Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tota Kaul's Ragamala



First sarg (sa) has been taken from the cry of peacock; second, rekhya (re) taken from the cry of skylark (Papiha), third, gandhar (ga) from the sound of goat; fourth, madhyam (ma) has been copied from the voice of heron (Kulang); fifth, pancham (pa) from the melody of nightingale (Kokil), sixth, dhyot (dha) from the neighing of horse; and seventh nishad (ni) has been taken from elephant's trumpet.
~ Pandit Raja Ram Kaul 'Tota', Ragamala

Monday, June 22, 2015

SearchKashmir on your Wall #1


Every once in a while, someone would email me asking for an old photograph of Kashmir, a piece of SearchKashmir, so that they can put it on their wall, on their 'Kashmir wall'. I would gladly oblige.

A couple of months back, a reader, Bhawna asked for a bunch of old photographs for a wall in her 'Kashmir room'. I helped her with the photographs, but this time I asked for something back. I asked her to send me the images of her wall once it was done. I wanted to see what people are doing with these images. What it means to them.

Here's Bhawna's Kashmir wall:




I am thankful to Bhawna for sharing these images and her wall!

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If you have a piece of SearchKashmir on your wall, do share your wall.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Superman complex


Doctor, what do you call this condition...this particular complex displayed by the Kashmiri Pandits?
I call this 'Superman' complex. An average Kashmiri Pandit walks this earth like the man of steel from Krypton. The explanation is simple. Since 1990, they think they are Supermen. Think about it. A planet gets destroyed, someone from it survives and finds shelter on a new planet where he can't truly be himself even if the new planet has made him more powerful. He has taken upon himself to fix and protect his adopted planet, lest it ends up like his home planet. And he does it more zealously than the actual inhabitants. He is often misunderstood, almost despised and certainly envied. He gets weak in the knees anytime he comes close to a lost fragment from his old planet, his Kryptonite, the other 'K's. Often his villains are from his old planet while allies are from the adopted planet. His powers increase as he gets closer to Delhi, Delhi being the proverbial sun. And goes for meditation to Jammu, his Fortress of Solitude, to talk to dead ancestors. So you see, Pandits are essentially living out the Superman fantasy.
Thank you Doctor Saheb for the gyaan. Tohi chev mahaan. Namaskaar.

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