Monday, September 26, 2022




( A black stone sculpture of Durga Mahishasurmardini relating to 11th century India in Metropolitan Museum of Art ,New York. ) 
One of the most popular face of Goddess Durga seen in paintings and Sculptures of the Indian subcontinent is Mahishasurmardini. Adi Sankara wrote a complete Stotram in praise of Durga as Mahishasurmardini. The Stotram was popularised during the rise of the Sakta tradition in India.The Stotram begins like this :-
"Ayi Giri-Nandini Nandita-Medini 
Vishva-Vinodini Nandi-Nute...
 Vissnnu-Vilaasini Jissnnu-Nute....
Bhagavati He Shiti-Kannttha-Kuttumbini 
Bhuri-Kuttumbini Bhuri-Krte..
Jaya Jaya hey Mahissaasura-Mardini 
Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute"...............
As per Hindu scriptures , Goddess Durga killed the demon ( Asura; ) Mahisha who had threatened the cosmic order. The universe was saved by this action of the Goddess .This sculpture depicts the climax of the battle between the goddess and the demon. There is hardly any artist in the country who has not painted Durga as Mahishasurmardini . There is hardly any area in the Indian subcontinent where Mahishasumardini sculptures relating to ancient and mediaeval periods have not been found .
Not many amongst us know that Mysore (Mahishooru) gets its name from Mahishasuramardini, a swaroopa of Goddess Durga . Also known as Chamundeshwari, people in Mysore believe that the demon Mahishasura was killed atop the Chamundi Hills where the Chamundeshwari Temple exists at present.
( Avtar Mota)


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Saturday, September 24, 2022





                                      CD RELEASE


When Mohan Gatkaar retired from government service , he decided to fulfill his long cherished desire of releasing a CD of the songs that he had written while in service . Now that he had received his gratuity and provident fund dues , he could easily set aside one lakh rupee from his terminal dues for this CD recording and release activity. Mohan Gatkaar was always fascinated by the CD release functions . In fact he had seen poet Gaffar Beparvaah releasing the CD of his Kashmiri songs in a grand function attended by Nazir Naujawan, the Minister for labour and prisons . In that function, the minister had praised Gaffar Beparvah as poet and social activist. The minister had also assured Gaffar Beparvah that he will ensure that the government buys at least 100 CDs from Gaffar Beparvah to be given to prisoners for changing their mindset and helping them in resettlement in the society once they complete their prison terms. The audience had lustily cheered this statement. There and then, Mohan Gatkaar had decided to go for a similar CD release function.

 Although Ashok Tansen and Sanam Tarana sang the songs of Gaffar Beparvah , yet people didn't buy this CD . Chirgish Radios, a leading electronic shop in the city couldn't sell even a single CD of these songs even after newspaper coverages and wide publicity . Out of the 500 CDs made by Gaffar Beparvah, only 50 were distributed free on the CD release day . The rest remained packed in boxes. Gaffar Beparvah had approached Nazir Naujawan twice for purchase of 100 CDs for prisoners as assured but the minister's PA had shown him the door saying that there was no such provision in the government rules . The PA had added that such statements were only meant for consumption in rallies and functions . Gaffar Beparvah had paid fifty thousand rupees to Fursat Tabassum to compose music for the CD songs. Another twenty thousand rupees were charged by Pamosh Pareshan, proprietor of Chirgish Radios for making 500 CDs of the recording done by Fursat Tabassum. The CD covers had a colourful photo of Gaffar Beparvah with long hair whereby he could be easily mistaken for Nikolai Gogol , the well known Russian novelist and short story writer.


Initially, when Fursat Tabassum had listened the songs for which he was required to compose music, he had said this to Gaffar Beparvaah :-


" Gaffar Sahib, I was reading your poetry that has neither head nor tail. One line goes from Kashmir to Kolkata for selling shawls while the other one ends up at Azadpur fruit Mandi, Delhi to sell apples. What do you sell ; shawls or apples ? These poems can't be put to music . Print them and hold a book release function instead .I find some Djin of Malkhaah Qabaristan or Noorbagh Shamshan in your poems. Have you gone to these localities for poetic inspiration ?Although this Djin is seki-lar ( secular) yet every music composer will run away from this Djin. Better go to Ilhaam Sahib. He will use his pen to remove the Djin and then some music composer will accept the challenge.Get the Djin killed ,I will use Raag Birwa ( Bhairavi) for it. I am a new style musician .  I can compose a  Kashmiri song in  Bharti Shistar Sangait ( Bharatiya Shastriya Sangeet or Hindustani Classical Music)  and Hindi song in Kashmiri Sufiana Music . I know all Ragaas and all Maqaams and all music  .You get me .  "


