GNK PUBLICATIONS Reviews Urdu Literature

Naqsh-e-Faryadi by Raha Yousuf , Review by Rayees Ahmad Kumar

Written by GNK

GNK ENGLISH, 20 April 2024

Book Review of ‘Naqsh Faryadi’ by Raja Yousuf

Among some well-known and emminent fiction writers of valley, who have successfully gained prominence at national and international level and are currently serving the world of literature through their creative items, Raja Yousuf’s name is a worth to mention among them. He possesses a unique style of writing fiction in Urdu. He is a skilful litterateur, who knows how to present the reality of life and society through his writings. In these tough and competitive times, one must be a well-versed, dynamic and knowledgeable person in order to be able to impress and inspire people through creative writings. And when we analyse and contemplate the works of Raja Yousuf, we unequivocally accept him as the King of Urdu fiction of valley. Besides composing Short stories and Dramas, Raja Yousuf occasionally tries his luck in poetry also. He is theatre artist as well and writes in native language kashmiri also.Hailing from the Anchidora village of Anantnag district, Raja Yousuf is a popular name of Urdu fiction of valley. Two of his short story collections ‘Kakzi Pirhan & Vyeth’ have already been widely hailed by the literary circles. Naqsh Faryadi is his another collection of 33 Short stories and 27 Mini-Short stories/ micro fiction spread over 252 pages. This fantastic piece is beautifully designed with an eye catching cover page and a superior quality paper inside. Raja Yousuf has dedicated this adorable compilation to his father late Mohd Shaban Bhat who served him as his first teacher. Legendary fiction writer of valley Noor Shah sahib writes about Raja Yousuf “While going through the short stories of Raja Yousuf, it comes to fore that he knows how to present a big idea or thought in brief and comprehensive words”. Prominent writer of country Haqani-ul-Qasmi is of the view ” It isn’t easy to highlight the negative and positive aspects of a community and society in writings. it needs courage, unwavering dedication and wit to present the real picture of the society in literary works. Raja Yousuf has bravely written about the agony, melancholy and presented the gloomy picture of valley”. Raja Yousuf’s broadminded acuity is obvious in his short stories. Commenting on the the book, world famous critic of valley Dr Riyaz Tawheedi says ” In most of the Raja Yousuf’s short stories, we find incidents and happenings of society presented in a lucid, artistic and skilful manner. Naqshi Faryadi short story is a masterpiece in itself. It reflects author’s adroitness, expertise and creative imagination”. The opening and title short story of the book “Naqsh Faryadi” on page 21 is so nicely written that a reader can’t satisfy himself without reading all the 60 Short and Micro-Short stories. It’s wording and language is so comprehensive that one understands it’s meaning and crux with ease. Another short story Makdi on page 25 is so philosophically composed that a reader is compelled to think logically in order to reach the conclusion of the story. Human thoughts have been symbolised with the net of a spider. Romantic element too is revolving around the central theme of the story. Gorkan written in easy Urdu on page 40 depicts the nostalgic and old-fashioned practice of rewarding gravediggers on 4th,15th and 40th death day of a person in valley. Kashmir’s famous cuisine Wazawan too is mentioned in the story. This story basically reflects how things change and situations affect our daily life thereby interfering in our routine. Another well-crafted short story Bewafa on page 62 is a multifaceted one. How social sites like Facebook bridges relationship between two unknown souls of huge age difference and how this relationship later on proves disloyal is felt while going through it. Dard Hadd Se Guzar Jaye Tu.. this short story on page 74 is written intrepidly by Raja Yousuf taking utmost care and bringing circumstances of 90s of valley before the eyes of readers when crackdown, parades, search operations and battering, thumping and thrashing was a routine and everyone irrespective of the age and stamina endured it patiently. Buzdil.. this one on page 92 too is composed so artistically that readers get sticked to the entire story to find how adversity of the unpleasant situation has been penned down by Raja. Another extraordinary short story Ziddi on page 147 can be seen which is written so magnificently, depicting Raja Yousuf’s talent of writing fiction and his strong hold on vocabulary, art and linguistic skills. He possesses strong grip on composing detailed stories reflecting varied social aspects. In this story we enjoy the enchanting beauty of Pahalgam, it’s murmuring crystal clear waters, Deffodils of Poshawan Park, Baisaran, Betab and Aru Valley. More importantly we understand how poverty, indigence and deprivation erect hurdles in love between two souls and how each one’s dreams get shattered in broad daylight because of poverty. Raja Yousuf is really a skilful fiction writer possessing every dexterity in writing stories of fiction. His flow of words and the art of weaving multifaceted stories is really astounding. The first micro-fiction Darrr on page 209 of the book manifests how constant and routine fear among people of a habitation diminishes with each passing day by being accustomed with the troubled times. Aankh Macholi… This one on page 213 reveals how death and life amid firing and grenade lobbings remain constantly associated with people of disturbed areas and how fear, panic and horror reign there. Do Hazar Ikawan… This one on page 218 exhibits the hardships and tough times people face during COVID like situations when everyone tried to keep a distance from other fellow beings and goods and materials are valued more than the currency notes as has been displayed by the characters in this story. Nowadays in each corner of the globe even in our land of saints, we see old age parents being abandoned and alienated by their own brought-up children. They seldom remember what they have done for them in infancy and even in their youth. They bring them up, educate and tie their nuptials with pleasure but in the end they care about their own children and spouse, keep them neglected. With the result they prefer to be in the old-age homes instead at their son-in-law’s residence. A beautiful and thought provoking story Maaan has been beautifully crafted by Raja Yousuf found on page 219 displaying the same. Tawakal… On page 223 is a dual messaged one fetching two messages, one enduring pain in view of fear and trust, another the utmost love of a mother for his son. During pandemic times of Corona when people almost sat idle and were caged in the four walls of the house, those who used to pray on Friday’s and Eid Salahs only now began to give five times Azan in the mosque. Corona was a blessing for such people. Same is conveyed in Balah Ho Corona on page 226. Dawat Ya Matam…. This one on page 229 sprinkles salt on our unhealed wounds. Crows previously would chant Kaw Kaw upon finding some dead animal to invite other fellow beings but now the things have altogether changed. They chant Ah Ha Aa Ha now when they too see dead bodies of humans floating in water bodies, in orchards and agricultural fields. Everything isn’t going well in our society and community these days. Holigans and arrogant people indulge in immoral and criminal activities, after being jailed they somehow manage to get released and then prosper by leaps and bounds through illegal means and unlawful ways. To our utter astonishment their win in the elections too in imminent which is really a slap on the faces of concious men. This is the crux of a story Qualification found on page 234. Insaniyat found on page 340 is nicely written displaying the character of upright people who feel the pain of abandoned infants when no one owns them. From all the stories of Naqsh Faryadi, we come to the conclusion that Raja Yousuf is really a skilful, talented and superb fiction writer of valley. His art of composing and weaving stories of fiction displaying agony, pleasure, bliss, melancholy of people and enchanting beauty of different landscapes is praiseworthy. Raja Yousuf is not only the Raja of Urdu fiction but also an eloquent writer. Naqsh Faryadi is a sweat treat to those who love Urdu and those aspiring to become future fiction writers. I recommend everyone to go through it and comment. ……. Show quoted text RAYEES AHMAD KUMAR Writer hails from Qazigund Kashmir.

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