Prof Sant Ji Kaul
in 1989 I met
Suraj Tikoo for the
last time in
and thereafter when I moved over to
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.
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.
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.
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
a 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.
was the person, who would be a good friend and companion in the years to come.
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
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.
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
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
caringly, genuinely and whole heartedly. A small landscape presented to me by
him many years ago is pregnant with sweet and sad nostalgia.
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.
writer has remained an eminent Educationist, with passion for painting.
Presently, he is based in