Saturday, May 30, 2020



He was at our door at 7 a.m. Wearing a long Kashmiri Pheran and a cap on his head, he entered our house with a big knock and loudly declared in chaste Kashmiri:- 

'Tche nai poshan na .Ba gaalukh byol. Sakh kooshish karikh me dyotukh na votalanaa. Bachaa ma aasukh vopar garan sozaan......Allhum di Soo ..Vallhum di zoo....Aasmaen kotur gutur goo gutur goo.... Bhabi...vala ann niyaaz baapat kharch ta tomul’

    " They can't touch you. I shall destroy them from their root. They tried hard but I did not encourage them. Do not send your children to the houses of strangers."Allhum di soo.Vallhum di zoo.The pigeon in the sky. Gutur goo gutur Goo. Lady, now bring some cash and rice for the Niyaz." 

By word " They ", he meant some so-called evil forces, which according to him, were out to harm our family. His job was done. And by the time I came to know what had happened, he was out with 20 rupees and a kg of rice given by my mother. Mother would say that he is a dangerous man. Better he leaves the house. He was a Saa'dh Maqaar or a fraudulent religious man in the guise of a Syed. A tricky beggar posing as a saint or a Faquir.

Then one day I saw him sipping tea inside the shop of Mohd Sidiq Sofi ( Kashmiri bakery shop owner ) and our neighbour. Mohammad Sidiq's mother known as Sondhar Dedh was from Pampore town near Srinagar city. I immediately asked her who he was and she promptly replied that he was Ramzaan Saa'dh Maqaar ( Ramzaan the fraudulent Syed ) actually from the outskirt of  Pampore town. She continued that he belonged to a family that had no agricultural land and as such practised Saa'dh Maqaari profession in far off villages or city localities. Sonder Dedh added that these Saa'dh Maqaars cheated innocent people outside some shrines and Ziyarats as well. According to Walter R Lawrence:

‘ The Saiyad Makkaar fraternity are fraudulent Faquirs who pretend to be Saiyads and wander about Kashmir and India cheating public. Many have taken to trade. They intermarry among themselves. ’
( Refer Page 308 ‘The Valley Of Kashmir ’  by  Walter  R. Lawrence )

 That day onwards Ramzan Saa'dh Maqaar was not seen in Rainawari. Later I came to know that during winters, these Saa'dh Maqaars would visit Amritsar, Ludhiana, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Pathankot and many other cities of Punjab to rob innocent and poor Kashmiri labourers of their hard-earned savings. Posing as Peer Sahib or a Dervish, they would entice people in their trap. At times, locals too fell to their well laid out trap. Before 1947, they were also seen in Lahore during winter months. 

His words “Alhum di soo,  Valhum di zoo,Aasmaen kotur gutur goo gutur goo ” appeared mysterious at that time. I thought he was probably warning the so-called evil forces to keep off from our family. These lines remained etched in my memory. And the fraudulent Faquir had succeeded in making me remember something which meant nothing.
 I have also seen these Saa’dh Maqaars coming in groups. Their leader would always be an elderly person with a white beard. The would say loudly :

 " Jai gosaein ! Veshnaarpan deeytuv " 

‘ Victory to the  Sadhu, for God’s sake, give something ’

I end this brief write up with a couplet of Urdu poet Majrooh Sultanpuri……

"Tere khanumaan kharabaan ka na chaman na koyi sahra,
Ye jahaan bhi baith jaayein waheen unn ki baargaahein.."

(Those rendered homeless by you,
Neither do they belong to the garden
Nor to the desert.
Wherever they sit,
They create their audience halls.)

(Avtar Mota)

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Thursday, May 21, 2020




I don’t remember where from it has come to me . Found it in my stock. A photograph of the tent house bill paid by Allama Iqbal . The bill is drawn in the name of Dr Sir Mohammad Iqbal , Mcleod Road Lahore . It relates to charges for two Shamiyans pitched for two months @ Rs5/- per Shamiyana per month . The bill also includes pitching charges and cartage charged as one rupee and eight annas each . The grand total works out to be twenty three rupees . A discount of three rupees has been allowed to Dr Iqbal and the bill has been settled finally at Rs20/- on 20/03/1935 by Dr Iqbal. The authorized agent of the firm namely Nizamud Din and sons has signed the bill in token of having received the payment on 20/03/ 1935 .

