Sunday, November 25, 2018




Reports appearing in the Newspapers suggest it is pretty old rock art ever discovered in India. .. The stone or Rock painting has been established as something around 5000 years in age. Scientist suggest that it is likely the oldest sky chart ever drawn. The artwork shows two bright objects in the sky, with figures of animals and humans underneath. A study detailing the discovery has been published in the Indian Journal of History of Science .

Scientists at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research say that the rock painting found in Kashmir is the oldest record of a SUPERNOVA in South Asian Region.

  Nilamata Purana informs us about the existence of fully developed schools of sculpture and painting in ancient Kashmir. 

I quote :

"In the month of Asadha, Kesava’s (Vishnu's) statue, sleeping on the couch in the form of Sesa, should be made of stone, clay, gold, wood, copper, brass, silver or He may be painted in a picture."
(Nilamata Purana by Dr Ved Kumari Ghai ..VOLUME 11.. Page 109 )

“ Kamdeva painted on a cloth should be worshipped with various types of garlands and diverse incenses on the 13th day bright half of Chaitra ”

Nilamata Purana by Dr Ved Kumari Ghai ..VOLUME 11.. Page 171 )

.( Avtar Mota )

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Saturday, November 24, 2018



Price Rs4995/=
By Dr Karuna Goswamy..

Remarkable Book . ... Great work .....

Dr. Karuna Goswamy mentions in her work " Kashmiri Paintings" that during the early years of 20th century, professional itinerant groups of Kashmiri scribes and Painters would wander about in the countryside of the Punjab looking for work. These kaatibs and Mussavirs were undoubtedly kashmiri Pandits.

She got this information after she interviewed Pandit Sthanu Dutt of Haryana : She writes :

"Pandit Sthanu Dutt recalled, in the course of an interview, that in his childhood (at the turn of the 20' century), practically every year, in the Haryana village to which he belonged, group of three or four persons, all Kashmiris, would arrive with little bags, bastas, slung from their shoulder. They would enter the limits of the village and walk through, setting up a shout, like street-hawkers, saying 'katib, katib' (meaning scribes), to announce that the scribes had arrived and were available forexecuting any commission of copying manuscripts. Oc casionally, the group was larger than usual, consisting of four or five persons: the shout that went up then as they entered the village was 'katib mai 'musavvir\ meaning 'scribes together with a painter'. These professionals were offering their talents for the copying of any manuscripts. The fees were negligible. When a client wished a work to be copied either from his own collection or one that he could borrow from a neighbor or local Pandit, he would hand it over to the scribes, after a price had been negotiated for the labour. With this was to be given. Pandit Sthanu Dutt recalled, a quantity of oil for burning the lamps by the light of which, into the night, the scribes kept working. The manuscript was taken to a Serai or inn at the edge of the village where the group stayed. They carried everything with them. Paper, writing instruments, ink, and the like; all the members of the group were trained so that they wrote often through the night, and brought out back the folios they had copied in the morning .The tradition of arrival of
Kashmiri scribes and painters could have been prevailing in the earlier times also."

( Avtar Mota)

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Should the sentiments   warm it  up, it turns to a fireball ; And should feelings melt it down, it is tears and tears alone. That is the story of this heart.

And  Youth!  Don't ask, It  is the story of sleep  and a   tale of sleepless nights  ...

Poet Firaq Gorakhpuri too feels same..I quote..

"Zabt keejiye to dil hai angaara
Aur agar roiye to paani hai..
kuchh na poochho 'firāq' ahd-e-shabaab
Raat hai neend hai kahaani hai..."

(Avtar Mota)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018




I  felt so and Wrote  ...

  "Rishtay Naate hain jag ka mela hai
   Aadmi dar-asal Akela hai...."

  ( Autar Mota )

  "So many relations ,
   So many Nears and Dears ,
   The world and its spectacle all around ;
   Yet the Man ,
   Alone and solitary .."

( Avtar Mota )

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PRICE Rs1500/-
Available from Dr. T K Walli
Karnal ..

