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Rumours of Spring (paperback)

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Now in PaperbackRumours of Spring is the unforgettable account of Farah Bashir's adolescence spen... Read More

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Now in Paperback

Rumours of Spring is the unforgettable account of Farah Bashir's adolescence spent in Srinagar in the 1990s. As Indian troops and militants battle across the cityscape and violence becomes the new normal, a young schoolgirl finds that ordinary tasks - studying for exams, walking to the bus stop, combing her hair, falling asleep - are riddled with anxiety and fear. With haunting simplicity, Farah Bashir captures moments of vitality and resilience from her girlhood amidst the increasing trauma and turmoil of passing years - secretly dancing to pop songs on banned radio stations; writing her first love letter; going to the cinema for the first time - with haunting simplicity. This deeply affecting coming-of-age memoir portrays how territorial conflict surreptitiously affects everyday lives in Kashmir.

'Bashir straddles binary realms - personal and political, public and private - by expertly diffusing the borders that are meant to keep them apart. The result is, almost, a MÌÁrquezean depiction of transformations - of bodies, inner spaces and rituals, forever in step with the eerie changes in the world outside.' - The Telegraph

'A bit like Anne Frank, another girl around the same age who lived in a different time scarred by violence, Bashir sought comfort in recording her daily rhythms.' - Mint Lounge

'Rumours of Spring is an evocative work that introduces readers to peculiarities of Kashmiri tradition that are at once both quotidian and exceptional ... described with an Austenian knack for storytelling and through scenes taking place inside households amid the dreary setting of 1990s' Kashmir.' - The Wire

'[Farah Bashir] chronicles the Himalayan region's deadliest period of the early 1990s, when human rights groups say tens of thousands were killed amid insurgency and military crackdowns. It's a rare look from a Kashmiri Muslim woman's point of view, as Bashir relays the impact of war on her teenaged body.' - Los Angeles Review of Books

'In Bashir's recollection of a turbulent period in Kashmir's history, both the personal and the political mesh. This narration of a litany of losses is unsentimental but the pain and the yearning are all too obvious. Farah Bashir joins the likes of Mirza Waheed, Basharat Peer, Paro Anand, Madhuri Vijay and others who have written about Kashmir and the situation there.' - The New Indian Express

'Farah Bashir has written an extraordinary, poignant account of life as an adolescent in the conflict-ridden Kashmir of the 1990s ... Farah humanizes the violence in a heartrending way and makes you reflect on the kind of life it must have been for a young girl growing up in constant curfew, with sounds of gunfire and convoys, and the perpetual talk of death. Every simple aspect of life we take for granted is fraught with terror.' - The Hindu

'This memoir is not only powerful and evocative, it also fills an important gap in feminist literature on Kashmir. It is important reading for those who wish to understand how women deal with fear, trauma, grief, small desires and daily rigours of life amidst Kashmir's conflict ... Writing in simple prose, the author magically threads her stories engagingly and poetically, peppering them with wit. It is one of those books that one can't just put down till you have read the last page.' -

'Bashir's Rumours of Spring is a plethora of emotions inked and bound together into a book. It reminisces about the lost culture of the "heaven city" - the festiveness of local traditions, the bustling city life, the comfort of mundane everyday tasks ... For writers from Kashmir, the political events naturally become a part of their writings because of their lived experiences and trauma. And so, when a Kashmiri author writes, it becomes a crucial piece of information that would perhaps shape history years down the line.' - Financial Express

'Life in the valley can often be a picture of many contradictions: picturesque mountains carrying the promise of hope can just as well be marred by flaming tensions. Through her lenses of childhood, Bashir gives us an unflinching portrait of Kashmir minus the romanticization.' - GQ India

'Bashir's memoir, then, is not only about individual and collective traumas but a compendium of nuanced revelations about the political genesis of the Kashmir struggle - its multiple faces and phases, evolution and aspirations ... a valuable contribution to historicizing the struggle in Kashmir from the Kashmiri perspective; one that has been denied to its most important stakeholders.' - The Caravan

'Rumours of Spring is an own-voices Kashmiri woman's account, the narration of which absolutely refuses the colonizer's gaze. It reads as a memoir written by a Kashmiri for a Kashmiri audience, a kind of literature that only has a handful of titles to its name among the myriad of books written about Kashmir. In being interspersed with dreamscapes, letters and songs, the writing is vivid and nostalgic.'

- Free Press Kashmir

'In Farah's Rumours of Spring, ideas and thoughts haven't been choked into passive submission. Devil's advocacy hasn't been summoned. There is mention of resistance, there is mention of tyranny, there is mention of occupation, there is mention of unending trauma, and yet with no apologist dialogue, no self-reductive pain, and no self-victimization. There is only addressal and reclamation. There is struggle, people and memory.' - Inverse Journal

'Family can mean different things to different people, but for us, Indians, it often means more than one thing. And in Kashmir, the land where heaven and hell are inextricably woven together, the idea of the family takes on a different hue. Farah Bashir's Rumours of Spring, a heartrending account of a childhood in siege addresses the same.' - Grazia

'What Farah lets you into is a life after and before the atrocities on the people. It doesn't get over after a crackdown or a bomb going off. You read about the nights when families had to bear every urge to get out of bed so that the house stays quiet and does not attract stray bullets or the wrath of the armed troops ... Farah does not employ long descriptions of the pain or suffering she's been through. Instead, she goes on to wonder about a life growing up away from a conflict zone, and that, if not anything else you have read so far, puts a lump in your throat.' - The News Minute

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