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Nazki’s 23-year-journey to writing ‘Satisar – The Valley of Demons’

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, July 23: Surrounded by books and black and white portraits, a desk faces the wall next to a
window.
Ayaz Rasool Nazki gets up to open the blinds, letting the soft, gray light of the morning pour across his
workspace.
Holding a copy of his newly-launched book, titled ‘Satisar-The Valley of Demons’, Ayaz recollects his writing
journey.
“Somewhere during eighties of the last century, I conceived the idea of writing a book in the backdrop of
Kashmir’s history. Then the entire situation changed in Kashmir, and we got busy writing the history rather
than reading it,” he says.
“The germ of the idea remained with me.”
His idea of writing the book materialised in June 1995, with his determination helping him complete a major
portion of it in 28 days.

“The remaining portion had to wait for a little over two years,” says Ayaz.
The book was revised several times over the next two decades. He continued to chop and prune the
narratives.
Besides, no one had been really ready to risk publishing his fictionalised history as it was thought to be
blasphemous.
Kashmir and its interesting history has served as the main inspiration for the poet turned author.
“My book has been officially classified as historical fiction. In my opinion my book is rooted in history but is
not a book of history. What I attempt is the recapitulation of past as an essential element of present as well
as future. It is a continuum essentially indivisible, that is why my characters taken from past come alive in
present and become contemporary,” says Ayaz.
The book has been written in a post-modern narrative technique where narrative voices intersect.
Commenting on the usage of this particular technique, Ayaz says, “I think no author decides about a
technique before-hand, the story evolves along with its style and technique in one indivisible whole. The
matter decides the way it has to dawn upon your pages.”
The author adopted a route that is not very common in Kashmir. His book has been placed via literary agent.
“I find it a useful way as the author is spared the hassles of running after publishers. You deal with your
agent, and he deals with the world on your behalf. Good agents also help in publicity and increasing the
marketability,” says Ayaz.
Commenting on this paucity of positive press, Ayaz notes, “There is a huge difference between publishing
your own books in Urdu Kashmiri and getting published on a national level through a reputed publisher. The
fact is we have almost no readers in the two languages that we produce books. Dearth of readership is at the
back of this sad situation.”
Despite the presence of J&K cultural Academy, which was tasked with promoting language and literature of
the state, things remain unchanged. Ayaz believes it’s high time that J& K Cultural Academy reorients itself
and rediscovers its mandate.
“About Academy, less said the better; it has never come out of bureaucratic control and continues to be run
as a personal propaganda machine, with outdated and obsolete methods,” says the author.
The book has received rave recommendations from critics and authors including few from abroad. Fiona
Bolger, Ranjit Hoskote, Pankaj Bhan, and Shabir Mir are some of those who have critically evaluated the
book.
It is distributed throughout the country. Few universities have also held interactive sessions about the book.

 
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Rajnath pays tributes to slain Major

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday paid his tributes to Major Ketan Sharma in New Delhi. The Major had lost his life in an encounter with militants at Anantnag on Monday.

In a tweet, Singh said: “Major Sharma made the supreme sacrifice while fighting against the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Major Sharma fought valiantly like a true soldier. My heart goes out to his bereaved family.”

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat also paid his tributes to Major Sharma by laying wreath.

 

Meanwhile, Army, here in Kashmir, too Tuesday paid tributes to Major Sharma and three soldiers killed during a militant attack and an encounter in south Kashmir on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the slain soldiers. Representatives from other security agencies also joined in paying their tributes.

Two of the slain soldiers, Havildar Amarjeet Kumar and Naik Ajit Kumar Sahoo, had sustained injuries on Monday in an IED blast in Arihal village of Pulwama. They were provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Amarjeet, 35, had joined the Army in 2005 and hailed from village Dighawlia in Siwan District of Bihar. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Naik Sahoo, 27, hailed from village Badasuanalo in Dhenknal District of Odisha. He had joined the Army in 2015 and is survived by his parents.

On Tuesday, Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaswal sustained a bullet injury in a counter-militancy operation conducted in Marhama village of Anantnag in which two militants were eliminated.

He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but he too succumbed to his injuries. Jaswala, 26, belonged to village Saroh of Una District of Himachal Pradesh. He had joined Army in 2013 and is survived by his wife and a son.

The mortal remains of the slain were flown for the last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, Army spokesperson said. 

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A round of applause: ‘TheRealKashmir’ shortlisted at Cannes Lions 2019

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The dream story of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) is being watched and appreciated by the world as a two-minute film on the club was Tuesday shortlisted at Cannes Lions 2019.
‘TheRealKashmir’ was one of the 23 shortlists at the gala considered a global event and the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry.
The international festival of creativity announced the shortlists across Direct, Media, PR, Creative Data, Creative Strategy, Social & Influencer categories on Tuesday.
‘TheRealKashmir’ was shortlisted in the PR category.
“For seven decades, the world has seen only one side of Kashmir. As ‘Sports has the power to change lives’ as its driving philosophy, Adidas partnered with Real Kashmir FC, a rising football club from the strife-torn region, and decided to change the negative perception with which the world sees Kashmir”, Cheil Worldwide India, who shot the movie, had said last month.
Cheil had also noted that they told their story across different mediums to create a brand new positive lens that would enable the world to see ‘TheRealKashmir’.
“We started with a 2 minute long film based on the true story of the club and their rise to the big leagues of India. We partnered with a leading Kashmiri newspaper to reorganize its news sections by bringing the sports page in front instead of the regular cover story of negativity. Then, we organized a photo exhibition in collaboration with the renowned street photographer, Prashant Godbole, showcasing Kashmir through the positive lens of football,” Cheil said.
In fact there are many firsts associated with the Real Kashmir FC. It became the first local football club to hire a former famous Scottish player David Robertson to coach the youngsters. David was playing for Rangers FC and Leeds United before taking up the coaching assignments. Established in 2016, the Real Kashmir FC is only club from Kashmir to have played in Scotland.
Only Tuesday, the club signed a top English striker Kallum Higginbotham for the upcoming season.
In their debut season in the highly competitive I League Real Kashmir FC finished third on the table, and on the way beating power houses such as Mohun Bagan and eventual champions Chennai City FC.
Real Kashmir FC also had huge attendance in all home games played at the TRC astro-turf with an average attendance of 25000. In last I League also saw the first ever match played in snow when RKFC took and defeated Gokulam Kerala FC.

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Mehbooba meets Governor ;Visits slain police officer’s residence

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Srinagar, Jun 18: Former J&K CM, Mehbooba Mufti, Tuesday met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here.
Mehbooba, as per a Raj Bhavan spokesperson, shared with Governor her views relating to the present political, and socio-economic situation in the State.
The two also discussed various issues relating to the growth and development of the State.
Meanwhile, Mehbooba, during the day, also visited the residence of slain police officer Arshid Ahmad Khan to express solidarity with the bereaved family.
She expressed solidarity with the slain officer’s family and prayed for their patience at their loss.
She added that the unresolved conflict is claiming precious human lives, destroying families and orphaning children.
Mehbooba pitched for an end to the violence and bloodshed and hoped that saner voices will prevail to resolve the conflict and end peoples sufferings in Jammu and Kashmir.

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