by Raj Nath Bhat

Book: Kulyat-I-Raaz (Kashmiri & Urdu)

Author: Pandit Vidyalal Koul ‘Raaz’

Price: Rs. 125/ pp. 160.

Kulyaat-I-Raaz is a collection of Urdu Ghazals and Kashmiri poetry by Pandit Vidyalal Koul 'Raaz'Vidyalal Koul ‘Raaz’ written over a period of more than seventy years. Born in 1912 at Kuloosa, Bandipora, Kashmir, Raaz and his only brother were brought up by their young widowed mother with great tribulation and suffering. There was scarcity all around him. As a young kid he had to work as a school watchman at night to earn and thereby continue his studies. In 1946 he obtained first class in ‘Adiib Fazil’ from the then Punjab University. With a natural flavour and a fertile, creative mind Raaz began penning down his literary pieces at a very young age. The present collection is just a fraction of what he wrote all these years for the displacement of 1990 robbed him of significant number of his very valuable creations. His reluctance to get his work published delayed its appearance but his sons and daughter finally succeeded in persuading him to agree. His Professor son Ashok Kaul arranged to bring it out from Varanasi as a token of their (sons and daughter) love and esteem on their Papaji’s 96th birthday. With a preface by Dr. Salman Raghib and a foreword by his illustrious sonProfessor Ashok Kaul, the volume comprises nearly fifty Ghazals, over twenty Nazams in Urdu and nearly thirty Bhajans, Nazams and Ghazals in Kashmiri.

There is a prose piece in Urdu at the end which he wrote to Mama Sahab, the Qazi of his native village on 22nd September,1990 during the first year of Displacement. The poetic creations are a vivid reflection of Papaji’s (Raaz Sahab’s) depth of understanding and expanse of observation. His control over the twin languages is superb. The reader takes deep breaths frequently to grasp and reach out to the imagery, symbolism pervading in each creation. There are poems of mundane love, of the enchanting bounty of Kashmir, devotional songs; one gets transfixed.

Some instances are:

  1. Taaza tar taabanda tar tere lahu se
    hai jahan, Garam rakhne ke liye
    bakhsha gaya tujh ko shabaab
  2. surat-e gul tamam umra kaantuun
    men hi basar huii, samjhe shagufatagi
    jise lakht lakht hai jigar

    gar ye shab se dhul saken, daaman-e
    tar ke daagh kuch, ab yahi chand katre
    hain, bas mera zaadi safar
  3. nazar miithi-miithi adaa pyaari-pyaari
    ye aadabe mahfil sikhaye hain kis ne
  4. ye des thagon kaa hai, mumkin hai
    nahin raahat, jiine kaa mazaa kya hai
    naa paida hui ulfat
    insaan banaa vahshi

(Author is Head, Deptt. of Linguistics, Banaras Hindu University)

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