Vegetarians Only: Stories of Telugu Muslims
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

A translation of twelve short stories titled Adhure: Muslim Kadhalu, Vegetarians Only introduces readers to the life-world of Telugu Muslims, their dreams, sorrows and predicaments. Negotiations around the burqa and dowry are interwoven with communal sharing of marriage expenses and work. Unfulfilled love, the desperation and helplessness of penury are eased by promises of migration to the Gulf. The stories present moving portraits of individuals battling prejudice and isolation, within and outside the community, with dignity and courage. They also foreground the friendships and camaraderie between poor rural and mofussil Telugu Muslims and Dalits and invite us to share their emotional journeys.

Skybaaba’s fiction captures a ‘Muslim subalternity’ in post-colonial Deccan that finds itself at the crossroads of language, religion and economies, challenging stereotypes, even as his use of ‘Telugurdu’ brings into focus the disparate histories of Muslim communities across India. His stories raise vital questions about Muslim and Telugu identity in India, the status of women in Islam, and crucially—caste among Telugu Muslims.

Written in refreshingly direct and simple prose, these stories will resonate with a pan-Indian readership and lovers of Indian literature.

The Author

Skybaaba is a writer, poet, activist and freelance journalist. His published anthologies of poetry include Jago-Jagao (2009), Quit Telangana (2010) and Dimmisa (2011), besides Zakhmi Awaz (2012), a collection of his own writings on Telangana.

The Volume Editors

A. Suneetha is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies.
Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda is Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and a member of Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies.

Author’s Foreword


Of Mofussil Muslim Lives
A. Suneetha and Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

  1. Jani Begum
    Translated from Chhoti Behen, by A. Suneetha

  2. Petition
    Translated from Dawa, by Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

  3. Vegetarians Only
    Translated from Vegetarians Only, by Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

  4. Romance 1424 Hijri
    Translated from Mohabbat 1424 Hijri, by A. Suneetha

  5. The Dying Flame
    Translated from Bhadakta Chirag, by Kiranmayi Indraganti

  6. Homeland
    Translated from Watan, by R. Akhileshwari

  7. The Benefactor
    Translated from Kabootar, by Christopher Chekuri

  8. The Wedding Feast
    Translated from Dastar, by R. Akhileshwari

  9. Sheer Khorma
    Translated from Majboor, by Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda

  10. Life in Death
    Translated from Jeevam, by D. Vasanta

  11. Nowhere to Turn
    Translated from Qibla, by Rama S. Melkote

  12. Urs
    Translated from Urs, by A. Suneetha

Glossary of Deccani and Telugu Terms

Note on Author

Notes on Translators

1. For A Common Earth | The Telegraph, Kolkata, 15 April 2018
2. Vegetarians Only | Sheer Khorma, Frontline-26 April 2019
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