Articles / Essays, Lament, Poetry, Wakhi

Four Poets and Five Elegies in Wakhi: Poetic Depiction and Pictorial Illustration of the Pamir Snow Avalanche Victims from Hunza, Northern Pakistan

November 16, 2023

By Fazal Amin Beg

The purpose of this small contribution in English is to provide a background knowledge on the snow-avalanche case of the Pamir that had killed three people of a group of more than a dozen in November 2011. In addition, it will also share the Wakhi transcription of the five elegies of the four poets from upper Hunza connected with the deceased people of the concerned snow avalanche tragedy. This piece therefore offers a background information on the importance of indigenous or traditional knowledge of the environment and will not opt for sharing the findings of the fieldwork on the very subject matter per se. That will however take its course separately in a scholarly or semi-scholarly paper.I will hope the readers will take a keen interst and continue to enjoy the write-up. At the end, the link of the published video on Adabiyot-e Gulshan will follow the transcription.
The mysterious Nature is filled with uncountable wonders and shows its incredible might and secrets to the dependent creatures on diferent occasion with the course of time. Among all, human beings are so gifted with the mental and intellectual faculty that through it they attempt and venture, observe, challenge and go through series of tests and trials to learn consistently in lifetime. Through such important methods and approaches within and out of the realm of five sensory organs, humans have been producing and storing knowledge and wisdom in different earas of time and space across our Planet Earth.Among all, the indigenous knowledge and folk wisdom on the nature in different contexts are of a highest value, which is based on human experimentation, =-observations and experiences centuries and millennia
The indigenous or the traditional knowledge on the environment guides the respective cultural communities of different regions in an effective manner that how should the humans interact, deal and develop a friendly and balance relationship with the nature. In case, the people are ignorant of those set values and standards, the nature then takes its revenge spontaneously in different ways. Among all, such notion holds true, at least, in different tragic incidence of snow avalanche in the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Pamir and Himalayan mountain ranges.
Two of such unforgettable cases we could witness in the recent history of Hunza. Back in September 1992, the snow avalanche hit the people at a pastureland in Chipursan valley named Pomiri when the avalanche took the precious lives of ten people including an old woman while two out of them survived miraculously. Another tragic incidence with a high magnitude and impact of snow-avalanch occurred on November 4, 2011 in the Little Pamir when the traders of Chipursan valley were returning to their homeland from Afghanistan. They thus encountered the snow avalanche on the way at a site called Sekeryenj near the Yirs̃hodh Wiyin (above 4,000 ft Pass). There were more than a dozen people along with flocks of a hundred yaks, horses, sheep and goats. The snowfall had started and the elders suggested to wait for couples of days after it stops and then to resume their travel based on the indigenous knowledge as a guideline for them. But a few of them were in quick mode to cross the highest pass and reach their homeland. Consequently, the first group of them, as leads, came across the snow-avlanche that killed three of them including late Ta’at Shah and Mukhi Qurban Baig (both of them from Kiel)and late Saeed Ahmad Khan from Res̃hit. Besides, eight yaks were also killed while rest of the people survived in the face of the avalanche, though they were also at the brink of the disaster. The climatic condition of the season thus didn’t allow the people to go, dig and take out the dead bodies for many months. It became possible by the end of spring and beginning of summer months. Those dead bodies were thus discovered after six months from the snow-avalanche and they were burreid there in the Pamir as they could not be brought back to Hunza due to their vulnerable conditions.
Keeping in view the disastrous incidence, I was so much curious to opt for the fielwork and explore why such incidence occur? Whether or not there exists any traditional or indigenous knowledge around which the people should be sensitive enough and sensitized around it people should have their orientation and exposure? For such reasons, I did go to Chipursan valley in Feburary and March 2012 (after two months of the incidence in Pamir and did a comprehensive field study within anthropological realm across all villages . These villages included Kirmin, Kiel, Res̃hit, Shahrsavz, Spenj, Shitmerg and Zudkhun. Resultantly, a huge data I collected in audio form (through my digital voice recorder) by taking in-depth interviews of the survivers and key informants in addition to discussions with the families of the victims, deceased and hundres of other related people. It was thus in this connection, I also had acquired the fresh Wakhi elegies (of at that time) from the four poets who were the kinspersons of the deceased people. They included late Ustadh Bahram Baig and Siraj Ahmad of Res̃hit, Riaz Khan Sahar of Kiel and Hayder Murad of Zudkhun. Except for Hayder Murad, whose elegy was sung by his cousin and a renowned Wakhi singer and musician Fazal Rahman Shirin Sado, rest of the poets sang their elegies themselves.
When the month of November comes each year after 2011, it reminds the families, friends and people of the vally about the deceased out of their homeland. This year, November 2023, I am therefore going to release the recording of the elegies in audio-pictorial form along with the Wakhi transcription in memory of the three deceased including Late Ta’at Shah (a political figure, philanthropist and a businessperson), late Mukhi Qurban Baig (a dedicated volunteer and a community leader)and late Saeed Ahmad Khan (a young community leader and a businessperson). I hope it will become source of mental liberation to the families, friends and all those concerned as the incidence has become a history now and we need to accept it.
The first elegy in the video has been composed and sung by Siraj Ahmad on his late brother Saeed Ahmad Khan; the second elegy with music has been sung by Riaz Khan Sahar on the three deceased; the third elegy has been composed by late Ustad Bahram Baig (a former school teacher and a community leader) on the three deceased. The fourth elegy on the three deceased has been composed and sung by Siraj Ahmad on the three deceased and the final elegy has been sung with music by Fazal Rahman Shirin Sado.
From here onward, those who can understand Wakhi, can find and read the transcription of the elegies in order of the video published on one of my YouTube channels called K̃hikwor Adabiyot-e Gulshan, dedicated entirely for Wakhi language.The English translation of the elegies I will make in the later phase as due to time constraint, it became difficult for me to accomplish it in time.

