Month: September 2015
Do you have grandmother? a brother? a sister? a father and mother? a sister in law? a brother in law? are you a Pakistani teenager? do you have relatives? do you belong to a Pakistani Muslim family? are you a girl? do you have a village where your ancestors came from ? a caste? are you syed? are you shia? are not thin? are you really good looking? are you not good looking? have you studied arts or science?
If you do have half of the given traits in you or… a quarter. then you can relate to this and laugh at this cunningly crafted satire of our good, weird and sometimes quiet senseless culture. Which manages to revolve around matrimony a bit too much.
even if you don’t support any of those traits laughs are granted.
You can find a way to make this about you and even if you don’t you might know few people in it.
Shazaf haider writes this book in easily crafted English which i term as desi-english which all the subcontinent readers or people who once belonged to this region can easily understand and enjoy. Sit back and be ready to be entertained by this 300 some pages of really bold writing ….
I am going to give a short review of this book, because well its nearly 1300 pages and no way i can justify this masterpiece(bear with me, he is one of those people i wish i can get 20mins with) so here it goes.
The reasons this one of the best written book:
<b>1.</b>If you read this book you know what kind of man the writer is, his writing really reflects him no hold backs no cover ups you really know who you reading, that is; a person who is intelligent, a little proud, is honest, and really sees for the world it is, and is not afraid to talk his mind. And does not feel the need to justify himself. And of the time he is right.
<b>2.</b>there are many excellent urdu writers way better then the Shahab. Shahab, who in sense of saying has not written much but he has something that makes him really unique it is his excellent sense of sarcasm. He has the sense of sarcasm, that well, to be honest not a lot of Urdu writers have. Best Urdu sarcasm ever.
<b>3.</b> then comes the details of historical events and opinions. There are a lot of unbiasedness and accuracy in those. He does not care that he might be hurting what are Pakistan studies books love to shove at us as “nationality”. he tells things for what they are which for most part in our History are really screwed up.
<b>4.</b>its the account of Ayub khan tenure with whom he spend a lot of time he gives real picture of how royally army screwed us over and who innocently they were convinced they were doing us a favor. Ayub Khan was not a bad man he was just not cut to be leader. then there is the matter of war of 1964. i think there are very few other people other then Shahab who don’t treat that war as a strategic success. People fought that war our Jawaans and pilots and civilians, they were the braves who saved face, they bled valiantly. Our generals lost it.
<b>5.</b> Then comes the part of painful and highly controversial topic of separation of East Pakistan aka Bangladesh. Always have been told that it was Bhutto’s fault or Mujib ur Rehman or India’s or totally west Pakistan’s. It was all those things but it was lot more then that. It was fault of the Pakistani politicians (east and west alike) and the our prejudiced British-complex bureaucrats faults and it took 24 years and a lot of dirt money make it happen and propaganda. It wont be wrong to put that also in Ayub Khan’s list of incompetency’s as a leader.(my opinion)
<b>6.</b> Also there in these chapters which give quiet good review of Pakistan foreign polices but more so all the other world leaders of the period of 60s who were kind of game changers in their own sense.
<b>7.</b> The first 200 pages of this book are fun and happy because they were the youthful days of his life. His life in Kashmir, first crush, first achievement, days in Lahore, first love and its loss. The most painful part of this book was the chapter about famine in pre-partition Bengal. that made me squirm in repulsion and disgust at humanity. Shahab’s ability to get graphic is quiet commendable. He uses his this talent in another book (Ya Khauda) whose review i will give under that book .
<b>8.</b> Its obvious that he comes from practicing Muslmaan household or at least trying to be well practicing household. His religious opinions get a lot more visible as he matures and there is that issue of spiritualism which many people like to dub as fairytale which is odd. But quiet understandable. i am one of those people who can accept that reason has limits and believing simultaneously in science and spiritual world is quiet easy for me.
All and all this is one long book, its a journey of a life of a good man. A man who had his faults but he tried to be better. Who could not make much difference but he ended up making a lot of it by writing this book. I will read it again because i don’t think i have done justice to it yet.
I have a lot to say but not enough words to say it. There are one too many thoughts in my head milling around like specs of dust in sunlight in and out of focus. When i was a kid i used to lay down under the window and see sun rays filtering through the glass. There were these nearly invisible hairy lines and dust particles floating in air. thinking back they feel like few moments of pure bliss, laying on the woolen mat thoughts scattered as autumn leaves, eyes fixed on illuminated particles by day star. thinking about that is like looking back into another person’s life. Seeing through someone else’s eyes. That girl was different from me happiness was not a question it was a constant state.
That’s what growing up means. Even though parents don’t seem too tall or big. and top-shelves are not far away but everything else grows. The world expands, possibilities, doubts, conquests everything changes.
I don’t think i can ever lay under a window and see that anymore. time has taken away these hairy nearly invisible lines of dust with childhood, innocent ignorance, my grandfather and state of bliss that used to captivate this world.
I don’t know if my kid brother looks at the sky searching for elephant shaped clouds? At the moots of dust? At the random dandelion? Feel the silence of the day? Enjoy the sounds of the day which never seem to break the silence?
I don’t ever seem to have time for that anymore. Its not that those things are not important anymore. I just don’t carve them anymore, i want to understand the imaginative tick of the brains i want to hear thoughts. I want to get lost in the lights of the day and under the lights which keep the darkness at bay.
i think i rather have people to share moments with then dust and floating hairy lines for companions.
Summer is ending.. Nights are getting cooler.. You can feel the heat fading away.. There is another month till proper climate change.. But the timings of namaz are moving closer. The small changes are here.
Tomorrow my university starts as does of many others.. New semester new session.. A new beginning.. Today i spent quiet some time cleaning up and finding my old stuff.. What i ended up finding was 100 rupees in change.. Ah what a great feeling that was…. Also i bought like a bunch of pens though i dont need any of them.. I have like alot of pens and pencils leftover from the previous semester but i am me, the person who is crazy about stationary even the completely uneccessaory one….
I dont know why but today i feel really good.. I hope this feeling stays….
Today is also a defence day.. Though i have my reservations about the war. There is no doubt about the bravery and valor of our soilders and civilians alike in the war of 65′. Long live Pakistan….