How I lived under occupation forces
By Pt. Bishambar
Nath Sapru was born in 1917 at Srinagar (Kashmir) to Sh. Govind Ram Sapru
and Smt. Umaravati Sapru. He had two brothers - Sh. Sham Lal was elder while
Sh. Kashinath was younger to him.
The lone sister Late
Satided was married in Ambardar family of Rainawari. Saprus lived at
Drabiyar quarter in Habbakadal area of Srinagar. Sh. Bishember Nath was
married to Smt. Arandhati, daughter of Sh. Kashi Nath Mattoo of Alikadal.
Sh. Bishember Nath Sapru
had his schooling in Mission School, Srinagar and was adjudged as the best
swimmer of his school. He did his graduation and B.Ed. from Punjab
University. Sh. Sapru had a long stint in J&K Education Department, finally
retiring as Tehsil Education Officer, Kargil.
Sh. B.N. Sapru had great
sense of history. In 1947 during Tribal invasion of J&K he was caught up in
Muzaffarabad (PoK). He lived as 'Prisoner of War', finally managing his
escape six months later. The great story of his eyewitness account of
invasion and its aftermath, life as a captive and finally the escape was
recorded at Ahmedabad on 27th and 28th of January 2002. Sh. Bishember Nath
had prodigious memory, even at the age of 85 he could recollect all that he
had lived through during those turbulent days. He passed away on 29th May
2007 at his son's house in Gurgaon.
Kalu was my
In 1946 I appeared in B.Ed. examination as a student of Prince of
Earlier, I had served for a brief while in Cooperative Bank. Soon after I
cleared B.Ed examination I was selected as a teacher and posted to Kargil.
However, the order was modified at my request. New posting was to Muzaffarabad.
In July 1947 I joined
School, Muzaffarabad. Many Kashmiri Pandits were already serving as teachers in
this school. They included-Sham Lal Labroo (Head Master), Prem Nath Nehru (IInd
Master), Kashi Nath Jalali of Rainawari (Drawing Teacher), Kashi Nath Rangroo
(Science Teacher), Janki Nath Wangnoo, Shamboo Nath Dhar of Chattabal etc. Pt.
Dina Nath Dhar was Asstt. Inspector of schools.
Many Kashmiri Pandits served in different departments of State
government in Muzaffarabad. They included Gulab Ram of Baramulla (Electricity),
Dina Nath of Rohama, Sarvanand Thalchoor (compounder) and his two nephews-Sukhdev
Kaul (ran a medical shop) and Kashi Nath Kaul, Shamboo Nath Thalchoor of
Fatehkadal (Sanitary Inspector), Tarachand 'BA' alias Wagam (Asstt. Wazir
Wazarat), Sona Lal Warikoo (Revenue). Shyam Lal Bandhu, brother of Pt. Kashyap
Bandhu was Mushir Mal, while Hriday Nath worked in Singer Company as Manager.
I took up a room on rent on 1st floor. In the same house Gulab Ram,
a Kashmiri Pandit who was 10-15 years older to me, lived on Ground Floor. I was
28 years and had married recently. On the intervening night of 21st/22nd October
I was woken up from sleep by the sound of 'tin tin'. Rumours were already rife
in the town about an imminent Pakistani invasion. I went down to tell Gulab Ram
that 'firing is going on'. He was obese, his huge frame covered almost the whole
Gulab had great sense of humour and loved to cut jokes with me. He
tried to reassure me, "probably shogas (wild crows) have entered the town to
feed themselves on the fruit which is available here in plenty. I have been
telling you to get your wife here. Your hallucinations of 'bullet firing' would
I went back to sleep. Soon 'tin-tin' sound grew louder and two
bullets hit my door. I opened the door and picked up the hot casings of the
cartridges. When I showed these to Gulab Ram he turned pale with fear. It was
The previous day Pt. Prem Nath Nehru and other Kashmiri Pandits had
met Col. Narain Singh, the Commander of Dogra Garrison at Muzaffarabad and
conveyed to him that
already purchased loyalties of a section of his troops. They impressed upon him
the inadvisability of putting these troops at the front. The colonel had laughed
away their apprehensions, saying, "They have fought with me in Egypt. The will
never betray me".
On 21th October itself, Prithvi Nath Mazari, a Kashmiri Pandit
teacher posted at Danakcheli, (20 kms from Muzaffarabad) had ran away to
Muzaffarabad after seeing tribal lashkar at Danakcheli. Mazari immediately after
his arrival went to see Col. Narain Singh and Wazir Wazarat, Mehta Duni Chand.
He informed them that Tribal lashkar was moving ahead towards Muzaffarabad. The
two officials put him off saying that he was spreading panic. We heard he was
punished by tying him to a tree. Mazari was later taken captive by the raiders.
He did not return to
India and used to
correspond with his relations in Habbakadal, Kashmir till 1960s. We learnt that
he had married a local there.
A view of Muzaffarabad
A section of troops were already in touch with raiders. We had no
concept of war and took rumours about impending invasion lightly.
While I was showing the cartridge casings to Pt. Gulab Ram we heard
loud cries of 'Gopal Ka Chowk Me Bago' (Run to
People (Hindus) were running in the adjoining street to assemble at 'Gopal Ka
Chowk'. It was a big compound, surrounded by two-storeyed houses on all sides.
We too reached the chowk and saw other Kashmiri Pandits there.
Shamboo Nath Dhar came along with his old mother suffering from enteric fever.
Tarachand Wagam, his children, Sarvanand Thalchoor, his nephews had already
reached the venue. In Muzaffarabad, the two communities lived in separate
mohallas. Nearly 3 thousand Hindus and Sikhs had assembled at the Chowk. Firing
stopped in the morning. No sooner it stopped one row of houses lining the Chowk
was set ablaze. People started fleeing the Chowk for safety. Now everybody was
unto himself, thinking about his survival alone.
I too came out on the street to enter the house of a purohit. The
house was locked from outside. I scaled the compound wall to enter the premises
and hid myself under a heap of firewood. An hour passed when shouting was heard
from an adjoining street. It said, 'come out, you have accepted
Pakistan. You are
our brothers now'. I came out of hiding and rested on the compound wall. A big
line of raiders, laced with. 303 rifles and garlands of cartridges, was in front
of me. A raider asked me to join the crowd of non-Muslims, saying 'come down,
you are our brother now'. He helped me to come down from the wall and pushed me
into the crowd. He tied a piece of green cloth around my neck. The raiders were
dragging the non-Muslims of the town in a procession, asking the latter to raise
loud cries of 'Pakistan Zindabad'. The raiders and the non-Muslims in the
procession numbered about ten thousand.
