BY AUTAR MOTA
Sethaa Pathhaa kaalie akh vassie samandhar
Sati Hundh ouss Athh Nakhaa Loall Maaleun
Tavaai assis vanaan saari satisar
Kohuss pyath Baal Teintalein Thhoangein Pyaath
Basaan Tappa Reish Soaraan Dayya Naav Har Dham
( Lines from Opera Vitasta By Dina Nath Naadim )
This land of ours , A vast lake in ancient times,
With sati’s adorable homeland nearby .
And for this reason also known as SATISAR,
On peaks and mountain tops around the lake ,
Lived venerating Rishis meditating day and night.
Navreh is a welcome to soanth or the spring season of Kashmir. You have a blooming Kashmir in SOANTH. The Almonds ,Apricots and the Mustard fields. Mountain peaks reflecting snow.. Kashmiris would say goodbye to winter and welcome life with flowers everywhere .
For kashmiri Pandits , it is celebrated as the first day of 5000 year old SAPT RISHI LUNAR Calendar . Kashmiri Pandit children would generally put on new clothes. Apart from this, the day would begin with BUTHH VUCHHUN Ritual. Once you got up from the bed in the morning , Mothers or elders would ask you to first see a plateful of rice with a photograph of family deity ,Almanac ( Jantri ), coin ,pen , Yemberzal or narcissus flowers , walnuts , curd , milk and a herb ( Vaai Gandir ) . Looking at this THAALI or PLATE was a must immediately after getting up in the morning . It is considered auspicious for the family . The Plate or Thaali is kept at a central place in the house . The ritual of filling the thaali or plate with so many items is called THAAL BHARUN.
A somewhat similar festival called NAVROAZ is also celebrated since ancient times in IRAN and parts of Central Asia, Caucasus and Northwestern China. Novroaz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Iranian calendar. Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Navroaz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. The ritual of Thaal Bharun or filling of the plate by kashmiri Pandits is somewhat similar to the Iranian ritual of Haft Sin.
Gates of Akbar’s Hari Parbat fort in Srinagar, Kashmir are and accordingly people go inside the Qila( Fort ) apart from visiting Badaam Vaari , Sharika Temple, Makhdoom sahib’s Ziyarat and Gurudwara Chhati Paadshaahi. Is it so now?
Agar Doahan Assi Hisaab Bozuv,
Doah Yimay Aiss Evaan Sonteik,
Shuhul Havaa Ous Hanth Bremijin,
Vachhuss Divaan Sar Te Daal Maraan,
Bepuchh Bahaaruss Harud Vanaan Aous,
‘Kapas Vovithh Chha Badan Valaan Khaah’ ,
Mushuk Valith Aav Vaav Sountuk,
Yimav Qadam Kaed garav Neubar,
Tim Na Aayee Phirithh,
Na Tchhaend Soantan .
( Farooq Nazki lines from Poem Naad laayeiy or I shall call you back )
Should we revisit our days gone by ?
Spring would visit us similarly.
This spring breeze would frolic similarly
With the bosom of flowering buds .
As usual Autumn would envy
and satirically tell to unreliable spring .
“ Earth does not Use the apparel should it grow cotton”
Bathed in Perfume ,
The spring has once again come this way ,
To spread its colours .
Alas! Those who stepped out of their homes and hearths ,
Did neither return,
Nor did this spring seek their whereabouts .
Autar Mota is a blogger and writes for local and national papers and journals