Literature reflects time, situation and mindset. The political revolution in Kashmir, in the name of right to self determination, gave birth to a body of literature now recognized as the Resistance Literature. It is a fact that turmoil doesn’t erupt suddenly. Political disturbances, economic deprivation, broken promises the induced religious polarization, the fear of cultural invasion and certain other elements lead to it, and also strengthen it. Valley’s two writers received appreciation internationally for authoring two books on Kashmir. The reason for this wide recognition is the fact that English is a universal language. Contrary to it, the effective writings of some less known writers of Kashmir have not received the appreciation they deserved. ‘Curfewed Night’, the memoir of Basharat Peer and the novel ‘Collaborator’ by Waheed Mirza have presented Kashmir before the world as never before. Continuing on this effort, Bashir Talib, in true sense, has made literature as a medium to present the pain for posterity by writing the short stories.
‘Aarzoo’ (Yearning) – the book under review – is a compilation of 16 stories, which the author calls as Resistance Stories. These stories reflect on the political situation of Jammu and Kashmir before and after 1989. It delves into the causes of historical events and makes inferences from these events that shaped the recent politics of the state.