I was born and brought up in New Delhi, the capital city of India and hence, my association with Kashmir was limited to the school holidays spent in my native house during childhood. Its very natural when you have limited access to your roots, your fondness for it grows in multi folds , mine was no less.
I’m not an expert on the subject but I truly believe that the language of heart plays a major role in defining any native place’s art and culture.
The valley was once known for the romance that blossomed in Shammi Kapoor’s Kashmir Ki Kali, the mesmerising beauty of Chinar trees, the music of river Jhelum, imperial art-craft, and illustrious literary writers, all seems to be now in a state of oblivion.
For those who think or believe that Kashmir is now a disturbed volatile and restless city, this brief post is a humble attempt to bring back fond memories of the place.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive the valley in a true character of what it used to be.
Language is an important part of any culture. People of Kashmir, both Hindus & Muslims, speak Kosher- the language derived from Indo–Aryan and Central Asian-Persian dialect.
The popular Wanvun, Rouff define the soul of cultural music & dance in Kashmir. Koushur sufinana music too is heart-warming. The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir valley, performed by men of the Wattal region.
Besides ‘Kashmiri Cuisine’ that I have already covered in detail in my previous posts, the culture of Kashmir is also popular for the spiritual gurus and great poets. Eminent amongst those were Lel Ded, Shiekh–ul-Alamand many more. The Valley is often regarded as ‘Peer Vaer’ (land of spiritual gurus).
Kashmir offers a colossal range of handcrafted items such as Kashmir carpets, Pashmina Shawls, Walnut wood carving, Chain Stitching, Paper Machie, Crewel, Namdh, Phoolkari, Basohli Paintings, Calico Paintings and Ladakh Carpets.
It’s sad that this royalty and magnificence of the trade is suffering on account of political and cross border tremors. Local fashion with a modern flavour would do wonders to the local trade and the artisan community in the valley.
Indian Fashion designers have been using a lot of Kashmir fabrics in producing their product lines. Ariwork on woollen shawls is popular amongst all age groups. India’s very own designer Naeem Khan took this fabric to a higher scale when he dressed Michelle Obama in Kashmir’s cocktail dress for a Cuban event.
Gunjan & Rahul, acclaimed designer-duohave done shows to promote Kashmir and its art forms. We need more such talented designers from our country to promote the regional culture than to just let it fade away.
It’s interesting to note that there are lot of portals nowadays showcasing art forms and product lines that promote handicrafts & handlooms from various parts of India, one of them is Kashmir Box.
Kashmir Box helps local artisans and entrepreneurs to showcase and promote their products to the world.
The other is www.thekashmiremporium.com
The Valley is known for its multi-coloured shades in segments of art, literature, and craft. In the past few years of turbulence in Kashmir it has majorly dented the tourism, culture, artisans and trade. Its vital to restore the heritage before its lost and gone.
In spite of various measures being taken by Government of J&K to promote travel, art & culture, it’s still not enough. As per some recent figures published (source internet files) about the valley, there are about 2.5 lakh artisans in the state that depend on handicrafts for their livelihood. The valley needs more sales and business for trade to get a boost and provide basic life & amenities to people.
Our endeavour as responsible natives of the country, public figures and eminent personalities should be to depict and promote the valley in the light it was popularly known for and reconstruct the image that once world cherished.
The Spotlight today is on two such personalities who are taking a step further as responsible natives of the valley to promote art & culture of the state with a quest to not let the valley be forgotten in the by lanes of past but to be relevant and still known as famously quoted by Mughal Emperor Jahangir “Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here.”
In the Spotlight, We have Hussain from Iras Enterprises.
Hussain of Iras Eneterprises
Kashmir Handicrafts and apparels has been his ancestral business. Taken over by his forefathers, Hussain plans to take forward his native cultural heritage across the length and breadth of the world.
He has been working with more than 50 artisans catering to different product lines like Pashmina Shawls, Carpets, Namdhas, Kashmir apparels and Paper Machine items.
His store under the name ‘Iras Enterprises’ is located in Karan Nagar in Srinagar and also has two more stores in New Delhi’s-NCR at prime locations.
However he still loves to carry his mass (products) and sell it direct to home.The rationale is loud and clear; he says “Royalty needs attention and care that one gets utmost in doing a sales pitch at home that’s undisturbed and far away from regular sales pitch in a store”. He has been serving customers for the past 4 decades and enjoys his fan following.
Come let’s take the spirit of this man forward to nurture the heritage of the Valley and artisans of Kashmir.
Spread the word “Pick your piece of Art; for Magnificence is handcrafted and priceless.”
Book your order with
Srinagar, Kashmir India Showroom
7, Miracco shopping Arcade
Headquarter: KaranNagar, Srinagar 190010
New Delhi, India Showroom:
214-A, Basement, Vinobhapuri, Lajpat Nagar II, New Delhi 110024
C5/501, Pranayam, Sector 812-815, Faridabad, Haryana -121004
Spotlight on Literary Work on Kashmir’s Lel Ded
Dynamics of Lal-Vakh and Upanishads; Revealed By O.N. Kaul
Foreword about the Author of book “Dynamics of Lal- Vakh and Upanishads.
Shri OmkarNath Kaul Born in 1938 A.D. at BaghJogi Lanker Rainawari in Srinagar (Kashmir), served as a dutiful officer in the Department of Economics and Statistics and later in the planning department of Himachal Pradesh, India for over three decades. His research papers published in government publications were appreciated by planners, scholars and the student community. He was moved by the verses of Lalishowari called in Kashmiri dialect as Vakh-0 Yogini of Kashmir whose verses depict the technique she followed in raising her consciousness to Super Consciousness and then ultimately to cosmic consciousness. These techniques appeared similar to Kriya Yoga techniques he was following as Kriyaban being disciple of Sri Sri Parramhansa Yogananda and the line of his gurus. This inspired him to interpret these verses (vakh) called LalVakh in the right perspective so that a seeker of truth can feel delighted.
If you wish to read more about the great poetess of Kashmir Lel Ded and her poetry inspired from Kriya Yoga an Upanishadic philosophy of life.
Order a copy directly from the author on the following mail address.
Shri. O.N. Kaul
Mail: [email protected]
Spread a word about the book and the author; support the cause of restoring the lost face of the valley.
Promote Kashmir Natives pieces of Craft and Literary Art.
Disclaimer:Recommendations are purely based on the author’s source bank, one on one interviews, interest sources. The Author or the website doesn’t hold any responsibility of the commercial sales done on these sites.