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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Echoes from the valley

From the battle-scarred valley come words to nurse the wounds of not only the war torn but also those who have been seeking gratification since long.

Written by Shashi Priya | Pune |
February 6, 2009 12:32:10 am

Kashmiri poet Rehman Rahi speaks on his love for shaayari and his language

From the battle-scarred valley come words to nurse the wounds of not only the war torn but also those who have been seeking gratification since long. And the words come from the one to whom his nazmain (Urdu poetic form that is normally written in rhymed verse),are travelogues of his journey of life. For the only Kashmiri poet to receive the Jnanpith award,Rehman Rahi,shaayari serves as the only document of his rendezvous with life. At 86,Rahi continues his quest to discover life through his nazmain and feels it’s the intellectual and spiritual thirst that makes one a poet. “The ones who seek the real and not the material derive pleasure from shaayari. Those looking for rozi-roti and material wealth can neither be poets nor lovers of poetry,” says Rahi,who has also been honoured with the Padamshree.

In the city to be felicitated by the Sarhad and Arihant Education Foundation,Rahi shares the different stages of shaayari he traversed as a shaayar in the past 60 years. Head over heels in love with his mother tongue Kashmiri,he wants to realise his reality in his own zabaan. Such is the love for his language that Rahi’s nazmain today have become the quintessential of Koshur – the Kashmiri language. “I don’t appreciate Persian and Urdu influences on my language. In my work too,I try to preserve the sanctity of my language. With every written and spoken word,I try to bring to the fore the essential inclusiveness of Kashmiri culture — Kashmiriyat.

Profoundly enriching the language with his work,for Rahi the various awards have been an honour not because they testified the recognition of his work but his language. Amongst his collection,the one closest to his heart is De Awaaz Goonj,which he penned down a couple of years back. “Is nazm mein hum Kashmiriyon ki aarzooein,gam aur khushiyaan hai. This nazm is very close to my heart,” says Rahi.

Zant akh Nazm (like a poem) is another work of his that deals with the changes in poetry. It revolves around the different eras and the transformation in poetry over the years. “Poetry has changed in due course of time to suit the present day world situation but poetry lovers somewhere lagged behind in this fast-paced world. Now,there are hardly any. Though there are good poets,there are not many who appreciate their talent,” says he.

(Rahi will be felicitated at the Kashmir Festival at Shaniwarwada on Saturday at 7 pm )

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