Bridge And The Cartoon
Bridges have fascinated writers, one did me
MINDSCAPE BY S. SARWAR
I meant no disrespect to the Bengali Poet Laureate; Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1939- Noble Prize winner of 1913) but the rib tickling Cartoon that (GK 13th Jan), about fishes over bridge and men underneath caught my attention and made me abandon the study of Tagore’s play Chitra, when my son handed over the newspaper to me; jerking his tresses off his lovely bearded face. The cartoon was simply hilarious.
Besides made-in Kashmir shawls Bangalis also share culinary taste of fish with us but are these items signs of intelligent people. As some believe, I really can’t say.
Life has everywhere thrived near water sources, be it Thames of London, Ganga of India, Hogli of Bengal or Jehum/ Veth of Kashmir or wells of Arabia. Habitation thrived around water sources and houses & marts came up naturally. Well, where there is a river, a bridge has to be there too, especially when ferrying across by boats has gone outdated. Our Srinagar city was once called city of seven bridges and the expanse of city was limited. Houses faced towards Jehlum - some of great heritage- value exist today, beside temples & shrines. During the days when Mission school was located in Fateh kadal students used to go in boats; as Dal dwellers still do in present days.
I love to imagine those great missionaries- Bisco & Mallinson roving across to find why a student like my Aunt- Who later became a firsr batch teacher, or my dear mother, was absent from school after their ill heath report had been reached their ears. How grateful we Kashmiri’s should be to these Christian missionaries who rendered great service in the field of education and health? I pondered.
Today I loved to see with my closed eyes, visualizing, the tall bearded, long- haired, poet cum actor humming few verses of his own Gitangali or lost in composing a scene for his Play.- Dak Ghar, astride in a boat- not a Kashmiri shikara type, gliding slowly over the waters of Bengal.
Bridges have fascinated many writers, Like Eliot – of Wasteland fame. How could a humble pen wielder like me be immune? Some Years back the Amira kadal bridge materialized of its own in my kasmiri opera script – that dwelt on the history of this blighted land of ours since 1931.
Voechhim shathus peith behit/ az te timmai loukh yeth kadlus taraan/ kertaan yim pakaan aes/ kallen peth aabbe naett heath/ aastaannus khaline bapath/ timmai loukhh . . . . !/ Timmai tsokaimetse aechh/ te timmai watte . . !/… Dai zaane ker tsli ye shaaph.
From the bank I can see the same people walking over the bridge/ who in distant past carried pitchers of water on their shoulders for supplicating at the saint’s shrine. Familiar are the men, as their dim eyes and known are the streets …! God knows when we would be free from the evil spell.
Back to the bridge in the cartoon, I surmise why the left over structure of the Amira Kadal bridge can not be converted with a little investment of money and mind, into a market of a type that once existed on many bridges. The poor vendors whom belly- fire compels to litter the over burdened bridge and are a source of inconvenience to many, are not displaced, but accommodated near by. Likewise, why the desolate bund area from Amirakadal to Sonwar can not be permitted for use by the Sunday Market & pavement- vendors that are a source of inconvenience to free flow of traffic in the city hub?. Not on one day in a week basis but on all days transaction would go on in a mutually beneficial way among sellers and buyers. Is any body listening?
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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