I record my sincere thanks to Dr T K Walli for sending me a copy the above book that I received about a month back. This book is a Biographical sketch of the Painter Poet late Dina Nath Walli ( 1908-2006 ) who happens to be the father of the Author Dr T K Walli .
My sister is married in Bradoo family that lived at Badyaar Bala just near Late D N walli’s house . I would frequently pass by the house that had a small name plate ‘ D N Walli Artist ’ hung on the main door . In 1979, My sister’s Father in law late Balji Bradoo had told me something like this: 

“ Yes this house belongs to Dina Nath Walli . He is an artist .He has lived by selling his paintings . No other income. No Government or private service . He speaks less and is always busy in his own affairs . A gentleman who taught to some younger persons how to use water colours . He is a water colour specialist . It has been his style to take some paintings in a shikara to Dal lake and sell them to European Tourists living in house Boats . Like full Tonga , he takes a special Shikara for himself. Sometimes some Houseboat man would bring some customer to his house . Sometimes he would take his papers and colours in the Boat and paint in houseboats or some lonely parks . Rugh Nath , My friend told me that he saw him painting in Pahalghaam . He looks here and there and then paints . Some paintings done by him were sold by booksellers in the shape of a book.Percy ( Percy Brown ) Sahib has also been his admirer . Percy sahib lived in Houseboat. He was European . Dina Nath Walli got his training in Amar Singh Technical institute Kashmir and also lived in Calcutta . This is what Rugh Nath told me . Some people say he also writes poetry but I have not heard nor does he talk about it . His brother Amar Chand ji is a Yogi and a poet whom I have heard . He also does water colour work. Dina Nath ji's son Tej krishen lives in some place near Delhi and as such he goes to live with him during winter season. He is planning to move to live with his son permanently now . May be after two or three years . This he told me last time. ”  That much for the introduction of the Artist.

Coming to the book under review , I need to add that it carries an interesting Foreword by well known writer Siddharth Gigoo. Siddharth Gigoo writes: 

“ Our lost Kashmir , in all its pristine beauty and romance , will continue to live and breathe in our collective consciousness and memory , as long as the legacy of Dina Nath Walii , one of the finest painters the state has produced , is celebrated and cherished .”

The book is spread over 116 pages out of which 42 pages have been devoted to describe the life and art of Dina Nath Walli while the remaining pages carry his paintings or Newspaper cuttings relating to various exhibitions of the Artist in India and abroad .The beautiful thing about this Book is that in the Album section , it contains about 60 water colours of the artist on hard paper in A4 size . These water colours include some well known works of the Artist like “ HOUSE BOAT IN MOONLIGHT “ . ‘ JHELUM VALLEY ROAD IN AUTUMN SEASON “ , “ A RIVER SIDE TEMPLE “ and “ MAAR CANAL NEAR BOHRI KADAL ”. Kashmir is everywhere in his work. His special focus has been to present speaking images of life in Kashmir . He has painted Women engaged in daily chores , Children , Boatmen , Fish selling women , Bazar Scenes , Snow landscapes , Autumn Chinars , Poplars , Rice Husking, Hills , Brooks , Animals , Birds , River Ghats , Temples ,Mosques , Canals , Fruit laden trees ,Houses with thatched roofs, innocence and poverty of his native land .


If you look at his work , you need not read much to know how people lived in Kashmir just five or six decades back . Every work is full of life and speaking . Every frame conveys how we lived in our recent past . 

From the book one comes to know that his admirers included Percy Brown , late S K Patil, Sardar K M Pannikar, Manohar kaul ( Artist ), O C Ganguli ( Art Historian ), Dr M S Randhawa, Kiran Bedi and Keshav Malik ( Art Critic ) . Apart from painting , Dina Nath walli also wrote kashmiri and urdu poetry with Almast ( The carefree ) as his Takhallus ( Assumed name ) .He also loved music especially kashmir’s centuries old Sufiana singing .
                     ( WITH PERCY BROWN )

             ( WITH SARDAR K M PANNIKAR )
           ( D N Walli with his wife)

Babu ji to his immediate family , Dina Nath Walli remained away from Liquor all along his life though he smoked especially while painting . He liked kashmiri food and lived a disciplined life .
It was possibly March 2010 when I saw these water colours in an exhibition that was organized by Dr Walli in collaboration with J&K Academy of Art culture And languages at Jammu. Since then , I have been a great admirer of late Dina nath Walli . Looking at his colours and style , I don’t hesitate to say that he is our DEGAS or MANET or MONET or PISSARO or CEZAANE . Call him anything but he remains valley's water colour Pioneer and an Icon. 

Dina Nath walli was fully aware of various forms of Modern Art especially Salvador Dalli's Surrealism , Pablo Picasso's Cubism, expressionism , impressionism , Pop Art and Abstract Art ; Still he kept his doors closed and focused on his own style and subject .His medium was just water colours . The Baroda group of Artists consisting of Triloke Koul , P N Kachru , S N Bhat ,and Ghulam Rasool Santosh tried hard to bring this stalwart to the modern Art camp but failed . He remained steadfast to his medium , style and subject. 

