By Syed Rasool Pompur

Dashi-Haar is a 112-Page collection of Kashmiri Poems in 20"x30"x16" size, published by the renowned Kashmiri poet Shri Arjan Dev Majboor, twenty three years ago in 1983. It comprises of about 38 poems, eight ghazals (lyric), besides a translation of Allama Iqbal's poem:

Digar Goon Hai Jahan Taroon Ki Gardish

Tez Hai Saaqi"

Besides using mothertongue as an essential and forceful vehicle of creative thought Shri Majboor writes in Hindi and Dogri also. An octagenarian-our elder and a younger contemporary of Mirza Ghulam Hassan Beg Arif, Dina Nath Nadim, Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, Abdul Ahad Azad and Fazil Kashmiri Shri AD Majboor has all along been associated with the movement for the cultural, social, economic and political justice of the downtrodden and common people of Kashmir.

The title 'Dashahar" relates to the historic tirtha held every ten years at the confluence of Jehlum and Sindh at Sumbal. A Chinar stands in the middle of Jehlum at that place.

Majboor's poetry in the anthology under review is certainly an embodiment of universal human love, brotherhood and social equality, irrespective of caste, colour and creed. Miseries of people, irrespective of nature, have kept him constantly restless and in melancholy as he himself comments in his forward to the book. He has all through remained a protagonist of eternal human and social values. At times, he feels quite nostalgic about the socio-cultural heritage of his motherland in the form of composite culture facing extinction in modern technical and cultural advancement.

Born in 1924 at Zanapur, a historic town, named after and built by the great Kashmiri King Zainul Abdin, Budshah (1420-70) as Kashmiri people call him with love and reverence. As a dependable and lovable neighbour, Shri Majboor is very well-known to me, with his traditional, simple and truthful lifestyle with human warmth and dedication. These are the qualities which make and shape him as a selfless and tireless human activist, as a progressive writer with a clear social commitment and vision:

A tale of thousands of years

of times and likes endless

having, just ended

He jumped into the Padamsar

(Wular Lake)

Whispering that the time has

no today, and no tomorrow

collect and collate

the memories

and adorn them with

celestial union

to create a new world"

(Kathu Gor: Tale-Teller)

Like his individual person bedecked with simplicity, his poetic diction is unambiguous, plain, refreshing nearest to the vernacular language, artistically fitted with local ethos, lore and legend:

Life with affectionate glances

tells them all

to sing the songs of

harmonious melodies

to lift the waves

above the celestial mansions

(Sovdru-Bathis Peth-On the Seashore)

I am a dauntless lover

My heart is like a dotless mirror

I have never hidden the truth.

and presented darkness as light

I could thus, never abandon eternal human love.

I have to nourish and nurture

the dew with eternal fir:

to keep up the human dignity intact.

and portray the spring of life in full bloom

(Yi-Myon Oond Pokh--My surroundings)

While going through the lines I can very well recall the distinct and effective style of recitation of poems by Majboor in poetic symposia conferences and other literary seminars. Throughout his career he has served as a dedicated, sincere and honest teacher. He is a successful orator too.

Recalling his story in Lahore prior to partition in 1947 he feels nostalgic while peeping through the memory window:

Yes! This is the same city,

Sky of steel bridges, for which

in haste, I left behind

The highest mountain peaks

The heavenly circles

of Devdaar woods

The snow silver

head gears and yearning for vast

blossoming flowers - aside

I passionately loved it

The peaceful and delightful environs

of Lahore-enchant me

Lahore-where Iqbal touched

heights of heavens

recollecting the memories

Make me restless

My footprints

Ragas of my musical waves

My buoyant youth

Human love and sincerity

Making a series of

Mountain peaks - into a garland of love -

{(Lohoor (Lahore)}

Kus Kari Bawath (who will communicate), Tsitr-Kar (The Painter),Kalpana (imagination), Shinu-Mohniv (The snow man), Padi (The Feet),Rqs. Jaari (The dance goes on), Wuliodur (Agony), Lekhi Kya (what will he write), Amar (Ambition,), Titsh Kath Chanu (That is not the truth), Kol(The stream), Harud (The autumn) and other shorter poems and gazals present in Dashahaar form an inseparable component of eternal, human love and brotherhood passionately advocated and dedicatedly represented by Shri AD Majboor, thus making it more relevant even for today.

Majboor aptly remembers Lal Ded saying:

You are the hidden treasure

of Kashmiri Language

You are the flying boat of

the Universe

Burning Vyeth (river) of

eternal misery

And morning breeze for

human civilisations!

[Lal-Dedi Nazranu (To Lal Ded)]

Dashi-haar undoubtedly is a plausible and lovely collection of poems of Majboor, requiring the attention of discernible connoisseurs of Kashmiri poetry. Strictly selected or restricted, single volume of Kashmiri poetry comprising of the representative poems.

*(The author was Editor Kashmiri, “Sheeraza” Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. He is a noted poet, essayist and well-known researcher. He has published Kashmiri monographs on Abdul Sattar Ranjoor, Chaman Lal Chaman, PN Pushp. His notable publications include Aabgeenay (2005) - Urdu: articles on and about Kashmiri Culture and Literature; Wony For Gatshu: Whither shall I go now (Short Stories 1986) etc. He has also been associated in compilation and editing of Dictionaries, Encyclopaedia etc. brought out by J&K Cultural Academy from time to time.

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