Fursat Tabassum had declined to set tunes for the Kashmiri songs written by Mohan Gatkaar. But when Mohan Gatkaar sought the intervention of his childhood friend Qadir Charpoy, things appeared to move favourably. Thereafter, Fursat Tabassum spoke twice to Mohan Gatkaar and put forth his conditions including a fresh-up programme and Riyaz at Patnitop for three days . Mohan Gatkaar readily agreed to all the conditions.When Mohan Gatkaar received the final call from Fursat Tabassum , he went to the bank and w Jiithdrew cash from his 'Pension Account ' for making some local purchases. Next day he took early morning taxi to Patnitop hill station in Jammu along with six  bottles of Peter Scot whisky, 10 bottles of Soda , two kg of mixed dry fruits, twenty packets of potato chips and two dozen packets of India King cigarettes . Two cooks with all provisions especially chicken, bakery, Basmati rice, mutton, fruits ,vegetables, spices, eggs, bread , butter , clarified butter( Desi Ghee) , P Mark mustard oil , fruits , sweets , Lipton and Namkeen ( Sheer Chai ) tea and Kaju Barfi from Pahalwan 's shop were all despatched to Patnitop with the advance party. A hut had already been booked at Patnitop where Fursat Tabassum,his musicians and his debut singer Raja Junoon were required to stay .This team had to come from Srinagar in a taxi that was arranged by Mohan Gatkaar . Some other members of the team included Bashir Banjo, Manzoor Zakhmi, Sattar Tumbaknaar, Manmohan Chimta,  and Gulzar Nott . While all members arrived from Srinagar, Manmohan Chimta came from Jammu as he had moved to Jammu after the turmoil of 1990s .


As per unverified reports, Raja Junoon had learnt music from Fursat Tabassum . Fursat Tabassum claimed himself to be a direct disciple of Pandit Shambhu Nath Sopori, a respected classical musician of the J&K state. Qadir Charpoy ,a resident of Wazir Bagh locality in Srinagar city had doubts about the  musical knowledge of Fursat Tabassum whom he knew as Fursat Harmonium.He had never seen Fursat Tabassum in Wazir Bagh locality where Pandit Shambhu Nath Sopori resided and taught music to some established singers and musicians of Kashmir. Linking their name with Pandit Ji gave respect and acceptance to any singer or musician in the Kashmir valley. Although Qadir Charpoy was a family friend of Fursat Tabassum yet he would privately narrate some interesting anecdotes and stories about Fursat Tabassum. Qadir Charpoy would privately tell this to his close friends :- 

" I swear he does not know ABC of music. He is a great manipulator and clever person. I know him as Fursat Harmonium. Fursat Harmonium now Fursat Tabassum had developed friendship with Jogis or wandering Sadhus who visited Srinagar during summer season . The Jogis would play tunes of popular film Bhajans on Harmonium for their door to door begging . They camped at Durganag temple or Ram Bagh Samadhi Temples and smoked Charas during their harmonium Riyaz . Fursat Harmonium ( Tabassum ) also opened his creative vision with some puffs of Charas and learnt to play harmonium in their company. Sometimes, he would share food with them. Immediately after Amarnath Yatra, these Jogis would leave to the plains of India and Fursat Tabassum would be idle. During his idle period , he would go to' Bright Candle Drama Club' to gossip with Sataar Tumbaknaar and Manmohan Chimta .He doesn't know anything about Ragaas of Indian Classical Music nor Maqams of Sufiyana music. He has heard some names which he brings into discussions to impress people. His Kashmiri compositions are mostly done by Sataar Tumbaknaar and Manmohan Chimta to whom he secretly pays 500 rupees each per composition while bargaining hefty amounts from his clients. Initially nicknamed Fursat Harmonium, the name was changed to Fursat Tabassum after some people saw a photograph of Hindi film actress Tabassum in his wallet . That day onwards he came to be known as Fursat Tabassum. He encouraged people to call him by that name and it stuck . It gave him the feel of Sufi Tabassum ,a popular and successful lyricist of Pakistan film industry . "

