If you want to know about Block-4, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi that is located in Pakistan, so here is the review which I did for Dawn publication
If you want to know about Block-4, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi that is located in Pakistan, so here is the review which I did for Dawn publication
Living in Pakistan one is well aware about feudal system. It is deeply rooted in our society which has eaten up the lives of the ordinary masses. Feudalism has brought ruins to the nation and ongoing cycle of the rich becoming richer while poor pushes down to the pits, needs to end.
Tehmina’s autobiography ‘My Feudal Lord’ depicts an invaluable insight of women caught up in the complex web of feudal system. While reading this novel, what intrigues me is the struggle she had to face which is rare for a Pakistani woman this educated and elite, especially one whose life was fairly public, to be abused to this degree.
Tehmina Durrani was brought up in a privilege milieu of Lahore society. She was the daughter of former Governor State Bank of Pakistan and former Chairman of Pakistan International Airline S.U. Durrani.
Durrani’s first husband Anees came off as a polar opposite to her lover and second husband Ghulam Mustafa Khar. Unlike Khar, Anees was gentle, honourable, and treats women with respect. When Durrani asked for a divorce, though much pained, Anees granted one without much of a fuss. From first marriage she had one daughter only.
After divorce, Durrani married to former Chief Minister and governor of Punjab, Ghulam Mustafa Khar. She was in love with him and marrying him was like a dream come true
Her first encounter with Khar’s assault left her shocked. She was violently attacked by her husband every other day. He had a charming personality which is why people adored him, oblivious to the fact that this person behaved like an animal within his four-walled house.
Tehmina endured the physical pain which Khar gave her but her world was shattered when she got to know that Khar was in clandestine relationship with some girl. She was flabbergasted to know that it was none other than her own younger sister Adila who physically seduced Khar and put her older sister’s marriage at stake. Tehmina and Khar had four children.
Constantly lying and being physically involved with Adila, Tehmina was gradually losing her sanity and could not endure his brutality. She ended her marriage of 13 years in divorce.
Her parents ostracized her for a quite long time. They weren’t happy of her decision because they believe in the notion, once the girl is married; she should come back in a coffin to her parents’ house.
Following her divorce, Tehmina wrote autobiography on her post-marriage life with the feudal. Originally published in 1991, the book was co-authored by William and Marilyn Hoffer.
In Pakistani society, where the Muslim patriarchs dominate, the entity of women is that of inferior beings, both intellectually and socially. Her main purpose seems to be an instrument for the satisfaction of the man’s sexual desires and perpetuation of the species.
Feudal system is uprooted in Pakistan. I wish women of Pakistan would stop bearing the torture after marriage and actually start living. I wish women would stop breaking the tradition of silence.
As in the words of an author in a novel: “Silence condones injustice, breeds subservience and fosters a malignant hypocrisy. Mustafa Khar and other feudal lords thrive and multiply on silence. Muslim women must learn to raise their voice against injustice.”
When her novel came out, it instigated uproar within the country because it was one of the first times that a woman from the elitist of the elite revealed the deep dark secrets of the feudal society and politicians. Initially the book was derided but then with the passage of time, receiving an international acclaim, the book became an instant hit amongst the readers particularly women.
Agreed that Durrani’s novel reflected the lives of feudal system in the country, and it has ruined the foundation of our country. But I do have some issues while reading this novel. Why? Simple, Durrani bashed feudal culture and then again she married to a feudal lord, the present Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.
I am glad that there are women like her who do not give in to the bigotry rather she fights back and challenges injustices of the patriarchal society. However, her third marriage to the feudal lord questions her narrative of whether what she said was true or it was an exaggeration.
Call me a book hoarder or bibliomania! I love books. I cannot resist the urge of buying
books whenever I pass by any bookstore or book fair. I see books and I feel my legs have got stuck under some heavy object and I cannot move ahead.
This time, it happened when I got an opportunity to visit 12th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2016 held in the month of December. For those readers who don’t know about KIBF, the five-day book fair is an annual event, which is organized by the Pakistan Publishers Booksellers’ Association (PPBA), with an aim to provide platform for local book-lovers like me.
KIBF is one of the country’s largest book fairs, bringing many publishing and distribution houses together with domestic and international publishers, booksellers, librarians and institutional customers.
