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A  Tribute to the Literary Legend

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Sultan Ganaie

By Manzoor Narvaw Walla

The literary era of poetry in Kashmir phase out from ‘’ Vakhs”(four line couplet style) of Lalleswari ,whose mystic and ascetic verses are practically on every Kashmiri’s lips, commonly known as “Nightin-gale’’ of Kashmir . Downhill to Sheikh-Noorud-Din (Nund Rishi): Patron saint of Kashmir who modernized the Kashmiri Language, Habba  Khatoon, ”Abdul  Ahad  Azad ‘’mostly preferred as the “John Keats’’ of Kashmir and is pioneer of modernist movement , ”Zinda  Kaul ‘’ (Master-Ji) the first poet of Kashmir to win the ‘’Sahitya Academy Award” in 1965 for ‘’Sumran’’, Dina Nath  Nadim , Gani Miskeen , ‘’Mahjoor” so called as ‘’Words- Worth” of Kashmir and many more legends associated with the Literary Canon who contributed a lot to Kashmiri Literature.

Likewise many other prominent bards who chipped-in a lot to Kashmiri Culture and Literature but are still unknown to the people having rich Literary taste. “Ganaie  Sultan”, a big Wheel of versatile intellect and achievements, first poet of “Narvaw’’ region in North Kashmir’s District Baramulla who gained for modern era a permanent place on the Literary map. Even though his geniture and expiration date is not known but is still a believed and beloved bard whose verses are at every one’s finger tips. He lived in ‘’Zogiyar”, a posh hamlet under the foot-hills of Pirpanjal range of sky kissing mighty Himalayas, situated nearly seven kilometers  in west of Baramulla, one kilometer away from Sheeri. A Shepherd by profession Ganaie  Sultan remained mostly unknown outside of  the Valley. Due to some catchy reasons that, this region exhibited not even a single person having rich sense of Literary Concept could jot down his verses and unfortunately which lead vaporization of most of his flamboyant verses. Apart from poetic nature he rose to the unparallel heights of saint-hood and innate spirituality that invalids came to him for amulets and personal benefits. His works are posthumously published in one of a magazine ‘’Bazm-Adab  Narvaw”  which  was published annually under the patronage of  Mr “Saliq  Bilal’’ (Fatehgarh) with the editorial cell of  Intellects , Versifier’s ,Writer’s  and Poet’s of  Narvaw Valley. The entire editorial cell at full throttle mustered the courage and left no stone unturned to recollect his verses to pen them down before they were buried irretrievably under the sands of time. These poems were sung by the indigenous people of Narvaw valley while planting paddy in the fields.

“Bazm-Adab Narvaw” is truly the beacon light that painted ‘’Ganie  Sultan”  in proper colours. By reading his verses one can really feel that he has come to life. Among his notable Poems published in Kashmiri language in the first print of the mentioned magazine are as;  “Pish-Nama” which is written in dialogue form between a Flea and Head lice with a series of question’s and answer’s.


Another Poem under the title of ‘’Haaw  Deedar  Baab  Gafuro” has an allegorical significance in the sense that , the Poet is provoking “ Baba Gafur’’( A Sufi Saint entombed on the shore of River Jhelum in Peeeniyan twelve kilometers in the west of Baramulla) to flash the slight view of his reflection and enchanting him  solemnly by praising words of sublimity.


Kad te Haajat mang  hye  shukooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Bab Gufooro Haa myaane peroo

Haav Deedar Bab Gufooro

Chukh che panay sarkar aali

Chaane darbar kah go ne khaali

Rome tye Shaam  chukh mashooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Chukh behit  Che lab daryawas

Jaaye rat tham goshan hawawas

Treish hut chus praran ranjooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Posh baagan phalmit lal zar

Che shooban kumbye mukhtehar

Shola  maaran lal kandooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Roz choonie khotmut pur zar

Che shooban mokhtin jaalar

Che bolaan kamlye kastooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Che tche zaatan ditmut shaanye

Manz peeran trowuth thaanaye

Chukh dedwaan dar kasheero

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Manz peeran roodukh tchaaye

Chus wulmut chaaniye maaye

Yut che waatan jantich hooro

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro

Yim Haajat Ganaie Sultanas

Che tche dasgah maqsad paanas

Tat wasalat kerzam zururo

Haaw Deedar Bab Gufooro


Merciful be, O’ Obliged!

A rendezvous set, Baba Ghafoor!

