July 3, 2022 11:02:08 am
Noted Urdu writer-poet Tarannum Riyaz interweaves several narratives to reflect on women’s freedom, social mores, family intrigues, issues and the human condition in her novel “Barf Aashna Parindey”, which is about a Kashmiri Muslim family and has been translated into English.
Titled “Birds of the Snows” in English, the book traces the journey of Chowdhury Najab Khan’s family and revolves around Sheba, their youngest daughter who strives to chart a path for herself. It follows her from her childhood years to her adulthood.
Khan, his wife Suraya Begum and their three daughters Faheema, Farkhanda, Sheba and their extended relatives narrate the saga of their lives through the eyes of Sheba. The novel talks about Sheba’s reminiscences of her family, relatives and university life.
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The social and cultural life of a well-to-do Kashmiri family has been portrayed through the characters of the story and the beautiful landscape of Kashmir picturesquely captured through the author’s poetic eyes.
Overall, the book depicts the changing times in Kashmir, interactions between the rural and urban, as well the ways in which a conservative Kashmiri Muslim girl navigates through life.
Sheba’s university years with her friend Mayuri and professor Daanish also form a major part of the narrative. While in university, Sheba along with her batchmates takes on the role of a care-giver to look after her ailing professor.
She continues to look after him alone while her fellow classmates seek out professional and personal ventures. The novel, published by Niyogi Books’ imprint Thornbird, depicts her compassion and resolve as well as her search for self-fulfilment.
Riyaz, born and educated in Srinagar, has authored more than 20 books of fiction, criticism and poetry. She passed away during Covid.
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