Each year many international publishers participate in this event and this year too, publishers from Iran, Turkey, Singapore, China, Malaysia, England, UAE and other countries were part of this international event.
Coming back to my book-haul, I went on the second day of the fair. As I entered Karachi Expo Center, I was pretty excited because I was going to be with my love (read: books). It was a treat to see children and adults sharing same passion for books.
I made my way to hall number three where I went straight into Liberty Books stall. I browsed through variety of books on the shelves and then I decided to take out my list (which I had been preparing for two days) to purchase only selected books. Though let me tell you, I failed to follow my list.
Before coming to book fair, I made a decision that I would purchase less than ten books. However, I believe decisions are meant to be broken (or rules are meant to be broken) whatever, I end up spending more on books in one go and left broke.
I bought 20 books in the month of December which is quite huge after combining all the months’ purchase.
So, let me present you my last book haul for this year which I am sure will keep me occupied in 2017.
I am going to read this for the first time and I have never read her before. The story is about two brown girls Tracy and Aimee who dream of becoming dancers. One has talent and the other has ideas about rhythm and time. A complicated childhood friendship ends abruptly in their twenties, never to be revisited but never quite forgotten either.
I got to know about this novel through Goodreads. A story about Yeong-hye and her husband who apparently seem ordinary people but when Yeong-hye seek a more plant-like existence, commits a shocking act of subversion; she refuses to eat meat.
Don’t know anything about this novel; the reason to buy this novel is its inclusion in the list of winners of Pulitzer Prize for fiction 2016. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain explored the legacy of Vietnam War in literature, films and the wars fought today.
First time I saw on liberty books website and that’s it, I decided to buy this one because I was in love with its cover and after reading blurb I thought to myself, need to read this one. The story revolves around Maurie-Laure and her father who live in Paris near Museum of Natural history. When the Nazis occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo with museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
As soon as my eyes set on this cover which was lying on the shelf at Liberty book stall, I just picked on the spur of the moment. The novel brings to life one of the most significant political regimes of the 20th century and its traumatic legacy which still resonates for a new generation.
Winner of Man Booker Prize 2016 is the apt reason for buying this novel. According to what I have read in the blurb of this book, the narrator was raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist. His father was killed in a drive-by shooting and the son realized that there never was a memoir as claimed by his father. The son was left with a bill for a drive-through funeral of his father.
I saw its cover first on instagram which was shared by one of the bookstragrammars and therefore the book made into my list. The story is about Clay Jensen who found a strange package on his return to home. Later he discovered several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker-his classmate and first love-who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
King had to be in my list without any doubt. I had in my mind to buy this title for long and finally I bought it. The novel is full of suspense where the main protagonist Morris Bellamy, a reader, consumed by his obsession for America’s author John Rothstein prepared to kill for a trove of notebooks containing at least one more unpublished novel.
I bought this one from Oxford University Press stall. It was just one of those moments when you read something and it captures your attention. Same happened with this book. The reason behind purchasing this book was its survey of contemporary Pakistani writers and their efforts to trace the itinerary of Pakistan in the 21st century.
I was introduced to Kazuo through his first novel ‘A Pale View of Hills’ which I read few days back. I found his writing fresh and he has an ability to draw interest of his readers with his writing style. The words flow like a river on the pages of his novel. Therefore I got hold of his finest work which was also shortlisted for Man Booker Prize. It is a story of love, friendship and memory, which is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.
I want to read something about strategy and how the politicians and executives use this tool on every level from interpersonal to the international, with an aim to understand the physics and psychology of conflict.
I read its review sometimes back and it was in my mind to get hands on this one for sure. So, I was enthralled to see this book in the Liberty Book stall. The story is an intimate exploration of disjunction between exalted dreams and complicated realities.
Obviously I found this title in the Pulitzer Prize List and then next I found in the book fair. The story revolves around son who is abandoned by his father, miraculously survives a catastrophe that otherwise tears his life apart.
The title and the cover says it all. My interest to know about the world of prostitution which is considered a taboo in our society instigated me to purchase this book.
I have watched ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ which was based on Picoult’s novel, a brilliant story full of emotions which is why I bought this one. In this story, the author depicts the broken family and how it affects the child’s mind?
