Wednesday, January 17, 2018



I add an urdu nazm of Zubair Rizvi... ....................................
................Freshness and Modernism in every line of zubair Rizvi ...

Raat sannaata Dar o Baam ke honton pe sukoot
Rahein Chupp- Chaap hain Pathar Ke buton ki Maanind
Roshini Taap mein Alsaai Huyii Baithi Hai
Neend Aankhon ke dareechon se lagi Baithi hai
Din ke hangaamon ki Raunaq ko Bujhe deir huyii
Chaand ko Nikle sitaaaron ko saje deir huyii
Ab kissi chashm e Nigah-daar ka khatraa bhi nahin
Waqt ke haath mein ab sang e malaamat Bhi Nahin
Dil Jo Machle to koyii toknay waala bhi Nahin
Jism Pighle to koyii Dekhne waala bhi Nhin
Aey Nigaar e Dilo Jaan Shauq ki Baahon mein machal
Saaya Saaya yuun hi Aagosh e chaman zaar mein chal
Din Sitam- pesha hai Raazon ko ughal Detaa hai
Raat Maasoom hai Raazon ko Chhuppa leiti hai…

( Autar Mota )

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Monday, January 15, 2018





Presently , Tobacco Smoking remains  the most widespread addictive habit with human beings. In spite of aggressive publicity about fatal Health risks of smoking , At the moment , we have about 2 billion people as smokers world over . During my recent visit to USA , I found smokers in every segment of American Society . You can see Men and Women standing close to shops on pedestrian paths inhaling the harmful smoke in spite so many notices displayed to the contrary . I found them smoking near Notices that read :


In India , Portuguese introduced Tobacco during late sixteenth / early seventeenth century . Some historians say that Tobacco in India was introduced by Portuguese during the reign of Akbar. In Kashmir it was occasionally brought by traders from India . But During Afghan rule , the consumption of Snuff and Tobacco became widespread in kashmir valley . While Afghan governors were busy in collecting revenue by all cruel means , Traders from Kabul brought Snuff and Tobacco to kashmir and carried horse loads of Pattoo Cloth , Shawls ,and Tosha . An entry in the diary of *John Nicholson dated 19th November 1847 reads as under:

“ Had some conversation with a group of Afghan merchants from Kabul who were carrying Snuff and Tobacco to Kashmir wherefrom they would bring Tosh( Shahtoosh ) and Pattoo ( Woolen cloth ) which fetches very high price in Kabul. ”

Once Hukka or Hubble Bubble entered Kashmiri household, Men and women got addicted to it . The Elite class and the common men from valley were captivated by the gurgling sound and the smoky puffs of Hukka . Kashmiris became great smokers . First hukka and later cigarettes became common attraction in Kashmir .We had and continue to have so many shops selling Tobacco and Molasses (Raab) . 

Quite often kashmiri Hukka addicts shared Hukka in shops , Get-togethers and Marriages . some addicts smoked alone. Hukka smokers ( Men and women ) in Kashmir would inhale good amount of **Nicotine and accordingly they had strong urges ( Tyath in kashmiri ) to smoke . They also experienced usual withdrawal symptoms after not smoking for some time.

It is well known fact that Maharaja Partap Singh spent about Two to Three hours per day puffing his Hukka . 

For some time kashmiri farmers also cultivated Tobbaco crop sowing the seed in April and harvesting it in August .Kashmiri farmers cultivated two varieties of tobacco called Chilasi and Brewari . 

A kangri ,a Hukka , Tobacco box and also a pot for spitting is what every Hukka smoking elder used to keep close by. In a Kashmiri Pandit family, A Hukka was the first thing that was kept ready in the morning by the Daughter in law generally for her father in law. Sometimes the son would perform this duty . It had to be cleaned and a kangri had to be kept ready with burning charcoal .The tobacco box had to be kept full for the tobacco session of the elder in the family. A measured quantity of water had to be put inside the Hukka water tank so as to produce proper gurgling sound . Excess water would neither produce the Gurgling sound but would invariably enter the mouth on puffing.
Once The eldest family member had his puffs , he would keep the Hukka aside and leave for his daily work . Young boys would also take a puff secretly . It was followed by Puffs by the womenfolk in the afternoon .Elderly Women also maintained Nicotine levels by using Hukka or Hubble Bubble or Jejeer . Women who could not find Jejeer, smoked cigarettes secretly in presence of children or other ladies. 

