Khowar Nama's Khaki No. – a reflection

Khowar Nama is a quarterly Khowar Magazine published in Chitral for the last one year under the sponsorship and editorialship of Mother Tongue Institute of Education and Research (MIER) to document the culture, traditions, values, folk and classical music, works and contribution of Chitrali artists. It has been an educational and cultural tradition of subcontinent, and present Pakistan; to give number to a magazine or journal in the name of a personality for their contribution to a culture and literature. By following this tradition even in Chitral Khowar Nama has valued a publication “Khaki No” to present a token of tribute to late Gul Nawaz Khaki for his contribution and services to the Khowar literature. Khowar Nama ‘Khaki No’ consists of 85 pages, divided into both Khowar and Urdu section. There are 24 known writers of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan both in Khowar and Urdu have penned to describe the life, personality, profession, outlook and contribution of Khaki to Kho culture, music, poetry, prose and language. It includes hymn of Holy prophet Muhammad (pbuh), two poems, classical song, excerpt from the books, letter, national song and four pages reserved for rare and historical pictures of Khaki; also elegy and condolence references of other devotees for Khaki. Although every writer’s description of Khaki’s personality requires a page to write about, however, this writer after utmost for brevity in 5 pages has written how Chitrali Writers and friends find Khaki. After the editorial note, in his Khowar article Dr. Inayatullah Faizi writes about Khaki and Taj Muhammad Figar’s friendship, fellow feeling with each other, and underlines the place of Khaki in his fellows on gatherings as lifeblood. According to his research Dr. Faizi entitles Khaki the ‘computer of Khowar’ because of his command on Khowar idioms. With concluding remarks in his article he terms the friendship of Khaki and Figar, was like ‘one soul in two bodies’. Khaki No.JPEGWhile writing about listening Khowar program in his hometown, curiosity of meeting with Khaki, Maula Nigah Nigah, writes the moment in ‘Azad Sarai’ Peshawar to see Khaki first time. He also adds Khaki’s key role in musical programs and other literary activities later in his company. Like Dr.Faizi he also notes about Khaki to sketch a background for a topic to speak on and using literal words from Khowar language, and also writes about his political affiliation with PPP without personal interests. Prof. Israruddin in start of his article writes that ‘human being thinks what but happens something else’. He writes in detail on Khaki’s early life, changing careers, command of Khowar language, his engagement with radio, his Khowar program, books, working an editor, and his political engagement. He also adds Khaki’s book ‘Mir Caravan’ on Jinnah as first book of prose in Khowar. ‘He started working as assistant editor in ‘Jamhur Islam’ magazine. In last days in the platform of Anjuman Tariqia Khowar he got reputation and adopted the title ‘Khaki’ this time’ he also adds. With concluding words he appeals for a welfare organisation to be formed for the treatment and support of people like Khaki in Chitral. Ustad Mukaram shah, pens a detailed description of his journey with other friends to Abbotabad in Khaki’s company, the enjoyment and bustle in a literal Khowar style. He also mentions of musical programs with Khaki, and a historical program of 1965, on which Iqbal uddin Sahr also writes in his article. Gul Murad Hasrat writes ‘soon after the death of every person his positives and negatives come into fore but a single negative word didn’t came into debate about Khaki’…‘his heart was clean like a glass, hence, never heart anybody in his whole life’. ‘He born in a dried land, kept it green by his voice of music, poetry; and watered dry desert of hearts’ he also adds. Hasrat attributes start of Khaki’s reputation with ‘Jamhur Islam’ magazine like Prof.Israruddin and Maula Nigah , and assigns the title of ‘Khowar dictionary’ to Khaki. ‘Khaki was the treasure of Khowar old literal words’ and he by ‘using old words in-use for their literal meanings, by using it in present day, for the word of same meaning (synonym), was creating a new term’ writes Muhammad Irfan Irfan in his article with respect to Khaki’s ingenuity in Khowar language. He also writes that Khaki’s poetry covers critique on society, mostly on political and social aspects. The close friend of Khaki, Taj Muhammad Figar writes the moments spent with Khaki, gatherings, enjoyments, travels and discussions with Khaki. He affirms that Khaki in his every work was unadulterated. He also sketches the story after naming of Khaki’s book ‘Sornik’, and wandering here and there in search of sornik flower for cover picture. And he concludes his article writing about some historical moments in the company of Khaki. In his unique poetic way of expression Zafar ullah Parwaz writes that Khaki’s ‘personality was an Institution (anjuman) and due to his innocent and Khudi he was attractive… Khaki spent life like a bird, and without being considerate about the kernel for tomorrow, not struggled to collect a single grain’. While referring to Shakespeare