sahrā sahrā naam hai merā
meñ dariyāoñ kā shā.er huuñ
By Mushtaque B. Barq
During a midstream shower when the sun rays outstrip the mask of puffs, divination pronounces the impending rainbow. The transformation of aura lures the eye to the magnitude of getting into the casing of hues. The grandeur of curvature reassures the much-taxed breath of the fatigued earth to stretch its epic arms beyond the superiorities that the human eye can perceive. Every passerby irrespective of generalised conventions is cemented to witness this cherished cessation. The regal crew of colours on the mountain cast its presence and even a casual look glorifies its halo but a sensible soul reckons its intensity and intents. A few colours like a mystery conceal their mirth, yet a few are obvious to foster the essentials of order of events. The niceties of proportion on one hand and the aesthetic acumen on the other are preordained for the people with different ranges of vision. A mediocre may appreciate the contour, for an incredible human lens the wavelength may infuse a verve impelling the consciousness into infinite and above all for the men who live in the noble conurbations of letters, the same rainbow serves as an impulse to follow the one on the monumental screen. Screens are abundant, so are the shades and tints, but a true artist knows the value of novelty that depicts in his works. May it be his pen, his camera or his brush or eloquence, he creates a niche, a micro-world in which he dwells and develops. The sensible and sensitive eye of a visionary can offer dissimilar perspectives of the events he observes around him, the study that he brings on the desk to enrich his own growing consciousness or his focus that he wants the others to peep into his mind through visual aids or projections. Thus a broadcaster, a poet or a critic is the one who evokes the consciousness of readers, viewers and listeners to raise their level of empathy to touch the horizons hitherto unmapped.
Farooq Nazki is an equitable rainbow on the screen Kashmir, born on 16th February 1940, in the village Maddar which is situated on the foothills of Bandipora mountain range supervising the world-famous Wular Lake. He served as Director Doordarshan and AIR Srinagar from 1986 to 1997 under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. From a poet to editor and director Farooq Nazki has emerged as an ace protagonist who fits himself conferring to the needs. Farooq Nazki has also served as an Editor of Daily Mazdoor since 1960. As the title suggests the newspaper would underline the problems of the labour class. Farooq Nazki also served as media advisor first to Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1983 and 1990 to 2002 and then to Chief Minister Omer Abdullah in 2010. He was the President of Bazm –e- Adab after he finished his degree at SP College. He worked as a literary assistant at Cultural Academy. Farooq Nazki’s growth as a sensitive intellectual is a team effort. His father who was married to the niece of the celebrated historian Hassan Khuihaami had been strict and that has added strength to the ideas of Farooq Nazki on one hand yet on the other a loving mother’s concern has sprouted in him the seedling of understanding things in varied ways, his seven brothers and a sister, a team of friends, playmates and secret sharing band and above all a school in itself further was an added value. ‘Travel teaches’ as the maxim goes, same is true with Farooq Nazki. His observational capability experienced metamorphosis when he received a prestigious CDG fellowship from Germany. He brought a positive verve back to his soil and upgraded the orthodox broadcasting fashion.
Farooq Naki is a multilingual writer, his writing skills are widely celebrated, his Kashmiri Publication like Naar Hyutun Kazalwanas, Mahjabeen and Satbaran are exceedingly admired for the reason being thematically subtle and poignant. His Urdu publications like Akhri Khawab Sey Pehley, Lafz lafz Noha, Yeh Dhuwan Sa Kahan Sey Uthta Hai are treated as ‘must read’ for Urdu literature lovers. His Hindi publication Gayi Rutyoon Kay Saathi along with others works like Handicrafts of Kashmir, Kashmir Ki Dastkariyan are notable and significant. His Urdu plays Ab Yahan Koi Nahi Ayega, Khokla Pyed, Hari Daaliyan, Yahan Koi Nahi Hai, Sabras and Toofan Aur Bhanwar have impressed one and all. His Television Productions Sode Bode , Aab Simaab, Alaav and Totme were household appellations. His extraordinary contribution for the Radio has been Zoone Dub as he wrote various episodes for this grand radio programme which once was the craze of every radio listener. His distinguished involvement was introduction of Ramba , a famous character in Zoone Dub. In 1995 Farooq Nazki won the Sahitya Academy Award for his poetry Naar Hyutun Kanzal Wanas (Fire in the eyelashes). For Lafz Lafz Noha, he was awarded the State Cultural Academy Award. He is also a recipient of Gold Medal by J &K Government for the best management of electronic media. In 1982 he won the Best Media Controller Award in Asiad ’82. In 2000 he retired as Deputy Director General.