I have checked from Google about the firm . It says “The first tent factory by H. Nizam Din & Sons was established in 1869 in Lahore. Its had reputation for fine workmanship, good quality products and reasonable prices.......” .

when i put up a post on facebook, my friend Ayaz rasool nazki wrote as uner :
" I have read about it but don't recall the details.  I have requested  Munib Iqbal saheb to please throw some light on this. Munib saheb is the grandson of Allama Iqbal saheb and very well versed with information on Allama Saheb."

And to my surprise, Munib Iqbal Sahib promptly replied on the same thread of my Facebook post as under :

" I originally posted this receipt a few years ago.  I found it in a large collection of documents and receipts of Allama Sahib  i have in my possession. It was probably the wedding of some Sialkoti relative. Allama Sahib's  house was usually swarmed with families of his brother and sisters. My grandmother raised some nieces of Allama Sahib and later married them off. This is probably one of those occasions. However, I will try to check again."

My sincere thanks to Munib Iqbal Sahib and Ayaz Rasool Nazki Sahib.

( Avtar Mota )

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( Hari Kashmiri ..Photo Courtesy..Mrs.Neena Kher Mumbai) 

         ( Poster of Choubey Ji produced by Hari Kashmiri Photo courtesy : Vijay Parimoo)


From the Bamzai family of Gurgari Mohalla, Ali Kadal , Srinagar , one Hriday Nath Bamzai ( younger brother of Kashi Nath Bamzai) had moved to Mumbai in his youth to try his luck in acting .He was handsome and smart but his Urdu/ Hindi pronunciation had a typical Kashmiri accent. Having failed to find work after doing some minor roles, he decided to set up his own business of supplying extras ( now known as junior artists ) to film companies. In Mumbai, he changed his name and was known as Hari Kashmiri. Hari Kashmiri would pay advance money to his junior artists and looked after them like his own family members. Very soon, he became quite popular and much sought after person by Mumbai film companies. He made good money from this business .He purchased a Bunglow and  shifted to live in this spacious house along with his family.
His artists looked at him as a trusted man who always carried a travel bag hanging around his shoulders . The bag was stuffed with currency. At the end of the shoot, Hari Kashmiri would call pack up and personally compensate his actors for their day’s work. 
His trade rivals turned envious of his popularity that became a reason for decline of their own business .Most of the contractors supplying extras would cheat poor extra artists by paying them less after negotiating hefty amounts with  the producers. 
Hari Kashmiri was finally murdered by some rivals in the business. He had a son who lived in Mumbai .
Yes he belonged to the Anand Koul Bamzai clan.His brother , Kashi Nath Bamzai served as Press Advisor to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and retired as Registrar Newspapers,GOI.

 Shri Vijay Parimoo from Mumbai informs me this :

 " His only daughter Neena Bamzai ( now Kher) lives at Khar in Mumbai. She is an active member of Kashmiri Pandit Association, Mumbai. His wife died some years back. She had sold her property 'Kashmir Hindu Restaurant 'at Parel in Mumbai. She  was living with her  daughter . He had also co- produced a movie " Hip Hip Hurray- Choubey  Ji "."

And Delhi based senior journalists, Sandeep Bamzai and Kaveri Bamzai are grand children of Kashi Nath Bamzai...
( Avtar Mota)

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                 (Saqqas in Egypt )                                                            


They carried water in Mashq ( bag made of goat hide )slung over their shoulders.Come summer time , we saw them sprinkling water on roads . We also saw them offering drinking water to the thirsty. They were known as Mashqis or Bishtis . A filled Mashq carried about 30 litres of water that was filled from wells . In Kashmir ,we used to call these water carriers as 'Saqqa " .  In Kashmir , a Saqqa would join sweepers employed by municipality to clean roads. Mashqis were also seen in shrines and fairs serving water to the  thirsty . They also supplied water to the  households on payment.

