And he lights the lamp

Manshoor Banihali's new poetic collection is a mile stone in Kashmiri poetry
"The said literature besides reflecting the aesthetic legacy, advocates the universal brotherhood, international understanding and the human goodness."
"The said literature besides reflecting the aesthetic legacy, advocates the universal brotherhood, international understanding and the human goodness."Special arrangement


Literature is the criticism of life. literature is a mirror on the richness of human experience and complexity of the human condition. According to Sir Philip Sidney, literature is a better teacher than history or philosophy.

Every language has produced good poets and writers who have shared their  experience in a meaningful way to benefit their readers. Kashmiri language, which is going to become the classical one, has a precious literary heritage. It has produced noted literary personalities in many genres.

Jammu division of J&K has also produced so many big literary personalities, who by their priceless writings have contributed to edify Kashmiri language and literature.

Noteworthy among them are, Aama Abdul Rahim, Rasa Javidani, Kamgar Kishtwari, Marghoob Banihali, Shahbaz Rajori, Bashir Bhaderwahi and Taus Banihali. But at present the most active, famous and dynamic literary personality who works for the glory and fame of Kashmiri is that of Manshoor Banihali.

He is the author of so many books and has become a representative voice of  Jammu division's Kashmiri literature. He has earned much appreciation from the literary  circles because of his poetry of simple diction and easy language; language which has no stylistic  gewgaws or prolixity. His poetry is the new trend setter technique in the literature.

The said literature besides reflecting the aesthetic legacy, advocates the universal brotherhood, international understanding and the human goodness.

This reference is in the context of his newly published poetic collection :--- (یتھ واوء ہالے ژونگ کس زالے) "Yeth waweh halay tsong kous zalay".. which means who lights the lamp in this windy land?)

This book is a new introduction in the realm of Kashmiri poetry. The book under review has been titled on the verse of great mystic saint and founder of Kashmiri poetry, Shaikh ul Aalam, Shaikh Noor ud Din Noorani. The title of the book depicting the geographical and environmental hilly terrain of Banihal.

This title also has a sublime  appeal  that in order to attain universal peace, the knowledge and religion both should go hand in glow in the world. The book has a beautiful composition and get up.It is spread over 616 pages, so it is almost first of its kind  in respect of its volume  and variety of poetic genres. Apparently the book is in single volume, but when we go through book we see it comprises almost seven parts; most of the parts start with a "Naat" or "Hamd".

The poet has attributed the book to Almighty Allah, the creator of the universe, who made the man as cream of the creation and bestowed him with wisdom and power of knowledge. Besides he has attributed it to the two great saints of Kashmir, Lala Ded and Shaikh ul Aalam, his own parents and Kashmiri people of far flung areas of Jammu region, who have preserved their mother tongue in odd situations.

In the book there are traditional Naats, Ghazals, Rubaiyaat etc. But in addition to this, the poet has tried other genres also.

Manshoor Banihali has given a thought provoking introduction of the book under the symbolic  heading  and has appraised the readers about the background of the contents of the book in the light of  prevailing literary trends and their accomplishments.

"Yeth waweh halay tsong kous zalay" has received very high appreciation from the learned scholars and critics. Noted critic and writer, M. Yousuf Taing writes, commenting on the book, "I take the book as a milestone in the Kashmiri literature. I welcome it from the core of my heart and I hope that it will not only strengthen literary fort of the Chinab Valley, but will add to the grace, grandeur and fervour of our mother tongue Kashmiri."

In the foreword of the book, M Yousuf Taing writes that this book is like the Chinab of poetic prosperity which takes its readers like wooden log on its waves.' Similarly the stalwart poet and critic of Kashmiri language prof. Shafi Shouq, while commenting on the book says that "Manshoor Banihali's poetry is an embodiment of various genres of Kashmiri poetry.

He has commendable knowledge of Kashmiri, Urdu and English literature. His poetry is prolific in style and content. He has mastery over the art and his every literary composition can be kept at par with the universal literature".

In the same way, Prof. Shad Ramzan, Shahid Dilnavi, Shahbaz Rajori, Bashir Bhaderwahi, Aseer Kishtwari and others have appreciated the over all literary aspects of Manshoor Banihali.           

