Book Reviews

Folk Tales from Kashmir

Catching The Fading Ray, book having a collection of twenty five short stories written by Avanti Sopory, illuminating the rich cultural nostalgia of her yester years of her birth place, Kashmir when she was at 10. Every piece  give an essence of Kashmiri tradition, customs and social ethos from times immemorial of the valley which were considered as a part of healthy growth of social values in the society.

Avanti Sopory has tried to keep Kashmir's social and cultural values alive in her collections spread over on 195 pages with well drawn connecting caricatures symbolising each character of the concerned stories, which explains fairly the contents of the story to the reader. Author has described these stories in very lucid and limpid style for quick an easy understanding of the reader.

The author has assiduously gathered these stories from rural oriented senior citizens of the valley after having interactive session with each and every individual to assimilate all aspects of these folklores and fables. It provides range of glimpses into the interesting and stirring portrait with insight about the folk tales of Kashmir which were rolled down generation after generation through word of mouth. Story telling or sharing was the only media, entertainment available with the people of mountain girdled valley for ages who led a contented life.

Going back to History of Kashmir, George Grierson was impressed by the high philosophical content and linguist richness of Lalla Waakh (Lal Ded or Lalla Yogeshwari was a popular 14th century Kashmiri saint poetess). Waakh travelled from one generation to another by word of mouth. No manuscript was available. In 1914, Grierson assigned Pt. Mukand Ram Shastri the task of noting down the entire Lalla Waakh. Pt. Mukand Ram located a saint, Dharam Dass Darvesh of Gucchgam, who had learnt Lalla Waakh by heart. Pt. Mukand Ram Shastri recorded the waakh from Darvesh and handed it over to Grierson.

The book is self explanatory telling the strong streaks of intrinsic nostalgia which haunts the author’s mind to provide incipient cord to her native place of birth, with deep memories of her impressionable age at 40.

Her book is an stimulant in connecting the reader to the richness of Kashmir and hold an inherent strength and essence for the progeny.

Anupam Kher, eminent Bollywood actor on cover post of Catching The Fading Ray writes "Kashmir does not only possess geo-space but is abundant in its enthralling geo-cultural matrix, from which thoughts and concepts embedded in the consciousness of people are finely described in the stories in this book by the author are worth reading to know about Kashmiri ethos."

Avanti Sopory has also co-authored India’s first composite novel “Cross and Knotted” , listed as the Limca Book of Records. Her other women centric short story featured in “Defiant Dreams” which is listed with commission on status of Women, UN and Oprah book club. Her third anthology “When They Spoke” has stories on personification of inanimate objects is already in market for book lovers.

The price of the book “Catching the Fading Ray” is Rs250/. available on Amazon.


More by :  R C Ganjoo

Top | Book Reviews

Views: 3441      Comments: 0

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.