We were in dark about the destination to which we were being
dragged. Meanwhile, a teacher colleague of mine, who was of same age as me, saw
me. He was Shabir, a new appointee and my friend here. He was a local and seemed
desperate to convey something important to me. In view of menacing watch of
raiders it looked difficult. I, however, managed to reach to him and asked,
Shabir, where are we being dragged? Shabir confided, "Masterji, the intentions
of these people (the raiders) are not good. Somehow you try to come out of the
The entire non-Muslim Community of the town was in the procession.
Kashi Nath Jalali, my colleague, was sick and was standing besides me. He told
me, "My knees have given up , I can't move and want to leave". I replied, "The
attackers are maintaining strict vigil on us from all sides and could kill us in
case we defy the diktat". Around 125 raiders were escorting the crowd. Kashi
Nath Jalali had married recently. As he attempted to run away, the raiders
felled him down in a field.
Even after this incident Shabir's advice was rankling in my mind.
After moving another 400 yards I looked around and felt that nobody was watching
me. I slipped out of the crowd and began running away. I was fired upon but the
bullet just hit my coat. I was saved. A big house with an imposing gate stood
before me. Its doors were open. I hid myself behind the door. The raider
following me entered the house but failed to locate me.
I was on the horns of a dilemma whether to leave the house or try
my luck by entering the house. Danger lurked on both the counts. The house
belonged to a Muslim goldsmith. Thinking discretion to be better part of valour
I decided to enter the house on the presumption that ladies of the house would
take pity on me and save my life. There was nobody on the ground floor. At the
first floor I found the doors of a room wide open. 7 Kashmiris belonging to the
majority community were sitting in it and enjoying roasted meat. They were
eating clumsily, chopping the meat with a big knife and then eating with both
the hands. The room had wooden floor. To my surprise among the seven Kashmiris
was my friend and collegemate of SP College-Ghulam Din Wani of Khanpur,
Baramulla. After graduation he had gone to
Aligarh for LLB
while I went for B.Ed. Before the attack also I had seen him in Muzaffarabad. He
had received me warmly. After confirming my identity as 'Vishnath' he had
embraced me. We used to meet almost daily thereafter in Muzaffarabad. The other
person whom I knew among these seven Kashmiris was Gaffar Kala. He was in
On seeing Ghulam Din Wani in the room I felt somewhat relieved. I
told him, "The raiders almost killed me". Wani started hurling abuses on me. I
thought he did not recognise me. Then I tried to introduce myself formally,
telling him, "I am Vishnath Saproo". He countered, "you have sucked our blood".
I begged him to save me.
The seven Kashmiris were wearing army boots (supplied to police
those days) with long stockings. Ghulam Din started kicking me with his shoes.
Then he dragged me to the verandah and gave me a few blows on the head. I do not
know anything after that. It was
2 PM. At
5 PM when I regained consciousness I found that seven Kashmiris
had left. Ghulam Din had presumed me to be dead after I loss consciousness. I
was too scared to leave the house despite this incident. I feared the raiders
would spot me out and kill me. So I decided to move to the next floor-the attic.
There was a heap of firewood on one side. A big door led me into a space, which
opened into a room through a small door. The room had a single window, which
commanded a full view of Kishen Ganga bridge.
I moved towards the window with a twin purpose-to see what was
happening outside and secondly to jump down to death in case of any eventuality.
I was too scared to face a bullet injury. I could see the procession moving
towards the Kishenganga bridge. Across this long bridge was Ramkot and Brarkot.
It was a major highway. The procession was made to cross the bridge.
Raiders now tried to play deception. They asked males among Sikhs
to come out, telling them, "We have nothing to do with Sikhs". The latter felt
relieved but as they ran back towards the bridge they found the gate on the
other side of the bridge closed. The raiders began firing on them, and killed
them mercilessly. Then they began pushing the dead bodies down the railing of
the bridge with shoes into Kishenganga river. The bridge was clear again.
Muzaffarabad town is perched on a hillock and the bridge is 300 ft. down. Pt. RC
Kak had built this bridge during his premiership.
The raiders then asked ladies to segregate themselves from the main
crowd. All the ladies in the age group of 11-45 years were huddled into 30-35
buses, waiting on Kohala side and were taken to Wazirstan etc. Small children in
the lap of their mothers were thrown on to the road, where they fell victim to
starvation or dogs. The children of once rich people were now at the mercy of
dogs. Some ladies, including Pandit ladies had painted their faces with mud to
escape the lustful eyes of the raiders.
After the attack began Shamboo Nath Thalchoor had given Strychnine
(poison used for killing dogs) to his daughter and two Sikh ladies-Prem Singh's
mother Ranjit Kaur and daughter Milapkaur. These Sikh ladies then jumped into
Kishen Ganga. Pt. Shamboo Nath Dhar's mother took poison when they were held
captive in jail. Almost all Pandit ladies, 10-12 in number and many Sikh ladies
had managed to keep themselves away from being huddled into buses. Some of the
ladies who escaped jumped down to death in Kishenganga flowing below. The
'captives' were then ordered by the raiders to move into the prison, located
close to the Kishenganga bridge on the other side. Inmates of prison who
numbered around 2500 includes males, old ladies and Kashmiri Pandits. The big
businessmen of the town-Pt Kanshi Ram, Dipti Ram and Hari Chand Naswari were
also among the captives. I was watching the entire scene from the attic window.
The goldsmith's house serving as my hideout had a wooden staircase.
Suddenly I heard noise of 'Thud Thud'. Fearing that attackers were coming closer
to me I moved towards the window. Soon a person, who did not look like a raider,
entered my room through the small door. He was servant of the house owner Wali
Mohammad. He was Kalu Khan. I moved towards him and begged him to save my life.
