(Mr. Syed Basharat, 29, was born in Kreeri, Baramulla, and did his schooling in Kreeri, and later in Uri and Sopore. He graduated from the Degree College in Baramulla and completed his Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Kashmir University in 2005. He has been a reporter for Kashmir Images, a Srinagar based daily, London based website Gaashonline.Com, and a Srinagar based journal, Globe. Currently, he is working as a special correspondent with Jammu based daily newspaper, The Kashmir Times.)
A tribute to Majboor
The inevitable was fast approaching. With every passing day, even the distant hope, that some of his relatives, friends and fans have had, of Ghulam Ali Majboor's recovery from the dreaded disease cancer, faded into eternity. Too obvious was it, that within days, if not hours, he would not be among us. All regular visitors to his house at Hanji Gund Wathoora in district Budgam prayed for the renowned humorist in their hearts, but were hesitant to even discuss his condition with others- as if they had already submitted to the divine will.
Born on December 17, 1952, Ghulam Ali Bhat pen name Majboor had a multifaceted personality. Besides being a teacher in department of education, he had carved a niche in prose, poetry, play writing, theatre, acting, and above all his hallmark satire, pun and comedy. Majboor was son of a legendary theatre actor during Maharaja's and Ghulam Moahmmad Bhakshi's ear. Majboor founded National Bhand Pather. One rarely saw him disturbed or agitated; in fact, he would manage to make others smile even during the most testing of times.
However, this was only one side of the picture. Majboor's close associate and colleague Talha Jehangir remembers him as an excellent team player, a legendary dramatist, theatre director and a script writer. "He remained positive even in the most adverse of situations. When we started our career in radio Kashmir in early 1980's, with the Programme Zafraan Zaar Late Lassa Koul was the station director. We continued with this programme without any break upto 2004. It was broadcasted thrice in a month and then it became a weekly programme on satire," Jehangir said.
It was only after Jehangir was transferred mysteriously, Majboor left the programme in protest. Later the programme came to a standstill for a long time. What pinches Jehangir a renowned stage director and broadcaster, is that Majboor's potential was not recognized during his lifetime. "He was not recognised during his life. To me he passed away as an unsung hero," Jehangir observed.
Most of the stage artists who know Majboor complain that his work for radio Kashmir went unnoticed and was not recognised as per its worth. Coupled with his gracious nature, pleasant behaviour, team spirit and creativity made Majboor a popular figure among dramatist and stage actors of Kashmir.
Valley being a conflict torn land, the main casualty of this decades old trouble is the culture of Kashmir. Majboor was a renowned artist of Bhand Pather, the celebrated and one of the oldest folk theatre forms in the subcontinent. He headed the National Bhand Theatre which he got affiliated with the Sangeet Natak Academy since 1989. Folk theatre survived these testing times and the credit goes to Majboor, believes a cross section of artists in Kashmir. He was the icon of folk theatre. After the renowned folk artist Mohammad Subhan Bhagat, it was Majboor who worked for the survival and sustenance of Kashmir's traditional heritage. He wrote for 40 years for Radio, television, and stage thus serving both Urdu and Kashmiri language, said Jehangir.
He also served the cultural wing of the education department after which he was deputed to the state's academy of art culture and languages as an artist. His essays have been published by the cultural academy in its monthly number Sheeraza. He was columnist for Sangarmal a Kashmiri weekly and Urdu weekly Khabr-o-Nazar.
Remembering his creativity, Jehangir says that Majboor had introduced many effects in stage drama for which he would be remembered for time to come. A senior journalist and Majboor's friend says that the sad demise of the renowned dramatist created a cultural vacuum in Kashmir. "He will be remembered for his sense of humour, witticism and creativity in the annals of Kashmir's cultural history," said the journalist.
In the artistic and intellectual class, Majboor would be remembered for his anti establishment scripts which were aired by a government run platform. "He would criticise the government policies in a different way. Majboor would make people smile, while he was fighting for his own life," the journalist added.