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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Suraj Tiku-Recollections

By Prof Sant Ji Kaul Sultan

Suraj TikuWayback in 1989 I met Suraj Tikoo for the last time in Srinagar and thereafter when I moved over to Jammu. I learnt that he was staying with  his son at Udhampur. For a couple of years there was no communication between us. Then suddenly came the final parting. The icy claws of cruel death snatched him away from us for ever. It was a great personal loss. He is no longer with us now, but he has left some sweet memories, which I cherish, love and ruminate.

Suraj Tikoo had a multifaceted personality. He was an actor, a painter and a warm hearted extrovert who liked to laugh, to share joke and to establish rapport with people quickly at the emotional level.

My first encounter with Suraj Tikoo dates back to late forties. During that period many plays were being enacted by various dramatic clubs associated with certain social organisations. The aim was to expose the social evils that ate into the vitals of our society. Plays like 'Harish Chandra' and 'Satyavan Savitri' were also staged. I remember watching 'Satyavan Savitri"----a classical tale produced and directed very meticulously. It left a deep impact on the mind of the audience. A  sizeable number of spectators had gathered in a  small auditorium at Sheetal Nath Complex. The audience watched a series of tragic situations unfolded in the play. They looked sad and the atmosphere had turned grim. There was soon a short break followed by a comic interlude.

The curtain parted and the play resumed. Just then Tikoo made an entry on the stage as a young husband trying to tame his wife---a shrew. He spoke a word or so to the lady, (the role was being played by youngman) and she shot back in cold sarcastic note that was quite defiant. Agitated as he seemed, he burst forth into a dogrel to register his complaints against the bad tempered lady. The situation turned extremely funny. There was a commotion, the audience burst into a peal of laughter and this was followed by a loud applause.

Here was the person, who would be a good friend and companion in the years to come.

Suraj Tikoo was a talented person and acting was his forte. In the years that followed he worked successfully in many plays. He was adept in stage craft, which he had learnt under the able guidance of Pandit Kashi Nath Bhan, a well known art teacher of his time and a theatre personality. In later years Tikoo acted in radio plays with great aplomb and made his presence felt as a versatile actor.

In early fifties there was a spurt in cultural activities in the Valley. Poets, painters actors, singers and writers gathered under the banner of Cultural Front. Tikoo and many of us worked together and exhibited our paintings along with some well known and senior artists of the state. Henceforth the art movement became broad-based and continued to flourish under the patronage of senior artists. Many art exhibitions were organised in the Valley and all of us including Tikoo infallibly participated in them.

Tikoo specialised in landscape and portrait painting. His works commanded respect amongst art lovers and connoisseurs. His lines and colours unfolded a magical energy in the landscapes that depicted his homeland-Kashmir and its environs. He loved Kashmir caringly, genuinely and whole heartedly. A small landscape presented to me by him many years ago is pregnant with sweet and sad nostalgia.

Tikoo was a delightful company and a very good friend. He was outgoing in nature and radiated an unending zest for life. Whenever I called on him there would always be a warm sincere welcome awaiting me. One comes across such a man in one's life only once in a while.

Prof. Santji SultanThe writer has remained an eminent Educationist, with passion for painting. Presently, he is based in Lucknow.



Source: Kashmir Sentinel



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