He was amazed to see me in the attic. I began weeping bitterly. He asked me, 'Areh
Baba Tusi Daso Tusi Kaun Ho' (O'man reveal your identity, who are you?") It
turned out that Kalu had served in State Cavalry and had been discharged from
service. He was 35 years of age, illiterate and had been to
He had been engaged as casual servant by Pt. Srikanth of Ali Kadal on the
occasion of the marriage ceremony of his two daughters-Tulsi and Gouri. The
Pandit family had treated him very well. I told Kalu, "I am a Kashmiri Pandit. I
am a teacher here'. He replied, 'Kashmiri Pandits are nice people. Do you know
Tulsi, Gouri? I feigned close acquaintance with the family. Gouri's
mother-in-law had given Rs 5/- and some old clothes to wear to Kalu. He went on
to praise Pandit community lavishly. With tears rolling down his eyes, Kalu
reassured me, "First I will die, only then you. You must not have taken
anything. I know Kashmiri Pandits do not take beef". I mustered enough courage
to ask Kalu 'who lived in the room on the first floor'. He said, 'The raiders,
who go to Kashmir do not know the routes in
Kashmir. The Kashmiri guides direct them.' I asked,
"where from these people have come?" He replied, 'they have come from Banu,
Kohat, Razmak, Wazirstan etc. The Kashmiris who live in the room have been
enlisted as guides'.
The place which was my hideout turned out to be the main transit
camp of the raiders. Groups of raiders would come everyday and take Kashmiris as
guides with them. Kalu said, 'the owner of this house Wali Mohammad was a
Goldsmith. He knew about the invasion and sent his whole family to
Peshawar. He has
entrusted this house to my care". Kalu went down to fetch three chappatis along
with little salt from langar (community kitchen) for me. At my request Kalu also
brought a smoking pipe (chilm) and little tobacco and a matchstick. He could not
find cigarettes. Kalu brought water in a small earthern pot (wari). It was first
time since the attack that I took water. I begged Kalu not to forget me. He
swore by the holy book that he would never betray me.
Kalu had to come to attic of and on to fetch wood for the langar.
The following morning (23rd October he got three Chappatis again. For ten days I
watched how the raiders would get Sikhs from villages around Muzaffarabad and
then shoot them on Kishenganga bridge. Their corpses would be then thrown into
the river below.
During the day I would not venture to come out lest somebody see
me. I would answer calls of the nature in the room itself and then lift the
excreta with hands to throw it off from the window when darkness would fall. It
was living hell (Zindaya Narukh). For ten days Kalu would get me daily a pot of
water and 3 chappatis. All the time I would hear the noise produced by the
raiders movement-coming and going and eating at Langar. The looted cattle of
non-Muslims had been brought here for slaughter.
After 10 days, one evening Kalu came to me and said, "Sir, now
Hindus are roaming around in the town. Killings have come to halt.
Kashmir has been
conquered. The Maharaja has fled away. His family has been held captive and
taken to Pakistan". Uptil now I had thought my family was safe. Now my thoughts
turned towards my family. I asked Kalu, "what has been the fate of our Kashmiri
Pandits?" He replied quite casually, "They all are fleeing this place". I took
his comments non-seriously. Meanwhile, Kalu said he knew where Kashmiri Pandits
were in hiding in Muzaffarabad and added that he would turn up the following
morning to take me there. A total of 56 Kashmiri Pandits were in town that time.
I had developed full faith in Kalu. He was my saviour.
The following morning Kalu turned up at my hideout. I had put on
Jawahar Jacket, Pant, Coat and Cap. Kalu picked up my shoes in his hand to avoid
any noise on wooden floor. He held me by wrist by the other hand and directed me
down, whispering 'move, move'. On climbing down the staircase I saw tall,
gigantic raiders, wearing boot on one foot and grasshoe (Pulhour) on the other.
There were asleep and had occupied even corridors. They looked like leeches.
Langar was in the compound.
We were soon at the place where Kashmiri Pandits were putting up.
Kalu knocked at the main door. Pandits were too scared to open the door. When
Kalu knocked again somebody replied from inside, "Who are you?" I said, 'I am
Vishnath Sapur. O', I am alive'. Sona Lal Warikoo opened the door and embraced
me. He said, 'we thought you have been killed in firing'. I told them that the
victim was Kashi Nath Jalali. I was led into the house but on seeing Kalu they
got panicky and asked, 'what strange creature you have brought with you'? I
informed them, 'He is protector like Lord Krishna to me. He is my brother. He
saved me'. Kalu ordered them, 'Don't make him labour much?' I again made request
to Kalu not to forget me. He would drop often to enquire about my welfare.
Kashmiri Pandits would tease me, saying 'what hypnotic spell you have done to
We were 56 Pandits at this house. They included males, females and
children. The house belonged to Pala Ram, a lawyer. He had been killed alongwith
moved ahead after looting Muzaffarabad. Total anarchy prevailed. Schools,
Hospitals did not function. We survived on begging. On one occasion we broke
open a government godown and brought a big bag of rice to our place.
One day when
all the Pandits used to live jointly there was a knock at the door at
9 PM. We had sat for dinner. Sham Lal Labroo had just kept
aside a morsel for the dog. I got up to open the door. Three raiders faced up to
me to ask if the Headmaster was there. They ordered him to accompany them. Sham
Lal muttered ‘Hari Har’
and felt sure his day of doom had arrived. As Sham Lal came out he recognized
Yaqoob, a goonda element in the company of 3 raiders. We left our dinner and
awaited the sound of firing shot. An hour passed with no sound of firing shot
being heard. Sham Lal returned alongwith a big bag of rice on his back. We
hugged him. He narrated that Yaqoob had failed repeatedly in Matric exams. But
now had an offer of job in the Forest Department. For this he required a
certificate. Sham Lal said, “I gave him a certificate that he had passed Matric
in first Division”. In lieu of that Yaqoob gave him a bag of rice.
we (56 Kashmiri Pandits) were ordered to move to prison, where other members of
the minority community were held as captives. 40 of us obeyed the orders. Those
who obeyed the orders included Prem Nath Nehru, Shamboo Nath Thalchoor,
Tarachand (BA) Wagam etc. Kalu Khan my saviour took seven of us - Sarvanand
Thalchoor, Sukhdev, Kashi Nath, Jia Lal Misri (Medical Asstt.), Jagar Nath Misri
(Customs), Dina Bhat of Rohama and myself to a small house of a Goldsmith, where
there used to be a Girls Primary School.
A view of Muzaffarabad
Town from the Fort.
Last time when
the members of the minority community had been put in jail soon after the
invasion it had been a horrible experience for them. They had remained there for
10 days. Raiders were all the time looking for young ladies. The father-in-law
of a lady had been shot dead when he tried to resist attempts of raiders to
abduct his daughter-in-law. She never came back. Outside the jail groups of
raiders would rape women in full public view. At times there would be gang-rape.
