Kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui ( 1926- 2013) was a poet , writer , scholar ,linguist and essentially a media personality who spent a major part of his professional life as broadcaster at Radio Kashmir Srinagar . I believe he served Radio Kashmir Srinagar for more than 30 years .
He was deeply attached to kashmir and loved its folk lore and cultural ethos . And Seema , his daughter is married to Rafi Ahmed Mir ( Born 1956 ), MLA from Sallar in south kashmir .
A serious reader and a man of scientific temper , Kamaal ( as he was popularly known among his friends ) had grasped the ancient ,medieval and modern history of Kashmir through his detailed study of Neelmat Purana ,kalhana’s Rajataringani and other books. Infact there is hardly any person in the Literary circle of kashmir who was not familiar and friendly with him.
He wrote a poem in urdu on POSHINOOL ( Golden Oriole ), a popular bird in kashmir. I quote some lines ..
Peidon ki Chotiyon par Yuun Geet tu Suunaaye
Dil Mein Khushi Ho Raqsaan masti fazaa pe Chhaaye
Oonche Suron Mein Gaana Pariyon ko Rashq Aaye
About spring season or Soant of kashmir, he wrote a unique and beautiful poem .. I quote some lines ..
Aasmaan saaf Hai shafaaf hai neelam ki tarah
Aaftaab Apni Shuaaon mein liye Noor e hayaat
Nayee Poshaak mein Malboos hai har eik darakhat
Pattiyaan Bolein Fazaaon mein Tarranum Aayaa
Aur Sosan ko haseen tarz e Taqallum Aayaa
Aab-shaaron ke khunak saaz Ravaan honey lagey
Munjmandh Dhaaron ne Angdaai lee kohsaaron mein
Laai Uthaaney Lagaa khaamosh fazaaon ka sukoot
Yeh Fazaa Kaun churaa Laaya hai saiyaaron se
Jis tarah noah ka Toofaan guzar jaane par
Faakhta Aman ka Paigaam Liye aayee Thhi
Barg e Sar Sabz ka Inaam Liye aayee Thhi
Aaj Bhi Barf ka Toofaan Guzar Jaane Par
Taaza Meivon Naye Mausam Nayee Hariyaali ka
Ibn e aadam ke liye Faakhta Laayi hai Payaam…
I still remember the crisp script that he used to write for the popular Programme VAADI KI AWAAZ broadcast from Radio Kashmiri Srinagar . He wrote three books on Kashmir..
(1 ) JAWAHARAAT ( The Book relates to Pandit JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU . It is based on his Interviews with leading personalities of the state recorded by him after Pandit ji’s death )
(2) KOHSAAR GAATE HAIN ( A collection of poems on kashmir published in 1968 ).
(3) KASHMIR EK MANZARNAMA (Political study of Kashmir from 1948 to 1980. This book has been published by Penguin India )
Kamaal was born and brought up in Lucknow . He worked with National Herald and Quomi Awaaz before coming to Radio Kashmir Srinagar. Post retirement ( retired as Chief Producer Urdu Service AIR New Delhi ) , he settled in Delhi and did his doctorate from JNU .kamaal was an authority on Ghalib.
I want to add something to this brief write up . I remember late kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui wrote a poem on Habba Khatoon as a dialogue between King Yusuf Shah Chak and Habba Khatoon or ZOON . I add some lines from this poem to this mini post on Kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui…….
(Habba Khatoon )
YUSUF SHAH CHAK says ..
“Yeh Kanwal Zaar Yeh Dil Tera Tamanaai hai
Dekh Phoolon Me Tere Husn Ki Barnaai hai
Narm Gaami Ka Yeh Aalam Tera Andaaz e Kharaam
Teri raftaar Ka to Hans Bhi Sodaai hai
Yasmeen teri Nazaaqat ka ek Aaiinaa hai
Chashm e Nargis mein Tere Jalwon se beenaai hai “
AND HABBA KHAATOON Replies ..
“Inn Chinaaron Mein Tere Saaye ki Raanaai Hai
Tujh Ko Dekha hai to phoolon ko Hansee aayi hai
Mere Seene mein Nihaan Teri Mohabbat ka chaman
Yeh mera dil hai ke ik Laal o Sehraai hai
Husn Aur Ishq Ki Paaindaah Ravaayat Tera Naam
Eik Aalam Tera Mushtaq hai shaidaai hai ….”
About Kamaal Ahmed Siddiqui , Noted Journalist Mohammad Sayeed Malik Writes :
“ Kamal’s literary attainments are highly rated. His Ghalib critique is a masterpiece acknowledged even by that stalwart Maalik Ram considered to be an authority on Ghalib. Kamal’s book on the trajectory of Urdu in India is scholarly. He became a socio-cultural landmark in Kashmir where he spent nearly half a century. As a producer at Radio Kashmir Srinagar, Kamal groomed a number of upcoming professionals.”
Kamal Ahmed siddiqui was a friend of some great poets of the subcontinent that included Faiz Ahmed Faiz , Firaq Gorakhpuri , Ali sardar jafri , Ale Ahmed Suroor and Josh Malihabaadi …
Baat kartaa hai Ba zaahir Badi Saada si “kamaal”
Jo Sukhan-var hain Vahi Uss Ke Sukhan Tak Pahunche
So Long so much on Kamal Ahmed Siddiqui ..
Autar Mota is a Blogger , Translator and writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi. His write-ups have appeared in many national magazines and journals.