Sunday, June 18, 2017

Zanani tu ek Kashmiri seb


Kashmir may
abaya ko nirbhaya say joda jata hai
Bhay aur Nirbhay ek pathar ki lakeer
dharam say joda jata hai
Dharam kuch paglai pal may
ek washing machine may
zanani ka abaya or mard ka pyjama
ek saath hona najayaz karar karta hai.
Zanani tu ek Kashmiri seb,
kuch toh niyam ka palan kar
Jannani ban
Jagat Jannani ban
ja kisi kay sar par pathar ban gir.

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heirloom


January, 2016

I bought a Kani shawl for myself, in Pune. I show it around at home, as usually happens, I get asked the price, the shawl is inspected, a machine one, but okay type. The discussion revolves around if it is authentic. I hear about the intricacies of the real shawl world. To dispel my naiveness, finally, to prove a point, mother brings out something that I didn't know even existed - a heirloom. My mother's great grandmother Kud'maal had a pheran, a handwoven Kani pheran. Over the generations the pheran was cut into pieces, added as border to shawls. The Kani shawls so crafted were given over the generations as gift to daughters. I post the photograph without her approval. Kashmiris treat these things as too intimate a secret to be shared. A rich tapestry of history lost.





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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Plan of the Typical Pandit House

mage (left): A rural KP house. Photographer: Hari Krishna Gorkha. From M.S. Randhawa for his 'Farmers of India' series. These are from Volume 1 (1959) (right): Plan of a typical KP house. T.N. Madan

The first storey on the ground floor is usually raised from the ground by a plinth of two to three feet, and a person has to ascend several steps to enter the house by a doorway in the middle of the facade. This doorway leads into a long narrow passage called the wuz. Footwear is removed and left in the wuz before anyone enters the rooms, which are swept clean, at least once daily, and covered with straw mats. On cold and wet days clothes may be washed, utensils cleaned and a child given his bath in the wuz. Here also boys at the time of their ritual initiation, and young men and women at the time of their marriage, receive their ritual bath. Again it is here that the dead body of a member of the household is ritually washed prior to cremation.


If only one household is resident in a house, then one of the main rooms on the ground floor is used both as kitchen and sitting-room, and the other as a store room. Or cattle may be tethered in one of the ground floor rooms by the residing house- hold, or a non-residing chulah owning part of the house. If more than one household lives in the house, then both the rooms are used as kitchen-cum-sitting rooms. The kitchen is separated from the rest of the sitting room by a wooden or brick partition with a door in it. Adjacent to the kitchen is the bath room. The fire on which food is cooked also helps to warm the water in a large vat set in the wall between the kitchen and the bathroom.


Pandit women spend a great part of their time in the kitchen engaged in cooking and allied chores. When not otherwise employed, the men sit in the room adjoining the kitchen smoking their hookah. The women join them there w f hen free and when there arc no strangers present. All meals are eaten in this room. Some members of the family may sleep in it during winter, as the kitchen fire keeps it warm, or whenever there is shortage of space in the bedrooms on the middle floor.


A staircase of about a dozen steps at the end of the passage leads to the second storey wuz, from which doors open into four or five rooms. One of these rooms called the thokur-kuth (God's room) is usually set apart for religious rites and worship. The others arc bedrooms, generally three in number, two small and one large. Not more than one married couple and their infant children sleep in a room. An aged couple who do not sleep in the same bed may, howe\er, share their loom with other unmarried adults. All the belongings of a household, including bedding, clothing, feminine ornaments, and bric-a- brac are kept in these rooms. The Pandits generally sleep on mattresses spread on mats covering the floors, but in some households cots are also used. The larger room is also used to seat and entertain guests on various important occasions such as marriages. But, if there are several households resident in a house, this room also is divided into two by erecting a permanent brick wall, or a partition of removable wooden planks, in the middle of it. In the latter case it can be easily reconverted into one large room whenever desired. In no case is any of these rooms used as a kitchen.


The third storey follows the same plan as the ground floor, and a staircase, again of about a dozen steps, leads to it from the middle floor. However, the rooms on the third floor have more windows, higher ceilings, and balconies.


A loft in which firewood, hay and straw arc stored, and a ridged roof complete the house. There is a small trapdoor through which a person can climb out on the roof for various purposes. In spring fresh thatch may be spread and the roof repaired. In summer jars of pickled fruits and vegetables arc placed on the roof to mature in the sun, and in autumn vegetables are dried here. In winter, whenever the snowfall is heavy, men climb out through the trapdoor to clear away accumulated snow lest its weight should damage the roof and the house.