Only few ladies returned to their families after abduction and rape. There were
instances where ladies were killed after rape.
Kacho Ali Mohammad (who later rose to be a Minister in J&K cabinet)
was Asst. Commissioner in Muzaffarabad. He had his family with him. He had
reports that Indian Army had pushed back raiders and had a feeling that Maharaja
will rule over Muzaffarabad again. One night at
4 AM he reached
out to Kashmiri Pandits in prison and informed that Raiders were retreating from
Kashmir. He cautioned them the raiders on reaching Muzaffarabad would treat
Pandits in general and their women folk in particular badly. He suggested that
all Pandit ladies (who numbered 10-12) could take shelter with his family till
the danger was over. He asked them to move immediately under the cover of
darkness. It was Kacho’s foresight and
compassion for fellow human beings that saved Pandit ladies from lustful eyes of
Kacho’s message had reached us also since we lived quite near to the prison. In
the morning we had gone to get turnips. While we were returning we heard firing.
All the houses of minority community were open, unlocked. We entered the
compound of a house which probably belonged to a Vakil. Besides us 30 other
males and females (of minority community), had taken shelter here. A raider came
and asked me to hand over ‘Zar’ (money). I replied that I had nothing. Pointing
towards my coat he ordered me to hand it over to him. Groups of raiders in turns
took away my shirt and pant also, leaving me in trousers, underwear and shoes.
Three ladies were gang-raped infront of us, while other 5-6 who resisted were
dragged out. They were let of after being raped.
Raiders got a
good booty of cash and gold here. Another raider thrashed me when I told him I
had no money. I was forced to part with my pay-Rs 52. Out of this I had spent 1
anna on Revenue stamps, another 4 annas on cigarettes. After handing over this
the raider asked me to pull down my trousers. He wanted to check if I had
anything more anywhere. The raiders subjected the people to such indignities
following an incident. A lady had concealed some gold but the raiders had found
it out. We were subjected to humiliation throughout the day. Another raider
snatched away my shoes. It did not fit him well. He pulled out a dagger and
loosened the heel. Shoes were of Flex quality. The raider felt happy now. As
reward he offered me roasted moong, with the other hand he thumped my back so
hard that virtually my breath stopped. People in prison were also looted.
there was some relief. Ladies who had taken shelter in Kachoo Ali Mohammad’s
house returned to their families the following day. That day raiders were not
seen anywhere in Muzaffarabad. A sort of calm’ prevailed. Master Abdul Aziz, who
had gone into hiding at the time of attack, resurfaced. He asked people to
assemble in maidaan, raising slogans of ‘Sher-i-Kashmir Ka Kya Irshad,
Hindu-Muslim-Sikh Itihad’. All members of the minority community including
Kanshi Ram, Dipti Ram, leading traders of the town came out. A special Langar
(community kitchen) was organized. There was no idea that raiders would re-enter
Muzaffarabad. For the first time since attack we had a good meal. Langar had
prepared rice, turnip and potato. Master Abdul Aziz and Abdul Salam had
organized the function.
2-3 days later
one night we were woken up with the sound of ‘crich-crich thak thak’. 552 heavy
armoured vehicles carrying raiders and Pak armymen were moving towards other
side of Kishenganga-Ramkot-Brarkot. We lost all hope of returning to our homes.
Shortly before the attack I had written a letter to my family, saying, “A
frontier onslaught is expected. But you need not worry. Our Dogra army is fully
prepared to give them a befitting reply’. My elder brother, Pt. Sham Lal Sapru
would show this letter of and on to people and express regrets over my not
leaving the town well in time. After the attack also many Kashmiri Pandits,
including Pt. Kashi Nath Rangaroo had fled to Kashmir. Rangaroo had asked me to
run away. I had refused, telling him,” What will be the fate of Master Shamboo
Nath Dhar and two handicapped children”.
after re-entry into Muzaffarabad were specifically enquiring about people who
were associated with National Conference and Sheikh Abdullah. Pak army men made
searches and said people like Master Abdul Aziz, Dipti Ram and Kanshi Ram were
engaged in propaganda against Pakistan. Regular Pak soldiers killed many members
of the minority community around this time.
Wagam was appointed as new ‘Wazir Wazarat’ (Deputy Commissioner). Little rations
was also supplied. All this was a propaganda ploy. Radio Pakistan was
broadcasting repeatedly ‘Kashmiri
Pandit Ko Wazir Wazarat Banaya
Gaya Hai, Ek Aur
Kashmiri Ko Judge’.
(A Kashmiri Pandit has been appointed Wazir Wazarat, while another
Kashmiri has been made judge). Ashiq Hussain, a Shia from Safakadal, who already
was a Sub-Judge in
had come to Muzaffarabad. He was appointed as Judge.
Prem Nath Nehru:
Nehru, who had one child with him, was playing with pebbles (raintfali) with his
child on the roof terrace. The shine of pebbles caught the attention of a
raider. The raider abused Nehru, accusing him of ‘showing direction to Indian
aeroplanes to attack raiders. Indian Army was regularly bombarding Pak army
positions in Muzaffarabad, The Raider took PN Nehru to the Judge Ashiq Hussain.
Nehru had been his teacher in school days. The raider told the Judge,
‘Yeh Jenab Ishara
Jahazon Ko Dikhata Hai’ (Sir, the man is giving direction to Indian planes’. The judge
virtually woke up from his seat to say to the raider,
‘Acha Ishara Karta Hai. Mein Isko Sazah De
Doonga. Tum Jav ('O’ he is showing direction. You go. I will
punish him). After the raider left the Judge tendered his apology to his teacher
and added, ‘I have landed in hell. I was under the impression that
Pakistan would be
a good country. This temptation had brought me here’. Ashiq Hussain asked Nehru
if his family was with him and whether he had enough rations. Nehru told him
that he had his wife with him and survived on begging. The Judge asked his
teacher to take a big bag of rice. Nehru carried it to his place on head.
‘captives’ would spent the day going for begging to the neighbouring villages.