His water colours adorn many offices , galleries and homes all over the world.
He has exhibited his work at AIFACS New Delhi . Jahangir Art Gallery Mumbai , National Defence academy Pune ,Academy of Fine Arts Kolkatta , Lalit Kala academy New Delhi , Hotel Taj Mumbai , Dhoomi Mal Art Gallery ,Punjab Myseum Chandigarh and Tariq Rajab Museum Kuwait .

About him Dr M S Randhawa said:

" Walli is a consummate water colourist and exercises Craftman's sure control , building a state of mind which is complete ."

Kuwait Times dated 26th April 2004 wrote 

" The artist presents in his water colour vignettes the lives of the people set against the panorama of snow capped mountains , bubbling brooks , meandering rivers and rural pathways . "

A word of praise for his illustrious son Dr Tej krishen Walli ; He has been exhibiting his father’s work in various cities after his death. He organized many exhibitions even before the death of his father . This book is also a dedicated effort in that direction.
I end this review with an Urdu couplet from late Dina Nath Walli that conveys his passion to present Kashmir through his work .

"Me Uriyaan kar ke Chhorroonga Jhalak uss husne pinha ki,
Tabhi to kheenchtaa huun Roz mein tasveer Janaan ki .".

( Avtar Mota)

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 ( Mobile Photos .. Autar Mota )

RAMLEELA had been the traditional theatre of jammu. Before 1947 , jammu province had so many Ramleela clubs . Raja of Basholi would personally invest his time and money to the Grand Ramleela in his kingdom. That tradition and standard has been maintained by Ramleela Artists of Basholi. During 1994 - 1995 , I was posted at Basholi as Manager of our Bank's branch and saw this special Ramleela once. Haven't seen such Ramleela performance anywhere in India. You need to see Basholi Ramleela once ; A real lifetime experience .

Like Basholi , Chenani too had an old Ramleela Club patronized by the then Raja of Chenani.
Sri Sanatan Dharam Natak Samaj at Dewan Mandir Jammu (old city) is possibly the oldest Ramleela Club in Jammu province. I learnt it is more than 150 years old. Kundan Lal Saigal and Cinema actor Om Prakash were actually Raml.eela Artists of this Club. Both  the artists spent their childhood and  early youth in Jammu city. K L Saigal's father was a Tehsildar in Jammu during Maharaja's rule.. Saigal played the role of Sita  in Ramleela performed at Dewan Mandir Jammu. Om Prakash  also acted in  Ramleela performed at Dewan Mandir jammu . He  also played  the role of Kamla in a popular  stage play performed   at  Dewan Mandir  Jammu during those days.

 Though Ramleela at this oldest Club was again started in 2017 , too much needs to be done for this Heritage site. Too much to protect further damage to the Complex. The entrance is shabby. The outer walls of the complex need repair and renovation. The gate needs repair and renovation. The main entrance is being used as buffalo shed. Saw a buffalo tied near the entrance. There is no board to display historical importance of the complex. A Visit to the complex will make you believe the apathy and negligence.

Who is supposed to do it ? I don't know.

We need to display the history and past glory of the complex at least . Names of so many actors and Artists associated with the complex need to be displayed. 

I was told by a shopkeeper outside Dewan Mandir :

"This is the only Ramleela where Hindus, Sikhs and even Muslims take part and perform."

.(Avtar Mota )

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Sunday, November 18, 2018


Avtar Mota feels.....

" Civilizations are like glaciers. Benign nature ,through its  seasons,  brings more continuity to them. They fill water in our rivers of thought  to  nourish humanity  and propagate life.  Every human being is duty bound  to protect human civilization in any form wherever it exists. If you treat a civilization with  prejudice ,  hate  and  intolerance, it  vanishes like a cube of ice put in boiling water. There can be no other disservice to humanity than   abetting  in the extinction of a civilization .'

(Avtar Mota)

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Saturday, November 17, 2018




I wrote these two lines  in kashmiri  for this photo...

'Vaai zaanh vuchhizeh kaman Pushrovthhus
Trovthhus Maeshrovthhus Putchanovthhus".

