader from Zainpora , Shopian . He was a thorough gentleman. Almost every day , especially during evening time, I found his shop also busy with some other type of men engaged in discussions . All of them happened to be educated and well read . It was still a consolation to see Radhey Nath Ji doing his cloth business though on a lower scale after the arrival of this different category of conversation birds to his shop . They would mostly come at evening time. Some participants in these discussions were poet Farooq Nazki , Late P N Kachru ( well known artist from Kashmir) , Jawahar Lal ( Nicknamed as Jawa Sartre for his knowledge about Jean Paul Sartre  ) , Chaman Lal Abhay ( A senior teacher and well read person ) , Jawahar Lal Beera ( SITA Travels, Srinagar ),Muzaffar Azim ( well known Kashmiri poet but he would be seen only on certain occasions ) and many more  . I too (a young boy at that point of time ) have visited his shop three or four times during the peak time of these intellectual / literary discussions . Later i kept visiting his shop many times for seeking help / guidance that he would offer liberally.

Radhey Nath Masarat was simple, affectionate , always smiling and courteous. He came to our bank also may be twice or thrice( i am not sure) for purchasing bank drafts to be sent to his Ahemdabad or Surat suppliers . He remains a noted Kashmiri poet with a distinct style. His vocabulary is also unique and refreshing. Nazm was his forte .He lives somewhere in Delhi. I have not seen him after 1990. Wherever he is , I wish him happiness .I do not know whether he has compiled any book of his poems . I do not know whether he writes currently . Whatever it be , his impression is indelible .

Today , once more , My memory traveled  to Radhey Nath Masarat . I just bought a Book  “MAHJOOR AND AFTER “ By Trilokinath Raina Published by Sahitya Academy New Delhi ISBN 978-81-260-2533-6 Price Rs125/=) from JKAACL Sale counter at Canal Road and found Masarat’s poem (in English Translation By Shri T N Raina ) “ THE LIAR “ at page 128. I post the poem for readers ..


My father’s soul rest in Peace !
He left this world for his heavenly Home .
His words to me as he lay dying
Are engraved upon my memory .
“ My son never tell a lie .Cling to the
Skirt of the truth “ , he said .
“ Truth is whole ;truth will bless you .”
From that moment to this day
I have stamped on Falsehood with an iron heel ,
And always kicked it Away from me .
I bared my chest to the darts of the Truth
With Bleeding feet and grim Resolve
I dragged myself on every path –
But the promised Blessing never came .
Reclined against my wall today ,
I find a thought disturbing me :
I must go to my Father’s Grave ,
And tell him in the loudest tones,

Adds T N Raina:

" Masarat uses mainly free verse, portrays the sufferings of the people and the loneliness weighing on his own mind."

 Shantiveer Kaul adds :
“ I have met him on many an occasion over the years. He is creatively active. His style is uniquely his own. I am also struck by his use of a vocabulary that is pastoral and pretty musical - a vocabulary city dwellers are not familiar with straightaway. “

Wishing him good health and long life..

( Avtar Mota )

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