Sunday, January 31, 2016

Complete Chronology of All Kings of Kashmir

King with his queens and attendants
Awantiswamin temple

A chronological Chart of the History of Kashmir based on Kalhana's Rajatarangini (1148-1149 A.D.) and other original sources.

Based on a basic list compilation originally done by T.N. Khazanchi for Marg Magazine in 1950s as Superintendent, Archeology and Museum Dept. Srinagar.

[I have appended additional interesting bits, updated with recent researches in the field and my notes on the various eras. Point to note Patañjali’s Mahābhāsya c.150 B.C is the first mention of Kashmir in an Indian source. Mahabarata mentions Kāśmīramandalam, a pilgrimage holy site for sages. Some Nepalese recension of Mahabharata mention Haramukuta (Haramukh) pilgrimage. ]

Kalhana's account opens with Gonanda I (accession assumed Kali Samvat 653, Lankika S. 626) and first book ends with Yudhisthira. The aggregated length of reign for 75 kings has been shown at 2268 years.  The account is of course not absolutely reliable from a historical point of view. But Kalhana was working on genuine tradition, text sources (now lost, like work of Padmamihira, who in turn used another lost work of this kind, the Pārthivāvalī of the Mahāvratin Saiva ascetic Helārāja) and some of the kings have a definite historical existence. Book II of Kalhana opens with Pratapaditya I and ends with Sardhimati-Aryaraja. The aggregate length of reigns for this period is 192 years. The third book opens with Meghavahana and ends with Baladitya. The aggregate length of the reigns for this period is 589 years with 300 years ascribed to Ranaditya alone.

Moulvi Ghulam Hasan Shah (1832-1898) in his three volume 'Tarikh-i- Hasan' is only source for the 'lost' kings of Kashmir and based on an old Rajatarangini written by one Pandit Ratnakar, called Ratanakar Purana and was found by one Praja Pandit.

The Lost Kings:

1. Gonanda I (3120-3103 B.C.)
A relative of Jarasandha, king of Magadha. Killed by Balabhadra, brother of Krishna.

Reigned for 17 years. 

2. Damodara I (3103 - 3090 B.C.)

Killed by Krishna.
Reigned for 13 years. 

3. Yasovanti (3090-3075 B.C.)

Wife of Damodara I 

Reigned for 15 years. 

4. Damodara II (3075 - 3035 B.C.)

Son of Yasovanti and Damodara
Killed by his Prime Minister Harnadeva

Reigned for 40 years.

Kalhana mentions the king as Kubera’s friend and that Guhyakas obeyed him. Possible reference to the riches he earned

Pandava Dynasty

5. Harnadeva (3035-3005 B.C.)

Grandson of Arjuna

Reigned for 30 years. 

6. Ramadeva (3005-2936 B.C.)

Married daughter of Shiva Rai, ruler of Gandhara.

Reigned for 69 years. 

7. Vyasadeva (2936-2880 B.C.)

Married Kalabhawani daughter of king Jaswant of Marwar.

Reigned for 56 years. 

8. Druna (2822-2768 B.C.)

His wife Margidevi built the temple of Margeshvara at village Kuther.

Reigned for 58 years. 

9. Simhadeva (2822-2768 B.C.)

Village Simhpur founded by him.

Reigned for 54 years. 

10. Gopaldeva (2768-2755 B.C.)

Chief of Kashgar was brother-in-law of Vijayananda. Chief of Khuttan won the war from Chief of Kashgar 

Reigned for 13 years and 3 months. 

11. Vijayananda (2755-2730 B.C.)

Younger brother of Gopaldeva. Won back Kashgar. Defeated Khuttan.

Built the temple of Vijayeshvara at Bijbihara. 

Reigned for 25 years. 

12. Sukhadeva (2730-2686 B.C.)

Son of Gopaldeva. Lost territories in Punjab to king of Delhi, Chitrath. Also, lost Turkistan.

Murdered while hunting in mountains of Amarnath by drawing in Liddar river by Rama Nanda, son of Vijayananda.

Reigned for 44 years. 

13. Rama Nanda (2686-2629 B.C.)

Subjugated ruler of Jammu.

Reigned for 57 years. 