Fursat Tabassum finally agreed to set tunes and score music for 6 Kashmiri songs of Mohan Gatkaar at Patnitop . The final recording was to be done at "Viral Digital Recording Studio ,Jammu" owned by Billu Bawra . Billu Bawra had tried his luck at Mumbai for three years as singer but couldn't get a break. When he approached Narayan Noor , a film musician who had scored music for C grade film, " Rangeeli Rano ", he felt Narayan Noor advised him to open 'Rajmah Chawal' Dhaba in Jammu for tourists instead of dabbling in music . Narayan Noor was idle as "Rangeeli Rano " didn't do much business even in rural areas of Punjab ,Haryana and U P , the target territorries of the film. Accordingly, Billu Bawara returned to his roots but opened a digital recording studio after pressurising his father to sell two Kanals of land in their native village. To put end to any further demand for sale of assets ,Billu Bawra's father had published a "Farghati " notice in newspapers disowning his son. In Jammu, Billu Bawra befriended Gaasha Draal who was active in finding sellers for Kashmir based property agents . Together with Kashmir based agents , he kept visiting the owners of property (left in Kashmir ) from amongst the exiled Kashmiri Pandits . He made a good money from this activity which he continued till 2010. After 2010, Gaasha tried his luck by entering management of some religious or educational institutions opened by exiled Pandit community .His name often appeared in newspapers for statements that he gave on behalf of his NGO or the press conferences that he organized for ' A to Z Humanity Service " the NGO created by him.Quite often, his photo appeared in newspapers for activities like tree plantation or distribution of copies to school children . It was he who had suggested to Billu Bawra to display " Special Concession for Kashmiri Migrants " notice board outside his recording studio .Now that the team of Fursat Tabassum had to come to Jammu for recording, Mohan Gatkaar made advance bookings in a Jammu hotel.  

After little fresh up at Patnitop, Fursat Tabassum called Mohan Gatkaar and asked for the written lyrics of all the 6 songs that were to be recorded so that his artists could create tunes and do some Riyaz apart from getting the feel to be translated into music . Raja Junoon and the musicians pounced upon the India Kings cigarettes kept in a plate with a lighter. Every artist started smoking while Fursat Tabassum read the first song :-

" Tse kameu karanai kokran chhug

  Pherenas tal tsolaya hyath nug 

  Lalvaan chhukh vaen Amitchiyi dhug

...............Yaro vun baal- yaaro vun"

( Who ran after your chicken ?

Who stole it away hiding it under his Pheran? 

Who passed on this pain and suffering to you?

Friend ,let me know,

My childhood companion , let me know?)

When Raja Junoon heard the lyrics, he looked towards Fursat Tabassum and said:-

" Am I going to sing this ? No, no . This is animal poetry. A hen has been stolen and what is great about it ? Fursat Sahib, you can't give me a break with this song ."

At this point in time,Fursat gulped the residual liquor left in his glass, put his hand on fork and hurriedly ate the remaining three pieces of fried chicken in the plate before him . Thereafter he asked Mohan Gatkaar to fill his glass with soda and large peg of Peter Scot. Lighting a cigarette placed under his lips , he put his hand on Raja Junoon's shoulder and said this :-

" You are a young boy. I have seen the whole world. I know all poetry ,all music , all drama and all markets . I know what to sell where and how . This poetry is no doubt about cock or hen theft but people like such things now. Chicken is the sunrise business. Don't you know KFC shop in Srinagar ? Any song is selling if it has good music. We will make a cocktail tune for it. That tune will be based on mixing Raag Birwa and Maqaam Rast e Farsi. I had told Mohan Ji to bring some old Monk also but he got only Peter Scot. You would have seen what wonders cocktail does. Have you heard the popular song ," Chal chal chal mere Saathi , O mere haathi 'or 'Teetar ke do aage teetar' or 'lakdi ki kaathi , kaathi pe gorra' or' Mera gadha gadhon ka leader' or 'Kabootar Jaa Jaa Jaa' . These are animal or bird songs set to music . I can tell you 100 such songs sung by great Mohammad Rafiq Sahib or great  Lita  Sahiba ." 

