Arjan Dev Majboor

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Padi Samyik - A Treatise

By MK Raina

"I feel the instinctive vibration of the earth and visualise my 'connect' with the terra-firma', said MF Hussain once, when asked, 'why does he walk bare-footed? After reading Majboor Saheb's book 'Padi Samyik', I feel he has laid his 'padi' (bare feet) firmly on the eons of Kashmir history in a unique manner, demonstrating amply his 'innate vibrations' and his 'inalienable connect' with his mother-land, Kasheer. Medium of expression may be different but, euphemistically speaking the inspiration is the same.

'Padi Samyik' (The foot prints of time) is a 'Kaveya' written in nine Sargas (chapters).

It starts with the turmoil in Kashmir and goes into imaginary world to trace the early days of the man in Kashmir. The two characters which narrate the whole 'longer' poem are Sangur (The top of a hill) and the Sangarmal (The early Prakasha seen in wee hours of the day on the circular range of high mountains surrounding the Valley.

The characters meet at a crystal clean vast spring. They begin to love each other and make their home under a very big stone, which covers their house hold. They get the experience of living from the nature, their hands and brain. Once the 'Sangur' goes to a forest for hunting, he is caught by some alien Tribal people. They beat him up and keep him in custody for the night. His beloved is frightened when her lover does not return till late. She weeps and wails. In the morning "Sangur" is taken to the Sardar of the tribe. He falls under his feat and requests him not to kill him, moreover he has done no harm to them. He is released and runs to his beloved. She is full of joy when she sees him alive.

After that comes the story of birth of Kashmir Valley -  Running of various rivers, settlements in the hilly areas, Coming of various people to Kashmir from Central Asia and Aryans from the Ganges and Sindh Valleys.

There are about nine capitals of Kashmir which were constructed by various kings. These are Puranadisthan (now Pandrenthan), Pravarpur, Shrinagri (Shri is the first name of Vitasta), Awantipur, Nowshahar, Nagarnagar, Inderkoot, and Parihaspur. These have been described briefly. The main historic places have been pinpointed. Coming of various religions, philosophies and there mixing has been poetically described.

Last chapters describe the beauty of various bountiful seasons of Kashmir, especially the glow, breeze and abundance of self-grown flowers in spring. Coming of visitors in summer season which too is pleasant and attractive.

All the famous fairs and some festivals during these seasons have also been picturized. The Autumn is covered with golden colour, the fields are ripe, the red colour and sweet juice seen in various fruits of Kashmir. The Valley presents a look like a queen having decorated her body with various ornaments.

The winter of Kashmir too has its own colour and charm. The life in Kashmir during winter has been pictured with words which give a poetic colour to the nicities and difficulties of this season.

In the end the poet says that in the words of keats "when the winter comes, can spring be far behind.

The versification of 'Padi Samyik' is embellished with the vignettes of similes, onomatopoeic, metaphors, alliterations and above all free-flowing usage of 'personification', which not only 'elevates the thought-process, but also lends grace and sublimity to the content. The sensitive poet has used his wordplay in weaving the fabric of various patterns of Kashmir, presenting a Kaleidoscopic picture of the Valley.

thokmut, tshyonmut, sangrav rochhmut

akh lolu hota pev vatith ot

dalas manz balu thang vathimut chhi shranas

kulev volmut sabuz vardan chhu panas

shod saph sarah akh son dyuthun

mudyah kamas tay prazunovun

bihith singasanas badnas valith tos

karan os razusi gatul sethah os

As a chronicler Majboor Saheb has traced the history of Satisar (Kashmir) from the 'Treaty between Nagas and Pishachas' in the prehistoric times, as documented in the 'Neelmat Purana'. Then he menders us through the annals of our history unfolding the noble and the wicked, the munificent and the treacherous, the tolerant and the bigoted, the liberal and the illiberal reign of the rulers of the host of dynasties which ruled Kashmir from time to time. One could, perhaps, read Kalhan, Hassan or Bamzai to delve into the chronicle records of Kashmir. But the peculiarity of Majboor Saheb's 'Padi Samyik' (history of Kashmir) is that he touches such topics, which historians either skip or treat superficially; like rites, rituals, vegetables (common then, forgotten now like sotsal, nunar, lisu, hak), costumes and crops etc.

