() is a novel by Bano Qudsia
. Though there is some controversy as to whether this book be classified as a novel or not, there is no doubt in the richness of the book. Sometimes the book appears to be a collection of scattered mystic
thoughts. Unlike her earlier novel Raja Gidh
the book does not have a coherent plot
If we accept it to be a novel
, it is mainly a collection of incoherent thoughts of an old Pakistani
man Humayun Farid who is visiting his emigrant
daughter Arjmand in USA
. Most of the thoughts occur to him as he is sitting in the balcony of her daughter’s home. The narrative may well be thought to be employing the stream of consciousness
technique. Humayun Farid hails from a family who migrated from the Indian
part of Punjab
at the time of the Partition of India
. He was a self made businessman before his retirement.
The technique of the novel consists of narrating the thoughts of this character. An advantage of this technique is that, the writer absolves herself of the responsibility. Humayun keeps on comparing the Pakistani and American cultural differences. The novelist
concretizes these comparisons by arranging accidental meetings of the main character with Pakistani and American characters in super markets and in other public places.
It seems that the thoughts themselves are not important here. Ranging from commonplace clichés and generalizations to some really thought provoking ideas and finally to intentionally provocative... Read More