Tuesday, April 30, 2024



                         ( Photo by  Avtar Mota  …Kashmir 2013 )


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”   — (Franklin D Roosevelt)

Ghulam  Qadir used to sell fruits in Lal Chowk  but suddenly he shifted to more lucrative trade .  He started selling  old and used  woollen clothes known as" Bangla Desh " in Kashmir .He was not from the traditional Kabadi background but gained quick expertise in selling old  cardigans, coats , overcoats and jackets on the  footpath . Crazy people called it “Bangla Deshi Maal “ or " items from Bangla Desh ". Nothing came from a newly formed country known as Bangla Desh. Immediately after  the Bangla Desh liberation  war , used clothes arranged by the International  Red Cross through public donations from the European countries  and the US , were diverted to the footpath markets in the sub-continent by unscrupulous traders , middlemen and smugglers .These clothes were  worn by workers , students , teachers, employees,  housewives and any and everybody In Kashmir . It came as God’s gift for Kashmiris ; both Pandits and Muslims  .Manchester tweed replaced local Pattu  .Carton loads of foreign  used socks , caps , shirts , shoes , sandals , mufflers , jackets , coats , overcoats, parkas , trousers, cardigans , pullovers , body warmers  and ladies’  garments arrived   from Europe and the US in  Kashmir to the delight of the  poor and the elite . When cartons arrived, horse-cart owners, labourers and  general helpers got busy and earned  their livelihood.A crop of traders in these clothes suddenly flooded footpaths in Srinagar city. Their lingo, a mix of satire and humour, these traders  could  be heard crying  this :-

“ le ja le ja ...angrez ne Beja"

 “ hey sahib he lala ..pehno coat kaala ”

 “O  khan ! ..maal pehchaan”

 “idhar idhar.. nazar hai kidhar”

 "London se aaya.. Kashmir mein laaya"

 "looto looto.. sastay mein looto"

 "topi pent coat baniyaan ..iss ko boltaa kashmir ki shaan"

 " loot o loot...foreign ka boot"

 "do sau ka pehnegaa do naya kameez...bolegaa thank you bolegaa please"

 " idhar ka dress bombai ki jaan....idhar ko aataa  Sanjay khan "

( After 1990s Sanjay Khan was replaced by ‘Shahrukh Salman’ )

 "valo benyaa ( sister) valo baayaa( brother)....foreign ka maal Kashmir mein aayaa"


After the Bangla Desh liberation war, many Kashmiri intellectuals would arrive  at  ‘India Coffee House’  to discuss Marcel Proust or Frenz Kafka or  the  existential philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre or Albert  Camus or  the editorials of Times Of India / Indian Express / Hindustan Times  wearing ‘Bangla Desh‘ warm jackets , parkas , overcoats, topcoats etc. These clothes made discussions on art, poetry , philosophy , politics  and   Marxism  extremely enjoyable and thoughtful . Wearing donated and discarded apparel  from  the Western capitalist countries, it was thought  fashionable to ponder over the ‘benefits of Marxism  to the  society at large in India’ in the India Coffee House, Srinagar. A hot steaming cup of coffee added a Parisian aura and ambience to these discussions. Many Kashmiri intellectuals thought as if they were in Café de Flore , Paris , France's best-known postwar literary café  frequented by Picasso, Robert Desnos ,Marcel Carne, Camus ,Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and many more . Some Sahitya  Akademi-awarded writers also came to the India Coffee House in Kashmir wearing  ‘Bangla Desh’ coats ,jackets and overcoats .