Saqqas were a part of the Egyptian society. In Egypt,they  would  bring water from Nile to be used in Mosques, Khanqaahs and households.

After the piped water was supplied to cities and rural areas , the Mashqis or Bishtis lost their business and they vanished from the urban and rural landscape.

( Avtar Mota )

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Sunday, May 17, 2020


         ( Jagjit Singh sings 'Jai Madhav Madan Murari')               

The original lyrics of Sri Krishna Krishna Bhajan.:Jai Madhav Madan Murari"

Jai madhav madan murari
jai keshav kalimal haari

sundar kundal nayan vishala
gale sohe vaijanti maala
              yaa chhavi kii balihaari
.............,.....jai madhav madan murari

 kabahu loot loot dadhi khaayo
kabahu madhuban raas rachaayo
          naachat vipin bihari
.................jai madhav madan murari

karuna kar draupadi pukaari
 patt main lipat gaye banavaari
          nirakh rahe nar nari
...............jai madhav madan murari

My English translation of this Sri Krishna Bhajan is as under:

Victory to you,
O Madhava ,O Madana, O Murari..
Victory to you Lord.
You who's face is dusky
with long hair.


With ornaments in your ears,
impressive are your eyes,
Adorning the cute Vaijantimala around the neck;
Who will not die to see this look of yours ?


Sometime you ate curd stealing it,
Sometime  you played Raas in Madhuban,
And , O Bipin Bihari,
What a celestial dancer you are ?


"Where are you, O Lord,  with compassionate hands ?"
So cried Draupadi.
And look how Banwaari
wrapped himself in her Sari;
While men and women kept watching in awe.

Victory to you,
O  Madhava ,O Madana, O Murari..

(Avtar Mota)

Madhava ,Madana, Murari, Banwaari are other names of Sri Krishna.
Vaijantimala is the garland made of five types of forest flowers or five jewels . It also means the garland-of-victory. It symbolizes the five spheres of the senses, the display of manifestation which surrounds the Supreme Being. Vaijanti plant found only in forests of Braj near Mathura  or the land of Sri Krishna yields special white bead like seeds   believed to be a favorite of Sri Krishna. These like tear drops.

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Saturday, May 16, 2020




Maikash Kashmiri  comes to my mind today after I saw  a beautiful video showing Seema Anil Sehgal singing a poem of the late poet written  in praise of River Tawi. The poem begins with these lines::

Hai taareekh gau inn ki  sadiyon purani
musalam hai inn ki magar hukmraani
Tawi ke kinaron ke yeh gol pather
 sunaate hain dilchasp si  Ikk kahaani ..

I also heard some more Gazals of Maikash sung by Seema Anil Sehgal for her music album "Yadon ke Chinar ". I mean Gazals like:
"Charag e raah agar bujh gaya to kya Gham hai
Charag e dil to farozaan hai roshini ke liye "
Vo kahaan hai kis jagah ruposh hai
Kis se  poochhe har koyi khaamosh hai

(3) Meray liye  ye subah kya
Mere liye ye shaam kya

Pandit  Kailash Nath Kaul was known as Maikash Kashmiri.

Who was Maikash ?

Born  at Haft Chinar in Srinagar, Maikash was the son of Pandit Jeevan Nath Kaul the then director Sericulture,  J&K. Pandit Jeevan Nath Kaul had completed his degree in sericulture from France in 1940s whereafter he returned to serve his state.
 Pandit Kailash Nath Kaul did   his  schooling and graduation from Jammu .Later he completed MA English from Punjab university ,Lahore. Maikash spent his life in Jammu  living in  his ancestral family house at Mohalla Mastgarh. The family still owns the house . Having spent his life in Jammu, his love for the city and  its culture is evident in some poems composed by him.

