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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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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