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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 

 
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Majboor's Waves

Dr. K. L. Chowdhury

 
Dr. K. L. ChowdhuryWaves
by Arjan Dev Majboor is a collection of 23 short and one long poem - each poem a wave from the oceanic mind of the poet, each wave impacting the reader and scattering treasures from the ocean. The waves keep striking the mind even as one moves away from the source, it continuous replay, for a long time afterwards. The author is a magician using the sleight of words to trick and captivate, a sculptor chiselling words to perfection, a master blender concocting a heady cocktail of words to 'sweeten stale conscience' and creating fantastically unique imagery by endowing words with movement like making "Shiva dance a laugh and the whole becoming a cosmic laughter" and 'colour giving fragrance'. Even time is personified and made to laugh in the poems.
 
Here the reader feasts on a kaleidoscope of ideas, moods and expressions for the mind of the poet is like mercury, restless and on the move. Like a bird on the wing he is jumping out of the window of the ‘Prison' to sail into the vastness of space, touching virgin areas, creating virgin expressions like the "infant who wept into existence" or the poet revealing "the sacred hush of my being" to Swan.
 
Painfully conscious of the metamorphosis taking place in the world which moves inexorably towards a stage where he creates the frightful scenario of topsy-turvy values with the roots of trees turned towards the sky, truth being proscribed, beauty auctioned, the wise weeping and the ignorant multiplying, he yet strikes a note of hope and optimism as he moves into the new millennium and invokes Saraswati to illumine the world with knowledge, art, poetry, music and dance. In a poetic expression of C.T.B.T and total disarmament he pleads with mankind to melt all weapons and call for ‘the seed, the sickle and the water.'
 
The pervasive sense of doom in the city with a thousand masters and a thousand rulers and each one to himself while a camel runs amok is a reflection of the fragmentation, isolation and degeneration of the body politic in our nation and while we go on arguing and fighting each other on trivialities the wily cat swallows our foul making a hearty meal of it.
 
Stung by the rootlessness of exile, parched for a 'swig' of nectar from his homeland, crippled by the ‘wet memories that trans­fix' his heart and tragically aware of the past, the present and the future ‘flung to pieces before the gun' Arjan Dev Majboor yet harbours a sanguine hope that the walls that divide will crumble down and that the flames that have engulfed the valley will by some divine intervention, transform into flowers for he firmly believes in the purity of the soul of Kashmir and the strength of the penance of its seers, savants and sages. The nostalgia for homeland runs strong and deep in the poem To The Swan, which appears to be in­spired by Kalidasa's Meghdoot, as he asks the bird to go and visit places in a backward journey in time, holding the mirror of memories to the bird and re-creating the images of the hallowed past. Would it that the Swan were also to assume the role of a dove of peace.
 
There is a touch of philosophy when the poet speaks of holding the reins and yet not knowing who pulls them, or of the leaky boat of life with neither the rudder not the oarman visible or the funeral feeling of existence that stimulates the poet to exhort mankind to tighten the strings and use the plectrum and continue to produce the music of life. He himself is not deterred \even though he spent his age writing the legend while the pages leapt into the sky and a dusty cobweb besieged him and stranded him in the wilderness for he still manages to light a lamp in the whirlwind, being himself a stage in the caravan of existence, a milestone, a landmark in the march of humanity.
 
The sketches by Vijay Zutshi are highly evocative and the translation by Arvind Gigoo superb. He is a master craftsman and one doesn't feel it is not the original. I wish many of our Kashmiri poets got a translator like him to take the wealth of our poetry to the vast English knowing readership across the globe.

Arjan Dev Majboor

 

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