Manmohan Chimta intervened to say this:-

" Fursat Sahib , I think you mean Bhairavi . I haven't heard Birwa Raag. Is it new Raag ?" And how will we combine Sufiana Maqaam with Hindustani classical Raag. And Do you mean Rafi Sahib and Lata Mangeshkar ? " 

Sattar Tumbaknaar was  sitting nearby and smoking India Kings cigarettes. He looked at Fursat's face . Fursat had closed his eyes . He was possibly planning something . Sattar pinched Manmohan Chimta's arm and both smiled .After about five minutes, Fursat Tabassum suddenly opened his eyes and looked around but said nothing . He asked Mohan Gatkaar to make a large peg for Manmohan Chimta and keep the dinner ready. He added that after the dinner , he planned to sit with his team for creating tunes and doing some Riyaz .


It was 9 pm . November month is almost begining of the winter season in a hill station like Patnitop. A strange silence visits this hill station after sunset . The Chenani tunnel has diverted entire traffic away from  this hill station. The roads  look empty and deserted after sunset. There is  hardly any Srinagar or Jammu bound  vehicle that moves via Patnitop now .After sunset ,the visitors at this hill station stay inside their rooms busy with  drinks , food ,love making or    sleep.

The cook was waiting for  the food to be served  .The caretaker of the hut had come with a  filled gas cylinder that the cook had sought for the kitchen. Mohan Gatkaar's guests had finished all the  six chickens brought from Jammu  that were deep fried after being cut to small pieces. When Mohan Gatkaar saw the caretaker , he enquired about availability of chicken and liquor  in Patnitop. The caretaker   assured to bring everything from Kud or Batote on his motorcycle   on cash payment .  Hearing this, Mohan Gatkaar dug six 500 rupee notes from his pocket and gave them to the caretaker requesting  him to bring 5 bottles of Old Monk rum and 6  chickens next day after lunch time . Putting the money in his pocket, the caretaker said:-

" Pandit Ji in case you want to withdraw cash, we can go to ATM at Kud or Batote . I can take you on my motorcycle. You may need more cash.  "
" No ,thanks. We shall hardly be here for two days more."
" You will not be free before 10 days. I know this  music party. This is their third visit . Last time they were with Bekal Bhalesi Sahib who also writes Kashmiri poetry. He is from Gandoh in Bhalesa ."

" Where is Bhalesa?"

"  At Thathri bridge  near Doda, if you take left turn ,the road leads you to Kishtwar along the Chenab river. However, if you take a right turn, the road leads you to Bhalesa . It is a hilly area . Gandoh falls in Bhalesa . Muslims in this area have Kashmiri ancestry.They speak Kashmiri apart from the local dialect. I am also from Gandoh . Bekal Sahib  is my maternal uncle . He retired from the education department as principal.  " 

" How many days the music party took for 5 songs of Bekal Bhalesi ?"

" Five days at Patnitop and another three days at  Bhaderwah  and then 3 days in Jammu for actual recording .In  total it took them 11 days for 5 songs."

" Did Bekal Sahib entertain them?"

" He booked a hut for them here and entrusted the task of their food and drinks to me. He gave me 20,000 lumpsum. I arranged everything. At Bhaderwah, he gave 15000 to  singer Nadarad Bhaderwahi who arranged their food and drinks . The hotel was booked by Bekal Sahib . Bekal Sahib had kept a Tata Sumo for all the 11 days at their disposal. "

" How did your maternal uncle  know them? I mean who recommended them to Bekal Sahib  ?"


" Bekal Sahib' s promotion case was held up for about 2 years as his file was missing . He had to visit Jammu secretariat for that job. There he met Qadir Charpoy , senior head clerk . Charpoy Sahib traced the file and got his case expedited in just ten days. Certainly nobody does these favours free. Then my uncle invited him for a Kashmiri Mushiara at Kaahra in Bhalesa. He became a family friend and it was he who recommended this music team to my uncle. Qadir Charpoy also knows Billu Bawra the owner of the recording studio in Jammu. He also knows another youngman known as Gaasha Draal. Together , both of them , I mean Charpoy Sahib and Gaasha draal sold about 60 houses of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to Srinagar based parties or brokers . Gaasha's job was simply to locate the property owners in Jammu. Then Qadir Charpoy and Srinagar based brokers would come to close the deals. I am witness to one deal. That old Pandit Ji was paid simple peanuts."

