Qabar or grave, is a novella by award-winning writer K. R. Meera ( published by Westland Books). It is a curious story. Is it possible to share the story briefly. No. Suffice to say that the dark parallels drawn between a woman’s existence and that of a Muslim in a very patriarchal and Hindu-dominated society, respectively, are very disconcerting. For the characters, it is akin to being dead while alive, confined to their qabar. Resorting to elements of magic realism or preying upon classic myths of witches and djinns, does not in any way ease the reader while trying to comprehend Qabar. The competent translation by journalist/author, Nisha Susan is very good. She achieves the balancing act by slipping in Malayalam words into the English translation without making the text jarring to read.
Qabar is a pleasure to read.
19 Jan 2022