G.M. Bawan, Former Lawmaker and political commentator adds that Farooq Nazki is a poet of Kashmiri language as well as Urdu. Farooq Nazki has established himself against the front line of Urdu poets. He is mostly known as a poet but very few people know his contribution as an Editor of Daily Mazdoor where he, for the first time highlighted the importance of labour in the Kashmir Valley.
Dr. A Wahid, a noted physician and literature lover adds, “Farooq Nazki has always remained a curiosity for me. They say that Jack of all trades is master of none. But this idiom does not hold true in his case. He is definitely a master of so many trades, be it broadcasting, journalism, poetry, literature or art of oratory. His narration of health problems would never be a dry or painful account of sufferings. He would humorise his miseries and present them as a sugar-coated feast. We all would get glued to his conversation. He is a master of conversation. Doctors usually remain drowned in apprehensions and are usually gripped in tensions while they listen to the painful stories of the patients. His talks are always mesmerizing and you love to listen to him for hours together. He has hundreds of stories to tell and the stories are so diverse and different. He digs optimism out of despair, being a unique analyst of literature, social issues, poetry and politics. Farooq has a commanding presence in any gathering. He is an inseparable part of our larger society. Dr. A Wahid further adds, “Farooq Nazki is romantic, colourful and modern but at the same a man of faith. He applies reason to every issue, though believes in tradition and mysticism. His poetry is not merely of ideas and imaginations. Whatever he has said is a reflection of his response to the events occurring around him.”
The state of despair and the dance of death that Kashmir has been witnessing for decades has left deep scars on his mind and to him Nazki seems to wear a smile on his face but his heart weeps when he sees a youth falling prey to the bullets in a crossfire. He cries when a mother washes the blood-soaked clothes of his recently married son. (Refer to his Sahitya Award-winning book Naar huoten Kanzal Wanas. His poetry reminds us of our once composite culture where Muslims and pundits shared everything God had given to them. He weeps when he sees them getting separated and uprooted. He yearns for co – existence, peace and restoration and return of brotherhood which is symbolic of our motherland Kashmir. Despite the darkness prevailing all around his poetry keeps the light of optimism burning. Though we have lost so many things, Farooq seems not to have given up his hopes.
Dr Aziz Hajni, Ex- Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages informs that he knew Farooq Nazki for the last thirty-five years. “I feel privileged for having worked with him in different fields, be it literary field, Doordarshan, Radio or language movement. Everywhere and every time I found him jolly and loving. He is a wonderful poet and great orator. I can’t forget his role in my upliftment in the field of art, culture and literature. We attended scores of literary and cultural events together within and outside Jammu and Kashmir.”
Dr. Shafi Shauq, an eminent writer and critic in a message writes “I was a student of the Department of Kashmiri when I got the conceit of being a poet as Farooq Nazki video graphed my poem for the very first telecast from Doordarshan Kendra. His artistic treatment of the contents was better than my poem. My ecstasy was that he did not even know me. In my youthful creative years, I got further encouragement from Nazki Sahib when he assigned the job of writing the tele-script of the TV serial on Habba khatoon. He also made me write a script for Kashmir Ki Khoj. I have the honour of writing an introduction to his highly creative Kashmiri mathnavi “mahjabeen”. I have shared many joyous moments with the profound poet and intellectual.
Farooq Nazki Sahib always keeps me in the conceit that I am one of his warm friends; it is his greatness, not my ability.”
“My relationship with Farooq Sahib is a relationship of brotherhood, friendship and sincerity. I was a student when he brought me to Radio broadcasting in the early seventies. He then joined TV and I also joined after some time. It was his support that became my strength in Srinagar DD. He was one of our best programmers and had never any jealousy while as he encouraged others and shared their success and joy. He is one of our best poets of state and has a great capability to compose ad-lib. He wrote songs for my Urdu film Nazoo. All of them outstanding. Farooq Sahib was more to me than a colleague. We are so passionate about each other and have a fine tuning,” adds Bashir Badgami, an ace writer, director.
