“May you be one for whom his mother is a Deva. May you be one for whom his father is a Deva. May you be one for whom his guest is a Deva. May you be one for whom his teacher is a Deva.”…… Taittiriya Upanishad
I am the lover of Upanishads and the pearls of wisdom contained therein. This Sloka comes to my mind when I find children devoting time and doing selfless labour for their parents despite various pressing compulsion and urgent priorities.
When I received the above book from Ayaz Rasool Nazki, I was again reminded of the above quoted Sloka from Taittrya Upanishad. I have known the selfless labour and the efforts Ayaz Rasool Nazki has been putting in to keep alive the memory of his illustrious father, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki. I had the privilege of reading his previous book ‘Echo: Translation of a Selection of Kashmiri Rubaiyat E Nazki’.
These Kashmiri quatrains of his father Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki were translated into English by Ayaz Rasool Nazki. His efforts in setting up “Nazki Foundation” and involving entire Nazki family and reputed writers or translators in compiling the book under review are equally praiseworthy .
The love and affection of the Nazkis towards their illustrious father or grandfather is heartening to observe and worthy of emulation .
Before coming to the book under review, I would like the readers know that Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki (1910-1998) was a Kashmiri/ Urdu poet, writer, broadcaster, and teacher. He was the leading broadcaster amongst the group that started Radio Kashmir, Srinagar.
In fact Mahinder Kaul, Prem Nath Pardesi, Pran Kishore, Mohan Lal Aima, Bashir Butt and many more were closely associated with him during the formative years of the station. The Urdu poetic talent of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki has been appreciated by stalwarts like film lyricist/poet Gulzar, Tajwar Najeebabadi and Josh Malihabadi.
Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki’s Kashmiri Poetic collection “ Awaz-e- Dost” won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1987. He was the convener of Cultural Wing of Jashn-e-Kashmir started by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. A devout Muslim, humanism remained his concern all along his life.
This humanism brought him close to the Shaivite philosophy. He became an admirer of Ramakrishna ( Belur Math), Swami Lakshman Joo and Lal Ded. He loved music and cricket. His children have also done well in their respective professions.
I mean Farooq Nazki (eminent poet and broadcaster), Ayaz Rasool Nazki ( poet, author and scientist), Justice Bilal Nazki (former Chief Justice Odisha High Court ), Prof Iqbal Nazki (Sahitya Akademi awardee writer and former Controller of Examinations , Kashmir University ), Viqar Nazki (banker, retired as Vice President J&K Bank ) late Riyaz ul Islam Nazki (Joint Director Agriculture Department ) and late Dr Tariq Nazki ( physician in UK). The Nazkis are from Madar, a beautiful village close to Bandipore town and Wular Lake.
The book under review has 165 pages in white sparkling art paper. The front cover of the book has impressive sketches of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki in three different moods done by film maker Muzaffar Ali. The back cover of the book bears a grand tribute to his father by poet- broadcaster Farooq Nazki.
The book begins with a brief and crisply worded dedication by film lyricist and poet Gulzar followed by a befitting tribute, ‘Granddaughter remembers’ by Aliya Nazki who works for BBC World Service. Thereafter, we are introduced to Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki by Ayaz Rasool Nazki who informs us about his father’s life, works and legacy.
What follows later is something like a treat; a beautiful write-up titled ” Nazki in the light of his Kashmiri Poetry” by young scholar Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah. I have read some essays of Dr Shah on Kashmir Shaiv Darshana. He belongs to a different breed of writers who need to be noticed and read.
The book contains a nostalgic and highly informative essay by Padam-shri Pran Kishore Kaultitled, “My Friend, Guide and Mentor-Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki”. As usual, Pran Ji provides a wealth of information about men and matters that shaped what came to be known as ‘Radio Kashmir, Srinagar‘.
Pran Ji has been closely associated with the journey of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar from its birth till his superannuation. There are some anecdotes involving men like Abdul Haq Burq, Prem Nath Pardesi, Mohan Lal Aima, Bashir Butt, Kanwal Nain Checker, Qaiser Qalandhar, Ali Mohammad Lone, Mahinder Kaul, K S Malik, Pushkar Bhan and Peer Nizam ud Din. Pran Ji also talks about some popular programmes of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar and the related characters.
The book has some poems of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki translated into English by Avtar Mota (A Blind Girl’s Desire) and Nisar Azam (a poem written in 1985 that had prophetic message about the mad violence that Kashmir saw later). There is a Persian poem of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki as well.
This Persian poem was included in the anthology of contemporary Persian Poetry published by ‘Bengahi Nashariyate Progress’, Moscow. After this, the reader is introduced to Part II of the book that has poems recited as tribute to Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki and his memory.
The poets in this section include Aadil Ashraf, Ahmed Rameez, Akash Naik (Gujrati poet) ,Ali Shaida, Amanita Sen, Aminur Rehman (from Bangla Desh), Angelo Rizzi (Italian poet), Barnali Ray Shukla, Barqi Azmi (Persian poet), Biplab Maji (Bangla), Faiyaz Dilbar, Faizeh Zehra Mirza, Fiona Bolger, Gopal Lahiri, Imran Yusuf, Indu Kilam, Jahidul Haq, Khalid Bashir Ahmed, Lina Krishnan, Maitreyee B Chowdhury, Maharaj Krishan Santoshi, Mubashir Nazki, Muniam Alfakar, Muneebur Rehman, Mushtaq B Burq, Naseem Shifaie, Nazir Azad, Nighat Sahiba, Nisar Azam, Padmaja Ayyangar Paddy ,Parmita Mukherjee Mullick, Pervaiz Ali, Premi Romani, Queen Sarkar, Ranjit Hoskote, Raqim Hyder, Rae’d Qureishi, Rolf Doppenberg, Sampath Kumar, Santosh Bakaya, Shbnam Ashai, Shabir Ahmed Mir, Sudeep Sen, Shahnaz Rasheed, Swapna Behera, Vinita Agrawal, Zahid Mukhtar and Zulfiqar Naqvi.
The poems are refreshing, modern and delightful for readers. The book includes a rich B/W collection of photographs showing many facets of personal and professional life of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki. You can see entire Nazki family apart from various photographs of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki with stalwarts like Swami Lakshman Joo, Jigar Moradabadi, Ahad Zargar, Dina Nath Nadim, Amin Kamil, P N Pushp, Prof. Kashi Nath Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz and many more .
This book is a great effort and grand initiative by Ayaz Rasool Nazki to document tributes to his illustrious father and present a poetic panorama to the readers. I recommend the book to all. I conclude this brief review with a quatrain of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki.
“Me Kyaah Ka’rrie Yun Gatchhun Sontu’k ta Hardu’k
Bahaar Aassein Harud Aasein Dapuss Gutchh
Chillus Chhuss Byooth’mut Pananiess Dillus Munz
Panun Aassein Parud Aassein Dapuss Gutchh”
(Indifferent I remain now,
To the arrival and departure of seasons.
Convey this to the spring,
Tell this much to the autumn as well,
Tell the seasons to be away.
Having moved within to my heart’s cavern:
To any person,
Who visits me,
A stranger ,
Tell him this much,
Tell him to be away.)
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.