Name of the book : Door Pahan Dewaaran Manz
Author : Shahnaz Rasheed
From the beginning Shahnaz sings of nature in his poetry. Through the language of nature, the poet portrays the existential darkness and light in a universal mould. In the artistry of moulding and mixing sweet and sour reflections of Kashmir using all the natural elements, living or non-living, he is unmatched and unparalleled in Kashmiri language. He recollects his segregated friends who had dreams and who would listen to the chirping of birds with him. Sometimes twinkling stars seem the holes of the sky to the poet. Shahnaz and his zoon (moon) are inseparable. If one is soul, the other is body. He comes down heavily on those inhuman beings who see wounds of others and brush them aside terming their warp and woes just a show.
He wants some visionary to assess the gloom and bloom of the moon in right perspective with reference to human life:
kam nazar aasi, yithai maa aasess/zooni heund daag numaayish baasaan.
Shahnaz gives teary eyes to the window. Every door reflects the sign of ‘Waiting’. The boat capsizes repeatedly. Scars give the definition of the wounds, pain, and pathos. The eyes are dreamless. Spring air is full of cries and sighs. Conscience is selling in the market. The poet questions how we can define the blooming seasons as the treasure of richness when these are full of sobs, sorrows, and dying dreams:
zakhman vothaan kraale, na cheshmov haraan tchi khaab/kath sonth tchukh vanaan, tcha karaan kath bahaar naav.
There is an astounding piece of creativity on page 41 of the book. Shahnaz requests for merging his stains with the stains of others.
The climax is that the poet asks if anybody has any space in his frame of stains so that all the stains are collaged and fused. He sees water in the flow of stains but predicts that the oozing might be somebody’s tears rolling down to wash his hem. The first stanza of this poem unfolds beauty.
The poet gives virtue to those who have stained existence by crafting a radiating sun in their ugliness and attributes this positivity for their hidden virtuous deeds:
dapaan tamis tchu gahaan aaftab daagan manz/tas aasi tchoori bihith kanh sawaab daagan manz
Sahnaz makes borders cheerful by the flight of a pair of Indian cuckoo but expressing displeasure on the uncertainty he kills them in the evening. He is shocked on the devastation of nature and ecology in the name of advancement. He is agonized on seeing the precious books eaten up by the worms. Shahnaz calls himself Kashmir whose blood is sold in the market. ‘Why to memorise the stars and the moon to those who have no ventilators or latticed windows’ he questions.
He censures himself for lighting lamps where there is no human movement. Shahnaz’s multi-dimensional romantic endeavour speaks volumes like creating the scene of a rainy day with his beloved having no umbrella:
yami doh chaatas naar lajaav/rood pewaan oas tami doh sakh
‘Why the bridge was burnt and the boat broken, I could narrate if you, the river, will stop’ is narrative of mental torture the poet is going through. He sees breaking of pitchers daily but no trace of any potsherd.
Time is unaware about the sufferings of those who sustained thousands of allegations.
The poet conveys there are a spinning wheel and the oil in the lamp. He requests to send Pashmina as his mother is living with him:
mae tchu teel tchangis ta yandras tchu pan ti/tcha pashmina sozum mae tchi maaji hen ti
A marvellous couplet that touches the historical and socio-religious strings devastates some fixations fed by many. The couplet is not an allegation but a complaint arising from a sensitive heart that is human. The pricking of a thorn is understandable but pricking of a rose is tormenting. Trust is slipping. Treachery is in vogue:
chhokh log ta tameuk tchum na gham, afsoos yutai yot/ kaen aayi tami tarfa yapare ase yiwaan gul
Alleging the marketing of established icons and philosophies Shahnaz admits that we have reduced Nund Rishi and Lal Ded to advertisements. The shining footprints give sometimes the clue of lost caravans.
He memorises those palatial houses, which had raised balconies. He believes the whole city has the knowledge of the level of their greatness who once lived in these buildings. Shahnaz wants to convey to them that nobody reminds them but the bridge is still existent. Infusing hope he tells everything is not finished yet:
tamis wan tchui na watan saani shahra kanh ti vutchaan/tcha vanzi toti sawaaras kadal tchu mojood
Shahnaz’s poetic language is cohesive, rhythmic, and understandable. There is no superfluous word. The title of the book is thought-provoking. The title poem mirrors the fire of the jungle unknown.
Ugliness and beauty are the two attributes of a person and of the draught of Kashmir. Flowers and bloodshed run together. There is nakedness. There is culture. There is free nature. There are walls. There is winter devoid of flowers but there is spring full of vegetations also. Away from all the mundane compulsions Shahnaz wants a day to let the roads go unnoticed and spend a night away from the maddening crowd:
kuni doh karhav sadkov nishi yim pade aazaad/raatha kadhav door pahan dewaran manz
In a nazam gaasha toofaan the poet prays for more and more of dense mist as in light nothing is visible because he has lost his home, his compound and his existence. yali baashan naash tchu sapdaan is a saga of unfortunate schoolchildren who are lying in the graves but the poet says that pen, book, copy, lunchbox or schoolbag neither die nor can be killed:
yi tchaa shaaph, ya tchaa pazar tee/yi tchashmov vutchaan tchus/makaanan andar tchaa dazaan tsange/kina maqbaran petth/shamah zalmaete varisov sham waqtan.
Cheers to Shahnaz for giving due share to those who live in exile for last thirty years. This poetic calibre with creative acumen makes the poet great. Impartiality of the poets, whosoever, makes poetry only political but representing every section marks the level of a poetic heart.