14. Sandiman (2629-2564 B.C.)

Son of Rama Nanda. Founder the city at a place which is now the bed of Wular Lake, known as Sandimatnagar (still known as Salabatnagar). Built the temple of Zeshteshvara. Invaded territories as far a Kanauj. Married Partidevi, the daughter of King of Kandhara. She died at Attock, on way to Kashmir when her boat capsized. 

Reigned for 65 years. 

15. Marhandeva and 16. Kamandeva (2564-2509 B.C.)

Marhandeva and Kamandeva were sons of Sandiman. In their hostility, the country got divided into two. South-Eastern went to Marhandeva and North Eastern to Kamandeva. 

Karmandeva founded the village named Marhama. Kamandeva (unjust king) made Sandimatnagar his capital. A comet appeared that year. In the same year, the rains were heavy. Also, a huge snake appeared at Chakdar which died but its carcass stayed for a year. Based on the divisions made by two kings Kashmir is still divided as Maraj and Manraj. 

Marhandeva reigned for 55 years. 

17. Chandardeva (2509-2457 B.C.)

Son of Marhandeva. Killed Kamandeva. A debauch king, he had 360 wives, one for each lunar day.

Reigned for 52 years. 

18. Ananda (2457-2429 B.C.)

Brother of Chandardeva. Cruel king.

Reigned for 28 years. 

19. Drupadadeva (2429-2378 B.C.)

Son of Ananda. Kind king. Built the temple of Jwalamukhi at the village Shar. 

Killed by brother Harnamdeva with an arrow to the eye.

20. Harnamdeva (2378-2329 B.C.)

Built vineyards and distillers. Unjust king who was almost defeated by his commander-in-chief named Durga. Durga almost defeated Harnamdeva but people backed Harnamdeva and helped defeat Durga. Repentant Harnamdeva remitted two years' revenue. Later Durga's son named Rangu killed Harnamdeva while he was on a hunting expedition. 

Reigned for 39 years. 

21. Sulkandeva (2329-2311 B.C.)

Son of Harnamdeva.

Pleasure loving King worked only on Saturdays.

Reigned for 28 years. 

22. Sinaditya (2311-2294 B.C.)

Foolish king who paid ten million dinars for a celestial virgin. 

Killed in bed by his brother Mangaladitya.

Reigned for 17 years. 

23. Mangaladitya (2294-2255 B.C.)

A bad ruler. In his time a mist appeared inhalation of which caused many deaths.  

Reigned for 39 years. 

24. Khimdendra (2355-2180 B.C.)

Son of Mangaladitya. Killed by minister Druna for outraging the modesty of his wife.

Reigned for 66 years. 

25. Bhimsena (2189-2128 B.C.)

Son of Khimdendra. Unjust king. Built the temple of Koteshvara on Jhelum bank and founded the village of Simpur.

Reigned for 61 years and 7 months. 

26. Indrasena (2128-2082 B.C.)

Son of Bhimsena. Unjust king.

Reigned for 46 years. 

27. Sundarsena (2082-2041 B.C.)

Son of Indrasena.  Sandimatnagar drowned due to earthquake as prophesied by Nanda Gupta. Only a potter survived and took refuge at Kralasangar hillock. The earthquake also created Khadanyar hillock at Baramulla.

Reigned for 41 years. End of Pandava dynasty.

Kashmir was kingless for 2 months. Survivors of the flood elected Lava as the king, a relative of the ruler of Malwah and a jagir holder at Lolab.

28. Lava (2041-1981 B.C.)

He founded the city named Lalau in Lolab valley [which contained 84 lakh houses according to Kalhana but 80 thousand according to Ratnakar]

Reigned for 60 years. 

29. Kusha (1981-1794 B.C.)

Son of Lava. Granted the village of Karuhara (Kolar) to brahmins.

Ruled for 7 years.

30. Khadendra (1974-1944 B.C.)

Founded Khagi and Khonamusha (now called Kakapur and Khunmuh)

Reigned for 30 years. 

31. Surendra (1944-1901 B.C.)

In Dravad country founded a town called Soraka. Founded village Saurasa (now called Shurat) in Deosar tehsil. Died without a son. First native Buddhist ruler of Kashmir. [Kalhana uses Helārāja as the source till ]. Found the Buddhist Narendrabhavanavihāra

Ruled for 43 years.

