Wednesday, December 26, 2018




( The stars fell from the skies and the Pearls got lost in the dust )

Prior to 1990, when he lived in his village Mahind Bijbihara ,he was a Brahmin who wore his Janew ( sacred thread ) and performed Sandhya every morning at the village spring . That is how Pandits of the village understood him. For them he was a Saint who recited Shlokas from Mahimnapaar ( Shiva Astuti ) extempore .

For the Muslims of the village , He was a Darvesh , A Faquir and Peer sahib . He was the faith healer and Sarparast who gave Taweez. A trusted peer to so many Muslims .

And he remained a  Mastaana ( carefree ) all along .His songs were sung in private  Mehfils . His Naats and Leelas were also sung in Private Mehfils .

And in 1990 , when he had to leave everything and move to jammu as Refugee , he was Sham lal Kashmiri Migrant of Nagorta Tented accommodation . A Homeless , Unknown , A displaced person struggling to exist . He had turned silent, pensive and a little detached when I saw him . But poetry he never abandoned.

Father of four daughters , Sham lal was a poet of a different class . The sufiana and love flavor of his poetry remained intact  even after 1990..I came to know him through my friend Tej Dhar ( son of Prof. A N Dhar ) of Safa Kadal.  Tej had more than thirty years of steady association with Sham Lal ji.

Sham Lal ji had a small shop where he practiced modern  Medicine and  Unani Hikmat , a  profession that he had learnt from some person in srinagar.

Sham Lal ji's father was a sufiana singer and sitarist who would join music Mehfills  of saint Gopi Nath ji along with Shri Ved Lal Vakil. He came to be known as Maheshwar Seytaaer in his close circles . So many Music Mehfils were organised at Mahind by Maheshwar Nath ji wherein sufiana singers participated.  Later  Gh Nabi Doolwal,  a well known singer from Kishtwar  also started coming to Mahind .  And finally Doolwal would  invariably come to Mahind as and when he was in Srinagar.

Recently , i came to know that Sham lal is no more . His daughters are married . The youngest died in tragic road accident in Jammu . Tej Does not know present whereabouts of the family .

Does any person know  the present  whereabouts of the family ???

A sample of his poetry that I remember .I have rendered these lines to simple English for friends who don't know kashmiri.......

Ba khoon e dil Lechhomus khat Khabar nah-novmut ma chhun..
Athhus kyathh Sheesha dil dyutmuss Khabar phutrovmut ma chhun.
Gayoss Saen Tsoor Laagithh Hauz e Konsar Manz Aneyom pyalla
Thhavyomuss bronthakaeni mayssar Khabr Chhakrovmut ma chhun..

(Sham Lal )

( Using my heart’s blood as ink
I scripted the letter for him,
May be he erased the entire transcript !
Has he ? I don’t know.
This glass like fragile heart too
I had put in his custody ,
May be he broke it to pieces !
Has he ? I don’t know.
For him ,
Like a thief ,
I rushed to

  • Fetch a drink from kaunser Naag lake ,

This too I kept at his disposal ,
May be he wasted it away !
Has he ? I don’t know.)
Tche vuchh ta yaarus chhu kyaah malaalai
Chhu sai me saetein hisaab kaertun
Ti poora horuss yi zun ba daarus
Me lolakuyi mataa Azaab Kaertun
Ba Thaava poorithh yi door tus kyoot
Su vaati kunni kien tamis chhu vaatun
Me raatchh roozithh ya maatchh Rotchhmus
Su Sheeritan ya kharaab kaertun

( Sham Lal )

( Could you please find it out
What grievance my love has against me ?
If he has it ,
Then let him square it up ,
I shall repay fully what falls due to him,
But in Love ,
let him not put me to this pain and agony .
For him ,
Again I shall keep this garden
blooming with flowers ,
I know he has to come and he will;
This sweetness ,
I have been guarding since long,
Now Let him come ,
Taste it or spill it away ..)

Peace be to your soul Sham Lal ji .

( Avtar Mota )

(1) An Autumn View of Dara Shikoh Park Bijbihara kashmir ..
(2) Post snowfall view of village Mahind...

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:\\\.

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