” Who is this Pushkar Nath B.A. ? ”
I asked my Friend Kuldeep Machama after I listened his Urdu drama broadcast from Radio Kashmir Srinagar.
“ He is a Punjabi . I believe so . But his plots and story frames resemble those of krishen Chander . Even Krishen Chander has appreciated his stories . I read this in Beeswin Sadi.” He replied .
I would infrequently purchase Beeswin Sadi from Abdullah News Agency Lal Chowk. This particular issue that carried critical analysis of Pushkar Nath’s urdu stories had been missed by me.I also read his wonderful story Kaanch ki Duniya ( A world of Glass ) later . The character of Madhavi that he had created for this story impressed me . So was I impressed by the Curio Dealer’s character .His short story PIR PANCHAAL KA AKHAARI KAWWA ( THE LAST CROW OF PIR PANCHAAL ) was very well received and appreciated . Through this story , Pushkar Nath Had presented a wonderful a satire on Corrupt Bureaucracy apart from other issues .
I also read his other stories like Saat Rang Sapna ( A Dream of seven colours ),Pull Number siffer ke Gidh ( Vultures of Zero Bridge ), Rang Badaltaa hi Thhaa ( The colour kept changing ) and many more that I do not remember the moment .
Kashmir , its social life and a profound consciousness of contemporary realities can be observed in his stories . He touched a variety of subjects and issues concerning society and the Individual through his stories .His characters are deeply involved in their struggle for existence demonstrating truthful feelings .
Apart from kashmir , his mind also moves towards almost all the live social issues of Indian society at large which are presented to the reader in his unique and crafty style. I find that Pushkar Nath had an exceptional command over urdu language and his writing style makes him starkly different from his contemporaries . His vast experience of life also gets reflected in his stories . At times, through his stories ,Pushkar Nath also brings glimpses of history and contemporary political conditions to his readers .And his stories do not represent a class , sect or a group.
Kashmir remains his favourite . Through his stories , one gets an insider’s view of Kashmir . For example, He brings Lidder stream ( Pahalghaam ) in moonlight for the readers of his story” Kaanch ki Duniya” . The opening paragraph of his story “Pull Number siffer ke Gidh ( Vultures of Zero Bridge ) describes Jhelum river and Zero bridge area of Srinagar city .
Some lines from his stories
“We come across two type of men in this world . One who see dreams and the second who live in dreams only” from his story Saat Rang ka sapna.
“To bring customers to my shop , I had become member of almost all the clubs of the city .And this club membership drove me towards playing cards . I earned money from these tricky card games that played in clubs . so you can call it as my side profession also .Every person does a side profession in this world presently. A school teacher does tuitions , An Artist paints sign boards ,employees go for corruption, Leader try to become Ministers and Actors go for Advertisements and sell soaps and Hair oils “ from his story Kaanch ki Duniya .
“ Due to continuous use of Kangri , this old Shikara Haanji had red wounds on his dry thighs . They looked like engraved scratch marks of inhuman and black hands of time . ” From Pul Number siffer ke Gidh .
And Pushkar Nath rose on the horizon of Urdu like a shining star with following Publications.
1 Andhere ujjalay ( A collection of short stories )
2 Dal Ke Bassi ( A collection of short stories )
3 Ishq ka chaand Andhera ( A collection of short stories ) 4 kaanch ki Duniya ( A collection of short stories )
Apart from this he also wrote more than 50 urdu plays mostly for Radio .He was also a recipient of All India Akashwani Radio Play award for his play “ sawan jaley bhadon jaley “. The award citation read as under ..
“The Best plot with Crisp Dialogues and lively Characters “
For his Short Story Books he earned awards from J&K Cultural Academy and UP Urdu Academy.
His stories were published in various widely read National magazines published in India that include Beeswin sadi , Aaj Kal ( GOI ),Nigaar , sheeraza ( Cultural Academy ),Tameer , Shaair ,Aiwaan etc.
His admirers and friends included Noted Painter G R Santosh , Dr Brij Premi , Prof. Hamidi kashmiri , Prof Abdul Qadir Sarwari ,Noor shah , Prof. Makhmoor Hussain Badakshi , Tahir Muztar , Khalid Hussain ,Hakim Manzoor , Shamim Ahmed Shamim ,Kamal Ahmed Siddiqui,Dr Rahi Masoom Raza, Mohd Yusuf Teng, Deepak Budki , Jaan Mohd Azad , Prof.Zahoor ud din and many more .About well known Urdu writer Prof.Brij Premi , He once said
“Brij Premi was my childhood friend . Both of us shared a love for urdu literature. We almost grew together . we could not afford to buy Urdu Literary Magazines published during those days .Brij would buy one and I would buy some other . We would then exchange them.”
About his literary journey , Pushakar Nath has written as under :
“ We used to hold Story reading sessions in the house of Shri Baha Ud Din Zahid at Khanyar ,srinagar . Shri Baha Ud Din Zahid was connected with communist Party of Kashmir. He along with his friend Shri Badar Ud din had started a group called Halqa e ilmo Adab. Thereafter , I joined well known urdu poet Hakim Manzoor , Story writer Makhmoor Hussain Badakshi and Mohi Ud Din Shawl in forming a literary Group that we named as “ANJUMAN E ARBAAB E ZAUQ ”. This was an active and dedicated group of young Urdu writers from Kashmir . Many more writers joined this group later .Through this group, I met some senior and dedicated kashmiri writers , poets and painters that included Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki ,Dina Nath Naadim, Rehman Rahi , Ghulam Nabi Firaq , Amin Kamil, Som Nath Zutshi , Akhtar Mohi Ud Din, Trilok kaul,Ghulam Rasool Santosh and Bansi Parimu . “
And this Pushkar Nath BA was actually Pushkar Nath Tickoo , a resident of Ali Kadal in down town Srinagar city. Apart from being a prolific Urdu writer, Pushkar Nath also served as Private Secretary to Accountant General J&K. He corresponded with almost all the leading Urdu writers of the subcontinent that included Krishen chander as well.
Noted Urdu Writer Veerinder Patwari adds :
“Pushkar Nath BA was a great writer who wrote forward of my first book Fareshte Khamosh hain , Heand Jenabb.Noor Shah were Khoshtar Grami’s favorites. ‘Beeswen Sadi’ had been always an internationally applauded URDU magazine & both Kashmiri writers were regular contributors ALL .Special issues of the magazine had writers like Krishen Chander, K A Abbas & both Noor Shah & Pushkar Nath B A. He wrote dramas for more than three decades. Won many awards.MISS HIM. ”
I end this brief post on Pushkar Nath with lines from a poem of African American Poet Maya Angelou …..
“I say, clap hands and let’s come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let’s deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let’s leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.
The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.
And still we rise.
Autar Mota writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi. His write-ups have appeared in many national magazines and journals