Songs of season and society

Dr Rajnath Bhat
Pa:N tsa:dar is a collection of ghazals, poems and songs authored/ sung by ‘Premi Kashmiri’-the poet romantic. He is in love with nature, with the toiling masses, with his profession and with his deity that he worships.
In his ghazals he maintains a rhythmic-style that make his songs and poems worthy to sing. He employs people-friendy vocabulary in order to enable an ordinary villager appreciate his emotion.
In one of his ghazals, he invites his beloved saying that he (the beloved) must arrive because the poet in his eagerness to see him has put on special ‘apron’ to meet him. At another place, Premi compares his beloved to a fresh rose and tells him that he has grown beyond his youthful days waiting for him. Premi is in love with his ishtadeva (personal god) whom he begs to come to him.
Premi has not only expressed his love for and his own preparedness to meet his ‘beloved’ but he has also sung words of praise for the enchanting beauty of his village. Premi dislikes disloyal and insincere people. At one place he writes: the dishonest people borrow and tend to forget the timely help.
Premi praises the youthful persons who do their hair well and take care of their personal hygiene as ‘youth of extraordinary beauty who are talked about across the town/village’.
In one of his ghazals he laments that truth has been throttled in the society whereas falsehood has attained a higher pedestal.
In a song Premi expresses his deep love and pathos for the toiling masses who after day’s toil, go to sleep in a cramped space along with their kids but the unpredictable weather disturbs their sleep as a heavy down-pour wakes them up, since their roof has pores through which rain-drops drench their sleeping space. It is a song that in addition to reflecting the toilers’ want and hard-work, also reflects Premi’s love for the changing season of his native place.
In a long poem eulogising Taj Mahal at Agra as a symbol of eternal love, Premi praises the king who built this monument in memory of his deceased wife. In his poem Premi reads the mind of the ruler and says that he desired people to remember their fondness and love for each other years after they are no more around on earth.
Ru:dI jariye (flashes of rain) is a memorable poem included in pa:N tsa:dar (blanket of water) collection. Says the poet: the streams and rivers are roaring, the pits on the ground are full, even the irrigating veins of the vegetable gardens have become full,the soothing music of the falling rain is adding to our pleasure.
Premi has authored Vakh-s (sentences) too. These are four-liners, devotional creations with a philosophical bent. In one such ‘vakh’ Premi admires or suggests that depriving oneself of food (fasting) is a mode of training for the mind to learn to be patient. One can search for god’s grace only after fasting, says he. One must dedicate one’s body and mind to the deity, it is only then that some awakening will happen.
On death, the poet is straight and realistic. Upon someone’s death, people assemble and remark that the deceased was fated to die at this juncture. The people around express their view that the mortal-remains must be taken to the cremation ground lest it gets late! Death is a certainty of life which cannot be delayed. One who is born is destined to die. The mortal-remains must be cremated ceremoniously at the earliest, the dearest ones say.
One can notice that the poet in Premi is a multi-demensional personality. He is knowledgeable and rooted. He appreciates the thought of constructing a monument to immortalise the then King’s ‘love’ for the queen; he admires blossoming flowers, flowing rivers and streams, falling rain and its musicality; on top of it all, he describes death as the final bell that nature rings into the being and the mortal-remains are swiftly carried to the cremation ground.
(The author is a Professor at Banaras Hindu University)