Sunday, December 31, 2023

MY NEW MINI POEM AND UNFORGETTABLE CITY CALLED PARIS

                                     

 
 
PARIS, THE UNFORGETTABLE CITY 
 
I miss Paris. A city where a walk to the nearest market feels like a journey through art and culture. I love the city for the wealth of its architectural heritage. Its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum contribute to its enchanting reputation. Who doesn't love its art galleries, boulevards, cafes, wines, museums, historical buildings, fashion, cultural centres, theatres, cinema, Baudelaire, Emile Zola ,Andre Malraux, Marguerite Duras, Sartre, Camus, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas Auguste Rodin, Camille Pissarro and many more apart from almond croissants, macarons, steaming coffee or pain au chocolat? Its culture leaves an imprint on the spirit. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale but one that is very very much real. One can always see the heart of the city; warm and inspiring. One can hear the laughter of her heart in every street cafe.
 
I add three quotes about Paris, the "City of Lights ".
 
“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Breathe Paris in. It nourishes the soul.” -Victor Hugo
 
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” -...Ernest Hemingway
 
 
I wrote these lines for Paris...
 
 
( Hum se milo na aise )
 
jaise bus pal do pal nabh pe indra dhanush dikh paaye
Ya ikk sookhe khait se baadal bin barse udd jaaye
Jaise ikk beemar akela bookha hi so jaaye
...................Hum se milo na aise
 
Jaise ikk nirdhan maata bache ki baat ghumaaye
Bacha maange eik khilona maa chidiya dikhlaaye
Na milne par aksar bacha ro ro kar so jaaye
.........Hum se milo na aisse
 
( Avtar Mota )
 
 PS
 
 I wrote these lines on 31.12.2023
 


 

 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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

MY DOHA ....THE KOEL AND THE CROW


                                                                   


The Koel and the Crow

 
 
" Koel boli kaaga se
Madhur madhur kuchh bol
Jag mein meethi boli se
Har taalae ko khol..."
 
( Avtar Mota)
 
The above Doha was written by me just now for this photo sent by a friend

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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Friday, December 29, 2023

TABLA MAESTRO USTAAD ALLAH RAKHA : "EINSTEIN OF THE RHYTHM"

                                            
   ( Teaching students in his Mumbai house) 
     ( Ustaad reading morning newspaper )
                         ( Thoughtful Ustaad )
               ( Blessing Ustaad Zakir Hussain ) 
                  ( With Ahmed Jan Thirakwa ) 
( Change of instruments with Pandit Ravi Shanker)
     ( Father and son....Ustaad Allah Rakha and Ustaad Zakir Hussain )


USTAAD  ALLAH RAKHA ( 1919-2000 )....."EINSTEIN OF THE RHYTHM"

The well known American percussionist and musicologist Mickey Hart  called him " EINSTEIN OF THE RHYTHM". And this great Ustaad did all to introduce Eastern Tabla rhythms to the  West . He was a Tabla wizard next to the legendary Ahmed Jan Thirakwa.His talented son Zakir Hussain is also following father's footsteps. When he died , the then  president of India Shri  K.R. Narayanan said this :-

"An uncommon pulsation has been stilled. His wrists, palms, and fingers produced from the Tabla ,  percussion of magical quality which maintained the tenor and tempo of India's uniquely assimilative musical culture."

A proud Dogra and the son of a farmer, Allah Rakha was born at Bhagwal village falling in Hiranagar Tehsil( district Kathua)  ,  Jammu . Falling in Chan Arorian Panchayat block,  Bhagwal vilage is about 12km from Hiranagar town. Ustaad Allah Rakha  left his village when he was barely 12 years old to learn music from  Mian Qader Baksh of the Punjab Gharana (Punjabi Gharana ) ..At the age of 15, he had  learnt  Tabla and moved to Pathankote and later to Lahore where he stayed for some years .In 1930,   he joined the then AIR Lahore  .In 1940,  he joined   AIR Mumbai as station's first ever Tabla solo player .
His influence turned global when he accompanied  Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Allauddin Khan, Vilayat Khan, Vasant Rai, Ali Akbar Khan and  more specifically Pandit Ravi Shanker in various performances .  Ustaad Allah Rakha had closest  association with with Pandit Ravi Shanker and George Harrison  .
While Ustad used to generally team up with Pandit Ravi Shankar for his performances, he once collaborated with jazz drummer Buddy Rich for an album, Rich à la Rakha in 1968. Some of his greatest works have been in the form of albums Improvisations, West Meets East, Album 3 (with Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin, Jean Pierre Rampel, Martine Gelliot), Angel (1976), Master Drummers with Zakir Hussain (1991), Tabla Duet, Chhanda Dhara (1994), Ultimate in Taal-vidya, Magnasound/OMI (1996), Magical Moments of Rhythm with Zakir Hussain and Eternal Music (1997).He also accompanied several Carnatic musicians including  Vidwan K V Narayanaswamy ,
Vidwan Palghat Raghu and L Subramaniam.

