Folk Tales from Kashmir

Table of Contents

  Index
  Foreword
  Dedication
  Preface
  Introduction
  Twin Scientists
  Daddy’s Distress
  Breaking the Horse
  She is the Apple of My Eye
  Daddy’s Coronation
  The In-Law Tussle
  Broken Pen
  The Dudda
  Daddy’s Nightmare
  Rise and Fall
  Rivalry and Rebuff 
  Mini Marco Polo
  Royal Dudda
  Facing the Challenge
  Yes, No? May be So
  Crest Fallen
  Psychic-Clash
  Shock Treatment
  Grandma’s Shivratri
  Conquering Death
  Prickly Thistle
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Foreword

I was pleasantly surprised as well as honored to receive a letter from Razdan Sahib recently along with manuscript of his latest book. It brought memories of my years in C.M.S. School, Srinagar - that magnificent building on the banks of the Jehlum and some wonderful teachers, none more than him. I remember the classroom where he taught us sciences, as also the attached laboratory, where we conducted experiments under his guidance. Like so much else in Kashmir that school building has probably been destroyed in recent years. It was a wonderful school which gave education to generations of Kashmir is. I have no doubt that they all remember Razdan Sahib as a gentle but firm, upright and ever helpful teacher. He has used his vast experience and knowledge in new pursuits of writing books and running magazines. I am proud to have been his student.

This collection of 21 short stories brings to the fore complexities of human relationship and unpredictability of human psyche we experience in family life, but with a genial coating that is supposed to tickle rather than shock. Hence the title "Ticklish Stories". The writer brings to bear upon these stories his rich experience of life, his sensitivity to the significance of what most of us dismiss as ordinary and the faculty of keen observation of human nature. Themes are varied, but all are what anyone encounters without really experiencing with vision that is clouded by prejudices, pride, likes and dislikes.

Twin Scientist vividly portrays the pangs of suffering a person feels on getting lesser attention than his more successful sibling. Daddy's Distress and its sequel Daddy's Coronation dwell on the distress a man feels over the fall in his fortunes and resultant neglect by children who shared happier days with him. Breaking the Horse takes one to the world of intrigues common to the life of professional rivalry anywhere. In fact, the writer returns to the theme again and again as a teacher, Prithive, who unmistakably has an autobiographical touch.

The most notable aspect of these is a nostalgic feel for the old-world charm. So a person still yearns to join a Hindu-wedding feast in Kashmir as a Duda (uninvited guest) despite fortunes smiling on him through the material success of his doctor son.

The language may not be a purist's delight, but it has simplicity and flavor of its own. Moreover, some of these may not strictly meet the criteria of short stories propounded by critics as the loving teacher in the writer gets the better of story writer in him, and he gushes forth in an essay-like monologue, but then every art form is an evolving one and everyone seeking self-expression has the artistic freedom to choose the form that suits him best. I have enjoyed these and hope others will like them too.

M.K. Razdan

Editor-in-Chief

Press Trust of India (PTI)

 
 

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