Political leaders of all hues wore’ Bangla Desh ‘clothes. One could include men from right-wing ,left-wing, secular ,communal and socialist groups, trouble creators , peace lovers  , social workers  etc. Comrade Nazir  Bezabaan of the Communist Party   loved  his old  British Warm’ brand  overcoat purchased from Gaffar Kabadi for 40 rupees. Popular with  British soldiers and officers ,this long overcoat helped him in many ways . It kept his body warm ,enabled him to hide his apparel poverty underneath and also brought some Bolshevik aura to his personality . He would always button up his overcoat from the neck down to almost  his ankles. Comrade Bhushan Lal Nargis( who happened to be his  mentor and Guru ) would always tell him that he looked like Marshal  Bulganin as he spoke to his  comrades in any meeting . And one day as he raised his hand forcefully in a meeting, three buttons of his ‘Bangla Desh’ overcoat fell on the floor and exposed his torn and shabby clothes underneath. However, Bezabaan picked up the buttons from the floor and rushed to the toilet to do some  perestroika (restructuring ) ”  of the exposed inner garments . Having failed  in this exercise , he went to Ali Tailor keeping a message with comrade Bhushan Lal  Nargis to tell other comrades that  he was not keeping well and  was going home for rest .Comrade Bhushan Lal  Nargis had always advised him about  purchasing a cardigan and a shirt from Gaffar Kabadi for such occasions . Comrade  Nargis was also  fond of the ‘Bangla Desh ‘ clothes of Gaffar Kabadi. Wearing  a ‘Bangla Desh’  coat and white shirt with  ‘made in UK’  tag, he felt elated if his comrades told him that he looked like Vladimir Lenin .

Master Mohan Lal Wanchoo , nicknamed ‘ Mohan Jang-sangi ‘ by his Muslim neighbours for his  right-wing views,  remained a diehard opponent of the Congress party . However, in the heart of his hearts, he would always thank, ‘Sheikh Mujeeb, Indira Gandhi and  D P Dhar‘ for  the Bangla Desh liberation war . He would often say,“ Sheikh Mujeeb ,Indira Gandhi and  D P Dhar  have proved real well-wishers of Kashmiris “. He, his wife and their three children wore only ‘Bangla Desh’ clothes.  Mohammad Sultan   Dandroo nicknamed Sula Pakistaen( Sula , the Pakistani ) by his Pandit neighbours for his pro-Jamaat-I- Islami beliefs, supported the Pakistani army during the Bangla Desh liberation war yet he didn’t mind when some Pandits started calling him Sula Bangla Desh when they saw him wearing coats and trousers  meant for Bangla Desh war victims. Professor Ram Ji Kaul Shastri , the noted Sanskrit scholar  was also a lover of ‘Bangla Desh’ overcoats and cardigans. So was Molvi Moammad Irfan who had a special skill to dig choicest tweed overcoats from the ‘Bangla Desh’ heaps lying on cots . Noor Mohammad Kalwal had his dry-cleaning shop in Rainawari. He did roaring business in the autumn season when Pandits brought newly purchased  Bangla Desh stuff for the ensuing winter  to him . Ali Dhobi too remained busy washing ‘Bangla Desh’ shirts , T-shirts and ladies-wear. In Kashmir , one  Mohammad Subhan Dar earned the nickname of Subhan Charpai after he became the largest cot supplier to footpath traders of ‘Bangla Desh’ clothes . And one day while having  a deep puff at his Hookah,  Ali Tailor told his assistant ," These Farangis should start wearing Yezaar-Kameez  and pheran now  so that we receive next supply of these items  in ‘Bangla Desh’ cartons .I am fed up with this  re-stitching and  re-fitting of their trousers and coats for Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims of Rainawari .Let there be a supply of old   ready-to- wear pheran , Yezaar , Kameez and Shilwar  or what "Bobu Jis ( Kashmiri Pandits )"  say ready-made. Buy your size from the cot  and wear it .That is it.   How long should I re-stitch these trousers, coats and shirts of Farangis in this shop . Should that happen, I will also start trading in  ‘Bangla Desh’  cartons and supply the clothes  to colonies inside Dal Lake  like Nabir Monjigor. See, he has a scooter now . And look at me , I am busy opening stitches of Firangi clothes. " 

