Monday, March 18, 2013

Sindbad Machama by Pushkar Bhan

Pushkar Bhan's immensely popular Machama series was first broadcast on Srinagar Station of All India Radio in 1950s 1960s and went on to have more than 54 installments in coming decades. A selection of the series was published in book format in 1977 and won Pushkar Bhan a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978.

Till recently, not any of the recordings were available publicly, but then last year Kashmiri Pandit community radio station Radio Sharda  based in Jammu, thanks to family of Pushkar Bhan, re-broadcast a story from the Machama series. The story was Sindbad Machama:

Machama has a hearty meal served by his wife Khatij, goes to sleep and then dreams himself a modern day Sindbad out on fantastical sea adventure with his friends Sula Gota and Rehman Dada to seek distant strange islands, a quest that will may him immensely rich but only after running into a lord of Jinns, a baby Jinn named Tua, a strange giant bird named Rakh and two love-struck Jinn hoorie sisters Zangari-Singari, and somewhere along the journey Machama establishes democracy among Jinns.

A recording of the radio show is now available for purchase in Jammu   (at the store 'Vir House', Sarwal...best place in town for Kashmiri recordings). I am sharing the radio play here:




The satirical Kashmiri employed in the play by Pushkar Bhan had me in splits. Pure LMMOF.

Listen and Enjoy. Sindbad Machama Zindabaad! Tau! Tua!

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Something about the cast of the drama by an original cast member. From a comment (touched up here) on Facebook page Moderate Voice of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh where it was shared [link]:

Bansi Raina: Sindbad Machama series was scripted and produced by Pushkar Bhan in 1968-1969 for Radio Kashmir. It became extremely popular, so much so that a mobile magistrate was deployed outside woman college on MA Road because the students from the adjoining SP College used to eve tease girls by calling them, 'Zingari-Singari'. It became a law and order problem. Besides the main characters i.e Machama (played by Pushkar Bhan), Sulla Gota and Rehman Dadda...M.L.Saraf was Zingari, P.L. Handoo was Singari...Bansi Raina (Tuwa's father, the main Jinn) and Shariefudin (Jinn Bacha, Tuwa). The cast had other characters as well which I am unable to recall. Some of the popular dialogues were, 'Walla..maiyani Shoga', 'hatai Zingari wa'ne Singari'.

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Word 'Machama' is a Kashmir dish of yore consisting of rice, vegetables, raisins, coloring matter and sugar.

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