Azad

Alam ha kari yaad Azad Azad (Abdul Ahad)               kuni saate wuchte yaad pawayi madano.

The world will frantically search for Azad. The time will come when  you will recollect, my love!

What prompted the tall turbaned school teacher to brag about his personality ? When one meanderers through the life history, achievements and the literary work he accomplished ,one feels the void  created by leaving this world at the young age of 45 years is too big. His contribution, as a writer, may be summed up as under;

As a revolutionary poet he tried to awaken the common Kashmiris from deep slumber. His poetry was instrumental to strike his countrymen and with his revolutionary poetry  raise the issue of national  respect. His countrymen  were suppressed for hundreds of years. In the backdrop of this hunger and poor health conditions Azad understood the situation and used his poetic talent to infuse fresh energy in the hearts  of suppressed inhabitants.

Panun paan aaytan chum thowmut saeris jahanus kyet

Panun zoo peshkash thovum zaminus ti zamanus kyuet

Walay prarun te thehrun chui na myanen mashgalan andar

Yiwan chum zindgi huend soz safran manzilan andar

I have kept my life at the disposal for whole world

My life for the earth and the sky

One need not stop for my activities

I enjoy life in tours and the destinies

Azad proved himself as a powerful poet with his deep meaning verses , however, in addition to it, he wrote “Kashmiri Language and poetry” which proved a historical addition to the research, biography and literary criticism.

The religions across the world have been to expand the love and affection across the people. But experience tells us the followers of various religions have been using hate against each other and set up killing fields . But Azad was deadly against the religious bigotry and challenged the idea of religious intolerance;

Dogniar chu yeli matlab poozayi nimazan heund

Sozus bo yi bakhshaish beyi toori ladith daalay

If prayers cultivate a barrier in between

I will return this gift pack back 

He was against invoking religious fanaticism and firmly believed the mutual understanding and co-existence. To those who would propogate and encourage division in the society his challenge was pronounced. His clear cut message about discarding the mutual trust among various religious groups is clear in below mentioned stanzas.

Qudrats byon byon  thawani youd aasahan milat te qoum

Preth akis byon byon zamina aasmana aasi ha.

If nature had to segregate various groups, He would have allotted the portions of earth and sky separately.

            There is no doubt that Azad would not go for self defeating attitude and instead had  revolutionary mindset. It is a known fact that Mr.Ashaie ,the school inspector once invited Mehjoor for a meeting and wanted Azad to accompany . But mercurial Azad declined to meet citing the reason “there we have to remain  yes men only .” Azad expressed his sentiments and yearning for revolution in the following verses.    

Sajda Kaman chukh karan khofa kahinda chukh maran

Lol chukh bagran branda kanen son jaran

Aasi tihund khoon sorukh chui tchey ragan manz aab

Inqalab an inqalab  Inqalab an inqalab

Before whom you kneel and whose fear petrifies you

You distribute affection and you lay gold on the stepping stones

Is only their blood red and water runs in your veins

Revolution , the revolution, yearn for revolution.

Azad roamed far and wide in search of the material for his literary quest. In those days traffic movements were snarling and men and machine would be scarce. This proved beneficial to him as he observed the living conditions and financial hardships with his own eyes. The economy , health conditions , basic education and living conditions were very poor and residents had to make both ends meet with meager income. The pathetic condition of residents laid such an effect on the psyche of Azad and his poetry found the ingredients from these observations. Below mentioned couplet is the true reflection of Azad’s psychological turmoil caused due to these observations.

Awlad Badshahan hue rochmut chu yemi kochey manz

Bochi saeti maran watan peth temi sund ayaal aasya

Kalhan gani te sarfi sairab kari yemi aaban

Sue aab saani bapath zahri hilal aasya.

When  offspring were tended by great king , Badshah

His family can’t starve on the road

The water which drenched Kalhan, Sarfi and Gani

How can that water turn into poison?

Writer and former jurist Gulam Nabi Gowhar writes in one of his articles , “ since Kashmiris lived in trying times when they had to undergo forced labour, heavy taxation, rude behavior by the forces, and lack of education they hardly knew anyone who stood for them. In such situations Kashmiris did not know as to who stood for them and some of the brave people who presented their lives to tyranny could not get recognition from the downtrodden  and illiterate residents. In such a situation common Kashmiris needed to be introduced to the revolutionary steps .This was possible either through religion or poetic expression and musical numbers. In such an environment Azad challenged the youth of the state.”

Following couplet explains as to how Azad   shook and pulled  youth and cultivate emotional bonding with the struggle.

Gulan manz chukh tche trawith lar bichawith makhmaluk bister

Gulan ti gulshanan andar gatchan cha sher-e-nar paida.

You enjoy life in flower beds over the costly furnishings

The powerful lions are not brought up in flowery gardens

Yiwan chi az hoshe myani awlad tchetus pewan chukh sitam ti bedad

Akha chu timvei manz yi Azad khodaya haaw tam yihund bahara.

My boys are gaining conscience and recollect the torture subjected to

One among them is Azad ,Almighty bless them with compassion.

(Writer is a Kashmir based columnist and author of the novel “The Half Widow”. He can be mailed at wanishafi 999@gmail .com)


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