Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

Book Review : Satisar, The Valley Of Demons

Mubashir Iqbal Kitaba

Kashmir has produced many great writers and poets and one among them is Ayaz Rasool Nazki. He has shown his metal as a researcher, teacher, columnist, poet, and scholar. The book Satisar (the valley of demons) encompasses rich history and culture of Kashmir. The book Satisar beautifully led its readers into the past which was both prosperous and painful. The author beautifully mixing the characters in stories one after the other. The stories and characters change as it sometimes confuse the ordinary readers. While going through the pages of the book the reader found that he was reading a particular character when suddenly it takes him to another character. Nazki mixed the characters old with new ones and new with old ones, past with present and present with past. War and violence brings death and destruction as both inflicts deep wounds that get caught in that with or without intention. The book is a political satire. The author depicts the sufferings of our ancestors who were denied from their basic rights. The starting pages show how the entire population was sold out including what was in their possession which includes cows, chicken, eggs, farms and crops. The book shows us how young and innocent boys being accused in false cases by labeling them as hard core militants and terrorists. Those who were and would always been part and parcel of our society have been thrown out of their habitat. Within few hours how a wealthy Pandit becomes beggar. They left all what they have acquired throughout their lives. The leaving of their valley still hurts us but if this is true then there is a big question mark on their intentions. The point is worth mentioning here that when Kashyap turned towards the officer asked him about the tents being erected in the ground after migration and the reply of the officer that Jag Lochan will bomb the place and the heaven will once again be yours where only you and your community live a happy and prosperous life without any ones intervention. The reply satisfied Kashyap and he told the same to his wife that we will soon be back to our own home and we will get ten orchards instead of one. One of the dark sides of the conflict is that when people were paraded which include young, old women and children in front of the military jeeps. Those who were paraded were most peace loving people on this planet earth and want peace more than anyone else.
As they were paraded by the men in uniform and even being meted out inhuman treatment Gani inside his heart has immense love for them. Lal Ded’s character was the interesting one as she was the one who was roaming naked through the streets and all the inhabitants of that place were lal reside consider her as their mother. As one day Lal was running fast asking the shopkeepers in the busy bazaar to cover her as today she saw a man. When found nowhere to hide her shame she jumped into the bakers (Kandurs) oven. The heaven that was promised to Kashyap by his master was now before his eyes. Its beauty, pleasant weather, snow clad mountains, flowing waters, fragrance in air, songs of birds everything was now before his eyes. Once Maqbool Dar thought that his cow was better than him. He even in his thought goes to the extent that the street dog was living a better life than him. He sings songs to put out the pain and suffering the people gone through under the monarchs rule. The infamous interrogation center Papa 2 where Gani was brought and kept. There in Papa 2 Gani was tortured. His clothes were torn out and removed. Those who tortured Gani hung him through the ceiling upside down. The courage of Lally is worth appreciating. She does not bow before the interrogators as at last they used her infant child as a shield to break her resolve and courage. The interrogators particularly Col. Sharma is of the view that the shrieks and cries of her infant baby whom she loved the most would break her. The entire community of Kalhan Pandit has migrated from the valley. His own children have left him all alone. But Kalhan Pandit refused to move out from his native village. He stitches to his birth place and every day he did his puja in the nearby temple the same way he was doing when his fellow members were with him. One particular night when Kalhan Pandit who was famously known as Pandit JI heard a sudden knock at his door. Fearful and apprehensive he opened the door. Pandit Ji came to shock when he found three men holding Ak 47 rifles and took him away. In the interrogation center they label him as an informer and put before him demand of either to sign the property papers or get ready to be killed.The author takes the story towards the Karachi when Budshah found himself caught in between the young girls who insisted him to take any one for a night for which Budshah replied it is the sin. But the lady who was their head told her that she had full arrangements to avoid the sin. The love for Noshlab in the heart of Ajab Malik drove him to travel to Germany to find her lost love that was turned by a magician into a bird and was taken away by a German tourist from the jungles of Kashmir. Mem Sehab straightway drove into Imam sehabs home and asked him the role of education in women’s life. She enquired from Imam Sehab what Quran says about education and isn’t it true that the Holy wife of Prophet (SAW) was one of the greatest scholars of Islam. If this is true then why you barred your daughters from getting education in a nearby school. As Kashyap assured Nilnag that his future as the king is sure and we only came here to protect you and your territory. We will be here to restore order and once restored we will be back and then got have full freedom to decide your fate. The book Satisar is a good read for literature lovers as it led them into the rich culture of Kashmir including the effects of violence in this part of land. The characters were beautifully used by the author Budshah, Lal Ded, Fani, Yousuf Shah, Kalhan Pandit, Ajab Malik, Noshlab, Gani, Lally, Misra Begum, Nullah Khan, Kashyap, Dara Shikah, Nilnag, Charles Chopra, Birbal, Guruswamy, Harusumay, Mahabali, Col. Sharma, Maqbool Dar,Quaf Mountain, and Nund. I wish the author good luck and success and pray to Almighty for his future literary endeavors and I am sure there is more to come from the pen of Dr Ayaz Rasool Nazki. I hope the author of will enlighten us through his writings in future also with his deep understanding and knowledge of our rich history and contemporary events.

( The author is pursuing Ph D at Kota University Rajasthan. Views are his own, mubashirkitaba@gmail.com)

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