The Story of GULFAM | From the Book: Gul Gulshan Gulfam | Pran Kishore Kaul | Part Three

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After the Second World War, when the British left India, tourism suffered tremendously because of the aggression of the tribesmen sent by Pakistan immediately after Independence, to let loose a reign of terror in Kashmir. Though their designs were defeated by the unity of the people and the defence forces, the lives of Kashmiris had been shattered. People who were directly connected with tourism, like the boatman, suffered the most.

Their entire livelihood depended on the tourists. Many houseboat owners abandoned the occupation. Some of them decided to live on dry land and many sold their boats for paltry sums. But Malla Khaliq was a prudent man; he purchased a big houseboat that had been reduced to its keep from neglect.

And when the political conditions improved, he engaged carpenters and erected his third houseboat. He named it GULFAM.

Not knowing the meaning of the word, his wife Aziz Dayad asked him, “What does ‘GULFAM’ mean?’

‘GUL’ means a flower, you know that,’ Malla Khaliq explained, casting a loving glance at her. ‘GLUSHAN’ stand for a garden, isn’t it so?’

‘That much I know, but what is this Gulfam? She asked.

‘GULFAM connotes a lover of flowers, or someone very handsome wearing an attire made of flowers. Thus GUL, GLUSHAN and GULFAM together mean our entire world.’


About the author:

Pran Kishore Kaul was born on 23rd January 1925 in Srinagar, Kashmir. He studied at  the University of Punjab (Lahore). A playwright, stage director,  broadcaster and a painter, he played an important role in performing arts in Kashmir.

He is credited with the making the first Kashmiri feature film ‘ Mainz Raat‘ and ‘Shaire-e-Kashmir Mejhoor‘.

Recipient of  President’s Silver Medal in 1965 & Sahitya Akademi Award for his works, Pran Kishore reiterated from Radio Kashmir Sringar. To his credit are over two thousand Radio plays & documentaries, and television serials.

Gul Gulshan Gulfam first printed in India in 2017 by Harper Perennial.