Archive for the 'poetry from the film' Category

Thrissur screening / August 29th 2013 / 5.30 pm

flower_girl_tourist.jpgJashn-e-Azadi is again travelling to Thrissur, Kerala, as part of Kashmir – Before Our Eyes package which will screen on August 29, 30, and 31 at the Kerala Sahitya Academy, Changampuzha Hall. The travelling event has been curated by Ajay Raina and Pankaj Rishi Kumar for FD Zone, Mumbai, and organised by Films Division Thrissur Zone, Naz Media, and Thrissur Chalchitrakendram.


[ blog flash 9 : Nashik ]

“D for Documentary” is a relatively recent effort to regularly screen documentaries in Nashik city, initiated by our old and indefatigable friends, Abhivyakti Media for Development. Taking advantage of the Pune screening the previous day, a break-neck bus ride (accompanied by the relentless idiocy of the soundtrack of the Hindi film Bhagam-Bhag on the mandatory video screen) led Jashn-e-Azadi to a preview hosted by Abhivyakti on June 13th, 2007, at the very compact and well-made Municipal Hall named after the great musician Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar in central Nashik. Advance notice of the screening had been carried in some of the local Marathi papers, and a film about the idea of Azadi in Kashmir, should surely have attracted some critical attention in a city with a strong Shiv Sena presence…

One gratifying general observation: most people who are not regular documentary viewers, and who turn up for a screening of Jashn-e-Azadi, are taken aback by the idea of a documentary that runs to 2 hours and 19 minutes. But like has been the case elsewhere in our previews, the Nashik audience too stayed, and to the end, and many stayed for the Q&A as well. At least two people in the audience who identified themselves as RSS people, asked the usual questions about the “genocide of Kashmiri Pandits” and the “Islamic terrorism” in the valley. To their credit, the answers they received seemed to genuinely surprise them. (The fact that there are at least 4000 Kashmiri pandits still living and working with reasonable dignity in Kashmir; the fact that whatever the labels they may carry, the armed militants do draw emotional and sentimental – if not material – support in the Kashmir valley, even today.) Even if viewing the film may not have transformed their views on Kashmir completely, or even substantially, our friends from the RSS did seem a little puzzled…

Most gratifying was the tremendous response to the poetry in the film, and one gentleman who was very keen to know how quickly we could come up with a Hindi version of the film, admitted that translating the Kashmiri poems of Zarif Ahmed ‘Zarif’ and Pyare ‘Hatash’ would be an intimidating task.

[ what frenzy is this? ]

(Un)expectedly, in all the conversation of (and about) the film, blog mistri thinks the poetry in the film is being silenced. The film–in at least six places–uses poetry to break through its narrative, trying to comprehend unfreedom’s everyday face, holding a dusty old mirror onto the distorted faces of power. A mirror painstakingly made–
I smeared the glass with blood to make mirrors/My image – a stranger…
This refusal to hear the poetic, allowing the rhetorical discourse of power politics to re-establish its dominance over the viewing experience, is tragic.

One could even say that the horror and banality of unfreedom in Kashmir is not in the body count, or the secret war of fear, but in not allowing the ambiguous attempts to hold onto ‘significance’ to seep into the streets of our body. But then, only when you can control and forcibly clarify meaning for all, can you enslave… And thus at some level, attempts to construct a ‘grand narrative’ of right and wrong in Kashmir, which many seem to be doing on the blog and elsewhere, without letting the poets embarass this design, goes on to stuff Kashmir back into the coffins.


I just received images of the screening in Srinagar’s Tagore Hall and was happy to see Zarif Ahmed ‘Zarif’, one of the poet disrupters of the ‘narrative whodunit’ of the film, standing in front of the films poster. So I am re-posting one of his poems … and this time before sifting voyeuristically through all the juicy abuses we have attracted, let Zarif hand you a map of a city of love…

(trivia) : When the poem was posted earlier, it attracted just one comment >>
Rohit on Mar 2nd, 2007 at 11:47 am
Voilence breeds voilence. You sowed it and now reap it.)


Daem phuit chi gaemits myaen nazar
yoot matsar kyah?
mei rov labith lol shahar
yoot matsar kyah?

My gaze has been silenced
What frenzy is this?
I lost the city of love I’d found,
What frenzy is this?


Poozai karaan aes gaemits vaens me tsayen
aeyov ti mei ma vuch na sahar
yoot matsar kyah?

I worshipped shadows all my life
Did I alone miss the arrival of the dawn
What frenzy is this?

Mei khoon mailith sheesha patyan aaene baneyvim
aeseena panin paana khabar
yoot matsar kyah?

I smeared the glass with blood to make mirrors
My image – a stranger
What frenzy is this?


Mei togh na parun kya chu leekhit posh deewaran
kael gaem tavay laen ashar
yoot matsar kyah?