Very few people  know he also composed music for about 35  Hindi films from 1943 to 1948. Some of them include 'Bewafa' (1947), Laila (1954), Khandaan' (1955), Alam Ara (1956). He worked closely with music director Naushad . His  name appears on the screen as 'A R Qureshi', hence easily missed by many film historians.

As father and  a  dedicated  teacher ,  he taught everything of Tabla to his talented sons Zakir Hussain  and Fazal Qureshi . His well known disciples include  Shankha Chatterjee  , Prafulla Athalye, Aditya Kalyanpur, Anuradha Pal, Nishikant Barodekar, Uday Ramdas and Yogesh Samsi .

He was honoured with Padama-Shri, Padama-Bushan  and Sangeet Natak Akademi  awards .Ustaad Allah Rakha  became a devotee of Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. He   was simple , god fearing and helpful person.  Meeting any   person from his land of birth would cheer him up. Dogri Sanstha Jammu also honoured Ustaad some years before his death and ustaad spoke fluent Dogri in his address during that event. This is what Manu Khajuria has tweeted about Ustaad Allah Rakha :-

"I was lucky to hear Ustad Allah Rakha ji speak chaste Dogri in an event in Delhi demanding the inclusion of the Dogri language in the 8th schedule."

In an interview to Ravinder Kaul, Ustaad Allah Rakha has said this in chaste Dogri  :-

" I have  travelled and performed all over the world  but Jammu is really very special. It is my homeland .The best recognition that  a man cherishes  is the one that he gets in his own homeland.I feel very elated. I feel I must  do something for my own land. I love to come here and converse in my own mother tongue ."

About  his sons  especially Zakir Hussain Ustaad Allah Rakha has said this :-

“I don’t expect my sons to be me because what I’m doing is already done. They’ve to be better than me. Photocopies are eventually consigned to the dust bin and only originals preserved.”

( Avtar Mota )



Creative Commons License
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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Monday, December 25, 2023

WHEN THE NEW BRIDE ENTERS HER IN LAW'S HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME

                                                 


VARIV   NISH -HAI   VAATCH-KHAI ..

After her marriage , when a  Kashmiri bride is about to enter her husband’s  house for the first time ,  the traditional  welcome is done with group singing ( Chhakri style with Tumbaknaari )  by Kashmiri  ladies . Quite often a Bacha ( male dressed as female) would also dance to high pitch beats and singing of ," Variv nish hai vaatch-khai " . They generally sing this :- ……..   

"Dhandhan kari  zchandan lisha
Variv nish-hai  vaatch_khaai
Zaamav korhaai kuthis gachcha
Variv nish-hai vaatch_khaai..'

( Polish your teeth with a piece of sandalwood ,
 You are  about to  enter  your inlaw’s  house .
Your husband’s sisters have decorated your room,
You are  about to  enter  your inlaw’s  house .)

I have heard this singing in Pandit and Muslim marriages. Pandits continue with the tradition in exile also.  Bachas are frequently engaged in marriages now. They are seen in Jammu and even in Delhi dancing in marriages. Presently, a Bacha is used by singing party to make people dance and collect extra money . A Bacha is introduced to make young and old dance . He is otherwise a member of the singing party . When the nav  nosh  enters variv for the first time after the lagan (which is generally a marriage hall) ,  the Bacha is there with singers . This is present position in at least 50 percent marriages. "Dhandhan kari zsndan lisha" is sung in evenings if it is day lagan and mornings if it is night lagan when the nav nosh enters variv. The singing party comes on Mehndiraat for almost full night and also for about  one hour when the nav nosh comes to variv after the lagan ceremony.

 Kashmiris had their traditional style of dance and music since ancient times. In Kashmiri  marriages,  the Vanvun singing can be traced to Vedic period and it bears close proximity to  Sama-Vedic chants of Rishis . Sama Veda is the Veda of melodies and chants. It is believed that the Sama Veda was compiled during 1200 or 1000 BCE . Sama Veda is exclusively compiled for ritual application. Its verses were chanted at the ceremonies such as the Soma-sacrifice. It praises deities such as Indra, Agni, and Soma. 

