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‘Dehleez’ by Dr Gulzar Ahmad Wani

‘Dehleez’ by Dr Gulzar Ahmad Wani
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Book Review

By: Rayees Ahmad Kumar

Dr Gulzar Ahmad Wani is a young litterateur hailing from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district who is silently moving ahead with his lovely and unique creations in Urdu. He is a Versatile and dynamic personality. He has authored many books on criticism. He is a poet, fiction writer as well as an essayist. He has already added a collection of essays “waadi imkaan” to the Urdu literature. ‘Dehleez’ is his second and recent collection of essays/inshaaya.

“Dehleez” a collection of twenty two inshaaya/ essays is spread over 128 pages. It’s cover page a mix of green and creamy colour is eye catching. It’s paper inside is of superior quality thus a reader and lover of Urdu literature considers it not less than a super gift while going through the pages of the book.

Dr Gulzar has dedicated this pretty collection to Dr Mohammad Ashraf who happens to be a well-known critic and a good writer. Akhtarul Iman’s poem “Jamood” on it’s page 4 has further beatified the book. In its foreword Dr Wani is of the view “writer has written these inshaaya/essays on different occasions but every title has wrapped many essays in its chest.

Thus a reader after going through these essays can think differently in order to reach a conclusion”. He has lauded the role of few people who really have helped him in compiling this book. Prominent among those are Dr Manzar Hussain, Ghulam Hassan Talib, Dr Ghulam Nabi Kumar, Sheikh Gulzar and his nephew Mir Parvez. In his comments about the book under the title “few words” Dr Manzar Hussain writes “It isn’t easy to write an inshaaya and to be an inshaaya nigaar but when we talk about Dr Gulzar Ahmad Wani, he is well versed in composing inshaaya and is a good inshaaya nigaar”. Dr Feroza Majeed says “reader of Dehleez not only reads a genre of literature but economic, social and political aspects of valley too get unveiled once he goes through the book”. Dr Mohammad Yaseen Ganie has written a long five page preface of the book in which he has deeply highlighted genra of inshaaya in literature.

He also has mentioned a dozen of popular inshaaya writers of country. About Dr Gulzar Ahmad Wani he writes “Dr Gulzar Wani deserves bigger applause not for writing this book Dehleez or he is author of twelve other books or he is a favourite student of Prof Fareed Parbati but for being torch bearer for the novice young Urdu writers”. Dr Ghulam Nabi Kumar has also written a page about this compilation. He says “Dr Wani is a dynamic litterateur who has proved his mettle in almost every genra of Urdu literature”.

The first inshaaya/essay of the book is Gubare/balloons on page 20. In this inshaaya Dr Gulzar has skilfully shown how adults play with the balloons the way kids play. Children play with the balloons by filling air into them and sometimes when the air is filled beyond the carrying capacity of the balloon, it bursts.

In the similar way man being too greedy for his material gains accumulates as much wealth as he can without caring for the paths of wealth gain. In another inshaaya/essay Chehra/Face on page 27 Dr Gulzar is of the view that the human face is like an open book. It displays our inner feelings and situations. Whether a person achieves success or he sails in a sinking ship, it is face which displays his feelings. Face can no longer hide his emotions and feelings.

Takiya/Cushion page 34, cushions have an utmost importance in our homes. Whenever a guest arrives, first of all the cushion is searched and decorated. In markets cushions of varied designs and brands are purchased for beautifying our rooms and homes. In another one Kursi/Chair on page 46, Dr Gulzar has highlighted the importance of chair in an educational institution or in other offices. How embarrassing it is, when a chair is lacking in the school.

He has cited an example of his own once workplace. Headmaster’s, Tehsildar’s and a barber’s every one’s chair has it’s own status and value. TV Antenna, this one on page 53 takes us back to our past times. When any movie or cricket match on old brand TV sets was enjoyed only at TV Antenna’s mercy. How cumbersome it was to set the antenna on rooftops to watch any serial or movie undisturbed.

On page 57 Bijli ki Ankh Macholi/ Hide and Seek of electricity is fully relevant to our modern day times. Though we have progressed in many fields and we are developing by leaps and bounds but still the lack of electricity particularly during icy-winters is displeasing us most. Calendar page 66, calendar is used everywhere in homes, offices, places of worship and in educational institutions. From first week of January till last day of year, calendar remains hanged on walls till its newer counterpart takes its charge and place. Our special occasions and functions are particularly mentioned on the calendars by pen marks.

Imtihan/Exam, this one beautifully crafted on page 70 explaining different exams a person undergoes in life. From a school going kid to an adult, every one faces exam on different times. Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail too had to face an exam, who passed it successfully thereby, pleasing their Lord.

Shaam/Evening on page 86 meticulously explaining about an evening event, when dwellers spread the curtains of the windows and birds in flocks turn back to their nests. Working class and government servants wait for the evening to be back to their homes. Dehleez/Doorstep on page 97, the title inshaaya of the book.

We spent huge amounts in building our homes. From base to its roof materials of different varieties are chosen to make our homes adorable. The doorsteps are also designed and constructed either by laying marbles or precious tite floor to make it good-looking. After a days hard work when we step back on our doorsteps we swiftly feel relaxed, energetic and potent.  In-fact the incoming guests too are welcomed at doorsteps and when they leave, we again accompany them to the doorsteps.

Namak/Salt on page 109 is one of the main ingredients of our cuisines. Our curries and tea can be tasteless if devoid of salt. ‘Namak halal and namak haram’ we often use to refer a faithful and disloyal person. Moreover, we use this special item during winters to overcome friction on icy and snowy roads.

Mehroomi/Deprivation is the last and 22nd of the collection. It is a broader word and many meanings are extracted whenever a listener hears the word mehroomi. Dr Gulzar Wani has brilliantly crafted this one also to please a reader and develop his literary taste.

While reading and going through “Dehleez” reader comes to know about the skills, expertise and creative potential of author. It is really a great contribution and a huge addition to the literary world of Urdu. I suggest every literature lover to go through the book especially Urdu scholars who can be benefited more by its varied contents.

(The author is a columnist and hails from Qazigund Kashmir)

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