32. Gudhara (1901-1864 B.C.)

Came from a different family. Gave the village of Godhara (Godar) and Hastishala (Hastihel) in Deosar to Brahmins.

Reign lasted 37 years

33. Suvarna (1864-1829 B.C.)

Son of Gudhara. Brought to Krala (Ardavani/Advin) canal called Suvarnamani (Sunamani-kul) for irrigation. The canal flows to the east of Zainapur plateau.

Reign lasted 35 years

34. Janaka (1820-1797 B.C.)

Son of Suvarna. Founded Jālora Agrahāra and Jāloravihāra, the village Jalora (Zalur) in Zainagir and Vihu.

Reign lasted 32 years

35. Sachinara (1797-1757 B.C.)

Son of Janaka. Founded village Shamangasa (Shangas in Kuthar) and village Shanara (Shar in Vihu).

Reign lasted over 40 years

36. Galgendra (1757-1712 B.C.)

Nephew of Sachinara. In Maraj, founded a city named Naunagar which had 13,0000 houses and brought a stream to this city from the river Rambiara.

Reign lasted 45 years

37. Baladeva (1712-1669 B.C.)

Son of Galgendra. Founded the village Balapur Suparsuman. Bhigham, the king od Ujain or modern Delhi sent a force to invade Kashmir but was defeated by Baladeva.

Himal of the folklore Himal-Nagrai was the daughter of Baladeva.

Reign lasted 43 years

38. Nalsena (1669-1644 B.C.)

Son of Baladeva. Very cruel. Nalsen in Kashmiri still means a very cruel person. Died with family in a fire.

Reign lasted 25 years

39. Gokarna (1644-1608 B.C.)

A noble from Jammu Rajas elected king. 

Temple of Sharkadevi at the foot of Pradyumna-pitha (Hari Parbat) built by him. Villgae Brand (Bren in Phak) given as brant for maintenance of this temple.

Reign lasted 36 years

40. Prahlad (1608-1597 B.C.)

Son of Gokarna. Built the temple of Priteshvara on Shirakut hip in Khuihama formerly called Bu Sangri and now Baba Shukruddin hill. Became a sanyasi ayer coming in touch with a saint named Druna. Gave the kingdom to his minister Bambru.

Reign lasted 11 years

41. Bambru (1597-1589 B.C.)

Fell in love with maternal cousin's wife named Lolare. He would song out "Lo.Lo.Lo". From them comes the folklore of Bambur ti Lolare. 

Reign lasted 8 years

42. Pratapashila (1589-1553 B.C.)

A descendent of Galgendra. Founded the city at the foot of the hill in Vular called Pratapa-Nagar. Built the temple of Pratabeshvara at Bhawan. Ran off with a woman to never return.

Reign lasted 36 years

Thursday, January 28, 2016

After flood, Inside SPS Museum

In 1898, after a proposal from a European scholar, Captain S.H. Godmerry, Maharaja Pratap Singh converted the Ranbir Singh Palace in Srinagar into the Pratap Singh Museum.

18th November, 2014

I found the gate open and just walked in. Half way in, I heard someone commanding me to stop. It was a big burly Sikh security officer who pointed out that I hadn't walked in though the right security gate. I traced back my steps to the main gate. Again walked in through the right gate and was again stopped by the security officer.

"The museum is closed due to flood. Nothing to see here today."

I could see the place was open. I pleaded to be let it.

"The place is still wet. It is left open for drying."

"Where have you come from?"

I didn't tell him I am a Kashmiri. I told him I had come from Kerala. The place is too far and I would be leaving the next morning.

He had a turn of heart and told me that the in-charge of the museum was in the office. I could plead with him.

I was escorted to the officer. An old man busy with office work. I again pleaded. I was let in on the condition that I won't be photographing anything.

"Condition of the museum would only bring further bad press."

I promised. A man was assigned to keep watch over me. I walked around the place that should have been one of the finest museum in the sub-continent.

I asked him if there was any literature available about the museum. Officer handed over a big fat inter-office magazine that mostly carries self-congratulatory letters for various members of the history department.

It is a hopeless place.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


October, 2014

There was a storm last night. One of the window panes broke. It had been accidentally left open overnight. Grandmother rang me up on phone to tell me all about it.

'He would have given me an earful. He would have said, "Ye kus taavan sunuth!"

It's been about a year now. I guess she still misses him.

