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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