Folk tales retold

Deepak Raj

“Catching The Fading Ray” has strong streaks of intrinsic nostalgia which haunts the author’s mind to provide embryonic cord to connect her with native place of birth, entailed with deeply engraved memories of her childhood days.

Front cover observation – “Kashmir does not only possess geo-space but is abundant in its enthralling geo culture matrix, from which thoughts and concepts embedded in the consciousness of the people are finely described in the stories in this book by the author.” made by none other than Mr Anupam Kher, veteran, versatile and eminent Bollywood actor; approbates that the book is worth going through. It is a collection of twenty five stories which were narrated within the family to their children at the formative age group by parents to tend them for sleep or to make them swallow some morsels of boiled rice and vegetables or to coddle the sulking child who got uncomfortable due to one reason or the other. The author has assiduously put in her time and hard efforts to gather these stories from quite experienced, intelligent seniors in her acquaintance after having interactive session with each and every one to assimilate and understand all aspects of these folklores and fables. All stories carry moral and ethical message with strong social and cultural mooring of age old tradition and customs of the valley which were considered as a part of healthy growth of social values in the society. These cultural values had a great impact on the society for generations; which bloomed into pluralist society enriched in human love, brotherhood, co existence and tolerance as hallmark of Rishi and Sufiana cult in the valley.
Collections of these stories are spread over on 195 pages with colourful hard paper cover binding in off white. Name of the book, inscribed in motley hues and each alphabet embellished with revered landmarks of the valley are noted with focused peek. Each story has 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 a quick and easy read. The pages of the book are well laid in proper margin, classic symmetry and defined font of the text.
Chapters of these stories are off beat and most absorbing. 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. Especially, in harsh winters, when nights were longer and electric supply was cut off, all family members were huddled around oil lamp in a single room with door and windows shut; verbal expression of stories by grannies with ting of modulation of voice and gestures were moments of ecstasy for children; who listened with rapt attention and fancied them in their own imagination.
Credit goes to the author for compiling and consolidating all these stories in book; readily accessible to readers having proclivity for art and culture. This is the solo book of the author, recently published by Utpal Publication, Delhi and released for sale with the publisher and on Amazon. The price of the book “Catching the Fading Ray” is Rs 250/- and is easy to carry in pocket or purse for book readers.