"How do you know all this ?"

" Because  Gaasha Draal used to book hut after every deal and Qadir Charpoy would come here for relaxing . "

Mohan Gatkaar turned serious after listening all this. ' How small the world is' , he said to himself.' How changed man Charpoy had turned after 1990. He had never thought of it. He considered him the same  god fearing and helpful Qadir Charpoy  whom he knew closely before 1990.

" Who bought music CDs of Bekal Bhalesi Sahib? "

" Aziz Traffic is younger brother of Bekal Sahib and he has always been posted on National Highway. I mean on the road stretch from Batote to Banihal and also from Batote to Pull Doda or Bhaderwah and Kishtwar. There are about 500 Dhabas on this stretch out of which more than 200 are owned by Kashmiri speaking people from Batote, Ramban, Banihal, Chamalvas, Neel, khilaini, Assar, Baggar, Jangalwaar , Prem Nagar, Doda city, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, and Bhalesa.We gave one CD free to about 200 Dhabas with instructions from Aziz Traffic Sahib to play the songs during business time. One  hundred CDs were taken by  Billu Bawra and Gaasha Draal for distribution in gatherings of Jammu based Pandits .About 50 were given to friends and relations by Bekal Sahib. The remaining CDs are with Bekal Sahib ."

" How was the response at the Dhabas and hotels ?"

" We never visited the hotels and Dhabas but Rashid Kraipaak my friend from Kishtwar  who runs the   'National Hotel'  at Batote informed me that he lost some business on account of the CD. He said that one day Aziz Traffic was having his usual breakfast in his hotel when a full  bus of  students from Jammu dropped in.They were going to Baglihaar and Banihal on their study tour. The songs of Bekal Sahib were being loudly played in the hotel as Aziz Traffic was there. The students asked change to Hindi film songs but Rashid Kraipaak could not annoy Aziz Sahib. He declined and the group moved to nearby hotel."

" Any song from the CD that you remember?"

" One song that I like goes like this ," Lum jejeeri thool tai beyi sheer chaai, Maaz paav bataah plate khyath khalak draai. 

(Have puffs from the Hukaah,have eggs and have salt tea, people are happily leaving after relishing 250gm mutton in a rice plate ). 

This possibly Bekal Sahib had written  keeping the Kashmiri hotels in his mind . "

" You know all. Nice  to meet you ."

" Pandit Ji when big players play  money games , every winner throws up some coins for the Tamaashbeen ( onlookers ) to pick up. I am one such Tamaashbeen  of these games."

Coming to the hut ; Raja Junoon was feeling  hungry . He was sitting on the verandah of the hut  and singing some song. Bashir Banjo had his 13th run towards the toilet on account of his enlarged prostate. It appeared he had come to Patnitop for urination only.   Manmohan Chimta had started his  third large peg while Sattar Tumbhaknaar had secretly put three unopened India Kings cigarette  packets in his suitcase apart from eating about  half kg of Kaju Barfi that was lying on the table. Fursat Tabassum  was feeling sleepy and  singing something that was not audible.He was heard saying this,:-

" Raag Birwa mix Rast e Farsi . .Husan e Shayari  barsar barsar .Mohan Ji  aamad e Sahar  , Peetha award Sakhar kar sakhar kar   File az daakhil e daftar..."

Manmohan Chimta suddenly got up and brought  Mohan Gatkaar   near  Fursat Tabassum and said," listen the prophecy . Your poetry is great . He wishes you a   Gyanpeeth award. Peetha means Gyanpeeth award that was given to the Kashmiri poet Rehman Rahi . It was given to Ali Sardar Jafri and Majrooh Sultanpuri. Gyanpeeth ,Rehman Rahi, Sardar Jafri Majrooh Sultanpuri and Mohan Gatkaar. Gyanpeeth  .Gyanpeeth. Wah wah. Wah wah "

At that point in time Fursat Tabassum again said:-
" Raag Birwa mix Rast e Farsi . .Husan e Shayari  barsar barsar .Mohan Ji  aamad e Sahar  , Peetha award  sakhar kar   .File az daakhil e daftar..."