They wanted me to write an obituary. I couldn't. I couldn't sum up a life in just a few words. In the end, he got an obit, the kind that has become the default for most Pandits of his generation who died outside of Kashmir in exile: 'He was a Karamyogi...we remember...Papaji.'

I try to remember 'Daddy'. The most lucid memory is that of him sitting down to eat. The rice in his plate doused generously in lassi. A man of fine eating manner, his plate, even if too watery, was always neat. It was almost like watching a ritual. At the end of the rite, he would wash his hands in the plate, take a sip of water, swish it in his mouth, hold out his right hand like a little wedge, sprout out the water onto it and into the plate, all without a sound. Then he would take out his dentures, clean them up a bit by pouring some water on them and then put them back into a little yellow plastic container. It was a ritual he followed most of his life. 

My grandfather had no teeth. I laugh a little when I hear stories about how peaceful Kashmir was in old days. Indeed, a toothless peaceful Kashmir. Somewhere in 1970s, much before I was born, grandfather lost his front molars in a neighbourhood fight. It wasn't his fight. Two Muslim neighbours were fighting over the right to erect a fence. My grandfather, like a good neighbourhood 'Pandit Ji', was there to help settle the matter. The issue heated up. One of the guys swung a bamboo stick but missing the intended target, instead, hit my grandfather on the mouth. Two of his teeth popped out and onto the ground. Blood sprouted out of his mouth like a fountain of Shalimar in spring. My grandfather was afraid on the sight of blood for the rest of his life. He would pass out if he saw too much blood. Many decades later, he once witnessed a bus accident in Jammu, we had to collect him from hospital for he had fainted on the road on seeing the scene. One would think he ought to tell tales about how he lost his teeth in a fight from a Muslim blow, but he never did. It wasn't anything worth telling. Maybe it wasn't. In the evening of the incident, the bamboo swinger came home to apologize. It was an accident. He had tea and left. However, over the years, grandfather started loosing rest of his molars too.

I never understood. If my parents wanted me to hate Muslims, all they had to do was point me to my grandfather's denture and tell me a story about what they did to him. I would have cooked my heart in oils of hatred every time I saw my grandfather eat. It's not like they didn't tell me other stories, but in this story, 'Muslim' was not the point. In this case, it was just an accident.

After grandfather died, all the relatives came, it was a big gathering. Here, I asked his children again, "Why didn't you tell me a Muslim did it." They still answer, 'Why would we lie to you?'

My grandmother added in mock jest, "In any case, he had crooked protruding teeth. Good riddance!"

I rolled my tongue over my front teeth, felt the point where one of my front teeth bends in a little and seems mashes into another. Grandfather did pass some bad genes to me.

When my grandmother married my grandfather, he worked the accounts in Shali Store, the government grain store. Grandfather was in his early twenties while she was still fifteen. 

"My mother never checked his teeth. She did secretly go to check on him at his work place, the Shali store, but only managed to get a glimpse of the back of his neck. Mother came back and said the boy is fine. He can walk upright. That was about it. I was married to him". As my grandmother recalled this, his elder brother wiped a tear and in a choking voice added, "She was too young, she was just too young. She didn't understand what was going on, she even ran back into the arms of her mother at the time of final send off."

I try to imagine my grandfather with crooked teeth, with teeth, but I can't.

Instead, I see him sitting down to shave, his little shaving kit spread out. Working up lather using a badger shaving brush. Taking extra time to shape his toothbrush moustache. Once done, his face covered in little newspaper bits to stop bleeding from little cuts.

"Kya chukh wuchaan? Aaz ti aav rath. What are you looking at? I again bled today."

In his last days, his sons would give him those shaves. The moustache was long gone. He must have first grown that pencil moustache just when the subcontinent was about to get divided, just when new nations were sprouting. I remember the dates of the wars but I don't remember the birthdate of my grandfather. Our life stories are just footnotes to a greater story of great wars shaping up an adolescent world.

In the violence that followed, as the war arrived in Kashmir, the story goes, my grandfather, like many others, decided to leave Kashmir. He did get onto one of those Dakota planes ferrying refugees to Delhi. But, the plane refused to take off. It was overloaded. My grandfather was among the people who got off-loaded. The impulse was gone, he turned back home and he was to leave Kashmir only decades later in 1990. They say Pamposh colony of Delhi was started by the men that got on those escape planes. This simple gaffe ensured my grandfather was not going to be a Dilliwalla Kashmiri but stay a Kashmirwalla Kashmiri.