( A photo of Maikash Kashmiri. Thanks to Maikash Kashmiri Society ,Jammu for this photo )

He  loved to converse in Urdu  though he could speak Hindi ,Kashmiri and Punjabi fluently. His love for Kashmir,  his native land was intense . He was  associated with Rajinder Singh Bedi in setting up  of Radio Kashmir Jammu. He served AIR for 34 years and after retirement  he taught English at Dewan Badri Nath Vidya Mandir Jammu. His students remember him with respect and affection . So do many  friends from his literary circle remember him for his principles, simplicity and poetic acumen. He was a direct disciple of Pandit Labhu Ram Josh Malsiyani .

 ( A popular poem' Jang Aur  Aman' by Maikash Kashmiri)

His  Urdu poetic collections are  “Baal-e-Huma(1998),  ‘Baal-e-Anqa(1999) “Shahpar-e-Taus( 2005)" and  “Navaa I saaz e Jaan (2006)" . He died in  Mumbai on January 19, 2006.

 Sri Amin  Banjara has done some exceptional work by creating a society to remember Maikash and popularize his work.

(Avtar Mota)

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Friday, May 15, 2020



( Brother! The target is beyond Time and Space  ) 

About this  Kabir Nirguna Bhajans sung by Kumar Gandharva and many others ,Professor Linda Hess of the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University writes this :

"  It stirs inside me, and a hard crust that is like a body within my body begins to come apart. It just comes apart and dissolves. What is underneath it is so pure and shining and open, it can receive that beautiful sound with no resistance. What was closed is open. The sound moves freely in my body, the beautiful body that shines forth when the crust dissolves. I can’t believe that this gift is being given to me. When it’s over I can’t talk. They ask me to come to lunch but when I put my hand on the food, I can’t eat. I go into the other room and cry till it seems to be enough. I’m full of gratitude and amazement. It seems to me that for the first time I understand what they mean here when they say “The guru’s grace”. This gift comes into you and changes you. It is completely unexpected."
I will interpret this song in two ways :-

Interpretation As Per Yoga-Sutras

As per Yog-Sutras, the three principal nadis run from the base of the spine to the head, and are the ida on the left,the pingala on the right and  the sushumna in the centre.
Ultimately the goal is to unblock the Sushmna nadi and arrive into the world of spiritual liberation .This is done by bringing a balance between Ida and Pingla.Sushumna nadi is also called Brahmanadi, or the channel of the Absolute (Brahman).
According to Yoga Sutras,  most people live and die in Ida and Pingala; Sushumna, the central space, remains dormant. Yog Sutras say that  Sushumna is the most significant aspect of human physiology. Only when energies enter into Sushumna, life really begins.It is reactive to what is outside. But once the energies enter into Sushumna, one  attains  a new kind of balance, an inner balance where whatever happens outside, there is a certain space within  which never gets disturbed, which is never in any kind of turmoil, which cannot be touched by the outside situations. 

Activation Of Sushumna  by  SOHAM

The Yog Sutras say ,"Inhale “so,” and exhale “ham” (pronounced “hum”). Simply hear the sound in your mind, as you feel the breath flowing along this central stream. Sit for as long as you like, gradually resting your attention on the breath and the sound, while relaxing your body, breathing, and mind." 
According to the ancient yogis, gaining access to sushumna nadi helps take our meditation to the next level and allows us to remain in a state of equanimity in our daily life no matter what the external circumstances are.The relative activity of these nadis is reflected in the flow of breath within the nostrils. Thus, when pingala is active, the breath flows more prominently through the right nostril, and when ida is active, the breath flows more freely through the left.When we breathe through the left nostril, we activate Ida. This breathing is said to have a cooling, calming and refreshing effect. If we breathe in through the right nostril, this has a warming and activating effect. The breathing practice of Sushumna Pranayama is designed to bring balance to the body, mind and spirit."