"Alas! Never ever you sought to know what befell me after you handed me over to the heartless strangers,
You who dropped me,
Forgot me
And tore apart every petal of the flower that i was

(Avtar Mota)

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 ( L to R. Ramesh Marhata, Dr KN Pandita, Avtar Mota and Bindraban Sher)



( Mobile photo..Autar Mota)

He spoke this to me  some days back when i visited him for some clarifications and guidance...


"When you are just below a mountain, you can't know how high the mountain is ; Only when you move away, you realise its loftiness . "


" Fools hit a man in trouble or when he is lying low. The wise man knows that when such people get up and stand erect, they usually turn out taller . "

(Avtar Mota)


Dr K N Pandita Former Director Department of Central Asian studies , university of Kashmir needs no Introduction. He is a post graduate in Persian from Punjab university and Ph.D. in Iranian / Central Asian Studies from Teheran university . He is Author of many books and innumerable papers . Awarded Padamshri recently for his academic attainments , Dr. Pandita is a widely travelled man.
He has closely worked with so many scholars from Central Asia more specifically from Tajikistan.
His travelogue titled "My Tajik Friends" earned him the coveted Soviet land Nehru Award 1987.He has also been awarded Padamshgri by Govt of  India for his academics attainments .

Some prominent works of Dr. Pandita are:

1. Baharistan-i-Shahi, A Chronicle of Mediaeval Kashmir (translated from Farsi)
2. Avicenna – An Introduction
3. Iran and Central Asia
4. Ladakh, life and culture (edited)
5. Hafiz of Shiraz (Urdu)
6. Tohfatul Ahbab, ( English translation of a 17th century history of Kashmir .)


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Thursday, November 15, 2018



                                            ( With his wife,... Marriage Photo1960 )

He was the umpire of some Ranji Trophy matches that were played in Srinagar in early seventies of the last century . People in Kashmir remember him as a bulky gentleman who later proved to be a firm and fair umpire that test cricket ever saw . It was a great surprise for us to learn that he was a Kashmiri and born in Srinagar .
As per Dr B N Sharga ( writer from Lucknow ):-
" Swroop Kishen's grandfather Pandit Sham Kishen Revoo had moved to Lucknow from Srinagar city after he married a girl from a Kashmiri family of Lucknow. Through this marriage, one son and three daughters were born to Pandit Sham Kishen Revoo. Swroop Kishen's grandfather never lost contact with his Srinagar relations . Swroop Kishen's father (Tej Kishen Revoo ) served in Indian Railways and was posted at New Delhi ..After some time, Sham Kishen Revoo , grand father of Swroop Kishen Revoo also moved to Delhi to live with his son Tej Kishen . Tej Kishen had built a new house at Bazar Sita Ram, Delhi . From Delhi , the family maintained close contacts with their Srinagar relations . Swroop Kishen was born in the family's ancestral house in Srinagar city . Swroop Kishen's mother was from Kashmiri Pandit ( Zadoo ) family . In 1960, Swaroop Kishen Revoo married Sunita Handoo , a Kashmiri Pandit girl .. He had three sons Sanjeev, Sunil, and Susheel.." 
Swroop Kishen did his schooling in Delhi and finally graduated in Law from Delhi University . While studying at Delhi University , he played cricket and later did a professional course for umpiring. He served as Accounts Officer in Accountant General’s Office ,New Delhi . 
In Ranji Trophy matches that were played in Kashmir, we saw cricketer Abdul Rauf talking to him with respect and regard. He umpired the match that saw Bishen Singh Bedi being made desperate by stylish hitter Abdul Rauf who scored 98 hitting Bedi several times towards the boundary.
Sometime in 1977 , he was selected for international umpiring and the first assignment in this area came to him in 1978.. He was always held in high esteem by players for his firm and fair decisions . In various interviews , Pakistani cricketer Zaheer Abbas has spoken high about his decisions and integrity. He was possibly chosen as umpire for more than 15 test matches . The Kolkata Test Match that he umpired had 4 lakh spectators . He finds mention in "The Men in White Coats (1987) " , Teresa McLean' s book on umpires and umpiring. In his book ‘Runs n Ruins’, Gavaskar calls Swaroop Kishen and Gothoskar the two best Indian umpires. Gavaskar has again showered praises on him in his foreword to the book ‘The Burning Finger’. Gavaskar writes , ‘ If only Mr Swaroop Kishan had been the umpire in my last Test innings, perhaps the story of that Test would have been different’.
He umpired many crucial test matches where Gavaskar and Kapil Dev created cricket history . Once he had to scold Imran Khan for trying to tamper with the ball. His decision in appeal against Desmond Haynes for handling the ball is a cricket history . He had a great sense of humour that he silently displayed on field as well.
Capt. S K Tickoo told me this about Swaroop Kishen :-
“ He too had moved to Delhi much earlier and he could barely converse in Kashmiri. Once , I asked him if he could recollect where he originally belonged to, 'Batayar'- he replied without batting an eyelid. He was in Sringar on an umpiring assignment and we had arranged his stay at Hotel Jehangir. Cricket was not economically the same then and we the JKCA as the hosts were even poorer and Swaroop Kishen never complained .We took him to Batayar one day and he was given a very warm welcome in that neighbourhood. I think he met some near/distant cousins too..”
Ranji Trophy cricketer player , Harish Bahri told me this :-
“A thorough gentleman with a lot of humour .He would get well with players. He was known for giving corrective tips to the players. One such incident I would like to share. We had a very potential fast bowler Mr. Ved Kashyap ( popularly known as Buggi ) in our team who used to chuck the bowl in between his bowling...and that off cutter would be unplayable. Sawroop Ji noticed that and advised him to wear full sleeve shirt rolled down to the wrists. Thereafter, he bowled successfully without anyone’s objection. Another tip which he gave to me while fielding in slip and in short leg. That particular tip helped me to take difficult catches at ease on the spinner’s bowling ...especially on Mohi ud din Mirza’s bowling in short leg and in gully positions. I never hesitated to ask him for guidance in batting against the opponent bowlers. He was a non speaking Kashmiri from Lucknow educated in Delhi who enjoyed chewing tobacco pan . A great human being a great umpire who enjoyed great respect among the cricketing nations. His decision would rarely go wrong. I have many more memories of him but here I conclude on a lighter note... once Visiting team captain said, ‘ we can do away without the side screen when Mr. Sawroop is umpiring ‘ . ”
Swroop Kishen was a perfect cook. He loved Roganjosh and Yakhni that he cooked so well. He chewed tobacco ,a bad habit that became the cause of his cancer. Awarded Padamshri for his services to the cricket , he died of cancer at a comparatively young age of 62 .
( Avtar Mota )