Masto mast k̃hatet nẽsetk, magam z̃hũ joni kũfetk

Cẽ Siraj Ahmad en
Towe z̃hũ jon thũwetk, ya z̃hũ darmonet thũwetk
Masto mast k̃hatet nẽsetk, magam z̃hũ joni kũfetk

Ye z̃hũ spreg̃hi ambar, thũwetket yem z̃hũ jigar
Niyenget tu bikhabar, dem Pomer-e kuh-e sar

Tuwet tẽr kũk̃ht-e cebas, ye z̃hũ tapin wingas
Shekhesti cereng tu k̃he, g̃hatit tu da mawt-e g̃has̃h

Bu ror tẽrmis sav safar, viti’v ta zem sa’shat magar
Wezde ya saver dichor, yuti sav Khũdhoy-e bar

Ye z̃hũ nungdor tijor, z̃hũ c̃hez̃hmi ghal be tra bar
K̃han’mes̃h wizit’pa ozor, hay ki ya z̃hũ asp sawor

Safar’tes̃h kert hamisha, asat hũmũyd yoy chila
Wist-e dhas truy soler, veg̃hne z̃hũ yor-e tũs̃ha

Ye z̃hũ chordahum z̃hũmak, ma’res̃h sũdhũyd tu niv g̃hat
Z̃en’gi nasib kumer, vitki maz̃her s̃hum ghalat

Haroret dem z̃hũ yinot, ya yinoti bikũfot
Darmones̃h ca’n be pidhist, magam nives̃h tow kuy got

Yemi dũnyo-e nazom, pũzũvi z̃hũnen mahkam
Du’oyi asisi ce dhet, saver z̃hũ waxt-e Imom

Nasti chora ye Khũdhoy, hay cẽ tow en bishkha
Sad shũker mes̃hen Siraj, tu car yower sajda

Yem Spo Diyori wayron
Cẽ Riyoz khon Sahar en
Ya k̃hũ spreg̃h’vem be nost, yem spo diyori wayron
Dẽ har mahfil sav qisa, t̃ok yem dũnyoyi parishon
Dẽ kum so’atev safar, neyi kert saver wafo
Yem shũm dũnyoyi z̃ereng, neyes̃h cart kuyer wafo

Yem har mahfiles̃h kande, sca ti khũshruy qisa’v en
Z̃hũmak sitores̃h g̃hate, cem ti khũshruy sũrat en
Niven wũrex̃k pẽ t̃ũmt̃ang, ya k̃hũ voynen be nost
Ya k̃hũ sitor en be nost, yow-e mawj en be nost

Yem mũlkes̃h kert taraqi, khũshruy tu ti rahbari
T̃ok yem dũnyowet zavod, wofoyi ne kert zindagi
Vit yem diyor niv kholi, yas̃hk-e dũryowes̃h sũdhũyd
Ne khũshi, ne malloli, sof wũswasahes̃h sũdhũyd