Talking about the costumes, one knows that women of Kashmir have all along been presented wearing the Muslim costume. Here is some one, who has potrayed sartorially elegant costume of Panditani:

zananan ari taranga sheri asan

kalas kalposh, anzul zuj shuban

saraph chale timan putsah avezan

pheran nalas khoran pulhar lagan

hatis hanzrah, hale lungyah zabar jan

bilay achh asu tihunzay zun zotan

How can one forget savouring 'makayi vachi' with 'dungoji'?

pinglah, sholah, makayah mith katsah

vachen mechhar tu pal pal dun gujah

Post-exodus many a poet have given vent to the poignancy they suffered in the 'tandav' of militancy, but Majboor Saheb's anguish at the 'demonic dance' unleashed by the militants has lacerated his sensitive soul that every verse of the first 'Sarag'  of his book 'Padi Samyik' is 'sigh and cry'. The poet's deep pain is unplugged at the turn of the events which has ravaged his beloved 'Kasheer', with fire and sword.

Enveloped by the fear-psychosis, Majboor recounts how people, nearly paralysed, turned mute spectators on seeing spectre of destruction all around. He seems particularly appalled at the apathetic attitude of neighbours, who till yestreday were his concomitants and swore by each other. Dismayed and shaken, he could not bear the emotional distress of mass exodus of his community members who were compelled to abandon their homes and hearths and seek refuge in alien and inhospitable land. He sighed:

garuch vath sopnu mayaye chhi garan

panun olah vopar jayan chhi tsharan

Being peace-loving by nature, Majboor Saheb has given more space to the tolerant Brahminical thought and influence of benevolent Muslim preceptors who arrived in Kashmir in early 14th Century, which gave birth to much envied synergy now called 'Kashmiriyat':

reshav sophev  revayath thav kayim

rutsar prath kansi kanchhun rud lazim

Even after the perdition that shook Kashmir, the optimistic streak of Majboor Saheb looks solicitously for peace and harmony to return to his 'resh var' and he makes 'Biblical' wish 'follow peace with all men' and entreats people thus:

kariv kanh pay yinu gatshi ha yi resh var

me nazran dag azabas lusmuts kar

Majboor Saheb is thoroughly disgusted with post independence dispensation of governance. He thought, with independence all the wounds inficted upon us by the various regimes would be healed by our own democratically elected government, but alas!

khabar asi as gayi azad sari

gulami hund balan von dad sari

ama tarze hakumath kyazi pronuy

andur kin tshots nebur kyah nundubonuy

Denoucing, the games played by the politicians, as a scourge of the society, the poet laments:

agar zar chhuy tu teli mushkil gatshi hal

pakan kakaz hava bar zore botal

chhu asan val sund prath kanh gulamah

chhe ma khali athav neran kamah

Cursing even now prevalent corruption in all the walks of life, the poet sighs:

siyasatuken dukanan phand bazi

chhi hathiyaran hevan az kam sari

dyutukh naru tu mulkas chhuy lagan nar

phakath votuk tsovapari chhu bapar

Majboor Saheb feels that he is really helpless (majboor) to live in an alien land, for he misses the snow-capped mountains, rustle of the chinars, the sheen of turquoise lakes, the fragrance of 'bradmushk and 'yamburzal' the mouth-watering viands of his Kasheer and above all his social intercourse with his friends of yore. What a regret to live with!

'Padi Samyik' is a book for all times and for ages - for the contemporaneous to evoke their nostalgia and for the posterity to know their roots.

*The author is a well-known writer, based in Mumbai. He contributes regularly to Milchar, the publication of Kashmiri Pandit Association, Mumbai. He has also authored an anthology of short stories - Kenh Non Kenh Son.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

           

 

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