The three-storeyed structure of the house gives good protection against the widely varying climatic conditions of Kashmir. The ground floor with low ceiling and double windows, and shielded from cold winds by neighbouring houses, is easily heated by the kitchen fire during winter. By contrast, the rooms in the third storey are kept cool and airy in summer by leaving the many windows open. Moreover, swarms of flies and mosquitos infest the yard during summer and make residence in the ground floor uncomfortable during that season. But if more than two chulahs live in a house, then the seasonal use of the ground and top floors by every household is not possible. The Pandits readily connect the architecture of their homes with the climate of Kashmir. They say that houses there have been always like this, and it does not occur to them that other types of houses might meet the climatic variations as successfully. They also lay considerable stress on the auspiciousness of the number three .

~ "Family and Kinship: A Study of the Pandits of Rural Kashmir" (1967) by T.N. Madan

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Read and download "Family and Kinship: A Study of the Pandits of Rural Kashmir"( 1967) by T.N.
Madan, the first anthropological study of Kashmiri Pandits.

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Previously: The T.N. Madan Omnibus

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Discussing the plan with my parents:


video link

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Duck Lal Ded


Duck Lal Ded

Hu-kus Bi-kus
Who he? Who me?
Telli Wan t'che-Kus
Now tell, who you?
Onum Batuk Lodum Daeg
got this duck,
drop it in a saucepan
shaal khich khich waangno
Jackal slit the neck,
add some Eggplants
Brahmin charas pouyn chhokum
poor Brahmin sprinkle some water
Brahmi boyas tyekis tyakha
Brahmin brother, now have some in plate

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As a kid I remember hearing these lines first in the kitchen, it must have been winter, no light, sitting next to a gas daan, grandmother sining. Maybe that's why - Onum Batuk , shaal khich khich - I always imagined the ditty as a recipe for cooking a duck.

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Not for:
Culturally lost Kashmiris expecting to find the real meaning of the lines, the deeper meaning, the yogic and the Shivic, the breathing and the panting peace.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Premi, 66



Kashmiri translation of Tagore's Geetanjali. By Sarvanand Kaul Premi (b.1924). [Download, uploaded by eGangotri, from Karan Nagar Ashram, Srinagar]

The 66 year old Gandhian poet from Anantnag was killed along with his son on May 2, 1990 by terrorists whose leaders now claim to be Gandhians.

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Tragedy:
I can't read it
Premi
there is no wiki page
if you search the net
people, some, they write about him
but the age at the time of death is mentioned
as 80
and most mention the age as 64
a scribble
copy after copy mention "aged 64"
no one visited him ever again
to even recalculate
1990 - 1924 =

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Urbar Peer Khoh

6th March, 2016

Had we been in Srinagar, for first Shivratri after marriage, my family would have sent me to climb Shankaracharya, but here we are in Jammu. So, we decided to visit the Peer Khoh caves. I agreed as I had good memories of the place. I had last visited the place in around 1991. In second year of exile, we used to live a nearby old city mohalla. My grandfather used to take me along to the caves for his morning walk session.

I remember the place as a cold, damn place that used to stay cool even is worst of summers. The breeze that gently blows in this area is allows cool even if rest of the city is simmering. Centuries ago visiting mendicants must have found these cool caves perfect for camping. In local lore the cave was said to have been home of Jambava, the great bear of Ramayan.  In early 15th century, the place became camping spot of Gorakhnath sect. Maybe, like at other places around India, Gorakhnath sect here too had close ties with the rulers.

But, all this was long ago. In 1990s, the caves retained their wild element, the floor of the cave used to be damp, no lights insides and hardly any people; however nothing of that old mystery now remains. The cave walls and floor are now cemented and there are air conditioning ducts all inside. There is a priest inside who mimics the monetary cave culture of Vaishno Devi. You get in line, pay money and move out fast. The cave have been urbanised.

Arabic Minaret, Japanese Train, Haridwar Temple, Mediaeval fort. 












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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

wai



My Nani
she put a mine in my head
I stomp all over the places in my mind
I keep missing the spot
What was the name?
She fed me these roots of a plant
it grows on an ancient hillock in Kashmir
The hill of myna
She said it is good for memory
bitter
I forget the name
I trample
name of a bird
a harwan tile
a lake
a leaf
a root
bitter
I stomp on her two feet back
it hurt as I got older

my feet got bigger
her back
brittle
fleeting memories

I stop
Why
why
wai, is the name

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Ride with the devil, hide behind the Lord


Ride with the devil, hide behind the Lord
I got pistol, I got sword

I got Hizbul, I already got land
And still I wonder why I got this stone in my hand

Stone in my hand, stone in my hand

And still I wonder why I got this stone in my hand


O' bother in faith, let me explain

I say we want a revolution, well, muslims get on board
We'll restart the old crusade, we'll start a Holy war
that's not an orders, that's the simplest plan
I don't need nothing but the stone in your hand

