BOONYI - The Chinar
The chinar is a big umbrella like tree with huge trunk and vast spread roots, which stop the earth from being eroded. It is a tree that provides warmth to the folks in winter, shadow and cool breeze in hot summers.
The leaves of Chinar change colour with the seasons, from green to dark green to yellow and finally to red in the autumn. Finally there are no leaves left in winter. Each colour represents one of the six seasons of the year witnessed in Kashmir that follows one after another.
The word Boonyi shows its roots in the word ‘BUDHNYA’ of Vedic Sanskrit meaning “An Epithet of Shiva” with his hair open. This tree gives the impression of the deity sitting with hair open fulfilling the desires of all and inspiring everyone.
For the people of Kashmir, Boonyi is the Symbol of KALYANA (Salutarinaess), Stability, maturity, longevity and beauty. They worship this tree, that fulfills all desires by Painting its lower trunk with sindur and wrap Nariwan (red thread) around it.
Great lal Ded in her Waak (Poetry) speaks about it as “KENCHEN RENYE CHAI SHIHIJIY BOONYEE”, meaning that some men have wives like a cool shadowy Boonyi tree. Many poets and authors too have used it as “CHATRI BOONYI” meaning an umbrella like tree, which provides shelter to all.
The matured tree normally has such a huge hollow trunk that number of people can go inside it. It is believed that once King Jahangir and his soldiers along with their horses entered into the hollow trunk of a Boonyi tree in some Jungle in Kashmir and saved themselves from the heavy rains.
This symbol of perfection has enabled people living around it to live for endless years and preach the message of liveliness. At present this great tree is in danger as they are being mercilessly cut every day. Soon there will be only a few chinar trees left in Kashmir if the authorities do not stop this inhumane act. We at Miltsar have a series of cultural show named after it to make every citizen of the world aware of the fact that Kashmir is being mercilessly destroyed at all levels be it a tree, community, rare species and their rare heritage, architecture, dresses and all. It is thus in this connection our Creation BOONYI is created and staged.
Members of Boonyi 8th Feb. 1993
(An evening of Kashmiri Music n dance with demonstration of Batni Pheran)
|Pride of India|
|Festival of India in USSR|