This stuff was also sought after  by the city’s elite.  A well-known doctor from Kashmir would ask the Bangla Desh trader  to bring a full  carton to his house so that  his family and relations could select clothes of their choice  . A search in pockets of these garments would sometimes throw up a surprise. My friend saw a dollar note in one coat pocket once. Many friends in the bank would pounce upon the popular ‘Bangla Desh‘ trading  shops when fresh cartons arrived . To us, Shiben Shoobhidaar would say, “Let them call this stuff as " Bangla Deshi Maal " and make fun of it  but I tell you nobody bothers when it comes to saving yourself from harsh winters. I can name 10 professors who wear Bangla  Desh” .Sometimes , a  poor man from  downtown Srinagar would look smarter than Dustin Hoffman  once he put on the old ‘Bangla Desh’  tweed  overcoat bought from the  inner market below Taj Hotel (Amirakadal) or Maisuma or Hazuri Bagh with a  ‘made in USA’ tag. One day, my friend who’s marriage had been fixed landed in an awkward position when he saw his would-be-father-in-law at the ‘Bangla Desh’ Kabadi shop in Amirakadal behind the Punjab National Bank building. Both had come to buy old clothes. My friend was fond of  used imported  trousers that he would get refitted at a nominal price from a specific  tailor .That day he also saw an almost fresh fur  jacket which he intended to purchase . However, the arrival of his would be father in law spoiled the game . I quote the conversation between my friend and his would-be-father-in-law at the shop.

“Gaasha Ji, are you fine? Is Papa Ji and Rani Bhabi fine? What brings you here?”

“Namaskar, I am fine. I just came here to open his bank account. We are now trying to bring these shopkeepers to our bank’s fold.”

“That is fine. I came here for some personal issue. Ghulam Nabi, the proprietor of this shop is known to me for a long. He wanted to buy something from the army canteen (CSD). I have to collect the list and the money. In  the FOD office at Badami Bagh, we have this liberal CSD facility. Anything you need, please do tell me. Don’t be shy. Liquor I can arrange if  you need and  XXX Rum for the cooks too. Come , let us have a plate of Kebab at Kailash Hotel. Come, I will be happy. Don't worry, he doesn't sell doubtful mutton. “

"Thank you, next time. I have to go back to the bank .My work is pending   .” And both left in different directions.

The next day my friend went to the ‘Bangla Desh’ Kabaadi shop to buy the jacket that he had seen. The shopkeeper told him that the Pandit Ji who had been talking to him the previous day, had returned  after one hour and bought the jacket without any bargain.

How could poor people in this subcontinent fight harsh winters if the  Americans or the Europeans  didn’t discard or donate  their old wooilen clothes ? And if there was no liberation war in Bangla Desh , what would have been the fate of millions in the subcontinent during harsh winters . Ali Mohammad, the diehard NC worker believed that   Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had supported  the  liberation of Bangla Desh to see poor Kashmiris  didn’t suffer in freezing winters. According to him, Sheikh Sahib   wanted to give  ‘Izzat va Aabroo Ka Maqaam’ or ‘ a place of dignity and respect’ to  every Kashmiri once he was in a position to provide them with adequate warm  clothes to fight harsh and freezing winters. Ali Mohammad believed that Mirza Afzal Beg had put pressure on Parthasarthi to include" an uninterrupted supply of Bangla Desh clothes  to  Kabadis of Kashmir " clause in the Indira Shiekh Accord of 1975. According to him , Parthasarthi had replied that this ‘uninterrupted supply’ was already guaranteed by Article 370 as well as by  Article 35 A . As such, there was no need to incorporate a separate clause. At this, Mirza Afzal Beg  is reported to  have replied that if the supply of 'Bangla Desh ' clothes was disrupted by the Government Of India  for any reason whatsoever , NC leadership may consider  relooking at ILLHAAQ ( accession to the Indian Union) .Many elderly people  believe Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad always regretted  about wrong timing of the Bangla Desh liberation War . According to them, Bakshi Sahib always spoke privately that the liberation war of Bangla Desh should have taken place before the implementation of the Kamraj Plan. Had that happened , he would have gifted the choicest Bangla Desh overcoats to Pandit Ji, Shastri Ji , K Kamraj, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Morarji Desai, Biju Patnaik , S K Patil ,Partap Singh Kairon and other  leaders by organising “Jashn e  Bangla Desh Kabaad” in  Kashmir.In that event , Shastri Ji would not have borrowed an overcoat from Pandit Nehru  for his visit to Srinagar and Russia .

