By Mashooq Yousuf Malik
An assortment of both poetry and prose, ‘The Dying Whisper of a Never Born Child’, is a book by two neophyte writers— ‘Naveed Para and Majid Majaaz’. It’s a book entailing the contemporary Kashmir conflict vis-à-vis its impact on the millennials.
Based on the thirteen chapters, this book is an inimitable in its story telling. An amalgamation of, fact and fiction, it tours you thru the beautiful Kashmiri picturesque to the vulnerability—people and place are faced with. Which makes me to say, a huge literature has been produced on the subject— Kashmir, but, the pain and agony, is redefined by the authors.
Though new to the arcade of storytelling, both have done a bravura job to research— what has already been searched. Not unblemished, though, in certain hitherto aspects on Kashmir, however, this book is an unprecedented effort towards the literature on Kashmir. What makes it a concerted determination— is the build in indigenous poetry.
The book begins with a poem— ‘Voice o’er Vision’, contradicting the beauty of Kashmir with what’s the difficulties it has. Without exaggerating the bits, authors, have unswervingly started the story of a ‘Mother and her unborn Child’ itself in chapter I. They have exquisitely précised the account of the mother, Nayeema, and her Child in the womb in a very crisp manner.
In the Chapter II, authors have skilfully described a candid conversation, between the Child and an Angel, in which Child is being told about the mesmerising vale of Kashmir. In this chapter you will find a poem titled, ‘Meon Wattan’, which is in all deeply praising the Paradise Kashmir.
The Chapter III, again endures the colloquy, between ‘Angel’ and the ‘Child’, and the visit—they both do to explore the Kashmiri scenery, for the Child.
Then in Chapter IV, authors have very momentarily chatted the brief history of Kashmir accession, and the peripheries. Which in actual sense is the part of story in continuity, narrating ‘Angel’ to the ‘Child’ in his mother’s womb.
In Chapter V, the book is having a little twist, putting forth the tale of artisans of Kashmir, while they, Child and Angel, are on the top of Shankar Acharya hills. In the very Chapter, We’re being pioneered to a new character, Zubair. Who’s dealing with the business of Qaleen bafi. And, reaches to the upper areas of Bandipora to do Qaleen (Kashmiri handmade carpet) trade.
Whereas, the authors, keep us telling the tale, we find in Chapter VI, that Zubair has fallen for the daughter of an Artisan, and is in an inquisitiveness to visit her home, only, to see her. Coincidently, in this chapter, we come to know the first episode of armed violence, which breaks in Srinagar, and claims the life of Zubair’s brother. Hence brings the twist in the tale.
With the numerous twirls in Chapters VIII, IX, and X— the authors very successfully manage to take us thru the several heart-breaking incidents. Which thoroughly change the entire story into a tear some affair. How the family life of our exorbitant character, Nayeema, changes due to the series of ruthless events, and the way of her thinking about the world— is completely emotive to read about.
In an aerodrome of love and romance, the finest characters, Zubair and Nayeema, are unstoppably facing heavy odds, one after another. Being the very prominent character of the story, Makhan Lal, though, lately introduced, is Kashmiri Pandith character— who takes care of the Nayeema and successfully gives her hand to the person, whom, Nayeema, has become an apple in the eye.
In the finishing Chapter XIII, the very ‘Child’ in the story refuses to take birth in Kashmir, after seeing how her parents suffered throughout their lives, and requests the ‘Angel’ to take him somewhere, where world is blooming instead of bleeding. In this way, the story again ends with the brief poetic lines. Hence, leaves us with a Midas touch, and a willingness of having the more…
Written on an essence of Kafkaesque model, this book, is an interesting read for all types of readers. No doubt, in a very fictional tone, it says us all about the beauty, art, and violence of Kashmir. But, it doesn’t point out a finger towards one single person. That, brings out a beauty in it. I wish, its authors and the editor, a very pre-eminent providence for the future.
(The writer is an LL.M Scholar at CU-Kashmir, and can be reached at email@example.com)