Srinagar: When the weather is chilly and you’re all decked out in a tweed pheran and experiencing the warmth of the Kangir, there’s no excuse not to read.
Well! We can help you sort out the best masterpieces you would love to read and cherish this Chillaikalan. Although there is a lot more stuff added to the world of literature, it at times becomes hard to choose the best and peaceful content. The Kashmir Monitor spoke to some acclaimed Kashmiri authors and poets like Shabir Ahmad Mir and Huzaifa Pandit. Here are the best picks from their collection to read and savor this winter:
No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood: A booker shortlisted novel that takes on the absurdity/tragedy/farce that our lives have been reduced to due to the omnipotent social media.
This book is a rare instance that gets the combination of subversive humor and the earnest appeal just right enough. It makes you laugh and cry in due doses.
Serpents under my veil by Asiya Zahoor: Amidst the everyday cacophony of this and that being published in Kashmir, the author Shabir Ahmad Mir, believes this slim collection of poems by Asiya Zahoor missed the attention it should have received.
Published last year this poetry collection packs a punch way more than its small number of pages would have you believe. The artwork by Masood Hussain adopted for this book is a bonus.
Kashur Zabaan ta Adbuk Tawareekh by Late Naji Munwar and Shafi Shauq: A concise but magisterial treatise of Kashmiri language and literature down the ages.
This one is a great introduction to our mother tongue and gives you such a pleasant taste of words from Lalla Ded to Mehjoor.
Anti-Clock by V.J James: Originally written in Malayalam and translated into English by Ministhy S.
This one is a favorite among the books on the JCB prize shortlist this year. Full of quirky humor this book is a quick but delectable read.
The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier: Originally in Spanish, the book has an English translation by Harriet De onis.
Carpentier makes you fall in love with Latin American literature all over again after Marquez and Borges.
The Doctor and the Saint by Arundhati Roy: The book combines a scholarly and book-length introduction to ‘Annihilation of Caste’ by Ambedkar, which is a foundational text of Dalit identity and is very relevant today more than eighty years of its publication.
Upara by Laxman Mane: An award-winning autobiography written originally in Marathi by Mane who belonged to the nomadic (out) caste of Kaikadi, the book is a realistic and searing depiction of marginality and the destruction that complete inaccessibility of power wreaks.
Right from descriptions of school life to life after college, Mane presents a painstaking description of how power perpetuates itself through caste, and how caste informs every social reality.
The book is sure to bring tears to your eyes, as you admire the resilience of the people to survive in face of such oppression, and marvel at the extent to which humans will collectively fall if they are intent upon dehumanization of a person or people.