SONCHI SODUR – A collection of essays

Upender Ambardar
12The book titled “Sonchi Sodur” has been authored by the reputed Kashmiri poet and writer Shri Bal Krishen Sanyasi. It is a compilation of eight essays running into 304 pages, and has been written in Nastaliq Kashmiri.
The book is a compendium of meticulously written essays, which are rich in both, the content and the details. The thoughtfully included first write-up is about our mother tongue, Kashmiri, which the author regards as a vibrant socio-cultural marker of the society. The different features of the language, including its history and progression from the earlier times have also been explored in it. According to the author, the mother tongue – spoken as well as written, needs to be preserved and promoted as it represents both, the soul of an individual and the collective existence of the society.
“Falsafa, Nafsayaat Tae Adabpara” meaning “Philosophy, Psychology and Literary Genre” is the next essay in the book. It speaks of a common strand running between human psychology and the literature as a wide range of emotions portrayed in the literature like affection, ecstasy, love, grief, rage, and social concerns are bound by the psychological bearings. It is supplemented by the fact that some of the imminent therapists and psychologists happen to be creative writers and poets. Furthermore, the psychological study of literature is said to create a comprehensive picture in the reader’s mind.
The succeeding article is with the heading “Lal Vakhun Hund Nafsayati Aahung” meaning the “Psychological aspects of Lal Vaakhs”. The writer delves into the basal semblance between the psychology and the Vaakhs of Lal Daed, who is regarded as the supreme saint-poetess and finest exponent of the mystic poetic outpouring. The author traces a connect of psychology with that of poetry as both operate under realm of human mind, consciousness and sub-consciousness. It involves thinking, feelings and a whole set of mental process which eventually precipitates an appropriating emotional response among the readers. The employed symbols, images, metaphors, riddles and paradoxes, as per the writer, having roots in the unconscious become outlets of the deep and latent meanings both at the literal and the deeper symbolism level.
“Tasawuf”, is another incorporated essay. It is an Arabic word, meaning “Islamic mysticism”, generally known as Sufism. The write-up is centered upon the fundamentals of inwardness, discovery of the self, spiritual development, subjugation of the improper inclinations and ethereal enlightenment. It also speaks about keeping the body, the mind and the intellect pre-occupied in the unrestrained love for the supreme, so as to arouse the Divine conscious. The Sufi poetry as a meta-physical practice has immensely contributed to create a repertoire of spirituality related literature in Kashmiri.
The narrative with the heading “Sufi Poetry- An analysis”, explores the fundamentals of the inner feelings, the universality of love, spiritual love and the aspiration on the part of the seeker to relate it to the humanity at a deeper level. It also acquaints the reader about religious harmony, casting away of narrow minded rigidities and the polarity between the worldly love -“Ishaq-e-Majaji” and the love in the truest sense, meaning “Ishaq-e-Haqiqi”. It is also supplemented with the inclusion of appropriating accounts and notable couplets of the legendary Sufi poets – Soch Kraal, Shamas Faqeer, Rehman Dar, Ahmed Batwari, Nyama Sahab, Ahed Zargar, Samad Mir etc. This inclusion heightens the transcendental dimension of the written account.
The article titled “Leela poetry and its backdrop”, is another well written essay. The leela or the devotional poetry, as we know, is a reverential genre of the Kashmiri literature which connects us with the Divine. These poetic compositions, having a spiritual feeling and an element of surrender impacts the reader at the emotional, mental and insightful levels. It also facilitates a personal engagement with the Divine. The writer regards the pangs of longing and one’s quest for the transcendence as the defining elements of the devotional poetry; the main objective being the realization of the Absolute Supreme. The sequential details given in it apprises us about the indefinable charm and the devotional depth of the poetry of Lal Daed, Rupa Bhawani, Parmanand, Prakash Kurgami, Krishen Joo Razdan, Pt. Govind Koul, Bona Kak, Pt. Neelakant, Lakshman Razdan, Fazil Kashmiri, Master Zind Koul, Sarvanand Koul Premi, P N Koul Sayal etc.
The other essay “Kashmiri Leela Poetry after 1990” is like a time rewind as it explores its journey and development after the 1990 exodus of the community. It provides a first-hand glimpse of the textual details of the leela poetry and the poets who have contributed significantly to this literary form. The inclusion of selected couplets and their related illustrations add to the richness of the documented description. A host of present-day devotional poets are also notably mentioned in the narration, as they have also contributed their literary might to enrich the Leela poetry.
In the concluding write-up – “Kashmiri Nazam and its development” the author has recounted the characteristics, changing aspects and progression of Kashmiri Nazam, which includes its structural experiments as well. An honest effort has been made to document the details starting from Paramanand to the times of the modern nazam. The modern nazam starting with Mahjoor and Azad made further strides under the influence of then prevailing progressive moment. Its elaborate account and evocation also form a part of the narration.
Furthermore, the book also includes prologues written by reputed Kashmiri writers Dr. Shad Ramzan and Dr Ratan Talashi, who have acknowledged the sincere literary efforts put in by the author in writing this book. The author, Shri Sanyasi, is also a versatile poet, with three Kashmiri poetic collections and an opera to his credit. All these creative works have enjoyed all round applause and acclaim amongst the native literary circles.
The book is priced at Rs 400/- and has publishing address of 61-A, Basant Nagar, Roop Nagar, Jammu.
In plain speak, the book “Sonchi Sodur”, written by Shri Bal Krishen Sanaysi is lucidly written and exquisitely crafted literary work, which makes a compelling and an engrossing read. It is bound to be useful for both – the academic and the general readers, who will enjoy reading it.