Har yi skawt̃-e mes̃hen, zavdi ta’r har yi marka
Ce badhnasiben tiwetk, nosten sak ya k̃hũ shilha
Nvi bet chiz zindagig̃h, sak kũk̃ht parishonen wũrex̃k
Dẽ har yũw-e c̃hez̃hi nam, kũk̃ht sargardonen wũrek̃hk

Pomer-e sarzamin-e khokerev sashat maymon
Cẽ Siraj en
Salom sad salom ye z̃hũ mũlk-e naw jawon
Pomer-e sarzamin-e khokerev sashat maymon

Tuwev yi xidmatgor dem Imom-e idora
Z̃hũ Sayid Ahmad Xon, ya skawt̃’v-e sarbara

Sayid ti narm mijoz woz ya ti khũshruy odat
Z̃hu markayi Mukhi woz ya ghayratmand To’at

Yem khalg’v-e khũn-e yas̃hken, vitki ye yi tũfon
Wudhges̃h yem shet et g̃har be nũwd ey dem Chipurson

Osoni nast Siraj, yemi Khũdhoy-e imtihon
Sad shũker Yower car, woz sar khamũvn da oston

Saver Salom
Cẽ Bahrom Baig Bahrom en
Ey shahidon-e watan, saver salom
Ey muhibon-e watan watan, saver salom
Uhdadoron-e watan, saver salom
Khidmatguzoron-e watan, saver salom

Yem dũnyoyi foni et biwafo
Rec̃hnes̃h cem’n har shohinshoh et gado
Wezin et rec̃hnes̃h ghafch makhluqi Khũdho
Wudhgen sak, pig̃ha-e makhluqi judo
Kũx̃ten majbũr, yemi Khũdhowandi nazom
Ey shahidon-e waton, saver salom

Ghafch khushi’nes̃h kert ey Pomer-e safar
Kuyes̃h disht ki yem safari ma’r pũr khatar
Yashtev rũx̃petk, s̃hot-e destev bikhabar
Thites̃h yav zodbũd et tatnan-e jigar
Yodep caren har Hamisha, har madom
Ey shahidon-e waton, saver salom

Wezgi Jonon’v-e Khabar
Cẽ Hayder Murod en
Dũnyo’ri dogh, yas̃hkisht wũnogh, wezd shahidon’v-e khabar
Pũzũv hayron, thites̃h darmon, wezgi jonon’v-e khabar

Safar gashta bomi jahon-e tilo kon’v-e khabar
Mẽrgech kubar’ver darbon, z̃hũ mehrbonver salom

Sekr Yenj-e sekr distori chikan, wezgi z̃hũ yorbar’v-e khabar
Boz et rũsh’ver ham safar jon, z̃hũ palawon’ver salom

Kuhi Pomir, mũliki amir, z̃hũ yorbaron’v-e khabar
Khũshury Gũzen-e ca goz en, z̃hũ gu҅lzaron’ver salom

Z̃hũ Khũdhoy joni shirin, wezgi shirin jon’v-e khabar
Sẽk spo jon pak qomen tu , z̃hũ lal-e kon’ver salom

Zemi yav shan, po chupan, wezgi z̃hũ yoron’ve khabar
Gũl banafsha, mũs̃hk et ambar, Murod-e jon’ver salom

Note: The audio-pictorial documentary could be watched and listened on the following link of K̃hikwor Adabiyot-e Gulshan (Wakhi Literature Garden):

Production, presentation and copyright: @FazalAminBeg Adabiyot-e Gulshan 2023
Deceased in the Snow Avalanch: Late Ita’at Shah, late Mukhi Qurban Baig and late Saeed Ahmad Khan of Chipursan Valley, Hunza, on November 4, 2011 at Sekryenj of Little Pamir
Singers without music: Siraj Ahmad and late Ustad Bahram Baig
Poets: Siraj Ahmad, Late Ustad Behram Baig, Riaz Sahar and Hayder Muraod (all from Chipursan valley of Hunza)
Singers with Music: Riaz Khan Sahar, and Fazal Rahman Shirin Sado
Editor and video preparation: Engineer Shabbir Ahmad son of Sher Ali Khan and brother of late Saeed Ahmad Khan
Twitter: @fazalaminbeg
FaceBook Page and Profile: Fazal Amin Beg
Special Acknowledgement: Engineer Shabbir Ahmad, Muhibullah Baig, Aziz Karim Kilik and Hayder Badakhshani for their wonderful facilitation in different contexts.

#AdabiyotGulshan #FazalAminBeg #Pamir #SnowAvalanche #Wakhi #Elegies #Hunza #Chipursan

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply