Sunday, December 17, 2017




Yesterday ,   I was gifted  this Book by Prof Arvind Gigoo.  While driving  back home , I was tempted to  open  some pages and see what new Cameos  Prof. Gigoo had  coined  for  events   , personalities   and situations   . I opened  some pages and read  about 30( Out of a total of 300 cameos in the book)    in one go. The first cameo  that grabbed my attention goes as under;

 “I am a theist in private ,I am an atheist among intellectuals , I am an agnostic among wavering and I am a Fox In Public.”

This cameo is  a sarcastic comment on   present day personalities  and popular  faces  that we come across in public life . Surely Every Atheist is not an intellectual  but certainly most of the intellectuals that we come across present themselves as Atheists . And in a crowd of confused people , many educated persons find it convenient to declare that “ Nothing exists beyond material Phenomenon “ to get a respectful Agnostic  label . A Fox knows how to survive. Be    Cunning while dealing with Brute Strength. A Fox uses adaptability  . Adaptability is the new Mantra for survival.

Are we confused  about what we are ? Are we everything ? or we have simply become Chameleons  who change color as per situations .

 Is it necessary to present  ourselves as it suits others?

Do we really need so many masks   for  covering and camouflaging  our  real self?

 Or  is it timidity ?

 I leave the question open to  debate .

Long back , I   read a Novel of urdu writer krishen chander  wherein     a character  replies in a sarcastic way when he is asked his name by    his prospective employer   . I quote from the novel ;

“ Sir , My name depends on what your name is .To live  and get work in Bombay , we keep three four names in our pocket . After coming  to know the  name , religion and caste of our employer , we pull out    a  suitable  name from the pocket  .”

As of now, I have  read  around  30 out of 300   cameos in  the book .Surely, will read, re read and read between the lines all these crisp observations  coming  from an extraordinary  Mind.

The second  cameo that i need to mention  goes like this;
             NATURE  VERSUS MAN

“Mr. Poet, what did you write all these years?”
“Verses about the weeping chinar and the bleeding river.”
“Anything about man?”
“I am still afraid of that man. That is why I please him.”

Poet Ghalib had commented on himself like this;

"Ghalib vazeefa-khwaar ho do shah ko dua,
Voh din Gaye  ke  kehtay thhay Naukar nahin huun me".

(O Ghalib ,Now you live on royal grants, keep  saying  'Long live the king'
Gone are the days when you used to say'I am nobody,s servant' "

This  second  cameo in the book  is a  brilliant comment on poets and writers who tend to  walk through safe passages and avoid taking moral stand on issues affecting society.A hint towards current intellectual Bankruptcy , timidity .Is  wilful avoidance  a safe path for our intellectual?Is he only discussing Nature to avoid getting involved in agony and sorrows of man or humanity at large? Does he lack courage of conviction? Let us put this issue also to a debate.

And the third cameo is a sarcastic comment on situation created by  failed  leaders and selfish merchants of death and destruction in Kashmir valley. The cunning leaders want to keep the pot boiling to continue their game of fooling  poor and hapless masses  .'"Send your own children towards sunlight and clear skies and pull poor, ignorant and innocent into the dark  mess" This has been  the Mantra for  the merchants of death and destruction in troubled valley.

I quote this  cameo appearing at page 87 of the book;

" The rich sent their children abroad and the middle classes sent their  to other universities.The poor sent their children to die as heroes and go to HEAVEN."

I am reminded of a couplet by well known Urdu scholar and poet Prof.Ale Ahmed suroor.I quote..

" Fasl e gul hai  to gulistaan faroshon ke liye
Aabyaari  ke liye khoon e jigar mera  hai."

'For the flower crop ,  Let the traitors and enemies of the garden stake their claims,
For irrigating the flower  beds , I  offer my heart's blood."

One more  cameo is again a sarcastic comment on Writers and their books in present day world. Where have book readers of yore gone? Has the Television  come as the biggest enemy of Book Publishing Industry ? The number of Book readers  goes on shrinking day after day. Shall We face a situation where authors may  be reading their own books apart from writing them?