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Saturday, November 10, 2018




Dr Mulkh Raj Anand (1905-2004)

Capt SK Tikoo told me recently: 

" Dr Mulkh Raj Anand , the celebrated English Noverlist and wrlter was a passionate lover of Kashmir. He had very good knowledge of kashmiri culture , folklore and history. He loved kashmir's Autumn season in its entirety. Early Autumn( late September and early October ) for its abundance of colours / flowers and then the glorious late autumn for its golden hue spread by majestic chinars. I have had some memorable interactions with him. 
Once he stayed in kashmir for about two weeks and stayed in a private Guest house in Sonawar Locality . That time he had a lady companion . I am unable to recollect her name .She was a well known Art Critic. We would meet gardeners and villagers and he collected kashmiri names of about 71 flowers and flowering plants. Then he located their Botanical background and English names. He obtained complete details of these flowers and flowering plants and recorded them in his diary with his own hand. This diary would remain with me for the night . Every afternoon i would carry the diary and meet him.
One afternoon , i went to meet him and to my surprise, i found he had left for Mumbai due to some exigency. I spoke to him on phone and he advised me to keep the diary in safe custody till he comes back to resume the incomplete work. He could not make it for a couple of years and then arrived the militancy. 

This precious work was also lost in the blaze and destruction to which my house was subjected to by some miscreants in kashmir valley.

During that visit , Dr Anand told me complete background of his Novel " Death Of a Hero " that he had written about the Tribal Raid of Oct 1947 with Maqbool Sherwani as hero. His recapitulation power and memory was amazing..To me ,his personality appeared to be a mixture of Gandhian thought and Marxism. He had profound and unmatched knowledge of Art and Sculpture. 

All along his stay in Srinagar during that period , He  was mostly on liquid diet. He had a fairly ĺarge  Thermos flask with him and he  would fill it up in the morning with warm water and keep on having a sip or two at regular intervals throughout the day. Well, the flask didn't have  warm water alone, It had a fair amount of  Brandy mixed .