quote he says that ‘by doing a good role, Khaki passed away’. In his article, Ghulam Muhammad affirms that radio Pakistan Peshawar started Khowar Program on Nov 07, 1965. ‘Khaki by serving his rhythm (hango) sang old songs and composed others, regardless of financial benefit’ he adds. ‘The very reason of not getting enough benefit from Khaki in radio Pakistan was ‘the shortage of budget and people to accompany him’ he also adds. Khaki ‘because of his style was attractive for people’ Javeed Hayat Kakakhel writes in the beginning of his article ‘Khaki a glittering star of literature’. He writes of taking the guidance, learning some meticulous points of Khowar and Khaki’s support in the field of Khowar literature, since 1990s. Nasim Ahmad writing about Khaki in his article expresses his familial and friendly relation, and also his inclination towards Sufism. He also writes about Khaki’s father Sher Nawaz, under the command of Shahzada Burhanuddin fighting in independence war of Kashmir in 1948; and getting punishment on the naughty act of Khaki in childhood. He also notes deputing Khaki a Khowar language teacher to the Political agent of Malakand when he was the head constable in Ayun Thana. Shahzada Tanvir ulmulk in his article writes that it is a difficult task for me to encompass the versatile personality of Khaki. And quoting a pair of verses from Khaki’s poetry describes title of his article further how ‘an era passed’. He writes about his relationship with Khaki, turning into friendship, jest of Khaki; being simple, practical and prophet loving Muslim. Further writing about Khaki he quotes Khaki himself that he ‘as an artist, first time in the room of Fakhrul Mulk in Chato tek, had taken part in the enclosed musical program (Mailis)’. While writing about his suggestion about the name and prologue of Khaki’s book ‘Laghli Jafryad’, sitting along Dr.Faizi with Khaki, concludes his article. ‘In some homes people born, who sacrifice their personal works for the sake of common works. And the name of these peoples stay alive in this world…one among these peoples was Khaki, who sacrificed his whole life for the promotion of Khowar’ writes Farid Ahmad Raza in the prologue of his article. He also writes Khaki’s favour for phonetic style, his interest for making a dictionary for Khowar; his traditional and conservative credentials with regard to Khowar and being democratic in his outlook. Javeed Iqbal Javeed in his article writes about Khaki’s ‘Lash Doneli’ program in radio, which Khaki started in some 8 years ago. ‘In this program, Khaki expressed any discomfited word, metaphorically in the language of literature’ he adds. With regard to program , he also adds that Khaki have had some keywords, he used them during speaking and discussions; and like Farid A.Raza also writes his selfless approach for common good with reference to this program. While writing about designing Khowar curriculum, his group presentation and inclusion of Khaki among the known personalities of Chitral; and exclusion of his name with other personalities by the curriculum designing group on the reason of curriculum being not to be controversial in the hand of the critics in Chitral, Zahoor Ulhaq Danish in his article, notes the woe or displeasure of Khaki and quotes what khakhi had said in verbatim “was it my fault to be alive? What a mistake I did to be not passed on? Being respected had precondition to be late? Safi uddin Khaki in his article ‘my father’ writes about his father being a loving, friendly and a father never spoke for self at home. Writing much about his father’s domestic life, he also adds his political position, his name in serial number 46 in provincial list of PPP, and letter of Faizi to his father in his article. From PK-89 Saleem Khan MPA Chitral, expresses the literary, political services; and working of Khaki for the common good of the people of Chitral in his interview note. He also accounts that Toshi Hydro-electric power station (Gankorinio bijli ghar); Govt Degree College, Commerce College, and Radio station in Chitral were approved for construction on Khaki identification and suggestion. The newly elected MPA Syed Sardar Hussain in his interview also records the literary and political credentials of Khaki. He also expresses Khaki’s presentation of one hour long demands resolution to Z.A Bhutto on his first visit to Chitral. In his elegy Hassan Basri Hassan pays tribute to Khaki and covers the celebrated personality of Khaki. ‘he was experienced in the etiquettes of Khowar enclosed musical program (Mailis)…it was the advantage of Khaki’s Mailis, was giving life to everyone even the people uninterested to music … and he as an artist and singer were taking very care of the steps in singing’ writes another known artist of Chitral Iqbal uddin Sahr in his article about Khaki. He also writes that Khaki was lighthearted man, observed a simple unworldly life; and he was a person having devotion for his elders. In the Urdu section of magazine Dr. Faizi writes the last meeting with Khaki and recalling of past moments of worth remembering with Khaki. The ex-Principal college of Education Gilgit, Usman Ali in the prologue of his article writes briefly about the history, language and a unit of troops to