This was also the war that ensured that my grandmother will be pulled out of school and married off at a young age. The joke in the family: "She could have at least been a collector!" Yes, she did teach me the spelling of 'Thank You' in Hindi.  Dhanyawad.

They got married in somewhere in early 1950s. Soon children were born. They had four. Two sons and two daughters, my father being the eldest. Grandfather joined state Secretariat as a lowly government employee. He had studied till B.Sc., wanted to study more, but running a family meant finding a secure job. He was born in a big family where joint family system was still the norm. His father had died just after his birth. Grandfather never could recall his face. Youngest among three brothers, he was raised by his mother and brothers. And there was the family of step-brothers - his father had married twice. We once had land, lots of land. It was slowly gone, all sold off. In the joint family system of Kashmir back then, everyone pitched in to run the kitchen and expenses. His children would ask for new school shoes.

His youngest daughter remembers, "Papaji had a wicked sense of humor, he would never say, 'no'. He would say, 'I shall buy you ten'. We soon got to understand it meant you were not getting any."

In 1990, my grandfather didn't want to leave Kashmir. He joined his children in Jammu only after trying to wait out the madness for two more months. In 1989, his youngest daughter was about to get married. He had retired from the government job, but to raise money, he was still working. I was eight at the time. I recall winter evenings he spent counting crisp notes. I was to think my grandfather a rich man. At the time he was working as a cashier for a Punjabi Medical wholesaler in Srinagar. I think their bestseller was 'Boroline'.  I can smell Boroline when I think of those years.

Then I remember Jammu, and an afternoon he was hit by tail of big bull "Billo Bhel", Grandfather smells of Zandu balm. In those early days of Jammu, I remember him writing and receiving letters. Yellow postcards and blue envelope inlays. From and to relatives that were now spread all over the country. Often the letter would end, 'Rest you know what has happened.'

In Jammu, he often took me on walks. His long excruciating walks, familiarising me to the new place. His habit of getting up early in the morning. His habit of walking steps ahead of his wife who would walk too slow. His habit of making weird funny sound to make his grandchildren laugh. His habit of working the garden of his new house in Jammu.

We finally started to built a new house in Jammu in 1996. It completed only in 2015. A vague cement copy of our house in Srinagar. We moved in even before the house had windows. The first monsoon, water just flooded in from the wall. An empty cup was afloat. We laughed and laughed. It took just two more years to get the windows done. The money was raised by selling-off the house in Kashmir. The land for this house in Jammu was bought in late 1960s, a direct consequence of sectarian polarisation of Hindus and Muslims of valley during 'Parmeshwari Handoo Case' of 1967 when a young Pandit woman married an older Muslim man. The violence that followed scared Pandits and some of them started looking for an escape strategy. It was his brothers who suggested buying a piece of a land in Jammu. This was well before politics of 'Love Jihad' was employed in Indian mainlands to polarise community. It is as if Kashmir was a little laboratory where future of India was getting shaped by some mad social scientists.

Grandfather's elder son-in-law remembered him as a true 'Sanghi Batta', a term often used for a Kashmiri Pandit member of the 'Sangh' of which RSS is the spurious fountainhead. In 1990, among others, Sanghi Battas, or anyone suspected of being a Sanghi Batta were the prime targets of the Islamic flavoured Kashmiri terrorist. Muslims were convinced 'Shiv Sainiks' were coming. I couldn't think of my grandfather as a Sanghi Batta. I know in 1970s, he had taken part in agitation over closure of a local ancient temple in Chattabal. Like most Pandits, during the era of Nehru, he would have followed Nehru and during the time of Indira, he would have sworn by Indira. Just like most Pandits now swear by Modi. I think he did admire Vajpayee, and followed the Agra summit with much hope.

I never heard my grandfather talk about the Sangh. Like most Kashmiris he was addicted to News, he knew the politics of the land by heart. A passion for news meant piles of newspaper and every couple of months, he would ask me to carry all the junk paper to the local raddiwalla. And for this job, I could charge and he would pay me ten rupees. This way, every year I would at least make a hundred rupees. And often using them, I would buy comics or a book. My grandfather taught me to love books, he would take me to the library and I was free to read anything I liked. We would often mock fight over the right to read a book first. We read Manto and Sartre.