Rafiq Raaz, Poet, broadcaster and the former director of All India Radio Srinagar describes Farooq Nazki as a serious poet and an innovative broadcaster and a translator. He further adds that Farooq Nazki writes in Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and Persian as well. “I am highly impressed by his poetry for a few reasons, one that his poetic distinction is unique and the second his imaginative flight is exceptional.” Rafiq Raaz further adds that he is a fashionable poet who has impressively connected his past with that of contemporary consequences. He has bridged the gap and his verses are technically perfect and evoke empathy which is the objective of poetry.
Z.G.Muhammad , a reputed columnist writes, “I started groping like a child in the eerie silence of deep woods that are mystical and mysterious; when you asked me to write about Farooq Nazki. I did not know which aspect of his multi-dimensional and versatile personality I should write about; like all gold, silver, copper or aluminum coins, he too has two sides. He is a polyglot with a hold on four significant languages, Persian, Urdu, Kashur and English- perhaps knows German. He is a poet, essays, dramatist, broadcaster and producer. It will be hard to say which genera he excels more and which language he knows less. One cannot be judgmental – like beautiful mosaics made of broken pieces; all the literary works occupy their niche to add to the beauty of the land’s literary landscape. Irrespective of admiring his contribution to literature, I value him as one of the best broadcasters and respect him as one of the topmost producers; he immensely contributed to the growth of television in Kashmir. Dramas written and produced by him and his programs brought the Srinagar station very close to people.”
Shantiveer Kaul, scholar, poet and broadcaster informs that he knew Farooq Nazki closely for the better part of half a century. “I was a young artist at Radio Kashmir while he was already a Producer of programmes. We went on to be colleagues in Doordarshan for nearly a decade. I have seen his metamorphosis from the flamboyance and dazzle of youth to a mature and profound thinker. Farooq Nazki has been a celebrated and much-feted media professional, but it is Farooq Nazki the poet who is the one for posterity. His poem State Baran included in his latest, eponymously titled, the anthology is the crowning glory of his oeuvre, a veritable poetic coup. In these difficult and turbulent times, deeply contemplative voices as that of Nazki are like a lighthouse.”
Dr Rafeeq Masoodi, Former Secretary Cultural Academy J&K has revealed his experience in these terms, “Faruq Nazki was the most hated person when he relieved me of my duties in December 89 to move to North East India (Shillong) but time proved me wrong and made me salute him as being prophetic when I rose to position after position and reached The Top till I said Adieu to my job. I remember him when on my transfer from Ahmadabad he assigned me A&F (Anniversaries and Festivals) programmes in Radio Kashmir where he was heading as Late Lassa Kaul was Director Designated was yet to take over. Moving out to the Northern part of the country proved a ‘blessing in distress’ for me as I got one promotion after another leaving behind many counterparts and seniors in age and service in All India Radio and Doordarshan. This was Faruq Nazki’s MRI eye which would tear apart and look into one’s abilities without asking him. His watchful eyes, humorous tongue and love would convince anybody without getting convinced. Faruq Nazki I owe you what I am in Broadcasting or whatever position I achieved in it. When after 2 years I returned from Shillong to say Hello to him in DD, I saw him stressed in the shaking building (old DD office building) resembling Shaking Minarets of Ahmadabad. As I entered into his chamber he greeted me with the same galore as before and remarked, “Vetch Te Panun Golab Buth Te Vuth Te’ Myun Zardyamut Buth” (see your shining face and my pale looks) so I did well to relieve you for NES of AIR Shillong.”
I have written a full chapter about him in my Auto story TAINTED ME..! which will be my tribute and respect to this great broadcaster, writer, poet and orator called Faruq Nazki.
Nisar Gilani, a former civil servant, and a media personality while sharing his views writes, “I know Syed Mohammad Farooq Nazki from the date he got married in the year 1962. As I remember during the early days of the experimental service of Doordarshan Srinagar in1973, while he was performing as officer-in-charge on the panel, there was an interruption for few minutes in the transmission. The standby camera in the studio would always be with a caption Sorry for Interruption. The floor manager had removed the caption and was not traced. Sensed the trouble, Farooq Nazki, moved down swiftly, from the panel, took out his pen, wrote “ROUKAWAT” on his left hand, and placed his hand in front of the emergency camera till the transmission was restored. He used his wit brilliantly and avoided the embarrassment.” Mr Nisar Gilani describes Farooq Nazki as an outstanding writer, broadcaster, and poet who hypnotised Srinagar city in the 80s with his TV serial, “ALAW”. He further adds that Farooq Nazki’s humourous role in much popular radio program, ZOONADUB as “Ramba” speaks volumes of his extraordinary talent as an artist, writer, and broadcaster.