I think it was early  or mid  eighties of the last century . When he visited,  Kashmir was   the Old Beautiful kashmir  and this Captain who is narrating the story to you , was a real CAPTAIN to his friends and loved ones 

(Avtar Mota)


Prof. Neerja Mattoo Ex Principal Women's college  Maulana Azad Road Srinagar adds :

 " Dr Mulkh Raj Anand  visited our college in mid fifties and talked about his books to us / students and took questions graciously That was in the times of the great Miss  Mahmooda Ahmad Ali Shah "

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My mother has told me something like this…
“ We Kashmiri Pandits had a social custom called Dodh . Though Dodh in Kashmiri means milk , In that particular custom , it meant Yogurt. Ladies were shy in joint families . Orthodox ways were prevalent in Kashmiri society . Many things were not discussed openly. So whenever a daughter in law was pregnant , it was a real problem for her to declare it openly in her inlaw’s house. Even if the husband felt that during pregnancy , his wife needed a little special care , little attention , some rest and comfort from tiring routine work , he did not dare to convey it directly to his mother or father. The daughter in law conveyed this good news to her mother in her parental home . The mother passed on the news to her husband or the father of the pregnant woman . The father took no time in arranging two big pots full of curd which he sent to his married daughter’s house . One pot was meant for her father in law and the other for her mother in law .The good news and the message was thus conveyed . The purpose of this custom has died down with the passage of time though we continue to send huge quantity of yogurt to our daughters in marriage and other rituals especially on the birthday of her husband .”

About this tradition, Padamshri Pran Kishore Kaul has told me this:-

"It was known as Dwod dyuen. I remember when my Bhabi was expecting her first baby, she had visited her parent's house and must have given the good news to her mother. I This news was conveyed to our family. An auspicious day was fixed mutually for my Bhabi's return. On that day, a feast was arranged for our relatives and close friends. At the auspicious hour, my Bhabi arrived accompanied by her brother and a couple of carriers following with big pots of curd and Naabadnots ( sugar pots) . The year must have been 1938. I fully remember that my Bhabi was in a white traditional burqa. It was to hide her identity and hide the lady's embarrassment as she had to cover some distance on foot.Burqa was used by our ladies too. An Afghan legacy perhaps."

( Avtar Mota )
If you read Vedas , you repeatedly come across a food called Madhuparka . It is a mixture of curd and honey. During Vedic period Madhuparka was offered to honoured guest, bridegroom , saints , VIP visitors to the family and the King. Offering Madhuparka or sweet curd was a symbol of love and affection. Since Kashmiri Pandits practice some Vedic rituals in one form or the other , this could be the reason why they continue to send yogurt and sugar candy to their loved ones on birthdays, marriage functions and other rituals .

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Friday, November 9, 2018


Capt. S K Tikoo, a regular visitor to Srinagar coffee House  told me this :-

" MF Husain was always looking for his friend and fellow artist  Bansi Parimu as and when he entered India Coffee House, Residency Road,  Srinagar. He  would be seen  around Coffee House as and when he visited Srinagar during summers.  ." Array Captain,   Bansi nahin aaya abhi"  or " O Captain! hasn't Bansi come yet ? ". This is how we started our conversation inside India Coffee  House, Srinagar. He had many issues to talk to Bansi Parimu. He disliked sitting in the hall. He disliked sitting In any gossip Mehfil. May be for cigarette smoke or noise. Can't say the reason but he disliked it. He would pull me out from a gathering inside and say " captain balcony pe chalte hain. Neeche ka nazaara bhi dekhenge. Tum se baat karne mein maza aata hai. Bahut ho gayi art aur culture ki baat " Or  " Come captain , let us go to the balcony . Let us look to the road below .    I enjoy talking to you . Enough of these discussions on art and culture now . "  And he would ask so many questions and seek a reply. One day he suddenly told me " captain zara paper lao. I went inside and brought a cigarette wrapper. He didn't like and asked for paper. I went to Mr Chana , the manager and he gave me a letterhead of India Coffee House.  I went to  Hussain  but he said " no, no yeh nahin bhai. "  Then I tore the portion that had India Coffee House written on it and went back to him. He was waiting and said "okay, okay". He then signed on it  in Urdu, Hindi and English and put date and place . "Yeh sanbhaalo".I thanked him for the unique gift. I lost that precious gift in the blaze and destruction to my  Srinagar house by some  miscreants."
 ( Young Capt.Tikoo with Field Marshal Cariappa)

  And here are three Kashmir specific paintings of Artist MF Husain...

             ( A kashmiri girl)
                   ( A kashmiri couple)
          ( Untitled Kashmir painting)

(Avtar Mota)

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