One of the significant  features of the book is that the poet has  made some new  and innovative  experiments  in it and has introduced the genre of panjabi poetry  such as "Mahiya" and "Si Harfi" which are introduced   for the first time in our Kashmiri poetry. There are  some  "Haiku" and "Sonnets" also  in the  book. In all genres of the poetry Manshoor has a romantic  glamour  and attractive ,delightful and  scenic beauty  in the expression , as in this "Mahiya":--

تل  چشمہء لگے بادام

وءچھ دیدء بیدارن ہند

منزل چھہ ستارن تام۔

گل لالہ   بہا ر س.   منز

چھکھ کیازی  بہتھ تنہا

پتھ کھور  وجار س  منز (  page 425  )

"Yeth waweh Halay Tsong kous zalay"is  the embodiment of traditional  values and representing new trends successfully. Manshoor has in this book judiciously touched the  local, national as well as international issues and aspects. He seems to deliver and communicate with full command and skilfulness the queer heading and titles of the collection. His poetry is sweet, attractive and innovative having specific style and expression.

اے  خوب   صورت   وقتہ  زرا    پرار   زرا پرار

کآنسی  گژھان  چھنہ  یوت  رت   انہار زرا پرار

مئے چھہ ساسہ بدنے ہاوسن مورن پھلے لجمژء

یوت  تام  پھولہ  سورے  یہ  سمن زار  زرا پرار

چانین   اتھن   اندر   پرتھان   شاہکار   حیاتکی

پرتھ  کار  سآزی  چون  حسیں    کار  زرا   پرار

گل   برگہء  برگے  چھس گومت منشور پریشان

د ل    میو ن   و رفتار    و ر فتار     ز را  پر ا ر

(page 60)

The language used in the book is transparent, vivid, idiomatic, delicate; and it possesses sublimity of thought.:---

ییلہ فروخت چھہ ترجمان گژھان

کا روا نے  چھہ  بد  گمان  گژھان

دل  مہ  ہارن  غمن  دولابن   منز

گل چھہ کنڈی نے اندر جوان گژھان

راوی  یمہ  ساتہء  حسن کردارےء

ضایہ  سورے  چھہ آن بان گژھان

گل چھہ بے موقعہ ییلہ ہران باغکی

دل  پریشان  چھہ  باغوان گژھان

(Page 455)

In this book Manshoor Banihali has highlighted the work and achievements of several celebrities having resided within Kashmir and abroad. He has written a long  poem on Allama Iqbal, eulogising his versatile genius. Besides there are many poems on different famous personalities like  Lala Ded, Shaikh-ul-Aalam, Mehjoor,  Rasa Javidani, Mahatma Gandhi, Tagore, Shah-e-Hamdan, Nelson Mondella, Mother Teressa, Prof.Mohi-ud-Din Hajni and Gh. Nabi Doolwal. In the book there are some outstanding poems  like "واو, the wind ", "شین, The Snow", "امن عالم, Global Peace". All these poems have  a strong historical and social background. Moreover Manshoor Banihali has made an innovative  experiment in the poem "سیر اسرار " and has given a running commentary on  the mystic literature. " سیر اسرار " is the  lengthiest poem of the book having a mystic  background. The poem is unique  of its kind  in which the  poet has thrown  open historical background of mystic poetry of the place and stalwart mystic poets and their philosophy has been  discussed.           

The book is full of admonitory verses. In Manshoor's poetry  there are fruitful lessons  for all sections of people. He instils in us the  lesson of self reliance  by his poetry:--

پکھن  تل  راتہ  چن  گیہ کاٹھ  بتراتھ

سحر پھول صبح خندانچی غزل لیکھ


آسمانکی  خاب  ییتہ  یس  چھی   بدس

چھنہ سہ زانہہ پتھرس تہ پاتالس سنان           

Manshoor Banihali is desirous of  that society  in which equality and fraternity prevails. He is critical of  social evils, like corruption, favouritism and nepotism.

یتھ غرضہ انسء سمسارس منز کیا کیا نہ  میسر آسن گوژھ""

پرتھ قطرء سمندر آسن گوژھ  اسمان مقدر آسن گوژھ ""

امہ چانہ وسیع موے خانہ اندر کیہنہ درائے رزتھ کیہنہ درائے چنے""

دستور  فیاضی  اوس.   یہے   پرتھ  پیالہ  برابر آسن . گوژھ""۔۔

کآنسہ مجبورس اگر  اتھ روٹ کرکھ

سورخ   روئ  دنیہچی  دینچ     لبکھ

زن تہ اکھ دودمت چمن  پھو لرا وہن

.       دل چھہ اویل شیشہ ینہ پھٹہ راوہن

یم  بدلونی  صبح  تے  یم  شام وچھ

نیک  عملن  شوبہ  ون   انجام   وچھ

یتھہ نہ ظلمک کل زنہی  سگہ ناوہ ہن

دل چھہ اویل شیشہ ینہ پھٹہ راوہن 

The book "Yeth waweh Halay  Tsong kous Zalay is indeed an asset in Kashmiri literature..

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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