By and large , the Vanvun of Kashmiri Pandits  is governed by Varṇa (pronunciation), Svara (chanting notes), Mātrā (duration) Balam (force), Sāma (continuity) and Santāna (conjugation, punctuation). Sama-Vedic chants are also bound by these basic principles .

( Avtar Mota )

PS
For those who don't know Kashmiri

Nav.....means new

Nosh....means daughter in law

Variv ...means in law's house

Bacha ...A male dressed in female attire and dancing with a music party generally in marriages. This dance known as Bacha Nagma was introduced by Afghans in Kashmir.


Creative Commons License
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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

THE ICONIC JOURNALIST SHAM LAL (1912-2007)

                                            


                                    

                            ( Sham Lal 1967 )

                                     
                  ( Sham Lal by R K Lakshman )
                               ( Sham Lal in his study )
                                ( Sham Lal )
                      ( Sham Lal in his office 1967)
                                                    

 

REMEMBERING SHAM LAL (1912-2007), THE ICONIC JOURNALIST OF INDIA

 

 “ On this earth, many worlds remain uninhabited, yet people live in wrong places and waste their lives.”…………Nirmal Verma

 

All along his life, Sham Lal remained a friend of Hindi writer Nirmal Verma. Verma dropped in unannounced at his Mumbai residence. He also kept visiting him in Delhi. Nirmal Verma had lived in Prague (Czech Republic) for more than 10 years. He was invited by the Oriental Institute( Prague ) to initiate a programme of translation of modern Czech writers like Karel Capek, Milan Kundera, and Bohumil Hrabal into Hindi. Frenz Kafka ( writer and philosopher ), Jaroslav Seifert ( Nobel laureate poet ), Karel Capek ( famous writer ), Bertha von Suttner ( Nobel laureate novelist ), Alphonse Mucha ( famous artist ), Rainer Maria Rike ( poet and novelist ) and Jan Hammer ( the great musician ) belonged to Prague. Sigmund Freud was born in Prbor just four hour's drive from Prague. The well-known film director Milos Forman was a Czech from Caslav just one hour’s drive from Prague. In Prague, Verma had been fully exposed to the great corpus of European literature and art. With Nirmal Verma and Mexican poet/ philosopher Octavio Paz, Sham Lal felt intellectual compatibility. He shared this compatibility with many more persons within the country and outside.

 If one looks at the index to “A Hundred Encounters”, a collection of Sham Lal's writing, one gains some sense of the generous breadth of his world. It begins with Adorno and Akhmatova, moves through Baudelaire, the Bible and the Bhagwad Gita and traverses via Vishnu, Vidal, Van Gogh and Vyasa to, finally, Andrei Zhadnov. This anthology is a selection of his travels and encounters, of places and people - with a difference: his destination is the mindscape, and his encounters are with the people who challenged the limits of ideas. The book is a brief history of ideas in one hundred chapters. And the minds that pass through the pages are Adorno, Pound, Genet, Sartre, Kafka, Kundera, Said, Paz, Mann, Fuentes, Grass, Havel, Fukuyama, Derrida, Beckett, Auden, Malraux. Many elders still remember the illuminating write-up of Sham Lal in the TOI on Kafka and Thomas Mann. He begins with this:-

 "For long, I have had the uneasy feeling that the doctrine of karma takes us straight into Franz Kafka's world. For, when most religions which had their birth in this country seek release "whatever the name by which they call it" from the cycle of rebirths, and explain away all that the individual suffers as a consequence of his or her deeds in a previous life about which he or she knows nothing, the story is not very different from what the Czech writer tells in The Trial."

 Sham Lal’s editorials were discussed in coffee houses. His column, ’Life And Letters’ created debates in the intellectual circles of the country. I am told that copies of the Times of India that had his write-ups were physically sent to his admirers living in the US and UK. In India, his admirers included P N Haksar, Indira Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Narasimha Rao, L K Advani,, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Raj Kumar ( actor ), Devanand ( actor ), Akhtar ul Iman ( poet ), R N Kao, M F Husain, Harivansh Rai Bachan, Ali Sardar Jafri, Satyajit Ray, R K Laxman, Sombhu Mitra, Ram Kumar ( artist ), Prof Ratan Parimoo  and many more. The list is endless. He had a sizeable readership in Kashmir. I remember Peer Gias ud Din, P N Jalali, Bansi Parimu, Wahid Raina, Capt S K Tikoo, Janak Singh, V K Dethe, college professors and many more intellectuals discussing Sham Lal’s write-ups in Srinagar’s Coffee House. There used to be many more who I don’t remember or recollect at the moment. From Rainawari, I would include J L Raina, Predimen Wattal, Farooq Nazki, Sadiq Ali, Chaman Lal Abhay, Prof Puran Kachru, P N Kachru ( artist ) and many more including my friend Neter Raina.

