Experiences from ground
The book captures many aspects of the past two decades
Author: Manoj Sheeri
Published: with the assistance of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and languages
Available at: Gulshan Book House Residency Road Srinagar
Reviewer: Ashfaq Ahmed
Khusboo-e-Kashmir (Fragrance of Kashmir), a fictional short story book written by Manoj Sheeri is an impeccable composition of first-hand experiences that the people of Kashmir, both Hindus and Muslims had during the tumultuous years. The author is a Police officer having a journalistic background. His professional experiences, both as a police officer and a journalist, have evolved him into real time source of experiences which he has very articulately transpired in his stories. The foreword of the book is written by former dean, faculty of arts, University of Kashmir, and an eminent Urdu professor and critic, Prof. Zamaan Azurdha.
The stories in the book give an extra ordinary peep into the changing trends of Kashmiri society, keeping pace with the modernization in the post globalization era.
A reader particularly, a Kashmiri can well identify himself with the characters of the stories, touching his soul.
A collection of twelve stories that give an insight into the tribulations faced by Kashmiri Pandits, those who migrated from the valley, and those who stayed back. The book starts with a traumatic story of a poor Muslim whose aspirations though fulfilled on his sonís becoming a doctor were left in a lurch. The parents who struggled so hard for his education were finally left to fend for themselves, and the son is lost to the riches of Gulf.
Another nerve touching story is of a pundit couple who upon migration not only suffered from the trauma of exile but also underwent debilitating erosion of identity when their sons married to non-Kashmiri girls who had no empathy with their linguistic and cultural ethos. The couple had to sing their traditional Kashmiri beats all by themselves with daughters-in-law just looking strangely at them.
Hasrat Naa Tamaam narrates a woeful tale of Jawahar Lal, a well-known apple grower and a merchant of Rafiabad, the fruit bowl of Kashmir, whose soul shook when he was brandished as a thief by his mere touching an apple at a fruit sellerís shop in Jammu. The person who grew up growing and supplying apples to the whole country was destined to such tragedy was a shock beyond description. The migration brought with itself miseries of unknown kind and magnitude. Jawahar Lal couldnít withstand the agony that came up with a trifle and died without relishing his first yield from his splendid orchids that were brought by his worker from Kashmir.
Girdaab gives an insight to the plight and sufferings that the migrant Pandit family of Deeraj and Raju had to go through in the shanty camps that they had to live in. It devastated them emotionally as well as physically. They came close to committing suicide but ultimately life won with the hope that good days will follow.
Ghar is a story of a carpenter Abdul Rahim, who loses his house to a mysterious fire. His another battle begins with insurance company that declines to pay him adequately as they doubt that he had such a good house.
Another short story Form Mazroobi gives an ironic depiction of what destiny could have in store for a person. Head Constable Mohan Singh alias Form Mazroobi, was better known in his police station, as he professionally kept number of Form Mazroobiís (a legal document that acts as Medico Legal evidence) in cases of injuries or deaths during the cases of violence. The shoot outs and grenade blasts had made it a most sought after document in every police station. Head Constable Mohan Singh who had filled the Form Mazroobis for innumerable persons during his duty had nothing left for himself when he was injured in a grenade blast and died with no one to write the Form Mazroobi for him.
Another story of a Pandit doctor Radha Krishan, who preferred to stay back in his ancestral village in Lolab, offers the reader a melodramatic account. He was haunted both by militants as well as Army after he was kidnapped by the militants to attend their wounded Commander in their hide out. The doctor had to face the wrath of the Army who took his kidnapping as complicity with the militants. Much to his shock, after his release from the Army camp he was again taken away by the militants who suspected it as his visit to the Army camp. Finding himself tossed between frying pan and fire, the doctor finally decided to migrate.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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