Some villagers moved by our plight would display kindness, while others would
abuse. One day the ‘Captives’ ransacked a Hospital. Sarvanand asked me to pick
up a big bottle of Pot. Permangnate and mercurochrome. When it became a burden
to carry he suggested that I put the mercurochrome bottle concealed in a ditch
so that it could be carried later on.
where we lived now had plenty of looted cattle of the minority community. All
doctors of the town had either fled or had been killed. Sarvanand was the only
available medical practitioner. Local people had been complaining of
palpitations due to Taeniasis. Sarvanand after examining the patients would
direct them to me. He was ‘Doctor’, I was his compounder. While directing them
he would say, ‘this patient is my own man’, to flatter them. I would put 2
crystals of Pot. Permanganate in water and serve it as ‘Mixture’. We would
advise them to keep fast and take only pre-boiled water. The patients would get
relief. Fasting otherwise also helps. My additional charge as ‘cook’ helped me,
better diet was now available. It was our good luck that we did not fall ill.
One day while
I had gone for begging with Janki Nath Wangnu and Jagdish, a local from
Muzaffarabad a group of 10-12 raiders accosted us. They demanded ‘Zar’. The
raiders had received information about our ‘hideout’. 3 of the Raiders remained
here. They lined us up. The other raiders went to a house, located somewhat
higherup. The raiders broke open the door of that house. 3 raiders who were with
us thought that other raiders had looted the house and carried the booty. To
join the looting spree they left us and ran away to join other raiders’ group.
The sound of the collapsing door had produced such a crackling noise that we
stood confused as to what had happened. Janki Nath virtually froze at the place
he was standing. Jagdish got a nightmare that a bullet had hit his chest. He
showed his chest to me.
incident Janki Nath Wangnu, Prem Nath Nehru and his sick wife went to stay at
Kuhoodi, 12 kms. Away. Sham Lal Labroo was still in Muzaffarabad.
70 days had
elapsed since the attack. Sarvanand was fed up with the difficult life we lived
every day. He said that he knew the way to Kashmir. We left one day quite early
in the morning, taking roasted maize along with us. All seven of us passed
through numerous hills, at times descending and then ascending. After walking
for 1½ day we reached a place where one Usman met us. He had been suffering from
Venereal Disease and Sarvanand had cured him successfully. On seeing Sarvanand
Usman wished him warmly. He asked Sarvanand, “Are you fleeing. This way does not
it goes to Banu (Pakistan)”. We felt heart-broken. Trying to win his trust
Sarvanand said, “But, you are here. Everytime I remember you and remain worried
about your health”. Sarvanand took Usman to one side to examine his penis and
exclaimed ‘God has been kind’.
Usman was a
criminal. He asked us to stay with him. He had looted 5 buffaloes belonging to
Sikhs. He took us to his house located on a hill meadow. Usman lived there with
his sister. She would keep on looking at me. Usman would feel irritated. He
would keep me all the time busy fetching water for his buffaloes.
6 days passed. Hospitality was now becoming a burden for him. One day he told
us, ‘winter has set in. Our rations are depleting. Now Muzafarabad is quiet. A
Kashmiri brethren of yours has been appointed as Ration Officer to supply
rations to you. It is quite cold here. It is better you go back to Muzaffarbad”.
We had little clothing with us. It was bitter cold here.
was quite close to Banu-Kohat. It took us 2 days and one night to reach back to
Muzaffarabad. He accompanied us for half of the journey and had given us maize
bread and salt to tide over the journey. While bidding us fare well he was
courteous enough to give us detailed instructions about the path we had to take
to reach Muzaffarabad.
we reached Muzaffarabad. We decided to meet Pt. Tara Chand Wagam first. On
seeing us he broke down, saying, “Now I am officer here”. He was living in
Isfandyar’s house and shared food from their kitchen. One day Isfandyar made a
proposal to him, suggesting marriage of his (Tarachand's) daughter with Ismail
Shah, son of Isfandyar. This weighed heavily on Pt. Tara Chand’s mind. All the
time Tara Chand worried about how to save his 17-year old daughter from this
forcible marriage. Tara Chand made a proposal to me. I told him I was married
and had a daughter.
back to the school lodge where we had stayed earlier. I resumed my twin job as
cooking master plus compounder. We had little peddling to protect ourselves from
bitter cold. A single tarpaulin served as quilt for seven of us. We would shiver
in cold. One day I overheard one of my colleagues complaining to Sarvanand about
me that “Vishnath did not go for begging and does not come out of kitchen”. I
felt bad. There was a Muslim baker, Ismail nearby. He was a Kashmiri who had
settled in the town. Without cigarettes I was feeling out of place. These were
not available. I used to go to baker’s shop to smoke chilm (pipe). He was quite
friendly and would not object. He made an offer, “O’ Sheikh you work with me.
You will not have to pay anything for food and smoking tobacco here”. This whole
mohalla was of Kashmir-speaking Muslims.
The day I
overheard a colleague complaining about me the same morning I went to Ismail. He
asked me again if I would like to serve him. I replied in the affirmative. As my
clothes had been taken away, a jute bag served as my shirt. This was true of all
of us. The baker offered me an old shirt, probably his personal one or that of
his son. My job was to prepare dough for the bakery. I lived with Ismail’s
family. After two days Ismail hesitatingly told me, "O" Sheikh I want to tell
you something. The people have come to know that an infidel was rinsing the
flour in the shop”. Ismail’s sales had been affected. He however, told me that
whenever I needed anything-bread/smoking chilm I could rely on him.
absence had perturbed my colleagues. They had made searches for me. When
Sarvanand met me on roadside he burst out “where were you?” I replied firmly, “I
will no more stay with you’. He said, “What face I will show to your mother when
we will reach
Sarvanand was my neighbour in
Kashmir. I narrated the whole story to him. He felt
sorry and said the complainant was a child who could hardly understand what
misery we are passing through here. I was back at my job-cooking food and
dispensing Pt. Permanganate crystals for Taeniasis. As cooking master my job
included fetching water from Kishanganga flowing nearby. Our residence was near
its bank. To reach the river bank I had to make way by pushing corpses to one
side. One evening while I was going to the stream with Gagar (Pitcher) an
incident horrified me. Two raiders had caught a member of the minority
community. After asking him something they shot him dead. Since I was too scared
to pass via that way till
9 PM I was still
on the river bank. My colleagues had tense moments.
I was terribly scared of bullet injury. I had watched Pala Ram and
others being shot dead. The bullet injuries left ugly wounds, with fat
protruding out of the wound.
I reached my residence at 10 PM. Wali Mohd.
Mir, the Goldsmith had returned from
He spoke Kashmiri and suggested to us that we should follow other members of the
minority community who had changed their religion.
