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“Mizraab” – A Tabloid to vent the Creative Expressions of Young minds of Kashmir

"Mizraab" is not only about art, literature and culture, it includes satire and showcases conflict as well.

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Image Source: Kashmir Observer
  • The first issue of the 16-page fortnightly “Mizraab”, funded by local newspaper “Kashmir Observer”, is a collection of writings, illustrations and poetry done by students
  • “Mizraab” is not only about art, literature and culture, it includes satire and showcases conflict as well
  • She said she got 2,500 copies printed for the first edition. All of them were distributed to students free of cost

In search of space for political dissent in the trouble-torn Kashmir Valley, 23-year-old Saba Nazki and a bunch of youths have started a tabloid — “Mizraab” — exclusively for students to give vent to their creative expressions in the form of stories and illustrations.

When Nazki flew back in 2014 after completing her graduation from Delhi University in English honors, she said there was “no space” in the Valley for intellectual creativity as existed in the national capital where art, theatre and writing used to be her daily fare.

The first issue of the 16-page fortnightly “Mizraab”, funded by local newspaper “Kashmir Observer”, is a collection of students’ writings, illustrations and poetry.

“Kashmir not only has beautiful landscapes but is also rich in terms of art and literature. And it is so unfortunate that we do not have any space for expression. Kashmir is poetic. Students here need polishing and a platform for expression. Thus, Mizraab,” Nazki, who never intended to be a journalist, told IANS.

Titled appropriately, “Mizraab”, a Persian-origin Urdu name for fiddle-stick or the plectrum with which musical instruments like the sitar or rabaab are played, is a platform to stir the hidden creative minds of the valley.

“Mizraab for me is to instigate art and channelize intellectual space. In Kashmir, even student politics is mostly banned. We need to create our own space,” said Nazki, the founding editor.

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Pursuing her masters in English literature from Kashmir University, Nazki has involved fellow students, invoking in them the sense of writing.

The first edition published earlier this month is a mix of Kashmir’s art, culture, history and linguistic treasure. For example a column, “With Love, To Aga Shahid Ali”, remembers the life and works of the renowned Kashmiri-American poet.

It also has illustrations by students of music and fine arts. There is a column called “Til-waer”, which literally means an oil-dispenser, but is a phrase in Kashmir used for a woman who wanders from door-to-door.

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Image Source: Kashmir Observer

“Tilwaer” will be a collection of words and brain-picking idioms and phrases no longer used in spoken Kashmiri. The idea is to recollect “with a tinge of sarcasm, humour and wit” the lost linguistic treasure of Kashmir.

“Dancing in Wilderness — of longings, divinity and catharisis” creates a link between Kashmir’s ancient women poets like Lalla Ded and Habba Khatoon and their present-day counterparts like Naseem Shafai — the first Kashmiri woman to win the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011.

However, Nazki said the tabloid is not only about art, literature and culture.

“Art and culture is only the prism. I intend to showcase Kashmir’s life in various ways,” she said, adding that the tabloid uses art as a metaphor. “It includes satire and showcases conflict as well.”

She said she got 2,500 copies printed for the first edition. All of them were distributed to students free of cost. But from the next edition, each copy will be priced at Rs 5.(Source:IANS)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There should be more such inspirational steps taken by the people of Kashmir to encourage them and fight terrorism as a whole. Art, literature a way of changing people’s minds in a good way.

Next Story

Bilingual Children are Strong, Creative Storytellers; Says New Study

"However, this research shows that as a function of storytelling, bilingual children are equally strong as monolingual children," Nicoladis added

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This research used a new, highly sensitive measure for examining cognitive flexibility, examining a participant's ability to switch between games with different rules, while maintaining accuracy and reaction time. Pixabay

Bilingual children use as many words as monolingual children when telling a story, and demonstrate high levels of cognitive flexibility, a new study suggests.

“We found that the number of words that bilingual children use in their stories is highly correlated with their cognitive flexibility–the ability to switch between thinking about different concepts,” said study lead author Elena Nicoladis from University of Alberta in Canada.

“This suggests that bilinguals are adept at using the medium of storytelling. The results suggest that parents of bilingual children do not need to be concerned about long-term school achievement,” Nicoladis said in a paper published in the journal Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

“In a storytelling context, bilingual kids are able to use this flexibility to convey stories in creative ways,” Nicoladis added.

The researchers examined a group of French-English bilingual children who have been taught two languages since birth, rather than learning a second language later in life.

Results show that bilingual children used just as many words to tell a story in English as monolingual children.

Bilingual kids attain cognitive and perceptional benefits
Bilingual children have superior emotional and cerebral control than monolingual peers. Pixabay

Participants also used just as many words in French as they did in English when telling a story.

According to the researchers, previous research has shown that bilingual children score lower than monolingual children on traditional vocabulary tests, meaning this results are changing our understanding of multiple languages and cognition in children.

This research used a new, highly sensitive measure for examining cognitive flexibility, examining a participant’s ability to switch between games with different rules, while maintaining accuracy and reaction time.

This study builds on previous research examining vocabulary in bilingual children who have learned English as a second language.

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“Learning a word is related to how much time you spend in each language. For bilingual children, time is split between languages. So, unsurprisingly, they tend to have lower vocabularies in each of their languages,” Nicoladis said.

“However, this research shows that as a function of storytelling, bilingual children are equally strong as monolingual children,” Nicoladis added. (IANS)