The Moment of Meeting
33rd annual conference of Adbi Markaz Kamraz was a memorable event, stirring some of the deepest memories
MEHMOOD UR RASHID
Starting from Press Lane, passing through Peer Ki Gali, across Pir Panjal and finally to Poonch; the journey was drenched in emotion. It was like history following us, and we chasing the history. Thanks to Adbi Markaz Kamraz for conducting such a wonderful conference, but thanks a million times for choosing the spot. The event was important no doubt but the spot selection was even more important. We are indebted to the person whose mind first went into the direction of Poonch and then to all those who made it possible in a town like Poonch. Conducting a conference this far, and at a place with so little infrastructure as to accommodate almost 300 guests was by all means a herculean task. Thank you all, who made it possible.
It was a stroke of union thorough Time and Space. Mughal Road not only connects us with the people in Rajouri and Pooch, it also links us with the historical process of our making. The modest mausoleum of Hazrat Ahmed Karim (RA), and a recently built small Shah Hamdan Masjid are the potent reminders of who we are. Even the Ali Abad Sarai is a significant reminder of the unfolding of history in this region. Once the Pir Ki Gali is past and we move down into the human dwellings across Pir Panjal we realize how cruel the post partition politics has been to us. We have been a family dismembered by the unfortunate turn of political events. Rajouri and Pooch are a part of Kashmir as is Kashmir a part of them. We are a single people, who have more reason to celebrate unity than to cry difference. We belong to the same past and we are tied to the same future. How incredible it was to find people speak Kashmiri in Poonch. Even after more than 60 years of living in isolation from each other it didn’t take us a minute to connect.
When the caravan of almost 300 people reached Surankote, a township that falls some 30 kms before the district headquarters of Pooch, it stopped for a brief programme in the grounds of an educational institution. It was an emotive scene to hear people from Surankote. The wounds of isolation are deep, and the jubilation over this reunion is inexpressibly immense. Even in the harshest of times they haven’t allowed the relationships to die. They have nurtured them with the waters of memory and hope. For them receiving the people from Kashmir was like meeting the beloved. They threw it all open; arms, minds and hearts. We were all overwhelmed. I wish someone organizes a similar conference in Srinagar inviting people from across Pir Panjal. We also will throw it all open; arms, minds and hearts.
One thing that struck my mind in this moment of excitement was that people were mindful everyone’s right to stand for his culture and language. When the functionaries of AMK made it clear that their efforts to promote Kashmiri language was in no way to undermine other languages spoken in the region the hosts from Surankote, I could see, nodded endlessly and clapped thunderously. It was good to see union mindful of difference.
Another scene that caught my attention was a person holding a copy of GK plus, once a Sunday supplement of Greater Kashmir. It must have been more than 2 years old. He had laminated the entire copy indicating his intense association with whatever comes from Kashmir. The value of archives dawned on me like never before. As part of GK family I was moved.
Reaching Poonch late in the evening and straight away getting into the active mode was little taxing, nevertheless not at all boring. The conference hall at the Pooch Degree College was all set to witness a historical event. After the welcome notes from the organizers the well known humourist from the Valley, Talha Jehangir, conducted the stage. Rib tickling as always, Talha made us forget that we were slightly tied after a day long journey. The hall was full of laughter. We heard some brilliant poems from the poets coming from the both the sides of Pir Panjal that evening.
The remaining two days of the conference were full of content, though I believe slightly stuffed. The organizers had done their best, but then there is always scope for improvement as the cliché goes. All the segments of the conference were important in their own place but what enlivened the atmosphere was the evening with Rashid Jehangir. Till late in the night, in the open space of Degree College Poonch, the audience was absolutely enthralled. It was a moment of ecstasy. Jehangir of the yore must have conquered territories but this Jehangir of ours won the hearts. Ha laid down his own Mughal road connecting souls. The last song that he sung sums it up all. That was the essence of the conference and the evening.
Nazneen Yare Maine Ye chuy Mulaqat
Union, my dear friend, this is!
Yes, union it was.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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