What if all the storytellers are also still with us “in spirit”? And what if one day this battalion of ghosts feels nostalgic, and enters a bookshop to check the latest edition of Hoshruba but doesn’t find it on the shelves? Who will have the heart to tell them that because of our neglect and disregard of Indo-Islamic literature, the rich language of Hoshruba has become inaccessible, that our own indifference has now become the tall mountain, reaching into the skies beyond which this tale lies, out of reach for all but a few?
That situation must be avoided at all cost.
And this is why the army of readers is gathered here; why I beat the kettledrums.
Hear then that this translation of Tilism-e Hoshruba, the first in any language, is a secret passage through this mountain. You may now bypass the dark terrain of craggy metaphors where puzzles grow, and easily slip to the other side to engage this tale.
And once you are done, you must remember to take on the mountain of indifference. It would be a shame to disappoint all the kindly ghosts in the bookshop who brought you this most excellent tale.
– M.A.F. (December 5, 2008)