Baba Ghafoor, my dear mentor,

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

A kind spectre thou art:

None leaves unanswered thy threshold;

East to west thou art praised;

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

Beside Jhelum buried thou art:

A place pristine is thy home;

Deserted, lonely waiting I am,

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

The land around here has blossomed full;

The minarets sparkle like a garland of pearls,

And swing like earrings of shimmering beads!

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

Out stands thy chosen spot,

Refulgent thy fenced grave;

Melodiously birds around chant;

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

Stature so high God has bestowed thee:

Peernia thy domicile thee chose;

Holy saint of Kashmir thou art;

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

Under veil thou remained in Peernia:

From places far off people came to thy threshold;

Lost am I in thy love;

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

Answers Ganaie Sultan seeks,

Thy kindness can respond them all;

On the day of recompense, must thee come to my rescue!

A rendezvous set, you O’ Baba Ghafoor!

In a ballad “ Yaaro  Mei Chu Amaar Chun” the Poet precisely illustrates his Love and devotion towards his beloved.


Atti rozith kur kath taro

Yaro me chu amaar choon

Yaro yaro yare be aaro

Yaro me chu amaar choon

Tann kunne aayakh haa madanwaro

Yann me osum baguk bahaar

Doh darr goam ty win kut laaro

Yaro me chu amaar choon

Ashkun tundrye osum grazaanie

Haagur zun zaani su yus chu damdaar

Tan meen bichthan busray naaro

Yaro me chu amaar choon

Ashkin teer laaytham kaetya be tchaalye

Ber ber chee zeher hilaalye saith

Jigras meenis go paar paarye

Yaro me chu amaar choon

Haa Ganaie Sultan chee wana zaaro

Daad chaane goas bemaro buey

Bal haa chanay akke Deedar

Yaro me chu amaar choon


Dwelling there we came to commune

Oh’ my dear, I’m in love with you

Dear, dear oh Unempathetic dear love

My dear, I’m in love with you

Dear love, why didn’t you come to see me,

When I was in full bloom?

Where would I go now, my day is spent?

My dear, I’m in love with you!

My love’s furnace was hot!

But only the brave can endure the pain like mine.

You’ve blazed my being into embers,

Dear love, I ‘m in love with you!

Arrows of love, how many will I bear,

Venomous each one, pierced my heart through?

Dear love, I’m in love with you!

This Ganie Sultan is singing his pain:

Thy love has made me sick!

Only thy rendezvous with me can make me live!

My Love, I’m in love with you!


The residents of Gantamulla Village in Narvaw valley were educationally sound since earlier, and got jobs in government departments. The people from this village had no agricultural land for rice cultivation, as rice is staple food of the people of this region in Kashmir. Gantamulla people would lend money to the citizens of the other villages of Narvaw Valley, as early in the beginning of the yielding season, and at the time of harvest they would get the rice at low rates which they earlier had paid for. The Poet Sultan Ganaie had spoken rhetoric verses for the Gantamulla residents. He ridiculed the illegal practice of exploitation, and intelligently portrayed pathetic condition of the people of rest of the villages of Narvaw Valley.

‘Gud Gantmulkiyo Tum Hye Drago

 Hardaye Huet Hye Dod Rupye Trakh

 Ratyo Poonse Yath Chue Kistye Maago

Aago Kartam Budd Murawat

Doh Akk Chyaam Anyam Khaes Taro

Draag Buj waarye Tulnam Zor

Treish Ho Chyam Syedin Naago

 Aago kartam budd Murawat’

Dwellers of Gantamulla for nothing make hue and cry:

Half a year before some bucks paid for sustenance;

Better take the money in advance or it’s taxable:

O’God, unto us thy mercy be!

Many a times did I take rice porridge cups;

From Syed’s springs water I drank,

Yet still my stomach favoured me not;

O’God, unto us thy mercy be!

A memorial has been celebrated by ‘Bazm Adab Narvaw’ posthumously some years ago, and Sultan Ganaie’s grand sons were invited. Many awards were distributed at the time in presence of the guests invited in the event.

Ganaie  Sultan was a man of ascetic sense, Sufism was in his true spirit and lived a simple life. He was an obscure gem blessed with wisdom and sageness being Illiterate in the mountain valley “Narvaw’’. He contributed a lot for the development of Kashmiri Literature and Language by his Poetry of powerful emotions. He was a great Poet, a great Fellow. As his extreme pilgrimage stepped into twilight zone, he left this world and is concealed in his native village “Zogiyar’’. So silhouette of a Live Legend displayed historical tribute.

The writer is a Post graduate in English Literature, History, and Sociology as well as M.Phil in English Literature and B.Ed and he is currently  Perusing Ph.D in English Literature.


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