Next day all seven of us went to the nearby mosque. On its gate we saw Master
Abdul Rehman. He was an Arabic teacher in my school., He had a sword with him.
When I expressed desire to change my religion he asked if I was doing it under
compulsion. I replied in negative and added, “Maulana Sab, we get everything,
rations and live without any difficulty. So the question of compulsion does not
arise. I am changing my faith willingly”. There were two Moulvis sitting around
a table. Master Rehman introduced me to one of the Moulvis as his teacher
colleague. Rehman once again asked me if my decision was under compulsion. I
reaffirmed that there was no compulsion.
Under my serial number was written - Bishamber Nath Sapru Sabika Naam. Then new
name was asked for me. I suggested Gh. Nabi. Address too was added. Same day
Tara Chand also underwent conversion. 10-15 locals were watching. We were served
yellow rice, sweet meat (sheerin), dates and surnai-bugle was blown. Raiders had
already removed my sacred thread when they searched me for ‘Zar’. Almost
everybody was living in Muzaffarabad with changed faith. I also erased my
tattoed name from right forearm and drew crescent on Left hand with ink.
Pt. Tara Chand Wagam’s new name was Mohammad Tariq. One day he developed fever.
Medicines were not available. Sarvanand would treat him with boiled water. All
the while Tara Chand was muttering ‘Durgiyay. 15 days later he passed away. We
buried him near a mosque. A Moulvi came to read Jenaza. His daughter and son
Srikrishan came with Red Cross.
Deal with Mohd. Mir:
Dina Nath of Rohama was son-in-law of a family in Batapora, Magam (Kupwara).
One afternoon (2
PM) while we were roaming in bazar in search of cigarettes we saw a group of 14
Kashmiris walking on the road. Dina Nath drew my attention towards a person
sporting white beard and said, 'His name is Mohd. Mir. He has been sent by my
in-laws. I am sure'. Dina Nath's in-laws had close ties with Mohd. Mir. Whenever
this Pandit family had some function Mohd. Mir was a permanent invitee. So Dina
Nath knew Mir well. This Kashmiri group had come to Muzaffarabad to purchase
rock-salt. The Kashmir valley was reeling under acute shortage of salt.
Subsequently, it transpired that Dina Nath's in-laws had settled a deal with
Mohd. Mir. The latter had to receive one Khirwar of land as 'reward' in case he
brought Dina Nath safely to Kashmir. Partly temptation for land and partly
sympathy due to close ties with Dina Nath's in-laws made Mohd. Mir accept this
Dina Nath asked me to go to Mohd. Mir and enquire if he knew Dina
Nath. Meanwhile, Dina Nath left for lodge. I went to Mir and wished him 'Aslam
Alai Kum'. He wished me back. Then I asked him if he knew Dina Nath of
Rohama. Elated Mohd. Mir shot back, "Is he alive? I beg you to take me to him".
Then I revealed that Dina Nath had seen him and sent me to establish contact. I
told him that it was risky since he had a big group with him. Mir replied, "I
will ask them to wait at Jamia Mosque". The same day landlord Wali Mir had got a
barber to home for haircut of his two sons. The barber too was Kashmiri. Wali
Mir asked the barber to prepare my beard without moustache (alah). The landlord,
after I had trimmed the beard, said I looked like a spiritually elevated person.
I had no mirror to check this. I observed it when I came to stream and saw
reflection of my face in water.
I had carried Mohd. Mir along with me. He could not recognise Dina
Nath since latter had grown a big beard. When I showed him Dina Nath and their
eyes made contact they sobbed bitterly. We tried to calm them down, cautioning
them that since house stood on the busy street it could land us in trouble.
Dina Nath asked Mohd. Mir about the welfare of his in-laws and home
people. Mohd. Mir told him frankly, "I have specifically come to take you back".
I stared at Dina Nath and said that I would also like to go with him. Mohd. Mir
told me, "How can I take you along? I have got special socks (namidaji) and
grass chappals for him. Tangdhar is under heavy snow". Dina Nath began singing
my paeans before Mohd Mir but the latter would not yield.
Suddenly, Dina Nath's thought went to those unfortunate 63 victims
who after stabbing had been pushed down the hillock by raiders. The incident had
taken place when I was in attic. The victims had been brought from surrounding
villages - Nalochi, Saran, Chatan and assembled at the hillock. The hillock was
on the other side, away from Kishanganga. Dina Nath told me that if we went to
the place we could find some clothes of the victims and it could facilitate my
2½ months had passed. Sarvanand advised me not to leave for two
reasons. One, there were inherent dangers on the way. Secondly, the Red Cross
would soon take us back. I did not agree. During day time we went to the Kassi.
Dogs and vultures were swarming all around. Corpses of the killed had remained
undisposed. There was stink all around. None of the victims had shoes. Either
these had been taken away by raiders or by dogs. A warm coat, torn but with
buttons intact was found. I went to meet Mir again alongwith this coat. He was
still not satisfied with my clothing. Mohd. Mir gave pheran, pulhour (grass
shoes) and namidaji (woollen socks) to Dina Nath. Sarvanand again begged me not
to leave. I told him, "I am dying by inches. I want to end this ordeal by going
home". He gave me Rs 2 for the journey.
Next day we-Dina Nath and myself went to the mosque. Mohd. Mir had
instructed us that during prayer time we should sit in the last row. He
introduced us as 'two Kashmiri Muslim businessmen who had been looted by
Sikhs and now wanted to go back to their homes in
Srinagar. He gave
out our names as Din Mohd. and Gh. Nabi.
Muzaffarabad town is perched on a hillock. 150 steps lead down to
Domel from where the town people could board a bus.
During the day Mohd. Mir had purchased 20 seers of salt. The dealer
had given him a slip 'Namak 6 manh bapati chodan admi'. It served
There was heavy presence of Pak regular army personnel in the whole
area. We had hardly walked 20 steps when Pak soldiers signalled us to stop. The
soldiers asked us about our identity. We replied 'Kashmiri namakwala'.
Some army men shouted (Isme Koi Congressi Toh Nah Hai')
(We hope there is no Congress activist amongst you). The poor peasants did not
know what Congress meant and presumed soldiers were asking about Kangris
(firepot). The Kashmiris replied 'Haan Haan Sab Kangri Hai' (yes,
all have Kangris'). The soldiers thrashed all the 14 people with rifle butts. We
escaped thrashing as we stood at the last. It was too late when soldiers
realised that peasants had mistaken Kangris for Congress. Every now and then we
continued to face Pak soldiers. One group of soldiers on knowing our identity as
'Kashmiri namakwala' said 'Inshallah, we will soon conquer
and salt would be sold at the rate of 10 seers per rupee'. The Namakwalas
had purchased salt at the rate of 5 seers per rupee.
