Meet the Kashmiri ‘coded poet’ who is keeping poetry alive in a unique way

In the quiet and idyllic district of Bandipora in north Kashmir, the 60-year-old Sufi poet has carved a unique niche in the world of literature. Zarifa Jan, who is also known as the ‘coded poet of Kashmir’, has written more than three hundred poems in a language that no one else in the world understands except her.

Zarifa said her daughter helps her preserve her words, and she attends mushayr and literary gatherings with her notes to present her poetry.  (ANI photo)
Zarifa said her daughter helps her preserve her words, and she attends mushayr and literary gatherings with her notes to present her poetry. (ANI photo)

According to her, she has created her own coded language to protect her poetry, a skill given to her by God. Despite never having attended school, Zarifa Jan’s talent for writing poetry is undeniable. His poems and other poetic words are loved by people, not only for the emotions they evoke, but also for the unique script he writes. She said that her written words are almost a form of art in themselves, there are hardly any experts in the world who can read or understand her language.

Zarifa said her daughter helps her preserve her words and participates in mushair and literary gatherings to perform poetry. For Zarifa to go, writing in her own language is essential, as her physical weakness and short memory mean she must preserve her speech in a specific way. Whenever a verse comes to her mind, she takes a pen in hand and saves her words by making specific marks and shapes on the blank paper,” she said.

One can only imagine the complexity of the language Zarifa Jan himself created. It is a testament to her intelligence and creativity that she has managed to create a language that is her own, but still manages to convey the emotions and meaning she wants to convey.

She said that she has been writing poetry for decades and her unique style of writing and expression make her poetry different from others. Her daughter wants to put her mother’s words before people in the form of her own invented script and in a decoded version as a book.

Zarifa Jan’s dream is to see her poetry published as a book, a project she will continue to work on with the help of her daughter.

Shakir Shafi believes that Zarifa Jan is one of the few female Sufi poets of Kashmir. As far as Sufism is concerned, he admits that poets like Zarifa Jan have knowledge given by Allah, which is not possible for ordinary people to understand.

Shafi further emphasizes that Zarifa Jan’s unique writing style is a skill given to her by Allah, which no one can understand or study without her.

Zarifa Jan’s poetry is not only a product of her unique writing style but also a reflection of the rich Sufi culture prevalent in Kashmir. His words evoke deep emotions and connect readers on a spiritual level. Zarifa Jaan has made a name for herself in the world of literature and has become a source of inspiration for many.

Despite the obstacles in her life, she continued her passion for poetry and managed to create something unique and beautiful. The influence of Zarifa Jan on Kashmiri literature cannot be overstated. His unique style and approach to poetry has inspired many young writers in the region to follow their passion and explore new avenues in literature.

His work has also shed light on the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Kashmir, which is under threat in recent times due to political upheaval and unrest in the region. Despite her age and physical limitations, Zarifa Jan remains committed to her art and continues to write new poetry regularly. Her dedication and passion for her art serves as an inspiration to all who know her. He is the living embodiment of the power of creativity and the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

Zarifa Jaan’s story is a testament to the power of human imagination and the ability of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles. His unique style of writing and his commitment to preserving his poetry have made him a beloved figure in the literary world of Kashmir and beyond. Poetry continues to inspire and touch the hearts of readers, and his legacy will live on for generations to come.

This story is published from the Wire Agency feed without modification to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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