Our own ZGM
Ahad Zargar’s soul would have felt pleased, as ZGM got the deserved award in his very own down-town setting!
DR. JAVID IQBAL
ZGM appears every Sunday and Monday on ‘GK’ opinion page, hence the familiar acronym has developed a pitch, where it sound rhythmic. One may afford to miss his highly politicized column on Monday…the Punch-line. The weekend over, the rush to offices and business concerns heightens. Nostalgia on Sunday, to borrow an often passed American comment is however ‘a different ball game’. I have had scores telling me that they wait feverishly for the next ‘Nostalgia’. Amongst them as busy a person as Prof (Dr) Allaqaband, who hardly gets a respite from patients attending his clinic. Plus multiple functions to attend, being the valley’s most renowned physician.
It is the exclusive Kashmir flavour that puts ‘Nostalgia’ into a different realm. The very caption takes you down the memory lane. And into alleys, lanes and bye-lanes of Kashmir, especially of Shahr-e-Khas-- ZGM to borrow a Persian saying is, ‘Ba’chay-e-Shahr-e-Khas’ (Child of Shahr-e-Khas). We might remember Grand-ma’s tales, scores do. However to weave these tales into a highly likable fiber needs an artistic touch. It is not every one’s cup of tea, it cannot be. The feel has to be there, a highly sensitive touch to weave the appealing yarn, the yarn that warms the soul by awakening the special senses and getting to the core of inner being. The words sink and sink deep, every word related, every sentence framed is familiar. It is re-living an experience…Guzashta say Paivasta (glued to the past).
ZGM is a story teller; he ought to have stayed as one. Politics claimed him instead in his younger days. You may not escape it, especially if you are as sensitive as ZGM is. More so, if you are ‘Ba’chay-e-Shahr-e-Khas’…down to earth down-towner, and that too, born and bred in Nowhatta Chowk…the scene of action of ding-dong battles, over years of political oppression suppressing the soul of Kashmir. Into thick of politics, ZGM suffered imprisonment over years of his younger days. Those were Plebiscite Front days, later the switchover occurred. Twenty-two long years were labeled—years of political wilderness. ZGM soon opted for state services.
Known for his political past, the men in power utilized his services. Even in his student days, he wrote columns in vernacular press. His penchant for writing was made use of, by men in authority; he could write on any topic, his lines however got related by someone else. As he fell foul with authorities, he was charged with writing columns while serving…violation of service rules in a state known for double standards. Give a favourable line, you are in. You could be out the next moment, if the line is taken as unfavourable. ZGM has tales to relate of his service days. He draws a line however; trust he is not given to breach. Try as you may, you cannot fish out anything juicy.
I do have a complaint. ZGM is Kashmir centric to the point of being irritating, perhaps irrational. He provides an explanation. Others have scores to take care of their concerns; we are a budding society in the intellectual realm. There were times, says ZGM, when he touched topics that weren’t Kashmir centric. However his Monday ‘Punch-line’ is holistically Kashmir-centric. ZMG breathes Kashmir, it is deep in every cell, every tissue of his frame—physical as well as spiritual. In many a moment that we share and share so often, it is either Kashmir this or Kashmir that. Though he is fair in his comments on many of my writ-ups which may not be Kashmir-centric, he wouldn’t be taken in by my plea of looking beyond Kashmir.
ZGM—from his writings a highly rated intellectual is nevertheless hardly the individual, you might call urbane. He could in a moment be sermonizing on lack of literary outputs on Kashmir scene in a seminar, the next moment brings to fore a rustic down-towner not beyond doling out the choicest invectives. You get to think—did urbanity ever touch the cowboys of America’s ‘Wild West’? Or, is urbanity—a desirable trait at all? Wouldn’t urbanity take away the writer who feeds us with ‘Nostalgia’ every Sunday morning…homely tales with familial flavour? The flavour that has evaporated with living in nuclear families--‘hum dou aur hamaray dou’. And living in so called civil colonies…how civil are these colonies, where ‘hum dou’ live their elderly days with ‘hamaray dou’ seeking green pastures in foreign lands? Has our valley stayed green at all, a valley where civil colonies don’t even have the touch of what ‘Nostalgia’ of ZGM relates? They are not even a patch on it. ‘Nostalgia’ which is so touching, so sensitive precisely because it is so original…a 24 carat stuff to relish and cherish.
Azad Zargar’s soul would have felt pleased, as ZGM got the deserved award in his very own down-town setting!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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