I bought this one because it only cost Rs. 50 and other reason is its story which is both fantasy and fact, an autobiographical fiction that stood the test of time.
Less cost so why not! No other reason to buy this one, and after all I am a book collector at the end so yes, I bought it. The story is a historical fiction, compelling political intrigue and passionate romance to create an intimate drama of three individuals’ bound-and undone-by love and loyalty.
This year, I was no good but next year, I hope to do a lot more reading and less buying. I only hope but no promise because after all I love books…
Electricity theft is a major cause of revenue loss and circular debt in the case of Pakistan. Power theft alone costs hundreds of million dollars every year to electricity distribution companies in Pakistan. It is obvious that electricity crisis cannot be handled without combating rampant electricity theft in the country.
A solution has been tried in Karachi, Pakistan where the power utility of the city, K-Electric, according to the media reports has installed Aerial Bundled Cables in kunda-infested areas. With these cables, it is impossible for power thieves to apply hook connections and also ensures proper supply of electricity to the houses, saving electrical equipment’s from short-circuit.
Below is the article that got published in Business Recorder–a leading financial daily in Pakistan and the first such publication to be published in the Muslim world. The publication is owned by the Business Recorder Group which is one of South Asia’s preeminent media conglomerates.
If the pic is unreadable so you can also click the link below for the readability:
“It’s Karachi. It’s where life and love come to die. It has nothing.”
The above line is an excerpt of Saba Imtiaz’s novel ‘Karachi You’re Killing Me’ which showcases a different world of Karachi. I remember that this novel was published in 2014 but I didn’t get the chance to read at that time. Recently it caught my attention when it was announced that Sonakshi Sinha’s next film Noor is based on Imtiaz novel. I just thought to give it a read.
Ayesha is a 28-year-old journalist with the gift of finding herself in absurd, often mind-boggling, situations. She lives in Karachi with her father and an arrogant cat who behaves like a sibling to her. She has a snobbish boss (Kamran) and her job becomes nightmarish as she struggles to keep up with her boss’s grueling schedule and demeaning demands (it kind of reminds me Miranda Priestly in Lauren Weisberger’s Devil Wears Prada). The only surviving factor which keeps her going in her gruesome job is lots of booze, cigarettes, and of course her 3 a.m. friends (Zara and Saad), who she could look up to for everything.
From interviewing designers, freed Guantanamo detainee to reporting on gang-wars, her brief is to cover almost everything that happens in Karachi. Being a journalist is not easy in this conflicted area. Running from pillars to post, she stumbles upon many adversities which include the gunmen, near miss from death, starlets, and elite teenagers and who’s who of Karachi.
The book had a very Moni Mohsin’s ‘The Diary of a Social Butterfly’ and Helen Fielding’s ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary ‘ feel to it, filled with humour and a protagonist who you often found ranting about a city she loved and wanted to escape at the same time. It was inked with words that Pakistanis, especially Karachiites will understand instantly and conversations that simply leapt of the page because they honestly felt so real.
I have lived a major chunk of my life in Karachi and living here is nothing but a roller coaster ride. One will see a phenomenal diversity in this city which I don’t think one can find in other city. The city with its exuberance has a tendency to embrace every wanderer and seeking soul in its arms. It gives hopes and dreams to all those seekers who traveled to this place in hope to make it big in their lives.
Despite its vivacity, the city is a difficult place to live in especially for journalists. Interesting part of Imtiaz novel was her wittiness that enables readers to stomach out the horrendous details without grimacing.
“People tend to think living amid bombs and blood is inspiring. It isn’t. It just makes me feel exhausted with the sheer pressure of either trying to shrug it off like nothing happened or having to write about it-how many new ways can one come up with to write about blood and gore? A couple odd one-liners in the book cracked me up bad. This is not a story of terrorism or a mishap faced by the city but a feisty girl’s everyday story which is a concoction of lies, deceit, love, passion, hate, friendship, misfortunes and trust.” (Excerpt from Novel)
The downside of the novel was having no real plot and a predictable story. At maximum, it appears like Ayesha’s memoirs on display and while they are interesting, one wonders if this would be all in the book which had an interesting enough premise to lead into a much bigger show. Nevertheless one does not lose interest, the sway appeal that one expected, especially with such a powerful title, isn’t quite there.