Pranayama, Yoga Asanas, Chakra meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Mantra Chanting also help in activation of Sushmna nadi.
In the poem of Kabir ,the sun and the moon represent Ida and Pingla while the centre represents the Sushmna . The target is Sushman to reach the sky or the peak of consciousness using the body as bow to strike the arrow of  unblocking Sushmna .
Sushmna nadi is the entrance to the divine world.Some people say it is the experience of final Samadhi detailed in Patanjali's Yoga-Sutras. I have found this thought  in Isha Upnishad also .I quote:

“The face of the  truth is hidden by thy golden orb of the  sun. Remove it in order to know" who am I"  so that those devoted to the  truth may behold its glory.The sun illumines us and shows us what we assume to be reality. But actually that “seeing” veils the Truth (Reality) behind that veil. Therefore we seek to pierce beyond it. "


One More Interpretation Of the Song 

Does the sky represent detachment in its infinite form ?  Through rains, sunlight,  clouds, air and atmosphere, the sky is organically connected to  the earth yet totally detached from it.  The target  is up above and  beyond the seen objects .It can be  reached  only after passing and crossing  the  bridge of detachment .In this journey, the  pull of  the   detachment   helps to gain altitude to come closer and closer to the target. The target is somewhere beyond zero gravity area.

 Through this detachment, the mind  tends to touch the target hidden up above .Those who are struck by detachment  know where it takes them. And those who  know it , have understood that this is the only way forward towards the target. 

Those who live by 'BE IN IT AND BE ABOVE IT' doctrine , say it loudly that only  a  ' Sukshama ' has the capacity and capability to rise  and move up and up towards the target. And unburdening is the only way out to become' Sukshama' . And Unburdening  is the the secret of ' the practitioners of ' Be in it and be above it ' doctrine? 

Is the  vastness, inaccessibility,  consonance, and  continuance of the  sky  a great attraction  towards  understanding of the nature of  ultimate reality ? 
In this song the target is told to be beyond space (sky) - and even beyond time - a reality that is ever-present, everywhere but cannot be perceived by the senses. Therefore this destination cannot be described in words or shown visually but only told as something "beyond" what we can touch, taste, smell, hear or see. 

The sun is the passionate hot current while the moon is the dispassionate, detachment-like cooling flow. A practice of balancing these opposing forces is indicated for reaching the target .Having balanced these two forces, body becomes a perfect instrument (bow) for launching the life force into the ultimate. Even though this  arrow is penetrating incisively through the body, no wound or external marks are evident because the journey is subtle and completely internal. Only the person practicing knows of this revelatory travel.

The song

Gagan Ki Aut  Nisana Hai Bhai
Dahine Sur Chandrama Baanhe,
Tin Ke Beech Chhipaana Hai
Tan Ki Kamaan Surat Ka Raunda,
Shabad Baan Le Taana Hai
Maarat Baan Bidha Tan Hi Tan,
 Satguru Ka Parwana Hai
Maaryo Baan Ghav Nahin Tan Me,
Jin Laaga Tin Jaana Hai
Kahe Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho,
Jin Jaana Tin Maana Hai ...."

My  translation is like this:-

"The target that I aim
lies hidden beyond the sky.
To the right lies the sun
To the left the moon,
 In between these two
it has to be concealed somewhere
Let this body be my bow,
Let my visualisation be the string roll,
Let the Anhada Shabd ( unstruck sound ) be my arrow,
Let me be erect and ready to aim,
Here  goes the  arrow
Leaving the body apparatus behind
Like the messanger of the true Yogic master,
When such an arrow hits
there is no injury no wound either.
Those who are struck
can only experience as to what it really is.
Says Kabir,
"Listen O seeker
to know this phenomenon
experience it.."

(Avtar Mota)

Word Sukshma used by me will be better understood in context of Kabir's lines  once we read  its usage  in scriptures as well. And the reference is not to 'Sukshma  Shareera" only  but more importantly to  "Sukshma Chita ".


