Prem Nath Premi
Pt. Prem Nath Premi, a well known writer of Kashmir, was born in Srinagar on 29th September, 1929 to a family of humble means. He
had a strong urge to study which enabled him to obtain Master's degree in
several subjects. He was a linguist, having excellent command over many
languages like English, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and Persian – in addition to
his mother-tongue Kashmiri. As a result, his writings (prose as well as
poetry) are available in many languages. Besides, he also had the knack of
expressing his feelings through brushstrokes of colour on canvass. Even
today some of his paintings adorn the walls of schools/buildings in
which he worked as an illustrious educationist.
Sh. Premi started writing regularly from the age of fifteen. He began his
literary journey by writing Urdu poetry, followed by a foray into Kashmiri -
his mother tongue. It was not long before he joined the ranks of frontline
Kashmiri writers, as a result of which he was chosen as one of the poets for
study in the curriculum of Kashmiri language courses run by Kashmir
University. His forte is poetry, which can be divided into Serious,
Satirical and Lyrical poems. His lyrics are simple, sweet and
full of melody, which can be further divided into romantic Ghazals and
devotional Leelas. Many of his lyrics were put to tune by Radio Kashmir, while
some of his Leelas like SUR-MATI SARF-GOSANE are sung in religious
congregations. Not only that, some of his lyrics virtually attained the status
of folk songs right in his lifetime. Songs like WATHI YAMBERZAL, THAL RUVEE
LATIYE and NEND KARNE NEROO KASHKARO are sung by farmers while working in
their paddy fields.
Well known Kashmiri writer Pt. Moti Lal Saqi comments thus in his anthology of
Kashmiri writers "GASHIR" about his poetry:
"An outstanding feature of Premi Ji’s poetry is that his voice is the
voice of a commoner-an ordinary farmer or worker. When a majority of
Kashmiri poets switched over to AZAD–NAZM (Free Verse), inspired by
Western trends - Premi Ji stuck to his guns and continued to write in
his inimitable style. His lyrics have the style of folk-songs. In fact, he
attempted to maintain the form of folk-songs while, at the same time, adding
the vibrant colours of life to the same - and he did succeed in his efforts
to a great extent. This peculiarity segregates him from the rest of the lot
and gives him a distinct place of honour. It is by no means an easy job to
attain such distinction by adopting folk-style. Many a mighty warrior lick
dust while attempting to do so. But Premi ji was neither disillusioned nor
did he stumble at any time during his soujorn. Premi ji filled our literary
coffers not only with Serious literature, but also with Humorous and
Satirical writings. His satire is healthy and heart-warming. This
(satire) unveils the ugly and dark face of the society and reveals ironies
of life to us."
Famous Kashmiri scholar Dr. Mohiuddin Hajini writes about him:
"Premi belongs to a class of writers that believes in the
chastity language, sincerity of purpose and (above all) a charming depiction
of human emotions and ambitions."
In addition to writing , Premi ji took an active part in the propagation of
literature in the valley. He was actively associated with a number of
literary and socio-cultural organizations. He received accolades/awards for
his creativity and organizational work from various institutions and
organizations within and outside the valley. After retiring from service, he
settled at Faridabad (near Delhi). He continued his activities here as well.
During this period his Epic in Hindi, namely PRAYASCHIT, was published -
courtesy Haryana Sahitya Academy, which was well received in literary circles.
This Epic is a mirror of his social and spiritual leanings and ideology.
It was a sad day on the horizon of Kashmiri literature when, on 19th
October, 2000 this illustrious man of letters breathed his last in his adopted