P.S. After reading this novel, I just wonder how Sonakshi would justify with the character of this novel.I am not optimist about Sinha playing Ayesha’s character as the novel has a tongue-in-cheek humour which I doubt Sinha would be able to pull it off.. For now let’s just wait till the cat comes out of the bag ( 2017 it is!)
“And he said, ‘Go on, then, name one book you know well.’ And cool as a cucumber, I said, ‘Cheque book!”
You probably would be laughing your head off after reading above-mentioned line, and must be wondering which novel is this!
So, the line is an extract from Moni Mohsin’s novel ‘The Diary of Social Butterfly’. The story revolves around Butterfly who is a socialite and main protagonist. She lives in Lahore with her husband Janoo and her only son Kulchoo. No kidding these are the names of the characters.
The main attraction of this novel is Butterfly who is a typical wannabe socialite with her horrible English language. I remember I was reading in my office and I had to close down the book because I could not stop my frequent burst of laughter at her incorrect English.
According to Butterfly, she is the most well-educated, well-mannered and most generous person on earth. No one is like her.She lives in her own sweet world, surrounded by her like-minded friends. She just loves parties, fashion and gossips.
The novel covers the turmoil in Pakistan including militarization, 9/11, emergency, terrorist attacks, Benazir assassination and fundamental policies. However, Butterfly has no concern whatsoever. Her interest in politics or literature is next to nothing.
Butterfly’s use of the English language is really interesting and throws up quite a few innuendos. The most hilarious one I found consists of Butterfly describing her mother-in-law’s (The Old bag’s) angina attack as vagina attack. Then to her husband’s (Janoo) metaphorically, she understands as stratospheric.
The novel is incredibly witty and hilarious but on the flip side, there is no plot or story and at times, the misspelling and bad grammar, really breaks the pace of the reading for the reader.
Caution: If you are a literature aficionado so this is not for you.
I will rate this book 3 out of 5
Happy Reading everyone!
Menstruation, also known as Periods is a regular natural cycle that occurs in the female reproductive system but girls particularly in Pakistan dread getting their periods. Unfortunately in Pakistan, menstruation is a hushed matter due to cultural constraints. Therefore, many girls face a lot of obstacles when it comes to sanitation.
According to UNICEF report, only 20 percent of girls have access to sanitary napkins in school whereas most of the girls reported that they can’t go to schools if they can’t find pads to wear or a toilet in which to change them in the school premises. Girls also reported a lack of adequate facilities in school bathrooms while some schools don’t have running water so that girls can keep their hands and bodies clean while menstruating. There is a dire need to break the silence on this topic, so that millions of young girls every year don’t see their period as a disability, but a natural, normal part of their lives.
In a bid to break the stereotype associated with menstruation, the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) campaign was launched by the MHM working group to increase awareness about sanitation and menstruation hygiene environment.
The day is observed on May 28 every year across the world aims at creating awareness to break taboos and myths around menstruation and to encourage women to overcome their hesitation about menses.
Every year, the theme is different and this year, the global theme of the day is “Menstruation Matters for Everyone, Everywhere.”
In Pakistan, a panel discussion was held which focused on how the health, education, and sanitation of adolescent girls are impacted by lack of proper MHM was organized. Panelists included government representatives from across the country that explored the much-needed solutions to tackle the taboo and associated problems that females’ especially young adolescent girls face. The event was organized by the MHM Working Group, a coalition of humanitarian organizations working to champion menstrual hygiene rights in Pakistan.
Menstrual Hygiene Management remains a taboo in Pakistan which affects a woman’s self-esteem, health and education.
Young girls in Pakistan bare most of this brunt as they lack the knowledge and services to manage menstruation which in turn affects their learning experiences. Research reveals that marginalized girls can miss up to two to four consecutive days of schools every four weeks due to their periods. This of course has serious implications on their learning.
Women are the bringer of new life into the world, and periods are a part of that process. This is an attitude that we need to bring back into our conversations, but also our attitudes, towards all matters related to sexual and reproductive health. It is time that all sectors come together to break the silence around MHM by supporting strong policy implementation across all state levels.