Noted playwright Sajood Sailani passes away

Noted playwright SajoodSailani passed away after a prolonged illness at his Zafran Colony residence, here today. He was 85.

According to family, Sailani was unwell and bedridden for over five years. He was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Pandrethan, Nowgam, Srinagar.

Sailani, a recipient of SahityaAkademi award, is survived by two sons and a daughter. One of his sons, ShowkatShehri is also a playwright and writer. His other son, DrManzoor Ahmad is noted psychiatrist.

Sailani besides being a playwright was also a cartoonist, painter, theatre artist, and poet. He, however, was known by his radio plays in Urdu and Kashmiri.

Sailani’s brother Gayoor Hassan headed the School of Fine Arts in Srinagar.

“I have lost my mentor and Kashmir has lost a multifaceted cultural ambassador,” ShowkatShehri said.

In his illustrious career, Sailani wrote more than 150 radio plays, 27 full-length stage dramas and 40 comedies. As a theatre artist, he had set up his own group, the Sangam Theatre Srinagar that would do a lot of cultural activity for many decades. In the later stage of his life, Sailani kept writing and contributing in the literary arena.

“He was instrumental in enriching the stage craft in Kashmir and lot of theatre artists are his produce,” said noted artist and Sailani’s nephew, Naushad H Gayoor. “He was known in the literary circles of Pakistan and praised for his Noahs and Marsiyas.”

Sailani’s memorable works are Zalur (spider), Tentykor (Catgut), Fundbaz (swindler), and Vutribinyul (catastrophe).

Meanwhile, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) Muneer-Ul-Islam condoled the demise of Sailani.

In his condolence message, he said that Sailani played an important role in popularising the modern Kashmiri theatre throughout his illustrious literary career.

Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages held a condolence meeting which was presided over by Chief Editor JKAACL, M Ashraf Tak.

Convener Kashmiri Advisory Board SahityaAkademi New Delhi and Patron AdbeeMarkazKamrazDr Aziz Hajini expressed grief over the demise of Sailani.

The literary and the political circles also condoled the demise of Sailani.

Profile

Born in 1936 at Dalgate here, Sailani started writing from 10th standard. He never went to college. It was during those days that he assumed the pen name of SajoodSailani.

He had actually started writing short skits for All India Radio that led the Radio Kashmir Srinagar to actually hunt for him.

He was working with the Jammu and Kashmir State Motor Garages as a vehicle painter but his passion was Kashmir culture.

He dominated the cultural space of Kashmir for more than 20 years. Later in his career, he was shifted to Government Medical College as a curator in the Department of Anatomy.

“It is ironic that in my professional life I got the maximum respect from drivers and cleaners in State Motor Garages. Despite being illiterate they used to respect me and hold me in high esteem and the place where I got the lowest respect was GMC. The people there were highly literate and I felt always being looked down upon in their company,” Sailani had remarked in his interview with Greater Kashmir.