 Ramzan Baanta ,the Congress worker in our locality  privately  cursed the Americans and the Europeans for  not using Achkan , Kameez –Salwar and Bandh -gala coats . Baanta believed that Sadiq Sahib gave a statement from his hospital bed in PGI Chandigarh supporting the liberation of Bangla Desh purely for ensuring adequate winter clothing for poor Kashmiris : Pandits and Muslims . According to him , that  was his  method of bringing  secular e azam ( secularism)  and social e Azam ( socialism )  and fighting Firka--parast ( communal )  forces in Jammu And Kashmir .

 ( Avtar Mota )


(This  work of fiction  is meant to entertain and bring smiles .The writer does not intend to misrepresent any person (living or dead ), group , association ,party or leader who  finds mention in this write –up as they had nothing to do   with the Bangla Desh clothes.)


 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\.

Monday, April 22, 2024



Phol Shafak Shafak Shaam....A Kashmiri Song..

As explained by Bharata Muni in Natya-Shastra, Rasa is a concept in Indian arts denoting the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or the listener which cannot be described. In his erudite  commentary on Natya-Shatra, Acharya Abhinavgupta  says that Rasa is the core of good poetry, good music and good singing. The artist must deliver Rasa to  the listener.It gives  Anand Anubhuti( feeling of bliss )  to the listener.

 I feel something like that in this memorable composition of Bhajan  Sopori sung by Vijay Malla and  Kailash Mehra Sadhu  . Certainly this  poem  of Gyanpeeth awardee poet Rehman Rahi is  perfect  on   all parameters of Poetics apart from having its inherent music . 

The freshness of this musical  composition gives a feeling of Rasa( bliss  )  ,Dhwani( sound effects ) ,Alankara( ornamentation )  ,Riti( style)  and Auchitya ( proper placing ) as mentioned by Acharya Abhinavgupta  in his commentary on Bharata"s Natya-Shastra.

I will render some  lines of this song into English for those who don't understand Kashmiri .

"Phol ,shafak shafak shaam
Kalwaal pillav jaam 
Beyi aav me ilhaam
Kath Kath chhu banaan shaar
Anhaar kasund-taam 
tsetas pyom, tsetas pyom ..

Rug Rug  chhu vazaan saaz
Yendraaza hechh andaaz
Hoolya chha natchaan raaar 
Lankaayi hyotun naar
Guftaar kasund taam 
tsetas pyom tsetas pyom

Tsol roos kachein kroin
Hyochh baala kolluv shroin
Aafaq matan vaen
Devta ti gindhan zaar
raftaar kasund taam tsetas pyom tsetas pyom.." 

(Once more the evening  brightens
with red horizon ,
O saqi bring the wine glass,
I get an intuition,
How   good verses are born .
Some beautiful face  comes to mind,
,again and again.

Every nerve resonates in this music,
 Lord Indra ! Learn this style as well.
Has the  demoness Holika been put to bonfire? 
Or Ravana's  Lanka is  in flames?
In this scenario,
Someone's sweet communication 
Comes to my mind again and again 

Gone  is the gloom of the forest  gazelles,
The brooks and the mountains too 
picked up music,
Now many horizons will enter into clash
And gods up above 
shall also play  the dice game ,
In this scenario , someone's agility
comes to my mind again and again )

( 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\.




I have tasted below listed drinks,  Chutneys, pickles ,foods and other specialities of Jammu. You can add more...