Quite often we (young boys )were sent to buy Tobacco from shops and the shop keeper would invariably ask:
“ Kyooth Gatchhi ? Lo’at ya Gobb or What type you need ? Heavy or light ”

A common communication among friends began as under :

“ Chaav Cigarette”
“ Give me a Cigarette to smoke ”

A common demand from clerical / sub staff in offices (for getting things done ) would begin as under:

“ Traav kenh Tresha Tamoukaa ”

“ Give something to drink and something to smoke”

Through Films,  Cigarette smoking  became a fashion  .During youth , we tried to copy smoking style of  many film stars . Many youngsters tried to copy the style of throwing up smoke rings  by many actors as the exhaled the smoke . Equally attractive were the styles of lighting a cigarette with a lighter  of matchstick.

The younger generation is surprised when I tell them that cigarettes were served to guests in a marriage . I have personally offered a cigarette to Kashmiri Poet late Shri Dina Nath Naadim in a marriage . Naadim sahib had come to that marriage for reception of the Baraat . Before anything was served , cigarettes kept tastefully in a plate, were taken to guests .

Cigarettes were served to men coming for condolence . Cigarettes were sold inside cinema halls . From cinema Halls you often returned with headache due to widespread smoking . This applied specifically to Shiraz, Naaz , Firdous, Neelam and Khayyam cinema Halls. Third shows or the late night show in Palladium cinema lal Chowk was worst . Entire hall used to be full of smoke . .Some people in the lower stalls threw burning cigarette bits towards the screen .Smoking in buses , Smoking in Parks and smoking in hospitals .  And during winters , when Bus doors were closed , the smoke inside the bus gave Headache to every passenger. The drivers generally smoked while driving . A busy  Barber passed on Hukka to his  waiting customers and in between he  would join to have his puffs. Smoking in colleges . Smoking inside Tagore hall by men who were witnessing a Play or Musical item. None could escape the smoke Every one had to inhale the smoke directly or indirectly. 
 Gold Flake , Panama ,Charminar, Cavenders , Passing Show , Red Lamp, Scissors , Four  Square , Charms and Wills Navy Cut were Popular brands of common man . The elite smoked India Kings. The migratory labour from plains brought Bidi (A Bidi is a flavored cigarette made by rolling tobacco in a dried leaf from the tendu tree ) to kashmir valley. Many kashmiris got hooked to cheap Bidis ."  Ganesh 501"  was the most popular brand of Beedis that were sold in kashmir.





My friend Adarsh Azad Arora ( Son of Well known Urdu Poet Jagan Nath Azad) informs me as under :

“I may narrate an incident which father once  told me. He was travelling by car with Hafeez Jalandhari in Pakistan on a visit connected with  a mushaira when the  elder Hafeez sahib felt like having a cigarette. He needed to borrow one from younger Azad sahib ( Jagan Nath Azad).  So ,  Hafeez Sahib  said in  Chaste Punjabi  "Leya mundeya, tainu ik cigarette pi dayiye or  Bring one Boy , Let me smoke a Cigarette for you ". On his visit to Delhi, father said the same line when he wanted to take a cigarette from me. I loved the sentence so much that I used it in office. People did not know the literary depth of the creation which had Hafeez Jalandhari as its source.”

Have we forgotten the Kakear or Kakouris ? Sometimes only Dua salaam , Sometimes a handful of rice and Sometimes a coin . That is what a Kakear ( Roadside mobile Hukka owner ) got who offered people Hukka puffs in the Bazaar. Kakear was a part of the kashmiri society . He carried a bag across his shoulder in which he would keep three or four tongs , a pouch of fresh Tobacco and some charcoal in a Kangri nearby. A Kakear would also be seen in Fairs and gatherings outside shrines. He would cater to poor and the working class who could not carry the Hukka along with them .With the arrival of Cheap cigarettes and overall development and progress in many spheres ,Kakears or kakouris (as some people called them ) suddenly became non existent from kashmiri society sometime around 70s of last century ( around 1970 ).

And Thanks to aggressive negative publicity in India ,the great Humanity that smoked endlessly has changed for better now . Smoking in Buses , Offices, Cinema Halls and other Public places has come to halt.

( Autar Mota )


* John Nicholson( 1822- 1857 ) was a very Senior Political official in British India who rose to the post of a Brigadier General. He was instrumental in the settlement of the North-West Frontier .He was stationed at Peshawar , Moradabad , Benaras , Ferozepur and Delhi. He died suddenly at a very young age and played a major role in the Mutiny of 1857. He was buried in a Cemetery in kashmiri Gate Delhi and his tombstone reads as under:

“Gifted in mind and body, he was as Brilliant in Government as in arms. The snows of Ghazni attest his youthful fortitude; the songs of the Punjab his manly deeds; the peace of this frontier his strong rule. The enemies of his country know how terrible he was in battle, and we his friends have to recall how gentle, generous, and true he was.”