                        ( With Suraiya)

                 ( With his daughters)
                    ( With Madhubala)

           ( In his Library withdraw poet Sahir )


If we go back to 1950s , we find  some larger than life actor like Raj Kapoor , Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar dominating  Indian films.  We also come across some actors like Bharat Bhushan , who were able to create their space inspite of  the supremacy enjoyed by  the larger than life actors . Bharat Bhushan  created space for himself with  quiet demeanour , good looks and an inclination to play tragic characters    . He  was not a  swashbuckling hero , yet he remained the only choice  with producers for roles showing a  suffering sensitive poet or  musician  or a Sanyasi  in films like  Baiju Bawra, Mirza Ghalib, Basant Bahar, Kavi Kalidas, Anand Math , Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , Barsaat Ki Raat , Bhakta Kabir,  and Sangeet Samraat Tansen . He also did memorable roles in films like  Suhaag Raat , Chitralekha , Aankhein , Maa,   Dooj Ka Chaand , Jahaan Ara , Gateway of India,  Phagun, Chandi ki Deewar , Naya Kanoon,Gyaraah Hazaar Ladkiyaan ,Shabaab ,Ladki , Raani Roopmati, Ghoongat, Mud Mud ke na dekh , Taqdeer and Pyar Ka Mausam .

He made his debut with the Kidar Sharma hit, Chitralekha (1941). However, he struggled for over a decade to make a mark in Hindi movies till Baiju Bawra (1952), which gave him instant stardom and legendary status along with Mohammad Rafi, Meena Kumari and Naushad Ali.

In Baiju Bawra , he played the role of a musician who challenged ‘Tansen’ to a musical duel to avenge his father’s death. In this movie , he  wooed the ascetic guru Swami Haridas with Man Tarpat in Malkauns, and romanced Meena Kumari with ' Tu Ganga ki Mauj mein Jamuna Ka dhaara' in Bhairavi. With  ‘O duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhare mere nale,’ Bhushan deftly  translated the despair and angst of Baiju on celluloid.

Then something happened after  1960s. People were fed up with watching tragedies on screen.. Cinema had evolved as a medium of entertainment . People wanted  to come out from cinema halls smilingly .Accordingly After 1960, Bhushan's career  was clearly on the wane. Further,  the rise of Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar ,Sunil Datt,, Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra  and Shashi Kapoor left no space for the delicate, sensitive hero.

In 1964, he  decided to turn to production .  Along with his brother , he produced Basant Bahaar and Barsaat ki Raat . Both films  proved hits at the  box office .He earned good money and bought some property and luxury cars . He took up another production project ‘Dooj Ka Chaand’  . For Dooj ka Chand , he  wrote the script and engaged Nitin Bose , Roshan , Sahir and Rajinder Singh Bedi .  The film flopped at the box office inspite of this great team. The failure of this project brought him under heavy debt. He had  to sell  his  bunglows at Pali Hill and Linking Road ,  Bandra .The Pali Hill Bunglow   had been  purchased after the release of  Baiju Bawara. Actor Jeetendra purchased  the Pali Hill Bunglow. He also  sold his Bunglow in Pune .  He sold his cars and also his library that had about one Lakh  books to clear his debts . Once a very  rich  actor, Bhushan went  bankrupt. . He moved to a small flat  located at Malad. This he had also purchased during the peak of his acting career.  Thereafter ,  he would be seen travelling by buses and  standing in long queues at bus stops  totally unnoticed .  Inspite of  all these losses , he never had any complaint or grudge, or bitterness against  anyone or any event in his life!. And for  the movies produced in 1970s , his stature had  reduced to doing bit roles in insignificant films.   By the 1990s, Bhushan was reduced to the status of a junior artist with movies such as Humshakal and Pyar ka Devta.

Recently , I saw his daughter Aparjita Bhushan in Ramanand Sagar's TV serial Ramayana. She played the role of Ravana’s wife Mandodari. His another daughter   Anuradha was polio stricken . Nothing is known about her .
He remained a great lover of books and  literature till his death. 

 Bharat Bhushan’s close friend , Sahir Ludhanavi  used to spend many evenings with him especially in his library .  Many actors visited his library .Music director Naushad was also a visitor to his library .

For  an Urdu magazine ,  Sahir wrote this:

“ The first time we met  Bharat Bhushan was inside  a bank , hardly a place for me, a poor poet. Bharat had been in films for about four¬teen years; I for about nine. I had seen his portrayal of Kabir and he had read all my verses. We knew each other only through our work. Few are aware of the warmth, affection and friendship which exist between him and me. We have the unquestioned run of each other’s house. I do not know of a better way of spending my leisure than with him. Often we have sat together for hours and not ex-changed more than a few sentences in all; for between true friends a silent communion often grows which makes words sound empty.
It was during the planning stages of “Barsaat Ki Raat” that we saw much of each other. Sitting to discuss the story of the film, its characters and other preliminaries afforded me an opportunity of knowing the man. Simpli¬city is his virtue; so is humility. Everyone who knows Bharat superficially tells me that he has one great failing—that of never being able to muster courage to say ‘no’ to anyone or anything. But I know to the contrary. It is not because of lack of courage, but because life has mellowed him to the point of never wanting to inflict pain. When, on rare occasions, he does say ‘no’ to someone, he is as firm as a rock, while at the same time remaining gentle as a lamb.
Bharat is the supreme example of an introvert. He is always withdrawn and mostly takes refuge in a book. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, he impresses the listener deeply. To my mind Bharat’s personality has been greatly influenced by the bio¬graphical roles he has played. There is Kabir, the mystic poet-saint; Ghalib, the eloquent poet with a life time devoted to the flavor of wine and the music of words; Chaitanya, the great founder of the Krishna Bhakti cult; Baiju, the singer who sang from his heart and loved with his soul; and Kalidasa, Sanskrit’s supreme poet. While playing the parts of these great men of the past, Bharat had an invaluable opportunity to probe deeper into their hearts and souls; study their character, mannerisms and the stuff they were made of. This in turn influenced his personality to a great extent. Whenever the youth of today calls to mind Kabir, Kalidasa, Ghalib or Chaitanya, he immediately thinks of Bharat.”

Bharat Bhushan   was born in Meerut, U P in1920 .  His father was a  leading lawyer . His father wanted him to be an advocate . Going against his parents’ wishes, he decided to pursue acting and went to Kolkata initially, after which he moved to Mumbai.

He worked with top heroines of his period including  Meena Kumari , Beena Rai , Nargis ,Madhubala , Nutan and  Mala Sinha . Despite whatever happened to him in his later life , Bharat Bhushan can never be forgotten  for his  films and the lilting  songs that portray human suffering , tragedy and  failings

 Bharat Bhushan  passed away  on 27 January , 1992 at the age of 72  .  He  died a quiet death  , unnoticed and unsung.

( Avtar Mota )

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       ( Kunti, mother of Pandavas )
                    ( Child Sri Krishna)
                  (Sri Krishna and Radha)
               ( Arjuna with his  bow)

( Avtar Mota)

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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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Thursday, May 7, 2020





