Pandit Zinda Koul 'Masterji'
Photo - Pandit Zinda Koul 'Masterji' Information
||Pandit Zinda Koul is a well-known poet of Kashmir. In Kashmir, his students and friends used to call him 'Masterji'. He came to be called 'Masterji' because he used to teach many Kashmiris, both in school as well as at his home. He died in Jammu in the winter of 1965.
In the beginning 'Masterji' did not write in only Kashmiri. He wrote poetry in Persian, Hindi, and Urdu, as well. Masterji's poetry has been published in all these four languages. However, he made his name by writing in Kashmiri.
His well-known book in Kashmiri is Samran. It was first published in Devanagari, and later the government had it printed in the Persio-Arabic script. The Sahitya Academy of India gave Pandit Zinda Koul an award of five thousand rupees for this book. Masterji received this award in 1956.
Masterji had to face many difficulties in his life. He was a school teacher for a long time. After that, he worked as an ordinary clerk.
Masterji started writing in Kashmiri in 1942. In his Kashmiri poetry, he has written primarily on devotion and peace. His poetry was greatly influenced by Lal Ded and Parmanand.
Masterji composed poetry only for (his own) pleasure. Those who know say that Masterji's poems in Kashmiri were better than those in Hindi and Urdu. Masterji translated the poems of the famous Kashmiri poet Parmanand into English. These poems have been published in three volumes. Kashmiri poetry suffered a great loss upon Masterji's death.
An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri
by Braj B. Kachru
Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois 61801 U.S.A.