‘Khwaban Khyalan Manz’: Young Kashmiri writer fulfills dream of writing debut novel

‘Khwaban Khyalan Manz’: Young Kashmiri writer fulfills dream of writing debut novel
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Ganderbal, Sep 15: To promote the Kashmiri language and literature, a young Kashmiri writer from the Ganderbal district has penned his debut novel ‘Khwaban Khyalan Manz’.

Asif Tariq Bhat, 22, is a Kashmiri language novelist, poet, and short story writer.

Hailing from the Duderhama area of Ganderbal district, Asif is pursuing Masters in Kashmiri literature from the Central University of Kashmir (CUK).

His writing journey began at a young age.

Asif’s work is frequently published by a local Kashmiri journal.

His debut Kashmiri language novel ‘Khwaban Khyalan Manz’ was published by Ali Mohammad and Sons. He is the youngest Kashmiri language novelist of current times.

He worked on the story for years and this could be a good start for the writers to start writing in their native language.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Asif said, “As everyone is aware of the deteriorating condition of Kashmiri literature, I have

made a small attempt to revive it. This novel encompasses a lot of modern elements in writing such as magical realism, fantasy, self-discovery through an omnipresent narration.”

The novel is priced at Rs 299 and has been released recently.

“Its first edition has been a hit while the second edition is in progress,” Asif said.

He said that he would always find solace in listening to Kashmiri folktales from his family elders.

Asif would wait for his bedtime so that he could listen to those enticing tales.

More than the tales, he loved the musicality of the language in which they were narrated to him.

Asif said he was impressed by noted poet and writer Rehman Rahi and Zareef Ahmad Zareef.

Asif began his writing career when he was in primary school and wrote his first poem 'Waqt'.

He was so attached to the mother language that he left his school when teachers ridiculed him for speaking Kashmiri.

Asif dropped out of that school and got admitted to another school.

“I wrote many Ghazals, Nazams, and short stories and went to prominent poets of Kashmir, Zareef Ahmad Zareef Sahab to seek guidance. Zareef Sahab encouraged me to continue my passion for the Kashmiri language and writing,” he said. “Zareef Sahab accepted to be my mentor which gave me self-confidence and I went on writing hundreds of poems and folk tales.”

Asif said that he believes that the mother language was the identity of an individual and that nobody should hesitate to speak in the mother tongue.

“If we will lose our mother tongue, we will lose our identity which means we have lost everything,” he said. “There is nothing wrong in knowing about cultures and languages of other areas, but it must not suppress our own identity,” he said. “One must never shun his or her identity and adopt an alien one. So we must protect our culture and language.”

Besides his debut novel, Asif has recently completed the 10th batch of his Kashmiri-speaking course classes online.

He has students from every corner of the world and he is starting his 11th batch soon. 

“I am conducting Kashmiri speaking courses online for the last few years and many people even non-Kashmiris living outside have shown interest in learning the Kashmiri language,” he said. “I welcome wholeheartedly anyone interested in learning the Kashmiri language to approach for any help.”

Asif has written 15 books on poetry and prose in the Kashmir language.

He has written many short stories and some of his notable works are ‘Shikyear Gow Shikaar Karith’ and ‘Temi Doh Oos Rood Pewaan’.

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