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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 

 
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Waves - An Analysis

Maharaj Krishan Santoshi

 
Waves
is a collection of poems, originally written in Kashmiri by Arjan Dev Majboor, the noted Kashmiri poet, and translated into English by Arvind Gigoo, a poet himself. Since the translator is also a poet, as such there is no scope for any lack of sensibility on the part of the translator. In fact, the merit of his translation is laudable and deserves all sorts of appreciation. I have read these poems in original Kashmiri also but I confess that these poems have appealed more to me in their present form. It is because the translator has transcreated these poems in rendition.
 

Arjan Dev Majboor has completed half a century of his literary career. His poetic journey has witnessed many trends in literature and he has been shaping himself throughout according to these trends. He is a dynamic poet by that way. I am a regular reader of his verses and value his concerns and commitments towards art and literature. Arjan Dev Majboor is a restless soul who always wants to come out with something. Although he is a septuagenarian yet old age has not touched his spirits. He is, as such, the most diligent poet of Kashmiri.
 
Waves
is a small book containing twenty four poems with a fine get-up. The first poem entitled A Portrait of a Child is a small poem wherein youth confronts old age. In fact, it symbolises the conflict between purity and defilement. The poet's answer to this confrontation is amazing:
 
The old don't remember purity
and
children do not know defilement.
 
The Topsy-turvy Tree
is a poem in dialogue between the poet and the tree. The tree reveals the present-day condition of the world where "truth is proscribed,/the guilty thrive,/virtue has decayed/and/morals are dead." This is the world where "all are making merry/and man is for sale" and where one day "it will rain acid,/beauty will be auctioned,/the wise will weep/and the ignorant will multiply." The poet and the tree, in fact, are two halves of the poet's personality, one half wishes to take revenge upon this world and the other half tries to save it from the possible doom. The poem expresses more pessimism rather optimism.
 
Snow-man
is a poem with excellent imagery like "red chilly is my mouth/the charcoal pieces are my eyes/the staff is in my right hand." It gives vent to the poet's feeling of shrinkage in exodus. The space of our living has shrink and distances have widened in human relations.
 
The Coming Millennium
voices poet's optimism about the future and he believes that a new world is taking shape. The poet is eager to see this new dream of his happen although he may not witness it himself. In the poem Chiselled Words the poet is in search of new words as the old ones have lost their meaning. The words have become too corrupt to arouse any virtue. The poet desires to acquire afresh the "miracle of words" so that this place earth is washed and stale conscience of people sweetened. The Fowl is a unique poem in this connection. It is based on a proverb often quoted in Kashmiri "KUKRAS CHHAI KUNEEY ZANG". The poet has extended its meaning and made it a medium to satire those intellectuals of our times who are stubborn and fixed ideologically, unmindful of the cat who will pounce upon the fowl and have a hearty meal.
 
To The Swan
is a long poem, originally published in Kashmiri poetry collection TEOL. The whole poem is in narrative form with a clear purpose to highlight the historical importance of Kashmir and its cultural ethos. Only the first part of the poem has been included in this collection. Swan is the chariot of the goddess Saraswati, and it has the facility to segregate water from the milk. This mythological character has been employed by the poet artistically to reveal his present state of mind on Kashmir and its Kashmiriyat, which at present are in the hold of the gun. The poem reveals richness of the poet's abode and also expresses the nostalgia of the poet, who is at present in the exile with other members of his community. The poet opens heart to the Swan and gives him the "chariot of his liquid memories". The depiction of nature in all its hues and shades makes it a beautiful poem of nu­merous landscapes. The whole poem should have been translated and included in this collection for the benefit of the readers.
 
Waves
is a collection of poems with scattered beauty here and there, although there are some barren spots also. But the collection on the whole will give some sort of satisfaction to poetry lovers but with a suggestion:
 
The solitude of beauty
is
dear
but
dearer
the search for a ray
in darkness.

Arjan Dev Majboor

 

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