(1) Kali Gajjar ( carrot )kanji
(2) Desi Chai ( with sugar and salt) 
(3) Zimmikand da Achaar (Pickle)
(4) Lassuade da Achaar ( Pickle) 
(5)Amlein  da Achaar ( gooseberry pickle) 
(6 ) Garghal da Achaar ( sweet lime Pickle)
(7) Muli di Chutney ( Radish chutney in tamarind)
(8) Auria ( curd , Mustard oil , pumpkin , Fenugreek seeds and mustard powder)
(9)Anaardaane  di chutney ( dry pomegranate)
(10)  Ambien da sasha ( Raw mangoes, pudina ,curd and onion) 
(11) Thothru  ( Refined wheet ,yeast, ghee, curd and mustard oil) 
(12) Suchian ( Loochi of kashmiri pandits )
(13) Maayein da Maadra ( Maash daal speciality with curd, dhania, dalcheeni , ginger and dry fruits)
(14) Guchhi Pulaav 
(15) Kalaadi 
(16) Kaddhu da Ambhal
(17) Sweet Rice ( Meetha Pat) 
 (18)Chocolate Barfi
(19) Pateesa
(21) Khatta Meat 
(22)  Murge da Achaar
(23) Rajmaah ( Bhaderwahi, Marwah or Poonchhi )
(24) Kachaalu
(25)  Katlame 
(26) Kharode 
(27) Malaai Baraf( icecream sold on leaves in summers by vendors) 
(28)  Pugha ( dry coconut, khoya, jaggery , sesame seeds, almonds and bajarbangh)
(29) Kasrod di sabzi 
(30) keyur ( maida ,ghee, salt  and zeera powder etc.)
(31) Timeu di Chattni 
(32) Sund Panjeeri ( dryfruits roasted in Desi ghee with sugar ,suji  and dry ginger)
(33) Makki da doda (corn flour roti )

My friend DK Dogra informs this:-

"Please add Kimb chaat, a favorite of ladies in winters. Kimb is a citrus fruit Citron/Citrus Medica. There is Madra which is a dessert made by boiling dry fruits in milk. The special sundh of Jammu is also a speciality a bit different from Panjeeri. Gulra and Sasrot are two special marriage recipes typical of Jammu." 

(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\.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024



                 ( Ray and  Akira Kurosawa ) 
                      ( Ray and Marlon Brando )
     ,                ( Ray and Ravi Shankar )
  ( Ray with Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar )
                          ( Ray with Nehru )


"MANIK &  I" 
( My Life with Satyajit Ray)
Bijoya Ray …Translated by Indrani Majumdar 
Penguin Books
ISBN  13 9780 1434 16258
Pages  624
Price..Rs 699

This book is an  exquisite  and interesting  story on the  inner  life of a master by his  actress cum singer wife Bijoya Dass  Ray.  .A story that everyone wants to know. What was he like to live with?Was he a family man as well?Who were his friends?  What  could be the unknown or the  inner side of this towering genius?

And the book surely is the story   of a filmmaker known  the world over . The story of a  master who won the topmost awards everywhere, from the Bharat Ratna to the Oscar to the prestigious Legion of Honour in addition to top awards at the major film festivals of the world.Despite being closely related, Satyajit-‘Manik’ to his friends and family-and Bijoya fell in love and embarked on a life together years before Ray’s groundbreaking film Pather Panchali was made, and their long, happy married life lasted right until Ray’s death in 1992.

Bijoya Ray was born as Bijoya Das in Patna to Charu Chandra Das, a barrister and Madhuri Devi, younger sister of nationalist leader  Deshbandhu CR Das 's wife Basanti Devi. She was the youngest of four daughters

Bijoya , who pawned her expensive jewellery   to finance Ray's  Pather Pancheli ,  was always the first person to read his scripts and make suggestions . Her comments were ruthless but pertinent  and quite often duly incorporated by the master.The book talks about  Satyajit Ray the man, the husband, the father and, for one short year before his death, the grandfather.She worked in a few films without success or satisfaction. In 1949 she married Satyajit Ray. Their only son Sandip was born in 1953.Despite both of them being in the same profession, Satyajit Ray and Bijoya Ray hardly made public appearances together in front of the media, as they were a classic couple, who preferred to be in each other's company away from the flashes of shutterbugs.
Clearly Bijoya was the intellectual companion that Ray needed, one who shared his love for Western classical music and Hollywood films. Once he started making films she joined him and helped with all the little details which needed a woman’s attention. She not only ran his home but went with him to shop for costumes and accessories. She was a colleague who was always in the background.

