Thursday, 30 December 2010

Dasht -e- Sos

Historical Novel writing is not an easy job, one must have grip on facts and a style that makes an interesting readings. Naseem Hijazi was one such writer and when Jamila Hashmi wrote Dasht e Sos she also claimed that distinction.

Dasht e Sos is a novel about story of Hussain bin Mansur Hallaj. This novel was first published 27 years ago in 1983. The story of Hallaj is both fascinating and sad. Hallaj an anxious and curious spirit had questions unanswered, he was seeking some answers and wanted to get those like Hazrat Musa(Moses) got at Kohe Tur (Mount of Sanai). He wanted to reach to God like where there is no Hijab (veil) left, so he indulge himself into such prayers and meditation that were tough and beyond the capacity of normal human beings and they bring to him such awareness which he could not muster and in mystification said something that took him to the woods and was crucified. But that was not the only reason for his crucifixion, there is lot in between, a relations of hate and love. Love not only with the immortal and pristine but also with a mortal and beautiful princess. Which Love finally takes him to gallows is an interesting tale narrated in this novel.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Khas O Khashak Zamany

Mustansar Hussain Tarar is a master craftsman, when he writes, the words he uses speak themselves what they stand for, the usual meaning takes a different stance look glossier, lively, deep and sensuous.

KHAS O KHASHAK ZAMANAY his latest novel published this year is another feather in his illustrious career as novelist. The story is so skillfully told using all new and old techniques- fantasy, stream of consciousness, magical realism just to say literary techniques, otherwise the craftsmanship used is also of a master architect, a master painter and a master sculptor. One is gripped all time, one cannot miss a single sentence, and you cannot afford to miss a single line when Tarar writes.

The story runs in a wide landscape of time and space. Past, present and future work as three dimensions of time in the story, past is never past and future is never future, past is always running parallel with future and future parallel with past in the whole story, whereas the reader is always aware that he is present in the story, in the NOW.

The very first page inspires the reader where following dedication appears:


The story starts in a village in pre -partition Punjab, and then spreads and develops after independence in Lahore, taking note of all important political and social events, like martial laws, 1965 war, 1971 war and fall of Dacca. The story takes a new high after 9/11 when Afghanistan and Iraq are devastated.
The final chapters of the story are classic example of how an artist can use his historic heritage and rise to glorifying heights. Tarar uses Attar’s metaphor of thirty birds in search of a king where the birds eventually find themselves. Here Tarar’s character in search of truth finds a new Adam…

Book published by Sang e meel Publications.
Pages 740
Year of Publication 2010

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Aur Insaan Zinda Hai

AUR INSAAN ZINDA HAI is a novel by Obaidullah Baig. This novel was first published in 1961 and the second edition was published in 1991 by Times Press (Pvt) Limited. The title of this novel is such tantalizing that it just raises consciousness to a different level of wonderment.

AUR INSAAN ZINDA HAI is a story of man and his struggle in the face of adversity. A man that has his feet on ground but his eyes on the horizon where is writ large his ideals, dreams and a world that is a blissful, purposeful and meaningful place if not a sort of Utopia. But all that collapses on a day of devastation of Basantpur, a village in pre-partitioned India. From a romantic idealist he becomes a savage, a killing machine that has only one program at hand - revenge. The main character of the story Narindra is a symbol of a human sensibility that basically nurtures on Love. He can take defamation, pain and even insult on his self but when confronted with a possibility of pain inflicted on his ideals, dreams and loved ones he throws all pathos, humility, love and utopian thoughts to fire and burn them to ashes and from that ashes rises a new man full of animosity, hatred, revenge and devastates whatever comes his way that justifies revenge rationale.

The story is based on a factual account but beautifully punctuated with necessary craftsmanship which makes this a most interesting and fabulous piece of writing. The language used is flowing like stream and the thoughts that writer inculcates to convey meaning of life are thought provoking and impending.