Visitors to Sham Lal's residence at Gulmohar Park in New Delhi felt as if his house was constructed of books. From the floor to the ceiling in every room, one could only see books. He had original issues of many international magazines. Comprising of more than 25000 books, he had a vast collection of poetry, drama,, history, philosophy, religion and every important work ever published in the fields of criticism and humanities. The books were orderly arranged and well-stocked. People used to tell possibly an apocryphal story about the thieves who broke into his Delhi house and were disgusted that there was nothing but books from floor to ceiling in every room . Into this private library, those who dropped in usually included Octavio Paz, André Béteille, Ian Jack , Bipan Chandra , Nirmal Verma , Giri Lal Jain, Subhash Chakravarti, Sukhomoy Chakraborty, Gautam Adhikari and many more friends of Sham Lal.

 Born in 1912, Sham Lal took a master's degree in English literature in 1933. In 1934, armed with a degree in English, he arrived at the office of what was then a stressed paper called The Hindustan Times. The paper was on the verge of closure but didn't die because of its financier Seth Ghanshyam Das Birla. In 1950, Sham Lal moved to the Times of India rising up the ladder to become its editor. Post retirement from the TOI, he joined The Telegraph in 1993. For over 60 years, Sham Lal chronicled the birth of the Indian nation, its pains, its anxious moments, its disappointments, and its rare moments of ecstasy. But his has not been a chronicle of events or even a commentary upon them. His has been, throughout, a chronicle of the ideas that shaped the birth of the Indian nation. Sham Lal had the exceptional skill to combine material with clarity to yield a style that bordered on poetry. Very few non-English-born writers have succeeded in this rare art. He could combine the colloquial, often the humdrum usage of English with the sublime, to create prose that was bright in its originality. The veteran journalist who wrote a weekly literary column in the Mumbai edition of the TOI called Life and Letters was an institution unto himself. After retirement, he continued writing this hugely popular literary column for The Telegraph and occasionally wrote for a journal, Biblio: A Review of Books.

 In 2003, the second volume of Sham Lal's collected writings was released. It carried the title 'Indian Realities - In Bits and Pieces'. This collection of over a hundred of Sham Lal's writings as a columnist analyses the larger forces at work in today's world and their impact on the course of events in this country. Sham Lal provides a nuanced view on complex issues such as globalisation, democracy and economic liberalisation. His interaction with historians, sociologists, economists, political scientists, poets and novelists reveals a collection of writing that is multi-layered, analytical and intelligent and, above all, extremely relevant in today's times. Through this book, one comes to know his amazing understanding of the kind and malicious forces at work in India . About poets, playwrights and novelists, Sham Lal says this:-

 “It is they, in contrast to social scientists, who are primarily concerned with existential problems and seek answers to questions which bug the more sensitive today, who wonder why, even in affluent societies, people look so distraught, personal reactions get so skewed and so many are afflicted by ennui, and a sense of loneliness or of loss of meaning.”

 Octavio Paz, a Nobel Laureate and Mexican Ambassador in India, referred to Sham Lal as -The brilliant Sham Lal... as deeply read in modern Western thought as in the philosophical traditions of India. When Paz died, Sham Lal paid this magnificent tribute to his friend Octavio Paz,: 'In his death, the world, with large parts of it under the sway of moral cretins, has lost a sane voice sensitive to the ignominy of a modernity gone berserk.'

 About Sham Lal , Darryl D'Monte writes this:-

 “He had no time for pedants or publicists. Prem Shankar Jha remembered how he once accompanied Sham Lal who had, much against his better judgement, accepted an invitation to dinner at the French Ambassador's residence. They were first kept waiting while the host came down. But Sham Lal's discomfiture was compounded when the Ambassador insisted on using the occasion for some sales pitch about the Airbus, a subject about which the editor knew little, and cared less. He had a few friends, whose company he enjoyed. The writer Nirmal Verma was one of them. The poet Baqar Mehdi was another and colleagues would regale themselves with anecdotes about Mehdi coming to visit Sham Lal shortly before he left the office at 5pm, the day's editorial page done. After some perfunctory pleasantries, they would both read their respective tomes (books )in total silence. This would continue in the car en route to the editor's residence off Nepean Sea Road, till Mehdi would take his leave later that evening.”