conquer Gilgit. ‘He had a key contribution in every aspect of Khowar literature… ‘Wo Khowar Adab Ka Maula Tha’ (sic) he also adds. In the ending of his article he writes about his meeting in 1985 and 1989 with Khaki. ‘The real life is, one after his death sways on hearts, which Khaki has’ writes Abdul Khaliq Taj of Gilgit Baltistan in his article. He writes about listening of Khowar programs and music in radio in the company of his father in childhood, in which he names Gul Nawaz Khaki, Mohammad Hassan and Amir Gul Amir. ‘His name is among the founding members who etched on stone and he had a command on the nitty-gritty of poetry’ he also adds about Khaki in his article. The ex-MPA from PK-90 Zain Ulabidin in his article notes the political credentials of Khaki being an honest political worker; also mentions structural organisation and electing district president of the party in Chitral on Khaki’s suggestion. Khaki ‘was a journalist … a civil society member of Chitral having a valued-opinion’ he also remarks. Muhammad Yousuf Shahzad ,writing about Khaki remarks that ‘he was a man of loving the creatures of God, torchbearer in paying respect to humanity; and he was against societal injustices , cruelty , violence, economic exploitation and concentration of wealth’. While writing about his role in musical programs he says that Khaki ‘had been lifeblood in any program’ and also notes that Aga Khan Cultural Service provided financial support in publication of the two books of Khaki. Naqib Ullah Razi in his article writes that Khaki was ‘a distinguished poet and literati… most of the poets feel short of words, he had a treasure of (Khowar) words, feathering the bride to personify… Khaki with this respect was very wealthy, and it would to accurate to credit him a ‘dynamic encyclopedia of Khowar language’ and he also notes Khaki favour for phonetic style like Farid .A Raza. ‘We are the death-worshipper ‘Murda parast’ (sic) nation, after the death the qualities of a person come into our brusque notice… despite his stature of age and personality all and sundry thoughts him of his friend…this personality had already turned himself down to earth, hence his death made no difference for him but it was a big difference for us’ writes Prof.Mumtaz Hussain about the nature of the people of Chitral and personality of Gul Nawaz Khaki in his article. He also gives a good antithesis of being a Muslim with reference to Khaki religious belief of loving devotee of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); and comments on his voice, style and credentials of being a good speaker. He also terms Khaki a ‘Kul Waqti Adeeb’ (sic) in his article. Mohd Javeed Hayat notes in his article that Khaki ‘was a personality to be respected, a practical expression of old values, of good temperament, had a tongue of power, pen like a sword and voice of nightingale; gifted much to Khowar literature’. Fidai Mustafa Rahi remarks in his article about the meeting he had with Khaki, giving a pair of Iqbal’s verses for his book; his love for poetry, music, temperament; Sufism and describes people in his company having credentials of Sufism ethos. And he also expresses the love between creator and creature, its attraction makes life coming to an end for eternal life. Wajih uddin Ayuni writes about the literal works of Khaki, and underlines his political activities in detail particularly his speech and presentation of demands resolution. With concluding remarks in his article he does request to political and the people of literature to save the services of Khaki in all walks of life. In his article, Atta Hussain terms Khaki an ‘encyclopedia of Kho language and culture’. He also writes about the invitation of Khaki as a judge in a cultural exhibition of Aga Khan higher secondary school Kuragh; and also writes about his poetry, temperament and standing of elderly man of young heart. It is pertinent to mention here is that Abdul Khaliq Taj is a single writer from Gilgit, not from Chitral; has taken the name of Amir Gul Amir and Muhammad Hassan and has written about them glowing. M. Hassan is still among us with a voice of nightingale. We have almost forgotten a late- legendary poet, singer and Sitarnawaz, Amir Gul Amir: known as ‘nightingale of Chitral’. He was a trend-setter in classical music of Chitral of his time. After his death a distinguished poet and Sitarnawaz of Chitral; Chairman Shaukat Ali accounts his legendary sway in these words in a pairs of verses in his elegy: (translation) ‘had you spoken the way, in another language – you had been in equivalent standing of Dard and Galib’ Gul Nawaz Khaki was a legendary personality of Chitral, had penned 11 books according to Naqib Ullah Razi. His contribution to Khowar language, music, culture and history are invaluable asset for coming generation. After his study, Prof. Mumtaz Hussain substantiates the people of Chitral ‘Murda Parast Qawn’ (sic) or ‘death worshipper’ I would also courage to term Chitrali society as ‘Oracy-based Society’; and divulge what educated section of society in Chitral thinks is that ‘the manumission from the past identity is a key and a way forward for success in this world? The writer is a teacher and free lance journalist based in Chitral.]]>