Farooq Nazki is the kind human being I have come across so far. He is the epitome of love and compassion He is the person who introduced me to DD News in Srinagar and taught me the nuances of news reading and translation. He is a source of inspiration, a godfather and a true well-wisher. When I wanted to start the weekly Ladishah segment on our channel, it was he who encouraged me to write the script. He watched and news bulletins and Ladishah regularly for months together and gave me suggestions for improvement. I implemented all his suggestions in letter and spirit writes Rajesh Raina, an E TV Official.
Tahseen Munawar, Senior Editor at News18 Urdu says, “Farooq Nazki is my mentor, he is a generous human being. I have seen him as a great personality copious with talent and techniques. He is a visionary Producer and historian and writer and poet. When I saw him for the first time as an officer, he was an administrator on the chair, when I met him at home, he was a humble host and when I listened to him in the company of Zubair Rizvi and Mehmood Hashmi, and he was a serious orator. I believe I have seen him in different phases and every phase is unique. He is a treat to watch”
Brijnath Baitab, a well-known media person describes Farooq Nazki as kind-hearted human being, and intelligent administrator and impressive broadcaster. “Trained from Germany in broadcasting, he was always available to the juniors. An ardent follower of broadcasting ethics, he established very high standards of the profession, both in programming and administration. His humour can not only make one laugh and relish but can disarm the person on the other side. His understanding of politics is very deep and that is why many top politicians and administrators have depended upon him for counselling in times of crisis. Doordarshan reached new heights during his directorship.”
Q :- Kindly share with us your childhood memories.
After I attained the age of understanding I found my home in a three-storied house. My father had three brothers namely Gulam Mohamaad, Bahu-u-din and Gulam Jeelani, all living under one roof. My father was married to the niece of the celebrated historian Hassan Khuihaami. I spent the best of my childhood days in the company of my maternal cousin and best friend Mansoor Ahmad in my maternal home. Our mother’s first cousin Abdul Qadeef Fazili was a teacher of outstanding merit and I received my primary education from him. Our own time in Maddar was of scholars, poets and some renowned businessmen of high literary taste. In my childhood G.M. Mir Tawoos and Gh. Ali Bulbul, Najm-u-din Ishrat, Javed Kashmiri, Niyaz Kamrazi, Qamar-ud-din Qamar, Qamraazi, Tanha Ansari and an unknown and unlettered poet
Soaluruk Shaaban used to visit my father and take his blessings.
When we shifted to Srinagar our house in the Rainawari presented a look of the hostel. We were seven brothers, many paternal and maternal cousins all staying with us. Very interesting to note that from medicines to political science, history to anthropology, and literature to sociology, agriculture to veterinary science, literature to law everything was taught under one roof.
My brother failed in FSC. He had a passion to become an engineer but our father did not give him the second chance to appear in FSC and managed to send him to Khalsa College Amritsar for doing his B.Sc. Agriculture. He was not given any option as his father said go and he went. This attitude of my father and constantly neglecting me was creating a sort of an inner revolution within me. Speaking before my father was not possible. Rising of voice or discussing was out of the question. He always left me to the circumstances, not only me almost all the children he handled in the same way.
Up to the age of eight, I had changed three schools. I had changed two schools in Bandipora and two in Srinagar when the family finally migrated from Rural Kashmir to Capital Srinagar. Wherever my maternal uncle was posted my migration certificate would go with him. So my last school in Bandipora was called The Government Branch School.
