Balraj Bakshi: Poet, highly regarded writer – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Balraj Bakshi, a household name in literary circles has transcended fame not just from J&K but has crossed borders. He has faced turbulent times and bitter struggle in his life since his childhood days. The traumatic days at the time of the partition of British India and the violence that erupted afterward impacted her life when her parents were evacuated from her ancestral home. home and transferred to a refugee camp where he was born. A series of events, including the tragic and untimely demise of her father, impacted her sensitive young mind and personality. His mother was left on her own and eventually became a public school teacher, who raised him. He remembers composing poetry at the age of fifteen when he was in 6th grade and since then there is no looking back. He exhibited his talent as a writer, journalist, literary critic, writer, translator and producer of documentaries, soap operas, music albums for Doordarshan. He writes with equal fluency in Hindi, English, Dogri and Urdu, but it is his works written in Urdu that have largely earned him worldwide recognition. He has been associated with many newspapers and literary magazines. No wonder he has been awarded by Urdu Academies in Bihar and U. P, in addition to the government of J&K for his outstanding contribution to literature. Although ailing for some time, he is still full of energy and spirit of life and agreed to be interviewed at his residence in Udhampur. Here are excerpts from his interview with writer and poet Ashok Sharma.
AS: Tell readers something about your childhood.
BB: My parents were evacuated on a plane from Dakota when the town of Poonch was besieged by Pakistani forces in 1947. The Indian government threw the evacuees into hastily set up refugee camps at Nagrota, Simbal, Miran Sahib, etc on the outskirts of Jammu city. and out of state too. I was born in one of these refugee tents in Nagrota (Jammu) on December 7, 1949.
My mind still has memories of a four/five year old child housed in a large compound of a house near the only ‘Serai’ at the beginning of the ‘dhakki’ down to the Holy Devika stream in Udhampur. There were four or five rooms in which my parents with my younger brother Ashok, my maternal grandparents, maternal uncle VishwaNath and my two maternal aunts with their families were housed. They had separate kitchens.
AS: How did you develop an interest in writing?
BB: My father, Kirpa Ram Bakshi, a police sub-inspector died in 1957 when I was only nine years old. My mother Smt. Ram Pyari Sharma used to cherish memories of my father like his rank stars, uniform, breeches, belt and other things and wept bitterly with me and my younger brother sitting beside him in a total misunderstanding. We were oblivious to his anguish and pain. A notebook was also one of my father’s treasured possessions in which my father used to write popular movie songs of that era and bhajans in Urdu language. Because my mother could read and write Urdu, Hindi and Gurmukhi, she often recited these songs and poems to us which left an indelible impression on my mind. Since my Urdu curriculum books also contained Urdu poetry, I developed an inclination for Urdu poetry.
AS: What are the main literary works published by you?
BB: I published a collection of short stories in Urdu called “EIK BOOND ZINDAGI”, the only publication in J&K State which was awarded by two Urdu academies, those of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. “Aasaniyat”, a collection/dictionary of Urdu verbs and nouns that I published in 2021, is the very first book on the subject in the Indian subcontinent. “Aasaniyat – 2”, was also released. I also published “Mitti Kay Mausam”, a collection of my poems. ‘Zaaviye’, a book on criticism was also published. Three other books are in press.
BB: I was a member of the advisory panel constituted by SahityaAkademy, New Delhi for the translation award for the year 2014. I was a member of the advisory panel constituted by SahityaAkademy, New Delhi for the translation award for the year 2014. year 2017. I remained a member of the advisory panel of J&K Cultural Academy for Translation Award in Urdu for the year 2019. I completed an intensive 3-week training course on translation run by the Central Institute Indian languages ​​of Mysore, J&K’s very first Urdu language. I am registered in the National Register of Translators maintained by the National Translation Mission (Ministry of HRD), Mysore. I translated a Dogri novel ‘Qaidi’ into Urdu, a project entrusted by Sahitya Academy, New Delhi in 2012. The book was published in 2015. I did various translation projects for J&K Academy of Arts, Culture & Languages. I also translated part of the ‘Jammu & Kashmir Police Manual’ into Urdu, for the Jammu & Kashmir Police Department.
AS: In view of all this academic activity, you must be highly educated in Urdu language and literature.
BB: No. In fact, I studied Urdu until 10th class, after which I opted for the science stream.
AS: It’s really strange. How did you excel in Urdu language and literature?
BB: I was addicted to reading. This is how I learned Urdu. I was also an avid listener of All India Radio, Radio Lahore and BBC Urdu Urdu service and learned a lot from them.
AS: Tell us, have you collaborated with literary reviews in India or abroad?
BB: As an Urdu poet and short story writer, my first short story in Urdu titled “Chandni ka Dhuaan” was published in “Shair” Mumbai in 1969. Since then, I have published extensively in Urdu magazines of fame and eminence. national and international. My short stories have been published in Chahaar Su and Savera, Urdu magazines from Pakistan. I have been reciting poetry in All India Urdu Mushaira for 26 years. I also recited poetry for the AIR Foreign Service. I have written dozens of critical appraisal articles on GopiChandNarang, Baani, ChanderBhanKhayaal, FSEijaz, Manto, Krishan Kumar Toor, Shakeel-ur-Rehman, and dozens of literary research and short story articles, which have been published in prestigious Urdu magazines of India and Pakistan like, Shair, Tehreek, SabRas, AajKal, Sabaque Urdu, IntesaabAalami, NayaVaraq, Tehreer-e-Nau, AhadNaama, Chaharsu and many more.
AS: How is modern life different from life in the past?
BB: There is nothing new in this world. All emotions, all situations, all relationships are as old as this universe. Same attachments, same jealousies, same rivalries, same selfishness. There’s nothing new. What we call new is actually an extension of the old. It may seem new to me, but in fact it is only me who is new. The rest of the world is quite old. But you can’t go back in time. Whatever the consequences, you must welcome the times to come. There is no point in being nostalgic for times past.
AS: In your opinion, what is the status of literary production at J&K?
BB: In Urdu, Abdul Ghani Sheikh from Laddakh, Noor Shah and Vehshi Sayeed from Srinagar, Junaid Jazib, Zanfar Khokhar from Rajouri, Girdhari Lal Khayal from Jammu are promising fiction writers. Liaqat Jaffery, Irfan Aarif and Alamdar Adam de Poonch are very good poets.
AS: An important question. Why didn’t you write in Dogri?
BB: I wrote a lot of songs in Dogri. In fact, one of my Dogrisong is a hit that has been raging for 15 years. The song is: Imblishakhatti hi,
Timbrushatikhi hi
Khandu kola mithhi hi,
Okudijehdijaaniach
Hi Saariraatnachi.
AS: What do you think is the future of creative writing in J&K?
BB: You can’t write if you don’t inculcate the habit of reading. You must study world literature voraciously to set your literary priorities. Unfortunately, no one likes to read.