By: Mushtaq B Barq
ldest son of the great Kashmiri poet Fazil Kashmiri, Syed Zeeshan Fazil has seen it all during his distinguished professional television career spanning over more than thirty eight years.
Born in the 1952, a legend known traditionally for his role in Production, but his bona fide position is yet to be explored. His literary acumen needs a serious re-examination for certain reasons. From Dab Tal, Ali Kadal, downtown area in Srinagar popularly known as Rehbab Sob, to the studios of Mumbai and in the city of glamour, Syed Zeeshan Fazil carved out a niche of his own by ante up a great deal of literary works. Son of the great Ghulam Ahmad Fazil, a poet of enormous intellect, and well versed in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Kashmiri and English literature. His mother Syeda Andrabi would take him in her lap to examine the scenic beauty of Lolab Valley, popularly known as ‘Land of Beauty’. It is abutted by the south and the Neelum River to the north and is separated by Nagmarg meadows from Bandipora. In the Sulphur springs of Lolab Syeda would encourage him to take a bath and listen to the serenity of the meadows which imbibed in him the power of observation that later assisted the legend to deck up his literary works. Preserving these raw images and lush meadows in the mind, and with the passage of time, his incubation period perfectly chiselled him for the reason he was to move with the transfer of his father from Lolab to Anantnag ,Rafiabad, Sopore to Tangmarg and then to Badgam area. The topography of these areas, the culture and the tradition amidst Fazil Kashmiri’s meditation and intense inspection of unspoiled beauty and his association with natural objects not only crisped the verses of Fazil Sahab, but also broadened the horizon of his son to build up literary acumen.
After primary education, Syed Zeeshan Fazil joined the Department of Political Science at The University of Kashmir in 1972. His stay in the department nurtured his curiosity as many influential educationists were around to enrich their students. His interest in the Radio programmes leads him to Radio Kashmir, more to the point taking part in Bazm-e-Adab at University in the company of some notable legends of the time like Prof. H U Hamidi, Dr. Shakeel-ul- Rehman, Prof. Asad-ullah Kamili and Mirza Zaman Azurda.
Golden Harvest (an autobiography) has vividly carried the kaleidoscopy of Syed Zeeshan Fazil’s Production and Direction career. It is a lifetime achievement for the reason Autobiographies are extraordinarily difficult to diffuse into the society of which one is a part and parcel amidst the contemporaries with wide-ranging opinions and differences. Most inevitably in an emblematic autobiography , factual stories of a protagonist ought to be narrative aided with essential elements like Conflict to make the narrative flow like a running brook, so to call it a typical autobiography seems far from the standards set for autobiographies. This book is wonderful in two different ways, one that it has highlighted how passion can be changed into an achievable objective and the second for the reason that it carries sweet memories of the author, so it is close to being called a memoir. A memoir is an assortment of various personal memories related to specific moments or experiences in the author’s life and written in the first person. Golden Harvest is a personal account of a specific time and experience and offers access to personal feelings, reactions and responses, thoughts and reflections of Syed Zeeshan Fazil.
Kayinaat is an informative diary referring to an extensive topic in the Kashmiri language published in 1980 when the information was limited to databanks. At the time when Internet services were limited to a few countries, Syed Zeeshan Fazil’s Kayinaat must have been of some importance. This Kashmiri informative book has not only mentioned the scientific facts of evolution, but also the story of water, about snakes, worms and wheel and vehicles, space and diseases. The book stands witness as to how its author has worked tirelessly to hunt for its content and then translating the scientific information into his mother tongue. This work is appreciable for the reason that the author has shown a keen interest in preserving the facts around him in Kashmiri, which approves the author’s love for his mother tongue.
Stranger On Black Highway is another literary work of Syed Zeeshan. He has emerged as a storyteller. His stories are copious with intricate portrayals in the garb of social sensitivities. All the 14 stories are framed in a way that better suits them.
In Mysterious Lily , the portrait of a cat not only better showcases the plight of an animal, but also the lack of human warmth towards the animals. The story catches the attention of a sensitive human being who believes every creature must be given due care. The storyteller has highlighted the insensitivity of a man whose ego knows no boundaries to eliminate the poor animal.
Ideal is another short story depicting love and companionship. A man cannot love without camaraderie, but he hesitates to express his interest for the reason to be rejected. The author has found a way in the story to express human needs by taking refuge from the written words. A letter has a significant role in the story which has been impressively used by the author to reach the climax of the story.
