Who does not remember the soft spoken , upright and principled Aga Saeb of ZOON DUBB, a powerful and Popular Kashmiri Morning time Radio feature broadcast from Radio kashmir Srinagar ?
As an actor , director and playwright he was simply Versatile ..And as person , Simple , down to earth and affectionate . He also had practical and working knowledge of camera Shoots .
Som Nath Sadhu joined Radio Kashmir in 1955 wherein he rose from a Junior staff artist to Station Director. People connected with Radio Kashmir, still remembers his multifaceted personality. He would spend from his pocket and move in field extensively to make Zoon Dub, his daily radio feature , realistic and well grounded to basic problems of people in the valley. Together with Mariam Begum , Pushker Bhan , Bashir Arif and Mohd Sultan, he made Zoon- Dub scale new heights of popularity . Government of India awarded Padam Shri to him , Mariam Ji and Pushker Bhan. Outside radio ,he remained associated with RANGMANCH theatre . Makhan lal Saraf , Pushker Bhan,Brij kishori,Bansi Raina,Bansi Parimu along with many personalities of Kashmir were associated with Rang Manch only. Janaki , Lokut Boey( Younger Brother ),Ze Rang (Two Colours ), Shama Daan ( Candle Stick ) Sharaarat ( Mischief ) , Chapaath ( Slap ),Thekedaar ( Contractor ) and Nav noesh (New Bride ) are some of the popular plays scripted by Late Som Nath sadhu .
Every one in Kashmir knows the contribution made by Late Shri Som Nath Sadhu for expansion of listener base of Radio Kashmir srinagar .. Born in 1935 at Bana Mohalla in srinagar city ,he breathed his last in 1982 at a young age a after surgery at AIIMS New Delhi for a serious illness. Sadhu sahib was an illustrious son of an equally illustrious father late Shri Prem Nath “Pardesi “.
Honest to the core , well learned , gentle , forgiving , considerate and above all deeply attached to kashmir and its cultural heritage, He was far ahead of his time. He had a very sharp memory and was perfectly grounded to the problems of the people in valley.
Som Nath Sadhu wrote a wonderful Travelogue in kashmiri based on impressions of his tour to Indonesia and Malaysia .This Travelogue was published in early seventies of the Last century by SOAN ADAB , a journal edited by Amin Kamil a well known kashmiri poet and short story writer .
My friend Farooq Nazki ( Noted Kashmiri Poet ) pours his heart out at the very mention of Sadhu sahib’s name .To him Sadhu Sahib’s Character had all the essential ingredients of a Saint in Action .. Farooq Nazki expresses deep anguish over the loss of composite culture in kashmir and how he misses Kamla ji ( Kamli ) mother of his friend Som Nath sadh .
“A dedication once more,
Somnath Sadhu, for you …
Your mother Kamli has run away from Kashmir,
She took along with her silver plate,
that you and I ate from,
the food that she laid,
She fled Kashmir, fearing me,
( Farooq Nazki )
Som Nath Sadhu also acted in two kashmiri films Maenz- Raat and Shair e Kashmir Mehjoor. Those who knew him have only fond and cherished memories of this great son of the soil . I am thankful to Mohini Ji wife of late Sadhu sahib for providing me some photographs of this great personality from their family album. I visited their house on 01.09.2009 for this purpose only. Sadhu sahib’s personality is spread in length and breadth of the house at jawahir Nagar . I could see a Tantric painting of his friend Ghulam Rasool Santosh hanging on the sitting room wall. I could also see the citation of Padam Shri hanging in a glass frame along with photographs of Sadhu sahib with Indira ji and shri V V Giri ex President of India.One can see photographs of sadhu Sahib in the showcase , on the walls , on the shelves and affectionately preserved by his family in albums. Photographs of Sadhu sahib in office , Behind the camera , directing plays and In joyful moods during his Malaysian tour were also seen by me at the family’s Jawahir Nagar residence . His son , Rajeev ji works as duty officer in Radio Kashmir srinagar and is happily married to daughter of Shri Bansi lal Mattoo a noted Theatre artist of Kashmir and an ex resident of Rainawari . Bansi lal ji is still associated with theatre and TV serials produced from srinagar and jammu. .
Permit me to end this brief write up with some lines from a poem of Majaz lakhnavi.
Kuchh Tujh Ko Khabar hai Hum Kya Kya ,
Aey Shorishe Dauraan bhool Gaye .
Woh Zulfe Parishaan Bhool Gaye ,
Woh Deedai Giriyaan Bhool Gaye .
Aey Zauke Nazaara Kya Kahiye ,
Nazron Me Koi Soorat Hi Nahin .
Aey Zauke Tassavur Kya Keejiye
Hum Soorate Jaanan Bhool Gaye .
Sab Ka To Mudaava kar Daala ,
Apna Hi Mudaava Bhool gaye .
Sab ke to Girebaan si Daale
Apna hi Girebaan Bhool Gaye
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.