It would be hard to find a person
of Kashmiri origin who is not familiar with the name of Pushkar Bhan. For
Kashmiris in Kashmir, and all around the world, the genres of Humor-Laughter-Entertainment
and Pushkar Bhan's name have become synonymous. For 3 consecutive years,
the Srinagar Station of Akashvani broadcasted his Asun te Gindun
(Laughter And Play) and Poshe Goindi (Bouquets of Flowers). Akashvani
also broadcasted his socially conscious family show, Niza Saheb
for 9 years. Added to these were the 11 years of the most popular show
Dab (The Moon Oriele), broadcasted daily at 11:00 a.m. for 6 days a
week for 8 years. This Serial became known throughout the world as the
Most Outstanding Serial. It addressed, and resolved in its own terms,
many social and economic issues of the time. In1974, Pushkar Bhan
was awarded the coveted Padamshree Prize for his script writing of
all episodes of Zoon Dab and forplaying the role of the main character,
Endowed with a charismatic
personality, Pushkar Bhan was born in Srinagar in 1926. Right from his
childhood, he demonstrated interest in becoming a playwright and an actor.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree in 1947, the year of India's independence
from British rule, Pushkar Bhan became associated with the Cultural Forum
of the National Cultural Front, and, in this capacity, acquired unprecedented
acclaim under the leadership of Dinanath
Nadim, the foremost luminary of new cultural awareness in Kashmir.
Pushkar's plays, Lalkar (in Urdu) and his Ya Tan Ya Tadakh
received captive public attention. His acting roles in Nadim's
Yamburzol, also in Shahid Sherwani and Yeh Kashmir Hai,
and many others, won high praise from audiences everywhere. In 1956,
a special performance of Bomber Yamburzol was staged in Srinagar's
Needoz Hotel when the special guest was none other than the
then Prime Minister of Russia, Kruschov. So mesmerizing was Pushkar's unparalleled
playing of the lead role of Harud (Sharat), that Kruschov stepped
onto the stage to offer his personal greetings to Pushkar Bhan.
In the Kashmiri movie Myanzirath (Mehindirat)
Due to financial difficulties
in 1949, Pushkar decided to move to Mumbai where he found a petty job at
Modern Mills Limited. In spite of a daily work schedule, he did not stay
away from his first love, acting. He earned a living and linked himself
up with the Indian People's Theater Association (I.P.T.A). After a day's
job at the Mills, he would work at the IPTA. In two months he was elected
representative of the Urdu section of this multi-lingual Institution. Unfortunately,
in 1953 some domestic troubles back home in Kashmir forced him to return
to Srinagar, and leave Mumbai.
Once back in Srinagar,
he was hired by the Akashvani Station of Kashmir, Srinagar, at daily wages,
with a remuneration of Rs.2:50 per day. He reacted to this set back
as if it was a gift, or a challenge, rather than a curse. Having reached
this point, Pushkar never looked back. Instead, he continually moved forward
and by 1985 he was promoted to the position of Senior Producer. Due to
his outstanding achievements and successes, he was appointed as Producer
Emeritus in 1988-1991.
In addition to the Padamshree
award in 1974, Pushkar won other notable awards, Sahitya Akademy Award
in 1976, NEETA (I.C.C.E) in 1985. Jammu and Kashmir State's Academy of
Art and Literature honored Pushkar Bhan with awards for his plays Chapath
(Thapad or The Slap), Nev Nosh (Nai Bahu or The New Daughter-in-Law),
and Bhavya Purvabhyas (The Grand Rehearsal). In addition,
he has had the distinction of winning the Sadiq Memorial Award for Best
Actor and Best Playwright.
Pushkar Bhan's distinctive
and undying fame rests on the lead roles he played in Myanzirath
In the second of these two major films, Pushkar had the distinction of
working with famous Indian actors like Balraj Sahni and Parikshit Sahni.
The film based on the life of the Kashmiri poet, Mahjoor,
won the President of India's Gold Medal for its excellence.
In the film Shayir-e-Mahjoor
After his retirement
from government jobs, and acting, Pushakar took up writing as a dedicated
pursuit rather than a post retirement hobby. His writings have continuously
appeared in various journals such as Inklab (The Revolution),
(The Mirror), both published in Mumbai, as well as Sheeraza and
published in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pushkar Bhan's contributions
to the genres of Satire and Humor in Kashmiri Prose Literature are immense.
Not only did he originate and develop these genres in Kashmiri Language
(Oral and Written), he elevated these genres to the standards of universal
His work, Machama,
which won a Literary Award from the Sahitya Akademy, has been the source
of 73 plays broadcasted from the Akashvani Radio's Srinagar Channel.
In this highly popular Series, the main character role of Machama
was played by Pushkar Bhan himself.
Another important work,
Bacha (Our Children), won an award by NEETA. This work makes a significant
contribution to knowledge about how Radio Broadcast Programs can aid in
the education, entertainment, and learning of children.
Dalal, published by Cultural Academy
Srinagar, Kashmir-Zarai Tarakki Ke Nai Rang, published by the Publication
Division of the Indian Government, Vakhtuk Alav (The Call of
The Times), published by the Ministry of Education, Government of India,
are other notable works authored by Pushkar Bhan.
When the first Television
Broadcasting Channel was established in Srinagar, Pushkar Bhan gained immense
popularity among viewers for his Laughter-Satire series, Doctor Zero.
Inklab, received high acclaim when it was televised by
the Patna Channel.
Subsequent to his departure
from Srinagar (Kashmir), Pushkar Bhan lives now with his son in Patna (Bihar).
In his exile, he has already written more than 30 episodes of Rangan
Hyendi Rang (The Color of Many Colors), televised by the Srinagar Channel
as a Serial Drama.
May Baba Amarnath grant good
health to this most cherished treasure of Kashmir, Pushkar Bhan.
May he live well and for an eternity give us the inspiration (to live and
JAMMU, Oct 6: Legendary
radio personality, writer and actor Pushkar Bhan passed away in Delhi last
night. He had been ailing for the past one month and was admitted in the ICU of
Rockland Hospital in New Delhi when the end came.
Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.