Stone in your hand, stone in your hand
I don't need nothing but that stone in your hand
Stone in your hand, stone in your hand
I don't need nothing but the stone that's in your hand

P too got fighter jets, P too will drop bombs
kill their fathers, kill their moms
Kill their brothers and their sisters, and their uncles and their aunts

O' let them wonder why you got this stone in your hand

Stone in your hand, stone in your hand

And still you wonder why you got this stone in your hand
Stone in your hand, stone in your hand
All the hate that's in my heart and the stone that's in your hand

Your blood runs the gutters, smoke fills the sky
your son that suffers, your mother cries
So if you've not had enough and you're ready for my stand
better be forever waiting with the stone that's in your hand

Stone in your hand, stone in your hand
forever waiting with the stone that's in your hand
Stone in your hand, stone in your hand

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Based on the song "Stone in my hand" (2008) by Everlast, popular among online supporter if stonepelters.

Image: Mashed from Priyesh Trivedi's "Adarsh Balak". Because the "popular" artists in Kashmir still treated Mujahids like holy cow.


Mujahid is to Tahreeki what Cow is to Hinduvadi. A holy cow about whose political utility you can't question anything. Blood of Mujahids is as unquestionably good for nation as cow's milk is for humanity. A basic criteria for a noble, just society. Kaamdenu cow of Kashmir...all purpose wish fulfilling cows that shall bring a peace of paradise to earth.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Ghantaghar Green


"Telli! What's it going to be, eh?"

There was me, that is Sikandar, and my three sangbaaz, that is Bott, Kadir, and Mudd. Mudd being really Mudd, and we sat in the Jumma Khanqah making up our magaz what to do with the Friday morning, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry.

The Jumma Khanqah was a religion-plus jaai, and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what these jaais were like, things changing so jaldi these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being written much neither.

Well, what they sold there was deenplus, religion plus something else. They had no license for selling it, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the new cheez which they used to put into the old deen, so you could gryt it with azzadi or revolution or resistance or one or two other cheezimeezi which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen hours admiring Jannah And All its Holy Angels and Saints in your left chapinkhor with lights bursting all over your magaz. Or you could gryt deen with stones in it, as we used to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty tim-woh-te-be-akh, and that was what we were gryting this morning I'm starting off the story with.

Our pockets were full of dayar so there was no need on that score, but, as they say, money isn't everything.

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You know how rest of the story goes: A free woman would get killed. Brittle men would be lampooned. Boy would be sent to special prison where they try to cure him, creating another kind of monster. Boy would find old his friends are now woking as IkWEENIS. A Batte Kommunist ji would take up the cause of Sikandar and try to expose the true face of "State" to the people...Pandit ji the mad victim who would be disposed soon enough. Sikandar would have his humanity restored and the symphony of violence shall continue.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Rahi, live, drink, die



Zinda [living] rozna bapat chi [for] maran [die] lukh [people],
Tche [you] marakh [die] naa [no]
Lotpeth [quietly] chekha [drink] pyala [the cup] kyoho [why]
uff [ahh] ti [why] karakh naa [no]


Tharre [hind] t'chaane [your] asann [spot] traaye[gait, I see],
gachann [destined] Jaaye [place] wuchaan [I look] chus [for],
Mane kehenze Rihell gonche [bud] folith [blossomed] aay
sarakh [tend] na [no].

Tharre [creeper] t'chaane [your] asann [spot] traaye [grown],
gachan [will] Zaaye [be wasted] wuchaan chus [I see] ,
Man't'henze[smoketree shrub] Rihell [small] gonche [bud] folith [blossomed] aay
sarakh [tend] na [no].

Lotpeth [quietly] chekha [drink] pyala [the cup] kyoho [why]
uff [ahh] ti [why] karakh naa [no]

Na [No] chu daari [window] alaan [movement] pardi [curtain] ti [and],
na [No] chu brandi [courtyard] dazaan [burns] T'chong [lamp]
Waawas [wind] chu, wanan kaw [crow asks] chi [you], moluum [enquire] karakh naa [No]
Lotpeth [quietly] chekha [drink] pyala [the cup] kyoho [why]
uff [Ahh] ti [why] karakh naa [no]

Tatte [hot] Lawwe [sprinkle] chi khasaan [climbs] Naare bubarr [fiery flames] prewe [grace] chu wasaan [downs] sheen [snow],
Hay [hey] pardi [veil] chechi [fades] myoon [mine] kruhun [black],
gaam [village] karakh naa
gaam karakh naa
Lotpeth [quietly] chekha [drink] pyala [the cup] kyoho [why]
uff [Ahh] ti [why] karakh naa [no]

