Reviewing Kashmir Bliss, Selection from poetry of Nund Rishi, written by Badruddin Muqeem
Nund Rishi (Sheikh Nuruddin RA) was born towards the last quarter of the 14th century and emerged as the spiritual and cultural leader of the people at a time when Kashmir was at the cross-roads of its socio- cultural and religio-political transition. He is and was well-thought-out as the (The Flag Bearer of Kashmir), and is believed to have exercised utmost influence on the society and culture of Kashmir. He influenced and impressed people as a saint, Rishi, Sufi, religious scholar, spiritual head, poet, hero and a patriot. Sheikh Noor-ud-din-Wali (RA) has not blessed us only through his sermons, deeds and spiritual lessons but he has also done a great service to us by contributing his golden verses in our mother tongue Kashmiri. And It is now tangibly proven that the inhabitants or natives of our land feel and have felt inclined towards Kashmiri language mainly due to these universal and eternal verses of our saint and national hero Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali (RA)
Understanding and translating Sheikh Nuruddin's (RA) poetry means understanding our mother tongue Kashmiri and our great culture of which Nund Rishi (RA) was the symbol as well as representative. The author Badruddin Muqeem deserves appreciation for his valuable amenity of translating the verses of the great saint into English language which has been rarely done so for. The book Kashmir Bliss or better named "The Musing of Demure – Damsels of Heavens'' is a fabulous effort by the translator for spreading the message of Sheikh (RA) to divergent corners of the world and making the people of various creeds understand that how great our language is and how great poetry our poets have written. The book has been fore worded by the noted Kashmiri scholar and author Dr. Shafi Shuoq. The book contains two hundred verses on different motifs like infusing concept of following Allah and Prophet (SAW) in true sense, life hereafter, and realization of spiritual solace, character formation, piety, tolerance, justice and kindness upon all, irrespective of caste, colour, religion and creed. These poetic verses have been given different titles / contents by the author marked from "Heaven A Picturesque", to"Sincerity- 'Rare'" pouring light on the above mentioned leitmotifs. The translator has chosen those verses of the great saint which highlight spiritual approach to the problems of life with humane and cosmopolitan dash. These verses present varied range of outlook wherein social relationships are judged from catholic angle and a moral plane. The translator has presented Nund Rishi (RA) in the form of an intellectual personality besides being a spiritual persona. He has proven that Nund Rishi's verses are a testament to his perception and logical attitude to life. The world of literary appeal of the saint with the messages of spiritual feelings becomes relevant as well as important in today's materialistically dominated society and while keeping this fact in mind the translator while rendering the verses into English has tried not to ignore the originality of the verses and thereby has taken utmost care to avoid distortions.
Indubitably, the nimble and dexterous effort of Badruddin Muqeem should not be regarded as a labour for English translation but a great and creditable refurbishment of the holy verses of the Poet. The translation can be considered as a great service to the Kashmiri language and its noble message will have an appeal to diverse sections of the literary world. The translation has been carried in a simple and lucid style and it edifies the command of translator over the English language and at the same time parades his intellectual and scholarly enthusiasm. The book of translation titled Kashmir Bliss has a fascinating cover with an appealing show of the Shrine of the poet and inside of the book is of standard print. The book provides a chance to the lovers of English language to plunge deep into the spiritual and mystical profundity of the sea of knowledge of which Kashmir is a symbol.