I couldn’t read the writing on floral walls
my lines of fate turned mute
What frenzy is this?


Sukrath me ahsaan karith gav ne, galath cha?
tyem myan hisukh chav na zahar
yoot matsar kyah?

Socrates did me no favour in leaving
I shouldn’t be saying this, but he didn’t drink my share of poison
What frenzy is this?


Mei rov labith lol shahar
yoot matsar kyah?
daem phuit chi gaemits myaen nazar
yoot matsar kyah?

I’ve lost the city of love I’d found,
What frenzy is this
My gaze has been silenced
What frenzy is this?

Poem by Zarif Ahmed ‘Zarif’, Srinagar, Kashmir

[ poetry ] Loss

Aes bayo naeb nishanae rov
Kaet tsarav panun, thikanae rov
Thael thael yath aes vaens vuchan
Tath purni kuluph makanae rov

So brothers our address is lost
Where do we look for our own, that place is lost
What we gazed upon with love all our years
That shelter is locked, our home is lost

Haal Village
Haal Village | Autumn 2004

Kas kharav taem gatkaruk rah
Dum phut gae, vaeh, bahanae rov
Tsengis gath dith zajaov paan
Patay gatt zool gav, parvanaye rov

Who for that darkness do we blame?
Stifled, alas, that reason is lost
Fluttering around the lamp, burnt ourselves
Darkness fell, the moth is lost

Kar yi pheerith su vond vushnaer
Vand ratsan hund yaaranae rov
Sombrith bas aes akh partit
Voth banas thann, khazanae rov

When will return that heart-warmth?
The intimacy of winter nights is lost
All we’d garnered was one faith
Lidless our pots, the treasure is lost

Srinagar | Winter 2005

Aekhir gayre yaelle noon chond drav
Dai zaanan, kaemsana vanay rov
Yus tsaenan aus paghuk raz
Sui darvesh, mastaney rov

At the last, when we leave with nothing
God knows, what places were lost
The one who knew tomorrow’s secrets
That dervish, that mad seer is lost

Piarey ‘Hatash’, Kashmiri poet, Jammu

Jashn-e-Azadi is available through various online outlets like amazon

You can now buy a DVD of the film, or Download it and watch
More than two years in the making, Jashn-e-azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom], is a feature length documentary by film-maker Sanjay Kak which explores the implications of the struggle for Azadi, for freedom, in the Kashmir valley.

Click here to watch the Trailer

As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it's Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

And here is a short Interview with the film-maker.

This Jashn-e-Azadi blog is an open forum for conversations about the film, about Kashmir, and about Azadi itself.

For more information about screenings, sales and broadcast write to


For dispatches from the present

Voices of protest can be found here or call you from here

Stone in my hand

In the season of solutions, the late Eqbal Ahmad's wise words have to be remembered

Kashmir blog has the best one line blog take on Kashmir - they call it paradise, I call it home.

Zarafshan is a Kashmiri blogger whose blog (and blogrolls) are "just ways of dispersing news, views and feelings!"

For a considered discussion on the vexed issue of Pandits in Kashmir see Kasheer. And for more on this Ephemeral Existence

And a discovery called Paradise Lost

RSS Kashmir via Greater Kashmir

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Festival screenings

May 26, 2008 / International Video Festival of Kerala
Apr 28, 2008 / Dok.Fest
Feb 10, 2008 / Himalaya Film Festival
Nov 28, 2007 / International Documentary Festival
Oct 12, 2007 / Film South Asia
July 22, 2007 / Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Previous Previews

7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
6 Dec 2007 / Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds
Egham, Surrey
3 Dec 2007 / Royal Holloway, University of London
New Delhi
26 Nov 2007 / Russian Centre of Science & Culture & Magic Lantern Foundation

New Jersey
Oct 5, 2007 / College of New Jersey
New York City
Oct 4, 2007 / Columbia School of Journalism
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
Sep 27, 2007 / University of Pennsylvania
New York State
Sep 26, 2007 / Vassar College
New York City
Sep 25, 2007 / New School for Social Research
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

Aug 10, 2007 / Pure Docs, Prasad Preview, Banjara Hills

interrupted previews!! [[ MUMBAI ...
July 27, 2007 (Fri)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi
July 30, 2007 (Mon)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Prithvi House, Juhu...]]

July 14, 2007 / Institute of Agrl. Technologies, Queens Road
July 13, 2007 / Centre for Film & Drama, Millers Road
June 13, 2007, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Hall
June 12, 2007, National Film Archive of India Auditorium
May 29, 2007, Blue Moon Hotel
May 26, 2007, Assam Club, Laban
May 12, 2007, Hindi Bhavan Hall
March 31, 2007, Tagore Hall
New Delhi
March 23, 2007, Sarai-CSDS
New Delhi
March 13, 2007, India Habitat Center



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