9789389231274

The Legend of Himal and Nagrai

Onaiza Drabu

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9789389231274

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Paperback

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(Paperback | ISBN 9789389231274 | 224 pages | 2019)

Summary

Filled with serpent kings, long-lost lovers, magical birds and seductive witches, The Legend of Himal and Nagrai is an enchanting collection of folk tales from a land as beautiful as it is misunderstood—Kashmir.

In the title story, the serpent king Nagrai takes on human form to be with his one true love, the princess Himal. But despite Nagrai’s warnings, when Himal doubts her lover’s origins, all hell breaks loose. Will the star-crossed lovers ever be together?

Leaving home for the mountains, a goat evades a jackal, a lion and a bear, promising to come down all fattened up for them after winter. But will she really be able to get back home safely, and save her newborn kids from the jaws of death?

A pauper goes on a quest to awaken his luck, which has been ‘asleep’ for years. Will he ever recognize good luck staring him in the face?

These and twenty-six other tales, painstakingly collected and retold by Drabu, bring to light an immensely rich, multicultural and largely undocumented tradition of storytelling. As Kashmiri voices continue to be brutally silenced, this book is a vibrant tapestry celebrating the spirit and imagination of Kashmir, in the words of its own people.

PRAISE
‘In these days when Kashmir is ever more inaccessible to most of us, it is both a personal pleasure and a cultural treasure to have this authentic Kashmiri voice speaking to us from the living realm of Kashmiri memory and imagination.’— Wendy Doniger

‘This gem of a book is a collection of folk tales which have survived so far only in an oral tradition. With its captivating stories and well-research introduction, it is a must-read for anyone interested in Kashmir and its folklore.’—Neerja Mattoo, author of Kath: Stories from Kashmir and The Mystic and the Lyric: Four Women Poets from Kashmir