When I was in 4th class I made a mark with the help of a teacher Gh. Ahmad Afandi, a scoutmaster who used to teach us history also. One day on the prayer meeting Afandi came with an announcement that Shri Maharaja Bhadur Shri Sarkar Hari Singh was to visit Bandipora and a student would present an address to His Highness. The script was beautifully written and properly framed. Everybody was given a chance to read it, I too got a chance and I made it and I was selected. My father who had by then taken over as an Assistant Inspector of Schools at Baramulla heard it from Mr Afandi and I could see a mixed feeling of uncertainty on his face without any thrill or plight. In the afternoon when I walked 2 Kilometers from my school to my home I was excited and proud of myself. My friend Mansoor was in competition with me but he celebrated my victory and never lamented his defeat. After reaching my home my father was sitting on a chair in the small garden of the house with a heap of journals and newspapers. He called me and asked me to read out the paper which I had to read before his Highness on his arrival. He listens with patience and for the first time taught me the correct pronunciation of some words. I could feel he was satisfied but did not give any expression of his pleasure. I felt on top of the world as I thought my father will now start taking interest in me, in my academics and education. When I reached my school the next day there was a lot of hustle and bustle because Maharaja due to some pressing engagement had abandoned the plans to come to Bandipora and instead a dignitary of his Darbar Pandit Ram Chand Kak came with the officers. The speech was tailored accordingly and Maharaja’s name was deleted and Prime Minister’s name was included. I got and delivered the address and presented it to the Prime Minister.
This was one of the most important happenings in my life but it was also concluded as “Aakhir Beta Kis Ka Hai ”. Javed Iqbal has lightly said my exhausted father, Alama Iqbal became always a liability for me. People never ask me about my discipline, law and philosophy. Most of the time during my extension lectures they discuss on Iqbal in the sidelines and my intimacy with my father. He rightly sometimes annoy.
Q:- What was the cause of migration from Bandipora to Srinagar?
It was 1948 when my Bandipora phase of life was over. Father was summoned by Maulana Masood and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to join him at Jammu. Maharaja Hari Singh had established a radio station where father became a programme officer and first broadcaster of radio in the State. After sometime on 13 July 1948 Radio Kashmir Srinagar was inaugurated in Polo Ground and our journey started from Bandipora to Srinagar. My parents, elder brother Riyaz-ul-Islam, Tariq, me and some months old Bilal Nazki who later became Chief Justice of Orissa High Court visited Srinagar for the first time. We were given a house in Srinagar on exchange road which was occupied by great educationists and then Director of Education Government of Jammu and Kashmir Khaleef Abdul Hakeem who had migrated to a newly born State of Pakistan.
Q:- When did you start writing?
When I was an 8th class student and I wrote an article for “Mera Parcha” published by Jamia Millia Islamia. Dr. Zakir Hussain Sahib was the patron of this magazine. All the cultural activities in Srinagar those days were taking place in S.P. College and later in College for Women in Srinagar. After my matriculation when I reach to Shri Pratap College some of my writings had taken place in Daily Khidmat and in some insignificant journals of Delhi Aashiana, Mastana Jogi and weekly Chitra. The popular theme of my life has been Kashmir and Kashmiryat.
Q :- Who has inspired you in Radio and TV?
When I joined DD, my first programme was Yavuni, in which famous personalities like Najam Saqib, Girjha Kaul were featured. I started the first serial Sode Te Bodhe written by Sajood Salani. After that a serious serial Aab Semaab written by H K Bharti in which we introduced Tariq Javid and Zameer Ashaie. Then Farooq Masoodi’s Allaav turned to be the household name in the TV world. I was inspired by two people, one Somnath Sadhu and Pushkar Bhan. I still believe that Pushkar Bhan was a master in sound broadcasting. I remember when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon Pushkar Bhan created Machama in one night as a parody in which Rehman Gota, Sula Dada and Machama went to the moon. He was able to create such a sound aura that one would feel transported to the moon literally. It is he who has elevated Kashmiri drama to the extreme horizons of perfection. I wrote the famous radio programme Zoone Dab for 5 to 6 years and created a character and then performed him as Ramba for which I still believe was a masterstroke from my pen.
I have deep regrets for most of my TV programmes were damaged by my friends when I was on deputation. You cannot destroy a loving artist, you may damage his contribution but not him. I still have that bitterness beneath my breast how they damaged my hard work from archives.
Q :- What is your message for the readers?
I believe that Change is the eternal, nothing is permanent in life. If you want to be remembered for ages together, you have to be the representative of your race. I want to convey a simple message that is stay loyal to your art and be professional, develop habit to appreciate and stop being jealous.
Mushtaq B.Barq is a Columnist, Poet and Fiction Writer. He is the author of “Feeble prisoner, “ Wings of Love” and many translation works are credited to the author like “ Verses Of Wahab