May 20, 2012

“Shureiw Mureiw Teherai…”

…the call to rejoice ‘Teher’

“Shureiw Mureiw Teherai”… This verse line in Kashmiri may seem to be very trivial at first but these are the lovely magical words that used to magnetize a stampede of overwhelmingly uptight crowd, consisting of desperate kids, men, women or any riffraff stroller passing by. These words for rejoicing the modest treat of Kashmiri fried rice, commonly called as Teher, used to be a temptation call from decades. Alas from the last few years it declined to resonate in the streets of Kashmir with the same vivacious fervor.

On scrutinizing the stanza lexically, it becomes clear that Shuir in Kashmiri means kids and Teher means the fried rice. And thus the call is openly inviting kids for the treat but funnily enough everyone on hearing the call despite of the age, sex, color,(I am not sure about the religion here) throngs the doorstep originating the invitation call. The ages old custom of preparing Teher at home and then distributing it on the streets to the people passing by was a wellspring of brotherhood or I should say a symbol of Kashmiriyat. A trivial attempt in tracing back the roots of the cult of Teher in Kashmir reveals that the culture started as a part of religious sanctity, with people of faith participating vivaciously in thanksgiving. But the religious certainty of this blissful culture failed to convince my wisdom since there are other colossal controversial beliefs regarding the same as well. Some sects are supporting it with good reasons like charity and thanksgiving where as others come up with their arguable refusals. Whatever is its precision, it has developed all the way long into a fully flourished custom in Kashmir and that’s a fact.

The memoirs of Shureiw Mureiw Teherai are not very old. I vividly remember when I was a kid, the call used to stimulate the adrenaline rush in me and others alike. The caller, typically a crier Kashmiri woman, used to step out of her home with a big cauldron of freshly prepared ‘Teher’ and  then  started calling people in an earsplitting Kashmiri tone…Shureiw Mureiw Teherai. The devotees on hearing the tangy call appeared before the caller with their bare hands open, as if in supplication, and enjoyed the Teher with their naked hands while the others used to run for their respective homes for bringing containers to collect their share. Well the recipe was not carrying any magical ingredient as such; nevertheless the relief it used to provide to the people passing by is far admirable. Plus the way the call used to attract the crowd is remarkable. It felt like the preparer of the Teher has put some magical elixir to attract the crowd much the same way as the storybook pied piper tuned to magnetize all the petite rats along.

Despite of so much enthusiasm and highly enthralling involvement, the custom is somewhat losing its edge. Rightly said that time changes, so do we and hence did the custom of Teher. The high brows, considering it a meager job to distribute Teher on their doorway, have devised other more modern methods of thanksgiving. They find it as an orthodox custom not suiting their “modern” standards. As a result nowadays we rarely hear the call of “Shureiw Mureiw Teherai”.  But luckily enough there are some special occasions like Muharram and Eid-e-milad(SAW) when there  is a maximum prospect of Teher in Kashmir. In addition people mostly cook out Teher as a thanksgiving for any casual good news as for someone’s wellbeing. Hilariously someone passing the extremely hard-fought examination of 8th or 10th standard also counts for one good reason of preparing Teher in Kashmir. Well that’s enough to a make a cat laugh…Ha-ha.

Although the custom of Teher is diminishing to iota but the memoirs entangled with it are worth not less than gold. So next time you hear the reverberations of “Shureiw Mureiw Teherai” in Srinagar streets, better stop and rejoice the tangy appetizing Teher. May be the good old days of your childhood will get revitalized.

Author: - Abdul Wajid Parray, Engineering Student, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra Haryana.

May 2, 2012

Bow-wow …The Rousing Barks!

Bow-wow!! Bow-wow!! As these barking sounds are reverberating endlessly in the Srinagar streets, the peril created by the voracious barkers is the only keyword enthralling the length and breadth of every news-daily in Kashmir. These four-legged canines that are considered faithful elsewhere, are giving a tough time for the poor two-legged riffraff commuters in Kashmir…shame on Greedy dogs. 

As an add-on to this ironically rueful happening I would like to share a jolly but heedful experience. A few days back I joyously started a dog count while riding the pillion on my brother’s bike. To my amazement I found a whooping count of over 700 dogs, only from Broadway to Soura SKIMS, a distance of not more than 10 Km thereby gauging the ratio to 70 dogs per Km, minus all those I missed. It was presenting the scenario of an indefinite curfew declared by the stray dogs. This na├»ve figure although a doodle should act a food for thought for the concerned authorities who are still catching Z’s in their rest rooms with their eyes shut, unaware of the dog spread that has already turned into a threat.

Freshly there have been myriad episodes in which the dog menace has crossed every possibility of tolerance by a sane mind. I feel it needless to mention all the bloodcurdling statistics caused by these life-threatening newsy ruffians that are already flooding as the news figures. Eye brows are being raised in this regard and thousands of questions are being fired where as finding a decent solution seems to be a far cry. Well cooked theories, opinions and agendas presenting various therapies, rehabilitations, and some hilarious pied piper stories have been drafted by the various sections as a remedy for this menace. All of them have successfully captivated the title of newsworthiness alas nothing seems to be operational in realism. I am sorry these ideas won’t bring any good to us unless we don’t start on our own.

A smart attempt in cracking this enigma will be scrutinizing the root-cause of this nuisance. And the main reason for the over population of stray dogs that clicks my wisdom is the mammoth heap of the garbage and rubbish that is engulfing the so called “beautiful Srinagar”. On the similar lines if we revisit the following great saying we may get a hint:

“Aangan e naad  chu karaan hoeen
Bayou mei kun tuih shin tou  
Yem ye wow teim tee loon
Hoon chuo dapaan wow wow wow”

This eye-opening stanza by Sheikh-ul-Alam (R.A) translates into following lines: 

 “The dogs in the yard are calling
Lo! Brothers lend me your ear
You reap what you sow
The dog says bow wow bow wow”

Well this was the opinion presented by a legendary long-headed mentor decades ago. The same message stands before us worth pondering with one single difference that dogs nowadays bark less and bite more. But the eye-opening revelation answers all the questions that have popped-up because of the present dog menace in Kashmir. The lines clearly elucidate the verity “You reap what you sow”. And surely yes the dog menace we are presently suffering from is the result of our own actions. So any other reason for this bungling gets underrated. It’s only us who ignorantly started throwing waste here and there, we transformed public places into garbage dumps, and it’s again us who murdered our environment by emptying our trash bins in our neighborhood. And consequently we invited these tail wagging creatures to breed and multiply in our lap.

Poisoning all the dogs may be a short term solution to get a good riddance and a good revenge too but we need to think in longer terms. And the only mantra that will work is keeping our surroundings clean. We need to understand the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene. At the same time the concerned authorities are expected to take proper actions and educate the masses about the same.

Verily God has created every form of life with a purpose and a proper balance must be maintained to make the process of nature spotless. The nature by no means acts against the human development. It’s only our ignorance and voraciousness that brings us at the receiving end. And this dog menace is a Frankenstein that we have invented by our own dirty hands and now we have to face the storm.

Lastly I hope my effort redrafts the opinion of this newsy doggy issue and I look forward for some rapid action. Else we need to cast another hope of Sheikh-ul-Alam (R.A) revising his opinion about dogs.