Kuhadi Check Post:
Kashmiri namakwalas had by now realised that Pak soldiers
were strict while Indian soldiers were quite lax. In the wee hours we reached
Kuhadi bridge, 5-6 miles below Kishenganga. A single Pak soldier was guarding
the bridge. It was still dark. The soldier enquired if we had 'pass'. We asked
'which pass'. He replied 'Jis seh namak laya hai" (salt permit).
I had seen that pass. It was for 14 people but we were 16. The soldier did not
have a lantern at the bridge but the camp housed in a tent nearby did have a
Richhmar Gali near
Tithwal, in this picture
'A' is Pakistani
picket while 'B' is the Indian picket.
The soldier told us, 'It is still dark. Soon the sun will rise. I
will check the number of people in the permit'. I whispered to Mohd. Mir that
death was now hovering over me and Dina Nath. Mohd. Mir too was perturbed since
the permit issued was only for 14 people and not 16. He walked to the soldier to
plead, "our children and cattle are dying for want of salt. We are the same
number as mentioned in the permit. There is no non-muslim or stranger amongst
us". The soldier signalled us to leave hurriedly. All 16 of us crossed the
We had been walking for 2-3 days and were heading towards Tanghdar.
The Namakwalas prepared maize bread and also offered us. Mohd. Mir was quite
cautious that they should not know our real identity. At this point Mohd. Mir
and his men cautioned us that 'now the hardest journey-uphill over snow, with no
trees around, lay ahead of us. We had two pieces of maize bread for the
journey. I had put on 5-10 kgs of salt on my back to pass as a namakwala. Our
whole journey from Kohadi bridge onwards had been over snow.
I was feeling sleepy and was unable to walk. Others waited for me,
goading me 'Naba Naba Pakh Sah' (Gh. Nabi, move on). I was walking virtually
barefeet over snow and was too under-clothed for the hard journey. On the way I
would pick up torn pulhours, use them. After half an hour walk these too would
give away. The namakwalas would converse amongst themselves 'Gh.
Nabiyas Aya Maya Yih Marih Bicharah' (Snow sickness has overwhelmed Gh.
Nabi. The poor chap would die). Now we were coming down from the Alpine range,
the pine trees were beginning to be seen. The 'namakwalas' went to collect 'Shang'
which had fallen over snow. They lit fire with these and took me near the fire.
This warmed me up. Till then my eyes could see only a hazy white sheet. Now my
vision returned to normal. It was early morning. After some time sun too came
out. We had still to walk 26 miles to reach Nastachan Gali. At Nastachun gali I
saw hundreds of corpses of raiders with rusted rifles on their shoulders. Now we
had to walk downhill. At the top of the pass Pak soldiers shouted at us asking
about our identity. As we moved on they repeated 'Inshallah, we will come soon'.
I asked them for a cigarette packet. They obliged.
We reached Salamatwari. Mohd. Mir's aunt (mossy) lived here. She
was quite hospitable and felt happy on seeing Mohd. Mir return safely. She
offered us meat soup and two big maize breads. We did not take soup. At this
spot Mohd. Mir and his 13 men got separated from us as we could not walk at
their pace. They had better footwear and were clothed well.
Our next halt was at Gushi. The matamal of Dina Nath's wife was
here. We saw 4-5 elderly ladies of the family in Qasabas. They wished 'orjan' to
us. Dina Nath told them 'I am not 'orjan'. I am son-in-law of Magam Pandits'.
Ladies whispered amongst themselves that the person was husband of Durgi (Durga)
who was held up in Muzaffarabad. They brought a gabba for us. We did not muster
courage to sit on it as we were heavily infested with lice. For the first time
in many months we had a sumptuous meal of rice, monji (knol khol) and potato. In
the evening the male folk returned to the home. I told them, "you are staying
here in this dangerous situation. Be cautious lest raiders come and kill all of
you". The ladies and the men folk replied 'The village Muslims are our brothers.
Last time when the raiders came here the villagers took us to their homes'.
Though ladies were in Qasabas but the males were in their usual Pandit dress. I
suggested to Gushi family not to stay any longer in the village. They brushed
aside my warning. 20 days later we learnt about massacre in Gushi.
Outskirts of Gushi
We stayed at Gushi for 2 days. On the 3rd day we left for Batapora
on horses provided by the Gushi relations of Dina Nath. Personal safety had been
my sole concern till now. I had virtually no orientation about my family, home
etc. On the way Dina Nath had suggested to me to stay with him at his Rohama
home at least for a month. I had consented.
Dina Nath's mother and elder brother had already reached Batapora.
The entire village had turned up to receive him. On embracing Dina Nath (in his
beard), his mother fainted. His wife too fainted. For a moment it seemed the two
ladies had lost their voice. The ladies belonging to the other community had
also come to share Pandit family's joy at reunion. They were whispering to one
another 'Yi gayas mauj
(The lady with tears rolling down her eyes is his mother). It was at this
juncture while watching the family reunion I was jolted and got reorientation
about my family, home etc. The villagers and the relations of Dina Nath asked us
details about our days in captivity.
Next morning I told Dina Nath that I will go home. He laughed,
saying, "Till yesterday you were saying that you will stay with me at least for
a month. What made you change the decision?" During the night we spent at
Batapora I had seen a dream-all my home people were standing in front of me. The
villagers also advised Dina Nath to send me to
Srinagar to meet
home people. When I assured Dina Nath that I would return soon he yielded.
In-laws of Dina Nath gave me an old coat of pathu, shirt of Handora and pulhours
made of pattu plus Rs 5 for the onward journey.
In Handwara I went to see Gopi Nath who worked as Forester. He had
been neighbour of my in-laws and used to be present on all important functions
in their house. Gopi Nath was amazed to see me. It took him time to recognise
me. I looked like a Muslim, with beard and alla. He hugged me. Soon the news
about my arrival reached to other Pandits of Handwara. Pandit employees came to
me to ask about the whereabouts of other Pandits who were caught up in
Muzaffarabad during the raid. They made particular enquiries about Niranjan Nath
Meanwhile, a 25 years old Muslim youth turned up to ask me, 'Have
you any idea about Vishamber Nath Sapru if he was alive or dead'. I was a little
perplexed and asked, 'Do you know him?'. The youth replied, "I do not know him.