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In 1990s, they complained that the villages didn't rise up, if only they too had joined the chorus, that poet Rehman Rahi was silent, that he didn't sing the popular tune. Now, his silence is being explored and re-marketed. There are villages to be inflamed, what better than the tongue of the man who sang of villages in which even birds recited Koran. Now, Rahi too is a poet of the Tahreek, when a Hizbul Mujahideen dies in some village in Kashmir, people on Facebook share "Zinde Rozan'e bapath chi maraan Lukh che te marakh na. Lotte paeth chakha pyaale kyoho Uff te karakh na." (People are dying to live. Will you drink your poison in silence, won't you protest)...like it is some kind of primal call to embrace death, forgetting that among the charges on Socrates was the charge that his beliefs were not same as rest of his community. His charge was blasphemy.

Poets, real poets, are complicated and even more so are the worlds and words they deal in. There is story that in the charged atmosphere of late 60s Rahi read a poem on death that shocked people as they thought it was all too propagandistic and reactionary. Only later he told his audience that his work was just a translation of Maxim Gorky's 'Death and the Maiden', a favorite of that man named Stalin. There is a famous painting of the scene: Gorky narrating the poem to Stalin and Molotov. Poet Rahi all too well knows how Stalinism turned out for the poet and that country. Do his readers know? If is fine to dig out that Kashmiri poem and sell it in villages of Kashmir minus the context? Will it not be called propaganda?

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Origins

would have you believe
Brahma of Kashmir conflict cosmos. it all started with his illicit love of Sharda. Set the world in motion. He was once very powerful and much loved. Now few temples remain.


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and he still runs the show...Laxmi.

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the new weapon of mass destruction
the loveable destroyer
levels the world and sets the new circle in motion.
real
taluk-pyeth

epilogue

Apr 22, 2016

The evil thought occurred to me 
a decade ago
There was this old man, sitting smug, 
talking in front of a brick wall
Some kids had died
playing stones and bullets
over a piece of land
The man speaking to the camera said
the war will continue
till the solution arrives
to the point of Kashmiri satisfaction
Behind him
with a gentle breeze
a red rose creeping on the wall
fluttered a little
This house was his
It reminded me of my home in Spring
The evil thought occurred to me:
whether Pakistan, India or on their own
whatever happens in a hundred years
There is no solution to Kashmir
in which this man
will lose his house
Yes, they are dying
Yet, even their dead have homes
The rose fluttered a little more


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Episode 3: 90 Exodus conspiracy


In the third episode of SearchKashmir video Dastangoi we look at "The Jagmohan Conspiracy" - the conspiracy theories around the Kashmiri Pandit exodus from Kashmir of 1990. And answer why Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the valley.



video link

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Guide to abuse a Kashmiri Pandit


More than a decade ago, when I was in college, I knew a guy who was great at abusing chemicals and equally great at using abusive language. As part of first year initiation rite in hostel, the guy would randomly pick any "junior" and start abusing him. He picked me a couple of times and it bothered me to no end. I had no understanding of the words he was using. I just assumed it was some sort of Punjabi slang. I knew these were abuses, I was familiar with some, but I didn't know what exactly some of these words meant. I knew Dogri abuses, which I found quite similar to punjabi but some of the words the guy was using were too new for me to grasp. So one day, while he is in his abusive rant, I stop him and ask him to explain to me their meaning. I told him I am Kashmiri and barely know any word from my mother tongue that can truly be called an abuse. The guy was shocked and was kind enough to engage me in a great discussion on human-animal anatomy, the breakdown of filiation and kinship and the use of racial prejudice and bigotry. Over the years I picked up more words from other languages like Marathi and Bengali, yet Kashmiri remained out of reach. I now know that some of the Bengali abuses have remained unchanged since 11th century with some of the abuses recorded by Kashmiri poet of Kshemendra from the Bengali students who used to visit Kashmir. Yet, Kashmiri abuses remain a challenge for me. For the longest time, I thought Kashmiri language had no abuses, which of course is not true. So, I started from the basics. The use of anatomy was the easiest to figure. You can use them to get to question filiation of a person. It all comes down to the usual genital stuff common in all other languages and culture, throw in words for sister and mother. However, it is the prejudice and bigotry based abuses in Kashmiri that are the invisible cherry on the profanity cake of Kashmiri language.

Here's a brief list of abuses meant for Pandits by Muslims in Kashmiri language [by the time you are through reading, probably we will have a bigger list or a list of abuses meant for Muslims by Pandits in Kashmiri language]

"Daal-e-Dadwas" [Bowl of Dal-lentils], a historical prerogative that Kashmiri Muslims use for Kashmiri Pandits....for vegetarian Kashmiri Pandits are perennially cowards who when scared would shit their pants easily, hence the lentits. If "nigger" is a derogatory term for a black in America, in Kashmir, for Kashmiri Pandit you would use "Dal Batta" (Lentil Pandit) or "Dal Gadwa".