Hearing this, Mohan Gatkaar went  to the kitchen  and brought  some boneless pieces of Roganjosh  and three forks in a plate and put them before Fursat and  Manmohan Chimta. Fursat  took no time in devouring five pieces of delicious Roganjosh .Manmohan also put two pieces of Roganjosh in his mouth and passed on the plate to  Bashir Banjo who had just come out from the toilet.

It was 11 pm. Patnitop had slept .The lights in almost all the huts had been switched off. The cooks had taken their dinner and were waiting for the guests to eat so that they could sleep.Mohan Gatkaar went to Manmohan Chimta and requested him to make the cooks free from the dinner business as they needed to sleep. Manmohan Chimta and Sattar Tumbhaknaar woke up the music party for their dinner. By then, Bashir Banjo had made 20 visits to the toilet .Once the dinner was over , everybody went to sleep. Putting his expensive spectacles with cylindrical lenses on the side table , Fursat went to sleep . He had a habit of sleeping without shirt and Pyjama. Accordingly, he removed his shirt and pyjama , threw them on the chair and slept wearing underwear and under shirt. Very soon he was in his deep slumber snoring violently . For this reason, he was made to sleep alone in the room. Mohan Gatkaar slept with the cooks in the lobby. Before sleeping he entered details of the expenditure on 'CD RELEASE' in his diary. To his surprise, he found that he had spent more than 53000 rupees . He needed to spend another 60000 more . And if the music party stayed for 10 or 12 days in toto, the expenditure could cross 150000 rupees including the hefty sum of 40000 demanded by Billu Bawara for CD recording and 500 copies under "Concession to Kashmiri Migrants " plan devised by Gaasha Draal. 

He looked at his wrist watch . It was 11.45 pm. He was about to sleep when he received a call from Qadir Charpoy. 

" How are you Mohan Ji. How are children and Bhabi ji. Has Fursat started his Riyaz. Has any tune been created? Who else is in the room ? Can we talk although it is late but being your childhood friend, I thought I should take this liberty ? "

" The cooks are sleeping in the room. Any urgency? Please continue."

" Mohan Ji , I want to help you and save your hard earned money. After all you are a family member and we have childhood association. In that context , I suggest you not to come to Jammu for recording . You go to Bhaderwah straight . The musicians will like the weather and my close friend has a soundproof recording studio in Seri Bazaar. I have already spoken to him. His name is Nadarad Bhaderwahi. He is a singer as well. Forget Buel Baavur (Billu Bawra) and Gaasha Draal. I know them fully well. I am going to Delhi for some official work and I shall buy 500 CDs at wholesale rate from Nehru Ji Palace ( Nehru Place ) . I will buy the best CDs . After all it is our , I mean we brothers, you and me , first event . Misser Beri ( Moser Baer) is the best CD. I have already spoken to the dealer. He will give us 500 Misser Beri CDs for 13000 rupees. A class CD . Concession. Heavy concession. Nadarad Bhaderwahi will charge 18000 for recording 6 songs . You save 9000 straight and then you save transportation and hotel costs. Nadarad will keep the musicians in 'Beraham Hotel ' on the outskirts of the town . He will arrange local cook and provisions and other things at cheap rates. You can send them in a Taxi via Simthen pass . They will go through Kishtwar - Anantnag road. Manmohan Chimta and you can come in 2 by 2 seater buses to Jammu. And Nadarad Bhaderwahi and party have recorded some songs of Khandvaav Kishtwari and Garazmand Bhaderwahi in their studio. This CD is hot sale item. They have already sold 500 CDs on cash payment in Doda, Kishtwar,Ramban and Bhalesa . From Kashmir ,Nadarad recorded 6 songs of Hushmush Vejbrori at his studio. All the songs are hit . Come to Kashmir and you will find all Tata Sumos and Matadors in Anantnaag district playing songs of Hushmush Sahib . You must have heard the song in marriages ,' Laar ke yaar myno yi chhi kokker tsaas ' . This song has been written by Hushmush Vejbrori. A class recording done by Nadarad Bhaderwahi Now Soor Suratengi is also going to Nadarad ' s recording studio for his new CD "

" Okay. I will keep this suggestion in mind."