Courtyard is a story that again brings at fore the struggle of a man. A passage in the story has been so minutely woven that it itself reveals the skill and creativity of the author that has been employed to intensify the undercurrent delicate storyline:
……. It was raining. Suhail’s mental state was no different than the windshield of his car. Though wipers were on, each brush removing a coat of rain from it, was as if making way for another drizzle to accumulate on it…
In Doomster, the author has interestingly executed suspense when under such situations, romance and fantasy would have served, but keeping the sanctity of plot into consideration, a daring step by the author once again reveals how the author has put in use his art of creating and breaking suspense with a jawbone breaking shock:
…..sitting on flower-laden bed, Nyla, the bride is waiting for Shahid. After a while Shahid walked into the room. Happily walking towards Nyla, he took a chair beside the bed. Then he took out a cigarette from the case and lit it to smoke. His love Nyla is right in front of him. Now he had a reason to believe that he had reached his goal. He closed the cigarette case with a bang and breaking through the silence of the room thundered…….. Shahid took a file from the table and tossing it towards Nyla said: “ Khalida’s daughter, here in this file is the entire life history of your mom!”
21ST Century, the author is like a typical storyteller under the garb of characters who brought before the audience the biological needs of a man and woman. What matters in the story is not the situation under which the intimation has brought humiliation, but on a serious note, the author has for the matter of fact awakened us from the slumber of sleep. Syed Zeeshan has knocked at the door of every man to understand the bodily needs of an individual.
Also Read : Shah slams Cong’s ‘dynastic politics’
Overall this collection is a wonderful read. Syed Zeeshan has emerged as a serious story writer who has not only festooned the opus of society by brushstrokes of satire, irony aided with the texture of experience and observations. All the characters are dynamic, they move and act, they are not just puppets to be utilized for a temporary thrill, but they act, they speak and move like real human beings. The settings in his stories are dense like a garden packed with varied species. The art of writing varies from person to person so Syed Zeeshan Fazil’s style of narration is neither extremely thin nor too compact, he has employed a midway to discover his place both in literary forums and common man’s collection.
Falcon’s of Paradise is another praiseworthy literary work of Syed Zeeshan Fazil. The book has enlisted 92 eminent personalities, starting from Sheikh Noor -ud –din Wali (R.A) to Professor Abdul Jabbar. This collection has historical significance as the author has evaluated his best to bejewel the canvas of Kashmir. Right from Sufism to Art, Literature, Social work, Education, Musicians, Cartoonists , Journalists , Politics and the contemporaries who have marked the peaks of excellence in their respective fields.
Apni Baat is Syed Zeeshan’s Urdu version of his autobiography. This rendering has not only reached the Urdu audience, but the author has earned fame as a translator. The translation is as tough as breaking the block into its constituents, but when the author translates his own work from one language to another, authenticity, accuracy and originality is least compromised. Syed Zeeshan has not only inspired the budding authors to look for self-translation but has also encouraged the audience to enjoy a dish in two flavours.
Focus _ Radio, TV and Print Media is a pick of the bunch for the aim that the author has emerged as an authority on facts and actuals of writing. It is equally important for a writer to have his focus on themes like writing and Mass media. Syed has like an expert deliberated upon the use of language, techniques and rules of Communication. Production Grammar, the language of Camera, Syntax of Visualization, the algorithm of animation, Formulas of formatting, Elements of editing and what not has been discussed in the book. This book is a must read by the students of mass media.
Syed Zeeshan Fazil is a multidimensional artist. He uses his pen to ponder over what all he observes around him. He knows the art of converting the text into visuals and brings at fore the lens to cater to the needs of the different audiences. His literary contribution is not limited to above mentioned , but his other literary works include: Salsabeel, Dhuan Dhauan Suraj, Paighamber, Flash Back, Focus 2nd edition and Siratul Hameed.
Syed Zeeshan Fazil has the following distinctions in his favour: Deputy Director General (IBC) Cambridge England, Member of Advisory Board (ABI) The United States of America, and Member Advisory Council (IIBC) United Kingdom. He has won some prestigious award like: All India Hindi Urdu Sangam Award (1981), Adeeb International Award (1985), Apfata Award (Best Drama Director 1995), Rajdhani Rattan Award ( 1966, 97 and 1999 respectively) , Lifetime Achievement award by ABI of The United States in 1999).
After his retirement Zeeshan Sahib never relaxed, he has been proactive in his literary works, from publishing a monthly magazine to organizing Fazil Memorial literary events with the same energy and vigor . He has already written 13 books in three different languages.
Mushtaq B.Barq is a Columnist, Poet and Fiction Writer. He is the author of “Feeble prisoner, “ Wings of Love” and many translation works are credited to the author like “ Verses Of Wahab Khar” and “ Songs Of Sochkral”