16 Replies to “Khowar Nama's Khaki No. – a reflection”

  1. I’m very glad that, I got a chance to meet both the famous personalities of Chitral Gul Nawaz Khaki and Dr. Inayatullah Faizi, it was a very brief impressive interaction with amazing experience to preview the rich culture of Chitral, as it was reflecting from their golden words about exclusiveness, brotherhood, respect, tolerance, appreciation & love and it could not be sum up in few broken words.
    We are really proud of those who are contributing to keep our culture alive and must not forget those who have contributed well to sustain our cultural values. We would certainly appreciate the inputs of Alhaj Muhammed Khan to share with us the glimpses about the true legend of Chitral Gul Nawaz Khaki. I request, our sister Shumaila to share their comments / idea in constructive way rather than being irrational as it holds limited space and less value in today’s critics. We must stand together and respond to the cultural conflict; otherwise it would devastate our cultural values.

  2. @ the band who in disguise, talking about the tides rather to dive to see what is in the flowing water. i was thinking, hence , the writer has termed the Chitral society ‘Oracy-based Society’ . peoples of this nature like to talk on insignificant points, rather to study about what the writer has pointed out. it seems ridiculous that a commentator mentions a book,offers to a person who qualifies CSS and asks to consult for english improvement with his band. better it was to think before to write it.

  3. Erm. To be true your own English sounds pathetic. The sentence structure is disjoint and the flair is unappealing. Spent too much editing eh? For one, stop being personal and ruining this literary space.

  4. We are surprised to hear from Sajid Mansur that he is writing correct English. When president Bush was at the helm of affairs his spoken English was criticized in a number of instances by his critics that he was not following the rules prescribed in English Grammar. Alhaj has done a marvelous job and he should be encouraged, rather than being criticized.

  5. @Imaduddin Werkup
    I fully support my sister Shumaila Baig’s comments. I suggest my brother Alhaj to seek help from a book titled “Exploring the World of English” to improve his language. One should not hesitate to learn at any stage of his or her age. English is an alien and vast language and it is not the mother tongue of Mr. Alhaj, so he should not feel ashamed when someone points towards his weakness in his writing. I am ready to gift the book to my brother Alhaj. It is the meaning of a hadith that a Muslim should advise the same thing for his Muslim brother what he has chosen for himself. So I have found the book ideal for improvement of my language and today my accurate English writing and speaking is mainly due to this book, so i suggest my brother the same and offer the book cordially. Thanks.