He once fell from a ladder while trying to change a light bulb. I laughed.

Then I moved out of Jammu to pursue higher studies. I got busy. When the studies finished, I moved to Delhi looking for a job. I remember, he told me Delhi had lot of book stores and book fairs, he gave me a small handwritten note with a list books he wanted me to buy for him:

1. In the woods of God realization by Shri Rama Tiratha
2. Yoga by Patanjali
3. Vairagya Satakam by Raja Bharthari (Bharthari)
4. Sunder Lahari by Sri Sankaracharya (Advita Ashram)

He was much older now and discovering God all over again, I was young and leaving the fold of religion. I promised him the books but never got around to buying them. I got busy. I still have the note in my pocket. I want to drown it in the lake at Harmokh.

His blood started clotting. We took him to Kashmir. He met his old neighbours. He couldn't recognize the crossing to his house. We came back, he got a clot in his brain. He got operations.

His memory started fading. He wanted me to get married. He confused things. His speech slurred. He thought I was married. He named my imaginary wife - Chandani. He had to be prompted lines while talking to me on phone.

He started fading. He faded into a world of his own. We tried to get him back as often as we could. We played games with him. We would ask him questions from his past. We would ask him his name. We would ask him our names. Of all the answers, some would be more lucid than the other. He would often not answer at all. But, he would rattle out names of his brothers and dead relatives like they were still alive. Often, all this questioning would irritate him. His brows would raise and nose would twitch. He wouldn't talk, but one could see it all on his face as he grit his gums. One day, when one granddaughter asked him the routine questions, he just snapped and said, "Why should I tell you the name of my brothers? Who are you?" That's probably the last time he got angry. I remember, in Jammu, he broke the T.V. set once. He did have an angry streak.

He stopped talking. We placed a radio next to his bed. It played Kashmiri songs all day. He became a child. He would run for cover if someone raised his voice. His wife would feed him and clean him. His bed sometimes smelt of urine. Much to my grandmother's annoyance, I would sometime lie in it while he was being given a bath. The songs were from home.

He was locked inside the house and not allowed out. He would ask to be let out. Newspapers in Jammu are full of lost old Kashmiri men. All the local shopkeepers were told to keep a watch on him. Inform, if he steps out. One day he sneaked out, father followed him, keeping a distance. He took the route to raddiwalla and managed to reach back home safely. He stopped walking.

He was now often ill. Doctors and hospitals. 

When I received the call. I knew it was serious this time. I wanted to be there when it happened. I was ready to let him go, but I wanted to see him off. I kept flying back to him. In the hospital, I thumb wrestled him. Seeing us fight, a woman from the nearby hospital bed claimed, "Pandit Ji hasn't lost memory. He is obviously here." I know, I was just tricking his instincts. Or, may be he was tricking me. I wasn't there when it happened. I cried in a long time. The last time I had cried, he was fighting my mother over something that now seems inconsequential.

A few months back, a Muslim man from Srinagar called to offer condolences. An old colleague who read the "First Death Anniversary" message in the local newspaper.

I remember the last time my grandfather laughed. In his lost days, just before he stopped talking, he would laugh on a joke my father cooked up. My father would press the long Kashmiri nose of his father and utter an old Kashmiri saying:

"Bragya nas chaey hej"
Stork, your nose is crooked!

Grandfather would reply with a toothless smile:
"Nat kya chu syod"
What is straight in this world?


The [edited] piece got published at, 18/06/2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Vitasta by Dina Nath Nadim, 1974

Nadim wrote his third opera in 1965. Inspired by Nilamata Purana, Vyeth/Vitasta tells the love story of a Naga Princess and a Pisaca Prince.

Here's the 1974 recording of the musical extravaganza produced by J&K Cultural Academy and directed by Pran Kishore Kaul. Music is by flutist Virendra Mohan.