 Sham Lal was followed by Giri Lal Jain. And Jain was followed by Dilip Padgaonkar as editor of the TOI. Of the three, Sham Lal was the unapologetic ivory-tower intellectual, who concerned himself with intellectual currents and used it with great acuity to discuss politics and society. Sham Lal had in depth knowledge of the works of major philosophers ( Indian and Western ), poets , writers , novelists, playwrights and historians. He also had a profound study of the Bhagwat Gita, Buddhism, Upanishads, Mahabharata and many more ancient religious texts. Jain was sharp, practical and the inveterate political commentator who had a brilliant understanding of the interplay of political forces within the country and outside He had a profound knowledge of world history and political movements that shaped modern states. Jain believed that the political-economic order that Jawaharlal Nehru had fashioned was as much in its last throes as its progenitor, the Marxist–Leninist-Stalinist order. Jain was the only elite journalist who sympathised openly with the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits through his write-ups and speeches. Padgaonkar was nearer to Sham Lal in his interest in ideas. Padgaonkar faced sharp criticism from journalists who believed that he devalued the position of the editor by playing along with the paper’s owner, Samir Jain. And that he was responsible for the death of the editor as readers from the 1950s through the 1980s knew in India which Sham Lal and Giri Lal Jain firmly maintained. Padgaonkar studied in France and received a doctoral degree in Social Sciences from the Sorbonne University. He would argue for Indian secularism, however, at the same time, he was not hostile to the idea of religion as French secularists and their Indian counterparts were. Padgaonkar had studied Yogvashishtha and Kashmir Shaivism. Both Sham Lal and Giri Lal Jain were respected by the political leadership of the country, I mean the ruling and the opposition alike. Sunil Jain, a senior journalist and son of former TOI editor, late Giri Lal Jain has written this:-

" Sham Lal was like a Guru to my dad. He was among his closest friends. Even after Sham Lal, my father, who was the editor of TOI at the time, would regularly visit Sham Lal. And this practice continued even after my dad retired."

 Sham Lal lost his eye-sight for reading books, yet he retained his passion for literature, men of letters and things of the mind, heart and soul till the last breath of his life. He died in sleep . Sham Lal loved his family comprising two daughters, a son and gracious Vimla Ji, his wife. One of his daughters Neena Vyas is a journalist, working with the Hindu newspaper. Rarely shall we again see someone like Sham Lal in the field of journalism. If the generation senior to me had every reason to remember Sham Lal, my generation has every reason not to forget him.

 Today, In the arena of journalism, we have  new players who are  better equipped with technology , education and exposure. They are sharp, intelligent and well connected . However, a serious reader  finds something missing in this field that is now driven by values of expediency and utility. I am convinced that Jigar Moradabadi was right when he said:-

"Vahi  maikhaana o sehaba 

 vahi saagar vahi sheesha,

Magar aavaaz e nosha-nosh

maddham hoti jaati  hai...

 Vahi hai zindagi lekin

 'jigar' ye haal hai apnaa,

ki jaise zindagi se zindagi

 kam hoti jaati hai "..........

( Avtar Mota )

 


 

 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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

TYNDALE BISCOE , NEVE BROTHERS ( DOCTORS ) AND CHOLERA EPIDEMICS IN KASHMIR

                                                                         

                                       ( Photo...Mission School , Fateh Kadal , Srinagar 1910 )

                        ( Photo... Mission School Fateh-Kadal ..1913 …Students And Teachers )

                                                                                    

                                               ( Teachers of Mission School , Srinagar 1912 )
                                                                                    
 

Tyndale Biscoe, Neve Brothers ( Doctors ) And Cholera Epidemics in Kashmir.