Even before becoming a writer, Ray would make Bijoya read all his scripts. He would give her a pencil to make changes if there were any and she would give suggestions. He would either take them or discuss them at great length. In fact, 90% of her suggestions were taken by her husband.

Manik ( Manik Da ) as he was known in intimate and family circles,  comes up as a total family man. Reading ,  drawing sketches ,writing  and listening music . No liking for liquor . And never did he serve liquor to any guest or friend in his house . He loved  good food and Bengali  sweets especially Sandesh .Bijoya also informs us that  her Manik also loved  gambling at Kathmandu’s casinos .

Only two women appear to have influenced Ray  – his mother and his wife. His mother, a remarkable woman who was widowed early in life, played a key role in Ray’s growth. Bijoya, his wife, took over the role so far as Ray’s artistic development was concerned.

Bijoya was his childhood friend .She had a musical bent of mind and   a flair for acting  . She also happened to be his   cousin and accordingly  their  families were initially  reluctant to accept this  marriage proposal. Faced with family frowns, Manik wrote to Bijoya: “You know, I’ll marry no one but you. If that means never getting married, so be it.” 
 Ray  had to go to Mumbai and get  clandestinely  married  .Prithvi Raj Kapoor joined  by  his wife came  to bless the couple. After their secret wedding and intimate reception, Satyajit Ray and Bijoya Ray were married in the eyes of the law. Still, they weren't living together because their family and relatives were unaware of their marriage.
About Manik, Bijoya informs this :-

“What I admire about Manik  is his  simplicity, his honesty, his generosity, his kindness, and above all, his ability to mix with people from all walks of life. He could be at home with everybody.  He did not like being called an intellectual. He was comfortable once you called him  a creative man. He was deeply knowledgeable about Western Classical  Music which he loved, particularly Mozart, and once even thought of making a film on him. Manik  spent long hours listening to opera and classical music on records. “

We also come to know that Ray  could whistle any tune after hearing it once. The master liked to wear embroidered Kurtas and had a special liking for Kashmiri shawls  more particularly Jaamwaar variety.  He hated big parties   and was  scared to change light bulbs or turn on the air-conditioner.He never did any shopping other than buying books and music discs..

Even in his leading ladies, Ray never looked for dolled-up glamour, but for intelligent beauty. Madhabi  Mukherjee, Sharmila Tagore, and in his last three films, Mamata Shankar, best fitted this description.

Bijoya’s accounts of Ray’s long struggles with his health and the situations surrounding his triple by-pass heart surgery in the US are particularly moving .

Bijoya is silent about Ray’s infatuation and finally an  intense affair with  actress Madhabi Mukherjee. Bijoya's  silence about this episode  in the book  is intriguing as once ,she herself had gone to press to speak about it. Confronted by wife,Ray had admitted this affair and finally decided to forget all. .  Revealing would have made  the master more human, and the story is, after all, known.Inspite of this omission , the book makes a great reading .The  English translation from original  Bangla appears to be racy at times but  leaves you spellbound in its overall impact in presenting the story of two sensitive souls .I strongly recommend the book  to every one who wants to know about the great master’s art and personal life.

The book is a treasure trove for ardent Ray fans . They  are sure to  get inside stories, trivias and confirmation of their doubts they  have about Ray and his life. Like why did Rabindranath get Satyajit to attend art classes at Shantiniketan, and many other  untold yet very interesting anecdotes.I end this brief review  with a quote  from Satyajit Ray:-

“ The only solutions  that are ever worth anything are the solutions that people find themselves   ”

( 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, April 15, 2024




                                                     ( A portrait of Anandavardhana )


( A portrait of Acharya Anandavardhana of Kashmir who gave the Theory of Dhvani in Poetics to the world through his book Dhvanyāloka. He was a court poet of King Avantivarman. Dhvanyāloka has been translated into major languages of the world and lately  into French as well)

