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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"Not Flowers of Henna"
Translated from the Hindi by Jai Ratan

"The young turk of Hindi Fiction" - Gulzar

The best of short fiction from Padma Bhushan Awardee Kamleshwar

A novelist, film writer, critic and editor, Kamleshwar wrote political, religious and ideological fixations . His writings depict the society in flux and build on fundamental verities such as circumstances and human affections. Jai Ratan, the translator, completed his masters from Foreman Christian College, Lahore. He was awarded the Divagish Award in 1991 and the Sahitya Akademi Award for translation in 1992. He is a founder member of the Writer’s Workshop, Kolkata.

Restive and moving, Kamleshwar’s stories resist all attempts to divide. The title story “These are not Flowers of Henna, Salima,” - which had set the stage for the celebrated novel Kitne Pakistan – affirms that Pakistan exists not on the map but in people’s minds. These tales are not fragrant flowers of henna, but intimations of the Pakistans that breed everywhere, every moment. The fifteen handpicked stories in this collection meld memory with experience.
Subtly crafted and sensitively translated, these stories defy easy conclusions.
“Kamleshwar painted life’s rainbow boldly and innovatively on a wide, expansive canvas and filled it with quality and craft” – Times of India
“Torchbearer of writing with a constructive approach and vision” – Sheila Dikshit

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