                            

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”…..Maya Angelou

 In December 1890, Tyndale Biscoe arrived in Kashmir from Amritsar where he had come from England. He saw poverty, shabbiness and illiteracy everywhere. Then, Pandit boys were taught Sanskrit in Pathshalas run by Brahmins, whereas Muslim boys were taught Arabic in Maktabs that were linked to mosques. In addition to this, some Pandits taught Persian to both Hindu and Muslim boys in their homes. Using unconventional teaching methods Biscoe challenged many orthodox beliefs and eventually left an ineffaceable mark in the Kashmir valley. He made the most sincere effort to restructure the educational landscape of Kashmir. He was a key player in pushing Kashmiris to modern education and a better understanding of the world around them. Biscoe did not shy away from tackling deeply entrenched social practices that would normally be considered outside the ambit of his functional duties.

 Despite the challenges, during the Great Cholera Epidemic of 1892, Biscoe endeavoured to maintain certain school activities, such as cricket, to counter the prevailing terror. However, these efforts were eventually halted. During cholera epidemics, they would get involved in cleaning drains and courtyards, advise the residents on the need for hygiene and cleanliness, tend to the sick, take patients by boat to the Mission hospital and escort them in, or simply take the chronically ill for boat rides on the lake so they could get some fresh air, without making any distinctions of religion, caste or social standing. The bravery exhibited by the teachers from the Mission School during the epidemic was commendable, and six boys even volunteered to assist in caring for the sick, tragically resulting in the death of one. In his autobiography, Tyndale Biscoe writes this:-

“In 1892, 500 to 700 persons died of cholera per day in Kashmir valley. The Mullahs and the Brahmin priests won't allow people to take Western medicine. The Mullah and the Brahmin priest wrote Allah and Shiva on a piece of paper and asked people to swallow it with Jhelum water that was already full of cholera germs. Later people started visiting Mission Hospital and the lives of so many could be saved. One incident relating to a cholera patient is worth mentioning. He was in the third stage of cholera. The only option was a blood transfusion. Dr Arthur Neve did it by opening a vein in his own arm and transferring it with a rubber tube into his vein. Dr Neve and I spent a night at the hospital and hoped for the best, but it was not to be .”

                                                                           




 In 1882, Dr Arthur Neve arrived in Kashmir and thereafter in 1886, he was joined by his brother Dr Earnest Neve. These doctors travelled extensively across the length and breadth of the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. In 1888, the Neve brothers opened the allopathic dispensary at Drogjan ( just below Shankaracharya Hill) and later converted it into a full-fledged hospital on modern lines. In 1893, it became a premier hospital with 135 beds. Dr Arthur Neve and Dr Earnest Neve would start their day at 8 am and work at the ‘Mission Hospital‘ till 10 pm attending to patients, performing surgeries and moving in wards. Never had Kashmiris seen such care, attention, compassion and dedication from their local Hakeems or Vaids. These doctors would also frequently visit Baramulla, Anantnag and other towns to see patients. Dr Earnest Neve spoke fluent Kashmiri and worked during the rule of Maharaja Partap Singh and Maharaja Hari Singh. To his patients, this god-sent doctor would say "zuv vandai...Balai lagai ( My life for you. I can face death for you .) ". Most of the patients would come in small boats though some used to come on Tongas during those days. He would operate free and carry sick patients from the Dal Lake Ghaat to the hospital on his shoulders. Every Kashmiri owes a debt to him. Dr Earnest Neve was a vegetarian. Dr Arthur Neve and his brother performed 30000 surgeries in Kashmir which included 3651 eye operations,864 operations for tumours and 579 bone operations apart from treating patients of Kangri cancers, syphilis, leprosy and smallpox. Dr Arthur Neve fought many terrible outbreaks of cholera and famine in the Kashmir valley. About the 1885 earthquake in Kashmir, Dr Arthur Neve writes this in his book, ‘ Thirty Years in Kashmir':-

 “..Post-1885 earthquake, as I moved through villages, the stench was awful and might be smelt half a mile away from the putrefying bodies of animals. I found men and women with dislocations and fractures unreduced and unset; the few survivors had been so stunned by the calamity that they thought little of minor injuries. People gave special offerings in shrines. For us, it was a time for deeds rather than for words, for sympathy than sermons. Even the boat that carried me, was converted into a hospital. There was no safe building in which to work, so we put up tents and hired some very large barges which were soon filled with cases. The wounds were suppurating horribly and in many cases, badly applied splints or over-tight bandages had caused mortification to set in. Tetanus also claimed its victims. Patients were brought on the shoulders of their friends or bed sheets walking 10 miles ……….. In the valley there were some notable fissures; one at Dubgam had at first given out steam and sulphurous fumes. Another very long near Pattan crossed the main road....."

 (Avtar Mota )

 

Creative Commons License 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:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.