‘Aami Pane Sodras Navi Ches Lamaan’: An insightful beacon in Kashmiri literature

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By Tousif Raza

Women of Kashmir often take pride in the deep notion that the origin of our literature unfolded through the spiritually woven female voice in the 14th century through the Waakhs of Lal Ded. In the treasure of our literature, when the narrative emanates from the depths of the spirit, it becomes a perfect parameter for the unavoidable truth that language and its literary sources stand as a universal appeal for expressing emotions, especially pain. Through the beauty of prose or the aroma of poetry, indeed, the literary treasure of the Kashmiri language transcends epochs, embodying the collective essence of humanity—resonant with compassion, harmony, and mercy.

In this write-up, I am glad to share my opinion about a beautifully created short story collection, “Aami Pane Sodras Naavi Ches Lamaan,” written by a young scholar, Dr. Nusrat Iqbal. She is a porter of the Kashmiri language’s delicate complexities in herself. Nusrat is not only a teacher but also a beacon in the field of academics, currently gracing our future at Degree College Gandribal as an Assistant Professor of Kashmiri. While writing short stories is an allure for my pen with the deep elegy and ethereal essence within, this collection compelled my heart for encouragement in unison with the echoes of “Himmat-e-Marda Madad-e-Khuda,” and thus, I commenced the artistry of written expression.

This book exploration proved to be a pilgrimage rather than a journey of emotions as it unfolded stark truths of human emotions and his existence, akin to the profound insights found within human sacred scriptures as well. Consisting of 149 pages with 35 beautiful short stories succeeding an impressive introduction, every story within this opus is a path making to its profound ethos and guiding enlightenments. The attractive allure of this beautiful masterpiece endured, beckoning me towards its culmination. Each story unfurls like a sacred and divine echo, unveiling multiple timeless truths and the wisdom of human existence.

The beginning of the book unfurls through a beautiful story, “Parcheni” – The term parcheni resonates with the essence of feminine vulnerability, solitude, and frailty. At its heart resides a figure named “Faata.” Bereft of her maternal anchor in infancy and ensnared in the callous clutches of a stepmother’s mistreatment, Faata is coerced into matrimony before her bloom. Enduring sixteen arduous cycles of nuptial toil, she eventually bequeaths progeny to the world. Yet, the fruit of her loins, nurtured by the embrace of a mother-in-law and spouse, forsakes her bosom for foreign shores, leaving Faata bereaved and solitary. This tale, a tapestry woven with threads of hardship and revelation, stands unrivaled in its power and instruction. While myriad such sagas languish in the annals of society, our gaze seldom lingers upon their bitter truths. This narrative, a beacon amidst the shadows, unveils the myriad injustices borne by womankind, thus ascending to the zenith of literary distinction.

Though I cannot delve into each story individually, I feel responsible for acknowledging Nusrat Iqbal’s remarkable endeavor to plumb the depths of our hearts and souls through her chosen themes—an effort deserving of commendation and praise. From the shadows of ignorance to the enlightenment of Islam, women were often relegated to subordinate roles, yet the radiance of Islam elevated them to a revered status, integral to society—a pivotal narrative eloquently depicted by Nusrat Iqbal through her stories. While each tale stands alone as a narrative, the writer’s pen serves as a conduit, perpetuating the resonance of divine laws—a testament beautifully embodied by Nusrat Iqbal.

Within the pages of this book, nestled amidst narratives that poignantly depict societal afflictions, lie a myriad of tales: “Wafadar, Taqdeer Kin Tadbeer, Algabich Treth, Mal hy Deshizyen Te Molvi Roomi, Gaerath, Ehsaas Kamtri, Yeli Soun Teli ne Kan Yeli Kan teli ne Soun, Khoon Aaw Choutaan, Ravizen Kom Yajan Teel, Adcheti Golaab, Maaji Gobur, Aech Watith Soda, Picnic, Anpadh Go Kahri Khodah, Andrim Daedi, Hath Buthi, Gati Manz Gaash, Harith Pyon, Muhabat Fatih_e_Aalam, Moaj Kin Raantas, Yotaam Pouz Chu Pazaan Totaam Chu Aalam Dazaan, Yath Jaayi Tyongul Chu Pewaan Tethi Chai Wathaan Dag, Night Calls, Sarsaan, Jadeed Jahalat, Beklan Henz Maaji Ni Presan Aeqlan Hendi Ghar Kati Hasan, Khash Karun, Sabaq, Athi Krehin Gachin, Nou Soach, Gabi Buthi Raam Hoon, Azlich Rekh Daay Yas Yich Baagi Aayi, Azarwun, Kaaw khelis Manz Kotur, each not merely a reflection of societal woes but also a beacon of guiding principles.

In addition to its thematic depth, the beauty of Dr. Nusrat Iqbal’s book lies in her lucid and eloquent language, which enhances the overall aesthetic appeal and literary merit of her work. Through her mastery of language, she intricately weaves together narratives that captivate the reader’s imagination and evoke a myriad of emotions. This contribution not only enriches the literary landscape of Kashmiri literature but also elevates it to new heights.

Indeed, her ability to craft beautiful stories in such a graceful manner adds unparalleled richness to the literary fabric of Kashmiri literature. Her words resonate with readers, drawing them into the vivid tapestry of her narratives and leaving an enduring impact on their hearts and minds. In this way, this book represents a significant and valuable contribution to Kashmiri literature, enriching it with her unique voice and storytelling prowess. Through her captivating narratives and exquisite language, Dr. Nusrat Iqbal leaves an indelible mark on the literary world, inspiring admiration and appreciation for generations to come.

As a writer, I feel that “Aami Pane Sodras Navi Ches Lamaan” is a symphony of Dr. Nusrat Iqbal’s profound literary prowess, echoing the timeless truths and complexities of Kashmiri society. Through her evocative storytelling, she not only unveils the harsh realities and social injustices of women but also explores a kind of brilliance of hope guiding for the future. The way she tells a story is unique in language, technique, and flow. With each tale meticulously created, her work transcends the boundaries of mere literature, serving as a beacon of enlightenment and reflection. As a reader, I immerse myself in the depths of her stories and feel they are met with a comprehensive approach to human emotions possessing the beauty and wisdom woven in every tale

The Author is an English literature student who hails from Tangmarg and can be reached at tousifeqbal555@gmail.com

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