There's an old saying among Kashmiri Muslims of certain kind:

Kann'e vassi Pouss
Batte baneh neh dost


"You might skin a stone, but a Pandit will never be your friend"

[via Sualeh Keen ] The variation of it popular among Kashmiri Pandits of certain kind:

Lishyi vassyi poas
Musalman banyi na doas


Lish is a nit, and poas is clothing/skin

You might skin a tiny nit, but a Muslim will never be your friend

Another saying probably a retort:

Batt buddi, ti methaan Musalman buddi, ti tethan 

An old age brings sweetness to a Pandit but bitterness to a Muslim.

A popular traditional abusive saying meant for Kashmiri Pandit woman:

Battne dodye Mass
Panditani may you hair burn.

My grandmother suffered it back in 1990, a random taunt from a young kid while she was buying vegetables. Origins of the saying - can't say - may be related to "Sati". The complete saying goes like: Battne dodye Mass, ye kya kortham dal gadwas.

The "hair burning" saying is common in some Buddhist culture, in a positive way.

Another one of the sayings.

'Battah miskeen, nah dunya tah nah din'.
The poor Hindu has neither the world nor religion.

This one seems like a variation of a Persian saying:
Cashmiri, bi Piri ; na Lazzet, ne shiri.
The faithless Cashmirian affords neither taste nor flavour. [ref: Rascally Kashmiri ]

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Cancerous Pandit


Opening lines of
The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Will Eisner
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An archive of anti-Kashmiri Pandit propaganda popular in Kashmir propagated by a certain intellectual class that directly befits from it.

Kashmir based magazine "Kashmir Narrator" has been trying to carry forward a discussion on the question of Kashmiri Pandit rehabilitation. The discussion is build around opinions sought and given by Kashmiris of the two communities and belonging to various cross section of society and ideological divide. The November 2016 issue had opinion from a lot of Pandits. I was among the people who voiced their opinion.

February 2017 issue carries the opinions of the majority community from valley. Among the opinions and be found some interesting dictats with the usual noise about "Kashmir Banega Palestine", and among those dictats stands out, like a dagger in a bleeding heart, this neurotic piece by a government employee who passes himself off as a Historian.



It starts off innocently calling future Pandit habitation cancer and then without provocation goes on to explain how every single pandit can be a potential cancer for Tahreekis.

Which reminds me of this sincere letter that was published a local Kashmiri newspaper back in 1991. "thwart any attempt by Pandits to return to the valley. Pandits have been cancer and once this cancer has been removed it should not be allowed to reappear."
The irony is that the cover of this Kashmir based magazine carries image of Geelani who wants Kashmir banega Pakistan while the back side of the magazine carries an advertisement for real estate in Gurgaon.


Some more opinions from the same issue of the magazine


When your limited exposure to cinema makes you too honest about your politics and propaganda. Bilal A Jan assisted Vidhu Vinod Chopra in making the first sleek masala thriller on Kashmir conflict, "Mission Kashmir" (2000) and has made documentaries financed by Public Service Broadcasting Trust of India.

According to him, it's not a matter of where Kashmiri Pandits settle...infact Pandits need to learn to shut up. If you are not ready to be held hostage, stay out. At least learn something from the Sikhs of Kashmir. For your heart shall be judged.



When you are a media veteran... capable enough to put an extra spin to the old yarn.
 Kashmiri Pandits of a certain older generation would recall Bashir Arif as someone associated with popular radio drama "Zoon Dub". Not many would know him as an accused in sexual harassment case.

According to this brethren of pandits...Kashmiri Pandit exodus was manufactured in 1990 so that in 2020 kashmiri Pandits would be resettled in colonies to spite Kashmiri muslims and to create Israel. And yes, ask about custodian property.... Property belonging to Muslims which is still being kept safe even after 65 years of partition while nothing could be done to save the Kashmiri pandit property in last 27 years.


When you are a political expert and have to come up with something beyond Palestine simile...when you are aware of "native" claim of Kashmiri pandits...you come up with African American simile. Yes...go ahead...Imagine an America in which all the African Americans have been sent off to Africa. Or better still imagine all the Native American have been sent off from North America to South America. Imagine Native American asking for native settlements in North America and native right to self determination living in South America. Imagine a society run by KKK deciding all the things for them.

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I am going add some more notable exemplary specimen of conspiracy theorists and professional hatemongers from Kashmir.


