Prof. Khalid Akbar,
This volume is dedicated to all speakers of Pahari language. It is of course, fascinating slim new volume of Dr. Saghir khan who is essentially known to have excellent skill and potential as an essayist, caricaturist, travelogue writer, researcher and columnist. Dr.
Saghir has already penned down ten publications; however ‘kadu Sawal Hosi’[when the budding morrow will set in] is his second poetic work. It consists of eighty three Gghazals.
Pahari is an ancient language belonging to Indo-Aryan family of languages. Pahari is spoken in Kashmir, Himachal Pardesh and some areas of Pakistan. According to statistics, there are more than four million speakers of this language in Kashmir. It is the largest south Asian language in Britain. To the minimum, it is medium of expression of more than ten million Kashmiri inhabitants residing in United Kingdom. Dr. Saghir is basically professor of Urdu currently serving at Boys Post Graduate College Rawalakot Azad Kashmir. He has proven himself as a great scholar and true son of soil in terms of documenting and resurrecting a marginalized vernacular Pahari which had a little considerable written literary capital. Dr. Khan has already written and compiled the ‘ Folk Pahari Songs’, ‘ Pahari Proverbs’ and ‘Folk Tales’ of Pahari in three volumes which is, in essence, pretty unique endeavor and great repertoire of research for the language scholars. However, the under reviewed offering is his second collection of Pahari poetry.
The title of the book is revolutionary. Is there something in terms of the title of his latest collection? Seen in isolation, it doesn’t seem to indicate anything beyond personal fascination with ‘ kadu Sawal Hosi’. Perhaps, the slavery and denial of right of self- determination of this ex- princely state of subcontinent which haunts everyone in Kashmir, hangs out khan too. But in the context, of his entire volumes spread over ten
books, Saghir sees to be stressing this point intensively expressing this perception of life at large.
If we see his poetry deeply, we find that he has stitched together in this slender volume all sorts of subjects in this resilient genre, the Ghazal. This book of poetry is crafted with complete poetic attributes. It has rhythm, balance, aesthetic control and imagery.
Before the advent of Dr. Saghir khan in the realm of Pahari, the poetry in this vernacular was limited to the themes of light caricaturing and jeering. His chief contribution in this regard is to demonstrate that Pahari, though marginalized, is capable of giving expression to the serious themes of life.
The metrical composition of Dr.’s Poetry is superb. He has mostly used disyllabic words; however, we find monosyllabic words too in greater number. The number of syllables coming in most of the lines is ten to fourteen thus creating a beautiful balance and poise.
Similarly, we have many euphonic words which are very soothing to ears. The tone of his Ghazals is formal and vigorous. In the method of the development of his work, we find argumentation, persuasion and description. His style is earnest, colloquial and pensive.
The use of connotative lexis carrying freshness, adds profound meanings. He has had all local colors, shades, hues and unique thought patterns adding the worth of his work. Undeniably, he is the sole most powerful voice to grace the world of Pahari with his immortal works and his latest offering reinforces his stature as a thinking poet with
classical thought of expression. Another thread running is local shades and hues, as his experiences are locally specific. He talks of basic human feelings and sensibilities. His work has serenity, grace, dignity, thrown in for good measure. There is subtlety, poise, and elegance that provide the largest canvas of collective living experiences of the rustic
inhabitants living in this Himalian region with emotional intensity. But to express it with finesse is the real hall mark of Saghir. In nutshell, he has had all local colors, shades, hues and unique thought patterns adding the worth of his work. Take for example,’kitab nai parna loug’[people don’t read book ] ‘Oho Thata karna’ [He is cutting joke], ‘Jiha Bunjosa’[As Bunjosa is] , Jadu Bhaar Ani,[As the spring sets in],
Loq Sada Akh Jaa nai’ [ people are not same forever], Shait Ishaq Nii [ perhaps, it is not love]. These are all about nature, love, scenic beauty, apathy and essential sensibilities of the rural folk living in the mountains. They strike local chord with the audience and therein resides their real worth.
Though Ghazal has been khan‘s preferred medium of expression in this collection, but it carries the features of Nazms too. His previous volume ‘Diawa Balana Raha’ has also blend of all modes of expression. The main thing stands out that he never stumbles below the bench mark he has set for himself. Regardless of the subjects, he chooses to
himself, regardless of the form, he chooses to deal with; he showed great skills and excellence in this regard. His wording soaked in the local tradition. He has continuity, cohesiveness and compactness .Therefore, in my humble opinion, if he tries his poetic
knack in Nazms too, he could demonstrate his versifying worth more expressively.
The readers may have biases to deal with his poetry especially in the backdrop of popular preferentialism towards English and Urdu –and in many ways justified so. Only time will decide the worth of Dr. Saghir khan. As things stand today, he would surely get nation wide acclaim and acceptance sooner or later. Grave efforts are being launched
globally under the umbrella of UNO to resurrect all local languages of the world by empowering them. When it happens, it will add many feathers in his cap and enhance Dr. Saghir’s stature dramatically.
(The author is Assistant professor in Post Gradate Boys College Rawalakot. Email:[email protected])