The credit of presenting a full-fledged picture of the Science of Poetics can be attributed, in a large measure, to Kashmir. Though the fundamentals in Poetics could be traced to works like the Agnipurana and Natya-shastra of Bharata, it is remarkable to note that all aspects of this science are elaborated and discussed in detail by Kashmirian Scholars . Original theories have been suggested and speculations worked out in such a manner that one is tempted to say that the Science of Poetics' in its entirety, is visible only in Kashmir.Even grammatical points which would require attention while discussing the relation between Shabda(word)  and Artha( meaning )  were not lost sight of, though they had no direct connection with the subject. One cannot but be overwhelmed by the fact that almost all the major schools of Indian aesthetics were founded by Kashmiri theoriticians -the Alamkara( adornments or ornamentation ) School by Bhamaha, Riti( style)  School by Vamana, Vaikrokti(deformity ) School by Kuntaka, Dhvani ( sound) School by Anandavardhana and Auchitya( proper placing )  School by Kshemendra.
While  searching  records and manuscripts for my new book ,  I came to know about  Poet Rajanaka  Jaynayaka Bhatta , the writer of Prithvirajvijay. He was  a Kashmiri   who  came to Ajmer by obtaining the asylum in the court of Prithviraj Chauhan .Rajanka  Jaynayaka wrote a historical poem titled Prithvirajvijay, where the victory of Prithviraj Chauhan over Muhammad Ghori in the first Battle of Tarain (1191) was celebrated. Jayanayaka portrays Prithviraj Chauhan  as Sri Rama and his wife as Sita. 

( 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\.

Saturday, April 13, 2024



( Abhinavgupta and his followers ..
A painting by Claudia Dose) 


Apart from Abinavgupta , Khemraja, Kumarjeeva, Dandin( not to be confused with scholar of same name from South India) ,Panini, Charaka, Damodargupta,Somadeva Vasugupta ,Kalhana, Bilhana, Rilhana,Ruyyaka, Manakhaka, Shivswamin, Lollata, Jonaraja, Srivara,  Kshemendra , Vamana, Bhahma ,Rajashekhra,Prakasendra, Shamboonatha, Jayanta Bhatta,  Anandvardhana, and many more known names, I have counted 700 plus Sanskrit Scholars from Kashmir till Lohara period who have enriched the literature of Sanskrit the world over. They were poets ,translators,scholars of Buddhism, rhetoricians,,aestheticians, Shaiv-Darshana scholars,philosophers, astrologers ,  commentators , grammarians and logicians . Even if many original works have been lost, there are too many   references to the lost works in many available Sanskrit manuscripts some of which have been digitalised by American and European Universities. I saw this upon my visit to Princeton and some more Universities in the US. I am told about this digitalisation in some Australian universities as well.

Sanskrit poetry was a pan-Indian phenomenon. Kashmir occupies a pivotal position in this pan-Indian phenomenon. The Kashmirian poets have left practically no facet of life, outside the ambit of their writing.

 I am of a firm opinion that if the contribution of  Kashmiris to the Sanskrit literature of India is removed,we shall be removing more than 50% of the Sanskrit  literature from the world. Most of the Hindu Kings from  Karkota, Utpala and Lohara dynasties were either lovers of fine arts or poets. Avantivarman , a poet himself ,  had about 70 Sanskrit scholars in his court some of whom were poets.

( 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\.

Sunday, April 7, 2024




Yesterday, a friend told me that he was inside the Tulip Garden of Kashmir that opened for public on 23rd March ,2024.It looked elegant especially with a pleasant breeze arising  from the  Dal Lake that wafted through the garden .I felt pensive. 

"Ha wava imhai dimhai graava havaal tai
Dariyaav chaane chamhai aab e zulaal tai

 ( Samad Mir..Sufi poet from Kashmir )

(O breeze,  how I  wish to 
see you and put forth my grievances  , 
one and all.
In your river like magnanimity ,
I too would sip
 some sweet water, 
some nectar.)

( 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\.