 Attend a Book release function, gossip with friends over a cup of tea and get  your promised copy  free . Don't open it but  pass it on to a rag buyer/ kabaadi  with old newspapers and magazines after a month . I quote this Cameo:

               .        AUTHOR

"Which Book are you reading these days?"
"My own"

The fifth cameo that i would like to mention  goes as under;

"Friends, I can't meet you for four days, I am expecting guests"
"My son and Daughter -in- Law"


Prof Gigoo feels that evaluators ,Reviewers and critics of Literature in our state ( J & K ) have become well wishers of Authors under a marriage of convenience .According to him , these mutual well wishers work in Unison on the settled principle of mutual convenience that says" you oil my tail, I shall oil yours." Does this marriage of convenience result in mediocrity ? 

I quote another Cameo appearing at page 105;

" The Evaluators of the books are the well wishers of the authors.The Authors of the books are the well wishers of the evaluators.This is their common minimum Programme."

Then there  are so many " Kashmir Specific " cameos . I quote some as under: 


" Your E-mail ID?"

"Your  E-mail ID"


"Kashmir without Kashmiri Pandits is incomplete"
" Incompleteness is a form of perfection"


Only two rivers flow here:Dead river and Red river.


When my Kashmir gets freedom, I will spend six months there and six months here.That way I will live EVERYWHERE.


My record player akways plays my favourite song..
"Watan Hamaara Azad Kashmir"


Don't call me migrant any more. .This is insulting. I am externally displaced and internally misplaced.


After visiting Tulamula, Zeathyaer and Durga Naag spring they say:

" There is no problem in the climatically pleasant place. Those who say that the place is a problem are the problem"


People hooting ,belching ,spitting and Beating cans were following the man clothed in sack of jute.Nobody wanted to know who he was.


"I am not she.she is sleeping by my side.I am me."
The hand retreated.
{ Newly Married young man living in one room tenement in Jammu post migration from Kashmir valley)

1990 to 1994

And they spent five Marches in talking about return in April.When the fifth April did not come, Omkar Nath ordered stones , bricks and cement.


"What will be the symbol on the flag of independent Kashmir?"
"A round peg in a holey square"


" What will be the symbol of Pandit occupied kashmir?"
" A hand pulling a leg"


Don't love your neighbour.suspect him.
Love the distant enemy of your country.


When the young woman gave birth to a male baby, a man said:
"How cute is your future enemy! May God bless him !"


"What did you give them?"
"Healing Touch"
"What did you give them?"
"What did you give them?"
"Nothing "


"Where are you coming from?"
"Where are you going?"


"The temple is there and the worshiper is here"
" And the two shall never meet "


We know they don't want us,
We also know we don't need them.


For many years the people intermittently  shouted:
"Produce the real culprit"


I am many to many and one to one.


Let us visit these people also and listen to them as if we are serious about them.


I don't say what I mean because I don't mean what I say.

HARUD..(  Means Autumn in kashmiri  )

"We don't want Autumn here. We are the winter"


"What are you people for?"
"We are against all proposals ,all solutions, all resolutions...All...All...All..."

Prof. Gigoo taught English at various colleges in J&K state. Post retirement, he has devoted his time and energy to writing Books and translating Kashmiri short stories and verses to English in his unique and exceptional style . Published in October 2017 by NOTION PRESS Chennai( ISBN 978-1-947949-42-3) , the Paperback edition of this  book is available online at Amazon at a very reasonable  price of Rs200/-(Two hundred) .

 Friends , Be careful ; Gulliver has arrived in Kashmir to see , observe and reflect.Like Jonathan Swift ,  Prof.Arvind Gigoo uses  his words as swords  . He   unclothes  one and all and clears your doubts and misconceptions   .

 Contrary to his unassuming appearance ,  Prof. Arvind Gigoo is possibly the sharpest observer of men , matters and situations around him. He spares none .  He pricks ,pokes and may be provokes but surely he disappoints None.  The strong  undercurrent of truth in his cameos grabs your attention and forces you to submit.Logic and truth finally prove  victorious over emotions and sentiments. He needs to be read widely .

( Autar Mota )

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