Folk Tales from Kashmir

Table of Contents

  About the Author
  The Precious Present
  The Devil Outwitted
  Just a Nickname
  The Son-in-Law
  Eh! Oh!
  The Inauspicious Bride
  Himal and Nagrai
  The Haunted Mosque
  The Intruder
  The Burglar's Gift
  The Two Thugs
  The Patwari and the ...
  The Upstart
  Two Brothers
  The Merciful Burglar
  The Clever Lawyer ...
  Counting Ripples
  The Fugitive Fawn
  The Mortal Utensils
  The Hydra-Headed
  The Physician's Son
  The Professional Wedding ...
  The Village Teacher
  The Opium Smokers
  The Drone
  Telltale Narration
  Download Book

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




Situated on an important highway of learning, and culture, Kashmir attained eminence in the domain of art and letters in the past. In philosophy and mysticism, poetry and aesthetics, grammar and history, our ancestors took long strides towards what is still accepted as an enviable standard of perfection.

For various causes the creative urge of the people suffered a peculiar setback and several generations of Kashmiris lapsed into muted backwardness. During this period it was left to eminent Western scholars to introduce Kashmir to the civilized world through translation and interpretation of the literary and artistic wealth of earlier ages. Apart from their value to the outside world these works gave a sense of purpose and pride to our generation.

Interest in Kashmir's history and culture rose to a peak in the months following the independence of India. A resurgence of creative activity in all parts of this multilingual region was consequently stimulated. Along with the development of recognized literary forms in what were hitherto regarded barren languages, folk arts have come to claim a good deal of attention and patronage. The unprecedented pace of education during the last few years bids fair to quicken this resurgence of the creative urge. In this context the publication of Kashmiri folk tales in English translation in the present form is of some significance.

This volume of folk tales presents many of the stories generally current in Kashmir today, some of them indeed with many parallels in other parts of India and outside. Manut and Pan:uv or Toh Thug and Mengan Thug occur frequently in the idiom of our conversation everyday, and Himal and Nagrai, Shabrang and Akanandun are referred to in our parlance off and on. Though the tales are generally the product of the imagination of our people, several of them can at once be identified by local readers as built round the nucleus of an actual event to which the tale is true in substance and spirit.

The author of the present work has, by and large, bypassed tales based on fantasy, romance and magic, though such material exists in abundance in our folklore. He has also eschewed tales of a patently foreign character. There is, thus, a ring of modernity about them which sheds light on the modes of thought and ways of living of our people. The efforts of the author are commendable and I have no doubt that his book will be read and appreciated widely.

30 June, 1961



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Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

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