On this symbolic day, we present Maqbool Bhat’s 1969 speech translated from Urdu by Wajahat Ahmad.
Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief
Academic and writer Muzaffar Karim translates and introduces Jaun Elia’s “The Garbage Dump of History,” a piece originally titled “Jannat Jahanam” in Urdu that appeared in Suspense Digest (July 2000). Karim’s introduction and subsequent translation situate international readers beyond Elia’s widely known poetic and academic work, bringing us closer to Elia’s thoughts on Kashmir before, during and after partition. In the process, Karim’s translation reveals a deep sense of empathy, expressed as irredeemable angst that the poet, scholar and philosopher felt for Kashmir and its people, and particularly its disenfranchised Muslim majority. By way of translation, Muzaffar Karim retrieves a piece of writing that serves as a relic or a historical document to register the desperation, angst and nihilism that has festered for decades as Kashmir has remained besieged and exiled from any semblance of peace. That that desperation and angst is expressed by Elia via this translation by Karim makes it even more symbolic of the hostile and unchanging times.
As a researcher in Psychology, Amir Sultan writes about relevant concepts and terms developed in his field through academic research done on two particular cases of cold-blooded murder. The piece offers interesting observations about studies in Psychology that relate to the world of news reporting. Some of the events discussed and referenced via hyperlink to their direct sources are of a violent nature. Reader and viewer discretion is advised for those sensitive to such events covered widely in the news.
Under Covid-19 confinement, Saima Afreen presents a non-fiction piece written in a literary style that allows the writer to venture far beyond the subjects of its title, into an introspective engagement with her experiences and memories to the greater visions before her, in a ‘mind state’ of lockdown that is relatable to many yet communicable by few. The writer provides articulations that oscillate between poetic imagery and literary prose to shape an experience of preventive pandemic lockdown from the Indian cosmopolis, traversing into a territory outside of solitude and well past the quarantined self.
Negative Female Portrayals in the Folktales of the Raantas, the Kikimora and the Banshee — by Aadil Hussain
Aadil Hussain problematizes the portrayal of sinister and fear-inducing female figures in traditional folktales from multiple cultures, starting with his own.
Murtaza Fazily visits his birthplace to meet young and senior archers, sports officials, bureaucrats, prominent cultural figures and residents to gather their perspective on archery and its essential place in Ladakhi society and its culture. In the story narrated mainly from the dialogues with such figures, a history of archery, its tradition, its transformation and its present condition is discussed thoroughly. The writer has chosen to remain loyal to the words of those who inform his research about the status of archery in Ladakh by providing ample space for their statements and accounts. As such, the story that follows is primarily driven by such statements and accounts by the same people who practice and promote archery while struggling to keep it relevant.
Majid Maqbool recalls a night in the Kashmiri 90s when a band of unexpected visitors come knocking at the door. The account told from the perspective of an adolescent narrator recounts a story that is far too familiar to the Kashmiri population that has seen war and conflict at their doorsteps. However, such stories many times remain unwritten and have been transmitted more often through word of mouth and in many a conversation. The writer here successfully captures one such story and narrates it through the written word, introducing elements of storytelling and memory-making that are not habitually put into practice around such topics given the air of trauma, fear and censorship that keeps Kashmiris from recalling their own experience of Kashmir, particularly since the early 90s.