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Brij Premi’s works - A Review

By Prof. Mehmood Hasmi (Birmingham)

Prof. Mehmood Hashmi was born in Ddyal (Mirpur). He has been acclaimed as a great teacher of merit and a scholastic profundity. He worked in different colleges of J&K State and left for Pakistan in 1947. He was associated with broadcasting units  at different places in Pakistan.

"Kashmir Udas Hai" is his famous book with some autobiographical elements in it. In addition to it, he has written many short stories and essays regarding different aspects of  Urdu literature. He continues to be remembered for his useful contributions to Urdu literature on whose horizon he has left his own imprint.                                          --The Editor

I liked "Manto Katha" really much as one of the books of Dr. Brij Premi. This book will continue to retain its importance and relevance and Premi has really worked hard at it . The letters of Safia Manto are very interesting.

In "Kashmir Key Maz-ameen", the write-up on Pt. Govind Kaul left a profound impact on me. Who knows how many persons of Govind Kaul’s calibre are there from Kashmir and whom we had no occasion to know in view of certain circumstances or non-availability of some reputed persons who could excavate some thing more of this treasure.

In Brij Premi's book "Jalve-e-Sadrang" letters of Sir Aurel Stein to Ram Chand Bali, such impressions were the result. In Kashmir Key Mazameen, the sketch Hamidi Kashmir has been written so artistically and personality of Hamidi Kashmiri comes alive to the reader. After going through this book, the readers will, I am sure, feel prompted to read the write-up again and those who know little about this luminary will be drawn towards knowing more about him. In this write-up, one feels that justice has been done to the standards of writing sketches and the impact is totally positive.

One can’t know why this write-up has been captioned as "Friend, Philosopher and Guide”. I'd say that it could be better captioned as "Dost, Phalsaphi and Rehmuna meaning friend, philosopher and guide.

The write-up on Prem Nath Pardesi pleased and impressed me. Those good old days brought back those memories. I met Pardesi in 1945 and we kept company upto 20th of Nov 1947, a period of real intimacy.

In March, 1945 I had been to Srinagar, Pardesi's stories appeared in newspapers of the state and Maulana Tajwar Najeeb Abadi’s (Lahore) magazine Shahkar’. While at Sgr, Pardesi had already left an impact on me by his attachment to story writing and the taste for reading. He too wrote stories and critical essays, which appeared in Adbi Duniya Lahore, Saqi, Delhi, Kitab (Lahore). Perhaps during those days, one write-up had appeared in Shahkaar and its title was "Jamaliyati hes"  of Mehdi Afadi.

In Kashmir Key Mazameen, the write-up on Prem Nath Dhar was nice. Dhar came to London in 1978 to 1989 and also came to Birmingham with Mahinder Nath Kaul, BBC TV producer. He had left for me (two) collections of his stories. It is my ill luck that those collections did not reach me and was thus deprived of going through them. The impact of his some stories continues to be on my mind. This I say quite frankly and freely that Dr. Brij Premi has quite sufficiently proved his artistic worth. He has not only done justice to Prem Nath Dhar but also proved his merits as a critic. His write-up on Prem Nath Dhar and 'A story writer-Prem Nath Dhar- are a matter of pride.

In Jalva-e-Sadrang, the essay "Research and Criticism in Urdu in Jammu and Kashmir, is a knowledgeable piece of writing. The title gives an impression that the writer wanted to comment only on those critics who worked within the geographical boundaries of state.”

*(Translated from Urdu by Sh. MN Kak)

Source: Kashmir Sentinel



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