A small interaction I had with a 20 year old “R” in IMHANS SMHS in which he revealed shocking facts of how he procured drugs and how he got hooked onto them. It is enough to shake every fragment of our conscience. (Had shared it previously on “WandeMagazine”)

R is a 20 year old student from Srinagar. As a kid he attended a local school and was one of the bright students in his class. When his mother wanted R study engineering, his father, who owns a shop, wanted their son to take responsibility of the store. To the dismay of his parents, R got hooked onto drugs and has been relapsing on it even after being treated for nearly 8 months now.

I met R in the hospital as a case of Heroin overdose. He was accompanied by his mother and a few friends. A day after…


When we were in school we were taught not to sit or befriend those who were weaker students than us. One of our famous professors would tell us that if we didn’t “study” we would end up being “dukandaars”. There were backbenchers and front seaters. When we could hardly differentiate a right from a wrong we had already been moulded into judging and discriminating between “them and us”, “doctor and dukandaar”, “superior and inferior”, “material prosperity and poverty”, we were initiated on a ‘Capitalist note’ and its profit driven definitions of right and wrong. Capitalism inspired education got us into…


The mosque served as a prominent platform for the freedom struggle during the Dogra rule in the early part of the 20th Century

Aali Masjid: Constructed in 1395 by Sultan Ali Shah (Zainul Abideen’s elder brother), the seventh Sultan of Kashmir. Mir Ali Shah Hamdani is believed to have bought the land and bestowed it on Ali Shah.

However, some historians believe that it was constructed in 1471 by Sultan Hassan Shah (as is mentioned on the history board outside the mosque, pic below).

It is the second biggest mosque in Kashmir after Jamia Masjid. It is a hypostyle mosque…


When the document of ‘Naya Kashmir’ was drafted it recognised Urdu, with Persian (Nastaliq) script, as the official language of Kashmir. The document in its section 48 dealt with the state languages and section 37 clearly mentioned that Urdu shall be the language of courts. After 1947, various political necessities asserted that Urdu shall be the official language, but English language shall continue to be the language of choice for official purposes.

In last 70 years, a large volume of literature, history and analyses have been produced in Urdu and English. These two languages have been taught at all levels…


A brief hisoty of “Kanger”

Kanger is a fire pot that Kashmiris use to keep warm in chilling winters. In Kashmiri literature Kanger is considered as one’s beloved. Moti Lal Saqi writes in praise of Kanger,

“Kashmir and Kanger are each others identification. Present the brazier anywhere and at anytime you identify Kashmir.”

The word ‘Kanger’ according to De Hultzseh seems to be derived from the word ‘Kasthangarika”. Auriel Stein also agrees that it is derived from the same word. Dr. W.F Elmslie, a well known missionary observed that the Kashmiris probably learnt its use from the Italians who accompanied…


“The use of the word can be traced back to twenty three centuries but the name seems far older.”

According to Auriel Stein, in his translation of Rajtaranghani, name ‘Kashmir’ is ancient and linguistic science can furnish no clue to its origin nor to analyse its formation. The ‘mystical’ legend that has been popular for years is that the region was a mythological lake called ‘Satisar’ which was drained by meditation of a sage called Kashyapa, hence Kashyap-Mar (The abode of Kashyap) evolved over centuries to assume the current form, Kashmir. The story however is only of mythological importance.

Another origin to the name could be from fusion of two words,’ ‘Ka’ meaning water and ‘Samira’ meaning wind, or…


Interview of Faiz Ahmad Faiz with Kashmiri journalist Shameem Ahmad Shameem, I was looking for an English translation but couldn’t find it, so I translated it myself. A beautiful interaction of Shameem Sahab with the humble Faiz.

This is the about 18th February, what a beautiful night it was. I, along with my hosts, Meer Qayum, Meer Manan and Amanullaah Khan was going towards the house my inspiration, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Faiz had informed us about the address to his place and Qayum Sahab was driving his car towards the destination as if he had sensed my restlessness and was…


This is list of the couplets falsely ascribed to Allama Iqbal. Unfortunately some of them have become synonymous to him. I have written them in Roman script as well because they are usually forwarded on WhatsApp, Facebook etc in this alphabet. Iqbal has possibly the largest number of mis-ascribed or falsely ascribed couplets to. Kindly stop sharing them in his name.

تندیٔ باد مخالف سے نہ گھبرا اے عقاب

یہ تو چلتی ہے تجھے اونچا اڑانے کے لیے

(Tund- e baad-i mukhalif se na gabra ae utaab

Ye to chalti hai tujhe udane ke liye)

This couplet is wrongly attributed…


It is said that military of Maharaja installed a cannon on the roof of Pathar Masjid to blown up Shahi Hamdan shrine, which is situated across the Jhelum. However, an influential Pandit, Birbal Dhar, intervened into the matter and saved the shrine.

Pathar Masjid (Mosque made of stone) had been a political and spiritual centre after it was re-opened in 1930s, decades after its use as a granary cum storehouse. The mosque was built by the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, daughter of Itmad-ud-Daula (vazir of Akbar), Empress Nur Jahan in year 1623 C.E. under the supervision of Mughal…


The true speech is the one that is not institutionalised. The true self is the one which is not subjectified. The true language is that of breaking free.

Language as freedom:

The essence of human ego is its ‘will to choose’ and ‘will to express’ and hence the beginning and end of all philosophy is freedom. According to F.W.J Schelling, “The thought of making freedom the sum and substance of Philosophy has emancipated the human spirit in all its relationships and has given to science in all its parts a more powerful reorientation than any earlier revolution. To expound upon…

Khan Khawar Achakzai

An idiosyncratic scribbler!

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