Book Review: Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

Zuleikha is a story inspired by real life events in the early post-communist era in Russia. During the 1930s tough sanctions were placed by the then Government on all those Kulaks who owned over 8 acres of land, by requisitioning wheat and other eatables from them.  Later the same people were de-Kulakized by forcibly moving them out of their lands, depriving them of their possessions and forcing them to move to Siberia under harsh and hostile conditions. It is said that thousands perished during the forced migration to Siberia and still more died of starvation, absence of facilities and other factors. The de-Kulakized people were forced to work under harsh conditions and Political (communist) commanders were appointed over them to eke out work form them. It is a story of pain and suffering, of loss, of survival, of hope and of finding love. Zuleikha is the story of a one such woman.

Guzel Yakhina has done a wonderful job of writing this book, which according to some accounts is her grandmother’s story.


Book Review: Seasons and Cycles of Life

“Seasons and cycles of life” is the autobiography of Dr Ashur Khan. He is a famous and well known Cardiologist of Pakistan. Ashur Khan sb belongs to Kohat which happens to by my native town. So when I found this book in a local book shop I bought it immediately. Ashur sb comes from a very humble background and his story (from being the son of a poor man till his rise as a General in Army Medical Corps) is sure to inspire lives of readers. The book is written in simple language and is full of interesting anecdotes. By writing this book Dr Ashur Khan has tried to tell his story of struggle against odds. And in this story are valuable lessons for anyone and everyone.
Dr sb is a very humble person and is known for philanthropist work for the betterment of people.

Book Review: Will by Will Smith

For once I will write the summation before anything for this review…this book is simply “two thumbs up!”. I always believe if a book can make you laugh and cry, both at the same time, it’s a good book. There’s 21 chapters in this book , each one equally interesting. I won’t even bother to go in to the details of what each chapter has to say except that it is Will Smith’s life story as told by him. Ab initio, from the very beginning till the time he bungee-jumped out of a moving helicopter on the Grand Canyon live on YouTube with family watching it on site, on his 50th birthday. More than anything it is a story of a motivated, hardworking man, of going broke and again becoming a millionaire, of winning Grammy awards, of becoming a TV star, and ultimately a movie star, of Oscar nominations, of falling in love, marriage, kids, divorce and of losing loved ones, of self-discovery, pain, of hope, and of overcoming fear. Finally, I must say Will Smith is a fearless and brave man, not because he jumped out of a moving helicopter, not because he fought against odds, not because he flew every week (almost) from China to US while shooting for a movie to see his son play in a game on weekends and back again to China for the shooting, not because he saw his father dying, or his mother getting injured, or losing money and making money again. He is a brave man because it takes a lot of courage to bare your whole life in front of the world, to accept your shortcomings and mistakes, to describe your feelings, your intimate moments, ups and downs, that I think is bravery!

Book Launch Ceremony “Mudslinging and other short stories”

Hello. I am so excited to inform you all that my debut book titled, “Mudslinging and other short stories” was launched during a ceremony on 13th Nov 2121 at the Rawalpindi Arts Council. I am sharing a few photos and videos of the occasion. Cheers!

Continue reading Book Launch Ceremony “Mudslinging and other short stories”

Book review. Udas naslein

Hello. I picked up this novel after hearing much good things about it. For now my thoughts are haywire about it. I feel at loss with words putting everything that’s in my mind. Udas naslein is a novel spanning decades starting from the first world war era and going right upto post partition time. Set somewhere in rural India the characters keep moving in the then undivided India going upto Lahore. The protagonist Naeem is an interesting character who enlists in the British Indian army during the Great War and this starts his journey of discovery, pain, love and loss.

On a personal level I almost fell in love with a character created by the author who happens to be a German Carpenter fighting the war. No words would be able to describe his actions and thoughts as done by the author. It’s a portrait of a man at peace with himself and the world.

The way Abdullah Hussain describes human emotions and feelings is unmatchable. The sad protagonist looking for answers meets people who try to quench his thirst. Though at times I must say the book becomes a little philosophical. The urdu used is easy to follow and understand.

besides all things it’s a beautiful read.