Next day Bashir Banjo got up at 6 am and by 7 am , he had made three trips to the common toilet in the lobby where Mohan Gatkaar and cooks were sleeping. The breakfast comprising of eggs,Paratha, Gobi Sabzi ,curd , butter toasts and tea was ready at 9.30 am. Fursat Tabassum had suggested to his team that they shall start Riyaaz and music session at 9.30 am but he was yet to come out of the bed. It was 10.30 am and except Chimta , Banjo and Mohan Gatkaar, everybody was sleeping. The cooks asked Manmohan Chimta to bring all into the lobby for breakfast as they had to start cooking lunch . Finally at 11 am the musicians had their breakfast and Fursat Tabassum went out for a stroll taking a new pack of India Kings cigarettes with him. He returned at 1 pm and saw his group musicians helping the cooks . Manmohan Chimta was frying chicken pieces that the caretaker had brought. The moment Fursat Tabassum saw leg pieces being fried , he signalled his musicians to bring their instruments alongwith his Harmonium into the lobby . Thereafter he said this :-

" We shall start with first song.The song of chicken theft. I was reading MohanJi's song.It needs some addition as concluding segment. That segment should have Mohan Ji's name. And Mohan Ji, I would prefer recording in Bhaderwah at Nadarad Bhaderwahi 's studio. Qadir Charpoy, our friend and well-wishers has clarified everything to me .Why go to Jammu ? Till Mohan Ji writes the last segment of the song ,i shall read other five songs . Mohan Ji is a great host . This is hospitality. This is Kashmiriyat . This is sekulari-azam ( secularism ) . This is Baichara( brotherhood). This is why Gandhi Ji saw a ray of light in Kashmir . My throat has some irritation. Manmoohana (Manmohan Chimta ) , can you make a glass of rum with soda before we start ? You can bring some fried leg pieces . Mohan Ji , you take copy and pen and go to the room. Write the last lines . That first song looks incomplete . I am waiting . "

Saying so , Fursat put his hand on harmonium and created some loud sound and cried:-

" Tse kameu karanai kokaran chhug"

At this point in time, Bashir Banjo clapped his hand in appreciation. Manmohan Chimta cried ,'wah wah', Manzoor Zakhmi said, 'gazab ! gazab!' , Sattar Tumbaknaar created a loud bang sound by hitting his Tumbaknaar with right hand fingers , and Gulzar Nott put multiple metal rings on his fingers and hit his Matka or Nott . 

 Now Manmohan Chimta got up, brought the rum and soda bottles into the lobby. He asked the cooks to deep fry some leg pieces while Mohan Gatkaar went to the bedroom along with his notebook and pen and closed the door. He was about to sit, when he recived a call from his son Pintoo Ji. Pintu Ji was studying B.Tech. in a Mumbai college. Pintoo Ji told this to his father :-

"Papa , where are you ? I need to talk to you. Our college is organising the Annual Cultural Festival. I have been selected as the Secretary of the College Cultural Society. The college will spend on everything but the private recording of the event has to be our effort . I mean the college will provide us a spacious hall with all infrastructure, refreshments, photographer, banners, event booklet printing with photos and write ups , bouquets, gifts for guests and many more things. We want to do private recording of the event and make video CD of the main stage function. I along with my friends contacted some digital recording studios and we selected one who is charging 4000 rupees for recording the entire event. We shall give him 500 Moser Baer CDs that shall be purchased @ 6 rupees per CD

. He shall charge another 1500 rupees for making 500 copies. In total it is an expenditure of 8500 rupees . We friends have decided to pool 900 rupees each for this expenditure. The CDs will be distributed free to three colleges including all the students and staff of our college . Kindly send this 900 by Saturday. I am waiting ." 

(Avtar Mota )



  This is a work of fiction ( humour ). Any resemblance to any person living or dead is a mere coincidence. ................ The short story  is incomplete... To be concluded and  updated shortly .


