Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah’s poetry springs from a heart full of angst and insight, hope and love. He tells MONA MEHTA that Kashmir, to him, is a symbol of love, not hate.
He is a medical doctor by training, and a Sufi by inheritance and intuition. His poems caress you like a whiff of fresh air, cutting through the smog of mistrust and gloom in the Valley. Says Mohsin who lives in Srinagar, Kashmir,“My verses talk about two things: Kashmir, and love and tolerance.” He was in Delhi recently and recited his poems to an appreciative audience at the recently held Times Literary Festival. Mohsin believes that it is his duty to express his anguish and that of his people through his writings, whether in prose or poetry.
MIr Sayyid Ali Hamdani (Ra) tried to spread the message of love and tolerance, and Mohsin too strives to do that through spontaneous verse, as in: ‘i exhume my heart in verses’
“There are three genres of poetry — one which talks about love of God – ishq e haqique; love of man — ishq e majazi and a third which states that only love of man can lead you to the love of God.This is my kind of poetry,”he says. The young man’s poems also address Kashmir, which is ‘no less than God’s poem itself ’.“As a poet it is my duty to write about the pain of Kashmir,” he says.
In Kashmir,Sufi poetry might have started with the Shaivite mystic Lalleshwari (Lal Ded) but some half a millennium since, sensitive poets like Mohsin are seeking to restore to the Valley all the love and longing for the Beloved that once enriched a culture of understanding and compassion.