Tuesday, April 12, 2022



( Avtar Mota and his sister with their mother)



( Bekas  used to say,
“Each joy I wear
Its sleeves are either
Too short or too long,
Too loose or too tight
On me.
And each sorrow I wear
Fits as if it were made for me)……………….. ( Sherko Bekas …Kurdish Poet )

Wherever I am.”
Some  decades  back, In Kashmir  , every  Rani, Lakshmi, Janki, Parmeshwari, Chaanda,  Gauri ,Dhanwati ,Shubhawati, Benjigir,  Raj Dulari  or Benitaeth was poor. These women were engaged  in   service , sacrifice and implementation of ruthless  selflessness.  They  had to work from 6 a m  till 11 p m. All these women  cooked food, washed utensils, washed clothes, did house cleaning and  other allied domestic work apart from maintaining family ties  .They were the  first to get up  from sleep and the last to sleep in their families .Even if they were  unwell, they  followed this routine. A set of Pherans or Sarees , a sandal  and a Dejhoor given by  parents was their  material possession in the family.  They ate last of all and quite often there was little food left for them  to eat.  Their worry was to provide for all except their  own self. They would   burn wood and cowdung  for cooking and inhale the harmful  smoke . They inhaled the harmful smoke of the saw dust  burner known as Kosh Dammchul .Displaying an affectionate smile even in pain, everyone in their family expected service and comfort from them .They believed in nothing beyond selfless service and personal sacrifice. That was their  Dharma and Karma. During  some serious crisis in the family, these simple  women  passed on endless  love, affection, compassion and comfort to all. Even if they  were illiterate, these women remembered every line of AdI Sankara's Devi Stuti  or   Panchastavi or Hanuman Chaalisa. They  remembered Lal Vaaks and lyrical verses of Arinmal,Habba Khatoon and  Rasool Mir. Tears trickled down   their eyes when they sang some Leela of  Krishen Joo Razdan or Parmanand. These women remembered everyone's birthday. They  remembered  the Shradha of every deceased member of their family. None knew when they were born. The conjugal bliss was unknown to them . For them , married life meant service ,surrender,child bearing , sacrifice, compromise  and self neglect. They had no time to think beyond  these things. These women were from my  family . They were related to me . A mother, a grandmother,a Maasi ,a Maami ,a Bua or an aunt. They lived in my neighbourhood or in the families of my friends.This tribe is nowhere to be seen now.They don't make such   people anymore in a world that is driven by values of utility and expediency.

I had only two white shirts for my school uniform. After i hit my head against the railing of the Jogilanker bridge, one of my white shirts was torn. I was left with only one shirt . Thereafter , everyday , my mother  would wash and iron this lone shirt   after i returned from  the school . Never did I feel that I had only one shirt. She had learnt tailoring as well  at her parental home . Every month she asked my father to bring her a sewing machine. It was beyond his means. And then she bought a piece of white poplin cloth  from Malik cloth shop near Jogilanker bridge.This type of credit  was repaid by her from the meagre monthly household expenditure . 

 And  one night, I saw her  stitching  a white  shirt for me with needle and thread. She had carefully cut the white Poplin cloth to make a shirt out of it.Next day , she gave me a new  hand stitched shirt for  my uniform . For many days ,as she served us food, I saw her three   bruised finger tips .She  had injured them with pricks that the stitching  needle gave her. A time came in my life when many such debts could be repaid to her but she was nowhere around. She had left this world .To this day, the stitching needle  that she used for stitching my shirt, remains somewhere deep within my heart  unable to stitch the old wound .

" Meri har gazal ko ye aarzoo

Tujhe saj saja ke nikaaliye,

Meri fikr ho tera aaina

Mere naghme hon tera pairhan." …………( Firaq Gorakhpuri )



( My lyrics have just one aim

to show you forth in finest form,

Mirror your image in my thoughts

Clothe  you in melody sweet.)



(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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