  6. ‘Khaki No.’ of Khowar Nama, the anthology of prose and poetry attributing the eternal light of khowar literature and culture, Gul Nawaz Khaki, not only speaks volumes about the great poet’s noble character and meritorious services, but also unfolds the sincerity, devotion, cultural attachment and refined literary taste of the reverend writers of the booklet. They have resurrected the dulcet voiced melodist through their deep-felt admiration of him. And men of Khaki’s caliber , who live even after their demise , deserve no less appreciation; who deserve justice to be done with in all respects.
    Khaki’s name will ever be deemed venerated in khowar literary circle, what if his personality became known to some souls of the land after he departed from here; what if his enchanting voice springs regret of such late recognition…
    Alhaj brother’s effort to further immortalize the man of such versatile genius is indeed commendable.

    1. I was just going through this beautiful website. It’s so wonderful. Here I agree with Nasira Jabeen as she has rightly appreciated Alhaj Muhammad Khan for all his efforts to promote Khowar literature. For those girls who have criticized the writer must learn from Nasira Jabeen, as sometimes appreciation or criticism comes so spontaneously which one can not resist. Good job nasira, keep it up 🙂 wish you luck.

  7. Comments and critiques from others are certainly worth contemplating and at times even acting on, at some point you have to set them all aside. The real question you should be asking is what YOU think of your art rather than what other people think? If you happen to be one of those many who are guilty of looking to others for acknowledgement or approval rather than looking to yourself, then perhaps change up your agenda a tad and occasionally reflect on why you find this quest for acceptance so necessary. Your art is ultimately about you and your belief in it regardless of what anyone else has to say.You don’t need to care about other people’s observations and input in terms of understanding the overall impact, effect and appeal of your work, but after everyone’s had their say, your dedication, commitment and creative inspiration are all that really count.
    Its really nice!!!!
    “Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.. (Shannon L. Alder)
    _

  8. The passing away of our leading poet, author and singer, Gul Nawaz Khaki should be seen as irrecoverable loss to the local khowar culture and literature. Indeed it was more than a catastrophe. He was a loving person.
    Shumaila, he is a man who had passed CSS and you can dig that report about his success in the fast moving website. So contribute positively if you have; and kindly translate your own above comment into Angrazi. Well done Alhaj

  9. Dear Shumaila sister
    It would be better to give feedback to Alhaj Muhammad instead joking on him in an ironical term. Alhaj’s effort are really really praiseworthy. He has thrown light on an important topic; if you have command over this topic and your English is so superb please rectify him. Being an educated person it doesn’t suit you to give such statement in a social media. You might have said the glass is half full instead of half empty.I hope you will guide and share with us your knowledge in future.

  10. Thank you Alhaj for allotting your precious time and patience to write and present a comprehensive review of our humble effort “Khaki Number.” The fact that Khowar Nama enjoys readership in the circle of grooming intellectuals like you is nothing less than a tribute to the Risala. This really encourages our writers and the editorial board. Such feedback and analysis are desperately needed to improve the standard of the journal. Thank you Alhaj.

  11. Thank you Dr.sahab, Farid and Abdullah for your appreciations. @shaumaila i do respect your right to express and your claim of erudition. i should say like socrates ‘i know one thing for certain that i know nothing’ ‘i know you know you know i know’ .would it be not far better to underline sentences in this write-up to guide me for rectification in future? certainly it was. i would also request you to translate in verbatim your comment in Khowar ‘ae ma brar lu bo aham magam angrezia thay leche asus’ in english…

  12. A nice attempt to capture the contents of khakhi number in detail. I salute Alhaj Muhammad for his time and patience to do the commentary. In fact the writers of Chitral have a rich tradition of respecting their heroes in lifetime and afterwards. So we should avoid to term ourselves cynical or murdaparast. For us `half glass full` is enough. Kudos to MIER, the writers and chitraltoday.

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