“The Ashes”

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Book Review

Aabid Shahin;

Qasim Kashmiri is a mystical poet and writer from the hills of North Kashmir’s Baramulla. Author is a widely read poet and his previous works including “The secret of dark nights” and “Behind the veil” left a great impact on the minds of thirsty book-worms. “The Ashes” is author’s debutante novel, in his words a fable of emotions and betrayal. The story of book voyages one to the local environment and everyday happenings contained in Kashmir. In his novel, young Aafreen, a pretty girl absorbed in Rumi’s imbibing lines belong to Syed dynasty, a regal caste of name who seem claiming to have some supremacy over benign castes of community. She falls in love with a mystical poet, Saad, a middle class boy from some mild caste. Between the two, love matures into cancer within no time and both sustain tutelage of affection, love, faith, and unsaid promises from each other. Traced with regal emperor of name, Aafreen wholeheartedly welcomes Saad in thorny contention of benevolence without giving a second thought to her family norms, principles and fascinating background that she remained lock in. Thus author rightly claims that “love is beggar, it can knock any door.” However, Saad’s pertinacity blooms him into a novelist and innocent Aafreen at last is betrayed despite a thousand fake promises and innumerable milky talks. Saad gets his all dreams fulfilled after plunging his love into the motherly lap of death. Every alphabet is filled with grief and viscous streaks come out to see what is inked on dry pages. Other-worldly sagas and pent-up emotions make this book an addictive melancholy. Weal of words and ability to dress them conveniently quenching athrist readers is what Qasim has conspired. There can be no communion of mind and heart when book is grasped thoroughly. It steals away the heart of reader but demands credence from his mind as mind can never expect unusual endings filled with melancholic and depressing notes. The end of the book makes you deplore and storms your consciousness at the same time. It needs a steel heart to read the last pages without choking into tears.As Syed caste seem to claim some dominion over other castes of Kashmir and aboard, it have has worked vector social catastrophe and has dabbled unnumbered families in waters of disintegration, depression and breakdown. Our society is turning idle, generosity is at stake and Qasim has something to say, perhaps a cure, a plea, or a revolution provoking mass canvass. Many writers especially those who write short stories shock their reader by a differently enclosing triumph and that is how Qasim concludes. Qasim proves that sometimes a happy ending is not perfect at all. To a large extent throughout the book, author is successful in handling the flow of emotions. It can be said that it’s a magnificent and magical piece. With a great command over sensible writing, good narration, excellent sense of situation and detailing, the extraordinary mystical lines have added more to intoxication turning book into a cancerous discourse. May the book gain extensive receptions!

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