Photo by Rafiq Kathwari: Street scene in Kashmir

Kashmir in the writings of Agha Shahid Ali and Rafiq Kathwari

Published in Lapis Lazuli, An International Literary Journal, GENERAL ISSUE VOL: 7, No.: 2, AUTUMN 2017. Authored by Asiya Zahoor and Mukesh Ranjan.

“This paper tries to look at the various historical representations of Kashmir which has created various stereotypes or rigid binaries around the Kashmiri identity and aims to highlight how Kashmiri writers have tried to subvert such narratives by way of producing a counter discourse. To this aim the paper focuses on the writings of Agha Shahid Ali and Rafiq Kathwari. Though Shahid started writing much earlier in his life while as Rafiq chose the poetic medium for expression very recently, the two writers nonetheless share a common poetic sensibility vis a vis Kashmir.

Both these writers who have been close friends and have dedicated poem to each other, were born in Srinagar, lived in the same neighborhood in Rajbagh and both moved to the US for their higher education and in the US too lived in close vicinity. These two writers have time an international visibility, both write in English and therefore offer a representation of Kashmir which is quite different from the representation made by people from outside Kashmir.”

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