His maternal cousin is at Sopore. He had told me to seek information about VN
Sapru from people returning from Muzaffarabad". When I said 'Niranjan' he nodded
his head in agreement. I told him that I was Vishnath. He asked me to ring up my
Niranjan Nath Pahalwan was in the Telephone Department. He was on
the line. When he asked about killings in Muzaffarabad I feigned ignorance. I
with three other passengers. The Tonga Driver was kind enough to offer me rebate
of 8 annas. I paid Rs 1½ as the fare to Sopore. When I reached Sopore Telegraph
office my cousin, wearing pheran with Kangri inside, was waiting on the
Verandah. When Tonga halted and all the 4 passengers with beard got down
Niranjan looked at us but failed to recognise me. Then I shouted at him 'Nera
Varay Shuka' (Niranjan, are you OK?" He stood dazed. His officer was a young man
from Poonch. My feet had swollen due to frostbite.
Niranjan took me inside his quarter. Other people also rushed
inside to ask details from me. I felt a little refreshed with tea. At
11 PM there was a call from
Niranjan's junior said 'Chogtu Sahib is on line'. I requested this junior
employee to allow me to talk to Chogtu Sahib since I knew him. The employee told
Chogtu, 'A man has come here from Muzaffarabad and wants to talk you. He says
you are known to him'. Chogtu felt excited. I wished Chogtu Sahib very warmly
and introduced myself. I told him, "My aunt (Mossy) - Mirzas are your neighbours....Jagar
Nath, Kashi Nath...Whenever our mossy would visit us she would tell us all great
things about you...How much dowry you had given to your daughter. I humbly
request you to send a word to my family at Drabiyar that I was alive and had
reached Sopore". While he was still on line I heard him shouting 'Hyoh
Java, Hyoh Java, Hyoh Nesar Piyava, Devmali hund gasiv, Temis Vaniv Keliji dedi
suh schuh nera kakas nish' (Of' Jawahir have you gone to sleep? Go to
Dev Mali's house to convey to Kelij Dedi that he (VN Sapru) was with Nera Kak (Niranjan).
Chogtu asked me about Niranjan Nath Warikoo and other details e.g. the torture
we underwent. Chogtus lived at Tankipora. Jawahar went to Drabiyar to convey the
message to my home people.
After night's good rest, Niranjan got a barbar to give me a haircut
and shave off my beard. I was reluctant. He protested that my mother would feel
shocked on seeing my beard. I took the bus for
Srinagar. The bus
driver out of compassion for a refugee charged only Rs 2 instead of Rs 3. At
Pattan I saw Sham Lal (my brother) and Badri Nath Mattu (my wife's brother)
coming in Tonga. They asked our driver to stop. It was a 9-seater bus. We all
boarded the bus.
At Chattabal Deputy Inspector Police Pt. Harishwar Kaul had
arranged tea for us. He was our neighbour. My home people were eagerly waiting
for me. Minister DP Dhar and NC leader Maulana Saeed Masoodi came to my home 2-3
days later and sought details about the conditions and deployment of Pak troops
en route. On an average 400-500 people visited our home daily - some came to
know details, others came to wish us mubarak (greetings). We were also visited
by many Punjabis. They anxiously asked about their relations who were holed up
in Muzaffarabad. I was also taken to Badami Bagh cantonment. The Army General, a
Sikh asked me about location of Pak pickets in Muzaffarabad.
After I left a Kashmiri Pandit who returned with Red Cross informed
me that somebody was looking for me, saying 'where is BN Sapru because he had
disrespected Jinnah's photograph'. An incident had taken place before the
invasion. Sham Lal Labroo was Headmaster. I was Farm Master of 10th class. There
was going to be an inspection. Mr Labroo had asked me to decorate the
classroom. I asked students to get photographs. One student got photograph of
Nehru. The following day a student belonging to majority community got
photograph of Jinnah. Since Jinnah faced opposition in the state I was reluctant
to keep his photograph. I informed Labroo. He came to the class room and asked
for removal of photographs of all political personalities. Both the
photographs--those of Nehru and Jinnah were brought down. I handed over the
photograph of Jinnah back to the student. There might have been resentment over
Those Kashmiri Pandits/non-Muslims who could not escape came later
with Red Cross. One Sudershan Zutshi of Bijbehara, who was probably a Patwari
lived with a Gujar family. He did not come with Red Cross. He is said to have
returned 20-25 years later. Niranjan Nath Warikoo, son of Pt. Anand Ram Warikoo
also came with Red Cross. He used to live with us in Pala Ram's house. He and
his brother, Prithvi Nath had gone to attend Chak (estate), when raiders killed
Prithvi Nath and took Niranjan as hostage to Muzaffarabad.
I joined High School, Amirakadal,
Old Hospital on
17th March, 1948. No pay was given for 4 months when I was a
captive. The state government even did not condone the service break. My initial
appointment was on
10th April, 1944.
the day of Ashtami. During the night at Kani (IInd Floor) I saw a strange
dream. I saw lot of sand falling from the ceiling. Then an old man appeared.
I asked him 'What was this falling from the ceiling.' He replied,
“Kurih ath vanan Kal Gata” (Dear Daughter, It is an event of evil).
He then started running on Bugs. I tried to chase him. For two hours he kept
In the morning I was a little confused on what I had seen during
the night. I related the sequence of the dream to my mother-in-law. She
tried to brush off my fears by saying, 'Khabar Kya Asih Vuchmut' (God
knows better what you might have seen). On the day of Navmi somebody visited
our house to check roll number of my husband who had appeared in B.Ed.
examination. The results had been out. When I went to my parents' house to
enquire about the roll number I saw my father sitting in a corner, with a
gloomy face. In the evening I watched low-tone conversation going on between
my father and brothers. I went to kitchen to ask my Bhabi what was the
matter. She informed that an attack had taken place in Muzaffarabad. We
remained awake throughout night, quite perturbed over the fate of my
4 AM the
following day father and brothers went somewhere to make enquiries. I
returned to my-in-laws's house. My husband's brother, Pt. Sham Lal went to
Ganpatyar to meet somebody in this connection. After 5-6 days I was taken to
Bohri Kadal to meet Guruji who practiced the art of Brhaskatha (Fortune