Tuesday, November 20, 2018



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)

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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