Seven hundred years ago too. the Valley of Kashmir was passing through the same spell of torment and turmoil as it is today. At that time, the social norms, culture and geopolitics of the region were in a rapid flux. In the name of novelty, the old values were being given up for the faith of the aggressive foreigners. Such were the circumstances in which was born Kashmir's primal poetess, Lal Ded. Centuries have passed, but the songs that she sang in her inborn anguish, assimilating the Valley's intense agony, are still being heard in the murmur of chilly winds passing through its woods.
The novel tells the tale of the hermit poetess. What she says in these pages are but snippets of her songs. The people of Kashmir have kept those songs close to their bosom as they do the kangri, that innovative fire-pot which keeps them warm even in the harshest cold winds.
Living in this world, Lal Ded reached a pinnacle which the world cannot get to, where all the religions are left behind. Even Shiva, in whose quest she wandered about all her life, vanished from her sight and she too disappeared into the void - sunya. It is our good fortune to have with us her songs that enlighten us as to how poetry can give meaning to life.
Lal Ded, originally written in Dogri, has already been translated into Kashmiri, Pahari, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu. Marathi and Gujarati. It has been awarded the 'Best Book' prize by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in 2012. The novel has been also prescribed in a course of study by the University of Jammu.
Novelist Ved Rahi was born in Jammu on 22nd May, 1933. His father, Lala Mulk Rai Saraf, had the distinction of starting. in 1924, the first ever newspaper in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Inspired by the family environment, Ved Rahi began writing in Urdu from the early days. Later, he took to writing in Dogri and Hindi as well. The author has to his credit 7 published novels, 3 collections of short stories and 2 anthologies of poetry in Dogri language. He has also published several novels. short story collections and anthologies of poetry in Hindi and Urdu. Ved Rahi's contribution to the Bollywood film industry is significant. He has written stories. film-scripts, dialogues for 25 Hindi feature films and directed 5 films. In addition, he has also scripted and directed numerous documentaries, tele-serials and short films. Gul Gulshan Gulfam is one of his most popular TV Serial.
In 1983, Sahitya Akademi awarded Ved Rahi for his Dogri collection of short stories, Aale. The Akademi also made a documentary film on his life and contribution to literature.
The Government of Maharashtra conferred on him the award of 'Maharashtra Gaurav' in 1990.
In 2011, the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan honoured him with the prestigious Maha Pandit Rahul Sankritayayan award.
In 2012, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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