KASHMIR- THE LAND OF LEGENDS

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Muhammad Nayyar Azam

Kashmir has been the land of great sufis, poets, leaders etc who came and set an example for all of us. Sufis with high spiritual power, writers and poets with high intellect, leaders with utmost power of resistance made us proud to say that we belong to RESH WAER(valley of intellectuals). Sufis such as Sheikh Noor u din Noorani (RA), Sheikh Makhdoom (RA) etc had a great impact, even today people often quote them, their wise sayings and have a great respect for them. Sheikh Noor u din Noorani (RA) and Sheikh Makdoom (RA) were the great Sufis i have ever heard .They had a great spiritual power which is beyond ones imagination.
Mahjoor, Rasool Mir, Habba Khatoon etc like brilliant poets lived, proved their mettle and kept all of us singing their beautiful lines all the time. Mahjoor if taken was really a realistic and an intellectual poet who by his writings conveyed message of brother hood, love and affection. If i have to define Mahjoor i would simply say that he is the Iqbal of Kashmir. His famous “sahibo sath chem mae chaeni wath mae aslech haavtam” which everyone here keeps singing is not less than a masterpiece and a legendry prayer. In short” Mehjoor is the poet who cannot be compared with anybody else”.
Rasool Mir of the same century was one of the leading poets. Born in Shabad Duru (Anatnag) Rasool Mir is known for his romantic nature. He is the most celebrated poet of valley and most of the times he is quoted as John Keats of Kashmir.
Another one i mention here unfortunately left us recently in 2016 is Prof. Ghulam Nabi Firaq. He was a renowned poet, writer and a good educationist. He has translated dozens of english poems into Kashmiri. Besides he had been writing essays and beautiful writeups in his mother language. For his brilliant work he was felicitated with Sahitya Akademi Award. Moreover he is known for his awesome work to enrich and preserve Kashmiri culture.
The last but not least i would like to mention here is Amin Kamil, a major voice in Kashmiri poetry. Besides being a good poet he was master in writing short stories and novels. In the field of translation he has a good contribution. After joining the state cultural academy he translated two journals of the academy “Sheeraza” and “Son Adab”. He retired from academy in 1979.
This bright past of our valley i consider as the age of legends.
In present times, Kashmir is still having a number of legendry poets, leaders, singers, writers, and good doctors etc who have gained the interest of people and live in their hearts. I personally love and respect all of them for they have maintained the identity of our valley and have kept our glorious past alive even today.
I would like to mention a few amongst them. For example we have today a legend within us namely Abdul Rehman Rahi who is not only a poet but a legendry translator. For his collection “Nawruzi Saba”, he was awarded Indian Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961.Moreover in 2000 he was awarded with Padmashri and Jnanpith Award.
Leaving the poets aside Kashmir is having a good no of doctors and engineers. Among them i would love to mention here Dr Ali Jan who i consider as the finest physician Kashmir has ever had. His sharp diagnostic skills and the beautiful way of attending patients made him an exceptional doctor.
More over we have Dr Sultan Khuru who is also not less than a legendry doctor of Valley. Discovery of hepatitis E made brought him international fame and recognition. During his time SKIMS touched new heights in providing the best of its care to patients.
I consider Dr Ali Jan and Dr Khuru as the best doctors of our time and i consider Kashmir as the most fortunate to possess both of the jewels.
Talking now of singers, here also Kashmir tops. Ab Rasheed Hafiz if taken is a brilliant Sufi singer. By his soothing voice he has been successful in gaining the hearts of people. I would simply say Kashmir has its own Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and we call him Ab Rasheed Hafiz.
Raj Begum the melody queen of Kashmir was the leading 20th century singer and a noted folk singer. She was facilitated with Padma Shri award in 2002.
Shameema Dev Azad the famous and leading singer of the present time has impressed me a lot. I have no words to explain her beautiful voice but surely without hesitation i would like to say that in Pakistan there was Noor Jahan Begum and in Kashmir there is Shameema Dev Azad.
In the field of comedy, Qayoom Khan alis Badshah Khan ,Rayies Mohideen etc , i consider as comedy kings ,always make us laugh.
In short Kashmir can be considered as a fertile state for it possesses a no of assets in every field whether that is in beauty, singing ,medical sciences or in poetry.

(The writer is studying medical sciences at KIE Srinagar and can be reached at mirnayyarazam@gmail.com)