Art & Culture

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Horse-drawn baggis on dirt parts, with mustard fields stretching on both sides; villagers discussing weather, the year’s crop, and marriages in town in crisp Urdu with a distinct Punjabi accent; the division of a land and people, punctuated with rapes, assaults, killings and mass displacement. And amidst all this, the turbulent love story of a young girl and her fiancée. Dastaan is a 23-episode show based on Razia Butt’s acclaimed novel, Bano. Broadcast on Pakistan’s Hum TV in 2010, the serial is one of the finest works produced on partition in contemporary cinema and became extremely popular in the country,

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Poster of the play “Letters from ’91” As the spring of 1991 sets in, the Himalayan snow begins to melt and the waters of river Jhelum gain momentum. But soon the clean-blue gushing waters are turned red, as Kashmir once called ‘The paradise on earth’ by the Mughals, erupts, with the songs of independence emanating from the loudspeakers of mosques and blood flowing through the streets of Srinagar. Born amidst such hostilities, Irfan finds himself surrounded by a black smoke of violence, dense enough to stain even the most majestic and serene landscapes of Kashmir. Irfan’s childhood is mostly restricted

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By Meghna Mudaliar There seems to be an intrinsic relationship between geography and culture in Ali’s A Nostalgist’s Map of America (1991) and Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1992) that suggests that it is only in the landscape of the individual’s memory and experience that culture may be located and validated. Both writers seem to craft subtextualised landscapes through narratologies that begin as explorations of subjective impressions of geographical spaces, and are transformed into decentralised spaces in which unofficial and personal histories are ‘mapped’ through correlations between the psychological and empirical landscapes that represent individual journeys. The idea of cartography is

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It used to be that whenever someone would ask me where I was from, I’d tell Kashmir. Depending on the listening party, there was a good likelihood of my enduring flak over the admittance. And then the political conversations that came as added baggage. Hardly something I enjoyed dealing with upon every introduction. It’s much easier to simply cop out and say ‘Texas’ than to get pulled into a mire of endless debating and arguing. Frankly, I no longer care. It makes no difference to me the various argument put up by opposing parties. What’s the point? By taking out

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A collection of canvas paintings by an artist, Sameer Ashraf, from Kashmir. He lives in New Delhi.  “Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.” -Kahlil Gibran        

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This documentary is about the importance of downtown Srinagar, the area which is called as Shahr-e-Khas. It shows the sufi shrines and the devotees surrounded by the traditional goods shops and other important places of shahr-e-khas. This film was made in a project by Owais Ashraf and his team, Faisal Rafiq Magray, Syed Hamid and Uzma Falak.

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          By Mayank Austen Soofi Do we laugh or cry for Ghalib? Is it possible without writing a book-length biography to convey the contrasts of his low life and high career, and also suggest his astonishing feat of transcending a vanished era to become the greatest Delhi poet and a great letter writer of all times? Mirza Mohammad Asadullah Khan wrote in Persian and Urdu. Ghalib, meaning ‘most excellent’, was his pen name. Born in Agra to a family of military adventurers, he spent almost all his life in Delhi, which then was in a transition phase custom-made for poets.

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Without music, life would be an error- Fredrich Nietzsche History is witness to the powerful influences exerted by music on human civilizations. Music, in fact, has always helped make us human. Transcending the barriers of culture, race and creed, music not only plays an important role to tie us in a single vast human family but even contribute in the processes of nation building. In Kashmir, the music that has resonated within these picturesque valleys has always connected us in our joy and in grief. For centuries, Music in our land was not merely a tool for entertainment but an

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