‘Chinar Tales’ by Rubina Sushil
“Chinar Tales” by Rubina Sushil is a collection of short stories set in the beautiful region of Kashmir. The book contains six stories that explore the lives of ordinary people living in Kashmir and their experiences. While writing these stories, the essence of Kashmir is captured in subtle tones.
The book begins with a story titled “Quiver” that sets the tone for the rest of the book. The story touches the cultural fabric of Kashmiri community. Further down the page of the book, each story is unique and offers a different perspective on life in Kashmir. Those who have lived in Kashmir will feel the connect.
The characters are relatable, and the stories are filled with emotions, ranging from love and happiness to loss and despair. Her writing style is simple yet powerful, and she has been able to create a sense of empathy for the characters in my mind.
One of the standout stories in the collection is “Quiver.” The story revolves around a young girl who has to leave her home and family behind to pursue her dreams. She has been able to capture the hues of the emotions of this young girl and her family as they struggle to come to terms with the separation.
‘My hands hurt. I have been digging my own grave throughout the night. Let this night end swiftly, my Maula, so that I can crawl into my grave and sleep!
Another remarkable story in the collection is “Driftwood.” The story is about a young girl who is possessed. While drifting through this story, the fear, the uncertainty does grip the reader, more so, when one has grown up witnessing such episodes.
Another story, ‘Shadow’ is about relations, expectations and opportunities. Rubina is harsh when it comes to tackling and describing the strains of relationships. It is all about efforts to improve a situation. The story ends on a realistic note.
Overall, “Chinar Tales” is an excellent collection of stories that offer a glimpse into the lives of people living in Kashmir. Rubina’s writing style and storytelling abilities make the book an enjoyable and engaging read. The book is highly recommended for readers who enjoy short stories and are interested in learning more about life in Kashmir or reconnecting their own roots.
On a lighter note, over time the ‘choicest of words’ which were forgotten by those who moved away from their roots for what ever the reasons, were refreshed.
Yem lavnai na chaiyenis pozaaras”
(They are not even worth your footwear.)