Video link 

Part: 2

Uploaded by Ramesh Mehta
Hat Tip: Mrinal Kaul

Saturday, January 16, 2016

mathematics of loss

I have done the maths,
the world is doomed.
I am told my ancestors were 
exploiters -
the bloodsuckers.
They got land
and more land.
And then, lost it all
in 1990.
In middle of conflict,
a family of wood-cutters
bought our house.
They pulled apart the mud bricks and wood:
hundred year old deodar windows and doors.
A fortress in cement was built.
A sawmill in the middle.
I count the number of trees cut.
I have done the maths,
the world is doomed.
In Money.
What they paid us,
I now make in a month.
I run the maths on inflation.
Numbers hold.
I too shall build a fortress
I shall again count the number of trees cut.


Lal aaes wyethin [Lal Ded was fat]
Nund oos lean [Nund Rishi was lean]
what was the point
Batte ti Musalmaan [Hindus and Muslims]
voyn donvay kameen [now both rascals]


Breaking down Stones and Paintings

In Hindu lunacy circles, Kaaba is a Shiv temple. In some of the "proofs" is given the above image. it is a page from Bazil's 'Hamla-i haydari'. We see the idols of Kaaba getting destroyed by Ali. The place looks like a Hindu temple.

In the real story of the image, lies a certain beauty of how arts and cultures works.

'Hamla-i haydari' (Wars of Hyder) was written by Mirza Muhammad Rafi' Bazil (d. 1712), in around 1654 AD. Bazil's father came from Mashhad in Iran during the time of Shah Jahan. Bazil was a poet and sometimes governor of Gwalior and Bareilly for Aurangzeb. He wrote around 40000 verses detailing the war exploits of Islam and Ali (later expanding till the time of first four Khalifas) based on Shia tradition. He died before finishing the work and as the work became very popular, it was subsequently completed by some other poets. It came to be known as Bazil's 'Hamla-i Haydari'. At least 7 editions of the work were published.

The above page comes from a manuscript claimed to have originated in Kashmir in around 1808. [Given by BnF Department of Manuscripts ]

And that explains the Hindu touch to the painting. The hands that painted it had painted in a local template. 

The 360 idols of Kaaba get placed inside the colonnades as is meant in a Kashmiri temple.

The Gandhara inspired colonnade at Buniyar temple in Kashmir in which traditionally idols of various deities were kept

The idols get painted like the way Hindu gods were painted by Kashmiri artists even uptill 20th century.

'The Goddess and Shiva receive homage',
in Chandhigarh Museum and believed to be from around 1900 A.D.
Hand drawn diety on a horoscope
Painted by a Pandit family guru
gifted to a client on the occasion of Gour'trie
20th century.


Friday, January 8, 2016

blasphemous bits

I would collect bits from people and sometime they would border on blasphemous. It seems impossible someone would sing this in Kashmir. This one by an unknown fakir from Sopore:
batt'e pae'th kar pooza
deedar labakh tanha
vat'ka'en chey kaabas manz
kyah maz'e chu sharaabas manz
pray like a pandit
alone, you will find Him
shiva's stone is at kaaba
joy, is wine alone


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

AIR interview of Dina Nath Nadim, 1971

An old radio interview of poet Dina Nath Nadim (conducted by M Y Taing) for All India Radio in around 1971.