Here's how you review a book on Kashmiri Pandit experience in exile. The book in question: "A Long Dream of Home". I know most of the contributors to this anthology, including the one who still stay in Kashmir. I was asked to be one of the contributors, somehow I couldn't get myself to write about it.


So, here's how you review. You don't read the book (cause you are saving money), you just vomit all over it. All the accusations are usual that most Pandits are now used to. What stands out it the man who is making the claim, taking his timeout to spit bile on an Amazon review page.

This fellow, Abdul Majid Zargar, is a chartered accountant by profession. He is a regular contributor to Kashmir based dailies sticking to the old school Tahreeki line of thought. So far so good. The fellow however is also given a decent space by left journals like countercurrent.org and the well respected Economic and Political Weekly (EPW.in where I have also written in the past). At EPW he has co-authored letter with Anuradha Bhasin, the editor of Kashmir Times.

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Any ultranationalist movement needs a "parasitic" perennial villain. The fascists are and remain obsessed with parasites and creating a "clean" society in which no one will question their progrom. The language seldom betrays the emotion.

Antisemitic propaganda in Nazi Germany: on the left, a depiction of Capitalist/Communist Vermin in Der Stürmer, September 1944; on the right, a painting by Gustave Doré at an exhibition dedicated to the Wandering Jew in 1937–8

Below is a "sarcastic" response to Rahul Pandita's book on Pandit exodus "Our Moon has blood clots" where the respected author compares Kashmiri Pandits who talk about their rights to intestinal parasites who just can't stop scratching the ass.









The writer of the piece is editor of online newsite Kashmir Reader that was blocked temporarily in 2016  for advertising threats from Jihadi groups. This fellow gained acceptability and respect for he worked for Hindustan Times as an assistant editor and continues to write for them frequently.

[Update: 1 April 2017. The website has now taken down the "Worm" piece. 
Instead, replaced with a link to a piece that is supposed to critique of Rahul Pandita's book.
However, the original write up is still up as a Facebook note from Hilal Mir shared with friends . ]

Some more of educated bile from men who are supposed to be men of words:

Here are some comments to the original note. 




A man from Kerala contextualized it to his liking...he linked it to the satyrical tradition of O. V. Vijayan, a man whose satire took on the high and mighty and not the invisible minority, not the "other" by the "self". A Kashmiri Muslim Vijyan who writes about his own community's brute majoritarianism and lampooning it, is yet to arrive and even if he existed, would have be in exile like the Kashmiri Pandit community. 

Abir Bazaz, the filmmaker and professor at an American University, eggs him on. And in between likes a comment in which a random guy used the term "Daal-e-Dadwas" [Bowl of Dal-lentils], a historical prerogative that Kashmiri Muslims use for Kashmiri Pandits....for vegetarian Kashmiri Pandits are perennially cowards who when scared would shit their pants easily, hence the lentits. If "nigger" is a derogatory term for a black in America, in Kashmir, for Kashmiri Pandit you would use "Dal Batta" (Lentil Pandit) or "Dal Gadwa".

Abir is referring to the kings "turd" of Vijayan but at the same time liking a comment in which Pandits are called turds.




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A cartoon by Mir Suhail Ahmad Qadri for a local newspaper published on January 21, 2016. January 21 is date that most Kashmiri Pandits have fixed to remember their flight from Kashmir.

We see: The crying hoarse Pandit who exaggerates his suffering.



May be some more years and in Kashmir too we will have Holocaust Cartoon completion. Something that they already have in Iran.


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When you are Muslim rights activist but pretend to be general all purpose human right activists, running an organisation in Srinagar with "Asian" or "Jammu" in it...the general bigotry just seeps though...

This is plain talking from Khurram Parvez and the cheering crowd joins in.

Essentially if any Kashmiri Pandit calls Hizul Mujahideen fanactics, in Kashmir Pandits will be branded stupid fanatical agents.





Jehangir Ali is a reporter for Information Dept. of the J&K state and a general garden variety bigot who sometime also writes for Indian liberals online portals Quint etc.





Journalist Jahanamgir Jangur (verified twit) reporting if you haven't been tested for "goodness" in last six months, please report to the nearest Lashkar center for the "Good Pandit" certificate. Failure to do so would mean you deserve what is coming.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Template for defending Sikandars of the world



[Image: An extract from a photobook prologued by Neerja Mattoo/Suraiya Abdullah Ali (of famous Abdullah clan). Kashmir, Jammu & Ladakh: The Trefoil Land (1989)]

Template for defending Sikandars of the world

1. Take the name of Harsha, not in vain

Begin with reminding people about "similar" violence from Hindu past. Doesn't matter that the events are separated by a gap of 3-4 centuries. Doesn't matter that the account for these destructions comes from Hindu sources. In which, more often than not, the actions of the temple destroying kings is regretted. Doesn't matter that for his actions, Kalhana called Harsha a "Turk". He had mercenary turks working in his army. His turk legacy, and his influence on art fashion of the era can be seen in Buddhist Alchi Frescos of Ladakh. But, ignore all that.

