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An Elegy on Koshur Burqa

Koshur Burqa By Z.G. Muhammad Journeying through the corridors of my childhood in a meditative mood;   some verses read years back started echoing in my mind like lilting tunes on Santoor played by Ustad Muhammad Abdullah Tibetbaqal.  These verses of Agha Shahid Ali sounded as if they were mine:  “No one now comes from Kandhar, dear Ali, to pitch tents by the Jhelum, under autumn maples, and claim descent from the holy prophet.” I went into a trance- a trance with a difference and started dreaming about hundreds of turbaned men draped in long chogas with no daggers hanging from straps tied around their waists pitching their tents on a wasteland between third and fourth bridges on the banks of Jhelum.    Thousands of men ‘  dressed in ‘long loose, large tunics,’ many wearing no drawers’ squatting on lush … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kashmir-Talk

Children Fundraisers Of Kashmir

Children Fundraisers Of Kashmir

Author Stories about the thirties, in our childhood, were not that old. Every elder in the family had a story to tell about one or the other martyr of July 31,  1931, buried just three hundred yards from our house. They remembered stories of the movement against the Maharaja like textbook lessons.  Even an old small earthen pitcher painted green had a story to tell about fundraising for the movement against the monarchy its discriminatory rule. The pitcher often made my mother nostalgic; … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kashmir-Talk, Memeiors

A WORD WITH PULPIT

UNITY OF UMMAH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SECTARIAN DIVIDE Pulpit A Word With Pulpit I want to have a frank talk with ‘the pulpit’. I believe that I will not be committing any blasphemy in stating my mind to the preachers and sermonizers in my part of the world. Like an overwhelming majority, I was born and brought up in a Muslim family and have not received any formal education in Deen.  I have not been a student of any seminary or theological school.  Conscious of my limitations and lack of religious scholarship in articulating my concerns I will avoid taking recourse to any dogmatic school of thought but will strive to put my point of view before the sermonizers and preachers not as polemicist but as a humble student … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kashmir-Talk

Ramzan And Our Childhood

Our Religious Schooling By Z.G. Muhammad Reminisces how so sweet they may be, have their poignancy. Many a time writing about my childhood, I feel like Shelly that I am writing, an ‘epitaph of the glory fled’. Believing, ‘the loveliest and the last, is dead’, I hear the cry inside me, ‘Rise, Memory, and write its praise- for now, the Earth has changed its face, a frown is on Heaven’s brow.’ Grand Mosque Srinagar Indeed, the earth has changed; childhood has fled. It cannot be brought back.  Every year on the sighting of the Ramadan moon this harsh reality dawns on me but still, memories, make me bask in the spiritual ambience that overwhelmed our part of the city on the commencement of the holy month. I remember the Sahar Khawan during our childhood would not only just beat drums ferociously to wake up … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editor's Take, Kashmir-Talk, Memeiors

Of Small Joys of Childhood.

Nostalgia Ode to Surnaivoul Z.G. Muhammad Our childhood was full of rhythm and cadence.  On looking back, sometimes for their cheerfulness, I feel envious about my b0yhood, childhood of children of a whole generation born in the fifties. Despite, the voices of the dissent then also asphyxiated and atmosphere of insecurity looming large, it was the beats, bells, and whistles that soared our hearts with joy. In the wee morning hours, it was jingling and tinkling of bells of goats and ewes and whistles of goatherds from the shepherd Mohalla, near my school that woke us up. Or, it was lilting tunes of Santoor and Saz-e-Kashmir, coming out of baithaks of some of the elite houses at a distance that made us toss aside our quilts. In the late evening, it was haunting melodies coming out the flute of jilted lover Gul, that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editor's Take, Kashmir-Talk

Indu Kilam: Tethered To Roots

Indu Kilam: Tethered To Roots

Indu Kilam Waxes Lyrical Tethered To The Roots   By Z.G. Muhammad It was perhaps the twentieth day of the lockdown. I had lost count of dates and days, sitting in my small ten by twelve feet study, like my ancestors the pit dwellers, I had no idea about the world outside. Dead landlines and lifeless cell phones had gathered dust as thick as scum on the stinking pond in the heart of the city, once a turquoise spring-fed waterbody gasping for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editor's Take, Kashmir-Talk

Nostalgia: Veshyakh Festive Day

Nostalgia Veshyakh and Us Z.G.Muhammad ‘I take back all the joy that all oppressors have stolen from me.’  People adopted this maxim as their philosophy of life in ‘the city of Srinagar ‘- my birth burg.   Having learnt to transcend being oppressed and not allowing deprivations sapping their resilience, in all situations, they stole the moments of joy and celebrated every season and festival with great hilarity even during troubled and oppressive times of the fifties and the sixties.  Having enjoyed almost a three weeks long almond blossoms festival on the foothills of Koh-i-Maran. Having enjoyed enthralling and soul-stirring musical evenings under the canopies of purple and white blossoms in the garden laid by Waris Khan. And having relished roasted Gaer water chestnuts squatting on the small hillock, called the tail of Koh-i-Maran overlooking Dal, Nigeen, and Anchar lakes, all children waited for the Veshyakh. In essence, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editor's Take