Family history
Lal Ded
Studies and JL Kaul
Hatred for community
Freedom to revolt against family and relatives
Hatred of regime
Lenin at a Tobacco shop, Bhagwaan Lenin
Anarchist Bomb making
Poem on Mej Kashmir his first in Kashmiri (interviewer goes wah wah but confuses Hindi and Urdu)
History of NC
Pandit convert to Muslim to join Muslim Conference in around 1933
Prem Nath Bazaz Marxim
Battan hienz Khenz
State Subject Movement and mining engineer Lambho Dhar Zutshi
then came Iyengar
Dina Nath Philasafer and his contribution to State Subject Movement
"Free-thinkers Association"
for atheistic verse
"I am poor"
Amil Darvesh
DP Dahr Poet
Ehsan Danish
Progressive poets
move to Kashmiri
but not before Hindi
Ramanand Sagar
Making Marxism Kashmiri
Shams Fakir
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Naya Kashmir - Roos
Cornforth Marx. Only three chapters of Marx
failure with Vakh
shorter Vakh
safeed nazam haiku
Failure of Naya Kashmir
member of communist party
teachers who supported him
Government who opposed him
Bombur Yamberzal
music too, folk tunes from mother
marriage against wish
she died
Trade Union threw him out of his own school, moved to Lahore
Alone, met a girl
Love poems during this time
Honest: Sadiq, N.N. Raina, K.A. Abbas, Karra, Somnath Zutshi
Nazam at Mujahid Manzil
No Tea, No Chai
Cultural Front
Mahendra Raina
Rahman Rahi
Shela Bhatia
Decline of front in 1953
origin of communist party
Baskshi Gulam Mohammad didn't do it
Kurban Ali, Ajay Ghosh, Dr Deen Mohammed Taseer
First member Mahmood
BPL Bedi author of Naya Kashmir document
maker of People's Academy
Jia Lal Kalam and Sadiq would have been president
work with Bhagat theater as president
origins of 'ras' who came from outside Kashmir
Sat Lal Sitari
Basant Bagh Parsi theater. Amateur theater company. In urdu of Agha Hashar Kashmiri.
Alfred theatrical company
Saraswati dramatical sociey Karan nagar
national theater, Gaw kadal
Kashmir theater. First time women took part in it.
Attempt at making first Kashmiri film in 1928. He wrote script.
Script of R.C. Kak got approved.
Professor Jia Lal Koul was hero
Silent movie
Film banned on protest from pandits. It was on dowry.
Theater artist called 'Ras Kath'
Satich Kahvit, first play, Nand Lal Mandloo
Actor Jagan Lal Saqi, Sudama Ji of radio 
Before Qabali Attack 
at Draibyaar, Mohan Lal Aima staged 'Vidhva'
Visit to China
opinion on Chinese. Respect.
Visit to Russia
they influenced by East
he was there with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman [which gives the date of this interview]
Similarity between Tajakistaan and Kashmir
"it is like home"
On Kashmiri literature
Importance of Mehjoor
Bob Dylan stands no where
Traditional Humanism
Guṇaḍhya's tale as known in Kashmir
opinion on Rehman Rahi
on Amin Kamil
Likes new poets Muzaffar Azim, Ghulam Nabi Gowhar, Vasdev reh, Radey Nath Massarat, Riaz Razi
First Kashmiri Story, "Jawabi Card" on radio, 1948. By Nadim.
Why his work is not yet compiled
Why Nadim
first name Makhmoor
Nadim picked from a book of Karim ur logath in 1935
his friendship with Mehjoor who was with Congress at the time
Bazm-e-Kongposh. Music used to make new poets popular
Talk about Shiekh Abdullah 
Riot of 1933
Shiekh had beard
He had popular support
It was a time
Communist initiation at house of Dr. Mewa Ram Lakhwara
Bakshi and Sadiq
closer to Sadiq
Bakshi supported cultural activities
by Sadiq was more appreciative in true sense
His favorite nazam, "Myon Afsaan"
and "Lakhcukuklakhchun"
and "KazultuAftaab" for a commrade, unpublished. A random scene from a street in Kashmir.

A lesson in social history of Kashmir.

Listen, imagine and see.

video link

'Body' in Kashmiri Verse

Annigatti vanninam nanni kathe em lal-faroshan
Kanni manz draamo jawaharaey

In darkness,
that ruby-seller offered me
- naked words.
A stone split,
a gem was revealed.

~ Rasul Mir, 19th century

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
it 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.

yas andra tundras naar tatae
matya kon aakh yaar sinjh vate

this body
like an oven
slow burns.
you didn't find a way to
a friend?

~ Fakir Nyam Sahib (19th century, Srinagar)

Tanni Gom Rabaab
Gagan gayum taare
Zeer o Bum th'hovth'hum Cheero lo

My body now a Rabab
veins: the strings
From these you cleave out
high and low

~ Rahim Sahib Sopore, 19th Century*

Cchi saazas zindagii hu'ndis rabaabas suu'ty kyah nesbat
Rabaabas jartu' swn vanu'nas rabaab aval rabaab aa'khu'r

Life's song to the Rabaab
Bears no relevance;
Rabaab is nothing, but a Rabaab
Even when gilted dense

~ Abdul Ahad Azad, 20th century

* A parallel can be found verses of Kabir

saba raga tamti rababa tana, biraha bajavai 
nitta aura na koi suni sakai, kai saim kai citta

All the veins are the stings, the body is rabab. 
it plays the songs of separation. 
No one else can hear it. Either Lord or the Mind.

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