Creative Commons License CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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Thursday, September 22, 2022




I have always admired the intensity of feelings in Mahadevi Verma's(1907-1986) poetry. Today , suddenly i remembered her poem " Dev Ab vardaan Kaisa ". Love this poem wherein she addresses and conveys her intensely felt loneliness and suffering ( in her life's journey ) to her Lord, her beloved . Some lines that came to mind today are as under:-

"Yug-yugaantar ki pathik mein
Chhu kabhi loon chhaanh teri
Le phiroon sudhi deep see
Phir raah me apni Andheri
Lautata laghu pal na dekha
 Nit naye khshan roop rekha 
Chir batohi me , mujhe
Chir panguta ka dhaan kaisa
.....…............Dev ab vardaan kaisa ..."
( Mahadevi Verma)

(युगयुगान्तर की पथिक मैं 
छू कभी लूँ छाँह तेरी,
ले फिरूँ सुधि दीप सी, 
फिर राह में अपनी अँधेरी;

लौटता लघु पल न देखा,
नित नये क्षण-रूप-रेखा,

चिर बटोही मैं, मुझे
चिर पंगुता का दान कैसा!
........देव अब वरदान कैसा)

(महादेवी वर्मा)

My hurried English rendering is like this :-

"A traveller that i have been for ages,
Someday ,
Let me touch your shadow only ,
Thereafter ,
Let me carry those memories,
Like a lamp ,
To brighten up my dark journey paths.
No moment does return , 
never did I see so in my journey ,
and for me , 
each moment arrived with
 newer outline and newer presentation.
An age to age traveller that i am ,
Lord ! 
Why this gift of prolonged lameness for me ?

My lord ! 
My love ! 
What is this gift to me ? "

( Avtar Mota)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022



When you forget to add salt to the  dishes cooked for the feast...

( Photo ..Avtar Mota)

"Saal voan shatuss
Sabh beeth batuss
vaaen pyom tcheitus
Graekki vizi noon....."

(I sent invitation to a hundred guests for the feast , 
the guests arrived and sat for the feast, 
 Suddenly , i remember I  had not
 added salt to  the  dishes....)

(Avtar Mota )


In Kashmiri language,Graekk literally means boiling.  But in above lines it would be better to understand the word as peak time or when too many things are to be done and we are stressed with no time to attend to something that should have been already done  . Remembering it later when it can't be done has no use.

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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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Saturday, September 17, 2022





He was a roaming Mastaana ,who was highly revered and respected in Kashmir . Some believed him to be a saint .He was known as  Nand-Mot , Nand Mastana and  Nand Malang  as well. Some said he was the  highly spiritual personality that Kashmir ever saw . He  dressed inhibition free. He spoke in a language that was not straight . Did he use  metaphors ? May be as many believed so. He passed on half sipped tea cups to his followers . Sometimes he threw half smoked cigarettes amongst his followers .  Kashmiri Pandits  in general and some  Muslims  in particular  were his ardent followers . Always restless , he   exhibited traits of eccentricity .I saw him once in the house of his follower in Karan Nagar Chowk  , Srinagar . That day  he  was writing something on paper pieces and passing on the slip to his follwwers . He wrote in Urdu . It wasn’t legible .Some people read it and cracked the metaphors used in the text .

In 2009,  Abdul Hamid Bakshi told me this :-


" My brother Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad Sahib held Nand Bub or Swami Nand Lal Ji in highest esteem. I along with some common friends would visit him . He came to my house once and immediately asked to be taken to Pahalgham. With an Englishman's cap on his head, a tilak on his forehead , a stick in his hand and sunglasses he sat on the front seat of the car .We must have hardly reached Mattan when he asked to be brought back to Srinagar. On return , he stopped near Sonawar and put some stones on a vacant plot of land and cried loudly ' kaare nek bunglow e khaas aamdani aamdani' ( good job to be performed . Special Bunglow to be built  that will give only income ). Avtar Ji believe me when i say that after some years we decided to construct Hotel Shangrila on that vacant piece of land. "


Another elderly relation told me this :-


" Alakh ta Onkar Nath Dhar ..Daekhil e Daftar Saakin e Sekidafar.. Radhamaal Vangijvor. Kar vaen ora yor. Beh pathar. Taluk Pyath "( It is Onkar Nath Dhar.He has to go to his office . He resides in Sekidafar locality  .  And Radhamaal , the kady has to go to a  rented house . Sometimes here and sometimes there. Sit down , it is something like upside down. ) .  Heard him say these words once in a gathering at Karan Nagar house of his devotee.A close relative took me along to that house . This relative later told me that future events of Omkar Nath Dhar and Radhamaal were emphatically revealed by the saint through these words. I was later told that Omkar Nath Dhar was reinstated after a long suspension period while Radhamal had to sell her house due to financial constraints and her family had to move to some rented accommodation."


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