SRINAGAR: On his first death anniversary, novelist poet Tarannum Riyaz’s Urdu novel has been published in English by Niyogi Books. She died of Covid19 on May 20, 2021, nearly 41 days after Riyaz Punjabi, her husband.
The novel snow birds depicts the changing times in Kashmir from a rural lifestyle to a more urban one, depicting a Kashmiri family and charting the life of Sheba, a young woman who chooses a career over marriage. The novel also explores the mother-daughter relationship, women’s freedom and the search for personal fulfillment. The novel was originally written in Urdu with the title Barf Aashna Parindey.
“We were deeply saddened by the loss of Tarannumji during the Covid pandemic. She was a very talented poet and writer, and her voice will be missed. Although Tarranumji died during the production of this book and was unable to view the printed copies, its completion is our sincere tribute to her memory,” said Trisha De Niyogi, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Niyogi Books. “snow birds evocatively depicts childhood in Kashmir, capturing beautiful images of the region’s landscape, changing seasons, customs, food and birds. The author has written a coming-of-age novel that depicts a young woman’s search for fulfillment.
“Tarannumji was a good friend, with whom I often interacted during my days at the Sahitya Akademi. A well-known Urdu poet, she was a regular at many meetings of multilingual poets at the Akademi,” said the Editorial Director of the publishing house, Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharji “In a melodious voice, she recited her poems with enough emotion to carry the audience with her. Her passing is a loss to the world of literature, but she will live through her life.” work. We are privileged to publish his translation of his Urdu novel.’
The novel traces the journey of a family in Kashmir and primarily the life of their daughter, Sheba, as she studies and discovers her own path. Sheba wishes to be free, just like the birds she loves to watch, but understands the need to respect social conventions and accept the responsibilities of life.
Exploring women’s freedom, the mother-daughter relationship and social mores, the author skilfully interweaves several poignant stories. While in college, Sheba takes on the compassionate task of caring for her teacher, when he suffers a stroke. She engages in this humanitarian role with her classmates and continues on her own after pursuing their professional and personal goals.
This skilfully translated novel depicts the changing times in Kashmir, from rural to more urban life, the impact of modern thought and, through its portrayal of female characters, explores their compassion and resolve, as well as their search of personal fulfillment.
Dr. Tarannum Riyaz was an Urdu writer, critic, poet and translator. Born and educated in Srinagar, Kashmir, she holds an MA in Urdu and Education and a PhD in Education. She is the author of more than 20 books of fiction, criticism and poetry. His works have been translated into many national and international languages. His writings are prescribed for research and study in the educational institutions of India. She has also been a guest lecturer at many prestigious educational and research institutions in India and abroad.
41 days after Riyaz Punjabi’s disappearance, his poet wife Tarannum Riyaz dies
She was a Senior Researcher at the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and has received numerous awards for her work including the SAARC Literature Award (2014), Jammu and the Kashmir Academy for Art, Culture and Languages for the Best Book Award. (2008) and the Delhi Urdu Academy Fiction Award (2006). Dr. Riyaz has also participated in numerous national and international conferences and seminars.
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