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.

Book review. Khuda ki basti

After having read Jangloos it was imperative for me to read this book. Not as voluminous as jangloos but then not a bit less entertaining, informative and moving. It is s story of good vs evil, of love and betrayal, of hopes and dreams, machinations of the viliest form, of misusing religion for personal gains, of suppressing the oppressed. As always the language used is easy to follow and understand. There are twists and turns in the plot. The lower strata of society is beautifully depicted in every way. The fight for survival is real and the human mind is put to test in different ways. The writer has laid threadbare a society on a downward spiral. It is the story of a society that refuses to improve. Reading this book written somewhere in the late 1950’s one comes to realize that things haven’t changed much. Simply two thumbs up!

Book Review : Jangloos

Jangloos by Shaukat Siddiqui

Hello. I feel bad writing in English about a book (Jangloos) written originally in Urdu, but please bear with me. I have been reading it for almost last two months. In fact I finished it today.
Jangloos is a set of three books each well over 600 pages. It is set in rural Punjab (Central as well a south), circa 1950’s. It describes the gory events of partition quite frequently. Two convicts Lali and Rahimdad being the main characters escape from jail and try to survive the unforgiving times. Their paths cross many times throughout the story, till the end. (No more spoilers :-))
The author has, through events described how the powerful (politicians, feudals, bureaucrats, military, businessmen, police and judiciary) in this country exploit the weak and poor. And in that the basic human instinct of survival is amply displayed. The characters are brought to life describing their actions and thoughts in detail, thus making the reader feel the story line, in depth. It certainly helps in understanding. The best thing is the use of plain Urdu language, with a smattering of Punjabi in between. It is an easy to read book with a very interesting story, but one which takes a lot of time to read (Over 2000 pages in all). The twists and turns are most unexpected and here is where the reader is left a little bewildered. I believe the author has a very good knowledge about the life in rural areas, about our judicial system, the police etc etc. It mentions the various land reforms and does also mention famous political personalities of its time, through events. It brings the reader in touch with the “real world” to which most of us are oblivious. And finally, the reader comes to realize that very little has changed in this beautiful country. No wonder that the drama serial based on this novel got banned.
And now I am trying to get over the hangover 🙂