Kashur Harud: It’s centuries old!

And ‘Harud’ cannot be what spring is!

COMMENT BY DR. JAVID IQBAL

‘Harud’ set over Kashmir in the fall of 1586, as the state lost its independence to the machinations of wily Emperor Akbar.  Yousuf Shah Chak - the King of Kashmir had no answer to the wile and guile of Akbar. MJ Akbar writes in his ‘Behind the Vale’: Akbar could not afford bowl of freedom to Kashmir! The vale had to be enslaved to sustain Indian security. Akbar Shah, the Persian poet saw the ensuing ‘Harud’ (Autumn) and wrote the Persian lines, in an effort to make the autumn that had set in for Kashmir and Kashmiris:
Zauk fana na yafti wagarna daar nazar;
Rageen tur az bahar ast khazan’e Kashmir!
It could be put as:
Melancholy you knoweth not to shape the mooring
Of Kashmir autumn being more colourful than spring!
In the autumn of the year 2011 some of our literates wanted to assign an air of festivity to the centuries old ‘Harud’ a la Akbar Shah making it look much more colourful than the spring could ever be. But first the poetic nuances to get a feel of the couplet:
Zauk (taste)fana (finite-predetermined phenomenon, here it conveys seasonal variations, in higher sense, high and low of life)Na yafti (haven’t developed)wagarna (otherwise)daar nazar (in visualization or comprehension)rangeen tur (more colourful)az bahar (than spring)ast (is)khazan’e Kashmir (autumn of Kashmir].
To retain the meter and the poetic rhythm ‘Zauk fana’ is put as melancholy ‘na yafti’ as knoweth not and ‘wagarna daar nazar’ as shape the mooring.
The poetic nuances over ‘Kashire Harud’ is indeed beautiful in poetic sense, when the chinars assume a golden hue, otherwise ‘Harud’ cannot be what spring is in more senses than one. ‘Harud’ is the harbinger of the long winter of freeze—the freeze that has set over Kashmir over centuries. ‘Harud’ in its literal sense stands for ‘melancholy’ while as spring that has eluded Kashmir for centuries stands for melody. Melody has not come our way, so a festival could hardly fit in our body politic. Along with soft tones of Akbar Shah trying to sell the ‘Harud’ tunes to hapless Kashmiris, came the derogatory tunes of poets known in Persian literature as poets of ‘Daur-e-Akbari’ (Persian literature of Akbar era, which had a galaxy of poets-Urfi, Sabir and the poet laureate of ‘Durbar Akbari’ (Akbar’s court) Fayzee, to name a few]. They showed no compunction in calling Kashmiri a ‘Badzat’ (ill born/ill famed]:
Agar qahat-ul-rajal uftaad (if there is a famine of men]
Az seh mehr kum joyi (expect not love & concern from threesomes]
Awal Khumbu, doum Afghan, sewum badzat Kashmiri (first Khumbu (a central Asian grouping) doum Afghan (second Afghan)sewum badzat Kashmiri (third the ill born/ill famed Kashmiri]
Az Awal Helai miyad (the first (Khumbu) takes a weird course)
Az doum kenaiy miyad (the scond (Afghan) holds a grudge]
Az sewum nami-ayad ba-jouz andouh va dilgiri (from third (Kashmiri) cometh not anything save heart-rending wilting & wailing)   
Akbar had security concerns, lest the Central Asian groupings, the Afghans, make Kashmir a safe sanctuary, he sought to subjugate it. Easy going Yousuf Shah Chak’s vacillations provided enough room for geopolitical maneuvering and eased his path, thus setting in the centuries old ‘Kashur Harud’. The literary activity has to remain geared to address it rather than mark ‘Harud’ as a gala event of exchanging literary notes addressing what concerns ‘Aam Admi’ in Kashmir the least. The concern for the ‘Aam Admi’ the sufferer of centuries old ‘Kashur Harud’ remains the core concern in literary activity of literates to make mark in recent times. We may refer to Basharat Peer’s ‘Curfewed Nights’ or Wahid Mirza’s ‘The Collaborator’, two of the literary pieces acclaimed worldwide. And these acclaimed ones were amongst the first to pronounce dissent of ‘Harud’ literary festival!
Centuries later Nehru followed Akbar’s path. His telegram to Clement Attlee—the then British Premier says it all. It was yet another fall…a continuity of ‘Kashur Harud’. What was supposed to be harbinger of ‘Azadi’ for the sub-continent proved to be start of another nightmarish experience for Kashmiris—the telegram reads?
“Kashmir’s northern frontiers …run in common with those of three countries, Afghanistan, the U.S.S.R and China. Security of Kashmir, which must depend upon its internal tranquility and existence of stable government, is vital to security of India” quoted by (Alistair Lamb-Kashmir 1947-Birth of a Tragedy—Roxford Books U.K 1994)
The mighty Indian nation—an emerging world power might have addressed and attained its security, the question remains—did Kashmir attain “its internal tranquility and existence of stable government” which Nehru considered vital to the security of India? Your guess could be as good as mine! In the meantime, the centuries old ‘Kashur Harud’ waits for the spring blossom which could wear off the ‘Harud’ painstakingly
Poosh-i-Fuliah keh che jaan;
Harud walan dard-e-saan;
Boze bhagwan mare paan;
Pooshun bahar aaw yur walo!
When that spring dawns, the gardener would get tuned and go whole hog to welcome it with the note of melody that what was elusive has ultimately dawned. We might then collectively celebrate the dawn of spring; even appreciate the golden hue of chinars in ‘Harud’!

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi (Reunion is subordinate to survival]
Feedback on: iqbal.javid46@gmail.com       

Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST




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