**Frenchman Jean Nicot (from whose name the word nicotine is derived) introduced tobacco to France in 1560, and tobacco then spread to England.

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Friday, January 12, 2018




“ Five years from the date of the attack that changed our world, we have come back to remember the valor of those we lost …. Those who innocently went  to work that day and the brave souls who went  in after them.  We have also come to be ever mindful of the courage of those who grieve for them,  and the light that still lives in their hearts “

Rudolph  Giuliani… Mayor New York City 

From  Midtown Manhattan , we take a downtown Metro  train to Visit GROUND ZERO (World Trade Centre) . As the Air conditioned train moves over the rails, The thud of the wheels is clearly heard and experienced by us . Passengers are well guided by continuous announcements .System, discipline and order is visible. you have Maps and electronic displays about next Station and total track . Trains move underground .Thanks to E Sreedharan ( Metro Man ) , I find our New Delhi Metro Train journey a little better .

We arrive at the spot where Twin Towers of WTC collapsed in the Terrorist Attack on 11th Sep 2001 .The spot is presently known as Ground Zero. The basement of the old Towers has been converted into a Memorial. A Huge concrete container / Tank like structure with another Tank at its centre  . Water pours from all sides . On the top surface of this Memorial , you find Names  of so many  innocents who died in this Tragedy .

Thousands of people were trapped in the upper floors of the towers that collapsed . Many died when the planes hit, and more perished as the fires raged and when the towers collapsed. Some jumped to their deaths to escape the conflagration and the smoke. The buildings went down, one after the other, and filled the streets with rubble and dust.

2,606 people died in the towers. 373 brave and daring Fire fighters who entered the Towers for rescue mission also died . With them died dedicated and daring 23 New York City police officers and 37 officers from the Port Authority .

At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 died when the hijackers crashed the plane into fields. In all, More than 2980 innocents were killed.

We were informed that the nearby St. Paul’s Chapel served as the place for rest and refuge for recovery workers at WTC site though tons of debris moved towards the church after collapse of the Towers .  The Marriott  Hotel ( WTC ) . a 22 story steel framed Hotel Building that stood close to Twin towers  was also destroyed due to falling Debris . Some guests and employees of the Hotel that was packed to capacity that day  also died due to collapse of this structure . Another Building known as VERIZON BUILDING  that was close to Twin Towers , also suffered extensive damage in this attack. The Deutsche Bank Building near the Twin Towers also suffered total  extensive damage due to falling avalanches of debris , dust and ash.

The winter Garden Atrium  along with the rest of the World financial Centre that was completed in 1988 also got destroyed in this attack. The Atrium was connected to WTC via pedestrian bridge 400 feet in length .The Winter Garden Atrium  was rebuilt  within one year of the tragedy .

We were informed that THE SALVATION ARMY  was the first relief agency that reached Ground Zero  on the fateful day. They reported at the site  within half an hour following the first plane crash  . More than 39000 volunteers of the salvation Army did commendable relief work  . They distributed  Food , clothes and  Medicines among survivors and rescue workers . They   did emotional and spiritual  counseling  to survivors and recovery staff. They also ensured adequate shelter and sleeping arrangement for survivors and rescue  workers .

The original WTC was a large complex of seven Buildings in Lower Manhattan. The Twin Towers were two of these Seven Buildings .  The tallest structure in old complex was a Tower with  110 stories and 1730 Feet  in height .

A new tower complex has  now come up near  Ground Zero , along with a Memorial.  This complex is known as ONE WORLD  TRADE CENTRE . The New” One world Trade Centre”  is a Vision that combines everything . It has safe commercial space . It is well planned , convenient and  Modern in layout. Apart from several Towers , it also has a Museum , Retail space and a  Performing Arts  Centre.   The tallest Tower in this complex is  known as Freedom Tower. This Freedom Tower  is 1776 feet in height  with  104 stories.

 At the MEMORIAL on ground Zero , You read the names of innocents  who lost their lives . So many Young men , women and Pregnant mothers .So many loving sons , Affectionate Husbands, caring Fathers , devoted Mothers , dedicated Sisters ,  compassionate  Daughters , Caring Wives and  sympathetic  Friends .Our eyes turn Moist . Even the strongest among us turn gloomy. No human  being likes such heartbreaking  loss of innocent lives  and destruction  .

As we stand near the Memorial, An elderly woman comes with flowers . She wipes her tears as she places these flowers near her son's name written at the memorial . How bad and painful for parents to outlive their children? We are informed that people keep coming here on Birth anniversary of their loved ones . We are sad and feel choked. Our sympathies are with every family that suffered in this tragedy. A very Painful and moving visit.

( Autar Mota )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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