Brahmin Kalhana mentions that just like a bad poet steals material from other poets, a bad King, plunders other cities. Take this truth and apply it no where else.

Foul mouthed S'amkaravarman plundered the nearby Buddhist site of Parihaspora to build his new town. But, the same king conquered and subdued areas which are now part of the imaginary map of the greater Kashmir.

In the defense of these Hindu kings, you can't say that temples were getting raided for material and political gain. Just mentions that Brahmins. Rest of the history, will fall in place automatically.

[A similar template can be applied to Mahmud of Ghazni too, and has been. Sadly, the nationalist Kashmiri writer has accepted that Ghazni was a motivated zealot. ]


2. Nice guy named Sikander (who, mind you, came much later).

Remind the reader how nice the fellow was. Scholar and patron of Sufis. Ignore what the historgraphic scholars of these Sufis wrote about him, or how they almost fought each other to claim as being the "influencers" of the king's actions. Ignore the sources in which his actions are lauded. Don't even wonder if there are works of any Sufi back then who criticised the action of the King. Was there a Musilm Kalhana in any of the Sufi orders?

Instead, remind them that since nice is not so often used with Sikander's name, it is possible that it is true, that he was nice guy, or at least as nice as others, and there's an ancient conspiracy at work to sully the name of Muslims, since forever, and ever, and ever. Only in extreme case mention that, it is possible that Sikander was possibly only 6 when he took over the throne. Temples are obviously destroyed. So, who did it?

3. The fanatic Brahmin

Remind the readers of the fanatic Brahmin convert Suha Bhatt. A neo-convert, a new convert, a bhatta on narcos, a fanatic. Forget that at that time there must have been hundreds of new converts. Where they fanatics likes new converts are supposed to be? Don't ask why Suha was fanatic? What empowered him? Don't ask if the missionaries asked him to think of himself as a Muslim Brahmin. It will all automatically somehow tie back to Harsha the fanatic. And, never, never ever, tell the reader that when Suha Bhatt went on his temple destroying spree, the name he chose was "Saif-Udeen", the "Sword of Faith". It was Saifudeen who was doing the destruction. However, during these acts only use the name Suha Bhatt.

4 . The Son

The glorious son. Could the son have been glorious, if the father was a fanatic? Tie it up to dad. Fruit has a bearing on a tree. Or, vice versa? You may mention his mother was afterall a Hindu, still buried among the stones. That's Kashmiriyat. Don't mention that the orthodoxy that supported the actions of Sikander and Saifudeen where always dragging Budshah down. That he was labeled kafir. That he too in his moment of violent query broke down a stone or two, what to do there was too much stone in Kashmir, and wood, he broke the wood of Sharda when the goddess won't talk to him. But, no one blames him. It's understandable. The historians and Kashmiris were always nice to him. That's Kashmiriyat. And, that's how you write history.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

kashmir-Casablanca

"badaam/paisley" in Casablanca (1942), actress Ingrid Bergman

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to Kali, Goddess of Terror!



Honour to Kama, God of Desire,
whose breath shipwrecks the flowers;
by the immaterial, airy arrows which
vanquish the three words, of Heaven
and Earth and Hell! And honour also
to Kali, Goddess of Terror!
For all things come to the ineluctable
chasm of her mouth, to be overwhelmed in
nothing.
This Triple world of ours seems only an
imperceptible reflection on that stormy sea,
or like a little vagabond carp within it. Already
that mouth has swallowed so dreadful a duration of time that even the Ancients have no count of it;
for the bold and careless lust of Kali cloaks itself in fraud against the unnumbered armies of those afflicted with a body!


~ 'Samayamatrika' of Kshemendra written during the reign of King Ananta, around A.D. 1050. [translation by E. Powys Mathers done in 1927]

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kabir and a Kashmiri saying

Kabir's 15th century sayings are a living phenomena in India languages. Everyone in North knows a Doha or tow. Did any of these sayings pass on to Kashmiri? Nothing much is know and linguistics seldom studied with a sense of wonder.