 All the three paintings belong to Guler , Kangra school and have been done by the progeny of Pandit Sieu (Shiv) Raina . These have been done during the 18th century.These paintings have been done to illustrate Vaishnavcharya Jayadev Goswami's ( popularly known as Jayadeva ) poetic work Geet Govind composed sometime in the 12th century . Geet Govind is the story of the supreme lover who is also the original source of Gyana . It is the story of the upholder of justice known to us as Sri Krishna.
Geet Govind ' is a collection of musical Slokas dedicated to Sri Krishna ( Govinda ) and Radha .This romantic lyrical drama represents the tradition of Vasanta Utsava. 
If one reads the translation of Geet Govind , one gets to know a different philosophy of universal love and compassion , somewhat different from what is generally understood by looking at Geet Govind illustrations in paintings .
Geet Govind is very popular in Odisha and Bengal. Perhaps, Indian classical dance is incomplete without Geet Govind. Many choreographers and composers of Kathak, Bharatnayatam, Odisi, Mohininayatam, Kathakali and Manipuri have composed various classical dances based on Geet Govind .
And poet SahirLudhianavi was an admirer of Geet Govind. An English translation of Geet Govind was retrieved ( after Sahir's death ) from a Kabadi's (scrap dealer) shop that had bought his old books and papers after a builder purchased Sahir's bungalow  and some new tenants moved in . Influence of Geet Govind is reflected in some songs of Sahir especially the songs that he wrote for Hindi Movie Chitralekha.
I have added lines from verses of Sahir to two of the three uploaded Paintings. ' Maiya mori me Nahin Maakhan Khaayo ' has been written by Surdas .
Now something about the uploaded paintings .....
( 1)
In this painting, child Sri Krishna is shown stealing butter milk . We are sure that he is going to deny having stolen it. To his mother, he is going to say :
“ Maiya mori me nahin maakhan khaayo
Bhor bhayo gaiyyan ke paachhe
Tune madhuban mohi pathaayo
Chaar prahar, bansi bat bhatyo
Saanjh pade me ghar aayo
Me kab maakhan Khaayo ?“
(2) In this painting Sri Krishna , Radha and Gopis are shown on the banks of river Yamuna. Radha is silent . Probably she is humming and silently conveying to her Sakhi what she is thinking about Sri Krishna at the moment . She could be thinking something like this :
“ Aaj Sakhi pee daaloongi me
Darshan jal ki boondh boondh
Me to apne rasik ko nainon mein
Rakh loongi palkein moondh moondh
Aey ri jaane na doongi “
(3) In this painting Radha is speaking to her Sakhi ( female friend ). Radha is conveying to her something about Sri Krishna . I believe she says :
“ Sakhi ri mora mun uljhe tan dole
Ab chain mile tab hi jab un se Milan ho le
Sakhi ri mora mun uljhe tan dole “
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Dr. Soma Ghosh, Padma Shri, an exceptional exponent of Hindustani classical music ( vocal) is the
adopted daughter of Ustad Bismillah Khan.
A literature graduate from Benaras Hindu University, Soma Ghosh mastered in Music and completed her PhD in Chhota Khayal. She is known for Benarasi singing , namely Thumri, Tappa, Hori, Chaiti, Kajari, Dadra and Ghazal.
She is the founder of the NGO, Madhu Murchhana. Established in 1999, Madhu Murchhana is a platform to promote unknown musicians of the country.
About Soma Ghosh , Ustaad Bismillah Khan said:
" When I saw her singing ,I was overjoyed.I said to every person that this girl sings my language, my Shehnai. She has to be my daughter.So she is my daughter. I took this daughter for a jugalbandhi to Rashtrpati Bhawan where we sang together to the delight of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam'. She sings Kajri of my Benaras the way it should be sung. "
About Soma Ghosh,composer Naushad Ali has said:
"When I heard her for the first time , I said to Khan Sahib ( Bismillah Khan) ,'Where from have rains come in a land parched and thirsty for water since years.' She sings Kajri, Thumri and Dadra the way it should be sung. My blessings to Soma Ghosh." 
And Dr Soma Ghosh informs:
" My mother ,Archana Chakravarti was a singer from Senia Gharana. She was my first Guru. My father was a freedom fighter. He gave everything to the nation . My grandfather was a professor of Sanskrit and Pali at BHU .I was born and brought up in Benaras in a cultured and educated family. My grandfather was a close friend of Madan Mohan Malviya .
My Gurus were Bageshwari Devi and Shri Narayan Chakravarti. Bageshwari Devi lived in a temple. She was a devotee of Sri Rama. In fact my father , Baba Bismillah Khan loved Bageshwari Devi's singing. Baba heard me singing in a concert and told me that he would like me to join a Jugalbandhi programme in Rashtrpati Bhawan. Naushad Sahib was there. I was nervous. Baba put confidence in me by saying " Sur is nobody's possession. Don't ever think that you are singing with Bharat Ratna Bismillah khan' . Great people. Great affection." 
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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:\\\.