I recently came across these lines from Kabir in a song sung by Meghval community of Rajasthan.


video link

"Pehle toh guruji main janmyaPeechhe bada bhai
Dhoom dhaam sa pita re janmya
Sabse peechhe maai
Ber chalya mera bhai…"

O wise one, I was the first to be born
Then my elder brother
With great fanfare my father was born
In the end my mother
Time is slipping away…
[trans. via sayskabir]

The lines reminded me of a Kashmiri saying (that goes something like this...and given by anthropologist T.N. Madan in his study of Kashmiri Pandits):

God'e zaas be
pat zaai maej
telli mol
ti adi bude'bab

First was born
I
then mother
then father
and then
was born my
grandfather

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor

As a kid I remember sitting down to pretend study for exams, daydreaming. My grandmother would say "Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor"....Just realized it's sufi kalam of Samad Mir ( (c.1893 – 1959)

Pad Pad gaya Pather,
Likh likh gaya Chor
Jis padnay say Sahil mile
woh padna hai oor

Reading, reading,
I became a stone
Writing, writing,
I became thief
It is something else
the study that gets you ashore



video link

Friday, February 24, 2017

the "phat" tantric sound. Kashmiri/Buddhist



video link

"phat" ritual. The finger snapping done by KPs and Lamas. In both cases, it is the end part of cleansing ritual that ends with a shock sound.

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Part 1: Feb, 2016. Shivratri. Jammu.
Part 2:  October, 2015. Ladakh. Inauguration of a small roadshide Dharma chakra.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Glass Lantern Slides of Kashmir from 1890s

Glass Lantern Slides of Kashmir from 1890s. Personal collection.
Music: Wanvun from "Vitasta", opera by Dina Nath Nadim.



video link

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Maithun/Amorous couple from Kashmir

20th Feb, 2016

Most old archaeological texts mentioned it. But, it took me two trips to find and identify it in the rubble.
"Maithun/Amorous couple" from Kashmir, Avantipur, mid 9th century. One of the most common motif in Hindu temples. These are the only two surviving in Kashmir.


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The courtship in the courtyard nearby.

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19th Feb, Manasbal

A boy and two girls standing next to a green mazaar of a pir next to the lake.

Girl A: Dopmay na me chu ne karun. (Told you, I don't want it with you)

She opens up her phone. Takes out the sim card and gives it to the boy.

Boy: Wayn kya! (please!)

The mediator friend, Girl B: Boozi wayn! (Listen, please!).

The girl is now furious and visibly upset. She will not listen.

"Dopmay na me chu ne karun."

She throws the phone to the ground, probably a gift, smashes it to smithereens and walks away.

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Biloreen saaq, seemeen tan, samman seena, sareen nasreen,
Jabbeen chuy aayeena aayeen ajab taaza jilaa, Jaa'noo


~ Rasul Mir, 19th century Kashmiri love poet.

Crystal Legs
Body Mercury
Jasmine Bosom
Daffodil Butt
Forehead,
a wondrous
polished
mirror,
my love

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yas zali bad'nas ash'qun naar
su zaani kyah gov hijr-e-yaar,
Maqbool kornas dil nigaar


The body set on fire by love
it knows meaning of separation from love
Maqbool, accepts an idol in place of heart.

~ from 'Gulraiz' by Maqbool Shah Qraalwari, (d. 1877) Kashmir. Based on work of Zia Nakhshabi, a 14th century Persian poet.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Artist Brij Mohan Anand in Kashmir


We know how the rightwing loonies in India react to nude art. We know what happens to the art and the artist. We know how the leaders of the right react. We know how the left intelligentsia argues back. But, what happens in Kashmir.

It's 1947 and Sheikh Abdullah sets up a cultural front in Kashmir to promote art. Left allied artists are at the forefront of the front. An exhibition is planned. Prominent from all over India are invited for exhibiting their work. Among these artists in Brij Mohan Anand who is invited by Kashmir Sahayak Sabha of Punjab. He spends time in Kashmir, travelling, sketching and painting. In September 1948, the exhibition is inaugurated by the Sheikh at Hadow Memorial College Premises, Shiekh Bagh, Srinagar.


At the exhibition, some visitors are offended by the work of Brij Mohan. He had included some nudes among his work. Sheikh sides with the Kashmiri moral brigade. Sheikh and Brij Mohan have a heated argument that soon turns physical. Later, the artist is told arrest warrants have been issued in his name. The artist silently packs as many of his paintings as he could and heads for the national highway where he finally hitches ride in an army truck, leaving Kashmir hiding under sheets of tarpaulins like some sheep.

And that's why you won't see Kashmiri artists exhibiting nudes in Kashmir. The Kashmiri society remains on right.

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The story is told in the book "Narratives for Indian Modernity: The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand" [Aditi Anand / Grant Pooke, 2016]

Some of the Kashmir specific works of Brij Mohan Anand



First art exhibition in Kashmir. Srinagar. 1948.
Pandit Woman, 1948

Cover designed by Brij Mohan Anand
for Jamna Das Akhtar's novel "Kashmir ki Beti" (1978) based on Zooni Gujjar.

Chashmashahi. 1948

Kashmiri Muslim Woman, 1948

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